Introducing PolitiFact California

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks before signing a bill to combat climate change on Oct. 7, 2015. (AP Photo)
California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks before signing a bill to combat climate change on Oct. 7, 2015. (AP Photo)

PolitiFact California launches today with fact-checks about climate change, smog, and clean energy targets. The project is powered by Capital Public Radio as part of a first-of-its kind partnership between a public radio station and PolitiFact.

Capital Public Radio journalists will be fact-checking statements from the governor, the Legislature, candidates, advocacy groups and more, rating claims for accuracy on the Truth-O-Meter.

Today, PolitiFact California examined statements from Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, both Democrats.

Speaking of recent state legislation on clean energy, De León said, "No city in the state, no state in this nation, for that matter the entire world, has adopted targets more ambitious in scale." That required a careful look at jurisdictions of different sizes and how they set clean energy targets. PolitiFact California ultimately rated the statement Mostly True. (Read the fact-check.)

Brown, meanwhile, discussed California’s role in the history of addressing air pollution. "Smog was invented in Los Angeles. It was. The name was invented," Brown said. "There was a fellow at Caltech and he came up with the idea and they called it smog." The governor’s statement, while fuzzy at first glance, is partially accurate. But it leaves out important details and takes information out of context. After documenting the history of smog, PolitiFact California rated the statement Half True. (Read the fact-check.)

In addition to state politics, PolitiFact California will be fact-checking California’s 2016 political campaigns, including the race for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Barbara Boxer, who is retiring.

"We're taking our already substantial commitment to cover state government to an exciting new level with PolitiFact California," said Capital Public Radio's Chief Content Officer Joe Barr. "PolitiFact will be an essential part of our coverage during the 2016 elections and beyond."

PolitiFact California radio reports will be distributed to more than 30 radio stations in California, Nevada and Oregon, reaching 3.2 million listeners each week on the Capital Public Radio Network (CPRN). Reports will air during Morning Edition, Insight with Beth Ruyak and All Things Considered on CapRadio's News and Information stations in Sacramento, and across Northern California and western Nevada.