Posts Tagged: cars

Opinion

Solar power hit in the solar plexus

Workers installing a roof-top solar panel array. (Photo: lalanta71, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: On Jan. 1, California became the first state in the nation to require solar panels on all new homes up to three stories high. The unique mandate was approved last year by a state agency, the California Energy Commission. Meanwhile, just down the street in Sacramento, another state agency, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, is intent on designating the same solar panels that will be used to comply with the solar-power requirement as “hazardous waste.”

News

California throttles down small-engine pollution

A landscaping worker trims a bush with a gas-powered machine while a technician monitors the air quality for FairWarning. (Photo: Stuart Silverstein)

New California rules aimed at curbing the surprising amount of pollution coming from leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other small gas-powered machines cleared a final hurdle Monday, and are set to take effect on Jan. 1. The requirements mark another step in the state’s long-running battle to reduce emissions from a category of small engines that have come to rival cars as a source of smog-forming pollution.

News

Lease-a-dog? You’re kidding, right?

Bubba, a dog who found an owner after a year in a shelter. (Photo: Photography by Adri, via Shutterstock)

Should customers be able to lease dogs and cats in the same way they rent cars, apartments or furniture? California legislators think not. Both houses overwhelmingly approved Assembly Bill 1491, which would outlaw the practice beginning Jan. 1. The bill is now awaiting final action from Gov. Jerry Brown.

News

Self-driving cars raise safety concerns

A Rinspeed Budii concept autonomous car. (Photo: Yauhen_D, Shutterstock)

On Valentine’s Day in Silicon Valley, one of Google’s experimental, self-driving cars sideswiped a city bus at 2 miles an hour. The incident marked the first time an autonomous car contributed to an accident on a public road, but did nothing to diminish the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for driverless vehicles.

Opinion

Clean up the air, drive electric

A VW bus converted to electric power, displayed last year in Beverly Hills. (Photo: Phil Pilosian)

If you’ve ever been behind the wheel of an electric vehicle, you know that they’re really fun to drive. Many Californians have discovered the joys of electric drive, as our state is nearing 200,000 plug-in vehicles sold, and accounted for more than half of all the EVs sold in the U.S. last year. But we need to ramp up sales of these advanced technology vehicles in order to clean up our air, reduce our dangerous dependency on petroleum, and stabilize the climate.

Analysis

Brown’s transportation budget celebrates the car

A traffic jam in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo: Prayitno, Wikimedia)

Weeks after returning from the Paris summit on climate change where he was hailed as a leader in the movement to limit greenhouse gases, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed a new transportation budget that celebrates the car. In 2016-17, Brown wants to spend $16 billion on transportation, and most of that would go toward making it easier for people to drive. The Democratic governor wants to build new roads and highways and repave old ones, and use more technology to speed traffic.

News

Tesla likely a key topic in gubernatorial debate

World headquarters of Tesla Motors in Palo Alto. (Photo: Katherine Welles)

Tesla’s decision to choose Nevada for its planned $5 billion battery factory is all but certain to play out Thursday evening in the one-and-only televised gubernatorial campaign debate between Jerry Brown and Neel Kashkari. California’s economic recovery has been a core issue in the gubernatorial campaign between Gov. Brown, a Democrat who is seeking an unprecedented fourth term and already is the state’s longest serving governor, and Kashkari, a Republican and former treasury official. Brown is heavily favored.

News

Drought: New battle, old weapons

The dry bed of Ivanpah Lake in San Barnardino County, which had been filled by the 2004-05 rains. (Photo: Ed Berlen)

With four fifths of California suffering through extreme drought, the state is poised to impose conservation measures last seen nearly 40 years ago during an earlier, unprecedented parched period. There will be restrictions on lawn watering, car and pavement washing, runoff, fountains and the like, with violations of up to $500 a day.

Opinion

January countdown: Fuel policy good for health — and wallet

Smoggy air envelops downtown Los Angeles. (Photo: Shutterstock).

OPINION: Despite strong efforts to ratchet down on smog and soot pollution, California still has some of the worst air quality in the nation and most urban areas in California continue to struggle with polluted air.

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