Saying Californians disagree about the state’s approach to climate change might be a bit of an understatement. Today, for example, California’s air regulators are set to hold the first of two hearings on a controversial, far-reaching proposal that would ban the sale of new gas-powered big rigs and other trucks in the state by 2040 […]
Trucks line up to enter a Port of Oakland shipping terminal in Oakland on Nov. 10, 2021. Photo by Noah Berger, AP Photo
Saying Californians disagree about the state’s approach to climate change might be a bit of an understatement.
Today, for example, California’s air regulators are set to hold the first of two hearings on a controversial, far-reaching proposal that would ban the sale of new gas-powered big rigs and other trucks in the state by 2040 and require trucking companies to convert their existing fleets to zero-emissions vehicles.
The trucking industry opposes the proposed regulations, which it says are “not realistic” and are “pushing for too much, too fast,” as Chris Shimoda, senior vice president of government affairs for the California Trucking Industry, put it in a Wednesday CalMatters commentary.
On the other hand, environmental justice advocates are set today to hold a “rally to fight diesel death” outside the California Environmental Protection Agency to urge air regulators to go both faster and further. Their demands: a goal of 100% electric car sales by 2036 and accelerated pollution cuts from certain big rigs.
Rusty Hicks, chairperson of the California Democratic Party, said in a statement: “The fight against climate change is absolutely worthy of a dedicated funding stream to make the investments needed to save the planet, and that’s why the California Democratic Party strongly supports Prop. 30.”
Exactly how much money would Prop. 30 raise every year, and where exactly would those dollars go? How many Californians would pay higher taxes? Who is funding the campaigns for and against the measure, and how much have they raised? And how much money are the state and federal governments already spending on electric vehicles and wildfire prevention?
Wildfires also cast a metaphorical haze over a Wednesday report from the California Air Resources Board that found the Golden State’s carbon dioxide emissions fell by nearly 9% in 2020 — the largest single-year drop ever recorded — as millions of residents stayed home during the pandemic. Because of those unique circumstances, 2020 “cannot be used as a reliable data point” to predict future trends, the board’s executive officer, Dr. Steven Cliff, said in a statement.
Nor does the data account for emissions from wildfires. Research published last week found that wildfires in 2020 — California’s worst wildfire year on record — emitted more than double the greenhouse gases slashed by the state from 2003 to 2019.
A message from our sponsor
Time to vote: Find out everything you need to know about voting before California’s election ends Nov. 8 in the CalMatters Voter Guide, which includes information on races, candidates and propositions, as well as videos, interactives and campaign finance data. And if you missed CalMatters’ event last week on the seven ballot measures, you can watch it here and read a brief recap here.
A message from our sponsor
Other Stories You Should Know
Newsom weighs in on sports betting measure
Gov. Gavin Newsom answers a question during a gubernatorial debate with Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle, held by KQED in San Francisco on Oct. 23, 2022. Photo by Rich Pedroncelli, AP Photo/Pool
Newsom unveiled his opposition to Prop. 27 — which would legalize online sports betting — on Wednesday, less than two weeks before Election Day: “Proposition 27 is bad for California,” the governor said in a statement. “It would hurt California’s Indian Tribes, increase the risks of underage gambling, and push billions of dollars out of California and into the pockets of out-of-state corporations.” The governor is not expected to take a formal stance on Prop. 26, which would authorize in-person sports betting at Native American casinos and horse race tracks.
Albertsons, Kroger under state scrutiny for merger, payout
An Albertsons grocery store in Rancho Cucamonga on Oct. 14, 2022. Photo by Aude Guerrucci, Reuters
To ensure that grocery shoppers don’t see higher prices, workers don’t end up with suppressed wages and low-income areas don’t lose essential local grocery stores, Albertsons should delay a scheduled $4 billion stockholder payout until government authorities fully review its proposed merger with Kroger, Attorney General Rob Bonta and five other attorneys general wrote in a Wednesday letter to the two grocery giants. The attorneys general noted that Albertsons and Kroger together own nearly 5,000 stores (including Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Ralphs and Food 4 Less in California) and employ more than 700,000 workers. “If the proposed merger has anticompetitive effects, nearly every corner of this country will feel them” when inflation has already caused grocery prices to skyrocket 12.2% in the last year, the prosecutors wrote. (In the Wednesday PPIC survey, 43% of likely voters said they and their family are worse off financially than they were a year ago.)
Unionized grocery store workers in California applauded the move: “That $4 billion could be much better spent to lower prices of food for consumers facing unprecedented levels of inflation, pay workers more or invest in safer stores for workers and customers,” Andrea Zinder, president of UFCW Local 324, said in a statement.
Albertsons told the Los Angeles Times: “Our planned combination with Kroger will provide significant benefits to consumers, associates and communities and offers a compelling alternative to larger and nonunion competitors.”
Assemblymember Akilah Weber, a San Diego Democrat involved in legislative Democrats’ vaccine work group: “At this time, I’m not involved in any legislation that would mandate vaccinations, but I’m actively involved in education and outreach to encourage and provide community access for more parents to have their children vaccinated.”
Nevertheless, some Republicans are warning that Democrats will continue to pursue a youth vaccination mandate. “The stakes in the midterm elections are now even higher,” GOP Assemblymember Kevin Kiley of Rocklin, who’s running for a hotly contested congressional seat, wrote in a blog post after the CDC recommendation. “In other words, whether we have a child vaccine mandate for COVID depends on who holds political power after November.”