The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the most powerful corporate lobbying organization in Sacramento, spent over $4.67 million, more than any other interest group, while lobbying state government in 2013, according to data released by the Secretary State’s Office and compiled by Capitol Weekly.
By Don Anair and Emiliano Mataka | January 19, 2014
Our economy depends on trucks, trains and ships powered primarily by diesel fuel to move our food, household goods and other commodities in a constant flow throughout California. Unfortunately, freight commerce takes a toll on our health and environment when heavy-duty engines leave noxious fumes in their wake.
In only a few short weeks, the Obama administration and other governments will make a major decision that has the potential to greatly reduce climate pollution from airplanes. United Airlines is trying to stop it from happening. United needs to hear from its customers that it should get out of the way.
UCLA researchers found that Los Angeles County women who were exposed to higher estimated air pollution levels had a 12% to 15% greater chance of having a child who develops autism than women who lived in areas with less pollution during their pregnancies, according to a study published in the March issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
We will need fossil fuels like oil and gas for the foreseeable future. So there’s really little choice (sigh). We have to press ahead with fracking for natural gas. We must approve the Keystone XL pipeline to get Canadian oil.
This mantra, repeated on TV ads and in political debates, is punctuated with a tinge of inevitability and regret. But, increasingly, scientific research and the experience of other countries should prompt us to ask: To what extent will we really “need” fossil fuel in the years to come? To what extent is it a choice?
Researchers in Europe have confirmed scientifically what parents in traffic-congested Southern California have known anecdotally for years: Poor air quality associated with busy roads can cause asthma in children.
The study, which examined children’s health in 10 cities, concluded that 14% of chronic childhood asthma cases could be attributed to near-road traffic pollution. It is the first time that medical researchers have made such a direct link — previous studies stopped at saying that traffic pollution is known to trigger asthma, not cause it.