Rosanna Xia, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
It took years of activist campaigns to turn the plastic bag into a villain, and hard-fought legislation to reduce its presence in oceans and waterways. Now, environmentalists and lawmakers are deploying similar tactics against a new generation of plastic pollutants.
There are drinking straws, which as a viral video shows can get stuck in a sea turtle’s nose. The hundreds of thousands of bottle caps that wind up on beaches. And the microfibers that wash off polyester clothes, making their way into the ocean, the stomachs of marine life and ultimately our seafood.
Each is the subject of statewide legislation under debate in Sacramento, as California again considers new environmental law that’s at once pioneering and controversial.
Their action comes as plastic takes center stage as the environmental concern du jour.
There could be more plastic by weight than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050, according to a widely cited World Economic Forum report. A recent UC Davis study sampled seafood sold at local markets in Half Moon Bay and found that one-quarter of fish and one-third of shellfish contained plastic debris.
Read more at http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-california-plastic-pollution-20180528-story.html
David R. Baker, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
California has far more electric cars and plug-in hybrids plying its roads than any other state — about 300,000 so far. But they’re still just a tiny fraction of auto sales.
Now, legislation in Sacramento is designed to juice the market, just as a new generation of long-range electric cars hits showroom floors.
A bill from Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would revamp and expand California’s existing rebate program for people who buy electrics or plug-in hybrids. The bill, a version of which has already passed the Assembly, would devote $3 billion to clean car incentives. The money would come from the state’s cap-and-trade system for controlling greenhouse gas emissions.
The new rebates would start big — how big has yet to be determined — and then shrink over time, as plug-in cars become more common and affordable. Eventually, the rebates would disappear altogether.
It’s the same approach California used 10 years ago to kick-start sales of rooftop solar arrays. That rebate program helped create the state’s solar industry.
Even in eco-conscious California, sales of battery-powered cars have not accelerated as quickly as state officials wanted, due to relatively low gasoline prices and the limited range of most electric vehicles.
Read more at: California eyes bigger rebates for electric cars – San Francisco Chronicle