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2017-09-27. U.S. Climate Change Policy: Made in California.

posted Sep 29, 2017, 6:56 PM by Alan Gould
By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times. For GSS Climate Change chapter 9. Excerpt: SACRAMENTO — The Trump administration may appear to control climate policy in Washington, but the nation’s most dynamic environmental regulator is here in California. Mary D. Nichols, California’s electric-car-driving, hoodie-wearing, 72-year-old air quality regulator, is pressing ahead with a far-reaching agenda of environmental and climate actions. She says she will not let the Trump administration stand in her way. ...For now, Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the E.P.A., has said that he will not seek to revoke the federal waiver that allows California to set auto emissions standards — an action that would likely propel the issue to court. Automakers, similarly, have not publicly asked for such a move. ...For much of the 20th century, swaths of Southern California were hit with smog outbreaks that turned the skies so dark that locals once mistook a particularly intense episode for a solar eclipse. Crops wilted; school events were canceled; Hollywood studios shut down their outdoor shoots. The state moved quickly to regulate the obvious sources, like factory smoke stacks, steel mills and coal power plants. Yet the acrid smog persisted. “You couldn’t see the mountains around L.A. on smoggy days,” said John R. Balmes, a physician, air pollution expert and a member of CARB’s board, who has lived in the region for almost four decades. “People’s eyes would burn. They’d have headaches. They’d have problems breathing.” It took Arie J. Haagen-Smit, a Dutch biochemist at the California Institute of Technology, to link the smog to auto emissions.... https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/climate/california-climate-change.html