Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday Must Read: College Students Are More Liberal Than Ever; State to Adopt Strict Clean-Air Rules

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. College students across the nation are becoming increasingly more liberal, as conservative students are now embracing progressive views, the CoCo Times reports, citing a new major study from UCLA. A record 71.3 percent of freshmen students said they approve of same-sex marriage, and opinions on marijuana legalization, affirmative action, abortion, and immigration have steadily moved toward the left in the past few years.

2. California regulators are expected to adopt strict clean-air standards for cars today, requiring that 15 percent of new vehicles sold in the state have zero emissions by 2025, the Mercury News reports. The new rules are to take effect in 2018, and industry analysts expect electric and plug-in vehicles to become common by the end of the decade. In addition to the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, new electric or plug-in cars are expected soon from Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Tesla. American automakers, which have opposed such strict rules in the past, are not objecting now, in large part because they agreed with the Obama administration to not oppose such regulations in exchange for the massive taxpayer bailout that saved the industry.

3. New air pollution standards for trucks adopted by the California Air Resources Board a few years ago are dramatically reducing harmful particulate emissions at the Port of Oakland, the Trib reports, citing a new UC Berkeley study. The study showed that pollution emissions, which have sickened West Oakland residents for decades, have been reduced by half since the new regulations requiring diesel smog filters on older trucks went into effect.

4. The East Bay’s dismal unemployment numbers might not substantially improve until 2015 as the region’s economy remains stagnated, the Trib reports, citing the chief economist for the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. The South Bay is recovering much more quickly than the East Bay, which was hit harder by the Great Recession.

5. The Cal State Board of Trustees agreed to cap executive pay following intense criticism of university salary practices, the Chron reports.

6. And Occupy Oakland plans to take over a building this Saturday, while Oakland police say they will take a wait-and-see approach to the situation, the Chron reports. Police say they will only intervene if occupiers move into a building without the okay of the owner.

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