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Breaking Down The Environmental Impact Of Gas Appliances And The Push To Electrify Homes

NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images
A photo illustration shows gas burning on October 10, 2021.

California Single Payer Healthcare Bill Dies In Assembly. Could It Still Have A Future Though?

California Single Payer 2.1.22

A proposal to create a single payer healthcare system in the state failed in the California Assembly Monday. Lawmakers didn’t even vote on AB1400, upsetting supporters. According to the Los Angeles Times, bill author Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) didn’t have the necessary votes to move the proposal forward. This isn’t the first time a single payer healthcare system has been proposed in the state and likely won’t be the last. Gov. Gavin Newsom has thrown his support behind single payer healthcare. So where do we go from here?

Today Larry talks with Melody Gutierrez, reporter covering state government and politics for the Los Angeles Times and Jeremy B. White, co-writer of the California Playbook for POLITICO about what this means for the future of single payer healthcare in the state.

Why Governor Newsom Is Dismantling California’s Death Row, And What Will Happen To People On Death Row

California Death Row 2.1.22

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who three years ago placed a moratorium on executions, now is moving to dismantle the United States’ largest death row by moving all condemned inmates to other prisons within two years. The goal is to turn the section at San Quentin State Prison into a “positive, healing environment.” Newsom said Monday it’s an outgrowth of his opposition to what he believes is a deeply flawed system, one that “gets my blood boiling.”

California, which last carried out an execution in 2006, is one of 28 states that maintain death rows, along with the U.S. government, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. While other states like Illinois have abolished executions, California is merging its condemned inmates into the general prison population with no expectation that any will face execution anytime in the near future. Newsom imposed a moratorium on executions in 2019 and shut down the state’s execution chamber at San Quentin, north of San Francisco. Now his administration is turning on its head a 2016 voter-approved initiative intended to expedite executions by capitalizing on one provision that allowed inmates to be moved off death row. Victims rights groups were not happy with the news. Crime Victims United of California president Nina Salarno said Newsom is “pouring more salt on the wounds of the victims.”

Today on AirTalk, we’ll speak with AP reporter Don Thompson about why this is happening despite California voters’ passing of Prop 66 in 2016 and what this means in practice for the people on death row as well as the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

With files from the Associated Press

Breaking Down The Environmental Impact Of Gas Appliances And The Push To Electrify Homes

Electrifying Homes 2.1.22

Gas hookups and appliances in homes have become a new focal point in the debate over California’s climate future. In a study published last week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, researchers at Stanford found even when they’re not running, U.S. gas stoves emit 2.6 million tons of methane into the air each year. That’s equivalent to the annual amount of greenhouse gasses from 500,000 cars. The study raises new concerns about indoor air quality and health, leading credence to the handful of California cities that have already made the move to ban gas hookups and appliances in new homes. But as regulators debate the future of gas appliances in homes, there are also concerns about how a potential future transition could be done equitably: a 2018 study from UCLA found California needs to do more to ensure it’s protecting low-income Californians in the switch to renewables.

Today on AirTalk, Larry discusses the significance of this study and how it fits into the larger picture of electrifying homes with Sammy Roth, energy reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Severein Borenstein, professor and faculty director of the Energy Institute at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a member of the California ISO Board of Governors, and Eric Lebel, a senior scientist at PSE Healthy Energy and lead author of the recent Stanford study looking at methane leaks from gas stoves.

With files from the Associated Press. You can find the study here

COVID-19 AMA: Vaccine For Young Kids Could Be Ready Soon, Novavax Vaccine Approval, L.A. County Mask Rules, And More 

COVID Update 2.1.22

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Dr. Tara Vijayan, associate professor of infectious diseases and medical director of antimicrobial stewardship at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Topics today include:

  • Pfizer expected to ask the F.D.A. to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 5 
  • Novavax applies for F.D.A. authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine 
  • Why Omicron hit Southern California harder than the Bay Area 
  • L.A. County health officials face pressure to ease indoor mask rules 
  • Even if they can find a test, not everyone wants to know if they have COVID
  • What role should health providers play in COVID-19 testing? 

Welcoming The Year Of The Tiger As Lunar New Year Begins

Lunar New Year 2.1.22

People around the world are celebrating the start of the Lunar New Year Tuesday. It’s the most important annual holiday in China, but is celebrated in many other Asian countries. Each year is named after one of twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac in a repeating cycle and this year is the Year of the Tiger. The Lunar New Year is a time for family, renewal, and luck but for the second year in a row, the pandemic is shifting how people celebrate.

Today on AirTalk Larry is joined by Josie Huang, KPCC & LAist reporter covering Asian American communities and Anh Do, Metro reporter covering Asian American issues and general assignments for The Los Angeles Times to discuss what’s in store for the Year of the Tiger and how Southern Californians are celebrating.

With files from Associated Press. You can read Josie’s recent piece here. You can read Anh’s articles here and here

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