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William J. Kelly

Dirty Air Deals

TO MAKE WAY FOR MORE fossil-fueled power plants and imports of oil and gas, the South Coast Air Quality Management District is preparing to sell air-pollution credits reserved for essential government services, like schools and water treatment, to big energy companies at a discount that will save these giants tens......
Illustrations by Max Kornell

Greed Runs Through It

Andres Lopez Gonzalez sits in a dusty plastic lawn chair in back of his tarpaper-covered home in El Mayor, south of Mexicali. Nearby, his wife patiently makes beaded jewelry and his daughter does schoolwork. Gonzalez holds his hands close to himself in the cold morning air, but dirt beneath his......

Reforming the Environmentalists

Almost two generations have passed since the first Earth Day in 1970, and a debate swirls about whether the environmental movement is dying. In Los Angeles, progress combating ozone and particle pollution seems to have ceased. Dreams of electric vehicles have faded. Diesel pollution from the freight industry kills thousands......

Ports of Cough

Photo by Larry HirshowitzTrucks inch along Etiwanda Boulevard in Mira Loma, puffing diesel smoke as they jerk forward in heavy traffic. Low-slung warehouses bearing names like Wal-Mart, Black & Decker, Costco and Honda cover the farms and dairies that once thrived here along the banks of the Santa Ana River......

The Air That We Breathe

Photo by Alan Clements As the plane banks from the Mojave Desert over the San Bernardino Mountains and heads into the Los Angeles basin, I begin to lose my 20,000-foot view of the rocks and forests below. They barely poke through the haze, a dense and uneven soup of gray......

Power Outrage

As California’s electricity supply tightens with summer weather ahead, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will send a state-energy-agency reorganization plan to the Legislature next week that critics say favors big energy companies at public expense. The administration maintains it is not out to compromise the public interest, but only to streamline the......

Enron Forgotten

Fast-track legislation in Congress may soon make California dependent not only on foreign oil, but on a finite supply of imported natural gas, a necessity for heating and making electricity in the absence of energy alternatives. Legislation passed by the House late last month would expedite construction of a liquefied-natural-gas......

Dirty Prices

Ethanol — once the enemy in the state’s war on air pollution — is today’s action hero in the state’s battle to keep gasoline cheap for California motorists. Faced with a tight oil supply and rising gasoline prices, the Schwarzenegger administration has surrendered and is no longer pressing the Environmental......

Leaving Bush Behind

Now that the Kyoto Protocol has taken effect in 141 countries, the Bush administration’s wall of opposition to action on global warming is crumbling as states, cities and companies move to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. Even Republican governors — like California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York’s George Pataki —......

Reason To Wheeze

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and California's environmental regulators have all but abandoned their campaign to remove ethanol from the state's gasoline supply, a major retreat in the war on air pollution. The net result: an increase in smog- and cancer-causing hydrocarbon emissions of some 70 tons a day during the summer......
LA Weekly