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Tag: California

California will stop buying vehicles from Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Toyota and other car manufacturers that do not recognize its authority to set emissions standards

The big US automakers and others announced in October they were joining the Trump Administration’s litigation to stop California from imposing tougher emissions rules and higher mileage requirements than federal standards.

Effective immediately, California would “prohibit purchasing by state agencies of any sedans solely powered by an internal combustion engine, with exemptions for certain public safety vehicles.”

California along with 22 other states and the District of Columbia are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to block the Trump administration from stripping it of its long-standing authority to set its own fuel-efficiency standards on cars and trucks.

They are also asking the court to review the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s effort to preempt California’s right to set tailpipe emission standards.

Going forward, California will chiefly purchase cars from Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW.

David Shepardson »

California said on Monday it will halt all purchases of new vehicles for state government fleets from GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and other automakers backing U.S. President Donald Trump in a battle to strip the state of authority to regulate tailpipe emissions.

Between 2016 and 2018, California purchased $58.6 million in vehicles from General Motors Co (GM.N), $55.8 million from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI), $10.6 million from Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and $9 million from Nissan Motor Co (7201.T).

Last month, GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and members of the Global Automakers trade association backed the Trump administration’s effort to bar California from setting its own emission standards, which are significantly stricter than the Trump Administration proposal’s preferred option.

Read the whole story at Reuters »

More » NY Times, International Business Times, CNET, The Detroit Bureau, Green Car Reports

California’s massive power outage should serve as a wake-up call for everyone

Kat Eschner, writing for Popular Science (paywall) »

The shutdown is happening because of concerns that the electrical grid could start another fire that would rival or even exceed the Camp Fire of 2018, which killed at least 86 people and destroyed the town of Paradise, CA. High winds are expected to batter northern California in the coming days, and conditions there are already extremely dry—perfect weather for sparks from a downed powerline to start another inferno. Hence the shutdown, which will affect 34 of the 58 counties in California to some degree.

The cuts, which include northern parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, are expected to last at least several days, but it’s not easy to predict. “Once the weather dies down, we’re still going to have to go out and inspect those lines visually, make sure that the lines are safe before we re-energize,” PG&E spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian told KPIX last night. “If there’s any damage, we’re going to have to make repairs.”

Sparks from toppled PG&E power lines caused the devastating 2018 fires. Given the forecasted weather—and the evidence that PG&E’s infrastructure isn’t built to withstand it—preemptively shutting down power on such a widespread basis makes sense, says Rae Zimmerman, a New York University professor of planning and public administration.

Read more at Popular Science »

More » Gizmodo, Fast Company, Fast Company (again), SlashGear, Mercury News,

Live map of power outages in the Bay Area from the San Francisco Chronicle


After cutting California’s emissions waiver, US EPA regulators threaten to pull $4 billion in highway funds due to poor air quality

Paul A. Eisenstein at The Detroit Bureau writes »

Less than a week after federal regulators announced they were eliminating the waiver allowing California to set its own greenhouse gas emissions, the head of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday threatened to pull federal highway funds because of the state’s air quality problems.

In a letter sent to the head of the California Air Resource Board, or CARB, on Tuesday, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler declared that California “has failed to carry out its most basic tasks under the Clean Air Act,” and thus suffers from “the worst air quality in the United States.” As a result, it could lose as much as $4 billion in highway funding during the coming fiscal year.

The letter escalated tensions between Washington and Sacramento and, in light of the move last week to block California from enforcing vehicle fuel economy and emissions rules that were set to be tougher than those at the federal level, it set off Trump Administration critics, notably including Senator Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat, who accused the White House of engaging in “the height of hypocrisy.”

More at HuffPost

Best summer fruit for Memorial Day, Learning to code in middle-age; The Governor General in space; Message in a bottle, Quintuplets, Montreal Expos

Today our American friends honour the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives for the United States. Happy Memorial Day.

Mamoudou Gassama became an instant hero when he scaled the outside of a building to save a dangling child. He is now being offered citizenship by French president – CBC

California looking at stronger data privacy measuresNPR

A middle-aged journalist, Andrew Smith, learns to code and app – 1843 Magazine

The 5 best summer fruits, according to the NY Times

World’s oldest known message in a bottle found near Perth, Australia – CBC

All the books Bill Gates has recommended over the last eight years – Quartz

FBI advises router users to reboot now to kill malware infecting 500,000 devices – ArsTechnica

Alan Bean, 4th Person to Walk on the Moon, Dies at 86 – NY Times

More than 1,000 Canada Revenue Agency employees have been disciplined for misconduct over past 4 years. That comes out to an average of one person every working day. Failuring to protect the agency’s information was the reason in about 40 per cent of cases. – CBC

In some provinces, Bell, Rogers, and Telus, are all offering mobile plans with extra data, in response to Shaw‘s promotion. But Canadians still pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for cellular data.

May 28

1927: The House of Commons approved the old-age pension plan.

1934: Annette, Cecile, Yvonne, Marie, and ÉmilieThe Dionne quintuplets – are born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne in Callander, Ontario. They were the first quintuplets to survive for more than a few days.

1995: Jacques Villeneuve becomes the first Canadian to win the Indianapolis 500.

2003Patrick Roy, one of the NHL’s premier goalies, retired after 18 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. He won 551 games during the regular season and 151 in playoffs.

2005: Justin Trudeau marries Sophie Grégoire in Montreal, Quebec.

2016: Canada’s federal Conservative Party ends it’s opposition to same-sex marriage. At their party convention in Vancouver, members voted to end the party’s opposition to gay marriage. Same-sex marriage has been legal across Canada since the Civil Marriage Act was passed in 2005.


May 27

1893: The Ontario government created Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada’s first provincial park.

1911: Vincent Price was born.

1968: Montreal is awarded a baseball franchise. The Montreal Expos were the first Major League Baseball franchise located outside the United States.

1999: Canadian astronaut Julie Payette flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June 6, as part of the crew of STS-96. She would later be appointed Governor General of Canada.


May 26

1603: Samuel de Champlain, reaches Tadoussac, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, and sets foot in New France for the first time.

Best of the best travel destinations; Punishing treadmills; Gas prices 20% higher than last year; Epidemic of dishonesty; Are you in the wrong room?; A trainable dog-like robot; Banning trans fats; Israel turns 70

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” ~ Mathieu Flamini

A Toronto mother — who donated one of her kidneys to her six-year-old son — received the greatest gift for Mother’s Day when her son was discharged from the hospital. – CTV News

Ear Worm: The Mister Softee jingle has lyrics. Who knew? – The Daily Meal

Michael Bloomberg warns of an ‘epidemic of dishonesty‘ – Associated Press

Using less plastic leads to fewer harmful chemicals in the body – Tree Hugger

24 lists combined to find the top travel destinations for 2018Forbes

  • Top 10 are: 1) Mexico; 2) Australia; 3) Italy; tied for 4th) Canada and Spain; 6) South Korea; tied for 7th) California, China, and Louisiana; tied for 10th) Argentina, Malta, and Portugal.

Boston Dynamics to start selling its dog-like SpotMini robot in 2019 – TechCrunch // Will not be as adorable but will it be easier to train than Skye, my Cairn Terrier.

The World Health Organization wants all countries to ban trans fats from foodsCBC  Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death around the world. Denmark banned them 15 years ago. Canada’s ban take effect this September.

Wowzers! The average price of gasoline in Canada has hit $1.38 a litre. That’s about $4.11 US per US dollar. And don’t expect any relief any time soon. – Globe and Mail (paywall) // That is more than 20% higher than the rate of about $1.10 a year ago. That difference adds up to an extra $14 per fill for the typical driver who pumps 50 litres of fuel a week.

Treadmills were originally designed to punish prisoners – Quartz

Israel celebrates it’s 70th by shooting and killing 41 58 Palestinians (and wounding another 1,600) protesting along the border fence over the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem – Washington Post, BBC


May 14

1643: Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France. Louis the Great rules until he died in 1715.

1948: David Ben-Gurion publicly read the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the present-day Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, officially establishing the state of Israel.

1973: The NASA space station Skylab was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1984: Jeanne Sauve is sworn in as Canada’s first female governor general. She stays in office until January 28, 1990.

Road Trip: America’s least-traveled routes in each state — including the most scenic

To find the quietest road in each US state, Geotab gathered the latest available (2015) traffic count data from the Highway Performance Monitoring System. Quietness was calculated as the annual average daily traffic, and routes with the lowest in each state were deemed the quietest. The data covers Interstates, US Routes, and State Routes over 10 miles long.

The most scenic routes listed are subjective and the opinion of landscape photographer James Q Martin.

The happiest cities in the United States

National Geographic Explorer searched for the happiest Americans. This is what they came up with:

  1. Boulder, Colorado
  2. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California
  3. Charlottesville, Virginia
  4. Fort Collins, Colorado
  5. San Luis Obispo, California
  6. San Jose, California
  7. Provo, Utah
  8. Connecticut’s Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area
  9. Barnstable, Massachusetts
  10. Anchorage, Alaska

Visit NatGeo for the full list.

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