The Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 gave a shot in the arm to America’s environmental movement. Since 1981, there’s been a federal ban on offshore drilling. But there has not been another major spill of that kind in US waters. Memories are short, gasoline prices are sky high—and technology has improved. Tonight, does the moratorium have a future? On Reporter’s Notebook, George Carlin remembered by Harry Shearer.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Offshore oil drilling is almost an abstract issue in California, except in Long Beach and Santa Barbara, where giant rigs dominate the scenery. Now the high price of gasoline has John McCain campaigning to end the federal moratorium on offshore drilling—in those states that approve it. Governor Schwarzenegger is opposed to the idea. State Democratic leaders today denounced it. But as many as 5.6 billion barrels of oil might be available off California—along with 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
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Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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