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FROM THIS EPISODE

There was a time when aerospace was nearly as much a part of Southern California's identity as the entertainment industry. At the height of the Cold War, 15 of the 25 largest aerospace companies in the US were headquartered here. Guest host Terrence McNally reflects on that history and how it helped shape the region, then looks forward at what the future may hold. Also, toll lanes inch our way on the 10 and 110 freeways. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the big three and mileage standards: Round Two with President Obama.

Banner image: Space shuttle Atlantis is silhouetted on the Vehicle Assembly Building as it begins its journey from High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch. Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Julia Flucht
Christian Bordal

Making News Toll Lanes Inching Our Way on the 10 and 110 Freeways 7 MIN, 17 SEC

Officials broke ground yesterday on what will be LA County's first freeway toll lanes, betting that drivers will pay to avoid rush hour traffic. The plan is to convert 25 miles of existing car pool lanes on the 10 and 110 freeways. Carpools and buses will still use the lanes for free while solo drivers will pay tolls varying from 25¢ to $1.40, depending on traffic. At the maximum rate, drivers would pay almost $20 to drive the 14 miles of the I-10's toll lane. A federal grant will fund most of the one-year pilot program and the lanes are expected to open by 2013. Brian Taylor is Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA and Director of its Institute of Transportation Studies.

Guests:
Brian Taylor, UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies

Main Topic Last Space Shuttle Flight Leaves a Southern California Legacy 18 MIN, 7 SEC

In the 1950's black and white sit-com The Life of Reilly, Reilly and his buddy, Gillis, drove on something called a freeway to get to their jobs in an airplane factory. It was there, where eventually Howard Hughes built his Spruce Goose. Those bits of news were just the tip of the iceberg. One could make the case that Southern California wouldn't really exist without aerospace. Now, consolidation, outsourcing and other factors have shrunk the local industry to a shell of its former self. Tomorrow, the Space Shuttle Atlantis will blast off for the final time. We look back at the central role played by aerospace industry in the growth of Southern California, and examine its potential resurrection.

Guests:
Peter Westwick, University of Southern California
Jerry Blackburn, Aerospace Legacy Foundation
William Hennigan, Los Angeles Times (@wjhenn)

Main Topic The Big Three and Mileage Standards: Obama and Round Two 26 MIN, 24 SEC

The Big Three and the Fight over Mileage StandardsThe auto industry and the cars Americans drive could be radically altered by Obama Administration efforts to increase vehicle mileage standards. To get an 89-billion dollar taxpayer bailout, car-makers went along. Mileage standards of 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016 were part of the deal. Now, during weeks of closed-door negotiations, the Obama Administration has been pushing an average of 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025 but, this time, the industry is pushing back, claiming that smaller, lighter, more efficient cars might not sell. We hear what's at stake.

Guests:
Sherwood Boehlert, former Congressman (R-NY)
Sean McAlinden, Center for Automotive Research
Roland Hwang, Natural Resources Defense Council
David Kreutzer, Heritage Foundation (@dwkreutzer)
Aaron Robinson, Car and Driver magazine

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