FROM THIS EPISODE
Seventy-eight percent of Californians are driving less, 68% are spending less--and substantial numbers are more willing than they used to be to consider nuclear power and even drilling for oil and gas off shore. Also tonight, there’s still no budget, but the legislature’s gone home. On Reporter’s Notebook, a 5-day strike at campuses of the University of California may end before the rest of the world knows it began.
Governor Schwarzenegger says he can get the horse to water, but he can’t make it drink. He turned in his spending plan on time, but the legislature failed to pass its version by the constitutional deadline more than a month ago. Now, both houses have adjourned until August 4th, leaving the Governor fuming.
The skyrocketing price of gasoline has President Bush and other Republicans trying to lift the ban on oil and gas drilling in the waters off shore. They want to give every state with a coastline the option to explore. Since the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, that’s been anathema in California, but the price of gasoline is higher here than almost any place else. The latest Field Poll shows that Californians are changing their behavior…and maybe their minds.
All this week, 8,500 gardners, janitors, kitchen workers and parking attendants have been walking the picket lines on campuses of the University of California. Workers at UC hospitals have been told by their union that they can walk out if it won’t harm patient safety. The action—which is scheduled to end tomorrow—has not received a lot of attention.
Jack Miles, Author and professor of English and religious studies at UC Irvine