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The federal budget is stalled in part because of Republican demands to weaken the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, just as Governor Brown prepares to sign a new state law raising renewable fuel standards from 20 to 33 percent. We hear what those actions could mean to the development of renewables in California, specifically the use of green slimy algae — to power cars, as well as to provide food and pharmaceuticals. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Democrats and Republicans on the Brink of a government shutdown.

Banner image: Incubation room at Origin Oil

Making News Defunding the EPA and California's Renewable Energy Standards 11 MIN, 18 SEC

Developers of renewable fuels might be a boon to California's sluggish economy, but they're being pulled in two directions. In Washington, Republicans are trying to make a budget deal that takes greenhouse-gas enforcement power away from the EPA. Meanwhile in Sacramento, Governor Brown is expected to sign new emission standards for California utilities. They'll have to increase their use of renewable fuel from 20- to 33 percent by 2020. Paul Rogers writes about resources and environment for the San Jose Mercury News and broadcasts on public radio station KQED in San Francisco.

Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News (@PaulRogersSJMN)

Main Topic Will Renewable Energy Standards Pave the Way for New Technologies? 8 MIN, 54 SEC

We all know that Southern California is becoming a center for wind and solar development. One more exotic-sounding strategy involves something almost as familiar as the sun and the wind. It turns out that algae, which we think of as that slimy green stuff that forms when water's allowed to stand for too long, can be transformed into substances that are useful for fuel, pharmaceuticals and food. Experts say that algae is no silver bullet to solve the energy crisis, but could be a part of the mix. As with other alternatives, development will require a huge infrastructure, and that will require the support of government and its regulatory muscle before investors will be willing to put up the money. KCRW's Andrea Brody visited Origin Oil, a company that's been developing algae here in Los Angeles since 2009.


Algae incubation at Origin Oil

Riggs Eckelberry, Origin Oil
Jose Sanchez, Origin Oil

Reporter's Notebook CicLAvia Encourages Angelinos to Abandon Their Cars This Sunday 6 MIN, 46 SEC

The second annual CicLAvia — that's a bicycle trip in LA — will be held on Sunday with 7.5 miles of car-free cycling, walking, jogging or skating. Aaron Paley, president of Community Arts Resources, is producing the event.

Aaron Paley, President and co-founder of Community Arts Resources, and co-founder and Executive Director of CicLAvia.

Main Topic Who's to Blame if the US Government Shuts Down? 26 MIN, 13 SEC

Who's to Blame if the US Government Shuts Down?As Washington moved toward a federal government shutdown starting at midnight tomorrow, politicians of both parties assumed their competing postures. From Capitol Hill to distant battlefields, the shutdown would be felt by millions of Americans, most of all by 800,000 federal employees who won't be paid for as long as it lasts. We look at last-minute efforts to stave it off.

Jim O'Sullivan, National Journal
Michael Gerson, Washington Post
Chris Littleton, Littleton and Associates (@clittleton)
E.J. Dionne, Brookings Institution / Washington Post (@EJDionne)

Stand Up, Fight Back

E.J. Dionne

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