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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on August 3rd, 2022, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 23, Issue 23 [ Submit a Story ]
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Political Watch: August 4, 2022

• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) helped send key pieces of the Inflation Action Plan to President Joe Biden to become law, including provisions to invest in U.S. manufacturing of semiconductors—which will help lower costs of household items and create technology jobs, according to a July 28 statement from the congressman’s office. The bipartisan Chips and Science Act passed the House 473 to 187 on July 28 and invests $52 billion in domestic chip production, strengthens research and development through the National Science Foundation, and supports regional tech hubs to create jobs. “Semiconductors are critical pieces of a wide range of goods that Americans rely on every day—and as inflation has struck the price of cars, appliances, and other goods, it’s important to recognize a key reason for such dramatic price increases: We aren’t making these chips in America anymore,” Carbajal said in a statement. “Now, we’ve become reliant on almost 90 percent of our semiconductors from foreign sources, putting our supply chains and national security at constant risk—as well as forcing additional costs on American families who need these goods when supply chains have failed. That’s why the Chips and Science Act was a part of my Inflation Action Plan—lowering costs for these goods can’t happen if their central components have to come from far-off nations.”

• As the United States grapples with increasingly severe wildfires and natural disasters, U.S. Sens. Alex Padilla (D-California) and Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) introduced legislation to make states—including California and North Dakota—eligible to receive excess planes from the Department of Defense (DOD) to increase wildfire suppression and emergency response capabilities, according to a July 28 statement from Padilla’s office. Currently, the department has a program to transfer excess aircraft to federal agencies for wildfire suppression, but they are arbitrarily capped at transferring only seven aircraft total to each agency. “After years of increasingly catastrophic wildfires in California, it has become clear that the federal government must do more to support suppression efforts to get fires under control quickly, as well as support search and rescue efforts to keep our communities safe,” Padilla said in a statement. “This common-sense bill will increase the tools at our disposal, including by allowing states—like California—to secure excess military aircraft to augment our aerial firefighting fleet.”

• Gov. Gavin Newsom pushed California to move faster to reach its climate goals, setting ambitious new targets for renewable energy, clean energy, clean buildings, carbon removal, and clean fuels in the transportation sector, according to a July 22 statement from the governor’s office. In a letter to the chair of the California Air Resources Board, Newsom called for the state to ensure that the 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan provides a path to achieve both the 2030 climate goal and state carbon neutrality no later than 2045—requesting that the final plan incorporate new efforts to advance offshore wind, clean fuels, climate-friendly homes, and addressing methane leaks. The governor also announced that he will work with the Legislature to enshrine carbon neutrality into state law, increase the state’s ambition to achieve its 2030 climate goals, and accelerate clean energy targets while supporting carbon sequestration from natural and working lands and advancing safe and equitable engineered carbon removal. “California communities experience the devastating impacts of climate change every day. We need to supercharge our efforts to significantly reduce harmful carbon pollution. The state’s draft carbon neutrality road map doesn’t go far enough or fast enough,” Newsom said in a statement. “That’s why I’m pushing state agencies to adopt more aggressive actions, from offshore wind to climate-friendly homes, and to make sure we never build another fossil fuel power plant in California again.”

Weekly Poll
What do you think about tree thinning as a form of wildfire management?

It's a smart option in order to prevent wildfires from spreading rapidly.
It's an interesting strategy that saves wildlife and prevents homes from being damaged.
We should focus on home-hardening rather than messing with the forest.
Fire season is inevitable with climate change; at this point we should try anything.

| Poll Results

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