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Daily Skimm: California, US Open, and Britney Spears

A traffic jam on a California freeway.
Getty Images
Aug 26, 2022

Passing on the Gas

The Story

California’s new rules have car owners shifting gears.

I’m listening.

Yesterday, the California Air Resources Board voted to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. About 16% of new cars sold in CA this year were zero-emission. Now, by bringing the number to 100% in a little over 10 years, the vote could cut emissions in the state by as much as half. Experts are calling it “huge.” That’s because California is the largest auto market in the US...but that’s not all.

Go on.

California has the power to set its own emissions standards. And the state reportedly has so much bargaining power with auto companies that companies can't ignore the rules. But there’s more: over a dozen states typically follow CA’s rules on emissions — representing more than one-third of the US auto market. Once the EPA signs off on the latest rule (which it’s expected to do), those states are expected to sign off on similar rules. The potential impact on climate change? Huge, considering transportation is the no. 1 contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. And the list of states following CA’s lead includes two of the most populous, like New York and Pennsylvania.

What happens now?

The state shifts into high gear to roll out more EV charging stations. And will work to meet milestones like over two-thirds of sales being zero-emission by 2030. Ford apparently called the move a “landmark standard” that will define clean transportation. Other carmakers said they’re ready to roll out dozens of EV models over the next few years to support the change. Meanwhile, critics (like unions) worry that more EVs on the road could lead to job cuts. That’s because they require fewer parts, which could equal fewer jobs. Oh and if you have a gas-powered car or are one of the many Americans struggling to afford cars (let alone EVs), keep in mind: Californians will still be able to use their existing gas-powered cars — and buy used ones.


The nation’s most populous state is driving toward a greener future…while it’s already feeling the burn of climate change.

And Also...This

What’s changing the state of play…

The US Open. Starting next week, you’ll be able to see coaches instruct players from the stands at the Grand Slam tournament. The new off-court coaching trial — which will run through November — is a 180 from 2018. During the US Open women’s finals that year, Serena Williams was accused of getting off-court coaching during the match. And was later fined $17,000. (Side note: she also smashed her racket and had some words with the umpire). Williams — who is retiring after the upcoming tournament — rejected the coaching claims, saying she’s “never cheated” in her life. Many also argued the outcome would’ve been different if it were a men’s match. Now, professional players are adopting a move that once led to a penalty for one of the world’s most famous athletes. 

...Oh and speaking of stories making a racket: Novak Djokovic. Yesterday, the 21-time Grand Slam champ said he’s been forced to withdraw from the US Open because of the US’s vaccine travel rules.

Why you may want to hold off on the macaroni with the chicken strips…

This. Earlier this week, the federal gov issued a public health alert for Perdue’s gluten free frozen chicken tenders. Purdue — one of the largest poultry companies in the US — has stopped producing the product. The Dept of Agriculture says packs with a 07/12/23 “Best if Used By” date could be contaminated with small pieces of clear plastic and blue dye. The dye doesn't pose a significant health risk, but according to some studies it can be linked to ADHD and cancer. The USDA is urging people to check their freezers and toss or return them.

What’s already in the holiday spirit...

The IRS. Earlier this week, it said it would forgive $1.2 billion in late fees to those who were late on filing their taxes during the pandemic. If you’re one of the 1.6 million taxpayers who needed some extra time, you could get a refund or credit by the end of next month. Not so taxing. 

While today’s Women’s Equality Day

Friendly reminder: suffragettes walked so women could run.

While the MTV Video Music Awards are back...

So is Britney.

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