Southern California environment news and trends

Hot topic: Air, water pollution top America's environmental worries

A view of downtown Los Angeles,Californi

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

As most of the country is gripped in a brutal heat wave, a recent Washington Post-Stanford University poll finds that climate change is no longer the primary environmental concern of Americans.

According to the poll, air and water pollution is now the number one ecological situation Americans worry about at 27 percent, compared to just 18 percent who cited climate change. A similar poll taken back in 2007 had climate change in the top spot with 33 percent.

AFP points out that the survey of 800 people occurred between June 13 and 21, before the current record-breaking temperatures overtook a large part of the nation. Still almost three quarters of those polled believe the world is heating up and will continue to rise unless something is done to stop it. Seventy-eight percent of the respondents said global warming will be a serious problem if left alone, and 55 percent replied that the U.S. government should do "a great deal.”

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America set to tax Chinese solar panels

Mercer 4539

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

With U.S. solar usage at an all-time high, heavily discounted solar hardware from China has become a contentious issue. As we recently reported, a trade complaint made by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing hoped to offset any financial advantages those Chinese companies might enjoy.

It was announced this week that after a review, the U.S. Commerce Department will indeed tax Chinese solar panels coming into America, at a rate ranging from 2.9 to 4.73 percent.

"Today's announcement affirms what U.S. manufacturers have long known: Chinese manufacturers have received unfair ... subsidies," said Steve Ostrenga, the CEO of Helios Solar Works (which is a part of the aforementioned coalition) on MSNBC.com.

As reported by the L.A. Times, the rate is not nearly as high as many had hoped, but there is a chance for much stiffer penalties in May if it’s found that Chinese suppliers had been glutting the American market with solar panels at below-cost prices.

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