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News Panel: Air Travel, King Tides, and more

Watch Complete Episode: December 14, 2012 »

As Congress and the White House prepare to tackle comprehensive immigration reform next year, there is much at stake for California, the state with the largest population of undocumented immigrants.

After decades of minimal oversight, the controversial hydraulic fracturing industry will finally be regulated in California. "Fracking," the high-pressure injection of chemicals and water to split rocks and extract natural gas and oil, is in use by companies at more than 600 wells throughout the state.

The skies are less friendly than they used to be. Air travel has become increasingly frustrating with penalties and fees going up for everything from checking baggage to preferred seat selection. The struggling airline industry expects to pocket $36 billion in revenue from fees alone this year.

As the sun and moon align this week, their combined gravitational pull on the ocean is producing the highest tides of 2012. Though "king tides" aren't caused by climate change, organizers of the King Tides Initiative say the phenomenon is a vivid demonstration of the future impact of rising sea levels on the Bay Area landscape.

Guests:

  • Aarti Kohli, University of California, Berkeley
  • Stephen Stock, NBC Bay Area
  • Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News
  • David Lazarus, LA Times
 

Also on KQED.org this week ...

Sacramento Capitol Building
The Most Important New California Laws of 2015

More than 900 new laws are hitting the books in 2015. Here's our annual list of the most important and/or interesting, as picked by KQED news, science, health, and politics and government editors.

Yo Yo Ma
"Boomtown" History of the San Francisco Bay Area

KQED's "Boomtown" series will seek to identify what is happening in real time in the current boom, and also draw out the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts and pressures between the old and the new.

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