CALIFORNIA

CALIFORNIA

The third largest state (163,694 sq miles) California is home to almost 40 million people. It is gorgeous with a scenic diversity hard to match, from beach to mountain, from wine country to redwood forest, from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe.

As the average annual temperature has risen by approximately 2˚F since the early 20th century (the summer of 2021 being the hottest on record) its climate change vulnerabilities are as diverse as its landscape — suffering increasing heat, droughts, flooding, sea level rise and ever-more frequent and severe wildfires. Its deserts are some of the hottest and driest, while its higher elevations can experience low temperature and heavy snowfall. In the summer, the North Pacific High and jet stream moves northward, keeping storms north of the state and resulting in dry summers. In the winter, this system moves southward, allowing storms to bring precipitation. Because of its large north-south extent, and the several mountain ranges, extreme climate events often affect only a portion of the state.

As America’s most productive agricultural state, the decreased precipitation since 2011 has contributed to near record low levels in the Shasta Reserve and threatened farmland. California has 840 miles of coastland (only bested by Florida and Alaska) and global sea level is projected to rise another 1-4 feet by 2100. These events can damage infrastructure, cause road closures, and overwhelm storm drains, not to mention cause salty water to intrude into the Delta through the San Francisco Bay. 7,618 wildfires, as of September 23, have been recorded in 2021, burning 2,359,871 acres. It is almost unimaginable.

Already in 2006, California had set a goal to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 with the Global Warming Solutions Act. In 2016 they committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

A key element of California’s climate plan has been the state’s cap-and-trade program, which sets a statewide limit on sources responsible for 85% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, and establishes a price signal needed to drive long-term investment in cleaner fuels and more efficient use of energy.

In September 2018, Governor Jerry Brown accelerated the state’s goals to carbon neutrality by 2045; to negative emissions thereafter; to clean transportation by reducing petroleum use 45% by 2030; to 5 million electric vehicles by 2030; to 100% clean energy by 2045; to double the rate of energy efficiencies in buildings, and to extend and improve the state’s cap-and-trade program (additionally directing the revenues to greenhouse gas reducing programs which benefit disadvantaged communities).

Calling climate change “a threat to human existence, ”Governor Brown said, weeks before leaving office in 2018, “I’d say California has taken more intelligent action on climate change than any state or province in the Western Hemisphere.”

Data from the California Energy Commission estimated that in 2019, 36% of the state’s retail electricity sales were provided by renewable sources such as solar and wind. When sources of carbon free energy such as large hydroelectric generation and nuclear were included, that number reached 63%.

In March 2021, under Brown’s successor as governor, the California Energy Commission delivered initial analysis of that landmark policy and provided a roadmap detailing the way forward.

Governor Gavin Newsom took early steps in 2019 on climate change but doubled down in September, 2021 when he signed a $15 billion climate package, the largest such investment in state history, which included investments in drought response, forest management and climate risk mitigation. Calling Thursday’s legislation a “landmark bill,” assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) said wildfire prevention and forest health are of critical importance.

An offshore wind bill co-sponsored by Environment California sailed through the California state legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom at the same time. AB 525 requires state regulators to set a goal for offshore wind development and moves California another step closer to using the wind off its coasts for clean renewable energy.

California is one of twenty-four states, and Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Is This Experimental Green Suburb the Future of Single-Family Housing?

11/29/22
At first glance, Durango at Shadow Mountain looks like just another cookie-cutter subdivision of new homes sprawling across an arid valley in Menifee, California, a rapidly growing exurb 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

California’s climate plan calls for no new gas-burning power plants

11/16/22
California regulators announced initiatives Wednesday to speed up the state’s clean-energy transition by cutting demand for fossil fuels by the end of the decade, including ending the construction of new gas-burning power plants — moves…

California unveils a plan to zero out greenhouse gas emissions by 2045

11/16/22
You can think of this plan as a roadmap for how California could essentially zero out greenhouse gas emissions in a little more than two decades. The plan calls for slashing emissions by 48% by…

California Releases Sweeping New Climate Action Plan to Reach Carbon Neutrality

11/16/22
California air regulators on Wednesday released a final draft of the state's new climate blueprint, charting an ambitious path to dramatically reduce planet-warming gas emissions over the next two decades.

The Sustainable Alternative to Renewables in California

11/16/22
Anyone serious about ushering California into an electric age, much less the entire world, faces immutable facts that are indifferent to passions and principles. With algebraic certainty, these facts lead to uncomfortable conclusions: It is…
EDF

California State Assembly Leadership Set to Continue Legacy of Ambitious Climate Action

11/14/22
“For the last 6 years, California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has been a notable champion of ambitious and equitable climate action that will protect communities around the state. Under his collaborative and thoughtful leadership…

Renew financial’s residential pace program in california surpasses $945 million in energy efficiency and renewable energy investments

11/11/22
Renew Financial, the nation's most experienced and one of the leading providers of residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) financing, announced today that its California program, CaliforniaFirst, has funded renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation,…

California’s new solar energy proposal removes hefty grid connection fee

11/11/22
California regulators on Thursday revised their proposal for rooftop solar systems credits, a contentious matter as the state tries to expand renewable energy and respond to critics who want more equitable distribution of incentives.

California Climate Measure Fails After ‘Green’ Governor Opposed It in a Campaign Supporters Called ‘Misleading’

11/10/22
The only statewide climate measure on California’s ballot Tuesday failed, even though it would have raised billions to help meet the state’s ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets by subsidizing electric vehicles and charging infrastructure,…

GE Renewable Energy to upgrade Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts’ Don Pedro Hydroelectric Power Plant in California

11/09/22
GE Renewable Energy signed a refurbishment contract with the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) to modernize the powerhouse of the Don Pedro hydropower plant in California, which is jointly owned by TID and Modesto Irrigation District…

California Energy Commission Approves $31 Million for Tribal Long-Duration Energy Storage Project

11/03/22
A $31 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) will be used to deploy a cutting-edge, long-duration energy storage system that will provide renewable backup power for the Viejas Tribe of Kumeyaay Indians and…

Going electric: Opponents clash as California aims to force diesel trucks off the road

10/27/22
Environmentalists and trucking industry groups sparred with clean air regulators today over a contentious proposal to phase out California’s big rigs and other trucks with internal combustion engines, and force manufacturers to speed mass-production of…

California approves a wave of aggressive new climate measures

By Brad Plumer Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP 09/01/22
After lobbying by the governor, lawmakers adopted $54 billion in climate spending and voted to keep open the state’s last nuclear plant.

Protecting Californians Amidst Extreme Heat: A State Action Plan to Build Community Resilience

01/21/22
California’s best climate science projects that every corner of our state will be

Gov. Newsom announces plan to deal with extreme heat

01/12/22
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration this week announced a plan for addressing extreme heat that includes recommendations on how to monitor deaths caused by heat waves and the possible establishment of temperature limits for residential units.

Governor outlines climate action spending in budget proposal

01/12/22
Gov. Gavin Newsom called for $22.5 billion in state spending to combate climate change next year, offering a suite of solutions that mirror climate action and decarbonization efforts now underway in San Diego.

California targets offshore wind and green hydrogen in $2bn budget for ‘existential climate fight’

01/12/22
Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest California budget plan includes $2bn to promote development of green hydrogen, long-duration energy storage, offshore wind and other energy transition initiatives.

San Diego County energy storage project aims to help fight climate crisis

12/30/21
The project will include 12 sites across the county, with the first two sites breaking ground next month in Chula Vista and El Cajon. Other site locations include La Mesa, Spring Valley, Rancho Peñasquitos, and…

Three Solar Projects In California Mark A Massive Shift To Renewable Energy

12/24/21
As part of the U.S.' efforts to counter climate change and achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, the Department of the Interior announced today that it has approved two solar projects with a…

SoCalGas Facilities Begin Switch to 100% Renewable Power Under Green Rate Program

09/08/21
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced it has begun purchasing renewable electricity under Southern California Edison's (SCE) Green Rate Program everywhere the gas utility is eligible for service by SCE. Including this new arrangement, SoCalGas…

Governor Newsom Holds Virtual Discussion with Leading Climate Scientists on State’s Progress Toward Carbon Neutrality

08/16/21
Governor Gavin Newsom today hosted a virtual meeting with internationally renowned scientists and climate change experts to discuss California’s ambitious climate goals, efforts to protect communities from harmful pollution and climate impacts, and how to…

California approves 11.5 GW of new clean resources in largest-ever single procurement order

07/07/21
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Thursday voted to approve an 11.5 GW procurement package composed entirely of clean energy resources that will come online in the middle of the decade, marking its largest-ever…

California Approves Microgrid Tariffs as Grassroots Groups Push for More Local Control of Energy

06/03/21
In a decision likely to be eyed closely by other states, California regulators yesterday approved microgrid tariffs and rules to hasten the deployment and commercialization of the technology.

California’s gas-fueled car ban: Can we really all drive electric cars?

By Dustin Gardiner Photo by Liz Hafalia 09/27/20
With the flick of a pen on the hood of a metallic-red electric Ford Mustang, Gov. Gavin Newsom set in motion the elimination of the internal combustion engine in California.

Preparing for Climate Change in California

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps California is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP)

03/18/19
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a major component of California's renewable energy planning efforts, will help provide effective protection and conservation of desert ecosystems while allowing for the appropriate development of renewable energy…

KEY RESOURCES

UCLA Heat Maps

07/25/22
Find out which communities are at greatest risk of harm during extreme heat days.

California State Profile and Energy Estimates

09/24/21
California is the most populous state in the nation, has the largest economy, and is second only to Texas in total energy consumption. California also has the world's fifth-largest economy and leads the nation in…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

Noaa National Centers for Environmental Information, State Climate Summaries

09/01/21
California, the most populous and third largest state, has a diverse climate. The deserts in the south are some of the hottest and driest areas of the United States, while higher elevations can experience low…

What is California Climate Action Corps?

05/25/21
In California, climate change is a threat to systems and people across the state. The impacts to our environment and health are worsening as we experience longer and more frequent droughts, devastating wildfires, and more.…

Op-Ed: How to save beaches and coastlines from climate change disasters

04/11/21
The frequency of natural disasters has soared in recent decades. Total damage topped $210 billion worldwide in 2020. With climate change, the costs attributed to coastal storms will increase dramatically. At the same time, coastal habitats such as…

A Pocket Guide to All-Electric Retrofits of Single-Family Homes

02/01/21
Welcome! This booklet is intended to be a simple “how-to” guide to help homeowners, home renters, utilities and policy makers who want to replace existing gas appliances with efficient electric alternatives, many of which are…

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in California

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, California experienced three wildfires, one drought, one flood, and one severe storm. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

California recovery resources

09/17/20
California Department of Insurance; In an effort to assist victims of these devastating fires, DOI works closely with other federal, state and local agencies to assist in recovery issues related to insurance. Californians should work…

State-by-State: California

07/31/20
California is vulnerable to increasing heat, melting snowpack, droughts, sea level rise and wildfires

New data shows nearly two-thirds of California’s electricity came from carbon-free sources in 2019

07/16/20
California remains ahead of its clean energy goals according to newly released data from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The CEC estimates that in 2019, 36 percent of the state’s retail electricity sales were provided…

Exploring California’s Climate Change Research

06/11/20
Cal-Adapt provides a view of how climate change might affect California. Find tools, data, and resources to conduct research, develop adaptation plans and build applications.

California’s renewable energy targets slashed carbon pollution — now there’s a proposal to pause them

06/10/20
California’s ambitious renewable energy targets helped drive a substantial drop in greenhouse gas pollution that propelled the state past its 2020 climate change goals early, according to a non-partisan analysis released this week. Yet one…

California Solar Data Current Through: Q4 2019

03/28/20
California has the largest solar market in the U.S. and has been a longtime champion of solar because of the many economic and environmental benefits it provides, including $57 billion in investment in the state.

Cap-and-Trade Program

03/10/20
This website provides information about California's Cap-and-Trade Program.

One thing we can do: Fix recycling

02/14/20
Recycling in the United States is broken. For years, we relied heavily on recycling operations in China to take our waste. But that came to an end in 2018, when Beijing barred the import of…

Low-Carbon Grid

02/02/20
CEERT’s Low-Carbon Grid Program promotes the integration of large amounts of renewable energy on the grid by tracking and intervening in crucial proceedings at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and other agencies. We also…

Wildfires and Climate Change: California’s Energy Future. A Report from Governor Newsom’s Strike Force

04/12/19
Climate change has created a new wildfire reality for California. The state’s fire season is now almost year round. More than 25 million acres of California wildlands are classified nder very high or extreme fire…

California Climate Investments Project Map

03/14/19
This map shows project level information on California Climate Investments using Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds. These projects are a subset of a larger and coordinated effort to make climate and energy investments throughout California that further…

California Climate Strategy

03/14/19
California's Integrated Plan for Addressing Climate Change.

California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment

11/01/18
California’s Climate Change Assessments contribute to the scientific foundation for understanding climate-related vulnerability at the local scale and informing resilience actions, while also directly informing State policies, plans, programs, and guidance, to promote effective and…

Santa Monica Climate Action Adaptation Plan

04/02/18
The City Council directed staff to develop a plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. The CAAP is the first phase of that work and includes proposed policies and measures that would help…

MORE NEWS

Report on California Climate Impacts ‘Paints a Pretty Grim Picture’

By Anne C. Mulkern  Photo: Luis Sinco/Getty Images   11/02/22  
California is experiencing more wildfires, illness and drought as the impacts of climate change accelerate, according to a report released Tuesday.
CNN

California’s climate crisis is intensifying quickly and taking a heavy toll on residents

By Stephanie Elam  Photo: David McNew/Getty Images   11/02/22  
California’s climate crisis is quickly intensifying, impacting every resident and “increasingly taking a toll on the health and well-being of its people and on its unique and diverse ecosystems,” new state data reveals. California’s climate…

Building with nature: Can reviving a marsh save this California town from sea level rise?

By Rosanna Xia  Photo: Paul Kuroda, Los Angeles Times   10/26/22  
Standing on the edge of a repurposed marina, at the end of a long wooden walkway that harked back to more prosperous times, Brenda Buxton took in the disorienting landscape.

Recycled water may prove crucial for Northern California amid ongoing droughts, climate change

By Ezra David Romero  Photo: Beth LaBerge/KQED   10/25/22  
The San Francisco Bay Area is far behind Southern California in reusing water. Policy experts say it could take decades for the state’s second-most populous region to catch up — the lower half of the…

BLM Announces Completion of Crimson Solar Energy Storage Project

10/19/22  
A fund managed by Axium Infrastructure US Inc. owns 80% of the project and Recurrent Energy, the project developer, retains 20% ownership. CSI Energy Storage was the turnkey system integrator of the project, delivering the…

Californians Who Fortify Their Homes Against Wildfires Will Now Pay Less for Insurance

By Lauren Leffer  Photo: Noah Berger, AP   10/19/22  
California homeowners might soon see some reprieve in skyrocketing property insurance rates. That is, if they take steps to wildfire-proof their houses. The West Coast state is the first in the country to require insurance…

Jane Fonda blasts wealthy Prop. 30 foes

BY Emily Hoeven  Photo: Chris Pizzello, AP Photo   10/18/22  
Actress and activist Jane Fonda has a message for wealthy Californians who oppose Proposition 30, a November ballot measure that would hike taxes on millionaires to subsidize electric vehicles and fund wildfire response and prevention:

California wildfires wiped out nearly 20 years of greenhouse gas emission reductions – in 2020, alone

By Elizabeth Weise  Photo: Noah Berger   10/18/22  
California's catastrophic wildfires in 2020 put twice as much greenhouse gas emissions into the air as the state's reductions in those same gases over nearly 20 years – erasing gains going back to 2003, according to a new study.

Oakland tests electric transit buses for resilience in vehicle-to-building pilot

By Robert Walton   10/12/22  
The city of Oakland, California, will be the site of a vehicle-to-building pilot analyzing how zero-emission transit buses can maintain critical loads during emergency conditions, project participants announced Tuesday.

Climate Law’s Labor Bonuses Could Clear California Obstacle to Clean Energy

By Aaron Cantu  Photo: Andreas Schlegel   10/11/22  
Labor-friendly provisions in the federal Inflation Reduction Act could help boost California’s transition away from fossil fuels by appealing to a persistent stumbling block: unions representing fossil fuel workers.

Proposition 30 has voters deciding on a tax for zero-emission vehicles. What you need to know

By Russ Mitchell  Photo: David Butow, Times   10/07/22  
On its face, Proposition 30 is simple enough: Raise taxes on the richest Californians. Pull in $30 billion to $90 billion over the next 20 years. Use 80% of the money to subsidize electric vehicles…

Mobile Homes, the Last Affordable Housing Option for Many California Residents, Are Going Up in Smoke

By Anne Marshall-Chalmers  Photo: Michael Kodas   10/02/22  
But she was more exasperated than scared. She had lived at Creekside Mobile Home Park on Dam Road for 17 years and had lost track of all its close calls with wildfires. Creekside, a park…

California Is Expected to Enter a Fourth Straight Year of Drought

By Soumya Karlamangla  Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images   09/30/22  
The state’s water year ends tomorrow, which has prompted predictions about what’s in store for the next 12 months. (California’s water year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, so that the winter rainy season…

Empty wine and liquor bottles will be worth 10 cents each in California, under new recycling law

By Paul Rogers  Photo: Paul Bersebach, Orange   09/28/22  
Just polished off a nice Chardonnay? A glass of Pinot with dinner? A mango margarita even? You may want to hold on to those empty bottles: It won’t be long before California is paying 10…

Column: California spends billions rebuilding burned towns. The case for calling it quits

By Erica D. Smith and Others  Photo: Francine Orr, Los Angeles Times   09/27/22  
Most days, Ken Donnell steals a moment to gaze at the forested valley that surrounds this remote grid of streets in the mountains.Before the Dixie fire came barreling through the Sierra Nevada last year, leveling…

California Moves to Ban Natural Gas Furnaces and Heaters by 2030

Angel Adegbesan   09/23/22  
California is committing to a plan that will make it the first US state to phase out gas-fueled furnaces and water heaters in homes, a move environmentalists are betting will provide a template for other…

In California, a Race to Save the World’s Largest Trees From Megafires

By Twilight Greenaway  Photo: David McNew, Getty Images   09/23/22  
When the Washburn Fire burned through part of Yosemite’s iconic Mariposa Grove in July, photos of its famed giant sequoias steeped in smoke and surrounded by automated sprinklers to shelter them from the flames shocked…

‘Significant fire season slowing’ rain set to soak Northern California

By Diana Leonard  Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images   09/16/22  
An unusual September storm is set to arrive in California late this weekend, providing a much-needed pause on the state’s rapidly deteriorating wildfire season.
Wsj

California Drought Leaving Rice Farmers Dry

By Jesse Newman and Others  Photo: Andri Tambunan   09/10/22  
Rick Richter has spent the past 43 years flying biplanes over California’s Sacramento Valley, dropping rice seeds into vast, flooded fields that churn out grain for consumers across the globe. In a typical year, Mr.…
NPR

Impact of California’s environmental regulations ripples across the U.S.

By Adrian Ma and Darian Woods   09/09/22  
California is home to some of the country's strictest environmental regulations. Those standards can sometimes spread to other states and beyond. It's known as the "California Effect."

Racism Robbed This Historically Black California Town of Its Water. Now, They’re Developing Water of Their Own

By Teresa Cotsirilos  Photo: Craig Kohlruss, Fern   09/09/22  
Valeria Contreras’ phone started ringing on a bustling Saturday last February, when she was driving past almond and pistachio orchards on an errand run. Some callers sounded panicked. Others were just upset. "Where’s the water?"…

California set to be first state with extreme heat warning system under bills signed by Newsom

By Hannah Fry and Others  Photo: Al Seib, The Times   09/09/22  
As much of the West continued to swelter in a record-breaking heat wave, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a package of legislation aimed at protecting Californians from extreme heat, including establishing a statewide warning…

Questions abound as panel explores Calif. offshore wind

By Heather Richards  Photo: John Moore, Getty Images   09/09/22  
Offshore wind is critical for California to reach its climate goals, witnesses told a House panel Thursday, but a host of factors, including lack of transmission lines and negative impacts on fishing, could complicate its…

California is finally unlocking community solar for the masses

By Julian Spector  Photo: Dennis Schroeder, Nrel   09/08/22  
California leads the nation in rooftop solar installations by a long shot. But it has never managed to craft a viable community solar market for people who can’t put panels on their own roofs. That’s…

Weather Updates: California avoids rolling blackouts

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images   09/07/22  
Cities across California set record high temperatures on Tuesday, including Sacramento at 116 degrees. The heat wave will continue across the West on Wednesday, but ease by the weekend.

Facing ‘dead pool’ risk, California braces for painful water cuts from Colorado River

By Ian James  Photo: Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times   09/04/22  
California water districts are under growing pressure to shoulder substantial water cutbacks as the federal government pushes for urgent solutions to prevent the Colorado River’s badly depleted reservoirs from reaching dangerously low levels.

Northern California wildfire wipes out neighborhood with frightening speed

By Alex Wigglesworth  Photo: Noah Berger, Associated Press   09/04/22  
Jane Coolidge and her husband, Bruce, were driving past the town of Weed, Calif., on Friday when they saw a huge plume of black smoke. Flames had engulfed a large commercial building, and debris hit…

Punishing heat wave in West sets records, fuels fires

By Matthew Cappucci, Diana Leonard and Others  Photo: Hung T. Vu/AP   09/02/22  
Nearly 50 million Americans are under alerts through Labor Day weekend because of a prolonged heat wave that has already set dozens of records throughout the West...

California wildfire burns at least 50 structures and forces thousands to flee.

By Mandy Feder- Sawyer and Others  Photo: Neal Waters, Shutterstocks   09/02/22  
A wind-whipped fire that erupted near a defunct lumber mill in Northern California on Friday and became a fast-moving inferno has destroyed at least 50 structures, including homes, and prompted the evacuation of thousands of…

California hopes to avoid blackouts amid heatwave by asking millions of people to use less electricity

By Celina Tebor  Photo: Fernando Vergara, AP   09/01/22  
A multi-state heatwave will test California's electric grid over Labor Day weekend as triple-digit temperatures hit millions of people simultaneously, prompting concern that the state could once again turn to rolling blackouts. State officials hope…

California Legislature approves climate change steps — but one ambitious one fails

By Nadia Lopez  Photo: Jae C. Hong, AP Photo   09/01/22  
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s last-minute legislative plan for tackling the climate crisis was largely victorious as lawmakers approved laws to set interim targets for 100% clean energy, regulate projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere…

Record-threatening, long-duration heat wave to roast Western U.S

By Matthew Cappucci  Photo: Pivotal Weather   08/31/22  
San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento are all included in excessive heat watches or warnings over the Labor Day weekend.

California’s Lithium Rush For EV Batteries Hinges On Taming Toxic, Volcanic Brine

By Alan Ohnsman   08/31/22  
Wander the unpaved, dusty, rural roads southeast of California’s troubled Salton Sea on a baking, 112-degree Fahrenheit August afternoon and two things soon stand out. Improbably, this desert-adjacent part of the Golden State is a…
AP

Equity is goal, not mandate, in California electric car rule

By Kathleen Ronayne  Photo: Jae C. Hong, AP   08/31/22  
Discounted prices, car-share programs and at least one million more public charging stations are among the ways California will try to make electric cars easier to buy and drive as it phases out the sale…

Extreme heat wave pushing California power grid to limit, with rolling blackouts possible

By Gregory Yee and Others  Photo: Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles Times   08/31/22  
The worst heat wave of the year is presenting a critical test for California’s overtaxed power grid, with officials warning rolling blackouts are possible without major conservation efforts during a week of scorching temperatures. Extreme…

Heat, Water, Fire: How Climate Change Is Transforming the Pacific Crest Trail

By Rowan Moore Gerety  Photo: Mason Trinca   08/31/22  
In the desert near Agua Dulce, north of Los Angeles, hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail who reached mile marker 502 encountered a cistern of water that smelled bad and tasted worse, with a dead…

The Fight Over The Colorado River’s Water Is A Symbol Of The Larger Climate Crisis

By Alejandro De La Garza   08/29/22  
There’s something familiar about the high stakes water use drama playing out in the U.S. Southwest. The mighty Colorado River serves as an economic artery of the region, powering massive hydroelectric dams and supplying water…

As forests go up in smoke, so will California’s climate plan

By Tony Briscoe  Photo: Luis Sinco, Loa Angeles Times   08/29/22  
When lightning ignited the bone-dry foothills of the Sierra Nevada last year, forestry crews fanned out across Sequoia National Park to defend an ancient grove of California redwoods from wildfire. As smoke wafted through a…

Federal government dives into climate fight, but California still leads

By Zack Budryk   08/29/22  
The Biden administration is ramping up federal climate action after this month’s watershed legislation, but California is showing no signs of surrendering its position leading on the issue. Two months ago, the Biden administration’s efforts…

Clashes brew over Diablo Canyon extension plan as 40% of expected renewables fail to come online

By Kavya Balaraman  Photo: Tracey Adams   08/29/22  
California policymakers and other stakeholders remain split on a proposal from Gov. Gavin Newsom, D, to extend the operations of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant’s two units beyond their scheduled retirement in 2024 and 2025.

Here Are the Challenges Ahead for California’s Ban on Gas Cars

By Lisa Friedman and Others  Photo: Roger Kisby, The New York Times   08/26/22  
California has laid out an audacious goal: In 13 years, it should no longer be possible to buy a new car that runs purely on gasoline anywhere in the state. Yet it remains to be…

California’s extreme wildfires taking lethal toll on elderly who can’t escape flames

By Alex Wigglesworth  Photo: Noah Berger, Associated Press   08/26/22  
Ronald Tyra knew it was time to flee when the 100-acre blaze across the street began igniting spot fires as it raced down the mountain. Tyra sped from his Klamath River, Calif., home with little…

California will ban sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035

By Nathan Rott  Photo: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu   08/25/22  
California air regulators voted Thursday on a historic plan to address climate change and harmful pollution by moving the nation's largest auto market away from the internal combustion engine.

California to ban new gas vehicles by 2035 in push for EVs

By Nathan Bomey  Photo: Aida Amer, Axios   08/25/22  
California is poised to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035 in a massive push toward EV adoption being heralded as a major win in the fight against climate change. Why it matters:…

Ranchers told to stop diverting water in drought-hit area

Photo: Karuk, AP File   08/24/22  
California has warned a group of farmers and ranchers near the Oregon state line to stop diverting water from an area already wracked by extreme drought and a wildfire that killed tens of thousands of…

California moves toward banning new cars running only on gas by 2035

By Dino Grandoni and Others  Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images   08/24/22  
California is set to move closer to banning the sale of new cars running only on gasoline by 2035, a major step in the car-loving state’s fight against climate change. The expected embrace of the…

California to Ban the Sale of New Gasoline Cars

By Coral Davenport and Others  Photo: Justin sullivan, Getty Images   08/24/22  
California regulators on Thursday will vote to put in place a sweeping plan to restrict and ultimately ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars, state officials said, a move that the state’s governor described as the…

Today’s Headlines: Negotiations have yet to produce a deal for the shrinking Colorado River

By Elvia Limon  Photo: Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times   08/14/22  
Two months ago, federal officials told seven states that depend on Colorado River water to prepare for emergency cuts next year to prevent reservoirs from dropping to dangerously low levels. The states and managers of…

A ‘megaflood’ in California could drop 100 inches of rain, scientists warn

By Matthew Cappucci  Photo: Noah Berger/AP   08/12/22  
A mention of California might usually conjure images of wildfires and droughts, but scientists say that the Golden State is also the site of extreme, once-a-century “megafloods” — and that climate change could amplify just…

The coming California megaflood

By Raymond Zhong  Photo: Erin Schaff   08/12/22  
California, where earthquakes, droughts and wildfires have shaped life for generations, also faces the growing threat of another kind of calamity, one whose fury would be felt across the entire state.