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Federal government suspends new drilling and fracking leases on public lands in Central California

By Tony Briscoe Photo: Brian Van Der Brug, Los Angeles Times

California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta announced Monday that the state has reached a settlement with the federal government to halt new oil and gas leases on public lands in Central California until the potential risks to public health and the environment are adequately assessed.


‘The clock is ticking’: PG&E exploring possibility of keeping Diablo Canyo open to boost reliability: CEO

By Kavya Balaraman Photo: Tracey Adams

Pacific Gas & Electric is exploring the possibility of keeping the 2.2 GW Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open beyond its currently scheduled retirement in 2024 and 2025 to support the reliability of California’s electricity system, PG&E Corp. CEO Patti Poppe told analysts during the company’s earnings call Thursday.


These maps show severe fires are morphing California forests into something we won’t recognize

By Yoohyun Jung Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle

Many of the largest wildfires in recent U.S. history have happened in California just in the past few years, including last year’s Dixie Fire, which burned nearly a million acres across four counties. Seven others in 2021 achieved “megafire” status, surpassing the mark of 100,000 acres burned. No megafires have occured in 2022 yet, but the ongoing Oak Fire, which started on July 22, has already burned more than 15,000 acres and continues to grow.


A Painful Deadline Nears as Colorado River Reservoirs Run Critically Low

By Henry Fountain Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

States in the Colorado River basin are scrambling to propose steep cuts in the water they’ll use from the river next year, in response to a call by the federal government for immediate, drastic efforts to keep the river’s main storage reservoirs from reaching critically low levels.


Calif.’s last nuclear plant faces closure. Can it survive?

By Anne C. Mulkern Photo: Tracey Adams , Flickr

California political leaders are debating whether to keep the state’s final nuclear power plant open beyond 2025, a decision with repercussions for the state’s emissions, electricity mix and ability to prevent blackouts amid high demand in the years ahead.
But saving the Diablo Canyon Power Plant — near the Pacific Ocean in San Luis Obispo County — would require clearing numerous hurdles within just a few years.


The world’s longest-lived trees couldn’t survive climate change

By Sarah Kaplan Photo: Sundry Photography/iStockphoto/Getty Images

The trees had stood for more than 1,000 years. Their sturdy roots clung to the crumbling mountainside. Their gnarled limbs reached toward the desert sky. The rings of their trunks told the story of everything they’d witnessed — every attack they’d rebuffed, every crisis they’d endured. Weather patterns shifted; empires rose and fell; other species emerged, mated, migrated, died. But here, in one of the harshest environments on the planet, the bristlecone pines survived. It seemed they always would.


Angered by climate denial, a Times photographer embarked on a watershed journey

By Stuart Leavenworth Photo: Luis Sinco , Los Angeles Times

Fires were burning, glaciers were melting, and the West was again in drought. But from talking to his kids and friends and people around him, the award-winning Times photographer sensed little dire urgency, little connection between the climate crisis and the routines of everyday life.


Out-of-control Yosemite fire threatens iconic giant sequoias

By Alex Wigglesworth and Diana Marcum Photo: National Park Service via Associated Press

The first that Michael Gilbert, a 67-year-old rock climber and bellman, heard of the fire in Yosemite National Park was from a mother and daughter who drove up breathless on Friday.


California’s sweeping new plastics law could be a game changer

By Laura Parker Photo: Hannah Whitaker

The United States creates more plastic trash than any other country and ranks third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash, and other mismanaged waste to its beaches. Yet, even with such an abundance of disposable plastic—scientists measured 46 million tons in 2016—the U.S. manages to recycle just under 9 percent every year.


California deepens water cuts to cope with drought, hitting thousands of farms

By Ian James and Others Photo: Allen J. Schaben, The Los Angeles Times

California regulators have begun curtailing the water rights of many farms and irrigation districts along the Sacramento River, forcing growers to stop diverting water from the river and its tributaries.