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

By Paul Rogers Photo: Paul Bersebach, Orange

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 cents each for them, the same as it does for most other beverage containers.Late Tuesday night, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that expands the state’s bottle recycling deposit program for the first time to include hundreds of millions of wine and liquor bottles.


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

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 everything here but a few houses, businesses and a school, this was a charming — if dying — Gold Rush-era town that about 800 people called home. Now, much of the charm is gone along with most of the residents, replaced by the skeletal remains of conifer trees and the deathly silence of block after empty block.


California Moves to Ban Natural Gas Furnaces and Heaters by 2030

Angel Adegbesan

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 states.
The Golden State will ban the sale of all new natural gas-fired space heaters and water heating appliances by 2030, under a proposal unanimously approved by the California Air Resources Board on Thursday.


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

By Twilight Greenaway Photo: David McNew, Getty Images

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 viewers around the globe.
Less than a year earlier, similar photos showed the trunk of the sequoia known as General Sherman, the world’s largest tree, wrapped in a tinfoil-like material to repel the flames of the KNP Complex Fire. Yet, while those efforts helped save the celebrity trees from the infernos, the annihilation elsewhere in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is difficult to grasp: The U.S. Forest Service estimates that, in 2020 and 2021 alone, wildfires killed 13 percent to 19 percent of the world’s giant sequoias.


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

By Diana Leonard Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images

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.


California Drought Leaving Rice Farmers Dry

By Jesse Newman and Others Photo: Andri Tambunan

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. Richter’s company seeds 42,000 acres of rice, earning more than $3 million in revenue. This year, as a worsening drought prompts unprecedented cuts in water allocations to rice farms, he has seeded just 7,000 acres and expects sales of $550,000.


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

By Adrian Ma and Darian Woods

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

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?” they asked her. “How come you guys don’t notify us? I know I’m past due, but did you guys turn off my 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

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 system by 2025 and conducting a study on the effects of sizzling temperatures on workers.


Questions abound as panel explores Calif. offshore wind

By Heather Richards Photo: John Moore, Getty Images

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 future.

“As we prepare to unlock the enormous potential for offshore wind in the West, we must also address a unique set of challenges,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), an offshore wind advocate and chair of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.