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Clean energy goes up against tribal rights and biodiversity in Nevada

By Emily Pontecorvo Photo: Patrick Donnelly , Center for Biological Diversity

The Biden administration is facing critical questions about how to balance the urgency of transitioning to clean energy with other progressive priorities. On Monday, a U.S. district judge halted construction of two geothermal power plants on public land in Nevada. The decision was in response to a lawsuit filed in December by the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental nonprofit, and the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, against the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, for approving the project.


The Western megadrought is revealing America’s ‘lost national park’

By Nathan Rott Photo: Claire Harbage , NPR

On a turquoise lake in a sandstone desert, Ross Dombrowski is trying to figure out what to do about the rock growing behind his houseboat. The rock, spectacular and rust red, like most in southern Utah, wasn’t visible below the water’s surface when Dombrowski moored his houseboat on Lake Powell last year.


From the Colorado River to public lands, environmental stories to watch in 2022

By Daniel Rothberg Photo: Daniel Rothberg , The Nevada Independent

It’s a new year, and there is a lot going on in the world. Instead of the usual newsletter format, Indy Environment this week is looking ahead at a few stories to watch as we begin 2022:


Newsletter: Harry Reid reshaped the West. His environmental legacy is complicated

By Sammy Roth Photo: Brian Corley , Associated Press

When Harry Reid retired, New York Magazine ran this headline: “Who Will Do What Harry Reid Did Now That Harry Reid Is Gone?”
I’ve been thinking about that question as Democrats struggle to advance President Biden’s Build Back Better bill, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars in clean energy investments. As the Senate’s Democratic leader, Reid was legendary for brokering deals and holding his caucus together, most famously getting President Obama’s Affordable Care Act across the finish line despite unified Republican opposition.


Biden administration approves expansion of solar power on U.S. land

By Matthew Brown

U.S. officials announced approval Tuesday of two solar projects in California and moved to open up public lands in three other Western states to potential solar development, as part of the Biden administration’s effort to counter climate change by shifting from fossil fuels.


With Western Waters Out Of Whack, Algae Blooms Produce A Toxic Stew

By Bert Johnson

Two separate times over the summer, the City of Reno in Nevada warned residents to avoid contact with local lakes and ponds where the explosive growth of cyanobacteria – also known as blue-green algae – had choked the water with green slime and released dangerous toxins.


The Bad News Keeps Flowing For The Colorado River

By Joe Schoenmann and Zachary Green

Federal officials project more bad news for the drought-stressed Colorado River, which provides water to Las Vegas and much of the Southwest.


Neglected Nevada communities need big, bold action taken on climate change

By Jose Silva

I came to the United States from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, as a child and have lived in Las Vegas since then. This is the only home I have ever known and I have created community bonds with friends and neighbors.


Climate change: US projections on drought-hit Colorado River which serves 40 million people grow even more dire

By Rebecca Speare_Cole

Lake Mead and Lake Powell – reservoirs along the river that are used as barometers to judge how much supply some states will get from the water source – have dipped to historic lows.


Fueled by climate change, costly Southwest drought isn’t going away

By Rong Fu and others Photo: Roger Kisby , Bloomberg News

With absent rainy seasons, depleted snowpack, widespread heat waves, unprecedented wildfires and low reservoirs, the American West has experienced an extraordinary drought since early 2020. To inform and prepare Americans for droughts like this one, three questions are critical to answer: How bad is this drought? What caused it? When will it end?