Before you do anything else, do take a look at this video by Trevor Noah…



As the sixth largest state, Arizona has a lot of land, and a lot of desert. Situated at the heart of the scorching American Southwest, Arizona regularly clocks in as one of the hottest states in the country and is home to the two hottest cities in the United States. As the Earth warms, Arizona’s 7.3 million residents face life-threatening rising temperatures and ever-dwindling water supplies. In 2021, 113 confirmed heat-related deaths in Maricopa County (which includes Phoenix) was double 2020’s number. Arizona’s homeless population will be particularly vulnerable to this health hazard. The dry, hot terrain also contributes to the state’s ongoing megadrought, which adds to a whole host of issues including the diminishment of the Colorado River, which supplies water to over a third of Arizona’s population. As temperatures have risen and drought intensified, wildfires have grown larger and burn more severely.

Arizona’s energy trends lend some hope, however. Per capita energy consumption in Arizona is already among the lowest in the nation, and the state is uniquely poised for a switch to renewable and clean energy. It has some of the best solar resources in the country and produces the nation’s highest-grade uranium — crucial for nuclear energy generation. Arizona has put this resource to work in the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the nation’s largest nuclear power plant. Palo Verde generates more electricity annually than any other U.S. plantsecond only to the Grand Coulee Dam in total electricity generating capacity. Fossil fuels, unfortunately, continue to play a significant role. Since 2018, Arizona has reduced its dependency on coal but shifted to natural gas, which has become the state’s largest single energy source — generating one third of it’s power. The rest of the state’s energy comes from renewable sources, with a special emphasis on solar. Arizona ranks 5th in the nation for total solar installations.

In 2006, Arizona’s Climate Change Advisory Group was charged with preparing an inventory and forecast of Arizona’s greenhouse gas emissions and developing a Climate Change Action Plan with recommendations on how to reduce the state’s emissions. The report included a comprehensive set of 49 policy options.

By September of 2021, Arizona does not yet have a statewide adaptation plan despite the fact that they are the fourth-fastest warming state in the country. Local communities have taken up the battle as best they can. In 2009, Phoenix, the 2nd fastest warming city in the U.S., completed its  Climate Action Plan, which it plans to update by the end of 2021. Its goals: to become a carbon-neutral city by 2060 operating on 100% clean energy, with new buildings being net positive by 2050, and significant greenhouse gas reduction targets between 2025 and 2050. In July, 2020, Flagstaff declared a climate emergency. In September 2020, Tucson, the third fastest warming city in the nation, also  declared a climate emergency and will implement a decade long plan,  “Framework for Advancing Sustainability,”   to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Arizona lawmakers don’t make change easy. For example, in January of 2020, The Arizona Committee on Natural Resources and Energy voted to stop cities from prohibiting construction of natural gas-powered buildings.

In August, 2020, a highly anticipated meeting of the Arizona Corporation Commission ended abruptly, amid disputes over a roadmap to clean energy. In May, 2021  Arizona’s utility regulators rejected new rules that would have required most of the state’s electricity providers to get 100% of their power from clean energy sources by 2050 to limit carbon emissions and address climate change. Later that month the ACC, voted 3-2 to restart a rule-making process to establish a 100% clean energy standard for the state.  The commissioners are expected to vote on a final rule in the fall of 2021. Don’t hold your breath.

Or read the Sierra Club’s 2021 Environmental Report Card for the Arizona Legislature and Governor.

United Swing States of America - Arizona in the Grip of Climate Change | The Daily Show


Water, climate change, land protection are key legislative issues for environmental groups

By Jake Frederico 02/20/23
As a 20-year megadrought intensifies the effects of climate change across the Southwest, causing shortages on the Colorado River, increasing the frequency and magnitude of wildfires and putting wildlife and human health in danger, the…
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As Climate Change and Overuse Shrink Lake Powell, the Emergent Landscape Is Coming Back to Life – and Posing New Challenges

By Daniel Craig McCool 02/12/23
As Western states haggle over reducing water use because of declining flows in the Colorado River Basin, a more hopeful drama is playing out in Glen Canyon. Lake Powell, the second-largest U.S. reservoir, extends from…
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100,000 Green Jobs Announced Since US Adopted Climate Law, Study Finds

By Carly Wanna 02/06/23
Between last August, when President Joe Biden’s landmark climate bill became law, and the end of January, companies have announced more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in the US, according to an analysis released Monday…
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Colorado River crisis is so bad, lakes Mead and Powell are unlikely to refill in our lifetimes

By Rong-Gong Lin 11 and Ian James 02/06/23
The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is the deepest it’s been in decades, but those storms that were a boon for Northern California won’t make much of a dent in the long-term water shortage for…
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Shrinking Colorado River hands Biden his first climate brawl

By Annie Snider 02/04/23
A fracas among the seven states along the drought-stricken Colorado River is forcing the first major reckoning for the Biden administration over who should bear the pain of adapting to a changing climate.
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The “Law of the River” at the heart of the Colorado River crisis

By Hayley Smith and Ian James 02/03/23
It’s a crisis nearly 100 years in the making: Seven states — all reliant on a single mighty river as a vital source of water — failed to reach an agreement this week on how…
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Climate justice organization tackles urban heat and more in Arizona’s Maricopa county

By Jesenia De Moya Correa 02/01/23
Chispa AZ’s “Clean and Green” campaign addresses extreme heat, air quality, and social inequities — with a focus on the voices of residents. The post Climate justice organization tackles urban heat and more in Arizona’s…
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What is Valley fever? Fungal infection from the Southwest may spread with climate change.

By Adrianna Rodriguez 02/01/23
The HBO series “The Last of Us” has brought awareness to the growing threat of fungal infections. While there’s no known fungus that turns humans into sporous zombies, health experts say one pathogen may become…
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Arizona Can’t Keep Growing Without Finding More Water

By Adam Minter 01/31/23
The 23-year drought that’s parching the Southwest is forcing Arizona to make a bitter choice. Unless developers can find new sources of water, the state’s largest master-planned housing development is going to remain a desert.
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As the Colorado River shrinks, Washington prepares to spread the pain

By Christopher Flavelle 01/27/23
The seven states that rely on the river for water are not expected to reach a deal on cuts. It appears the Biden administration will have to impose reductions.
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In California’s Imperial Valley, farmers brace for a future with less Colorado River water

By Ian James 01/27/23
Just north of the California-Mexico border, the All-American Canal cuts across 80 miles of barren, dune-swept desert. Up to 200 feet wide and 20 feet deep, the canal delivers the single largest share of Colorado…
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The Colorado River is overused and shrinking. Inside the crisis transforming the Southwest

By Ian James and Molly Hennessy-Fiske 01/26/23
The Colorado River begins as melting snow, trickling from forested peaks and coursing in streams that gather in the meadows and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Like arteries, its major tributaries take shape across Colorado,…
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New transmission line will increase energy reliability in Arizona and California

By Amber Victoria Singer 02/06/23
A 125-mile transmission line is being built between Arizona and California, after nearly a decade of planning. The line, called the Ten West Link, will make it possible to send solar and wind energy between…

Without an energy office, will Arizona get its full share of the Inflation Reduction Act?

In November 2015, the five remaining state employees assigned to secure federal funds for energy efficiency on behalf of Arizonans were abruptly let go from their jobs and their roles were dissolved. It was another…

Federal funds help fast-growing Arizona city address several infrastructure challenges and needs

Joe Giudice, public works director for the city of Phoenix, says the influx of new residents is driving a lot of construction in his community. “Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the United States.…

Harris visits West Valley to applaud renewable energy project

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Tonopah on Jan. 19 for the groundbreaking of a new renewable energy project called Ten West Link.

A Copper Mine Could Advance Green Energy but Scar Sacred Land

Tribal groups are fighting an Arizona project whose backers say increasing the supply of copper, crucial to batteries, would reduce fossil-fuel use....

In Arizona, the Future of Renewable Energy Is on the Ballot

When political pundits call Arizona a key swing state in November’s midterm elections, they’re talking about the races for control of the US Senate and House. But it’s a down-ballot contest that makes Arizona a…

Revolve’s 250-MW Arizona solar project to be shovel-ready in 2024

Revolve Renewable Power Corp (CVE:REVV) expects that its 250-MW Parker solar project with battery storage in Arizona to enter the ready-to-build stage in 2024, the Vancouver, Canada-based company announced today.

These four U.S. nuclear plants will start producing clean hydrogen

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is partnering with utilities on four hydrogen demonstration projects at U.S. nuclear power plants.

AZ Corporation Commission approves changes to plan to expand wind power in Arizona

The Arizona Corporation Commission has approved a modification to a plan for new transmission lines. The vote could pave the way for more wind energy in Arizona. 

Flagstaff’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

The Flagstaff Climate Action and Adaptation Plan is a road map for how Flagstaff will prepare for and respond to climate change.

City of Phoenix Climate Action Plan for Government Operations

Phoenix has been recognized as a leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability and has a long history of implementing pollution control and natural resource conservation programs.

Arizona Climate Change Action Plan

Arizona's Climate Change Advisory Group, formed by executive order, was charged with (1) preparing an inventory and forecast of Arizona's greenhouse gas emissions, and (2) developing this Climate Change Action Plan with recommendations for reducing…


Images of change

Disappearing Lake Mead, Nevada-Arizona Border

Arizona State Profile and Energy Estimates

Arizona is known for its stunning landscapes and natural wonders from the Grand Canyon in the north to the Saguaro deserts in the south. The state has few fossil fuel reserves, but it does have…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

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

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.

Sustainable Cities Network

Connecting communities, advancing sustainability, and cultivating solutions.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

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 Arizona

Between 2017 and 2019, Arizona experienced one drought and one wildfire. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Arizona

Arizona is vulnerable to increasing heat, melting snowpack, droughts, and wildfires

Preparing for Climate Change in Arizona

Arizona has not developed a statewide adaptation plan. Other resources from the Adaptation Clearinghouse, which have been developed by the state and localities to help communities prepare for climate change, are highlighted below.

Arizona state at risk

States at Risk is a project aimed at showing how Americans in all 50 states are experiencing the impacts of climate change. Our work focuses on five threats — extreme heat, drought, wildfires, coastal flooding…

Renewable Energy Standard & Tariff

In 2006, the Commission approved the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST). These rules require that regulated electric utilities must generate 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2025. Each year, Arizona's utility…


Here’s what you need to know about the Phoenix Climate Action Plan

By Olivia Dow   01/10/22  
Locals are familiar with extended days of extreme heat in the summer – but they might not realize the average temperature in Phoenix has increased 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1970s, according to Climate Central.
Read more

Investing in Arizona’s Water will Improve Outlook for People and Birds

By Haley Paul   01/07/22  
In Arizona, as throughout much of the West, the situation is serious. And while recent storms bring welcome moisture for thirsty western landscapes, one wet winter will not reverse 20 years of drought. We hope…
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Colorado River forecast improves with early snow, but the outlook could still change

By Brandon Loomis   01/07/22  
Early winter rain and snow across the interior West have improved the outlook for springtime flows on the Colorado and other rivers that supply the Southwest.
Read more

Groups gather at Arizona Capitol to call for environmental action, representation

By Nicholas Gerbis   01/06/22  
Representatives from environmental groups, faith-based organizations, science and government on Wednesday gathered at the Arizona state Capitol Rose Garden to present their priorities for the governor and Legislature.
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With less water on the surface, how long can Arizona rely on what’s underground?

By Alex Hager   01/04/22  
In Arizona, verdant fields of crops and a growing sprawl of suburban homes mean a sharp demand for water in the middle of the desert. Meeting that demand includes drawing from massive stores of water…
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Legislature proper place for energy policy

A fundamental disagreement exists with the premise of Sen. Paul Boyer’s opinion article entitled Arizona’s energy mix is best set by the experts. That’s not the Legislature published in The Arizona Republic on November 17,…
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Arizona utility selects Landis+Gyr to expand smart metering with new prepayment system

By Nicholas Nhede   12/15/21  
Salt River Project, a community utility based in the US state of Arizona, will be modernising its grid and billing system with a new prepayment system. Landis+Gyr and PayGo have partnered to deliver and manage…
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New study outlines high costs of extreme heat in Phoenix, Arizona

By Anita Snow   12/06/21  
Extreme heat is expensive. That’s the conclusion of a study presented Monday by The Nature Conservancy, which commissioned a look at the costs of rising temperatures in Phoenix.
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Taking Charge: Kore Power CEO Lindsay Gorrill on building a battery manufacturing ecosystem in Arizona

By Jason Plautz   11/24/21  
As the Biden administration pushes massive investments in clean energy as part of a goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the White House wants the technology behind that energy to be homegrown.
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The climate crisis has huge costs for Arizona, but state leaders can’t fight it alone

By Sen. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson   11/04/21  
This week, countries across the world are coming together in Glasgow for COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, to discuss how the world will address our climate crisis. I have joined with more…
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Climate change in Tucson: What you need to know

By Greg Bradbury   11/04/21  
From record-breaking heat to widespread fires, Tucson is no stranger to extreme weather. Gregg Garfin, a climatologist at the University of Arizona, said that this weather can be linked to climate change. "What climate change…
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Kyrsten Sinema Wants to Cut $100 Billion in Proposed Climate Funds, Sources Say

By Coral Davenport   10/27/21  
Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who began her political career with the Green Party and who has voiced alarm over the warming planet, wants to cut at least $100 billion from climate programs in major…
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New EPA report confirms what south Phoenix’s residents of color know: Climate change discriminates

By Zayna Syed   10/14/21  
Rashaad Thomas and his family moved out of Scottsdale about seven years ago. Thomas, a well-known local writer and poet, had covered police brutality for years. When his wife, Nancy, became pregnant for the first…
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In Arizona, Drought Ignites Tensions and Threatens Traditions Among the Hopi

By Simon Romero   10/02/21  
On the bone-dry plateau where the Hopi people have lived for well over a thousand years, Robinson Honani pulled his truck to the side of a dirt road and pointed to a carcass. “This is…
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SRP installs largest stand-alone battery in Arizona so far

By Isabella Martillaro   09/17/21  
Salt River Project announced Thursday that the largest stand-alone battery system in Arizona is now operating in Peoria.
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Arizona regulators to get earful on clean-energy report at town halls

By David Wichner   09/17/21  
The public can weigh in on a recent state-commissioned report on the cost of moving Arizona to 100% carbon-free energy at a series of virtual town halls hosted next week by the Arizona Corporation Commission.
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A Hopi farmer works to sustain corn-growing traditions in the face of a changing climate

By Ian James   09/16/21  
He waited for a morning when the winds had died down, then returned to his family’s field carrying a pail filled with white corn kernels and a metal rod for planting.
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Could Climate Change Put an End to Arizona’s Alfalfa Heyday?

By Greta Moran   09/15/21  
It’s always alfalfa season in Arizona. In most other parts of the country, the perennial crop grows tall enough to harvest just a few times a year. But in the sun-drenched Southwest, the irrigated fields…
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University of Arizona partners with Native American nations to address climate change issues

By Jasmine Ramirez   09/14/21  
 The University of Arizona is partnering with Native American tribes to address the environmental challenges faced on the reservations.
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Heat Expert to Lead City’s New Heat Response & Mitigation Office

Phoenix has announced an ASU Environmental Sciences Professor will lead a first of its kind Office of Heat Response and Mitigation. ASU Associate Professor David Hondula will lead the office approved by the Phoenix City…
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Biden Clean-Energy Plan Could be Hard Sell in AZ, Western States

By Mark Richardson   09/13/21  
President Joe Biden's $150 billion clean-energy plan aims to rid almost half of the power grid of carbon-based fuels by 2035, but conservationists say his proposal will likely see resistance from Western states with energy-production…
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USDA Invests in Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Help Arizona Rural Communities, Businesses, and Ag Producers Build Back Better

By Staff   09/13/21  
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs…
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Arizona Climate Activists Urge Congress To Pass Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan

By Tom Maxedon   09/10/21  
Environmentalists gathered at the state Capitol on Friday morning, urging Congress to pass President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan as part of his budget proposal. It would allocate $3.5 trillion in spending for climate change initiatives,…
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Babbitt Ranch wind farm breezes through county planning and zoning

By Adrian Skabelund   09/05/21  
Aproposed renewable energy project about 30 miles northwest of Flagstaff is one step closer to becoming reality after it was unanimously approved by the Coconino County Planning and Zoning Commission last month.
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‘Good fires’ gave forest managers a useful tool. Climate change may take it away

By Anton L. Delgado   09/03/21  
Plumes of smoke drifted across the sky, wispy columns that traced a path to a smattering of downed trees still smoldering in the wake of yet another wildfire.
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Federal judge throws out Trump administration rule allowing the draining and filling of streams, marshes and wetlands

By Dino Grandoni and Brady Dennise   08/31/21  
A federal judge Monday threw out a major Trump administration rule that scaled back federal protections for streams, marshes and wetlands across the United States, reversing one of the previous administration’s most significant environmental rollbacks.
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Valley climate leaders urge officials to help combat climate change

By Jorge Torres   08/27/21  
On Thursday, local climate leaders were at the Justa Center in Downtown Phoenix, calling on Arizona's elected officials to pass legislation that would help combat climate change.
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Arizona approves energy storage incentives for Tucson Electric customers

By David Wagman   08/24/21  
Arizona regulators approved a pair of incentive programs aimed at expanding residential energy storage use and community solar participation.
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Report: Arizona faces climate change disaster

By Peter Aleshire   08/24/21  
You can draw all of those conclusions from the latest United Nations Climate Assessment, a massive, 4,000-page study involving 200 scientists from 195 countries — in preparation for November’s world-wide climate summit.
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In a First, U.S. Declares Shortage on Colorado River, Forcing Water Cuts

By Henry Fountain   08/16/21  
With climate change and long-term drought continuing to take a toll on the Colorado River, the federal government on Monday for the first time declared a water shortage at Lake Mead, one of the river’s…
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Arizona 2050 clean energy mandate could increase utility bills nearly $60/month, study finds

Robert Walton   08/16/21  
An Arizona mandate to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050 could ultimately drive utility bills higher by about $60 a month, according to a new independent analysis from Ascend Analytics. However, the report and clean energy advocates warn…
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The Lost Canyon Under Lake Powell

By Elizabeth Kolbert   08/09/21  
The scope of the spending outlined by Democrats is vast, reflecting the party’s grand ambitions to grow the size and reach of the federal government to a level not seen in decades. The measure paves…
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Starving cows. Fallow farms. The Arizona drought is among the worst in the country

By Jaweed Kaleem   08/03/21  
“Can you even call this a farm?” asked Nancy Caywood, standing on a rural stretch of land her Texas grandfather settled nearly a century ago, drawn by cheap prices and feats of engineering that brought…
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Lessons from the Fight for the Grand Canyon

By Bill McKibben   07/20/21  
To float down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is to meander through geologic time. As you descend, the formations you pass include the Coconino Sandstone, the Redwall Limestone, the Bright Angel Shale—by the…
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Officials Pull ‘Emergency Lever’ as Lake Powell Plunges Toward Dangerous New Low

By Molly Taft   07/16/21  
The latest megadrought alarm bell just went off in the West. The Bureau of Reclamation began emergency water releases from reservoirs upstream in the Colorado River this week in an effort to keep Lake Powell, the country’s second-largest reservoir,…
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Flagstaff declares state of emergency as Arizona hit by devastating floods

By Oliver Milman   07/16/21  
Parts of Arizona have been hit with devastating flooding, with the city of Flagstaff declaring a state of emergency after being inundated with torrents of water that turned streets into murky, fast-running streams.
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Years of raging Arizona wildfires bring focus onto climate change, drought

By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy   06/28/21  
There are two dozen wildfires raging across Arizona that have burned more than 366,000 acres so far, putting this year’s wildfire season on a similar trajectory to the past two years — a trend that…
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Climate change made Arizona’s heat wave worse. And it won’t be the last one.

By Michael A. Crimmins   06/21/21  
For most Arizonans, June is the least favorite month. We anticipate the heat during the pleasant cooler months earlier in the year, but we can’t fully recall the experience of 105 or 110 degrees Fahrenheit…
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Mayor Gallego, Council Take Decisive Action On Climate

The City of Phoenix continues to lead in clean energy by adopting new rules to make it easier and more cost-effective for residents to install solar power.
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Extreme, record-setting heat wave underway in West as drought intensifies

By Matthew Cappucci and Jason Samenow   06/14/21  
An exceptional outbreak of extreme heat is set to engulf the West for much of the upcoming week, toppling records and bringing conditions that are extremely dangerous for some.
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Arizona tackles power cutoffs; food safety an important issue

By Cookson Beecher   06/14/21  
Knowing how harmful, or even deadly, extreme heat can be, the Arizona Corporation Commission last month approved tentative rules that would protect customers who haven’t paid their bills from having their electricity disconnected during periods…
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Heatwave brings warnings of asphalt burns from doctors in Arizona, Nevada

By Associated Press   06/14/21  
Doctors who work in Arizona and Nevada burn centers are warning of injuries from contact with super-heated roadways and other surfaces as the first extreme heat wave of the year extends across the U.S. West.
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Some Arizona golf courses are pushing back against the state’s plan to reduce water use

By Ian James   06/14/21  
Managers of some Arizona golf courses are fighting a plan that would cut water use at a time when the state is being forced to confront shrinking water supplies.
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American West Faces Wildfires And Water Shortages As Climate Change Amplifies Drought

By Robert Hart   06/11/21  
Arizona and Nevada are facing water shortages this year as Lake Mead, the country’s largest reservoir, falls to its lowest ever level, with large swathes of the American west facing an increased risk of wildfires…
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The Drought In The Western U.S. Is Getting Bad. Climate Change Is Making It Worse

By Lauren Sommer   06/09/21  
By almost every measure, the drought in the Western U.S. is already one for the record books.
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Pair of Arizona Wildfires Burns Tens of Thousands of Acres

By Daniel Victor   06/07/21  
A pair of wildfires in Arizona have burned tens of thousands of acres and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate, the latest in what experts fear will prove to be an unusually damaging and dangerous…
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Why Intel and TSMC are building water-dependent chip factories in one of the driest U.S. states

By Sam Shead   06/04/21  
The biggest semiconductor manufacturers in the world are quickly trying to build new factories as the global chip crisis continues to wreak havoc on a plethora of industries.
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Poll: Swing District Represented by Rep. O’Halleran Rate Climate Provisions of Infrastructure Plan Highly

By Ralph Posner   06/03/21  
A new poll released today revealed support for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal across the political spectrum in Arizona’s First Congressional District.
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The far right is weaponizing climate change to argue against immigration

By Jariel Arvin   06/03/21  
As the impacts of human-induced climate change become harder and harder to ignore, some on the right have moved away from denying it exists and toward a new strategy: blaming immigrants for contributing to the problem.
Read more