Nine people are presumed dead in the crash of a helicopter fighting wildfire in Northern California.
"Los Angeles will abandon a plan to replace three aging gas power plants along its coast with newer natural gas technology and will instead invest in renewable energy as it seeks to move away from fossil fuels, the city’s mayor said on Tuesday."
"Gov. Gavin Newsom, diving into one of California’s most contentious water issues, said Tuesday he wants to downsize the Delta tunnels project. The Democratic governor also set out to overhaul state water policy by naming a new chair of the state’s water board."
"Pacific Gas and Electric said on Monday that it would seek bankruptcy protection as “the only viable option” as the giant California utility faces billions of dollars in liability claims from two years of deadly wildfires."
U.S. courts will be a key venue of environmental conflict in 2019, as the Trump administration pushes back against an extensive array of long-standing environmental law. This special edition Issue Backgrounder looks at seven key legal disputes, including cases involving climate change liability, intergenerational equity and policy, as well as conflicts over maintaining national monuments, defining which waters are subject to anti-pollution rules, disposing of coal ash and extending offshore drilling.
Expect the fight to worsen over the Trump Administration’s attempted rollback of auto mileage standards. Not only is California resisting a loss of its waiver to set tighter rules, joining at least 16 other states in a preemptive lawsuit. But carmakers themselves are deviating from the Trump line, worried over a fracturing of the nationwide auto market or seeking an edge in the field for more efficient vehicles. This special edition TipSheet looks at prospects for conflict in the year ahead.
"Joshua Tree National Park will be temporarily closed as of Thursday morning because of damage caused by visitors during the partial government shutdown. Park officials said few rangers are on hand to prevent off-road driving, which causes destruction of the park's namesake trees."
"Disaster officials say they need to start removing millions of tons of rubble from Paradise – and soon – so the town can begin recovering from the Camp Fire. That much is certain. The question is where to put the rubble."
"The U.S. government is going ahead with sharply higher catch limits next year for West Coast groundfish, citing a rebound in bottom-dwelling stocks once so depleted by over-fishing that commercial harvests were virtually halted 20 years ago."