"Government regulators Thursday granted California’s largest utility an unusual exemption that could allow the state’s last nuclear power plant to continue running after the expiration of its federal operating licenses, a key piece of a contentious proposal to keep the reactors producing electricity for years to come."
"Federal wildlife officials on Wednesday announced a proposal to classify one of two dwindling California spotted owl populations as endangered after a lawsuit by conservation groups required the government to reassess a Trump administration decision not to protect the brown and white birds."
"California's largest and most expensive environmental cleanup has failed to properly remove lead pollution from some homes and neighborhoods near a notorious battery recycler in southeast Los Angeles County, leaving residents at continued risk, a Los Angeles Times investigation shows."
"Against the backdrop of a severe drought linked with global warming, conservation advocates and Native Americans in California are calling for a temporary emergency stop to all surface water diversions from Mono Lake, contending that continuing to drain the watershed, along with the long-term drought, threaten critical ecosystems, as well as the Kootzaduka’a tribe’s cultural connection with the lake."
As part of our 2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment special report, we’ve got highlights from last week’s reporter panel on the year ahead, led by #SEJ2023 conference co-chair Tom Michael (pictured, left). The focus was largely on the U.S. West, where challenges abound over issues like equitable siting of renewable energy infrastructure, regulating natural gas, managing wildfires and addressing the health consequences of climate-driven heat waves. Read our account, plus check out the full 2023 Guide.
"The western Joshua tree won’t be listed as threatened — yet — as California’s Fish and Game Commission again delayed a decision Wednesday after a bill was proposed to provide protections to the native desert plant."
"Roughly 36.3 million dead trees were counted across California in 2022, a dramatic increase from previous years that experts are blaming on drought, insects and disease, according to a report by the U.S. Forest Service."
"In the last eight years there have been 535 mountain lions reported killed on California highways — a steady toll of one to two each week that scientists suggest may exceed the reproductive rate of increasingly isolated and inbred puma clans."
"As drought and climate change continue to wreak havoc on California’s water supply, an environmental advocacy group is calling on the state to limit the cultivation of thirsty crops like almonds and alfalfa, saying the agriculture industry is guzzling most of the state’s supplies at the expense of residents."
Iconic critters like salmon, orca and wolves. Climate controversies like natural gas greenwashing and carbon auctions. And wildfire fallout like “smoke-a-geddon.” These are just some of the wide array of stories worth covering as environmental journalists scan Cascadia, the huge area encompassing Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and stretching from Alaska to Utah. This special TipSheet, part of our 2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment, outlines top issues in the region, offering insights, resources and story angles.