Report: A combination of factors caused California's rolling blackouts in August
A report from three key state groups analyzing what caused a pair of blackouts in mid-August largely conformed to reasons previously cited by California’s grid operator — that a combination of factors, including a sweltering heatwave, pushed the state’s power system to its edge, leading to the first statewide outages in nearly 20 years.“The extreme heat storm in August was an extraordinary 1-in-35-year event that, with climate change, is unfortunately becoming more common,” Marybel Batjer, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, said in a statement.After two straight days of r...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Rising waters threaten Great Lakes communities
Along a shoreline that stretches farther than the combined length of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, waters driven by climate change have risen as much as 6 feet in less than a decade, washing away houses, destroying roads and threatening critical infrastructure such as water treatment plants in towns large and small.The ongoing disaster striking the coastal communities of the Great Lakes hasn’t captured national attention like hurricanes and wildfires in other parts of the country. But from Duluth to Chicago to Cleveland to Buffalo, leaders are reeling from untold billions in damage — and th...
Ameren announces plans to reach 'net-zero' carbon emissions by 2050, and spend billions on renewable energy
ST. LOUIS — Ameren announced Monday that it intends to invest $8 billion in renewable energy projects over the next two decades, and will accelerate its plans to reduce carbon emissions and retire a pair of coal-fired power plants — reaching “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050.The company’s two largest coal plants, though, will still run until the late 2030s and early 2040s.The moves mark significant progress for the utility and an acknowledgment that it needs to make big changes, some outside experts said, as costs for renewable energy drop dramatically. It’s an increasingly familiar playbook...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
'It's almost a joke': In rural California, governor's gas-powered car ban is a stretch
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It’s a long drive to just about anywhere Gary Wright needs to go. A rancher in the far northeastern corner of California, he sometimes has to drive nearly 100 miles, one-way, to get to where his cattle graze. It’s 36 miles to Klamath Falls, Oregon, for a significant errand run.There are only a few gas stations along the routes through the forests and high deserts in Modoc County — let alone electric vehicle charging stations. There are none near the rangeland where Wright’s cattle graze.So he was baffled when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that California would requ...
The Sacramento Bee
California passes first-in-nation plastics recycling law
In a move aimed at reducing huge amounts of plastic litter in the oceans, along roadways and other parts of the state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a first-in-the-nation law requiring plastic beverage containers to contain an increasing amount of recycled material.Under it, companies that produce everything from sports drinks to soda to bottled water must use 15% recycled plastic in their bottles by 2022, 25% recycled plastic by 2025, and 50% recycled plastic by 2030.Supporters of the new law say it will help increase demand for recycled plastic, curb litter and reduce consumption o...
The Mercury News
Editorial: Trump's UN (campaign) address
President Donald Trump gave a Tuesday campaign speech that blasted Beijing’s COVID-19 culpability, lauded his administration’s response to the pandemic and celebrated America’s abdication of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal.No, Trump wasn’t rallying supporters in a swing state. His address, delivered remotely, was to the United Nations General Assembly. But to both ally and adversary alike, it was clear that Trump’s rhetoric was for domestic political purposes rather than diplomatic outreach.Trump began in the U.N. spirit when he said, “We are once again engaged in a great gl...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Jay Ambrose: Common sense can beat climate change
The wildfires in the West have burned up millions of acres, taken dozens of lives, destroyed thousands of homes, cost enormous amounts of money to combat and, yes, they are connected to climate change. For years, it has been getting hotter out West with cruel droughts becoming crueler, and some of this is surely linked to CO2 in the atmosphere reflecting earthly heat back to the Earth.But a much, much bigger cause of the horrific blazes, mainly in California, Oregon and Washington, is failed forest management, and there’s a lesson here, namely that climate change itself is just maybe less to b...
Tribune News Service
Plan to send LNG trains through Philly to S. Jersey port sparks outrage from residents, environmentalists
Environmentalists have stepped up alarms about a major fuel export terminal in South Jersey that they say will accelerate Pennsylvania fracking, worsen climate change, and attract 100-car trains carrying dangerous liquefied natural gas across Philadelphia.A plan to build the Gibbstown Logistics Center in Gloucester County, N.J., just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia International Airport, appears to be coming to a head by the end of the year. A hearing examiner and the staff of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) have recommended approving permits to dredge the river and to b...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Open-ocean fish farm proposed off San Diego coast could be first in federal waters
SAN DIEGO — A prestigious San Diego research institute and a Long Beach social benefit investment group are teaming to create what could be the first fish farm in federal waters.The proposed farm, Pacific Ocean AquaFarm, would be located about four miles offshore of San Diego and would generate 5,000 metric tons of sushi-grade yellowfish each year — enough for 11 million servings of the popular seafood.A partnership between Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and Pacific6 Enterprise, the project also would create a diversity of economic opportunities and provide a local source for a fish that is...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
California may need more fire to fix its wildfire problem
WASHINGTON — California is supposed to burn.Before settlers populated the region in the 1800s, about 5 to 12% of the land that now makes up the Golden State caught fire each year — more than has burned so far in 2020, the most destructive year in modern history. Some of the historic fires were caused by lightning and others were set by Native Americans as a land-management tool, but they mostly burned with low intensity and touched much of the state with great regularity.But after more than a century of aggressive fire suppression, California’s vegetation has grown much denser than the fire-ad...