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The light-colored exposed 'bathtub ring' of formerly submerged shoreline in Lake Mead was already evident in this 2020 photo of the Hoover Dam and diminishing reservoir behind it.

The purchase of Vidler Water Company by D.R. Horton is a clear indication of where the West is headed, as the need grows to find creative new water supplies that will allow national builders to keep building even as regulators try to clamp down on unsustainable growth. Read more»

The 2015 Finger Rock Fire, seen burning in the Catalinas from Downtown Tucson, nearly 10 miles away. Tucson High School, the University of Arizona and Banner-University Medical Center are seen in the foreground.

High-intensity fires in western states kill mature trees and their seeds while warmer, drier conditions stress seedlings - but forest managers can still intervene to change this trajectory. Read more»

Tucson has spent millions on PFAS removal efforts at the Tucson Airport Remediation Project, or TARP, a plan to treat contaminated groundwater at wellfields in an area that’s been marked as a federal Superfund site.

PFAS have been around since the 1940s, and more than 120 different compounds have been found in wildlife - with some 330 species were affected, spanning nearly every continent - now, scientists are working to determine how these chemicals affect wild animals’ health. Read more»

Smoky conditions, similar to the haze covering San Francisco, continued in the Midwest and on the East Coast in 2021, as the West Coast fires continued to burn.

Scientists are finding in an ongoing study that despite the haze from far-off blazes, enough indirect sunlight was available to fuel the nation’s burgeoning solar panel industry in 2020 - good news as the U.S. government is seeking to quickly ramp up solar energy production. Read more»

The publicly-owned Salt River Project’s Coronado Generating Station -  set to shut down in the next decade - was one of six coal plants’ whose requests to keep dumping toxic ash into unlined or inadequately lined pits were denied. The Apache Generating Station was granted an extension.

The EPA denied the requests of six coal plants - including the Salt River Project’s Coronado Generating Station - to keep dumping toxic ash into unlined or inadequately lined pits, signaling the agency’s commitment to enforce the 2015 federal coal ash rules. Read more»

Heat pumps have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 500 million metric tons in 2030, equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions produced by all the cars in Europe today.

As the world faces yet another reckoning over energy supplies, several recent innovations aim to make 200-year-old heat pump science even more efficient than it already is, potentially opening the door for much greater adoption of the technology worldwide. Read more»

Global yields of corn could drop by as much as 24% by 2030, according to NASA’s news service, due to rising temperatures, shifts in rainfall patterns and 'elevated surface carbon dioxide concentrations from human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.'

Much of the very same land that is the source of diversity for our food lies in countries that are the most vulnerable to the destructive impacts of climate change - and that vulnerability rebounds into how much Americans pay for food. Read more»

Free water was destined to run out eventually. Facing this problem in the West will be difficult, considering that politics and culture have worked in tandem for so long to keep 'government' out of government-subsidized water.

Subsidized water cultivated the West, but to accommodate growth without limits as the population boomed, this required becoming increasingly profligate with the region’s scarcest resource. Read more»

The United States Council for International Business pushed back against any suggestion that there should be limits on corporate interests at the climate talks.

There are more than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists at the COP27 climate conference, a rise of more than 25% from last year and outnumbering any one frontline community affected by the climate crisis. Read more»

A series of symbolic moves on climate finance at COP27 suggests positive momentum could be starting to build on a pivotal issue at the UN summit in Egypt. Read more»

Some tribes, such as the Navajo Nation, have formed their own utilities to build infrastructure and control cost and rate structures.

From Arizona to Maine and beyond, a new generation of Indigenous entrepreneurs, activists and government leaders are making strides and money with clean energy as a way for Native people to regain control over their own energy decisions and continue to be stewards of the land. Read more»

A series of turquoise signs along southbound U.S. 89 near Tuba City proclaims the Navajo Nation’s resiliency. 'Resiliency is who we are. But we also need to reclaim it,' says Keith Howard, a wildlife technician with the tribal Climate Change Program.

Solutions on how to address the Navajo Nation’s water problem are hard to come by, not only because Arizona is using its full share of the Colorado River allotment, but because many traditional Navajo members don’t want the nation participating in the reservoir-based water system. Read more»

Many cities are homing in on urban heat islands to better understand the history and historic discrimination that has led to dramatically higher temperatures from neighborhood to neighborhood — and to tailor solutions to local realities.

Extreme heat kills more people each year than any other type of weather-related event, and those risks can be amplified in “heat islands” - predominantly located in low-income neighborhoods - and now, the federal government and some cities have begun to act. Read more»

IEI residential project on Standing Rock at the home of Tribal elders.

Indigenized Energy Initiative - a nonprofit established to help guide further solar development on Native lands - is working "to developing renewable energy as a means to mitigate climate change, eliminate poverty and restore sovereignty in Tribal communities." Read more»

From pipelines and dams to power plants and critical mineral mining, there are few industries or environments that NEPA doesn’t touch.

The tax reform and spending bill signed by President Joe Biden is also the country’s largest climate change investment, with what could be sweeping changes to the National Environmental Policy Act - the bedrock of environmental law - and the law’s critics cover the political spectrum. Read more»

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