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White House turns to California desert for lithium boost

Seeking to break China’s monopoly of the lithium battery market, the Biden administration awarded $35 million to boost a mining operation in California and help reduce America’s reliance on China, while also touting a separate planned extraction project and battery recycling plant.... Read more»

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California’s drought reckoning could offer lessons for the West

A California conservation law being implemented over the next two decades, along with a range of actions by communities, provide a preview of difficult policy choices communities across the West will have to grapple with as climate change pushes water shortages to crisis levels.... Read more»

Oil from Amazon rainforest goes to California refineries, airlines, retailers & fleets

A new report has pinpointed California as the destination for half of the oil drilled in the environmentally fragile Amazon rainforest, just one day after a high court in Ecuador overruled a resource extraction project that violated the constitutional rights of nature.... Read more»

Biden announces partnership with California on port upgrades

To prevent shipping logjams that have recently stymied the country’s supply chain, the Biden administration and California officials said Thursday that billions in infrastructure improvements are being fast-tracked for the state’s largest ports. ... Read more»

Sniffing out the waves: Doggy surfing contest brings smiles to spectators

For five hours on Sept. 25, a few hundred– two- and four-legged alike – came to watch from the beach a mile north of the U.S. Open for Surfing, and the winners of the Surf City Surf Dog contest were clear: Everyone who was riding a board or watching from the beach.... Read more»

Disinformation may be the new normal, election officials fear

The lies about election fraud, which range from false claims about the winner of the 2020 presidential race to accusations about this month’s California recall process, have state and local election officials worried about the future. ... Read more»

Analysis

Western fires are burning higher in the mountains and at unprecedented rates as the climate warms

The Western U.S. is experiencing another severe fire season, and a recent study shows that even high mountain areas once considered too wet to burn are at increasing risk as the climate warms.... Read more»

Dominion Voting Systems sues Santa Clara County to block release of public records

Dominion Voting Systems filed a writ of mandate Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court to prevent the county from releasing financial information gathered during a contract procurement process - including one request made by a “sovereign citizen of New California.” ... Read more»

Feds confirm Colorado River shortage, water allocation cuts coming in 2022

Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will get less Colorado River water next year after the Bureau of Reclamation on Monday released a key monthly report that determines river water allocations for the coming year. ... Read more»

California to require all healthcare workers to get vaccinated

As COVID-19’s Delta variant picks up steam across the state, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that in addition to mandating state workers get vaccinated or receive weekly testing, the state will now require all healthcare workers be vaccinated by Sept. 30. ... Read more»

USDA chief calls for overhaul of forest management in western states

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the federal government needs to do a better job of forest management after viewing damage from the million-acre August Complex fire - a rare admission in an era where climate change receives the brunt of the blame for the spate of wildfires. ... Read more»

Analysis

How years of fighting every wildfire helped fuel the Western megafires of today

Climate change is a big part of why wildfires are getting worse, but active fire suppression contributes to what is often referred to as the wildland fire paradox – the more we prevent fires in the short term, the worse wildfires become when they return.... Read more»

Smoke from western wildfires drifts to Midwest & East Coast

Smoke from fires along the West Coast has created hazy conditions throughout the country this week, which experts say could become a regular occurrence as climate change fuels larger wildfires. ... Read more»

Numerous fires burn even as western U.S. evades widespread devastation

Despite the inordinate number of fires burning across America’s heat-afflicted West, communities have managed to evade death and destruction so far, but experts warn conditions appear conducive to a severe fire season as the summer deepens into fall. ... Read more»

Arizona readies for cuts in Colorado River water allocation

Leaders from Reclamation, the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project, which delivers much of the state’s share of the river to more than half its residents, offered a glimpse Thursday of where Arizona stands with the shortage looming.... Read more»

Western Monarch butterflies take an astonishing step closer to extinction

An astonishingly few butterflies were found during an impromptu census tests insect populations' resiliency. Or are they butterflies really fish?... Read more»

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