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San Joaquin County Environment Articles



Image caption: A beaver dam and pond in the eastern Sierra.
Beavers Can Help Stop Wildfires

Beavers create unburned islands where plants and animals can shelter from megafires, research has confirmed. A movement is afoot to reintroduce the rodents to the state's waterways.

Image caption: Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law

The California Environmental Quality Act, CEQA, is both the state’s signature environmental legislation, and is also often named as the villain in the state’s housing shortage. But the story may not be that simple.

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Silicon Valley Billionaires vs. Bay Area’s Housing Crisis?

In NYT’s “The Farmers Had What the Billionaires Wanted,” we meet a man who wants to build a city in the middle of nowhere, and folks who are slowing him down.

Image caption: The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land

How California’s 10 state conservancies buy up open land and shield it from developers to preserve the natural environment for public use.

Image caption: The roundabout joining Highway 12 and State Route 113 in Rio Vista, just south of the site for a proposed new city of 400,000 people.
Solano County May Get to Vote on New City in November

California Forever, the company behind a proposed new city in Solano County, will submit a ballot measure seeking an exemption from local laws to allow development on the massive project to proceed.

Image caption: The legislature's own analysts blasted new state water conservation rules as too strict and largely unjustified.
California’s New Water-Saving Regs Lack 'Compelling Justifications'

Even though California faces serious water shortages, the Legislature’s analysts recommend weaker outdoor conservation requirements and longer deadlines for urban water agencies.

Image caption: Long-duration energy storage, such as this thermal energy storage facility, allows renewable energy sources to operate at full capacity without overloading the power grid.
How California Leads the Race For Long Duration Energy Storage

Long-duration energy storage is essential if renewables are to become the basis for a future, carbon-neutral power grid. Here's how California is leading the race to store energy from solar, wind, and other clean sources for use whenever it's needed.

Image caption: The town of Temarry, Mexico, is home to a processing plant that receives toxic waste from north of the border.
How California Dumps Hazardous Waste on a Mexican Town

An investigative report shows how California companies and governments avoid the Golden State’s strict environmental regulations by shipping toxic waste across state borders. New reporting shows how California exports the risk to Mexico.

Image caption: California is a nationwide leader in the transition to clean energy, but Big Oil still wins most its battles in the legislature.
Big Oil is Still a Big Winner Even in 'Green' California

Two-thirds of the bills opposed by the oil industry this year were killed, thanks in part to an alliance with the building trades union, forcing Democrats to sometimes choose between jobs and the environment.

Image caption: Funding for California's roads and highways could be a casualty of the transition to electric vehicles.
EV Transition Threatens Roads With Drastic Gas Tax Revenue Cut

As the state battles climate change and Californians drive fewer gas-powered cars, tax revenue will drop substantially, according to a new state analysis. EV fees will make up only part of the transportation shortfall so lawmakers need new funding options.

Image caption: Ocean waves may be good for more than surfing. They may play a role in reducing California's greenhouse gas emissions.
California Looks to Ocean Waves For New Clean Energy Source

Only a few small demonstration projects off the West Coast have harnessed the power of waves and tides. Costs are high and hurdles are challenging.

Image caption: Almost half of all low-income Black adults in California experience food insecurity.
Hunger and Food Insecurity in California: What It Is, What to Do About It

Hunger and food insecurity have become persistent problems in California. With the world’s fifth-largest economy, what steps can we take to make sure that everyone has enough to eat?

Image caption: Even as the state has set ambitious clean energy goals, California is once again slashing incentives for rooftop solar power.
California Slashes Rooftop Solar Incentives—Again

The utilities commission reduced payments to apartments, schools and businesses selling solar power to the grid despite a barrage of criticism. Commissioners say it reverses unfair subsidies.

Image caption: Lobbyists have been big spenders in 2023, with oil companies alone spreading around more than $15 million.
Led by Oil Companies, Lobbyists Flood State Govt With Cash

By the end of September 2023, more than $358 million had been spent this year on lobbying California’s Legislature, agencies, and Public Utilities Commission.

Image caption: There’s no “magic solution” to the state’s homeowner fire insurance crisis, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s office says.
Despite Promises, Homeowners Still Face Fire Insurance Crisis

While state regulators craft new regulations and consult with the insurance industry, many Californians are paying extra-high premiums—or going without insurance entirely.

Image caption: Californians continue to set clocks back every fall, and ahead each spring.
Daylight Saving Time, Explained

After a 2018 vote authorizing the state legislature to make daylight saving time year-round, Californians are still changing their clocks twice per year. How did we get here?

Image caption: Warehouse storage is just one aspect of the highly complex logistics industry that keeps supply chains running.
Logistics: the Crucial Industry You’ve Never Heard Of

Logistics is one of the largest industries in California and keeps the state economy running. But it also comes with a heavy cost to the environment. Here are the facts on the most important industry you don't know much about, …

Image caption: Since 1972, the California Coastal Commission has ruled over the state’s shoreline.
California Coastal Commission: Where It Comes From, What It Does

What is the California Coastal Commission? How one of the state’s most powerful agency protects public access to the state’s scenic coast from Mexico to Oregon.

Image caption: There is a wind-turbine arms race underway in China, which already manufactures windmills whose blades sweep an area the size of 10 football fields per spin.
Wind Turbine Developments off Central Coast on ‘Fast Track’

Ocean wind farms are essential to electrify California’s grid with 100% clean energy. But they’re a giant, costly experiment—no one knows how hundreds of towering turbines will transform the remote North Coast.

Image caption: Conservation director Bryan Largay helps the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County choose its priorities.
A Conversation with California Conservationist Bryan Largay

The conservation director of Land Trust of Santa Cruz talks about the highlights of his work, and some of the issues he sees in maintaining California’s parks.

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