climate


Photo: Patrick Dirden/Flickr

Why Wet Weather in California Now Doesn’t Equal Lots of Water for Californians Later

, Senior Climate Scientist

California has been blessed with a wet winter this year. At the time of publishing, most of the state is at or well above the historical average precipitation to date for this time of year and Sierra Nevada snowpack is at more than 140% of historical average. That’s been good news for the California plants, animals, and humans that rely on water to survive and recreate. But lots of precipitation now doesn’t necessarily mean that California will have lots of water when it needs it. That’s because what matters is not only how much water we get, but when and how we get it.

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Photo: Patrick Dirden/Flickr
CA Department of Water Resources
UCS
Singh et al., 2013
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Photo: Charles Edward Miller/Flickr

What to look for in Governor Pritzker’s Budget Address

, Energy policy analyst

On Wednesday Governor J.B. Pritzker will give his first budget address as Illinois’s 43rd Governor. This is a key opportunity for him to address the financial benefits of renewable energy and a pathway for Illinois to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity. It’s vital that his energy platform be an equitable path forward for the state. Here’s what we hope to see included. Read more >

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The Rush to Overbuild Gas-Fired Power

, Senior Energy Analyst

Carbon dioxide emissions rose in 2018, breaking a 3-year streak of year-on-year CO2 emission reductions. While many factors played a role in the emission increase, it was the country’s overreliance on natural gas-fired power plants that was the ultimate culprit for the uptick in 2018 electric sector emissions.

Looking forward, the latest data from a federal agency suggests that the electricity industry’s troubling trend to overbuild gas-fired power plants is only getting worse.

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UCS
Synapse Energy Economics
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Climate-Safe Infrastructure for All: California Working Group Report Provides Comprehensive Recommendations

, Western states senior climate analyst

Nearly two years ago, the Climate-Safe Infrastructure bill (AB 2800, Quirk, 2016) became law and established the Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group (CSIWG) to develop recommendations to the California legislature on how to build and design our infrastructure to be safer for Californians in the face of growing climate extremes. Since then, unprecedented wildfires and mudslides, record-breaking temperatures and precipitation have added an exclamation point to the importance of this group’s work in preparing our infrastructure to keep us safe, as we’ve experienced the risks and what’s at stake. Today, the CSIWG released its report, Paying it Forward: The Path Toward Climate-Safe Infrastructure in California, which recommends an ambitious and attainable path forward.

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CSIWG, Paying It Forward
CSIWG, Paying It Forward
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Rep. Steve Scalise and other ExxonMobil-funded House members routinely vote against a carbon tax despite the company’s avowed support for one. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

ExxonMobil’s Support for a Carbon Tax is a Sham

, senior writer

ExxonMobil executives just had another opportunity to convince skeptics that their support for a carbon tax is genuine. Yes, the company has consistently paid lip service to a carbon tax since 2009. And yes, it is a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council—which supports a $40 per ton carbon tax—and it recently endorsed Americans for Carbon Dividends, a new bipartisan lobby group promoting a carbon tax that would return revenues to taxpayers. But more telling is the fact that the oil giant has never publicly supported a carbon tax bill and consistently funds members of Congress who oppose a carbon tax. How does that square with the company’s avowed position? It doesn’t. Read more >

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