Environment

Timber Tax Cuts Cost Oregon Towns Billions. Then Polluted Water Drove Up the Price.

Rural communities in Oregon paid millions of dollars for clean, safe drinking water because the state didn’t protect their watersheds from logging-related contamination.

Texas' Move to Control Coal Ash Pollution Could Shield Industry from Tougher Rules Under Biden-led EPA

Texas is close to finalizing a years-long effort to wrangle control of coal ash pollution from the EPA, a move that could, for a time, keep coal companies insulated from tougher rules expected from the next administration.

Landmark Climate Policy Faces Growing Claims of Environmental Racism

Concerns about California’s cap-and-trade program derailed a likely EPA chief.

Florida to Take Over Wetlands Permitting from Feds

It will be only the third state granted such authority. Environmentalists in Florida say the state doesn’t have the resources to assume these responsibilities.

Atlantic City Auctions Off Right to Push Button on Trump Casino Demolition

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Massachusetts contemplates lobster restrictions to save whales … Country music star was paid $1.7 million to perform at Texas governor’s inaugural ball … Kansas mayor resigned after mask threats.

The Largest Wildlife Bridge in the U.S. Opens in San Antonio

Both people and animals will have a safe crossing over a six-lane highway in the Texas city.

The Pandemic Created New Hunters. States Need to Keep Them.

“If we let them go next year, they're not going to be coming back.”

Federal Regulators Are Rewriting Environmental Rules So a Massive Pipeline Can Be Built

Federal regulators and West Virginia agencies are rewriting environmental rules again to pave the way for construction of a major natural gas pipeline across Appalachia, even after an appeals court blocked the pipeline for the second time.

Report: States Most Vulnerable to Climate Change Are Among the Least Prepared

New research suggests that states that are most vulnerable to the health effects of climate change—including flooding, food shortages and heat-related deaths and illnesses—have done the least to prepare to handle them.

Electric Cargo Bikes Are Debuting in City Fleets

Under a pilot program, parks employees in Portland, Oregon will conduct trail maintenance using zero-emission bikes that were specifically designed for municipal employees.

Once-Ignored Promises to Tribes Could Change the Environmental Landscape

The U.S. has largely ignored nearly 400 treaties with Native tribes.

Biden Will Face Limits Reversing Trump-Era Environmental Policies

Environmental groups want to see the president-elect roll back the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda and make progress on climate and other issues. But major legislation will be tough to pass and revamping rules will take time.

Rural Public Health Staff Strained by Covid Surge, Public Backlash

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Two Minnesota state senators switch from Democratic caucus to independents, citing polarization … Plans for historic dam removal moving ahead … Matthew McConaughey for Texas governor?

Invasive Weed Found in Michigan Grows Six Inches a Day

The mile-a-minute weed, discovered at a nature center in Albion, can persist in the soil for up to six years.

Report: The Country's Top Cities for Clean Energy Policy

New York City, Boston and Seattle top the 2020 Clean Energy Scorecard, which ranks 100 cities on local efforts to implement clean energy policy. But only 20 cities are on track to meet their own community climate goals.

In Santa Monica, City Hall Makes its Own Water, Power—and Goodwill

COMMENTARY | Municipal leaders can build new facilities that recycle water and generate power, as well as uplift staff and citizens.

The Insurance Industry Can Help States Act on Climate Change

COMMENTARY | States looking to act on climate change should consider partnering with the industry.

Oregon Wildfires Prompt Evacuation Advisories for About 500,000

About 1 million acres are burning in the state and people have been told to leave areas within 30 miles of Portland.

One Solution to California’s Blackouts? The World’s Biggest Battery.

As states move away from fossil-fuel energy, they are going to need increased battery storage to meet clean energy goals.