Chevron CEO Blasts California Environmental Laws Governor Touts

As Governor Jerry Brown is in Paris urging other political leaders to follow his lead in curbing global warming, the chief executive of California’s largest oil company said the state’s policies “unambiguously raise energy costs and do nothing about greenhouse-gas emissions.”

Dec 11, 2015 James Nash
(Marita Madeloni of Madeloni Photography)

Sacramento Urban Farmer to Start Food Academy after Visit to Milan

South Sacramento urban farmer, Chanowk Yisrael, wants to see local food systems improve. Eight years ago, he started growing organic food for his family and eventually launched the Yisrael Family Urban Farm in Sacramento’s historic Oak Park neighborhood. Now, he’s expanding that vision to motivate Sacramento youth to become more engaged in changing our local food system — announcing today that he’ll be partnering with Slow Food Sacramento to charter the city’s first Food Academy.

Dec 10, 2015 Amber Stott

Biomass Energy Produces Clean Energy and Improves Forest Health

There is growing momentum to build a strong, sustainable biomass energy infrastructure in California — great news for our environment and our forests. But in the meantime, many facilities are struggling to survive, and changes are needed to guarantee a stable future for this important green energy industry.

Oct 26, 2015 David Bischel

Dirty Water

Wastewater injection in the San Joaquin Valley threatens farmland

Tom Frantz has the sierra mountains to thank for his livelihood, since the snowmelt that runs off the peaks eventually sinks into the ground and, over time, descends into the natural underground reservoirs of the Central Valley. In drier years, Frantz gets most of his water from wells that tap into this aquifer.  But the water, Frantz says, is being poisoned.

Oct 22, 2015 Alastair Bland
(Photo: courtesy of Full Belly Farm)

Harvesting a Heritage

At Full Belly Farms, succession hinges on the creativity of younger generations

Every week, 330 American farmers leave their land for good. And as an aging population of baby-boomer farmers retire, their jobs aren’t being filled quickly enough. Only six percent of all farmers are under the age of 35. But as the national food movement strengthens, will we see a return to farming? What about the children of these aging farmers — will they love their farm land or leave it?

Sep 23, 2015 Amber Stott

California Fears El Nino’s Dark Side Will Bring More Trouble

El Nino may likely not end the state’s 4-year drought. Imagine instead a darker scenario, where the weather-changing phenomenon adds another year of dryness in the north while ravaging the south with floods. “What do you say when the governor asks you what to do? ‘You prepare for flood and drought because there is a possibility you can get both,”’ said Mike Anderson, state climatologist.

Sep 18, 2015 Brian K. Sullivan

University of California Sells $200 Million Fossil Fuel Holdings

Students representing the university’s 10 campuses have protested and collected petitions urging the school to divest from fossil fuels that include coal and oil sands, a mix of sand, clay, water and a heavy oil called bitumen. Fossil Free UC, a coalition of students, faculty, staff and alumni has asked the university to adopt a five-year plan to freeze new fossil fuel investments.

Sep 15, 2015 Janet Lorin & Lauren Streib

Are Californians absorbing the state’s water message?

The state’s top water cop on the challenges CA is up against

After years of drought and increasing government demands to cut water use and allow lawns to fade, the Golden State moniker is taking on new meaning. It has fallen to Felicia Marcus, Gov. Brown’s appointee to the head of the State Water Resources Board, to set the water-use rules for farmers, water districts, homeowners and everyone else. We sat down with the state’s top water cop to better understand the challenges she’s up against and the messages her office is communicating.

Sep 10, 2015 Rich Ehisen

Power Grab

California’s record drought may be a boon to power companies

California is in the fourth year of an unprecedented drought, with rivers and reservoirs running dry. The energy needed to help grow crops, including about 2 billion pounds of almonds annually, may reach a record this year, and utilities are responding by building new transmission lines and substations to handle the additional electricity.

Sep 9, 2015 Jonathan N. Crawford & Kelly Gilblom

A Tall Order

Tree maintenance is a must for property owners

The sickening, wooden crack of a falling tree can strike fear into the hearts of property owners. Maybe that’s true for anyone within a certain radius of the falling tree, but property owners have a more specific concern: They could be liable for thousands of dollars in damage to cars, or even lives. 

Aug 19, 2015 Robin Epley