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Environment

The state recently passed a clean energy package that will require the two largest utilities to provide 100 percent clean electricity by 2040. But the utilities don’t have a plan as to how they will achieve the ambitious goal.
Congress continues to debate how to replace revenue from the long-term decline in the gas tax. Meanwhile, some states have upped the registration fees for EVs and a few experiment with a vehicle-miles-traveled tax.
Wildfires aren’t caused by forests, but the default approach to fire prevention is to clear them. Climate may be the real problem, and preserving trees a big part of the solution.
Gov. Gavin Newsom requested that residents voluntarily reduce their water usage by 15 percent as the drought worsens. Some wonder if state officials should mandate water restrictions while others think it’s unnecessary.
A new study found that adopting electric vehicles more quickly and increasing the amount of renewable energy could nearly eliminate CO2 emissions from passenger and freight vehicles on Oahu by 2050.
The California governor has asked residents to voluntarily cut their water use by 15 percent as a heat wave exacerbates the state’s drought conditions. Nearly every Bay Area county has enacted an emergency drought declaration.
The $3.4 billion contract with the Sacramento-based company will begin in 2024 and provide Amtrak with at least 73 new hybrid battery trains. Siemens Mobility claims the new trains will increase sustainability and comfort.
The transportation sector accounts for 29 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and switching freight trains from diesel to electricity could significantly reduce that measure. But officials predict the changeover could be costly.
In a major shift, groundwater, once considered private and free, is now labeled as a shared resource, according to state law. Aquifer managers must submit sustainability plans and use meters as drought conditions worsen.
The Industrial Development and Export Authority approved as much as $1.5 million for seismic oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but the agency’s leases have been suspended by the Biden administration.