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Blog Posts: california

  • Drought Is Only One Explanation for California’s Water Crisis

    As California lawmakers move forward with potential solutions to the state’s current water shortage, it’s important to consider the full context of underlying reasons for California’s water vulnerability.

    Our research shows that about 66 percent of the state’s irrigated agriculture—its biggest water user—faces extremely high levels of baseline water stress. This means that more than 80 percent of the available water supply is already being used by farms, homes, businesses, and energy producers. It’s clear that even without drought, the state would be in trouble.

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  • Amidst California’s Drought, an Opportunity for Action

    As news of California’s epic drought continues to reverberate around the nation, a meeting today may offer some hope. The President’s Task Force on Climate Resilience and Preparedness will convene in Los Angeles, California today for the next round of meetings to determine ways the federal government can assist local efforts to address and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The group represents a significant opportunity to bridge the gap between local and federal climate action.

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  • California’s Cap-and-Trade Program Makes Encouraging Headway

    As the federal government gets started implementing a national Climate Action Plan, the country’s boldest state-level experiment is making strong progress. Yesterday, California announced the results of its latest auction of carbon pollution permits, completely selling out of its permits for future carbon pollution for the first time. The increased demand for these pollution permits reflects an encouraging development: Confidence in California’s climate action program is growing, and its long-term future is becoming more and more certain.

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  • A Look Back at U.S. Climate Policy in 2011

    As the year winds down, it’s a good time to take stock of climate policy in the United States. Here’s a quick round up of what happened -- or didn’t happen -- in 2011.

    The year began with big questions about what the Obama Administration and states would do to address climate change and clean energy, absent a comprehensive federal climate policy. This year’s record was decidedly mixed. Not as much happened as some would have liked, but it was in total better than many feared as the year began.

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  • With Federal Climate Policy Stuck in Neutral, California Moves Ahead

    While there has been little progress on national climate policy this year, California has quietly continued to make strides in implementing its comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction program. Last month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to finalize the regulations instituting California’s new greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. This program is one key element of California’s comprehensive program to implement the Global Warming Solutions Act (or AB 32), which was signed into law in 2006 by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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