Julie Cart: SEAL Award Winner 2018

A selection of this year’s best environmental journalism

How Trump’s Solar Tax Could Affect California’s Energy Plans

The solar industry is a key player in California, with manufacturing and installation companies based here and thousands of jobs dependent on what is the fastest-growing energy sector. Source: CALmatters (Approx. 3 Minutes)

California Sues Trump Administration For Canceling Fracking Rules

In 2015, California adopted strict fracking rules for oil operations on state land, also requiring comprehensive disclosure of chemicals used in the process. The state released an environmental impact report concluding that fracking could have “significant and unavoidable impacts” on a number of fronts, including water and air quality, greenhouse-gas emissions and public safety. Source: CALmatters (Approx. 3 Minutes)

Court Orders Trump Administration To Comply With Clean Air Laws

A federal court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must identify regions of the country that exceed federal smog levels, giving another win to California and other states that sued to compel the regulator to enforce the Clean Air Act. Source: CALmatters (Approx. 3 Minutes)

California Sues Trump Administration Over Water Protection

California has joined a group of states suing two federal agencies for suspending a 2015 rule that extended the definition of streams and wetlands entitled to protection under the Clean Water Act. Source: CALmatters (Approx. 3 Minutes)

Putting Trees To Work In California’s Sierra Nevada

As California redoubles its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, officials are rooting around for new ways to meet the state’s goals. Included in their plan: recruiting billions of redwood, oak and pine trees to help diminish planet-warming gases by pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Source: CALmatters (Approx. 5 Minutes)

California Fights Wildfires, But Prevention Takes A Back Seat

California is grappling with the counterintuitive dilemma of too many trees, packed too closely together, robbed of the space they need to thrive. Curing these unhealthy forests is both difficult and expensive, and as with human health, prevention is far less costly than treatment. But these days the state firefighting agency, Cal Fire, spends the bulk of its resources battling fires rather than preventive measures. Source: CALmatters (Approx. 6 Minutes)

As California Burns, Climate Goals May Go Up in Smoke, Even After The Flames Are Out

As crews across California battle more than a dozen wildfires, the blazes are spewing enough carbon into the air to undo some of the good done by the state’s climate policies. What’s even worse: Climate-warming compounds that will be released by the charred forests long after the fires are extinguished may do more to warm up the planet than the immediate harm from smoky air. Source: CALmatters (Approx. 4 Minutes)

A Blind Spot In Jerry Brown’s Worldview? Critics Say Yes, It’s Oil.

As state attorney general and then governor, Jerry Brown has championed regulations supporting clean energy, energy efficiency and a broad suite of laws aimed at reducing greenhouse gases that warm the planet. But some fault Governor Brown for a persistent and significant blind spot in his green worldview: oil. Source: CALmatters (Approx. 6 Minutes)

GreenReads: 
Your must-read guide to environmental issues, published by the SEAL Awards (an environmental advocacy organization that hosts environmental journalism awards and business sustainability awards)