Water, the West, and the Clean Power Plan

June 2, 2015 by Tom Plant

Water and EPA Regulations

While much of the attention related to EPA’s Clean Power Plan is focused, appropriately, on the emissions and economic benefits of the new standards, a report just released by the CNA Corporation identified another benefit that may end up being worth more than all the other impacts combined: water.[read more]

Climate Change Drying Out Southwest Now, With Worse To Come For A Third Of The Planet

April 17, 2014 by Joseph Romm

Southwest Drying Out

Two new studies confirm that warming-driven climate change is already drying the U.S. Southwest and other parts of the globe. More worrisome, nearly a third of the world’s land faces drying from rising greenhouse gases — including two of the world’s greatest agricultural centers.[read more]

New Laws and Leadership Cultivate Green Building in Southwest

There’s something happening in those dry Southwestern mountains. The benefits of healthy, efficient and low-impact buildings are on the minds of builders, and lawmakers are taking action.[read more]

Climate Change May Dry Up Important U.S. Reservoirs

February 26, 2013 by Joseph Romm

As climate change makes the regions of the West, Southwest, and Great Plains warmer and drier, water demand will continue to increase, and the combined effect will place an ever greater burden on the country’s fresh water supplies.[read more]


Arizona: Climate Impact Ground Zero?

January 19, 2012 by David Lewis

"A Great Aridness:  Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest", the recent book written by William deBuys, is getting some attention. The NYTimes summed up the book by quoting the author:  "The story of the West is essentially a story about water".  The reporter paused then quoted deBuys again:  "and its...[read more]

Is Mount Everest the Best Place for Solar Power?

October 13, 2011 by Geoffrey Styles

A new study on the impact of regional temperature differences on solar generating potential arrives at some surprising conclusions about the world's best locations for solar power. While the US desert southwest still ranks high, as you'd expect, it turns out that some of the best sites may be in places most of us would never suspect,...[read more]

FERC: “Weather-Related Causes” Explain Power Supply Problems During 2011's Extreme Winter

August 18, 2011 by Michael Giberson

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) have issued their report on the events surrounding electric power and natural gas supply interruptions around the Southwest United States in early February, 2001. The culprit? According to the press release: “the task force...[read more]

Dust Storm Gives Phoenix A Preview of Mega-Drought

July 6, 2011 by Jonathan Smith

This blog before noted that over the last decade the Southwest U.S. has suffered the sharpest temperature increase on the continent. Brad Johnson now reports on a dust storm up to 50 miles wide and a mile high that “descended on the Phoenix area. “We heard from a lot of people who lived here for a number of storms and this was...[read more]

Interior Secretary Salazar, Senator Reid announce ‘Fast-Track’ initiatives for up to 100,000 MW of solar energy development on Western lands

July 6, 2009 by Joseph Romm

The Bureau of Land Management has nearly 160 active solar project applications, “with a projected capacity to generate 97,000 megawatts of electricity” — equal to nearly 30% of the nation’s household electrical consumption.  Last week, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced a...[read more]