"For years now, Native American tribes have sought more protections for the federal lands in the Mojave Desert in southern Nevada that are central to their core beliefs about creation. But advocates say the effort took on new urgency as renewable energy developers eyed pieces of the same land for projects that could fit into the Biden administration’s push for clean electricity."
Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)
"A federal appeals court has sided with environmentalists, ruling that the U.S. government failed to consider the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the approval of nearly 200 drilling permits in an area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park."
"A company seeking to build an oilfield waste dump near wells and waterways in East Texas has showered regulators with upwards of $50,000 in political contributions since 2019." "McBride Operating LLC and owner Joseph McBride contributed to the political campaigns of the three sitting commissioners of the Texas Railroad Commission now considering his request."
"Over the past few years, as the U.S. organic market has surpassed $60 billion in sales, organic farmers, businesses, and advocates have been engaged in a heated debate about the strength and integrity of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic standards. Now, the agency has finally started taking action to address some of the loopholes long pointed to by advocates."
"A Texas Tribune analysis of state data found that at least 268 people in Texas were killed by heat last year, and a large portion of those deaths were likely migrants who died after crossing the border."
"A top water expert at Arizona State University began the year with a demand in a newspaper Op-Ed column directed at incoming Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs: Immediately release a state report on groundwater in Buckeye, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S."
"Joe McCue thought he had found a desert paradise when he bought one of the new stucco houses sprouting in the granite foothills of Rio Verde, Ariz. There were good schools, mountain views and cactus-spangled hiking trails out the back door. Then the water got cut off."
Water has always been a precious commodity in the western states. Now, with rapid population growth and a drying climate, the way this resource is shared and distributed is becoming more contentious across the region. Freelance journalist Jennifer Oldham talks about the tensions between supply and demand and how to drill down into water rights laws and policies.
"A U.S. judge serving as special master in the legal battle over management of the Rio Grande, one of North America’s longest rivers, has cleared the way for a proposed settlement to be made public."
"In the increasingly dry Southwest, drought and climate change pose a challenge for developers, who need to find creative ways to provide water supply to new communities."