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A special report on California’s cap-and-trade program, in collaboration with Earth Island Journal and Bay Nature magazine. It was made possible by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

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New 7/16/13: Public Press podcast: Reporter Chantal Jolagh reports on Gov. Jerry Brown’s raid on cap-and-trade funds to balance state budget.

Climate Change

State Looking to Require Cities to Plan for Rising Seas

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 19 2018 - 7:00am

California officials are taking their first, tentative steps toward requiring cities to plan for severe sea level rise that scientists now say could conceivably elevate high tides by up to 22 feet by the middle of the next century. A state-funded study recommends that local planners adopt a risk-averse approach to permitting developments such as hospitals and housing in areas that have even little chance of flooding in the coming decades.

Public Press Weekly: The Golden State, Tarnished

Michele Anderson, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 17 2018 - 8:55am

Climate change and global warming are threatening the planet, and the culprits are many, as are the proposed solutions. And some cities are even taking the alleged polluters to court. 

Public Press Weekly: Assessing the Costs of Wildfires

Michele Anderson, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 8 2018 - 1:00pm

Last fall's wildfires in the North Bay and Southern California continue to take a toll in the form of difficulties in getting insurance, housing shortages and rent hikes. 

Critics See Environmental Threats in State Rule Changes That Speed Housing

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 8 2017 - 8:00am

Some environmental advocates say long-standing state rules governing soil pollution, traffic congestion and flood control will be weakened by legislation pushed by Democratic lawmakers from San Francisco and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown that will  “streamline” land-use regulations to speed housing construction.

California’s Push for Affordable Housing Could Weaken Environmental Law

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 25 2017 - 3:11pm

The Legislature’s efforts to ease the housing-affordability crisis could chip away at longstanding protections in the state’s landmark environmental law. Two such bills were introduced by San Francisco lawmakers.

Local Planners Brace for Faster Antarctic Ice Melt

Kevin Stark and Ellyn Beale, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 20 2017 - 7:00am

Across California, policymakers and urban planners at every level of government are struggling with how to respond to new computer models that show massive ice sheets in Antarctica on the brink of collapse.

Visionary Solutions to Bayfront Inundation

Mary Catherine O'Connor, SF Public Press — Apr 20 2017 - 7:00am

Responding to sea level rise requires actions that fall into three categories: fortify infrastructure, accommodate higher water and retreat from the shoreline. Given the economic and cultural ties Bay Area residents have to the water — retreat is a hard sell.

By Weakening Law, Developers Shift Sea Rise Burden to Cities

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 19 2017 - 7:27am

Two years ago, the California Supreme Court overturned decades of land-use law by upholding lower court rulings that cities could no longer require developers to take into account the effects of climate change on their projects. That decision has unsettled public officials and planners, and critics say it will allow real estate interests to saddle taxpayers with a gigantic bill to defend against rising seas.

Emails Show How Flood Study Finally Became Public

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 19 2017 - 7:21am

Officials offer explanations for 18-month delay in releasing city-funded study that foresees serious climate-related flooding in Mission Bay in the decades ahead. The release followed a public-records request by the Public Press.

When Sea Level Rises, How Long Can Mission Rock Survive?

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 2 2015 - 1:51pm

Voters approved the Giants’ $1.6 billion waterfront development, but environmental questions linger about whether Mission Rock could be occasionally or permanently submerged as bay waters rise by many feet before the end of the 21st century.

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