California Has Little Say Over Oil Train Safety07/21/14
The state can't set speed limits on trains. It can't tell railroads to choose less hazardous routes. It can't tell oil companies not to bring trains carrying volatile crude through cities.
Anti-Fracking Activists in California Take Fight to County Ballots
Activists are hoping local residents will do what state legislators haven’t done -- shut down the controversial oil production technique known as hydraulic fracturing.
New Way to Save Endangered Species: Make Predators Puke
Marbled murrelets are rare seabirds that lay just one egg a year, and those eggs are a favorite food item for another bird: Steller’s jays. Scientists are hoping to trick the jays into avoiding the murrelet eggs using decoy eggs with a rude surprise...
Drought Lessons From Down Under
Australia's nine-year "millennial drought" transformed attitudes toward water. Could California duplicate the gains without the pain?
As Water Prices Soar, Some Profit From California’s Drought
Fights are breaking out over controversial water sales. Some farmers say they need the water to keep trees alive, while others say groundwater pumping depletes supplies for neighboring farms, and could threaten California's already-stressed aquifers.
California Drought Dries Up Honey Supply
Mountain meadows that would normally be covered with wildflowers have nothing to offer the bees this year, as the flowers lie dormant in the drought. Beekeepers are looking at drastically reduced production, and in some cases are just trying to keep...
Saline Shortage Plagues Hospitals
Hospitals use saline for everything from wound care to surgeries, but it could be next year before drug companies can catch up with demand. Turns out, it's not as simple to manufacture salty water as you might think.
Drought Drives Drilling Frenzy for Groundwater in California
The unrestrained race to drill new wells could put California's biggest water source in jeopardy.
Veterans of Long-Past Wars Find Hope in PTSD Diagnosis
More than a quarter-million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, but younger vets aren't the only ones dealing with it. Even today, veterans from conflicts as far back as World War II...
California Wildfires: Training for a Tough Season
Seasonal firefighters started training months earlier than usual this year. It may seem like common sense that it's dry out there, but there is a science to knowing how dry, and to knowing when the threat of wildfire is at its worst.
For San Francisco Bone Collector, Skulls Are a Lifelong Love Affair
San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences opens a skull exhibit this week, featuring the work of Ray Bandar, a man who has devoted 60 years to cleaning the skulls and bones of some of California's most beloved animals.
Consumer Gene Tests Face Uncertain Future
Personal genetics companies that offer health insights are working to satisfy federal regulators and keep up with changing science.
True Water Restrictions Rare, Even in California's Record-Breaking...
With California deep in a drought, communities are cracking down on water wasters, right? Demanding that residents take shorter showers and stop watering their lawns? Not exactly.
Drones: The Newest Water-Saving Tool for Parched Farms
Farmers are looking to the sky for the latest water-saving tool. But will aviation authorities allow it?
Chevron Tries Again With Richmond Refinery Revamp
Chevron is looking to launch a billion-dollar construction project at its Richmond refinery. It’s a slimmed down version of a project that environmentalists stopped with a lawsuit a few years ago.
California Farmers Look to Oil Industry for Water
As water supplies tighten for California farmers, some are looking to an unlikely new source: a water recycling project in one of the state's oldest oil fields.
With Drought, New Scrutiny Over Fracking's Water Use
The drought is putting a spotlight on water use around California, including for hydraulic fracturing. How much water does fracking use and will it increase as companies tap into the Monterey Shale, estimated to be the largest oil resource in country?
NASA Sends Fruit Flies to Space to Prep for Mars Missions
Getting sick in space is no picnic. So scientists are sending bugs to the International Space Station, hoping to better predict some of the physical challenges that may befall astronauts when NASA eventually sends the first human mission to Mars.
How Corrosive Water off the West Coast Threatens the Food Chain
Earlier this year, managers at a hatchery near Vancouver, Canada said they lost three years' worth of scallops -- 10 million animals -- to acidic waters. Ocean acidification is worse off the West Coast than anywhere else in North America.
Why Distant Dust Storms Matter to California Rainfall
Scientists are finding that dust storms in Asia and Africa influence how much snow falls in the Sierra Nevada. The research could help make weather forecasting more accurate and improve how California manages its water supply.
- San Francisco, CA