Noteworthy News

Drought forecast to persist in much of U.S., especially the West
Much of the West continues to struggle with unusually dry conditions, raising the prospect of another year of wildfires, stunted crops and unnavigable stretches of river in various parts of the country, according to a federal assessment.
The Top 10 Smartest Cities In North America
Some cities are adding high-tech infrastructure. Some are implementing revolutionary sustainability plans. Others are fostering innovative business and science developments. But which city combines these qualities and others to be the smartest city? 
Iceland Looks to Export Power Bubbling From Below
Soon after work began here on a power plant to harness some of the vast reserves of energy stored at the earth’s crust, the ground moved and, along a six-mile-long fissure, began belching red-hot lava. The eruptions continued for nine years, prompting the construction of a stone and soil barrier to make sure that molten
Vast Oil Reserve May Now Be Within Reach, and Battle Heats Up
Secure in this state’s history and mythology, the venerable Midway-Sunset oil field near here keeps producing crude more than a century after Southern California’s oil boom. Many of its bobbing pump jacks are relatively short, a telltale sign of the shallowness of the wells and the ease of extracting their prize.
Obama Faces Risks in Pipeline Decision
President Obama faces a knotty decision in whether to approve the much-delayed Keystone oil pipeline: a choice between alienating environmental advocates who overwhelmingly supported his candidacy or causing a deep and perhaps lasting rift with Canada.
Seawater desalination plant might be just a drop in the bucket
Dreamers have long looked to the Pacific Ocean as the ultimate answer to California's water needs: an inexhaustible, drought-proof reservoir in the state's backyard. In the last decade, proposals for about 20 desalting plants have been discussed up and down the coast. 
China To Introduce Carbon Tax
In a step toward combating global warming, China announced earlier this week that it would implement a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, reports Xinhua, China's official state news agency.
Plan would bring wind power from the Great Plains to California
Philip Anschutz hopes to import thousands of megawatts from a massive wind farm in Wyoming. California officials are skeptical.
China's smog taints economy, health
Factories, flights, highways and hospitals are affected by pervasive pollution. The country is home to seven of the world's 10 dirtiest cities. When a thick quilt of smog enveloped swaths of China earlier this month, it set in motion a costly chain reaction for the world's No. 2 economy.
Ikea to double its spending on renewable energy to $4 billion
The investment boost is part of Ikea's plan to get all the energy used at its stores and by subcontractors from renewable sources by 2020.