California town looks to carbon capture amid oil industry's decline

Kern County explores a novel approach to sustain its economy by leveraging carbon capture technology, shifting from traditional oil revenues.

Jake Bittle reports for Grist.


In short:

  • Les Clark III oversees the West Side Recreation and Park District in Taft, heavily funded by the local oil industry, which faces significant decline.
  • California Resources Corporation proposes a carbon capture project to rejuvenate local jobs and maintain public services without relying on government bailouts.
  • Skepticism remains among local communities about the safety and actual benefits of storing carbon dioxide underground.

Key quote:

"There’s some kind of window of opportunity, because the industry is trying to evolve."

— Les Clark III, manager of the West Side Recreation and Park District in Taft

Why this matters:

Carbon capture and storage technology, which involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions from sources like power plants and industrial processes before they enter the atmosphere and storing them underground, is gaining traction globally as a tool to combat global warming. For Kern County, which produces about 70% of California's oil, this technology could transform the very infrastructure that once bolstered its economy into a new, greener legacy.

extreme heat wave
Credit: Wayne S. Grazio/Flickr

Scorching heat wave in Mexico and Southwest US intensified due to climate change

Climate change has significantly worsened the recent deadly heat wave in Mexico and the Southwestern United States, making it 35 times more likely and 2.5 degrees hotter.

Seth Borenstein reports for the Associated Press.

Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less

Extreme heat poses danger to athletes at Paris Olympics

Forecasts predict the Paris Olympics could experience record-breaking heat, threatening athlete safety.

Ben Doherty reports for The Guardian.

Keep reading...Show less

Opinion: Summer heat poses health risks for children

With Ontario's extreme heat warnings and wildfire smoke in the West, parents need to rethink when they let kids play outside this summer.

Denise Balkissoon writes for The Narwhal.

Keep reading...Show less
criminalizing pipeline protests
Credit: Mark Klotz/Flickr

Lawmakers push to penalize pipeline protests

Lawmakers, driven by fossil fuel donors, are working to expand criminal penalties for pipeline protests under new federal safety regulations.

Emily Sanders reports for The Lever.

Keep reading...Show less

Extreme weather threatens global food security

Droughts and floods have rendered land in some of the world's poorest regions incapable of supporting crops, leading to "zero" harvests in these areas, according to the World Food Programme.

Aleks Phillips reports for the BBC.

Keep reading...Show less
desertification & regenerative sustainable agriculture
Credit: ILRI/Flickr

Reviving ancient practices to combat desertification in Jordan

Communities in Jordan are successfully using the ancient practice of hima to combat overgrazing and desertification, revitalizing local ecosystems and traditions.

Diana Kruzman reports for bioGraphic.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
nurses climate change

Op-ed: In a warming world, nurses heal people and the planet

Nurses have the experience, motivation and public support to make an important contribution in tackling the climate crises.

planetary health diet

This diet will likely keep you alive longer — and help the planet

New research finds the Planetary Health Diet lowers our risk to most major causes of death.

environmental justice

LISTEN: Jose Ramon Becerra Vera on democratizing science

“In their own way, they’re becoming experts, not just of their experiences but also of the data collection process.”

The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

“Of all the levels of radium in produced water or brine around the world that I’ve looked at, I have encountered none that are consistently as high as what comes out of the Marcellus Shale.”

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.