Items by Jonathan Thompson

Will the Supreme Court gut the Clean Water Act?
Will the Supreme Court gut the Clean Water Act?
The justices could remove federal protection from 80% of the Southwest’s streams.
Races to watch throughout the West
Races to watch throughout the West
The midterm elections promise to be a referendum on Joe Biden — and Donald Trump.
The Green New Deal didn’t crash California’s grid
The Green New Deal didn’t crash California’s grid
Climate change is wrecking the electricity system.
The divide over Diablo
The divide over Diablo
Greens battle greens over the fate of California’s last nuke plant.
The Colorado River’s alfalfa problem
The Colorado River’s alfalfa problem
Growing less hay is the only way to keep the river’s water system from collapsing
Climate and Congress
Climate and Congress
Historic political action, but is it enough?
Can ravaged economies be healed with a restoration industry?
Can ravaged economies be healed with a restoration industry?
Cleaning up the West could prove to be as lucrative as the extractive industries that wrecked it.
The climate bill’s blind spot
The climate bill’s blind spot
A closer look at the good and the bad of specific provisions in the historic climate bill, the Inflation Reduction Act.
Climate game changer? Or fossil fuel giveaway?
Climate game changer? Or fossil fuel giveaway?
A break down of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The monsoon can’t save us
The monsoon can’t save us
An unusually rainy Southwest summer is welcome — but much more is needed to end the water crisis.
The West’s forever fire season
The West’s forever fire season
How climate change makes wildfire more likely to happen all year round.
The rise of the restoration economy
The rise of the restoration economy
Filling the economic void left by the extraction economy by healing the land.
The funky politics of wildfire right now
The funky politics of wildfire right now
After New Mexico’s record-breaking fires, the politics of wildfire are morphing into weird configurations.
The hydrogen blues (and greens and grays)
The hydrogen blues (and greens and grays)
Is this wonder fuel truly green — or just another fossil fuel in disguise?
The San Juan Basin’s fossil fuel transition slowed by economic and cultural bonds
The San Juan Basin’s fossil fuel transition slowed by economic and cultural bonds
The region’s history with prosperity in the oil and gas industry looms over conversations about how to diversify its economy.
Will carbon capture help clean New Mexico’s power, or delay its transition?
Will carbon capture help clean New Mexico’s power, or delay its transition?
A virtually unknown company has a $1.4 billion plan to extend the life of the state’s largest coal-fired power plant. Critics say it’s likely to be a costly distraction from a just transition.
New Mexico’s landmark coal transition law faces an uncertain timeline
New Mexico’s landmark coal transition law faces an uncertain timeline
Despite momentum in 2017, drought and supply chain problems are complicating the shift from fossil fuels.
In the wake of fires and floods
In the wake of fires and floods
Climate disasters across the West wreak havoc on economies and livelihoods.
The shift to green energy, obstructed
The shift to green energy, obstructed
A whole host of factors has thrown the transition away from fossil fuels to more sustainable forms of energy off track.
Wildlife in the West: The good, the bad, the in-between
Wildlife in the West: The good, the bad, the in-between
Conservation and wildlife corridors can help, but is it enough?
Unprecedented fire, wind and snowmelt in the Southwest
Unprecedented fire, wind and snowmelt in the Southwest
This may not be the driest winter, the worst fire season or even the warmest spring on record, but taken together the conditions truly are superlative.
What the Ukraine war means for Western lands
What the Ukraine war means for Western lands
War hawks and climate hawks alike are calling for energy independence.
Russia’s war reverberates in the West
Russia’s war reverberates in the West
Putin’s military moves — and the globe’s response to them — have unexpected consequences for the region.
Biden’s broken promise on climate?
Biden’s broken promise on climate?
The administration resumes oil and gas leasing — and fixes a dysfunctional system in the process.
Powell’s looming power problem
Powell’s looming power problem
Drought and demand threaten a critical component of the Western grid.
How the Earth stores records of the past
How the Earth stores records of the past
When human data doesn’t go back far enough, researchers turn to natural archives.
The digital world’s real-world impact on the environment
The digital world’s real-world impact on the environment
From data center warehouses to cryptocurrency, technology is another energy hog.
The Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the Clean Water Act’s reach
The Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the Clean Water Act’s reach
The high court is taking up an Idaho case that could obliterate federal protection for much of the West’s waters.
Electric vehicles drive up demand for ‘green metals’
Electric vehicles drive up demand for ‘green metals’
The need for energy-transition metals breathes life into new mines in the West.
Biden’s ‘herky-jerky’ first year on Western issues
Biden’s ‘herky-jerky’ first year on Western issues
The new president sacrificed bold executive action to try to win over Congress.
High Country News Classifieds
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  • ASSOCIATE PROGRAM MANAGER
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  • CONSERVATION ASSOCIATE - OKANOGAN LAND TRUST (NORTH CENTRAL WA)
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    Assistant or Associate Professor of Environmental Humanities Whitman College The Environmental Humanities Program at Whitman College seeks candidates for a tenure-track position beginning August 2023...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    High Country Conservation Advocates (HCCA) in Crested Butte, CO is seeking an enthusiastic Executive Director who is passionate about the public lands, natural waters and...
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    Are you passionate about connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with volunteer management experience to join...