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Lauren Sommer

Lauren is a radio reporter covering environment, water, and energy for KQED Science. As part of her day job, she has scaled Sierra Nevada peaks, run from charging elephant seals, and desperately tried to get her sea legs - all in pursuit of good radio. Her work has appeared on Marketplace, Living on Earth, and NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. You can find her on Twitter at @lesommer.

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Lauren Sommer's Latest Posts

California Lawmakers Ask If New Fracking Regulations Are Enough

February 13, 2013 | 9:55 am

California Lawmakers Ask If New Fracking Regulations Are Enough

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Battles have been brewing in various states over the controversial oil and gas technique known as hydraulic fracturing, but regulators in California are just starting to grapple with it. Those regulators got a grilling in Sacramento on Tuesday as state lawmakers questioned whether newly proposed rules were strong enough to safely regulate the technique, which […]

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Five Reasons You Should Care about California’s Cap-and-Trade Carbon Market

November 14, 2012 | 4:10 pm

Five Reasons You Should Care about California’s Cap-and-Trade Carbon Market

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California will attempt to launch an honest-to-goodness carbon market on Wednesday, officially kicking off the state’s cap and trade program. It’s part of the landmark global warming bill, AB 32, signed back in 2006 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. This won’t be first cap-and-trade program in the world — Europe’s been trading carbon allowances for a […]

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Do High-Tech Traffic Tools Work? Caltrans Hopes They’ll Ease I-80 Traffic Mess

October 22, 2012 | 2:03 pm

Do High-Tech Traffic Tools Work? Caltrans Hopes They’ll Ease I-80 Traffic Mess

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Bay Area drivers have some notoriously bad daily commutes, but if you’re looking for the stretch of freeway with top bragging rights, look no further than the Interstate 80 corridor through Richmond and Berkeley. Caltrans ranks it as the worst traffic in the Bay Area. Now, Caltrans and regional transportation groups are kicking off an […]

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Tree Deaths Spike as Sudden Oak Death Spreads Across California

October 12, 2012 | 9:32 am

Tree Deaths Spike as Sudden Oak Death Spreads Across California

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The U.S. Forest Service says hundreds of thousands of oak trees have died over the last year due to the plant disease known as Sudden Oak Death. Scientists still don’t have a reliable way to control the epidemic. The spike in tree deaths, more than 300,000 in California this past year, is due to the […]

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Climate Change: Can Marine Life Adapt to More Acidic Seas?

September 26, 2012 | 4:30 pm

Climate Change: Can Marine Life Adapt to More Acidic Seas?

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Marine scientists from around the world are gathering in Monterey this week to discuss what is sometimes a little-noticed climate change problem: ocean acidification. The oceans have become about 30 percent more acidic since the start of the Industrial Revolution – the result of soaking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Today, oceans absorb about […]

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Water Wars Set to Reignite as Governor Moves Ahead with Massive Water Plan

July 23, 2012 | 4:38 pm

Water Wars Set to Reignite as Governor Moves Ahead with Massive Water Plan

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On Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are expected to announce a multi-billion dollar plan designed to fix California’s longstanding water war in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Their proposal for a 35-mile water tunnel is set to reignite the fight over how water is exported from the Delta. The announcement comes just […]

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Delta Pumping Has Unmeasured Cost for Endangered Fish, Environmentalists Say

March 26, 2012 | 3:50 pm

Delta Pumping Has Unmeasured Cost for Endangered Fish, Environmentalists Say

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Water battles in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have been fought over a basic question: as the state’s thirsty cities and farms demand more Delta water, is there enough left for endangered fish like the Delta smelt and chinook salmon? In a report released today from the Bay Institute, environmentalists argue that the damage being done […]

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Interview: Retired Federal Wolf-Recovery Coordinator on OR7 and the Great Wolf Debate

March 6, 2012 | 9:47 am

Interview: Retired Federal Wolf-Recovery Coordinator on OR7 and the Great Wolf Debate

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After a two-month jaunt in Northern California, the lone wolf known as OR7 is now hanging out near the state border with Oregon. The two-year-old male wolf, California’s first in almost 90 years, has stirred both fascination and concern. OR7 has also prompted state officials to consider how to manage a growing wolf population. In […]

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In Rural California, Lone Wolf Not So Welcome

March 5, 2012 | 10:00 am

In Rural California, Lone Wolf Not So Welcome

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OR7, the lone gray wolf from a pack in Oregon, crossed back into his home state last Thursday after two months of wandering in Northern California. OR7’s trek made him the first wolf in California in almost 90 years. Officials say it’s possible the wolf will continue to travel both states. (Update Mar 5: Apparently […]

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California Adopts Landmark Rules for Cleaner Cars

January 27, 2012 | 11:57 am

California Adopts Landmark Rules for Cleaner Cars

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The California Air Resources Board has unanimously approved sweeping new rules designed to facilitate the transition from gasoline-powered to electric and hydrogen-powered cars. By 2025, automakers are now required to produce 1.4 million “zero-emission” vehicles for the California market, a number that would make clean cars 15 percent of  all new car and truck sales. […]

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