Lauren Sommer

Lauren Sommer appears in the following:

Proposed Property Tax To Fight Climate Change Criticized As Unfair

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Voters in the San Francisco Bay Area will vote in June on a proposed property tax which would be used to restore wetlands to protect against rising sea levels. The tax is not based on property value.


A Rare Look Inside The 'Gigafactory' Tesla Hopes Will Revolutionize Energy Use

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tesla is building what it says is the world's largest battery factory. The scale is expected to drive down the cost of electric cars and batteries that homeowners can use to store surplus solar power.


Solar And Wind Energy May Be Nice, But How Can We Store It?

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Renewable energy is taking off across the nation, but storing the energy is still a problem that is challenging companies to innovate, with solutions ranging from molten salt to ice.


As Renewables Boom, Companies Explore Energy Storage Technology

Monday, April 04, 2016

Batteries can store energy for later, but companies are looking for cheaper alternatives. Three reporters examine technologies that employ air, salt and ice.


In California, Dealing With A Drought And Preparing For A Flood

Friday, March 18, 2016

Why are some California reservoirs releasing water even though the state is going through an extreme drought? Turns out it's to prevent an even bigger disaster. But the strategy may change soon.


Like Night And Day: How Two States' Utilities Approach Solar

Friday, January 01, 2016

As homeowners embrace solar, utilities are making less money, and that's shaking up their business model. Companies in California and Georgia are handling the growth in dramatically different ways.


California, An Environmental Leader, Eyes A Key Role In Climate Talks

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

World leaders are set to meet in Paris, trying to agree on how to combat climate change. Also attending will be California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is spearheading his own international climate movement.


Why A Neurotoxin Is Closing Crab Season In California

Saturday, November 07, 2015

State officials have closed both recreational and commercial fishing for Dungeness and rock crab on the California coast north of Santa Barbara to the Oregon border, due to a large algae bloom that's making the crab unsafe for consumption.

The bloom, created by an organism called Pseudo-nitzschia, produces a neurotoxin ...


California Cities Face Hidden Downside Of Water Conservation: Lost Revenue

Monday, September 28, 2015

Californians have really stepped up water conservation due to the drought. Some cities are selling almost half as much water as they normally do. But there's a big downside for water ...


In California's Protected Waters, Counting Fish Without Getting Wet

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Using divers to monitor whether life is returning to the 100 or so marine protected areas is pricey. Now, advances in DNA sequencing mean scientists just need a seawater sample to do a marine census.


Drought-Stricken California Farmers Look To Tap Urban Wastewater

Monday, July 20, 2015

"Crazy wouldn't adequately describe what we're going through," a water official says of parched conditions in the state's Central Valley. Buying treated sewage water could restore some sanity.


Utilities Fight For Revenue Lost To Solar Power

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit


How Too Many Trees Contribute To California's Drought

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

As the historic drought drags on, just about everyone wishes the state had gotten more water this year. That's largely up to snow and rainfall, but it also depends on trees in the state's mountains.


To Save A Species, Scientists Trick Jays With An Egg Bait-And-Switch

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Scientists hope to protect the endangered marbled murrelet with a new strategy: tainted decoy eggs that give the bird's predator a bit of tummy trouble.


One Year After Calif. Rim Fire, Debate Simmers Over Forest Recovery

Monday, August 18, 2014

This third-largest wildfire in California's history struck the area near Yosemite National Park. Since then, controversy has broken out over whether to log the trees and replant seedlings.


One Drought Solution Is A Riddle: How Do You Make Water Run Uphill?

Friday, June 13, 2014

California's severe drought is inspiring some creative thinking. In order to get water to Central Valley farms, Lauren Sommer of KQED reports that water districts are proposing to mov...


A Bone Collector's Basement Of Animal Skulls Sees The Light

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ray Bandar's skeletons aren't in his closet — they're in his basement. The naturalist has 7,000 animal skulls in his collection, and some are now on view at the California Academy of Sciences.


Farmers And Frackers Wrangle For Water In Shadow Of Calif. Drought

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

California's drought has developed an interesting relationship between farmers and oilers: California oil wells produce more water than oil, and Chevron filters that water and sells i...


Between Farmers And Frackers, Calif. Water Caught In Tussle

Monday, April 28, 2014

California's extreme drought has drawn battle lines over who gets water and who doesn't. As KQED's Lauren Sommer reports, fracking and farming are vying for freshwater in California's Central Valley.


Why Do Some Clouds Drop Rain, While Others Don't?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

With little relief in sight for California's record drought, scientists are trying to learn why some clouds rain and other don't. As Lauren Sommer of KQED says, they're finding surprising answers.