Drought Won't Stop July 4th Fireworks in Some Dry States
It's so dry around Phil Griego's New Mexico village that grass crunches when ranchers like himself shift horses, cattle and other animals from one field to another.
That's why the Democratic state senator tried to pass an update to New Mexico fireworks laws that would have provided cities and counties more authority to ban fireworks when fires are more likely. It didn't happen, despite support from fire departments, both sides of aisle and the governor, who has wanted to change the law for about three years.
Griego told The Associated Press that he hopes the law is revisited sooner than later.
"This is critical because I don't think this drought and this situation we're in right now is going to pass any time soon," Griego said. "For this year, it's done and over, but we've got to start working on next year. We've got to have protections. Look at the fires that are taking place now with just lightning strikes."
Things are different in California, which suffered has been rocked by three dry winters and an ongoing drought impacting water supplies, food prices and more. Few cities allow the sale and use of legal fireworks. The state's forestry division has enacted an open-burn ban this week for millions of acres it manages. It also has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal fireworks.
Arizona began allowing the sale and use of some fireworks four years ago, but has updated laws to prohibit them in the counties of the state's two largest cities—Phoenix and Tucson—but only around the July 4 holiday. The Phoenix Fire Department will place trucks around the city to quickly respond to potential brush fires, while city employees will monitor hiking trails.
Some lawmakers in Texas declined to impose fireworks restrictions on small businesses, so legislation to empower the state fire marshal stalled.
Utah is much more aggressive, authorizing counties to restrict fireworks in unincorporated areas. Fire risk caused more than 50 cities and towns to impose more restrictions this year.
"We're trying to keep control on it," Glenn D'Auria, president of the Arizona Fire Marshals Association and a Tucson fire inspector, told the AP. "It's new for us. It's not like back East where people grew up with it.
"It's a new toy to play with out here."
By Robin Scher
Beyond the questions surrounding the availability, effectiveness and safety of a vaccine, the COVID-19 pandemic has led us to question where our food is coming from and whether we will have enough.
- Can Urban Farms Prevent Hunger in 54 Million People in the U.S. ... ›
- New Report Finds Malnutrition World's Top Killer Amid Pandemic ... ›
- Oxfam Warns 12,000 Could Die Per Day From Hunger Due to ... ›
- Three Ways to Support a Healthy Food System During the COVID ... ›
- Trump USDA Resumes Effort to Cut Food Stamp Benefits - EcoWatch ›
- Pandemic Threatens Food Security for Many College Students ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Tearing through the crowded streets of Philadelphia, an electric car and a gas-powered car sought to win a heated race. One that mimicked how cars are actually used. The cars had to stop at stoplights, wait for pedestrians to cross the street, and swerve in and out of the hundreds of horse-drawn buggies. That's right, horse-drawn buggies. Because this race took place in 1908. It wanted to settle once and for all which car was the superior urban vehicle. Although the gas-powered car was more powerful, the electric car was more versatile. As the cars passed over the finish line, the defeat was stunning. The 1908 Studebaker electric car won by 10 minutes. If in 1908, the electric car was clearly the better form of transportation, why don't we drive them now? Today, I'm going to answer that question by diving into the history of electric cars and what I discovered may surprise you.
As bitcoin's fortunes and prominence rise, so do concerns about its environmental impact.
- 15 Top Conservation Issues of 2021 Include Big Threats, Potential ... ›
- How Blockchain Could Boost Clean Energy - EcoWatch ›
By David Drake and Jeffrey York
The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.
The Big Idea
People often point to plunging natural gas prices as the reason U.S. coal-fired power plants have been shutting down at a faster pace in recent years. However, new research shows two other forces had a much larger effect: federal regulation and a well-funded activist campaign that launched in 2011 with the goal of ending coal power.
- Major Milestone: More than 100,000 MW Worth of Coal-Fired Power ... ›
- Coal Will Not Bring Appalachia Back to Life, But Tech and ... ›
- Renewables Beat Coal in the U.S. for the First Time This April ... ›