Alex Brown

Alex Brown

Based in Seattle, Alex Brown covers environmental issues for Stateline. Prior to joining Stateline, Brown wrote for The Chronicle in Lewis County, Washington state.

States Reimagine Power Grids for Wind and Solar Future

By: - January 25, 2023

For years, many states have set ambitious goals and incentives to promote renewable electricity projects. Now, more of those states are turning their attention to the transmission lines, substations and transformers needed to get that electricity from wind farms and solar plants into homes and businesses. Congress has invested billions in boosting clean energy. But […]

‘Green Banks,’ Poised for Billions in Climate Funds, Draw States’ Attention

By: - January 9, 2023

In recent years, several states have created or helped to fund specialized banks that lend money to homeowners and businesses for energy-saving and climate projects. Now, states have billions more reasons to establish such institutions, known as green banks. Congress last year approved a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund of billion, largely to pour money into […]

Climate Change Is Forcing Cities to Rethink Their Tree Mix

By: - December 20, 2022

Cities need to plant more trees. But not just any trees. As communities prepare for a massive influx of federal funding to support urban forestry, their leaders say the tree canopy that grows to maturity 50 years from now will need to be painted with a different palette than the one that exists today. “You […]

Supreme Court Admissions Case Could Upend Environmental Justice Laws

By: - December 7, 2022

In recent years, more states have crafted environmental justice policies to help communities of color plagued by polluted air and water, poor health outcomes and limited access to green space. But now they fear that work could be upended by a pair of pending U.S. Supreme Court cases examining affirmative action admissions policies at universities. If the court […]

Felled City Trees Could Grow a New Lumber Economy

By: - November 29, 2022

This story has been edited to clarify the city of Baltimore’s relationship with the Baltimore Wood Project. SEATTLE — When a tree falls in the city, does it make a table? Or a guitar or a cabinet? It’s a question that’s increasingly being asked by state and city leaders, arborists, tree care companies and woodworkers. […]

These Hyperlocal Weather Networks Can Help States Face Climate Threats

By: - November 15, 2022

To prepare for climate change, states are getting into the weather business.  Thirty-eight states are operating or building networks of weather monitoring stations to provide more precise data than they receive from the National Weather Service. They’re using that information to help spot flash floods, assess wildfire risk, inform farming practices and choose locations for […]

For Tribes, Reforesting Means Reconnecting to History, Culture

By: - October 26, 2022

FLATHEAD INDIAN RESERVATION, Mont. ⁠— In western Montana’s Mission Mountains, whitebark pine trees have been hit hard by blister rust, an invasive disease. The trees, which grow slowly and live at high elevations, help shade snowpack and prevent it from melting. Their seeds are an important protein source for grizzly bears and many other animals. […]

E-Bikes Gain Momentum as a Climate, Traffic Solution

By: - October 14, 2022

In the quest to electrify the transportation sector, some state and city leaders see the future arriving not on four wheels, but on two. As electric bicycles, or e-bikes, grow in popularity, enthusiasts increasingly see them as a tool to reduce auto traffic and air pollution, not just as a fun new toy. States, cities […]

Forestry Leaders Scramble to Turn Massive New Funding Into Trees

By: - October 5, 2022

MISSOULA, Mont. — Foresters, nursery managers and urban planners have long sought funding to grow more trees, replant burned areas and help marginalized communities prepare for the effects of climate change. Suddenly, the money isn’t the problem — it’s figuring out how to spend it. “We went from a dripping faucet to a tsunami wave,” […]

New Jersey Raises Offshore Wind Ambitions

By: - September 23, 2022

New Jersey is aiming to harness more wind energy from offshore turbines than any other Atlantic coast state, part of an aggressive push that includes millions in state funding for a port to bolster the growing industry. Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, announced that New Jersey will target 11 gigawatts of offshore wind development by […]

States Take on PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ With Bans, Lawsuits

By: - September 22, 2022

“Forever chemicals” are everywhere. The thousands of chemicals in the group known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are found in cookware, packaging, cosmetics, clothing, carpet, electronics, firefighting foam and many other products.  The chemicals, which do not naturally break down, are so widespread that they’re found in the blood of 97% of Americans. […]

California Legalizes Human Composting

By: - September 20, 2022

Earlier this week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed into law a bill that will allow human composting, a “green burial” option that is slowly gaining recognition. California is the fifth state to legalize the practice, following Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Under the law, human composting will be allowed starting in 2027. The […]