If federal plans move forward, most U.S. coastal waters would be open to offshore oil drilling. Stanford Professors Deborah Sivas and Alexandria Boehm look at related legal and marine issues from the perspective of the California coastline, which has been protected from new drilling since 1969.
In the federal government, wildfires have a lesser claim on disaster funds. As fires burn with greater magnitude and frequency, the cost of fighting them is increasingly borne by money earmarked for prevention.
The power gained by harnessing the Columbia River paved the way for industrial development and widespread farmland irrigation. But what if, instead of public utilities, that power had been sold by private firms seeking profits?