Molly Peterson Environment Correspondent

Molly Peterson
Contact Molly Peterson

Molly Peterson is an award-winning environment correspondent at Southern California Public Radio.

Molly has reported, edited, directed programs, and produced stories for NPR and NPR shows including "Day to Day" and KQED's "California Report." She was a contributing producer for Nick Spitzer's weekly music program, "American Routes," and reported for "Living on Earth" in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricanes Katrina & Rita. Prior to joining KPCC, she produced a nationally-distributed radio documentary about New Orleans called "Finding Solid Ground."

A former LA Press Club radio journalist of the year, Molly reported on the faulty pumps installed at New Orleans canals after Hurricane Katrina. That project was a finalist for an Investigative Reporters and Editors award.

Molly worked for NPR American legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg during the Clinton Impeachment.

She studied international politics at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law. She is an inactive member of the State Bar of California.

Molly was lucky enough to grow up climbing northern California trees and fishing eastern Sierra waters.


Stories by Molly Peterson

DWP's long term goals getting a hard look as they shift again

The acting chief of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power appeared before the utility’s board of commissioners to present his vision for its long-term goals. Austin Beutner sees tough tradeoffs ahead.

New LADWP head Beutner wants to sell DWP assets

The interim manager of L.A.’s Department of Water and Power will present his Long-Term Strategic Plan to board members today at 12:30. Austin Beutner had pledged “a new era of transparency, accountability and financial discipline.” (Audio: KPCC’s Molly Peterson has taken a look this morning at Beutner’s plans. Steve Julian asks her why Beutner wants to sell the Department of Water and Power’s headquarters.)

LA city audit: DWP was not in as dire financial hot water

The idea of an energy rate increase for customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power sparked a pitched political battle earlier this spring. DWP officials insisted the utility could not complete a planned $73 million transfer to the city without seeking higher rates. Now a new audit from the Los Angeles City Controller's Office concludes that DWP wasn't in the financial jeopardy some of its top executives suggested it was.

PG&E-backed Proposition 16 goes down to defeat

A ballot measure that would limit the ability of local government to get into the electricity business appears to be going down to defeat.

LADWP to roll out its idea of a ratepayer advocate next week

The Los Angeles City Council heard about a new budget from the LA Department of Water and Power today [TUE]. The utility proposes to cut expenses while expanding maintenance and upkeep projects - and to increase customer rates to do it.

LADWP seeks rate hikes to pay for maintenance, infrastructure

Last week the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said it needed more rate hikes - this time, for the water system. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports this week the utility will explain its new budget.

Even a little pavement does a lot to impact aquatic life in cities, USGS finds

A new study from the U-S Geological Survey finds that urban development may have a deeper impact on aquatic life than previously understood. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports.

SCOTUS stalls money for Arizona "Clean Elections" law; California considers Prop 15

The U-S Supreme Court has decided to weigh in on an Arizona plan for public financing in elections. KPCC's Molly Peterson says voters in California today are casting ballots on a similar plan for the Golden State.

Utilities' market strategies reflected in Prop 16's political debate

The parent corporation of investor-owned utility PG&E has spent major money to support Proposition 16. On Tuesday, California voters will weigh in on the measure that would limit how local governments can expand publicly-owned utilities. KPCC's Molly Peterson has more about what's at stake for PG&E, and for supporters of public power in California.

Debate over the proper role of public power drives Proposition 16

It's one of the most complicated issues on the ballot next Tuesday - but don't let that scare you away. Proposition 16 proposes new restrictions on the way local governments can expand the public utilities they provide. A heated discussion is driving the ballot measure about what kind of energy keeps the lights on, and how much municipalities pay for it.

DWP, acting GM Austin Beutner to release budget

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is supposed to issue its new budget today. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has more on what that means for the utility’s top priorities.

David Nahai, former DWP chief, on utility's leadership, renewable energy

Six months after David Nahai left the top job at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, city leaders still search for a replacement. The utility's ninth general manager in 10 years, Nahai has kept a low profile. But in a recent interview with KPCC's Molly Peterson, he now says the city of L.A.'s need for sustainable energy has raised the stakes for the publicly-owned utility.

Imperial County air cleanup plan needs work, EPA says

Federal regulators say California’s plan to clean the air in Imperial County doesn't go far enough. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

Pasadena art exhibit tells true story of LA River's graffiti, beauty

The concrete, channelized Los Angeles River has galvanized rallies to clean it up, naturalize it, and improve it. An exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art makes an argument for the river as-is. (Audio: KPCC’s Molly Peterson spoke with the curators, who find beauty in the graffiti, debris, and even the nature, that thrive in the L.A. River.)

Rivers & Mountains Conservancy dedicates overlook to celebrate 10th birthday

The state Rivers and Mountains Conservancy that protects the San Gabriel River turns 10 years old today.