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

Methane seeps in Santa Barbara, rising gas in Russia: could it sink the atmosphere?

Seeps in Santa Barbara aren't just about tarballs - and seeps aren't just in Santa Barbara. They matter to surfers as well as climate scientists.

Tranquillon Ridge oil drilling could be resurrected by governor's budget

A hotly-debated proposal to allow new drilling off of Santa Barbara’s coast is resurrected in the governor’s latest budget proposal. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has details.

Three small things about three small pieces of one complicated state budget

The biggest lightning rod on my beat in the new proposed budget 2: electric boogaloo is the idea to take back $140 million in General Fund dough from State Parks and replace it with revenues from drilling on Tranquillon Ridge.

The race is not to the Swift, at the port

In the gully of time between Xmas and New years, when I did a series on what makes a home sustainable, another interesting piece fell into the port puzzle. an administrative law judge ruled on the legality of firing four workers from Swift transportation.

As the port turns...

After a while, the port's environmental issues can seem like a soap opera to a daily reporter. (Anyone else have a mom who loved Lucinda Walsh?) On Monday, the Port of Long Beach took the opportunity presented by the first Monday of 2010 to tout last year's clean trucks success, and this year's stricter rules.

Frak! Salazar tightens up oil and gas drilling on BLM land

I start no new year without regrets, and a (sure, yes, small) one has been that I didn't have a chance to write about western oil and gas drilling last year. I was given a screener for a documentary called Split Estate, and it was a fascinating look at something I had learned during law school, but never seen in practice: property owners who have "split the estate" such that mineral rights are owned by someone who is extracting them, and the surface rights are owned by someone who works or lives on the land.

At California Resources agency, Chrisman out, Lester Snow may be in

The longtime head of the state's Resources Agency — a close advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger — will step down at the start of next month.

Chrisman out at Resources; Gov taps Lester Snow to replace him

Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman has been one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's closest allies in the last seven years. Guess that's enough: he's leaving the department, as of February 1.

Secret chemicals, still, even after Obama action

A very interesting article today from the Washington Post about the release of information related to new chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Reporter Lyndsey Layton rounds up recent events and reports to point out that 20 percent of chemicals registered in the US are secret under federal rules and "critics -- including the Obama administration -- say the secrecy has grown out of control, making it impossible for regulators to control potential dangers or for consumers to know which toxic substances they might be exposed to.

Sustainability looks different through door of new efficiency apartment

We've been hearing this week about the way various people imagine a home that's environmentally sustainable. On the edge of downtown Los Angeles, KPCC's Molly Peterson has toured the New Carver apartments and talked to its architect. In the final story of our series, she visits a woman who's making that building near the I-10 her first real home in a year.

Silver Lake architect says Los Angeles looks to its core for ideas about homes, sustainability

This week we’re hearing from Southern Californians with ideas about ways to make home sustainable. KPCC’s Molly Peterson offers this profile of a Los Angeles architect who’s eager to apply that thinking to people at every rung of the income ladder.

In megacities like Los Angeles, little tweaks make a big impact on a sustainable home

This week we’re hearing from Southern Californians who think about and work toward making homes sustainable. The University of Southern California runs a project that studies mega-cities – urban areas such as Los Angeles with populations of at least 10-million. More on regional sustainability from KPCC’s Molly Peterson.

LA the sustainability lab: Andres Duany & Jeff Speck's Smart Growth Manual for Angelenos

Away from school, away from work, and possibly, with family for the holidays: many Southern Californians are simply at home. KPCC’s Molly Peterson is curious about what makes home sustainable. This week, she profiles people who think about planning and housing matters that most of us take for granted. She begins with a regional perspective from an urban planner and architect.

Port trucking company fights economy, environmental fees

Trucking companies that work the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have had a busy year. The uncertain economy has driven container traffic down. New environmental fees have added costs. A legal battle over the ports’ Clean Trucks Plan continues — fueled by a labor dispute over who will pay for cleaner equipment. First we heard from an independent driver. Here's the story of a third-generation trucking company owner.

Truck driver struggles with economy, environment at harbor complex

It’s been a rough year for trucking business at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Harbor officials credit a year-old Clean Trucks program with removing polluting diesel engines from the road. The trucking industry’s brought legal challenges to the agreements that enforce the program. The uncertain economy has driven container traffic down. New environmental mandates drive costs up. We’ll hear from two people who work in this business climate. KPCC’s Molly Peterson brings us the story of one independent truck driver.