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

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.

Maria Garzino named public servant of the year

The federal Office of Special Counsel has named a Los Angeles based whistleblower the public servant of the year. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

Thirsty Central Valley drinks deep from groundwater aquifers

California scientists say water stored naturally underground in the Central Valley is disappearing at a rapid rate. The likely cause is irrigation.

This ain't no place for the weary kind: Cohen does Crazy Heart

If you really need an environmental hook for this, I can tell you that for the new film Crazy Heart, Fox Searchlight did web-based electronic press kits (EPKs) – thereby helping cut plastic waste and, for that matter, business at the post office.

Los Angeles recycling hits new participation highs

Three-quarters of the apartment buildings in Los Angeles now take part in the city's recycling program.

Black women, nonsmokers near busy roads face higher miscarriage risk

A new study from state environmental health scientists indicates that more miscarriages occur among African-American and nonsmoking women who live near busy roads.

Stop finger point, PPIC study says about California water

It's not all your fault, Southern Californians. A new study from the Public Policy Institute of California argues that lush lawns aren't to blame for the state's water crisis. The authors aim to debunk that and other popular misunderstandings about water use.

Greenhouse gas "endangerment" ruling could spur Waxman-Markey, says Boxer

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has declared six greenhouse gases to be a danger to human health. The EPA says that means they should be regulated. The pronouncement could have consequences in Congress.

Catchin' up with debris basins

Nick Roman, our editor, loves storm season. When he says "storm watch," you know he means StormWatch. Or even STORMWATCH!. I'm, as with many things I cover, awestruck by it.

California plans to adapt to climate, not just slow warming

Political and environmental leaders from around the world will meet in Denmark next week, where the United Nations will sponsor talks on climate change policy. This week, California released its plans for adapting to a warming world.

Adapting to a warming (political) climate

California has made a monster climate adaptation strategy. It's no small thing. In point of fact, it's a 200 page thing, covering public health, biodiversity and habitat, ocean and coastal resources, water management, agriculture, forestry, and transportation and energy infrastructure.

Dr. Wellbee and the Thanksgiving visit to the CDC

Somewhat appropriately, I got sick after I visited my cousin for Thanksgiving: she works at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. I’m still catching up on California. Meanwhile, I got a look around at the CDC while I was there, including this Global Health Odyssey exhibit they have in the lobby for visitors.

Santa Barbara family describes preparations for Jesusita fire's assault

The Jesusita fire in Santa Barbara destroyed dozens of homes in May. But not the one at the very top of Mission Canyon. The Lindemann family stayed behind during the fire. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has the story of the way the Lindemanns prepared to help defend their home.

In May's Jesusita fire, one Santa Barbara family who stayed behind

Six months ago, the Jesusita fire destroyed 80 houses in Santa Barbara. Dozens of homeowners in an area called Mission Canyon are still rebuilding. Not Albert Lindemann. The retired history professor and his family helped to defend their home during the fire – but they say staying behind isn’t for everyone. KPCC’s Molly Peterson visited the family at the top of Santa Barbara’s Tunnel Road.