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A Hidden Consequence of California's Drought: It's Making Energy Dirtier

With little water in the state's reservoirs, hydroelectricity is losing ground to natural gas—and there's a big price to pay.
Ormond Beach Power Plant in Oxnard, California.
Ormond Beach Power Plant in Oxnard, California.REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Talk of the devastating effects of California's drought usually centers on agriculture, which lost $2.2 billion last year as a result of the historic water shortage.

But the drought has also reshuffled the state's mix of energy sources, and the consequences aren't pretty, according to a new report from the Pacific Institute.