Over the last century, cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas transformed the American West by building coal plants, hydropower dams and nuclear reactors to fuel their stunning growth. Now those cities are on the verge of doing it again, only this time with solar and wind farms, long-distance power lines and open-pit lithium mines.

Clean energy projects are badly needed to fight climate change — but they can fuel intense opposition in the communities where they’re built. We’re spotlighting examples of that tension across the West, with an eye toward finding solutions.

Carbon County, Wyoming

the biggest wind farm

August 23, 2022
A landscape photo of a large wind turbine. In the backdrop a sprawling wind under a large cloudy sky
Imperial Valley, California

A Farming Empire

January 17, 2023
An overhead photo of a green cabbage field where a single farmworker harvests.
Southern Nevada

Solar Sprawl

June 27, 2023
A long field of solar panels shimmer in front of a distant skyline of large buildings in the desert.

Down the Road

Scroll down for a preview of where we’re going next in this series. And sign up for Sammy Roth’s Boiling Point newsletter to come along for the ride.

Coming Soon

Red State Goes Green

Washington + Oregon

A River Road Trip

Navajo Nation

Climate Justice