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Screenshot from EIA's report on wildfires and solar generation

From the apocalypse files: A new Energy Information Administration analysis shows that pollution from California's dreadful wildfires has substantially curtailed solar power generation in the state.

Why it matters: Everything's connected. The growing wildfires in California — a problem worsened in part by global warming — create complications for one of the power sources that can help fight climate change.

  • And as Energy Impact Partners' Shayle Kann tweeted, it's "especially bad news given that wildfire risk is highest in hot weather, when power demand peaks and you need solar the most."

How it works: Smoke from the fires contains fine particulate matter, a highly dangerous respiratory pollutant that also cuts the amount of sunlight reaching solar panels.

By the numbers: Average utility-scale solar generation in California during the first two weeks of September declined by nearly 30% compared to July's averages, EIA said.

(The figures apply to solar generation in the jurisdiction of the California Independent System Operator, the grid manager for almost all of the state.)

Go deeper

Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rahm's power tips

Then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel walks behind President Obama as they prepare to leave Washington for Chicago in August 2010. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

This week is all about power. Power in the Senate. Power in the White House.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we asked several former Washington power brokers to give us their best tips for new members of Congress — as well as a certain incoming president.

41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Jen Psaki: "With that I’d love to take your questions”

In her inaugural briefing as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy,” and pledged to hold daily briefings.

Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.

Avril Haines confirmed as director of national intelligence

Haines. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Image

Avril Haines was quickly confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday as the director of national intelligence (DNI) in a vote of 84-10.

Why it matters: Haines is the first of President Biden's nominees to receive a full Senate confirmation and she will be the first woman to serve as DNI. She's previously served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015 and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.