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An exposed, dry lakebed in California, April 2021. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared an emergency executive order for two counties Wednesday, in order to accelerate the response to drought conditions affecting the northern part of the state.

Why it matters: California is in the second year of drought conditions, and the state is bracing for another potentially devastating fire season.

  • "Newsom has been under pressure from some quarters to declare a statewide drought emergency. But the administration favors a more targeted approach," the Los Angeles Times noted.

Details: The emergency order applies to Mendocino and Sonoma counties, but could be expanded to other parts of the state if conditions call for it, Newsom said at a press conference Wednesday.

  • The declaration allows the state to move more quickly to regulate water usage in the state as well as to "accelerate funding for water supply enhancement."
  • Newsom warned that drought problems are not unique to California, adding that "drought conditions persist across the West coast of the United States."

The big picture: The National Climate Task Force briefed White House officials Wednesday about drought conditions on the West Coast.

  • The task force warned of the economic and communal costs of drought-caused wildfires and discussed conservation investments that can improve drought resilience, the White House said.

Go deeper: Drought stokes fears of severe fire season in West

Go deeper

Preparing Tampa Bay for another major red tide

A partial animation of the evolution of effluent discharge from the Piney Point fertilizer plant. The full animation from USF's Ocean Circulation Lab can be seen here. Credit: University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, Ocean Circulation Lab.

A sweeping new study of the last crushing red tide bloom in 2018-19 suggests Tampa Bay counties should make emergency response plans and work together to clean up and offset losses.

Why it matters: That red tide created mounds of rotting fish, killed dolphins and manatees, and emptied beaches and hotels across the area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
12 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Sweetgreen files for IPO

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sweetgreen, one of the earliest "better for you" quick-serve restaurant chains, has filed confidentially for an IPO, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: The company has been a rumored IPO candidate for years, and now is coming out as a post-pandemic growth play.

Investors fear inflation, labor shortages in second half of 2021

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors entered 2021 concerned about the transition to a new U.S. president, the form of new fiscal stimulus, the distribution of vaccines and the reopening of the economy. Now, top risks include supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, inflation and slower GDP growth.

Why it matters: Stocks have rallied almost unabated for over a year, leaving many to wonder if the market is overdue for a big selloff. Last week's declines amplify those concerns.