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SPOTLIGHT

1. DROUGHT:

Wildfires come hard and fast to Southern Calif.

SAN DIEGO -- Parts of San Diego County resembled an inferno yesterday as nine fires roared along the edges of suburbs and through the countryside. In the afternoon, thick, black smoke spiraled into the air above San Marcos, 40 miles northeast of San Diego International Airport, while firefighters battled a spate of new flare-ups in the chaparral-covered hillsides below.

2. EMISSIONS:

Absent climate policies, widespread use of natural gas is unlikely to curb greenhouse gases -- study

An oft-heard comment about America's natural gas boom is that it has led to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Insofar as natural gas replaces coal in electricity generation, this claim is probably true. But step back and look globally and into the future, and widespread use of natural gas fails to significantly alter the world's current global warming trajectory, a new study finds.

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