San Andreas FaultJan. 9, 1857: With an estimated magnitude of 7.9, the Fort Tejon earthquake tears a 200-mile rift along California’s San Andreas Fault. There are only two known fatalities in what is then a sparsely populated area of the state.

Jan. 9, 1913: Richard M. Nixon is born in Yorba Linda, Calif. The president who once said that environmentalists want to "live like a bunch of damn animals," had an impressive string of environmental achievements. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, and signed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Jan. 9, 2002: BP abandons plans to build the Liberty oil field in the Beaufort Sea in Alaska’s Arctic due to widespread concern that an effective oil-spill response would be impossible in the harsh conditions of the Arctic.

Jan. 9, 2009: The U.N.-chartered International Energy Agency is accused in a report of blocking the development of renewable energy in favor of existing oil, coal and nuclear technologies. The group Energy Watch accused the IEA of "institutional blindness" in energy policy.

Jan. 9, 2012:   In the face of growing interest in uranium mining, U.S. President Obama bans any such mining near the Grand Canyon for at least 20 years.

Photo: Ben+Sam/Flickr

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.

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