Ina JaffeIna Jaffe is a National desk correspondent based at NPR West, NPR's production center in Culver City, Calif.
The open pit mine at Molycorp Minerals' rare earths mining and processing facility in Mountain Pass, Calif. The mine is expected to produce 40,000 tons of rare earth minerals each year after a $500 million expansion project.
Courtesy of Molycorp Minerals
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, shown in a 2008 file photo, leaves office with a mixed record. He's won praise for his precedent-setting environmental activism and criticism for his failure to tame the state's fiscal mess as promised.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada greets supporters after speaking at a rally held by members of the Hispanic community in Las Vegas on Oct. 16. Reid got about 90 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to a poll of likely voters taken right before the election.
Texas-based Valero Energy -- which owns gas stations across the country, like this one in Sacramento,Calif. -- has contributed about half of the roughly $10 million behind California's Proposition 23 campaign.
Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown (R) speaks as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (C) Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (2nd-L) look on during a discussion moderated by NBC's Matt Lauer (L) during the Women's Conference 2010 in Long Beach.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid (right) talks to his opponent, Republican Sharron Angle, as moderator Mitch Fox from PBS looks on after their political debate Thursday at the Vegas PBS studios.
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images