Environment

Billionaire helps poke holes in oil industry's argument for drilling Monterey Shale

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“We’ve been told that there’s a great oil boom on the immediate horizon,” billionaire investor and Pac Heights resident Tom Steyer noted at the start of a March 27 talk in Sacramento. Read more »

The miraculous and mysterious, disappearing, reappearing Clean Power SF data

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The fight for clean power in San Francisco just got a whole lot dirtier.

In an update to the City’s Climate Action Strategy report, a prominent section discussing goals to use renewable energy featured CleanPowerSF -- and then suddenly it didn’t.Read more »

More than 86,000 say they’d risk arrest over oil pipeline

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On Mon/3, nine environmental activists were arrested in San Francisco for marching through the financial district and entering One Spear Tower, the building that houses local offices of the State Department, to express opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.Read more »

SF votes to ban plastic water bottles on city property

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San Francisco continues to lead the way in the nation’s environmental policy, with the Board of Supervisors today [Tues/4] voting unanimously to bar the city from buying plastic water bottles and to ban distribution of plastic water bottles smaller than 21 ounces on city property starting Oct. 1. The ban excludes city marathons and other sporting events.Read more »

Plans for SF clean energy program still underway, despite political opposition

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San Francisco’s longstanding effort to develop a municipal renewable energy program has been stymied by politics, but Sup. London Breed has taken up the cause of advancing aspects of the plan that haven't been obstructed.

At a Dec. 13 meeting of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), a committee comprised of members of the Board of Supervisors that has been working to develop CleanPowerSF for years, Breed called for putting out a Request for Proposals to develop a concrete plan for building out local renewable energy infrastructure. LAFCo adopted the motion. Read more »

The Rim Fire and climate change

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The monstrous blaze that swept through Yosemite and burned 237,841 acres was a record breaker. According to the latest statistics from Cal Fire, the Rim Fire was the fourth highest in the history of California, with a $77 million price tag. Thanks to the efforts of more than 4,000 firefighters and support personnel, the blaze was 80 percent contained as of the latest update on Sept. 4.Read more »

Lawsuit challenging the Beach Chalet turf project goes to trial

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Plans to place artificial turf and stadium lights on Beach Chalet’s soccer fields in Golden Gate have been in the works since 2011, and local environmental groups have been fighting the proposal and losing each time. Now, their final hopes rest on a lawsuit going to trial this Friday.Read more »

Backward on climate

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After a hearing lasting several hours on Tue/13, members of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission voted down a motion to approve electricity rates for CleanPowerSF, a municipal energy program designed to offer a 100 percent green energy mix to San Francisco customers.

The approval of that “not-to-exceed” rate, set at 11.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, would have cleared the path to set CleanPowerSF in motion after almost a decade of politically charged debates and setbacks.Read more »

PG&E union spreads lies about CleanPowerSF

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San Francisco’s municipal power agency is gearing up to launch one of the most climate-friendly alternative energy programs in the country, but the forces behind a misleading opposition campaign seek to torpedo that effort.

This past weekend, glossy ads depicting seashells and spilled oil blanketed the doorknobs of Noe Valley residences. Paid for by IBEW 1245, the union that represents employees of Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the door hangers conveyed the fear-mongering message that CleanPowerSF “isn’t clean. It’s dirtier than our current power.”Read more »

Chevron hit by lawsuit and mass march on anniversary of refinery blaze

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Almost exactly a year ago, an explosion and chemical fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery sent a toxic plume of smoke billowing into the air. Visible for miles, the blaze sent 15,000 to the hospital with respiratory and other health problems.

On the eve of the anniversary of that disaster, Chevron faces mounting pressure from all sides as everyone from city officials to environmentalists continue to seek accountability.Read more »