Energy

OB Town Council: Drought Remedies, Mallow-Out Campaign, Caves, Grants, Vendors and Park Rangers

June 25, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Town Council juggled a lot of issues last night at its monthly public meeting – drought solutions, its “Mallow-Out” Campaign, the day after July 4th clean-up, the funding of grants …

It was well over half-way through the meeting when the keynote presentations on the drought and solutions were finally made to the crowd of about forty audience members and a dozen Council members.

Drought Remedies: Native Plants, Rainbarrels, Greywater and Diet

One-by-one several presenters laid out remedies that included learning about native plant gardens, which native plants are good to plant, about installing grey-water systems in your home, and how our diets also contribute to the waste of water.

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Former Congressman Jim Bates Re-enacts Mid-Night Ride of Paul Revere – Sat., June 13

June 12, 2015 by Staff

It’s true. Former Congressman Jim Bates is making his comeback as the ghost of Paul Revere. Bates is actually re-enacting Revere’s midnight ride this Saturday night, June 13th at – of all times – midnight.

He’ll be on a horse calling for a need for the country to mobilize a large scale effort to get the nation off fossil fuels, a type activists call “a U.S. government World War II-scale Mobilization to transition the U.S. from fossil fuels to conservation and safe, clean wind, water and solar renewable energy.”

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Nuclear Shutdown News – May 2015: Fire at Indian Point Plant in NY – and Is It ‘the End’ for Diablo Canyon?

June 5, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – May 2015: Fire at Indian Point Plant in NY – and Is It ‘the End’ for Diablo Canyon?

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry.

Here’s our May 2015 report:

Indian Point Nuke Plant Fire

A May 8 fire in a transformer at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant caused a fire and explosion, shutting down reactor #3 for 16 days. The Environmental News Service reported on May 9th:

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Santa Barbara oil spill now stretches for 9 miles

May 21, 2015 by Source
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by Dan Bacher

The spill from a ruptured pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline expanded overnight from 4 miles long to two slicks stretching 9 miles along the coast, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The pipeline carries crude oil from to Flores to Gaviota.

Preliminary reports indicated that the ruptured 24 inch pipeline in Goleta leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil Tuesday. However, the pipeline company may have actually released as much as 105,000 gallons, with tens of thousands of gallons going into the ocean, according to the latest data from Plains All American.

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Drink Outside the Box

May 14, 2015 by Source
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By Jill Richardson / Other Words

I recently checked out an upscale yoga studio here in Madison, Wisconsin and discovered a new and disturbing trend: boxed water.

Boxed water?

OK, I’ve heard of boxed wine — and maybe even drunk a little. But water?

The yoga studio in question appeals to a young, wealthy, presumably eco-conscious demographic. As the skinny, beautiful clients file into the heated room with their yoga mats, they pass a refrigerator case of boxed water and a sign proclaiming its environmental benefits.

These supposed benefits come from packaging water in a box instead of a plastic bottle.

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Gov. Brown on Climate Change: “We’re dealing with it and it’s damn serious.”

May 13, 2015 by John Lawrence
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Then Why Haven’t You Put Any Restrictions on Big Oil and Big Ag?

By John Lawrence

Governor Jerry Brown is leading the nation and perhaps even the world in his efforts to do something about climate change and global warming which is causing epic drought conditions in California.

He has mandated that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to 40 percent below 1990 levels over the next 15 years. Brown called this the most aggressive benchmark enacted by a government in North America. All well and good.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – April 2015

May 12, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear power industry, and highlights the efforts of those who are creating a better energy future.

Here’s the April edition:

By Michael Steinberg /Black Rain Press

Oyster Creek – oldest US nuke keeps shutting itself down

On April 28 patch.com ran “NRC Oyster Creek Nuclear Has Substantial Safety Problems.” Located in New Jersey, the Oyster Creek nuclear plant is the nation’s oldest (sometimes) operating nuke. It started up in late 1969, and is now 45 years old. US nuclear plants were designed to last only 40 years.

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World Carbon Dioxide Levels Pass 400 ppm For First Time Ever

May 7, 2015 by Source
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Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Topped 400 PPM Throughout March In Unprecedented Milestone

By Nick Visser /Huffington Post / May 6, 2015

Average global levels of carbon dioxide stayed above 400 parts per million, or ppm, through all of March 2015 — the first time that has happened for an entire month since record keeping first began, according to data released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Scientists with NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory have called the news a “significant milestone” in the growing scourge of man-made climate change.

“This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120ppm since pre-industrial times,” Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s greenhouse gas network, told The Guardian on Wednesday. “Half of that rise has occurred since 1980.”

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Extreme Weather Watch: April Showers Turn Violent

May 6, 2015 by John Lawrence

weather5April Showers Turn Violent

By John Lawrence

As April drew to a close, drenching rain expanded across the Southeast states, bringing the threat of flooding and travel delays. Strong thunderstorms were also a concern for Florida.

April has been a particularly wet month across the Southeast due to several slow-moving storms that soaked the region over the past several weeks. Mobile, Alabama, has been one of the last month from a series of storms – recording over 13 inches of rain.

This is nearly three times higher than their normal rainfall for the month.

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Green Capitalism: A Contradiction in Terms?

April 22, 2015 by John Lawrence

Part 6 – Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe

naomi quoteBy John Lawrence

This is the sixth and final part of this series. Part 5 can be found here.

Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, debunks the idea that all we have to do is to cooperate with the extractive industries and urge them to get greener. We do not have to go to extremes, but can phase in renewable sources of energy gradually. The gradualist approach is the essence of green capitalism. This will not work Klein says:

[The] bottom line is … our economic system and our planetary system are now at war.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – March Edition

March 31, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and highlights efforts of those who are democratically working to bring about a renewable energy future. As nuclear plants in the US are approaching or surpassing their 40 year operating life, their ability to operate properly and safely lessens, creating more and more problems across the nation.

Here’s our March report:

Diablo Canyon – Last Nuke Plant in California

On February 20 a Federal Court of Appeals in Washington DC rejected an attempt by Pacific Gas & Electric and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to quash a lawsuit filed by environmental group Friends Of the Earth (FOE). According to FOE, the suit alleges that the “NRC illegally allowed PG&E to alter Diablo Canyon’s nuclear plant license.” …

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California Drought Legislation Must Target Agribusiness and Big Oil

March 23, 2015 by Source

By Dan Bacher

Photo of person drinking glass of water that has been contaminated by Big Oil's toxic wasteGovernor Jerry Brown and lawmakers touted the introduction of drought legislation in the Legislature on March 19, while leaders of environmental and corporate watchdog groups urged Brown to put real limits on the “most egregious” water users – corporate agribusiness and big oil companies – to really address the drought.

Brown joined Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and Republican Leaders Senator Bob Huff and Assemblymember Kristin to unveil legislation that they claimed will “help local communities cope with the ongoing, devastating drought.”

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Oil Trains: Death and Destruction on the Rails

March 4, 2015 by John Lawrence

Department of Transportation Predicts Oil Train Derailments Will Become Increasingly Common

train derailmentBy John Lawrence

On Monday Feb 16, 2015 an oil train carrying millions of pounds of crude oil derailed in Boomer, West Virginia. The accident was the latest in a spate of fiery derailments in Canada and the U.S. as vast quantities of oil are being moved across these nations through sensitive environments and large population centers.

A couple days earlier on Feb. 14, there was a crude oil train derailment south of Timmins, Ontario. It took almost a week in subzero temperatures for the fires to burn out. Both the West Virginia accident and the oil train derailment and fire in Ontario involved recently built tank cars that were supposed to be an improvement over a decades-old model in wide use that has proven susceptible to spills, fires and explosions – the Dot-111.

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Nuclear Shutdown News for February 2015

February 25, 2015 by Michael Steinberg

No nukesBy Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and the people working for better energy alternatives.

As I was gathering information for this issue, one word kept popping up: Entergy.

Entergy is a gigantic energy corporation whose highrise headquarters renders the skyline of downtown New Orleans. Among its holdings are 11 nuclear power reactors, making it the nation’s second largest nuclear power company, after Chicago’s Exelon.

At the turn pf the century Entergy went on a nuke plant spending spree, buying up a half dozen aging reactors at bargain basement prices, as nuke plants go.

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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 3

February 17, 2015 by John Lawrence
Renewable Solutions Are Here Now and Technically Feasible Today
By Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

6a00d8341cca9453ef01b7c74c9f94970bIt is now clear, at least from a technical perspective, that we could eliminate fossil fuels over a period of 20 to 40 years. That’s if we went full steam ahead without being blocked by fossil fuel corporations, the politicians beholden to them and various other vested interests who stand to profit from the status quo.

In 2009 Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University and Mark Delucchi, a research scientist at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, came up with a detailed, groundbreaking road map for just how this could be accomplished.

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How To Save $12,000 a Year – Hint: Drive Less.

February 12, 2015 by Source
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By John Anderson

Our family of four is a single-car household. We’ve lived in San Diego since Fall 2009 (5.5 years as of this writing) and have selected our residences in San Diego where we live based on where we work. We’re currently on our third neighborhood. Having a short commute and a variety of transport options is important to us for reasons of both time and money. Today we use bicycles as our primary method of transport, supplemented by our car, bus, Car2Go, and Uber.

Our current car is a 2002 Ford Focus station wagon which we purchased in March 2012. We bought it with 72,700 miles and today, about three years late it has 88,130. 15,430 miles over three years yields an average of 5,143 miles per year. We’ve taken a few road trips to Eureka and Phoenix but mostly have used the car for beach trips and some errands or airport pickups.

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San Diego Group Receives Energy Dept. Grant to Expand Solar Power to Condos and Apartments

February 11, 2015 by John Lawrence

solar 1By John Lawrence

Everywhere in San Diego you see solar panels being installed atop single family homes and large businesses. But hardly anywhere do you see them going in on the large number of local apartment buildings and condos.

Now the Department of Energy SunShot initiative has made a $712,000 grant to San Diego’s Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to study the reasons and do a pilot project to implement solar in such projects.

Condos and apartment buildings represent a huge amount of rooftop real estate which could be gathering in the sun’s rays to provide energy to the occupants within.

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Navy Pledges to Restore Point Loma Shoreline After Removing Fuel Pipeline from La Playa Trail

January 30, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate

Trenches and jackhammers could be coming to Rosecrans Street by year’s end to relocate several miles of an aging Navy fuel line, according to the commanding officer of Naval Base Point Loma (NBPL).

It’s a two-year project to replace the first five miles of a 17.3-mile pipeline that carries diesel and jet fuel from Point Loma to Miramar, said Capt. Howard Warner, who assumed command for a three-year term last August.

Warner earlier this month addressed two local groups — the Peninsula Community Planning Board and Midway Community Planning Group — in an attempt to assure citizens that the $26 million project will cause inconvenience but won’t prevent residents and businesses from using the Peninsula’s most congested and well-traveled artery.

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Extreme Weather Watch: 2014 Hottest Year on Record

January 21, 2015 by John Lawrence

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

It’s official: NOAA and NASA have confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year on record. Despite the fact of Arctic cold winters on the US east coast, the average earth surface temperature was the hottest on record. Those cold temperatures were more than made up for elsewhere.

The fact that the three hottest years on record are 2014, 2010 and 2005 points in the direction that climate change is indeed a reality, a reality that is only getting worse as time goes on. The 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997, …

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Not So Happy New Year: Obama Pushing Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2015

January 5, 2015 by Jim Miller

TPP_finalBy Jim Miller

Last week, I wrote about Project Censored’s Top 25 most underreported stories, one of which was “Wikileaks Revelations on Trans-Pacific Partnership Ignored by Corporate Media.”

Coming in at number three on their list, Project Censored notes that what is important about this story is that :

Eight hundred million people, and one-third of all world trade, stand to be affected by the treaty—and yet only three people from each member nation have access to the entire document. Meanwhile, six hundred “corporate advisors,” representing big oil, pharmaceutical, and entertainment companies, are involved in the writing and negotiations of the treaty.

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Like the Low Gas Prices? They Could Be Even Lower in 2015

January 2, 2015 by Source

oilpricedeclineBy Carl Gibson / Reader Supported News

Oil prices are currently down by 40 percent from where they were in June, and the economies of oil-exporting countries like Russia and Venezuela are tanking. Coincidence? A simple case of more supply than demand? Cunning moves in a global chess game between a desperate empire and its rivals?

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New York State Bans Fracking – Is California Next?

December 30, 2014 by John Lawrence

Fracking CaliforniaBy John Lawrence

In a huge victory for the environmental movement, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned fracking. I guess President Obama is not the only one that can get things accomplished by executive order. Experts have made analyses that identified contamination threats to water, soil and air, the absence of reliable health studies or proof that drillers can protect the public, as well as diminishing economic prospects. All good reasons for the public to demand a fracking ban.

fracking calif mapFracking is also being delivered a death knell by market forces. Since it costs more to access oil by fracking than it does by conventionsl drilling, if the price per barrel falls below a certain point, fracking becomes uneconomical. Lo and behold, thanks to the Saudis who have been keeping production up, the cost per barrel has fallen to around $60. It has to be higher than $80. for fracking to be profitable.

Hooray and Halleluja! Who would have thought that market forces, the Saudis and the environmental movement would all have combined with remarkable synergy to put an end to fracking?

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Nuclear Shutdown News, December 2014

December 19, 2014 by Michael Steinberg
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by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear power industry. As nuclear power reactors approach or surpass their planned operating life of 40 years, they have become less and less reliable and more and more threatening. What to do about this? A complete and immediate shut down of them all! NO NUKES!

Here’s our December report.

On December 3 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that central Missouri’s 30 year old Callaway nuclear reactor had experienced a sudden unplanned shutdown. As the Dispatch-Post stated,“Power in the [nuclear] core went from 100% to 0” right away.

The 1200 megawatt Calloway nuke plant supplies 20% of the electricity produced by its owner and operator, Amergen—when it’s at full power.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission commented, “No safety relief valves opened that would have exposed the [nuclear] core to the outside.” This means the nuclear fuel in the reactor supposedly didn’t release any of its radiation into the environment because of the accident.

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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 2

December 12, 2014 by John Lawrence

earthonfireBy Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Part 1 can be found here

We are lucky to have advanced to a stage that scientists can determine the relationship between the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere, the absolute value in tons of CO2 already in and projected to be in the atmosphere, the rate of increase of CO2 emissions and the relationship between amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface temperatures.

If we didn’t have this science, we might go right ahead destroying the earth’s environment to the point of extinction of human life without even understanding what was happening to us.

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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe

December 11, 2014 by John Lawrence

By Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Part 1 of a Multi-Part Series

Introduction

climate x johnA facile denial of reality sits in the DNA of human nature – and climate change is no exception. The inbred fantasy-culture of endless growth, technology, and a throwaway consumeristic lifestyle fueled by exploiting pollutive fossil fuels has reinforced the illusion that we can do so without destroying the environment and even life itself.

The threat to human life and the planet seems to need to be truly imminent before we humans can change our course. By then, however, it will be too late …

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Stand with Indigenous Peoples, Stop the Pipelines

November 17, 2014 by Source

As so often happens, Native Americans are leading the fight to save the world.

Moccasins on the Ground workshop where participants are trained in the skills, tactics, and techniques of nonviolent direct action.By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

While half of the world’s species are disappearing, while the remaining 48 hunter/gatherer societies are literally fighting for their survival, while 32 million acres of rainforest are cut down a year, and while three hundred tons of topsoil are lost a minute, we are again at war with those who would destroy the planet.

There have been many wars fought on behalf of our life-giving land in North America. The overwhelming majority of those killed in defense of the land have come from peoples like the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Nez Perce, the Sauk, and the Apache. Native Americans have long stood in the way of this destructive culture.

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What’s Not to Like? Gas Prices Down, Solar Energy Production Up

November 5, 2014 by John Lawrence

Wikimedia photo circa 2006

By John Lawrence

Gas prices have dropped below $4.00 a gallon for the first time in several years.

Every one-cent drop in gas prices means a $1 billion annual decline in energy spending by Americans. Consumers can use the savings to eat out more often, buy more goods or pay down debt. That’s good for US motorists and consumers, but that’s not the whole story.

Part of the story has to do with the fact that …

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Massive Dumping of Fracking Wastewater into Aquifers Shows Big Oil’s Power in California

November 4, 2014 by Source

california-fracked-315x288By Dan Bacher

As the oil industry spent record amounts on lobbying in Sacramento and made record profits, documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity reveal that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater were illegally dumped into Central California aquifers that supply drinking water and irrigation water for farms.

The Center said the wastewater entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking (hydraulic fracturing) fluids and other pollutants.

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One of the More Stranger Things that Happened During Tuesday’s Crazy Storm

September 18, 2014 by Staff
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Check this out – this has got to be one of the most strangest things that occurred during Tuesday’s crazy storm: burning palm trees in Pacific Beach – hit by lightning.

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Scientists Find ‘Direct Link’ Between Earthquakes and Process Used for Oil and Gas Drilling

September 18, 2014 by Source
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By Emily Atkin / Climate Progress – News Investigation / Nation of Change / Sept. 17, 2014

The controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing is “directly linked” to the increase of earthquakes throughout the U.S. And the likelihood of these quakes getting stronger is in our future.

A team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have found evidence “directly linking” the uptick in Colorado and New Mexico earthquakes since 2001 to wastewater injection, a process widely used in the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and conventional drilling.

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