Energy

Nuclear Shutdown News – February 2017

March 1, 2017 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world. Here is out February 2017 report:

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

1. Fire and explosion at French nuclear plant.

Various media outlets reported that on February 9, a fire and explosion happened at the Flamanville nuclear plant, forcing the shutdown of one of its two reactors there. The nuke is located in Normandy on that country’s northwest coast, facing the English Channel.

The BBC reported: “The explosion and fire happened in the turbine room.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Reader’s Rant: Will New “Smart” Led Street Lights on Newport Ave in Ocean Beach Write You a Parking Ticket?

February 24, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Reader’s Rant: Will New “Smart” Led Street Lights on Newport Ave in Ocean Beach Write You a Parking Ticket?

By Not Amused in OB

Are “smart” led street lights coming to Ocean Beach to surveil you and write you a parking ticket? I heard Newport Avenue is slated to get new led lights.

The evening news on Channel 10 covered this, and it appears that our mayor, Kevin Faulconer , just rolled out on Wednesday a program of installing new street lights in San Diego and Ocean Beach. The mayor announced he’s expanding this program of putting in “smart sensors” which will be able to “gather and disseminate data on things like traffic, parking availability, public safety and air quality.”

And Kevin said that his city has partnered with a company from back east called Current which will install 3200 of these “Smartlight Sensors”, powered by GE.

Read the full article → 8 comments

OB’s Electric Car Charging Stations Promoted as San Diego Surges to Become Green Leader

February 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilwoman Lori Zapf were in Ocean Beach last week promoting the two new electric vehicle charging stations installed in the Life Guard parking lot. Both politicos feel that with the City’s surge in offering stations to the public – now up to 68 – shows that San Diego is becoming a municipal leader in dealing with climate change.

“Move over Portland, San Diego is growing greener and we’re growing smarter,” Zapf said, as it has been reported than there are currently an estimated 13,000 electric vehicles on the road in San Diego.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Trump’s 7-Nation Immigration Ban Excluded Saudi Arabia – the Largest Purchaser of U.S. Military Equipment

February 16, 2017 by John Lawrence

Egypt Also Excluded – Major Recipient of U.S. Military Aid

By John Lawrence

Why did Trump try to impose tighter vetting on 7 nations in the Middle East without including Saudi Arabia and Egypt? Could it be that it’s because Saudi Arabia which is a hotbed of terrorism is also an ally of the US and an enemy of Iran?

Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. Osama bin Laden was a Saudi. The machete wielding attacker at the Louvre recently was Egyptian. Neither Egypt nor Pakistan nor Afghanistan were included on the so-called President’s list. Pakistan harbored bin Laden. Afghanistan is the home of the Taliban. If Trump had wanted to keep terrorists out of the US, surely he should have included these countries in his ban. But terrorism is more about U.S. alliances than it is about morality or human rights.

Read the full article → 0 comments

County Supervisors to Vote on Community Choice Energy and Kill SDG&E’s Monopoly

February 14, 2017 by Source

community choiceBy Tyson Siegle, SanDiego350

On February 15th, San Diegans will have an opportunity to take a huge step forward on clean energy.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will vote on implementation for some or all of the San Diego County Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan (CREP).

Many of the steps outlined in the plan save the county money and promote a healthier environment, but one particular piece of the plan could do more to promote clean energy and lower costs than all the rest combined: Community Choice Energy (CCE).

Read the full article → 1 comment

Yoga Festival Held in Ocean Beach Was a “Labor of Love” for Organizers

January 30, 2017 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Yoga Festival Held in Ocean Beach Was a “Labor of Love” for Organizers

It was readily apparent that the 4-day yoga festival held in Ocean Beach that began on Friday, Jan. 27th, was a rousing success. Some 800 people took part – and it continues today, Jan. 30th – as festival-goers had dozens of options in how to participate – from participating in traditional classes overlooking the ocean, wine-tasting-based yoga sessions, yoga with your dog, a “namastoked” sunset surf session.

More info on today, Jan. 30, see the website of the San Diego Yoga Festival.

One of the key coordinators was our own Melanie Williams, board member of the OB Town Counsil and owner of TriPower Yoga in Ocean Beach. She told the San Diego Union-Tribune that planning the festival and then pulling it together was “a labor of love.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Pipelines, Propaganda, and Even More Protests

January 26, 2017 by Doug Porter

No pipelines

Indigenous Tribes, Environmentalists, and Scientists Feel Trump’s Wrath

By Doug Porter

The number one selling book on Amazon earlier this week was George Orwell’s ‘1984’ the classic story of a world of government surveillance, propaganda and “newspeak.” In the book, the “Ministry of Truth” actually delivers lies.

I suspect this uptick in sales (and the announcement of additional printing by Penguin Books) comes from the realization by Americans that lying is officially part of the new administration’s program.

Now it’s time to acknowledge ‘alternative facts’ are just one part of what’s going on. The tactics of this administration also include chaos, as proven by the rapid-fire attacks on institutions, humans, and the planet over the past couple of days.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Yoga Festival Coming to Ocean Beach at End of January

January 19, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Yoga Festival Coming to Ocean Beach at End of January

At the end of January, members of the OB community are hosting the San Diego Yoga Festival, an event that has been in the planning since last summer.

The idea supposedly was initiated by a San Diego Police supervisor, Sgt. Yu, who patrols OB, as a method to clear OB’s parks and waterfront out. He told the San Diego Reader that:

“… I love seeing those people doing their workouts; the more they show up, the more we fill these public spaces with this type of positive energy, the more quickly transient gangs will move on…and I call them transient gangs because they gravitate and congregate in groups of 5, 10, 15 and intimidate people; they are no different than a gang.”

The mission behind the yoga festival has deepened since then, and as Katrina Thomas wrote in the San Diego Entertainer Magazine, the festival organizers are “, inviting teachers and participants from around the country,” and aim to place San Diego on the map in the yoga world.

Read the full article → 1 comment

San Diego Sierra Club Rallies Members to Oppose Trump Agenda – Sat. Jan. 14th

January 13, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

From Sierra Club

Sierra Club San Diego will rally members and supporters to oppose the Trump administration’s agenda of increased fossil fuel usage and to promote ways of securing a path to 100% clean energy in the San Diego region through Community Choice Energy. The event will provide the public with opportunities to voice their concerns and get involved in local efforts to resist the Trump administration.

3:00 PM, Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mission Valley Public Library
2133 Fenton Pkwy
San Diego, CA 92108

Background:

Read the full article → 0 comments

Summary of 2016 Nuke Shutdowns

January 2, 2017 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News December 2016

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

Here is our December 2016 report:

1. Summary of 2016 nuclear shutdowns.

This year continued the acceleration of the permanent shutdowns of US nuclear plants.

On December 8 nbcchicago.com reported that the Palisades nuke plant on Lake Michigan would be shut down in 2018, according to its owner, Entergy of New Orleans. NBC said Palisades was “too old and dangerous,” and a chronic money loser.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Benefits of Community Choice Energy and How California Utilities Aim to Block Them

December 23, 2016 by Source

Graphic depicting Community Energy Choice model

By Tyson Siegele / SD350.org

In California, the fight is on between renewable energy advocates and the old guard electric utilities. All across California, cities and counties have been moving to implement Community Choice programs because they provide cheaper, cleaner, locally generated electricity. In fact these programs are so good, the utilities hope you never hear about them.

Before we get to the conflict and intrigue, let’s look at the basics of this new approach to buying electricity. Community Choice Energy (CCE), also known as Community Choice Aggregation, is a way for cities, counties or regions in California to look out for their own energy interests, a hybrid between regulated and deregulated electricity supply

Read the full article → 3 comments

Oklahoma Residents Taking Action Against Frackers But Is It To No Avail?

December 21, 2016 by John Lawrence

FrackersEarthquake Capital of US

By John Lawrence

We have written previously about the fact that Oklahoma is now the earthquake capital of the US. It seems forcing all the waste products from fracking down deep wells has disturbed the earth enough to cause a lot of earthquakes there.

In addition to jolting the nerves of Oklahomans, it is destroying their property. In 2014, there were over twice as many earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma as in California, making Oklahoma the most seismically active state in the contiguous United States by a substantial margin.

Read the full article → 0 comments

San Diego Labor Opposes Dakota Access Pipeline

December 12, 2016 by Jim Miller

nodapl02 DAPLBy Jim Miller

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the heroic struggle against it have ignited a big battle inside of American labor. Earlier this fall an excellent article in Common Dreams outlined the split over DAPL at the national level with key trades unions and AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka backing the pipeline and criticizing the protests while other large national unions were issuing statements supporting the Standing Rock resistance.

Here in California and elsewhere, Trumka’s letter in support of the pipeline received strong condemnation.

For instance, a response to it that I penned as chair of the California Federation of Teachers Climate Justice Task Force challenges the AFL-CIO leader in the strongest possible terms:

Read the full article → 0 comments

Nuclear Shutdown News – November 2016

December 9, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – November 2016

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our November 2016 issue:

Fukushima quake rock’s Japan’s and the globe’s psyche.

On Tuesday, November 22, at 5:39 a.m., a strong earthquake hit Japan’s southeast region, including the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing widespread panic and immediate tsunami warnings. The 11-23 Japan Times reported:

“Sirens rang continuously along the coast, and on TV screens a red banner read”Flee immediately!”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Victory at Standing Rock! Department of Army Says No to Dakota Access Pipeline

December 5, 2016 by Source

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Cannon Ball, N.D.— The department of the Army will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Police Use Water Cannons in Freezing Weather on Protesters at Standing Rock

November 21, 2016 by Source

Photo Credit: MagicZoetrope / Flickr Standing Rock

By Alexandra Rosemann / Alternet

Police used water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, late Sunday, Nov. 20. At least one person was arrested and dozens injured.

The confrontation began at 6pm, near the encampment were the protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline have been ongoing for months. According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, 400 protesters attempted to cross Blackwater Bridge on state Highway 1806 after removing a burned-out truck.

Read the full article → 2 comments

The Dakota Access Pipe Line: The Latest Last Ditch Stand

November 3, 2016 by John Lawrence

Oil Corporation Tramps on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

By John Lawrence

Dakota Access Pipe LineFinally, there is an alliance of a major group — U.S. Indians — and environmentalists who are taking a stand to prevent the furtherance of fossil fuel interests.

Bill McKibben of 350.org says we must stop now insofar as building more fossil fuel infrastructure, which is what a pipeline represents, if we are to have a hope and a prayer of saving the planet from the effects of global warming.

The Native Americans have those interests and more — they rely on clean water from the Missouri River for their lives and livelihoods. This pipeline would probably result in the pollution of the water they rely on because pipelines aren’t foolproof. They break and spew their pollution. In addition, the pipeline construction is desecrating Indian burial sites.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Nuclear Shutdown News – October 2016: Hurricane Matthew Imperiled US Nukes

November 1, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – October 2016: Hurricane Matthew Imperiled US Nukes

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Hurricane Matthew Imperils US Nukes As It Threatens Millions

Hurricane Matthew, which brought death and destruction from Haiti to the Carolinas in October, also had an impact on a number of aged nuclear facilities in the US. There are no nuclear plants in Haiti, Cuba or the Bahamas, which suffered the worst of the hurricane’s wrath.

On October 4, as Matthew approached Florida, Florida Power & Light, the electrical utility that runs the St. Lucie nuke plant in the southeast part of the state, declared an “unusual event” at the plant.

On a scale of 1 to 5, an Unusual Event is a 1, with the worst such nuclear plant emergency being mandatory evacuation.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Nuclear Shutdown News – September 2016

September 30, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – September 2016

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our September 2016 edition:

Activists protest Diablo Canyon shutdown chicanery.

On September 19 the San Diego Union-Tribune ran this story: “Protests filed over the details of proposed Diablo Canyon Shutdown.”

“It’s been less that three months since (San Francisco-based) Pacific Gas & Electric, along with an assortment of groups, including environmental groups, announced its interest in shutting down the last remaining nuclear plant in California–Diablo Canyon.”

It’s shutdown date is set for 2025. The Union-Tribune story appeared just after the deadline for filing protests to PG&E’s shutdown proposal had passed.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Mary Louise Parker, OB Peoples, Mixed Nut House, and Me

September 21, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Mary Louise Parker, OB Peoples, Mixed Nut House, and Me

By Michael Steinberg

This past summer, while perusing library shelves 3000 miles from OB, I came upon actress Mary Louise Parker’s 2015 reminiscence, Dear Mr. You, wherein she recounts relationships with some of the men in her life.

As I glanced down the table of contents, one name jumped out and set off a set off a tsunami of flashbacks.

The year was 1984, the place Ocean Beach People’s Food Co-op, aka OB Peoples or just Peoples.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Nuclear Shutdown News – August 2016

August 31, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – August 2016

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is our August 2016 edition:

US nuclear industry reaches a new low with resale of decrepit nuke plant already scheduled to permanently shut down next year.

On July 12, Syracuse.com in upstate New York announced, “Entergy to sell FitzPatrick to Exelon in mid-August.”

The FitzPatrick nuclear plant is located in Lake Ontario near the Canadian border. It started up in late 1974, not long after Richard Nixon’s reign over the White House permanently shut down. This means the nuke plant’s one reactor has been cranking away for almost 42 years, releasing radiation into the air and water in the Great Lakes region all the while.

US nuclear reactors were designed to operate only 40 years.

Read the full article → 1 comment

SB 32: California’s Big Bet on the Environment

August 31, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for SB 32: California’s Big Bet on the Environment

By Doug Porter

Senate Bill 32 was approved by the California legislature last week along with a companion bill (AB 197), putting the Golden State on a path to further reducing greenhouse gas emissions past the end of the decade.

Gov. Jerry Brown fought long and hard for the legislation mandating an additional 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030. The state is already on track to meeting the goal, set by AB 32 in 2006, to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions back down to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Not included in the new legislation was extending the state’s cap-and-trade program, arguably a more flexible, lower-cost policy tool to cut emissions. As things stand now, the future of the program is uncertain, as the California’s Chamber of Commerce is in court seeking to overturn the program on the basis that it needed two-thirds approval.

The Governor maintains that SB 32 and AB 197 will provide the leverage he needs to reach a deal with businesses that would prefer a market-based program like cap-and-trade over tougher mandates to cut pollution. Brown says he will put the matter of the program’s future on the 2017 ballot if he has to.

Read the full article → 0 comments

San Diego Unified First School District in California to Call for Pension Funds to Divest from Fossil Fuels

August 29, 2016 by Source

San Diego Unified School Board meeting, July 26, 2016

By Anne Marie Tipton / SanDiego350.org

The San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution on July 26th calling on the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS) and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) to divest their investment portfolios of stocks in fossil fuel companies.

Recognizing the threat of global warming, the resolution also supports last year’s state legislation, SB 185, which requires PERS and STRS to divest from coal stocks. Most of SDUSD’s employees belong to these huge retirement systems.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Gas Leak in OB Monday Night Forces Evacuations

August 23, 2016 by Staff

A gas leak discovered Monday night, caused about 200 OB residents to be evacuated from their homes.

According to the San Diego U-T:

Homes in the vicinity of Bacon and Cable streets and Santa Cruz and Del Monte avenues were expected to be evacuated throughout the night until at least 5 a.m. as crews worked to locate and repair the broken gas pipe, said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Nuclear Shutdown News for July 2016 – San Onofre Whistleblower: Utility Ruined its Own Nuke Plant.

August 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News for July 2016 – San Onofre Whistleblower: Utility Ruined its Own Nuke Plant.

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is out July 2016 report.

San Onofre whistleblower: Utility put profits above safety, ruined its own nuke plant.

A radiation leak at San Onofre nuclear plant in southern California caused its two reactors to shut down in in 2012, and resulted in its permanent closure the following year.

On July 19 the Times of San Diego reported on a press release by Public Watchdog, a nonprofit policy group, detailing allegations of a former employee at San Onofre. Southern California Edison is the controlling owner of the nuke plat, with San Diego Gas & Electric being a minority owner of the wrecked nuclear plant.

The whistleblower, Vinod Arora, is a former Edison fire protection engineer who worked at San Onofre.

Read the full article → 1 comment

How I Learned to Keep the Peace at a Hippie Festival With No Rules

July 13, 2016 by Source

Rainbow gathering livia gershon

When 10,000 people camp out together at the Rainbow Gathering, staying groovy can be a challenge.

by Livia Gershon / Atlas Obscura / July 11, 2016

When I wandered into an internet forum for members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light and started asking about going to their long-running national gathering, the responses were friendly, but a little unnerving. In the midst of a series of messages about Rainbow etiquette, one person briefly noted that “some bad things have a potential 2 happen. If ya ever have trouble just yell ‘shanti sena’, & some help will be on the way.”

Read the full article → 2 comments

Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

June 22, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future,

California Announces Last Nuclear Plant in State – Diablo Canyon – to Close by 2025

The really big news is that on June 21, PG&E, the utility that owns Diablo Canyon, announced that it had agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025.

This is a major victory for environmentalists – California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. For years, anti-nuclear activists had called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines. Friends of the Earth, for example, has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Carbon Dioxide Levels Set to Pass 400ppm — Permanently

June 15, 2016 by Source

The findings highlight increasingly urgent concerns about global efforts to curb climate change as outlined in the Paris agreement. (Photo: Mikael Miettinen/flickr/cc)

Carbon emissions and extreme weather events poised to push CO2 levels past symbolic threshold for good.

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Record carbon dioxide levels are set to surpass the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million (PPM) this year and will likely never fall below that line again in our lifetimes, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Scientists at the UK Met Office used emissions data, sea surface temperature figures, and a climate model from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii to track the trajectory of CO2 levels and found that carbon dioxide “will for the first time remain above 400 ppm all year and hence for our lifetimes.”

Emissions have increased over the past 12 months due to the continued burning of fossil fuels, but the impact has also been exacerbated by an unbridled El Niño event.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Extreme Weather Watch: May 2016 – Canada Burns, India’s Extreme Heat Record, US Tornadoes

June 8, 2016 by John Lawrence

Too Hot to Go Outside

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

A city in western India set an all-time heat record of 123.8 degrees F in May. Authorities issued a severe heat wave alert which means that people can expect temperatures of 117 degrees F or more. In addition, drought is affecting much of the country. The heat will probably not let up until the monsoon rains come sometime in June.

The prolonged heat wave has already killed hundreds and destroyed crops in more than 13 states. Hundreds of small farmers have reportedly killed themselves, and tens of thousands have been forced to abandon their lands and live in squalor in urban slums in order to eke out a living.

Rivers, lakes and dams have dried up in many parts of the western states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, and groundwater supplies are severely depleted.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Obama Administration Approves Resumption of California Offshore Fracking

June 2, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Obama Administration Approves Resumption of California Offshore Fracking

By Dan Bacher

Claiming that fracking poses “no significant impact” to the environment, Obama administration officials on May 27 finalized their plans to allow oil companies to resume offshore fracking and acidizing in California’s Santa Barbara Channel.

The announcement from the two agencies responsible for oil drilling, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), ended a court-ordered settlement placing a moratorium on offshore fracking and acidizing for oil in the fish and wildlife-rich federal waters off California.

The two agencies reported they have completed a comprehensive environmental analysis evaluating the potential impacts from the use of “well stimulation treatments” – acidizing and fracking operations — on the 23 oil and gas platforms currently in operation on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore California.

Read the full article → 1 comment