Environment

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 »

Key CleanPowerSF facts matter more than myriad details

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It’s great to see our colleagues down the hall at the Examiner and SF Weekly covering the evolving details of CleanPowerSF, San Francisco’s plan for offering renewable energy options to city residents. Read more »

Activists to governor: Please un-frack California

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A statewide coalition of more than 100 environmental organizations has formed to pressure California Gov. Jerry Brown to ban fracking – an environmentally harmful oil extraction method technically known as hydraulic fracturing.Read more »

More protests over Willits bypass project

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Controversy over the Willits Bypass continued Monday, as Willits protesters sought to block Caltrans contractors from continuing work on the highway construction project. Protester Robert Chevalier, 66, locked himself to a Caterpillar tractor used for hauling felled logs using a steel “lock box.” At another location, four other protesters unfurled a banner to block work trucks that were preparing for pile-driving tests. Read more »

Ultimate zero

San Francisco promises that by 2020, no garbage will end up in a landfill. But is that really possible?

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rebecca@sfbg.com

In January, Mayor Ed Lee appeared on the PBS NewsHour to talk up the city's Zero Waste program, an initiative to eliminate all landfilled garbage by 2020 by diverting 100 percent of the city's municipal waste to recycling or compost. "We're not going to be satisfied," with the 80 percent waste diversion already achieved, Lee told program host Spencer Michels. "We want 100 percent zero waste. This is where we're going."Read more »

Aiming for the top of the food chain

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The issue of labeling for genetically engineered foods gained fresh momentum last week, when Sen. Barbara Boxer announced she’d be pushing for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require this consumer notification on a national level.Read more »

The zero-sum future

We can switch from cars to bikes, now. Or we can leave our kids a climate-change disaster

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tredmond@sfbg.com

It's going to take longer, sometimes, to get from here to there. Acres of urban space are going to have to change form. Grocery shopping will be different. Streets may have to be torn up and redirected. The rules for the development of as many as 100,000 new housing units in San Francisco will have to be rewritten.

That's the only way this city — and cities across the country — can meet the climate-change goals that just about everyone agrees are necessary.Read more »