Environment

Is there such a thing as "green" fracking?

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Michael Klein is an unlikely oil industry executive. He’s also an unlikely environmental activist. For many years, the affluent San Franciscan was a major donor and chair of the board of the Rainforest Action Network, an environmental organization famous for its aggressive agitation targeting timber giants, coal companies, air polluters, and the dirty energy financiers of Wall Street.

But he's stepped down from that role, and has since helped form a company called Hydrozonix, which might be called a “green” fracking enterprise.Read more »

Treasure Island: Is this the end?

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So Mayor Lee goes to China with plans to celebrate the signing of a deal that would bring $1.7 billion in Chinese investment into the lagging Treasure Island redevelopment project, and instead the whole thing falls apart. Not good for the cross-Bay rivalry: Gov. Brown, a former mayor of Oakland, landed $1.8 billion in Chinese money for his city's big project, while Lee lost out.Read more »

Campaign to ban bottled water sales in national parks targets GGNRA

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UPDATED A national campaign to ban the sale of disposal plastic water and soda bottles in our national parks – which is being actively opposed by Coca-Cola and others who bottle and sell water, that most basic of life-sustaining resources – has arrived in San Francisco as it targets Yosemite and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.Read more »

Oil pipeline protest coming to San Francisco

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Forward on Climate, an event billed as the largest climate rally in history, will have a presence in San Francisco on Feb. 17. With most activity centered in Washington, D.C., organizers of the nationwide mobilization hope to convince President Barack Obama to reject the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, an extension of a tar-sand oil pipeline that connects Alberta, Canada and multiple Midwest cities.Read more »

Avalos to call on SF retirement system to divest from fossil fuels

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San Francisco’s city pension fund may have as much as $1 billion tied up in companies that control fossil fuel reserves, such as Exxon, BP, Shell and Chevron. At the Board of Supervisor’s meeting this afternoon, Sup. John Avalos plans to introduce a resolution calling on the San Francisco Employees Retirement System (SFERS) to divest from leading fossil fuel giants. Read more »

Hurricane Sandy and climate change

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I guess it's no surprise that most of the news media coverage of Hurricane Sandy was focused on the immediate -- when you have six million people without power and transit systems paralyzed and at least 38 deaths, you deal with that stuff first. There will be plenty of time later to talk about causes and preparadness and what to do next time.Read more »

CEQA: We Need It

The right of average citizens to protect their environment may be at stake

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OPINION Big business interests in California are waging a full-scale assault on the California Environmental Quality Act, known as CEQA, which has been loudly blamed for the slowdown in new construction in recent years.

But sluggish construction has been problematic nationwide and is far beyond CEQA's reach. The exaggerated attacks on CEQA parallel extreme Tea Party politics, where facts don't seem to matter and well-funded voices drown out reason. Attackers unfairly scapegoat a law that instead deserves great credit for far-reaching good.Read more »

Artificial turf project appealed as opponents decry use of kids as lobbyists

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As opponents of a controversial plan to install artificial turf soccer fields in Golden Gate Park appealed the project's approval to the Board of Supervisors – with a hearing set for July 10 – they criticized how a soccer coach inappropriately used children to lobby for the project and raised hopes that a new alternative plan would be supported by supervisors.Read more »

Restore Hetch Hetchy conjures corporate boogiemen

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The campaign for a ballot measure that seeks to create a plan for tearing down the O'Shaughnessy Dam – San Francisco's main source of clean water and power – and turning the Hetch Hetchy Valley into a tourist destination must be having a hard time collecting the 9,702 signatures it needs by July 9 because it is resorting to conjuring up unlikely boogiemen to win public sympathy.Read more »