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CA utilities fall short of renewable energy mandate

By Victoria Schlesinger

The California Public Utilities Commission reports that the state’s three major utilities are getting roughly 18 percent of their energy from renewable energy sources. That’s two percent shy of the twenty percent they were supposed to have by 2010. It looks likely they will make it by 2012. And then they have eight years...
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Tags: 20 percent, , , california public utilities commission, , renewable energy, renewable portfolio standard, utilities
Posted in Climate Change & Energy, Policy, The Daily Catch | No Comments »

PG&E’s weak San Bruno gas line noted in 1956

By Victoria Schlesinger

PG&E chose not to install safety valves on their San Bruno gas lines in 2006 because they concluded that most of the damage from an explosion would occur in the first 30 seconds, officials revealed yesterday during a National Transportation Safety Board hearing in Washington D.C. Documents also revealed that PG&E workers were concerned...
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Tags: explosion, gas line, national transportation safety board, natural gas, , san bruno
Posted in Climate Change & Energy, Contaminants, Policy, The Daily Catch | No Comments »

PG&E in the federal hot seat over gas explosion

By Victoria Schlesinger

The National Transportation Safety Board will seek answers from PG&E officials over the next three days about the San Bruno gasline explosion last September. Specifically, safety officials will try to determine why PG&E lacked any automatically controlled valves to shut off the gas, which gushed uncontrolled for more than an hour.
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Tags: hearing, national transportation safety board, nature gas, , san bruno pipeline explosion
Posted in Climate Change & Energy, Policy, The Daily Catch | No Comments »

PG&E customers could pay for gas explosion

By Victoria Schlesinger

PG&E may ask its customers to foot part of the bill for a gasline explosion in San Bruno last September that killed 8 people. The utility company spent $63 million in 2010 on the explosion and anticipates paying out considerably more on lawsuits and pipeline tests. PG&E reported $1.1 billion in profits for 2010....
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Tags: bill, cost, gasline explosion, , pipeline, san bruno
Posted in Climate Change & Energy, The Daily Catch | 1 Comment »

Sebastopol may ban Smart Meters

By Alison Hawkes

Sebastopol in Sonoma County is a hotbed of anti-Smart Meter activism. With two new members of the city council now in office, the political landscape may have changed enough that the town may ban the PG&E meters on Tuesday. Officials say that since other towns in the area have enacted bans, they are less...
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Tags: , sebastopol, , sonoma county
Posted in Climate Change & Energy, Contaminants, The Daily Catch | 1 Comment »

Marin’s green energy authority cuts rates

By Alison Hawkes

Electricity costs for customers of Marin’s independent energy authority are getting a 14 percent rate cut, bringing costs in parity with PG&E. The Marin Energy Authority is well ahead of PG&E in its renewable portfolio with more than 26 percent of the generation from green energy sources. PG&E, which still provides the transmission lines,...
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Tags: , marin energy authority, , renewable energy
Posted in Climate Change & Energy, The Daily Catch | Comments Off

More leaks found in PG&E gas pipelines

By Alison Hawkes

PG&E has found an additional 21 gas leaks in its service area, including three in South San Francisco, as part of an ongoing investigation into the safety of its infrastructure following the San Bruno explosion. The leaks were found by flying small planes over feeder mains and using a methane detector to pick up...
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Tags: methane, natural gas, , san bruno explosion, south san francisco
Posted in Contaminants, The Daily Catch | Comments Off

PG&E says utility misunderstood on Prop. 16

By Victoria Schlesinger

Utility company Pacific Gas & Electric lost the San Francisco measure that would require a two-thirds electorate vote for the city government to sell electricity because it was misunderstood, according to CEO of PG&E Peter Darby. “The problem was we never had an opportunity to have a discussion,” Darby told attendees to a University...
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Posted in Climate Change & Energy, Policy | Comments Off

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Field Notes Blog

UC Berkeley study: Using fear backfires on climate change

It’s been a point of maddening frustration for scientists and environmentalists that as the predictions on global warming grow more dire, the public seems...
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A storm of biblical proportions

It’s been a long, cold rainy winter this year in California. But it could get worse — much worse. The USGS warned this past...
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Hidden Treasure: An Eco-City in San Francisco Bay?

Listen to WOW reporter Alison Hawkes’ radio story about the greening of Treasure Island, which aired on KQED’s California Watch.
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