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Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

Earth Day Protest – this Thursday, April 22 – at Valero Gas Station, Melrose & Western, 10:30 AM


Two Texas oil companies – Valero and Tesoro – are spending millions to push a deceptive ballot proposition that would kill California’s clean air and clean energy law, AB 32. The oil companies’ “Dirty Energy Proposition” will:

  • Allow polluters to keep polluting.
  • Increase air pollution and public health threats.
  • Increase consumer costs by keeping us addicted to foreign oil.
  • Kill competition from California clean energy companies.
  • Result in the loss of billions of dollars in economic growth and tens of thousands of clean energy jobs.


WHAT: Protest outside Valero Gas Station to draw attention to the Texas Oil Companies behind the Dirty Energy Proposition.
WHEN: Earth Day, Thursday April 22 at 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Valero Station at Melrose and Western, <http://maps.google.com/maps?layer=c&cbll=34.083477,-118.309562&cbp=12,169.49,,1,5&ved=0CEgQ2wU&ei=deTMS5-aC5aijQOYutGACg&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=818+S+Grand+Ave,+Los+Angeles,+California+90017&ll=34.045345,-118.258388&spn=0,0.021865&z=16&panoid=CLNv_DI4V4s3UxJqvl>  Los Angeles
WHO: Environment California, Green LA Coalition, Sierra Club and dozens more environmental and social justice groups and individuals. Sponsored by No on Valero <http://www.noonvalero.com/> .

Bring handmade signs. Examples of slogans include:
“Stop the Texas Oil Companies’ Dirty Energy Proposition”
“Don’t Pollute Our Communities”
Dirty Energy Prop Kills CA Jobs”.

<http://www.facebook.com/pages/Californians-for-AB-32-a-Clean-Energy-Economy/288553045915?v=wall>

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Daily Links – 1/4/10

LA Times: L.A., Long Beach ports fight to stay dominant
Southern California’s twin ports make up the nation’s biggest cargo container hub — and they’re launching an ambitious campaign to stay that way as they navigate a weak economic recovery and increasing competition from foreign and domestic harbors.

NY Times Editorial: Where the Action Is on Climate
Even as many members of Congress resist as too hard or too costly the steps necessary to address global warming, American cities and states have quietly been making serious commitments to curb emissions. Instead of finding reasons to do nothing, Congress should build on these actions…

Globe & Mail: Greener Oil Sands, Greener Planet
Canada’s oil sands, if they can become greener, are a major part of the answer to stable and long-term hemispheric energy supply.

LA Times: Federal agencies may have to consider climate change before they act
The Obama administration may issue an order that would expand the National Environmental Policy Act’s scope to prevent global warming. The move could open up new avenues to challenge projects.

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The Pacific Instutite has recently released a new study which looks at which Coastal area’s in the state are most at risk of climate change driven flooding:

According to the study, “480,000 people; a wide range of critical infrastructure; vast areas of wetlands and other natural ecosystems; and nearly $100 billion in property along the California coast are at increased risk from flooding from a 1.4-meter sea-level rise – if no adaptation actions are taken.”

The report made some key findings:

1. under relatively conservative estimates, the report projects the California coasts line to rise an estimated 1 to 1.4 meters by the year 2100.

2. A 1.4 meter rise can be expected to put 480,00 people at risk of a 100-year flood event.

3. Their demographic analysis identified potentially significant environmental justice concerns.

4. Huge amounts of critical infrastructure will face an increased risk on innundation in a 100-year flood event. the infrstructure involved:

  • Potentially 140 Schools
  • 34 Police and Fire stations
  • Over 300 Hazardous waste facilities/sites
  • 3,500 miles of roads and 280 miles of railways
  • 30 coastal power plants
  • 29 wastewater treatment plants
  • SFO and OAK airports

5. Huge amounts of wetlands and other natural ecosystems are at risk, an estimated 430,000 acres,

6. Around $100 billion worth of property will be at risk.

7. It would cost around $14 billion in upfront costs, and around $1.4 billion a year to protect most of the at risk proporties.

8. Other areas will face increased risk of erosion.

To read the report, visit: http://www.pacinst.org/reports/sea_level_rise/

If you are more of a visual learner, be sure to check out the maps they put together. Want to see if your home is at risk, just check it out using their google maps overlay:  http://www.pacinst.org/reports/sea_level_rise/gmap.html

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Want to know what the City is up to? Well, sometimes it’s best to look at what the city is trying to buy. A couple weeks ago, the city of Los Angeles put this RFI (Request for Interest) up on their Business Assistance Virtual Network – basically, the site they post open business contracting opportunities: LINK

Here is the description: PUBLIC BICYCLE-SHARING PROGRAM FOR LOS ANGELES

“The City of Los Angeles, Department of Transportation is soliciting Letters of Interest from bicycle vendors/manufacturers, public transportation contractors, advertising companies, and other entities interested in developing, installing, operating, and maintaining a bicycle sharing program for the City of Los Angeles.”

I look forward to seeing their proposed locations, and seeing the project move forward.

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Here is the link to the online materials from the SB375 seminar I posted on previously: LINK

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Governor Fast Tracking Highway Construction: So it looks like the Governor is looking to fast track some major state highway projects through the environmental review process in an attempt to boost the economy – LINK. “Schwarzenegger is proposing that the California Department of Transportation forge ahead with some construction projects that are tied up in court over environmental issues. One is a $165-million carpool-lane expansion on U.S. 50 in Sacramento that a judge has delayed because of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it could generate, among other concerns.Protections would also be lifted on a freeway-widening project through an ecologically sensitive area of coastal San Diego County and on a controversial plan to drill a tunnel into the Berkeley Hills. And Schwarzenegger wants to empower a panel of his appointees to waive environmental rules on other projects.” – LA Times.

You know, when the governor initially said he wanted to fast track infrastructure projects, I assumed that he was speaking of major clean energy power generation/efficiency facilities, water conservation/quality projects, and mass-transit upgrades… I’m starting to think that these weren’t the projects he had in mind.
 

Toxics Being Discharged into LA County Waters: According to an LA Times article last week, Heal the Bay has uncovered that water quality regulators have been lax on enforcing water quality regulations, and on developing mandated standards. LINK.  While it is always important to know and keep updated about toxic’s in ourlocal waters, I wasn’t exactly sure why this was really newsworthy. So, to investigate further, took a look at the study which is on Heal the Bay’s web site, Link, and now I get the sense that it’s less of a story about some new dramatic finding, and more a story on a study’s findings, which are less than surprising. Here is the conclusion of the study:

“CONCLUSION
Only 126 priority pollutants are regulated under the California Toxics Rule, yet thousands of toxic chemicals are used every day. Toxicity testing is the safety net of the Clean Water Act, but only if the toxicity results are used to target polluted effluent and the clean-up of toxic surface waters. Most of the region’s aquatic ecosystems have degraded biological integrity. One of the most important actions to protect aquatic life is to ensure that receiving waters are not toxic. As explained by the EPA, an enforceable numeric toxicity limit is the most protective strategy for aquatic life, and there should be enforcement actions taken against those dischargers that create conditions which are harmful to aquatic life. Currently, whole effluent toxicity testing is not being used effectively as a regulatory tool to protect aquatic life in the Los Angeles Region, especially given the erosion of permit requirements from numeric limits to triggers in response to the State Board’s indecision in 2003. Because the State Board ruling in 2003 was statewide, similar results as found in this study in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties are expected statewide. It is time to repair the safety net and ensure that California’s waters and all dependent living organisms are adequately protected.”

Interesting yes, surprising, no. (Maybe I’m jaded though, since I’ve worked at Heal the Bay in the past, and these studies findings were obvious to the organization even then.)

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I just got wind of an interesting project being organized by Peter Black of the Environmental Defense Fund. It is called the “Climate Atlas Project,” and it appears to be a project developed to visualize the growth of the green/clean tech sector. The maps are great, be sure to check them out. Here it is described in an email they recently sent out:

“As part of his ongoing Climate Atlas project, Peter Black of Environmental Defense Fund (based in San Francisco) recently completed an interactive map showing installed solar panel (PV) generation by zip-code in California. This map is one in a series of maps he is producing on topics ranging from green jobs / clean tech development to potential climate change impacts in California (and across the US).

http://blogs.edf.org/climateatlas/2008/12/18/installed-solar-panels-in-california-hows-your-zip-code-doing/

Example:

 

If solar PV interests you, or you are drawn to new ways to present geographic based data, please take a moment to visit the site use this interactive map. As you will see however, due to data completeness issues, some zip codes may still have missing data. In addition, at the site, you can find links to several other map’s Peter has already completed for the EDF Climate Atlas – http://blogs.edf.org/climateatlas/

If you are inclined, please write a comment on the blog and tell us what you think.”

Go ahead, check out your Zip! 

(Thanks Colleen for letting me know about this great project!)

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