Central Valley fares poorly in new California pollution index

Central Valley communities are among the hardest hit in California under a unique new misery index that provides statewide mapping on community pollution, health and well-being.

The state Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday unveiled a new environmental screening tool that reveals – by ZIP code – how neighborhoods are affected by pesticides, truck fumes, hazardous waste and other toxic factors.

 

San Francisco supervisors vote to divest from Big Oil

San Francisco took a symbolic step Tuesday toward ridding its retirement holdings of investments in the biggest fossil fuel companies, even if it may be years before divestment is realized.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution by Supervisor John Avalos urging the Employees’ Retirement System to divest about $580 million in holdings from the top 200 fossil fuel companies. The resolution calls for the system to stop any new fossil fuel investments and complete divestment within five years.

Report: Chevron El Segundo refinery pipes corroded

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tests of pipe samples from Chevron Corp.’s El Segundo refinery found corrosion to an extent similar to the pipe that failed and caused a large fire at the company’s Richmond facility, a report released Thursday found.

The tests found up to 60 percent wall loss in a pipe at the El Segundo refinery that processed the same type of crude as its sister facility in Northern California, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Big Oil Prefers to Crush Renewables Rather Than Invest in Them

For awhile it looked like the oil giants were seriously diversifying into renewable energy, but that’s coming to an end.

BP dropped its long-standing solar and wind divisions, Shell focuses on how wind energy can assist fossil fuel extraction, and Exxon and Chevron have pulled back from biofuels.

Now boarding for clean air: exposing United Airlines’ dirty wings

This is a guest post written with  Stop Fooling CA partner organization Flying Clean.

FlyingClean

United Airlines has the undistinguished honor of the worst overall airline performance, according to a recent report. With customer complaints that nearly doubled since last year, the airline’s reputation is anything but clean.

But the dubious recognition doesn’t shine a light on the company’s seedy underbelly of clean air and climate opposition

Flying Clean is partnering with Stop Fooling CA to uncover United Airlines, Big Oil and their friends’ closed-door efforts to block implementation of standards that would clean the skies and clear the air.

Airplanes burn dirty fuel that contaminates the air, contributing to respiratory illnesses throughout California and the nation.  Unfortunately, instead of cleaning up their act, United Airlines’ lobbyists have worked in Washington to block applying the Clean Air Act and other laws to reduce pollution from the aviation industry, one of the fastest growing carbon emissions sector in the world.

United Airlines’ dirty wings have a far reach that affects what’s happening right here at home, too. In California, current and former United Airlines employees are leading an oil-funded front group called “Fueling California” to mislead Californians and kill clean air and fuel standards.

Fueling California is a Chevron-funded group that purports to represent the interests of consumers, but instead is focused on finding ways to undermine our climate law and our clean fuels standards.

Bob Sturtz – the former managing director of strategic sourcing for United Airlines – is the President and CEO of Fueling California. And at his side is Melinda Yee Franklin, director of corporate and government affairs for United’s western region.

The oily front group held a closed-door meeting earlier this year to discuss alternatives to California’s clean fuel standard; it’s hard to imagine they had consumers’ interests at heart while trying to kill a popular state law that’s a critical step toward clean air and better health. While executives and lobbyists discussed how to avoid complying with the standard, they shut out health and environmental groups that represent millions of Californians.

We’re proud to partner with Stop Fooling CA to expose United Airlines and Fueling California’s secretive and dirty practices. It’s time to clean the air and Stop Fooling California.

To learn more about Flying Clean and to sign their petition calling on United Airlines to get on board with climate action, visit http://www.flyingclean.com/

Chevron Lobbies Against California Low-Carbon Rule

Chevron is leading a lobbying and public relations campaign to weaken California’s low-carbon fuel standard, a law the oil company once supported.

Chevron pledged in 2007, the same year California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the low-carbon fuel standard executive order, to develop a gasoline replacement from wood, Bloomberg reports.

A year later Chevron and forest products company Weyerhauser formed a joint venture, Catchlight Energy, to research and develop technology for converting cellulose-based biomass into economical, low-carbon biofuels.

Mary Nichols Named One of Time’s World’s Most Influential People of 2013

If, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis claimed, states are the laboratories of democracy, then Mary Nichols is the Thomas Edison of environmentalism. Head of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), she has been a fierce champion of cutting-edge technology that is changing her state, a nation and the world.

This is actually Mary’s third turn at CARB. She served twice under then governor Jerry Brown, who held office from 1975 to 1982. She came back to CARB in 2007, preceding Brown’s return to the statehouse by four years. Prior to her most recent CARB stint, Mary worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.