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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Eco Watch

Re: “How Fracking Causes Earthquakes

Looks like some people are waking up. The Las Angeles Times wrote the city council wants the city, state and federal groups to look at whether fracturing and other forms of gas stimulation caused the 4.4 earthquake on Monday. I wonder how the holding ponds filled with polluted water has affected our waterfowl on other animals.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Phillip Moya on 03/19/2014 at 11:26 PM

Re: “How Fracking Causes Earthquakes

We need sustainable energy policies, Ban Fracking and implement a California Residential Feed in Tariff so our kids and grandchildren have a fighting chance to survive.

Globally we are emitting 40-44 Billion tons of Green House Gases annually, here in California we emit 446 million tons of Carbon Dioxide a year, 1,222,000 Toxic Tons a Day.

"Tell the California Public Utility Commission: No new dirty gas plants!
Every year, more than 70,000 California kids are rushed to the hospital because they can’t breathe, due to air pollution in Calfiornia.

Unfortunately the Governor and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) are considering huge new gas-fired power plants to replace the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Dirty gas plants will make our air worse and just aren't needed.

We can't sit by and let our air get dirtier and our kids even sicker, when we've got cheaper, cleaner, safer options like Renewable Energy." Sierra Club.

California, there is enough Residential Solar to power 2.25 San Onofres, couple that with a Residential and Commercial Feed in Tariff and we can solve some of these environmental and electrical generating problems.

The Southwest is in the midst of a record drought, some 14 years in the making, which means the water supply for many Western states - California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada - is drying up. Last month the Bureau of Reclamation announced they're cutting the flow of water into Lake Mead, which has already lost 100 feet of water since the drought began.

What happens if the Southwest drought does not end soon ?

Will we keep using 3 to 6 million gallons of Clean Water per Fracked well, to extract natural gas ?

This petition will ask the California Regulators and Law makers to allocate Renewable Portfolio Standards to Ca. Home Owners for a Residential Feed in Tariff, the RPS is the allocation method that is used to set aside a certain percentage of electrical generation for Renewable Energy in the the State.

The State of California has mandated that 33% of its Energy come from Renewable Energy by 2020.

The state currently produces about 71% of the electricity it consumes, while it imports 8% from the Pacific Northwest and 21% from the Southwest.

This is how we generate our electricity in 2011, natural gas was burned to make 45.3% of electrical power generated in-state. Nuclear power from Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County accounted for 9.15%, large hydropower 18.3%, Renewable 16.6% and coal 1.6%.

There is 9% missing from San Onofre and with the current South Western drought, how long before the 18.3% hydro will be effected ?

Another generator of power that jumps out is natural gas, 45.3%, that is a lot of Fracked Wells poisoning our ground water, 3 to 6 million gallons of water are used per well.

If Fracking is safe why did Vice Pres Cheney lobby and win Executive, Congressional, and Judicial exemptions from:

Clean Water Act.

Safe Drinking Water.

Act Clean Air Act.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act.

National Environmental Policy Act.

"Americans should not have to accept unsafe drinking water just because natural gas is cheaper than Coal. the Industry has used its political power to escape accountability, leaving the American people unprotected, and no Industry can claim to be part of the solution if it supports exemptions from the basic Laws designed to ensure that we have Clean Water and Clean Air" Natural Resources Defense Council.

We have to change how we generate our electricity, with are current drought conditions and using our pure clean water for Fracking, there has to be a better way to generate electricity, and there is, a proven stimulating policy.

The Feed in Tariff is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in Renewable Energy, the California FiT allows eligible customers generators to enter into 10- 15- 20- year contracts with their utility company to sell the electricity produced by renewable energy, and guarantees that anyone who generates electricity from R E source, whether Homeowner, small business, or large utility, is able to sell that electricity. It is mandated by the State to produce 33% R E by 2020.
FIT policies can be implemented to support all renewable technologies including:


Photovoltaics (PV)

Solar thermal




Fuel cells

Tidal and wave power.

There is currently 3 utilities using a Commercial Feed in Tariff in California Counties, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and Sacramento, are paying their businesses 17 cents per kilowatt hour for the Renewable Energy they generate. We can get our Law makers and Regulators to implement a Residential Feed in Tariff, to help us weather Global Warming, insulate our communities from grid failures, generate a fair revenue stream for the Homeowners and protect our Water.

The 17 cents per kilowatt hour allows the Commercial Business owner and the Utility to make a profit.

Commercial Ca. rates are 17 - 24 cents per kilowatt hour.

Implementing a Residential Feed in Tariff at 13 cents per kilowatt hour for the first 2,300 MW, and then allow no more than 3-5 cents reduction in kilowatt per hour, for the first tier Residential rate in you area and for the remaining capacity of Residential Solar, there is a built in Fee for the Utility for using the Grid. A game changer for the Hard Working, Voting, Tax Paying, Home Owner and a Fair Profit for The Utility, a win for our Children, Utilities, and Our Planet.

We also need to change a current law, California law does not allow Homeowners to oversize their Renewable Energy systems.

Campaign to allow Californian residents to sell electricity obtained by renewable energy for a fair pro-business market price. Will you read, sign, and share this petition?…

Roof top Solar is the new mantra for Solar Leasing Companies with Net-Metering which allows them to replace One Utility with Another, we need to change this policy with a Residential Feed in Tariff that will level the playing field and allow all of us to participate in the State mandated 33% Renewable Energy by 2020.

Do not exchange One Utility for Another (Solar Leasing Companies) "Solar is absolutely great as long as you stay away from leases and PPAs. Prices for solar have dropped so dramatically in the past year, that leasing a solar system makes absolutely no sense in today's market.

The typical household system is rated at about 4.75 kW. After subtracting the 30% federal tax credit, the cost would be $9,642 to own this system. The typical cost to lease that same 4.75 kW system would be $35,205 once you totaled up the 20 years worth of lease payments and the 30% federal tax credit that you'll have to forfeit when you lease a system. $9,642 to own or $35,205 to lease. Which would you rather choose?

If you need $0 down financing then there are much better options than a lease or PPA. FHA is offering through participating lenders, a $0 down solar loan with tax deductible interest and only a 650 credit score to qualify. Property Assessed Clean Energy loans are available throughout the state that require no FICO score checks, with tax deductible interest that allow you to make your payments through your property tax bill with no payment due until November 2014. Both of these programs allow you to keep the 30% federal tax credit as well as any applicable cash rebate. With a lease or PPA you'll have to forfeit the 30% tax credit and any cash rebate, and lease or PPA payments are not tax deductible.

Solar leases and PPA served their purpose two years ago when no other viable form of financing was available, but today solar leases and PPAs are two of the most expensive ways to keep a solar system on your roof." Ray Boggs.

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Ferra on 03/19/2014 at 8:59 AM

Re: “How Fracking Causes Earthquakes

fracking, not the injection of it's toxic waste water, is suspected in the Lowellville , Ohio earthquakes couple weeks ago.....there is NO injection wells near the earthquakes that occurred there, only fracking, it's not just the injection wells causing the earthquakes probably.....

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Dan Ferrell on 03/19/2014 at 6:32 AM

Re: “Why Jean Quan's 10K Plan Is Eco-Friendly

The environmental health impact report on the "Brooklyn Basin" project prepared back in '06.…

Bottom line: the best use of the shoreline here, for Oaklanders rather than investors or people who may be moving here, or as something to tout by pols with little to show for years of officeholding, is as open space. Neighborhoods west of that project have too little access to open space in which to breathe, play, exercise, be healthy human beings. The project will actually reduce the amount of available open space in that part of town.

"Eco" is not appropriate to use in any way regarding any project of Oakland's political establishment.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Michele Ocla on 03/17/2014 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Why Jean Quan's 10K Plan Is Eco-Friendly

In my last comment substitute “Millennials” for “millenniums.” You can tell I’m not one of them, but as an empty nester, I seek the same kind of urban life.

Posted by Joyce Roy on 03/15/2014 at 2:11 PM

Re: “Why Jean Quan's 10K Plan Is Eco-Friendly

The March 6, 2014 issue of the Chronicle published a map locating the 15 sites of Quan’s 10K Two plan. Twelve are located near BART and/or on major transit corridor, two are only on a bus route. But one, Oak to Ninth, now called Brooklyn Basin, consisting of 3100 of the 7100 units, is as isolated as any green-field site with no feasible access to transit. Furthermore, it is located next the noisy, diesel-exhaust-spilling 880 freeway. Every household will need at least one car. At the time of the preparation of its EIR, accounting of greenhouse gases was not required. The only way to address it now is to require all cars to be electric. As far as health affects are concerned, all households should be required to have Cadillac insurance plans.

I am trying to figure out to whom would one market such housing. Who would be attracted to this site simply because some units have some view of water?

Most millenniums don’t want to get into a car for everything. Many don’t even have driver’s licenses. They move to cities for their lively street life, where they can walk, bike or use transit for their daily needs. They have many such choices in Oakland.

Those with children would not want to subject them to the air pollution and no school they can walk or bike to. To access the nearest school requires crossing numerous active rail tracks. Since such families would need a car for everything, why wouldn’t a suburban site where one can have a private yard with clean air be more attractive?

It is hard to believe empty nesters would find this car-dependent site desirable. Most want the same kind of walkable city life millenniums seek.

So who is left? Maybe middle aged childless people?

The most outrageous thing about this project is that the two parcels closest to the noisy, polluting freeway are designated for 420-465 units of housing for low-income families and seniors! In fact, the city is paying the developer $23.6 million for those parcels totally 4.21 acres. For that amount, the city could buy property at a healthy site on a transit corridor for affordable housing which will be more affordable because residents will not have to buy and maintain a car.

And this project is not saving “green spaces in the East Bay.” This waterfront site was designated in the general plan to be a “green space,” that is, for parks and other public uses because it was not deemed a desirable site for private housing.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Joyce Roy on 03/15/2014 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Why Jean Quan's 10K Plan Is Eco-Friendly

Good article! Unlike some other states, most of CA's greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation (around 35-40%), a lot of that from people commuting to and from work. Infill and transit-oriented development are important tools in addressing climate change because it reduces commute time and distance.

I agree with some of what Michelle said, about needing to bolster public transit options. But the important consideration for environmental success is not just whether the 10k residents end up driving cars or not, but the total commute distance. Even if all these new residents do get around by car, if they're driving from Oakland to Oakland or from Oakland to San Francisco to work it has significantly less environmental impact than if they're driving from Walnut Creek to Oakland or Walnut Creek to San Francisco.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nicolas Heidorn on 03/13/2014 at 7:07 AM

Re: “Why Jean Quan's 10K Plan Is Eco-Friendly

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 03/12/2014 at 10:27 PM

Re: “Why Jean Quan's 10K Plan Is Eco-Friendly

This is not just Major Quan’s idea- at the core is it philosophy being pushed and funded behind the scenes by an organization called International Congress of Local Governmental for a Sustainable Future (ICLEI) As I understand it Oakland is a participating city with this organization. This “agenda 21” program is sweeping though U.S. cities is alarming stuff- especially since none of the media outlets ever reports on it.

The ICLEI was the result of a Sept. 1990 conference on sustainable development held by 200 local governments & 43 countries, at the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, at the United Nations in New York. Its practical application aims to circumvent local governments in order to administer “sustainable development” for what they deem as the greater green good. Though the headquarters for ICLEI is in Bonn, Germany, ICLEI has a U.S. branch located in Oakland, CA. The ICLEI describes itself in its website’s FAQs as a pretty benign organization that just offers input on sustainability and green development, but how true is that? Well, let’s take a closer look at the Goals of Agenda 21. - See more at:…

As respects "affordable" housing- what a misnomer. Oakland was affordable prior to its current gentrificaton.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Linda Forde on 03/12/2014 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Why Jean Quan's 10K Plan Is Eco-Friendly

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 03/12/2014 at 1:09 PM

Re: “Why Jean Quan's 10K Plan Is Eco-Friendly

A couple of missing bits from this discussion.

First, the ability of Quan et al to deliver on what they promise, perhaps especially when promises come up in the face of a challenging re-election.

Second, the necessity, if reduced environmental impact is a chief goal, of providing sufficient alternative transportation capacity to meet the needs of the additional population. Alternative transportation means something other than the private car and the costs of providing alternative transportation are far from insignificant.

10K or 20K additional residents all mostly dependent on the car for getting around will hardly improve Oakland's air quality.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Michele Ocla on 03/12/2014 at 9:27 AM

Re: “State Panel Urges Rejection of Water Tunnels

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 03/06/2014 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Hydrogen Fuel Raises Safety Hazards

Natural gas is also odorless and colorless, so its leaks are hard to detect as well. That's why an odor is added to it. Surely the same could be done for hydrogen gas.

Posted by Nancy Schimmel on 03/01/2014 at 1:52 PM

Re: “Hydrogen Fuel Raises Safety Hazards

The California Fuel Cell Partnership agreed to be interviewed for a portion of this article. Sadly, we found the final story riddled with factual errors. The following is a link to our detailed response to the article and its inaccuracies.

Keith Malone
California Fuel Cell Partnership

Posted by Keith Malone on 02/28/2014 at 9:58 AM

Re: “Hydrogen Fuel Raises Safety Hazards

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 02/27/2014 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Taking Stock of Lake Merritt

Sounds like a not-to-be-missed event -- count me in! (And not just because I'm related to the author of this piece.)

Posted by Ruby MacDonald on 02/19/2014 at 7:12 AM

Re: “The Coming Salmon Drought

It would seem that fish slowly transported while having river water circulated to imprint the smolts may significantly reduce the likelihood of straying. Lock someone in the trunk of a car and drive them around for 9 or 10 hours and let them out and see if they can find their way home! It's not very realistic to base any strategy on there being enough water - it was criminally overallocated 50 years ago.

Posted by Mark Kipp on 02/15/2014 at 12:52 PM

Re: “The Coming Salmon Drought

Oh no! Please, no salmon drought! I love salmon from Berkeley Bowl!

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Tony Daysog on 02/12/2014 at 10:18 AM

Re: “More Tar Sands and Fracked Oil Headed for East Bay

Dear Mr. Leeds, your statement appears to conflict with the present lack of the formerly large volumes of Alaskan crude and the simultaneous desire by Chevron to refine higher sulfur crude, that may or may not be Tar Sands. I suspect that the project intends to refine more high-sulfur heavy crude, that could also be Venezuelan or heavier Middle Eastern crude perhaps, but cheap Tar Sands crude will be coming to CA by rail or by barge from British Colombia, although Chevron has a wider source of crude than Phillips or Valero, for example. But for now, forget large amounts of Alaskan crude.

Chevron/Richmond EIR states: Presently, the Refinery can process crude oil with a sulfur content of about 2 percent. Typical sulfur content of the Refinery crude mix is about 1.7 percent. The Renewal Project would enable the Refinery to process crude mixes with a typical sulfur content of up to 3 percent.

AND from its 1988 peak, Alaskan crude has plummeted to now approachingonly one quarter of the peak amount: California, home to two-thirds of the refining capacity on the U.S. West Coast, isn’t banking on a renaissance in Alaskan oil while production surges in states such as North Dakota, said Gordon Schremp, a fuels analyst at California’s Energy Commission in Sacramento.

The state relied on Alaska North Slope crude delivered by tanker for 46 percent of its refinery feedstock in 1990, California Energy Commission data show. That share has dropped to 12 percent as refiners have more than doubled the volume of oil they receive by rail from other places including North Dakota, New Mexico and Canada.

Read more:

AND A likely option in the face of declining Alaskan production will be to hike crude imports from Canada. This northern neighbour has overtaken competitors Saudi Arabia and Mexico in recent years to become the US’s largest source of crude oil, benefiting on proximity and energy security grounds as production has increased.

[While much of this goes to mid-west and Gulf Coast refineries, yet the peak amount going through the Keystone XL pipeline will be less than 25 percent of their projected maximum extraction, so they will likely bring it to the west coast by rail or by the proposed Enbridge pipeline through BC to CA. According to refinery expert Dr. Phyllis Fox: "Even higher sulfur crudes than 3% could be included in a 3% “mix,” which might include, for example, Canadian tar sands or heavy Venezuelan crudes, which are closer and more secure than oils from Russia or the Middle East."]


Charles Davidson

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Charles J. Davidson on 02/09/2014 at 11:59 PM

Re: “Alarming Radiation Levels Found on Treasure Island

wow, I lived there also in 1972 (approx) That is scary

Posted by Lynn Weaver Skinner on 02/08/2014 at 7:34 PM

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