Category Archives: Energy

Should Shu’luuk Wind be built in East County?

Originally Published in the East County Magazine

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2013 (Campo) – The Campo Indian tribe has proposed to lease a portion of its reservation to Invenergy LLC for  an industrial energy project, Shu-luuk Wind.  The project would include 85 wind turbines, each approximately 500 feet tall, on tribal lands near the rural communities of Campo and Boulevard.  The project study area  of impact spans over 4,700 acres; the developer claims a project footprint of 900 acres; many new miles of roads  and power lines are also proposed.

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Forming a power alternative for San Diegans

Originally Published by East County Magazine

By Miriam Raftery

In Marin County, 80% of utility customers now buy power from a local energy cooperative supported by their local government. Now a similar effort is making strides toward giving SDG&E customers an alternative option to purchase power from a  public utility backed by the City of San Diego.
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The Betrayal of Boulevard: Can This Happen to your Town, too?

A Community Plan overruled so that corporate interests can proceed to impose their plans. The Betrayal of Boulevard: Can This Happen to your Town, too?

Originally Published in East County Magazine

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2012 (Boulevard)–Retired tugboat captain Don Renard worked hard all his life before purchasing a little piece of heaven in San Diego’s rural East County.  He bought  a historic house, the former Ruby Store, once a stage coach stop in Boulevard.  He and his family have been working to restore it—in between savoring quiet times spent watching the hawks, owls and song birds among the old oak groves around their home.
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Six key barriers to achieving responsible oilsands development

From the Pembina Institute 

At a Glance

As the debate over oilsands development has become increasingly polarized, misinformation about the impacts of oilsands production abounds. This backgrounder provides a brief overview of six key facts related to the environmental impacts of oilsands development and the ongoing challenges industry faces in improving environmental performance. Together, these facts represent significant barriers to achieving responsible oilsands development.
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About Fracking

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1We are most likely going to hear a great deal more about Fracking. Aside from the fact California may soon have legislation as to how natural gas and oil companies can conduct their operations, there is currently an estimated 14 billion barrels of oil waiting in the Monterey Shale deposit (which stretches from Los Angeles to Northern California). Fracking is responsible for the resurgence of America’s natural gas industry. Though companies like San Diego Gas & Electric – and its corporate twin, South California Gas & Electric – do not appear to frack themselves, they do store, transport and distribute of natural gas. My own questions have distilled down to two:

1. If Fracking is essentially a transitional technology, bridging the gap until renewable technologies are ready to provide the world’s energy needs, is it doing the job?

2. In an interview with the BBC, Peter Voser of Royal Dutch Shell claimed that the technology is available and fracking can be done in a matter that is environmentally friendly. Mr Vosner called for increased regulation, but will this really eliminate the problems? Continue reading About Fracking

Whats the Fracking Problem with Natural Gas?

Originally Published by the David Suzuki Foundation

By David  Suzuki with contributions from with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Editorial and Communications Specialist Ian Hanington

At least 38 earthquakes in Northeastern B.C. over the past few years were caused by hydraulic fracturing (commonly called fracking), according to a report by the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission. Studies have found quakes are common in many places where that natural gas extraction process is employed. Continue reading Whats the Fracking Problem with Natural Gas?

Surprises in the Race to Develop a Viable Green Crude

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1As the impetus of extreme weather events and scientific warnings gain momentum, it is becoming increasingly clearer that much that we once thought to be normal cannot last. We can ignore the challenges confronting us – and risk having to pay a much steeper fine in the not too distant future  – or look for the opportunities.  The quest for a viable “green crude”, which can assume the workload presently carried by fossil fuels, is part of that transition to a more environmentally friendly world. There have already been many surprises along the way.

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The problem with San Onofre

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1When someone like Patrick Moore, who was one of Greenpeace’s founders, comes out in support of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), I take notice. Moore recently  wrote that, “ … I have had the opportunity to visit several nuclear energy facilities across America and common to all of them is their unwavering commitment to safety. It drives everything employees do, from reactor operators in the control room to every other worker at the plant. The nuclear energy industry has the highest safety record in this country and has demonstrated a commitment to continuously updating and improving its best practices based on lessons learned across the global industry….” This is a good endorsement, only I am not concerned about a possible lack of integrity among the people who work at San Onofre.
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Single spill could wipe out economic gains from Northern Gateway

From UBC News 

UBC researchers estimate losses of $300-million, cleanup costs of up to $9.6-billion

A major tanker spill off the coast of northern British Columbia could wipe out any potential economic gains from the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline project, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.
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Are we trading away our rights and environment?

Originally Published by the David Suzuki Foundation

By David Suzuki with contributions from with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Communications Manager Ian Hanington

Global trade has advantages. For starters, it allows those of us who live through winter to eat fresh produce year-round. And it provides economic benefits to farmers who grow that food. That could change as oil, the world’s main transport fuel, becomes increasingly scarce, hard to obtain and costly, but we’ll be trading with other nations for the foreseeable future.

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