Californias largest utility company plans massive sale of natural gas division

January 9, 2019 by  
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Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California ’s largest utility, is exploring the possibility of selling off a major part of the company, according to a new report. Thanks to the massive liability costs that they could be facing for their possible culpability in recent deadly wildfires, PG&E has a strategic plan called “Project Falcon” to cover costs and avoid bankruptcy. This plan would involve the company selling its natural gas division and then using the proceeds to pay the potential millions of dollars in claims from the wildfires . Anonymous sources recently told NPR that PG&E is also looking at selling critical real estate assets— like the company’s San Francisco headquarters. Last Friday the utility announced that they would explore “structural options” to put the company in the best possible position to meet customer needs and operational demands. They also revealed that they are searching for new directors for the board to “augment its existing expertise in safety.” “Safety is and will continue to be our top priority as we work to determine the best path forward for all of our stakeholders. PG&E remains fully committed to helping our customers and the affected communities recover and rebuild — and to doing everything we can to reduce the risk of future wildfires,” said spokesman Andy Castagnola in a written statement. Back in June, Cal Fire (California’s fire agency) determined that PG&E power equipment sparked at least a dozen major wildfires in 2017. And now, the agency is looking into whether or not the company sparked the November 2018 fire that ended up being the deadliest and most destructive one in the state’s history. Related: Thousands of animals have been displaced by California wildfires If Cal Fire determines that PG&E caused that fire , it could result in the company having to pay billions from legal action against them. Insurance companies Allstate, State Farm, and USAA have already filed lawsuits against the utility, and some equity analysts project that the damages from the recent wildfire could exceed PG&E’s market value and its insurance coverage. The California Public Utilities Commission would have to approve PG&E’s plan of selling their natural gas division. The regulatory agency has already expressed their concern about the utility’s inferior safety record, as well as their lack of transparency and past efforts to pass liability costs onto their customers. State Sen. Bill Dodd, who originally supported shielding PG&E from liability costs related to the 2017 fires, has now switched gears. “PG&E has demonstrated a pattern of poor management and illegal conduct that has shattered lives across California,” Dodd said in a statement. He also called for “systemic change, which must include change on the board of directors and in the executive suite.” Via NPR Images via skeeze

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Californias largest utility company plans massive sale of natural gas division

7 ways to navigate the complicated new climate disclosure maze

March 22, 2018 by  
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It’s been almost a year since the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) released voluntary guidelines designed to help companies, investors, banks and insurers better understand and react to the complex climate risks affecting financial markets.

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7 ways to navigate the complicated new climate disclosure maze

Get Your Spouse On Board with Eco-Friendly Living

October 19, 2017 by  
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If you’re passionate about living an eco-friendly lifestyle that’s free … The post Get Your Spouse On Board with Eco-Friendly Living appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Get Your Spouse On Board with Eco-Friendly Living

EPA to eliminate 1,228 employees by August – including dozens of scientists

June 21, 2017 by  
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Although 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is a real threat, the Trump administration maintains that global warming is a “hoax” – and it’s gutting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) . Under administrator Scott Pruitt the EPA has scrubbed climate science from its website, and now it’s eliminating thousands of employees — including dozens of scientists — by failing to renew their contracts in August. The Washington Post reports that members of the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) were alerted via email that their terms will not be renewed in August. While they do have the opportunity to re-apply by September, the news came as a shock to many – on average, scientists serve three terms and are re-elected to a fourth if they are willing to serve. Peter Meyer, an economist with the E.P. Systems Group, resigned from the board’s sustainable and healthy communities subcommittee as a form of protest. Meyer said: “We were told quite explicitly by the leadership of the sustainable and healthy communities group … that our assignment was a four-to-five-year assignment. That was what we were told at our first meeting. That produces an assumption that you’re going to get reappointed so that you can complete the job.” Deborah Swackhamer, chair of the board’s executive committee and professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota, added, “It effectively wipes out the BOSC and leaves it free for a complete reappointment.” Related: EPA dismisses 5 members of major scientific review board Because this is the second time this year the agency failed to renew scientists’ terms, some claim the Trump administration is politicizing the agency, which exists to benefit wildlife and preserve the environment. In response, EPA officials stated that the cuts provide a new opportunity to reach out to a broad array of applicants and draw on their expertise. “ EPA is grateful for the service of all BOSC members, past and present, and has encouraged those with expiring terms to reapply,” said agency spokeswoman Amy Graham. “We are taking an inclusive approach to filling future BOSC appointments and welcome all applicants from all relevant scientific and technical fields.” The BOSC advises the agency’s Office of Research and Development on whether its research can adequately address important scientific questions. Due to cuts, only five scientists remain on the executive committee. The ultimate fear is that the EPA could eliminate members that hold different opinions than the Trump administration , and fill those positions with people who are more favorable to the communities being regulated by the agency. Reportedly, the agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) will also be changed in the near future. “This gives me a great deal of concern about the erosion of science in this administration,” said Robert Richardson, an ecological economist and associate professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Community Sustainability . “It’s hard to understand the rationale behind a decision like this. I understand they might simply want to repopulate [the board] with people of their own choosing. However, this could also be a way of just weakening advisory boards, of diminishing their role by not replacing members.” Via Washington Post Images via EPA , PBS

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EPA to eliminate 1,228 employees by August – including dozens of scientists

DoE trumpets clean tech ‘energy revolution’

October 11, 2016 by  
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Wind and solar PV deliver two-thirds of new electricity generating capacity in the U.S., as cost of clean tech falls across the board.

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DoE trumpets clean tech ‘energy revolution’

Why some utilities are embracing distributed power

October 11, 2016 by  
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Electricity companies that take initiative now can position themselves for a bright future in tomorrow’s clean energy economy

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Why some utilities are embracing distributed power

BOARD designs a column-free lightweight bridge extension for a school in Germany

August 24, 2015 by  
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BOARD designs a column-free lightweight bridge extension for a school in Germany

Cool Chargeboard Juices Up Your Smartphone While You Skate

September 22, 2014 by  
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Ever wished you could charge your iPhone while skateboarding? Now you can with Chargeboard , a fantastic new long board designed by Bjorn van den Hout . Unlike any other board on the market, Chargeboard generates its own electricity through two hidden dynamos, storing it right away into a power box. And to up the cool ante as only Dutch designers know how, the board doubles as a docking station for blasting your favorite tunes after a long ride. Read the rest of Cool Chargeboard Juices Up Your Smartphone While You Skate Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bjorn van den Hout , Chargeboard , charges iPhone , docking station for music , dutch design , energy efficient device , kinetic energy

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Cool Chargeboard Juices Up Your Smartphone While You Skate

Blues Giant Memphis Slim’s Historic Home Transformed into Modern Music Collaboratory

September 22, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Blues Giant Memphis Slim’s Historic Home Transformed into Modern Music Collaboratory Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: brg3s architects , eco design , green design , historic homes Memphis , historic renovation , memphis slim , Memphis Slim Collaboratory , Memphis Slim Music collaborators , sustainable design

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Blues Giant Memphis Slim’s Historic Home Transformed into Modern Music Collaboratory

ABC’s Investigative Team Uncovers Plastic Microbeads in Toothpaste Getting Stuck In Patients Gums

September 22, 2014 by  
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ABC7 Chicago reports that Dentists and dental hygienists have begun speaking out against plastic microbeads in toothpastes after many have noticed the tiny blue beads lodged in patients’ gums or between their teeth. Dentists are concerned about the possible implications for gingivitis and periodontal disease, although no cases have yet been reported. In response, toothpaste manufacturers have indicated they are happy to remove the beads from their products, but there will be a “phasing out” period. Read the rest of ABC’s Investigative Team Uncovers Plastic Microbeads in Toothpaste Getting Stuck In Patients Gums Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: dental hygiene , gingivitis , gum disease , health issues , microbeads , periodontal disease , plastic microbeads , plastic microbeads in toothpaste , plastics , polyethylene , teeth , toothpaste , water issues

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ABC’s Investigative Team Uncovers Plastic Microbeads in Toothpaste Getting Stuck In Patients Gums

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