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Carbon Storage Could Aid Climate, but at What Cost?

While building a power plant in Southern California that buries carbon dioxide underground can help the industry meet California’s greenhouse gas and gas reduction goals, local concerns regarding health effects and air pollutants challenge the project’s environmental claims.
This story is part of a special report on climate change in the Summer print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

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California’s Hunger for Low-Carbon Power Could Hurt Other States

California’s effort to ensure that the state receives low carbon electricity could end up increasing greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere in the country, thanks to a practice known as contract reshuffling.Importing low-carbon electricity from out-of-state suppliers of renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower is one way California’s electric utilities can decrease their carbon emissions.
This story is part of a special report on climate change in the Summer print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

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Dirtytech: They Obsessively Sort and Recycle What You Dump

If you think of Recology as a set of blue, green and black bins that hang out in the alley of your house that you roll out to the curb weekly — you have no idea. Over the last 10 years, what San Franciscans have been thinking of “garbage collection” has been transformed into something vastly different and much more industrial. Last month the 91-year-old worker-owned company announced that 80 percent of what San Franciscans put in the bins is going somewhere other than the landfill, a vast improvement on the 34 percent national average. The 650 tons a day of recyclables hauled by Recology is divided up almost entirely by hand, by a vast army of sorters.

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How the Profits Upkeep Commission Helps PG&E Pick Your Pocket

The next time you pass a power pole consider this: Pacific Gas & Electric expects that pole to be there until the year 2357 and perhaps until 2785. The average PG&E pole has just nine years of useful life left, according to PG&E’s sworn testimony asking for more money to speed pole replacement. It got money through rate hikes to replace poles on a 50-year cycle, but it has been replacing them on a 346 to 778 year cycle while, by PG&E’s own testimony, diverting that money to other purposes.