(07-10) 11:47 PDT San Francisco -- Golden Gate Bridge officials are expected this morning to boost the cost of crossing the landmark span by $1 - the first of two toll increases looming for commuters.
The toll increase, approved by the bridge district's finance committee Thursday, is expected to be adopted by the board of directors and to take effect Sept. 1. It would raise tolls to $5 for those paying with FasTrak and $6 for cash-payers.
"This increase is for our financial stability," said Mary Currie, bridge district spokeswoman.
CALIFORNIA – A bill that would impose an additional gas fee in the Bay Area and Los Angeles made its way through the Capitol this month, receiving near unanimous approval in Senate committees.
The fuel surcharges bill jointly authored by Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, was introduced in February as a way to raise funds for climate change mitigation projects in the two regions and so far has had a successful run.
Since the city solar-incentive program came into effect in July, it has become financially viable for even small energy consumers to install solar-power systems. The San Francisco incentive covers between $3,000 to $6,000 for homeowners to install solar panels, as well as $10,000 for businesses and nonprofits, and $30,000 for nonprofit affordable housing. The program runs for a decade.
With the statewide drought upsetting homeowners who cling to their gardens and lawns, the concept of "gray water" irrigation systems is enjoying a kind of revival in interest.
"Whereas we used to get one or two requests a year about gray water before the drought, now we get about one inquiry a day," said Dick Bennett, water conservation administrator for East Bay Municipal Utility District. EBMUD supplies brochures and guidelines on how to install gray water systems.
If you think four dollar gas is expensive, think again. A major investment bank is predicting the price of gas will reach seven dollars in the next two years, forcing us to radically change our commuting habits. But are our transit systems ready for a massive switch to public transportation? With the governor is pushing to take $1.4 billion from public transit projects to bail out the state budget, the outlook is grim.
Mass transit wants riders, but seven dollars a gallon for gas is going to create a new kind of commute congestion.
In every epic quest, there comes a time when renewed focus and purpose is required to finish the endeavor. The fight for clean and safe air has reached such a moment.
For years, the people and businesses of the Bay Area have worked in partnership with government agencies such as the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to cut smog. Regulators approved new standards for clean cars, trucks and fuels; businesses responded with clean, innovative products; and consumers embraced these new and improved goods.
No cap on types of crude oil at refinery
by Christopher Heredia
Richmond's planning commissioners on Thursday reversed a decision to limit the kind of crude oil that Chevron can process at its refinery in the city, a move decried by environmental groups concerned that a planned expansion of the plant would increase air pollution.
Chevron wants to expand its 3,000-acre plant on Richmond's waterfront to add a new power plant and crude oil refining facility. The material processed at the new facility would have higher contents of sulfur and other impurities, city officials said.
Press Release on Business Wires:
SAN RAMON — As business leaders were gathered inside Chevron's corporate headquaraters for the company's annual shareholders meeting today, dozens of activists outside the gates protested the company's alleged environmental and human rights abuses in Ecuador and other parts of the world.
"I'm here to tell Chevron that what they've done to my community is a disaster," Mercedes Jaramillo, of Ecuador, said tearfully.
RICHMOND, CA (KGO) -- Hundreds of people packed a high school auditorium in Richmond Thursday night to talk about Chevron's plan to expand its operation there. It's a contentious issue because it would mean hundreds of jobs, but some residents are worried about the trade-offs.
The meeting continued for more than four hours. Still, no decision from the Richmond Planning Commission which could green-light the project, turn it down, or send it back to Chevron for more information.
Plans to upgrade and expand Chevron's oil refinery in Richmond have been in the works for three years. Critics still aren't sure the time is right.