Last Updated Aug 5, 2018 9:43 PM EDT SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration declared a "major disaster" in California as the state fights devastating wildfires that have now claimed at least nine lives. The declaration makes federal funds available to residents of Shasta County, where the Carr Fire outside Redding, California, has wiped out entire neighborhoods and forced thousands of evacuations.The move comes shortly after Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) confirmed one of its employees died in an vehicle-related accident Saturday while working to restore services in Shasta County. The company said Jairus Ayeta, in his 20s, worked as an apprentice lineman and was part of a PG&E crew working in "dangerous terrain" to restore power.Also Saturday, Gov. Jerry Brown called on President Trump to help California fight and recover from what has been another destructive wildfire season. Brown, who inspected neighborhoods wiped out by the fire in Redding, said he was … [Read more...] about Trump approves disaster declaration for California as wildfires claim another victim
Pacific gas and electric
MIKE WATSON Last updated 15:42, July 20 2018 Forget what you think you know about hydrogen - it could be the fuel of the future. ANDY JACKSON/STUFF A truck thunders through New Plymouth - could it one day be run on hydrogen gas instead of diesel? Hydrogen - clean, green and coming to a neighbourhood near you.How soon is the unknown factor, but it's something New Plymouth-based hydrogen fuel start-up entrepreneur Andrew Clennett is keen to bring forward.While the highly-volatile gas may still carry a reputation from the Hindenburg airship disaster of 1937, Clennett says technology has moved forward in the intervening years and hydrogen could now be the saviour of a transportation industry heavily dependent on finite fossil fuels.Clennett's company, Hiringa Energy, is located in the front room of the 165-year-old pioneer settlers' cottage that he and his wife and business partner, Cathy, call home.READ MORE:Oh … [Read more...] about Could hydrogen turn Taranaki into the Norway of the Pacific?
John Bacon USA TODAY Published 1:54 p.m. UTC Jul 16, 2018 A deadly, uncontrolled California wildfire raging through seven square miles of brush and forest on Monday forced closure of a key access road into Yosemite National Park. Fire officials had not determined the cause of the blaze that began burning Friday night along the park's western edge, where evacuation orders were issued for a handful of small communities during the height of tourist season. Guests were also ordered out of the Yosemite Cedar Lodge on park grounds. “You can’t see anything, it’s so smoky outside. It’s crazy,” said front desk clerk Spencer Arebalo. More than 500 firefighters were battling the blaze, which was only 2 percent contained. Firefighter Braden Varney, 36 and a married father of two, was killed Saturday when his bulldozer rolled over, authorities said. The Ferguson Fire is one of dozens burning across California and the West as the region struggles with … [Read more...] about Wildfire shuts down Yosemite access road, could ‘become a major threat’
Mike Chapman Redding Record Searchlight Published 2:13 p.m. UTC Jul 16, 2018 REDDING, California —A university climate scientist has a dire prediction for the 4,000-acre blaze burning just west of California's Yosemite National Park and only 2 percent contained as of Sunday afternoon. Daniel Swain believes the Ferguson Fire “is likely to burn for many days and may eventually become a major threat” to the national park, he said via Twitter. Swain, of the University of California at Los Angeles, made the prediction based on two factors. One is that the fire is burning in a tinderbox – an area that’s filled with dry, dead trees that became infested with beetles during previous years of drought. The other reason he’s concerned is that he believes that area of Mariposa County faces “a long period of hot weather to come.” Some 500 firefighters battled the wildfire, which started at about 8:30 p.m. Friday, the California Department of … [Read more...] about Yosemite fire could become major threat to national park, climate scientist warns
MIKE WATSON Last updated 14:18, June 29 2018 SUPPLIED The Pohokura on shore natural gas production station near Motunui, North Taranaki. A Taranaki offshore gas production facility which produced almost half of the country's gas is expected to commence normal supply soon after a leak was discovered in March.Shell Taranaki general manger Rob Jager said repairs to the Pohokuraoffshore pipeline, near Motunui, North Taranaki, had undergone a complex and thorough investigation involving removal of gas and gas condensate from the line.The pipeline was pumped under extreme pressures, twice the normal operating pressure of the line, to pass testing, he said. STUFF Natural gas was first produced offshore from Pohokura in 2006 "We are in the final stage of planning for restart which we anticipate to be in July."We have never been prepared to restart until we are confident it is safe to do so."READ MORE:Hydrocarbon leaks shuts down Taranaki offshore … [Read more...] about Offshore gas supply expected to be back to normal soon after four month pipeline repair