Here’s today’s roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond.

AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year lowPITTSBURGH (AP) â In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

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Chevron fire truck didn’t spark fireState investigators have ruled out the possibility that an idling Chevron fire rig was the ignition source for a vapor-cloud blaze that destroyed part of the company’s Richmond refinery last week, officials said late Thursday.

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Chocolate may help blood pressure, cognition, scientists sayChocolate lovers, rejoice! Two studies published this week indicate that the delectable treat not only may help reduce blood pressure, but also can improve cognitive function. Local chocolate makers and confectioners are not surprised. “There has been a lot of research on the benefits of chocolate, especially higher-percentage chocolate,” said Michael Recchiuti, co-owner and chocolatier of San Francisco’s Recchiuti Confections, referring to darker, more concentrated chocolates.

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Radiation worries on Treasure IslandThe Navy’s draft report, dated Aug. 6, marks the first time the military has fully acknowledged that the island, created from landfill in 1937, was used as a repair and salvage operation during the Cold War for ships that may have been exposed to nuclear testing in the Pacific.

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Bay Bridge’s east span Big Lift beginsWorkers on Tuesday began the three-month process of lifting the 35,200-ton bridge decks from the temporary steel trestles on which they were assembled onto the tower and main suspension cable that will cradle and support the suspension span.

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Renters in California May Gain Access to More Renewable EnergyRenters in California May Gain Access to More Renewable Energy Proposed legislation would make renewable energy available to millions more Californians California’s big utilities are working toward the goal of generating 33% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, but some people want more renewable power, sooner.

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CO2 Emissions in US Drop to 20-Year Low – 8/17 KQED Science News Roundup 2 October,2015Jenny Oh

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