springfield energy scene


I got an email from Southern Illinois that said 30 big rigs had rolled through town yesterday morning. I figure that that is enough for 2 wells. It seems like some drilling company has decided to “go for it”. Which makes sick and disgusting sense. Many of the leases die at the end of April. I suspect that these will be test wells, because no one knows what is down there. It takes about  7 days to to drill a well and frack it. That would have the wells beginning to come in as the lease expires. This is what I said in print.

Thursday, April 11,2013

Letters to the Editor 4/11/13

Fracking and litter control act

By Letters to the Editor

 

FRACKING STINKS

I am writing to argue for a moratorium against fracking in Illinois (SB 1418). Chicago environmentalists argue that “fracking is going to happen anyway.” That is a total capitulation to the industry. The bill that the environmentalists endorse (HB2615) is amazing in the things it does not prevent. It does not force the frackers to recycle their water, allows for methane flaring, allows wells within 300 feet of water sources, allows wells within 500 feet of a house, does not allow adequate testing of produced waters especially for radiation and then allows that waste to be deep well injected and finally allows for the state to overrule counties and municipalities who do not want fracking or more protective measures.

Many states have tried to establish hydraulic fracturing regulations that would allow the industry to drill safely. The problem is regulations do not work. The industry always violates the regulations and when caught pays the fine as part of standard operating procedure. These violations include injecting radioactive water underground, open pit storage of fracking and waste waters even where not permitted, the production of toxic fumes and the sickening of residents, well water contamination and the direct dumping of toxic water into springs and streams. They have gone so far as to sell toxic water to county townships to suppress dust in the summer and to de-ice roads in the winter as if that was safe. Homeowners are duped into selling mineral rights without being told that it will make their houses impossible to sell and wreck their mortgages. In Pennsylvania their violations include:

– 224 violations of “failure to properly store, transport, process or dispose of residual waste.”

– 143 violations of “discharge of pollutional material to the waters of Commonwealth.”

– 140 violations of “pit and tanks not constructed with sufficient capacity to contain pollutional substances.”

This does not include the actual damage that they do to the environment, like damaging the roads where they work, and flaring the natural gas that should be harnessed as a fuel source and the constant noise pollution that the above activities produce. I was visiting a friend in Colorado when such a well was put in and the noise and smell alone were enough to sicken me.

Doug Nicodemus
Riverton

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Go there and read. They did a whole 5 page article on the issue. More later.

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The Earth Awareness Fair was this last weekend and I should be reporting on that. But these two women were there, Clada Parker and Jenn Bormann. They are with Roselawn Memorial Park and Butler Funeral home respectively. I am going to do Roselawn today and Butler tomorrow. I just love these guys. They had a woven basket casket with an optional silk liner with them on Saturday. But they have so many options it is real exciting. This is their Facebook page and their website:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roselawn-Memorial-Park/121946907815445

http://www.roselawninfo.com/

And here is a great little write up on them:

http://wakethememory.com/blog/category/cemeteries/

Are There Green Cemeteries in Illinois?

July 19th, 2010

I am happy to report that the answer is finally, YES!

 

The Green Burial Council in California recently approved Roselawn Memorial Park for green burials. You can now be buried in Illinois without a casket, without embalming, without anything but a shroud if you want.

 

I do not personally think that a green burial ground has to be approved by the Green Burial Council, but they have some strict standards that make sense, and their mission is great. In a previous life, I worked in the architectural world, and saw first-hand what it was like dealing with the logistics of becoming LEED certified, and know how hard it can be. Additionally, it is very expensive to become “Certified Organic”. I think it’s worthwhile to recognize any cemetery or burial product willing to become more natural, and I will support any company that tries to be better.

 

Here is their information. They do not seem to have a working website yet. I will keep you posted and update after I contact them directly.

 

Roselawn Memorial Park – Hybrid Cemetery
924 South 6th Street
Springfield IL 62703
217/525.1661

 

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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I know I said I was done with the residential housing market last Friday. I was talking to Bob Croteau about which side of the insulation the vapor barrier should be on if you are insulating the upper portion of your  basement and he mentioned this in passing. By the way the answer is the vapor barrier should be on the basement side of the insulation and he suggested  only insulating 4 feet of the basement from the top of the basement wall down. After that you are pretty much wasting your time. On to the solar rebate. The reason I said to hurry and get it if you were thinking about solar it is because it is on a first come first serve basis.

http://www.cwlp.com/energy_services/ESO_services_programs/solar_reb.htm

SOLAR REWARDS Rebate

CWLP’s SOLAR REWARDS program offers rebates of up to $15,000 per household or business to CWLP electric customers who install solar electric—also known as photovoltaic (PV)—systems at their residential or commercial facilities. To qualify for participation in the program, customers must meet all eligibility criteria, including being pre-approved prior to purchasing any equipment or starting any work.

The SOLAR REWARDS rebate program is being offered on a first-come/first-served basis until funds budgeted for the program are exhausted. The rebate is calculated at $1,500 per kilowatt (kW) of system capacity. Qualifying systems can range from a minimum of 0.5 kW to a maximum of 25 kW. Rebates will be provided in the form of a CWLP bill credit. For rebates exceeding $1,000, applicants may request their rebate payment in the form of a check, but must provide CWLP with their social security number or FEIN number. Customers have 90 days from the date of their pre-approved application to complete their PV system installation and submit their post-installation documentation to CWLP. Failing to either meet this deadline or receive a deadline extension from CWLP will result in the loss of rebate eligibility.

To apply to participate in the SOLAR REWARDS Rebate Program, use the Pre-Approval Application in the online SOLAR REWARDS Application Packet. To request a hard copy of the Packet, contact the CWLP Energy Services Office by phone at 789-2070 or by email.

Photovoltaic systems convert energy from the sun into electricity using panels that are installed to take maximum benefit of available sunlight. Some systems are even designed to allow the panels to “track” the sun throughout the day. The lifespan of a typical PV panel is approximately 25 years.

Using solar energy can help homeowners and businesses reduce consumption of fossil fuels and lower their monthly energy bills by reducing the amount of electricity purchased from CWLP. (View photos of a sampling of PV systems that have been installed in Springfield.)

Residential applicants can combine CWLP’s SOLAR REWARDS rebate with Federal tax credits or State of Illinois incentives to make solar a more affordable renewable resource option.

For more information about the SOLAR REWARDS Rebate Program or about photovoltaic systems, contact the CWLP Energy Services Office at 789-2070 or nrgxprts@cwlp.com.

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More tomorrow.

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You wonder why I go on about all the things you can do in your house to save power. Well the following article tells the whole story. As I said this a joke and the joke is on you. They will never get to the “smart” meters and once they do, so what. Then all you become is a part of the utilities load flattening program. Big whoop. Who wants to do laundry at 2 o’clock in the morning. Nice piece of writing though.

http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-9550-ameren-illinois-launches-10-year-modernization-plan.html

Thursday, January 12,2012

Ameren Illinois launches 10-year modernization plan

Proposed new rates could mean a decrease for some customers

By Neil Schneider

Ameren Illinois, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation, took its first step in implementing its Modernization Action Plan (MAP) on Tuesday, Jan.3. The plan will provide customers with a more reliable and modernized electric distribution system.

In a press release, Ameren said that over the next decade an additional $625 million will be invested in updating the Ameren Illinois electric delivery system, while also creating 450 new jobs during the program’s peak year. Ameren Illinois serves 20,767 customers in Sangamon County.

“Today’s filing with the Illinois Commerce Commission marks the beginning of an initiative that will enable Ameren Illinois to modernize its electric distribution system over the next 10 years in order to meet the service expectations of our customers in the 21st century,” said Craig Nelson, senior vice president of Ameren Illinois.

The filing includes the deployment of about 750,000 automated “smart” meters, greater use of advanced distribution system automation, the modernization and expansion of electric substations and the installation of new transformers.

Smart meters allow consumers and utility companies to monitor electricity more closely during the day through the usage of wireless transmitters, while also allowing a utility company to “talk” to the meters and adjust power usage and distribution throughout the day.

Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris said that a major advantage of the “smart” meters is Ameren customers will be able to take advantage of a “time-of-use service.”

Morris said that there is the potential, for people who choose to use the “time-of-use service” to save money.

“Customers can choose to buy electricity at a certain time of the day, at the certain price it is offered at during that time,” Morris said. “You can imagine that electricity is typically going to cost more at three in the afternoon than at seven in the morning. Like anything else, it is about supply and demand.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Tim Landis is one of the best writers left on the State Journal Registers staff. This Green Center will be a boon to the Springfield community.

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1627418028/LLCC-programs-offer-free-training-in-green-industry

LLCC programs offer free training in ‘green’ industry

Posted Nov 17, 2011 @ 11:00 PM
Last update Nov 18, 2011 @ 06:45 AM

Lincoln Land Community College expects to begin training about two dozen students for “green” jobs  early next year through two pilot programs made possible by $600,000 in federal training grants.

The Renewable Energy Academy and the Green Construction Academy will provide intensive training — classes are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday — for jobs in renewable energy and energy-efficient building.

“We are looking at a lot of new skills and jobs that have not been there in the past,” Julie Rourke, LLCC director of workforce development, said Thursday.

The renewable-energy classes are scheduled to begin Jan. 9 and the classes in green construction on Feb. 13. Both continue into mid-June.

Rourke said the school hopes to enroll 15 students in renewable energy and 12 in green construction. There will be no cost to the first group of students, because the federal grants are paying for the expense of setting up the program, including equipment.

But she said the four-days-a-week schedule will take a strong commitment.

“It’s set up that way for a reason. One is the grant period,” said Rourke. “The other is that we expect a lot of non-traditional students who may be transitioning from one career to another, and there’s an urgency to get them back in the work force.”

The grants, $350,000 from the U.S. Department of Education and $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor, were awarded through the LLCC HIRE Education program. The goal is to make the classes self-sustaining once the grants expire at the end of 2012.

LLCC Green Center manager Julie Bates said classes will cover a variety of renewable-energy and energy-efficiency skills, including solar, small wind systems, geothermal, green construction, plumbing and heating, landscaping and site planning.

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More tomorrow.

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Man the State Fair was kinda disappointing for me this year, at least from an energy perspective. Now I admit that the first year I started posting here was a pretty heady year. IDE had 2 booths for energy conservation. One was for seniors and one for the general public. Conservation World was packed. The Sierra Club had a tent with CWLP complete witha solar exhibit and a hybrid car. There were doors and windows guys galore in the Exhibition Hall, and even a guy selling wind turbines. The AG Equipment section even had an exhibit about biofuels. This year there was nada until I stopped at the “don’t mess with powerlines” guys tent (sorry – Live Line Demos) and saw the Wall Of Efficiencies display that was sharing space with him. Here is my picture.

That is Aaron Ridenour of PPI. According to him, they originally got the Wall to take to there members Board Members meeting but since then it has been to North Dakota, Kansas and Washington DC. They were actually in a Senate Hearing concerning a Coops Bill.

Here is what they say about it:

http://www.ppi.coop/environmental/energy-efficiency/

tilized by PPI and its member cooperatives over the past few years. The sixteen foot “Energy Efficiency Walls” illustrate various opportunities for air infiltration or leakage within the common home due to poor construction practices and materials. The displays address: energy efficient construction practices and materials, and energy efficient equipment and technologies. The proper use of caulking around penetration points in the home’s external walls, such as window and door openings, gas, water, AC and heating system fuel lines and ventilation systems, and the selection and installation of energy efficient insulation materials, ventilation equipment and lighting systems are just a few of the energy efficient items illustrated in the Walls. Utilizing the displays at member cooperatives’ annual membership meetings, NRECA and Touchstone Energy regional events, community college workshops and educational classes, … homebuilder shows, county fairs, legislative briefings in Washington DC to promote energy efficiency loan programs and other events, … over 400,000 consumers have been exposed to the educational opportunities of the Energy Efficiency Walls since 2009.

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More tomorrow.

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Nuff said.

 

http://www.agr.state.il.us/isf/

CARNIVAL SPECIAL
NEW THIS YEAR- The Illinois State Fair will be offering Bargain Bracelets for all rides (excluding Giant Slide and SkyGlide). It will be conveniently available for purchase at the Carnival and Adventure Village when you arrive to enjoy the fair. This Bargain Bracelet will replace Children’s Miracle Network Wristbands.

Thursday, August 11 “Deuce Day” All rides $2.00
Experience unlimited rides with a Bargain Bracelet for $25.00!
Friday, August 12 12-6 PM
Monday, August 15 12-11 PM
Tuesday, August 16 12-11 PM
Wednesday, August 17 12-11 PM
Thursday, August 18 12-11 PM
Friday, August 19 12-6 PM
Sunday, August 21 NOON-10 PM

Grandstand reserved seats and track tickets on sale Saturday, April 30, 2011, 10:00 a.m. at ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster Phone centers (800-745-3000, TTY-800-359-2525) and all Ticketmaster outlets. Grandstand ticket office will accept Mail Orders starting Monday, May 30, 2011. Grandstand box office will open for walk-up sales starting June 4, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. All adults and children 3 years of age and older MUST have a ticket for Concerts.MAIL ORDER WILL BE ACCEPTED – after May 30, 2011 at: The Illinois State Fair Ticket Office, P.O. Box 19427, Springfield, IL 62794-9427.

Order tickets via U.S. mail with our order form.

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More tomorrow maybe.

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For years Springfield’s CWLP Department has been a black hole. No matter what the form of government, NO Mayor has ever understood the city owned utility’s finances. As a result mysterious things are always going on there. The 50 million $$$ power buying contract that went belly up came as a complete surprise to everyone in the 1990s. The coal contracts in the 1980s were even more questionable. Now they are saying “because of the depressed economy” we will never make our own budget surpluses for the year. Give me a break. People are using less energy it is true. But that is gasoline not electricity. Something ain’t right.

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1608503929/CWLP-Engineer-Future-depends-on-economy

CWLP engineer: Future of utility depends on economy

Posted Mar 29, 2011 @ 11:00 PM
Last update Mar 30, 2011 @ 05:46 AM

City Water, Light and Power’s chief engineer Tuesday described the state of the city-owned utility as stable, with its future largely dependent on the overall economy.

“With the economic conditions if they return, power prices will go up, and some of those revenues that we had lost and anticipated having, hopefully those will return, and that will improve the economic stability of the utility,” said Eric Hobbie, after an update on the utility to aldermen.

The new, 200-megawatt Dallman 4 was expected to generate millions of dollars annually from selling surplus power. But revenues have fallen far short of projections largely because of a depressed energy market.

CWLP’s spending plan for the fiscal year that began March 1 totals about $352 million, an increase of 10.8 percent over the previous year. Projected electric fund expenses total $295.6 million, an increase of 8 percent. Water fund expenses total $56.6 million, an increase of 27 percent, although that can largely be attributed to capital improvements that will be paid for with prior water rate hikes.

CWLP faces its share of challenges in the years ahead, including an aging work force and new federal laws and regulations, Hobbie and other CWLP officials said. Aging equipment is another concern.

Hobbie, who took over as chief engineer in 2009, said about 25 percent of CWLP’s 700 employees are over the age of 50 and have more than 20 years of experience. He said the utility tries to promote from within, but noted there is a “big gap” between younger employees and those on the verge of retirement.

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More tomorrow.

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I have not talked about local issues for awhile but the Illinois Times had several green stories this week so what the heck. Instead of talking about slaughtered civilians and mad men.  I will talk about civility.

http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-8402-cwlp-readies-for-greener-future.html

Thursday, March 3,2011

CWLP readies for greener future

By Rachel Wells

A contract requiring Springfield’s public utility to be more environmentally responsible doesn’t expire for another six years, but local activists are already urging the city and its residents to start thinking now about how today’s decisions can determine City, Water, Light and Power’s seemingly distant future.

In 2006, the Sangamon Valley Group of the Sierra Club threatened costly delay to the construction of CWLP’s newest power plant if the city didn’t agree, among other things, to bring wind energy into its portfolio for at least 10 years. The city agreed, but local Sierra Club president Will Reynolds says the mayor and aldermen elected this April will determine the success of several additional “green” initiatives that CWLP is already researching. If those initiatives are successful, they could prepare Springfield for continued use and promotion of renewable energy, even without a contractual obligation.

“There’s not going to be, unless something really unexpected happens, another Sierra Club agreement that is just going to make CWLP buy all that wind power,” Reynolds said last week at a public forum where CWLP provided an update on its work in renewable energy and sustainability. “What happens next is going to be up to the next city council and the next mayor we elect and it’s going to be up to people organizing and putting on pressure for Springfield to use clean energy.”

Cool Cities is a national Sierra Club program encouraging cities to reduce their carbon footprints. Springfield’s Cool Cities advisory group is already working on preliminary goals for increasing Springfield’s energy efficiency, growing its sustainability-linked economy and conserving land and water. Once the group’s goals are finalized, members will meet with the new mayor.

“If we can take sort of this global, high-level wish-list, at the moment, to the mayor and we get affirmation that ‘OK, this makes sense. I will put the name of my administration behind this,’ then at that point it goes public,” says CWLP Energy Services Office manager Bill Mills. “If there is not affirmation, basically we take our toys and go home because we were told to quit playing.”

Mills’ office is also researching programs that, if adopted, could encourage growth of solar energy production and the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by CWLP customers.

At the point when solar power peaks – on hot summer afternoons – CWLP customers and their air conditioners are using the most energy. Increased solar panel use by CWLP customers means the utility is under less stress to power their homes and businesses and can sell more of the energy it produces to the wholesale market. Doing so brings in more money for the utility to use on environmental initiatives, Mills says. Because installation cost is a significant barrier for increased solar power, CWLP is now studying the economics of starting a solar-panel rebate program this fall.

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Read more there. More tomorrow.

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Mayor Tim Davlin died today. No speculation about why or how here. He was the most green Mayor Springfield has ever known. His accomplishments included expanding recycling in Springfield, the consolidation of green energy services into the CWLP’s Energy Services Department, the building of a new power plant, the signing of a wind power purchasing agreement , signing the Cool Cities Agreement, creating a Cool Cities Advisory Council, creating a Bike Advisory Council and much much more. He will be missed.

http://www.springfield.il.us/mayor/Bio.htm

Mayor Timothy J. Davlin


Mayor Timothy J. Davlin

Tim Davlin has held the office of Mayor of Springfield since April 2003. Since taking office he has overseen great change in downtown Springfield, including the opening of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Tourism efforts have accelerated to the point that Springfield has hosted nearly a dozen auto shows, the Cadillac of which is the highly successful Route 66 Mother Road Festival.

Improvements to the city’s infrastructure have been accomplished along with expansion of programs to help small businesses grow and prosper. Mayor Davlin has instituted inner city redevelopment known as the Old South Towne Redevelopment project, revitalizing a neighborhood retail center.

Mayor Davlin has worked closely with all schools in Springfield by creating the position of Education Liaison. Through it, the city has helped stimulate education programs and worked with community leaders to find solutions to eliminate the learning gap. Davlin regularly spends time in classrooms under his “Talks and Tours” program. It has become a major source of information because it gives students opportunities to ask the mayor questions.

Mayor Davlin has instituted the mayor’s Book Club, a program which highlights selected books for reading and group discussions. The program, which is gathering sponsorship across the community, is in its second year.

Recycling efforts have gotten a shot in the arm when Mayor Davlin sponsored a student driven recycling program within the city’s schools. The pilot program kept hundreds of tons of recyclable materials out of area landfills, instead, making them available for reuse through recycling.

Recognizing the plight of the homeless, Mayor Davlin formed the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness, which is continuously working on a 10-year plan to assist the homeless and put an end to chronic homelessness. He began a feeding program called “Springfield Restaurants United Against Hunger.”

One of Mayor Davlin’s most successful programs is “Springfield Green,” a city wide environmental improvement program which not only promotes planting trees, flowers and greenery, but also stimulates cleanliness through an Adopt-a-Street program. When two tornadoes struck Springfield on March 12, 2006, Mayor Davlin marshaled hundreds of workers and thousands of volunteers to get the community back on its feet. Within a week nearly every home and business had power restored, all streets were opened and everyone was nearly back to normal.

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More tomorrow.

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