energy education


Instead of investing in renewables and conservation. They fought them tooth and nail. Now they are paying the price.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/29/power-to-the-people

Power to the People

Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous.

     Mark and Sara Borkowski live with their two young daughters in a century-old, fifteen-hundred-square-foot house in Rutland, Vermont. Mark drives a school bus, and Sara works as a special-ed teacher; the cost of heating and cooling their house through the year consumes a large fraction of their combined income. Last summer, however, persuaded by Green Mountain Power, the main electric utility in Vermont, the Borkowskis decided to give their home an energy makeover. In the course of several days, coördinated teams of contractors stuffed the house with new insulation, put in a heat pump for the hot water, and installed two air-source heat pumps to warm the home. They also switched all the light bulbs to L.E.D.s and put a small solar array on the slate roof of the garage.

The Borkowskis paid for the improvements, but the utility financed the charges through their electric bill, which fell the very first month. Before the makeover, from October of 2013 to January of 2014, the Borkowskis used thirty-four hundred and eleven kilowatt-hours of electricity and three hundred and twenty-five gallons of fuel oil. From October of 2014 to January of 2015, they used twenty-eight hundred and fifty-six kilowatt-hours of electricity and no oil at all. President Obama has announced that by 2025 he wants the United States to reduce its total carbon footprint by up to twenty-eight per cent of 2005 levels. The Borkowskis reduced the footprint of their house by eighty-eight per cent in a matter of days, and at no net cost.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Nuclear power is not green. To create it you have to destroy the environment. To run it you risk ruining the environment. To decommission it you destroy the environment. Nuclear power is not clean. How could anybody ever say that radiation is clean. But the Big Greens cut a deal with Exelon and then came to Springfield and crammed it down our throats.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois-gov-rauner-signs-bill-sparing-nuclear-plants/article_2714be00-b10a-5611-b8e2-6d0e47fe5830.html

Illinois Gov. Rauner signs bill sparing 2 nuclear plants

  • By JOHN O’CONNOR AP Political Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner approved a plan Wednesday that will provide billions of dollars in subsidies to Exelon Corp. to keep two unprofitable nuclear plants from closing prematurely.

The Republican appeared at Riverdale High School in Port Byron to sign legislation he said will save thousands of jobs by rewarding Exelon for producing carbon-free energy.

In addition to $235 million a year for Exelon to prop up nuclear plants in the Quad Cities and Clinton, the plan provides hundreds of millions of dollars in energy-efficiency programs and assistance to low-income energy users.

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Go there and see the picture of Rauner dancing in victory. I will be updating this for a couple of days.

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Let me make this point right up front. The United States does not need the the pipeline heading for Illinois. More bluntly put Humanity does not need this pipeline. We need to leave the tar sands in Canada and Fracked oil in North Dakota IN THE GROUND. But even worse here, Native Americans are being locked up, while the malicious militia men were released in Oregon.  (ps this article largely consists of photos…the text is paltry but I think people need see the conflict for themselves.)

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/10/north-dakota-native-americans-protest-pipeline-161028150518748.html

Standing Rock tribe protests over North Dakota pipeline

Clashes erupt as police break up protest camp in the path of pipeline construction that threatens sacred land.

| | US & Canada, United States

Cannon Ball, United States – Thousands of Native Americans have been camping out in North Dakota since April to protest against a pipeline that is meant to cross sacred burial grounds and the Missouri river – the main water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Last week, some protesters moved their camp directly in the path of the proposed pipeline as construction nears the river, but on Thursday morning, police descended on the camp with a show of force not yet seen in the months of peaceful protests.

Clad in riot gear and backed by armoured vehicles, the police cleared the protest camp, using sound cannons, pepper spray, taser guns, and shotguns said to contain beanbags against the protesters.

More than 100 people were arrested, including elders praying peacefully in the roadway, according to the Morton County Sheriff Department.

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Go there and look at the ugly video and pictures. More next week.

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Most Americans don’t realize that controlling HFCs in the world is a big deal. That is because North America basically banned them a long time ago. For that matter most of the developed world has stopped using them but huge chunks of the planet still do, like China and India. So this accord is a very big deal.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/15/climate-change-environmentalists-hail-deal-to-limit-use-of-hydrofluorocarbons

Climate change: global deal reached to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons

Global deal on HFC greenhouse gases set to bring about ‘largest temperature reduction ever achieved by single agreement’

A global deal to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the battle to combat climate change is a “monumental step forward”, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has said.

The agreement, announced on Saturday morning after all-night negotiations in Kigali, Rwanda, caps and reduces the use of HFCs – a key contributor to greenhouse gases – in a gradual process beginning in 2019, with action by developed countries including the US, the world’s second worst polluter.

More than 100 developing countries, including China, the world’s top carbon dioxide emitter, will start taking action in 2024, sparking concern from some groups that the action would be implemented too slowly to make a difference. A small group of countries, including India, Pakistan and some Gulf states, also pushed for and secured a later start in 2028, saying their economies need more time to grow. That is three years earlier than India, the world’s third worst polluter, had first proposed.

Worldwide use of HFCs has soared in the past decade as rapidly growing countries like China and India have widely adopted air conditioning in homes, offices and cars. But HFC gases are thousands of times more destructive to the climate than carbon dioxide, and scientists say their growing use threatens to undermine the Paris accord by 195 countries, an agreement last year to reduce climate emissions.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Springfield’s coal fired power plant is not compliant with the Clean Air Act. Apparently it won’t be anytime soon.

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160727/illinois-epa-seeks-comment-on-cwlp-clean-air-permit

Illinois EPA seeks comment on CWLP clean air permit

By Mary Hansen
Staff Writer

Posted Jul. 27, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Springfield residents can ask questions and comment on proposed updates to an air pollution permit for City Water, Light and Power’s generating station at a public hearing Aug 30.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is holding the 7 p.m. hearing at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Public Affairs Center.

The state agency is gathering comments in its process to update a Clean Air Act permit for CWLP. Under the Clean Air Act, the federal government sets limits for certain pollutants.

The changes to the permit include regulations for CWLP’s newest power plant unit, Dallman 4, which was not covered under the original permit. It also has requirements that were not law when the Illinois EPA issued the permit for Dallman 4, such as emission limits for mercury and other air toxins. The city-owned utility has been required to comply with these standards, but the permit allows the federal and state agencies, as well as the public, to monitor and enforce them.

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Go there and read. Google the topic too. More next week.

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Consider me upbeat and sunny about this article that has been reported widely. It has been a long time coming because of home owner protests. But the urgency has finally gotten to even them. Yippee!

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-16/deepwater-nearing-completion-on-first-u-s-offshore-wind-project

America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Is Nearly Ready

Updated on
  • The 30-megwawatt development to go into service in November
  • Europe has more than 10,000 megawatts of offshore wind

Deepwater Wind LLC is on the verge of completing the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters, a milestone for an industry that has struggled for a more than decade to build in North America.

Workers have installed blades on four of the five 589-foot turbines at the site off the coast of Rhode Island and construction may be complete as early as this week, according to Chief Executive Officer Jeff Grybowski. The 30-megawatt, $300 million project is expected to begin commercial operation in early November.

“We will finish in advance of our original schedule,” Grybowski said in an interview at a dock on Block Island. “And we are in-line with our budget.”

After years of false starts, the offshore wind industry appears to be gaining momentum in the U.S. The federal government has awarded 11 leases to companies to develop projects along the East Coast, off New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia. This month, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill requiring utilities to buy 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind farms over the next decade. And in the coming weeks, New York State plans to release a long-range plan to develop wind farms off the coast of Long Island.

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Go there and read the good news. More next week.

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This is so outrageous. People in the Nuclear Industry are always saying that their reactors are safe and they are responsible operators. Turns out both of those things are lies.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jul/19/san-onofre-reactor-leak-redlining/

Report: San Onofre reactor was pushed too far, leak resulted

Owners of the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant operated the reactor outside the allowable limits for pressure and temperature, causing the radiation leak that shut down the facility for good in 2012, a new report has found.

Citing documents recently obtained from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, former Southern California Edison engineer Vinod Arora issued a report Tuesday laying blame for the breakdown squarely on Edison.

“Higher primary reactor coolant temperatures and higher steam pressure caused tube-to-tube contact resulting in dangerous and potentially deadly tube ruptures,” he said.

Excessive tube wear inside replacement steam generators forced the shutdown in 2012.

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Go there and be very horrified. More next week.

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The original BAD idea behind this bill was that Excelon’s Nukes were not profitable so they needed a subsidy from the State of Illinois or they would have to shut down. That subsidy would come from including the Nukes as part of Illinois’ Clean Energy Portfolio. Yah right, like Nukes are a clean source of energy. But this 2016 version rolls Clean Coal, Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power into the same package. Just how bad is this Bill? There is no such thing as Clean Coal.

http://www.illinoispeoplesaction.org/uploads/1/2/6/2/12620849/update-_kill_sb_1585.pdf

HELP US KILL EXELON’S BAILOUT BILL!
Less than a week ago, Exelon– the owner of Illinois’ nuclear power industry and one of the largest energy companies in the world– introduced a new bill to the Illinois Senate. SB 1585 is disguised as a “new generation” energy plan for our state, but is nothing more than a giant bailout for Exelon.
To make things worse, Exelon is using their energy monopoly to strongarm our lawmakers, threatening to close 2 nuclear power plants if the bill doesn’t pass by May 31st.  SB1585 takes tax dollars out of our
hands, and puts them straight into the pockets of Exelon.
Our tax dollar should not be used to keep dangerous nuclear energy in business. Instead, our tax dollars should be invested in the clean energy future that our state and planet needs!
BEAT BACK THE EXELON SHAKEDOWN!
3 Things YOU can do THIS WEEK!
1. Electronically
Submit a Witness Slip AGAINST this bad bill!

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Go there and read. More important, do everything they say and show up at the State Capitol if you can. More next week.

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Yes I am a Headline Whore. But this is a very real nitty gritty get your hands dirty post. Most of the posts here are about environmental theories, or solar power writ large. But many environmental issues involve a compost pile and turning them, or washing off crud from recyclables. In this case if you have grass, and live in town you have to cut it. That means you have maintenance things to attend to. So here they are.

http://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/lawn-mower-repair/lawn-tractor-maintenance-tips/view-all

The Family Handyman

Lawn Tractor Maintenance Tips

Professional tips that prevent expensive repairs

Following the lawn tractor maintenance advice in your tractor’s manual is the best way to keep it humming along smoothly. But owner’s manuals usually only tell you basically what to do and when to do it—they seldom include the tips and real-world wisdom gained through experience. So we asked veteran mechanics which steps are the most important and how to make lawn tractor maintenance and tubeless tire repair faster and easier.

You’ll save too. Dealers typically charge more than $200 for routine maintenance that includes an oil change and new spark plugs and filters. But you can do all these things—and more—in just a few hours. A lawn tractor maintenance kit from your dealer (less than $75) might cost a few bucks more than buying parts separately but ensures that you get all the right stuff. And new tubes for a tubeless tire repair cost from $5 – $15.

Clean the mower deck

Remove the belt guards and blow off the debris that wrecks belts and pulleys. Scrape away any debris buildup under the pulleys with a screwdriver.

(thus it starts)

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Go there and read a heck of a lot. More next week.

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Anytime the indigenous people perform ceremonies on the water I talk about it. Because if anything needs healing our major waterways do. But as I was typing the headline I thought, “what should I really call them”. After some research it appears Indian and American Indian are not as bad as I thought. I personally like First Americans. Best line from the research was, “I don’t like to be called Indian because India is half a world away”.

Indigenous People To Walk 240 Miles Along Minnesota River

Indigenous People To Walk 240 Miles Along Minnesota River

ORTONVILLE, Minn. (AP) — A small group of indigenous people and their supporters are walking about 240 miles along the Minnesota River to raise awareness about the need to protect water.

The weeklong journey began last Friday from Big Stone Lake in Ortonville and will end this Friday at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers near Minneapolis. About 20 people were expected to participate, some of whom planned to walk for just one day. Members will carry water in a copper vessel along the river byway.

Such walks foster a spiritual connection with water, Ojibwe elder Sharon Day, who lives in St. Paul and serves as the executive director of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force, told The Free Press of Mankato.

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Go there and pray. More next week.

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