industry apologists


This article is field researched by the author. It is well written. And I might add frightening and sad.

https://harpers.org/archive/2015/06/thirty-million-gallons-under-the-sea/

From the June 2015 issue

Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea

Following the trail of BP’s oil in the Gulf of Mexico

One morning in March of last year, I set out from Gulfport, Mississippi, on a three-week mission aboard the U.S. Navy research vessel Atlantis. The 274-foot ship, painted a crisp white and blue, stood tall in the bright sunlight. On its decks were winches, cranes, seafloor-mapping sonar, a machine shop, and five laboratories. Stowed in an alcove astern was Alvin, the federal government’s only manned research submarine. “Research vessel Atlantis outbound,” A. D. Colburn, the ship’s captain, reported into the ship radio.

The water was calm and the bridge crew quiet as they steered us into open water. For the next fourteen hours, we would sail toward the site of BP’s Macondo well, where, in April 2010, a blowout caused the largest offshore-drilling oil spill in history. Once there, Atlantis’s crew would launch Alvin and guide it to the bottom of the ocean, reaching depths as great as 7,200 feet below the surface. Over the next twenty-two days they would send the submersible down seventeen times, to gather animal, plant, water, and sediment samples. Their goal was to determine how BP’s spill had affected the ocean’s ecosystem from the seabed up. I would get the chance to join them in the submarine as they went closer to the Macondo wellhead than anyone had gone since the blowout.

Data gathered by the Atlantis would likely be used in the federal legal proceedings against BP, which began in December 2010. A few months after our mission, U.S. district judge Carl Barbier found the company guilty of gross negligence and willful misconduct. In January 2015, he ruled that the amount of oil the company was responsible for releasing into the Gulf totaled some 134 million gallons, a decision both sides have appealed. By the time this article went to press, Barbier had yet to make his third and final ruling, which will determine how much BP owes in penalties under the Clean Water Act. (If his judgment about the size of the spill is not overturned, the company will face a $13.7 billion fine.) Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Interior are concluding an ecological-damages assessment to determine how much BP must pay to restore the Gulf Coast. The trial and the assessment are likely to result in the largest penalty ever leveled against an oil company.1

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Go there and read. It’s a long one but worth it. More next week.

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This is an old piece but there is a petition being circulated on line:

http://www.stopthegreatlakesnucleardump.com/

Please go there and sign it. I could not find a newer piece but this should shock your socks off. If it were to ever leak we would have another Fukushima on our hands.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/20/stopping-the-great-lakes-radioactive-dump/

Stopping the Great Lakes Radioactive Dump

Hundreds of environmental and public interest groups, dozens of governmental bodies and thousands of concerned residents across the Great Lakes Basin have joined in rejecting a proposal by the giant utility company Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to bury 200,000 cubic meters of its radioactive waste on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, near its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, in Kincardine, Ontario. The proposed dump is for so-called low- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes from the company’s 20 nuclear reactors. The site is 1.2 kilometers from Lake Huron on Bruce Peninsula.

On May 6, Canada’s Joint Review Panel submitted to Canada’s Ministry of Environment — the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq — its formal recommendation to approve the plan. Intervening parties have 120 days to submit comments on the JRP’s “environmental assessment” once its “conditions” have been made public. Aglukkaq will then make a recommendation to Ontario’s Premier, Kathleen Wynne, who will make the final decision about whether the dump should be constructed.

Most of the groups, legislators and cities opposing the so-called Deep Geologic Repository (regular folks call it a hole in the ground) have decided to ignore or to just parody the forthcoming “conditions” regulating the plan. A nit-picking analysis of them, they say, only gives the impression that permanent contamination of the Great Lakes somehow an acceptable risk under certain theoretical, computer-model-derived conditions. As Dr. Gordon Edwards, founder of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, said May 19 over the phone, “We reject any permanent abandonment of radioactive waste deep underground near the Great Lakes. And this project, at this time, under any conditions is absurd.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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They were losing money. Lay offs were coming. At least three plants were going to close. But, then not so much. Maybe they should just close them instead and invest in solar.

http://illinoistimes.com/article-16558-clinton-nuclear-plant-gets-reprieve.html

Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 12:09 am

Clinton nuclear plant gets reprieve

Exelon won’t close facility for at least a year

Despite years of unfavorable conditions, Exelon thinks next year may be different.

The company announced earlier this year it won’t close the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant, 45 miles east of Springfield, for at least another year in light of potential market reforms in Illinois. The announcement follows similar announcements for two of Exelon’s other Illinois nuclear plants. Meanwhile anti-nuclear groups are calling for the plants to begin shutting down now.

The landscape of the energy market is undergoing major changes as coal plants begin to close, thanks in large part to tightening environmental regulations and a glut of cheap natural gas. Because coal has long been one of the main fuels for electricity production in the U.S., its decline creates a vacuum for other sources of electricity to fill. While environmental groups prefer more solar, wind and hydro electricity, companies which operate nuclear power plants see an opportunity for a larger role.

In Illinois, however, nuclear power has faced a competitive disadvantage since the late 1990s due to the state’s “deregulated” energy market. Illinois law requires a separation between companies that generate electricity and those which transmit electricity to customers. (Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power is allowed to own both generation and transmission assets because it’s a municipal utility.)

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Go there and read. Get some Christmas cheer. More next week.

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CWLP had been on the path towards renewable energy and maybe erecting a wind turbine or a solar panel field. This is sad, because many of us for years have tried to get Springfield off its addiction to coal. But as Clark Bullard says this seems to be ending.

http://www.sj-r.com/article/20151005/OPINION/151009761

 

Clark Bullard: Unclear if CWLP’s proposed rate changes are fair

 

  • City Water, Light and Power's Dallman power station is pictured in this 2012 photograph.Clark Bullard

    • Posted Oct. 5, 2015 at 10:03 PM

      When a monopolist offers you a price adjustment, it is wise to ask who wins and who loses.

      Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power is asking aldermen to restructure electric rates by increasing the meter charge while reducing the energy charge. The stated goal is to stabilize annual revenue.

      It is not labeled a rate hike, but CWLP admits small users will get bigger bills, while large users will get smaller bills. The proposal would penalize customers who counted on fast payback of the premium they paid for energy-efficient appliances, light bulbs, air conditioners or solar panels. It would reward large users who waste energy.

      To ease the pain and spread the joy, the utility proposes a four-year phase-in process.

      Extreme weather events are causing larger year-to-year revenue fluctuations for utilities everywhere. It is not surprising to see them trying to control their revenue stream by reducing customers’ ability to control their monthly bills.

     

     

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    Go there and read more. More next week.

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    I never thought I would ever see this. Really as a post it has nowhere to fit in. BUT. It is important so I just thought I would cram it in here and live with it. When people surf this blog in future years they can just think of it as a speed bump. Can you believe that there are people who want to flaunt their ignorance?

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/07/i-rejoice-that-it-is-warm-ars-attends-a-climate-contrarian-conference/

    Scientific Method / Science & Exploration

    Echo chamber of outrage: Ars attends a climate skeptics’ summit

    A political buffet offering everything but science.

    “I accept that the planet has warmed,” said conservative columnist Mark Steyn from the podium. “And I rejoice that it is warm.”

    Steyn was one of many speakers at the libertarian Heartland Institute’s 10th “International Conference on Climate Change,” a major event for climate science contrarians. The two-day conference, held in mid-June at the classy Washington Court Hotel just a few blocks from the US Capitol, had all the trappings of an academic conference, but you wouldn’t mistake it for a Geological Society of America meeting. Tables set up outside the hotel’s main ballroom hosted conservative advocacy groups and think tanks like CFACT, the Ayn Rand Institute, and the Heritage Foundation (which attracted visitors with a life-size cardboard cut-out of Ronald Reagan). The audience contained some meteorologists but seemed mostly composed of retired couples with an interest in politics, along with a handful of state legislators.

    The goal was to gather speakers—who, organizers frequently reminded the audience, were some of the most famous and well-respected experts in the world—who could arm attendees with the information they needed to take the Good Fight back out to the streets. A small number of the talks presented research into climate science, but most were arguments against climate policy based on economic impacts. In other words, imagine the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal plus a podium.

    As for the speakers, they viewed themselves as voices of reason speaking truth to power—all of them trying desperately to keep the Western world from slipping over the precipice to certain economic ruin. And to hear them tell it, Heartland and its allies were winning the battle against the “climate alarmists.” The public remains divided on the issue of climate change, with some recent polling placing it low on the priority list of concerns. Attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through legislation have been stymied. International negotiations have been arduous.

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    Go there and read. More next week.

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    The Age of Coal is over. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court doesn’t get that. In fact most of the power plants have already installed the required equipment so what does this ruling even mean?

    http://www.alternet.org/environment/us-supreme-court-strikes-down-obamas-epa-limits-air-pollution?sc=fb

    Environment

    U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Obama’s EPA Limits on Air Pollution

    Landmark 5-4 decision is major setback for Obama’s efforts to set limits on amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins coal-fired power plants can spew into air, lakes and rivers.

    June 29, 2015

    The U.S. Supreme Court struck down new rules for America’s biggest air polluters on Monday, dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to set limits on the amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins coal-fired power plants can spew into the air, lakes and rivers.

    The 5-4 decision was a major setback to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and could leave the agency more vulnerable to legal challenges from industry and Republican-led states to its new carbon pollution rules.

    It was also a blow to years of local efforts to clean up dangerous air pollution.

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    Go there and read. Be prepared to be sad. More next week.

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    For an additional punch today…

     

     

    See the thing is, like coal, Nuclear Power Plants have rich investors. They are going to wring every last penny out of those investments no matter what. If the planet suffers? So what? Who cares about our suffering?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabe-elsner/the-exelonpepco-merger-ex_b_7176948.html

    The Exelon-Pepco Merger & Exelon’s History of Anti-Clean Energy Lobbying

    Posted: Updated: DT

    Exelon has a long history of using political influence to oppose the deployment of renewable energy. Exelon’s political operations may impact the company’s ability to show that a merger with Pepco would provide a tangible benefit to customers on the criteria of conserving natural resources and preserving environmental quality – two factors that must be considered in the District of Columbia. According to the Office of the People’s Counsel, “the [Exelon-Pepco] merger is not in the public interest…as a result of Exelon’s longstanding resistance to policies promoting renewable energy.”

    Exelon-Pepco-Merger.jpgIf approved, the Exelon-Pepco merger would empower the company to continue its anti-renewable campaign in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, negatively impact ratepayers, and hinder the growth of the renewable energy industry.

    Lobbying Against the Renewable Portfolio Standard in Illinois

    Exelon has routinely worked against renewable energy policies and used its financial resources and political influence to benefit the company at the expense of environmental quality and renewables. Most recently, Exelon has proposed a bill in Illinois, the Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (LCPS), that would subsidize nuclear plants that are struggling to compete with the cheap cost of electricity from natural gas plants and wind turbines. As written, the LCPS would increase rates for ratepayers, and Exelon’s nuclear plants would earn an estimated $300 million per year from low carbon credits while renewables would get almost nothing. Crain’s Chicago Business Journal documented that “Exelon long has complained that profits at its six nuclear power plants in Illinois are under pressure in part due to competition rom tax-subsidized wind farms. Exelon is backing state legislation that would create a new surcharge on most electric bills throughout the state that would funnel as much as $300 million a year to the company’s Illinois nukes.”

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    Go there and read. More next week.

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    This is absurd.

     

    http://www.sj-r.com/article/20141211/NEWS/141219899/-1/json

     

    $137M Ameren rate increase approved

     

    By Tim Landis
    Business Editor
    Posted Dec. 11, 2014 @ 9:05 am
    Updated at 9:23 AM

    State utility regulators have approved a $137 million rate increase for power-grid upgrades on the Ameren Illinois system.

    The 17.4 percent increase in electricity distribution rates, announced Wednesday by the Illinois Commerce Commission, take effect Jan. 1. Commissioners also approved a $245 million increase for system upgrades on the Commonwealth Edison system, serving Chicago and northern Illinois.

    Ameren serves 1.2 million electric and 806,000 natural-gas customers in central and southern Illinois.

    Commission chairman Doug Scott said in a statement the rates were set under the 2011 Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, a state law that allowed Ameren and ComEd to recover annual costs for installation of smart grid technology such as high-tech meters, real-time pricing of electricity, more control options for consumers and more accurate energy data.

    Scott said commissioners tried to balance the need for network improvements with long-term benefits to ratepayers.

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    Go there and read. More next week.

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    He killed over 20 people, so I think he needs to die. This is one arrogant son-of-a-bitch.

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/11/21/347725.htm

    Blankenship Pleads Not Guilty to Charges Linked to Massey Mine Explosion

    By Jef Feeley and Margaret Cronin Fisk | November 21, 2014

    Former Massey Energy chief Donald Blankenship pleaded not guilty to charges linked to the West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 workers in the worst U.S. coal industry disaster in almost 40 years.

    The former executive, 64, once a powerful figure in the coal industry and state politics, wore a gray business as he stood with four lawyers in federal court in Beckley, West Virginia, and said, “Not guilty.”

    Blankenship is accused of hampering regulators’ safety inspections of the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County where the explosion occurred in April 2010.

    The judge set a trial for Jan. 26. About 50 spectators were in the courtroom.

    If the former chief executive officer is convicted of the four charges, he faces a maximum penalty of 31 years in prison, according to prosecutors.

    Blankenship is accused of setting hyper-aggressive coal- production quotas and instructing subordinates to ignore basic safety measures, such as controlling explosive coal dust and providing proper ventilation in the mines

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    Go there and read. More next week.

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    All these carbon capture systems are just stupid. Generating poisons through industrial processes has never been a good idea. It just generated profits for the rich and the elites. But now with humanity on the line with global warming we have to just give it up. Right now and shift to renewables.

     

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/uciliawang/2014/07/15/nrgs-1b-bet-to-show-how-carbon-capture-could-be-feasible-for-coal-power-plants/

    Ucilia Wang

    Ucilia Wang, Contributor

    NRG’s $1B Bet To Show How Carbon Capture Could Be Feasible For Coal Power Plants

    Green Tech|
    7/15/2014

    NRG Energy NRG -1.28% said Tuesday it’s building a $1 billion project to capture carbon dioxide emissions from a coal power plant in Texas and ship them 82 miles away to help boost an oil field’s production.

    The Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project, a joint venture between NRG and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration in Japan, will be the largest in the world to use a process that scrubs away the carbon dioxide after coal has been burned to produce electricity, the companies said.

    Carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, would vent into the atmosphere and contribute to climate change if it’s not removed beforehand.

    “This project is such a game changer because  it acts like a bridge between the power and oil industry,” said Arun Banskota, president of NRG’s carbon capture group. “Carbon dioxide is something we need to increasingly manage. There is a huge shortage for carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery.”

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    Go there and read. More next week.

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