It is true. Not in my backyard is a syndrome that can be defused but you have to start early and you have to speak often and sincerely. Utility Executives just do not have the right touch and even when they care they hire bright shiny faces that lack any sense of truthfulness.
When Scandia, a Norwegian wind company, announced its plans to install 200 turbines in Lake Michigan four miles from the tourist town of Ludington, Michigan, in 2009, they likely didn’t anticipate the controversy that would erupt.
After all, the project would be delivering domestically produced renewable energy to replace planet-warming fossil fuels. It would create local jobs installing and operating the turbines. A nearby pumped-hydro facility for storing backup energy sat in the nearby dunes, complete with substations and high-voltage lines they could use to move electricity from their offshore turbines to the grid.
“The developer thought, We’ll build wind farms out in Lake Michigan, hook up in Ludington, and everyone will be delighted,” recalled Arn Boezaart, director of the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center at Grand Valley State University.
Instead, “they were basically run out of town,” Boezaart recalled.
Residents of this picturesque town were outraged about the prospects of scores of wind turbines ruining their view. Nobody had consulted them. And Michigan, like every other Great Lakes state, lacks even a rudimentary procedure for regulating offshore wind farms, without which there would be little opportunity for public hearings.
Yah it was pretty clear to me that they knew an earthquake would toast out the four reactors and the two spent fuel pools. How did I know this? Not because of the electric generators in the basement. That was stupid, but you just create more damage. It was all the damage and the radioactivity that came immediately after the entire event. That was not caused by a tsunami. It had to be caused by the quake. There was a clear design flaw. The cooling units and the reactors were built on SEPARATE concrete pads which meant they could not SHAKE together and thus they shook in opposition to each other and snapped the cooling pipes at that point all of the shoddy construction techniques come back to bite their ass.
TEPCO finally admits catastrophic Fukushima disaster was completely avoidable
Thursday, October 18, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) After repeatedly denying that it could not have done anything more to preventatively curtail the damage sustained at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11, 2011, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has finally come forward with an honest admission that its now-stricken facility had preexisting structural and safety problems that the company basically ignored.
TIME.com reports that TEPCO recently issued a statement explaining that prior to the three Fukushima meltdowns resulting from the catastrophic damage, company officials were already well aware of the fact that the facility was in dire need of serious renovations and retrofit. But because of various political, economic, and legal concerns, TEPCO deliberately delayed addressing these important issues, which is now coming back to haunt the company.
“Looking back on the accident, the problem was that preparations were not made in advance,” said a TEPCO investigatory task force, led by the company’s president, Naomi Hirose, in a recent statement. “Could necessary measures have been taken with previous tsunami evaluations? It was possible to take action.”
Renewables cheaper than coal in Australia — a preview of things to come
Energy, politics, and more
I’m morbidly fascinated by the way conventional wisdom lags behind evidence, like the notion that renewable energy is expensive and fossil fuels cheap. In fact, there is a tectonic shift underway. Renewable energy prices are declining as technology improves, economies of scale kick in, financing mechanisms mature, and public policy begins to take some (inadequate) account of the negative externalities of fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, the cost of coal-fired electricity is heading up. It’s getting harder to finance coal plants in the face of competition from clean(er) energy, activist opposition, and the inevitability of some kind of carbon policy. Construction costs are rising. Transportation costs are rising. It’s getting harder to reach the coal that’s left in the ground. Etc.
Author, ‘Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption Continues’
In his letter of resignation from the post of Energy Secretary, Chu characterized his Department as a “Department of Science, a Department of Innovation, and a Department of Nuclear Security.” He then goes on to point out the myriad achievements and initiatives during his tenure ranging from BioEnergy Research Centers, Wind and Solar Energy initiatives, nuclear safety, appliance efficiency standards and on. Not an unimpressive list of scientific and clean energy programs. Embedded deeply in his letter is his conviction that rising temperatures present a present and growing danger to the planet and need be addressed. His tenure at Energy addressed this issue relentlessly, and even with the $500 million Solyndra debacle, built a foundation for research, creativity, and with funding guarantees to a plethora of clean energy projects supporting manufacturing plants throughout the country.
Were this his exclusive mandate his four year tenure might well be termed a success. But the Department also has other fish to fry. They relate no only to the environment, but profoundly to the economy and to our national security. Energy, be it oil, natural gas, coal are core commodities to the functioning of our economic viability, and here the Department of Energy under Chu’s tutelage has approached disaster.
As example, within a month of Chu’s ascendency the price of crude oil hovered around $35/barrel (and gasoline prices well under $2.00/gallon). Today’s price is over $95/bbl even though our oil consumption is down some 2.4% from what it was four years ago and production from the Bakken and EagleFord Formations in North Dakota and Texas has increased our domestic production dramatically keeping our domestic oil market amply supplied (oil inventories are at or near all time highs). In a situation such as this it is the Department of Energy’s obligation to ask some hard questions just as Energy Secretary Bill Richardson did during his tenure during the Clinton Administration when he personally lobbied OPEC members only to be chastised, to his great credit, by the OPEC spokesman, “In the forty year history of OPEC there has never been the case of the Secretary of Energy calling OPEC in the middle of an OPEC meeting… We are upset and disappointed at external pressure. We don’t like it.