June 2013


The jackonapes in congress prattle on about how there is no Global Warming, and even if there is it ain’t man made. Those in the pocket of Big Coal want to find a way to make it cleaner. Like there is a way and America dithers on while China and India rush ahead. The song should go America the stupid with amber waves of insanity. Still at least the president has put something out there.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/obamas-climate-change-speech-three-words-less-coal-finally/66565/

Obama’s Climate Change Speech in Just Three Words: Less Coal, Finally

 

Philip Bump 4,220 Views 9:20 AM ET

The process of climate change is complex and involves a vast array of contributors. But slowing climate change largely relies on one thing, cutting carbon dioxide emissions, and cutting carbon dioxide emissions heavily relies on reducing the use of coal. For all of the president’s intricate proposals during his speech on the topic of climate change today at Georgetown University, nothing is as important as his plan to reduce America’s use of coal.

It’s important to consider the president’s proposals within an economic context. As Senior Administration Officials™ noted during a call on the topic last night, the president made a pledge to reduce carbon (dioxide) emissions in 2009 that the United States has made great progress in achieving. This is largely due to three things out of Obama’s control, however: the slow economy, a drop in electricity demand (in part due to the slow economy), and the increased use of natural gas for electricity production. Electricity production comes down to money, after all; if you figured out a way to generate gigawatts of power by leveraging the power of bare skin, America would be a nudist camp before sunset. We don’t love coal, we love that coal is cheap and is, by now, well-integrated into our power infrastructure.

Obama’s push to reduce coal use has two parts.

Decrease domestic coal use by limiting carbon emissions at power plants. Again: This is the most important part of Obama’s speech, bar none. If he dropped everything else in his plan, this idea would still warrant a significant amount of attention, both here and abroad.

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This story makes me so proud.

http://business-news.thestreet.com/sj-r/story/petersburg-school-nominated-solar-energy-program/1

Petersburg school nominated for solar energy program

PETERSBURG — The PORTA School District could soon add more solar power to its alternative energy portfolio.

Thanks to a wind turbine, solar panels and geothermal heating installed in 2009 at PORTA High School, the district has been saving about $350,000 a year in energy costs, School Superintendent Matt Brue said.

Now, a former student who works for Joule Solar Energy in New Orleans has nominated PORTA Central School for a program that aims to bring solar panels to schools through crowdfunding

Oakland, Calif.-based Mosaic offers an online platform for individuals to invest in solar projects.

When Bob O’Hara received an email from Mosaic saying that the company was looking for schools to work with, he thought of PORTA Central.

O’Hara, 29, attended PORTA schools through eighth grade before enrolling at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield. He moved to New Orleans after graduating in 2002 to attend Tulane University, but he still visits his parents in Petersburg regularly.

He likes to check out the wind turbine at the high school on his visits and thought PORTA Central would be a good candidate for solar panels because of its long, south-facing roofline.

O’Hara said he also knows the district has been facing budget cuts due to dwindling state funding.

“One way to be able to invest in a school is to help them with their energy costs,” he said.

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Good article and it just goes to show that America is always behind. We cede way to much to the powerful and pay the price. I would be willing to bet that we could half those numbers again with the proper research and development.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/06/11/europes-clothes-dryers-consume-half-as-much-energy-as-americas/?ss=business%3Aenergy

William Pentland

William Pentland, Contributor

Europe’s Clothes Dryers Consume Half As Much Energy As America’s

Like the vast majority of U.S. households, I own a clothes dryer that accounts for a non-trivial share of my electricity consumption. Like the vast majority of my fellow Americans, I would likely pay a lot less to dry my clothes if I lived in Europe.

Based on a new study by Ecova, an energy consulting firm in Spokane, WA, Europe’s embrace of new heat pump technologies is largely responsible for the transatlantic disparity in the energy efficiency of clothes dryers. Unlike Europe, heat pump technology has yet to arrive in North America.

There are 87 million residential dryers in the U.S. These clothes dryers account for 6% of residential electricity consumption, which is roughly equivalent to the electricity consumed annually by the entire state of Massachusetts (60 billion kWh per year). The annual cost of operating America‘s clothes dryers adds up to about $9 billion.

The energy efficiency of North American clothes dryers has made at most modest gains over the past two decades. By contrast, the energy attributed to washer use has decreased by about 70% since 1992.

Ecova compared the energy consumption of currently available European heat pump dryers to North American conventional electric dryers spanning a wide range of sizes, prices, features, and manufacturers.

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But it is all about the money now isn’t it? That would be a big YES. I imagine picking on some of the gentlest people in the world will land you in hell.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113354/energy-companies-take-advantage-amish-prohibition-lawsuits#

The Amish Are Getting Fracked Their religion prohibits lawsuits—and the energy companies know it

BY MOLLY REDDEN

 

It was late 2010 when a chipper agent for Kenoil, Inc., a drilling company in Eastern Ohio, drove to the nearby hamlet of Millersburg to visit Lloyd Miller. His car slithered down the hill overlooking the Millers’s home and white farm buildings, past a set of pine green drums, pipes, and gauges—a shallow oil well that Kenoil had drilled on the Millers’s property many years ago—and stopped in front of the aluminum barn where the family, who are Amish dairy farmers, lodges its horses and buggy. The agent had an unexpected business proposition for Lloyd and his wife, Edna: Kenoil wanted to lease the right to drill on the Millers’s land for shale gas. And for a lease of five years, he could offer them $10 an acre that same day.

The timing felt providential. The couple, who have several young children, were still paying off a 2006 loan they’d used to buy a small farm adjoining theirs. Gazing in the direction of his 158 acres, as he talked with me at his kitchen table in March, Miller said, “We thought, ‘Hey, that’s $1,500 we didn’t have.’” Still, he asked the agent about rumors of farmers who’d been given much larger signing bonuses in similar deals. He remembered the agent grinning dismissively as he said farms in the area were not leasing for more than what was offered. Miller, 46, considered the Kenoil well on the hill, and the years of good relations he had enjoyed with the company. “I just trusted him,” he said. The Millers signed the lease.

It was maybe two weeks, Miller figured, before they realized the enormity of what they’d done. First, their local paper, The Bargain Hunter, carried a front-page story advising farmers their land could be worth hundreds per acre to oil and gas companies. He compared notes with landowners nearby while on trips to the sale barns where farmers trade livestock, and when other farmers delivered hay for his cows. Miller is physically imposing—stout and broad-shouldered—but also painfully timid. When pressed on what his neighbors had earned, he gazed for a long time at Edna, who, with one of their daughters, was chalking the outline of a man’s pantleg onto a bolt of wool rolled out on the table. “My wife and I took turns kicking each other in the butt.” He paused for a long while. “Our ten dollars an acre compared to $1,000.”

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What a disturbing year this has been on the environmental front. People are starting to realize that what I have been saying for a couple of years is true. The large environmental organizations based in Chicago have become industry sock puppets. They have been taking donations from utilities and other industry nasties and letting the industries run roughshod over the whole state. In short they have sold out, and activists around the nation are starting to realize it. The Fracking bill they helped pass was seriously flawed.  When we tried to point out that it was flawed they laughed at us and said we should be “showing them gratitude” for all the concessions they got out of industry. Really? The bill doesn’t take into consideration protections that other states have demanded.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2013/jun/01/illinois-passes-nations-toughest-fracking-regulati/

— Illinois came a giant step closer to approving the nation’s strictest regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling on Friday, as lawmakers approved a measure they hoped would create thousands of jobs in economically depressed areas of southern Illinois.

The Senate passed the legislation 52-3, one day after it was overwhelmingly approved in the other chamber. Gov. Pat Quinn promised to sign it, calling the legislation a “shot in the arm for many communities.”

The legislation was crafted with the help of industry and some environmental groups — an unusual collaboration that has been touted as a potential model for other states.

Legislation sponsor Mike Frerichs, a Champaign Democrat, said stakeholders “sat down for hundreds and thousands of hours” to hammer out the issue.

“These are tough regulations that are going to protect and preserve our most valuable resources in our state,” he told floor members. “We are going to increase home produced energy in our state in one of the most environmentally friendly ways possible.”

While proponents have said hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” would generate tens of thousands of jobs, opponents have been pushing for a two-year moratorium to allow more time to examine health and environmental impact. They are worried fracking could cause pollution and deplete water resources.

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Go there and read if you can stomach it. More next week.

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