The round-the-clock security detail for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt cost taxpayers almost $3.5 million during his first year in office, according to figures published Friday by the agency.
The EPA spent more than $2.7 million on agents’ salaries and roughly $760,00 on travel costs as part of that coverage, records released under the Freedom of Information Act show. The amount is nearly double what taxpayers paid annually on average to provide security for Pruitt’s two immediate predecessors, Gina McCarthy and Lisa Jackson, during their tenures.
Pruitt received 24-7 protection starting on his first day, according to documents released earlier this month by the EPA’s inspector general. Then-senior White House adviser Don Benton first ordered the round-the-clock detail on Feb. 12 out of concern that President Trump’s controversial policies could make Pruitt a target, emails obtained by The Washington Post show, and then Pruitt opted to maintain that level of protection
In other words they try to get out of their obligations by appearing to be generous. No Nuke has been built in the U.S. in 40 years because they are financial death traps. It takes a “modernizing” economy to support such a massive waste of time and money. And of course ignore safety concerns when regulation is lax. Now they want to give away a partially built plant. What the hell is North Carolina gonna do with that?
Utility offers abandoned S.C. nuclear site to Santee Cooper
COLUMBIA — The parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. is offering the site of a failed nuclear reactor project to the state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
SCANA has proposed giving the Fairfield County site to Santee Cooper so the project could be preserved and perhaps finished at some point in the future, The State newspaper reported.
SCE&G and Santee Cooper abandoned their joint effort July 31 after spending more than $9 billion, both blaming the failure on the bankruptcy by principal contractor Westinghouse. SCE&G customers have been charged nearly $2 billion toward interest on the company’s debt, via a series of rate hikes since 2009, without any power being generated.
Update | Operators of a nuclear power plant in the path of Hurricane Irma kept one reactor operating during the cyclone, although the plant had not finished meeting stricter federal safety requirements implemented after Japan’s Fukushima accident.
The Turkey Point nuclear plant in Homestead, along the southeast Florida coast, experienced an unrelated failure in one reactor’s cooling system during the storm. A part called the steam generator’s feed regulating valve failed on Sunday night, prompting engineers to shut down the reactor.
The cooling system malfunction did not cause any radiation leakage, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The failure of the valve at Turkey Point was unrelated to larger, federally mandated improvements that are still pending, including improving seals on exterior doors and improving floodwater drainage mechanisms near “key” cooling pumps, according to a flood- and hurricane-preparedness report the power plant sent to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in June — a requirement of post-Fukushima regulations.
Go there and get sick. I mean read. More next week.
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.
I am really shocked by this article. The idea that residential energy consumption could change so dramatically in only 16 years is so amazing. Its like when we shifted to coal or later when we shifted to natural gas and then electricity. Only nobody is really talking about it.
For decades, space heating and cooling (space conditioning) accounted for more than half of all residential energy consumption. Estimates from the most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), collected in 2010 and 2011 and released in 2011 and 2012, show that 48% of energy consumption in U.S. homes in 2009 was for heating and cooling, down from 58% in 1993. Factors underpinning this trend are increased adoption of more efficient equipment, better insulation, more efficient windows, and population shifts to warmer climates. The shift in how energy is consumed in homes has occurred even as per-household energy consumption has steadily declined.
While energy used for space conditioning has declined, energy consumption for appliances and electronics continues to rise. Although some appliances that are subject to federal efficiency standards, such as refrigerators and clothes washers, have become more efficient, the increased number of devices that consume energy in homes has offset these efficiency gains. Non-weather related energy use for appliances, electronics, water heating, and lighting now accounts for 52% of total consumption, up from 42% in 1993. The majority of devices in the fastest growing category of residential end-uses are powered by electricity, increasing the total amount of primary energy needed to meet residential electricity demand. As described in yesterday’s Today in Energy, increased electricity use has a disproportionate effect on the amount of total primary energy required to support site-level energy use.
Other notable trends in household energy consumption include:
The average U.S. household consumed 11,320 kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity in 2009, of which the largest portion (7,526 kWh) was for appliances, electronics, lighting, and miscellaneous uses.
On average, residents living in homes constructed in the 1980s consumed 77 million Btu of total energy at home. By comparison, those living in newer homes, built from 2000 to 2009, consumed 92 million Btu per household, which is 19% more.
Space heating accounted for 63% of natural gas consumed in U.S. homes in 2009; the remaining 37% was for water heating, cooking, and miscellaneous uses.
I am fresh out of thoughts on this subject. It all boils down to a decision that ever American has to make. Am I going to take power from the grid or not? If I am when and how? My answer is I would prefer to not get my power from the grid and if I must then as little as possible.
Those crazy Brits. Always planning their regulations in advance. Here they are rolling out smart meters left and right and no one has made a peep about regulations. I am betting that that is going to hurt in the long run.
Government to restrict sales and marketing around smart meters
Energy efficiency news – by GreenWise staff
5th April 2012
Companies are to face restrictions around how they sell and market their products and around the data they can collect about their customers when mass rollout of smart meters gets underway.
Under new guidelines proposed today by the Energy and Climate Change Minister Charles Hendry, all sales will be banned during the installation of smart meters and installers will need the permission of customers before they visit if they want to market any products to households and businesses. There will be restrictions on data energy companies and other suppliers can hold about their customers. And, in a bid to help consumers save energy and cut their bills, smart meter installers will have to provide energy efficiency advice and all households will be offered an in-home display allowing them to see what energy is being used and how much it is costing.
The Government wants 30 million homes and small businesses to have smart meters installed by 2019. Smart meters give consumers access to accurate information and mean they no longer have to rely on estimated bills. But the cost of the rollout, set to start in 2014, has been estimated at £11.7 billion and consumer groups are concerned the programme could leave consumers short-changed and their privacy undermined.
I can’t post these photos here because there are 67 of them and they are linked. So I will just post the text. I might add that if you skip down to photo 40 or so you will see the real damage to the power plant itself. Most of the pictures are of the temporary village that houses the workers, the drive to the power plant and and the emergency control room. This is probably because this is where the photographer spent the bulk of his time and was bored. They are real cool for the geeks like me. Thank you Denver Post.
Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder, along with other reporters, was allowed inside the Fukushima nuclear power station to witness the devastation, for the first time, caused by Japan’s March 12th earthquake and tsunami.
Eight months later, the plant remains a shambles. Mangled trucks, flipped over by the power of the wave, still clutter its access roads. Rubble remains strewn where it fell. Pools of water cover parts of the once immaculate campus.
Tens of thousands of the plant’s former neighbors may never be able to go home. And just as Hiroshima and Nagasaki become icons of the horrors of nuclear weapons, Fukushima has become the new rallying cry of the global anti-nuclear energy movement.
Yet this picture is one of progress, Japanese officials say. It has taken this long to make the plant stable enough to allow Saturday’s tour, which included representatives of the Japanese and international media — including The Associated Press. Officials expect to complete an early but important step toward cleaning up the accident by the end of the year. (AP)
Every once in awhile I post about a company. But the same disclaimer always goes with such posts. I like my HVAC guy but if I posted about him here he would get the same disclaimer. I am not familiar with this company. Please check with the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, the Attorney General of the state or State’s Attorney whatever is the case, and finally ask for and check out references. Without further hullabaloo:
Energy efficiency: An investment that pays you back
Energy efficiency is one of the few investments that can help you gain a return on your energy bill and on the value of your home. View the program details tab to learn more about home improvement rebates offered by Progress Energy:
If you are looking for ways to stop wasting energy and money you’ll find lots of ideas here. The Energy Saving Trust is a non-profit organisation that provides free and impartial advice on how to save energy.