Cap And Trade Rises From The Ashes – It made it into the Senate

It’s Jam Band Friday – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ16hEpB_Sk

Conventional post election wisdom has the Cap and Trade legislation being declared dead. But, it is sitting in a Senate that the Democrats control. Will they bust it lose during the end of the year session. Who knows, but I think the issue will not go away so sooner or later something will have to be done. I mean Russia caught on fire. How much more does it take than that.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/4/clean-coal-is-as-dead-as-cap-and-trade/

MILLOY: Clean coal is as dead as ‘cap-and-trade’

Mitch McConnell had better study up on the election results

By Steve Milloy-The Washington Times

While we shouldn’t expect our left-wing elitist president to understand Tuesday’s electoral rejection of his “progressive” prescriptions for America, we should expect Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, to get it.

But Mr. McConnell seems to have missed the message, at least when it comes to “cap-and-trade” – odd for a coal-state politician. The day after the election, Mr. McConnell said, “The president says he’s for nuclear power. Most of my members are for nuclear power. The president says he’s for clean coal technology. Most of my members are for clean coal technology. There are areas that we can make progress on for the country.”

Aside from the canard of President Obama sincerely supporting nuclear power and the fact that Republicans ought to avoid the loaded and already co-opted-by-the-left word “progress,” so-called “clean coal” is a form of Obama-think – a discredited cap-and-trade concept that was more trap than sincere policy.

Some in the coal industry and some coal-burning electric utilities had been talked into supporting cap-and-trade, provided that taxpayers and ratepayers forked over billions (if not trillions) of dollars for so-called “carbon capture and sequestration” (CCS) – that is, burying utility carbon-dioxide emissions deep underground and hoping they stay there safely.

But to the extent that any so-called environmentalists paid any lip service to clean coal and CCS, it was only to lure coal and utility suckers into cap-and-trade. Does anyone really believe, after all, that the greens would allow utilities to inject underground billions of tons of highly pressurized carbon dioxide all over the nation? They fought tooth-and-nail, after all, to prevent the storage of sealed casks of spent nuclear fuel one mile underground in the Nevada desert.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm-pFqdqcZY&feature=related

Which would they prefer, a tax on carbon? This guys lists all the reasons for cap and trade mechanisms to be set up by the Federal Government and heavily policed by the Federal Government. Nonetheless he likes carbon taxes because they supply more stability. But his belief that it won’t be passed on to the customer is asinine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSJdjb6K5i4&feature=fvw

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http://www.greenchipstocks.com/articles/cap-and-trade-legislation/810

Cap and Trade Legislation is Fatally Flawed

My First Ever Mea Culpa

By Nick Hodge
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

We may never see cap and trade in this country.

Those are words I never thought I’d write.

In fact, I’ve been touting the benefits of a cap and trade market since 2007. But new ideas, unraveling facts, and recent events have changed my thinking.

So today, I’m publishing my first ever mea culpa.

Cap and Trade Legislation is Fatally Flawed

My First Ever Mea Culpa

By Nick Hodge
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

We may never see cap and trade in this country.

Those are words I never thought I’d write.

In fact, I’ve been touting the benefits of a cap and trade market since 2007. But new ideas, unraveling facts, and recent events have changed my thinking.

So today, I’m publishing my first ever mea culpa.


Carbon Should Still be Priced

To be clear, I’m not saying that carbon shouldn’t have a price. By all means, it should.

What I’m saying is that cap and trade isn’t the way to implement it.

At the end of the day, carbon dioxide is a harmful waste product that needs to be handled. Companies don’t get free passes for treating and disposing of other waste streams their businesses generate. Why should carbon be any different?

Not charging companies for emitting carbon is giving them free reign over something they cannot and will not ever own: the atmosphere.

We don’t let companies freely dump waste into rivers or lakes… We don’t allow companies to dump waste in forests… So why, then, are we still letting companies dump a known pollutant into the atmosphere unchecked?

This is why everyone speaks of how cheap coal is. It’s not really that cheap, we just don’t include the price of carbon in its costs.

Carbon isn’t a business externality — meaning, companies that produce it can shift the cost to society — and it can no longer be treated as such.

The Trouble with Cap and Trade

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You can go to the article for the rest. I personally support a carbon tax. But I have always said that Cap and Trade is what we get because high finance wants it that way. More Monday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdAhR-c–20&feature=related

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Dick Gephardt – He pollutes minds as well as the air

This pains me almost as much as Mary Landrieu. I never worked for Dick but he was always good on so many issues. C’est la vie…sigh

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091019/jones



Dick Gephardt’s Spectacular Sellout

By Sebastian Jones

This article appeared in the October 19, 2009 edition of The Nation.

September 30, 2009

In March, months after the government gave an unprecedented $85 billion to AIG, the insurance giant released a list of counterparties, exposing some of the world’s top financial institutions as the real recipients of the bailout. First among its peers, Goldman Sachs got a whopping $12.9 billion, despite having claimed in September to be insulated from AIG’s troubles. Based on these revelations, Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, who had dogged the financial industry since the crisis began, told his staff to prepare a letter calling for an investigation.

Two Congressional staffers familiar with the matter told The Nation that a draft was circulated to House members on March 23. Within hours, Cummings’s office had received a phone call from a lobbying firm hired by Goldman Sachs, making an “insistent but polite” request for a meeting. Cummings, intending to send the letter regardless, granted the audience, and so it was that top Goldman executives like president Gary Cohn and CFO David Viniar arrived the next day. They brought someone else too, a big-name Democratic politician with serious populist credibility: Dick Gephardt.

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But the real issue here is pollution.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31633524/the_climate_killers/9

The Arm Twister
Dick Gephardt
CEO, Gephardt Group

The former House majority leader now uses his considerable political clout as a lobbyist for Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company. Working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill, Gephardt has emerged as the most credible proponent of “clean coal” — an imaginary technology being touted by the industry as an alternative to limits on carbon pollution. (“Clean coal is like healthy cigarettes,” says Al Gore. “It does not exist.”) In July, Gephardt was the keynote speaker at the Clean Coal Technology Conference, an honor bestowed after he helped win $1 billion in stimulus funding for FutureGen, a “clean coal” boondoggle promoted by Peabody. That’s a significant return on the $1.7 million that Peabody and the FutureGen Industrial Alliance have invested in Gephardt Group’s services since 2007. His firm also lobbies for Ameren, the nation’s fourth-dirtiest utility, as well as for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The head of Peabody’s Washington office, Fred Palmer, marvels at the access the ex-congressman still enjoys on Capitol Hill: “I can meet with a lot of people, but I’m Fred Palmer. He’s Dick Gephardt.”

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So to Dick we must say – Smoke gets in our eyes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTxZOEdEE8I

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Peak Oil To The Oil And Gas Crowd Is Like Turds In The Punch Bowl

Yup, they don’t like it much:

http://www.gjfreepress.com/article/20091014/OPINION/910139986/1021/NONE&parentprofile=1062

The fallacy of peak oil

The onset of this week in Denver has been witness to a conference hosted by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, a collection of hand-wringers, theorists, and computer-modelers (co-founded, incidentally, by none other than Randy Udall, brother of U.S. Senator Mark Udall), who subscribe to the proposition that the world has reached, or will soon reach, the point of maximum oil production. This historic juncture, the theory asserts, will serve to signal the beginning of the end of the fossil-fueled society, as worldwide demand transcends supply, resulting in a steady, irreversible decline in oil production, terminating at the moment when the very last thimbleful of crude is cajoled out of the ground.

Like virtually all successful fallacies, this one incorporates a large measure of truth; as a finite commodity, the world oil supply will, eventually, be exhausted. Insofar as this is the case, the theory is valid — all other factors remaining fixed, there WILL come a point in time where demand outstrips supply, and production thereby enters a terminal decline phase. The question, of course, is WHEN this will occur.

The most strident peak-oilers postulate that the date is imminent; indeed, many say it has already come and gone. The problem with their reasoning is best illustrated through an example from economic history.

In 1803, Thomas Robert Malthus presented the second edition of his “Essay on the Principle of Population.” In it, he laid out his theory that the rate of population growth would outpace the rate of increase in the food supply. He predicted that famine would ravage the earth in short order.

What Malthus forgot to consider was the role of technological advances in the food production industry. The Agricultural revolution spurred by improved tools, seeds and techniques, enabled many more people to be fed by the labor of many fewer people (and on less acreage).

In a similar vein, the proponents of peak oil tend to overlook some key factors: advances in drilling, exploration, production, and conveyance of oil and natural gas have served to make available sources which as little as a decade ago were considered unrecoverable, and hence not included on peak prediction spreadsheets. Horizontal and directional drilling capabilities, breakthroughs in well logging and evaluation technologies, and advances in production techniques serve as a few examples of innovations which have increased accessibility to, and improved recovery of, hitherto unobtainable resources.

Also conveniently ignored in the petro-doomsday scenarios, are the roles played by unconventional sources, such as oil sand, oil shale, and tight gas formations. For instance, Canada’s oil sands, which at last count hold more than 170 billion barrels of recoverable oil located in northern Alberta, were thought, 40 years ago, to be too expensive and technologically prohibitive to produce on a widespread, commercial scale. Today, oil sands production, both through mining, and in situ (in place) production, using modern techniques such as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, accounts for nearly 10 percent of U.S. oil imports, or half of Canadian oil exports. And conservative estimates place the number of recoverable barrels in our own oil shale at between 500 billion and 1.1 trillion (with a ‘T’). To put that in perspective, consider that the lower number represents roughly triple the proven resources in the Middle East.

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I think you get the idea…but apologists for the renewable industry? Wow I never would have guessed that.

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Tough Decision – My mom is stupid or burning is stupid

OK so Mom wins but let me very quickly qualify that I love my Mother and I mean that unconditionally. My Mom is a rightwing fundamentalist Christian. So really what I am saying is that I hate the ideology more than my mother. I am not talking about the social agenda either or most of it anyway. I am pro abortion. I think everyone should have one. I am pro civil rights which means I am for samesex sexuality. I think everyone has tried just one. I am for universal health care.

I am more talking about her pro corporate business, pro rich, pro military, deregulation, anti union and anti evolution stances. Mom things that rich people and powerful people are the best. She got this from Eureka College where Ronald Reagan was big man on campus:

http://www.hindu.com/2009/07/07/stories/2009070750300200.htm

Budget pro-rich, says TDP Special Correspondent

‘No solution shown for unemployment and agricultural crisis’

Budget failed to specify how 1.20 crore jobs would be generated’

‘Promoting disinvestment in PSUs amounts to encouraging privatisation’

KADAPA: The Union budget is pro-rich and not oriented towards poverty alleviation and ignored the cause of the middle classes, Telugu Desam Party leaders alleged.

The budget failed to specify how 1.20 crore jobs would be generated, TDP State Secretary V.S. Ameer Babu, TNTUC president S.A. Sattar and party leaders S. Goverdhan Reddy and J. Rayappa Raju said in a statement. They deplored the government’s contention that it would attract foreign direct investment when there was global economic recession and did not specify how it would clear the foreign debt and interest.

The budget did not show any solution to unemployment, agricultural crisis and suicides. There was no mention of unearthing the black money of Rs. 1 lakh crore, they alleged. Inflation grew from 2.8 per cent last year to 6.7 per cent this year. The Bill passed for unorganised workers was confined to paper.

Promoting disinvestment in public sector units amounts to encouraging privatisation, the TDP leaders alleged.

Steps were not taken to curtail the increase in petrol and diesel prices. The budget made no mention of the lakhs of workers who lost jobs in IT industry, they said.

The TDP is opposing the budget, they asserted

‘Highly disappointing’ Tirupati Correspondent adds: Federation of the Farmers’ Association and various other farmers organisations have termed the general budget introduced today as highly disappointing from the farmers point of view.

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Which I think should clash with her Christian values. Lets face it, the rich just want more money at the expense of not just the poor but the environment. As long as they believe that their money can buy them clean water and clean air – even if it has to come in a bottle – well then the heck with the rest of us.

http://a4a.mahost.org/fakes.html

DON’T BE FOOLED!

Only after the last tree has been cut down,
only after the last river has been poisoned,
only after the last fish has been caught,
only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.
–The Cree People


Big Business is terrified of the environmental movement, which remains the single most popular left-wing movement in the US. The dirty secret of Big Business is that it is principally responsible for pollution and environmental degradation around the world. The majority of Americans want a safer, cleaner environment. They know that, and have taken extensive countermeasures to protect themselves from the people at large, including pouring money into bogus environmental groups designed to further industry causes while appearing to be environmentally conscious. They also launch massive PR campaigns to paint themselves green.These anti-environmental initiatives are, in essence, efforts to thwart democracy.It’s important to note that the only green behind these efforts is money, not concern for the environment. These groups are very well-financed, backed, as they are, by corporations and other capitalist interests. What they lack in public support, they make up for in resources and powerful connections.Going over the list, you can see the copious use of buzzwords by the anti-environmental movement, as they strive to create the appearance of a broad mandate and public support. However, these groups are funded and controlled by economic and political elites, with a vested (financial) interest in thwarting and reversing environmental reforms.The following is excerpted from The Greenpeace Guide to Anti-Environmental Organizations, put out by the excellent Odonian Press, Box 32375, Tucson, AZ 85751, and is part of their Real Story series

TACTICS

  • Greenwashing: When a company adopts marketing strategies whereby the company appears to be adopting a more environmentally-conscious stance, when really it’s simply doing its usual routine.
      Examples:

    1. Mobil Chemical added a small amount of starch to the plastic in Hefty trash bags and called them “biodegradable” (however, the bags would not degrade if buried in landfills, but only if left out in the sun; moreover, the bags didn’t degrade, but rather broke up into smaller plastic pieces — not the same thing!) A Mobil Chemical pitch man said, “degradability is just a marketing tool. We’re talking out of both sides of our mouth because we want to sell our bags.”
    2. Coors Brewing sponsors a greenwashing campaign called Pure Water 2000 that funds “grassroots organizations [engaged in] river cleanups, water habitat improvements, water quality monitoring, wetland protection, and pollution prevention.” In 1992, however, Coors pleaded guilty to charges that it had dumped carcinogenic chemicals into a local waterway for 18 years!
  • Astroturf organizing: These are industry-funded organizations meant to function like environment grassroots groups, except that they are heavily financed by industry and seek to manipulate public opinion by distorting facts. They seek to put environmentalists in an unfavorable light by launching personal attacks against them, charging that activists are “anti-family,” “anti-American,” and pitting jobs and the economy against environmental reform. They are termed “astroturf” because they are designed to look like they are genuine grassroots movements.
  • Physical violence: Activists are routinely harassed by the FBI, which considers any progressive movements “terrorist” in nature, justifying surveillance, break-ins, arrests, and worse. Activists find themselves the victims of assaults, sabotage, death threats, and worse.
      Examples:

    1. 1990: Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were nearly killed by a car bomb — incredibly, the authorities arrested them and accused them of transporting a bomb, which was later thrown out for lack of evidence. The actual perpetrators were never apprehended.
    2. 1992: Activist Stephanie McGuire of Florida was assaulted by three men for opposing a Procter & Gamble pulp mill’s practice of dumping toxins into the Fenholloway River (this mill still does this, btw). They beat her, burned her with a lit cigar, and cut her with a straight razor, while saying “now you have something to sue us over.” No one was arrested in this crime.
    3. The Center for Investigative Reporting noted 104 violent attacks on environmentalists from January 1989 to January 1993, averaging one every two weeks.
  • Government involvement: Through official government channels, whether Congress or the courts or the Executive Branch, government has been shown to regularly side with Big Business where environmental issues are concerned. The conservative 104th Congress recently showed this in its efforts to weaken endangered species laws, open up wetlands and parklands for economic exploitation, and lessening clean air, food, and water legislation. They also cut the funding for the EPA to the bone, all of which pleased industry greatly!

SIX TYPES OF ANTI-ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS

Most industries will rely on a combination of the following to undermine and roll back environmental reforms, lavishly spending money on campaigns to secure their financial gain at our expense!

  • Public relations firms
  • Corporate front groups
  • Think tanks
  • Legal foundations
  • Endowments and charities
  • Wise Use and Share groups

Of these, the misnamed “Wise Use” and “Share” groups need the most explanation. This anti-environmental movement is mostly a western phenomenon where timber, mining, ranching, chemical, and recreation companies banded together to fight the environmental movement. Ron Arnold, the movement’s founder, is a self-described reformed environmentalist, one who has “seen the light”. As he puts it: “We want to be able to exploit the environment for private gain, absolutely.”

Makes you wonder what kind of environmentalist he must have been, with an attitude like that!

“Wise Use” and “Share” (Canadian version of “Wise Use”) act basically as stormtroopers for industry, because, according to Arnold, the “Wise Use” movement can “do things the industry can’t. It can stress the sanctity of the family, the virtue of the close-knit community. And it can turn the public against your enemies.”

Wiseguys are recruited from the ranks of workers at company meetings (typically compulsory meetings, by the way), and through door-to-door canvassers claiming environmentalists are responsible for unemployment.

Here you see a classic tactic of capitalists, turning the working class against itself when they should be fighting their common enemies, the capitalists themselves! News flash, folks — capitalists cause unemployment, environmentalists don’t!

What the wiseguys want was hammered out in their 1988 conference in Reno, Nevada, where they created a 25 point platform cementing their goal to destroy the environmental movement. Below are eight of their “lofty” goals:

  • “immediate development of the petroleum resources of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska”
  • opening “all public lands, including wilderness areas and national parks” to mineral and energy exploitation and to recreational vehicles
  • exempting from the Endangered Species Act any species whose protection would interfere with resource exploitation (buzzword for “capitalist profit”, I’d say)
  • opening 70 million acres of wilderness that is currently protected by the Wilderness Act to commercial exploitation
  • logging 3.4 million acres of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska
  • making enviromentalists pay industry back if they lose cases in court, as well as to pay for lost industry profits (this is the classic “big guy” versus “little guy” tactic, where the industry hopes to scare off potential suits because they know that while they have the money to fight a successful court battle, environmentalists don’t — it’s not unlike a wealthy incumbent’s campaign war chest scaring off would-be challengers)
  • giving anti-environmental groups the right to sue environmentalists on behalf of the industry (this is a real gem, where industry uses these goons as dupes to do their dirty work, while the industry keeps its nose clean — ever the capitalist way!)
  • implementing free-trade agreements (e.g., NAFTA and GATT) that will grant US industry access to natural resources (e.g., raw materials) globally

Looking at these, one wonders where the “Wise Use” comes in! Far from being populists, these wiseguys are snugly in the vest pockets of their capitalist employers. They are what you’d call “ruling class heroes,” I suppose, making the world safe for wealth, power, and privilege — and they even get paid for their effort!

ANTI-ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS

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More on this later but suffice it to say that couching all of the above in a religious certainty and finding proof of that in the Bible is just plain wrong. In fact it is what all the polluters want to happen. Ready made stooges.

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Illinois Moves Ahead With Plans To Poison The Earth – Let’s inject toxins into our watershed

That sounds like a plan doesn’t it?

http://www.sj-r.com/news/x1264048039/House-revives-Taylorville-Energy-Center

 

House revives Taylorville Energy Center

OKs beginning of design work on clean-coal power plant

STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER

Posted Jul 16, 2008 @ 11:19 PM

Last update Jul 16, 2008 @ 11:44 PM


A $2.5 billion clean-coal power plant proposed for Taylorville got a new lease on life Wednesday when the Illinois House overwhelmingly approved a bill developers said is crucial to the project.By an 86-5 vote, the House passed Senate Bill 1987, which will allow design work to begin on the Taylorville Energy Center. It is similar to a bill that failed by 10 votes in the House in the closing hours of the spring session.Rep. Gary Hannig, D-Litchfield, said the latest version contains “some safeguards” to mollify utility giant Commonwealth Edison, which opposed the earlier bill. That includes more oversight of the project by the Illinois Commerce Commission.“They were concerned that some of the cost might be excessive,” Hannig said. “Now the Illinois Commerce Commission will have an opportunity to say yes or no to that. We have to prove to the power companies that we can produce this in Taylorville in a clean and economically feasible way.”The Taylorville Energy Center would use coal-gasification technology and Illinois coal to produce 525 megawatts of electricity while controlling carbon dioxide emissions

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Or in their own words:

http://www.tenaska.com/newsItem.aspx?id=62

News

Tenaska’s Taylorville Energy Center Selected By U.S. DOE For Loan Guarantee Program; Illinois Electric Ratepayers Could Save Up To $60 Million Per Year With $2.5 Billion Guarantee – 07/13/09

TAYLORVILLE, Illinois – July 13, 2009 – Tenaska, managing partner for the $3.5 billion Taylorville Energy Center (TEC), announced today that, following a competitive six-month application process, it has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to proceed into the term sheet negotiation phase under the DOE Loan Guarantee Program. The amount of the guarantee will be up to $2.579 billion, depending on the final project costs and capital structure.

Upon completion of due diligence and negotiations, the Taylorville project expects to receive a federal government guarantee of its debt, which will greatly reduce financing costs. Because TEC financing costs are included in electric rates under the recently enacted Illinois Clean Coal Portfolio Standard Law, the DOE loan guarantee results in savings of between $40 and $60 million per year to Illinois consumers.

“This is a very important step toward securing a clean coal facility in Taylorville. The federal loan guarantee would significantly reduce the cost of financing the construction of the facility,” said Attorney General Lisa Madigan. “That’s important because cost will be a critical factor when the General Assembly reviews this project next year.”

The DOE Loan Guarantee Program, instituted in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, is designed to spur technological innovation in fossil fuel energy development. It essentially gave the U.S. government the ability to back loans for advanced clean energy projects, thereby lowering financing costs.

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If you want to read a load of crap:

http://www.cleancoalillinois.com/tec.html

Taylorville Energy Center
Taylorville Energy Center (TEC) is a proposed 500- to 525-megawatt clean coal power plant using an advanced technology called Hybrid Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle (Hybrid IGCC) to make it the cleanest coal-fired power plant in the world.

Located a mile northeast of Taylorville in central Illinois, the plant will convert Illinois coal into clean substitute natural gas (also known as methane) to generate enough electricity to power more than 500,000 area homes.

The benefits of TEC include:

  • • Millions saved annually on power costs
    • Economic development for a job-starved region
    • Creation of a new market for Illinois coal
    • Protection of the environment and public
    health through clean-coal technology


Plant rendering (high-res image)

Taylorville Energy Center is being developed by Christian County Generation, LLC, a joint venture between affiliates of Tenaska, an Omaha, Nebraska-based power development company, and MDL Holding Co. of Louisville, Kentucky.  Tenaska is managing developer of the Taylorville project.  Since its inception 21 years ago, Tenaska has built more than 9,000 megawatts of power generation.  Forbes magazine ranks Tenaska as the 24th largest private U.S. corporation, based on 2007 gross revenues.

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And if you want to listen to a load of crap:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGxZXBASYdc

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For 3 years they have planned, and talked, and schemed….

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Peak Oil I Love YOU…Leanan does an amazing job

It is rare well at least medium rare that I give credit where credit is due but the Peak Oil folks and Leanan in particular deserve so much credit. Day in and Day out..NO MATTER what the price of oil or gasoline…they still believe that we are running out of the stuff. That is great because WE ARE:

http://www.peakoil.com/

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From the paranoid:

http://www.peakoil.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=47647

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0415/p13s01-wmgn.html

Economic slump provides

tinder for global conflicts

With more people pushed into poverty,

the probability of armed rebellions increases around the world.

The new director of the National Intelligence Agency caused something of a stir last month when he warned Congress: “The primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications.”

On that theme, Hampshire College professor Michael Klare sees the world economic meltdown as already prompting “economic brush fires” around the world and worries whether these could prove “too virulent to contain.”

It seems as if the lyrics “trouble, trouble, trouble” from Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” have become too real in today’s world.

Last November Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank Group, noted that the global financial crisis would hit hardest the “poorest and most vulnerable” in the developing world. At that time, Mr. Zoellick calculated another 100 million people around the world had been driven into poverty as a result of soaring food and oil prices. These prices have eased. Nonetheless, hundreds of millions in poor nations must try to balance household budgets on incomes of $2 a day or less.

Now he’s forecasting the world economy will shrink by 1 to 2 percent this year, with difficulties possibly extending into next year. That’s much worse than the bank group’s forecast last year. It will be the first time world output has actually declined since World War II. And each 1 percent decline

in developing-country growth rates pushes an additional 20 million people into poverty, Zoellick reckons.

“The political ramifications [of rising poverty] will be great … though hard to predict,” says John Sewell, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington. Before the election last fall, he assembled a group of experts who urged the incoming president to streamline the nation’s development tools. These are now spread among 12 government departments, 25 government agencies, and almost 60 government offices. “No one is in charge,” the group held.

Powerful droughts around the world could cause food shortages, reversing a dramatic drop in global poverty that the economic crisis recently halted, worries Mr. Klare, an expert on peace and world security.

In Africa and in East Asia, population growth also adds to economic pressures.

As for brush fires, the driest tinder lies in eastern European states such as Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, and Bulgaria, he says. There, the people in fragile democracies had the notion that rising prosperity in the 1990s and up to 2006 would continue forever. Now the money from the West has dried up and gone home, leading to an economic bust.

“That is what is driving them to rage,” says Klare. “The promises have been taken away.”

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To the paradoxical:

 http://www.peakoil.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=47644

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30240000/

Renewable energy’s environmental paradox

Wind and solar projects may carry costs for wildlife

Image: Sandhill cranes

Sandy Seth, via Friends of the Bosque del Apache via AP

Sandhill Cranes fly in formation into the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, N.M., last year. Environmentalists have raised concerns that the birds’ habitats could be affected by a planned sun and wind power transmission line.

WASHINGTON – The SunZia transmission line that would link sun and wind power from central New Mexico with cities in Arizona is just the sort of energy project an environmentalist could love — or hate. And it is just the sort of line the Interior Department has been tasked with promoting — or guarding against.

If built, the 460-mile line would carry about 3,000 megawatts of power, enough to avoid the need for a handful of coal-fired plants and to help utilities meet mandated targets for use of renewable fuel. “We have to connect the sun of the deserts and the winds of the plains to places where people live,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said recently.

But the line would also cross grasslands, skirt two national wildlife refuges and traverse the Rio Grande, all habitat areas rich in wildlife. The graceful sandhill crane, for example, makes its winter home in the wetlands of New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, right next to the path of the proposed power line. And much of the area falls under the protection of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

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To the pusillanimously positive:

http://www.peakoil.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=47643

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/04/action-plan-for-50-how-solar-thermal-can-supply-europes-energy

April 15, 2009

Action Plan for 50%:

How Solar Thermal Can Supply Europe’s Energy

The solar thermal sector’s strategy to reach a 50% contribution

to Europe’s space and water heating requirements by 2050.

by David Appleyard, Associate Editor

London, UK [Renewable Energy World Magazine]

The research efforts and infrastructure needed to supply 50% of the energy for space and water heating and cooling across Europe using solar thermal energy has been set out under the aegis of the European Solar Thermal Technology Platform (ESTTP). Published in late December 2008, more than 100 experts developed the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), which includes a deployment roadmap showing the non-technological framework conditions that will enable this ambitious goal to be reached by 2050.

A strategy for achieving a vision of widespread low-temperature solar thermal installations was first explored by ESTTP in 2006, but since then the SRA has identified key areas for rapid growth. These focus points include

the development of active solar buildings, active solar renovation, solar heat for industrial processes and solar heat for district heating and cooling. Meanwhile, amongst the main research challenges is the development of compact long-term efficient heat storage technology. Once available, they would make it possible to store heat from the summer for use in winter in a cost-effective way.

The ESTTP’s main objective is to create the right conditions in order to fully exploit solar thermal’s potential for heating and cooling in Europe and worldwide.

As a first step for the development of the deployment roadmap and of the Strategic Research Agenda, ESTTP developed a vision for solar thermal in 2030. Its key elements are to establish the Active Solar Building – covering 100% of their heating and cooling demand with solar energy – as a standard for new buildings by 2030; establish the Active Solar Renovation as a standard for the refurbishment of existing buildings by 2030 (Active Solar renovated buildings cover at least 50% of their heating and cooling demand with solar thermal energy); supply a substantial share of the industrial process heat demand up to 250°C, including heating and cooling, desalination and water treatment; and achieve broad use of solar energy in district heating and cooling.

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They got it covered. My hat’s off to you.

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What Can Happen To America If We Don’t Live Within Our Energy Means -South Africa

South Africa the home of the much touted and most used syngas projects in the world struggles to get by.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVLu16lU4iI

Originally started in response to WWI fuel shortages and escalated during WWII for all the obvious reasons …ummm apartheid and the efforts to defeat the ANC and Nelsen Mandella.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwgl4D4s-e4

It has left South Africa  thus:

http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE5315U320090402?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews

South Africa says still facing major energy crisis

Thu Apr 2, 2009 1:21pm EDT

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG6CNhGoILs

By James Macharia

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s energy minister said on Thursday the country was still in the grip of a major power crisis despite being able to keep the lights on since a series of blackouts early last year.

Voluntary energy savings had failed to meet the required levels, and the country was risking new power cuts, the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Buyelwa Sonjica said in a statement.

State-owned utility Eskom, which provides 95 percent of the country’s power, has rationed electricity since early last year, but has not cut power since last April.

Sonjica said Africa’s biggest economy was suffering from a perilously low electricity reserve margin or spare capacity.

“The recent lack of blackouts has led to the assumption that our energy situation has been resolved,” Sonjica said.

“Unfortunately this is far from the truth. We are in trouble unless we all begin to take responsibility for our habits of energy wastage.”

Two years ago, Sonjica urged South Africans to save 10 percent of their electricity usage every year for the next five years but so far energy savings were way below that, she said.

Sonjica said a healthy electricity reserve margin was about 17 to 20 percent, to ensure that sudden changes in demand or supply and power-plant maintenance do not cause blackouts.

Eskom said in January the reserve margin was about 8 percent, and has said its long term target is 15 percent.

She said following the success of the Earth Hour over the weekend, and with winter fast approaching, she wanted South Africans to save power to ensure stable electricity supply.

Lights went out in homes across the globe on Saturday for Earth Hour 2009, a global event designed to highlight the threat from climate change.

Sonjica said the Earth Hour initiative would promote awareness that the country still faced a serious energy crisis because South Africa’s record on energy conservation was poor.

“South Africa is one of the least energy efficient nations in the world and the least efficient in Africa,” she said.

“We also hold the number 11 spot on the top 20 greenhouse gas emitters list and are responsible for 42 percent of Africa’s emissions. Every kilowatt of electricity you use produces 1 kg of carbon dioxide; one of the main greenhouse gases.”

Critics say the energy crisis that dented South Africa’s growth and investor-friendly image was caused by the government’s failure to invest in new power generation plants, coupled with surging demand led to the power crisis.  Continued…

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I don’t think that sounds so good…SO KEEP TALKING CLEAN COAL BABY…it is a quick way to energy death.

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Energy And Environmental Blog’s – What my competito….friends have been up to lately

This site is not for the average reader or for the weak at heart. This is hard core energy news with BLOGS by people who DO, teach not…. as Yoda might say:

http://www.energyblogs.com

Interesting ideas and viewpoints are constantly emerging on EnergyBlogs.com.  We have enhanced the topics available for categorizing blogs so that you can easily reflect the dynamic conversations taking place within the global power industry.

To assist in this transition, existing blogs have been recategorized into the appropriate topics.  We encourage you to review the recategorization to make sure the topics best reflect the content of your blog and update the categories if appropriate.

As always, we encourage you to start a new blog on one of the engaging new topics!  If you have any questions, please contact service@energycentral.com.

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To Dr. Chu: Align Stimulus to Clean Energy Reform

02/08/2009 at 08:22 PM   |   Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio – Electricity Without Price Controls Blog

A system architect should lead a high leverage clean energy reform transformation of the power industry for DOE to distribute as soon as possible the …


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Bacteria to Power Up the Carwash? – By Lance Winslow

02/06/2009 at 08:29 PM   |   Lance Winslow – Lance Winslow’s Online Energy Think Tank Blog – Articles by Lance Winslow Blog

By Lance Winslow   Alternative energy is bolder rage and it makes sense to take this technology and apply it to his many possible industries …


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VENDORS UPBEAT – Really!!! – Distributech Musings

02/06/2009 at 01:00 AM   |   Martin Rosenberg – From the Editor’s Desk Blog

Before we get to the meat of this posting, I offer a snippet from a conversation I snagged early this week with Neal Schmale, president and chief oper..

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When this guy is on he is really on, but again this site is only for the hard core wonk:

http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/

December 01, 2008

EPA Raises Raises Requirements for Renewable Fuels

An item of interest to ethanol producers and other supporters of ethanol is this announcement by EPA, as further clarified by this announcement by EERE:

Epaseal1

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on November 17 that the 2009 renewable fuel standard (RFS) will require most refiners, importers, and non-oxygenate blenders of gasoline to displace 10.21% of their gasoline with renewable fuels such as ethanol. That requirement aims to ensure that at least 11.1 billion gallons of fuels will be sold in 2009.  . . . While the RFS requirement is increasing by about 23%—from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 11.1 billion gallons in 2009—the percentage requirement is increasing by nearly one third, from 7.76% in 2008 to 10.21% in 2009.

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He also only posts when he feels like it. The last post was in December. Did the Obama Election scare you away?

Then there is the worldwide wonks. Don’t look if you do not really really care.

http://peakenergy.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 09, 2009

Let engineers make Britain great again

The Guardian has a fairly technocractic article on the low value accorded to engineers in Britain and the value of implementing some large scale and tecnically complex infrastructure to rebuild the economy on “solid foundations” – Let engineers make Britain great again.
Orson Welles said film-making was the biggest electric train set a boy ever had. He was wrong. A new high-speed train line would be, if the boy or girl grew up to engineer it.

But in Britain, the train set is broken and has been packed away in the attic. We’re not proud of industry and we certainly don’t want our kids to grow up to be engineers. It’s a tragedy. It never used to be this way. We need to rediscover the power of engineering, its impact and contribution. It can stimulate young minds and it can stimulate the economy. …

So the young are innately curious about how and why things work. Yet what happens between childhood and adulthood? We stamp it out of them. Engineering gets stigmatised and we encourage our kids to become “professionals” – lawyers, accountants, doctors. Unlike in France or Germany, engineers are a bit of a nonentity here. Engineering is almost a dirty word. We’re told it’s “old industry” and that we are a “post-industrial nation”.

Part of the problem is that engineers are not accorded the status they deserve. We celebrate designers and architects, but forget the clever people who turn the theory into reality. The Millau bridge in France was designed by Norman Foster, but it was French engineer Michel Virlogeux who made it work. A magnificent achievement, but whose name do people remember? In 2005, Ellen MacArthur became the fastest person to sail round the globe, but little was made of Nigel Irens, who engineered her trimaran. …
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Damn it man…Engineers are important…but so are their mothers and they never mention them.

So YOU think YOU are into renewable energy, huh. Better eat your Wheaties for this one.

http://renewenergy.wordpress.com

 

CPUC Says CSI Doubled Installations in 2008

 

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a quarterly staff progress report on the California Solar Initiative, showing that in 2008 Californians installed twice as many megawatts (MW) of solar power than the year before, and that demand for new solar projects continues to hit record levels.

Read Full Story

 Fraunhofer Sets CPV Efficiency Record of 41.1%

 

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) have achieved a record efficiency of 41.1% for the conversion of sunlight into electricity using a concentrating solar PV system.

Read Full Story

 

Texas Approves US $5B for Transmission

 

In 2006 Texas overtook California to lead the nation in installed wind power generating capcity. Now, just three years later, wind turbines generating 8005-megawatts (MW), more than all the turbines spinning in California, Iowa and Minnesota, have outstripped the capacity of the high-voltage grid to move the power from windy west Texas to major cities where it’s needed.

Read Full Story

Crude Reality: Oil Bulls See Hope in Stimulus Package

Crude oil futures in New York are still climbing Monday, jumping more than 5% in early trading before settling down to a more modest 1.5% increase.

What’s driving the uptick? There are theories for all tastes.

On the supply side, OPEC now says it is doing better at sticking to reduced production targets than most outside analysts give the cartel credit for. OPEC’s secretary general said today the cartel has already cut 80% of the 4.2 million barrels it’s meant to take off the market, and the cartel is ready to cut again at its March meeting.

On the demand side, President Obama’s cheerleading for the $800-odd billion stimulus package and signs the Senate could pass its version tomorrow are giving bulls hope there’s a quick fix in store for the battered U.S. economy that will rekindle demand for oil. Given that natural-gas futures are also up on Monday—the first four-day winning streak for gas since last autumn—there’s something to be said for the idea of a light at the end of the tunnel for the U.S. economy.

But the imminent passage of the stimulus package could be bullish for oil prices—without ever stimulating a lick of oil demand in the U.S.

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Fun stuff huh? Then there is the LONGEST running serious Energy Bog oh blog started in 2005

http://www.leonardo-energy.org/drupal/seblog

Sustainable Energy Blog

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Insuring electric cars

Submitted by Bruno De Wachter on Thu, 2009-02-05 06:30.

 

Cheaper or more expensive than conventional cars?

When the cost of a plug-in vehicle is mentioned, it mostly refers to the purchasing and maintenance expenses. Sometimes, tax reductions given to electric vehicles (EVs) are taken into account, but the insurance cost is rarely discussed. This is somewhat strange, since the insurance on a conventionally fuelled car accounts for roughly one quarter of its fixed cost of ownership. So, what happens to this cost when switching from a conventional car to an EV?

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Tomorrow I will try my hand at Alternative Energy Blog sites. They are funner.

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Australia Feeling The Effects Of Global Warming – There is a reason they call it downunder

In Victoria the temperature has been above 44 degrees all week and they are forecasting another week of 40+ temperatures.  Power is failing, trains have stopped running because tracks are buckling under the heat .  It’s just scorching.  And it seems that the people are not the only ones suffering.
 
Check out these photos of a little Koala which just walked  onto  a  back porch looking for a bit of heat relief.   The woman filled up a bucket  for it and this is what happened!

bears.JPG

Kinda dark but:

bearss1.JPG

Getting better:

bears2.JPG

About right:

bears3.JPG

But see this is actually the effects of Global Warming. We are burning the animals and plants off this planet UP.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36900

australialsta_tmo_2009025.jpg

For those who track their local temperatures using the Celsius scale, 40 degrees is a daunting number. In early February 2009, residents of southeastern Australia were cringing at their weather forecasts, as predictions of temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) meant that a blistering heat wave was continuing.

This map of Australia shows how the land surface temperature from January 25 to February 1 compared to the average mid-summer temperatures the continent experienced between 2000-2008. Places where temperatures were warmer than average are red, places experiencing near-normal temperatures are white, and places where temperatures were cooler than average are blue. The data were collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. While southern Australia was scorching, a similarly large area of northern and central Australia was several degrees cooler than it was in the previous nine years. The cool anomaly across that region is probably linked to the above-average rainfall the area has received during this year’s wet season.

Land surface temperature is how hot the surface of the Earth would feel to the touch in a particular location. From a satellite’s point of view, the “surface” is whatever it sees when it looks through the atmosphere to the ground. That could be the sand on a beach, the grass on a lawn, the roof of a building, or a paved road. Thus, daytime land surface temperature is often much higher than the air temperature that is included in the daily weather report—a fact that anyone who has walked barefoot across a parking lot on a summer afternoon could verify.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) called this heat wave “exceptional,” not only for the high temperatures but for their duration. One-day records were broken in multiple cities, with temperatures in the mid-40s. In Kyancutta, South Australia, the temperature reached 48.2 degrees Celsius (118.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Many places also set records for the number of consecutive days with record-breaking heat.

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It will only get worse.

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If Evolution Is True Why Doesn’t ADM Evolve – (creepy voice) Because it’s not alive!

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16347-review-iwhy-evolution-is-truei-by-jerry-coyne.html

Review: Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne

10:16 05 January 2009 by Rowan Hooper

T he first “why” that struck me on seeing Why Evolution is True was why do we need yet another book on evolution? There are lots of good ones out there already and nothing less than a mountain of evidence to support the reality of evolution by natural selection.

But we do need another, insists Jerry Coyne, a professor of evolutionary genetics at the University of Chicago, because creationism is spreading.

And he’s right – creationism is all over the place, not just in the US, where it often gains huge amounts of publicity. In December, a UK poll found that 29% of science teachers thought that creationism should be taught in science classes alongside evolution; a state of affairs that Richard Dawkins called “a national disgrace”. It is also on the rise in Islamic countries.

Careful persuasion

Creationism, Coyne tells us in this wide-ranging, beautifully written account, is like a roly-poly clown that pops back up when you punch it. But he resists the temptation to punch. He seeks to persuade, by carefully leading the reader through the overwhelming evidence, that evolution is a fact.

The audience is those who are uncertain about explanations of life’s diversity. The book is not aimed at people who hold faith-based positions – Coyne considers them to be lost causes – but you have to wonder how many people who are “uncertain” will be won over.

Coyne describes, for example, giving a talk on evolution versus intelligent design/creationism to a group of rich Chicago businessmen. You would think that people in the business world might think that evidence for something is worth taking into account, but this was the response Coyne got from one audience member after his lecture: “I found your evidence for evolution very convincing – but I still don’t believe it”.

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So you would think that Archer Daniels Midland will evolve in this new Green World and “get it” that polluting the environment needs to stop. That their by-products as they call them must be put to a use. Like growing algae for a fuel source or making cement. But NO, they want to pump it underground. Like that’s not polluting. Why don’t they quit? Because as the man above said, “They don’t believe.”


illinois environmental protection agency

1021 north grand avenue east, P.O. Box 19276, springfield, illinois 62794-9276 -( 217) 782-3397 james R. thompson center, 100 west randolph, suite 11 -300, chicago, IL 60601 – (312) 814-6026

rod R. blagojevich, governor douglas P. scott, director


UNDERGROUND INJECTION CONTROL (UIC) FINAL PERMIT DECISION

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency provides notice pursuant to 35 111. Admin. Code 705.201(c) that a final UIC permit was issued to Archer Daniels Midland Company of Decatur, Illinois on December 23, 2008. The Agency’s response to comments, the Response Summary and Attachment 1, are available at the Illinois EPA web site at the following link: http://www.epa.state.il.us/public-notices/general-notices.html (Scroll l/3 of the way down the page to select documents posted concerning the Archer Daniels Midland project.)

Specific information must be submitted to the Agency as either permit modification requests or as supplemental information for review and approval prior to ADM’s use of the injection well. Please review the lists of these data requirements on page 2 of the Response Summary.

The applicant may petition the Illinois Pollution Control Board to contest this permit decision pursuant to 35 111. Adm. Code 705.212. Third parties also have appeal rights pursuant to 35 111. Adm. Code 705.212. Appeals must be filed within 35 days of the decision date. The deadline to appeal the Illinois EPA permit decision is January 27, 2009. For additional information on the permit appeal process, please contact the Illinois Pollution Control Board (312-814-3620).

To receive a paper copy of the final UIC permit for ADM or the Illinois EPA Response Summary and Attachment 1, please contact:

Mara McGinnis

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency 1021 North Grand Avenue East Springfield, Illinois 62704-9276

Mara.McGinnis@illinois.gov 217/524-3288

rockford – 4302 North Main Street, Rockford, IL61103 -(815)987-7760 des PLAINES-9511 W. Harrison St., Des Plaines, IL 60016 – (847) 294-4000

elgin – 595 South State, Elgin, IL 60123 – (847) 608-3131 PEORIA-5415 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61614 – (309) 693-5463

bureau of land- peoria-7620 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61614 – (309) 693-5462 champaign – 2125 South First Street, Champaign, IL 61820-(217) 278-5800 springfield – 4500 S. Sixth Street Rd., Springfield, IL 62706-(217) 786-6892 collinsville – 2009 Mall Street, Collinsvilie, IL 62234-(618) 346-5120

marion – 2309 W. Main St., Suite 116, Marion, IL 62959 – (618) 993-7200

printed on recycled paper

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Guess What? There isn’t a single environmental group in Illinois that is going to protest it.