Even North Carolina Can’t Stop Renewables – But the utility companies are gonna try

I was originally going to post about the growth of off shore Wind Farms in the Northeast as reported by Bloomberg. This article caught my eye instead. If the Utility Companies are this desperate then that is a good thing. You know you can’t stop the invisible hands of the market.

https://www.ecowatch.com/north-carolina-solar-2440926788.html

Solar Battle Continues as Duke-Backed Energy Bill Passes North Carolina House

By Molly Taft, Laura A. Shepard and Monika Sharma

Alongside Highway 401 in northern North Carolina is a 21st-century twist on a classic rural scene. A few miles outside of Roxboro, sheep graze among 5,000 panels at the Person County Solar Park, keeping the grass tidy on the rural installation.

Fields like these aren’t just scenic settings for roadtripping tourists to snap photos. Solar has “been some of the only economic development to happen in rural North Carolina in the last 30 years,” explained Richard Harkrader, CEO of a local solar company.

For companies like Harkrader’s Carolina Solar Energy, the Tar Heel State is a great place to do business. Abundant sunshine, ample support for clean energy and smart public policy have spurred the rapid growth of solar. Today, North Carolina boasts more solar capacity than every state except California. In the first quarter of 2017, North Carolina added more solar than any other state, and its solar industry employs more people than Wake Forest University.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Donald Blankenship – Serial Killer released from jail

It is true. He killed more people than Son of Sam and the Zodiac Killer and he got a year in jail. Why? Because he is a rich white and the death resulted from “mine safety violations”. So, you know, he never had a “direct hand” in their deaths. What a joke. He claims he lives in Las Vegas now, so I hope he wonders off in the desert and suffers a horrible death.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-mine-blast-ex-coal-ceo-blankenship-at-end-of-prison-term/

US mine blast: Ex-coal CEO Blankenship at end of prison term

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is finishing up a one-year federal prison sentence arising from the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website, Blankenship was set to be released Wednesday from a halfway house in Phoenix, Arizona. He must serve one year of supervised release.

“I’m glad he had time to reflect on the pain he caused,” former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, whose office in Charleston prosecuted the case, said in a text message to The Associated Press ahead of Blankenship’s release. “I hope he used it wisely and will come out of prison ready to make amends.”

It wasn’t immediately clear where Blankenship will serve his supervised release. After his indictment, federal prosecutors indicated Blankenship owned homes in several states, and Blankenship said he lived in Las Vegas. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Charleston referred questions to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

A bureau spokesman and Blankenship’s attorney, William Taylor, didn’t return requests for comment

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Go there and be horrified. More next week.

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250 Coal Fired Power Plants Close By 2018 – This is very good news

Let me be clear here, the transition to clean energy sources will be painful because it is unplanned. Consider this: What if the Federal Government had a plan to move away from fossil fuels with clear benchmarks for the shift and training programs to move workers into that market. Well, plants would be closed on a schedule that everyone knows in advance, and there would be no pain. Only growth and prosperity. The way we are going about it now, Nuclear Power gets classified as “green”, plants are shuttered and workers are thrown out of their jobs. Brilliant.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-coal-closures-idUSKBN16R2D4

Two Ohio coal-fired plants to close, deepening industry decline

By Emily Flitter | NEW YORK

Electricity company Dayton Power & Light said on Monday it would shut down two coal-fired power plants in southern Ohio next year for economic reasons, a setback for the ailing coal industry but a victory for environmental activists.

Republican President Donald Trump promised in his election campaign to restore U.S. coal jobs that he said had been destroyed by environmental regulations put into effect by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

Dayton Power & Light, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, said in an emailed statement that it planned to close the J.M. Stuart and Killen plants by June 2018 because they would not be “economically viable beyond mid-2018.”

Coal demand has flagged in recent years due to competition from cheap and plentiful natural gas.

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Go there and jump for joy (I mean read). More next week.

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Trump Dumps Oil Down The Pipelines – It is bad, very bad

Yes, I warned anybody who would listen, that Pres. Trump would finish off this planet and 5 days into he is guaranteeing that some of the dirtiest energy on the planet will be burnt (haha burned). Tar sands for God’s sake. What about leave it in the ground. Nah he wants to toss it up in the air. I am not saying I like McKibben, I do not. I mean on tactics. I think his analysis is right on.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/opinion/on-pipelines-donald-trump-looks-backward.html?_r=0

The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Contributor

On Pipelines, Donald Trump Looks Backward

IF you’re searching for a lens to understand just how President Trump sees the world, his executive orders on Tuesday reviving the Keystone XL and expediting the Dakota Access pipelines provide a sharply focused glimpse. In a word, he looks backward at all times. We’re beginning to get a better sense of what he means by “again” in “Make America Great Again.”

On questions of jobs and industry, he looks back at least to the 1950s. If something is big and made of steel, then it’s great. Like some Soviet Realist painter, Mr. Trump seems to have an image stuck in his head of brawny men building a nation. Those are real jobs, and all the other innovation in the economy doesn’t amount to much.

In fact (a phrase that suddenly seems politically charged) that’s not how economies work any more: If something is big and steel, it’s probably going to be run by robots. If the Keystone XL Pipeline is ever completed, for instance, it will employ about 35 full-time workers, relying for its operation on a vast network of sensors, drones and the like. The number of workers in our labor-intensive solar industry alone now surpasses those employed extracting coal, gas and oil combined

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Just imagine what he can do in 1,400 days. Go there and read.  More next week.

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Renewables Scare Utilities – This is a good thing

Instead of investing in renewables and conservation. They fought them tooth and nail. Now they are paying the price.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/29/power-to-the-people

Power to the People

Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous.

     Mark and Sara Borkowski live with their two young daughters in a century-old, fifteen-hundred-square-foot house in Rutland, Vermont. Mark drives a school bus, and Sara works as a special-ed teacher; the cost of heating and cooling their house through the year consumes a large fraction of their combined income. Last summer, however, persuaded by Green Mountain Power, the main electric utility in Vermont, the Borkowskis decided to give their home an energy makeover. In the course of several days, coördinated teams of contractors stuffed the house with new insulation, put in a heat pump for the hot water, and installed two air-source heat pumps to warm the home. They also switched all the light bulbs to L.E.D.s and put a small solar array on the slate roof of the garage.

The Borkowskis paid for the improvements, but the utility financed the charges through their electric bill, which fell the very first month. Before the makeover, from October of 2013 to January of 2014, the Borkowskis used thirty-four hundred and eleven kilowatt-hours of electricity and three hundred and twenty-five gallons of fuel oil. From October of 2014 to January of 2015, they used twenty-eight hundred and fifty-six kilowatt-hours of electricity and no oil at all. President Obama has announced that by 2025 he wants the United States to reduce its total carbon footprint by up to twenty-eight per cent of 2005 levels. The Borkowskis reduced the footprint of their house by eighty-eight per cent in a matter of days, and at no net cost.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Exelon To Shut Down Clinton Nuclear Power Plant – Here is hoping they do it safely

I have wanted the Clinton Nuke shut down for years. It was a costly plant that was built badly. But you can’t just flip a switch and turn it off. Not only that but once it comes off line it has to be decommissioned. That mean it has to be guarded and monitored until that process is complete. Not only that but the baseline output must be replaced. The biggest question is, Will they do all of that safely. I hope so.

http://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2016/6/23/exelon-to-close-three-illinois-nukes-in-2017-and-2018-quad-c.html

Exelon to close three Illinois nukes in 2017 and 2018: Quad Cities 1 &2 and Clinton

The Chicago-based nuclear giant, Exelon Generation Corporpation, formally notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it will permanently close its Quad Cities Units 1 & 2 and Clinton nuclear generating stations in Illinois.  The two Fukushima-style reactors at Quad Cities, both GE Mark I boiling water reactors will close in 2018 and Clinton, a GE Mark III boiling water reactor will permanently close in 2017.

The Exelon formal filing to the NRC is just the latest in a trend of reactor closure announcements across the country at Fort Calhoun in Nebraska by the end of 2016, Diablo Canyon Units 1 & 2 by 2025 in California. This latest trend of closure announcements follows on the 2013 shutdowns at Crystal River 3 (Florida), San Onofre 2 & 3 (California), and Kewanee (Wisconsin). Vermont Yankee (Vermont) permanently closed in 2014. Additional closure announces have been submitted to the NRC for Fitzpatrick (NY) in 2017 and the Pilgrim (Massachusetts) and Oyster Creek (New Jersey) nuclear power stations in 2019.  More reactor units, like Pennsylvania’s infamous Three Mile Island nuclear power station, are still pending formal announcements to the NRC.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Illinois Senate SB 1585 Is A Bad Bill – It is worse than the original bill

The original BAD idea behind this bill was that Excelon’s Nukes were not profitable so they needed a subsidy from the State of Illinois or they would have to shut down. That subsidy would come from including the Nukes as part of Illinois’ Clean Energy Portfolio. Yah right, like Nukes are a clean source of energy. But this 2016 version rolls Clean Coal, Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power into the same package. Just how bad is this Bill? There is no such thing as Clean Coal.

http://www.illinoispeoplesaction.org/uploads/1/2/6/2/12620849/update-_kill_sb_1585.pdf

HELP US KILL EXELON’S BAILOUT BILL!
Less than a week ago, Exelon– the owner of Illinois’ nuclear power industry and one of the largest energy companies in the world– introduced a new bill to the Illinois Senate. SB 1585 is disguised as a “new generation” energy plan for our state, but is nothing more than a giant bailout for Exelon.
To make things worse, Exelon is using their energy monopoly to strongarm our lawmakers, threatening to close 2 nuclear power plants if the bill doesn’t pass by May 31st.  SB1585 takes tax dollars out of our
hands, and puts them straight into the pockets of Exelon.
Our tax dollar should not be used to keep dangerous nuclear energy in business. Instead, our tax dollars should be invested in the clean energy future that our state and planet needs!
BEAT BACK THE EXELON SHAKEDOWN!
3 Things YOU can do THIS WEEK!
1. Electronically
Submit a Witness Slip AGAINST this bad bill!

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Go there and read. More important, do everything they say and show up at the State Capitol if you can. More next week.

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Canada Proposes Lake Huron Nuclear Waste Dump – A very bad idea

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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Exelon Lied About The Viability Of Their Nukes – They will not close

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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Remember Tepco – You know that little nuclear disaster thing

Well, the disaster is still around but Tepco is jumping back into the bond market. Oh, and thanks to the Japanese Government for selling off assets.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-19/tepco-considers-return-to-japan-bond-market-as-profit-increases

Tepco Mulls First Public Bond Sale in Japan Since Fukushima

October 18, 2015 — 10:08 PM CDT
Updated on October 18, 2015 — 11:14 PM CDT

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is considering returning to Japan’s bond market next September in the first public offering since the disaster at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power facility in 2011.

Tepco, as the utility is known, plans to raise a total of 330 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in the fiscal year starting April 2016, the Nikkei newspaper reported Monday. The company has hired five sales managers including SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., according to the report. Tepco spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said the utility is considering bond sales from September but couldn’t confirm other details when reached by phone.

A public debt offering would be Tepco’s first in six years after it halted bond sales following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima site. The disaster put Tepco on the verge of default, with the head of Japan’s biggest stock market saying in 2011 that the company should file for bankruptcy protection. Tepco was saved by a 1 trillion yen infusion from the government the following year, the nation’s largest bailout since the 1990s.

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Go there and read a little teeny bit. More next week.

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