We Waste 2/3rds Of The Energy We Generate – This is Tragic

America is in a double bind. We have some of the best energy research and technology in the world. But when we try to talk to the rest of the world about Climate Change. We look like FOOLS.

 

 

Op-Ed Contributors

Why Is America Wasting So Much Energy?

By Terry Sobolewski and Ralph Cavanagh

Partisan fights in Washington can leave the impression that we’re hopelessly divided. The truth is there are plenty of bipartisan solutions to the energy and environmental challenges we face, and energy efficiency is near the top of the list.

America fails to capture some two-thirds of the power it generates, much of it through simple waste, according to federal data. In a recent survey, the United States was ranked eighth among 23 of the world’s top energy-consuming countries in efficiency, behind several European nations, China and Japan.

We shouldn’t accept that.

Energy efficiency is one of the most powerful resources we have for meeting our energy and environmental goals. It is also an enormous economic opportunity.

Setting aside the significant environmental impact, this energy waste costs American businesses and households billions of dollars every year. In commercial buildings alone, where annual electricity costs are roughly $190 billion, about 30 percent of this energy goes to waste.

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So SAD. Go there and read. More next week.

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FirstEnergy Cries For Help – Oh Daddy big government please help little me

This is what happens in a transitional economy. All the big brave tough bullies, Captains of Industry, turn into silly whiny little sissies begging for handouts. Isn’t life interesting. And no, this is not an April Fools Joke.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/coal-nuclear-plant-operator-files-for-bankruptcy-asks-trump-for-a-bailout/

business cycles —

Coal, nuclear plant operator files for bankruptcy, asks Trump for a bailout

FirstEnergy’s request comes after regulator struck down an industry-wide bailout plan.

On Saturday, power corporation FirstEnergy placed its coal and nuclear generation units under chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although coal and nuclear plants across the country have struggled to compete with the low prices of natural gas, FirstEnergy’s filing is unique because it stands to take on a political dimension. Just two days before FirstEnergy’s bankruptcy filing, the company petitioned the Department of Energy (DOE) for an emergency bailout, citing concerns about reliability.

The petition could reinvigorate a debate started by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who proposed a rule last year to change how coal and nuclear plants are compensated for their power. The rule was denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which said that there was not enough evidence to justify changing how coal and nuclear are compensated.

FirstEnergy disparaged FERC’s decision in its Thursday petition (PDF), claiming that “as a result of FERC’s and the RTO’s [Regional Transmission Organization’s] failure to address this crisis, swift and decisive action is needed now to address this imminent loss of nuclear and coal-fired baseload generation and the threat to the electric grid that this loss poses” (emphasis FirstEnergy’s).

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Go there and laugh your asses off. 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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Public Participation In Illinois – That is unheard of

What the hell would the public know about their own self interest. Everybody outside of Chicago is just dumb hicks anyways.

Day 29 12/13/13 

Today’s Topic:  Who a potentially affected party must petiton in order to participate in a hearing.

Section 245.270 Public Hearings

The Act’s provision affording public hearings are critically important to ensuring that the public has the ability to fully understand hydraulic fracturing permits that may affect them, and challenge them if appropriate. We are therefore concerned that some aspects of the draft rules governing hearings could potentially undercut the robust public participation envisioned in the statute.

Section 1-50(b) of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act says any person having an interest that is or may be adversely affected [by a fracking permit], can petition the Department for participation in a hearing.

But Subsection 245.270(a)(6) of the Rules raises the bar, requiring the request for hearing to be served upon the Hearing Officer, the Department, and the ap

IDNR Cancels Hearing In Effingham – Day 7 of comments released here

The weather outside is frightful. Especially in Southern Illinois. So now you have all the time in the world to post comments to IDNR’s website.

 

Effingham, December 5, Holiday Inn 6:30 PM – CANCELED
• Decatur, IL December 17, Decatur Civic Center 6:30 PM
• Carbondale, December 19, SIUC Student Center 6:00 PM

Today is Day 7 of the 45 day Comment period on fracking in Illinois.  You’ve made it to the end of your first week.  Thank you for your comments!
Today’s comment is on the lack of provisions to address fracking in a tornado-ridden state.
Here’s what to do to make your comment today:
Comment:  Number of draft regulations proposed by Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources describing safety measures regarding tornado strikes on fracking sites: ZERO.  Number of tornados in Illinois in the last 10 years: 674.
Historically, the number and intensity of tornadoes in IL is very high.  “In fact, Illinois has experienced some of the worst tornados in US history.” Dr. Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist.
Every county in Illinois has had multiple tornados as demonstrated by the maps in the following links:
A big swath of Washington IL was flattened by a tornado on Sunday, 11/17/13. What would have happened if this tornado had hit an area of the state covered in fracking sites?  Debris from the tornado has been found over 150 miles away.  Imagine if that debris had included “temporarily” stored flowback water or tanks filled with frack fluid or produced water?
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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States
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altGo there and comment. More later.

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Fracking Should Be Banned In Illinois – But apparently the frackers have decided to forge ahead

I got an email from Southern Illinois that said 30 big rigs had rolled through town yesterday morning. I figure that that is enough for 2 wells. It seems like some drilling company has decided to “go for it”. Which makes sick and disgusting sense. Many of the leases die at the end of April. I suspect that these will be test wells, because no one knows what is down there. It takes about  7 days to to drill a well and frack it. That would have the wells beginning to come in as the lease expires. This is what I said in print.

Thursday, April 11,2013

Letters to the Editor 4/11/13

Fracking and litter control act

By Letters to the Editor

 

FRACKING STINKS

I am writing to argue for a moratorium against fracking in Illinois (SB 1418). Chicago environmentalists argue that “fracking is going to happen anyway.” That is a total capitulation to the industry. The bill that the environmentalists endorse (HB2615) is amazing in the things it does not prevent. It does not force the frackers to recycle their water, allows for methane flaring, allows wells within 300 feet of water sources, allows wells within 500 feet of a house, does not allow adequate testing of produced waters especially for radiation and then allows that waste to be deep well injected and finally allows for the state to overrule counties and municipalities who do not want fracking or more protective measures.

Many states have tried to establish hydraulic fracturing regulations that would allow the industry to drill safely. The problem is regulations do not work. The industry always violates the regulations and when caught pays the fine as part of standard operating procedure. These violations include injecting radioactive water underground, open pit storage of fracking and waste waters even where not permitted, the production of toxic fumes and the sickening of residents, well water contamination and the direct dumping of toxic water into springs and streams. They have gone so far as to sell toxic water to county townships to suppress dust in the summer and to de-ice roads in the winter as if that was safe. Homeowners are duped into selling mineral rights without being told that it will make their houses impossible to sell and wreck their mortgages. In Pennsylvania their violations include:

– 224 violations of “failure to properly store, transport, process or dispose of residual waste.”

– 143 violations of “discharge of pollutional material to the waters of Commonwealth.”

– 140 violations of “pit and tanks not constructed with sufficient capacity to contain pollutional substances.”

This does not include the actual damage that they do to the environment, like damaging the roads where they work, and flaring the natural gas that should be harnessed as a fuel source and the constant noise pollution that the above activities produce. I was visiting a friend in Colorado when such a well was put in and the noise and smell alone were enough to sicken me.

Doug Nicodemus
Riverton

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Go there and read. They did a whole 5 page article on the issue. More later.

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Those that defend nuclear power always take it out of context

Pro  Nuke people always ignore the long chain that leads up to the first Nuclear reaction, including mining the dangerous ore and the tremendous construction costs. This chain may negate at least several years of their contention that Nuclear Power is “carbon free”. They also never discuss the after chain. Which includes both the disposal of the waste from the reactor but eventually the cost of decommissioning the reactors themselves. I think that Yucca Mountain was a perfect response to that, but I am alone on that one. This piece also mentions the distructive economic system that these reactors would perpetuate, which is disgusting. BUT the larger picture is that nuclear reactors are totally unnecessary. I have included here only the Monthly Review’s preface.

http://monthlyreview.org/2011/02/01/on-nuclear-power

On Nuclear Power

Response to John W. Farley’s ‘Our Last Chance to Save Humanity’

and

Monthly Review has long been on record as opposed to the expansion of nuclear energy.1 Most recently, some of the dangers of nuclear power, both in its present form and with continuing new technological developments, were spelled out by Robert D. Furber, James C. Warf, and Sheldon C. Plotkin of the Southern California Federation of Scientists, in their article on “The Future of Nuclear Power” (MR, February 2008).

Nevertheless, we recognize that many scientists, including climatologist James Hansen and our friend, physicist John W. Farley, now see a place for nuclear energy as a kind of last resort, given the dire planetary threat raised by the burning of fossil fuels—made even more dire by the current shift toward even dirtier, more carbon-emitting fossil fuels, such as lower grades of coal, oil from tar sands, and shale oil. If nuclear power presents great dangers to the human population and the earth, it also cannot be denied that the continuation of “business as usual” with respect to carbon emissions will lead to eventual social, economic, and ecological collapse, threatening civilization and most species, including our own. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that some are looking at nuclear energy as a lesser, or more remote, evil. Moreover, the prospect, though still at the theoretical/experimental stage, of revolutionary developments in nuclear power technology, namely Generation IV plants, which could greatly increase the efficiency of nuclear fuel use, reducing the nuclear waste generated, is also changing the nature of the controversy for some.

Yet, in our view, none of this alters the essential nature of the problem: the crossing of planetary boundaries by an economic system that, as long as it exists, must continually produce more and more goods, and thus degrade the environment. In this context, a turn to nuclear energy as a solution is both myopic and a Faustian bargain. The development of alternative energy sources coupled with conservation, in the context of radical transformations in social relations, constitutes the only real, long-term solution.

 

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Ameren Gets Off The Hook From A Plan They Crafted – New low for Illinois

I was going to start a meditation on Environmental and Energy Conservation websites today but then I got to this story in the Illinois Times. I am actually citing the one from the St. Louis Dispatch but you can find the Illinois Times one here:

http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-10536-state-gives-ameren-a-pollution-pass.html

So here is the piece from the SLD, mainly because I hardly ever link up with them.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/ill-regulators-delay-ameren-pollution-controls/article_123019f5-fe57-5971-9600-4f4c4d7281cb.html

Ill. regulators delay Ameren pollution controls

State regulators have granted Ameren Corp. a five-year delay in the installation of pollution controls at a large coal-fired power plant in southeastern Illinois after the company threatened to close other plants and cut hundreds of jobs.

The Illinois Pollution Control Board granted the delay Thursday, giving the St. Louis-based company until 2020 to install equipment to control smog, which is linked to heart and lung problems. The company had initially agreed to do it by 2015.

Ameren had argued that because of the drop in electricity prices _ driven in part by competition from natural gas plants _ it could no longer afford to finish installing sulfur dioxide scrubbers at its Newton plant under the original timetable.

Environmental groups lambasted the regulators’ decision, saying it undercuts the state’s pollution standards. Ameren said the move was necessary to save jobs.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Refineries Shut Down All Over The Country – Is this a coincidence

Come on. 4 refineries in a 4 state region are effected at the same times by “disasters” that would be easy to contrive. In 2 of the biggest markets in the country, the Great Lakes Region and California. Can that be an accident? Looks highly suspicious to me. One thing is for sure everybody is loving those rising gas prices besides the drivers and President Obama. Maybe that is what they are after, defeating Barack Obama and electing one of their own, Mittens Romney.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/fire-is-latest-pollution-1494592.html

Fire is latest pollution problem at Chevron plant

National / World News 12:06 p.m. Thursday, August 9, 2012

By JASON DEAREN

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A massive Chevron oil refinery fire that sent hundreds of people rushing to hospitals and is pushing West Coast gas prices higher was just the latest pollution incident at the facility that records show has increasingly violated air quality rules over the past five years.

The refinery is one of three such facilities near San Francisco that rank among the state’s top 10 emitters of toxic chemicals, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory.

Chevron’s Richmond refinery — the scene of Monday’s fire that shrouded the area in black smoke — has been cited by San Francisco Bay area regulators for violating air regulations 93 times in the past five years.

The number has increased from 15 violations in 2007 to 23 in both 2010 and 2011. The refinery is also the state’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, according to state regulators.

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Go there and read. State Fair starts today so I may be gone  for a couple of days. More tomorrow.

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The Keystone XL Pipeline Is A Very Bad Idea – So why is the Springfield Chamber of Commerce backing it

I have no idea how much Keystone and the Koch brothers gave to the Springfield, IL Chamber but it must have been a bunch because they hired someone to coordinate their support for the project. The first I knew of it was an Editorial published in what is left of the State Journal Register. So this posting and the next are in part my preparation for writing a counter Editorial.

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/rkistner/a_native_people_fight_a_dantes.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+switchboard_rkistner+%28Switchboard%3A+Rocky+Kistner%27s+Blog%29

Rocky Kistner’s Blog

In Canada’s Tar Sands, a Dante’s Hell Threatens People Nearby and Across the Globe

In Canada’s western province of Alberta, Melina Laboucan-Massimo’s community—the Lubicon Lake Nation—has endured a withering toxic tar sands oil assault, an Armageddon against nature few Americans are fully aware of. Here in the once pristine sub-Arctic, tar sands mining operations level vast swaths of boreal forests near native lands, as pipelines burst and spew corrosive chemical-laced tar sands oil into rivers and lakes.

The Lubicon are used to living in harmony with nature. But tar sands mining has brought a deadly discordance to their environment. Melina has watched family and friends battle unheard of cancers and respiratory ailments; she’s listened to local fishermen and hunters complain about unusual lesions and tumors festering in their catches and prey. She’s reacted in disbelief as her government has sponsored airborne sharpshooters to gun down mighty Canadian wolf packs—a zero sum game that is killing one species to try to save another—as dwindling herds of caribou flee their disappearing forest homes and may be gone forever in the not so distant future.

For members of the Lubicon Lake Nation, it is a nightmare of Kafkaesque proportions. Their verdant land of abundant wildlife is metastasizing into pock-marketed battlefields of a thousand Verduns. Melina and other community leaders have not sat idly by as the environmental carnage unfolds around them. She has testified before Congress, spearheaded Greenpeace protest actions, and worked tirelessly to get the word out about the devastation in her community.

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Go there and see the video. Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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