Pacific Gas & Electric Cuts Power To 600,000 – They are bankrupt as well

This is a travesty on so many levels. First at the corporate level, who ran this company into the ground? I mean seriously there are all kind of remedies for years, including burying power lines, and cladding power lines or leasing solar on customers roofs. To not do anything but take profit for thirty years should get someone jail time. Second, what about the employees? The Camp Fire was cause my a Power Pole that was ONE HUNDRED years old. Why did someone not take the damn thing down on their own initiative? Again – Jail Time. Where were the regulators? That should have made them create a revitalization and safety plans 30 years ago. Again – Jail Time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/us/pge-outage.html

PG&E Power Outage: Live Updates as Californians Face a Blackout

The second phase of a safety plan intended to prevent wildfires left hundreds of thousands more without electricity.

Right Now

Around 600,000 electricity customers were without power on Thursday morning.

SAN FRANCISCO – Large areas of Northern California remained without power on Thursday as a major outage rocked the region for a second day. About 600,000 electricity customers were affected on Thursday morning after the state’s largest utility carried out the second phase of its intentional power cut.

Pacific Gas and Electric said extreme winds overnight forced the additional shutdown, which the utility organized to prevent equipment from sparking fires.

The second phase affected bedroom communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and added to the hundreds of thousands of customers who had lost power on Wednesday. As of Thursday morning, the company had restored power to 137,000 customer

 

And here is a map to see if you or someone you love is effected.

http://critweb-outage.pgealerts.com/?WT.mc_id=Vanity_pge-outages

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Go there and weep. More next week.

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The Things I Could Have Posted Today – Trump denies California’s ability to set fuel standards or Iran’s air strikes on the Saudi oil fields but

I chose to post about something more radical. INFRASTRUCTURE. The idea behind “keep it in the ground” is so subversive. That’s what the XL Pipeline was all about and why the itt was so hotly contested. If you can’t bring fossil fuels to the market; What good are they? Well, New York tried to do it through legislation, and things got hot right away.

https://www.globalenergyinstitute.org/epa-proposes-reject-new-yorks-keep-it-ground-scheme

May 28, 2019

EPA Proposes to Reject New York’s “Keep it in the Ground” Scheme

Heath Knakmuhs

Last September, I wrote about one of the boldest efforts yet by New York to halt energy infrastructure in its tracks.  This effort utilized a little-known provision of the Clean Air Act – the “good neighbor” provision at Section 126(b) – to argue that hundreds of energy-related and manufacturing facilities located across nine “upwind” states should be subject to additional, costly controls and limitations in order to assist New York in meeting its air quality obligations under 2008 and 2015 national ozone air quality standards.  Last week, the Federal Register published the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to reject New York’s far-reaching petition, providing momentary relief to the thousands of workers across nine states that found themselves within the crosshairs of New York’s “keep it in the ground” ideology.

With this week’s EPA action, the comment period is now officially open for the public to weigh-in on whether it supports – or opposes – New York’s attempt to curtail or shut down legitimate business activities across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  If you live in any one of these states, and particularly if you live near or work at any of the many facilities targeted (pages 33-42) by New York’s petition, now is the time for you to speak up.

Take a good look at the map below to see the locations of the many facilities targeted by New York’s petition.  Not surprisingly, power plants and refineries are major targets, but so are countless other facility types.  From a Pennsylvania facility that produces renewable energy from municipal waste to steel plants in Michigan to a box factory in rural Virginia, New York’s petition contorts the Clean Air Act well beyond the intended “major source or group of stationary sources” which are typically the subject of a state petition under Section 126.  Even a facility in western Indiana at Purdue University – which is more than 400 miles away from New York’s westernmost border – is targeted as a “bad neighbor” by New York’s complaint.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Right To Repair Movement – Could it repair the Earth

This starts out as a technology issue. Farmers wanted to repair their tractors. Smart phone users wanted to repair their phones. But it turns out that if you follow that thread it leads to wanting to repair everything. Our broken economic system. To fixing Silicone Valley’s technology spew. Fixing our infrastructure so that it works. Not descarfing it and getting new. Maybe even preventing Global Warming. Too tall a task. Maybe not.

https://repair.org/standards

Green standards for electronics establish a consistent set of environmental leadership criteria for the design, use, and end-of-life phases of electronics. Since their initial development, green U.S. electronics standards have successfully pushed manufacturers to incorporate key performance criteria, including requirements for recycled plastics, the reduction of hazardous materials, end-of-life management, and energy efficiency. Historically, by setting a high bar and rewarding significant advances in green design, such mandates have shaped electronics design for the better.

Yet these standards—both in and out of development—have become increasingly ineffectual, as electronics manufacturers now constitute a large voting bloc on most U.S. green standards groups. Standards are arduous to update, and the criteria are often too easy for manufacturers to achieve. Thus, electronics standards, more and more often, fail to function as tools of environmental leadership. Industry and purchasers rely on these standards for guidance in identifying sustainable products—which further perpetuates the low bar that has been set.

U.S. green standards could again lead, were they to integrate challenging, inspiring green design criteria, including (but not limited to) guidelines for increased reuse and repair. Unfortunately, manufacturers have consistently opposed stronger reuse and repair criteria. As a result, green standards have systemically failed to incorporate strong policies that would enable repair, reuse, and product life extension for electronics.

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Go there and consume the whole website. Mor next week.

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People Who Deny Climate Change Have Always Blamed Cows – It turns out it is the farmers that raise them

So after Frackers and their flares and leaks, Farmers and Fertilizer manufacturers are the greatest danger to the planet. CO2 doesn’t even compare to methane. It is 10 times more powerful. So next time you see a farmer, thank them for THAT.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190606183254.htm

Science News
from research organizations

Fertilizer plants emit 100 times more methane than reported

Date:
June 6, 2019
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Emissions of methane from the industrial sector have been vastly underestimated, researchers have found.

Emissions of methane from the industrial sector have been vastly underestimated, researchers from Cornell University and Environmental Defense Fund have found.

Using a Google Street View car equipped with a high-precision methane sensor, the researchers discovered that methane emissions from ammonia fertilizer plants were 100 times higher than the fertilizer industry’s self-reported estimate. They also were substantially higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimate for all industrial processes in the United States.

“We took one small industry that most people have never heard of and found that its methane emissions were three times higher than the EPA assumed was emitted by all industrial production in the United States,” said John Albertson, co-author and professor of civil and environmental engineering. “It shows us that there’s a huge gap between a priori estimates and real-world measurements.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Carbon Taxes, Will They Work – Will they work in time

Can making the world pay the true cost of dirty energy really be implemented!? What would the world do in the face of energy “riots” like what happens in congress when legislators try to pass climate legislation of any kind? One can only imagine what would happen if those protests moved to the street. That is the question this article raises.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/09/magazine/climate-change-politics-economics.html?fbclid=IwAR1g3oNMa_0ha-kjJdx1MHcjifTV2sfTW1Sj_yVGoq_4GsYuJsuDwDbnZgg

The Problem With Putting a
Price on the End of the World

Economists have workable policy ideas
for addressing climate change. But
what if they’re politically impossible?

In a Saturday afternoon in early December, inside a soaring auditorium on the campus of Stockholm University, William Nordhaus gave the crowning lecture of his half-century career as an economist. The occasion was his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in economics, which Nordhaus, a trim, soft-spoken Yale professor, had been jointly awarded. The title of the lecture was “Climate Change: The Ultimate Challenge for Economics.”

As a young professor on a sabbatical in Vienna in the mid-1970s, Nordhaus happened to share an office with an environmental researcher, who helped spark his interest in the emerging issue. While there, Nordhaus came up with the target, now famous, of holding global warming to two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. He chose the target, as he recently explained to me, because he believed that the earth has experienced similar fluctuations before and that humans had tolerated them.

The Nobel was a tribute to the originality and influence of his work developing economic models that help people think about how to slow climate change. It also seemed to be a cri de coeur from the Swedish academics who choose the economics laureates: Climate change is a threat like no other. Fatal heat waves, droughts, wildfires and severe hurricanes are all becoming more common, and they are almost certain to accelerate. Avoiding horrific damage, as a United Nations panel of scientists recently concluded, will require changes in human behavior that have “no documented historic precedent.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Oil Sands Suck – This story gets more ghastly by the day

First a word to New York Times Magazine, I was going to run your article on Pricing Catastrophe On Apocalypse or what ever you were calling it. You however informed me that my “free articles were over” and wanted a subscription from me. Well intentioned I am sure but NO ARTICLE here for you today.

 

Anyone who has read here for long knows that I think the tar sands operations in Canada are crime against humanity. Everyone involved should be charged, tried convicted and put in jail. I personally believe it is worse than open air Nuclear Bomb Testing. Really!

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/alberta-canadas-tar-sands-is-growing-but-indigenous-people-fight-back/

This is the world’s most destructive oil operation—and it’s growing

Indigenous people and environmentalists want to prevent the expansion of Canada’s oil sands development, and the water and air pollution that come with it.

As the world’s largest industrial project, the scale of Alberta’s tar sands operations is hard to grasp. Imagine driving on a highway and to either side behind a thin screen of trees is a vast industrial landscape as far as the eye can see. Now imagine 500 miles of that highway.

If Alberta, with its population of four million people, was a country it would be the fifth largest oil producing nation. While it produces conventional oil, most comes from the Alberta oil sands, the world’s third largest proven oil reserve at 170 billion barrels.

The local and national Canadian governments are pushing to expand oil extraction operations in the vast tar sands region, which already has a footprint roughly the size of England, even as they promote action on climate change on the world stage. And although the relationships between local people and the extraction operations are complex, involving jobs and services, a growing chorus of environmentalists and indigenous people are speaking out against pollution and degradation in the oil sands. Many are digging in for a fight against proposed expansions, including a major pipeline project.

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Go there and read. Warning – Pictures are gross. More next week.

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Year End Reviews – This one is from Forbes

I’ll put a few more up. Why not start out with the Capitalist’s point of view.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/12/23/the-top-10-energy-stories-of-2018/#5f91c2c4799a

The Top 10 Energy Stories Of 2018

Energy

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the top energy stories of the year. This year there wasn’t an overwhelming choice for the top story as we have had in some previous years (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon spill), but many of the year’s biggest developments impacted oil prices.

Here are my picks for the stories that shaped the year in energy.

Oil price roller coaster

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) opened the year at $60/bbl. Brent crude was just under $67/bbl. By early October, on the back of several developments that are covered in other stories below, WTI was closing in on $80/bbl and Brent was above $86/bbl. But then prices collapsed in part because the ongoing trade war with China caused them to stop importing U.S. oil, and in part because sanctions on Iranian exports were waived at the last moment — after Saudi Arabia had already increased production to compensate for Iran’s lost exports. The overall impact was a collapse in the price of oil. As we head into the last week of the year, WTI has fallen to $45/bbl and Brent crude is at $54/bbl.

U.S. shatters oil production record

Early in 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that the previous monthly record for U.S. crude oil production – 10.044 million BPD set in November 1970 — had been broken. U.S. oil production would continue to rise steadily throughout 2018, reaching 11.475 million BPD by September 2018 (the last month for which monthly numbers are available).

China slows solar program

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I hate that last one. Go there and read. More next week.

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COAL – The gift that keeps on giving .. death

I have a severe head cold this week and last so I will be brief. The negative effects of burning coal will be with us for at least 100 years. Maybe more if humans make it that far.

https://www.sj-r.com/news/20181128/report-groundwater-contamination-at-coal-fired-power-plants-across-illinois

Report: Groundwater contamination at coal-fired power plants across Illinois

Coal ash disposal sites throughout Illinois, including at City Water, Light and Power’s Dallman Power Station in Springfield, have contaminated surrounding groundwater supplies, according to a report released Wednesday by a consortium of environmental groups.

CWLP officials responded that the city’s ash ponds do not pose a risk to Springfield’s water supply.

The report’s results are based on data sets made public for the first time earlier this year as part of new federal regulations of coal ash, a toxic byproduct of coal-fired power generation that is commonly stored in unlined ponds or landfills near the plants. The report by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice, Prairie Rivers Network and the Sierra Club found toxic pollutants emanating from 22 of 24 coal ash dump sites for which the data became available in March.

The coalition called for new legislative standards that would protect groundwater and regulate the closure of coal ash ponds to be drafted next year.

“Illinois needs to act now to strengthen rules that protect the public from coal ash,” said Andrew Rehn, a water resources engineer from Prairie Rivers Network. “We’re reaching a turning point as Energy companies are proposing to leave coal ash in floodplains of rivers and exposed to groundwater. We need stronger rules that provide permanent protection with a financial guarantee and give the public a voice in these decisions.”

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Go there and read. More next week if I live.

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How Many Times Can I Write, Coal Is Dead – I will let you know when I get tired

This was is the way it always going to happen. The market shifts after a slow pivot.Then it was going to bust loose suddenly. Clean Energy was going to chase coal all across the globe as it fought a rear guard action. Then it would become a novelty – OH LOOK they still use that stupid stuff. Then people will marvel at all the damage it had done and it would go away.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/environment/2018/11/02/indiana-utility-says-renewables-save-customers-4-billion-over-coal/1837469002/?fbclid=IwAR1N_p2XCFjH-OlFdVwiFlr3-lpQufzWCNqvsJuKrEvccVWfIkz6lX20VFY

This Indiana utility may have just put the final nail in coal’s coffin

The embers of the coal industry have been slowly fading in recent years, despite efforts by the Trump administration to reignite the flames.

But an announcement this week from a northern Indiana utility — in the heart of a state that ranks in the top 10 for both coal production and consumption — suggests the end may be nearer than some expect.

After having already announced plans to speed up the retirement of its coal power plants, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company said this week that it will switch to renewable energy to make its electricity instead.

Why? Because it’s cheaper. A lot cheaper, they said, to the tune of more than $4 billion over a few decades. Still, those long-term savings might come with a short-term price. The utility is asking for a raise in its rates to upgrade infrastructure.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Sparkling Bottled Water Company Cleans Ocean – It is only fair to give industry credit

In all fairness the headline should read TRYS to clean ocean. Why do I even cover this story? Well plastic is a really really energy intensive industry. Second we made a big point of the Dutch Boy’s attempt to clean up the north Pacific Gyre. So it is only far to point out when industry is trying too. Though to be fair Sparkling Water tackled a much smaller  (some would say manageable) problem.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sodastream-builds-massive-marine-device-to-collect-plastic-waste-from-the-ocean-off-the-coast-of-honduras-300726688.html

SodaStream Builds Massive Marine Device to Collect Plastic Waste from the Ocean off the Coast of Honduras


News provided by

SodaStream International Ltd.

Oct 15, 2018, 09:00 ET

CEO Daniel Birnbaum Leads 300 SodaStream Executives from Around the World, Local Youth and Environmental NGOs to Clean Caribbean Sea and Roatán Shores

AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA) today announced the launch of the “Holy Turtle” – a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters. The innovative device will be initially piloted today in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras, as part of a bold ocean clean-up lead by CEO Daniel Birnbaum. This is the first-known attempt of a commercial company to undertake a physical clean-up of trash from open waters. SodaStream’s clean-up delegation includes 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries, international environmental specialists, NGO Plastic Soup Foundation and hundreds of children from 7 different local schools with local Honduran government officials.

The “Holy Turtle” is a 1,000 ft. long floating unit designed to be gently towed by two marine vessels along kilometers of open waters. The contraption is uniquely engineered to capture floating waste while its large vent holes act to protect wildlife. The device design was inspired by oil spill containment systems and was developed by ABBCO in Florida, USA, who are leading experts in oil spill containment.

SodaStream’s Roatán initiative was inspired by a video filmed by Caroline Powers in October 2017 featured on BBC highlighting underwater photography of a floating trash patch off the Caribbean coast of Roatán. Moved by the disturbing video, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, himself an experienced skipper and naval officer, lead a search for a solution to clean up this floating waste. Birnbaum noted, “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can. The most important thing is to commit ourselves to stop using single-use plastic.”

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Go there and read. Have some hope. More next week.

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