Central Illinois Where The Energy Past Confronts The Future – Which will win?

While Scooters and Wind Turbines may be the future the past always tries to claw its way back into the picture. In the past week we have had news about ADM’s efforts to inject poison into Mother Earth, a letter to the SJR indicating that a Carbon Tax would create the End Of Civilization As We Know It, and a team of Lobbyists here in Springfield and Chicago drumming up support for the extension of a pipeline from Peoria to the Wood River Refinery to complete the Rape Of Northern Canada…

Thank God no one suggested a New Nuclear Powerplant or I would have run out of space on this blog.

First ADM:


Friday, January 4, 2008 12:22 AM CST
Sequestration project in works at ADM; effort is similar to that planned for FutureGen

DECATUR — A project to test carbon dioxide storage capacity deep below Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s campus is scheduled to begin this spring.

The company will announce today a partnership with the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, which is led by the Champaign-based Illinois State Geological Survey, to work on the $84.3-million project.

It will be one of seven projects the U.S. Department of Energy is funding to demonstrate carbon dioxide, or CO2, storage capacity in underground formations throughout the country. Researchers are looking for uses of carbon dioxide other than emitting it into the atmosphere.

“The whole idea is to understand what is going on in any given area to figure out whether this technique can be safe and effective,” said Robert Finley, director of the Illinois State Geological Survey. “Ultimately this is a technique that we are looking at very carefully to understand what the volume of the CO2 is that might actually be placed in the subsurface.”

The consortium will receive $66.7 million to test a part of the Mount Simon Sandstone, a saline-water-bearing rock formation that has increased in notoriety recently because the FutureGen plant in Mattoon also will test it. The formation runs below most of Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana and part of Ohio.

Beginning in late April, workers will drill more than 6,500 feet below the surface to the rock layer where the carbon dioxide will be stored. The drilling is expected to take about two months to complete, Finley said.

The energy department has awarded $4.2 million in funding for the drilling, Finley said. Another $5.24 million to cover the first year of the project is expected to be awarded within weeks, he said.

The project will inject 1,000 tons per day of carbon dioxide from ADM’s ethanol plant into the ground, Finley said. The layer where it will be injected is about 1,000 feet thick in the Decatur area, Finley said.

Injecting is scheduled to start in October 2009 and be completed in 2012. For two years after that, officials will monitor, take samples and make sure nothing is leaking from the formation.


OK let us see – How can something be CERTAIN and yet Experimental? No one will answer that question. The Illinois EPA which is being investigated by the Federal EPA for Collusion with Polluters gave them a permit in a heartbeat..:


Sequester CO2: First U.S. Large-Scale CO2

Storage Project Advances

April 11, 2009 by Administrator
Filed under Global Warming News

Leave a Comment

One Million Metric Tons of Carbon to be Sequesteres at Illinois Site

(Washington, D.C.) – Drilling nears completion for the first large-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) injection well in the United States for CO2 sequestration. This project will be used to demonstrate that CO2 emitted from industrial sources – such as coal-fired power plants – can be stored in deep geologic formations to mitigate large quantities of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) hosted an event April 6 for a CO2 injection test at their Decatur, Ill. ethanol facility. The injection well is being drilled into the Mount Simon Sandstone to a depth more than a mile beneath the surface. This is the first drilling into the sandstone geology since oil and gas exploratory drilling was conducted between 15 and 40 years ago. No wells within 50 miles have been drilled all the way to the bottom of the sandstone, which the storage well will do.

The project is funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“This test represents an exciting step forward in the Department’s collaborative efforts to develop America’s carbon sequestration capabilities,” said Dr. Victor K. Der, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy. “In Decatur, we’re moving from theory to application.”

A collaboration between ADM and the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC), the injection test is part of the development phase of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships program managed by the National Energy Laboratory (NETL) for the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE).

The project will obtain core samples of the Mount Simon Sandstone during drilling that will be used in analysis to help determine the best section for injection. The sandstone formation is approximately 2,000 feet thick in the test area.

From 2010 to 2013, up to one million metric tons of captured CO2 from ADM’s ethanol production facility in Decatur will be injected more than a mile beneath the surface into a deep saline formation. The amount of injected CO2 will roughly equal the annual emissions of 220,000 automobiles.


What was it that Sarte said about Collaboraters, “shave the women’s heads and shoot the men”. There will be accidents and deaths from this process. THERE ALWAYS ARE in any industrial process. The worst case is explosions and deaths followed by contaminated ground water. If eventually successful, what else will they try to put down there? This is short term planning for short term gain (the hallmark of Corporate Capitolism) at its finest.

You might ask – at what cost?


The $84.3 million project will be funded by $66.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy over a period of seven years, supplemented by cofunding from ADM and other corporate and state resources.

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is the world leader in BioEnergy and has a premier position in the agricultural processing value chain. ADM is one of the world’s largest processors of soybeans, corn, wheat and cocoa. ADM is a leading manufacturer of biodiesel, ethanol, soybean oil and meal, corn sweeteners, flour and other value-added food and feed ingredients. Headquartered in Decatur, Illinois, ADM has over 27,000 employees, more than 240 processing plants and net sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2007 of $44 billion. Additional information can be found on ADM’s Web site at http://www.admworld.com/.

Jessie McKinney
ADM Media Relations

Download as PDF


Wonder why I wasn’t invited to the April 6th event? This looks promising doesn’t  it?


Early morning moon over rig.

The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC), lead by the Illinois State Geological Survey, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Schlumberger Carbon Services, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE) marked a milestone in one of the nation’s first large-scale studies intended to confirm that carbon dioxide emissions can be stored permanently in deep underground rock formations. At a ceremonial groundbreaking celebrating the imminent completion of an approximately 8,000-foot-deep injection well on ADM’s Decatur, Ill., property, officials noted the significance of the DOE funded Illinois Basin-Decatur study.


Looks like NASTY getting ready to happen to me.


Gob Knob Was SO CoooooooL – It was amazing to just walk right up to a 300 ft. Turbine and go inside

Many things to report about the trip. First I thought the Turbine was in Sangamon County. All the press always called the location as “south of Auburn”. Well yah but it is not even in Sangamon County. It is WAY south of Auburn like 3 exits. So I am driving down I 55 looking for this 360 ft. tower and not finding it. I almost turned back. This is no big deal but since it is all the way down at the Morrisonville exit in Montgomery County some journalist could have said so. I mean it is no big deal but geez:


Gob knob’ wind turbine to begin spinning





T.J. Salsman/The State Journal-Register Work on the wind turbine 30 miles south of Springfield has gone fairly quickly for the past few weeks.








Posted Jan 04, 2009 @ 12:13 AM


FARMERSVILLE — Dave White was reminded during construction why a hilltop just off Interstate 55 south of Springfield was selected as the site for a wind turbine that is expected to begin churning out electricity this week.

“One of the drawbacks (to completing the erection of the turbine) was that we couldn’t get the wind to stop blowing,” said White, one of 300 customers of the Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative of Auburn about to keep the lights on with the aid of wind-blown power.

The co-op has approximately 5,500 members in Montgomery, Sangamon, Morgan, Macoupin and Christian counties.

It has been more than two years since plans were announced for the “gob knob” wind turbine, named after the pile of “gob,” or coal waste, from a Freeman United Mine that operated at the site from 1951 to 1971.

The area 30 miles south of Springfield is part of the Freeman Mine State Wildlife Habitat Area and remains a popular seasonal hunting spot.

Equipment backlogs — the turbine was shipped from the Netherlands, and the blades from Mexico — repeatedly postponed the $1.8 million project after a ceremonial groundbreaking in the fall of 2006.

The difficulty in obtaining equipment in competition with major wind farms also resulted in downsizing of the original plans for a turbine that would have supplied up to 500 homes.


So when we finally found it, it was awesome…I know I am not much of an adjectives kind guy but the thing is best viewed from about a mile away. The closer you get the more you crank your neck and you lose all sense of detail. Not only that but the wind was a howling  40 miles an hour. Blade rotation 25 rpms.? Still it was only producing 75,0000 kilowatts out of the 90,000 it could produce:


Open House April 25 !

“Gob Nob” Wind Turbine ProjectThe Gob Nob project is a unique partnership between RECC and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which owns the land near Farmersville where the 900-kilowatt wind turbine is located.

Central Illinois is not blessed with the “prime” wind speed sites that can be found in the Peoria, Bloomington and Quincy areas. However, there are some specific locations in our area that can provide moderate wind resources. The Gob Nob site is one of those, where a 60-foot pile of coal tailings covers about 14 acres at the former Crown I coal mine . This extra height gives us access to the higher wind speeds needed to generate electricity almost every hour of the year.

The DNR has made this site available to our cooperative to enable us to generate clean, renewable energy for use by our members. All electricity produced by the turbine is fed through our Farmersville substation to power up to 370 homes and farms in the surrouding countryside.

Drivers on Interstate 55 south of Springfield can see the 900-kw turbine for miles from Exit 72, where they can stop for a closer look and visit the information kiosk to be installed at the base of the hill.

The turbine tower was constructed in late December of 2008, and commercial start-up was completed in early March of 2009. To see photos of the construction process, click here.


It was also really quiet. I need to go back sometime when it is a little less windy. I did not hear the “swoop swoop” noise that residents complain about…nor did I notice any “flicker” effect that all NIMBY’s report. That is not to say that they don’t exist. This machine this visit I did not witness it. Quite the opposite – they stopped it while we were inline to see the innards and I never noticed it. One minute it was going real fast the next it was stopped. They have been having bearing problems. The one big bearing that it sits on has been overheating and it has to be stopped to cool down. The manufacturer says that it will seat itself in a couple of months.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gov. Pat Quinn to Attend Wind Turbine Dedication Monday

FARMERSVILLE — More than two years after then-Lt. Gov. Quinn attended a ceremonial groundbreaking for the “Gob Knob” Wind Turbing east of Farmersville, now-Gov. Quinn will return to the site Monday to dedicate the unit.The turbine, just off Interstate 55 about 30 miles south of Springfield, began generating power last month for the Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative at Auburn. The project was delayed by the difficulty of purchasing the tower and turbine as worldwide demand has increased for wind-generated energy.

“Gob knob” is taken from the turbine’s location atop a hill created by coal waste at the reclaimed mine site. A public open house is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Saturday.

Read the full story here…


I never thought I would get a chance to steal from friend Will Reynolds, but here yah go. The final thing I will say for now was that the turnout was overwhelming. I pay attention to things like publicity profile, and expected numbers at events. The coop only has 5000 members or so. When we got to the tent that RECC had set up, there were dozens of people in and around the tent…3 full vans headed up the hill and probably 50-60 people inline up at the turbine. When I signed the book it was full and the staff had people writing their names on the blank BACKS of the pages. This attendence was generated from a little notice in the SJ-R and an even smaller notice in the Illinois Times. The attendance was totally off the chart. When I got out of the van at the top of the hill I said, “how does it feel to be on the wave of the future”. The Driver said, “pretty good actually”. I think I will leave it at that.


Closed coal mine sprouts wind turbine

I made a random stop during a road trip when I saw the new wind turbine off I-55 near Farmersville Illinois. I had heard about it being built but this was my first time seeing it. The ribbon cutting was April 20, just a few days after I went by.

I took a few pictures. They’re all pretty large if you click on them.

The turbine is at the site of a closed coal mine. The Hillsboro paper tells us:
The 230-foot turbine sits on top of a 60-foot gob pile at the former Freeman Crown 1 Coal Mine, which closed in 1971.
The site was covered with a layer of clay soil in 1991 and planted with a mix of grasses for wildlife cover, and donated to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in 1995.


Oh I hear the grassland bird hunting is pretty good too.


Poker Scoot Or Gob Nob, Gob Nob Or Poker Scoot? The pictures…I need to post the pictures

We started at Grab-A-Java at 1702 S. 6th ST in Springfield IL near the corner of South Grand and 6th ST. The nice owner Meg even gave us some free muffins…She says that she has a FaceBook page but for now a Photo and a yahoo citation is the best I can do:



It was so windy the registration forms were literally being ripped from our hands. A good group showed up:




Doug and Paul got to talk to the Channel 20 man about the Club and CES. Sorry Paul I did not get a real good picture of you until the end. I did not see the show so I do not know how it turned out. They are going to use the piece again on Saturday.



Then it was time to RIDE. vrrrrooom



To Overturf PowerSports who were very very good to us:


1622 N. Dirksen Parkway. Dennis and his wife Karen gave us a $50 gift certificate and got us some nifty shirts, hats and mini-soccer balls from SYM:




Then it was on to the Phillips 66 Gas Station in Rochester IL:


Where the nice manager Bobbie Patel gave us free soft drinks.



Then it was on to the Alamo in Chatham:




310 N Main Plz
Chatham, IL 62629



Then to Mike Carter’s Westside Automotive where Jim and Sam sell scooters. They served us the best Brauts ever:




That is one of my best friend’s son, Joe Means. It was so good to have him along for the ride.



Finally and saving the best for last we drew for the prizes at the Hoogland Center for the Arts:


Paul McAdamis is both the Club President and the WINNER with 3 8s. I could not have organized the 1st Annual CES Earth Day Poker Scoot for The Springfield Scooter Club without him. Thanks Paul!



Oh and THANKS to Katie for driving the Chase Truck.


Oh Great Now They Are Picking On Smart Meters – Heh pick on someone your own size

There are some nervous Techno nellies out there that see smart meters as stupid or worse dangerous



Smart Meter, Dumb Idea?

New devices promise to cut energy use by giving consumers

more information. Critics say they aren’t worth the cost.


Not everyone thinks smart meters are such a smart use of money.

Utilities are spending billions of dollars outfitting homes and businesses with the devices, which wirelessly send information about electricity use to utility billing departments and could help consumers control energy use.

  The Journal Report

  • See the complete Energy report.

Proponents of smart meters say that when these meters are teamed up with an in-home display that shows current energy usage, as well as a communicating thermostat and software that harvest and analyze that information, consumers can see how much consumption drives cost — and will consume less as a result.

Such knowledge, however, doesn’t come cheap. Meters are expensive, often costing $250 to $500 each when all the bells and whistles are included, such as the expense of installing new utility billing systems. And utilities typically pass these costs directly on to consumers. CenterPoint Energy Inc. in Houston, for instance, recently began charging its customers an extra $3.24 a month for smart meters, sparking howls of protest since the charges will continue for a decade and eventually approach $1 billion.

Consumer advocates fear the costs could be greater than the savings for many households. They also worry that the meters will make it easier for utilities to terminate service — so easy that they will disconnect power for small arrearages that wouldn’t have caused a termination in the past.

View Full ImageThe Journal Report: Energy

John Weber

What’s more, the cost to consumers could go beyond the extra charges imposed by utilities. That’s because consumers usually are left to their own devices (literally) when it comes to adding the in-home displays and home-area networks that use data from the meters to control appliances and other pieces of equipment.

“What we’re most concerned about is that consumers realize real benefits from the meters” from the start, says Michelle Furmanski, general counsel for the Texas House Committee on State Affairs, which is considering legislation that could establish more protections against disconnections.

Ms. Furmanski says that her committee is also looking into the lack of information on meter deployments that is available to the public. The utilities have claimed “trade secret” protections for important financial details about their meter programs, including contract terms with vendors. Such secrecy makes it impossible for consumers to analyze why costs for what appear to be similar services vary so much among utilities.


Or There is This:


Opinion: Smart Meters Are Not the Answer to

the U.S. Power Problem

Written by Subodh Nayar

Subodh Nayar is the Chief Operations Officer of Powerline Telco

Empowering consumers with actionable intelligence about their power will not be the outcome of the deployment of smart meters. Rather, it will be exactly what the utilities intend for it to be: a cost-effective way to implement real-time pricing, demand side management and distribution system monitoring.

Why? The buyer and seller of electricity have opposite power consumption interests. We (buyers) want to have control over the total power we consume and independent confirmation we are getting what we pay for. Electric utilities (sellers) seek to maximize the profits from a business model that requires them to generate, transport and deliver a consistent quality of power — regardless of demand — in exchange for a guaranteed rate of return.

Electricity generated on the power grid isn’t stored, so the grid is engineered and operated to meet peak levels of demand, which might only exist for a few hours per month. Without control over demand, responding to demand spikes will cause the quality of power supplied to fluctuate outside accepted norms, i.e., delivered voltage lags outside the 5 percent acceptable quality band, or frequency fluctuates outside its 2 percent quality band. That can only change if demand can be controlled, so utilities want three things from smart meters:

  1. To protect their return on investment (ROI) by not reducing the total amount of electricity sold.
  2. To free up supply reserved for unpredicted variations in peak demand with direct load control. (If the utility was granted direct control over devices with the highest amperage — the air conditioner (40 amps) and the hot water heater (30 amps) — it could shed 70 percent of the average consumer load, temporarily reducing consumption.)
  3. To reshape the demand curve, shifting demand from the peak busy hours to when demand can be met with baseload power (peak load shaving).

Metering has never been intended to reduce overall consumption.

A smart meter could report on whole house electricity usage, but it could not report on the demand from individual household devices. To make intelligent decisions about energy use, measurement should take place at the outlet, in the device or even on the power cable connecting the device to the outlet. This information can also track the quality of the power being delivered, which can affect the life of the device. Current, temperature and time data could be collected inexpensively, using existing technology, and transmitted over an Internet connection to one of the many service providers with a business intelligence platform. This data can be mined to reveal power quality issues that affect consumption. For example, a low voltage reading will tell you that the device will need to draw more current, increasing the total power cost for that device. Or if your dishwasher were drawing a current for longer than similar appliances, that could alert consumers that a maintenance check is in order.


I tend to think of them as just better meters myself. But to the industry itself they WILL give you a back rub and carry you to bed and tuck you in when you fall asleep:


Smart grid could prevent catastrophic power outages

Monday, 27 April 2009 12:05

Six summers ago on a particularly warm August afternoon, a tree that should have been trimmed triggered the largest power outage in American history.  The problem quickly spread from Ohio throughout the north-eastern United States – eventually leaving more than 40 million people without power.

The economic damages from the massive blackout have been estimated at $6 billion.  Smart grid technology could have prevented it from ever happening.  A digitised power infrastructure would allow consumers, utilities, and power generation sources to communicate for the first time.  In cases where the power grid is stressed, grid operators would be informed of the situation and could react accordingly.

It seems as if the dream of a smart grid may be finally coming true.  President Obama has made the technology central to his “rebuilding America” plan as a way to create new jobs and reduce America’s carbon footprint.  The stimulus package, enacted in February, included $38.7 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE), of which $4.5 billion is to go directly towards smart grid investments.


Personally technology IS as technology DOES. It is how yah use it yah know.

Gob Nob Wind Turbine And CES Poker Scoot – What a weekend

What a weekend. I went to the Gob Nob open house on Saturday and We staged Community Energy Systems first annual fundraiser, Springfield Scooter Club’s, Poker Scoot. Much more will follow. I have a dentist appointment this morning so all I can record here and now is how EXCITED I was by both.

Gob Nob was amazing. The wind was gusting to 40 miles an hour. The turbine was pumping at 25 rotations per minute and generating 75,000 kilowatts. That was still 20,000 kilowatts SHORT of its top capacity. It was real quiet contrary to critics. We got to go inside!!! More later.

Sunday was the Poker Scoot. The wind was gusting to 30 miles an hour. What a challenge. There we were at Grab-A-Java at 2:00 pm with the wind ripping the registration forms from our hands. Still it was a blast. 5 stops, 5 cards and a winning hand. Springfield to Rochester to Chatham and back to Springfield again. NO Casualities! We raised some dough and some consciousness and made the TV. Yahoo. No wait that is trademarked. Whooo Hoo…Much more later.

Nuclear Power Goes South – I don’t want to work, it’s jam band Friday

I just want to bang the drum all day….That is a direct quote from Duke Power’s William Griggs when asked why there are 12 nuclear power plant license applications in the south eastern US.

Well maybe not but they sure see it as easy money. Once again to cheap to meter:


ENERGY: Protests Greet Nuclear Power Resurgence in US South
By Matthew Cardinale

A recent protest at the Oak Ridge nuclear plant in Tennessee.

Credit:Nicholas Foster/Atlanta Progressive News

WAYNESBORO, Georgia , Jan 14 (IPS) – Residents and environmental activists are in a bitter dispute with large U.S. energy corporations and the federal government over the safety of nuclear power, as more than a dozen corporations plan to, or have filed, paperwork to open new nuclear power plants, primarily in the U.S. South.

Energy giants like Southern Company, Entergy, and Florida Power and Light are attracted by billions in governmental incentives offered under the George W. Bush Administration.

“There’s a whole suite of incentives being pumped out by the federal government to try and cajole the utilities back into the game,” Glenn Carroll of Nuclear Watch South told IPS.

The U.S. Congress last month passed 38.5 billion dollars in loan guarantees to the nuclear industry. “If they can’t pay back the loan, or don’t want to pay back the loan, the government will guarantee the banks up to 80 percent,” Carroll said.

Five sites have already applied for the first combined licensing applications in 32 years, Roger Hannah, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told IPS. They are located in south Texas, Bellefonte in Alabama, Calvert Cliffs in Maryland, North Anna in Virginia, and Lee Site in South Carolina.

Four companies have applied for Early Site Permits for sites in Grand Gulf, Mississippi; Clinton, Illinois; North Hanna, Virginia; and Plant Vogtle in Burke County, Georgia.

“We’ve had indications of interest from 12 to 15 other companies,” Hannah said.

The NRC held a public hearing in Waynesboro, Georgia, one of the closest affected cities to Plant Vogtle, on Oct. 4, 2007, to address the NRC’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The NRC must produce the EIS, as per the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act.

The NRC insists the risks posed by nuclear power are small and within federal guidelines. However, activists argue the draft EIS ignores many issues and contend that nuclear power is unsafe.

At a time Georgia is in a historic drought, when residents are being told the state is running out of drinking water, the NRC and other agencies allow over a billion gallons of water per year from the Savannah River to be consumed by the existing Plant Vogtle Units 1 and 2.



It could be their enormous water demands that kills them this time but they have never been a very good idea on so many levels.

But here is what the rah rahs had to say about it:


The Energy Policy Act 2005 then provided a much-needed stimulus for investment in electricity infrastructure including nuclear power. New reactor construction is expected to start about 2010, with operation in 2014.

In February 2007 the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) reported that it saw a need for 64 GWe of new nuclear generating capacity in the USA by 2030 – 24 GWe of it by 2020, with nuclear representing some 25.5% of output by 2030.

After 20 years of steady decline, government R&D funding for nuclear energy is being revived with the objective of rebuilding US leadership in nuclear technology. In 1997 nuclear fission R&D was, at US$ 37 million, lower than in France, South Korea, or Canada – only 2% of total energy R&D, which compared pathetically with 68% (US$ 2537 million) of a much larger budget in Japan. From the 1999 budget, this situation has been turned around with various programs including the flagship Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) and also Plant Optimisation. The first 45 NERI grants were awarded in 1999, signalling a reinvigoration of the federal role in nuclear research, following successful conclusion of the advanced reactor program in 1998.

For FY 2008 (from October 2007) the Department of Energy is seeking $875 million for its nuclear energy programs. . The Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative for closing the fuel cycle and supporting the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership would receive $395 million of this and Generation-IV R&D would get $36 million, chiefly for the very high temperature reactor. The Nuclear Power 2010 program aimed at early deployment of advanced reactors would get $114 million.

For US nuclear plant data, see Nuclear Energy Institute web site, nuclear statistics section.




South Carolina is so confident about building the Nuke that they at least are going to self finance theirs. What happens when an actual State goes bankrupt?


South Carolina regulators OK nuclear

power project

By Jim Brumm

WILMINGTON, North Carolina (Reuters) – South Carolina regulators have unanimously approved a request by the state’s largest utility, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), to join with a state-owned utility to build two nuclear reactors.

The South Carolina Public Service Commission vote on Wednesday gave South Carolina Electric & Gas the right to begin raising electricity rates next month to help pay for its portion of the $9.8 billion project.

SCE&G, a subsidiary of SCANA Corp, and Santee Cooper, known formally as the South Carolina Public Service Authority, plan to build the two reactors at the site of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, about 30 miles north of the state capitol, Columbia.

The commission approval also puts the SCE&G/Santee Cooper project ahead of the other 16 applications filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a combined construction and operating license (COL) for a nuclear power plant.

The NRC’s review of the COL applications is expected to take three to four years. It has been three decades since a nuclear power plant was built in the United States.

The South Carolina utilities have contracted Westinghouse Electric Co. — owned by Japan’s Toshiba and Shaw Group — to build the nuclear plant and expect to have the first reactor in operation by 2016.

SCE&G proposes financing its planned $5.4 billion investment in the new power plant by raising rates 0.49 percent in March and another 2.8 percent in October 2009, followed by increases in each of the next 10 years.

The first increase will be about 53 cents a month for SCE&G customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours of power per month, which now costs $107.60, according to SCE&G spokesman Robert Yanity.

As a state-owned utility, Santee Cooper does not need to seek Public Service Commission approval of its investment in the planned nuclear power plant.


Some people take that bang the drum more seriously than they take Nuclear Power:


But heh you know how they arrre in the sowth…all gracious, laid back and stupider than well a hog waller:


Nuclear power inches back into energy spotlight

The nation’s nuclear power industry — stuck in a decades-long deep freeze — is thawing.

Utilities are poised to build a new generation of nuclear plants 30 years after the Three Mile Island accident, whose anniversary was Saturday, halted new reactor applications. The momentum is being driven by growing public acceptance of relatively clean nuclear energy to combat global warming.

Several companies have taken significant steps that will likely lead to completion of four reactors by 2015 to 2018 and up to eight by 2020. All would be built next to existing nuclear plants.

Southern Co. (SO) says it will begin digging an 86-foot-deep crater this June in Vogtle, Ga., to make way for two reactors after recently winning state approval, though it won’t pour concrete until it gets a federal license, likely in 2011. At least five power companies have signed contracts with equipment vendors. And Florida and South Carolina residents this year began paying new utility fees to finance planned reactors.

The steps signal that a nuclear renaissance anticipated for several years is finally taking shape. Seventeen companies have sought U.S. federal approval for 26 reactors since late 2007. All have enhanced safety features.



Then again if you are a Nuclear Tourist you will have much more to see:


That is right IF YOU ARE a Nuclear Tourist:


The following links provide information about each of the nuclear plants in the United States. The first links and maps provide information from the NRC website. The final links are Virtual Nuclear Tourist site and utility pages.

NRC Pages

Map of the United States Showing Locations of Operating Nuclear Power Reactors

Select a triangle showing the location of an operating nuclear power reactor from the map below.


Sorry about the kid and the drum but new Nukes is a lame idea:



Why Is Exelon Going Solar – Could it be that the Nuclear business is about to go South?

I find it interesting that Three Mile Island just refuses to go away. 30 years later all the damage that happened and the deaths (yes deaths) make Nuclear’s future in the North and West bleak. But those hicks (sorry) in the South well that is another matter. But first: The Improbable :-0


Exelon to build largest U.S. urban solar power

plant on Chicago’s South Side

ComEd parent looks to stimulus money for 10-megawatt photovoltaic building near 120th and Peoria in West Pullman

April 23, 2009

ComEd parent Exelon Corp. plans to build the nation’s largest urban solar power plant on the city’s South Side by year’s end.

A view of a 39-acre plot on the South Side that will be covered in solar panels by Exelon.
(Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)

The planned 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic building would be at an industrial site near 120th and Peoria in the West Pullman neighborhood, Chicago-headquartered Exelon said Wednesday.

The plant’s 32,800 solar panels would convert the sun’s rays into enough electricity to meet the annual energy requirements of 1,200 to 1,500 homes. It would eliminate about 31.2 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the equivalent of taking more than 2,500 cars off the road or planting more than 3,200 acres of forest, Exelon said.

“This is exactly the type of shovel-ready, community-benefitting project that the Obama administration is touting,” said Thomas O’Neill, senior vice president for new business development at the company’s Exelon Generation.


Did I mention that Mike Madigan might be looking at allowing the major utillities to get back into generation?


Madigan: Electric dereg law may need overhaul

Overhaul might protect consumers, House speaker says


Posted Apr 15, 2009 @ 11:40 PM

Last update Apr 16, 2009 @ 06:36 AM

The 1997 law that restructured Illinois’ electric industry has failed to live up to its promise, and it may be time to consider an overhaul to protect consumers from volatile power prices, says House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, has filed a legislative resolution calling on the Illinois Power Agency to study whether to let utility companies regain the authority to run their own power-generating plants.

Such a move would reverse a key part of the 1997 law often referred to as “electric deregulation.” Under that law, utility companies such as Ameren Illinois and Commonwealth Edison stopped generating electricity and became power-delivery companies only. The companies’ power-generating arms were spun off into separate, unregulated entities.

The thinking at the time was that consumers would benefit because they’d be able to shop for power as they shop for other goods and services, looking for the best deal and saving money. But competition never developed in the residential market, and residential customers have seen their bills increase.


That Mike he is always thinking of us. But this is what they are probably more worried about:



New revelations about Three Mile Island

disaster raise doubts over nuclear plant safety

The truth behind the meltdown

22 APR 2009  •  by Sue Sturgis

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in Facing South, the online magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies.

Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pa.
Photo courtesy of Dept. of Health and Human Services

It was April Fool’s Day, 1979—30 years ago this month—when Randall Thompson first set foot inside the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pa. Just four days earlier, in the early morning hours of March 28, a relatively minor problem in the plant’s Unit 2 reactor sparked a series of mishaps that led to the meltdown of almost half the uranium fuel and uncontrolled releases of radiation into the air and surrounding Susquehanna River.It was the single worst disaster ever to befall the U.S. nuclear power industry, and Thompson was hired as a health physics technician to go inside the plant and find out how dangerous the situation was. He spent 28 days monitoring radiation releases.

Today, his story about what he witnessed at Three Mile Island is being brought to the public in detail for the first time; and his version of what happened during that time, supported by a growing body of other scientific evidence, contradicts the official U.S. government story that the Three Mile Island accident posed no threat to the public.

“What happened at TMI was a whole lot worse than what has been reported,” Thompson told Facing South. “Hundreds of times worse.”


All of these articles gooooooooooo on and on about the radioactive iodine that was released being huge, that the total amount of released material was larger yet (nobody mentions it but a lot of it went into the river) and that approximately 450 people died. So I am just going to stitch some articles together. You can read the whole thing if you want:


That it happened on April Fools day means that there is a god.


Anomalies abound

That a lot of people died because of what happened at Three Mile Island, as the Thompsons claim, is definitely not part of the official story. In fact, the commercial nuclear power industry and the government insist that despite the meltdown of almost half of the uranium fuel at TMI, there were only minimal releases of radiation to the environment that harmed no one.

For example, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the lobbying group for the U.S. nuclear industry, declares on its website that there have been “no public health or safety consequences from the TMI-2 accident.” The government’s position is the same, reflected in a fact sheet distributed today by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency charged with overseeing the U.S. nuclear power industry: TMI, it says, “led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community.” [The watchdog group Three Mile Island Alert offers their take on the NRC factsheet here.]

Those upbeat claims are based on the findings of the Kemeny Commission, a panel assembled by President Jimmy Carter in April 1979 to investigate the TMI disaster. Using release figures presented by Metropolitan Edison and the NRC, the commission calculated that in the month following the disaster there were releases of up to 13 million curies of so-called “noble gases” — considered relatively harmless — but only 13 to 17 curies of iodine-131, a radioactive form of the element that at even moderate exposures causes thyroid cancer. (A curie is a measure of radioactivity, with 1 curie equal to the activity of one gram of radium. For help understanding these and other terms, see the glossary at the end of this piece.)

But the official story that there were no health impacts from the disaster doesn’t jibe with the experiences of people living near TMI. On the contrary, their stories suggest that area residents actually suffered exposure to levels of radiation high enough to cause acute effects — far more than the industry and the government has acknowledged.

Some of their disturbing experiences were collected in the book Three Mile Island: The People’s Testament, which is based on interviews with 250 area residents done between 1979 and 1988 by Katagiri Mitsuru and Aileen M. Smith.

It includes the story of Jean Trimmer, a farmer who lived in Lisburn, Pa. about 10 miles west of TMI. On the evening of March 30, 1979, Trimmer stepped outside on her front porch to fetch her cat when she was hit with a blast of heat and rain. Soon after, her skin became red and itchy as if badly sunburned, a condition known as erythema. About three weeks later, her hair turned white and began falling out. Not long after, she reported, her left kidney “just dried up and disappeared” — an occurrence so strange that her case was presented to a symposium of doctors at the nearby Hershey Medical Center. All of those symptoms are consistent with high-dose radiation exposure.


But this has been going on for years…please ignore the nutball survivalist website. It is difficult to get Ken Briggs testimony online. Don’t forget we had Jimmie “the nuke” Carter as President>>>

Nuclear Power Plant Hazard Issues

Are you prepared for a nuclear power plant disaster?

3 March 2001, V3    by Kevin Briggs, Director, USDPI

Observations about the Three Mile Island Nuclear Disaster

“Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were hectic days in the emergency preparedness offices of the counties close to Three Mile Island. Officials labored first to prepare 10-mile evacuation plans and then ones covering areas out to 20 miles from the plant. {USDPI comment:  State and local governments, with support from the Federal government and utilities, currently develop plans that include a “plume emergency planning zone” with a radius of only 10 miles from each nuclear power plant. However, government officials recognize that in a catastrophic incident, a 20 mile evacuation radius akin to what was needed with the Chernobyl disaster may be more appropriate.} The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency recommended Friday morning that 10-mile plans be readied. The three counties closest to the nuclear plant already had plans to evacuate their residents — a total of about 25,000 living within 5 miles of the Island. A 10-mile evacuation had never been contemplated. For Kevin Molloy in Dauphin County, extending the evacuation zone meant the involvement of several hospitals — something he had not confronted earlier. There were no hospitals within 5 miles. Late Friday night, PEMA told county officials to develop 20-mile plans. Suddenly, six counties were involved in planning for the evacuation of 650,000 people, 13 hospitals, and a prison.”


I quote this to say what should have happened immediately. Not 1 day later when the State was notified and not 3 days later when the Feds had been notified. By that time they knew that a good chunk of New York and Pennsylvania were involved so they DID NOTHING.

The damage was done pretty much in the first several hours of the crisis. There is this from 1979 and it is nasty:



Deaths after Three Mile Island accident (end of March 1979):

US Center for Health Statistics for Pennsylvania in May 1979. A SUMMARY

US Center for Health Statistics for Pennsylvania in May 1979 showed the following (per thousand live births): 147 infant deaths in February, 141 in March, 166 in April, 198 in May. At the same time the number of births had declined from 13,589 in March 1979 to 13,201 in May. For the United States as whole the rate of infant deaths per 1000 live births had declined 11 percent between March and May 1979…., “the Pennsylvania figures for March and May representing an increase of 57 deaths, which was more than three times the statistically expected normal fluctuation of about +/- 16, and thus unlikely to occur purely by chance in less than one in a thousand instances.”

The US Vital Statistics for Upstate New York in 1979. A SUMMARY

The US Vital Statistics for Upstate New York in 1979 (north, northwest, and northeast of Harrisburg some 100 to 200 miles away and in the direction the wind was blowing when the heaviest releases of radiation were occurring.) According to these studies of wind direction the expectation was that “The figures for the rest of the state outside of New York City should have gone up, while New York City should either have shown no change or an actual decline….the numbers showed: Between March and May, infant deaths outside New York City climbed an amazing 52 percent, by 63 deaths, from 121 to 184. For New York City during the same period the number declined from 166 to 129. Again, these changes were many times as large as normal fluctuations, and the number of births changed relatively little, or by less than 10 percent.

What about the data for Harrisburg? A SUMMARY.

“only Tokuhata had the data for the 5-mile and 10-mile zones around the plant, and there was no way that I would be able to obtain them…Warren L. Prelesnik, executive vice-president in charge of administration Harrisburg Hospital provided a list of the monthly infant deaths, fetal deaths, stillbirths, and live births in the Harrisburg Hospital for the previous two years. In February, March, and April of 1979, there had only been 1 infant death per month. But for each of the two months of May and June, there were 4. Effectively, since the number of births had not only remained nearly the same but had actually declined slightly, this was more than a fourfold increase in the mortality rate, or of the right magnitude required to fit the observed 50 percent rise in the more distant area of upstate New York. From an average of 5.7 per 1000 live births in the three months of February, March, and April — before the releases could have had an appreciable effect — the newborn mortality rate had risen to 24.1 for May and 26.0 for June, an unprecedented summer peak that did not occur the previous year. In fact, for May and June of 1978, there had been a total of only 3 infant deaths, while for the same period in 1979 after the accident, there had been 8.As some of my colleagues with whom I discussed these findings agreed, by themselves the Harrisburg Hospital numbers were of course small, and only marginally significant, representing only about one-third of all the births and deaths in Harrisburg. But taken together with the vastly more significant and independent numbers for all of Pennsylvania, upstate New York, New York City, New Jersey, Maryland, and Ohio, there was now a much greater degree of certainty: It would have been much too much of a coincidence — perhaps less than one in a million — for all these different numbers to show the pattern they did.

The time and cause of death due to radiation. What can be expected. SUMMARY

One of the remaining important questions that had to be checked, however, was the time and cause of death? if the excess deaths were connected with the radioactive iodine released from the plant, then they should be associated with underweight births or immaturity, since damage to the fetal thyroid would slow down the normal rapid growth and development of the baby in the last few months before birth. The development of the lungs, which have to be ready to begin breathing at the moment of birth, is one of the most critical phases of late fetal development. Any developmental slowdown would be most life-threatening if it led to the inability of the tiny air sacs in the lungs to inflate and start supplying the blood with oxygen. Failure of the lungs to function properly would therefore lead to immediate symptoms of respiratory distress, and if efforts to treat the baby should not succeed, it would die in a matter of minutes, hours, or days of respiratory insufficiency or hyaline membrane disease. Thus, one would not expect to find as large an increase in spontaneous miscarriages well before birth as newborn deaths within a short time after birth, since the lungs did not need to start functioning until the baby was born. Also, there should be no significant increase in gross congenital malformations a few months after the accident, since by the time the baby in the mother’s womb had reached the sixth or seventh month of development, all the major organs had already fully developed. Thus, only some six to seven months after the accident would one expect some increase in serious physical malformations, since these infants would have been exposed to radiation in the first three months of development of critical-organ formation.

data from the Harrisburg Hospital supported these expectations

State of Pennsylvania Health Department had discovered a rise in hypothyroidism among newborn babies in areas where the radioactive gases from Three Mile Island had been carried by the winds.


Now aren’t you glad you know? More tomorrow on Nukes in the South.


Cool Sites For Earth Day – Since I rant about the Environment everyday

I try to make Earth Day fun. (Pssst..It’s such a nice day out I am actually just looking to get out the door)




to ARKive, a unique collection of thousands of videos, images and fact-files illustrating the world’s species.

You can explore and search ARKive’s continually expanding multi-media collection via the
navigation bar at the top of every page.


In the news

In the news: World celebrates Earth Day 2009 World celebrates Earth Day 2009.

What’s new in ARKive

Porbeagle, caught as by-catchRare image of the Vulnerable porbeagle.

Eggstra, eggstra, read all about it!

Peacock butterflies mating, laying eggs and caterpillars hatchingPeacock butterflies lay eggs on nettle leaves, once hatched the caterpillars remain together in groups.



About Conservation Central
Conservation Central is a habitat education program, presented by Fujifilm, our Partner in Conservation Education. This program explores the temperate forest, home of the giant panda and black bear, through the following online activities.



Arizona Educators, Students
and Families, Welcome to
The Green Frog News!

At The Frog, you will find events, lessons, activities
and other resources to help you, and your students
or children learn about science, the environment,
and social studies.  

For the past seven years, the mission of The Frog website has been to
disseminate educational publications, products and resources that support
families, and classroom and home school educators.  
The Green Frog News is
locally owned and operated.

The new season of the Department’s Emmy-winning television show, Arizona
Wildlife Views, is beginning this week. If you are in the Phoenix area, the first
episode will air on PBS (Channel 8) on Sunday, January 18, at 5pm. It will run at
the same day and time for 13 weeks. In all other markets, you will need to check
with your local listings (for a list of channels visit



Ocean Oasis, a giant-screen film, is a fascinating journey into the bountiful seas and pristine deserts of two remarkably different, but inextricably linked worlds — Mexico’s Sea of Cortés and the Baja California desert.

What powerful geologic forces collided to carve out this unique region? What drives the strong currents that make this ocean so unusually rich in nutrients? How does life thrive in a seemingly barren landscape? Ocean Oasis mesmerizes us with revealing and memorable scenes that explore these mysteries.

Glide side-by-side with a graceful giant manta ray as it arches and swoops through water sparkling under the hot Baja California sun. Witness the pageant of migrating whales, the elaborate tango of courting terns, the battles of lumbering elephant seals. Fly over sweeping vistas of snow-capped mountains, vast deserts, palm oases, and mangrove swamps — then plunge into astonishing underwater sequences of rarely seen marine life.

In the making of this extraordinary film, a team of gifted and dedicated scientists explored unknown territories, sometimes at great personal risk. They trekked, flew, and dove to unveil intriguing secrets of isolated areas on land, in the air, and beneath the sea. Now audiences who would never otherwise see these remote wildernesses can experience their captivating beauty and elusive wildlife.

Ocean Oasis is both visually stunning and provocative, compelling in its message that this little-known region is a treasure worth preserving.

Proceeds from Ocean Oasis will support conservation, education, and research in the Baja California peninsula and the Sea of Cortés.

Ocean Oasis DVD, VHS, and soundtrack available through the San Diego Natural History Museum Store.

Sponsored by
Sempra Energy logo with funding for the website from the
Walton Family Foundation







Let’s See Dorothy, Tornadoes, Little People And An Eco Friendly Infrastructure – What the heck is going on in Kansas

This doesn’t look like Kansas anymore TOTO:


They have a cool organization to prove it:


U. of Colorado Students to Present Their Designs

Students survey the proposed site. Model of a new green housing design.

During the Fall of 2008 and Spring of 2009, graduate-level architecture students from the University of Colorado-Denver met with residents of Greensburg, Kansas to better understand the needs of the community and the devastation of the EF5 tornado that hit Greensburg almost 2 years ago. They spent the next 8 months researching the Kansas climate and the appropriate materials and building techniques for new “green” housing designs.


Supper to Feature a Banquet of Local Foods

image courtesy of Local Burger

GreenTown will host supper Saturday, May 2 at 6:30 as part of the weekend of events observing the second anniversary of the tornado. (See entry from April 5, below, for itinerary.) Guests at our First Annual Green Initiative Awards banquet will be treated to a meal made possible by: Local Burger, a Lawrence, Kansas organic/sustainable/local foods eatery owned by Hilary Brown; Good Natured Family Farms, a consortium of over 100 family farms headed up by Diana Endicott; New Grass Bison Company, a sustainable food production and distribution company founded by Jeff Adair in 2001; and Anita Friesen, local Greensburg caterer extraordinaire.



If you will remember 2 years ago they got wacked at the knees:


OH that’s Hendrick not Hendrix:

Kansas Town’s Green Dreams Could Save Its Future

All Things Considered, December 27, 2007 · Greensburg, a tiny town on the vast, flat prairie of western Kansas, is at the center of a grand experiment. In May, a tornado obliterated nearly every house, tree and business.

The twister — among the strongest on record — killed 10 people and displaced almost 1,400 residents. The community had been in steep decline before the storm, but city leaders quickly saw opportunity in the disaster. Perhaps they could revive Greensburg and sustain it for generations to come by making it the greenest town in America.

Rebuilding Better

Less than two days after the tornado, as huge machines began to tear into the wreckage of his hometown, School Superintendent Darren Hedrick managed to put a brave face on.

“Towns are about people, they’re not about buildings. And it’s a huge opportunity to rebuild — not just rebuild it the way it was but maybe rebuild it a little bit better than it was,” Hedrick said.

Though buildings, books and records were gone, Hedrick pledged to open school on time in the fall.

He did.

First-graders recently celebrated the end of an odd semester. Classes were held in small, white trailers lined up a quarter-mile from where most of the students now live. Their teacher, Laura Proser, says winter break marks a welcome milestone.

“We just got our stoplight yesterday, and everybody’s excited about that,” Proser said.

The Greening of Greensburg

Townhomes are beginning to rise from the ragged tree trunks, weeds and ruins off Main Street. They mark a radical departure from traditional low-income housing, according to Duncan Prahl, who is from Pennsylvania and on contract with the National Renewable Energy Labs.



Even Leonard DiCaprio got into the act:


LEONARDO DI CAPRIO to Build “Eco-Town” in Kansas

by Tylene Levesque

Tornado Damage in Greensburg, Kansas, Discovery Communications, Planet Green Channel, “Eco-Town”, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sustainable Building

Discovery’s new eco-lifestyle channel Planet Green is partnering with actor and avid environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio to help launch the channel early next year with a touching environmentally-friendly project. DiCaprio is set to executive produce “Eco-Town,” a 13-part reality series which will follow state and local officials in their quest to build an ecologically—and economically—sustainable town in Kansas, aptly named Greensburg.

The series will document the green rebuilding of Greensburg, Kansas, a small town that was leveled by a devastating tornado on May 4th. Environmentally friendly, energy efficient materials and technology will be used to reconstruct the hundreds of homes and businesses damaged by the storm in hopes of encouraging many of the 1,500 residents to return home. We’re eagerly waiting to see what other green programs Planet Green has in store for us.



But does it really take ALL of this to get earth friendly? Do we have to wait for disasters like Katrina to do the things we know are right. Isn’t this Environmentalism by suicide?



Previous 1 of 3 Next

The Greenest Town in America

by Lamar Graham

published: 04/19/2009

1. The Greenest Town in America


2. Personality Parade


3. Wind Power

An eco-friendly home in Greensburg, Kansas. Photo by Jim Reed.

Darin Headrick, superintendent of schools in Greensburg, Kan., wasn’t particularly alarmed to hear a tornado siren wail on the evening of May 4, 2007. Such warnings are rites of spring in south-central Kansas, and when Mother Nature gets her dander up, “there’s nothing much you can do but get home, put the vehicles away, and get down in the basement,” Headrick says. So he and his wife went next door and joined their neighbors, a couple with two teenage daughters, in their below-ground rec room.

Violent wind, rain, and hail lashed the town. The power went out. Suddenly, Headrick says, “ there was a huge pressure change in the atmosphere.” They heard glass begin to shatter above them, then a sound like a giant wrecking ball.

Miraculously, the planks over their heads held fast. The rest of the house simply vanished. So did every other dwelling in the vicinity. For a desperate hour, the two families searched for neighbors. Eventually, they set out on foot for the dark center of town.

Every house and building they passed had been flattened. “We met people coming from the other direction,” Headrick recalls. “They said, ‘It’s not any better back there.’ That’s when we knew.” Greensburg, population 1574, had been wiped off the map.

  Devastated but not destroyed: Greensburg after the twister that killed 11 on May 4, 2007

The tornado that obliterated Greensburg was one of the strongest ever recorded anywhere, with winds of 205 mph and a footprint 1.7 miles wide. The town, only about 1.5 square miles, never stood a chance. Eleven people died. Fewer than a dozen homes were left standing.

The devastation was so complete that folks in Greensburg wondered whether to rebuild at all. Even before the twister, their town had been on the wane, its population graying, its young people moving away. “Rural America is kind of dying,” Headrick observes.