Trump Causes Downturn In Air Quality – One single man in three years kills thousands

That’s right. The Dumb Ass In Chief has repealed so many EPA rules, that in three years, America has suffered a noticeable decline in air quality. Enough so that people with lung difficulties are dying, as well as young children. But is the Orange Valdemort done? Not by a long shot.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-battle-california-heats-climate-172050506.html

Trump Battle With California Heats Up With New Climate Suit

Jennifer A. Dlouhy
Bloomberg  

(Bloomberg) — The Trump administration on Wednesday launched a legal assault on another of California’s plans to combat climate change, filing a lawsuit challenging the state’s carbon-cutting pact with Quebec.

The lawsuit, filed in a Sacramento-based U.S. district court, argues the state stepped outside its proper constitutional lane by making a deal with the Canadian province on a cap-and-trade deal for limiting carbon dioxide emissions.

The move is the latest in a series of actions the Trump administration has taken against California as it simultaneously challenges the state’s authority to set aggressive greenhouse gas emissions-cutting mandates on vehicles and complains the state has been too lax in confronting local pollution problems.

The administration argues that the Constitution bars states from making treaties or compacts with foreign powers — like the regional cap-and-trade agreement California entered into with Quebec in 2013.

Such foreign policy matters are the purview of the federal government, the Justice Department asserts.

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Go there and (cough cough cough) read. More next week.

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Openly Embracing Climate Change – That is the Bitcoin way

Now I know. The Tech companies and the Cloud companies are all in on alternative energy sources. For that matter so is Walmart for god’s sake. Nonetheless. Companies using as much energy as a small country? Really? If nothing else it just looks bad.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/4/20682109/bitcoin-energy-consumption-annual-calculation-cambridge-index-cbeci-country-comparison

Bitcoin consumes more energy than Switzerland, according to new estimate

21 comments

Though researchers acknowledge that reliable estimates are ‘rare’

Bitcoin consumes more energy than the entire nation of Switzerland, according to new estimates published by researchers at the University of Cambridge.

An online tool that launched this week called the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, or CBECI, estimates how much energy is needed to maintain the Bitcoin network in real time, before using this to calculate its annual energy usage.

Currently, the CBECI says the global Bitcoin network is consuming more than seven gigwatts of electricity. Over the course of a year that’s equal to around 64 TWh or terawatt hours of energy consumption. That’s more than the country of Switzerland uses over the same time period (58 TWh per year), but less than Colombia (68 TWh per year).

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Go there and read. More next week.

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CWLP Is Doomed – Coal will strangle it to death

A “multi-post” that I rarely ever do any more. But this issue is important so first my recommendations, first published on Facebook, and then the facts on the ground.

CWLP IS Doomed

If the members of the City Council of Springfield had any sense at all (and guts/leadership) they would:

1/ Tell IBEW 193 to retrain the workers at Dallman 1 2 and 3 in Solar and Wind
2/ They would close Dallman 1 2 and 3
3/ They would put out a notice for proposals to gasify Dallman
4/ They would take the savings and invest it in renewables
5/ They would ask the County to drop their ridiculous zoning rules for wind farms so we could have a wind farm in Sangamon county

But instead they will live in the 1900s and like Trump demand coal for a fuel source no matter what.

First the SJ-R

https://www.sj-r.com/news/20190507/report-recommends-cwlp-retire-its-three-oldest-power-units-move-away-from-coal

Report recommends CWLP retire its three oldest power units, move away from coal

In a much-anticipated report, an energy consulting firm is recommending that City Water, Light and Power retire three of its four coal-fired power generators “as soon as feasible” while offering the utility a roadmap to a less coal-dependent future.

The Energy Authority (TEA), which was retained by the city last year to map out a plan for the utility’s power generation for the next 20 years, released the 84-page “integrated resource plan” on Monday and gave a presentation to members of the Springfield City Council.

The firm recommended that CWLP retire Dallman units 1, 2 and 3 by as early as 2020 after finding that “no scenario economically retained these units.”

The results are not much of a surprise given the age of the units and the current state of the energy market, which has been upended by the rise of natural gas and the increasing affordability of renewable energy. For coal-dependent utilities like CWLP, it has not been easy to keep up.

“One of the things that we’ve been saying for quite some time is that coal-fired units basically can’t compete very well in the market, they’re not competitive in the current market,” said CWLP chief utility engineer Doug Brown. “So this report basically confirms all of that.”

Then the Illinois Times.

https://illinoistimes.com/article-21209-consultant-retire-three-of-cwlp%E2%80%99s-coal-fired-plants.html

Thursday, May 9, 2019 12:05 am

Consultant: Retire three of CWLP’s coal-fired plants

How can Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) best provide electrical power to meet the community’s future energy needs? Retiring Dallman Units 1, 2 and 3 coal-fired plants, increasing the use of renewable energy and expanding energy efficiency are some of the recommendations included in a recently released report.

Last year the city hired The Energy Authority (TEA) to develop an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Kevin Glake from TEA presented the results of the comprehensive study to the city council on May 6 at a meeting of the Public Utilities Committee. Anyone who uses electricity generated by CWLP or cares about the future of the city’s public utility should be interested in this plan.

Public comments are being accepted now through June 3, and a public open house is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. May 20 at the Lincoln Public Library. More information and the complete plan are available online at https://cwlp.com/IRP.aspx. Comments can be emailed to IRP@cwlp.com or mailed to CWLP General Office, ATTN: CWLP IRP, 800 E. Monroe St., Springfield, 62701.

https://illinoistimes.com/article-21312-letting-go.html

Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:19 am

Letting go

Springfield ponders cutting back on coal

t’s not a welcome message in council chambers.

“They came back with exactly what everyone on the city council knows,” Ward 1 Ald. Chuck Redpath declared at a May 28 committee-of-the-whole meeting, joining colleagues in criticizing the report issued by The Energy Authority. “The point is, we can’t just…go down without a fight. We’re talking about getting rid of two, maybe three, of our plants, and it’s going to be detrimental to our ratepayers. It’s going to be detrimental because, eventually, you are going to have to go out on the net, and buy off the net – the grid – and then we’re going to be subjected to whatever prices we get stuck with if we’re down to one plant. We’ve got to start thinking outside the box and find a better way.”

And so Redpath and other aldermen cling to coal, even as they talk about new courses. Those opposed to coal have a simple response to complaints about a report that contains no surprises.

“They’re not learning anything new because nothing has changed in six years in terms of the economics of those old units,” says Andy Knott, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club. “They don’t want to look at the facts and the reality and make the best decisions for the ratepayers.”

“They’re too old”

“Integrated resource plan,” a tag invented in the 1980s, is the official title of the study that’s drawing ire from aldermen. The planning process is supposed to help utilities figure out long-term economics. Thirty-three states, but not Illinois, require utilities to prepare IRPs that are subject to review by state regulators.

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Go there and read sadly/ More next week…

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Xcel Dumps Coal – But where are the renewables

It is sad that a corporation bets on nukes and not renewables and alternatives. Corporations are dumb and if they refuse to react to market changes then they shall be slain on their nukes…So be it.

 

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/xcel-energy-accelerates-coal-plant-closures-to-meet-100-clean-energy-goal

Regulation & Policy

Xcel Energy Fast-Forwards Minnesota Coal Plant Closures but Extends Nuclear Window

The utility struck a deal with environmental and labor groups in the Upper Midwest that will allow it to reduce its carbon emissions while easing job losses related to coal plant retirements.

Xcel Energy plans to close its last two coal-fired power plants in Minnesota by 2030, a decade earlier than scheduled, while keeping its nuclear power plants running through at least 2040 — the latest step in the eight-state utility’s plan to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The proposed early closures are part of its Upper Midwest Energy Plan, which Xcel expects to submit to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in July. If approved, it will allow Xcel to cut its carbon emissions in the state by 80 percent compared to 2005 levels. That’s a key metric from Xcel’s companywide zero-carbon goals announced in December, up from its previous target of 60 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

Monday’s announcement comes as part of a settlement agreement with environmental and labor groups, meant both to boost clean energy alternatives and help ease the job and economic losses when the Allen S. King coal power plant in Bayport, Minnesota closes by 2028 and the Sherco 3 coal-fired generator in Becker, Minnesota closes by 2030.

Under the agreement, Xcel would proceed with plans to buy the Mankato Energy Center natural-gas plant. But its plans to build a new natural-gas power plant, as well as extend the operating license of its Monticello nuclear plant past its 2030 expiration until at least 2040, are being opposed by some environmental groups.

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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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This Is How A Dying Industry Behaves – They try to steal every dime they can get before they fail

Next up, they will try to get the government to by their excess capacity. Oh They  already ARE, through Nuclear subsidies.

https://www.citizensutilityboard.org/blog/

A thing called capacity—and why it could be devastating to our power bills

When CUB threw its support behind the Clean Energy Jobs Act, the watchdog said one of the biggest reasons is an ongoing battle with fossil fuel generators in a special electricity market called the capacity market. If we don’t do something, this could cost most electric customers in the state up to $500 million a year in higher electric bills.

You may not know it, but EVERYONE pays for “capacity” on their electric bills. Here’s what you need to know—and why you should support the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

What is capacity?

Not only do you pay for the power you use now, but you also pay for power you could use in the future. Capacity refers to extra payments consumers give power plant operators for the commitment to have enough electricity available if demand suddenly spikes. (Think of a hot summer afternoon, when everyone blasts the AC.)

The PJM power grid stretches from Illinois to the East Coast.

The price for capacity for ComEd customers is determined through auctions run by PJM Interconnection, the power grid operator for northern Illinois and all or part of 12 other states and Washington, D.C.. (Ameren’s market is run by a different power grid operator.)

How does capacity affect my bill?
For most customers, capacity charges are embedded in the electricity supply charge on your power bill. While actual electricity prices have been relatively low in recent years, capacity has become a bigger and bigger part of your bill, and is now roughly 21 percent of the supply charge, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission. (By the way, alternative energy suppliers as well as ComEd buy electricity on this market. So you won’t escape capacity charges by changing suppliers.)

CUB has long said that capacity market rules are stacked against consumers, causing us to pay higher bills for more capacity than we actually need. But a new plan pushed by PJM and fossil fuel generators could make it even worse.

Why do generators want to change the rules?

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Lets Start A Wall of SHAME : I think it should be in Love Canal

Seriously, if Love Canal wouldn’t take it then there are Super Fund sites like Rocky Flats Weapons Factory that would. We could put up honorary members like the originators and manufacturers of Agent Orange, Whose ever idea leaded gasoline was, maybe the inventor and manufacturers of Mustard Gas. But the people who proposed and actually carried out atomic fracking must go near the top of the list.

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/02/nuclear_bomb_pennsylvania_proj.html

How about setting off a nuclear bomb to mine Pa.’s natural gas? It was considered

Fifty years ago Pennsylvania officials were presented a plan to detonate a nuclear device below north-central Pennsylvania. While the project never got past the planning stages it was part of a larger plan to use nuclear bombs in natural gas extraction. (Pennsylvania State Archives)

Editor’s note: This story has been update to fix broken art on this article.

HARRISBURG — In May 1966, Columbia Gas and the federal Atomic Energy Commission presented an audacious plan to a representative of the Governor’s Science Advisory Committee: A proposal to detonate a nuclear bomb more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima 3,500 feet below north-central Pennsylvania.

“At the present stage, this proposal involves a detonation of a ‘shot’ of perhaps 20,000 tons TNT equivalent at a location on the boundary between Centre and Clinton counties,” wrote Louis Roddis Jr., the governor’s representative in his report.

The goal was to use the nuclear blast to create a chamber that could then be filled with pressurized natural gas. Named Project Ketch, the proposal was an offshoot of another nuclear explosive-powered idea, Project Gasbuggy, which called on increasing natural gas production by detonating nuclear bombs underground to fracture rock deposits — nuclear fracking.

From the get-go, however, Roddis noted there would be challenges to the proposal. Safety considerations, he wrote, fell under three categories: seismic problems, immediate radioactivity problems, and long-term radioactivity problems.

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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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Illinois Promotes Oil Train Crashes – Wham bam thank you ma’am

Following Dotards move to deregulate oil trains, Illinois bit hook ,line and sinker. Let me be clear, this deregulation will cause accidents and it will take lives. Let’s just hope a crash does not happen in Chicago or East St. Louis.

Putting On The Brakes: Transportation Department Rolls Back Oil Train Regulation

October 24, 2018
Madelyn Beck

The U.S. Department of Transportation has removed a regulation meant to force trains carrying crude oil or other flammable liquids to adopt electronic braking technology by 2020. Electronically Controlled Pneumatic brakes — or ECP brakes — are meant to stop train cars and keep them from slamming into each other when a train derails.

Illinois is both a train hub and an oil train hub, and the regulatory change will have several effects in the state.

One is cost savings to the railroad industry. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “the expected costs of requiring ECP brakes would be significantly higher than the expected benefits of the requirement.”

It would cost the industry between $375 and $554 million to install the braking systems in the next four to five years, hundreds of millions more than it would save in damages, according to the department. That’s an update from when this was first calculated under the Obama administration, which found that the benefits may outweigh costs. The change can partially be explained by reduced oil train traffic in general due to pipelines and lower oil prices between 2015 and 2017. Fewer trains means fewer potential accidents and damages.

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Go there and read so much more. More next week.

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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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