Link to KansasPrairie.net

9/14/2012

NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE: POLITICS THREATEN STATE’S WIND ENERGY MARKET BY KIMBERLY SVATY

Filed under: energy, political musings, print news, Sam Brownback, Kansas, Kimberly Svaty — Peg Britton @ 8:00 am

Not In Kansas Anymore: Politics Threaten State’s Wind Energy Market

by Kimberly Svaty
North American Wind Power
Thursday 06 September 2012

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Kansas is leading the U.S. in new wind farm installations this year. By the end of the year, eight new utility-scale wind projects will come online - representing approximately $3 billion in new investment - and the state will have more than doubled its installed wind power by adding 1.489 GW of new wind power capacity.

Sixty percent of the nearly 1.5 GW that will be placed in service this year will be exported. The balance will remain in state to fulfill the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) objectives. (Kansas’ RPS is 20% of peak demand capacity by 2020.) Of the existing 1.076 GW of wind power, the vast majority is used in state, and roughly 8% is exported to nearby Missouri. Power from the new projects will be exported to Missouri Electric Cooperative and Tennessee Valley Authority customers.

For example, TradeWind Energy, a Kansas-based wind developer, is sending wind power from a project developed in Oklahoma to customers of Southern Company. Meanwhile, BP Wind is constructing the 479 MW Flat Ridge 2 wind farm as major oil and gas developers are fracking the ground below. And Siemens’ wind turbine nacelles, manufactured in Hutchinson, Kan., are being deployed across many new Kansas wind farms.

Stormy political clouds
However, all of this progress is threatened by the looming expiration of the production tax credit (PTC).

While Gov. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., continues to work with Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., to extend the PTC, other members of the Kansas congressional delegation, such as Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., and Tim Huelskmap, R-Kan., are advocating for an end to all tax incentives for renewable energy.

Statewide, the political attitude toward wind energy has also changed. Kansas’ congressional delegation has traditionally been supportive of an “all of the above” energy policy and transmission development, but that changed when these representatives were ousted in Kansas’ recent primary elections.

Kansas has also endured two recent attempts to substantially change its 20% by 2020 RPS in the 2012 legislative session.

The first attempt was to freeze the RPS at 10%. The RPS-freeze amendment was made on the State House floor to a bill dealing with energy storage introduced by State Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Fredonia, vice chairman of the State House Energy and Utilities Committee. However, the amendment failed.

The second amendment was immediately introduced by State Rep. Dennis Hedke, R-Wichita, and would have tied further increases to the RPS to the permitting and construction of the Holcomb Power Plant expansion.

The second amendment passed the House, but House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, sent the amended bill back to House Energy and Utilities Committee for a hearing that lasted for five days. Ultimately, the amendment was defeated by the committee. Therefore, the RPS survived unscathed.

However, there are no guarantees that state legislators will not redouble their efforts to ease the RPS in the future. For starters, the state is losing two key advocates. First, Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal, R- Hutchinson, whose Reno County district is home to Siemens’ nacelle plant, has announced his retirement.

Another key lawmaker and energy advocate is Carl Holmes, a conservative Republican and a 28-year member of the Kansas legislature, longtime chairman of the House Energy and Utilities Committee, chairman of the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority and tireless advocate for transmission construction. Holmes was defeated in the primary election by a Tea Party candidate and, therefore, will not be returning to the legislature.

In the August primary elections, the State Senate moved decidedly conservative, and the State House may have tilted further to the right as well, placing further uncertainty on the short-term prospects for wind energy in the state.

Therefore, the future of wind energy development in Kansas faces a confounding future, and the 2013 legislative session will be very telling.

Two prominent state legislators vying for House and Senate positions are also currently on the board of directors for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative-oriented policy forum for state legislators. Moreover ALEC’s board of directors is contemplating model legislation to encourage legislators to repeal all state RPS programs.

Even as top lawmakers at the state and federal level support further development of wind energy for export and related component manufacturing, some Kansas congressional members are pursuing legislation to eliminate federal tax incentives, and many state policymakers are actively pursuing legislation to repeal the state’s RPS.

Despite policy uncertainty at both the state and federal level, however, there is one constant: Kansas still has a rich and plentiful supply of high-capacity wind that can provide low-cost, renewable energy.

Kimberly Svaty is a consultant at the Wind Coalition, a regional partner of the American Wind Energy Association. She can be reached at (913) 486-4446 or kimberly©gencursvaty.com.

6/2/2011

ROCK CLIMBERS ARE PERFECT TO REPAIR WIND TOWERS…

Filed under: prairie musings, energy, Dangerous things — Peg Britton @ 6:47 am

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Wind power has skyrocked in the United States over the past decade. Since 2000, we’ve gone from about 2,500 megawatts of installed capacity to more than 40,000. That means a lot more turbines, and when those turbines need maintenance or repairs, you want people who are comfortable working 300 feet above ground, hanging from a rope. Rock climbers are perfect for the job.

Rope Partner, a Santa Cruz-based turbine maintenance and repair company, hires recreational climbers to get to the top of turbines in two-man teams. They perform routine inspections, provide cleaning and upkeep services, and even repair damage to the fiberglass blades. Chris Bley, an outdoorsman and environmentalist, launched the business in the early aughts after talking to two fellow climbers in Joshua Tree National Park who made money working on turbines in their native Germany. Since starting as a one-man operation, Rope Partner has expanded to more than 50 employees and works on turbines throughout the United States, and in Mexico and Canada.

Not only do these rock-climbing turbine doctors keep the clean energy flowing, they also get to enjoy an outdoor office. Unlike the rest of us they aren’t being slowly killed by sedentary desk work. Van Jones may have undersold these green-collar jobs after all.

For more…

To see how fast rock climbers can climb, click here.  It’s too much to watch.

1/8/2011

MORE TILTING AT WINDMILLS…

Filed under: prairie musings, energy — Peg Britton @ 10:16 am

You can check this, a rant blog by Tom Roberson.

windmill-fire-3.jpeg

More windmills are on their way to Ellsworth County along with another coal-fired plant in western Kansas.  Who is being duped?

10/18/2010

IN KANSAS, CLIMATE SKEPTICS EMBRACE CLEANER ENERGY

Filed under: energy, print news — Peg Britton @ 7:43 pm

Thanks go to one of my friends for sending me this link.
The New York Times
By LESLIE KAUFMAN
Published: October 18, 2010

SALINA, Kan. — Residents of this deeply conservative city do not put much stock in scientific predictions of climate change.

“Don’t mention global warming,” warned Nancy Jackson, chairwoman of the Climate and Energy Project, a small nonprofit group that aims to get people to rein in the fossil fuel emissions that contribute to climate change. “And don’t mention Al Gore. People out here just hate him.”

Saving energy, though, is another matter.

Last Halloween, schoolchildren here searched for “vampire” electric loads, or appliances that sap energy even when they seem to be off. Energy-efficient LED lights twinkled on the town’s Christmas tree. On Valentine’s Day, local restaurants left their dining room lights off and served meals by candlelight.

The fever for reducing dependence on fossil fuels has spread beyond this city of red-brick Eisenhower-era buildings to other towns on the Kansas plains. A Lutheran church in nearby Lindsborg was inspired to install geothermal heating. The principal of Mount Hope’s elementary school dressed up as an energy bandit at a student assembly on home-energy conservation. Hutchinson won a contract to become home to a $50 million wind turbine factory.

For the rest of the article, click here.

7/22/2010

HOW THE BRITISH PETROLEUM RELIEF WELL WORKS…

Filed under: energy, political musings — Peg Britton @ 6:01 pm

If you want to know how the BP relief well works, take a look at this.

There is tropical trouble for BP.

7/9/2010

THE FACE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY …. IT OUGHT TO SCARE YOU TO DEATH…

Filed under: energy, political musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 2:08 pm

For those of you who are moderate Republicans and think you have a voice in Republican politics, think again.  Christian conservatives shape Republican ideology, not moderate Republicans.

I refer you to the recently passed Iowa GOP platform.   Which is more bizarre: The Iowa GOP platform or the failure of the press to report it?

Iowa isn’t far from Kansas or very different from us.  Herb Strentz,  an emeritus professor of journalism at Drake University in Des Moines and former executive secretary of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, has compiled the following information.

The Iowa GOP platform, claiming to promote moderation, would allow concealed guns in schools, end minimum wage and abortion laws, teach creationism, and impeach ‘activist judges.’ Anybody paying attention? The Iowa press sure doesn’t seem to be.

The Iowa caucuses are 18 months away, but part of the script for what Iowa Republican activists want is already written.

That script is the 12,000-word, 367-plank platform of the state Republican party, adopted at its June convention and faithful to previous platform themes of “family values,” religious beliefs and downsizing, if not eliminating, the federal government.

The result is a platform that again calls for abolition of:

The federal Department of Agriculture
The federal Department of Education
The Internal Revenue Service
The Federal Reserve
The Department of Energy
The Endowment of the Arts
and…getting the U.S. out of the United Nations.

The platform would abolish:

The minimum wage laws
Academic tenure
OSHA

The platform would place restrictions on:
Smoking
No-fault divorce
Abortion
Same sex marriage
Any legal rights emanating from civil unions
The 2010 platform calls for abolishing the Iowa Department of Education.

All is not abolition.

Creationism should be included “with all science instruction” in public schools
Iowa’s 99 counties should not be consolidated
Parents who send their children to private schools should receive some form of public reimbursement for that expense.

Sticking to its guns, the platform also would allow anyone eligible for a permit to carry a concealed weapon to do so at any public elementary school, high school, community college or university. Elsewhere in the platform, you wouldn’t even need a permit.

The platform does not call for the ouster of any judges who found the Iowa ban against same-sex marriages to be unconstitutional. But it does call for the impeachment of “activist judges” and advocates “the appointment of judges who respect the sanctity of life.”So the pathway to success in Iowa is pretty well laid out for Republicans seeking their party’s presidential nomination for 2012 — be right on all the issues, far right.

If you listen closely to what Sen. Sam Brownback is saying, he will be promoting a similar platform in Kansas.  He wants reform you know. “We’ve got to look more like Texas and a lot less like California,” he said.  Iowa and Texas look alike.  He won’t name the reforms he has in mind, but you can bet they will be along party lines.

Before you jump on this bandwagon, think a little about Ellsworth and western Kansas that depend on the government almost wholly for  survival.

When a tea party farmer from Quinter screams he wants the government out of his life, then let him forgo his farm subsidies, his Medicare, Medicade and his social security. Let him pay full price for educating his kids and getting them to school while driving over roads that aren’t maintained.  Let him put out his own fire if his house goes up in flames….if he has any water.  Let him have his outhouse back and pump his water from a well.  Let him pay for all his own medical expenses and form his own vigilante group to ward off the bad guys. Let him depend on the whims of nature and his own ambition and inventiveness to reap a harvest without any help from the government.  He can also find a way to sell his product without government interference.  Let him burn his garbage and stacks of old tires so he can pollute the air around him.  And the part time job he always wants probably won’t be there because it is usually supported by federal or state funds.

On the other hand, this same tea party person wants to tell the rest of us to live according to his uber conservative religious beliefs and will expect “the government” to enforce them.

How the Iowa GOP platform, or what goes on with tea party advocates across the nation, makes any sense to a thinking person is beyond me.

Where would we be in Ellsworth if it weren’t for our hospital, clinic, schools, highway department, farm agencies,  the prison, city and county units of government, water district, wind farms,  el al to provide jobs for our citizens?

And all these businesses depend on some form of government money for their survival.

It’s very interesting to note that little or no publicity has emerged as a result of the Iowa GOP Platform statement.  An apathetic, uninformed public is not what we need right now.

Thanks for tuning in…and many thanks to Dr. Strentz for making this information available.

WIND FARM DEVELOPERS CALL IT QUITS…

Filed under: energy, political musings — Peg Britton @ 11:23 am

Developers of a proposed wind farm north of Cheney Reservoir are ending the project.  Horizon Wind Energy sent a letter to landowners saying it would no longer negotiate leases for the 100-megawatt wind farm.  The Houston-based company said it sought commitments for about 10,000 acres, but had received commitments for only about 1,000 acres.

There are some very smart landowners who live north of Cheney Reservoir.

6/25/2010

STOP UNNECESSARY COAL PLANTS FROM BEING BUILT IN KANSAS….NOW!

Filed under: prairie musings, energy, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 2:35 pm

To the dismay of many, Governor Parkinson entered into an agreement with Sunflower which attempted to allow construction of one coal plant. The good news  is that governors don’t have the authority to grant air permits.

As Kansas moves forward with plans to build a risky, unneeded coal plant for a Colorado utility, other states are attracting clean energy jobs. Will you stand with us in our ongoing efforts to prevent new, risky coal plants from being built in our

state?

Sierra Club and Earthjustice petitioned the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to require Sunflower to update their permit and host public hearings to allow for citizen input — and won. The EPA has agreed to their requests and public hearings will likely be scheduled in August. Since we were not allowed to voice concerns when Governor Parkinson entered into an agreement with Sunflower, now is our time to be heard.Sign the Sierra statement to demonstrate opposition to new coal plants in Kansas here.

Sierra Club needs your help now more than ever to ensure unnecessary coal plants are not built in Kansas. In addition to the host of environmental and public health threats associated with this coal plant, Sunflower Electric remains in debt to taxpayers for their existing coal plant in Holcomb.

Sierra Club has opposed this misguided project from day one, and they need our help to keep dirty coal plants out of Kansas.

6/12/2010

SCIENTISTS WARN GULF OF MEXICO SEA FLOOR FRACTURED BEYOND REPAIR…

Filed under: energy, political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 12:53 pm

This is the article my friend Sandra sent me about what the Russians have to say.  The other is a must read too, but this is the one that will send you quivering with fear.

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

A dire report circulating in the Kremlin today that was prepared for Prime Minister Putin by Anatoly Sagalevich of Russia’s Shirshov Institute of Oceanology warns that the Gulf of Mexico sea floor has been fractured “beyond all repair” and our World should begin preparing for an ecological disaster “beyond comprehension” unless “extraordinary measures” are undertaken to stop the massive flow of oil into our Planet’s eleventh largest body of water.

Most important to note about Sagalevich’s warning is that he and his fellow scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences are the only human beings to have actually been to the Gulf of Mexico oil leak site after their being called to the disaster scene by British oil giant BP shortly after the April 22nd sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.

BP’s calling on Sagalevich after this catastrophe began is due to his being the holder of the World’s record for the deepest freshwater dive and his expertise with Russia’s two Deep Submergence Vehicles MIR 1 and MIR 2 [photo below] which are able to take their crews to the depth of 6,000 meters (19,685 ft).

According to Sagalevich’s report, the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico is not just coming from the 22 inch well bore site being shown on American television, but from at least 18 other sites on the “fractured seafloor” with the largest being nearly 11 kilometers (7 miles) from where the Deepwater Horizon sank and is spewing into these precious waters an estimated 2 million gallons of oil a day.

Interesting to note in this report is Sagalevich stating that he and the other Russian scientists were required by the United States to sign documents forbidding them to report their findings to either the American public or media, and which they had to do in order to legally operate in US territorial waters.

Read On….

1/22/2010

ST. PAUL’S MERGES WITH SMOKY HILL WIND FARM

Filed under: prairie musings, energy, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 1:06 pm

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St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 449 13th Road, north of Ellsworth.  The photo was taken by Art Kohls. He said it wasn’t taken to deceive anyone, but with a telephoto lens it makes the turbines appear to be in the churchyard, when, in fact, they are about a mile north of I-70 and the church is more than a mile south of I-70.  It does show the continued presence of the wind farm on the area.

8/3/2009

KANSAS CHAPTER OF THE SIERRA CLUB OUTRAGES KANSANS

Filed under: energy, political musings — Peg Britton @ 2:12 pm

The following came from Dennis Farney, formerly of Wilson, and retired writer for the Wall Street Journal.  He lives in Kansas City and has great love for Kansas.  The material in his letter will give you insight on how some organizations view Kansas.

Dear Peg,

I consider myself an environmentalist and I never thought I would find myself critical of the Kansas Chapter of the Sierra Club. But recently I did some research, and conducted an interview with the chapter’s architect of its wind energy policy, Craig Volland. What I found has disturbing implications for anyone who values the clean, beautiful prairie landscape of the Smoky Hills and the Flint Hills.

In brief, the Kansas Chapter is so consumed by the problem of  global warming that every other traditional Sierra Club  priority has pretty much gone by the boards. Traditionally, the national Sierra Club has served as a check on unregulated development by corporations. But in Kansas, the Club has aligned  itself WITH wind power developers.  Traditionally, the national Sierra club has fought to preserve outstanding landscapes and natural areas–everything from virgin forest in the Pacific Northwest to the redwoods of California. But in Kansas it has taken the position that virtually no landscape should be protected from developers.

Here is the heart of the Kansas Chapter’s position paper on wind energy. (”Wind Energy-Kansas Chapter Position–June 2007″):

“Aside from the area designated by the Governor (Sebilius) as the ‘Heart of the Flint Hills’ we think that all areas of Kansas should be open to wind power development provided [that] proper safeguards are taken to ensure that environmental impacts are limited.

“Viewscape concerns are generally not sufficient reason to prohibit wind turbines. However this is an issue whose resolution should be left to the local political process.

“Unplowed ground, or cow pastures, are not equivalent to original or functioning prairie if they are in use for human purposes [and are not eligible for protection] unless they are officially protected. It is not logical to allow widespread destructive practices related to cattle grazing while at the same time asserting that wind turbines should be prohibited on the same ground.”

Consider the implications of this position.

Viewscape–that is, scenery, no matter how beautiful or ecologically significant–is generally not enough to bar wind farms.

With the change of a single word–”prairie” is redefined as “cow pasture “–whole regions of never-plowed prairie, including all of the Smoky Hills and some of the Flint Hills, is redefined as just another mundane landscape, unworthy of protection.

The Kansas Chapter has a real antagonism toward ranchers and ranching. It defines ranching as “destructive” then takes the position that as long as ranches and ranchers exist, ranch land  should be open to wind farms. This is a self-serving definition, one that can only work against ranchers and for the Club.

In my interview, I asked Mr. Volland what areas, if any, of Kansas he would shield from wind farms. He replied that two categories of land should be open to wind farms: Cultivated land and “grazed land.” Well, of course, the two categories constitute about 90% of Kansas. About the only category that would seem to be exempted is wooded land in far eastern Kansas. But this isn’t much of a concession, since far eastern Kansas is generally regarded as not windy enough for wind power in the first place.

The Kansas Club would exempt “officially protected” land. Trouble is, there isn’t much officially protected land in Kansas.

It is worth noting that other environmental groups in Kansas continue to fight for the preservation of beautiful, or environmentally sensitive, land. The Kansas Audubon Society opposed the Smoky Hills wind farm. The Kansas chapter of the Nature Conservancy takes the position that wind farms can be part of an effort to develop renewable energy, but that a wind farm is nevertheless an industrial- sized intrusion on the landscape and, as such, should be sited with the same care as any other industrial-sized intrusion.

If the Sierra Club of California or the Sierra Club of New Jersey took the position that there’s nothing of value out there in Kansas, so let’s pack in as many wind turbines there as we can, I would be upset but could at least understand where they are coming from. But when the Sierra Club of Kansas takes the position that there is nothing much worth saving in Kansas, that is, quite simply, an outrage.

Dennis Farney
Kansas City, Mo.

3/20/2009

MAJORITY OF AMERICANS FAVOR NUCLEAR POWER

Filed under: prairie musings, energy — Peg Britton @ 1:45 pm

Now, we’re talking:
Gallup’s annual Environment poll finds 59% of Americans saying they favor the use of nuclear power as one of the ways to provide energy for the United States, surpassing the previous high of 56%. A majority of Americans believe that nuclear power plants are safe.

3/17/2009

KANSAS CLEAN ENERGY DAY MARCH 19TH IN TOPEKA

Filed under: prairie musings, energy — Peg Britton @ 4:04 pm

Just a quick reminder!

Kansas Clean Energy Day March 19th—Thursday 11 am – 1:30 pm Topeka
If you are attending with a group, please rsvp to kansascleanenergy@gmail.com
Please join hundreds of your fellow Kansans to reject business-as-usual and demand what Kansans deserve in 2009:

A Clean Vote on Clean Energy.

This single show of solidarity – many groups supporting clean energy for their many reasons – is critical.

Our representatives need to know that strong renewable and efficiency legislation is our priority, and deserves consideration on its own.
Meet your legislator.
www.kansascleanenergy.com

The Land Institute, Salina, Kansas
785-823-5376

3/14/2009

KANSAS CLEAN ENERGY DAY— MARCH 19— TOPEKA

Filed under: energy, political musings — Peg Britton @ 8:54 am

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By Jason Becker

Hundreds attended this event last year.  Be a part of the clean energy movement and attend on the 19th.
It’s one year, one new President, and one economic crisis later. Now is the time to bring Prosperity to the Plains!

Please join hundreds of your fellow Kansans to reject business-as-usual and demand what Kansans deserve in 2009: A Clean Vote on Clean Energy.

11:00 am - GATHER AND ORGANIZE .  Topeka Ice Parking Lot (7th & Madision). Clean energy postcards, snacks and shuttle to the Capitol provided.

12:00 pm - RALLY AT THE CAPITOL.  Please bring friends! If you are coming with a group, let us know via email at  kansascleanenergy@gmail.com.The more diverse our crowd, the better!

1:00 pm - MEET YOUR LEGISLATOR.   Tell us how many are coming and from where at kansascleanenergy.com and we’ll make appointments. This is a great opportunity to discuss your hopes and concerns and to leave your postcard with your message.
1:30 pm - CELEBRATE - MEMORIAL HALL.   Shuttles available to return you to Topeka Ice parking lot

Kansas Clean Energy Day

March 19th Topeka

YOU are the voice for CLEAN ENERGY. . .help us raise the volume!

This single show of solidarity – many groups supporting clean energy for their many reasons – is critical.

Our representatives need to know that strong renewable and eciency legislation is our priority, and deserves consideration on its own merits.

www.kansascleanenergy.com

3/13/2009

SWITCH OFF YOUR LIGHT FOR EARTH HOUR

Filed under: energy, political musings — Peg Britton @ 2:41 pm

To “Celebrate Earth Hour” on March 28th everyone is asked to save energy by turning off all lights between 8:30 and 9:30 pm. It’s a global effort to make people aware of the impact each of us can make through conservation.  Some communities are better than others at doing this.  Last year I sat on Beer Cap to see the lights go out in Ellsworth…and they did to some extent, but with all the city and prison lights still burning, it didn’t appear to make much of an impact.  Participate…it’s the right thing to do.

2/27/2009

A VETO IS ALMOST A CERTAINTY…

Filed under: prairie musings, energy — Peg Britton @ 2:03 pm

The Kansas House this morning approved legislation to enable construction of the coal-fired power plants, sending the measure to the Senate, where passage is almost assured. The measure was approved 79-44, however, which is not enough votes to override a veto.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, has three times vetoed bills by the Republican-dominated Legislature that would allow the construction of the plants.

Sebelius has cited health and environmental reasons to oppose the project, which would emit 11 million tons annually of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas scientists say causes climate change. She has also said that the plants are not needed for Kansas energy needs, but that more than 80 percent of the power will be exported out of state.

She argued that President Barack Obama was moving forward on limiting CO2, which made the project even more untenable. And, she said, the so-called “green” provisions in the bill had been transformed to “olive brown.”

Sebelius argued that the bill would be a step backward for Kansas, and that policymakers should focus on wind energy and alternative fuels — a strategy that would fit the state’s strength and the Obama administration’s environmental initiatives.

For more… 

and here…

P.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today requested that the Capitol Power Plant in Washington D.C. stop burning coal and instead switch to clean burning natural gas.

2/19/2009

COAL IS THE SINGLE GREATEST THREAT TO CIVILZATION AND ALL LIFE ON OUR PLANET

Filed under: energy, print news — Peg Britton @ 5:50 pm

The Sword of Damocles is a recent op-ed piece by Dr. James E. Hansen   who is one of the nation’s leading climate scientists.  It’s a must read article.  Two pages…take the time to read it, please.  Think about “Holcomb” as you read this and the following article by Chris Field.

Coal is not only the largest fossil fuel reservoir of carbon dioxide, it is the dirtiest fuel. Coal is polluting the world’s oceans and streams with mercury, arsenic and other dangerous chemicals. The dirtiest trick that governments play on their citizens is the pretense that they are working on “clean coal” or that they will build power plants that are “capture ready” in case technology is ever developed to capture all pollutants. The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.

And….

Without decisive action by governments, corporations and individuals, global warming in the 21st century is likely to accelerate at a much faster pace and cause more environmental damage than predicted, warns a leading member of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In a business-as-usual world, higher temperatures could ignite tropical forests and melt the Arctic tundra, releasing billions of tons of greenhouse gas that could raise global temperatures even more - a vicious cycle that could spiral out of control by the end of the century, said IPCC scientist Chris Field of Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution for Science.

There is no such thing as clean coal!

2/16/2009

COMMENT BY JOSH SVATY…REGARDING THE COAL-FIRED PLANTS PROPOSAL

Filed under: prairie musings, energy, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 8:24 pm

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“The people pushing for the plants are living in 2008, and this is 2009. We need to respect what’s going on in the rest of the country and the world.” — Rep. Josh Svaty,  D-Ellsworth, on the renewed push to approve coal-fired plants in Kansas, despite two pending lawsuits and a new carbon-conscious president.

This is interesting to note:

“While the Kansas Legislature is still pushing to build new coal-fired power plants near Holcomb, other states are moving in the opposite direction. So far this year, states that have scrapped or put on hold plans for coal plants include Montana, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Dakota, New Mexico and Nevada. Even conservative GOP Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina came out last week against a proposed coal plant in his state, though regulators upheld a permit given to the utility.

“NV Energy shelved its Nevada proposal last week because it expects some form of a carbon tax to pass Congress by the end of 2010. CEO Michael Yackira told the Las Vegas Sun that without knowing the cost of a potential carbon tax system, it was too risky for the company and ratepayers to invest in a plant whose energy might become increasingly expensive over the years. ”

by Phillip Brownlee of  the Wichita Eagle.

1/25/2009

THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT COAL

Filed under: energy, print news — Peg Britton @ 10:45 am

There is no such thing as clean coal.

There is not a single large-scale demonstration clean coal plant in the U.S. today. (IEA and MIT Databases)

Virtually all the new coal plants that have been proposed will release 100% of the CO2 they produce into the atmosphere. (Union of Concerned Scientists, Oct. 2008)

An investment in wind power produces almost three times as many jobs as the same investment in coal power.  (Earth Policy Institute)

We don’t have a plant here in the U.S. today that has commercially installed carbon capture technology.(American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity)

Burning coal is a leading source of global warming pollution.  (US EPA)

Burning coal is the dirtiest way we produce electricity. (US Dept of Energy)

Co2 emissions from U.S. coal-based electricity are greater than emissions from all the cars and trucks in America.  (US EPA)

The coal industry is spending millions advertising clean coal, but not a single clean coal power plant exists in the U.S. today. (IEA and MIT Databases)

There are roughly 600 coal plants producing electricity in the U.S.  Not one of them captures and stores its global warming pollution. (US DOE:IEA and MIT Databases)

Clean coal is like a healthy cigarette. (Blan Holman, Southern Environmental Law Center)

Without cap-and-trade policy, Shell Oil’s CEO says “CO2 capture and storage will remain a day dream.” (Jerden Van Der Veer, Shell Oil CEO)

1/22/2009

WE DON’T NEED MORE OF THIS…

Filed under: energy, political musings — Peg Britton @ 1:54 pm

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If there is anything we don’t need more of in Kansas, it’s the above. Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and certain members of the Legislature have pulled every crooked deal and untruth that they can muster to try to enact legislation to build more polluting coal-fired energy plants near Holcomb in Finney County.

Much to her credit, Gov. Sebelius has been blocking the plants with her vetoes for more than a year over their potential carbon-dioxide emissions and danger to the the  environment and health of our citizens.   Most of the power produced by the proposal would be shipped outside the state and we’ll be left with all the garbage.  There would be only short-term gains for a few people in western Kansas  with a lot of long term damage forced on the rest of us.

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