There is a pair of bills working their way through the Minnesota state legislature that would change the way Xcel Energy can pay for certain costs of maintaining and upgrading its nuclear power plants between now and their eventual final shut down several years hence. Continue reading Nuclear Plant Bill Riles, Confuses, Perhaps Conspires
My friend, and expert on electric cars, Phillip Adams, made a proposal at a public political meeting that we should make the transition to electric vehicles. He had a solid argument, and there were several different lines of reasoning leading to that conclusion.
A person speaking in opposition, with good intention, noted that we do burn coal to make electricity, and therefore, while we all want to eventually see all the cars be electric, don’t jump on that bandwagon too fast, buddy boy…
Phil was right, the arguer-againster-guy was wrong.
There are three main reasons for this. Continue reading Are electric cars worth it?
Two interesting stories in the news today about energy, both in Minnesota.
First, Minnesota residents want Enbridge to remove its old pipeline. Enbridge says it is better to keep it in place. (This would all be contingent on the replacement of the pipeline.)
Remember Don Blankenship? He’s this guy:
On Wednesday West Virginia station WCHS reported that the former Massey Energy CEO, fresh off a one-year stint in a federal prison for conspiring to commit mine-safety violations in the run-up to the deadliest mining disaster in decades, has filed paperwork to run in next year’s Republican Senate primary.
Here’s a refresher on the Upper Big Branch disaster (60 minues/Anderson Cooper): Continue reading Coal Mine Safety
Donald Trump went into a snit and his babysitter wasn’t around to control him, so he barged into a meeting and slapped high tariffs on metal imports. The stock market suffered a mini-crash, and according to some experts, 2 cents per watt have been added to utility scale solar projects. Continue reading Trump Ruins Everything For Everybody (but good news from Minnesota)
A citizens action group I’m a member of is hosting an event that I wanted to tell you about. Here’s the info: Continue reading Twin Cities Area Energy Transition Event
A new study based in Pennsylvania measured health indicators of children born far, near, and very near, fracking sites. The study showed an effect that reached out to about 3 kilometers, but that was much stronger within about 1 kilometer, from fracking sites. The effects included lower birth weight and similar differences that are associated with in utero stress.
Given this finding, it is estimated that about 29,000 newborns are born in fracking danger zones per year in the US. Continue reading About 30 Thousand U.S. Newborns At Risk From Fracking per Year?
Perovskite is a special kind of mineral, calcium titanium oxide composed of calcium titanate (CaTiO3), discovered first in the Urals and named after Lev Perovski (though it was discovered by Gustav Rose). Continue reading Perovskites and why you should care about them
This is an interesting development and provides some interesting lessons:
I’m in Minnesota, and I’m here to tell you that our governor is pretty good, but he’s retiring. No, not just his personality, he is actually retiring as in not running for re-election. My choice to replace him is Rebecca Otto who has the best energy transition policy bar none.
(Rebecca is also the strongest candidate to run and win in Minnesota.)
But there are some other great-for-energy governors running as well. Get Energy Smart NOW! has information on Ralph Northam, and he is running on a “climate change is real” and “we have to do something about this” platform, against “Enron Ed” Gillespie.
The post is: When it comes to Virginia, being concerned about environment/climate demands vote for Northam. Check it out and find out what a good Virginia governor looks like.
Note, the governor’s race in virginia is old-style. They do it in odd years. So, now. Also, while Northam is leading Enro Ed in the polls, there are experts who believe these polls are off. So, get involved!
Carbon Brief has produced a US based (sorry, rest of the world) interactive graphic that accesses an extensive underlying database that shows everything about the electricity generation that there is to know. Each generation plant, each type of electricty, capacity, etc. and you can view the information by state, by type of energy, and with some other toggles.
Here is an example. Continue reading The Best US Electricity Generation Graphic Ever, No Kidding
The Trump Administration has just ended the Clean Power Plan.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s move to start dismantling the Clean Power Plan rule intended to curb carbon emissions that contribute to global warming will not be a quick process.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s announcement Sunday to a group of coal miners in eastern Kentucky that he plans to sign a proposed rule Tuesday rolling back the Obama-era rule is simply the first of a number of steps the agency will have to take.
Proposing a rule to undo a regulation takes the same time-consuming, pain-staking, research-based, legally-defensible process used to adopt the very rule targeted for elimination.
“Today’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan just begins the battle,” David Doniger, a climate change expert with the Natural Resources Defense Council, wrote in a blog Monday. “Pruitt’s EPA must hold hearings and take public comment, and issue a final repeal — with or without a possible replacement. He must respond to all legal, scientific, and economic objections raised, including the issues we lay out here.”
Just a pointer to my colleague John Abraham’s current post in The Guardian:
The latest example, Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto has a strong clean energy proposal
As soon as Donald Trump won the presidential election, people in the US and around the world knew it was terrible news for the environment. Not wanting to believe that he would try to follow through on our worst fears, we held out hope.
Those hopes for a sane US federal government were misplaced. But they are replaced by a new hope – an emerging climate leadership at the state level and a continuation of economic forces that favor clean/renewable energy over dirty fossil fuels. In fact, it appears that some states are relishing the national and international leadership roles that they have undertaken. Support for sensible climate and energy policies is now a topic to run on in elections.
This change has manifested itself in American politics. One such plan stems from my home state, but it exemplifies work in other regions. I live in the state of Minnesota where we are gearing up for a gubernatorial election, which is where this plan comes from.
My state is well known as somewhat progressive, both socially and economically. The progressive policies resulted in a very strong 2007 renewable energy standard, which helped to reduce carbon pollution and create 15,000 jobs.
As an aside, it is really painful for me to…
I wrote a post at 10,000 birds that starts to explore this question by comparing the number of birds that there are, the number of birds that seem to die off every year, and the possible number that get munched by cats, and briefly discusses predator niches and that sort of thing. I hope this is the start of an interesting discussion that will eventually get us tilting at windmills.
Have a look: Are there so many birds that cats don’t matter?