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Category Archives: ‘Reports’
April 06, 2012 By John Gamper
--John Gamper is California Farm Bureau director of taxation and land use.
Original source: http://www.cacurrent.com/storyDisplay.php?sid=6029
The California Land Conservation Act--known as the Williamson Act--continues to protect against the premature and unnecessary conversion of agricultural land to commercial, industrial and residential uses.
The Williamson Act currently protects 16.5 million acres, which is more than half of all California agricultural land, including 69 percent of all prime farmland. This is no small accomplishment considering the urban and suburban expansion needed to accommodate our state’s population growth from 16 million to 37 million people since the law’s adoption in 1965. California, our nation, and world are better places because of the food security that the Williamson Act provides.
As a legislative representative for the California Farm Bureau Federation for the last 32 years, whose primary responsibility is the protection of the Williamson Act, I wanted to commend Jon Welner for his synopsis of this body of law. While I may not agree with all of Welner’s recommended steps to ease the development of utility-scale solar power plants on Williamson Act land, we do agree the program is vital to protect farmland from facilities, including renewable energy facilities that significantly compromise, displace or impair agricultural production on the restricted parcel.
The Farm Bureau has watched with dismay as a growing number of utility-scale solar power projects continue to be proposed on prime farmland in exclusive agricultural zones, including agricultural preserves, and on land restricted by Williamson Act contracts.Share This Post
Last week’s events in Texas help illustrate that building an ever-expanding fleet of gas-fired peaking plants may not solve all our electricity needs. Instead, smart homes may be key to our rational energy future.
Chet Geschickter: February 14, 2011
Texas power demand set a winter record last week as a cold snap drove temperatures into the single digits. Between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on February 2, 2011, power demand in Texas reached an all-time winter high of 56.3 gigawatts (versus a more typical 30 gig to 40 gig) and wholesale power prices reached a (temporarily raised) cap of $3,000 per megawatt. Texas grid operators implemented rolling blackouts to prevent a catastrophic shutdown. Grid operators faced a double whammy: as demand soared, supply dropped. Several generators (7 gigawatts' worth, to be exact) went offline due to equipment freezing and cracking. There was literally no more power available -- at any price. The operator of the Texas grid, ERCOT, was forced to implement rolling blackouts in order to prevent a complete grid shutdown. A detailed timeline of events is available from ERCOT here.
An investigation of the causes behind the power shortfalls is underway, including determining whether unscrupulous generators faked outages to drive up spot prices, which would be a repeat of the California 2000-2001 energy crisis. But regardless of the causes, consumption spikes are a risky business: expensive at best, downright dangerous in the extreme.
Nonetheless, here are a few smart grid lessons learned from events in Texas last week, along with some relevant observations from our recently released home energy management research report:
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/smart-grid-lessons-from-the-super-bowl-week-outages-in-texas/Share This Post
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 10:50 a.m.
Roster of ESLC members
• General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.), 28th Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (co-chair)
• Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President & CEO, FedEx Corporation (co-chair)
• Admiral Dennis C. Blair, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command
• General Bryan "Doug" Brown, U.S. Army (Ret.), Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
• Admiral Vern Clark, USN (Ret.), Former Chief of Naval Operations
• General Richard A. Cody, U.S. Army (Ret.), Former Vice Chairman, U.S. Army
• Adam M. Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International
• General John A. Gordon, USAF (Ret.), Former Homeland Security Advisor to the President
• Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman & CEO, C.V. Starr & Co., Inc
• General John W. Handy, USAF (Ret.), Former Commander of the U.S. Transportation and Air Mobility Command
• Admiral Gregory G. Johnson, USN (Ret.), Former Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe
• General John M. Keane, U.S. Army (ret.), Former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army
• Admiral Timothy J. Keating, USN (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
• Herbert D. Kelleher, Founder & Chairman Emeritus, Southwest Airlines Co.
• John F. Lehman, Former Secretary to the U.S. Navy
• General Michael E. Ryan, USAF (Ret.), 16th Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
• Eric S. Schwartz, Former co-CEO, Goldman Sachs Asset Management
• Michael R. Splinter, President & CEO, Applied Materials, Inc.
• Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Chairman & CEO, Intercontinental Exchange
• David P. Steiner, CEO, Waste Management, Inc.
• Michael T. Strianese, President, CEO & Director, L-3 Communications
• General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.), Former Deputy Commander, United States European Command
• Josh S. Weston, Honorary Chairman, Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
The nation’s newest fan of mass transportation as a legitimate and vital national strategy is the gravitas-filled Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC).
The panel of retired military leaders and corporate CEO’s has always cited foreign oil dependence as a threat to national security. In a report released today the council cites mass transportation, smart-toll pricing and new technologies as frontline warriors in the battle for energy independence.
The timing of the report is linked to the ongoing federal debate over new transportation legislation . The $50 billion-a-year highway and transit bill expired in September 2009 and has been limping along on temporary extensions. The latest extension expires March 4.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/feb/09/merge-debates-foreign-oil-transportation-says-ener/Share This Post
Report: U.S. in fast lane to put 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015
by Todd Woody
9 Feb 2011 8:17 AM
When President Obama in his State of the Union address called for 1 million electric cars to be on the road by 2015, skeptics scoffed. But in a report [PDF] released Tuesday, the Department of Energy basically said no worries. We've already arrived at our destination.
That optimism comes from automakers' existing projections of how many electric cars they expect to produce over the next five years.
"The production capacity of EV models announced to enter the U.S. market through 2015 should be sufficient to achieve the goal of one million EVs by 2015," the report states, noting that 1.6 million hybrids like the Toyota Prius have been sold over the past six years.
If the estimates bear out, 1.2 million electric cars will hit the highways by 2015. That's about 10 percent of current annual automotive sales. But those rosy numbers includes some big figures from startup companies like Fisker Automotive that have yet to roll a single production vehicle off the assembly line.Share This Post