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June 22nd, 2012 Archives
June 22, 2012
By Ashley Swearengin
--Ashley Swearengin is mayor of Fresno
Original source: http://www.cacurrent.com/storyDisplay.php?sid=6201
Because California is a large and complex place, we might be forgiven for not knowing our neighbors.
Take Fresno, for example. I doubt most Californians know that Fresno County has more lakes than any other in the state. Or that Fresno is California’s fifth-largest city and the third-largest city in Pacific Gas & Electric’s huge service area. We also suffer energy costs in some cases more than 2.5 times higher than our competitors in other states.
Okay, maybe people are vaguely aware of that last one.
While we might all know California is an expensive place, the real cost of our high energy prices may be lost on most Californians. Even my background in economic development hadn’t prepared me for the surprising fact that, when polled, investors see energy as one of the major reasons not to do business in California. Not only are our costs too high, but our whole energy sector is complex and difficult for investors to understand.
What do I mean by that?Share This Post
Published: Friday, June 22, 2012, 12:01 PM Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012, 12:11 PM
By Chase G. Hall, The Oregonian
Expect more flooding and coastal erosion as global sea levels rise more than previously predicted over the next century, a new study says. Some parts of the West Coast need to brace for up to 4 1/2 feet rises by 2100.
Estimates from the National Research Council found the higher water will primarily come from oceans warmed by an ever-hotter climate. But, these numbers are higher than past studies because the study ruled glacial melt caused by higher global temperatures will contribute significantly more than previously calculated.
The report projected that relative to 2000, seas will rise 3 to 9 inches by 2030, between 6 and 18 inches by 2050 and up to 4 1/2 feet by 2100. As time goes by, uncertainties about exponential warming or natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis cause greater ranges of possible change, according to the study.
In 2008, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked state agencies and the National Research Council to assess coastal impacts of sea-level rise. Oregon, Washington and several other federal agencies joined California to sponsor the research.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2012/06/sea_level_on_west_coast_rising.htmlShare This Post
By MATTHEW L. WALD June 22, 2012, 11:24 am
When photovoltaic cells make electricity from sunlight, they collect a lot of heat along the way. And they don’t work as well warm as they do cold.
Four years ago I wrote about a hybrid system that was intended both to make electricity and gather usable heat on residential rooftops. That company, now called Echo Solar, is offering its product around the country.
But the market for such hybrids goes beyond homes, especially if the second product is hot water, which can make steam and then electricity. Now another company, Cogenra, is supplying a hybrid solar electricity and hot-water system for big apartment buildings, dormitories, retirement homes, wineries, food processing plants and, most recently, a dairy, all of which use large amounts of hot water. It has 40 installations worldwide.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/a-hybrid-approach-to-solar-power/Share This Post
Updated June 21, 2012, 5:45 p.m. ET
Chesapeake Energy Corp. chose former Conoco Inc. Chief Executive Archie W. Dunham to head its retooled board of directors, as the embattled natural-gas giant made good on a pledge to change its leadership in response to intense shareholder pressure.
Chesapeake Energy appointed Archie W. Dunham, the former chairman of ConocoPhillips, as its new independent chairman, along with naming four new independent directors. Liam Denning reports on Markets Hub. Photo: AP.
In selecting Mr. Dunham, Chesapeake is handing the reins to a seasoned energy executive and a veteran corporate director as it weathers a liquidity crisis and governance controversies. Mr. Dunham was also born and raised in Oklahoma, ensuring that Chesapeake, which has emerged as a major business and civic force in Oklahoma City, will continue to be run by natives of the state.
To read the entire article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304898704577480352163444694.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_leftHeadlinesShare This Post
By JONATHAN WEISMAN June 20, 2012
SMITHFIELD, Pa. — From his farm nestled far from the big cities, in the wooded hills above the Monongahela and Cheat Rivers, David Headley has not heard much about the battles in Washington over regulations that Republicans say are stifling a domestic energy revolution.
At the ground level of that revolution Mr. Headley, a 53-year-old former body shop owner and unemployed bus driver, does not see any regulations at all.
For three years, he and his wife, Linda, have wrestled with the land men, natural gas drillers and pipeline builders who are turning this very sleepy corner of Western Pennsylvania into an energy boom land. The farm Mr. Headley bought in 2006 for his semiretirement has become something of a nightmare. Gas wells leak. Drilling blowouts have spewed fine, chalky bentonite into trout-stocked Georges Creek, turning it a milky white. A spring where his wife’s three horses once watered now bubbles and belches. Touched with a flame, it will ignite.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/us/an-energy-boom-in-western-pennsylvania.htmlShare This Post
Posted: 06/21/2012 06:13:18 AM MDT
Updated: 06/21/2012 06:13:18 AM MDT
By Daniel Chacon and Andrew Wineke
The The Colorado Springs Gazette
COLORADO SPRINGS - — Is the clock ticking on the Martin Drake Power Plant downtown, or will the city of Colorado Springs rely on its coal-fired power for decades to come?
Expect an answer by the end of the year.
The Utilities Board approved a three-pronged plan Wednesday for Colorado Springs Utilities to evaluate retiring the decades-old power plant, which is slightly over 250 megawatts.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_20907082Share This Post
Jun 21 - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Community and environmental groups on Wednesday called on We Energies to announce its long-term plan for Milwaukee's coal-fired power plant by the end of the year.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energycentral.com/functional/news/news_detail.cfm?did=24994406Share This Post
Wayne Barber | Jun 21, 2012
Cheap natural gas from shale might dominate the business pages these days but much of America’s electricity is still supplied by coal and coal’s future is interlaced with commercial development of technology to use the fuel more cleanly.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energybiz.com/article/12/06/coals-future-linked-co2-technology&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=EB_DAILY2&utm_term=Original-MemberShare This Post
Most California hydro doesn’t count toward utilities’ renewable energy mandates. Should it?
June 20, 2012 | 12:52 PM | By Craig Miller
Original source: http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/06/20/is-hydroelectric-power-a-renewable-energy-source/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FClimateWatchBlog+%28KQED%27s+Climate+Watch+Blog%29
It’s a fair question and one that a reader posed during our recent series on “Water and Power” in California. Hydro has its virtues. It’s clean, once it’s built; producing hydropower creates no significant greenhouse gas or other emissions. And it’s certainly “renewable” as long as the water flows. But it’s not without its environmental impacts, especially where large “terminal” dams are involved (the kind that fish can’t get past).
In fact, state regulators divide the resource into “large” and “small” hydro, the latter being defined as anything producing 30 megawatts of power or less. Utilities can count small hydro toward their mandated Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) but not the bigger operations. But why?
Partly it’s because there is already so much hydro out there. In a wet year, Californians get about 17% of their electricity from hydro, not counting imports. The RPS is designed to encourage development of new sources, such as wind and solar.Share This Post
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL June 21, 2012, 11:49 am
With scorching heat enveloping New York City this week, I’m suffering from air-conditioner envy. I want a model like the one I saw in April at the Terre Policy Center in Pune, India. But I can’t buy it.
As Andrew W. Lehren and I report in The Times, the warming effects of air-conditioning gases are reaching crisis proportions as more and more people in countries like India and China buy the appliances. (Some readers have rightly pointed out that people in industrialized countries depend far more heavily on air-conditioning.)
The Environmental Protection Agency says that climate change will increase the use of air-conditioning because it will lead to more hot days and heat waves. Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, points out that “cooling degree days” — a metric related to how much energy is needed to cool a home — were 17 percent above normal in the United States in 2010.
So far the E.P.A.’s focus has been on improved energy efficiency of air-conditioners. Since most electricity generated in the United States comes from fossil fuels, more efficient air-conditioners means less fuel burned and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/my-air-conditioner-envy/Share This Post
Jun 21 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Courtney Mabeus The Frederick News-Post, Md.
Fort Detrick is striving to cut its demand on the energy grid by as much as 30 percent using renewable solar power within the next 18 months.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energycentral.com/functional/news/news_detail.cfm?did=24990154Share This Post
June 20, 2012
In April last year, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed badly needed policy “guidance” reminding the staff of the Army Corps of Engineers of their duty under the Clean Water Act to protect all bodies of water, large and small, from harmful development. The guidance was sent to the White House in February for final approval. There it has languished — another prisoner of election-year politics.
The 1972 law is designed to protect “the waters of the United States” from pollution. It requires anyone who wishes to dredge or fill a body of water — oil companies, developers, homeowners — to seek a permit from the Corps, which can stop destructive projects and mitigate the damage from others.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/opinion/where-are-the-clean-water-act-rules.htmlShare This Post
5:37 PM, June 21, 2012 | By Alisa Priddle
Energy Secretary Steven Chu wants the U.S. to become a global leader of affordable electric vehicles, starting with a 5-passenger plug-in hybrid where the extra cost is paid back within five years.
The goal is to produce and sell unsubsidized plug-in electric vehicles within 10 years that are comparable in cost with conventional vehicles.
The “EV Everywhere Grand Challenge” was announced by President Barack Obama in March and the Department of Energy is holding a series of workshops across the country to brainstorm and inspire the dramatic advances needed in batteries, power electronics, motors, lightweight materials and fast-charging infrastructure technology to make it a reality.
Chu was in Dearborn Thursday for one of the workshops designed to recruit scientists, engineers and businesses so U.S. companies become the first in the world to produce affordable and convenient plug-ins for the average American family.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012120621088Share This Post
By FLOYD NORRIS June 21, 2012
The fuel is cheap and plentiful. But there is little infrastructure to deliver it to users, and so there is little demand for equipment to use it.
That, in brief, is what is wrong with the natural gas vehicle market.
And in those facts could be the genesis of an idea for a federal program that would create jobs, save money for consumers and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
If there were natural gas filling stations along the Interstate highway system, the long-haul trucking industry would almost certainly begin to buy natural gas-fueled trucks. But since there are few such trucks now, the first such stations would have few customers when they opened, meaning they would seem like dubious commercial ventures.Share This Post
Published Friday, Jun. 22, 2012
Sacramento International Airport announced this week it has installed new-generation electric vehicle charging stations on each floor of the parking garage that serves passenger terminals A and B.
There are two chargers on each level, suitable for newer electric cars such as the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, officials said. Use of the stations is free.
Travelers who are charging up can leave their cars at the stations for the duration of their trip. The charger shuts off when the vehicle battery is fully replenished.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/22/4581261/sacramento-airport-offers-free.htmlShare This Post