January 10, 2011

A gripping storyfeaturing the world’s oldest profession (AWEA, natch), some amateurrent-seeking (NEI), and one stand-up performance by Dan Whitten at ANGA.E&E News. Thewind industry’s largest trade group a few months ago rejected the idea of a"clean power" mandate on utilities that included nuclear, some coaland natural gas as options. But American Wind Energy has a new opinion today.We’re open to talking about anything at this point," said Rob Gramlich,AWEA’s senior vice president of public policy. For the nuclear industry, a CESthat includes the fuel as an option would be a kind of new frontier, said JohnKeeley, spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute. . . . "If the federalgovernment says this is a source that we endorse … I would have to think thatpotentially that would be an inducement for spurring investment," Keeleysaid, adding, "If it is a mandate, it would certainly help.” “There’s noneed to trade environmental quality for strong economy, jobs and clean energyproduction," Whitten said. "Hydraulic fracturing has been used for 60years on over a million wells safely.

Seeing$4 gasoline in the future, architect of Interior’s assault on energy heads forthe exits BusinessJournal (1/10/11) reports: TomStrickland, chief of staff to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, plans toleave that post in February, The Denver Post reports. Strickland — a formerU.S. attorney from Colorado and a two-time U.S. Senate candidate — has beenSalazar’s top aide for 21 months, and also serves as assistant secretary forfish and wildlife and parks, overseeing both the National Park Service and theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He intends to stay in Washington and return tothe private sector, The Post says.

How long do you figure itwill take Mr. Jefferson’s University to do the right thing and give ChrisHorner and Paul Chesser the documents to which they are entitled? E&E News. TheAmerican Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center filed an informationrequest yesterday for e-mails and other documents concerning Michael Mann, theformer university climate scientist currently the target of civil action byVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R). The institute filed therequest on behalf of Del. Bob Marshall (R) and two other state residents. Itrequests documents similar to one that Cuccinelli asked for with a civilsubpoena, which the university has been fighting in court.

Hey, I forgot;where did Jim Connaughton work before Constellation? Do you think heunderstands the meaning of the word, “irony”? Gazette. Federal regulators agree with opponents of a proposedthird reactor at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant that a draft report did notsufficiently consider alternative power sources, such as wind and solar, to the$10 billion, 1,600-megawatt project. . . . The draft environmental impactstatement’s "discussion of a combination of alternatives is inadequate andfaulty," the report states. "By selecting a single alternative thatunder-represents potential contributions of wind and solar power, thecombination alternative depends excessively on the natural gas supplement, thusunnecessarily burdening this alternative with excessive environmentalimpacts."

Can’t believe they leftout the environmental damage, the increased cost to consumers, or the fact thatit takes more energy to make than it provides. But it probably wasn’t easygetting Ben Cardin to sign on to that stuff. TheHill. Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) sent aletter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Wednesday asking whether the agency’sdecision to allow E15 blends in some vehicles will affect the availability ofpure gasoline. “Limited supply of pure gasoline in Maine has resulted in theuse of ethanol, which has caused damage to small engines and threatens toundermine recreational activities including snowmobiling, boating, and generalaviation,” Snowe said in a statement Thursday…A number of industry groups,including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the National MarineManufacturers Association, have asked a federal court tooverturn EPA’s ethanol decision.

Does Tom Friedman knowabout this? If Hugo Chavez can build a refinery in China, maybe PDVSA can helpus out with one here in the States. ChinaDaily. China has given initial environmental clearance to an $8.7 billionjoint-venture refinery between PetroChina Co., Ltd. and Venezuela’s state oilcompany Petreleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). The refinery, to be located in Jieyangin the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, would have a crude refiningcapacity of 400,000 barrels per day, according to the website of the country’senvironmental watchdog.

Rent-Seekers of the WorldUnite! TheNew York Times. Duke Energy is near anall-stock deal to acquire a rival, Progress Energy, that values the smallerenergy company at more than $13 billion, a person briefed on the matter toldDealBook on Saturday. The deal could be announced as soon as Monday, thisperson said, adding that talks are ongoing and could still fall apart. If anagreement is reached, it would unite two of the biggest energy companies in theSouth, continuing a streak of big mergers in the sector.

Deranged killers?Right-wing crazies? Vitriolic radio talk shows? Here is the real sickness atthe heart of our political system. Politico. One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheatedrhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully butforcefully do what his predecessor did. “They need to deftly pin this on thetea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftlypinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”

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