In the Pipeline: 3/16/11

Greenies rejoice after shutting down a coal port in WA and retreat to their tree houses to burn animal dung for heat while the poorest among us suffer Wall Street Journal (3/15/11) reports: Environmental groups claimed a victory Tuesday when a unit of Australia-based Ambre Energy Ltd announced it withdrew its permit application for a proposed export terminal to ship coal mined in Montana and Wyoming to Asia via the Columbia River port of Longview, Washington…Millennium Bulk Terminals LLC’s withdrawal follows months of protests by citizens opposed to construction of the terminal, which was permitted by Cowlitz County officials in November. Millennium Bulk Terminals said it would reapply for a permit to export from the Columbia River port after conducting a new environmental impact study. The project’s budget was about $100 million, the company said, and was one of several coal-exporting terminals coal producers are seeking to develop on North America’s Pacific coast to meet booming demand for U.S. coal in China…Opponents of the Longview coal terminal include The Sierra Club, Earthjustice and the Washington Environmental Council.


Of course the Obama Administration wants to keep nuclear, it’s the only energy source they endorse that works Los Angeles Times (3/15/11) reports: Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday restated the Obama administration’s commitment to keeping nuclear power in the mix of renewable sources under development in the U.S., but treaded carefully around questions of how the nuclear disaster in Japan might affect that effort…”The administration believes we must rely on a diverse set of energy sources, including renewables like wind and solar, natural gas, clean coal and nuclear power,” Chu said before a House subcommittee. “The administration is committed to learning from Japan’s experience as we work to continue to strengthen America’s nuclear industry.”…No new reactors have been fully developed in the U.S. since 1979, when the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania made investors and the public skittish about the safety of nuclear power…As the memory of Three Mile Island faded and concern over fossil fuels and global warming increased, the nuclear industry seemed poised for a comeback.

Bipartisan effort to restore energy sanity — Energy Tax Prevention Act passes first obstacle in the House New York Times (3/15/11) reports: Moving on a central tenet of the Republican energy and environment platform, a House committee on Tuesday approved a measure to halt the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed program to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Republican leaders promised a floor vote on the bill before the Easter recess…The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill, known as the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, by a vote of 34 to 19. Three Democrats, Representatives John Barrow of Georgia, Jim Matheson of Utah and Mike Ross of Arkansas, voted with the unanimous Republican majority…The bill would repeal the E.P.A.’s finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are a threat to human health and the environment and would bar the agency from imposing new rules to control them. Its Republican sponsors argue that new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from refineries, power plants and other major sources would drive up energy prices, depress the economy and hamper job creation.

You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em and know when to walk away — Sen. Reid allows vote on EPA regs. Politico (3/15/11) reports: Senate Democrats are scrambling to combat a GOP-led offensive against the Obama administration’s climate regulations ahead of a possible Wednesday floor showdown…In a surprising move, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid signaled Tuesday he would allow a floor vote on a Republican amendment to nullify the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases…Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered the amendment — authored by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) — to the small-business bill pending on the floor. The language mirrors the anti-EPA bill the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed during a daylong markup Tuesday…Now, Reid and other top Senate Democrats who oppose the amendment are looking for ways to kill it. And they may have a tougher time than they expected, given the momentum after the Energy and Commerce vote and anti-EPA sentiment among moderate Senate Democrats.

The score: Salazar 1 American People 0 — 5th circuit puts a stay on Judge Feldman’s court order to either issue or decline permits for the Gulf Bloomberg (3/15/11) reports: U.S. offshore regulators aren’t required to act this month on certain Gulf of Mexico drilling permits delayed by the Obama Administration’s ban, a federal appeals court said…A three-judge panel today granted the government’s request for a reprieve from a court-ordered deadline without comment…U.S. regulators threatened to deny the seven Gulf drilling permits that U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans singled out for quick action if they were forced to act by his deadlines. Feldman ordered government action by March 19 on five permits and by March 31 on two additional permits…The Interior Department had asked Feldman to delay his order so that the U.S. Court of Appeals would have time to review it. When Feldman didn’t respond quickly, the U.S. turned to the appellate court.

After two years of study and despite the fact that there are 55,000 miles of oil pipelines in the U.S., the State Department can’t figure out if the Keystone Pipeline is safe. Fuel Fix (3/15/11) reports: The State Department said Tuesday it will conduct another environmental study before deciding whether to approve a proposed pipeline to deliver oil sands crude from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries — but that a decision is likely this year…The plan for another environmental impact statement was a blow to oil and gas industry leaders who had been urging the Obama administration to approve the 1,700-mile pipeline swiftly as a way to strengthen America’s partnership with Canada, create jobs and lessen the United States’ reliance on oil imported from other continents…“This much-studied and much-needed pipeline would provide a critical link to our largest energy supplier — Canada — and its vast resources of nearby and available crude oil,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute. “It is past time for the administration to approve this important infrastructure investment.”…In a news release, the API emphasized that the pipeline already has been subjected to 32 months of scrutiny under a federal law called the National Environmental Policy Act.

Risk adverse: Germany guards against the next tsunami in the Pacific by shutting down their older nuclear plants — energy prices skyrocket Bloomberg European power prices rose, surging to their highest in more than two years in Germany, where the government decided to halt the country’s seven oldest nuclear reactors following explosions at an atomic plant in Japan…Baseload electricity for next quarter in Germany, Europe’s biggest power market, rose to the highest price since November 2008. The contract increased as much as 8.75 euros, or 16 percent, to 62.75 euros ($87.23) and was at 62.70 euros as of 1:20 p.m. Berlin time, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. Baseload is generated and sold around the clock…“There was a massive reaction to the decision to halt the nuclear plants and that caused an intraday rally,” Kevin McDermott, a Tullett Prebon director for European energy and commodities, said today by phone from London. Volumes are set to beat yesterday’s levels, the highest this year, he said…Germany, Europe’s biggest power market, will keep its seven oldest nuclear reactors off line during a three-month moratorium it will use to evaluate the safety of the facilities, Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin today. The plants were all built before 1980. E.ON AG (EOAN) is already preparing to take its 878-megawatt Isar-1 reactor built in 1977 off line, and will close it in the coming days, according to a company statement.

Speak Your Mind


Anonymous says:
Your email has been received. Thank you for signing up.