In the Pipeline: 5/17/11

Governor Mitch Daniels puts Indiana on the road to serfdom Renewable Energy World (5/11/11) reports: AWEA applauded Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for signing into law a voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard (CPS), which sets a goal of 10 percent of the state’s electric generation to come from clean energy sources by 2025 and incentivizes utilities to participate in the CPS…“I applaud the Indiana Legislature and Governor Daniels for setting a course toward more affordable, homegrown Hoosier energy,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “In particular, I would like to thank the bill’s author, State Sen. Bev Gard, as well as Speaker of the House Brian Bosma for his guidance, Sen. Brandt Hershman, the Senate leadership, and Rep. David Frizzell, for supporting the economic development that this bill will foster in Indiana.”…The bill, SB 251, encourages investment in the state’s growing wind industry as well as other forms of lower-emission energy, including solar, nuclear, clean coal, and hydro. It reflects an amendment offered in the Indiana House by Frizzell (R-Indianapolis) that calls for at least 50 percent of the qualifying energy obtained by Indiana utilities participating in the CPS to come from within the state. The House passed the amended bill on a bipartisan vote of 62-34 on April 21, and the Senate passed the bill by a 31-19 bipartisan vote on April 26.

Fracking Lies — new study out reports that drinking water is safe in Marcellus Shale region Fuel Fix (5/16/11) reports: Several tests of western Pennsylvania river water prompted by fears of contamination from the state’s rapidly growing natural gas drilling industry didn’t turn up elevated or harmful levels of radioactivity or other pollutants not routinely monitored, a private water utility said Monday…The Pennsylvania American Water Co. said its tests showed that its water quality complies with federal and states standards…Water for one set of tests was drawn from Pennsylvania American’s intakes along the Allegheny, Clarion and Monongahela rivers and Two Lick Creek, which serve the cities of Pittsburgh, Clarion, Kittanning and Indiana. In addition, Pennsylvania American said it found the same result after testing treated drinking water at three plants in late March. Two of the plants serve Pittsburgh, while the third serves Clarion…State regulators have previously said that tests from samples they collected in November through February of water downriver from western Pennsylvania treatment plants raised no red flags for radioactivity. The treatment plants have been handling wastewater from drilling in the vast Marcellus Shale natural gas reservoir – a practice that is scheduled to end this week because of concerns over how it could affect drinking water.


Americans are demanding more energy and the U.S. Government is helping Brazil and India U.S. Department of Energy (5/16/11) reports: As part of the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh of India last November, the Department of Energy has committed $25 million over the next five years to support the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC)…This first-of-a-kind effort is a key component of the U.S. and India’s commitment to improve energy access and promote low-carbon growth by facilitating joint research and development of clean energy technologies. Teams of scientists and engineers from the U.S. and India will initially focus on research in three priority areas – building energy efficiency, second-generation biofuels and solar energy…”Developing and investing in new technologies is a key component to meeting the goals of a clean energy future,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “This innovative approach to collaborative research is a testament to the special relationship shared by the two countries. By working with our partners in India and sharing a strong commitment to building a clean energy economy, we can get further, faster, than by working alone.”


This is almost poetic justice — solar farm can’t pay property taxes even with a 45 cent kilowatt hour tax payer subsidy Michigan Live (5/16/11) reports: Producing 225,592 kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year of operation, a solar farm in eastern Kalamazoo Coun­ty that went online in early 2010 has exceeded expectations…Also exceeding expecta­tions is the property tax, said Sam Field, a Kalamazoo attor­ney and one of the owners of Kalamazoo Solar…The $27,689 tax bill for the Charleston Township prop­erty means that the owners are losing money, even when being paid a premium price of 45 cents a kilowatt hour by Consumers Energy, he said…“That Michigan property tax burden works out to a cost of 12.3 cents per kilowatt hour,” Field said. “That amount is more than the retail value of the electricity.”…For comparison, Field re­searched the property tax for the Palisades Nuclear Plant in Covert Township along Lake Michigan. He found that the annual real and personal property taxes for Palisades are just over $12 million or .2 cents per kilowatt hour.


This article is for those who doubt speculators or the Federal Reserve play a role in oil markets Fuel Fix (5/16/11) reports: Attempts by the Federal Reserve Board and the Obama administration to head off an economic collapse in 2008 have resulted in a jump in gasoline pump prices of 56 cents per gallon, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, said today…Brady, the top House Republican on the congressional Joint Economic Committee, released a study that looked at the economic costs to average Americans of the massive infusion of dollars into the U.S. economy by the Fed designed to stimulate the economy and stave of a national economic catastrophe as the U.S. financial system teetered on the brink of collapse…“Americans are paying a steep price at the pump as a result of the weak dollar policies pursued by this administration and the Federal Reserve”, said Brady…The study, entitled The Price of Oil and the Value of the Dollar, states that the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by 14 percent since the Fed began its program formally known as “quantitative easing” (also called “QE1″) in November of 2008, as the financial system neared meltdown.


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