In the Pipeline: 5/22/13

We suspect foul play. The birds are fighting back. E&ENews (5/21/13) reports: “Wind turbine manufacturer Siemens AG confirmed that a 170-foot blade fell off a wind turbine at a power plant east of San Diego, causing the company to cease operations of the same type of turbine globally… Residents near the Ocotillo Wind power plant discovered the fallen blade Thursday morning.”

The birds are taking out the turbines. We’re taking down the ivory towers (metaphorically speaking, of course). Daily Caller(5/21/13) reports: “On his first day in office, President Obama promised to make his ‘administration the most open and transparent in history.’ Yet the recent flap over migratory bird deaths is just the latest example of the Obama administration’s open flouting of the values the president pledged to uphold. Taken together, the scandals expose an ideologically driven administration more concerned with protecting allies and punishing opponents than evenly enforcing the law.”

We are a little worried about the safety of these folks in Boulder tonight. We encourage you to send them back up to help stave off the pitch-fork-enviro-mob. Denver Business Journal (5/22/13) reports: “Boulder will be Ground Zero for the national fracking controversy Wednesday evening, when two films about the use of water, sand and chemicals to access oil and natural gas will be screened at the same time and less than 2 miles from each other.”

Let us make this simple. PacifiCorp thinks that things that are unreliable (like wind power) should pay a bit more than those things that are reliable (like coal or hydropower). Only among the leeches in the wind “industry” would such an idea be controversial. Maybe John Feehery, wind lobbyist, can help.Energy Daily (5//13) reports: “The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), NextEra Energy and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) are among the groups telling FERC that PacifiCorp’s proposed charges for regulation reserve and frequency response services are unfair and unwarranted, with affected renewable generators standing to get socked with far higher charges than fossil-fueled and other power plants that can provide steady output. . . . PacifiCorp maintains its proposed rates are comparable to those charged by other utilities in the region, and are justified by the additional burdens it shoulders to assure adequate power reserves are in place to balance any deviations in power output from intermittent renewables.”

Some problems are big and complicated, like the RFS (thank you again, you know who you are). Some are small, but pressing and immediate (like this). We are waiting to see if the Senators are going to send a letter explaining how the Keystone Pipeline might help the situation as well. Senator Franken (5/21/13) reports: “Minnesotans are very frustrated by the sudden spike in gas prices and they want to know why it’s happening,” said Sen. Franken. “With prices well over $4 per gallon in Minnesota, this is taking a toll on families and businesses across the state. I am pushing the Department of Energy to prevent future skyrocketing gas prices and to provide better information to alleviate future pain at the pump.”

Maybe we can scoop up some new donors. We don’t like the Obama administration’s energy policies, either. The Hill (5/21/13) reports: “Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, who’s increasingly throwing his weight around in politics, said approving the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline would create political hurdles for President Obama’s second-term agenda and cost him the support of key donors… Steyer, a major Democratic fundraiser, told Grist magazine that Keystone opponents have leverage to exert over Obama even though he’s free of having to run for reelection.”

If you have time to read one article today, this is the one. The Nation(5/21/13) reports: “The Center for American Progress, Washington’s leading liberal think tank, has been a big backer of the Energy Department’s $25 billion loan guarantee program for renewable energy projects. CAP has specifically praised First Solar, a firm that received $3.73 billion under the program, and its Antelope Valley project in California… Though the think tank didn’t disclose it, First Solar belonged to CAP’s Business Alliance, a secret group of corporate donors, according to internal lists obtained by The Nation. Meanwhile, José Villarreal—a consultant at the power-house law and lobbying firm Akin Gump, who ‘provides strategic counseling on a range of legal and policy issues’ for corporations—was on First Solar’s board until April 2012 while also sitting on the board of CAP, where he remains a member, according to the group’s latest tax filing.”

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