Saturday, April 10, 2010

NPR - DOE's Plan for Wind Power

Scammers Pose as SCE&G Workers

Electric Company Warning Public About Scam Artists Posing as SCE&G|ABC News 4:

posted 04/09/10 12:38 pm producer: Raymond Rivera
"In some cases, the individual takes a cash payment from the customer for a portion of the bill and states that he knows an SCE&G employee with vouchers to pay the balance. The customer then thinks his or her bill has been paid when the perpetrator makes a credit card payment over the phone on the customer’s behalf. However, the individual is suspected of using a stolen credit card because all of these payments are later reversed by the credit card company. The customer is then left with an unpaid bill and is sometimes submitted for service disconnection for nonpayment."

Friday, April 9, 2010

FCC Pursues Broadband Policy in Spite of Court Decision

Chairman Genachowski added, “The court decision earlier this week does not change our broadband policy goals, or the ultimate authority of the FCC to act to achieve those goals. The court did not question the FCC’s goals; it merely invalidated one technical, legal mechanism for broadband policy chosen by prior Commissions.

Rasmussen Poll Reveals Varied Opinions on Energy and Conservation

44% Favor Solar Energy For Home Heating - Rasmussen Reports™:

"Nearly one-out-of-three adults (31%) say they are at least somewhat likely to use solar power in their homes in the next five years, including 13% who say they are very likely to do so.
Sixty-two percent (62%) are unlikely to use solar power this way, with 40% who are not very likely to use it in their homes in the next five years and 22% who are not at all likely to"

NYT - Update Online Privacy Laws

Editorial - Dial-Up Law in a Broadband World - "Congress has not moved to fix this problem, but a surprising coalition of major technology companies and civil liberties advocates have produced a blueprint for updating the law and both houses of Congress are poised to hold hearings. Having lawmakers proclaim their concern and ask learned questions will not be enough. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act is long past due for an upgrade."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SC leaders happy to get nukes _ on temp basis only - State & Regional - Wire -

SC leaders happy to get nukes _ on temp basis only - State & Regional - Wire -
- Associated Press Writer
"McMaster, who is seeking South Carolina's Republican nomination for governor, sought to keep his state from becoming the end of the line for the nuclear trash. Bolstered by support from Washington State - whose Hanford nuclear reservation also houses nuclear waste, with plans to send it to Yucca - McMaster petitioned federal regulators to let him intervene in their discussions.
McMaster won an incremental victory in that fight earlier this week, when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued an order halting the withdrawal of Yucca permits while a federal court considers the states' arguments."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Comcast ruling raises questions on FCC regulation

Comcast ruling raises questions on FCC regulation:
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 8, 2010
"The immediate impact is on the FCC. The agency said Wednesday that it will scrap cybersecurity, privacy and consumer-protection policies it had wanted to pursue under its net-neutrality authority. Now the FCC must decide whether it wants to appeal or try to work around the ruling."

Profile: Don L. Blankenship, the self-assured chief executive of Massey Energy

Profile: Don L. Blankenship, the self-assured chief executive of Massey Energy:
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 8, 2010
"Blankenship has also thrown his weight around West Virginia politics, shelling out more than $3 million of his own money for ads to help defeat a West Virginia state Supreme Court justice in 2004. That judge would have been in a position to rule against Massey in an appeal of a $50 million award for a small coal company owner, who convinced a jury that Massey had driven his company into bankruptcy. The new judge cast the deciding vote against the $50 million award. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that the new judge should have recused himself."

Deteriorating Water and Sewer Systems Across the Country

Toxic Waters - Saving U.S. Water and Sewer Systems Would Be Costly -
"Such questions are becoming common across the nation as water and sewer systems break down. Today, a significant water line bursts on average every two minutes somewhere in the country, according to a New York Times analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Claim: SCE&G overcharging customers for nuclear expansion - Breaking Business -

Claim: SCE&G overcharging customers for nuclear expansion - Breaking Business -
"A group of large energy users argued Tuesday before the S.C. Supreme Court that SCE&G is overcharging customers by building in a contingency fund for construction of two new nuclear plants in Fairfield County.
Scott Elliott, representing the S.C. Energy Users group of large industrial customers, said the utility is required by law to ask the Public Service Commission for approval of any overages for the $9.8 billion project.
But Belton Zeigler, a Columbia attorney representing South Carolina Electric & Gas, said having a contingency fund is normal in any construction process and having to ask for approval — which could take up to six months — for every overage could severely delay the project"

Suit contests nuclear site fee - Business -

Suit contests nuclear site fee - Business -
"On Monday, NEI sued the U.S. Department of Energy to suspend the fees. The suit is similar to one filed Friday by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, also in Washington. The nuclear group represents nuclear power plant operators, such as Progress Energy in Raleigh and Duke Energy in Charlotte. The utility commissioners group represents the N.C. Utilities Commission in Raleigh and other state public service commissions."

City of Newberry v Newberry Electric Cooperative

SC Judicial Department:

"Thus, we reiterate our central holding in City of Camden that a cooperative must be providing existing electrical services to an existing premises prior to annexation to continue serving that premises after annexation. Otherwise, the cooperative does not satisfy the annexation exception."

DC Court of Appeals Strikes FCC Net Neutrality Rules

Post Tech
- FCC loses Comcast's court challenge, a major setback for agency on Internet policies
Cecilia Kang
"Comcast on Tuesday won a legal challenge against the Federal Communications Commission, in a ruling by a federal court that undermines the agency's ability to regulate Internet service providers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacked the authority to require Comcast, the nation's biggest broadband services provider, to treat all Internet traffic equally on its network."

SC utility faces new court challenge to nuke plant - State & Regional - Wire -

SC utility faces new court challenge to nuke plant - State & Regional - Wire -

"The group is challenging the nearly half-billion dollars in contingency costs that are included in a rate increase regulators approved last year. The company is charging electricity customers an average of 2.5 percent more each year over 10 years to help pay for the $10 billion reactors."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Duke Energy CEO Decries ‘Father Knows Best’ Pitch of Health Law - BusinessWeek

Duke Energy CEO Decries ‘Father Knows Best’ Pitch of Health Law - BusinessWeek:
By Kim Chipman and Jordan Burke
"Lawmakers took the attitude of “don’t worry your pretty little head about this,” Rogers, 62, said in an interview yesterday. “It’s only 2,000 pages, but once we pass it and you understand it you will be just fine with it,” he said."

Limited incentives for solar power use ruffling developers - Atlanta Business Chronicle:

Limited incentives for solar power use ruffling developers - Atlanta Business Chronicle::


"In Georgia, companies can claim a 35 percent state tax credit, up to $500,000, when they install solar power systems. The statewide pool of money devoted to that incentive, however, is limited to $2.5 million annually. North Carolina, in comparison, offers tax credits of up to $2.5 million per solar installation with no cap on the available tax credits."

Hybrid Energy Facility Planned for SC

Columbia Regional Business Report | Columbia, SC:

"NTE Energy of St. Augustine, Fla., announced today that it is partnering with Energy Investors Funds, a private equity group, in a joint hybrid energy venture. The two intend to develop plants that combine renewable power systems such as biomass or solar with natural gas turbines, as are found in many more traditional power plants. New projects in South Carolina, Alabama and Florida will be announced soon, the two firms said in a statement. No other details about the S.C. project were available today."

Post Tech - Gloves off, telecom giants to FCC: It's on!

Post Tech
- Gloves off, telecom giants to FCC: It's on!
Cecilia Kang, Washington Post
"Soon after the Federal Communications Commission released its national broadband plan a few weeks ago, the nation’s biggest telecom companies began a battle against specific measures and questioned the agency’s ability to regulate broadband services.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T sent petitions last week to the agency, protesting a condition to a satellite broadband merger that would exclude them from partnering up with the new company."

Sustainable Business Oregon - Duke Energy's biomass plan comes under fire (Charlotte)

Sustainable Business Oregon - Duke Energy's biomass plan comes under fire (Charlotte):

"But the Southern Environmental Law Center, representing itself and the Environmental Defense Fund, have filed objections. They note the state law says only “wood waste” qualifies as biomass fuel. They say the wood Duke used in its tests were chips from whole trees cut from forests.

The groups say the commission should either deny Duke’s request or delay a decision to allow the N.C. General Assembly to clarify whether such wood chips qualify as waste."

Duke Energy Offering Free Compact Fluorescents

Duke Energy Offering Free Compact Fluorescents:
Charlotte, N.C. — Duke Energy, a major electric utility in the Southeast, announced that it utility will mail its customers in North and South Carolina a coupon (redeemable at Walmart) good for a free six-pack of 13-watt CFLs, which have the equivalent light output of traditional 60-watt incandescent bulbs."

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