Saturday, October 9, 2010

Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Reactor Talks Falter -

"The decision would appear to kill the project unless Congress or the White House steps in. Constellation said in a letter to the Energy Department that the Office of Management and Budget was seeking a fee of $880 million on a guarantee of about $7.6 billion, which it said would doom the project, “or the economics of any nuclear project, for that matter.”

The fee is to compensate taxpayers for the risk of default. The company argues that because the plant’s model is being proven in Finland, France and China, and because it has a strong partner, Electricite"de France, the fee should be 1 to 2 percent."

Murder on the Carbon Express: Interpol Takes On Emissions Fraud | Mother Jones

"The complexity of the carbon markets, which operate with ambiguous oversight, presents an array of new opportunities for fraud, noted Peter Younger, a veteran with Interpol and now in charge of the agency's enforcement of wildlife and forest protection in Africa. 'You're talking about an international financial trade mechanism and the question is still evolving, where does the liability lie? We're still filling in our knowledge gap.' The carbon commodities being traded, he said, are unlike any others: 'You're obtaining not a physical entity or asset but a piece of paper.' Take the rapid growth of interest in tropical forests serving as 'offsets' to companies' carbon emissions. In countries where land ownership is often disputed, the possibility for fraud is considerable, he said. 'In effect, you could be falsifying ownership in something you can see in order to sell something that you can't. And then inserting that into the carbon markets and selling it to people.'"

Constellation pulls plug on nuke reactor and $7.5 billion DOE loan - The Hill's E2-Wire

By Darren Goode - 10/09/10 11:12 AM ET
"Constellation Energy has pulled the plug on building a new reactor at its Calvert Cliffs (Md.) nuclear plant despite a promised $7.5 billion Energy Department loan guarantee, dealing a potential blow to efforts to create a U.S. nuclear renaissance as well as the promised effectiveness of the department’s loan program.

The company – in a letter Friday to Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman – cited “significant and ongoing uncertainty” due to the White House Office of Management and Budget’s “inability to address significant problems with its methodology for determining the project’s credit subsidy cost and the unreasonably burdensome conditions a loan guarantee under this approach would require."

U.S.-China bickering mars climate talks - The Hill's E2-Wire

By Darren Goode - 10/09/10 02:45 PM ET
"Top U.S. climate change negotiator Todd Stern – speaking at the University of Michigan Law School Friday – said China is ignoring pledges made in a non-binding climate change accord in Copenhagen last December that was reached following a face-to-face meeting between President Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Chinese officials have acted as though the agreement “never happened,” Stern said, as quoted by Bloomberg."

N.C. utilities rethink strategy on nuclear construction - Charlotte Business Journal

Charlotte Business Journal - by John Downey Senior staff writer
"Rising costs, balky financial markets and slowing growth in demand have the Carolinas’ major utilities recalibrating their plans for new nuclear plants. Still, the utilities say they remain committed to new nuclear development."

Friday, October 8, 2010

SC nuclear plant shut down by coolant issue - State & Regional - Wire -

"The reactor remained shut down Friday afternoon. Musser says the NRC will do a full investigation of the plant, which is owned by Progress Energy of Raleigh, N.C."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

EERE News: DOE Releases Comprehensive Report on Offshore Wind Power in the United States

"The NREL report finds that harnessing even a fraction of the nation's potential offshore wind resource, estimated to be more than 4,000 gigawatts, could create thousands of jobs and help revitalize America's manufacturing sector, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, diversify U.S. energy supplies, and provide cost-competitive electricity to key coastal regions. The report also reaches the conclusion that while significant challenges remain, effective research, policies, and market commitment will enable offshore wind to play a significant role in the country's energy future. More information is available in the Executive Summary and full NREL report."

Intel, Microsoft, eBay support Rush's privacy bill, while noting concerns - The Hill's Hillicon Valley

Sarah Jerome, 10/o7/10
The companies said they 'support the bill's overall framework' and commended it for striking 'the appropriate balance by providing businesses with the opportunity to enter into a robust self-regulatory choice program.'

They also said lawmakers should remove the provision allowing consumers to take legal action against companies. They said that would create 'unnecessary litigation costs and uncertainty for businesses' without 'a corresponding benefit to consumer privacy.'"

FCC seeks to remedy cellphone users' 'bill shock'

Cecilia Kang, October 7, 2010
"Consumers are complaining in record numbers about their wireless bills, and the FCC has promised to act. Next week, the agency will unveil a proposal to address 'bill shock' by requiring that carriers notify users of overcharges and sudden increases in their bills."

Regulators postpone Duke hearing after conflict of interest scandal erupts | Indianapolis Business Journal |

Chris O'Malley, October 6, 2010
"Gov. Mitch Daniels on Tuesday fired IURC chairman David Lott Hardy, saying that Hardy knew the agency’s chief counsel, Scott Storms, talked to Duke about a job while presiding over Duke cases, including Edwardsport. Storms later left his IURC post for a job at Duke."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nuclear plant expansion in doubt - Business -

Andrew Shain
"Last year, an organization that represents South Carolina’s 20 electric cooperatives decided to buy additional power from Duke rather than Santee Cooper. The amount represents about 10 percent of the electricity that Santee Cooper can produce.
And the projected falloff in projected power use was enough to kill a planned coal-fired plant in Florence County last year.
Add the unknowns from future government regulation, and Santee Cooper is taking a step back to look at the nuclear project."

The Fight Over Wind Power in Vinalhaven

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Clinton under pressure on climate - The Hill's E2-Wire

By Ben Geman - 10/05/10 06:38 PM ET
"“To ensure the effective use of U.S. taxpayer dollars and positive climate outcomes, the fund should embody principles of: transparency and accountability, direct access to funding based on agreed fiduciary standards and social safeguards, and full participation of affected communities, particularly women, and civil society,” states the letter from Reps. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (American Samoa), Brad Sherman (Calif.), Gary Ackerman (N.Y.), Donald Payne (N.J.) and Eliot Engel (N.Y.)."

Post Carbon - The White House is going solar

By Julie Eilperin, October 5, 2010
"Of course, Obama may simply be following in the footsteps of Republic of Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed, who will put the final touches on a solar photovoltaic system on his official residence on Thursday. As a low-lying Pacific island, the Maldives is vulnerable to rising sea levels, and Nasheed has emerged as one of the developing world's most vocal proponents of curbing greenhouse gas emissions. He has pledged to make his nation carbon-neutral by 2020."

Environmental Protection Agency rules could hurt Barack Obama in 2012 - Darren Samuelsohn -

"Controversial rules covering everything from power plants to petroleum refiners, manufacturers, coal mines and farmers could come back to haunt the White House in industrial and Midwestern states that carried Obama to the presidency two years ago."

Fuel standard could hit 60 MPG - Darren Samuelsohn -

By DARREN SAMUELSOHN | 10/1/10 4:34 AM EDT Updated: 10/1/10 7:59 AM EDT
"The Obama administration on Friday is expected to suggest nearly doubling fuel economy goals for new cars and light trucks — possibly to more than 60 miles per gallon by 2025."

U.S. Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels -

"Concerns about the military’s dependence on fossil fuels in far-flung battlefields began in 2006 in Iraq, where Richard Zilmer, then a major general and the top American commander in western Iraq, sent an urgent cable to Washington suggesting that renewable technology could prevent loss of life. That request catalyzed new research, but the pressure for immediate results magnified as the military shifted its focus to Afghanistan, a country with little available native fossil fuel and scarce electricity outside cities."

Sunday, October 3, 2010 Mignon Clyburn Expects FCC Universal Service Fund Proposals by Year-End

"Speaking at the Friday evening dinner session at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, a top telecom research conference here, Clyburn also said that she expected the FCC to propose changes to the USF system, and to propose funding for universal broadband, by the end of 2010."

SCE&G electric rates going up again - Local / Metro -

"SCE&G raised electric rates twice last year in the first moves to pay for the nuclear plant expansion. By the end of the decade, residential customers are expected to pay $480 a year more because of the nuclear-related increases than they did in 2009."

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