Tag Archives: solar

Powelson leaves FERC with a split board as Sabal Trail loses legal cases 2018-07-02

Just one day before FERC admitted Sierra Club won in D.C. District Court, and a week after Sabal Trail Sabal Trail lost a jury trial in the U.S. Middle District of Georgia in Valdosta,

something else at FERC put pause to further pipeline and LNG export rubberstamps.

Ellen M. Gilmer, Rod Kuckro and Sam Mintz, E&& News, 2 July 2018, Powelson’s departure means fallout for pipelines, policies,

Robert F. Powelson by FERC
Photo: FERC, of Robert F. Powelson, via E&E News

Robert Powelson’s decision to exit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission less than a year into his term could leave natural gas pipeline developers in the lurch and policy critics scrambling for how to approach the commission’s coming 2-2 partisan split.

That’s the consensus among Continue reading

FERC and Sabal Trail admit Sierra Club won 2018-07-03

One week after losing a jury trial in the U.S. Middle District Court of Georgia, the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline and its purveyor of federal eminent domain, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), declined to appeal their huge DC District Court loss of last August.

Sierra Club, Press Release, 3 July 2018, Fracked Gas Pipeline Company and Federal Regulator Will Not Seek Supreme Court Review of Landmark Ruling: Existing Decision Means FERC Must Consider Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions,

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Neither the builders of the fracked gas Sabal Trail Pipeline nor the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will ask the Supreme Court to review a landmark ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from last year. That decision required FERC to consider the effects of downstream greenhouse gases when deciding whether to approve proposed pipelines that transport gas.

In response, Sierra Club Staff Attorney Elly Benson released the following statement:

Elly Benson, Sierra Club Attorney
Elly Benson, Sierra Club Staff Attorney

“We are glad to see FERC accept its responsibility to consider greenhouse gas emissions from burning transported gas at downstream power plants. These dirty, dangerous, and unnecessary pipelines pose a threat to our communities and climate. They should not be proposed, much less built, at a time when clean, renewable energy sources are abundant and affordable. We will continue to monitor the pipeline permitting process to ensure the law is followed.”

The pipeline industry press was not thrilled. Charlie Passut, Natural Gas Intelligence, 5 July 2018, FERC Declines to Appeal Landmark GHG Case to Supreme Court, Continue reading

SR26 Solar Farm, Trenton, Gilchrist County, Florida

What needs no washing, no irrigation, emits no wastewater, and disturbs no wetlands, while producing revenue for years after local installation jobs? 74.9 Megawatts AC of solar power going in at 4370 SW 80 Street, Trenton, Florida, assuming the Gilchrist BOCC approved it last week as staff recommended.

Area, Maps

Gilchrist Board of County Commissioners, Full Agenda, June 4, 2018, page 69: Continue reading

Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians

Leaks of hazardous materials, explosions, land takings, sinkholes, frac-outs: these are far bigger threats than Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Committee report “that states Russian agents were attempting to disrupt U.S. energy markets and using social media to purportedly stir up protests against pipelines such as Sabal Trail,” as a reporter asked me about recently. Smith’s report doesn’t mention that solar and wind power are growing far faster than his favorite, fracked methane gas.

Energy source growth by sector
Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 2018, 2018 Sustainable Energy in America.

Elsewhere I already looked behind Lamar Smith’s fossil fuel smoke and mirrors, and found I post more on social media than the tiny Russian numbers that horrify him.

His actual examples are seriously rolling-on-the-floor laughable, such as this: Continue reading

FERC inadvertently clears path for renewable energy via storage 2018-02-15

FERC just let slip the wolves of sun and wind by enabling the storage that those sunny twenty-first-century “aggregated distributed energy resources” (DER) will use to blow down the straw houses of traditional twentieth-century so-called baseload capacity coal, oil, and nuclear power plants.

FERC Commissioner Robert F. Powelson called out the “participation model” Thursday’s twin orders enable, bypassing many traditional charges by accounting for physical characteristics that do not change over time, recognizing that batteries, sun, and wind power are basically different from old-style dinosaur power plants. Commissioner Neil Chatterjee named Senators Ed Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse as proponents of these new rules, which is very interesting since both have long been proponents of renewable energy, and Sen. Whitehouse called out FERC for failing to implement the DC Circuit Court’s Order on greenhouse gases. Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur said “Electric storage is like a ‘Swiss army knife’”. Maybe more like the South Australian storage utility player that has already out-responded natural gas during coal plant outages. Commissioner Richard Glick says sun and wind power “no less than energy storage, have the potential to play a leading role in the electric grid of the future”. None of the Commissioners could bring themselves to say what they all know: sun, wind, water power with storage will be the electric grid of the future. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff and I were right in 2013: solar power will provide more U.S. electricity than any other source by 2023, on the way to complete conversion of everything to sun, wind, water, and storage by 2050.

Frequency response of Tesla South Australian battery
Giles Parkinson, Reneweconomy, 23 January 2018, Tesla big battery moves from show-boating to money-making.

Gavin Bade, UtilityDive, Feb. 15, 2018, FERC issues storage, reliability orders, calls conference on aggregated DERs, Continue reading

FERC cry of wolf delays mandate from DC Circuit Court 2018-01-07 2018-02-07

Court mandate delayed because of FERC crying wolf, even though Sabal Trail has been shut down most of the past six, now seven weeks. So the three little pigs get a temporary reprieve from the Big Bad Wolf of sun and wind power.

Gavin Bade, E&E News, Feb. 8, 2018, Court filings stave off Sabal Trail pipeline shutdown, for now,

But Wednesday came and went this week with no word from the court.

E&E reports that may be because judges need time to consider some last-minute filings in the case.

What are FERC and Sabal Trail so scared of? The wind and the sun:

‘Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.’

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house in, and ate up the little pig.

Illustration In English Fairy Tales, Jacobs, J., 1895, via Boston Public Library, Three Little Pigs
Illustration for The Story of the Three Little Pigs, in English Fairy Tales, Joseph Jacobs, 1895 New York: Grosset & Dunlap (2nd edition?) Boston Public Library.

For the entire four years since the Sabal Trail pipeline was first announced in 2013, renewable energy has produced more new U.S. energy than natural gas, according to FERC’s own Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure Update For December 2017. Those are the wolves Continue reading

FERC cries wolf for Sabal Trail to DC Circuit Court 2018-01-06 2018-02-06

Update 2018-02-08: FERC cry of wolf delays mandate from DC Circuit Court 2018-01-07 2018-02-07.

Instead of answering Sabal Trail’s Friday cry of wolf by issuing new certificates yesterday, FERC instead took that cry to the DC Circuit Court, asking for a delay of today’s issue of a mandate.

FERC did not issue new certificates yesterday, and the Court did not issue a mandate today. Of course, today was merely the first day the Court could have issued a mandate, so we’ll see.

Don’t listen to FERC and Sabal Trail’s cries of wolf, Court! What’s really eating their pipelines is solar and wind power taking over the market.

Illustration by Francis Barlow Aesop's fable The Boy who Cried Wolf, called by him DE PASTORIS PUERO ET AGRICOLIS, 1687
The illustration by Francis Barlow Aesop’s fable “The Boy who Cried Wolf”, called by him DE PASTORIS PUERO ET AGRICOLIS, 1687

For the fourth year running, renewable energy has produced more new U.S. energy than natural gas, according to FERC’s own Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure Update For December 2017. Four years means ever since the Sabal Trail pipeline was first announced in 2013. Those are the wolves after those poor pipeline Applicants: solar and wind power.

Gavin Bade, Utility Dive, Feb. 6, 2018, FERC asks DC Circuit to delay issuing order to halt Sabal Trail pipeline, Continue reading

WWALS Motion for FERC to reject Sabal Trail et al. request for reissued or emergency certificates 2018-02-05

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, February 5, 2018 — Suwannee Riverkeeper objects to Sabal Trail’s last-minute Request to make an end run around an impending mandate from the D.C. Circuit Court that could shut that pipeline down. Granting the Applicants’ Request for reissued or emergency certificates would amount to the same kind of “multi-billion dollar bailout” that FERC recently rejected for the failing coal and nuclear industries, this time targeted at the natural gas industry. The Applicants for that Request claim need for the pipeline, yet they cite themselves for evidence, in a massive conflict of interest, with internal contradictions, and replete with conflicts with other sources deriving from some of those same Applicants.

WWALS Motion for FERC to reject Sabal Trail et al. request for reissued or emergency certificates, Filing

If, as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said in Warsaw, Poland, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built by Russian gas giant Gazprom PJSC is “undermining Europe’s overall energy stability and security,” and Europe should seek to diversify energy supplies, the same applies to the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline Canadian gas giant Enbridge is now seven months late building through the U.S. Southeast. The Sunshine State already gets 60% of its electricity from existing pipelines, and it should get on with solar power.

The Applicants listed in Friday’s Request are Continue reading

Reclaiming Florida’s Future, Tallahassee 2018-01-31

We visited every Florida statehouse member who represents any part of the Suwannee River Basin, Wednesday in Tallahasse, we the people attending ReThink Energy Florida’s event.

Banner, thanks Kristin Rubin, Waller Park
Suwannee Riverkeeper Banner in Waller Park; thanks Kristin Rubin.

And a primary goal of that lobbying was achieved: the fracking ban bill is sheduled for a committee vote Monday.

When: 4:30 PM – 6PM, Monday, February 5, 2018

Where: Mallory Horne Committee Room, 37 Senate Office Building,
400 Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida

Event: facebook.

Stand with us and Continue reading

Motion to reject FERC DSEIS, to take Sabal Trail out of service, and to revoke its permit: WWALS to FERC 2017-12-29

reopen the whole basis of the FERC 2016 Order, Filing FERC, if it follows its own rules, should reject the DSEIS, stop Sabal Trail, and revoke its permit, says a motion filed today with FERC by Suwannee Riverkeeper.

Followup blog posts will feature major sections and arguments from these 20 pages with their 93 footnotes. The basic arguments are summarized on the first page:

WWALS argues that no SEIS can be complete without accounting for GHG from Liquid Natural Gas (“LNG”) exports, nor without comparing natural gas to solar power, according to precedents already set by FPL, FERC, and others, which also reopen the whole basis of the FERC 2016 Order.

FERC may not care, but the D.C. Circuit Court may, or candidates for office, or the voting public.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!


Filed with FERC today as Continue reading