Tag Archives: Nuclear

Gates Foundation viewed as political ploy

This article does not follow the Gates-worshiping herd: “The [Gates Foundation] even reports having a $5.3 million bond holding in Energy Transfer Operating, which is a partial owner of the Dakota Access pipeline —the subject of a very high-profile divestment campaign.

There is much more, well worth reading, in today’s article by Tim Schwab, The Nation, 16 February 2021, Bill Gates, Climate Warrior. And Super Emitter: The billionaire’s new book, a bid to be taken seriously as a climate campaigner, has attracted the usual worshipful coverage. When will the media realize that with Gates you have to follow the money? See below for where I’m quoted about Gates’ farmland investments. But first, more about pipelines.

As we dug up back in 2016, the same company, Enbridge, is part owner of both the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline that gouged under our Withlacoochee, Suwannee, Santa Fe, and Withlacoochee (south) Rivers in south Georgia and north Florida, destroying farmlands and forests along the way. We held and participated in numerous demonstrations about #NoDAPL, #NoSabalTrail, as well as other actions, including a legal case in Florida and feeding information to the case Sierra Club won in U.S. District Court. We continue to advocate against expansion of Sabal Trail, and to report on its leaks and other damage.

Stop Sabal Trail from the Suwannee
Stop Sabal Trail from the Suwannee, in #NoDAPL #NoSabalTrail @ Suwannee River State Park 2016-09-13

The article does not go easy on Gates or his Foundation, for example referring to the book he just published about climate change.

In his book, Gates several times praises the young people and activists who have energized climate politics—even drawing parallels to successful protests against the Vietnam War and divestment campaigns against South African apartheid. Yet Gates doesn’t seriously engage with these political movements, and seems oblivious to ways that they’ve pushed the mainstream conversation on climate change beyond the technical question of how to reduce carbon emissions—Gates’s narrow focus—to interrogate the political systems and economic models that, for example, channel climate change’s greatest impacts toward the poor and people of color.

Anthony Rogers-Wright, director of environmental justice for the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, notes that even Joe Biden—a “centrist, neoliberal president”—understands that issues like equity and justice are central to climate change, as is evident in a recent executive order that mentions the term “environmental justice” 27 times. In Gates’s 250-page book, the term is completely absent.

“These billionaires, the best they could do, some would say, would be to be stop their foundations and pay their fair share of taxes,” says Continue reading

Georgia Power proposes connection fee hike

Georgia Power is back with a proposed mandatory connection fee hike for everyone! This is after they tried a couple years ago to get a mandatory solar power connection fee, but Sierra Club fought that off with town halls around the state.

Bryan Jacob, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 29 August 2019, Georgia Power Wants You to Pay More For Using Less Energy,

fee hike graphic

In June, Georgia Power submitted a proposal to charge its customers for an additional $2.2 billion. A very troubling part of Georgia Power’s proposal: they propose to nearly double the mandatory monthly fee (which is hidden on most bills), from the current $10/month to $17.95/month for residential customers.

Customers must pay this fee no matter how much or how little energy is actually used, paying at least Continue reading

Renewable solar and wind power now, not coal, gas, or nuclear –WWALS to GA PSC 2019-06-10

Drawing from eight years of speaking at Southern Company Stockholder meetings, and from that Homerville, Georgia explosion that destroyed Coffee Corner and sent three women to the hospital with third-degree burns, here’s a summary of the comments we filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission today. If you can’t go to the GA-PSC hearings tomorrow and the next day about the Georgia Power Integrated Resource Plan, you can also send a comment letter asking the PSC to stop Georgia Power locking in fossil fuels and make them get on with sun and wind pwoer on a smart grid.

[AGL fines, more solar, coal ash disposal, and mercury]

  1. Yes, fine AGL more than $2 million for that Homerville, GA explosion.
  2. Require Georgia power to buy 12 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, not 1 GW.
  3. Make Georgia Power pay to dispose of the coal ash it produced, properly on its own property.
  4. How about make the companies that put mercury in the air to come down in our rivers pay for the costs to recreational fishing.
  5. Stop throwing money down the Plant Vogtle nuclear hole.
  6. Demand Georgia Power get on with wind power.

This about sums it up: Continue reading

Farm Bureau pipeline and solar power policies 2018

Pipelines and rivers run through and by farms, and many farmers have solar panels, so it’s interesting to see what Farm Bureau has for energy policies.

Farm Bureau is for fixing FERC by revising the laws that let the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reimburse Congress from fees and charges on the companies it supposedly regulates. Many of Farm Bureau’s pipeline policies are good and sound like it listened to Randy Dowdy. It gets hardcore about eminent domain. There are even a couple of items that, if law, would have been very useful in the recent and upcoming Sabal Trail eminent domain jury trials.

It has some very good solar energy policies, and it is for renewable energy, including incentives; even an electric car policy.

Not all is good. Farm Bureau is for “clean coal”, fracking, nuclear power, and oil and gas exploration everywhere. It never mentions wind power without mixing it with dirtier energy sources.

Title, Policy Book

This is all from FARM BUREAU® POLICIES FOR 2018: Resolutions on National Issues Adopted by the Voting Delegates of the Member State Farm Bureaus to the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation®, Nashville, TN, January 2018.

Some of the policies are weirdly categorized: 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

Fluor books huge loses on three failed gas-fired plants, plus two failed nukes

It’s not just GE and Siemens that are “experiencing disruption of unprecedented scope and speed,” power plant builder Fluor finds “The challenges we have experienced over the last two years on gas-fired power projects are inconsistent with the results we have historically achieved.” Maybe you should have bet on sun and wind power, Fluor, Siemens, and GE, instead of fracked methane and nukes.

Fluor and Diablo Canyon nuclear project in California
Photo: Fluor web page on Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant

Copenhaver Construction, Inc., 8 August 2017,

Problems on three gas-fired power plant projects with fixed-price contracts forced Dallas-based Fluor Corp. to book a $124-million charge in 2017’s second quarter.

CEO David. T. Seaton says Continue reading

The handwriting on the wall for Plant Vogtle: electric cars and South Carolina cancels its nuclear project –WWALS to GA-PSC

Sent in PDF via email today.


August 2, 2017

To: Georgia Public Service Commission
244 Washington Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30334-9052

gapsc@psc.state.ga.us

Re: Electric cars and solar power are here now; South Carolina cancels its nuclear project

Dear Public Service Commissioners and Staff,

Since my letter of July 23, 2017, asking you to stop cost overruns for Plant Vogtle and to require Georgia Power again to buy more solar power,1 there have been major developments that further indicate the desirability of these actions.

Tesla is now shipping its Model 3, which many consider the Model T of the electric car industry, affordable not just to executives, but to the masses. New York City changed in thirteen years from all but one horse-drawn carriages to all but one automobiles in its Easter Parade: 1900 to 1913,2 and not much longer for the rest of the country, after the Ford Model T shipped in 1908.

We’re well past 1900 in the electric vehicle revolution, and that is a rapidly growing market for solar panels on business and house roofs.

In The Hill yesterday:3

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G) and state-run Santee Cooper both said Monday they would suspend their plan to build two nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer power plant northwest of Columbia.

The companies cited Continue reading

Utilities have Opportunity to lead in solar power –Suwannee Riverkeeper in VDT 2017-08-02

They ran the op-ed last week online, and today the Valdosta Daily Times (VDT) put it on top of page 5A:

Point of View, page 5A, VDT

This newspaper op-ed has already resulted in a call about a water issue.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Georgia Power has opportunities to lead in solar power –Suwannee Riverkeeper in VDT 2017-07-28

Op-ed in the Valdosta Daily Times today:

Thanks, VDT, for your Sunday solar story and editorial!

Your editorial’s “buyer beware” would better be directed towards the electric utilities, which set up the price mismatch that caused the problem for the customer in your story. The story says, citing John Kraft of Georgia Power, “The utility company offers to pay the producer only as much as it costs to produce solar power. If a utility company can produce solar energy at a solar farm for 5 cents per unit, it isn’t going to pay a residential producer a higher rate for energy it doesn’t need.”

We dont your coal ash in any landfill in the Suwannee River Basin --Suwannee Riverkeeper

If Georgia Power does not need new energy, why is it building two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle and charging its customers in advance every month? Four years ago Google already bought more sun and wind power than that nuclear boondoggle would produce if it’s ever finished, and for less than the Plant Vogtle cost overruns. Those cost overruns keep going up, and the cost of solar panels keeps going down.

The story says Kraft asks people why they want solar power. Maybe to Continue reading

Stop failed Big Bet on nuclear Plant Vogtle and go solar: WWALS to GA-PSC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, July 27, 2017 — On Monday, WWALS Watershed Coalition asked the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to take Southern Company (SO) CEO Tom Fanning up on his suggestion that the PSC could affect the SO board’s August self-imposed deadline about the two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle: to go ahead despite the bankruptcy of Toshiba, or not. WWALS also asked the PSC, like it did four years ago, to require Georgia Power to buy more solar power.

Legacy --crowd reaction

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman wrote to Georgia PSC: “The Mississippi Public Service Commission in June refused Continue reading