Green Energy Rules Make Ontario, Canada a N. A. Leader

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario is Canada’s leading province in wind power, producing enough electricity to power more than 300,000 homes.
  • The Green Energy Act will aid Ontario’s commitment to eliminate coal-fired power by 2014 — the single largest climate change initiative in Canada.
  • Ontario has gone from 10 turbines in 2003, to more than 670 spinning today and will have 975 by 2012.

It seems to me they seem to have a Well Defined Energy Plan. Maybe some of there Green Energy Solutions would rub off on the Neighbor to the South. Scotty

September 24, 2009

New regulations introduced in Ontario, Canada, will create thousands of jobs in the new green economy under Ontario’s Green Energy Act. Ontario’s new regulations provide a stable investment environment where companies know what the rules are — giving them the confidence to invest in Ontario, hire workers, and produce and sell renewable energy. The major components of Ontario’s Green Energy Act include:
  • A Feed-In-Tariff program, which allows individuals and companies to sell renewable energy — like solar, wind, water, biomass, biogas and landfill gas — into the grid at set rates.
  • Domestic content requirements, which would ensure at least 25 per cent of wind projects and 50 per cent of solar projects be produced in Ontario — requirements for solar will increase by January 1, 2011 and wind will increase by January 1, 2012.
  • A streamlined approvals process and a service guarantee to bring developers greater certainty.
  • Regulations for setting wind turbines certain distances from houses, roadways and property lines.
  • A new Ontario Renewable Energy Facilitation Office — a one-stop shop to help renewable energy projects get off the ground faster.

More than 50,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created under the Act. Investments in new renewable energy projects already in place or under construction in Ontario since 2003 exceed $4 billion. “Ontario has taken the lead in Canada and set the ground rules for doing green business. Now investors, renewable energy companies and skilled workers can really move our green economy forward,” said Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario. “Ontario wants green energy business. These regulations will help ensure industry and municipalities that jobs will be created, investment is committed and that the renewable energy industry grows across the province,” said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario is Canada’s leading province in wind power, producing enough electricity to power more than 300,000 homes.
  • The Green Energy Act will aid Ontario’s commitment to eliminate coal-fired power by 2014 — the single largest climate change initiative in Canada.
  • Ontario has gone from 10 turbines in 2003, to more than 670 spinning today and will have 975 by 2012.

News Releases/Program Announcements – Details

Producing Oil at $45 a Barrel from Mixed Waste Plastics

 This some of the best news I’ve heard about recycling plastics.  Posting was
cross posted from-  http://alfin2300.blogspot.com/

Oregon company Agilyx has raised $22 million in new operating cash from high profile investors including Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, venture capital firm Chrystalix, and corporate investors Waste Management and Total Energy Ventures International. Agilyx has developed a system of rapid pyrolytic treatment of mixed and contaminated plastics into pure petroleum oil — which it says it can produce at about $45 a barrel.

The company has developed a multi-step process which it says can convert about ten pounds of mixed plastics into one gallon of crude oil.

To make oil, it heats plastics to the point where they turn into a gas. There is then a condensing stage, which converts the gas back into a liquid and removes impurities.

Agilyx is now operating a demonstration plant, which is selling oil to a refiner, and intends to sell its equipment to plastic handlers and recyclers which deal with large volumes. The synthetic crude oil can be refined on site or shipped to standard refiners and the net carbon footprint from its technology is favorable, according to the company.

…The technology can produce oil at about $45 a barrel, Brian Wawro from Chrysalix told the Portland Business Journal. _CNET

article continues at:  http://alfin2300.blogspot.com/?expref=next-blog

Don’t Let Obama Put the EPA On the Chopping Block!

President Obama is negotiating a deal with Republicans to give up key pollution safeguards and EPA authorities in order to gain cooperation on passing the federal budget. I just sent President Obama a message that any deals to weaken EPA health safeguards are unacceptable. You should too!

To take action on this issue, click on the link below:
http://action.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy?s_oo=YusvPUTqcBPx6sgXjREX5g..&id=6051
If the text above does not appear as a link or it wraps across multiple lines, then copy and paste it into the address area of your browser.


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EPA News Release: Window World of St. Louis to Pay $19,529 Penalty

Window World of St. Louis to Pay $19,529 Penalty for Failure to Notify Owners, Residents of Lead Risks Before Renovation

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7

901 N. Fifth St., Kansas City, KS 66101

 

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nine Tribal Nations

 

Window World of St. Louis to Pay $19,529 Penalty for Failure to Notify Owners, Residents of Lead Risks Before Renovation

 

Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov


Environmental News

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

(Kansas City, Kan., March 31, 2011) – Window World of St. Louis, Inc., has agreed to pay a $19,529 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it failed to notify owners and occupants of at least 20 St. Louis area residential properties built before 1978 of lead-based paint risks prior to performing renovation work at those locations.

 

According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., the window replacement company, located in Maryland Heights, Mo., was legally required to provide owners and residents of the properties with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet before starting renovations at the properties.

 

Provision of the lead hazard information pamphlet to property owners and occupants is one requirement of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, which Congress passed in 1992 as an amendment of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

 

The regulation is intended to protect owners and occupants of residential properties, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 from health risks associated with lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was banned for residential use in the United States in 1978. Most homes built before 1978 contain some amount of lead-based paint, and subsequent renovation activity of such properties can cause occupants to be exposed to dust, chips and debris that contain lead.

 

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act requires renovators of such properties to obtain certified training, follow safe work practices, and take specific steps to make owners and occupants aware of health risks associated with lead exposure before renovation work occurs.

 

As part of its settlement with EPA, and in addition to paying the $19,529 civil penalty, Window World of St. Louis has agreed to perform a supplemental environmental project, through which it will spend an estimated $20,048 to replace a total of 73 old windows contaminated with lead paint at three group home facilities operated by the non-profit social services organization Youth in Need. Those facilities are located at 1420 N. 3rd Street, 516 Jefferson Street, and 529 Jefferson Street, in St. Charles, Mo.

 

# # #

 

Learn more about EPA’s civil enforcement of the Toxic Substances Control Act

 

Learn more about the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992

 

Learn more about health risks associated with lead exposure

 

Locate this and other Region 7 news items on the News Where You Live interactive map

Note: If a link above doesn't work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.

 

View all Region 7 News Release



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Scotty commented on Missouri Coalition for the Environment’s post.

facebook
Hi Readers,
Scotty commented on Missouri Coalition for the Environment's post.
Scotty wrote: "Steve Kidwell, Ameren Missouri Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, said: "If we went after the potential that we've seen in our own study, (weatherization / efficiency) we wouldn't have to build another power plant for 20 years, and we could retire Meramec, and we'd be OK. But we'd lose $30 million a year. And we just can't do that. It's that simple." Ameren UEs Greed-Missouri-Nuclear Reactor- | St Louis Renewable Energy –"

See the comment thread

Reply to this email to comment on this post.

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The Facebook Team
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Background on the EPA’s new mercury and air toxics rule

most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council via: Grist

Today, the EPA announced the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.

EPA's proposed mercury and air toxics standards for power plants that burn coal and oil are projected to save as many as 17,000 American lives [PDF] every year by 2015. These standards also will prevent up to 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and there will be 11,000 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children every year.

The standards also will avoid more than 12,000 emergency room and hospital visits and prevent 850,000 lost work days every year.

The proposed standards should reduce mercury emissions from power plants burning coal and oil by 91 percent, acid gas pollution by 91 percent, direct particulate matter emissions by 30 percent, and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 53 percent, down to 2.1 million tons of annual SO2 emissions [PDF, pg. 541].

Due to these tremendous health benefits, the proposed standards are estimated to yield monetized benefits of $59 billion to $140 billion annually, compared to annual compliance costs of approximately $10.9 billion. This represents $5 to $13 in health benefits for every $1 spent to reduce pollution.

Further, EPA projects that the proposed standards will create up to 31,000 short-term construction jobs and 9,000 long-term utility jobs.

More detailed information about the proposed air toxic standards may be found here.

Coming on the heels of an EPA report that projected the Clean Air Act will save approximately 4.2 million lives by 2020 even without the additional life savings from today's proposal, the Clean Air Act has earned its place as America's most successful environmental-public health law.

Yet in spite of these enormous public health benefits, industry naysayers have decried the power plant cleanup standards and may only increase those complaints in the coming days and weeks. Some utility industry lobbyists have complained that the expected standards will ask too much, too soon, and that coal-fired power plants already have taken great strides to reduce their air pollution.

So on the day that EPA's long-anticipated mercury and air toxic standards are being proposed, before some of us pore through the materials that EPA has made available, I thought it would be useful to examine how we got here.

The following Q&A format is designed to address commonly raised issues surrounding why EPA is only now proposing these air toxics standards, some 21 years after the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.

Q. How long has the Clean Air Act been used to clean up toxic air pollution, and when did Congress adopt the approach that EPA is following with today's proposal?

A. EPA answers these questions nicely in its "Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act":

Before the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, EPA regulated air toxics one chemical at a time. This approach did not work well. Between 1970 and 1990, EPA established regulations for only seven pollutants. The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments took a completely different approach to reducing toxic air pollutants. The Amendments required EPA to identify categories of industrial sources for 187 listed toxic air pollutants and to take steps to reduce pollution by requiring sources to install controls or change production processes. It makes good sense to regulate by categories of industries rather than one pollutant at a time, since many individual sources release more than one toxic chemical. Developing controls and process changes for industrial source categories can result in major reductions in releases of multiple pollutants at one time.

Q. What approach does the Clean Air Act use to reduce toxic air pollutants?

A. Again, quoting EPA's guide to the Clean Air Act, "[t]he 1990 Clean Air Act requires EPA to first set regulations using a technology-based or performance-based approach to reduce toxic emissions from industrial sources." This approach is called the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) program and requires performance standards to be based upon the emissions reductions achieved by the cleanest facilities in an industrial sector, the average of the top 12 percent of lowest emitting plants or equipment. As the agency's guide explains, "in most cases, EPA does not prescribe a specific control technology, but sets a performance level based on a technology or other practices already used by the better-controlled and lower emitting sources in an industry."

Q. How many toxic air pollution standards has EPA issued already under the 1990 Clean Air Act, and what types of industrial sources have been covered?

A. EPA has adopted over 120 toxic air pollutant standards under the act, covering literally hundreds of different types of industrial operations and equipment categories. These include chemical plants, oil refineries, hazardous waste incinerators, iron and steel foundries, battery manufacturers, pharmaceutical plants, lead smelters, semiconductor manufacturers, and fiberglass plants, among many others.

Q. Have other industries been reducing mercury emissions by levels comparable to what EPA is proposing power plants must achieve? If so, what pollution control devices have these other industries been using?

A. Yes. Many other types of industries have been reducing mercury emissions and many other toxic air pollutants under the Clean Air Act's MACT program. For example, municipal and medical waste incinerators have been achieving 90 percent mercury reductions since the late 1990's using a technology called activated carbon injection that many power plant operators also will employ to meet the proposed mercury standards.

Q. What toxic air pollutants do coal-burning and oil-burning power plants emit?

A. Power plants emit approximately six dozen toxic air pollutants [PDF] out of the 189 toxic air pollutants specifically listed for regulation in the Clean Air Act. These include mercury, arsenic, dioxins, lead, hydrochloric acid, chromium, nickel, and radionuclides.

Q. Why did EPA not start reducing toxic air pollutants from power plants after the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments when it started reducing those pollutants from other types of industries?

A. In 1992 EPA published a list of industrial categories for which it would develop toxic air pollution standards under the law's new MACT program. NRDC filed suit against EPA alleging that the agency unlawfully omitted power plants from that list. Under the act, EPA was supposed to conduct a health effects study addressing whether the agency should regulate toxic air pollution from fossil fuel-fired power plants using MACT standards. The law requires such regulation if EPA determines that it is "appropriate and necessary." As a result of the original lawsuit, NRDC and EPA entered into a settlement agreement in 1994, under which EPA was required to complete the study and report to Congress by November 1995. Following several delays, EPA submitted the report to Congress [PDF] in February 1998 — but still without making a determination about the appropriateness and necessity of MACT standards. Following notice of intent to file an "unreasonable delay" lawsuit by NRDC and the Sierra Club later in 1998, the original NRDC settlement agreement was modified twice more to require EPA to make the necessary regulatory determination by Dec. 15, 2000. Then-EPA Administrator Carol Browner did so and determined that it was "appropriate and necessary" to reduce toxic air pollutants from fossil fuel-fired power plants using the law's protective MACT standards.

Q. So why did the Bush administration EPA not issue toxic air pollution standards for coal-fired and oil-fired power plants?

A. Soon after taking office, signs emerged that the Bush administration would not follow the law and issue the MACT standards for power plants required by the Clean Air Act. In a now-notorious April 2001 speech [PDF] that was recorded and transcribed without his awareness, a utility industry lobbyist told his coal industry audience that EPA had been planning to use the agency's existing authority under the Clean Air Act to require large and prompt reductions in toxic air pollution from coal-burning power plants, namely MACT standards. Never fear, the lobbyist assured his colleagues, he and his friends in the Bush administration White House had a plan: the administration would create what the lobbyist called the "next generation of regulatory programs" for power plants. Predicting precisely what unfolded under the Bush administration, the lobbyist boasted that "the goal here will be to gain a foothold, an irreversible foothold on the next generation of reasonable cost effective SO2 and NOx reduction, plus air toxics that we can all live with and that someone else can't undo." Observing that "mercury is the killer," the lobbyist signalled that eliminating the obligation to comply with MACT standards to reduce mercury and toxic air pollutants would be the very highest priority for the utility industry. And the Bush administration obliged that desire fully.

Q. So what did the Bush administration do instead?

A. In 2004, the Bush administration EPA issued rulemaking proposals that made clear it had no intention of following the law to require MACT standards that would reduce all toxic air pollutants from power plants. Then in early 2005, the administration confirmed that fear by retracting EPA's prior commitment to protect public health by requiring MACT standards for toxic pollution from power plants, issuing a so-called "rescission rule". Simultaneously, EPA issued a mercury "cap-and-trade" rule that purported to require significant reductions in power plant mercury emissions but in fact delayed any mercury regulation for 13 years. That rule disclaimed any need to reduce the remaining 70 or so toxic air pollutants from power plants and left power plants' toxic air pollutants like arsenic, lead, dioxins, acid gases, and heavy metals completely unregulated.

Q. What happened to the Bush EPA mercury rule?

A. In February 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled [PDF] that EPA had illegally evaded the Clean Air Act's protective safeguards — MACT standards — that should have required deep and timely reductions in toxic air pollution, including mercury, from the nation's coal-fired power plants. The court further ruled that EPA had illegally substituted a mercury pollution trading scheme for the protections required by the Clean Air Act. The court vacated the EPA rules and made clear that EPA now had a firm legal obligation to adopt MACT standards to reduce all toxic air pollutants from power plants. The unanimous court ruling even went so far as to mock EPA's defiance of the plain language of the law. The court compared EPA's actions to the capricious Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, since EPA had — in the court's words — "substituted [its] desires for the plain text" of the law. See my earlier post on this court ruling here.

Today's proposed toxic air pollutants standards respond to that court decision and finally follow the law to require reductions in all toxic air pollutants from power plants for the first time since the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.

John Walke is a senior attorney and the Director of NRDC‘s Clean Air Program.



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Most Americans Improving Energy Efficiency at Home

While oil prices rise in response to unrest in oil producing nations and increased demand from growing nations, Americans continue to discuss and consider alternative energy options and lifestyle changes amidst a slow economic recovery. Six in ten (61%) Americans describe themselves as knowledgeable about energy issues, including sources of electrical power and energy efficiency. This is relatively unchanged since 2009 when 59% of Americans described themselves as knowledgeable about energy issues.

Fewer are knowledgeable about energy issues and sources of electrical power

NEW YORK, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,171 adults surveyed online between February 14 and 21, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Energy knowledge varies by region and age with Americans in the East (67%) and West (64%) and those over the age of 65 (65%) most knowledgeable. Three-quarters of men (75%) say they are knowledgeable about energy issues while less than half (47%) of women say the same.

Sources of Energy for Electric Power Production

When it comes to sources of energy, the public indicates that the benefits outweigh the risks for wind (75%) and solar power (77%). Natural gas (64%) and geothermal (52%) resonate as beneficial while there is less certainty about the benefits of nuclear (42%) and coal (38%).  These views compare to 2009 when at least two-thirds of Americans said that when used, the benefits of solar (82%), wind (78%) and natural gas (66%) outweighed any associated risks.

In 2009, two in five Americans (42%) said the risks of using coal outweighed the benefits while 36% believed the benefits outweighed the risks. Further, almost one-quarter of Americans (22%) said they were not at all sure. Today, that view has not changed very much as 38% say benefits outweigh risks, but 43% believe the risks outweigh the benefits; those unsure has dropped to 19%.

Nuclear power plant proposals, after a U.S. hiatus on new plant construction, have been surging. Less than half of Americans (42%) say the benefits outweigh the risks of nuclear energy while 21% are not at all sure and 37% say the risks outweigh the benefits. In 2009, the view was similar – 44% of Americans said the benefits outweighed the risks and 34% believed the risks outweighed the benefits. When asked about nuclear power plant waste, 69% of Americans agree that it is a national issue. Two in ten (22%) are not at all sure.

When asked if renewable energy and climate change are issues states should manage as opposed to the federal government, Americans are split – 36% agree these are issues for individual states to handle, 43% disagree and 21% are not at all sure.

Improving Energy Efficiency at Home

Eight in ten Americans (84%) say they turn off lights and appliances when not in use to conserve energy. Americans are also replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs (60%), using power strips (60%), using low-wattage bulbs (56%), purchasing Energy Star™ appliances (53%), and reducing hot water usage (51%). When it comes to more complex tasks such as weather stripping, sealing gaps and installation of products, the responses drop to between 29% and 38% for each behavior. Even fewer (11%) conduct home energy evaluations or audits and 5% say they engage in none of these activities.

Smart Grid

More than half of all Americans (56%) have not heard the term "smart grid," with more than six in ten women unfamiliar with it (66%, compared to 46% of men).

When asked whether or not "smart grid" will increase the use of solar, wind and other renewable sources, only 38% agree that it will while 55% are not at all sure.  Likewise, six in ten Americans (60%) are not at all sure if "smart grid" will increase the cost of electricity—24% agree that it will.

So What?

Over the past few years, there have been coal mine rescues; state legislation to prohibit mountain top mining of coal; and, increasing Environmental Protection Agency regulatory actions on coal plants. Coal provides approximately half (49%) of electrical power production in the United States, is the most heavily used source of energy and is being subjected to a high degree of regulatory scrutiny. It is estimated that 16% of the existing U.S. coal plant will be shut down over the next five years because of the cost of regulatory compliance. The question is – what will replace coal, especially in the eastern U.S.?

This survey fielded prior to the recent Japanese earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear power plant issues. U.S. nuclear power plants are similar in design and function to those in Japan so it is unclear what effect the Japanese incident will have on American perceptions of nuclear power. But, this poll makes clear that Americans believe nuclear waste is a national issue to resolve.

However, there remains limited knowledge of many alternative energy sources, as new debates over national security and foreign oil dependence, gas prices at the pump and the correlation between energy costs and economic recovery rage on. Significant room still exists to educate the public on the pros and cons of each source of energy including factors such as: current and future use of each source, reliability, cost, environmental impacts, safety, security and ways to become more energy efficient.  

TABLE 1

KNOWLEDGE ABOUT ENERGY ISSUES AND ELECTRICAL POWER

"Thinking of something else, how knowledgeable would you say you are about energy issues including sources of electrical power and energy efficiency?"

Base: All adults

Total 2009

Total

2011

Region

Gender

East

Midwest

South

West

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Knowledgeable (NET)

59

61

67

57

57

64

75

47

    Very knowledgeable

9

12

20

9

8

13

21

4

    Somewhat knowledgeable

50

49

47

48

49

51

55

44

Not knowledgeable (NET)

41

39

33

43

43

36

25

53

    Not very knowledgeable

32

31

27

34

34

27

20

41

    Not at all knowledgeable

8

9

7

9

9

10

5

12

Age

18-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

Knowledgeable (NET)

55

54

63

61

61

65

    Very knowledgeable

10

9

23

9

10

9

    Somewhat knowledgeable

44

44

40

52

52

57

Not knowledgeable (NET)

45

46

37

39

39

35

    Not very knowledgeable

37

36

28

29

30

29

    Not at all knowledgeable

8

11

9

10

8

6

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.

TABLE 2

BENEFITS VERSUS RISKS FOR VARIOUS ENERGY SOURCES

"There are many sources of electric power used in the U.S.  To the best of your knowledge, would you say the benefits of each source outweigh the risks or do you believe the risks outweigh the benefits?"

Base: All adults

BENEFITS

OUTWEIGH

RISKS (NET)

Benefits

strongly

outweigh

risks

Benefits

somewhat

outweigh

risks

RISKS

OUTWEIGH

BENEFITS

(NET)

Risks

somewhat

outweigh

benefits

Risks

strongly

outweigh

benefits

Not at all sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Solar

2011

77

64

13

8

3

6

14

2009

82

68

14

5

3

2

13

Wind

2011

75

61

14

10

3

7

15

2009

78

62

17

7

4

2

15

Natural gas

2011

64

31

34

17

11

6

18

2009

66

30

36

14

11

3

20

Geothermal

2011

52

33

18

10

5

5

38

2009

52

32

20

7

5

2

40

Nuclear

2011

42

20

22

37

18

19

21

2009

44

21

23

34

17

17

22

Coal

2011

38

15

23

43

24

18

19

2009

36

13

23

42

22

20

22

Biomass

2011

30

14

17

12

7

6

57

2009

28

12

16

12

8

4

60

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 3

AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH VARIOUS ENERGY-RELATED STATEMENTS AND ISSUES

"How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements?"

Base: All adults

AGREE (NET)

Strongly agree

Somewhat agree

DISAGREE (NET)

Somewhat disagree

Strongly disagree

Not at all sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Nuclear power plant waste is a national issue

69

47


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Efficiency First

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Japanese Disaster is Yet Another Reason
Why Ameren Must Pursue Efficiency First

 

Our sympathy goes out those who lost loved ones in last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami. As the Japanese reel from this disaster, they are now also under high alert for a nuclear reactor meltdown and radiation exposure.  

 

While members of the U.S. Congress are discussing a possible moratorium on new nuclear reactors until safety issues are addressed, the Missouri General Assembly is considering legislation that would allow Ameren Missouri to charge ratepayers $40 million for a permit for a second nuclear reactor in mid-Missouri.  

 

The proposed legislation would chip away at a 1976 ballot initiative supported 2-to-1 by Missouri voters. This law protects Missourians from investor-owned utilities charging ratepayers up-front for the construction of a power plant until it is producing electricity.  

 

To understand the many other reasons why SB 321 and SB 406 are bad public policy, read Senator Joan Bray's guest column in the Joplin Globe last month.

In short, Ameren admits it cannot find investors to fund the nuclear plant because it is too risky and expensive.   

 

Therefore, Ameren must pass SB 321 or SB 406 which shifts the financial risk of investment of a new nuclear plant from shareholders to ratepayers.  But while shareholders dodge the risk, they still receive a financial windfall if/when the reactor comes online and Ameren then sells the excess electricity out of state for a premium.    

 

History tells us only 50% of proposed nuclear reactors are completed and produce electricity in the U.S. These are not good odds for ratepayers who will have to pay for a new reactor whether or not it actually comes online.

 

The most frustrating thing about this proposition is that Ameren can easily meet Missouri's energy needs through energy efficiency instead of raising your electric rates to pay for a $6 billion nuclear reactor.  In the St. Louis Post Dispatch on February 25, Steve Kidwell, Ameren Missouri Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, said:  

 

"If we went after the potential that we've seen in our own study,  

we wouldn't have to build another power plant for 20 years, and  

we could retire Meramec, and we'd be OK.  But we'd lose  

$30 million a year. And we just can't do that. It's that simple."  

 

So at the end of the day, Ameren's own numbers show that an aggressive energy efficiency plan will keep electric bills lower than other energy options. But, the company's sole concern is shareholder profits.

 

Kidwell's concern about loss revenue has been addressed through new rules developed by the Public Service Commission this year. Utilities are now reimbursed for costs associated with implementing efficiency programs and for revenue they lose when the efficiency programs cause customers to buy less power.  

 

Ameren's goal is to charge you, the ratepayer, millions of dollars up front for an unnecessary, risky, and expensive power plant rather than investing in the cheapest energy resource available, energy efficiency.    

 

Now is the time to get involved!  Attend Conservation Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 29 and speak to state legislators about this issue and other critical environmental policies.  

 

Ed Smith
Missouri Coalition for the Environment  

No-CWIP Coordinator 


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Energy Efficiency-Architects Join In with 5 proposals-Legislation

AIA reiterates top five proposals for increasing energy efficiency
Apr 1, 2011 Construction News
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reacted to President Obama’s proposals for increasing the nation’s energy security by reiterating its top five energy conservation legislative priorities. "Architects make design decisions every day that have significant impact on the energy that buildings use both during their construction and throughout their life cycles, " said AIA 2011 President Clark Manus, FAIA. "Architects also have a major impact on whether communities are designed in a sustainable fashion."

Among the AIA’s energy conservation legislative priorities are:

  1. Strengthening the commercial building energy efficiency tax deduction. The AIA supports increasing the value of the deduction, an increase that was included in bipartisan legislation in 2010, or by turning it into a tax credit as proposed by the Administration.
  2. Passing a long-term transportation bill that empowers communities to plan in ways that reduce energy-wasting congestion and promote livable, walkable neighborhoods.
  3. Passing the bipartisan America’s Clean Energy Leadership Act (ACELA) approved in 2009 by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which promotes stronger energy building codes and building retrofits.
  4. Restoring funding for government building energy retrofits that was cut in the most recent continuing resolution, which will save taxpayers more money over the long-term.
  5. Passing legislation to allow states and localities to use PACE bonds. The sales proceeds from such municipal bonds are lent to commercial or residential property owners to finance energy efficiency measures and small renewable energy systems. The owners repay their loans over a 20 year term via an annual assessment on their property tax bill.

Latest News on Missouri Nuclear Reactor Agenda

Nuclear siting bill awaits committee action (AUDIO))

by Bob Priddy on March 31, 2011 cross-posted via: Missourinet

Four bills focused on how to pay to pick a site for a second commercial nuclear power plant are stuck in a Senate Committee.  Senator Jason Crowell, the sponsor of one of the bills, chairs the committee that held a seven-hour public hearing about three weeks ago. The committee has not considered whether to recommend full senate debate.

For him, the big issue is who will pay for the site selection.  He thinks the utility company and its stockholders should bear that cost.

The sponsor of one of the proposals, Jefferson City Senator Mike Kehoe, thinks most senators are comfortable with having consumers pay for the site selection—but be repaid if no site is picked or no plant goes into operation.

Crowell worries that having consumers pay for the site selection is the first step toward repealing the construction work in progress law that says consumers won’t be billed for construction costs until the plant is running.  Kehoe says he favors whichever approach is the most economical way to build the plant.

Kehoe comments 7:38 mp3                   crowell comments 4:03 mp3


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