Friday, June 30, 2006
President Bush opposes the legislation because he believes it would increase the national debt by diverting $70 billion from the federal treasury over the next 15 years. Although the White House supports the overall goal of the legislation, it opposes the revenue sharing outlined in the bill, which would apply to both new and existing leases.
The legislation specifically removes all leasing bans beyond 100 miles and permits leasing 50 to 100 miles offshore unless states protest. Each state would have the opportunity to opt out of drilling off their respective coasts. It bans all oil and gas drilling within 50 miles of state coasts unless states chose otherwise. Most states currently have jurisdiction that extends only about three miles from their coasts - Texas and the Gulf coast of Florida control more than nine miles.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
1) Americans are 5 % of the world's pop but emits 45 % of its carbon dioxide
2) GM produced as much CO2 as AEP
3) Smaller cars produce more CO2 than SUVs because there are more of them
4) U.S. drivers average 11,000 miles per year, 29 % above the global average
5) U.S. cars emit 15 % more carbon dioxide per mile than the global average
6) In 2004 U.S. cars & light trucks emitted 314 metric tons of carbon dioxide
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Although we are glad that Time Warner-owned HBO spent considerable air time on air pollution and asthma on Bryant Gumbel's Real Sports program, it appeared to be out to paint the Bush Administration as intentionally causing asthma in children. We do not think this characterization is fair. The show did a very good job of describing the EPA New Source Review (NSR) program. They even enlisted former EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman to state that weakening NSR was one of the reasons she left the agency. However, NSR was never effective and in its original form would never lead to anything but litigation. For that reason it is useless in reducing air pollution.
Unfortunately, the show did not delve too deeply into the cap and trade programs favored by the administration, which everyone agrees worked in the EPA Acid Rain Program to reduce sulfur dioxide from power plants. The program failed to mention that the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is the best piece of clean air legislation enacted since the original Clean Air Act because it aggressively promotes emission free nuclear power, wind and hybrid vehicles. It did not mention the administration's aggressive support for hydrogen production for fuel cells. So although the show was quite informative, it was somewhat biased. Of course, Dan Rather and Bryant Gumbel are cut from the same political cloth.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Kevin Book, VP with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co (FBR) recently gave a sobering statement in Senate testimony about the requirements of Wall Street to invest in nuclear power. He basically stated that nuclear is in competition with any of a number of other portfolio categories that investors might consider, depending strictly on the return. He made it clear that even under the best of circumstances, nuclear power will be a risky investment because of the new reactor technology being used and the possibility of delays (for whatever reason).
So maybe the Gates Foundation, in partnership with the utilities, should build the first six reactors or the second six. The long term return on investment is assured and the immediate nervousness about short term return on investment is solved. Climate change, smog, hydrogen production and electricity needs justify an accelerated schedule of building new nuclear power plants in the U.S. and around the world.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Mittal Steel Company is the largest steel producer in the world and in the U.S. since it purchased Ohio-based International Steel Group (ISG) in mid-April. In addition to Mittal, foreigners now control 40 percent of U.S. Steel production. Mittal Steel is based in London with corporate headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Lakshmi Mittal and his son, Aditya, president of the company, have publicly announced plans to eliminate 45,000 steel jobs worldwide over the next five years in order to integrate ISG into their holdings.
Mittal Steel USA has steel producing sites in East Chicago and Burns Harbor, Indiana; Cleveland, Ohio; Weirton, West Virginia; Sparrows Point, Maryland; Steelton, Pennsylvania; Georgetown, South Carolina; and Riverdale, Illinois. The company also has finishing facilities in Hennepin, Illinois, Lackawanna, New York, Newton, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio.
Mr. Lawal is Nigerian born and raised. He received a B.A. in chemical engineering from Texas Southern University and an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from Prairie View A&M. He worked at Shell, Halliburton, Suncrest Investment Corp and Baker Investments before forming his own company. In June 1999, he was appointed by the city of Houston to serve as a commissioner on the Port of Houston Authority Board. He also serves on the board of directors of the Houston Airport System Development Corporation.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
U.S. Enrichment Corporation (USEC) is the only other company in the U.S. enriching uranium. It has a gas diffusion plant in Paducah, Kentucky and is planning a new centrifuge facility in Portsmouth, Ohio. AAEA supported the New Mexico project and supports USEC's plans to build a new facility.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Jackson also notes in the Rainbow/Push press release that the oil industry made nearly $100 billion in profits in 2005. BP made windfall profits of $5.3 billion in the first quarter of this year. It does $16 billion in procurement but less than one-third of one percent with African American businesses. It has few African American senior executives. BP is being targeted, according to Jackson, because it has the largest share of the African American market, yet its pattern of discrimination amounts to a virtual lock out of African American businesses.
The CNCI legislation amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1978 (AEA) to lift the U.S. prohibition against sharing civilian nuclear technology with nations that have nuclear weapons programs and are not subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. India tested its first nuclear bomb in 1974 and is still not a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The conditions that India would have to meet to get an AEA exemption include:
- A plan to segregate its civilian and military nuclear facilities
- Negotiatie a treaty limiting the production of fissile material
- Adopt IAEA safeguards
- Work to prevent proliferation
Thursday, June 22, 2006
- Chevron Shale Oil Co
- EGL Resources, INc
- ExxonMobil Corp
- Oil-Tech, Inc
- Oil Shale Exploration LLC
- Shell Frontier Oil & Gas
The U.S. holds an estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from oil shale deposited over an area of 16,000 square miles. This is enough oil to meet U.S. demand for 110 years at current our current level of use (20 million barrels every day). More than 70% of American oil shale is on federal land. The BLM manages more land than any other federal agency - - 261 million surface acres and 700 million sub-surface acres of mineral estate. Source: DOI/BLM
It was a lively hearing, particularly when Senator Hillary Clinton questioned the commission on the status of dirty bomb materials monitoring. The commission has proposed transferring oversight to the states instead of establishing monitoring at the NRC. Senator Clinton was very concerned about this recommendation. Kevin Book, VP with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co (FBR) gave a sobering statement about the requirements of Wall Street to invest in nuclear power. He basically stated that nuclear is in competition with any of a number of other portfolio categories that investors might invest in, depending strictly on the return. He made it clear that even under the best of circumstances, nuclear power will be a risky investment because of the new reactor technology being used and the possibility of delays (for whatever reason).
There was a similar hearing on the House side earlier this week (See NEI Nuclear Notes)
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
In a 5-4 split decision, the Supreme Court ruled on June 19, 2006 that federal protection under a proper interpretation of the Clean Water Act requires that a wetland needs to have a "significant nexus" to a body of water that is actually navigable. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, noted that "any specific case was largely a technical and scientific judgment on which courts should defer to the federal regulators." Justice Scalia, writing for the minority partially concurred, stating that the Army Corps of Engineers "stretched its authority under the Clean Water Act "beyond parody" by regulating land that contained nothing but storm sewers, drainage ditches and dryarroyos in the middle of the desert...the agency had trampled on state authority by exercising a scope of discretion that would befit a local zoning board. The only wetlands properly subject to federal jurisdiction are those with a continuous surface connection to actual waterways, so that there is no clear demarcation between 'waters' and wetlands...those that are relatively permanent, standing or flowing." The decision also sends the cases back to an appeals court.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
AAEA President Norris McDonald at Indian Point Unit 2.
Mr. Smith provided us with a complimentary copy of the book and we will review it soon. Their reliance on wind energy as a replacement for nuclear power is the weakest of their arguments. One reporter questioned how many windmills it would take to back out their estimate of 2,500 nuclear plants needed by 2050 and the number was astronomical. It is also unacceptable to single out nuclear power for opposition while accepting all other forms of electricty generation. The world needs a mix of energy sources, particularly nuclear power, to meet current and future electricity needs.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Yeah? Well what about restitution for hundreds of years of free labor? The African American community is now as American as apple pie, but we are centuries behind in terms of wealth and land distribution. The federal government gave away millions of acres of land to individuals and companies and money for the development of this nation. Blacks were excluded from this largesse. And now we are expected to compete on an equal basis? WHAT? Forty acres and a mule (preferably on oil, gas, coal or uranium lands) will do just fine. We just want what was freely given to others.
Friday, June 16, 2006
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are 10 beautiful islands and atolls that stretch over 1,400 miles - - the distance from Chicago to Miami. In the tropical waters surrounding the archipelago, there are more than 4,500 square miles of coral reef habitat thriving under the surface. These undersea forests and mountain ranges comprise the largest remote reef system in the world. And this region holds the largest and healthiest untouched coral reef system in the United States. The total national monument covers nearly 140,000 square miles. This national monument is more than 100 times larger than Yosemite National Park, larger than 46 of our 50 states, and more than seven times larger than all our national marine sanctuaries combined
These reefs burst with life: Great predators, like the white tip reef shark and the spinner dolphins and the Trevally jacks. The archipelago is home to more than 7,000 marine species. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are also the primary home for nearly 1,400 surviving Hawaiian Monk Seals. They are the breeding grounds for approximately 90 percent of the threatened Hawaiian Island Green Sea Turtle population.
The action preserves access for native Hawaiian cultural activities, prohibits unauthorized passage of ships; prohibits unauthorized recreational or commercial activity; prohibits any resource extraction or dumping of waste, and over a five-year period, phases out commercial fishing. (Source: President Bush speech)
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Even if the court takes the case and rules that EPA will have to regulate greenhouse gases, it would not include power plants, homes and factories. Of course, mainstream environmental groups will take an ineffective backdoor partial vehicle standard over nothing at all. However, a real solution will come from legislation such as McCain/Lieberman, aggressive support for new nuclear power plants and plug-in fuel cell-pwered hybrid electric vehicles. President Bush has taken care of the nuclear side of that equation. We will have to wait and see if Wall Street will support his program. We will probably need a Rupert Murdoch or a Bill Gates type to revolutionize our vehicle products. Regardless, if China and India do not play ball, there will not be a ball game. (Wash Post Editorial)
The utility case involves a lawsuit by Environmental Defense, DC, Maryland and 13 states against Duke Energy on the antiquated and ineffective New Source Review (NSR) program. NSR will not reduce air pollution because utilties will not conform to this 'command & control' burden. It is an excellent vehicle for endless litigation though. (Wash Post article)
He is also big on hybrid cars. Of course some New York press reporters tried to ridicule Mr. Giuliani for having an SUV waiting for him outside after the speech. What they did not report is that he walked to his next destination instead of taking the SUV. Regardless, he has an entourage with gear and ridesharing with staff in a larger vehicle is more practical in such situations. And we didn't notice whether it was a hybrid SUV. (NY Times article)
The New York trains probably use significantly more electricity per car than the DC trains. Although both cities are in precarious electricity generation situations, New York's is a bit more problematic - - NY does not have a powerplant licensing law because it expired and the state legislature has been unable to draft and approve a new law. DC subway cars actually have carpet. Of course, DC also shuts down at midnight and people are kicked out of the subway at that early hour. New York never sleeps and the subway is almost always available.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
Energy price increases are like kryptonite to policians and renders them vulnerable to being blamed by the voters for the hikes. Of course, ratepayers have to pay their electricity bills so why not blame some politicians. Politicians put BG&E in this predicament a decade ago by designing a flawed deregulation plan that included a provision to freeze the rates for about a decade. THAT ISN'T DEREGULATION. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. And BG&E's parent, Constellation, is having trouble with its proposed merger with Florida Power and Light because of the confusion over the rate increase. Some legislators even wanted to hold the merger hostage to the rate increase issue. Maryland ratepayers are left to pay a 72% increase now or agree to three smaller payment increases over about two years. This was Governor Ehrlich's plan and he got it right. But his success could not be allowed to stand during an election year.
Clearly they eliminate the food thrown away by daily riders. This probably keeps the airborne bacteria levels in check. Humans are not in direct contact with the rodents in the well, except for maintenance workers, but unlike DC's subway, the Big Apple operates around the clock. So are rats a nuisance and a threat or a backup clean up crew assisting with daily disposal? You decide. Regardless, there was something mystical about the rat and the erhu at this moment in time on this particular evening.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
I guarantee everyone of you that if installed it will control the slaves for at least three hundred years. I use FEAR, DISTRUST, and ENVY for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation and it will work throughout the SOUTH. I shall assure you that DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST, AND ENVY IS STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION. The black slave, after receiving this indoctrination, shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.
Don't forget you must pitch the old black VS. the young black males, and the young black male against the old black male. You must use the dark skinned slaves VS. the light skin slaves. You must use the female VS the male, and the male VS, the female. You must always have your black servants and OVERSEERS distrust all blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control, use them. Never miss an opportunity. My plan is guaranteed, and the good thing about this plan is that if used intensely for one year the slave will remain perpetually distrustful.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Today it was reported that Mirant has agreed to pay PEPCO $520 million in cash and stock to settle litigation over their power selling contract. During deregulation PEPCO sold Mirant four of its six power plants for $2.75 billion. Because rates were frozen for years under a flawed deregulation program, Mirant evidently could not make enough money to remain solvent and PEPCO refused to pay more for power. Mirant also tried to get an adjustment as part of the bankruptcy proceedings. Evidently this payment somehow rectifies the complex situation. The $520 million will go into a fund for PEPCO to buy power from another generator. It appears that maybe this agreement frees Mirant to cost-effectively sell its power to another purchaser at a higher price.
Update: Mirant has sued NRG Energy claiming they unfairly rejected the takeover bid. Mirant wants a Delaware court to order NRG to not obstruct the acquisition. NRG is claiming that Mriant's proposal undervalues NRG. Ah the joys of corporate courtships and mergers.
Update: Mirant has withdrawn its offer to buy NRG and has dropped the lawsuit.
Governor Dirk Kempthorne, 54, was first elected as Idaho's 30th governor in 1998 following a successful six-year term in the U.S. Senate. He was reelected as Idaho's Governor in 2002. Governor Kempthorne and his wife Patricia are both University of Idaho graduates and have two grown children, Heather and Jeff.