Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
This forum examined how companies can benefit by serving as mentors to minority entrepreneurs and investors. It also showed how minority entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders can be helpful in assuring the success of these huge investments. Such partnerships could bring fresh perspectives and unique opportunities to both partners. America is poised to launch a renewal of nuclear power plant construction, which will involve billions of dollars for each plant. There are huge opportunities to participate in this renaissance if minority entrepreneurs and investors are aware of the products and services needed.
Of course, it would also help to have contacts in companies that will be building new plants. There are also many ancillary opportunities because of the nature of the business. These include transportation of nuclear waste by truck, rail and barge, security, construction of casks for transport of spent fuel to Yucca Mountain, electricians, physicists, metal and concrete workers, plumbers, computers, electronics, and more.The forum examined potential constraints to participation and how these problems can be overcome. Although nuclear power is not normally included as providing green jobs, the workshop clearly described how this industry will be creating such employment and how it can be leveraged to create opportunities in other areas, such as emissions trading. Finally, the forum described how these opportunities in the nuclear area can also complement new developments in conservation, efficiency, coal, carbon dioxide and transportation fuels.
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission should install a new waste water pumping station at the Broad Creek Waste Water Pumping Station in Fort Washington. The station is almost 40 years old and it cannot handle the additional capacity generated by National Harbor during rain storms. Richard Krueger, chairman of the Broad Creek Historic District Local Advisory Committee has the right recommendations:
"Although WSSC has proposed to upgrade the station’s generators to address power outages, a second pumping station should be constructed to handle sewage generated in the Henson Creek basin east of Route 210 that will feed into the main Piscataway treatment plant. This would allow the Broad Creek Pumping Station to efficiently pump the anticipated increases in volume from National Harbor and new development west of 210." Gazette.NetUsually sewer overflows are directed to outfalls at rivers instead of creeks. For instance, the Potomac River was partially 'cleaned' by directing the sewer overflows to outfalls along the Anacostia River. Thus, the overflows at WSSC’s Broad Creek Pumping Station in Fort Washington, MD are unacceptable. WSSC flows are directed to the Anacostia and Patuxent Rivers.
Sanitary sewer overflows occur in all older Eastern cities every times it rains. Every time it rains the excrement from toilets in the Washington Metropolitan Area ends up going directly into the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. It is the designed Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system. The same occurs in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and elsewhere. Sanitary pipes also run parallel to creeks and rivers in many areas to serve as backup systems when the pipes leak.
WSSC already has a consent decree generated multi-year action plan to dramatically minimize, and eliminate where possible, sewage overflows. The comprehensive 12-year plan settles a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in November 2004 on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding overflows in WSSC’s wastewater collection system. [CONSENT DECREE]
WSSC is the 8th largest water and wastewater utility in the nation, serving more than 1.8 million residents in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. They operate and maintain seven water and wastewater plants, nearly 5,500 miles of fresh water pipeline and more than 5,300 miles of sewer pipeline. In their 89-year history, WSSC has never had a drinking water quality violation.
1) Separate the Chairman and Chief Executive positions (39.5)
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Of course, as we have become accustomed to with other such successes, AAEA is getting no public recognition for this great success. This stealth quality seems to apply to much of our good work. Fortunately we live in the age of the Blog. But it appears that we are not alone this time. According to The Washington Post:
"Event organizers said the region's U.S. House delegation could not make the ceremony because of a scheduled vote, an explanation seconded by the office of Rep Frank R. Wolf (R-Va). But U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va) said he, Wolf and Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) boycotted the event because they felt snubbed. "Frank and Tom and I were a little bit peeved that we worked as hard as we did to get all that money and were put up in the peanut gallery, and the three people who had nothing to do with it tooted across the bridge," Moran said. He was referring to the two governors and to D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), who was not at the event."The event organizers are the same people who were constantly in contact with us and encouraged our support when all other environmental groups opposed the project. Yet AAEA did not receive an invitation to participate in the dedication ceremony that caused massive complaints from commuters yesterday because of rubbernecking delays. We are finding that our support is appreciated at the proposal stage of project development, but we are not included in the celebrations, recognition and other benefits after the projects are approved and built. Every time we see or cross the new bridge, we will smile at the knowledge that we played a small but significant role in its construction. AAEA will continue to do good work and support projects that we think benefit society and are environmentally friendly.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Update: Reported after the enviro groups sued, now the state of Alaska will sue to challenge listing because they fear it will stop oil and gas development in polar bear habitat off the state's northern and northwestern coasts.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
1) assesses the commercial viability of advanced nuclear technology as a means of meeting future demand for electricity by comparing the costs of producing electricity from different sources under varying circumstances.
2) estimates the cost of producing electricity using a new generation of nuclear reactors and other base-load technologies under a variety of assumptions about prospective carbon dioxide charges, Energy Policy Act (EPAct) incentives, and future market conditions.
3) compares the cost of advanced nuclear technology with that of other major sources of base-load capacity that are available throughout the country—including both conventional and innovative fossil-fuel technologies.
4) focuses only on technologies that can be used as base-load capacity in most parts of the country, it does not address renewable energy technologies that are intermittent (such as wind and solar power) or technologies that use resources readily available only in certain areas (such as geothermal or hydroelectric power).
■ In the absence of both carbon dioxide charges and EPAct incentives, conventional fossil-fuel technologies would most likely be the least expensive source of new electricity-generating capacity.
■ Carbon dioxide charges of about $45 per metric ton would probably make nuclear generation competitive with conventional fossil-fuel technologies as a source of new capacity, even without EPAct incentives.
■ Also at roughly $45 per metric ton, carbon dioxide charges would probably make nuclear generation competitive with existing coal power plants and could lead utilities in a position to do so to build new nuclear plants that would eventually replace existing coal power plants.
■ EPAct incentives would probably make nuclear generation a competitive technology for limited additions to base-load capacity, even in the absence of carbon dioxide charges. CBO anticipates that only a few of the 30 plants currently being proposed would be built if utilities did not expect carbon dioxide charges to be imposed.
■ Uncertainties about future construction costs or natural gas prices could deter investment in nuclear power.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
One factor in the loss is that home prices fell an average of 3 percent in the quarter and are expected to fall 7 to 9 percent nationally this year. (The Washington Post)
Russia is planning to build a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in eastern Siberia. An agreement with Washington is key to the plant's viability, as the U.S. controls the vast majority of the world's spent fuel through agreements with third countries that it supplies with nuclear material. The agreement does not require congressional approval but could be blocked by majority votes in the House and Senate. The deal must be ratified by Russia's lower house of parliament but there should not be any opposition to the agreement. (The Washington Post)
Born in Guyana in 1963, Mr. Lewis grew up in suburban Walthamstow. He began his career working as an administrative officer for the Civil Service, before becoming a Clerk in Holy Orders for the Church Commissioners in 1990. After working at HM Prison Woodhill, Mr. Lewis became Executive Director of Eastside Young Leaders' Academy in 2001. Source: Booker Rising
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Fuel Oil..........................................$ 3.34/gallon
Natural Gas...................................$ 11.065/MMBtu (thousand cubic feet)
Source: The Wall Street Journal (Reuters)
Cites conditions under which the Administrator may waive requirements for the renewable fuel program, based in part upon an assessment by the Secretary of Energy whether the renewable fuel requirement will likely result in significant adverse impacts on consumers on a national, regional, or state basis in 2006.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (H.R. 6) mandated 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (H.R. 6) increased the mandate to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Although we support a mix of energy sources, we always expressed reservations about ethanol based on two primary concerns: 1) food prices and 2) increased smog (ethanol use will increase nitrogen emissions--a component of smog). There is also the water conundrum: it takes 1,700 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol.
At signing of the 2005 law
Monday, May 05, 2008
Blacks do not own any of the energy infrastructure in the U.S. This forum will examine how companies could benefit by serving as mentors to minority entrepreneurs and investors. America is poised to launch a renewal of nuclear power plant construction, which will involve billions of dollars for each plant. There are huge opportunities to participate in this renaissance if minority entrepreneurs and investors are aware of the products and services needed. These opportunities include steel and concrete delivery, transportation of nuclear waste by truck, rail and barge, security, construction of casks for transport of spent fuel to Yucca Mountain, electricians, physicists, metal and concrete workers, plumbers, computers, electronics, and more.
The forum will also examine potential constraints to participation and how these problems can be overcome. Although nuclear power is not normally included as providing green jobs, this workshop will clearly describe how this industry will be creating such employment and how it can be leveraged to create opportunities in other areas, such as emissions trading.
Moderator: Ken Theobalds, Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Entergy Nuclear Northeast. Panelists: Daniel Mussatti, Senior Environmental Economist, Office of New Reactors, Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Brian Reilly, Principal Vice President and Manager, Nuclear Operations of Bechtel Power Corporation. Derrick Freeman, Senior Director of Legislative Programs, Nuclear Energy Institute. Norris McDonald, President, African American Environmentalist Association.
Environmental Justice & Nuclear Power: "Business Opportunities in the Nuclear Energy Industry," The State of Environmental Justice in America 2008 Conference, Howard University School of Law, Houston Hall B, Classroom #4, Friday, May 23, 2008, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Videos From 2007 Nuclear Forum
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Blackwelder cited Obama’s strong pro-environment record, his policy proposals, the profile he has given global warming in his campaign, and the broad mandate he is building for change as other reasons for the endorsement. Obama earned a 96 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters during his first two years in the Senate. Blackwelder said Friends of the Earth Action plans to inform its more than 100,000 activists in the U.S. about its support for Obama and to campaign for him in remaining primaries. (Press Release)
Friends of the Earth Action serves as Friends of the Earth's political arm, making thoughtful political endorsements, providing direct support to candidates to ensure that we have lawmakers who will work to protect the environment. Friends of the Earth Action previously endorsed John Edwards in the Democratic primary process and engaged in early state independent expenditures on his behalf.
Friday, May 02, 2008
AAEA and activists from Turner's Station, a black community just outside of Baltimore City, have agreed to work together to protect residents from pollution. The community exists in the middle of a perfect storm of pollution sources. The Maryland Department of the Environment, which was located less than a mile away from this community, even moved out of the area several years ago. Turner's Station is surrounded by a steel production plant, landfill, electric utility plant and the high power lines run through the community, soil and groundwater chromium contamination, Interstate Highway 695 yards away and nearby Patapsco River dredge spoil. Turner's Station has to be the most polluted neighborhood in the United States.
Maxine Thompson and Phyllis Seward, pictured above, are two of the principal local activists working to protect Turner's Station. As long time residents of the community, they are knowledgeable about all of the pollution sources threatening their community. With little to no resources, they plead their case to whomever will listen. To date, there has been little to no protection offered or solutions applied. AAEA has agreed to work with Mrs. Thompson and Ms. Seward to protect this community, particularly the most vulnerable: asthmatic children and elderly residents.
AAEA believes that Turner's Station is in an industrial zone and humans should not live there. Our hope is that the multibillion dollar international companies will step up to assist with mitigating the environmental conditions faced by residents of Turner's Station. We know that such generosity would create goodwill among federal agencies considering environmental injustice issues and state agencies charged with approving air and water permits. Turner's Station is in serious need of help. AAEA is promoting two principle solutions to the problems at Turner's Station:
1) Buyout for every resident household
2) Minority partnership and equity in any proposed facilities.
Severstal, Russia's largest steelmaker, run by billionaire Alexei Mordashov, purchased and is currently operating the Sparrows Point steel mill southeast of Baltimore for $810 million, fulfilling an antitrust mandate that Arcelor Mittal divest itself of the Mittal Steel plant. The purchase places Severstal among the five largest U.S. steel producers. Mittal Steel, owned by Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, merged with Luxembourg-based Arcelor in 2006 to form Arcelor Mittal, the world's biggest steel company. It agreed to relinquish the Baltimore plant to resolve Justice Department antitrust concerns.
Bethlehem Steel owned Sparrows Point from the early 1900s until the company declared bankruptcy in 2000. In 2003 the plant was purchased by International Steel Group (ISG), which merged with LTV Steel to create the largest U.S. steel producer. Mittal bought ISG for about $4.5 billion in 2004, merging it with his Ispat International and LNM Holdings. Then in 2006, Mittal merged with Arcelor, prompting the divestment.
AES has a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the front end of the Severstal site at Sparrows Point. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will be holding a hearing on the LNG project on June 9, 2008 at Patapsco High School Auditorium, 8100 Wise Avenue, Baltimore, MD 410-887-7060 at 7 p.m. The FERC has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and a hard copy is available for review at the North Point Library, 1716 Merritt Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21222. The DEIS is woefully inadequate in addressing the environmental justice issue facing Turner's Station. There are also many questions about the way AES has dealt with the Turner's Station community.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
William Doyle Ruckelshaus served as the EPA Administrator from December 1970 to April 1973. He left EPA in 1973 to serve as Acting FBI Director, during the Nixon Administration's cabinet openings during the Watergate scandal, then served briefly as Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department. The official birthday of EPA is December 2, 1970.
Mario Armstrong's Digital Spin every Wednesday 7p-8p EST on NPR affiliate WEAA - 88.9 fm - Listen online 7pm est