Day: June 6, 2007

Duke Energy wants your money to pollute you

Charlotte Observer | 06/06/2007 | Green groups lose effort to block Duke plant


How’s that for a bumper sticker?

The N.C. Utilities Commission upheld its March decision to allow Duke to build one 800-megawatt unit. The commission in March had rejected Duke’s request to build two units. Environmentalists subsequently asked the regulators to reconsider their decision allowing one unit.

The commission’s ruling shifts the battle over Duke’s proposed Cliffside project to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the agency that is considering an air quality permit for the proposed power plant. When the draft permit is issued later this year, the organizations will likely contend that the Cliffside project is not using the cleanest technology available and is falling short of federal air quality standards.

“We’re using all available legal tools to stop a dirty power plant from being built,” said Michael Shore, a senior air policy analyst at N.C. Environmental Defense. “Everything is an attempt to delay and hopefully prevent construction.”

In their appeal to the utilities commission, the environmentalists contended that the Cliffside project is not the most economical choice, but rather the “worst-cost” option. Last year, the capital cost of two Cliffside units was estimated at $2 billion, but this year Duke revised the costs, saying that building one unit would cost $1.8 billion.

The cost of building, financing, maintaining and operating power plants is paid by utility customers through electric rates.

Note that this project at the enormous cost of 2 billion dollars is funded entirely by increases in NC utility bills. So, not only are they shafting us thoroughly, they’re using our money to do it, the temerity. I am pissed off, and I have no choice to buy power from anyone other than the morons at Duke Energy where I live. it’s Duke, or candlelight for me!

The battle shifts to the NC-DENR, which will need to issue an air quality permit. It’s time for all groups involved to delay this project until NC comes up with a viable climate change mitigation policy that wil make plants like these completely unviable. It’s a good thing that this is the exact strategy they’re going for! Maybe our legislators and regulators should take the time to read their local paper.

On some days, stretches of Nags Head have no dry beach, and visitors have to sit under the front-row houses at high tide. The resort that once thrived by the sea is being swallowed by it.

“We are losing the town,” Cahoon said. “As sea level rises, our tax base goes away.”

Other, more subtle changes are under way along the coast, not just on the fragile barrier islands. As salt water pushes farther upriver, some rivers are widening into estuaries, tidal bodies of water where fresh and salt water mix. Freshwater swamps are changing to salt marsh.

U.S. adopts limits on clean water law enforcement

Where the US government pretends that water does not flow. So, if you pollute a stream, the pollution will not reach the lake the stream flows into.

U.S. adopts limits on clean water law enforcement | U.S. | Reuters

The landmark U.S. law to fight water pollution will now apply only to bodies of water large enough for boats to use, and their adjacent wetlands, and will not automatically protect streams, the U.S. government said on Tuesday.

Environmental groups said they fear the new policy will muddy the purpose of the federal Clean Water Act and put many smaller bodies of water at risk. Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation mandating protection of creeks, estuaries and other watersheds.

This is the right approach, the word “navigable” needs to struck from the legislation. Pollution control has nothing to do with navigation, it is about watershed protection.