Tag: wind energy

Gov. Perry: Along with Oil, Wind and Nuclear

To round out Gov. Perry’s comments Friday about oil prices and domestic energy supply, we note that in addition to oil production, he wants an “an all of the above” approach toward domestic production.

People think about Texas and they think, oh yeah, big oil and gas country. Yeah, we are, and we’re very pleased to be the home to that, but we’re also home to more wind energy produced than any other state in the nation, because we’ve focused on expanding our portfolio. I personally would be very, very positively inclined to expand our nuclear energy ability. I think we have three plants permitted now in Texas, nuclear plants, with three more in some type, some place of the permitting process.

We’re going to need it all. I’m an all of the above energy advocate – with the notable exception of corn-based ethanol, one of the great political scams and economic scams of the 20th Century.

Judging by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s coverage of his comments, the Governor has said similar things about ethanol before: “Also in the interview, Perry talked up other energy sources including wind and nuclear but repeated his disdain for corn-based ethanol.”

The sound file of his comments above is here.

UPDATE (9:30 a.m.): In “Gov. Rick Perry’s dream: Make the federal government as innocuous as possible,” Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post’s Right Turn blog wraps up the Governor’s remarks, putting his philosophical opposition to an overreaching federal government in a political and campaign context.

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Cape Wind in the Sails/Sales of Offshore Energy

Interesting that The Baltimore Sun considers the Department of Interior’s approval of the Cape Wind project page one news. From “Offshore wind farm wins OK:

The Obama administration’s approval of the nation’s first offshore wind farm near Cape Cod in Massachusetts buoys prospects for similar renewable-energy projects off Maryland’s shore and elsewhere along the Atlantic coast, proponents say.

But it may still be several years — if ever — before turbines are spinning wind into electricity off Ocean City, state officials note.

The Sun’s financial columnist, Jay Hancock, provides more context at his blog, “Wind energy still expensive, relatively rare.”

The Washington Post reports Interior’s approval as the equivalent of a done deal. From “Offshore wind farm near Cape Cod, first in U.S., gets federal approval“:

Ending a nearly decade-long political battle over installing wind turbines in the waters just off Cape Cod, the federal government approved the first offshore wind farm in the United States on Wednesday, a move that could pave the way for significant offshore wind development elsewhere in the nation.

Political battles at an end? Oh, probably not. The legal battles are certainly not. From The Boston Herald, “Angry project foes ready court fights“:

“The fight is far from over, said Audra Parker, executive director of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. “It will ultimately be decided in a court – and based on facts, not politics.”

And even more important context, or lack thereof:

Yesterday, Salazar and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick admitted that they don’t know what the project will mean for electric ratepayers. They said they don’t know how much the project will cost, even though one-third of the bill will be paid by taxpayers.

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Cape Wind Beneath the Economy’s Wings

Manufacturers are pleased that Interior Secretary Salazar has decided to move forward with development of offshore wind energy resources by giving the green light to the Cape Wind Energy Project. Development of all available resources on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) — including natural gas, oil and renewables such as wind energy — is an essential part of the comprehensive energy policy our country requires.

Manufacturers submitted comments to the Department of Interior urging federal regulators to approve the Cape Wind Energy Project, and the NAM looks forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Congress to develop more offshore energy resources, especially those in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Alaska coastline, to achieve energy security.

Domestic energy development grows domestic jobs, and today’s action represents a step in the right direction for a comprehensive energy and jobs policy.

More …

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President to Visit Siemens in Iowa

From KCRG-TV, “Obama to Visit Fort Madison, Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa, Des Moines“:

President Obama will visit a wind turbine blade manufacturer in Fort Madison Tuesday and host a roundtable discussion in Ottumwa as part of his White House Main Street tour.

Obama, who visited Iowa City March 25, will be back in Iowa to talk about the economy, according to the White House. He’ll begin the Iowa leg of the tour by visiting Siemens Energy Inc. in Fort Madison shortly after noon.

Siemens recently expanded its 600,000 square foot blade manufacturing facilities in Fort Madison, which opened in 2007.

The Fort Madison plant heard good news last week with an additional assignment, reported in the Siemens release, “Siemens to supply wind turbines for E.ON’s Papalote Creek II wind farm in Texas, USA“:

E.ON has placed an order with Siemens Energy for the supply of 87 SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines for the Papalote Creek II wind power plant in San Patricio County, Texas. With a total installed rated capacity of more than 200 megawatts (MW), the Papalote Creek II wind farm is expected to provide clean power to approximately 60,000 households.

Like so many global manufacturers, Siemens has news to report on many fronts. In March, “Siemens to push ahead with growth strategy in the U.S.“:

Siemens expands its strong presence in the United States by building a new production plant for 60-Hertz gas turbines at its existing facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company will create a new global production hub for gas and steam turbines and generators for supply to the U.S. and other 60-Hz markets. The initial investment will be approximately $135 million. Production is slated to start in the fall of 2011.

“Following construction of the two production plants for wind turbines in Fort Madison and Hutchinson, the decision to expand the Charlotte production hub is further proof of our commitment to the important U.S. market,” said Peter Löscher, President and CEO of Siemens AG.

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State of the State: Kansas

Kansas Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, mentioned a manufacturing company during his State of the State address on Jan. 14, part of his brief overview of the state’s economic successes in the past year.

In September, a successful and nationally-known retailer, headquartered in Kearney, announced
an expansion of its distribution center using funding from Nebraska’s Community Development
Block Grant program. That same program is helping the communities of Aurora, Kearney, and
South Sioux City develop new industrial power park sites for future economic growth. Last
April, two central Nebraska companies announced a partnership that created 25 new jobs in
Central City producing custom made cabinets that had previously been manufactured in China.

Working with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, we used funding from Nebraska’s Worker Training program to build a wind tower training facility that will help prepare our workers for the future growth of Nebraska’s wind energy sector.

And that was pretty much it, manufacturing wise.

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Sure, It’s Just Like Sophie’s Choice

Fancy-striking items from this morning’s news:

From Power Breakfast, a daily political report on the local NPR station, WAMU.

Elizabeth Wynne Johnson: Health care in Washington. Climate change in Copenhagen. For some lawmakers, it’s kind of a legislative Sophie’s choice.

Barbara Boxer: “It’s not the be-all and the end-all for me to be there, but I have a very important message, which is, we need to get to work.”

Johnson: Senator Barbara Boxer has become synonymous with the current push for a climate change bill, and yet the California Democrat is preparing not to go to the global confab in Copenhagen.

Boxer: “If I can go, I will go, but the most important thing is that the President is going, that is really good news!”

Johnson: That said, a little last-minute travel planning is hardly unheard of.

Washington Post, “Court constricts W.Va. wind farm to protect bats“:

In a rare green vs. green court case, a federal judge in Maryland has halted expansion of a West Virginia wind farm, saying its massive turbines would kill endangered Indiana bats.

U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus ruled that Chicago-based Invenergy can complete 40 windmills it has begun to install on an Appalachian ridge in Greenbrier County. But he said the company cannot move forward on the $300 million project — slated to have 122 turbines along a 23-mile stretch — without a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

NPR’s Morning Edition, China’s Wind Power Plans Turn On Coal“:

So far, wind energy makes up just 0.4 percent of China’s electricity supply. However, Beijing is building the world’s biggest wind power project, although paradoxically, adding wind power in China also means adding new polluting coal-fired power stations.

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We Support Clean Energy Projects, Except, But, Well, Not This One!

Los Angeles Times, October 18, “Environmental concerns delay solar projects in California desert“:

Reporting from El Centro, Calif. – Across the desert flatlands of southeastern California, dozens of companies have flooded federal offices with applications to place solar mirrors on more than a million acres of public land.

But just as some of those projects appear headed toward fruition, environmental hurdles threaten to jeopardize efforts to further tap the region’s renewable energy potential.

Washington Post, October 22, “Tiny bat pits green against green“:

GREENBRIER COUNTY, W.VA. — Workers atop mountain ridges are putting together 389-foot windmills with massive blades that will turn Appalachian breezes into energy. Retiree David Cowan is fighting to stop them.

Because of the bats.

Cowan, 72, a longtime caving fanatic who grew to love bats as he slithered through tunnels from Maine to Maui, is asking a federal judge in Maryland to halt construction of the Beech Ridge wind farm. The lawsuit pits Chicago-based Invenergy, a company that produces “green” energy, against environmentalists who say the cost to nature is too great.

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Around the Energy Horn Again

  • New York Times,Drilling Boom Revives Hopes for Natural Gas “: “HOUSTON — American natural gas production is rising at a clip not seen in half a century, pushing down prices of the fuel and reversing conventional wisdom that domestic gas fields were in irreversible decline.”

 

  • Reuters,First mass U.S. crossing for hydrogen cars completed“: “LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Hydrogen fuel cell cars from nine automakers completed a 13-day cross-country trip this weekend, in the first such mass U.S. crossing for vehicles powered by a zero-emission technology still in its infancy.” The vehicles were trucked between Rolla, Mo., and Albuquerque because of the lack of hydrogen filling stations.

 

  • Wall Street Journal, Washington Wire Blog, “Pelosi on Natural Gas: Fossil Fuel or Not?“: “On NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, the speaker twice seemed to suggest that natural gas – an energy source she favors – is not a fossil fuel. …”I believe in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil fuels,” she said at one point. Natural gas “is cheap, abundant and clean compared to fossil fuels,” she said at another.

 

  • Wall Street Journal, Environmental Capital Blog, “Texas Breeze: Landowners Call Wind Turbines Ugly; Court Says Too Bad“: “For now, wind power’s triumphant march in the U.S. can count on another legal smackdown of “NIMBYism,” after a Texas appeals court yesterday dismissed a suit by landowners upset with a big wind farm built by FPL Energy. Landowners decried the turbines’ noise and their spoiled sunsets—which the court agreed was a pity—but the appeals court couldn’t find grounds to rule against the power company.”

 

  • Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,ANWR Option“: “Sean Parnell, lieutenant governor and a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, proposed a land swap as a way of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ‘I propose a land swap of 2,000 acres of state land to the federal government in exchange for 2,000 acres of the coastal plain in ANWR into state hands,’ Parnell said at a press conference Tuesday in Fairbanks.”
     

  • George Will, “Obama’s Economic Fairytale“: “Obama has also promised that “we will get 1 million 150-mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on our roads within six years.” What a tranquilizing verb “get” is. This senator, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, is going to get a huge, complex industry to produce, and is going to get a million consumers to buy, these cars. How? Almost certainly by federal financial incentives for both — billions of dollars of tax subsidies for automakers, and billions more to bribe customers to buy these cars they otherwise would spurn.”
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Voters: Energy? Bring It On

The Wall Street Journal releases a poll in a story it headlines, “Voters Want Everything on Energy

When asked whether expanding areas for drilling for oil off coastal states was a step in the right direction, 63% said it was, with 44% saying it would accomplish “a great deal.” Only 27% said that allowing more drilling off coastal states was a step in “the wrong direction.”

Asked about building more nuclear plants, 53% said it was a step in the right direction. Thirty-one percent said it was a step “in the wrong direction.”

“Voters are telling us they want everything,” said Neil Newhouse, a Republican who conducts the poll with Democrat Peter D. Hart.

Everything except maybe this…The Empire State Building could host a wind turbine under Bloomberg's plan.

That’s the photo illustration the New York Post used with its story on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest musings on NYC’s energy future, “BREEZY DOES IT: BLOOMBERG

“I think it would be a thing of beauty if, when Lady Liberty looks out on the horizon, she not only welcomes new immigrants but lights their way with a torch powered by an ocean wind farm,” the mayor said in the closing speech of the National Clean Energy Summit.

Bloomberg has been warning for months that Washington has its head in the sand when it comes to energy and that the nation needs a multipronged approach – everything from nuclear to geothermal initiatives – to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

“Perhaps companies will want to put wind farms atop our bridges and skyscrapers,” he said.

 

Albeit subject to spoofing, Bloomberg’s general arguments for a wide variety of energy sources were reasonable enough. But rather than making the case for wind turbines on bridges, perhaps his political capital could be spent more productively, such as in making the case for an extension of the Indian Point nuclear-power facility’s license that other New York politicians oppose on numerous fronts. Indian Point provides power to the subway system. You don’t want that to go dark, do you?

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If Tilting Fails, Sue

On Friday, we linked to an Oregonian story about health complaints from a few resident of eastern Oregon who live near wind turbines.  Time for a class-action lawsuit, eh, Sancho?

Now on Sunday, the New York Times puffed up the allegations from some northern New York residents about “Big Wind” throwing its money and muscle around, trying to land the windiest sites for development. Throw the inflammatory term “corruption” around — “In Rural New York, Windmills Can Bring Whiff of Corruption” — and you’ve got just a great story about the predations of a supposedly nice and clean industry.

Jeez, you just can’t win.*

The cartoon, by the way, comes courtesy The Chilling Effect, thechillingeffect.org, a blog that highlights the extremes and inanities of the global warming movement. Good news for good guys, they’ve joined forces with the Institute For Liberty, a free-market advocacy, non-profit group. Congrats!

 

* Which appears to be the point for some opponents — no new energy, anywhere.

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