Energy (page 138)

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    Are Obama’s allies ‘radioactive’?

    The question in the headline paraphrases the provocative headline of a Washington Examiner piece from Timothy Carney. It discusses the impact of Japan's recent nuclear plant problems on the president's green-energy goals. President Obama's push to expand renewable domestic energy has put him in an awkward position following the explosions at a nuclear plant in Japan and the subsequent leakage of radiation. While Obama can still talk about solar, wind and biofuels, nuclear power is practically the only way to generate reliable and affordable energy without fossil fuels. Making things more uncomfortable for Obama, three of his most intimate corporate friends -- General Electric, Duke Energy and Exelon -- are deeply involved in nuclear energy.
    Mitch Kokai, March 31, 2011
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    Repeal SB3

    Representative George Cleveland has introduced House Bill 431 “Repeal Senate Bill 3 of the 2007 Session.”  As I have  pointed out in the past, SB3 is North Carolina’s own cap and tax legislation. The bill caps the amount of electricity that can come from inexpensive energy sources like…
    Roy Cordato, March 30, 2011
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    Why I am not (and never will be) a Republican–reason #HB495

    As Daren notes in his post below 3 of the 4 sponsors of this special interest legislation–a bill that will have absolutely no environmental benefits but will impose additional costs on consumers–are Republicans. They are Ruth Samuelson, Tom Murry, and Tim Moffitt. The more things change the more…
    Roy Cordato, March 30, 2011
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    Favors for The Powerful Solar Lobby

    A new bill (HB 495) was introduced in the House that would require utilities to double the amount of solar power they have to buy in order to meet the 7.5% renewable energy mandate of SB 3. Further, the bill would allow utility companies to meet the 7.5% mandate…
    Daren Bakst, March 30, 2011
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    Repeal Senate Bill 3

    Recent newspaper articles have discussed the John Locke Foundation's  view that the state legislature should repeal the 2007 state renewable energy mandate bill (SB 3). Here's a bit more information on why SB 3 should be repealed, along with some thoughts about the views expressed in those articles. The SB 3 Mandate SB 3 mandates that utility companies generate at least 7.5% of their electricity from renewable energy sources (such as biomass, solar, and wind). If a bill mandated coal or nuclear power, this also would be a problem.  Utility companies should be generating electricity from the most reliable and inexpensive sources of electricity, whatever those sources may be.  If those sources are wind and solar, so be it. Costs: Due to this mandate, North Carolina electricity customers have to pay far more for electricity.  Utility companies don't bear the costs--they pass on the costs to customers.
    Daren Bakst, March 27, 2011
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    Wind energy takes another blow

    I wish I could claim credit for the headline, but it paraphrases the lede of a new Human Events article from Brian Sussman: Wind One is the 400-foot-tall wind turbine owned by the town of Falmouth, on the southwestern tip of Cape Cod.  The residents of Falmouth initially welcomed Wind One as a symbol of green energy and a handy way to keep local taxes down.  Electricity generated by the turbine would be used to power the municipality’s infrastructure, thus shaving about $400,000 a year off its utility costs. Installed in the spring of 2010 at a cost of $5.1 million (with some $3 million derived through grants, government kickbacks, and credits), the huge turbine cranks out 1.65 megawatts of electricity during optimum conditions. The topography of Falmouth is stunningly beautiful. Small ponds, creeks, pines, and oaks rest adjacent to the rocky beachfront. What’s totally out of place is a monstrous pillar of white steel rising from the countryside, topped with its whirling three-bladed rotor. However, proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, one local told a Public Radio reporter the turbine is “quite majestic.” But as soon as her majesty was switched on, residents began to complain—Wind One was as loud as an old Soviet helicopter. ...
    Mitch Kokai, March 24, 2011
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    Human Events documents an ‘energy choke’

    Regular readers of this forum have seen plenty of discussion of the harmful economic impacts linked to government policies proposed to promote "green jobs." Now Human Events weighs in with an editorial on the topic: Our economy is just beginning to feel the choking grasp of soaring fuel prices around its throat. Growth requires motion and motion requires energy. The cost of energy is tied into the cost of virtually everything else… and our dependence on foreign energy sources puts us at the mercy of long, oily tentacles that reach back into the most unstable parts of the world. This dependence is the predictable result of deliberate policies, from locking private industry out of Alaskan oil fields, to hounding oil rigs away from the Gulf of Mexico. Some of these policies have been pursued in defiance of court orders, so they cannot be dismissed as momentary lapses in judgment.
    Mitch Kokai, March 24, 2011
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    Government consolidation: If it’s good enough for the Tar Heel State …

    We don’t know whether the talk of consolidating North Carolina government departments played any role, but U.S. Sen. Richard Burr has announced his support for similar moves at the federal level, according to U.S. News & World Report: For years, Republicans have talked about dismantling the…
    Mitch Kokai, March 23, 2011