April 21st, 2017
Tonka has arrived from GSRAW in Wisconsin, who gave us Summer”
Tonka is quickly adjusting to her home and her new roommates. She did well on the trip, and today, greeted me by running up to me smiling. Here ears are up, her chin is up, and she’s a happy grrrrrl.
She’ll do fine! She even met Nigel, nose to nose (note the powerline in the background):
… and they’re fine, although she’s a little unnerved by the chickens!
Wyoming is fossil fuel country, coal plants everywhere, here a mine mouth plant on west side of Kemmerer:
And gas… EVERYWHERE, there were wells all the way up 30 and 89 up until the mountain pass, where the rain turned to snow, UGH! This is what Wyoming looks like just north of Little America:
Remember that 2005 National Geographic article about the gas wells in Wyoming? Here’s my post with links to that article and videos — in particular, check out the “Bad Water” section, the woman holding a glass of “water” from her well reminds me of Nancy Prehn and her water when they’re pumping at the gas underground storage near Waseca:
Up here towards Jackson Hole there are no gas wells, I don’t know if that’s because there’s no gas, that it’s not BLM land up for “lease” (at way too reduced rates), or because if the impact of $$$ in this area.
Heading back soon… and yeaaaah to GSRAW for making this adoption happen!
March 30th, 2017
tRump signed a Memorandum pushing Keystone XL (and Dakota Access) pipeline inviting them to reapply, which they did two days later:
And today, a Complaint has been filed by Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club to stop KXL from going forward:
The focus is on the extensive record of the earlier proceeding, the prior rejection of the Presidential Permit, NEPA violations, and the arbitrary and capricious nature of the Memorandum and moving forward with this project. The specific claims are:
- Violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 et seq., and Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706, by Defendants State Department and Under Secretary Shannon
- Violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 et seq., and Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706, by Defendants Interior Department, Bureau of Land Management, and Secretary Zinke
- Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706, by Defendants State Department and Under Secretary Shannon
The third claim is what I’d been noting after tRump issued the Memorandum. With the lengthy and voluminous record, and the denial, to with the stroke of a pen say “go ahead,” that’s arbitrary and capricious on its face. From the Complaint:
The State Department has failed to adequately explain and justify (a) its reversal of positions on whether Keystone XL is in the national interest, and (b) its reliance on a stale and inadequate environmental review. Its approval decision is arbitrary and capricious.
… and oh, what a good example that Memorandum is, itching for challenge. Well, here it is.
March 28th, 2017
Hot off the press from the Federal Appellate Court — Missouri Western District
From the Order:
ATXI is an Illinois corporation authorized to do business in Missouri and engaged in the construction, ownership, and operation of interstate transmission lines that transmit electricity for the public use. It does not generate, distribute, or sell electricity to the general public or serve any retail service territory.
And the law is clear:
“If any of the items required under this rule are unavailable at the time the application is filed, they shall be furnished prior to the granting of the authority sought.” 4 CSR 240-3.105(2) (emphasis added).
And interpretation of the law:
The general language of section 393.170.3 authorizes the PSC to impose “reasonable and necessary” conditions on a CCN. However, the specific language of section 393.170.2 states that evidence of the county commission consents “shall” be on file before the PSC grants a CCN. “Where one provision of a statute contains general language and another provision in the same statute contains more specific language, the general language should give way to the specific.” Id.
And bottom line?
The PSC’s Report and Order is vacated as it was entered in excess of the PSC’s statutory authority.
Love it when this happens!
March 22nd, 2017
The Great Plains Institute has long been a problem, and it remains a problem, evidenced in today’s missive trying to bootstrap onto tRump’s “infrastructure” agenda, by releasing a “White Paper” “calling on President Trump and Congress to make CO2 pipelines a priority component of a broader national infrastructure agenda and recommending that the federal government support the development of CO2 pipeline networks.” Oh, great… brilliant idea, just brilliant.
Great Plains Institute a problem? Yes. They were paid handsomely to promote coal gasification, projects including but not limited to Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project, the boondoggle of boondoggles. For example:
January 18th, 2007
Carbon capture and storage/sequestration was seen by many circa 2005 as a “way forward for coal.” So the Walton’s Bill Grant said. No. It wasn’t.
It wasn’t a “way forward for coal” then, and it isn’t now.
The market has spoken on coal, and it’s clear that coal is on the way out as coal companies go bankrupt, as coal generated electricity languishes on the energy market, and as the inefficient and costly older coal plants have closed, with newer larger plants waiting in queue to be shuttered.
And CO2 capture and storage/sequestration is a farce. Why? Well, we learned a lot about CO2 capture in our fight against Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project. That’s where the Public Utilities Commission determined that it was just to expensive and risky to approve a Power Purchase Agreement — go HERE and search for PUC Docket 05-1933. Here’s a rough visual of CO2 capture and storage/use:
So what’s the problem?
- First, capture is costly and difficult, particularly capturing any significant portion of CO2 generated.
- The higher percentage captured, the higher the cost of that capture, and high percentage capture has not been achieved.
- The cost of capture is not only the cost to physically do it, the hardware, technology, and engineering, but there is a high cost in efficiency of the CO2 producer, a parasitic cost, meaning that if you’re capturing that CO2, you’re paying a high price in efficiency of an already inefficient process (burning is always inefficient).
- And another parasitic cost, these pipelines require pumping stations to pressurize andpump it into the pipeline, a pumping station every 75 miles or so to keep that pressure up, and a pumping station at the destination, and those pumping stations require 4-10 MW of power, depending.
- Environmentally, the impacts of digging up land for hundreds of miles is immense.
- These are private projects and for a private project, a private purpose, eminent domain isn’t available for the taking of people’s land.
Yet this CO2 capture and storage/sequestration farce continues, evidenced in the most recent Great Plains Institute missive I found in the inbox, here the missive’s link to CO2 capture and storage for oil extraction, “Enhanced Oil Recovery”.
Here’s their “White Paper” with what they’ll be lobbying for:
Short version: The federal government should make this CO2 pipeline and infrastructure build out happen across the country, a la the Interstate highway system.
In light of tRump’s Executive Order 13766, Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects, that’s a scary notion.
Check out this site from Global CCS Institute, and note, they talk of benefits, but look for talk of costs. Hmm…
A “way forward for coal?” CO2 capture? Over my dead polar bear.
March 10th, 2017
Here it is, TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline is baaaaaaaaaaack. From the Federal Register Notice:
On February 5, 2014, the Department invited members of the public to comment on any factor they deem relevant to the national interest determination that will be made for the Keystone XL project application (79 FR 6984) and it is not inviting further public comment at this time.
A cut and paste from the State Department site:
On January 26, 2017 TransCanada submitted a Presidential permit application to the Department of State. The application and other project documents can be found here.
Documents relating to TransCanada’s 2012 application can be found here.
Two days… they resubmitted the application two days later… and no comment period. WHAT?!?!
Here’s the Federal Register Notice for TransCanada Keystone Pipeline (it did take about two weeks for that to come out, and it’s just after the Enbridge Line 67 Expansion Federal Register Notice!).