How many nuclear plants near today’s earthquakes in the US?  Dominion’s North Anna nuclear plant is right there, and was shut down:

Dominion’s North Anna Nuclear Plant Loses Power After Quake

Quake raises safety concerns as US nuclear plant shut


Check the USGS site and you’ll be amazed how many earthquakes there are each day, but look at the U.S. for today, OH MY!



Earthquake, a biggie, 5.9, today in Virginia, reported on the USGS site:


the epicenter is near Domion’s North Anna nuclear plant, Washington Post says they’re waiting to hear from Dominion about the status …and google for more info…

Also today, looking westward, a 5.3 in Colorado:

earthquakecoaug-23And the USGS details on that:



Gil Scott Heron died at 62, the end of a tortured and torturous life, he was one of the few speaking out, standing up…

On Gil Scott-Heron, prelude to a performance at the Dakota last year, and Gil,” warns his road manager, Danielle Beckom, “is not good with schedules.”

From City Pages:

By Rick Mason Wednesday, Mar 24 2010

Often called the Godfather of Rap these days, Gil Scott-Heron in fact emerged as a fiercely eloquent voice from the urban wilderness in the early 1970s, mercilessly skewering political and social forces that had disenfranchised huge swaths of the population and were leading the world down a treacherous path. A writer first and an admirer of Langston Hughes, Scott-Heron eventually fused his own poetry with a potent dose of jazz laced with blues and R&B, railing against complacent media, an oblivious mainstream America, runaway consumerism, racism, venal politicians, and drug abuse. Pieces like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” “Winter in America,” “Johannesburg,” and “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” hit like lightning bolts, both electrifying and enlightening. The rise of hip hop was clearly indebted to Scott-Heron, who has been sampled and referenced by the likes of Kanye West and Common. Silent for a decade and a half—during which he reportedly battled health, addiction, financial, and legal problems—Scott-Heron, 60, recently re-emerged with I’m New Here, a stark, riveting portrait of the artist as weathered scribe, more personally analytical than of the wayward world that once drew his searing scrutiny. In place of jazz is hard-edged post-industrial blues laced with ragged beats as he covers Robert Johnson’s “Me and the Devil,” Bobby Blue Bland’s “I’ll Take Care of You,” and Smog, in the title track’s tale of arid alienation. It’s like hearing a voice from the other side of the apocalypse, but unmistakably that of a survivor.

South Africa, U.S. tunes from way back, became the theme today for me as I listened to Gil Scott-Heron, I’d seen him decades ago… a riveting show… the Guthrie, early 80s??? He was a staple in our album collection at KFAI. In Paul Hipp’s Bachmann McCarthy Overdrive “What’s the word? TINKLENBERG!” seemed like a good riff off of Scott-Heron’s Jo’burg. In the CapX 2020 Hampton-LaCrosse docket there’s a conslutant from Biko Associates, which reminds me of that era, everytime I look at his testimony, my tape loop starts.

Here’s Gil doing Johannesburg:

And another earlier version, 1976:

… and speaking of Jo’burg, then there’s the Biko song that keeps going through my brain whenever I read William P. Smith’s testimony in the Hampton-LaCrosse case — what’s his tie?

“People must not just give in to the hardship of life. People must develop a hope. People must develop some form of security to be together to look at their problems, and people must, in this way, build up their community.”
-Stephen Bantu Biko

So on that theme, Peter Gabriel on one of the Amnesty International tours, best version I could find:

Xcel’s 10-K and a die-in!

February 26th, 2010


More photos HERE!


I just got a tip on what looks like a great book:

The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World


XCEL’s 2009 10-K just came out, and demand is down, down from 2008, but unfortunately not all that much… maybe next year!



And that, folks, is Xcel’s peak demand, from 2000 through 2009.

Now, if someone will only tell me how to label the X axis… I cannot figure it out. “1” is 2000, “2” is 2001, etc…

And about that die-in, hot off the “press” from Ted Nace:

Local Citizens ‘Die-in’ at Xcel HQ in Coal Protest

Group calls on Xcel to Keep Comanche 3 Closed and Produce 100% Renewable Electricity by 2020

February 26, 2010

Denver, CO – At 11:45am on Friday, February 26th, local citizens demonstrated at the Denver headquarters of Xcel Energy – located at the corner of 17th St. and Lawrence St. – in protest of the utility’s impending plan to bring a new coal-fired power plant online in Pueblo, CO. The lunch hour protest called on Xcel executives to move Colorado in the right direction by keeping the Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant closed. Protestors demonstrated in a ‘die-in’ in front of the building’s main entrance to highlight the grim consequences that coal has on our lives and those of future generations. Simultaneously, two activists clad in hazmat suits dropped a banner off an adjoining bridge on Lawrence St. Police arrived on scene but no arrests were made.

The 750-megawatt Comanche Unit 3 would be the largest coal-fired power plant in the state, surpassing even the mammoth Cherokee coal plant in North Denver. “At a time when the costs of coal are becoming increasingly clear and the benefits of clean energy are ever more apparent, building the largest coal-fired power plant in the state is taking us 180 degrees in the wrong direction,” said Amy Guinan, an activist with Power Past Coal.

According to Xcel’s own data, the Comanche 3 plant would emit over 20 million pounds of CO2 a day, 2 pounds of mercury a week and thousands of tons of particulates and haze forming pollutants every year. The plant would also consume over 4 million gallons of water a day.

“Xcel has already wasted nearly $1 billion on this planet-destroying boondoggle. Operating it could cost ratepayers billions more. For the sake of Colorado’s children, and future generations, it is time for Xcel to pull the plug on this ill-conceived coal plant and redirect their investments towards making Colorado 100% renewable,” said Tom Weis, President of Wind Power Solutions.

Xcel has had ongoing problems bringing the plant online. While Xcel originally hoped to bring the plant into operation last fall, a variety of technical problems – currently involving a boiler pump – continue to push back its scheduled opening.

“There are a lot more than just technical problems with this new coal-fired power plant. There are serious social, economic and environmental problems. Rather than talking about a delayed opening, we should be talking about a permanent closure. Instead of building a new coal-fired plant, Xcel should be investing heavily in Colorado’s abundant solar and wind resources,” said Brian Bernhardt, an activist with Power Past Coal.

Today’s protest is part of an ongoing series of actions to move Colorado beyond coal. Sparked by the failure of elected and appointed officials to take meaningful action to move rapidly to renewable energy, the Power Past Coal campaign is building a grassroots protest effort. With the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment approving the permit-to-pollute for both the Valmont and Cherokee stations despite overwhelming public opposition, citizens are prepared to ramp up the pressure on Xcel executives, as well as Colorado politicians and regulatory agencies.

“Our leaders are failing to lead and Xcel is failing to take their responsibility seriously. Xcel should expect more protests and actions unless they start closing down coal plants and moving Colorado to 100% renewable electricity,” Kate Clark, a Power Past Coal activist.

Xcel has been challenged on multiple fronts this week. On Tuesday evening, Pueblo residents – where the new coal-fired power plant is built – raised serious concerns about high-pitched noises from the plant which are affecting people as far as nine miles away. Meanwhile, WildEarth Guardians petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect clean air and the climate and overturn an air pollution permit allowing Xcel Energy to illegally pollute while operating the Pawnee coal-fired power plant.


The Tax Omnibus Conference Committee meets later today.

SEND AN EMAIL NOW!  Send to Conference Committee members (below) and also rep.jeremy.kalin [at] and sen.rick.olsen [at]

Message: The Omnibus Tax Bill’s 272.0275 is not specific enough to protect local governments.  Your constituents’ local governments deserve assured compensation for hosting electric generation plants.  Two simple changes:

  1. siting” must be “host fee” — use of “siting” changes the intent of the original idea, which is to assure that there is a HOST FEE agreement in place compensating local governments.  “Siting” could mean anything or nothing, and is not sufficient.
  2. school district(s)” must be added.

Here’s the language to change: Add “school district(s) and siting” must be “host fee” — use of “siting” changes the intent of the original idea, which is to assure that there is a HOST FEE agreement in place compensating local governments.  “Siting” could mean anything or nothing, and is not sufficient.

103.8 Subdivision 1. New plant construction after January 1, 2010. For a new
103.9 generating plant built and placed in service after January 1, 2010, its personal property
103.10 used to generate electric power is exempt if an exemption of generation personal property
103.11 form, with an attached siting host fee agreement, is filed with the Department of Revenue. The
103.12 form must be signed by the utility, and the county and the city or town and school district where the facility is
103.13 proposed to be located.
103.14 Subd. 2. Definition; applicability. For purposes of this section, “personal property”
103.15 means tools, implements, and machinery of the generating plant. The exemption under this
103.16 section does not apply to transformers, transmission lines, distribution lines, or any other
103.17 tools, implements, and machinery that are part of an electric substation, wherever located.
103.18 EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Here are the members:

Bill(s): HF2323/SF2074

Description: Omnibus tax bill.

Conferees and Date of Appointment
House: 4/29/2009
Lenczewski; Marquart; Koenen; Loeffler; Seifert;

Senate: 4/29/2009
Bakk; Skoe; Dibble; Moua; Johnson;




Delmarva Power will be hosting three meetings in Sussex County on the MAPP transmission line, no not MAPP of “MAPP map” fame, but Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway, a big line designed to bring coal generated electricity through Delaware, and take Delaware’s Indian River coal generation north east into New Jersey.

Times, dates and locations for community meetings:

Tuesday, January 27
Delmar Fire Hall
Bi-State Blvd. & Grove St.
Delmar, Del.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday, January 29
Gumboro Fire Hall
37030 Millsboro Highway
Gumboro, Del.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, February 4
Millsboro Civic Center
322 Wilson Highway
Millsboro, Del.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Delaware is way behind in transmission regulation.  Unlike most states, Delaware does NOTHING at all to regulate transmission — there’s no Certificate of Need or Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity required, they do NOT have to demonstrate that the line is needed.  And there’s no PSC routing proceeding either.  In most states, they DO have to demonstrate need or the line cannot be built, and the line must be for a public purpose.  For the MAPP line, which is bulk power transfer, MARKET TRANSACTIONS, there’s no public purpose here, just private purpose, corporate profit.  There’s nothing in it for Delaware.   Well, it does enable NRG to move its coal generation around more easily.

You may hear claims “it’s for wind” and that is a crock.  You may have heard Jeremy Firestone say that this line is designed for coal and nuclear, but could be designed to help wind development in Delaware — Jeremy Firestone may be the wind guru, but Firestone’s outside his area of expertise and his failure to say “SHUT DOWN INDIAN RIVER” comes through loud and clear.   Here’s Firestone and Kempton’s comments about MAPP from  Bluewater Term Sheet comments:

Moreover, building transmission seems to make more sense for Delaware than building additional natural gas capacity. After the state agencies acted in May, the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway received interim approvals from the federal government, the regional transmission operator and Gov. Minner. If and when it is finally approved, MAPP would run a high-voltage line connecting from multiple power plants and power users in Virginia, into Delaware all the way to Indian River. This would provide any backup power needed. And if Delaware builds more offshore wind farms, that also would make it easier for us to sell excess wind power to other states.

NO NO NO, that only enables coal and nuclear. Whatever are you thinking?

Delaware Electric Cooperative has said that it wants to build a NEW North Anna nuclear plant — is that still DEC’s plan?  If so, the MAPP line would get that nuclear power there, and all DEC customers would be participating in nuclear expansion. Is that what you want?  This is an issue for Sussex county to weigh in on now!

Shutting down NRG’s Indian River Generating Plant is the logical step to help wind development in Delaware, both in market development and transmission access.   And of course it’s the logical step to reduce toxic emissions in Delaware — the Indian River Generating Plant is the largest point-source polluter in Delaware.  To quote Muller:  DELAWARE NEEDS TO STOP BURNING COAL.


How would shutting down the Indian River plant enable wind?   Indian River’s two smallest plants will be shut down in 2009, and removal of that generation leaves enough transmission infrastructure generation and reservations for the Bluewater Wind project.  If Indian River was completely shut down, there’s room for a lot more off-shore-wind generated electricity than Bluewater plans — several times the MW of the Bluewater Project.   Let’s get to it — shut down Indian River now — and if NRG’s bid for gas generation to back up wind is approved, that would be sited there — just the right place back up wind and provide reactive power for the system.

And a little sidebar — though many Renewable Energy Standards passed, ALL have a fatal flaw — not a single one is linked to any shut down of fossil fuel generation.  So for a 25% RES, we’re looking at adding that above current generation, not cutting generation, so the numbers look like this: 100% demand + 25% RES = 125% rather than 100% demand -25% fossil fuel + 25% RES = 100%.  That may seem simple… so why are all RES’s missing this important connection?

What this MAPP line does is enable coal generation from the other end of the line and coal generation at Indian River to continue, and to be sold on the market, so that even if Delaware does not use the generation, they can sell it elsewhere.  Even if CO2 externalities add to the cost, on the spot market they can sell it anywhere and still make a lot of money.  Yeah, good idea.

Once more with feeling — Two points here:



Here’s Delmarva’s blurb published nearly verbatim in the Sussex Countian:

DP&L will update community on proposed power pathway

Here’s the Delmarva from a PR service:

Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway Meetings Scheduled for Sussex County, Del.

2009-01-21 20:01:02 –

Delmarva Power, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc., will hold community informational meetings in Sussex County, Del., on Tuesday, Jan. 27; Thursday, Jan. 29; and Wednesday, Feb. 4, to provide information and respond to questions about the utility’s proposed 230-mile interstate electric transmission line.

More than 100 miles of the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) project will be built in Delaware, with much of the route constructed along existing rights-of-way. The segment from the Maryland border to Indian River is expected to be completed by June 2013. PJM Interconnection, the operator of the Mid-Atlantic power grid, is still evaluating the in-service date for the portion from Indian River to New Jersey. Each phase of the project will be placed in service as it is completed, providing immediate electricity reliability benefits to the region.

“We believe this line is vital for providing residential and business customers with access to more affordable and reliable energy as the region continues to grow,” said Vince Maione, MAPP Project Manager. “It is important that Sussex County residents understand that most of the route will be built on or adjacent to existing rights-of-way. These meetings are an opportunity for residents to learn and ask questions about the project.”

Maione will brief residents on the MAPP process and provide detailed information on how the project will benefit Sussex County. Residents will have an ample opportunity to review project maps, voice concerns and question Maione and other Delmarva Power experts.

Times, dates and locations for community meetings:

Tuesday, January 27
Delmar Fire Hall
Bi-State Blvd. & Grove St.
Delmar, Del.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday, January 29
Gumboro Fire Hall
37030 Millsboro Highway
Gumboro, Del.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, February 4
Millsboro Civic Center
322 Wilson Highway
Millsboro, Del.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:POM) is one of the largest energy delivery companies in the Mid-Atlantic region, serving about 1.9 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and New Jersey . PHI subsidiaries Pepco, Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric provide regulated electricity service; Delmarva Power also provides natural gas service. PHI provides competitive wholesale generation services through Conectiv Energy and retail energy products and services through Pepco Energy Services.

Delmarva Power
Matt Likovich
410-860-6203 (office)
866-655-2237 (pager)