NewEnergyNews: MR. SECRETARY, WE’RE WATCHING YOU

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAWAII'S UTILITIES PLAN FOR 67% RENEWABLES BY 2030
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: CAN WARREN BUFFETT'S PACIFICORP BRING THE NORTHWEST'S RENEWABLE RICHES TO MARKET?
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A UTILITY IN THE MAKING: THE MUNICIPALIZATION OF BOULDER, COLORADO
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT NATIONAL HIGH VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION SYSTEM?
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    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE STATE OF THE U.S. WIND INDUSTRY (AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR UTILITIES)
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SACRAMENTO'S PUBLIC UTILITY IS GETTING IN THE RESIDENTIAL SOLAR BUSINESS
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAS APS INVENTED A ROOFTOP SOLAR BUSINESS MODEL FOR UTILITIES?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE GRID NEEDS INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SHOULD UTILITIES VALUE SOLAR?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS PUERTO RICO THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR THE UTILITY DEATH SPIRAL?
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Reindeer Stresses
  • Weekend Video: Pink Fracking
  • Weekend Video: Fighting Duke For Solar
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Monday, December 29, 2008

    MR. SECRETARY, WE’RE WATCHING YOU

    NewEnergyNews will end 2008 with a new feature. In addition to permanently posting columnist Anne Butterfield's contributions down the left column, her fine bi-weekly think-pieces will be posted in the main column to kick them off from now on.

    Mr. Secretary, we're watching you
    By Anne Butterfield
    Sunday, December 28, 2008

    As our new Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar will take a job that will test his fiber. He loves the Rockies and has protected Colorado's Roan Plateau from drilling. As a top water law expert, he has protected our state's water rights. Many champion his ability to protect our nation's resources which have been battered and insulted by the Bush Administration's campaign on behalf of industry.

    However, Salazar does not have a spotless record. Along with voting against higher fuel efficiency for vehicles, he was also one of a handful of Democrats to vote against a bill that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider global warming when planning water projects -- two very weird votes in light of important threats.

    He also went out of his way to support the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General and Gale Norton for Interior Secretary who both later stepped down during scandals.

    The most likely explanation of these choices is that Salazar moonlights as a weather vane.

    If he becomes Secretary, Salazar will have to stiffen his resolve and face an agency scalded by scandal for having dealt in sex, drugs and back door arrangements with the industries it is created to regulate. One such arrangement was the very recent rule change favoring industry on dumping mining debris in streambeds.

    This month Robert F. Kennedy Jr. testified to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to decry the Interior Department's recent rule change to make coal mining's worst practices fully legal. He flew over Appalachia to see the big picture.

    "If people could see what I saw on that trip there would be a revolution. We are literally cutting down the Appalachian Mountains."

    From RepMarkey via YouTube.

    What Kennedy saw were the chalky-white remains of mountains blown away from their coal seams, 400,000 acres in all. To do this, the industry uses explosive power each week that equals a Hiroshima bomb, and draglines that stand 22 stories high and minimize the need for labor.

    West Virginia's coal mining used to employ 140,000 union workers; now there are 11,000 workers left, very few in unions. With so few jobs there is little revenue to build up the local economies.

    "Ninety-five percent of the coal in West Virginia is owned by out of state interests which are liquidating the state for cash, literally," according to Kennedy.

    The economic truth does not stop mining supporters from killing the pets or sabotaging the vehicles of those who protest the mining, on the ruse of protecting "jobs." This truth did not stop Interior from ignoring the vast majority of 43,000 comments opposing the rule change proposed by industry to legalize the customary dumping of mining debris into streams.

    Back in 2002, a group for Kentucky sued the coal companies before a conservative federal court judge named Charles Hayden, who asked, according to Kennedy, "You know this is illegal. It says so in the Clean Water Act. How did you write these permits to allow the companies to engage in this criminal activity?" The Colonel testifying for the Army Corps of Engineers answered, "I don't know your honor, we just kind of oozed into it."

    Judge Hayden declared it all illegal and enjoined all mountaintop mining.

    Two days later, according to Kennedy, lobbyists for Peabody coal and Massey coal met in the back door of the Interior Department with Gale Norton's first deputy chief Steven J. Griles, himself a former coal lobbyist, and they re-wrote one word of the Clean Water Act, "fill," to make it legal in every state to dump rock, debris, rubble, garbage, any solid material into any waterway without a Clean Water Act permit.

    "All you need today is a rubber stamp from the Corps of Engineers, which in some districts you can get through the mail or over the telephone," said Kennedy.

    Remember, this is the Corps of Engineers that Salazar voted to protect from having to consider climate change in their construction plans.

    The fact remains that with his say-so, Salazar as Interior Secretary will determine the well-being of mountains and their streambeds all over the nation.

    Coloradans, who clearly love mountains, should watch him like a hawk, because it is to us he will return should he wish to win an election again.

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