NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, January 9: Interior Dept. Trades Public Lands For Profits; Energy Dept Plan To Boost Coal And Nukes Bloocked; Southeast Utility Giant Misguided on New Energy

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    Tuesday, January 09, 2018

    QUICK NEWS, January 9: Interior Dept. Trades Public Lands For Profits; Energy Dept Plan To Boost Coal And Nukes Bloocked; Southeast Utility Giant Misguided on New Energy

    Interior Dept. Trades Public Lands For Profits The Interior Department Has Cleared the Way for Energy Developers to Destroy Natural Habitats; And opened the door for lots of lawsuits.

    Elizabeth Shogren, January 6, 2018 (Mother Jones)

    “…[The Interior Department has] quietly rescinded an array of policies designed to elevate climate change and conservation in decisions on managing public lands, waters and wildlife…[Order 3360] explains that the policies were rescinded because they were ‘potential burdens’ to energy development…[It prioritizes energy development and de-emphasizes] climate change and conservation…[in] a department that manages a fifth of the nation’s land, 19 percent of U.S. energy supplies and most of the water in the 12 Western states. It fulfills a high-profile executive order by Trump and a secretarial order from [Interior Secty. Ryan] Zinke…[and the Bureau of Land Management just announced] a related policy change that makes it easier for companies to develop oil and gas [on 67 million acres of prime sage grouse habitat across 10 Western states] that were protected in 2015 as part of an unprecedented conservation initiative…[and there are] dozens of policy changes in the works to remove barriers to energy development…” click here for more

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    Energy Dept Plan To Boost Coal And Nukes Bloocked Energy regulator rejects Perry's plan to boost coal

    Darius Dixon and Eric Wolff, January 8, 2018 (Politico)

    “…[The the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] rejected Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up struggling coal and nuclear power plants, a major defeat for the former Texas governor and the coal companies…[Perry wanted approval for an order] to guarantee financial payments to the plants that could be facing retirement because of the rise of natural gas and renewable energy, a strategy that many critics said would undermine the power markets the regulator has spent decades building…[But the 5-0 FERC decision] axed Perry’s proposal and instead ordered the nation’s regional grid operators to submit information about ‘naturally occurring and man-made threats’ to their systems within 60 days…Perry said he was pleased his proposal had sparked a national debate [about ‘marketplace distortions’ of the nation’s power system]…But FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur criticized Perry's effort for failing to show the grid was in danger…The effort to support coal power plants has been a central theme for Perry in his first year at DOE…” click here for more

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    Southeast Utility Giant Misguided on New Energy Clean Line: A TVA Failure of Clean Energy and Environmental Leadership

    Stephen A. Smith, Janaury 8, 2018 (CleanEnergy.Org)

    “It has become increasingly clear that the Tennessee Valley Authority is taking a hostile position towards renewable energy. TVA’s recent decision to ignore, or flat out reject, renewable energy from the Plains and Eastern Clean Line project is the latest in a string of anti-renewable energy positions…[It is woefully behind peer utilities like Duke Energy North Carolina, Georgia Power, and FPL in Florida]…The Plains and Eastern Clean Line project was the largest renewable energy project proposed for the Southeast…[and] would have delivered 3,500 megawatts of exceptionally low-cost, high capacity factor wind energy from the Oklahoma panhandle to a converter station in TVA territory…TVA could have netted carbon-free energy for about two cents per kilowatt hour…a locked-in price, lower than the fuel prices of natural gas…[But it needed] utility power purchase agreements to financially anchor it…[TVA President Bill Johnson’s] track record at Progress Energy and now at TVA is one of building large natural gas projects and supporting troubled nuclear projects; he does not understand renewable technologies, thinks they are a threat to the traditional utility business model, and brings this narrow thinking to his leadership position at TVA…” click here for more

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