Category Archives: Coal

No coal ash on a dozen years of DSSWA agendas (but Brooks County Landfill)

In agendas for the governmental group which supposedly has oversight of the landfill in Lowndes County, Georgia, there is no mention at all of coal or coal ash. Thanks to Julia Shewchuck of SGRC, those agendas for the Deep South Solid Waste Authority (DSSWA) are on the LAKE website.

[April 18, 2007 Agenda] Back in 2006 the proposed Brooks County Landfill is on the the proposed April 19, 2006 agenda, and the June 21, 2006 agenda said there was a public hearing June 29, 2006. An update was on the October 18, 2016 agenda.

2007 starts with one meeting with no mention of the landfill, but the April 18, 2007 meeting has “5. Discussion of Onyx/Langdale Proposed Land Swap”. I don’t see any further mention of the Brooks County landfill after that, and apparently it never happened.

Curiously, these mentions of the Brooks County Landfill on the DSSWA agenda are all months after these VDT stories: Continue reading

Big Bets keep getting worse for Southern Company

OSHA certified a “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” at Kemper “clean” Coal after an employee alerted Southern Company of alleged fraud: SO fired him, refused to hire him back and now he’s suing. Plant “new nukes” Vogtle also had impossible projections from the start and is even later and more overbudget, while anybody from GA-PSC to Georgia EMCs to the Florida PSC or even PowerSouth in Alabama could bring it down. Somebody put Plant Vogtle out of its misery so we can get on with solar power in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and everywhere else.

Plant Vogtle reactors 3 and 4
Two new cooling towers and construction cranes mark the work sites for nuclear reactors 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle in east Georgia. The project is currently $3.6 billion over budget and almost four years behind the original schedule. JOHNNY EDWARDS / JREDWARDS@AJC.COM, in Plant Vogtle: Georgia’s nuclear ‘renaissance’ now a financial quagmire by Russell Grantham and Johnny Edwards, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 19 May 2017.

Kemper “clean” Coal

Doyle LLP, PRNewswire, 8 August 2017, Whistleblower in Kemper Project Sues Southern Company and CEO: OSHA ruled former company engineer faced “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” Continue reading

Horses to automobiles in NYC: 13 years

This is how fast energy sources can change: from all horses but one automobile in the 1900 New York Easter Parade to all automobiles but one horse in the 1913 Easter Parade.

horses in 1900

The automobile above is easier to spot than the horse below, 13 years later. Continue reading

The real worst and best cases of climate change

What do you want? The planet Venus? The current degraded Earth? Or a better world we know how to create?

What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?
Joel Pett, Lexington Herald Leader, 18 March 2012, The cartoon seen ’round the world

Mostly I post about solar and wind power winning, which is what I think is happening. But sometimes it’s worth a reminder of what could happen if we do nothing about climate change, and I posted on my facebook page a story about that. Which actually didn’t go far enough to the real worst case. Nonetheless, that story has been attacked by numerous parties of all political and scientific and unscientific stripes for being too doom and gloom. Yet none of the attackers bothered to mention a best case beyond “the same world we have now”. I have news for you: the world we have now is an ecological catastrophe, and we can do a lot better. So here’s the real worst case, the current case, which is far from the best of all possible worlds, and the real best case, as I see it. Plus what we can do to head for the best case.

grinning fossilized skull

First, the story I posted: David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine, 9 July 2017, The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think. Notice that word “could”, which a lot of his critics seem to have ignored. He didn’t say “will”, and he clearly labeled what he was presenting as worst case scenarios.

In case anybody thinks he was making any of that stuff up, Wallace-Wells has also linked to an annotated version with footnotes for every substantial assertion. The annotated version notes at the top: Continue reading

Video: Solar panels, heck yeah! –Tom Fanning, CEO, at SO stockholder meeting 2017-05-24

Tom Fanning, our genial CEO host, said some things I’ve never heard him say before like Southern Company is “pivoting towards wind” and SO’s board soon has to decide whether to go forward with Plant Vogtle “or not” probably by August. Fanning gets the first and last word in this blog post, plus a complete transcript of what I asked and Tom Fanning’s response, along with summaries of the other questions and answers.

Well see how it develops --Tom Fanning
Please hear me! I think renewables are exceedingly important in the future.
— Tom Fanning, CEO, Southern Company

In SO’s own meeting video of the 25 May 2017 Stockholder Meeting, you can see much praise about solar power and wind and R&D and a smart grid, along with stockholders wondering: Continue reading

Southern Company Shareholder meeting: renewables more than doubled in one year 2017-05-24

While its natural gas percentage remained flat, and coal and nuclear decreased, Southern Company (SO) more than doubled its renewable energy generation percentage in one year. Maybe I’ll mention that at the annual shareholder meeting in May.

2017 Mix:
2017 Energy Mix
2016 Mix:
2016 Energy Mix

When: 10:00 a.m., ET
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Where: The Lodge Conference Center
Callaway Gardens
4500 Southern Pine Drive
Pine Mountain, GA 31822-2593

Event: Annual Southern Company
Shareholder Meeting

Southern Company has all its SEC filings online, including Continue reading

Videos: Coal ash, Calles, Val North PD Water Sewer, Habitat CDBG, Sewage Valves, Stone Creek Antenna, Sheriff, Alcohol @ LCC 2017-03-14

Not on the agenda: Coal Ash and Y-Lead from Hahira Middle School and Teen Explosion. Also Stone Creek train quiet hours.

In a fifteen minute item, the Commission approved a split rezoning for REZ-2017-02 Calles, and they approved the removal of conditions from REZ-2017-03 Val North Dr, Stewart Circle. They approved the CDBG Grant preparation, but they didn’t mention they can’t actually apply until the resolve their feud with the local cities about tax allocation.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 14 March 2017 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. See also Continue reading

Videos: Sewage, Coal Ash, Historic Preservation, a dead cat, and turkeys @ VCC 2016-03-09

The Valdosta City Council heard from citizens about coal ash, wastewater, and toxic waste in the landfill. Mayor John Gayle offered to answer later in his office Eric Howard’s question about wastewater in his yard. The Mayor expressed his opinion that he and the council couldn’t do anything about the landfill, and read for yourself what he said about the Florida county resolutions about Valdosta wastewater. George Boston Rhynes told a droll tale about a dead cat and turkeys.

The Historic Preservation appeal was long and contentious, with the Mayor twice breaking a tie because only four City Council members were there: the appeal was approved. A citizen spoke about that afterwards, as did Council Tim Carroll.

Council Robert Yost recommended all the Hospital Authority Board should resign.

They unanimously approved both of the rezoning items; ditto the right of way maintenance bids.

And Firefighter Michael Penland is employee of the month.

Below are links to the LAKE video of each item, with a few notes (some drawn from Valdosta’s own SUMMARY OF ACTIONS), followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda.

Brief agenda plus Water @ VCC 2016-03-09

No water on the agenda, but there’s a WWALS event for those who want to speak about water issues.

AGENDA
REGULAR MEETING OF THE VALDOSTA CITY COUNCIL
5:30 PM Thursday, March 9, 2017
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL

Valdosta City Council

  1. Opening Ceremonies Continue reading

U.S. electric power source projections: solar still most by 2023

According to FERC’s own figures from 2012 and 2016, my solar projections from 2013 (and former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff’s) were pretty good, and more U.S. electricity will still come from solar power by 2023. LAKE Solar Table 2017 Since coal and nuclear are already crashing, and natural gas isn’t increasing even as fast as formerly projected, solar could win even faster.

I constructed table below from the 2012 and 2016 summaries of total U.S. electric power generation from all sources, by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Look at the 2012 column: only coal and natural gas generated more than 25% of total U.S. electricity.

But in 2016 it’s only natural gas, because coal’s growth rate actually turned negative: utilities are shutting down coal plants, not building them. Back in 2013 I did not predict that to happen so quickly.

Now look at the growth rates, both Continue reading