Category Archives: Pipeline

Homerville, GA pipeline explosion 2018-08-17

A pipeline much smaller than Sabal Trail destroyed a business in Homerville, Georgia yesterday.

Coffee Corner demolished, Homerville, GA, Picture
Photo: GA Insurance and Fire Commissioner, of Coffee Corner demolished, Homerville, GA.

So small the U.S. agency supposedly responsible for safety doesn’t even show it in its maps. A pipeline is owned by Southern Company, and apparently originates on my property, starting from another pipeline half-owned by Southern Company.

That SONAT pipeline in 2014 was snagged by a dirt road ditch puller, sending a plume of dust 300 feet into the air. If there had been a spark, people I’ve known all my life might not have had homes to go back to.

So why does Sabal Trail claim its 500-mile-long IED is safe? And why is Southern Company wasting our resources and risking our safety by buying into pipelines while ramping down its new investments in solar power?

Brunswick Daily News, 17 August 2018, The Latest: Leaking gas blamed for coffee shop explosion, Continue reading

Et tu, FERC? No tax writeoffs for MLPs; pipeline stocks plummet 2018-03-15

On the Ides of March, FERC, apparently forgetting its the companies it supposedly regulates that pay its salaries, knocked pipeline company stocks down by disallowing a tax writeoff. This was one month after FERC inadvertently cleared a path for renewable sun and wind power through batteries. Look who got whacked the most, and not even FERC’s Sabal Trail rubberstamp permit reinstatement could save it:

Pipeline MLP vs. Electric Utility, Stock Charts
Stock price comparison, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 14, 15, 16 March 2018. The colorful candle canyon is for Spectra Energy Partners LP (SEP), which was by far the worst affected of those shown.

You may wonder as I do: what is FERC doing Continue reading

Rep. Lamar Smith thinks Russians are behind opposition to pipelines and fracking

Years ago I met Rep. Lamar Smith at the Texas State Capitol. He studiously avoided my attempts to talk to him about solar power. And is House Committee report on energy markets does not mention solar power even once, and wind only to sneer at it. The report does spend quite a bit of space promoting fracking.

Oh, it’s supposed to be about those horrid Russians. It builds its case otherwise around 4% of 9,097 social media posts over two years, which is about one every other day. I personally post more than that. Not a very impressive report.

Sabine Pass LNG Export
Justin Mikulka, Desmog, February 18, 2018, Safety Officials Order Partial Shutdown of Sabine Pass LNG Export Facility After Discovering 10-Year History of Leaks.

Here’s a sample from the Majority Staff Report, Continue reading

FPL parent NextEra Energy admits solar and wind far better investments than pipelines 2018-01-26

Even Sabal Trail partner NextEra Energy’s earnings call has far more about record solar and wind deployment and earnings (“added $0.67 per share”) than about pipeline declining earnings (“added $0.10 per share”) and misinformation, claiming Sabal Trail is operational and on schedule when it isn’t.

Which is better, NextEra, $0.67 or $0.10 per share? Oh, wait, effectively you answered that: “As the world’s current leader in wind, solar, and storage development….”.

Solar, NextEra Energy
Solar, NextEra Energy

One sentence is NextEra’s only mention of Sabal Trail; nothing about the Sierra Club lawsuit against FERC that less than a week later saw the DC Circuit Court reject all requests for rehearing, meaning as early as next week the court may mandate shutting down Sabal Trail. NextEra company FPL is the sole remaining customer listed in Sabal Trail’s custoner index. Maybe it’s time to bail out and get on with solar power in the Sunshine State.

NextEra Energy, via Motley Fool, 26 January 2018, NEE earnings call for the period ending December 31, 2017,

CEO and Chairman James L. Robo:

Fourth, we’re advancing our renewable product offerings as we prepare for the next phase of renewable development. As a result, our prospects for new renewables growth has never been stronger. As 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
Source: U.S. National Archives

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

Major climate change victory in U.S. House on Bastille Day 2017-07-14

On the anniversary of the French Revolution against a corrupt old regime, the U.S. House of Representatives took a step towards independence from the clammy grip of the fossil fuel companies. This has direct implications on Moody AFB. No more pipelines. Solar power now.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, 14 July 2017, In Landmark Move, GOP Congress Calls Climate Change ‘Direct Threat’ to Security: Extreme weather and rising seas threaten bases from Virginia to Guam. For the first time, a Republican House has voted to recognize that.,

One study last year found that rising oceans threaten 128 military installations on the coasts, including naval facilities worth around $100 billion.

The Pentagon has been aware for years of 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

Pipelines companies don’t detect corrosion or stop explosions

A reminder of why to stop pipeline companies from burying investors’ money in the ground and get on with solar power: the pipeline that exploded in Texas last week was half owned by Spectra Energy, the pipeline company behind Sabal Trail, AIM, Penneast, and numerous other fracked methane invasions and behind thirty years of undetected corrosion resulting in leaks, explosions, property damage, and deaths. The pipeline company didn’t detect it and couldn’t even turn it off quickly. Want to bet that it, like Spectra’s Pennsylvania explosion last spring, was corrosion?

A very Texas report said “no people or cattle were injured” and also notice: “The fire is under control and will burn itself out.” Continue reading

Solar Panels at Daytona International Speedway

Even FPL is doing solar power now, as evidenced by these pictures John Horton sent back from Daytona yesterday. Front gate So, FPL, how about cancel Sabal Trail and help the sun rise faster on the Sunshine State?

Kelly Pickerel, Solar Power World, 19 February 2016, Three solar canopies complete at Daytona International Speedway, Continue reading