Tag Archives: Houston

Sabal Trail front page Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Now that Atlanta has finally taken notice there’s even more reason to repel these pipeline invaders. 300x434 Page A1, in Sabal Trail front page Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by John S. Quarterman, 3 April 2015 There’s still time to submit an amicus brief for the court case in Leesburg, Georgia. And time to file an ecomment or an out-of-time motion to intervene against Sabal Trail. Or against Elba Island LNG or against Transco and Atlanta Gas Light’s Dalton Expansion Project. Or to oppose Kinder Morgan’s southeast Georgia Palmetto oil pipeline at the Georgia Department of Transportation or GA-EDP. Both those state agencies have to provide permits for Sabal Trail to get the Georgia emininent domain it demands in Leesburg, so they are relevant to Sabal Trail, as well, as is your opinion and those of all local elected governments in Georgia.

Dan Chapman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3 April 2015, Pipeline project fuels fight on state’s future,

Regardless of route, Sabal Trail opponents fear pipeline construction could create sinkholes Continue reading

Sabal Trail’s eminent domain argument applied to FPL headquarters

300x72 Between the Atlantic and the canal, in FPL Headquarters, by John S. Quarterman, 24 November 2014 The alleged “Project Need” in Sabal Trail’s Friday FERC docket CP15-17 permit application to get eminent domain for its 100-foot-wide gouge for a yard-wide hazardous fracked methane pipeline is: Sabal Trail claims it has contracts to sell the gas. Let’s apply that logic to Sabal Trail co-owner FPL’s headquarters.

This is FPL headquarters at 700 Universe Blvd., Juno Beach, Florida, in the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s map: Continue reading

Sabal Trail admits no Georgia customers, tree destruction, to VDT

The VDT’s page-long coverage wasn’t just fluff. Spectra’s Andrea Grover admitted they need complete survey data, and Sabal Trail admitted they have no Georgia customers, which means they have no Georgia eminent domain, so every landowner who refuses is indeed putting a crimp into Spectra’s fracked methane pipeline. Plus Grover admitted trees don’t grow back fast, so her promise “It’s restored to what it was before” is pretty hollow. She admitted she knows the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Fuels can approve LNG export, but she didn’t admit that it has already done so for three companies right there Spectra’s Sabal Trail pipeline leads on Florida’s Atlantic coast. She still can’t seem to remember Spectra’s long list of safety violations. And she’d already forgotten exactly when her posse of seven rode into Leesburg, GA seeking an eminent domain court order, and rode away without it.

Not a word, though, about Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter’s fourteen points of Continue reading

Spectra reps unfamiliar with Spectra fines @ LCC 2013-12-09

Both of Spectra’s principal representatives to the Lowndes County Commission and the Dougherty County Commission claim not to be familiar with Spectra’s well-known public record of safety violations, and some of what they say contradicts the public record, so how can we believe any of their safety assertions about Spectra’s proposed Sabal Trail Transmission pipeline?

Update 3PM: more evidence from Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

As I’ve mentioned before, Spectra’s Andrea Grover told us that everyone in Pennsylvania was happy now, after I asked her about the Steckman Ridge compressor station leak in front of reporter Matthew Woody, at the 16 October 2013 Spectra meeting at Wiregrass Tech in Valdosta. There’s more beyond the article about pipeline fines and incidents Woody wrote 24 November 2013 for the Valdosta Daily Times (VDT), the local newspaper of record.

Her excuse for the compressor leak, if I recall correctly, was that Continue reading

IKEA building almost as much solar as Southern Company

IKEA has already deployed more solar power than Southern Company, and plans almost as much as SO’s total planned solar generation. Remind me, which one is the energy company? Maybe we need to elect people who will remind Southern Company and Georgia Power.

Remember Southern Company bragged earlier this month about its first big solar project coming online, 1 megawatt in Upson? IKEA plans to install that much solar in Atlanta this year on top of its furniture store:

Atlanta, Georgia: With a store size of 366,000 square feet, ft2 (~34,000 square metres, m2) on 15 acres (~6 hectares), the solar program will use 129,800 ft2 (~12,060 m2) at 1,038 kilowatts (kW) with 4,326 solar panels generating 1,421,300kWh/year. This is equivalent to reducing 1,080 tons of carbon-dioxide (CO2), 192 cars’ emissions or powering 122 homes.

IKEA plans more than that in Savannah, 1.5 megawatts:

Savannah, Georgia Distribution Centre: With a size of 750,000 ft2 (~69,700 m2) on 115 acres (~46.5 hectares), the solar program will use 187,500 ft2 (~17,400 m2) at 1,500kW with 6,250 solar panels generating 2,029,500kWh/year. This is equivalent to reducing 1,542 tons of CO2, 274 cars’ emissions or powering 175 homes.

Sure, but Southern Company already did it first, right? Nope, IKEA already powered up a megawatt in Houston, and already had some in Frisco and Round Rock, Texas, making IKEA already the largest solar owner in Texas.

As Kirsty Hessman put it in Earth Techling 8 December 2011,

They don’t call it the Sunbelt for nothing, and Ikea plans to take full advantage of the salubrious solar situation down South.

That was when IKEA was planning the Houston, Frisco, and Round Rock, Texas solar installations. Half a year later, they’re up and running. When will your new nukes be finished (if ever), Southern Company?

But back to solar. According to IKEA PR 9 July 2012, IKEA plans 38 MW of solar:

Continue reading

Copy charter schools or something else that works?

Instead of copying failed experiments like Hamilton County, Tennessee, how about copying some of the charter schools that do work? Or some other model that actually does work to improve education?

Sam Dillon wrote for the NYTimes today, Troubled Schools Try Mimicking the Charters

Classrooms are festooned with college pennants. Hallway placards proclaim: “No Excuses!” Students win prizes for attendance. They start classes earlier and end later than their neighbors; some return to school on Saturdays. And they get to pore over math problems one-on-one with newly hired tutors, many of them former accountants and engineers.

If these new mores at Lee High School, long one of Houston’s most troubled campuses, make it seem like one of those intense charter schools, that is no accident.

In the first experiment of its kind in the country, the Houston public schools are testing whether techniques proven successful in high-performing urban charters can also help raise achievement in regular public schools. Working with Roland G. Fryer, a researcher at Harvard who studies the racial achievement gap, Houston officials last year embraced five key tenets of such charters at nine district secondary schools; this fall, they are expanding the program to 11 elementary schools. A similar effort is beginning in Denver.

Charter schools were supposed to be pilot projects, so why not adopt what works there in public schools?

However, this still seems to be all about test scores. Maybe some public schools could look farther afield, Continue reading

Solar Booming Nationwide (so why not here?)

While the Wall Street Journal says biomass is a money-losing proposition, Stacy Feldman notes in Solve Climate News that U.S. Solar Market Booms, With Utility-Scale Projects Leading the Way:
America could add 10 gigawatts of solar power every year by 2015, enough to power 2 million new homes annually, industry and market analysts have claimed in a new report.
Continue reading

Houston’s Renewable Energy

For those people around Lowndes County who are living in the past and still say solar doesn’t work, Jonathan Hiskes interviews the former mayor of Houston, Bill White, in Grist, 24 Sep 2010, and asks about solar energy and efficiency:
During White’s time as mayor of Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, he ran a highly successful home-weatherization program and engineered a major purchase of 50 megawatts of clean energy, giving momentum to the state’s booming wind industry.
Hm, so VSU, for example, could buy wind energy from windmills off the Georgia Coast…

Read on about solar. Continue reading

Valdosta in bottom 10 metro areas for wages

Richard Florida writes about The Geography of High-Paying Jobs, including this map based on Bureau of Labor Staistics (BLS) data:

The Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) comes in the bottom 10 nationwide. That’s for overall average wages.

It doesn’t look quite as bad for specific classes of jobs (creative, service, and working class), but that’s mostly because there are almost no MSAs in the lowest pay tier. However, for service jobs, Valdosta is not as good as Tallahassee, and makes it into the bottom 10: Continue reading