Tag Archives: LNG

The shift has come: GE, Siemens massive job losses as fossil fuels crash and the sun rises

The carbon bubble is bursting, as jobs fly from some of the biggest companies in the world, because solar and wind power are taking over right now. It’s too late to bet on the wrong nuclear horse or the wrong pipelnie snake. Get out of fossil fuels now: the sun is rising.

Tiffany Hsu and Clifford Krauss, New York Times, 7 December 2017, G.E. Cuts Jobs as It Navigates a Shifting Energy Market,

General Electric, whose new leadership is moving to eliminate bloat and grapple with the fallout from earlier, ill-timed decisions, is taking drastic steps to keep pace with seismic shifts in the global energy industry.

GE ranks first in 2017 downsizing after 12,000 more jobs: Brandon Kochkodin, Bloomberg, 7 December 2017
Brandon Kochkodin, Bloomberg, 7 December 2017, GE Ranks First in 2017 Downsizing After 12,000 More Job Cuts.

The company said on Thursday that it would cut 12,000 jobs in its power division, reducing the size of the unit’s work force by 18 percent as part of a push to compete with international rivals in a saturated natural gas market, adjust to “softening” in the oil and gas sectors and stay abreast of the growing demand for renewable energy.

Solar and wind energy technology is increasingly being deployed Continue reading

Georgia Power new acquisition AGL’s Pivotal LNG exporting through Jaxport

Back in May 2015, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning and Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers both told me “If we can’t do coal, we have to do pipelines”. I-75 through Atlanta, Macon, Valdosta, I-10 through Lake City A year in the making, Southern Company bought pipeline company AGL Resources. Turns out AGL Resources is also an LNG export company, exporting through Jacksonville by LNG containers on trucks. And the plot thickens with the pending corporate takeover of CSX Railroad by the former CEO of Canadian Pacific, given that CSX depends a lot on carrying coal, which remember is what Southern Company is rapidly getting away from. Could CSX want to carry LNG? Meanwhile, LNG containers are already rolling down I-75 and I-10 to Jaxport, apparently through Atlanta, Macon, Valdosta, and Lake City.

Southern Company PR, 1 July 2016, Southern Company and AGL Resources complete merger, create a leading U.S. energy company, Continue reading

Is Porter Ranch the natural gas industry’s Three Mile Island?

Thirty-six years ago, Three Mile Island turned public opinion against nuclear power. The worst in history, right now still spewing after three months and Los Angeles County and the state of California have declared emergencies at Porter Ranch, is the “natural” gas industry’s Three Mile Island.

Nuclear, too was touted as safe, clean, and infamously “too cheap to meter”. It turned out to be none of those things, and neither is fracked methane. Three Mile Island alone didn’t stop the thousands of nukes President Nixon promised, but it sure helped. The Porter Ranch disaster has already lasted far longer, had worse direct effects, and is in the nation’s second-largest metropolitan area.

Plus TMI was the first U.S. civilian nuclear accident. The “natural” gas industry has leaks, corrosion, fires, explosions, and now earthquakes monthly and sometimes daily. Sure, the shadow of nuclear war hung over the nuclear power industry, but the monthly fireballs from methane explosions hangs over the natural gas industry. The 2010 San Bruno, California explosion is back in the news because, says AP 13 January 2015: PROSECUTORS: PG&E RESISTED RECORD-KEEPING CHANGE AFTER SAN BRUNO BLAST.

It’s time for a complete moratorium on all new natural gas projects, like the moratorium on all new nuclear projects after Three Mile Island. Instead, let’s get on with what we didn’t have back then: solar and wind power already less expensive than any other sources of power, far cleaner and safer, much faster to deploy, using no water, and requiring no eminent domain.

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy famously said: Continue reading

Insanity: Sabal Trail pipeline in karst sinkhole Floridan Aquifer @ FERC Lake City 2015-10-01

“What you all have proposed is total insanity…. experts lie… The companies, they don’t care. It’s just greed and arrogance,” said a Marcellus Shale drilling veteran. Karst mitigation won’t work according to Sabal Trail’s own FERC filings, children downwind of compressor, Sabal Trail quashing evidence of its unwanted, unneeded, and unsafe Sinkhole Pipeline, and FERC is cigarette companies pushing cancer cigarettes: on the wrong side of history. We aren’t your test subjects and we can win!

Videos from previous FERC meetings:

-jsq

Kinder Morgan’s Palmetto Pipe Line to Savannah and Jacksonville

If you thought Sabal Trail was a one-off pipeline, think again. Kinder Morgan wants to build another pipeline conveniently past Elba Island LNG through Savannah and Jacksonville. Apparently it’s not actually for methane, but it’s still another fossil fuel boondoggle among many that local and state governments and NGOs need to proactively deal with instead of each type one by one.

Chip Harp, Valdosta Today, 9 February 2015, New Nat Gas Pipeline to Fuel Coast, Continue reading

HB 59 to waive sovereign immunity in certain cases

Sue the state? You’ll lose, because of sovereign immunity, unless HB 59 passes. Then you might be able to sue GA-DNR for circumventing permiting in allowing construction on the Georgia Coast, or if it should approve a compressor station in Albany, or if it should issue any other permits for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline.

State agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR), can use “letters of permission” to do things like make alterations to Georgia’s coast, and anyone suing to stop it runs up against sovereign immunity unless the issuing agency has expressly waived it. Now that may change with HB 59, “State tort claims; waiver of sovereign immunity for declatory judgment or injunctive relief; provide”. It has six co-sponsors, including Jay Powell, District 171, Camilla, Mitchell County, GA.

Here’s the key part: Continue reading

A Hazardous Sabal Trail to LNG Export

Here are the slides for the talk I gave at the Alabama Sierra Club Retreat 1 November 2014.

The outline, with links to supporting evidence:

Afterwards, somebody asked me if there was a study on LNG exports driving up domestic natural gas prices. Turns out there is, requested by LNG-export-authorizing Office of Fossil Energy from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. EIA’s summary of 29 October 2014: Continue reading

Southern Company downgraded to sell over Kemper coal and Vogtle nuclear

Time to break out of the utility death spiral by breaking away from cost overruns at Kemper “clean” Coal and the Plant Vogtle nuclear boondoggle and getting on with real renewable solar and wind power.

UBS wrote 5 May 2014, Southern Company: Kemper Tantrums; Reducing to Sell,

Reducing to Sell on continued delays for the Kemper IGCC project

With further delays and increased costs for the Kemper IGCC project resulting in yet another $380M of writedowns (further slippage costing $25M/month) and now the likely loss of $120M-$150M of bonus depreciation as well, we view the current premium P/E multiple as untenable. While the Vogtle nuclear project appears to be on track, the presence of two major risky projects, Continue reading

Ask your Congress members to oppose TPP today

Here’s a handy form by EFF to oppose the secretly-negotiated privacy-deleting corporate-greed-defending natural gas export pipeline-enabling Trans-Pacific Parternship treaty.

Parker Higgins and Maira Sutton wrote for the Electronic Frontier Foundation 28 December 2013, 2013 in Review: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement,

Stop Secret Copyright Treaties The biggest TPP story this year was the publication by WikiLeaks in November of the chapter titled “Intellectual Property.” Unfortunately, its contents confirmed many of our worst fears: from ratcheting up copyright term lengths around the world, to boxing in fair use, to mandating a draconian legal regime around DRM software, section after section contained clauses plucked from corporate wishlists and snubbed the public interest altogether.

And then there’s Ted Poe’s House Subcommittee pushing TPP for LNG exports that would propel “natural” fracked gas pipelines such as Spectra Energy’s Sabal Transmission gas pipe through private property and public rivers and watersheds and aquifers.

Here’s what’s up next: Continue reading

Solar: jobs, leadership, grid, independence, and health

Peak power when you need it: solar. Somebody has been studying it, and addressing problems local decisionmakers right here in south Georgia have been raising.

Solar Power Generation in the US: Too expensive, or a bargain? by Richard Perez, ASRC, University at Albany, Ken Zweibel, GW Solar Institute, George Washington University, Thomas E. Hoff, Clean Power Research. That’s Albany, New York, but it applies even more to Albany, Georgia and Lowndes County, Georgia, since we’re so much farther south, with much more sun.

Let’s cut to the chase:

The fuel of heat waves is the sun; a heat wave cannot take place without a massive local solar energy influx. The bottom part of Figure 2 illustrates an example of a heat wave in the southeastern US in the spring of 2010 and the top part of the figure shows the cloud cover at the same time: the qualitative agreement between solar availability and the regional heat wave is striking. Quantitative evidence has also shown that the mean availability of solar generation during the largest heat wave driven rolling blackouts in the US was nearly 90% ideal (Letendre et al. 2006). One of the most convincing examples, however, is the August 2003 Northeast blackout that lasted several days and cost nearly $8 billion region wide (Perez et al., 2004). The blackout was indirectly caused by high demand, fueled by a regional heat wave3. As little as 500 MW of distributed PV region wide would have kept every single cascading failure from feeding into one another and precipitating the outage. The analysis of a similar subcontinental scale blackout in the Western US a few years before that led to nearly identical conclusions (Perez et al., 1997).

In essence, the peak load driver, the sun via heat waves and A/C demand, is also the fuel powering solar electric technologies. Because of this natural synergy, the solar technologies deliver hard wired peak shaving capability for the locations/regions with the appropriate demand mix peak loads driven by commercial/industrial A/C that is to say, much of America. This capability remains significant up to 30% capacity penetration (Perez et al., 2010), representing a deployment potential of nearly 375 GW in the US.

The sun supplies solar power when you need it: at the same time the sun drives heat waves.

The paper identifies the problem I’ve encountered talking to local policy makers, especially ones associated with power companies: Continue reading