Our Victory Against the Mississippi Power’s Kemper Coal Plant Retruns to PSC For Re-Evaluation

It is a happy day to see that the Kemper County Demonstration Lignite Coal Plant is being reevaluated by the PSC per court reversal.  It will be interesting to see how Leonard Bentz and Lynne Posey explain the public value in carbon dioxide capturing, transport, and storage to the Mississippi ratepayer.

In the wake of the latest exposure of the United Nations fraudulent global warming science, the Sustainable Development plans is no doubt  at risk as well.  In order to substantiate the need to capture carbon dioxide the three Mississippi Public Service Commissioners will need to prove the science behind the Kyoto Protocols of the United Nations. Southern Company is voluntarily following the United Nation’s Kyoto Protocols to implement their Agenda 21  to reduce energy usage via excessive energy costs.  This was clearly to be an experiment of behavior modification.

We need to celebrate and get right back to work because Kemper County Coal plant is moving forward and will surely work with the Obama administration and Steven Chu to find any loop-hole to keep the money pit going on the backs of the people. I say pull the plug.

Presley Issues Statement on Kemper County Coal Plant

March 16, 2012

Today Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s reversal of  Mississippi Power Company’s Kemper County Coal Plant:

Today’s 9-0 decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court reversing the $2.8 billion Kemper County Coal Plant is a major victory for each and every customer of Mississippi Power Company and deals a serious blow to the company’s corporate socialism.

In this case, Mississippi Power Company gave new meaning to the phrase “We got the gold mine, they got the shaft”.

I’ve argued consistently that customers of Mississippi Power Company have been mistreated by the company hiding rate impacts in this case and by putting their shareholders above their customers.

This plant is untried technology. The shareholders have no risks while the customers have all the risks along with a 45% rate hike to boot. The company also wanted to raise rates before the plant produced any electricity. I believe in “pay as you go”, I just don’t believe you should pay BEFORE you go.

I personally wrote multi-page dissents in this case and am pleased today to see that those arguments were not in vain.

This $2.8 billion case comes back now to the commission for further review.

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EPA Lawsuits Question Basis, Procedures Behind EPA’s “Endangerment Finding”

EPA’s Global Warming Juggernaut Challenged in Court

Lawsuits Question Basis, Procedures Behind EPA’s “Endangerment Finding
February 27, 2012

Washington, D.C., February 27, 2012 – EPA’s economically ruinous plans for regulating greenhouse gas emissions are being challenged in federal court this week by a broad array of states and private parties, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Science and Environmental Policy Project, and FreedomWorks.  A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday in a set of cases challenging EPA’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act.  The court will also review a series of major EPA regulations based on that decision.

The petitioners argue that EPA acted arbitrarily and illegally in a number of respects:  it ignored the severe shortcomings of climate models; it illegally adopted the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and it refused to reopen its proceedings in the wake of Climategate.  The agency also ignored the fact that its incredibly costly regulations will have no detectable impact on global temperature.  Despite their extraordinary economic impacts, their much-ballyhooed benefits will in fact amount to zero.

“The fact that the court is devoting two days to hearing these cases demonstrates the importance of these legal questions.  But from a political standpoint, there’s even more at stake,” said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis.   “In 2010, after two decades of global warming advocacy, Congress declined to give EPA explicit authority to regulate greenhouse gases when Senate leaders pulled the plug on cap-and-trade legislation.  EPA’s insistence on going forward with its command-and-control agenda despite this defies both history and logic.”

Last year, EPA’s own Inspector General found that the agency based its 2009 “Endangerment Finding” (that emissions from greenhouse gases endanger the public health and welfare) on a flawed and inadequate assessment of climate science, and that EPA’s peer review methodology did not meet OMB requirements for highly influential scientific assessments.  (See EPA IG Report)

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Cap and Trade by Stealth: U.S. States Partner With Foreign Governments

By Alex Newman   The New American

While Americans were battling cap-and-trade legislation at the national and international levels, global-warming alarmists were quietly building regional systems between state and local governments, private industry, and even foreign governments that basically achieve the same effect — higher energy prices for consumers and more money for governments.

The first and most prominent of these U.S. cap-and-trade systems is known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). It was created not by the people through their legislatures, but by a so-called “Memorandum of Understanding” between state governors.

Consisting so far of 10 Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont — the scheme is described on the RGGI website as “the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Its board of directors consists primarily of each participating state’s top environmental bureaucrats.

The “Initiative” works by having each state cap its carbon dioxide emissions at a certain level, then auctioning off emissions permits to the highest bidder. Eventually, the CO2 limits will be reduced, causing increased energy prices as companies pass along the added costs to consumers. By 2018, the RGGI plans to reduce energy-sector emissions by 10 percent.

Thus far, the scheme has netted close to a billion dollars by selling “carbon credits” to utility companies and other firms in participating states, earning about $50 million through an auction held on December 1. The first auction was actually held in 2008, and there have been nine since then. Spoils from the emissions permits are then handed out by state governments to companies, environmental groups, and others.

Incredibly, the RGGI has managed to avoid public scrutiny of its operations by incorporating as a non-profit organization and leaving enforcement and regulation to the individual states. The corporation claims it does not have to respond to public requests for information since, technically, it is not actually a government entity.

But the corruption is already coming out in the open. “New Hampshire conservationists had high hopes for how $18 million in funding generated by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) might advance energy efficiency projects,” wrote columnist Fergus Cullen in the New Hampshire Union Leader earlier this year. “Unfortunately, cronyism and corporate welfare hallmark too many grants awarded by the Public Utilities Commission so far.”

Cullen’s piece details, among other things, the outrageous handouts to “environmental” front groups and big businesses that helped push the scheme through. For example, an activist group in New Hampshire called “Clean Air Cool Planet” was incorporated by out-of-state bigwigs to promote global-warming alarmism — including Al Gore’s discredited “documentary,” An Inconvenient Truth.

“Having helped create this pot of money, Clean Air was one of the first in line with its hand out so it can do more alarmist advocacy, paid for with public resources awarded by friends,” Cullen explains. The group has already received almost half of a million dollars. Another example cited by the columnist: “Yogurt on a mission” producer Stonyfield Farm, with $300 million in yearly sales, received nearly $150,000 to upgrade its air-conditioning system.

Money was basically shoveled out, “creating opportunities for the well-connected and the in-the-know” while “millions of dollars have gone out the window, wasted like heat leaking out of an uncaulked pane,” Cullen concludes.

But RGGI boss Jonathan Schrage — who after intense public pressure recently disclosed his salary of almost $170,000 per year — thinks the scheme is great. “I look forward to building RGGI Inc. into a dependable administrative ally of each state’s RGGI program,” Schrag said in a press release when he was appointed executive director. “The states have done tremendous work to develop the first CO2 cap-and-trade system in the U.S.”

Not everyone thinks so, though. And in an e-mail to supporters, the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise warned of even bigger problems to come. “RGGI is the prototype for more regional cap & tax entities,” wrote the organization’s executive vice president Ron Arnold. “Soon RGGI will expand to every state and stick you with astronomical energy prices.”

Arnold blamed the “corruptocrats in Washington” for the “gigantic waste of tax dollars,” adding that the “crooks behind RGGI must be exposed” and held accountable. He also said that, despite RGGI claims that it is “making a significant impact to combat the threat of global warming,” the data proves otherwise.

“The only impact RGGI has made so far is they have raised energy prices and created a slush fund for each member state,” Arnold explained. And according to his letter, “the fact that global warming isn’t even real” won’t prevent the “climate change scam” from spreading to other states. And he’s right — it’s already happening.

An even bigger and more ambitious effort that includes Canadian provinces — and even Mexican states — as “observers” is set to go into effect in 2012. Known as the Western Climate Initiative, the scheme is described on its official website as “a collaboration of independent jurisdictions working together to identify, evaluate, and implement policies to tackle climate change at a regional level.”

Among the participating “jurisdictions”: California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, and four Canadian provinces. So-called observers, “jurisdictions” that are likely to join soon, include six Mexican states, an additional six U.S. states, and another three Canadian provinces. The Western Climate Initiative, like the RGGI, was also created by an agreement between state governors — not legislatures.

A similar scheme for the American Midwest, under the banner of the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, is also set to enter into force in 2012. The agreement encompasses Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Manitoba, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin — for now. Three other U.S. states and one additional Canadian province are listed on the scheme’s website as “observers.”

One unifying factor between all the regional partnerships is the emphasis on promoting expansion and eventual federal — and even international — involvement. And in Cancun at the global warming summit, state and local-government leaders made it clear that they would continue marching forward with the anti-carbon dioxide schemes at the global level — no matter what the outcome of United Nations climate talks currently underway in Cancun.

“We are proving that while a global agreement is important, we do not need to wait for it to start building the path to a new low carbon future,” explained Quebec Premier Jean Charest, the co-chair of the States & Regions Alliance, during a summit at the COP16. “As our national counterparts meet here in Cancun to continue the negotiations, states and regions are continuing to show the leadership necessary to make practical headway on climate action.”

And this is all part of the broader global plan. The so-called “States and Regions Alliance” represented by Premier Charest — some 60 state and regional governments accounting for about 15 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product — is part of a shadowy but powerful international non-profit known as “The Climate Group.”

The organization works with the United Nations Development Program, the World Economic Forum, the Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other high-profile institutions, agencies and governments to advance the global climate agenda. And it promotes the implementation of global-warming schemes through “sub-national” levels of government — among other things.

“States, regions and cities are where the rubber hits the road in terms of practical action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” wrote States and Regions Alliance co-chair and Quebec Premier Charest, along with his fellow co-chair, South Australia Premier Mike Rann.

“The UN Development Program estimates that 50 per cent to 80 per cent of the emissions cuts needed to keep climate change below 2C will need to be delivered at state, regional and city levels,” the co-chairs noted in their joint column for The Australian entitled ‘Think globally, act locally? States already are.’ “This is because regional governments often control regulation for many of the key areas for addressing climate change, such as power generation, the built environment, waste management, transport and land use planning.”

CEO of The Climate Group Steve Howard offered a similar analysis. “A clean industrial revolution is not only possible, but it is well underway in the world’s leading states, cities and regions,” he told COP16 attendees at the “Climate Leaders Summit” in Cancun Wednesday. “The subnational governments in our Alliance are not waiting for a global agreement but are forging agreements of their own to lead a growing global market for low-carbon goods and services already estimated at $4.7 trillion.”

Despite the U.S. Senate’s rejection of cap-and-trade legislation, the carbon-tax agenda is still being implemented in America and around the world. Using the Environmental Protection Agency, the Obama administration is moving forward on regulating emissions of carbon dioxide at the federal level. And through alliances and agreements between states and even foreign governments — unconstitutional under Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution — those same forces are building a powerful and expensive carbon regime that could eventually encompass every state in the Union, and beyond.

For original text http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/5466-cap-and-trade-by-stealth-us-states-partner-with-foreign-governments

Thomas Fanning, the United Nations Promoter, Now on FED Reserve Bank Board

Thomas Fanning known for teaming up with population control whack-job Ted Turner to waste tax dollars in another solar scam  is now on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.  The corrupt continue to be promoted up in power as they comply with the United Nations Plans for Sustainable Development and the Kyoto Protocols.  Thomas Fanning CEO of Southern Company the parent company of Mississippi Power is involved in their own scams.

Southern Co. (SO) Chief Executive Thomas Fanning has been appointed to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the company said Monday.

Fanning will serve the remainder of a term that began Jan. 1, 2010, and runs through Dec. 31 of this year.

Fanning is a Class C director, appointed by the Fed’s board of governors in Washington to represent commerce, industry, agriculture, labor or consumers.

Southern Co. received federal approval earlier this month to build the first new U.S. nuclear power plant in decades.

The company plans to build two new reactors at the Vogtle site in Georgia near the South Carolina border and is waiting for the Department of Energy to close on an $8.3 billion loan guarantee after the company received a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this month.

Southern’s Georgia utility has estimated the project will cost more than $6 billion, to be split among the project’s owners. Southern, which will own 46% of the new reactors, expects to pay $2.2 billion.

Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power, and Dalton Utilities will own the rest of the project.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said earlier this month that he expected Southern to obtain the loan guarantee after the company got its construction and operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Green energy company given federal stimulus funds lays off 125 workers, gives pay raise to executives

Green energy company given federal stimulus funds lays off 125 workers, gives pay raise to executives

 

Published February 26, 2012 | FoxNews.com

 

An electric car battery company reportedly has laid off 125 employees since receiving $390 million in government subsidies, but is still handing out big pay raises to company executives.

A123 systems, which was touted as a stimulus “success story” by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., had a net loss of $172 million through the first three quarters of 2011, according to the Washington Examiner’s “Beltway Confidential” blog, citing a report from the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

A123’s primary customer, Fisker Automotive, is also struggling financially. “Yet, this month A123’s Compensation Committee approved a $30,000 raise for [Chief Financial Officer David] Prystash just days after Fisker Automotive announced the U.S. Energy Department had cut off what was left of its $528.7 million loan it had previously received.”

This month has seen significant pay boosts for other A123 executives, as well, including vice presidents Robert Johnson and Jason Forcier.

The raises were reported by the company in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the Mackinac report.

“It looks highly suspicious,” Paul Chesser, associate fellow for the National Legal & Policy Center, told Mackinac. “It looks like they are trying to pad their top people’s wallets in case something really bad happens.”

New Smart Electric Meters Collect Data On Devices in Your Home

Experts: Smart grid poses privacy risks

Technologists already are worried about the security implications of linking nearly all elements of the U.S. power grid to the public Internet. Now, privacy experts are warning that the so-called “smart grid” efforts could usher in a new class of concerns, as utilities begin collecting more granular data about consumers’ daily power consumption.

“The modernization of the grid will increase the level of personal information detail available as well as the instances of collection, use and disclosure of personal information,” warns a report (PDF) jointly released Tuesday by the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), a think tank made up of chief privacy officers, advocates and academics.

Smart grid technology — including new “smart meters” being attached to businesses and homes — is designed in part to provide consumers with real-time feedback on power consumption patterns and levels. But as these systems begin to come online, it remains unclear how utilities and partner companies will mine, share and use that new wealth of information, experts warn.

“Instead of measuring energy use at the end of each billing period, smart meters will provide this information at much shorter intervals,” the report notes. “Even if electricity use is not recorded minute by minute, or at the appliance level, information may be gleaned from ongoing monitoring of electricity consumption such as the approximate number of occupants, when they are present, as well as when they are awake or asleep. For many, this will resonate as a ‘sanctity of the home’ issue, where such intimate details of daily life should not be accessible.”

According to the study, examples of information that utilities and partner companies might be able to glean from more granular power consumption data include whether and how often exercise equipment is used; whether a house has an alarm system and how often it is activated; when occupants usually shower, and how often they wash their clothes.

Other privacy risks could result from the combination of information from two separate users of the smart grid: For example, roaming smart grid devices, such as electric vehicles recharging at a friend’s or acquaintance’s house, could create or reveal additional personal information.

At a recent smart grid conference in Madrid, FPF co-chair Jules Polonetsky showed how researchers have already mapped unique load patterns of different equipment, showing that for instance washing machines pull power in different ways than other devices (graphic below courtesy FPF).

In an interview with Security Fix, Polonestsky said some utilities have adopted the stance that existing regulations already prevent them from sharing customer data without prior authorization. But he noted that as power companies transition to the smart grid, those utilities are going to be collecting — and potentially retaining — orders of magnitude more data on their customers than ever before.

“Relatively speaking, [utilities] aren’t big marketing companies with big back end databases ready to handle the tidal wave of data that’s coming,” he said. “But we’re a little worried that without some serious planning now, there’s going to be quite a challenge in a couple of years when people start realizing that maybe should think about developing some solid data retention policies that address what’s going to be done with all of this data.”

Indeed, the report found that “comprehensive and consistent definitions of personally identifiable information do not generally exist in the utility industry. Privacy concerns arise when there is a possibility of discovering personal information, such as the personal habits, behaviors and lifestyles of individuals inside dwellings, and to use this information for secondary purposes, other than for the provision of electricity.”

Ontario is on track to have a smart meter installed at every home and business by the end of 2010. More than 8 million smart meters are used in the United States today, and more than 50 million more could be installed in at least two dozen states over the next five years, according to the Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Efficiency.

The report echoes some of the same concerns raised in a recent report (PDF) drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which warned that “distributed energy resources and smart meters will reveal information about residential consumers and activities within the house,” A NIST panel tasked with examining the cyber security aspects of the smart grid found “a lack of formal privacy policies, standards or procedures about information gathered and collected by entities involved in the smart grid,” and that comprehensive and consistent definitions of personally identifiable information do not generally exist in the utility industry.

New Electric Smart Meters in Mississippi Can Be Removed or Blocked

Use the letter below to forbid smart meter installation (or modify the letter to demand the meter be removed).

From:
Energy Customer’s Name
Street Address
City State Zip

To:
Energy Provider
Street Address
City State Zip

Date of letter

NOTICE OF NO CONSENT TO TRESPASS AND SURVEILLANCE, NOTICE OF LIABILITY

Dear (Energy Provider) and all agents, officers, employees, contractors and interested parties,

If you intend to install a “Smart Meter” or any activity monitoring device at the above address, you and all other parties are hereby denied consent for installation and use of all such devices on the above property. Installation and use of any activity monitoring device is hereby refused and prohibited. Informed consent is legally required for installation of any surveillance device and any device that will collect and transmit private and personal data to undisclosed and unauthorized parties for undisclosed and unauthorized purposes. Authorization for sharing of personal and private information may only be given by the originator and subject of that information. That authorization is hereby denied and refused with regard to the above property and all its occupants. “Smart Meters” and digital meters violate the law and cause endangerment to residents by the following factors:
1. They individually identify electrical devices inside the home and record when they are operated causing invasion of privacy.
2. They monitor household activity and occupancy in violation of rights and domestic security.
3. They transmit wireless signals which may be intercepted by unauthorized and unknown parties. Those signals can be used to monitor behavior and occupancy and they can be used by criminals to aid criminal activity against the occupants.
4. Data about occupant’s daily habits and activities are collected, recorded and stored in permanent databases which are accessed by parties not authorized or invited to know and share that private data by those who’s activities were recorded.
5. Those with access to the smart meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-of-day metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants.
6. Those databases may be shared with, or fall into the hands of criminals, blackmailers, corrupt law enforcement, private hackers of wireless transmissions, power company employees, and other unidentified parties who may act against the interests of the occupants under metered surveillance.
7. “Smart Meters” are, by definition, surveillance devices which violate Federal and State wiretapping laws by recording and storing databases of private and personal activities and behaviors without the consent or knowledge of those people who are monitored.
8. It is possible for example, with analysis of certain “Smart Meter” data, for unauthorized and distant parties to determine medical conditions, sexual activities, physical locations of persons within the home, vacancy patterns and personal information and habits of the occupants.
9. Your company has not adequately disclosed the particular recording and transmission capabilities of the smart meter, or the extent of the data that will be recorded, stored and shared, or the purposes to which the data will and will not be put.
10. Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency energy contamination from smart meters exceeds allowable safe and healthful limits for domestic environments as determined by the EPA and other scientific programs.

I forbid, refuse and deny consent of any installation and use of any monitoring, eavesdropping, and surveillance devices on my property, my place of residence and my place of occupancy. That applies to and includes “Smart Meters” and activity monitoring devices of any and all kinds. Any attempt to install any such device directed at me, other occupants, my property or residence will constitute trespass, stalking, wiretapping and unlawful surveillance and endangerment of health and safety, all prohibited and punishable by law through criminal and civil complaints. All persons, government agencies and private organizations responsible for installing or operating monitoring devices directed at or recording my activities, which I have not specifically authorized in writing, will be fully liable for a fee of $100,000.00 for any violations, intrusions, harm or negative consequences caused or made possible by those devices whether those negative consequences are provided by “law” or not.

This is legal notice. After this delivery the liabilities listed above may not be denied or avoided by parties named and implied in this notice. Civil Servant immunities and protections do not apply to the installation of smart meters due to the criminal violations they represent.

Notice to principal is notice to agent and notice to agent is notice to principal. All rights reserved.

Signature

Smart Meter

Smart Meter (Photo credit: Duke Energy)

 

United Nations Environmental Program Bureaucrat Lays Out Green Economy Agenda

This is not our original thought or idea, nor is it one man’s opinion. The United Nation‘s Sustainable Development plans also named Agenda 21 by the U.N.,  is based on false science and will cost us everything especially our freedom.  PLEASE begin to learn for yourself.  Until you have determined your own opinion and done your own research you will not understand what we as Americans are up against.

Southern Company with Mississippi Power united with a foreign government agency United Nations following the Kyoto Protocols that will bring hardship to American families.

agency (United Nations) to destroy the economy of this nation.


United Nations Environmental Program Bureaucrat Lays Out Green Economy Agenda

United Nations Environmental Program Bureaucrat Lays Out Green Economy Agenda

February 6,2012

Achim Steiner, the U.N. bureaucrat who heads up the U.N. Environmental Program (UNEP) lays out his green economy plan — and touts government “stimulus programs” to create “green jobs.” At least 100 nations are pushing for expanded powers for the UNEP to control the world’s economies.

Sierra Club took $26 million from natural gas lobby to battle Mississippi Power’s Lignite Coal Plant

This battle has more to do with the destruction of America’s economy and energy than the environmental issues of coal. This is Sustainable Development through the United Nations  and will be the end of America IF we don’t stop it.  The first step is for us to learn more about it and see for yourself, know for yourself, then decide what action you can do.

Start here.   http://www.freedomadvocates.org/

Sierra Club took $26 million from natural gas lobby to battle coal industry

12:45 AM 02/04/2012

A Time magazine blogger reported Thursday that the Sierra Club, America’s oldest and most august environmental organization, accepted millions of dollars in donations from one of the nation’s biggest natural gas-drilling companies for a program lambasting coal-fired power plants as environmental evildoers.

The total take for John Muir’s conservation group? A whopping $26 million over four years from Chesapeake Energy and its subsidiaries, mostly through Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon.

The news rocked the environmental movement, sent the Sierra Club headlong into explanation mode, angered coal companies that the organization targeted with natural gas money, and had free-market advocates shaking their heads.

The episode “raises concerns about influence industry may have had on the Sierra Club’s independence and its support of natural gas in the past,” wrote Time’s Bryan Walsh.

The Daily Caller asked Chesapeake Energy spokesman Jim Gipson whether his company’s donations were made with the expectation that the Sierra Club would attack the coal industry, and whether the company has subsidized other green groups that oppose generating electricity by burning coal. Gipson did not respond to the email.

The Sierra Club launched its “Beyond Coal” campaign in 2001 on a shoestring budget, aiming to shut down as many coal-fired power plants as it could. McClendon’s money appears to have helped that campaign during a critical time when it was firing on all cylinders, lobbying against new power plant construction and working to close existing facilities, all the while hammering clean-coal advocates and blaming “big coal” for mercury pollution, asthma and assorted unforgivable ecological sins.

In 2007, the natural gas industry was also engaged in trying to persuade the federal government that its product was a more environmentally benign alternative to coal. Having the Sierra Club as a compatriot didn’t hurt.

“Back in 2007,” Gipson told Time, “Chesapeake and the Sierra Club had a shared interest in moving our nation toward a clean energy future based on the expanded use of natural gas, especially in the power sector.”

The company made its Faustian bargain with the Sierra Club’s then-leader Carl Pope, whose replacement Michael Brune put an end to it more than a year ago and refused an additional $30 million of Chesapeake’s money. The green group likely found that bitter financial pill easy enough to swallow, however, after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged $50 million from his personal philanthropy in July 2011 for the anti-coal program.

On the Sierra Club’s blog Thursday, Brune explained his organization’s past lapse of judgment, saying “[t]he idea was that we shared at least one common purpose — to move our country away from dirty coal.”

But that was then. When the Chesapeake dollars began flowing five years ago, the natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing — or “fracking,” in industry-speak — had not yet become the environmental movement’s bête noire.

Now, Brune quickly added, “It’s time to stop thinking of natural gas as a ‘kinder, gentler’ energy source.”

A Charleston, West Virginia-based business newspaper reported that a Friday morning meeting of the West Virginia Coal Association ended with a new accusation of undue influence by natural gas industry insiders.

Kentucky Coal Association president Bill Bissett told the meeting that Chesapeake has also funded the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Initiative. The result, he said, is that the lung health group has attacked the coal and oil lobbies while leaving the natural gas industry alone.

Scott Rotruck, Chesapeake’s vice president of corporate development and state government relations, holds a seat on the American Lung Association’s board. The association’s Clean Air Initiative website currently features a large Chesapeake Energy logo and describes a $500,000 matching-gift pledge by the company.

Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Chris Horner told TheDC that the natural gas industry’s financial support “apparently dictated, as opposed to followed,” the Sierra Club’s advocacy work.

“Here we see the group being paid so much money I have no idea how they could possibly spend it all, to tout gas, block — according to their own boasts — more than 100 coal plants and now force closure of many existing plants. Only to no longer receive support and coincidentally find gas to be a very, very bad thing. Huh.”

Food and Water Watch, another environmental group with a strong position against natural-gas fracking, declined to comment.

Ron Arnold, the executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, told TheDC that the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign is a divide-and-conquer tactic to convince electric utilities to use natural gas instead of coal. But by 2010, he said, with the Sierra Club nearing its goal of making coal-derived power production burdensome and prohibitively expensive, “it backed out of the gas deal and suddenly refused to take any more dirty money.”

“How long will the Sierra Club’s grassroots members put up with this?” Arnold asked.

National Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovich was livid Friday, blasting the Sierra Club for “both its hypocrisy and its incompetence.”

“[I]ts support for gas as the bridge fuel has ironically dampened investment in renewable energy which the Club claims to support,” Popovich told the Platts energy newswire. “With friends like the Sierra Club, the renewable energy industry doesn’t need any enemies.”

At the helm of a crisis of confidence, the Sierra Club’s Brune may find himself with a shrinking pool of allies after President Obama fondly name-checked natural gas in his Jan. 24 State of the Union address.

“We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years,” Obama said, “and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.”

“Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. … The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/04/sierra-club-took-26-million-from-natural-gas-lobby-to-battle-coal-industry/#ixzz1lfqTeXVX

U.S. Government Projections for Mississippi Power, Southern Company

In 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected that coal would drop to 44% of America’s electrical generation by 2035. Actual generation dropped to that level in 2011.

This week, the agency again adjusted its long-term figures for coal in the U.S., projecting that generation will fall to 39% by 2035. But groups on the front lines of fighting coal plants say those figures are still far too conservative.

Due to a combination of cheap natural gas, higher coal prices, increasingly cost-competitive renewable energy, and an aggressive community of activists working to prevent the build of new coal plants, the coal sector is facing an unprecedented decline in generation. At least, that’s what leaders of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign are saying.

“The pipeline has essentially dried up,” said Bruce Nilles, the senior director of the Beyond Coal campaign, to Climate Progress. “Our view is that the rush is almost over.”

Here are some of the top indicators for coal’s future that Sierra Club pointed to after this week’s release of the EIA’s figures:

  • At least 33,000 megawatts worth of existing coal-fired power plants are expected to retire in the coming decades, not including any retirements due to the recently-finalized mercury and air toxics standard from the Environmental Protection Agency. For reference, an average-sized coal-burning power plant is approximately 500 megawatts.
  • The biggest difference from last year’s EIA projection is that more coal retirements will be driven by rising coal prices, state renewable energy standards and EPA clean air standards. All these signs point to reduced market share for coal and expanded market share for clean energy.
  • No new coal plants are predicted to be constructed in the time period, beyond those few that are already under construction.
  • The share of electricity production from clean energy sources (including hydropower and biomass) should increase from 10 to 16 percent during the time period.
  • Overall electricity demand growth is expected to remain below one percent annually.

Certainly, the outlook for coal isn’t good. But there’s a common misconception that coal is completely dead.

A look at the pipeline for projects in the top chart shows that there are still a fair amount of projects underway. EIA projects the portfolio of plants in various stages of development will actually increase coal generation after 2015.

But the EIA reference case assumes no change to existing policy — meaning it doesn’t factor in a price on carbon or any upcoming Environmental Protection Agency standards for power plant emissions. The combination of those two policies could dramatically change the prospects for coal.

“I’d say that coal is on the ropes,” says Nilles. “Many of the plants you see in development are rural electric cooperatives and municipal projects — no merchant projects because of sticker shock. Our view is that the rush is basically over.”

There’s one other factor being ignored by current conservative analysis: the dramatic changes in cost of renewable energy versus the increase in cost for constructing coal plants. For example, In Mississippi, the $2.4 billion, 500-MW Kemper County coal plant is expected to raise rates by more than 45% — increasing the average monthly bill by roughly $60.

Compare that to the stunning drop in the price and installed cost of solar technologies. According to some estimates, the changing economics for coal plants — assuming a new one actually gets built — makes the resource less competitive than solar photovoltaics in many areas of the country over the next few years.  HERE

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