Tag Archive | "coal"

Utah Supreme Court blocks coal plant

You can put a fork in a gigantic new coal fired power plant proposed for rural Sugard, Utah, because it’s done. Yesterday the Utah Supreme Court struck a major blow against the plant by ordering it to start back at square one in the pollution permit application process.

It’s because trying to do “clean coal” (a misnomer if there ever was one) was just too darned expensive and complicated for the developers, so their plan was to do it the dirty old way. But the Utah Supremes said no.

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Sugar cane waste to power coal plants

Brazil Pellet has developed a way to process bagasse, the waste from sugar cane processing into pellets for use in coal plants. They are thinking very big, like 520,000 tons of pellets a year that would produce 2,420 GW of power.

Most bagasse now is dumped where it decomposes and produces methane. Burning it instead of coal gives you carbon credits.

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Arizona to use algae to turn coal pollution into biofuel

cholla power plant

This innovative and worthwhile project is being funded with stimulus money.

The project is being hosted at the 995-megawatt Cholla Power Plant in northeastern Arizona. Early results indicate that the algae are able to capture 70 metric tons of carbon dioxide per pond acre per year.

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DC power plant will switch to natural gas

Greenpeace protest. March 2, 2009

Greenpeace protest. March 2, 2009

Finally. This pork-laden boondoggle that brings coal by train into DC to burn to create power for Congress and others will finally be converted to natural gas.

Naturally the National Assoc. for Destroying Mountaintops and Pumping Carbon into the Atmosphere whined mightily about this indignity.

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FERC Chair: US may never need new coal or nuclear plants

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair Jon Wellinghoff says forget about coal and nuclear power, they’re too expensive, renewable power is what we need.

Wellinghoff said renewables like wind, solar and biomass will provide enough energy to meet baseload capacity and future energy demands. Nuclear and coal plants are too expensive, he added.

“I think baseload capacity is going to become an anachronism,” he said. “Baseload capacity really used to only mean in an economic dispatch, which you dispatch first, what would be the cheapest thing to do. Well, ultimately wind’s going to be the cheapest thing to do, so you’ll dispatch that first.”

He added, “People talk about, ‘Oh, we need baseload.’ It’s like people saying we need more computing power, we need mainframes. We don’t need mainframes, we have distributed computing.”

How nice to have a believer in science as well as a visionary in an important government role for energy again.

Posted in Energy

Obama Administration halts mountaintop removal


The highly destructive practice of blowing up mountain tops to get at coal, with dumping of waste and rocks into valleys and streams has been put on immediate hold by the EPA until they review environmental impacts.

It’s so nice to have sane people running the government again.

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EPA enforces regulations, blocks coal plant

In a welcome reversal from the do-nothing days of Bush’s EPA, new EPA administrator Lisa Jackson revoked an air permit granted by the Bushies for a coal plant in South Dakota.

The Sierra Club said “EPA is signaling that it is back to enforcing long-standing legal requirements fairly and consistently nationwide.”


Obama directs EPA to look at CA waiver, DOT to enforce CAFE increase

The rule of law has returned, as well as a belief in science, not ideology. Imagine that.

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Coal sludge deluges homes

Photo: J. Miles Carey/Knoxville News Sentinel, via Associated Press

300 million gallon of toxic coal sludge
broke through a dam and has deluged hundreds of acres of land near Knoxville, Tennessee. Unlike flood waters, which eventually recede, it looks like much of this highly toxic glop will remain.

Naturally, BushCo officials are doing nothing except exhibiting their usual incompetence by not helping residents and saying that while the sludge might contain highly toxic materials that it isn’t toxic.

It will be so nice to have rational adults in charge of the federal government come January 20.

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BofA to stop financing mountaintop coal removal

Bank of America, a lead financier of coal, announced that they will be phasing out financing for companies that practice mountaintop removal coal mining, a highly destructive and controversial method of coal extraction.

This is the direct result of a whole lot of work by Appalachian activists and groups like Rainforest Action Network, who will now be pressuring other banks to do the same

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North America’s largest coal plant could convert to biomass

Such a switch would not be easy, but Canada is considering doing it.

Figuring out how to burn biomass such as wood or switchgrass pellets could solve many problems at once. The government could make good on its commitment to phase out coal. It could keep a sizeable amount of electricity generation in the area without having to build new transmission lines or plants, whether nuclear or natural gas.

One problem. Where to find that much biomass on an ongoing sustainable basis that doesn’t drive up prices. Switchgrass grows easily on non-agricultural land, and thus would be a possible choice.

Dozens of Scandinavian power plants in burn biomass as fuel. In August, Atlanta-based Georgia Power asked its local electricity regulator if it could convert one of its 100-megawatt coal plants to wood.

So, it is doable.

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