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“Wind Turbine Syndrome”
book now available

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment (Santa Fe, NM: K-Selected Books, 2009), 294 pp. Paperback, $18 USD.

The Citizen Power Alliance is a coalition of independent groups organized to promote sound energy and environmental policy. CPA holds public officials and regulators accountable, while seeking the protection of the public interest.

Eco preservation demands fiscal responsibility and viable technological solutions. Community power requires government transparency and effective industrial regulation. Commerce must balance development and profit with responsible civic stewardship.

The CPA has its home base in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, but is open to organizations nationwide and international in scope.

Direct inquiries to:
Citizen Power Alliance,
PO Box 657,
Naples, NY 14512
(585) 534-5581
Washington, DC
(202) 239-1045
New York, NY
(347) 688-2720
or email:

Bookmark the url for CPA Blog:

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James Hall - Web Publisher

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Agenda 21 in New York State – Home Rule and Article X
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Sustainability in All Things except Rational Thinking
by James Hall

Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud
by James Hall

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Citizen Power Alliance - Blogged

Copyright © 2006-2019

Prattsburgh Town Councilman Steven Kula
at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference

Wind ethics code created
In the wake of numerous complaints over potentially unethical activity, the state attorney general has created a voluntary Wind Industry Ethics Code for wind power developers and municipal officials.

In a Thursday press conference at the state Capitol, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo called the code an "institutional resolution" to investigations into the activities of two wind developers alleged to have engaged in improper dealings with local officials and anticompetitive practices.

James H. Madden, project manager for BP Alternative Energy's wind farm at Cape Vincent, said he hadn't seen or heard about the code and BP would have to review it before signing on.

"I would expect that we would be deposed to sign it," he said. "We support standards for the entire industry."


Spokesmen for Iberdrola, developer of Maple Ridge and Horse Creek wind farms, Acciona, developer of the St. Lawrence Wind Farm, and Babcock & Brown, the company behind the proposed Galloo Island project, did not return calls for comment by Thursday evening.

(Click to read entire article)
Two Oil Companies use “wind farm” tax breaks to shelter their profits from federal and state income tax by Glenn R. Schleede
Ordinary taxpayers are justifiably repulsed by having to bear the tax burden escaped by corporations that can take advantage of the extremely generous tax breaks and subsidies provided to them by the Congress and state legislatures. However, it is certainly not illegal for corporations to take advantage of those breaks. The blame for bad government policies – including the huge tax breaks and subsidies described in this paper -- rests primarily with our elected representatives who seem unable to understand the full implications of the measures they adopt and/or unable to resist demands from lobbyists.

The huge tax breaks and subsidies for wind energy are especially repulsive to many citizens, electric customers and taxpayers because it has become increasingly clear during the past 3 years that the wind industry and other wind advocates have, for more than a decade, greatly overstated environmental, energy and economic benefits of wind energy and greatly understated or ignored its adverse environmental, ecological, economic, scenic, and property value impacts.

In fact, the huge machines (many 400 ft or 40 stories) produce very little electricity. That electricity is intermittent, volatile, and unreliable. Further, because their output is dependent on wind speed, wind turbines cannot be counted on to be available at the time of peak electricity demand. This means that areas experiencing increases in peak demand or needing to replace older generators will have to add reliable (“dispatchable”) generating capacity whether or not “wind farms” are built. Electric customers could be paying twice: once for wind turbines and again for reliable generating units.

(Click to read entire report)
Millennium Pipeline almost complete
SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. -- The Millennium Pipeline stretching across Upstate New York is almost complete. The 182-mile long natural gas line starts in Corning and runs through Rockland County, just north of New York City.

Work began on the project nearly a year and a half ago. The pipeline will connect with other lines to supply natural gas to utilities downstate.

Testing is underway in Chemung and Steuben counties.

The pipeline is scheduled to start operating in early December, a month later than originally planned.
Power still out in some upstate NY communities
STAMFORD, N.Y. - Some New York State Electric & Gas customers could be without electricity until the weekend as utility crews continue repairing power lines damaged by this week's snow storm.

NYSEG officials say about 9,000 customers remain without power Thursday morning, all in the Catskills region. About 16,000 customers lost power when Tuesday's storm dumped more than a foot of wet, heavy snow on the eastern half of upstate New York.

NYSEG says much of the damage occurred in areas of Delaware, Otsego and other mostly rural counties.

Another 25,000 customers of National Grid also lost power. National Grid says that number was down to around 4,000 Thursday morning, most of them in northern New York. Most of those outages are expected to be restored by late Thursday.
Windmill Mishap Weighs on Suzlon
India's Suzlon Energy Ltd., the world's fifth-largest wind-turbine maker by unit sales, is facing additional questions about its technology after a 140-foot-long blade broke off a tower in Illinois.

News of the blade detachment, at a project financed by Deere & Co., drove Suzlon's shares down 39% to 47.25 rupees, or 93 U.S. cents, Friday in Mumbai trading.

The accident is the latest in a series of cracking windmill blades and other technical problems in the U.S. and India that have hurt Suzlon's image. The share-price decline Friday also reflected investor concerns that Suzlon will be unable to raise the money it needs in coming months to fund an ambitious global expansion plan and may be forced to sell assets, analysts said.

(Click to read entire article)
Do Homework Before Buying Into Gas Boom, Experts Advise
Greevy said landowners thinking about signing leases should not be swept up in the excitement about the prospects of making money. They should do their homework first.

That includes specifying how many acres a company will use to drill on the land, calculating royalties and specifying in the agreement how they will rehabilitate the land after they are done drilling.

Greevy said lease agreements are generally impossible to battle in court once a landowner signs on the dotted line, unless it can be proven that the gas company intentionally broke a part of the agreement.

In the case of ag land, Greevy said it is important to set parameters as to how the company will handle issues, such as whether or not land is included in an ag preserve or whether land is enrolled in programs such as the Conservation Resource and Enhancement Program (CREP) and whether they must pay the government if they drill on that land.

(Click to read the entire article)
Residents get to sound off on NY power line plan
HAMILTON, N.Y. - Opponent after opponent took turns sharply condemning a proposed 190-mile long high voltage power line through upstate New York, calling it an unneeded and unwanted "white elephant" that would endanger the region's economy and scar its landscape.

"Ultimately, it's nothing more than an extension cord running through someone else's bedroom," said Steve Skollar of Hamilton, one of nearly three dozen people who spoke against the New York Regional Interconnect plan at the first of 13 public hearings being held on the project by the state Public Service Commission.

"This is a bad idea for New York and would be a tragedy for the area," said Skollar, whose house would sit within a quarter-mile of the proposed line.

NYRI wants to build a $2.1 billion transmission line running from the Utica area through seven upstate New York counties to Orange County to bring power to the New York City area. NYRI says the 1,200-megawatt line is needed to improve the state's aging power grid and reduce the threat of blackouts like the one that struck the state in 2003.

(Click to read entire article)
Marcellus Shale Play
UPDATE 2-Iberdrola may cut up to 2 bln euros in investment
MADRID, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Spanish power company Iberdrola said on Thursday it may cut annual investments by up to 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) due to a worsening economic climate, but any cuts would not affect 2010 earnings targets.

'The company is not isolated from the current economic environment and could alter its investment plan and re-examine its portfolio of assets to maximise value,' Iberdrola (other-otc: IBDRF.PK - news - people ) said in a presentation accompanying 9-month results.

Iberdrola's current target is for investments of 17.8 billion euros over its 2008-2010 strategic plan and it expects to make net profit of over 3.5 billion euros in 2010.

Chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan said in a result presentation on Thursday: 'We have the flexibility to cut investments by up to 2 billion euros annually.'

(Click to read entire article)
PSC seeks public input on Allegany County transmission facility
ALBANY - The New York Public Service Commission will hold a public statement hearing concerning a proposal by the Village of Arcade and Noble Allegany Windpark, LLC to construct a new 115 kV electric transmission line from the Town of Centerville, Allegany County, to an existing line operated by National Grid in the Town of Yorkshire, Cattaraugus County.

The line will be approximately 14 miles in length. Its purpose is to permit the delivery of power generated by the Allegany wind energy facility proposed to be built in the Towns of Centerville and Rushford in Allegany County.

A public statement hearing will be held:

Tuesday, October 28, 4:30 p.m.
Village of Arcade Boardroom
17 Church Street
Arcade, New York

(Click to read entire article)
Pa. landowners sue over gas-drilling leases
Scores of people who own land above a potentially lucrative natural gas reservoir are seeking to void the drilling leases they signed and accused a land agent of guaranteeing a lower royalty than the amount allowed by Pennsylvania law.

The property owners filed a lawsuit in federal court in Williamsport last week against The Keeton Group LLC, of Lexington, Ky.

The lawsuit stems from a rush of activity by exploration companies to capitalize on the largely untapped Marcellus Shale gas reservoir while natural gas prices are high. Property owners from West Virginia to New York have complained of aggressive "landmen" pushing them to sign leases that allow an exploration company to drill down to the Marcellus Shale, a layer of thick black rock that holds a vast reservoir of gas.

The law cited by the plaintiffs guarantees a property owner at least one-eighth of the royalties from the recovery of oil and gas on their land. However, the suit said the leases violate state law because they give the exploration company the right to subtract taxes, assessments and adjustments on production from the 12.5 percent royalty.

(Click to read entire article)
New bridge a dark crossing at night until power company turns on the lights
According to Assistant Department of Public Works Superintendent Mitch Cornish at last week’s board of public works meeting, the city’s new lights along the River Street bridge still need to be hooked up.

“Our lights are in limbo,” he said. “In NYSEG limbo.”

Cornish added NYSEG removed several surplus lights from River Street. If the new lights were connected, he said, there would be no problems, but now some of the street is left in the dark at night.

Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan added there have been other problems with NYSEG in the recent past.

(Click to read entire article)
Financial Fallout: Why Renewable Energy Has the Blues
Renewable energy’s gone in the space of a few months from market darling to whipping boy. Shares in solar- and wind-power companies have suffered even more than the market at large. The outlook for new projects is growing increasingly cloudy.

But that’s not because renewable energy suddenly got uglier. It’s because of the fallout from financial-market turmoil, says Andy Katell, head of communications at GE Financial Services, who took umbrage at yesterday’s post. Mr. Katell says “GE has been—and will remain—a significant investor in renewable energy,” with $1.4 billion investment slated for this year. So why is clean tech in apparent retreat? Mr. Katell says:

These problems are centered around the financial markets, not the strong fundamentals of renewable energy or of GE itself. The core issue is the industry-wide difficulty of committing to new investments in a period of high uncertainty about borrowing costs. Such transactions usually involve staged funding, and the market volatility makes forward committing to fundings expensive to developers and ultimately to consumers of renewable energy.

But in recent months, market somersaults have undoubtedly changed the outlook for renewable energy. When fossil fuel prices were soaring, things like offshore wind farms suddenly looked appealing, and guaranteed electricity prices from wind farms looked like a bargain. But with fossil fuel prices headed south and capital getting more expensive, renewables are losing some of their glow. As the NYT notes today:

(Click to read entire article)
Residents get to sound off on NY power line plan
HAMILTON, N.Y. (AP) _ Upstate New York residents are getting a chance to voice their opinions about a controversial $2.1 billion high-voltage power line project that would cut through seven counties.

The state Public Service Commission is holding the first of 13 public hearings on New York Regional Interconnect's proposed transmission line on Monday at Colgate University in Madison County.

There will be two sessions at Colgate, one in the afternoon and a second in the evening. Each will be preceded by an information forum.

NYRI wants to run a 190-mile transmission line from near Utica to Orange County. Supporters say the line is needed to improve the state's aging power grid and reduce the threat of blackouts like the one that struck the Northeast in 2003.
Exelon Offers $6.2 Billion for NRG
Exelon Corp. said it made a $6.2 billion all-stock offer to buy power generator NRG Energy Inc., an indication that falling stock prices in the power sector are creating an appetite for deals.

The offer, for a fixed exchange ratio of 0.485 shares of Exelon stock for each share of NRG stock, amounts to $26.43 a share -- nearly $20 a share less than what NRG stock fetched last spring. However, that offer price still represents a 37% premium over NRG's closing share price on Friday. It is based on a price of $54.50 a share for ...
The wind shifts for renewable energy
THE prospects of renewable-energy companies soared with oil prices, but the global credit crunch and the easing of energy costs have brought them back to earth with a thud.

Stronger players, such as Iberdrola of Spain, are buying wind farms from cash-strapped rivals.

With banks reluctant to lend and their stock prices tumbling, many green-energy concerns are struggling to find the long-term funding they need to expand in a capital-intensive industry.

In the past three months, global renewable-energy stocks tracked by New Energy Finance, a London-based consultancy, have dropped about 45 per cent, compared with a 23 per cent decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the same period.

(Click to read entire article)
Public Service Commission sets hearings on transmission line
The Public Service Commission has slated 13 public hearings on the proposal by New York Regional Interconnect to construct a high-voltage transmission line from central New York to the New York City area.

The proposed line is about 190 miles in length.

The public hearings will be webcast over the Internet to help the public follow the proceedings more closely.

The first hearing is on Monday at Colgate University in Madison County. Informational forums will be held at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., and public statements will be taken after each forum.

Hearings will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Foot Hills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta, and on Wednesday at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica.

The webcast will be carried at:
Legislators urge public to speak out against NYRI
UTICA, N.Y. -- State and county legislators in the Mohawk Valley are urging the public to speak out against the New York Regional Interconnect.

The state Public Service Commission is having 14 public meetings on the proposed 200-mile power line project. Two of those meetings are happening next week in Madison and Oneida counties.

NYRI wants to build a power line route which would supply power from the Utica area to the downstate region. Most local leaders oppose the project and want to make sure the opinions of people are heard.

"Wherever these hearings are we need to really be out in numbers. We want people to come out and stay focused, stay united and stay committed to defeat this project, and I believe we can do that," said Senator Joe Griffo.

(Click to read entire article)
PSC Offers Grants For Energy Production
The New York State Public Service Commission has changed its landmark Renewable Portfolio Standard program to provide an additional $42.6 million in grants to assist residential and commercial consumers throughout New York State to install solar panels and other types of electricity-producing equipment.

“Development of renewable, clean energy generation is of paramount necessity in New York because of its positive environmental benefits,” said commission chairman Garry Brown. “Today, we are substantially improving the financial assistance provided to consumers interested in producing their own electricity. The renewable energy produced will replace electricity traditionally purchased from the local utility. As an added bonus, participating consumers can sell excess electricity that they generate to the utility; helping offset demand elsewhere.”

As authorized, $20.6 million is being made available to install solar photovoltaic systems. In addition, $7.6 million is being made available to install anaerobic digester biogas systems, which convert the energy stored in organic materials into biogas, which is fed directly into a combustion turbine to generate electricity. Finally, $18.8 million is being set aside to pay for evaluation, measurement and verification of these renewable energy technologies, as well as to provide discretionary funding to respond to changing market needs. The financial resources are available for self-generation, “behind-the-meter” facilities located in New York.

(Click to read entire article)
Land owners weigh options for gas drilling
To lease or not to lease? That is the question that brought out 150 landowners Tuesday night.

"It's important to be informed so that you don't sign your life away. You can sign your land rights away and you have to know how to avoid that," said Hornby resident Elanor Connell.

That's where the Steuben County Land Owners Coalition steps in. The group formed to try and protect themselves and other owners.

"We have organized strictly to hold meetings, to get better lease rates and make sure people are better informed,” said Ken Knowles, organizer of the Steuben County Land Owner's Coalition.

(Click to read entire article)
Fuel Cells Powered by Hydrogen from Sewage
Researchers at the Oregon State University College of Engineering have discovered an efficient way to produce hydrogen from different types of biowaste, including municipal sewage.

The process uses 75% less energy than the traditional water electrolysis method of producing hydrogen, and can be done at a much lower cost, making it a good candidate for hydrogen fuel production. In the lab, researchers are already close to the Department of Energy’s goal of $2 to $3 per gasoline gallon equivalent for hydrogen fuel.
NY regulators consider energy marketing crackdown
ALBANY, N.Y. - As the cold weather approaches, New York utility regulators may turn up the heat on aggressive marketing by energy suppliers.

Members of the state Public Service Commission are meeting Wednesday to consider new rules for independent energy service companies, or ESCOs. Those are companies that sell electricity and natural gas to their own customers but deliver it through local utilities' lines.

Consumer agencies say they've fielded hundreds of complaints about ESCO door-to-door sales people misrepresenting themselves and lying about the actual savings customers would get by signing up.

Regulators are considering a series of rules _ including requiring ESCOs to provide "plain English" sales agreements _ aimed at curbing such practices.
Attorney General's Office: It’s your property
In less than 10 years, the production of natural gas has more than tripled. That’s the reason for the heightened interest in Madison County properties that cover the Marcellus Shale Formation, according to Assistant Attorney General Joel Marmelstein.

The formation is believed to contain possibly the largest find of natural gas in the country’s history, and Marmelstein of the AG’s Utica office says that while much of the growth in production has been contained to the Southern Tier, it is unreasonable to think this formation won’t follow the same pattern of development in other parts of the state.

Michael J. Danaher Jr. of the AG’s Binghamton office spends much of his work life in public advocacy. He said as technology has advanced, the ability to find and drill for natural gas has become more lucrative, and the incentive? The price of natural gas nearly tripled between 2002 and 2007, Danaher said.

(Click to read entire article)
Reliability, transmission costs often left off wind power push
But Atlantic Monthly staff editor Matthew Quirk argues wind might be the new ethanol. Most will agree the government's support for ethanol has proven to be a disaster. Signs alerting gasoline buyers that a station's tanks are ethanol free should be deemed Exhibit A of the mess.

Wind energy could supply up to 20 percent of the nation's power supply but the two variables few talk about are reliability and transmission. The places where the wind blows the most -- like western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle -- also have few residents or businesses that need the power.

To achieve the kind of wind power percentage that some states are mandating will require between 12,000 and 19,000 miles of new power lines criss-crossing the country. That kind of power line construction will cost up to $6.4 billion.

Mr. Quirk argues that wind farms tend to produce the most energy when it's not needed -- at night and in the spring and fall. To assure a steady supply, they must be backed up by natural gas plants. When backup supply sources are figured in, the long-term cost of wind power soars.

(Click to read entire article)
Ericsson Crosses Mobile Phone Tower With Vertical Axis Wind Turbine

The mainstream wind establishment has a hard time getting excited about vertical turbines - they've been around for too long without a major market breakthrough. But right now it's a bit of the big wind versus little wind question. Vertical wind turbines can have some noise-cutting, cost-cutting and reliability advantages over traditional spinning windmills and may be perfect for in-city wind electricity generation, as well as personal backyard installations. And Ericsson must think vertical has promise, too, as yesterday they announced they are going to try running their award-winning Tower Tube cell towers with Swedish-based Vertical Wind's four-bladed rotating turbine.

Traditional turbines versus vertical whirligigs

Ericsson's move is probably a smart one - the towers have won awards because they are aesthetically more pleasing than traditional cell phone base stations, and they use less materials and less energy than older stations. The effort to make stations run on both solar technology and wind power is an added benefit, especially in the developing world.
Albany hearings most important in NYRI debate
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, may blast the huge power line planned for the region at public hearings later this month, but those voices won't really count. The crucial test will come this winter in Albany, far from the spotlight.

That's when some 300 organizations and state agencies present evidence to the Public Service Commission about New York Regional Interconnect, which proposes a 190-mile power line from Utica to New Windsor that would slice through Sullivan and Orange counties.

"The evidentiary hearings are most important," NYRI president Chris Thompson told the Times Herald-Record's editorial board Monday. "People have to back up what they say with scientific evidence. We have to present our case with witnesses."

That doesn't mean the state won't pay attention to the hearings scheduled for Orange and Sullivan counties the week of Oct. 27.

(Click to read entire article)
Utility reliability: Commission must mandate NYSEG field crew increase
The news from the Public Service Commission that New York State Electric and Gas is one of the worst-performing public utilities comes as no surprise to the customers who experienced the power outages.

NYSEG is too important of an entity for residents and businesses to be ranked as one of the worst in the state. But there are opportunities for NYSEG to improve, and the commission can have a hand in that process. During the takeover talks between NYSEG's parent company, Energy East, and Iberdrola, the commission did not mandate that NYSEG increase the number of people in its field staff. It wasn't as if the commission didn't know about the problem given that Tompkins County Legislator Frank Proto notified the state via letter about it during the winter months. There is an opportunity now for the commission to step in.

The commission has requested that NYSEG study its field crew, which has been cut by 10 percent and saw its funding decrease by 25 percent in the last five years. Most businesses are going through some type of restructuring as costs increase, but the key for a public utility such as NYSEG is to ensure its field crews are adequately staffed since they are literally on the front lines of providing power to thousands of customers in this region. It appears that the commission will have a chance after the field study is complete to mandate that NYSEG increase its field crews. That would probably help combat the main problem cited for the frequent outages: tree contact.

(Click to read entire article)
The Top 100 Environmentalist Blogs
Environmentalism is now more important than ever. As a result, a large community of environmentalist bloggers have increasingly become an important source of information for what some are calling the ‘green revolution.’ Whether they’re discussing climate change or conservation, these environmentalists offer a wealth of excellent information. Read on to find out which 100 blogs offer the best in environmentalist news, resources, and advice.

Citizen Power Alliance: On Citizen Power Alliance, you’ll find news about regulating and improving upon energy and environmental policy.

(Click to read entire list)
New York releases plan to assess impact of gas drilling
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has released its proposed plan to review the environmental impact of natural gas drilling in the Southern Tier.

The 45-page document released Monday is the first step in developing supplemental guidelines for issuing permits for gas wells using new horizontal drilling technology.

Gov. David Paterson directed the DEC in July to develop a supplement to the state's 16-year-old generic environmental impact statement for gas wells to address issues related to the huge volumes of water used in the new technology.

In addition, regulators determined that a supplement was needed to address the impact of possible drilling in the New York City watershed, in or near the Catskill Park, and near the federally designated Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.

(Click to read entire article)
Watch your bill
For years I have paid my NYSEG bill on time for whatever amount it billed me. You can only hope you are billed correctly; you have no other choice.

In January, NYSEG changed my meter and I continued to pay the bills. Recently, I got a letter from NYSEG saying it had been billing me wrong. I not only lost the $143 credit NYSEG owed me, but I owed it $120.51. I tried to explain that as long as it was NYSEG's fault, it should accept what it had billed me and I had paid. However, a NYSEG supervisor told me they could and have gone back as far as one year.

So, watch your electric bills and if you see something that doesn't look right call in right away or you could wind up paying a large bill.

Lloyd Uhler
Oversight is key to energy alternatives
What people must think of us!

So many area residents are committed to limiting our need for fossil fuels but seem so opposed to the alternatives that rear their heads anywhere in the vicinity.

It certainly puts us into a difficult position: Yes, we want alternative and renewable energy, but, sorry, you'll have to get it _ wind, hydro or natural gas _ somewhere else. Is this just another case of NIMBY-ism, or is there more to it than that?

A few years ago, it looked as if the battle of the first decade of the 21st century was going to be fought over big-turbine windmills. One proposal after another was surfacing, primarily in Delaware County towns but also in northern Otsego County.

Today, not a one has been put up, though some proposals are still blowing around in a few towns. But now NYSEG's parent company is being sold to a Spanish firm, Iberdrola, which likes wind and is being encouraged to develop more wind power. So who knows?

(Click to read entire article)
Carbon Tax Provisions Hidden in Bailout Bill
Perhaps one of the biggest side-effects of the Senate bailout bill passed yesterday may prove to be the carbon tax measures tucked away in its 451 pages.

News Busters reveals that Section 117 mandates a ‘carbon audit of the tax code’ to be completed within the next two years that will determine which carbon tax measures will be put into place.

(a) STUDY.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to undertake a comprehensive review of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to identify the types of and specific tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects.

(Click to read entire article)
NYRI public hearings scheduled in area
The New York State Public Service Commission will hold 13 public information forums and public statement hearings concerning New York Regional Interconnect proposal to build a 190-mile high-voltage transmission line from National Grid’s substation in the Town of Marcy to Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.’s substation in New Windsor.

The local hearing schedule is as follows:

Oct. 28 – Kuhl’s Highland House, 512 Highland Ave. Ext., Middletown; forum, 1 p.m.; public hearing, 2 p.m.

Oct. 28 – Valley Central High School, 1175 Route 17K, Montgomery; forum, 6 p.m.; public hearing, 7 p.m.

Oct. 29 – Delaware Community Center, 8 Creamery Road, Callicoon; forum, 1 p.m.; public hearing, 2 p.m.

Oct. 29 – Sullivan West High School, 6604 Route 52, Lake Huntington; forum, 6 p.m.; public hearing, 7 p.m.

The Commission will webcast all of the NYRI public statement hearings. The broadcasts can be viewed at by clicking on New York State Public Service Commission link.

Comments may also be mailed to Jaclyn Brilling, secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, NY 12223-1350. Comments should refer to “Case 06-T-0650-NYRI Transmission Line Proceeding.”
FERC Conditionally Grants Incentives For New York Transmission Line
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently approved incentive rates for the New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) on condition that the New York State Public Service Commission determines the 190-mile transmission line either ensures reliability or reduces congestion, and approves siting for the project.

"FERC recognizes the need for and promotes greater investment in energy infrastructure to strengthen and improve reliability of the transmission grid," FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said. "We will only approve incentive rate proposals that satisfy the requirements of the Federal Power Act and our regulations."

Today's action involves rates for the project. NYRI has not made any requests of FERC for federal siting approval. "That issue properly lies before the New York State Commission, and our approval today rests on the New York State Commission's approval of the proposed project," Kelliher said.

FERC's conditional rate approval includes a 275 basis point, or 2.75 percent, addition to the return on equity (ROE) that will be earned by the company. That incentive includes: 50 basis points for future participation in the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (NYISO); 100 basis points for forming an independent transmission company (transco); and 125 basis points for a combined transmission and advanced technology incentive.

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Report: NYSEG reliability among worst in state
New York State Electric and Gas recorded its worst performance year in 20 years in 2007, and trees were the root of the problem, according to a report released earlier this month.

Tree contact was linked to 39 percent of all NYSEG outages in 2007, according to a staff report by the state Public Service Commission. Though commission staff recommended NYSEG study field crew staff, it was not required in the terms of the Iberdrola takeover that happened earlier this month.

NYSEG reliability was among the worst in the state in both frequency of power outages and the duration of those outages. Only Central Hudson Gas and Electric, which improved its 2007 performance compared with 2005 and 2006, performed worse than NYSEG.

NYSEG and Central Hudson Gas and Electric were the only utilities to cite tree contact as the primary cause of outages, according to the report. NYSEG attributed the increased outages to an increase in minor storms, according to the report.

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