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“Wind Turbine Syndrome”
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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.


Iberdrola Renovable Stock





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.

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Copyright © 2006-2017

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




8/30/2008
Renewables Are Booming: Is a Bust Inevitable?
Orlando Wagner and Jochen Hauff compare the booming renewables market with other sectors where a boom has been followed by a bust, on the lookout for danger signals. They conclude that the renewable energy sector has strong foundations - but does have some areas of vulnerability, which they examine in detail. They conclude that industry should 'de-hype' the boom, and that a long-term, harmonized renewables support system is important to stabilize the investment framework and enable investors to fulfill the ambitious political targets in Europe - and elsewhere.

Signs of doom for the renewable energy boom?

Not all recent news regarding the growth of renewable energy has been good. Sudden drops in growth rates in key markets, increasing competition from other technologies that boast CO2 neutrality and energy security objectives, financial difficulties of key players and stock market price erosion of renewable energy companies, as well as problems with supply bottlenecks and news on difficulties in fulfilling technological and/or environmental performance promises – they do occur.

Recent developments in Germany have highlighted serious setbacks affecting the growth of renewable energy. For example, a drop in the rate of new installation for land-based wind power in the German market, combined with significant delay in offshore development dampened the previously buoyant mood in what was the world’s biggest wind power market in the past decade. At the same time, likely overcapacities in PV manufacturing make investors nervous and, we believe, highlight the dependency of this market on subsidized demand. In all these cases, it is changing or pending policy decisions that directly impact investment in renewable energies and their potential for growth.

(Click to read entire article)
8/29/2008
NYRI hearing to be at SUCO
The state Public Service Commission has deemed NYRI's application complete and scheduled public hearings, including one in Oneonta in October, on the proposed 400,000-watt power line.

Introduced about 21/2 years ago by New York Regional Interconnect Inc., the proposed direct-current line would run about 190 miles, from Marcy in Oneida County to New Windsor in Orange County.

NYRI first suggested running the 10-story-tall line through Chenango and Delaware counties, following rights-of-way owned by NYSEG and the New York Susquehanna & Western Railway for much of the route. Last year, at the PSC's request, the firm studied other routes, including some that would cut through parts of Otsego County.

On Thursday, David Kalson, a NYRI spokesman, said if the project is approved, the final route will be determined by the PSC.

(Click to read entire article)
Mazda Aiming to Have its Own Volt for 2010

When I asked Bob Lutz almost a year ago whether he thought other car companies would be adopting the Chevy Volt's "extended range electric vehicle" platform, he said that they were welcome to join in the fun.

But he may not have expected that other car companies would be so quick to the punch. While GM has been pushing like crazy to get the Volt out of the door, it looks like Mazda (Ford) has had a little bit of work going on as well.

While all eyes have been on the Volt, Mazda outfitted a Mazda MPV with an electric engine, some batteries, and an onboard Wankel engine to re-charge the batteries. Basically, this is the same set-up as the Volt with two big differences.

1. The batteries are probably small and cheap, and Mazda will need to do a lot of work before matching the Volt's 40 mile range
2. Mazda is, quite cleverly, using the Wankel engine that they have some experience with. Wankel rotary engines are much smaller and lighter than piston engines, and so will be less of a burden to haul around while the car doesn't need it.
PSC: NYRI power line application ready for review
UTICA, N.Y. - State regulators say New York Regional Interconnect's power line application is complete and they are now reviewing it.

As part of that process, the state Public Service Commission will hold public hearings Oct. 21 and 22 in Oneonta and Utica.

"We expected that the application would be deemed complete sooner or later," said Mike Steiger of the Upstate New York Citizens Alliance and a member of the steering committee for Communities Against Regional Interconnect. "We do feel we will be successful in defeating it at the PSC level."

NYRI wants to run a 190-mile transmission line from near Utica to Orange County downstate. 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 state in 2003.

(Click to read entire article)
8/28/2008
NY Public Service Commission Deems NYRI's Application to Build 190-Mile Transmission Line Complete
ALBANY, N.Y., Aug 27, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Today, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) officially deemed complete the Article VII application submitted by New York Regional Interconnect Inc. (NYRI) to build a 190-mile transmission line to bring electrical energy from upstate New York to meet the growing demand in the southeastern part of the state. The ruling indicates that the PSC has accepted NYRI's comprehensive filing which includes numerous and voluminous studies examining the economic and environmental impacts of the proposed line, as well as different routing options.

"We are very pleased by the PSC's decision and were optimistic all along that we would be judged fairly by the merits of our project," said Chris Thompson, president of NYRI. "This is a significant milestone and turning point for NYRI, as it represents more than two and a half years of hard work and investment in the project, which will ultimately benefit all New Yorkers and improve New York's energy future. NYRI is historic on many levels -- as it will be the first major transmission upgrade from upstate to downstate New York in more than 20 years -- and we believe that this latest development brings us another step closer to helping New York relieve system congestion and increase reliability while providing important local economic development opportunities and environmental benefits."

NYRI submitted its original Article VII application in May 2006 and a multi-volume supplemental filing in February. NYRI has submitted additional project details and documentation to the PSC since that time. The PSC's latest ruling will lead to a series of public statement hearings in communities along the proposed transmission line route in the fall. In addition, the Administrative Law Judges assigned to hear the case will establish a schedule for evidentiary hearings.

As NYRI has demonstrated in its Article VII application, the project will bring significant economic advantages to host communities in the form of reduced electricity rates, some 300 jobs during the construction phase of the project, the local sourcing of goods and materials and the payment of property taxes. NYRI's tax payments to host municipalities and school districts alone are estimated to total more than $37.2 million annually.

(Click to read entire article)
DEC Launches New Web Page for Marcellus Shale Info
ALBANY, NY (08/28/2008; 1001)(readMedia)-- As landowners and municipal officials continue to seek information about possible horizontal drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has launched a new Web page designed to provide details about drilling processes, leasing, federal and state laws, links to relevant sites, and the upcoming review of potential environmental impacts. The new page can be found at: This link.

"As drilling companies seek to secure leases around the Southern Tier and Catskill Foothills, New Yorkers are raising questions about this potential new activity. And they need accurate information," said DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis. "This new Web page - which will be regularly updated - will provide a fact-based resource about Marcellus Shale exploration and the environmental review."

The Web page will include facts about drilling, Marcellus Shale maps and links to other pages, such as the DEC's searchable database for existing oil and gas wells, the Landowner's Guide to Oil and Gas Leasing, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and the Delaware River Basin Commission (the two entities that regulate water withdrawals in the regions likely to be tapped).

"Oil and gas drilling in New York has been around since the 19th century and is an important industry, with hundreds of drilling permits issued every year," Grannis said. "Given the Department's experience, and our rigorous regulatory program, we are well-equipped to address the many issues presented by the proposed horizontal drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Conveying complete and accurate information to the public is critical to ensuring that all questions are answered and all issues considered, and this web page will be a centralized source of that information."
New York offers $27 million incentive to energy efficient electric utilities
The New York State Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in the region, has unveiled a $27 million incentive plan to encourage energy efficiency.

As part of the region’s energy efficiency initiative, which aims to reduce electricity usage by 15% by 2015, the Commission has now set up policies that will reward utilities for setting up energy efficiency programmes for customers.

Current trends point to an 11% rise in electricity usage in New York by 2015, but the state has set a target of reducing consumption by over 690,000 MWh annually.

“Energy efficiency… is the most cost-effective, and most immediate, way to reduce the burden of rising energy and environmental costs on residential and business customers,” says Commission chair Garry Brown.

(Click to read entire article)
Energy East suspends investor services
Energy East said Monday it has suspended transactions under its investor services program because of its pending acquisition by Iberdrola.

The program will be terminated if the deal is completed, said Energy East, parent of New York State Electric & Gas. There would be no need for the program because Energy East common stock would no longer be publicly traded if Iberdrola acquires all of the Energy East stock.

The $4.5 billion acquisition is subject to closing conditions, including approval from the state Public Service Commission. The PSC is expected to vote on the deal Wednesday.
8/27/2008
Spain's Iberdrola share trade suspended-bourse
Trading in the shares of Iberdrola (IBE.MC: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) were suspended Wednesday, the bourse regulator CNMV said.

The New York regulator had been due to rule later on Wednesday on the Spanish energy group's buy of Energy East.

But the New York Public Service Commission Chair said it will not make a final decision on the deal today.

Iberdrola shares last changed hands at 8.20 euros each, up 0.74 percent.
PSC vote on Iberdrola-Energy East merger delayed
Colleague Larry Rulison reports this surprising development from this morning’s state Public Service Commission meeting:

Two commissioners were absent from the special session at which a vote was expected on Iberdrola S.A.’s $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp.

“We will not be making a final determination today,” PSC Chairman Garry Brown said.

Instead, Sept. 3 has been set as a tentative date for the vote, said agency spokesman James Denn.

No reason was given for the absence of commissioners Robert Curry and Cheryl Buley.

Discussion of the merger was scheduled to proceed, however. “Today we will go through the final discussions,” Brown said.

Rulison reported a capacity crowd at the session, held in Albany. He said those attending appeared shocked by the development; Iberdrola representatives looked frustrated.

(Click to read entire report)
IBERDROLA Industrial Wind Turbine Machines Marching to Destroy New York State
NYS PSC - Special Session - Iberdrola/Energy East LIVE Video
Watch the live video of the "Special Meeting" of the NYS Public Service Commission on the acquisition by Iberdrola of Energy East.

Commission vote expected today.

Links available to use Real Player and Windows Media Player.
D & C PSC Editorial on Iberdrola and Energy East
Read this illogical diatribe, which consistently refuses to deal in facts. The Gannett Corporation has long favored advertisers and transnational corporations over the interests of New York State residents and taxpayers. This disgusting editorial policy is a prime reason why the Democratic and Chronicle has lost journalistic credibility and moral standing.

The virtual media blackout by the D & C of documented rational facts that expose industrial wind projects as a financial fraud and a failed electric generation method is a scandal in its own.

The Citizen Power Alliance condemns the corporate philosophy that is based upon lies and disinformation. This kind of yellow journalism practiced by the D & C reeks of elitist propaganda. This editorial illustrates systemic deceit designed to protect a corporate/government alliance that only benefits “Special Interests” at the expense of ordinary citizens.

Express your outrage in this latest tragic chapter in the financial enslavement of New York State citizens.

(Click to read the D & C Editorial)
Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits - NYT by MATTHEW L. WALD
When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing.

That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore’s hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.

The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.

The grid today, according to experts, is a system conceived 100 years ago to let utilities prop each other up, reducing blackouts and sharing power in small regions. It resembles a network of streets, avenues and country roads.

(Click to read entire article)
8/26/2008
DEC says nuclear plant kills too many fish
WHITE PLAINS (AP) — The huge numbers of fish sucked to their death by the cooling system at the Indian Point nuclear plant prove that the system harms the Hudson River environment, a state official has ruled.

The finding by J. Jared Snyder, assistant commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, is a victory for plant critics who claim that up to 1.2 billion fish and eggs are killed each year as the plant continuously draws in river water for use as a coolant.

Snyder said that even the lowest estimate of fish deaths — 900,000 annually — “represents excessive fish kills” and establishes an adverse environmental impact.

The ruling, issued this month, means that the plant’s owner, Entergy Nuclear, may no longer raise the environmental- impact issue as it battles the state’s order to build costly towers that recycle cooling water and make big river intakes unnecessary. Entergy had argued that the river’s adult fish populations have been stable.

The towers could cost Entergy more than $1.6 billion.
U.S. Boom in Natural Gas Upends Energy Equation New Technologies Help Tap Beds of Shale
American natural gas production is rising at a clip not seen in decades, pushing down prices of the fuel and reversing conventional wisdom that U.S. gas fields were in irreversible decline.

The new drilling boom uses advanced technology to release gas trapped in huge shale beds found throughout North America - gas believed just a decade ago to be out of reach.

Shale gas could ultimately be important beyond North America. The rest of the world has shale formations on an immense scale. Many of them, including beds in Europe, Russia and China, are known to contain gas, but exploration and assessment of those fields with the new production techniques is just beginning.

The trend has significant long-range implications for U.S. consumers and businesses. A sustained increase in gas supplies over the next decade could slow the rise of utility bills, obviate the need to import more gas from elsewhere around the globe, including liquefied natural gas delivered in tankers, and make energy- intensive industries more competitive.

(Click to read entire article)
PSC Sets Energy Efficiency Incentives For Utilities
Albany, NY — As part of its historic energy efficiency initiative, the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) recently agreed to set aside up to $27M that would be given to electric utilities as an incentive to develop cost-effective programs designed to assist consumers in improving energy efficiency and reduce anticipated increases in consumer electricity bills.

"The unprecedented rise in energy prices we have seen in recent months is a call-toaction for utilities to find ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption," said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. "By creating these utility incentives, the Commission is providing a valuable incentive for utilities to find ways to improve energy efficiency, which is the most cost-effective, and most immediate, way to reduce the burden of rising energy and environmental costs on residential and business customers."

Chairman Brown added: "Incentives are valuable in securing a long-term commitment by utilities to achieving efficiency goals. The Commission has established energy efficiency as a high priority, due to the benefits that it provides related to customer bills, system reliability, environmental impacts, energy security, and economic development. For that reason, incentives are warranted if they increase the likelihood of achieving our efficiency goals in a cost-effective manner. This new policy — taking the carrot and stick approach — holds utilities accountable to meet targets."

The utility incentives that are being provided are part of an overall energy efficiency proceeding designed to forestall an expected rise in energy consumption. At current trends, by 2015 electric energy usage in New York is estimated to be 11 percent higher than current levels. These factors, combined with expected fuel price increases and supply uncertainty, and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make it necessary to create energy efficiency programs and quickly find ways to reduce energy use.

(Click to read entire article)
8/25/2008
“Byolene”: The 95-Octane Gasoline-Substitute Made Directly from Municipal Waste

Biomass Turned Into Gasoline Cheaply
Developed in conjunction with the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, Byogy’s claims its process can convert a wide range of biomass feedstocks directly into “Byolene”, a 95-octane gasoline substitute at a cost of $1.70-2.00 per gallon.

Wide Variety of Feedstocks
Byogy states that the process is designed to run on non-food feedstocks such as garbage, biosolids from wastewater treatment plants, lawn clippings, food waste, and livestock manure, in addition to non-food/feed crops grown for fuel purposes.

Initially, Byogy says it intends to use municipal waste in its first plant, which it hopes to have online with two years. By 2022 Byogy says it hopes Byolene can meet 2% of the nation’s transportation fuel demand, and hopes to build an additional 200 biorefineries to do so.
One-day conference of the Rural Learning Network of Central and Western New York
Save the date October 28, 2008 for a One-day conference of the Rural Learning Network of Central and Western New York

The conference will explore:
• the roles of local/regional/state governments
• the contributions of citizens, civic organizations and public and private entities
• the roles of research and innovation
• the interrelationships among energy, land use, and climate change issues

Communities striving to be green want to reduce their carbon footprint, and many are working to frame what a comprehensive commitment to sustainability looks like, including the implications for smart growth, green job opportunities, green housing, and energy effi cient transportation. Communities in the process of becoming
greener are concerned with economic impacts (e.g., hardships faced by low income families and individuals due to rising fuel and heating costs). Energy costs and savings are where economics, environmental concerns and social responsibility intersect. A starting point for municipalities is an analysis and inventory of energy use in public buildings and vehicles, and an examination of energy and environmental quality implications of various policies. A further step is to analyze the implications of land use and development patterns for energy use. To minimize impacts on global climate change, many communities have already begun to take steps toward purchasing or providing alternative sources of renewable energy, promoting sustainable land use practices and preserving natural resources.

A growing movement is underway to share information, learn from one another and revamp federal, state and local policies in efforts to promote greener communities. Please join us to hear exciting speakers on these issues, and to share your ideas with us!

Location: Genesee River Restaurant (www.geneseeriverrestaurant.com), Mt. Morris (Livingston County), NY

Time: Approximately 8:30 am – 2:00 pm

Sponsors to-date: Cornell University (Cornell Cooperative Extension; Department of Development Sociology; Community and Rural Development Institute; Program on Environmental Economics and Energy Policy, Department of Applied Economics and Management) and New York State Association of Counties

rln-10282008_v41.pdf
PSC Iberdrola - Energy East August 24, 2008 Letter by Andrea Rebeck, AIA
Case # 07-M-0906 Iberdrola acquisition of Energy East

Those of you Commissioners who have reservations about the Iberdrola takeover of Energy East have every reason to be concerned. From where I sit, in Barre Center, Orleans County, NY, I see the future they have planned for us, and it is disastrous. Iberdrola employees have been courting our local public officials and large landowners for many months here, and are intent on erecting wind turbines in our town the minute your PSC gives the OK to the Energy East deal. However, there is not enough wind in our town to drive a single utility scale wind turbine. I have researched this and satisfied myself that this is true – such turbines require a Wind Power Density of Class 4, with some newer turbines possibly functioning in Class 3 wind, but Barre has only Class 1 and 2 wind. No one at Iberdrola will dispute this, but neither will they explain why they still want to erect turbines here.

Glenn Schleede has analyzed the economics of wind development in New York, and from my understanding of his writing, it appears that Iberdrola’s “investment” of $2 billion will net them $1.75 billion in federal and state tax shelters and subsidies. Owning wind farms in New York will allow Iberdrola to shelter nearly all the income it will earn from Energy East. New York taxpayers will have to make up for this lost tax revenue, at a time when we are already staggering under an intolerable tax burden. There is absolutely no benefit to New York ratepayers from allowing Iberdrola to own wind farms and Energy East. The benefit is solely to Iberdrola.

There is also no benefit to the environment from Iberdrola’s proposed wind farms. Iberdrola’s CEO has admitted that the electricity the wind turbines generate is not reliable, nor will it ever provide more than a tiny fraction of the renewable power that New York is striving to achieve through its Renewables Portfolio Standard. It will damage the health and welfare of the people who have to live with these enormous industrial machines in their midst. In our part of the state, town officials are permitting 420 ft. tall turbines to be built as close as 300 ft. from one’s property line. These requirements are absurd, but the officials have been so heavily influenced by wind industry operatives that they have completely abandoned their obligation to safeguard the welfare of their constituents. Thank heavens the State Attorney General’s office has finally mounted a serious investigation into the corruption that is allowing such actions to occur.

(Click to read entire letter)
National Grid is promoting energy efficiency
To achieve lower energy bills for our customers and reduced environmental impact we took action earlier this year by filing a proposal for an expanded portfolio of energy-efficiency programs. The proposal is also consistent with the New York State Public Service Commission's objective of expanding energy efficiency.

As energy costs rise, customers may undertake some energy-efficiency efforts on their own; however, we find that they are increasingly turning to their utility to find solutions. At National Grid, we believe we have a special relationship with our customers which allows us a unique opportunity to utilize the power of action and work with them directly to help reduce their energy use. These programs have the potential to help all of our customers and complement existing programs currently in place through the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Included in these proposed programs are specifically targeted initiatives for low-income customers who are especially burdened by rising energy costs.

To implement these new programs, we have proposed they be funded through the Systems Benefits Charges on our monthly customer bills. We believe this short-term investment will have long-term benefits, including reduced demand and increased efficiency that will outweigh the costs while providing long-term benefits to individual customers and the environment as a whole. In fact, the estimated costs of approximately $220 million for this program are expected to reap lifetime benefits of $350 million in energy savings.

Susan M. Crossett - Syracuse - The writer is the National Grid vice president for Energy Solutions in Upstate New York.

(Click to read entire article)
8/24/2008
PSC - Iberdrola Energy East - August 24, 2008 Letter by Citizen Power Alliance
August 24, 2008

PSC Commissioners - Garry A. Brown, Patricia L. Acampora, Maureen F. Harris, Robert E. Curry, Jr. and Cheryl A. Buley

New York State Public Service Commission
Agency Building 3
Albany, NY 12223-1350

RE: Iberdrola acquisition of Energy East - Case # 07-M-0906

Dear Commissioners:

The conduct by the PSC staff at the regular meeting on August 20, 2008 is appalling. Especially the disingenuous comment that stated that if the PSC want to ignore their own decade old policy of separating generation from transmission, that a legal loophole can be used to grant SPECIAL treatment to the Spanish utility and wind developer IBERDROLA. Each commissioner has a duty to the ratepayer and taxpayer to administer a fair playing field for all companies. The approval of special entitlement, caving into political pressure from Schumer and others, and the 180-degree reversal from Judge Epstein’s report begs an Attorney General investigation of PSC and staff.

The public will face dramatic increases in their electric utility rates if Iberdrola is allowed to keep and expand their highly unreliable and costly industrial wind generation facilities. Commissioner Buley was correct in voicing her concerns on August 20th. Nevertheless, where is the leadership among other commissioners to challenge the clear appearance of corporate cronyism among the staff of the PSC? The viewing public watched the feeble attempt to reverse PSC policy for no good or compelling reason. Any reasonable person viewing would want to know the reasons why the Epstein report should be discarded and what possible public benefit could come from reversing deregulation policy.

The Citizen Power Alliance represents dozens of statewide organizations, which in turn speak for the hundreds of ratepayers and thousands of voters. The political fix has been the way NYS politics has operated for decades. Citizens are disgusted with political hacks making policy that favor “Special Interest” while penalizing ordinary people.

IBERDROLA must NOT be allowed to own, operate or buy additional industrial wind projects. CPA appeals to the moral character of PSC commissioners to stand up to the corporate pressure and insane economic giveaways that this state cannot afford. If you are determined to approve the Energy East acquisition, maintain the deregulation standard and ban Iberdrola from wind generation. Your duty is to protect the public. If the PSC acts as a rubber stamp for a foreign monopoly, more people will exit NYS.

CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE
PSC - Iberdrola Energy East - August 24, 2008 Letter by Citizen Power Alliance
August 24, 2008

PSC Commissioners - Garry A. Brown, Patricia L. Acampora, Maureen F. Harris, Robert E. Curry, Jr. and Cheryl A. Buley

New York State Public Service Commission
Agency Building 3
Albany, NY 12223-1350

RE: Iberdrola acquisition of Energy East - Case # 07-M-0906

Dear Commissioners:

The conduct by the PSC staff at the regular meeting on August 20, 2008 is appalling. Especially the disingenuous comment that stated that if the PSC want to ignore their own decade old policy of separating generation from transmission, that a legal loophole can be used to grant SPECIAL treatment to the Spanish utility and wind developer IBERDROLA. Each commissioner has a duty to the ratepayer and taxpayer to administer a fair playing field for all companies. The approval of special entitlement, caving into political pressure from Schumer and others, and the 180-degree reversal from Judge Epstein’s report begs an Attorney General investigation of PSC and staff.

The public will face dramatic increases in their electric utility rates if Iberdrola is allowed to keep and expand their highly unreliable and costly industrial wind generation facilities. Commissioner Buley was correct in voicing her concerns on August 20th. Nevertheless, where is the leadership among other commissioners to challenge the clear appearance of corporate cronyism among the staff of the PSC? The viewing public watched the feeble attempt to reverse PSC policy for no good or compelling reason. Any reasonable person viewing would want to know the reasons why the Epstein report should be discarded and what possible public benefit could come from reversing deregulation policy.

The Citizen Power Alliance represents dozens of statewide organizations, which in turn speak for the hundreds of ratepayers and thousands of voters. The political fix has been the way NYS politics has operated for decades. Citizens are disgusted with political hacks making policy that favor “Special Interest” while penalizing ordinary people.

IBERDROLA must NOT be allowed to own, operate or buy additional industrial wind projects. CPA appeals to the moral character of PSC commissioners to stand up to the corporate pressure and insane economic giveaways that this state cannot afford. If you are determined to approve the Energy East acquisition, maintain the deregulation standard and ban Iberdrola from wind generation. Your duty is to protect the public. If the PSC acts as a rubber stamp for a foreign monopoly, more people will exit NYS.

CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE
District studies energy options
As energy costs keep going up and up, folks all over are looking for ways to save money.

Auburn school Superintendent Joseph Pabis said he's been thinking about the possibility of harnessing some of the wind near the high school and Owasco Outlet by putting up a windmill and solar panels at the school.

"We're just in the concept stage," he said Wednesday. "We're trying to get some vendors interested so we can move forward."

Pabis said he talked to some people at a recent energy forum in Auburn about the possible use of wind and solar energy at a school.

"I started a dialogue with one company, Larsen Engineers, and they are reviewing this," he said. Larsen is headquartered in Rochester, with an office in Syracuse.

(Click to read entire article)
8/22/2008
Gas lease info. at Hornell session
Steuben County landowners are banding together over mineral leases — particularly natural gas.

The Steuben County Landowner’s Coalition, along with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County and the Steuben County Farm Bureau, is hosting a meeting from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at Hornell High School to discuss the coalition’s mission of collectively negotiating natural gas leases.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, gas production in the state — at 54.92 billion cubic feet in 2007 — is near an all-time high. Because of increased demand and cheaper drilling technology, said Jim Grace, head of farm business management at the Bath CCE office, demand for gas leases in the county have skyrocketed, especially for the two main gas formations.

The most-tapped formation, the Trenton-Black River Formation, consists of large gas pockets at around 10,000 feet — or close to 2 miles — below the surface. The formation has been under development in Steuben County for several years, Grace said, and most of the work on the deposit is near Corning and Caton.

The second deposit, the Marcellus Shale, is a shallower deposit — between 5,000 to 6,000 feet below the surface — but the pockets are vertical cracks in the Earth’s crust and very hard to drill normally.

(Click to read entire article)
4000 Megawatts of US Geothermal Power in Development, Sector Has Grown by 20% This Year

There’s been a good deal of geothermal energy news in the past few weeks—less than solar and wind perhaps, but that’s more a function of publicity and popularity rather than the potential of the resource—and the latest US Geothermal Power Production and Development Update from the Geothermal Energy Association shows just how much geothermal power has grown so far this year.

New Developments Will Nearly Double Current Capacity
According to the new report, geothermal power has grown by 20% since January of this year, with 103 project currently underway in 13 states for a combined capacity of nearly 4,000 megawatts. The GEA says when completed these projects will be able to meet the electric needs of about 4 million homes.

Currently, installed geothermal power capacity in the United States is nearly 3,000 megawatts, with 2555 MW of that in California alone.

California, Nevada Lead the Way
By state, this is what’s on tap geothermally: Alaska, 5 projects/53-100 MW; Arizona 2/2-20 MW; California 21/928-1037 MW; Colorado 1/10 MW; Florida 1/0.2-1 MW; Hawaii 2/8 MW; Idaho 6/251-326 MW; Nevada 45/1083-1902 MW; New Mexico 1/10 MW; Oregon 11/297-322 MW; Utah 6/244 MW; Washington 1/(unspecified capacity); Wyoming 1/0.2 MW.

Just so everyone’s clear on this, the geothermal power being talked about in this report is a different thing entirely than ground source heat pumps, which are sometimes called geothermal heat pumps. While both utilize the heat of the planet, the two really shouldn't be confused.

via :: Renweable Energy World and :: Geothermal Energy Association

Geothermal Power
1% of Australia's Geothermal Power Potential = 26,000 Years of Energy
Jargon Watch: Geothermal vs Ground Source Heat Pump
US Department of Energy to Invest $90 Million in Advanced Geothermal Research
8/21/2008
NY PSC Sets Energy Efficiency Incentives for Utilities
As part of its historic energy efficiency initiative, the New York State Public Service Commission has agreed to set aside up to $27 million that would be given to electric utilities as an incentive to develop cost-effective programs designed to assist consumers in improving energy efficiency and reduce anticipated increases in consumer electricity bills.

“The unprecedented rise in energy prices we have seen in recent months is a call-to-action for utilities to find ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption,” said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. “By creating these utility incentives, the Commission is providing a valuable incentive for utilities to find ways to improve energy efficiency, which is the most cost-effective, and most immediate, way to reduce the burden of rising energy and environmental costs on residential and business customers.”

Chairman Brown added: “Incentives are valuable in securing a long-term commitment by utilities to achieving efficiency goals. The Commission has established energy efficiency as a high priority, due to the benefits that it provides related to customer bills, system reliability, environmental impacts, energy security, and economic development. For that reason, incentives are warranted if they increase the likelihood of achieving our efficiency goals in a cost-effective manner. This new policy — taking the carrot and stick approach — holds utilities accountable to meet targets.”

The utility incentives that are being provided are part of an overall energy efficiency proceeding designed to forestall an expected rise in energy consumption. At current trends, by 2015 electric energy usage in New York is estimated to be 11 percent higher than current levels. These factors, combined with expected fuel price increases and supply uncertainty, and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make it necessary to create energy efficiency programs and quickly find ways to reduce energy use.

(Click to read entire article)
Architects and engineers express doubt about Bloomberg's windmill proposal
A serious consideration of harvesting wind energy on New York’s skyscrapers and bridges, however, requires the abandonment of any fanciful idea about installing windmills on the Empire State Building or the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge.

First of all, it is unlikely that any existing structure would be able to withstand the extra swaying, twisting, vibrating and weight that turbines impose. So the tower’s structural framework would have to be retrofitted to handle the new loads, adding enormously to a project’s cost with relatively little yield.

Second, the familiar windmill or wind farm turbine has a horizontal rotor with radiating blades. These would pose a tremendous liability in the city, where a flying blade could do great damage. (Five people were killed in 1977 by a helicopter blade that snapped off atop what is now the MetLife Building on Park Avenue.)

There are vertical-axis wind turbines, some of which resemble giant food processor blades, that can collect wind from any direction and have been the choice of several architects who considered wind farms for the city.

(Click to read entire article)
PSC Double Whammy Shock for NYS Utility Ratepayers and Taxpayers
The Public Service Commission is ready to disavow the prescribed ten-year deregulation policy to give special approval for the Iberdrola acquisition of Energy East. Watching the video of the August 20, 2008 meeting clearly exhibits the rubber stamp cozy relationship among monopolistic cronies. The fundamental duty to protect the ratepayer from predatory corporate practices is as foreign to the PSC as it is familiar to the Spanish industrial wind cartel developer - Iberdrola.

Totally ignored by the staff and commissioners of the PSC, the approval of ownership of wind generation facilities by Iberdrola, (the fourth largest worldwide utility), will virtually pay no New York State taxes. The Byzantine labyrinth of REC (renewal energy certificates) credits from selling unmetered electric from wind projects illustrates the bogus nature of a system designed to rip off the public. The picture of wind RECs appears in the dictionary under the definition of boondoggle.

The Public Service Commission is charged by NYS Law to oversee the sale or trade of renewable credit transactions. (See § 66-k Allowance credit trading or sales). At least the commission and staff acknowledged and stipulated that electric generation from industrial wind is substantially higher in cost than current methods of production.

REC credits have been sold from the Steelwinds - First Wind/UPC Wind - project that create enormous tax offsets that are the real underlying benefit from industrial wind turbines. How is it possible to generate electricity, when the turbines were not working because of the problems with the Clipper turbines gearbox and blade? Could this be the miracle cure for the eternal search of a perpetual motion machine? Or is it just a latest gravy train for the new robber barons!

Where is the PSC regulatory oversight for fraud? Better yet, who will investigate the PSC staff for their 180-degree reversal of a sensible deregulation public policy?

Not a whiff of corruption, to paraphrase the New York Times article on illegal practices in the wind industry, deserves a sequel – Iberdrola pays no taxes – NY wind turns into Spanish wine.

The PSC staff has a duty to provide a comprehensive public explanation for reversing their own policy. Even law judge Rafael A. Epstein backed off his balanced assessment and recommendations from his Iberdrola – Energy East evidentiary hearings. What is the reason for the total turnaround? What are the compelling public benefits in allowing Iberdrola to own, buy or develop unlimited industrial wind projects, when New York State is facing the most severe budget deficit since the great depression?

Energy East ratepayers and every NYS taxpayer will be looking at huge increases for the privilege of shipping offshore the profits from this utility. When did the purpose of the PSC morph into a facilitator for corporate transnational globalism?

It is crucial that the Public Service Commissars feel the heat. Contact each commissioner individually.

New York State Public Service Commission
Agency Building 3
Albany, NY 12223-1350
Phone: (518) 474-6530
Fax: (518) 486-6081

Case # 07-M-0906 IBERDROLA
Executive Office - Garry A. Brown, Chairman
Judith Lee, Acting Executive Deputy Phone: 518-473-4544
Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling - Ethics/Secretary to the Commission secretary@dps.state.ny.us
Jodi Fansler has asked that comments be sent to her at: jodi_fansler@dps.state.ny.us
She has assured us that every e-mail will reach Chairman Brown.
Public Service Staff includes:
Andrew Davis, andrew_davis@dps.state.ny.us
Leonard VanRyn, leonard_vanryn@dps.state.ny.us
Steven Blow, steven_blow@dps.state.ny.us

On Wednesday August 27, 2008, the PSC is likely to vote on approval. Act now and demand that Iberdrola be prohibited from owning and operating industrial wind projects in NYS, and include the divestiture of current facilities. Be prepared to see your electric and tax bill take another steep hit, if you allow the PSC to grant preferential treatment for Iberdrola.

James Hall
RG&E must cut cost of electricity to fixed-rate customers
ALBANY — State utility regulators ordered Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. on Wednesday to cut the cost of electricity to thousands of customers who pay a fixed amount for power.

Savings for the average affected ratepayer will be $9.60 a month, or almost 13 percent, with a payment of $65.24 instead of $74.84.

The order affects the 28 percent of RG&E customers who subscribe to the utility's fixed-rate billing plan under the Voice Your Choice program. The majority of RG&E's customers are in the variable-rate plan, either by choice or because they didn't respond to the annual Voice Your Choice campaign.

The state Public Service Commission decided RG&E should've been marking up the cost of power by 22 percent so far this year instead of the 35 percent it has been charging.

The change will bring the prices in line with those of the customers of RG&E's sister utility, New York State Electric and Gas Corp.

PSC aide Chad Hume estimated the reduction will cut RG&E's profits in half on such accounts.

RG&E could not be reached for comment.

The utility's variable-rate customers, whose payments fluctuate with market prices, have generally paid slightly less than fixed-rate customers for the past three years.
Shift in wind power barrier by LARRY RULISON
Spanish utility Iberdrola SA would be allowed to own and build wind farms anywhere in New York as part of its $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp. under a proposal unveiled Wednesday before the state Public Service Commission.

Concerns over Iberdrola's ability to manipulate the state's wholesale electric market by owning both transmission and distribution lines and wind generation were "milder" than previous cases that have come before the agency, senior advisory staff told the five PSC commissioners.

The PSC regulates electric utilities in the state and has used its power for the past 10 years to oversee a policy that prohibits utilities from owning generation plants. The policy is designed to ensure that utilities do not use two types of assets to drive up electricity prices in what is known as vertical market power.

Exceptions can be made to the policy, and senior staff suggested Wednesday a number of conditions that the PSC adopt as part of the merger so Iberdrola cannot manipulate pricing.

(Click to read entire article)
State okays purchase of N.Y. power station
TransCanada Corp., owner of Canada's largest pipeline system, won state approval to buy the power plant that supplies more than 20 per cent of New York City's electricity for $2.9 billion (U.S.).

The sale of the 2,480-megawatt, natural-gas-fired Ravenswood generating station was approved yesterday by the New York Public Service Commission in Albany.

The commission had ordered London-based National Grid PLC to sell the plant as a condition for approval of the $7.3 billion takeover of its owner, New York-based KeySpan Corp. last year. Calgary-based TransCanada won in an April auction.

TransCanada's partial ownership of several natural-gas pipelines that supply New York City won't give it the means to manipulate prices, commission staff said. The commission had ordered the plant sale on concern National Grid might use its ownership of power lines into the city to run up profit.
Not happy with NYSEG
I believe NYSEG needs lessons in customer relations. I had an experience with NYSEG that has been smoldering for approximately two years and they are hoping it will go away. It was admitted by them that they had billing problems in the past and I was one that was affected. Despite their incompetence at the time, all they were concerned with was what was owed to them and not how it affected me financially.

I was more than willing to pay what was due, but they made it appear as though I was the cause of the huge amount owed. Threats of termination of service and bills received days within each other (only they could interpret the graphs/charts/charges included) with different amounts were received and added to my frustration.

They made a feeble attempt to resolve the situation, but it was more like “take it or leave it” and nothing mutually agreed upon. It was a token attempt without genuine concern.

Being a NYSEG customer for 25-plus years without any previous problems and then being treated like last night's garbage was/is totally unacceptable.

If this is the only means in which I can express my views to them, let it be known that this is the first step in rectifying the situation.

I suggest that if you have had similar displeasures with their procedures and policies, then join me and let your displeasure be known!

Nick Gentile
Dryden
8/20/2008
Leases for gas drilling aren't 'lottery tickets'
LAKE HUNTINGTON — If anyone thinks gas drilling is just another development scheme, think again. Natural gas companies have already leased more than 5,000 acres of land in Sullivan County, according to the county's planning division — with tens of thousands more acres in the works.

Cashing in on the gas rush - and ensuring that drilling doesn't ruin Sullivan's green spaces and pristine waters - are why a packed crowd of more than 300 turned out for Tuesday night's forum on gas exploration and leasing, sponsored by the county's planning department, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the farm bureau of Chenango County, where drilling has already begun.

At stake for a landowner with 100 acres: More than $600,000 per year in royalties and the condition of that land for generations, according to former oil industry geologist Don Zaengle and other experts.

The bottom line: Seller beware.

"Gas companies will try and cheat a landowner in 1,000 different ways," said James Leonard, an Endicott accountant specializing in the gas industry. "It all comes down to the lease."

(Click to read entire article)
PSC sets energy-efficiency incentives for utilities
The New York State Public Service Commission today agreed to set aside up to $27 million as an incentive for electric utilities to develop programs aimed at energy efficiency.

The goal of the program is to reduce consumption by up to 693,591 megawatt hours annually. That represents a portion of the PSC's share of the statewide goal to reduce consumption 15 percent by 2015.

Under the program, National Grid would receive to up to $8.67 million for a consumption reduction of 223,270 megawatt hours annually and NYSEG would be eligible for up to $3.8 million for reducing consumption by 97,769 megawatt hours annually.

The incentives would only be paid if a utility meets its goal.

"The Commission has established energy efficiency as a high priority, due to the benefits that it provides related to customer bills, system reliability, environmental impacts, energy security, and economic development. For that reason, incentives are warranted if they increase the likelihood of achieving our efficiency goals in a cost-effective manner," PSC Chairman Garry Brown said in a news release.
PSC puts $27M carrot before utilities
The state Public Service Commission will reward utilities across New York if those electric companies can develop incentives to have customers improve energy efficiencies and cut usage.

The six electric companies -- including National Grid and NYSEG, leading service providers in Western New York -- would collectively receive $26.96 million if energy consumption is reduced by 693,951 megawatt-hours (MWhs) each year. That coincides with the PSC's goal to cut energy usage by 15 percent by 2015. At current trends, by 2015 electric usage in New York state is estimated to be 11 percent higher than current levels.

"The unprecedented rise in energy prices we have seen in recent months is a call-to-action for utilities to find ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption," said a statement from PSC Chairman Garry Brown.

The incentive before National Grid is to reduce MWhs by 223,270 in return for a payment of $8.67 million. NYSEG is targeted to reduce 97,769 MWhs for a maximum payout of $3.8 million.

The PSC said the money would only be paid if utilities meet the established goals.
NYC mayor calls for wind turbines atop skyscrapers
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wind turbines would top New York City skyscrapers and bridges and dot the city's shorelines, while the mighty tides that drive the Hudson and East Rivers would also generate power under a new plan Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented on Tuesday.

"I think it would be a thing of beauty if, when Lady Liberty looks out on the horizon, she not only welcomes new immigrants, but lights their way with a torch powered by an ocean windfarm," Bloomberg said in a copy of a speech he will give in Las Vegas at the 2008 National Clean Energy Summit.

Geothermal plants and rooftop solar panels are also options, said the billionaire mayor, whose second and final term ends in January 2010. He gave companies until September 19 to submit innovative proposals toward the mayor's broad goal of making the city greener by 2030.

Bloomberg, an independent who has pushed into the national sphere with gun-control and infrastructure plans, faulted politicians for "treating us to a political silly season" and "pandering" to voters instead of solving the energy crisis, which he called the nation's top issue.

Calling a carbon tax the only measure that will work "corruption free," he added: "Some want a cap-and-trade system, which is like taking three right turns instead of one left."

(Click to read entire article)
Gas drilling law could endanger NY drinking water, say NRDC experts
Half of New York’s drinking water could be contaminated by toxic pollution, unless the state adopts comprehensive safeguards for natural gas drilling before any drills break ground, according to experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

This critical threat comes as NY Governor Paterson signed a law (S.8169/A.10526) that makes it easier for gas companies to conduct horizontal drilling, also known as hydraulic fracturing, a relatively recent technology that allows companies to extract natural gas from traditionally difficult-to-access reserves, such as the Marcellus Shale formation that underlies the Catskill Mountains and the Southern Tier of New York State.

The law has the potential to create a massive land rush to conduct a dangerous and inadequately reviewed activity in ecologically critical portions of the state. With this method of drilling comes the risk of toxic chemicals entering the drinking water supply of 9 million New Yorkers, as well as residents of Philadelphia and other major population centers.

Horizontal drilling also has the potential to create hazardous waste discharges, increase air pollution from drilling and drilling-related diesel trucking, and disrupt ecologically sensitive areas (including the Catskill Park). The last Generic Environmental Impact Statement that analyzed gas drilling in New York was prepared in 1992, 16 years ago, before the current technology for horizontal gas drilling even existed.

(Click to read entire article)
8/19/2008
Citizens' Energy Alliance sponsors Spencer informational meeting
The Citizens' Energy Alliance will hold a community gas meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Spencer Grange in the village of Spencer.

This is an open community forum to ask questions, share ideas, and
voice concerns about our region's natural gas exploration situations.

Topics will include how to protect communities from negative gas drilling
impacts on water, roads, environment and quality of life, and how to help communities benefit and prosper from the natural resources.

Attendees are requested to bring a snack or drink to share if possible.

For more information, call Rusty Keeler at (607) 589-7887.
8/18/2008
Maglev Wind Turbine
PSC: No Iberdrola settlement talks now
Public Service Commission spokesman James Denn said this morning he doesn’t know of any settlement talks between staff at the Department of Public Service and Iberdrola SA, the Spanish utility seeking to acquire Energy East Corp. for $4.5 billion.

The merger is going to be discussed at the PSC’s monthly meeting Wednesday, and a special session has been scheduled for Aug. 27. A vote on the merger could take place that day.

Energy East, which is headquartered in Maine, owns Rochester Gas & Electric and New York State Electric & Gas, which have 1.3 million upstate New York customers.

The five members of the PSC must approve the deal under state law. New York is the only state in the Energy East service territory that has yet to approve the deal.

Staff at the Department of Public Service and Iberdrola have had settlement talks in the past, but the negotiations broken down. The Spanish daily Cinco Dias reported yesterday that talks had resumed.

(Click to read entire item)
STATE POWER PANEL JUICE$ FIRED EXECS
ALBANY - The New York Power Authority has quietly given two top executives ousted by Gov. Paterson rare golden parachutes worth nearly $300,000, The Post has learned.

Roger Kelley, the former authority president and CEO who was hired just over a year ago, received a package worth up to $178,141.

Thomas Kelly, the former authority executive vice president and general counsel, appointed 2½ years ago, received $106,000, plus payment for unused vacation and sick leave time.

Kelley, who was being paid $270,000 a year, resigned effective Aug. 1 after being told that Paterson wanted new leadership at the nation's largest state-owned power company.

(Click to read entire article)
In Rural New York, Windmills Can Bring Whiff of Corruption

But corruption is a major concern. In at least 12 counties, Mr. Champagne said, evidence has surfaced about possible conflicts of interest or improper influence.

In Prattsburgh, N.Y., a Finger Lakes community, the town supervisor cast the deciding vote allowing private land to be condemned to make way for a wind farm there, even after acknowledging that he had accepted real estate commissions on at least one land deal involving the farm’s developer.

A town official in Bellmont, near Burke, took a job with a wind company after helping shepherd through a zoning law to permit and regulate the towers, according to local residents. And in Brandon, N.Y., nearby, the town supervisor told Mr. Champagne that after a meeting during which he proposed a moratorium on wind towers, he had been invited to pick up a gift from the back seat of a wind company representative’s car.

When the supervisor, Michael R. Lawrence, looked inside, according to his complaint to Mr. Champagne, he saw two company polo shirts and a leather pouch that he suspected contained cash.

(Click to read entire article)
Enron-Like Gaming of NYISO Market Rules: Did it Cost New York Consumers At Least $125 Million?
Do not expect to see meaningful oversight anytime soon from FERC. See See No Evil: FERC Refuses to Examine Gaming of RTO/ISO Electricity Spot Markets .

If the past is any guide, FERC will throw a cloak of secrecy over who was making the bogus transactions, how much market prices were inflated, how much consumers had to pay, and how much was made by those who engaged in the transactions. After several years there will be a settlement in which sellers admit no wrongdoing, blame former "rogue" traders who violated their company rules against market manipulation, pay fines that amount to chump change in relation to what was overcharged, and the evidence will be sealed.

Indeed, after years of litigation and an ALJ decision finding that Enron owed $1.3 Billion due to market manipulation, FERC recently vacated the administrative decision as moot preventing it from being relied upon in related litigation. A protest of FERC's action is now underway.

The NYISO is an electric company organized under New York law and is required to operate in the public interest. The New York PSC and the legislature can and should exercise more oversight of the performance of the NYISO. The State should consider alternative structures that provide greater accountability to the public interest and the interests of consumers, beginning with appointment of NYISO Board Members by the Governor, as California did after manipulation of the CAISO markets.

The State should also revisit the policies of the PSC that have resulted in too little bilateral contracting and too much reliance upon purchases in the flawed NYISO day-ahead and real time "convenience store" spot markets to meet needs of consumers that are predictable far in advance.

(click to read entire article)
NY Regulators To Decide On Iberdrola's Energy East Buy Aug 27
MADRID -(Dow Jones)- Spanish power utility Iberdrola SA (IBE.MC) next week expects a decision by New York State regulators on conditions for its $4.6 billion purchase of U.S. utility Energy East Corp. (EAS), an Iberdrola press official said Monday.

The N.Y. Public Service Commission will have a preliminary discussion of the issue Wednesday, and on Aug. 27 is slated to take a decision on what conditions it will set.

Iberdrola will only buy Energy East if it can keep the company's wind power assets, Iberdrola's Chief Executive Ignacio Galan said in July.

Administrative Law Judge Rafael Epstein in June reviewed the proposal and recommended blocking the transaction arguing it doesn't satisfy the public interest requirement of state utilities law. The judge is advising the New York utility regulators.

Epstein's non-binding opinion recommends a series of conditions the commission should impose if it approves the deal, including limits on the generating plants the Spanish company may own.
8/17/2008
Schumer wants “rogue” energy traders investigated
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said today he wants a federal investigation into “rogue” energy traders, whom he said have ripped off New York consumers by as much as $290 million.

Schumer did not identify the trading firms that he says scheduled electricity transmission for “inefficient” routes between New York and Pennsylvania and New Jersey through the Midwest, avoiding fees incurred by scheduling the most direct route over congested transmission lines between New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The problem is that electricity takes the most direct route, so the congested lines got even more congested.

Because of the congestion, the New York Independent System Operator, the East Greenbush nonprofit that oversees the state’s wholesale electric market, had to increase fees known as “uplift charges” for all energy buyers. This increase was passed on to consumers, as were other congestion fees.

Schumer’s office said this practice of routing electricity through the Midwest has cost consumers as much as $290 million since January.

Schumer is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to look into the trading practices, which were not necessarily illegal but exploited loopholes in transmission and trading regulations.

The NYISO wrote to FERC on July 21 detailing the problem.

“New York state’s energy consumers got ripped off by rogue energy traders who are employing deceptive practices and it must stop immediately,” Schumer said in a statement issued today.
Schumer Demands Federal Investigation Into Energy Trading Scam That Fleeced NY Consumers Of Untold Millions And Put NY-Area Power Grid At Risk
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today demanded that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission immediately conduct an investigation into an energy trading scam that allowed players in New York State’s energy markets to reap huge profits while passing on sky-high costs to consumers and municipalities. Between the months of January and July of 2008, market traders were using deceptive energy trading practices that slammed consumers with millions of dollars in unnecessary, additional fees and put the state at risk of blackouts.

In an effort to shut down the practice and protect consumers, Schumer wrote a personal letter to FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher demanding an immediate investigation into the practices and urging that FERC take immediate action permanently close the loophole.

“New York State’s energy consumers got ripped off by rogue energy traders who are employing deceptive practices and it must stop immediately,” Schumer said. “From what we know, it wasn't just a dollar here and a dollar there -- these folks may have fleeced New Yorkers out of a quarter billion dollars. FERC’s job is to be the cop on the beat to protect consumers but a loophole is costing us dearly and putting everyone at risk of blackouts. FERC must immediately investigate the market traders’ practices and take swift action to nip this problem in the bud.”

(Click to read the entire article)
Article is a breath of fresh air, sort of
Brian Nearing's Aug. 12 article on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative was wonderful news, mostly. Once again, an attempt to improve the quality of our environment is decried by those who need to be held accountable.

Gavin Donohue, president and CEO of the Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY), declares that "We cannot afford to be uncompetitive with neighboring states. A national program, with all states on a level playing field, is the right approach to reducing CO2 emissions." Over the past eight years, our national government hasn't exactly been the shining beacon of protecting our environment now, has it?

Level playing field? New York residential electric rates are the second highest in the nation, second only to Hawaii (according to the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy). Our neighboring states rank as follows: Connecticut, third; Massachusetts, fourth; Vermont, 10th; Pennsylvania, 17th.

When deregulation forced the investor owned utilities, National Grid and NYSEG, to sell their generating plants, they were snapped up by a group of new players in the game, now represented by the IPPNY. The IPPNY members bought dirty plants and now whine about having to clean them up? Guess they didn't see the writing on the wall?

I'm not a big fan of the pollution credits either, whether they diminish over time or not. What they do is allow dirty polluters to continue being dirty and toxically soil their neighborhoods then they purchase credits from cleaner operations (perhaps not even other power plants); it sounds like legalized bribery to me. It seems like a questionable way to achieve progress and not a very healthy one. Remember that all of these costs are always passed along to us, their customers.

THOMAS A. PRITCHARD
Testing energy policy by Larry Rulison
That doesn't quell the concerns of James Hall, a spokesman for Cohoctan Wind Watch, a citizens group opposed to wind farm development in Steuben County.

Hall, a NYSEG customer, said he believes that if Iberdrola is allowed to take over Energy East and own wind farms in its service territory, that will only mean higher rates.

Hall supports the recommendation by the administrative law judge overseeing the case for the PSC, Rafael Epstein, to limit Iberdrola's wind farm ownership to outside the NYSEG and RG&E service territories. That solution, which is also supported by IPPNY, would allow Iberdrola to keep its interest in Maple Ridge, which is in the National Grid service territory.


In fact, only three of the 10 projects proposed by Iberdrola in New York would be in the NYSEG service territory; none would be in RG&E's.

"We certainly hope they (the PSC commissioners) have the conviction to hold to his recommendation," Hall said. "They can't have it both ways. The PSC policy is pretty clear."

(Click to read entire article)
8/16/2008
Gas-drilling rules tighten
Water just became a tad harder to get for the very thirsty industry tanking up to draw natural gas from under the Southern Tier.

While water is still in abundant supply in the Susquehanna River Basin, regulators are adding a few more rules to make sure it stays that way.

Beginning Oct. 15, prior approval will become a requirement for withdrawals of any amount -- from rivers, streams, lakes or aquifers -- by companies using a water-intensive drilling process to tap natural gas reserves, such as the Marcellus Shale Formation.

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which oversees water resources in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, announced the regulatory changes Friday.

Until now, a drilling crew could draw up to 600,000 gallons of water without approval. That practice, multiplied by thousands of wells expected to be drilled in the region, raises the risk of "an adverse cumulative impact" on the region's water sources, commission Executive Director Paul Swartz said.

To develop the Marcellus formation, drillers will apply a process called hydro-fracturing to break apart bedrock and increase gas production. Each well will require 2 to 5 million gallons of water.

(Click to read entire article)
New York electricity users may get zapped for $120M
A new regulation taking effect this year will cost electricity customers about $120 million annually, according to the state agency responsible for overseeing how the money is spent.

But the bill could go much higher, a spokesman for a trade group of energy producers warned.

The $120 million is the price tag for the state's participation in a group of Northeast and mid-Atlantic states that plan to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. The state plans to start selling permits to energy producers to emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in December.

Tom Lynch of the state Energy Research and Development Authority said the initial impact on an individual customer's monthly electricity bill "could be rather small ... as little as 78 cents a month."

But a market is expected to develop for the permits. Lynch said it is impossible to estimate how high rates could go when companies start trading and selling the permits themselves.

(Click to read entire article)
8/15/2008
Have Your Saturn Converted to an All-Electric Car
Starting later this year, Advanced Mechanical Products (AMP), a company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, will take your pre-existing or newly purchased Saturn Sky and convert it to an electric car.
New York Expands Net Metering and Green Building Legislation
Also in the news last week, New York Governor David Paterson signed a legislative package on August 5 that could encourage people throughout the state to install grid-connected solar and wind power systems, systems that generate power from farm wastes and "green" roofs. Most of the bills relate to net metering. Senate Bill 7171 expands net metering to include non-residential solar power systems up to 2 megawatts (MW) in capacity, or equal in size to the customer's peak load, whichever is less, and increases the maximum solar power system size for residential customers to 25 kilowatts (kW), up from 10 kW.

The bill also attempted to increase the limit for farm-based anaerobic digesters from 400 kW to 1 MW, but a separate bill, S. 8415, knocked the limit down to 500 kW. S. 7171 also requires each utility to develop a model contract and reasonable rates, terms and conditions for net metering of non-residential customers, and to develop safety standards for interconnecting these customers. It also includes a requirement for an external disconnect switch, which is rarely needed for modern grid connection equipment.

Senate Bill 8481 applies similar changes to net-metered wind power generators, allowing farms to net meter wind turbines as large as 500 kW, up from 25 kW, and expanding net metering of wind turbines to include non-residential customers, who can net meter wind turbines as large as 2 MW or the customer's peak load, whichever is less.
Farmers want line put underground
ELLISBURG — Put the line underground.

Farmers from the prime agricultural land in the town want the zoning law amended so any new electric transmission lines, such as the proposed line from the Galloo Island Wind Farm, must be below ground.

"If it were underground, we would not be as adamantly opposed to it," Edmund M. Davis said.

"It's easy digging," added Albert M. Gehrke. "If it's down four or five feet, nobody's going to be bothered by it."

They and other farmers believe that if a transmission line is above ground, it will interfere with their farming practices and production and be an eyesore.

The two, and three other farmers, own land along about three miles of the most recently proposed route for the Galloo Island line. They presented a zoning law amendment to the Town Council at its meeting Thursday night. Mr. Davis consulted with attorney Mark G. Gebo on the law. Mr. Gebo helped the town of Lyme draft its zoning law on wind power development. The Lyme law includes a similar provision.

The Ellisburg proposal would require transmission lines above 125 kilovolts to be placed underground. But the town would have power to grant variances.

"We've given the town board an out," Mr. Davis said. "They can make an exception."

He said he thought some people may not care if the line is run above ground. He also isn't sure if it will hold up as the Galloo Island project progresses.

"It may not be binding when we deal with the Public Service Commission," he told the Town Council. "But it gives us a better bargaining position."

The council agreed it should be checked by the town attorney.

"I'm not opposed to it, I just want someone else to read it," Councilman Kurt E. Gehrke said.
8/14/2008
NYSEG to inspect power lines
NYSEG will conduct aerial and ground inspections of power lines in Chemung, Steuben and Tioga (N.Y.) counties.

The aerial inspections, done by low-flying helicopter, began Tuesday and will continue throughout the week.

Ground inspections will begin immediately and continue through Sept. 3.
NREL Solar Cell Sets Efficiency Record of 40.8%
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have set a world record in solar cell efficiency with a photovoltaic device that converts 40.8 percent of the light that hits it into electricity. This is the highest confirmed efficiency of any photovoltaic device to date.

The inverted metamorphic triple-junction solar cell was designed, fabricated and independently measured at NREL. The 40.8 percent efficiency was measured under concentrated light of 326 suns. One sun is about the amount of light that typically hits Earth on a sunny day. The new cell is a natural candidate for the space satellite market and for terrestrial concentrated photovoltaic arrays, which use lenses or mirrors to focus sunlight onto the solar cells.

The new solar cell differs significantly from the previous record holder – also based on a NREL design. Instead of using a germanium wafer as the bottom junction of the device, the new design uses compositions of gallium indium phosphide and gallium indium arsenide to split the solar spectrum into three equal parts that are absorbed by each of the cell's three junctions for higher potential efficiencies.

This is accomplished by growing the solar cell on a gallium arsenide wafer, flipping it over, then removing the wafer. The resulting device is extremely thin and light and represents a new class of solar cells with advantages in performance, design, operation and cost.
Exhaust to energy technology to bolster fuel efficiency
Scientists say that cars will be able to save up to 10 per cent of their fuel within ten years by converting waste energy from their exhausts into electricity.

BSST, a participant in the Department of Energy’s Freedom Car initiative, is developing a component designed to fit to a car exhaust that is capable of converting waste heat into usable energy. Lon Bell, president of the company, said that a typical installation could harvest a kilowatt of energy in a passenger vehicle.

The company has been selling the Climate Control Seat, a seat designed to apply either heat or cool air directly to a passenger’s body using electrically-powered heat exchange materials. "We want to reverse the process, using the exhaust system to harvest the waste heat and convert as much as possible to electric power,” explained Bell, predicting demonstration units would be completed next year, and commercialisation of the product would be achieved four to six years after that.

Hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars produce less heat when using their electric drives, which makes the system less suitable the larger the electric battery used to drive a vehicle becomes, admitted Bell.

(Click to read entire article)
8/13/2008
Deep-Well Gas Drilling A Concern for State's Water Sources
"Decades ago, we weren't careful with coal mining. As a result, we are still paying huge sums to clean up acid mine drainage from that period, and we will be for a long time," says Bryan Swistock, water resources specialist with Penn State Cooperative Extension. "We need to be careful and vigilant, or we could see lasting damage to our water resources from so many deep gas wells being drilled across Pennsylvania."

This latest wave of gas-well drilling is unlike other previous exploration because the wells are so deep, tapping the Marcellus shale formation, which is a mile or more below the surface of much of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York. Scientists have known for years the gas was there, but it wasn't until new drilling technology was developed that it could be extracted. This method uses hydraulic pressure to fracture the shale layer so trapped gas can escape.

"Fracking, as they call it, can require several million gallons of water for each gas well, and some wells may be fracked more than once during their active life, which might span more than a decade," Swistock explains. "Where that water comes from, and what the drillers do with it when it is recovered, is a big issue for our state. The fracking water can have various chemical additives along with natural contaminants from deep underground when it comes back to the surface, so it needs to be collected and treated or recycled properly."

(Click to read entire article)
Boone Pickens Loses Big On Oil, Natural Gas Bets: Wind-Farm Ads Worked Too Well
Boone Pickens has been a very busy man lately, lecturing Congress about his wind and natural gas-focused energy policy, assembling a "green" army, and starring in his own commercials. Maybe he's been too busy.

The New York Post says the billionaire octogenerian's $300 oil predictions couldn't help him last month. The commodity half of Pickens' BP Capital hedge fund (which has $7 billion in total assets under management) sank about 35% in July. He can add those losses to the boot-licking he just took in Yahoo (YHOO).

"We notified our commodity-fund investors last week that the steep decline in natural gas and oil prices has had an adverse impact on our performance...We continue to analyze the market and adjust accordingly," a Pickens spokeswoman said.

For those who haven't seen his ubiquitous commercials, Pickens master energy plan is to build massive wind farms in Middle America to replace natural gas a source of electricity. Then, natural gas will be available to use as a fuel for automobiles. Where does the Middle East fit into this plan? Nowhere. Pickens has sunk multiple billions into his own wind farm already and is positioning himself as the "energy guru" for the next Presidential administration.

Needless to say, these losses are embarrasing to Pickens on many levels.
Natural-gas drilling in the northeastern U.S. threatens water quality
The exploitation of massive Marcellus Shale natural-gas deposits in the Appalachian region of the northeastern U.S. sounds like a dream. With energy concerns at the top of the nation’s agenda, this natural-gas reservoir, located just several hundred miles from East Coast urban centers, has drilling companies pouring into the region. In Pennsylvania, where development is the most advanced, landowners are eagerly signing mineral-rights leases. But environmental groups and some industry insiders warn that local communities and state regulators could be blindsided by the environmental consequences of the gas boom.

David Burnett, technical director of the Global Petroleum Research Institute at Texas A&M University, says that residents in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, and other prime areas for drilling the shale, should be braced for high-speed changes. During the past 7 years, exploitation of the Barnett Shale, a similar geological formation in Texas, “has turned Fort Worth into a boom town like Silver City, Nev., in its heyday,” he says. Burnett’s research aims to minimize the environmental consequences of gas and oil drilling.

Buried more than a mile beneath the surface, the Marcellus Shale’s vast amounts of natural gas have long tantalized geologists. Now, thanks to soaring natural-gas prices and improved drilling technologies—mainly hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—an estimated 50 trillion cubic feet of gas could be recovered from the formation, according to Pennsylvania State University geoscientist Terry Engelder.

(Click to read entire article)
Fuels used for electricity generation

In the United States, the primary fuel used for electricity generation is coal, at 49% of electricity production. Natural gas follows at 22%; nuclear at 19%; hydroelectric at 6%, and petroleum at 1.6%. The newer renewables are all quite small: wood at 0.93%; wind at .77%; waste at .41%; and solar (for electricity generation) at 0.01%.
8/12/2008
Suppliers say U.S. risks losing electric car race
Mounting losses for the U.S. auto industry threaten investment in cutting-edge battery development, raising the risk U.S. companies will be shut out in the race to produce the most valuable components in electric cars, industry executives say.

Executives at U.S. auto parts companies gathered for a forum in Traverse City, Michigan, said the U.S. government needs to provide incentives to support the industry until costs for electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, fall far enough to make investments profitable.

That process could take up to a decade, executives said, warning that key battery technology for the emerging electric car market will otherwise be dominated by companies from Japan, Korea and China.

"For electric vehicles, nearly all major components come from Asia. We don't want to create another cartel for renewable energy, sustainable mobility," said MaryAnn Wright, who runs the hybrid business of Johnson Controls Inc.

(Click to read entire article)
DEC needs staff to deal with gas rush
More regulators will likely be needed to oversee a tidal surge of drilling activity and related environmental issues expected to accompany the development of the Marcellus Shale, according to state officials. Where they will come from, however, remains a mystery.

While the state has a freeze on hiring as it deals with a budget shortfall, energy companies are actively recruiting workers with regulatory backgrounds to help negotiate the permitting process. The competition for workers on one side of the regulatory fence with a hiring freeze on the other complicates an already complicated picture.

Judith Enck, Gov. David Paterson's top environmental adviser, said last week the state would either find a way to staff the Department of Environmental Conservation to handle the expected rush of drilling permits and a comprehensive review of the impacts from drilling, or the process will simply take longer.

"We are looking at various options," said Enck, declining to be more specific. "We understand the concern about staffing."

(Click to read entire article)
New York Implements Greenhouse Gas Cap
Aug. 12--ALBANY -- New York has joined a regional system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the state's power plants.

On Monday, the state Environmental Board voted to implement the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which creates a mandatory cap-and-trade program designed to cut pollution that contributes to global warming, while simultaneously raising funds for "green" energy programs in New York.

"Today's action is the culmination of extensive work by the Department of Environmental Conservation and our state partners to respond to the challenges posed by climate change," said Alexander B. "Pete" Grannis, DEC commissioner and Environmental Board chairman, in a press release. "With the approval of the RGGI regulations today, we have enacted a key component of Gov. David A. Paterson's plan to move New York towards a clean energy economy and ensure a healthier environment for our entire region."

To stay in business, power plant operators will have to purchase carbon dioxide allowances, either through a quarterly auction or from each other in a secondary market, to cover every ton of carbon dioxide they emit. Plants must be in compliance by Jan. 1, 2009.

(Click to read entire article)
Balancing natural resources
DEC says it will safeguard environment in quest for gas

Across New York's Southern Tier and Catskill foothills, there is talk about a modern-day gold rush for natural gas. Drillers are hurrying to lease rights from New Yorkers to tap into the Marcellus Shale formation, a rich natural gas reserve that may contain trillions of cubic feet of natural gas worth a fortune.

While this exploration could increase supplies of natural gas, expand the tax base and boost the upstate economy, it can also have significant environmental impacts. In public forums already held across the state, Gov. David A. Paterson's administration has heard the community concerns, particularly about environmental protection.

The Department of Environmental Conservation shares those concerns and is fully committed to ensuring that this drilling will only proceed in an environmentally responsible way.

Gov. Paterson recently approved a bill that extends uniform gas well spacing rules and establishes boundary setbacks to protect the interests of adjacent property owners. This new law has been widely misreported as allowing a new type of drilling, or somehow making it easier to get the environmental permits necessary for drilling. In fact, the new law addresses only well spacing. It authorizes nothing new or in any way reduces the environmental review needed before a drilling permit is issued.

(Click to read entire article)
8/11/2008
New York Officially Adopts Carbon “Cap and Trade” Program
ALBANY, NY (08/11/2008; 1437)(readMedia)-- The New York State Environmental Board today approved regulations to implement the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is an initiative begun in December 2005 by 10 Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to enact regulations to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

New York and the other RGGI states have designed the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a simple and constructive way. The states have committed to cap and then reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that power plants in their region are allowed to emit, limiting the region's total contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.

"Today's action is the culmination of extensive work by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and our state partners to respond to the challenges posed by climate change," said Pete Grannis, DEC Commissioner and Environmental Board Chairman. "With the approval of the RGGI regulations today, we have enacted a key component of Governor David A. Paterson's plan to move New York towards a clean energy economy and ensure a healthier environment for our entire region."

(Click to read the entire press release)
8/10/2008
Gas-drilling risks get local focus
Thousands of Southern Tier landowners negotiating with energy companies are taking environmental problems of natural gas drilling into their own hands, rather than counting on state regulators.

While the state Department of Environmental Conservation begins an environmental review looking into the effects of extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale Formation, landowners are teaming up to draft their own set of rules.

With the help of environmental engineers who have worked for the energy industry, landowners are insisting on contracts that outline strict conditions for drilling on their land. They include water testing before, after and during the process by an independent firm, emergency response plans, and rules for waste disposal and drilling techniques to minimize environmental problems, including truck traffic, erosion and water pollution.

"These are things of essential importance. If you put them in your lease, you're covered," said Robert Williams, director of environmental planning for Barnes-Williams Environmental Ser-vices. Williams, a longtime Windsor resident, is part of a team working with attorney Chris Denton on contracts for at least four coalitions in the Southern Tier, collectively representing more than 1,400 residents who own more than 75,000 acres.

(Click to read entire article)
Learn from Colo.: Be cautious with gas drilling
Soaring natural gas prices have spurred a land rush for gas drilling rights that has mesmerized much of Pennsylvania. In a time of budget woes, rising unemployment and pinched pocketbooks, increased gas exploration offers a welcomed bit of good economic news.

But unless Pennsylvania acts creatively now, the benefits may be restricted to a few thousand individual landowners and a temporary workforce while the costs will be borne by a much wider community.

Consider the experience of western Colorado, which has witnessed a similar rush to drill beginning in 2003. Gas companies have been drilling wells and laying pipeline to extract the Piceance Basin’s 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. Western Colorado communities are suffering the costs of the drilling boom, but have prepared for a future without industry.

(Click to read entire article)
8/09/2008
Marcellus Shale, an Allegany County Gold Mine?
The high cost of energy has fueled claims of economic growth stemming from the recoverable gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale formation, and one of the leaders in the field, Terry Engelder, formerly of Wellsville, will discuss the potential for that growth in Wellsville next week.

Engelder will be in Wellsville 7 p.m. Monday at the David A. Howe library to give a public presentation on the possibility of economic growth based on the development of the area’s natural gas reserves courtesy of the Wellsville Citizens for Responsible Development. There will also be a discussion of an approach which could make Allegany County more appealing to the energy companies and could result in increased tax revenues, employment and cheap fuel to the area, according to the WC-RD.

“Marcellus Shale has always been known to have obtainable natural gas,” according to local geologist Art VanTyne, who said as recently as last month that the old oil and gas producers retrieved only a small fraction of the oil and gas from this area, but, that high oil prices and newer drilling technology have made retrieving it more feasible and affordable. “There’s a lot of difference between drilling when a barrel of oil costs only $35 than when it costs $140.”

From Texas to New York, Engelder and Lash have gone on record stating the Marcellus shale conservatively contains 168 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in place, but that the figure might be as high as 516 trillion cubic feet. Statistically the United States, Canada, and Mexico combined currently produce roughly 30 trillion cubic feet of gas annually. Engelder has said the technology exists to recover 50 trillion cubic feet of gas just from the Marcellus, shale making it a super giant gas field.

(Click to read entire article)
8/08/2008
Enviromania by Daniel Henninger - Wall Street Journal
For years, hyper-active environmentalists have burned votive candles to the spirit in the sky, hoping she'd levitate energy prices high enough to make alternatives to oil economically feasible. That day has come. Result: The oil has hit the fan.

With gasoline over $4 and with life as they love it in the suburbs being shut down, did people call for the windmills? Nope. A heavy majority want to drill the bejeezus out of anywhere in America we might find black slop.

No one has been hit harder by this unexpected truth than Nancy Pelosi and her green brigades.

Fearful of an up-or-down vote on drilling for oil in, of all places, our own country, the Pelosi House and Harry Reid's Senate shut down Congress. House Minority Leader John Boehner calls drilling the greatest issue Republicans have had in his political lifetime. A party flat on its back is ready to run on oil pumps.

Why stop there?

(Click to read entire article)
CNPC eyes Chesapeake shale gas stakes
HONG KONG, July 28 (Reuters) - China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), China's top state oil firm, is thinking of bidding for minority stakes in shale gas assets of Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), according to a local newspaper report.

Chesapeake is looking to raise as much as $5 billion this year from selling minority stakes in its Arkansas and Pennsylvania shale gas properties, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday, citing unnamed market sources.

Energy companies are spending heavily to lock up acreage in hot shale plays, where oil and natural gas are trapped in layers of rock. Record energy prices and technology such as horizontal drilling have made retrieving hydrocarbons from shale profitable.

(Click to read entire report)
Fenner, NY Wind Turbine Collapse



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