Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trumps Bash On Former Vice President Al Gore

Donald Trump wants the Nobel Committee to strip former Vice President Al Gore of his Nobel Peace Prize.
The New York Post reports that the billionaire told a country club crowd of 500 that recent snow storms on the east coast prove that Gore is wrong about global warming:

"With the coldest winter ever recorded, with snow setting record levels up and down the coast, the Nobel committee should take the Nobel Prize back from Al Gore."

And..."Gore wants us to clean up our factories... when China and other countries couldn't care less... China, Japan and India are laughing at America's stupidity."
"The Donald" did not include Vancouver's unseasonably warm temperatures and lack of snow in his weather observations.

After last week's record-breaking storms, many scientists went to great lengths to explain that the storms do not disprove climate change. Some even believe that climate change contributed to the storms.
Last Friday, another billionaire, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, went after climate change deniers and explained that climate change and CO2 emissions pose a huge threat to people everywhere.
In 2009, Forbes ranked Bill Gates as the richest American with a net worth of $50 billion. Donald Trump ranked 158 on the same list, with a significantly smaller net worth of $2 billion.


Click here to find out more! Your request is being processed... Obama Nuclear Plant: President To Announce Loan Guarantee For More Than $8 Billion

WASHINGTON � President Barack Obama is highlighting a new investment in energy jobs with an announcement that the government will guarantee more than $8 billion in loans needed to build the first U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades.

Obama was to make remarks Tuesday after touring a job training center at the headquarters of Local 26 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in nearby Lanham, Md. The union represents electrical and telecommunications workers, and it offers training useful for energy jobs, including the construction of nuclear power plants.

Obama was expected to announce a total of $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees to build and operate a pair of reactors in Burke County, Ga., by Southern Co., an administration official said Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of Obama's announcement.

Federal loan guarantees are seen as essential to spurring construction of new reactors because of the huge expense. Critics say the guarantees are a form of subsidy that will put taxpayers at risk given the industry's record of cost overruns and loan defaults.

The reactors, to be built by the Atlanta-based energy company near Waynesboro, Ga., are part of a White House plan the administration hopes will win Republican support at a time when the public is expressing a desire for lawmakers to work together to solve problems.

Having Obama make the announcement also underscores the political weight the White House is putting behind the effort to use nuclear power and other alternative energy sources to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and other fossil fuels, and create jobs at home. But construction of the reactors – and the jobs the project is expected to create – are years away.

Southern Co.'s application for a license to build and operate the reactors is pending with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, one of 13 such applications the agency is considering. The earliest any could be approved would be late 2011 or early 2012, an NRC spokesman said.

Southern Co. says the Georgia project would create about 3,000 construction jobs, while the new reactors would generate power for about 1.4 million people and permanently employ 850 people.
Obama called for "a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants" in his State of the Union address last month, and followed that by proposing to triple new federal loan guarantees for new nuclear plants. The president's budget proposal for 2011 would add $36 billion in new federal loan guarantees to $18.5 billion already budgeted but not spent – for a total of $54.5 billion.

That sum is enough to help build six or seven new nuclear plants, which can cost at least $8 billion apiece.
Rising costs, safety issues and opposition from environmentalists have kept utility companies from building new nuclear power plants since the early 1980s. The 104 nuclear reactors currently operating in 31 states provide about one-fifth of the nation's electricity.

Huffington Post
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Whats Stopping the Desert From Solar Power?

Plans to use concentrating solar power plants in the Sahara to generate and export electricity have been on the table for years. Now, it looks as though political will might help move things forward

The logic of the idea would seem obvious to a child: the human race needs to wean itself off fossil fuels, so why don't we build solar power plants in the world's deserts, to give us all the energy we need?

This concept has long been promoted by Desertec, a European network of scientists and engineers, which argues that just 1 per cent of the surface area of the world's deserts could generate as much electricity as the world is now using.

Desertec envisages a massive deployment of solar technology in Middle Eastern and North African countries, exporting electricity to Europe. The vision may seem idealistic, but there have been signs recently that politicians and industry are starting to take the Desertec proposals seriously.

Image shows that one per cent of the surface area of the world's deserts would be enough to meet our current electricity needs, see dot on the wastern Sahara Desert.


China Getting Closer To Lead the "Green" Totem Pole

China plans to build a national renewable energy center to enhance the country's clean energy development, the China Daily reported, citing a government official.

The center, still at a preliminary planning stage, would be responsible for policymaking, key projects, program management, market operations and international coordination, said Han Wenke, director general of the Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning agency, the newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Renewable energy consumption accounted for 8.3 percent of the China's total in 2009. The country consumed a total of 3 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent in the year, more than 90 percent of which was derived from traditional fossil fuels, with more than 70 percent from coal.

State asked to look into ND park board's purchase

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) The Bismarck Park Board has asked the state to investigate whether bids should have been sought for a biomass heating system for Bismarck State College's Aquatics and Wellness Center.

The board has expressed concern that longtime Parks and Recreation director Steve Neu should have put the purchase out for bids.

The board voted on separate motions to fire and suspend Neu, but both failed on 2-2 votes. One commissioner was absent.

A call to a number listed for Neu rang unanswered on Saturday.

The $9.4 million aquatics center is being financed by nonprofit Streamline, with the park district leasing the building for 25 years. The park district must also pay for the $600,000 heating system, with some grant money going toward it.

Billions Saved In Cape Wind Project

An offshore wind farm in the Nantucket Sound could save the New England region billions of dollars over 25 years, according to a new report.
The long-debated Cape Wind project, which would install 130 offshore wind turbines roughly five miles from the nearest shore, would be the first of its kind in the United States. It would cover 24 square miles in the sound.
The turbines would supply about 10 percent of the 2013 power demand in Southeastern Massachusetts and about 1 percent of the total 2013 New England demand.
The project would save the New England region about $185 million a year, according to the report, which was prepared this month by Charles River Associates and commissioned by backers of the project. Over 25 years, this would amount to $4.6 billion.
To do the analysis, Charles River used wholesale power costs, which are closely tied to retail costs paid by end customers. The savings were estimated by calculating wholesale power costs for the region with and without the Cape Wind project in place.

The report’s findings, however, did not dissuade the project’s skeptics, who said that while the project may be a good financial move, there are other important considerations.
“We would like to see them go back and do what the Fish and Wildlife Service asked and properly assess risks posed to birds,” said Sharon Young, field director of marine issues at the Humane Society of the United States.
Ms. Young emphasized that the Humane Society was not opposed to the project, but wants to see research on Cape Wind’s effects on waterfowl.
“The Humane Society strongly supports the need for alternative energy,” she said. “But as they say in real estate, it’s all about location, location location.”
In addition, Massachusetts Indian tribes have argued that the wind turbines would disturb spiritual rituals that require clear views across the sound.

Huffington Post