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Archive for May, 2008

Help our friends at UNCW save energy by signing their petition!!

Here’s an email that I received from David Pinsky, a grad student at UNCW and member of the Environmental Concerns Organization.

“We have recently completed an assessment of electricity use in a large campus building. I don’t know about Charlotte, but UNCW leaves lights, computers, etc. on 24/7/365. The amount of energy, and money, wasted here is outrageous!  Before presenting the data to the administration, I am garnering support from NC residents who believe this project is a worthwhile endeavor, in addition to asking the UNC System to be more responsible with natural resource use.

http://www.gopetition.com/online/19127.html

Our aim is to do an assessment of potential electricity savings in several buildings on campus.”

Let’s help UNCW and the UNC System conserve energy by signing their petition and getting your friends to sign their petition!

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Asheville Rising Tide builds green power plant in Duke CEO’s front yard

The folks from Asheville’s Rising Tide chapter decided to harness some of the energy coming from Duke Energy’s CEO, Jim Rogers. Give it a click. The press release is hilarious.

Earth Club Needs Help With SOAR Sessions!

As you know, over the summer, UNCC has 12 Niner Night sessions for upcoming freshmen as part of their SOAR program, on Niner Night, all UNCC student organizations get the chance to show rising freshmen their student organization with a table, fliers, and anything else they want to use to reach out to the newest group of students at UNCC. If there is anyone around who would like to help with any of the Niner Night sessions with Earth Club, please let me know by emailing us at uncc.earth.club@gmail.com or emailing me at cmcameri@gmail.com. Here are the dates for the 12 Niner Night sessions:

Session 1 Thursday, June 12

Session 2 Monday, June 16

Session 3 Tuesday, June 17

Session 4 Thursday, June 19

Session 5 Monday, June 23

Session 6 Tuesday, June 24

Session 7 Thursday, June 26

Session 8 Monday, June 30

Session 9 Wednesday, July 2

Session 10 Monday, July 7

Session 11 Tuesday, July 8

Session 12 Thursday, July 10

Thank you very much for your help and continued involvement with Earth Club.

Duke Energy to Build Gas Plant at Yadkin River Station

Thanks to the No New Coal listserv for this one: Duke Energy wants to build a 620 MW gas plant at their Yadkin River site.  They’re planning for it to be a combined cycle plant, which means that it will use gas to create electricity and then use the waste heat to create steam to generate further electricity.  Here’s another site that diagrams the anatomy of a combined cycle plant. Energy Justice has a great page that describes the hazards of natural gas.

It seems absurd that Duke Energy would need so much capacity.  Here’s the count: 800 MW at Cliffside, 630 MW at Edwardsport, Indiana, 1100 MW with new proposed nuclear plants, and 620 MW in natural gas.  Sure, growth is enduring, but if there’s going to be an excess of 27,000 megawatts of power on the grid in the Southeast by 2016 according to the Southeastern Electric Reliability Council (thank you Planet Ark and Reuters), then something doesn’t add up. There will be way too much uncommitted energy on the grid, and ratepayers will have to pick up the tab.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Accepting Public Comments for 2 Proposed Duke Energy Nuclear Plants in SC

ADD YOUR VOICE — WE ARE AT AN ENERGY CROSSROADS — COAL and NEW NUKES — OR — SMART USE OF ENERGY and GREEN POWER!

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is accepting public comments — specifically on the “scope” — of what they should include in the Environmental Impact Statement that it will write as part of the license for a new (2 reactor units) nuclear power plant proposed by Duke Energy — that would be located (if sanity does not prevail) near Gaffney, South Carolina. Duke previously started to build a nuclear power plant on the same site in Cherokee County, SC  (3 units were planned) but then CANCELLED  the project in 1982-83. Duke named the new project William States Lee –and these would be reactors # 6 and 7 in the immediate Charlotte area (less than 30 miles)… and add to the “ring” around Asheville — the site is about 60 miles as the crow flies…only about 25 miles from Rutherfordton and the proposed expansion of the Cliffside coal disaster. Spartanburg, Greenville and many many smaller jurisdictions in both North and South Carolina are inside the “50 mile” zone.

We have been working these past few years under the realization that we must oppose coal and nukes in the same breath — that coal surely is not the path forward — and the nuclear energy is not the solution to the climate crisis — it takes too long, costs too much and still has all the health, safety and security challenges –and  therefore is an enormous distraction from the REAL solutions of massive, systemic, delivered and installed energy efficiency and really clean power from the natural forces of wind, sun and appropriate harnessing of water power.

With that — we invite you to participate in the NRC’s scoping process — there are some useful links and quick “talking points” below. Please also register your over-all views on this project and nuclear energy as a path in our energy future. THANK YOU!

Please send your comments:
BY EMAIL —

By snail mail: Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, Mailstop T–6D59 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001

 

basic “talking points” on Duke’s new nuke – EIS  Scoping Process

your questions and comments will be “part of the record”

the Duke Environment Report that will be the basis for this EIS is posted at:

http://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/idmws/ViewDocByAccession.asp?AccessionNumber=ML073510876

more info on nukes and climate:
 http://www.nirs.org/climate/climate.htm
and a small collection of documents more specific to the Southeast:


1.    
Please do state your overall opinion / judgment / feelings about Duke’s plan — AND — Ask questions — this is our chance to push NRC! 
 
2.     Air – please ask for specific dose estimates including tritium (radioactive hydrogen) and Nobel gases for all metropolitan areas within 100 miles
 
3.     Water – a nuke requires millions of gallons of water – in some cases per day, in some cases per minute. Where will the water come from? How much will be returned to that source and how much will leave the site as steam? How that water sacrifice impact our environment, agriculture, local water supplies including drinking water? Are climate change projections factored in?
 
4.     Other sources of power: how much wind energy capacity exists within the Duke service area? What is the solar capacity of all the roof tops within the Duke Service area? If energy efficiency is delivered to Duke customers to reduce consumption across the service area by 30%, would this new power plant be needed? How many other generation sources could be scrapped? How much would each option cost compared to the proposed nuke?
 
5.     Include all the true costs of nuclear reactor operation – including all the costs born by us as tax-payers including direct subsidies, tax credits, loan guarantees, federal waste program, federal insurance program and costs  born by victims including health impacts from routine release of radioactivity, processing nuclear fuel, waste transport, management, treatment (including incineration and heat treatment) and disposal.
 
6.     Include the impact of the Climate Crisis on reactor operations – the elevation of temperature in cooling water causing reactor outages; the increased rate of loss of off-site power due to increased incidence of severe weather and so increased risk of a major reactor accident tied to Station Black-out.
 
7.     Ask for substantiation of any claim that nuclear energy can contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions – particularly in the immediate, most critical period of time.
 
8.     Think about what you want to know – and ask NRC to address it in their EIS! This is a major addition to our immediate area – it IS our business!

Is Your Diet Low Carbon?

The Bon Appétit Management Company has released an online test that allows folks to view the carbon impact of their diets. The test allows to look at the carbon emissions of certain meals, so you can get an idea of what impact your diet has on the climate. It’s a neat little tool, and I highly encourage everyone to check it out.

Celsias has a page filled with low carbon recipes. My personal favorite is the recipe for waffles. Any recipe that requires you to blend your own flour is the shiznite.

I challenge you all to do some experimentation with low carbon dining, and please post your recipes. 😀

Duke Energy Shareholders Meeting Photos

Earth Club went to the Duke Energy Shareholders Meeting yesterday at Duke Energy’s headquarters in uptown Charlotte, and the turnout was amazing. The police and security folks were very nice, as long as we stayed in front of the little line, of course. Here is a press release that June Blotnick sent out from the Carolinas Clean Air Coalition:

Questions about Cliffside and Climate Change Dominate

Duke Shareholder Meeting

Charlotte, NC—Shareholders concerned about climate change, mountaintop removal of coal, health risks from air pollution and the effects of carbon legislation on Duke Energy’s Cliffside plant dominated the discussion period at Duke Energy’s Shareholder Meeting this morning. While a dozen questions were raised by shareholders inside the meeting, demonstrators gathered outside with banners, signs and literature encouraging Duke to stop construction of its Cliffside coal plant in Rutherford County.

Duke views Cliffside as its transition plant to a low-carbon future but the expanded 800 megawatt plant will emit close to 10 million tons of carbon dioxide a year for the next 50 years.

Duke shareholder Chatham Olive raised the issue of stockholder liability surrounding new coal plants given the national push for carbon regulation, the growing rate of global warming and exposure to toxics emitted by coal fired power plants.

Alice Loyd, director of NC Interfaith Power and Light, a program of the NC Council of Churches, also attended the meeting. Speaking afterward, she stated “We see our response to climate change as a moral issue. Building new coal plants that add substantial amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere contributing to global warming is not an ethical business practice.”

Environmental, public health and citizens groups call for Duke to make an immediate and massive push toward investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal to meet the energy needs of the Carolinas.

Here are the links to media coverage at the Triangle Business Journal, the Associated Press at MSNBC.com, and the Charlotte Observer.

Of course, Duke Energy knew we were coming, so they brought out the plug-in vehicle.

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