Articles by Richard Bornemann
For perhaps the first time since the 2010 election inaugurated divided control of Capitol Hill, there was actual excitement about energy legislation as the House took up a bill to expedite the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It’s not that the House hasn’t passed dozens of bills to encourage domestic oil and gas production, or discipline extralegal rulemakings by the EPA – it surely has. Rather, it’s been the automatic DOA status of these measures in the Senate that’s made the movie seem old and predictable. Well, that may be changing.
October brought some very good news to American energy consumers. The numbers are wonderful, almost breathtaking. We’ve defeated the fashionably Malthusian theories of “peak oil” and the supposed “finiteness” of fossil fuels in a market economy. But there’s other news that we haven’t really heard – and federal policies that we’ve not pursued – that could make a more noticeable dent in heating bills and prices at the pump.
Green groups swooned over the National Press Club appearance by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, who unveiled her agency’s proposed 463-page second attempt to mandate carbon dioxide restrictions on “new” coal-fired power plants.
In a suit brought by the states of Washington and South Carolina against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decided 2-1 to grant a writ of mandamus against the NRC for the agency’s failure to obey 1987 amendments to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (the Act). The Department of Energy had submitted its 8,600 page Yucca license application to the NRC in June 2008, but the incoming Obama Administration, in league with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), worked to zero-out money for the program. Then, a former Reid staffer, Gregory Jaczko, even became NRC chairman, and unilaterally froze the agency staff’s evaluation of DOE’s application.
Congress is beginning its August recess after a July whirlwind that subjected Washington to a multi-prong spin and promotion campaign for the White House’s announced plans to have EPA regulate carbon emission from existing coal-fired power plants.
President Obama’s climate change speech at Georgetown University on June 25 was heralded as something new and groundbreaking by the news media and by many in the anti-carbon “pollution” movement. Framed by White House spokespeople as part of a legacy issue, the President ordered EPA to fast track the regulation of carbon emissions from both new and existing coal-fired power plants…
It’s well known that that coal’s share of America’s electricity generation base has been under tremendous pressure from a squeeze play of forces. One is purely political, and based on an EPA climate change agenda that requires relentless contortions of the Clean Air Act never contemplated by Congress.
Most media analysts and even some industry executives seem to believe that EPA restrictions on carbon and other alleged greenhouse gases (GHGs) are geared mainly to future coal plants – plants that will probably never be built because, as it’s said almost everyday, today’s low natural gas prices will persist…
Experts say that the spring of 2013 is cold. In fact, the month of May began as the second-coolest spring on record since 1975. That was a year after Time magazine wondered about “Another Ice Age?” in a famous June 1974 story.
Gone was the finding that a mined geologic repository “will be available by the years 2007-2009 . . .” It was replaced by the NRC’s “reasonable assurance that at least one mined geologic repository will be available within the first quarter of the twenty-first century . . .” This was reasonable in 1990 because the official Yucca designation was relatively new, and focus had been lost between the 1982 and 1987 versions of the NWPA…
Washington’s Capitol Hill neighborhood once hosted the Trover Shop, one of the best independent bookstores in the whole Northeast. A great place to relax and browse, it had everything from bestsellers, to all the great fiction and non-fiction classics – along with an ample Cliff Notes section for those who liked their shortcuts. Hill staffers could find study guides for standardized tests, and no hobby or interest area was too specialized for the Trover Shop not to carry most periodicals dedicated to cars, boats, computers, model trains, or needlepoint or the outdoors. European news dailies rounded out the inventory.