Tag: Fossil fuels
While wind power continues to grow across the country, the winds of hypocrisy have blanketed the Commonwealth of Virginia in the form of Dominion Virginia Power. While Virginia's energy Goliath leased close to 113,000 acres of the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia Beach to supposedly construct an offshore wind farm, "their statements and company documents showed they have no intention of building anything larger than a small, two-turbine offshore test project unless the costs come down." Did I also mention that Dominion Virginia Power's executives are liars?
On the one hand, it's impressive that Dominion Virginia Power would go to such great lengths to deceive the people of Virginia into believing that it was serious about Virginia's future. During a six-round auction held by the Department of the Interior, Dominion managed to outbid Apex Virginia Offshore Wind with a $1.6 million winning bid to build wind turbines 27 miles off of Virginia's coast. As it turns out, Dominion's investment in Virginia's energy future was nothing more than an investment in protecting Dominion's virtual monopoly on large-scale renewable energy efforts off Virginia's coast.
By staving off serious competitors from actually following through on building large scale wind farms, Dominion Virginia Power has fortified its comfortable place as Virginia's fossil fuel distribution king. That is, a push towards renewable forms of energy like wind power would disrupt Dominion's current business model and potentially reduce its profits in the short run.
Dominion Virginia Power would like to build another power plant in Brunswick County that will allegedly save Virginians money over its "expected life" while reducing the quality of living over the course of the "expected lives" of several generations who have been forced to live with more dirty fossil fuel sources of energy (this last half is my own assessment!).
In its unshaking thoughtfulness for its 'customers', Dominion Virginia Power has proposed building a $1.3 billion, 1,358-megawatt, gas-fired power plant close to a town called Lawrenceville in Brunswick County, Virginia. In making a case for its construction, Dominion is arguing that the new gas-fired power plant will save customers almost $1 billion over the projected life of the power plant relative to the "next best alternative."
The alleged demand for more generating capacity would be met with this new plant, according to Dominion. But an State Corporation Commission (SCC) Hearing Examiner, A. Ann Berkebile, didn't agree with Dominion's assessment, and coming from anyone inside a historically Dominion-friendly agency like the SCC, the Hearing Examiner's conclusion was all the more powerful.
To more clearly elucidate their mutual views on energy, government regulations, and President Obama's healthcare reform, George Allen and 12 local business leaders met for a morning roundtable discussion Friday in Springfield.
Without stepping too far out of bounds of his limited political lexicon, George Allen stated that "My thoughts on energy are that it should be affordable, reliable and preferably American." The ironic thing about this comment is that if he were to become Virginia's next U.S. senator and he were to help approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, it's unclear how much of the crude would stay in the U.S.! Oh, and the price of oil would also increase in the U.S.
What's more, George Allen and his political and business allies clearly have a good time annihilating the environment, at least if it means "more jobs." Last I checked, though, the clean energy sector also exists in the U.S., a sector which also creates "more jobs." But in the world of George Allen, there are "immediate" sources of energy ready to be sucked up and spewed out into the atmosphere, so why not use them?
Commander James Goudreau, the director of the U.S. Navy's energy coordination office, offered a stark depiction at Old Dominion University (ODU) on Tuesday of the vulnerabilities the Navy, and presumably the rest of the armed services, face due to its heavy dependence on oil to meet its energy needs. Cmdr. Gondreau told his audience at ODU that refueling a ship at sea constitutes one of the most vulnerable periods and discussed the bombing of the USS Cole to illustrate this gaping defensive hole.
Cmdr. Gondreau spoke about another reason, in a long list of reasons, why it is "insane" (literally) to continue our country's reliance (including Virginia's) on fossil fuels. If one major condition of sanity is behaving in a manner that promotes and/or sustains life, then relying on oil and natural gas to power our way of living is indeed insane. That is, we are slowly (though sometimes quickly) killing ourselves and our environment through these sources of energy.
However, Republican politicians and the companies that stand to lose from progressive energy policy think all is hunky-dory with America's energy usage, even in the face of pleas from credible sources like the U.S. military, just to name one! Not to be deterred by facts, these pontiffs of the free market and cost effectiveness usually complain that alternative sources of energy "cost too much." When asked how much a human life costs, they are baffled (The EPA says $9.1 million) or fall back upon tried and true Republican Party mantras that have withstood the test of time and reason.