Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Energy News Digest for November 6, 2007

All the links in today’s news digest lead to current stories. Please note that some media organizations update their web sites regularly, which may result in broken links in the future.


Manqué • \mahng-KAY\ • adjective – Short of or frustrated in the fulfillment of one's aspirations or talents

Joel was getting frustrated with his ukulele instructor’s insistence that he learn how to play the finger-stretching E-Major chord. “Using alternatives won’t get you anywhere close to ‘Cliff Edwards’ territory,” the instructor raged. “You’ll be a ukulele manqué if you don’t progress.” “How about settling for something close to ‘Tiny Tim’ territory,” Joel suggested. The instructor shuddered visibly at the thought. (Cliff Edwards was known as “Ukulele Ike”. But to most he was better known as the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio)



BPA deal could trim utility bills 7 percent – Most Oregonians would again benefit from cheap hydropower after a court ruling led to a 13 percent increase in May. Most Oregonians would see lower electricity bills next October under a tentative deal that reallocates the benefits of the cheap hydropower sold in the region by the Bonneville Power Administration. (The Oregonian)

Portland General Electric proposes $300 million for pollution controls at Ore. Plant – PGE Portland General Electric has proposed spending $300 million for pollution controls at Oregon's only coal-fired power plant. (The Oregonian, via Examiner.com)

ELECTRICAL FUSE OPENING GENERATES BIG BANG IN DOWNTOWN SHELTON - An underground electrical fault just before eight last night caused a fuse to open, resulting in an impressive bang and show of sparks. The opened fuse affected approximately 25 customers near the intersection of Seventh and Railroad. The traffic signal as well as homes and businesses to the southwest of the intersection lost power. The sound of the fuse opening was heard for several blocks and one witness reported sparks falling in the area.

Tri-City Herald Editorial – Electric utilities can learn from Benton PUD's rates

Some Grant County PUD customers eligible for new power bill discount – Grant County PUD is now offering a new 20 percent power bill discount for some disabled customers considered among the poor. (Columbia Basin Herald)

LNG foes say they need answers – Opponents of a liquefied natural gas terminal proposed for the Columbia River told federal officials Monday night that there are too many secrets about the project and they're tired of being left in the dark. (The Daily News, Longview)

Clinton Energy Plan Includes Push for Higher Gas Mileage – Among Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s proposals are reducing carbon emissions and phasing out incandescent bulbs. (NY Times)

Gov. Bill Richardson's new book on energy policy hits the shelves (Albuquerque Tribune – By the way, Bill; the Northwest direct service industries say hello!)

A matter of money – Power transmission complex, costly. Consumers want it here on demand as cheaply as possible, but only those inquisitive few care about where it comes from or how it is transmitted. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via power Marketing Association Online)

Michigan – City moves toward pulling the plug on POWER Fund. The promise of economic opportunity in the Uptown at RiversEdge site may spell the end of Bay City's POWER Fund. The Bay City Commission, acting at request of city staff members, voted 5-3 on Monday to take $2.14 million from what remains in the fund and dedicate it to ''electrical infrastructure improvements'' at the Uptown site, on the east bank of the Saginaw River downtown. (Bay City Times)

Comverge Shares Drop on Wider 3Q Loss – Comverge Inc.'s stock fell sharply Tuesday after the company said its loss widened in the third quarter amid rapid expansion and accelerating costs. (Forbes Magazine)


Advocates Sue to Enforce Pesticide Order – Salmon advocates filed a lawsuit Monday to force the Bush administration to obey a 5-year-old court order requiring it to make permanent rules to keep agricultural pesticides from killing salmon. (Wired Magazine)

Daily Astorian Opinion – Salmon fight will grow more difficult. Salmon’s adversaries didn’t count on its advocates or salmon’s tenacity

Sandbags Give Chico Creek Salmon a Boost Upstream (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

San Francisco – Smog board wants to ban wood fires on bad-air nights in winter. It would be illegal to use residential fireplaces on nights with poor air quality under a rule being considered by Bay Area air regulators. (San Francisco Chronicle – just use it for cogeneration and you’re in the clear!)


Wind Power Costs Continue to Rise – Environmental issues are not the only dark clouds dimming wind power's appeal. Demand for wind power is driving up the price of wind turbines substantially, further raising the already-high costs of wind-generated power. (Environment News via The E-Team)

Lawmakers File Bill to Bridge Rural and Urban Renewable Energy Gap – Two members of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, U.S. Representatives Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), introduced legislation in the House that would make renewable electricity produced in rural areas available to urban energy users. (Renewable Energy Access)

Georgia Plant is First for Making Ethanol from Waste – Not all ethanol is created equal. Scientists say the real hope for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and pursuing energy independence lies in cellulosic ethanol. (National Public Radio)

Massachusetts Looks at Using Biofuel in Home Heating Oil – Gov. Deval L. Patrick and legislative leaders proposed a bill on Monday to require all home heating oil and diesel fuel to contain at least 5 percent biofuel by 2013. (NY Times)

Canada – Hydrogen highway hits dead end. Ballard's talks with potential buyers is admission that dream of hydrogen fuel car is dead: analyst (Victoria Times Colonist)

Officials hope to harness power of waves – Winds and offshore currents could provide clean energy to millions of homes, according to secretary of the interior (Contra Costa Times)


Olympia might switch traffic lights to LEDs – Efficient new lights use 80 percent less energy than regular incandescents (The Olympian)

Seven Days, Seven Ways – Easy ways to cut your energy use, one day at a time (The Grist)


Climate Is a Risky Issue for Democrats – Candidates Back Costly Proposals (Washington Post)


Microsoft to open $500 million data center in Ireland (News Tribune, Tacoma)

Bill Virgin – If it's important, don't put it in e-mail (Seattle Post Intelligencer)


TODAY IS ELECTION DAY IN MASON COUNTY – Ballots for the General Election are due today. Ballots need to be returned to the Mason County Auditor's Office no later than eight tonight or have today's postmark. Voters are deciding on several local issues from lifting the property tax levy to maintain residential streets in the City of Shelton to increasing sales tax to fund emergency communications to forming a second public hospital district to serve North Mason County. Some of the more heated races include Shelton City Commissioner of Finance between Mike Byrne and Chase Gallagher, Shelton Mayor between John Tarrant and Gary Cronce, Port of Shelton Commissioner between Rahn Redman and Jay Hupp, Hood Canal School Board between Sheryl Kroneman and Deborah Peterson and between Bob Sund and Sara Endicott, Shelton School Board between Steve DeMiero and Sue McCausland and between Gene Crater and Marty Best, and all three North Mason School Board positions: Arthur Wightman and Dave Kinnee for Director District One, Laura Boad and Ken VanBuskirk for Director District Three, and Glenn Landram and John Campbell for Director District Four. Ballots can be dropped off at the Auditor's Office on the second floor of the County's Building One. Or voters can use one of the Ballot Drop Boxes: in front of Building One, 411 North Fifth Street in Shelton; at the North Mason Chamber of Commerce, 23910 NE Highway 3 in Belfair; or at the Hood Canal Visitor Center, 150 North Lake Cushman Road in Hoodsport. Voting equipment for the visually impaired is available at the Mason County Auditor's Office until 8pm today. 1030 KMAS and Mason-County-Daily-News-dot-com will have election results after 8pm. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Protesters at Port of Olympia vow to stop cargo’s Fort Lewis return – 950-foot ship, filled with war gear, docks. Activists opposed to the war in Iraq said Monday they will not allow military cargo being unloaded at the Port of Olympia to return to Fort Lewis. (The Olympian)

Brewery trustee exposes transfer – The owner of the former Olympia brewery and his wife unlawfully transferred more than $4 million of company money to a personal account in 2004 instead of paying creditors, according to the trustee assigned to the bankruptcy case involving the property. (The Olympian)

Before the Court: Are Munis Like Milk, or Garbage? A case with the potential to unsettle the municipal bond market produced a lively Supreme Court argument on Monday, with no clear indication of whether justices would permit states to continue the widespread practice of exempting the interest on their bonds from state taxation while taxing the interest on bonds issued by other states. (NY Times)

More Readers Trading Newspapers for Web Sites – The circulation declines of American newspapers continued over the spring and summer, as sales across the industry fell almost 3 percent compared with the year before, according to figures released yesterday. (NY Times)


Couple escapes injury when falling cow hits minivan

City of Seattle praises J.P. Patches for his work with children

Raging boar force hog-hunt in east China – China has lifted a ban on the hunting of wild boar in an eastern province following a number of urban raids by hungry hogs in search of food, local media said on Tuesday.

Shake, shake, shake your booty for cash – Bust out the boxers, shake what nature gave you, and you might be the $5,000 winner of Jockey's UnderWars. The Kenosha-based maker of intimate apparel is sponsoring an online competition for adults to post videos of themselves dancing in their drawers.