Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Energy News Digest for November 20, 2007

All the links in today’s Energy 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.


- Mostly clear, cold weather forecast for Thanksgiving
- Strait (of Juan de Fuca) power line now slated to light up in August 2009
- No rate increase in proposed Grant PUD budget
- Utility puts couple in dark over easement (PenLight)
- Montana State Land Board OKs Avista dam settlement
- Calpine CEO may be cashing a big bonus
- Nonnative fish impact Western rivers
- Wave energy projects crash into ocean fishing turf
- Homeowners Associations and Solar Panels Don't Always Mix
- California program discounts solar for the poor
- Pacific Ethanol may lose high-profile investor
- Energy Dept. Criticized Over New Standards for Residential Furnaces
- Montana Governor releases goals on emissions
- Oregon’s Multnomah County emissions almost at ’90 levels
- British Columbia to make climate-change targets part of law
- Taxpayers Not Keen To Fund Broadband Subsidies

These and links to more stories in today’s Energy News Digest


Skullduggery • \skull-DUG-uh-ree\ • noun – Underhanded or unscrupulous behavior; also: a devious device or trick

“By hook or crook we will put a crimp in the latest trend to use outdated and hackneyed phrases in headlines,” groused the grizzled assignment editor at the local newspaper. What he didn’t count on was the skullduggery of the linotype operator who had a penchant for “turning himself into police” every Thursday evening so he could arrest scofflaws.


Mostly clear, cold weather forecast for Thanksgiving across Washington State (Associated Press, via Examiner.com)


Port Angeles – Cross-Strait power line now slated to light up in August 2009 – A Canadian high-voltage power line to be sunk in the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Victoria and here now isn't scheduled to be operational until August 2009. (Peninsula Daily News)

No rate increase in proposed Grant PUD budget – Grant County PUD's proposed $458.7 million budget shows $10.3 million set aside to expand the fiber-optic system and $26.8 million for Wanapum Dam's turbine replacement project. (Columbia Basin Herald)

Utility puts couple in dark over easement (The News Tribune, Tacoma – looks like some stubborn customers need to read their PenLight bylaws)

Montana State Land Board OKs Avista dam settlement (Associated Press, via Examiner.com)

Calpine CEO may be cashing a big bonus – Calpine Corp. wants to pay Chief Executive Robert May a bonus worth $10.9 million when it exits Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under an incentive program that would pay a total of $66.6 million to 2,200 employees. (Contra Costa Times)

Power line may trigger surge in rates: Experts say PPL's new transmission wire will benefit New Jersey more than the Valley. “…Power costs tend to increase as you move east, Robert McCullough, a Portland, Ore.-based energy consultant, explained…” (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via Power Marketers Online)

News Release – Ameren Illinois Utilities are Prepared for Severe Winter Weather, Offers Tips to Help Customers When Storms Occur


Nonnative fish impact Western rivers – Oregon and Washington have lowest rates, according to OSU study. About 20 percent of Oregon’s river and stream miles contain nonnative fish and amphibians (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

His fix for the Yakima River? Pump it up “…a direct pipeline from the pool behind Wanapum Dam…pumping water into a tunnel and open canal that would drop the water into the Roza and Sunnyside canals…” (Yakima Gerald-Republic)


(Oh those naughty NIMBY folks) Wave energy projects crash into ocean fishing turf – Storm clouds gather as ocean users compete for priority – There's a new kind of storm rolling into the Oregon coast, and it's driven by conflicting interests in ocean real estate. (The Daily Astorian)

Homeowners Associations and Solar Panels Don't Always Mix (Renewable Energy Access)

California – Program discounts solar for the poor. The cost of going solar just dropped for some low-income California families. Nearly 7,000 such households could get free or discounted solar roofs thanks to a $108 million subsidy program adopted Friday by the state Public Utilities Commission. (Contra Costa Times)

Seattle, Houston companies plan Montana biodiesel project (Associated Press, via Examiner.com)

Pacific Ethanol may lose investor – Cascade Investment LLC, a firm owned by Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, may sell its 21 percent stake in Pacific Ethanol Inc., which has lost almost two-thirds of its market value this year. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Massachusetts – Air Force Reports No Impact on Radar from Cape Wind (Renewable Energy Access)

Why the French lag in renewable energy (International Herald Tribune)


Energy Dept. Criticized Over New Standards for Residential Furnaces – As families face record heating bills, the Energy Department issued new requirements yesterday for residential furnaces, although critics say the rules will do little to save consumers money or bring more efficient equipment onto the market. (Associated Press, via the Washington Post)

News Release – LED Holiday Lighting, Other Energy-Efficiency Measures, Gifts Tame High Winter Energy Costs, Advises Alliance to Save Energy (Alliance to Save Energy)


Montana Governor releases goals on emissions (The Missoulian)

Oregon – Multnomah County’s emissions almost at ’90 levels. Greenhouse gases decline despite 15 percent increase in population (Portland Tribune – But of course, it’s all in how you measure it)

British Columbia to make climate-change targets part of law (Globe and Mail)


Taxpayers Not Keen To Fund Broadband Subsidies – A poll of American taxpayers found little support for expanding telephone Universal Service subsidies to include Internet broadband. (InternetNews.com)

50% of US homes now have broadband Internet access (Connected Home News)

Comcast CEO: Investors are wrong about us – The CEO of the largest U.S. cable company talks about his company's ailing stock, competition from satellite and phone rivals, and ongoing tussles with the NFL. (CNN Money)

Hawaii Broadband Taskforce Examines the Future of High-Speed Internet Access (Hawaii Reporter)


Olympia City Council's hands likely tied on tax – Gov. Chris Gregoire's call for a special legislative session to limit the growth in property tax collections to 1 percent has effectively quashed an effort by the Olympia City Council to raise property tax revenue by up to 6 percent. (The Olympian)

Oregon – Initiatives connect to Internet. Come January, voters will be able to print out petitions, sign them and mail them to organizers (The Oregonian)


'Sweet Caroline' Was Caroline Kennedy – Neil Diamond held onto the secret for decades, but he has finally revealed that President Kennedy's daughter was the inspiration for his smash hit "Sweet Caroline."

DRUNK PARTYGOER’S FIT OF RAGE RESULTS IN STABBING OF HOME OWNER – You’ve heard the phrase “ Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” This is an extreme case. Centralia authorities say a homeowner was stabbed at least ten times after taking a drunken partygoer’s keys. The homeowner was treated after being repeatedly stabbed in the head, arms and hands with the small pocket knife. The suspect was later arrested in Grand Mound. (KELA Radio, Centralia/Chehalis)

Stowaway piglet survives toilet roll ordeal – A piglet nicknamed Andrex is recovering after being found in the back of a truck full of toilet paper at a supermarket.

Donovan, David Lynch Plan University In Scotland – The 'Invincible Donovan University' Will Emphasize Transcendental Meditation

British dog owners go barking mad for fancy dress – Darth Labrador. Dogzilla. Elvis the hound dog. No outfit is too outrageous for man's best friend.The British do love a party animal -- they have gone crazy dressing up their dogs for costume parties.

When Wild Turkeys Take Over – The cemetery in the quiet college town of Davis, California has been invaded by wild turkeys. The birds are harassing mourners, chasing bicyclists and eating flowers. (National Public Radio)