Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Energy News Digest for November 27, 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.


- Snow makes I-90 a 'raging blizzard' Monday night
- PSE says copper thefts down 28 percent
- Mild Weather Keeps Clark Public Utilities’ Usage Down
- Alcoa-Chelan PUD power proposal scrutinized
- Coos Bay coal beds bubbling with gas
- 5 charged over whale hunt
- Sturdy Sea Lion Under Growing Threat From Acidic Algae
- Many question if Seattle's Duwamish waterway can ever be restored
- From Sewage, Added Water for Drinking
- Oregon’s Roadside Solar Panels New Theft Target
- Consumers Right to the Sun
- Google's Goal: Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal
- ‘Tis the Season for Light-Emitting Diodes
- Can LEED Survive the Carbon-Neutral Era?
- Marriott: Saving Energy, One Step at a Time
- Trees giving bizarre clues to climate change
- Green Marketing Review Is Put on Fast Track at FTC
- The Other Greenhouse Gases
- Cap-and-trade system sets the belching bar low
- Can baking soda curb global warming?
- Massachusetts – Fiber-optic deal draws businesses.
- Tennessee – Cable launches ad attack aimed at Chattanooga’s fiber plan.
- NY Times Editorial – Regulating Cable.
- Derailed by Deficient DSL
- In-Store Wi-Fi Is Free, but Not Commercial-Free
- WiFi and autism: a quick debunking
- Google plans service to store users' data
- Shelton’s First And Franklin Gas Contamination Clean Up To Begin Wednesday
- Light earthquake near Brinnon WA
- Pot 'Grow Houses' Flourish in Pacific Northwest

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


Oenophile • \EEN-uh-file\ • noun – A lover or connoisseur of wine


Forecast for Mason County, Washington

Snow makes I-90 a 'raging blizzard' Monday night – The National Weather Service issued a heavy snow warning for the Cascades, but snow isn't expected to stick in Seattle.


PSE says copper thefts down 28 percent (Puget Sound Business Journal)

Puget Sound Energy Protecting Copper Wire with Fences (KIRO-TV, Seattle)

What’s the Deal? A 17-year proposal power supply proposal would virtually guarantee a three-potline operation and some 450 jobs at Alcoa's Wenatchee Works smelter, according to the findings of an independent consultant hired by Alcoa to assess the proposed deal. (Wenatchee World)
Oregon – Coos Bay coal beds bubbling with gas. Logistical and environmental unknowns make extraction (The Oregonian)

MILD WEATHER KEEPS CLARK PUBLIC UTILITIES’ USAGE DOWN – Mild weather in October meant the amount of electrical power sold through Clark Public Utilities was lower than for the same month last year. The utility delivered 414.1 kilowatt hours of electricity to more than 187,000 customers, mostly in Clark County, last month, down 7.3 percent from the 446.5 kilowatt hours tallied in October 2006. (The Columbian)

House Committee on Homeland Security urges FERC chairman to investigate grid security (Utility Automation & Engineering)

When power's out, couple enjoys sounds of the past – Power outages are a tremendous nuisance, but with a bit of preparation, and a special activity, it can be a heartfelt time at the Andersen home on Camano Island. (Everett Herald)


5 charged over whale hunt – Five members of the Makah Tribe face a year in prison and may be fined $5,000 each for participating in an unauthorized whale hunt earlier this fall. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Sturdy Sea Lion Under Growing Threat From Acidic Algae – The California sea lion is a robust species, but in the past decade marine biologists have recognized domoic acid poisoning as a growing threat to its health. (NY Times)

(A Seattle Post Intelligencer Series) Many question if Seattle's Duwamish waterway can ever be restored

Volunteers help restore Puget Sound's coastal prairies – Like parents fussing over their children on the first day of school, volunteers planted the rare golden paintbrush seedlings at Forbes Point in hopes that their efforts will help restore the coastal prairies of Puget Sound. (Associated Press, via Examiner.com)

Public meeting in West Richland to discuss the CID Reservoir – A meeting in West Richland to talk about a very hot topic the new Columbia Irrigation District reservoir. (KNDO-TV, Tri-Cities)

From Sewage, Added Water for Drinking – It used to be so final: flush the toilet, and waste be gone. But on Nov. 30, for millions of people here in Orange County, pulling the lever will be the start of a long, intense process to purify the sewage into drinking water (NY Times)


Oregon – Roadside Solar Panels New Theft Target. It seems that even crooks have jumped on the renewable energy bandwagon. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Consumers Right to the Sun – Solar access laws, a topic generally relegated to the province of attorneys and feuding neighbors, establish certain rights for homeowners and businesses to use sunlight to generate solar thermal or solar electric energy (Renewable Energy Access)

Alberta company's turbines spin wind into gold (CanWest News Service)

Xcel solar power plan catching on – Xcel Energy Inc., Colorado's largest utility, connected its 1,000th small-solar customer to the grid on Monday. “…The money comes from a special charge on every Xcel customers' bill in Colorado. Currently, customers pay an extra 0.6 percent or roughly 36 cents on a $60 monthly electricity bill. The charge currently brings Xcel $13 million a year…” (The Denver Business Journal)

News Release – Google's Goal: Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal (Google, via FinanzNachrichten)


U.S. News & World Report – 'Tis the Season for Light-Emitting Diodes

Can LEED Survive the Carbon-Neutral Era? The rating system is beginning to gain wide acceptance, but critics now wonder whether the checklist approach can meet the daunting challenges ahead. (MetropolisMag.Com)

News Release – Say 'Bah! Humbug!' to an Energy-Wasting Holiday Season. Simple tips for holiday decorating, cooking and other activities from a leading energy retailer (Duke Energy, via Yahoo! Finance)

Saving Energy, One Step at a Time – Marriott Transforms Its Penny-Pinching Measures Into a Conservation Ethos. At Marriott International, green has been an evolution, not a revolution. (Washington Post)


Trees giving bizarre clues to climate change (Seattle Times)

Green Marketing Review Is Put on Fast Track at FTC – The Federal Trade Commission said it would accelerate a review of its decade-old "green" marketing guidelines because of the booming number of businesses that are persuading customers to purchase certificates or pay premiums to help pay for projects or practices that purportedly benefit the environment (Washington Post)

Slate Magazine – The Other Greenhouse Gases. Is methane really worse for the environment than carbon dioxide? (Careful how you answer that one, sonny)

Canada – Cap-and-trade system sets the belching bar low (Globe and Mail)

Can baking soda curb global warming? A start-up in Texas says it can turn the carbon dioxide emitted by power plants into baking soda. (CNET News)


Massachusetts – Fiber-optic deal draws businesses. Three more city businesses have joined a program offering high-speed fiber-optic service through a joint agreement between Chicopee Electric Light and Holyoke Gas & Electric. (The Republican, Springfield)

Tennessee – Cable launches ad attack aimed at Chattanooga’s fiber plan. Tennessee's cable industry is expanding its fight against EPB's planned entry into the cable business from the legal arena into the court of public opinion. (Chattanooga Times Free Press – OK, what tactic shall we use for THIS community)

NY Times Editorial – Regulating Cable. In 1984, cable companies convinced Congress that they were mere minnows that needed to be exempted from many regulatory requirements so they could compete against the titans of broadcast television. That may have been true back then, but now cable companies are media titans, and they should be regulated.

Derailed by Deficient DSL – It’s a balmy October afternoon at the Wendy’s restaurant in Keene, N.H., and the franchise is literally paving over a technology that didn’t work out. (Computerworld, via Baller/Herbst)

Broadband Connectivity an American Issue, Not Democratic or Republican – Where are the hot discussions about broadband deployment and regional economic sustainability in the presidential debates? (Midwest Business.com, via Baller/Herbst)

In-Store Wi-Fi Is Free, but Not Commercial-Free – People who like to use their laptops, iPhones and other devices in public are always so delighted when they stumble on a wireless hot spot in an unexpected place. Will they be pleased enough to look at ads before getting their broadband fix? (NY Times)

WiFi and autism: a quick debunking (The Art of Technology, via Baller/Herbst)

Google plans service to store users' data – Google Inc is preparing a service that would enable users to store data from their personal hard drives on its computers, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday in its online edition. (Reuters)

Broadband Tariff Trends: Average residential downstream speeds have increased significantly (Point-Topic)

Cyber Monday Strikes! Heavy online shopping causes Yahoo outages (Sacramento Business Journal)


GET READY FOR DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC FUN! SHELTON’S FIRST AND FRANKLIN GAS CONTAMINATION CLEAN UP TO BEGIN WEDNESDAY – The clean up of the gas contaminated soil at the intersection of First and Franklin will likely begin Wednesday. Monday, the Shelton City Commission approved a contract with NCR Environmental Services to remove and dispose of some of the contaminated soil. The City needs to complete the Sewer Basin Two Project and will only be removing the soil needed to complete that project. NCR will be disposing that soil. The contract approved by the City Commission is not to exceed $150,798.76. However, that cost is based on removing nearly 1800 tons of soil or the estimated amount from the whole intersection. Since the City is only cleaning up the soil from the trench needed to complete Basin Two, the cost is expected to be significantly less. Work should begin Wednesday and take four to seven working days. The intersection will need to be closed as crews remove the contaminated soil and finish Sewer Basin Two. The work will close First Street between Railroad and Cedar, and Franklin Street from Second to First. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Light earthquake near Brinnon WA

Pot 'Grow Houses' Flourish in Pacific Northwest – Drug enforcement officials are seeing a spike in a lucrative cottage industry: indoor marijuana crops. (National Public Radio)

Average state prisoner costs $30,000 a year to lock up (Associated Press, via the Columbian)


The Return of the Jumping Fleas! Or how we learned to stop worrying and love the ukulele

OMG…it’s like a totally anything goes beauty pageant! Puerto Rico Pageant Officials Probe Pepper Spray

Teen Worried About Curfew Gets Stuck In Chimney

Mayor Claims He Was Abducted By Satanists – Mayor In Arkansas Says He's Been Leading Double Life for 30 years

Rome’s parking chief fired for illegal parking