Federal Prosecutors Indict Three in Green Energy Ponzi Scheme

Washington, D.C., September 4, 2015 – Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have charged three people in a $54.5 million criminal Ponzi scheme revolving around turning municipal waste into fertilizer through a bogus process called “biochar” and creating a “carbon-negative” community in Tennessee, through a Pennsylvania company called Mantria Corp. According to an FBI press release, the [...]

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Exelon Ends August with Gut Punches of Unknown Severity

Washington, D.C., August 26, 2015 – Chicago-based utility giant Exelon took two regulatory shots to the solar plexus at the end of August. Three of its nuclear plants failed to win in the PJM Interconnection’s newly-constituted capacity auction. Just days later, Exelon got a 3-0 thumbs down from the District of Columbia Public Service Commission [...]

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DOE Red Team Study Frowns on MOX

Washington, D.C., August 23, 2015 — A Department of Energy study, leaked by the Union of Concerned Scientists, finds that it would be far cheaper to dispose of 34 metric tons of plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in New Mexico than to convert it to mixed-oxide reactor fuel at DOE’s Savannah River Site. [...]

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For SMRs, Neither Small Nor Modular Works

When it comes to nuclear power plants, in recent year much of the industry and the Department of Energy have embraced the idea that smaller plants, built with off-site, prefabricated parts that could be easily shipped to construction sites, and capable of being scaled up with multiple units is proving misguided on multiple fronts. We [...]

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Obama’s Clean Power Plan: Irrelevant and Expensive

At lunch this week with friends who follow environmental politics — but not down to the nitty-gritty details — they asked my take on the long-awaited Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan to ratchet down on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. I told them my judgment was that the Environmental Protection Agency’s massive regulation [...]

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We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Energy Policy

Thanks goodness the U.S. does not have, has never had, a comprehensive, centralized energy policy. In my 40 years of reporting on energy and environmental issues, a common theme has been that the U.S. lacks, and needs, an energy policy. Baloney. When you hear or read about how the U.S. needs an energy policy, hold [...]

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Obama Community Solar: Where’s the Beef?

Is the Obama administration’s plan announced last week to bring solar power to less affluent individuals and to those who can’t put panels on their roofs – by boosting community solar — less than meets the eye? It looks that way to me. The rhetoric is appealing. The White House announced the “National Community Solar [...]

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Puerto Rico and its Utility at the Financial Brink

A mismanaged government-owned electric utility is a major contributor to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, which has burst onto the U.S. scene just as Greece’s financial travails have jumped onto the world’s agenda. Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory with strange legal ties to its governmental parent, a fruit in the victory of the U.S. war with [...]

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It’s Long Past Time to Nix MOX

For a classic example of federal government incompetence coupled with Congressional irresponsibility, look no farther than the Department of Energy’s Savannah River weapons plant in South Carolina, 25 miles southeast of Augusta, Ga. DOE is reluctantly managing a financially disastrous project born to produce plutonium 239 and tritium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program. Those [...]

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Is Wind’s Climate Contribution Overstated?

When it comes to the ability of wind power to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, is there less than meets the eye? That’s the argument that Australian energy engineer and geologist Peter Lang makes in a filing with the Australian government earlier this spring and flagged by Georgia Tech’s Judith Curry on her Climate Etc. blog. [...]

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