By Fighting Against Natural Gas (FANG). Burrillville, RI – On December 4-5th we’ll be gathering in Burrillville, RI with BASE (Burrillville Against Spectra Expansion) to reflect on two years of resistance and to take action once again. Invenergy, a Chicago based corporation, recently filed their application to build a $700 million fracked-gas power plant in Burrillville. Invenergy has been going through the community telling residents that if they want to move away from the proposed toxic plant, they’ll happily purchase and then bulldoze their homes. Now is the time to come together and support the folks leading the resistance on the frontlines in Burrillville and send a message to Invenergy and Spectra (who’s pipeline would be expanded again to help feed the power plant) that we will fight their fracked-gas projects every step of the way until they are cancelled.
By Harvey Wasserman for EcoWatch – The chain reactor operator Entergy has announced it will close the Pilgrim nuke south of Boston. The shut-down will bring U.S. reactor fleet to 98, though numerous other reactors are likely to face abandonment in the coming months. But Entergy says it may not take Pilgrim down until June 1, 2019—nearly four years away. Entergy is also poised to shut the FitzPatrick reactor in New York. It promises an announcement by the end of this month. Entergy also owns Indian Point 2 and Indian Point 3 some 40 miles north of Manhattan. Unit 2’s operating license has long since lapsed. Unit 3’s will expire in December.
By Tlemey Smith for GCCA – The UK’s clean energy sector got a boost today, as Repower Balcombe, the local energy cooperative born of the 2013 fracking protests, was given the go ahead with its proposed 5MW solar park in West Sussex. The group has already installed over 100 solar panels on its village schools, and nearly 70 more on a local farm, but today’s planning committee is a significant step for the project. With over 18,500 panels, it would surpass the co-op’s aim of powering every home in Balcombe with renewables, and supply the nearby village of West Hoathly with its surplus clean energy.
By Melina Laboucan-Massimo in Green Peace – After dealing with three decades of intensive oil, gas, logging, fracking and tar sands exploitation in our homeland, my community of Little Buffalo decided to forge a new future and become powered by the sun. First Nation communities have been on the front lines of resource extraction for far too long and we have paid the price for humanity’s addiction to oil, but we have hope for a way out of the crisis we are currently facing in Alberta and around the world. In a community of 500 in northern Alberta, this 20.8 kW solar installation will power the First Nation’s health center, and put additional energy back to the grid. Our community used to be self-sufficient and was able to live off the land. Now the community deals with contaminated water, polluted air and a compromised landscape. In 2011, the community had to deal with one of the largest oil spills in Alberta’s history.
By Laurel Peltier in Baltimore Fishbowl – When it comes to fracking, Maryland is unique. Along with New York and a few countries, no fracking wells have been drilled in western Maryland. Though our state’s natural gas lies west below Garrett and Alleghany counties, deciding to frack or not will most likely be decided in our General Assembly. All Marylanders will play a role in choosing whether to frack or not. There’s time to get up-to-speed on fracking’s realities since Maryland’ General Assembly legislated a fracking moratorium until October 1, 2017. Fracking’s a fairly complicated topic. Here at Baltimore Fishbowl we plan to publish stories that break fracking down into bite-sized chunks, and lay out key issues that don’t often pop up in the media. Since our sister states, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, are roughly one decade into fracking, we’re starting at the end.
Activists opposed to methane gas expansion locked themselves to construction equipment being used to prepare an area in Burrillville for a gas pipeline project early Monday morning. “I expect them to be arrested at some point today,” said Sherrie Andre, who sent out a press release and photos of the action on behalf of FANG, or Fighting Against Natural Gas. “If not, they are pretty determined to stay there as long as their bodies can hold out.” Three fire trucks and local police are on the scene, said Andre, but she did not know if the three activists had been arrested or were still attached to the earth-moving equipment. “Matt Smith of New Jersey, Nick Katkevich of Rhode Island, and Keith Clougherty of Massachusetts locked down with fortified PVC pipes to disrupt construction for the day at the compressor station which Spectra is hoping to double in capacity as part of the AIM project,” according to the press release.
By Climate Howard – All along, fasters with Beyond Extreme Energy have had two questions: How will this feel, and how will I pass the time? Of course, that’s in addition to the broader concern about how to ensure their actions help bring change. From the day after Labor Day until Sept. 25 — 18 days — a dozen people are on a water-only fast on the sidewalk in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, on First Street NE in Washington, just down the street from Union Station. Some have stayed overnight on the sidewalk as well, although most head for Lincoln Temple United Church of Christ to sleep. Other people are fasting for a shorter time, at FERC or in their communities.
By Ted Glick in EcoWatch – Twelve members of Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE), ages 19 to 72—from California, Virginia, DC, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Nebraska, Michigan and North Carolina—are in the beginning days of a planned 18-day, water-only “Fast for No New Permits” for fossil fuel infrastructure in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a virtual rubber-stamp agency for the fracked gas industry. Each weekday until Sept. 25 we will be on the sidewalk in front of FERC from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., leafletting FERC employees—over a thousand of them—as they arrive for or leave from work. We’re also passing out leaflets to thousands of others who work or live in the area who walk by.
By Nadia Prupis in Common Dreams – The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Wednesday ruled against India over its national solar energy program in a case brought by the U.S. government, sparking outrage from labor and environmental advocates. As power demands grow in India, the country’s government put forth a plan to create 100,000 megawatts of energy from solar cells and modules, and included incentives to domestic manufacturers to use locally-developed equipment. According to Indian news outlets, the WTO ruled that India had discriminated against American manufacturers by providing such incentives, which violates global trade rules, and struck down those policies—siding with the U.S. government in a case that the Sierra Club said demonstrates the environmentally and economically destructive power of pro-corporate deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The Tree reports – TransCanada is taking New Brunswickers by surprise this week, drilling boreholes in the Bay of Fundy for a pipeline project that hasn’t been approved yet. The energy giant is overseeing the Energy East project, a proposed cross-country pipeline that would pump bitumen from Canada’s tar sands all the way to eastern seaports. The National Energy Board, Canada’s regulatory body on energy projects, hasn’t granted TransCanada approval to build the pipeline yet, Canadian media outlet Ricochet received confirmation Thursday that the company will begin conducting tests near the proposed export terminal site.Meme Bay of Fundy According to a report published by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick last week, construction related to the Energy East pipeline would stress endangered whales and sea life in the Bay of Fundy
By Ryan Koronowski in Think Progress – In a move that shocked both industry observers and grassroots clean energy advocates, the Public Service Commission of Washington, D.C. unanimously rejected a proposed merger between Exelon and Pepco. Together, they would have created the nation’s largest utility. The commission wrote in its official summary, released Tuesday, that Exelon and Pepco “have not met their burden of persuading this Commission that the Proposed Merger is in the public interest.” Why? The summary listed several points but a central conflict was over how renewable energy would fare. “We are also concerned about the inherent conflict of interest that might inhibit our local distribution company from moving forward to embrace a cleaner and greener environment,” the Commission wrote in its summary.
By Bill Rappleye in Turn To 10 – Two protesters were cut from a gate in Burrillville early Thursday morning and charged with trespass and disorderly conduct. The two environmentalists were trying to disrupt construction on the Algonquin pipeline, owned by Spectra Energy. One is a physics professor at the University of Rhode Island, Peter Nightingale. He said there has to be more of a commitment to alternative energy and that burning natural gas is dooming our planet. “We are destroying the environment, for our generation and for future generations,” Nightingale said. He was arrested before protesting outside the office of U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. His fellow protester is Dr. Curtis Nordgaard.
By Moral Action Climate – Beyond Extreme Energy will be conducting a fast at FERC that will run from Tuesday September 8 until Friday the 25th, which is the day after the Pope’s speech to Congress. Those fasting in DC will spend the day in front of FERC at 888 1st St. NE. On September 25th we are calling upon people to join us at FERC as we end our fast and try to deliver copies of Laudato Si’ to the five FERC Commissioners. Our rationale for undertaking this action can be found at http://beyondextremeenergy.org. As we say there, “Beyond Extreme Energy has decided to organize a long-term, water-only “Fast for No New Permits” this September in front of FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. We also encourage people to fast individually where they live and/or to organize local solidarity fasts during this same time period.
By Tara Lohan in Alternet – Deborah Lawrence had been watching a once-empty parking lot near Midland-Odessa, Texas, fill up with idled drilling rigs usually at work plumbing for oil in the nearby Permian Basin. In January she noticed 10 rigs, then 17 a few weeks later. As winter turned to spring, the number climbed to 35. That trend has continued across the country. By the end of July, the nationwide rig count had slipped 54 percent since the same time a year ago, indicating distress in the oil and gas industry. The most obvious culprit is the precipitous drop in crude prices. But the trouble goes deeper, as Lawrence knows — and she isn’t just a casual observer. Lawrence is a former Wall Street financial consultant who now runs the Energy Policy Forum, helping to identify and analyze trends in the industry. Right now, our fossil-fueled energy path has us on a roller-coaster ride and we are plunging, white knuckled.
By Chris Mooney in The Washington Post – The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, released last week, requires the country to use a lot more renewable energy by the year 2030 — and a lot less coal. And right on time, two new reports published Monday by the Department of Energy find that one key renewable sector — wind — is booming, a development that can only help matters when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. The reports being released — including the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report, published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — suggest that wind is being installed at a rapid rate, that its costs are plummeting, that its technologies are advancing, and that it is creating a growing number of jobs to boot. Wind energy in the U.S. is now at 66 gigawatts of installed capacity, according to the report — providing roughly 5 percent of total U.S. electricity demand. 66 gigawatts is enough electricity to power 17.5 million homes (a gigawatt is a billion watts).