Posts filed under ‘Energy’
Ah yes. It’s good to be an oil company in the United States:
A Texas-based independent oil company has admitted that its negligence caused three oil spills in Jefferson Parish bayous. Cedyco Corp. of Houston agreed to pay a $557,000 fine and stop operating in Louisiana as part of a plea bargain signed Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The plea, reached in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, is based on spills between February and mid-May 2008 at three facilities: a tank battery south of the Barataria Waterway on Bayou St. Denis; an oil storage and production platform near the Plaquemines Parish line on Bayou Dupont; and a well near that platform.
The fine will go into the Coast Guard’s Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The Coast Guard spent $750,000 to clean up the platform, tank battery, and a permanently moored barge located between them at Mud Lake, according to information from the Coast Guard.
Company president Lance W. Dreyer signed the guilty plea to three misdemeanor counts of violating the Clean Water Act and an eight-page statement of the facts on which it was based.
Geezus. Couldn’t the Department of Justice at least — at least! — have made the fine equal to what we taxpayers paid to clean Cedyco’s mess up? Why is that so hard?
Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, announced Monday he would resign from the five-member commission that oversees US nuclear power plant safety after a tenure in which he wrangled with other members of the commission over the direction of safety regulations.
Mr. Jaczko’s chairmanship, which began with tumult three years ago over the NRC’s controversial decision to cancel the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository – now concludes on the heels of a tumultuous year attempting to implement “lessons learned” from the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns. He announced his resignation amid an ongoing battle over his proposals to tighten safety regulations at US nuclear power plants in the wake of the Japanese disaster.
On Jazcko’s watch, the NRC responded to major incidents at reactors across the United States including flooding, an earthquake, and tornados as well as serious mechanical problems. Notably, Jaczko activated the commission’s emergency response authority and personally directed the NRC’s initial response in the days after a huge tidal wave hit the Daiichi plant on March 10, 2011 – knocking out backup generators.
Jaczko and NRC staff monitored the unfolding crisis around the clock and made key decisions. He told Americans in Japan to stay at least 50-miles away from the unfolding meltdowns. And he created a task force to recommend steps the US should take to reinforce safety measures for US reactors.
But such unilateral decisions became a flashpoint for political upset among the other four commissioners and within the nuclear power industry. The commissioners questioned whether or not Jaczko had assumed too much authority and power over NRC operations in the immediate aftermath of the meltdown – or had cut the other commissioners out of the communications loop.
Translation: The decisions Jaczko made were scaring people about the supposed “safety” of nuclear power plants. He was too honest about the risks.
Despite the pressure on Jaczko, the White House proclaimed publicly up until last month that it backed him.
Translation: But the White House caved under pressure from the nuclear industry and it didn’t defend him. It wants to whitewash the threats posed by the nuclear power industry too.
But Jaczko’s supporters noted that he had been subjected to relentless personal attacks by his fellow commissioners and nuclear industry supporters.
Exactly. When you have a “Nuclear Regulatory Commission” staffed by people in the nuclear industry, this is what you get: A worthless piece of government.
Reminds me of the bought-and-paid-for members of the Food and Drug Administration, you know, the people who are supposed to protect our food and drug supply: FDA Delays Deadline for New U.S. Sunscreen Labels.
Wow. My hat is off to Robert Johnson of the Business Insider. He traveled to the Albert Tar Sands area in Canada and took a series of photos that will blow your socks off. The oil companies extracting oil from the ground up there are turning the place into a polluted hell hole that is unrecognizable from its natural state.
Bear in mind this area is the headwater for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. After seeing these photos, I’m more opposed to that pipeline than ever. The U.S. shouldn’t be a party to the total destruction of “more than 54,000 square miles” of Canadian wilderness. What’s happening up there is a crime against the Earth.
The Canadian Oil Sand Mines Refused Us Access, So We Rented This Plane To See What They Were Up To
When reaching out to Alberta oil sands companies before a trip to Canada last month, I thought all of them mined oil the same way — they don’t.The open mining most people think of when they picture the oil sands is just one way of extracting crude from the ground, but it is without a doubt the most dramatic. And we had to see it.
After being refused a mine tour and any type of access to a mining site or equipment, Business Insider rented a plane that I used to see everything I could of the mines on my own.
Restricted to flying no lower than 1,000 feet above the ground, I spent nearly two hours leaning out the window of a small Cessna 172 with a long lens, snapping pictures and trying to keep warm.
The oil sands hold up to two trillion barrels of oil spread over more than 54,000 square miles, making it the second largest oil deposit in the world after Saudi Arabia.
The amount of energy spent recovering that oil and the pollution created in refining it is immense and the impact on the environment profound.
See the sickening slide show above, which in essence shows this:
Again, go to the link above (or here) to view incredibly informative slide show. (No wonder the oil companies wouldn’t grant Mr. Johnson access. They don’t want us to see images like this.)
If this is what we have to do to squeeze the last remaining drop of oil out of the earth because we’re too freakin’ lazy and spoiled to get our sh*t together and get off oil, we deserve what we get. If there is a God, I’m sure he’s thoroughly disgusted with us.
And thank you Robert Johnson. This is what real journalism looks like.
On Wednesday Vermont became the first U.S. state to ban fracking. Today we learn via the London Independent that Britain doesn’t think fracking is worth the potentially dangerous ramifications:
Government Backtracks on Fracking
The Government has rejected shale gas technology as a solution to Britain’s energy crisis, conceding it will do little to cut bills or keep the lights on.
Supporters of the fracking technology – which blasts water, sand and chemicals at extreme pressures to release gas trapped deep in rock – argue it could be the single greatest factor in transforming Britain’s energy market, reducing our reliance on foreign imports and dramatically reducing costs.
But The Independent on Sunday has learned that industry experts made clear at a meeting attended by senior ministers, including David Cameron and Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, that the UK’s reserves were smaller than first thought and could be uneconomical to extract.
Now senior coalition figures have agreed that shale gas has the potential to be deeply controversial without securing major benefits in lowering carbon emissions or reducing energy costs.
The revelation, ahead of the publication this week of major reforms of the energy market, will be welcomed by green campaigners who have been deeply opposed to clearing the way for a new generation of gas power plants, and voiced serious concerns about the environmental impact, including the potential for fracking to trigger earthquakes and contaminate water supplies.
Such good news.
Yes Virginia, there is
a Santa Claus hope.
Germany has put the brakes on plans to use hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, to extract natural gas in places where it is difficult to access, such as shale or coal beds. Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and Economy Minister Philipp Rösler have agreed to oppose the controversial process for the time being, SPIEGEL has learned.
Sources in the German government said that the ministers were “very skeptical” about fracking, which injects chemicals as well as sand and water into the ground to release natural gas. “There are many open questions which we will first have to carefully examine,” Rösler told close associates.
With their stance, the two ministers are opposing plans by energy companies to use the fracking process to tap into deposits of natural gas in shale, especially in northern and eastern Germany. In order to access the gas, the shale needs to be fractured using a mixture of hot water, sand and chemical additives, some of which are poisonous. Environmental groups reject the use of the technology, saying that the chemicals used can contaminate drinking water.
This what living in a country whose government isn’t corporate-owned looks like.
The right would have us believe that Obama, and Obama alone, is to blame for high gas prices. That’s understandable coming from them. One, it’s an election year so everything will be Obama’s fault and two, insofar as they are the party of the corporatocracy, they’re essentially saying, hey, look over there, trying to distract our attention from inconvenient facts like this:
Exxon Makes $104 Million In Profit Per Day So Far In 2012, While Americans Are Stuck With A Higher Gas Bill
$9.45 billion profits, or almost $104 million per day in the first three months of the year.
13 percent: The tax rate Exxon paid last year, lower than the average American family.
60 percent of its first quarter earnings, or $5.7 billion, on buying back stock. Became world’s largest dividend payer by increasing dividends 21 percent.
$1,091,000: Political contributions sent to federal politicians for the 2012 election cycle, making it the largest oil and gas spender.
91% of these contributions went to Republicans.
More than $52,000,000: Lobbying for the first three years of the Obama presidency, 50 percent more than in the Bush Administration.
$34.9 million: Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s salary for 2011, a 20 percent raise.
$52,300: Political contributions from Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson in the 2012 cycle, alone.
No. 2: Fortune 500 list of richest companies and for highest-paid CEO.
Grasping numbers like these is like trying to grasp what it would be like to travel for a light year or how many stars there are in the sky.
Ah yes, the world moves on into the future. This happened in India while the United States spent its time taking rights away from women and talking about how many members of the communist party are in the House of Representatives.
Just 14 months ago, the Indian state of Gujarat announced that it was building a $2.3-billion solar park — the largest photovoltaic power station the world has seen so far.
Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, revealed this Thursday via Twitter than the solar park had been switched on.
(Look closely at the upper left hand corner of the photo. I think that’s a gigantic wind turbine.)
So, again, while we were taking ourselves back to the 1950s, India was building the largest solar farm on the planet.
USA! USA! USA!
It’s so cute, isn’t it, that NBC/MSNBC greens its logo right about now what with Earth Day coming up on Sunday?
Dig a little deeper and the “news” isn’t so green: Climate Coverage Plummets 80% On Broadcast Networks From 2009 To 2011. As a matter of fact, it isn’t green at all:
Nice try NBC/MSNBC. I think I know what kind of green you’re aiming for.
Republicans are just tickled pink that people are suffering:
[Colorado] Rep. Scott Tipton raised $378,000 in the first quarter of this year, a figure reportedly more than double the amount the Grand Junction Republican raised in the last quarter of 2011.
Tipton has $813,000 cash on hand to spend against his likely Democratic challenger, former House Minority Leader Sal Pace.
“It was a very successful quarter,” Michael Fortney, Tipton’s campaign manager, said in an interview. “It was a combination of fundraisers and Republican donors coming through for us across the state.”
Democrats say privately that the freshman lawmaker will lose his re-election bid. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee lists Pace as one of 18 “red-to-blue” candidates who will flip the district for Democrats. A Pace spokesperson did not return a call for comment.
Fortney expressed confidence in Tipton’s chances, although he stopped short of predicting victory outright this fall. “With gas prices doubled, the national debt doubled, and unemployment has barely moved, we feel good,” Fortney said.
Vote sadist in November!
This would be my tweet of the day:
Eric Bolling is Fox’s up and coming chief propagandist when it comes to “business news.” Here is a sample of the garbage he was pumping out when I monitored Fox at the Newshounds. Notice how he downplayed high gas prices back then because, guess what, George W. Bush was in office. Here is more current info from Media Matters. The guy is a real piece of work.
Believe me, this “energy special” will be pure hooey. I can tell you what the gist of it will be in one sentence (they should change the title): [It's Obama's Fault That You're] Paying [So Much] at the Pump. Expect lots of
propaganda “specials” like this on Fox between now and November.
Geezus. I wonder how much Xcel Energy paid under the table for this:
Xcel Energy has struck an agreement with regulators, consumer advocates and businesses that would raise electricity rates in Colorado $114 million over three years.
The utility had originally sought a $142 million increase for 2012.
The settlement, which must be approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, would raise the typical residential bill, in three annual steps, by a total of $3.70 a month, or about 5.5 percent.
The original request would have raised the average monthly residential bill by $4, to $71, for 2012.
Xcel, the state’s largest utility, won the proposed rate hike in the face of stiff opposition from state regulators, businesses and consumers, and after failing to get an interim rate increase from the commission.
So Xcel got a rate increase of $114 million over three years. Here’s the kicker:
The utilities commission staff recommended that Xcel receive a $7.3 million hike. The state Office of Consumer Counsel, representing residential and small-business customers, suggested $9.4 million.
It isn’t clear whether the numbers immediately above are for one year or three, but it doesn’t matter. Xcel was cleared to hike rates $114 million over three years, hugely higher than the recommended amounts, even if they are multiplied by three.
How did this happen? How did Xcel get a hike so wildly and hugely above what was recommended?
There can be only one answer. Xcel owns some people. It’s called the corporatocracy.
Now they tell us. Is it any wonder we don’t trust the government?
Kelp off California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant accident, a sign that the spilled radiation reached the state’s coastline, according to a new scientific study.
Scientists from CSU Long Beach tested giant kelp collected off Orange County, Santa Cruz and other locations after the March 2011 accident and detected radioactive iodine, which was released from the damaged nuclear reactor.
The largest concentration was about 250 times higher than levels found in kelp before the accident.
“Basically, we saw it in all the California kelp blades we sampled,” said Steven Manley, a CSU Long Beach biology professor who specializes in kelp.
If radiation from Fukushima was in kelp in California a month after the release, where else is it? In the snow in Denver? In the rain in Seattle? In the wind in Chicago? We’ll never know. Maybe our kids or grand kids will find out after years of FOIA requests.
Fox is on it:
We have all these highfalutin gadgets like the Internet, television and satellites and life seems so modern and advanced, yet Fox is stuck in the 16th Century.
When 3,000 — 3,000! — dolphins wash ashore over the course of three months, Mother Nature is screaming and we should listen:
So far this year, over three thousand dolphins have been found dead in various parts of the coast of Lambayeque, Peru21 reported.
Heinz Plengue, a representative at the Chaparrí Ecological Reserve, said 481 dolphins had been found on the beaches in the last few days alone.
Carlos Yaipen Llanos, science director at ORCA, said the deaths were the result of a “marine bubble,” an acoustic pocket that forms as a result of using equipment to explore for petroleum below the seabed.
“The oil companies use different frequencies of acoustic waves and the effects produced by these bubbles are not plainly visible, but they generate effects later in the animals. That can cause death by acoustic impact, not only in dolphins, but also in marine seals and whales,” Yaipen said.
Geezus. Just in the last few days we learned farmers in Colorado are competing with oil/gas companies for water to grow food, and now we find out oil companies are killing dolphins in Peru. Maybe we should make it official and admit we’re just going to turn the whole planet over to Exxon et al.
Colorado just ended its driest March on record and now farmers here are having to compete with oil companies for water to grow their crops:
Front Range farmers bidding for water to grow crops through the coming hot summer and possible drought face new competition from oil and gas drillers.
At Colorado’s premier auction for unallocated water this spring, companies that provide water for hydraulic fracturing at well sites were top bidders on supplies once claimed exclusively by farmers.
The prospect of tussling with energy industry giants over water leaves some farmers and environmentalists uneasy.
“What impact to our environment and our agricultural heritage are Coloradans willing to stomach for drilling and fracking?” said Gary Wockner, director of the Save the Poudre Coalition — devoted to protecting the Cache la Poudre River.
“Farm water grows crops, but it also often supports wildlife, wetlands and streamflows back to our rivers. Most drilling and fracking water is lost from the hydrological cycle forever,” Wockner said.
Iil’ ol’ farmers are never going to be able to out-bid oil companies so the fracking people are going to win the “right” to the water every time. This is insane.
When you hear oil companies, Republicans and Fox so-called-News attacking Obama over oil prices and for being “unfriendly,” this is why, in 32 seconds:
The oil companies want it all!
(Now if only Obama would nix the Keystone XL pipeline.)
Here’s a neat interactive graphic from the Associated Press tracking oil production and gas prices for the last 36 years.
Again, go here to activate it.
From the owned-by-the-oil-and-gas-industry file:
Plans to spur the conversion of heavy trucking fleets to natural gas with billions of dollars in tax credits fell short in the Senate on Tuesday despite backing from Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and energy magnate T. Boone Pickens.
Senators voted 51-47 on an amendment by Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) to sweeping transportation legislation, but it required 60 votes for passage.
The vote signals the tough road ahead for the plan despite support for natural-gas vehicle incentives among many Democrats, Republicans and President Obama, who in North Carolina touted his own proposals for boosting alternative-energy vehicles last week.
The Senate rejected the plan that Reid, Menendez and Burr introduced as a separate bill in late 2011. Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) is the lead sponsor of House natural-gas vehicles legislation.
The plans aim to curb oil demand by greatly expanding use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, including in the oil-thirsty heavy trucking industry.
Nice to know we’re being lead by ahem, visionaries planning for our future.
No, that title isn’t from The Onion:
When it comes to drilling for oil in the harsh and unpredictable Arctic, Shell has gone to the dogs, it seems. A dachshund and two border collies to be specific.
The dogs’ ability to sniff out oil spills beneath snow and ice has been tested and paid for by Shell – and other oil companies and government research organisations – in preparation for the industry’s entry into the forbidding Arctic terrain. The company hopes to begin drilling for oil off the north-west coast of Alaska in June.
The project, conducted by independent Norwegian researchers Sintef off the Svalbard archipelago in northern Norway in 2009, set out to find a low-tech fix to a nightmare scenario for Arctic drilling: how to clean up a spill in remote waters?
The technology for detecting and tracking spilled oil in the Arctic is still in the early stages. To make clean-up even more challenging, the areas in the Chukchi Sea to be drilled are 1,000 miles from the nearest coastguard base.
The dogs – border collies Jippi and Blues, and dachshund Tara – were able to pick up the scent of oil up to 5km downwind of a spill, the researchers found.
They held up well to long flights, -40C temperatures, and bumpy snowmobile journeys. They were also able to focus on their mission – and did not go tearing off after polar bear or seals, the study said.
“This gives us future possibilities in using specially trained dogs to search large areas covered with snow and ice to detect possible oil spills,” the study added.
What. A. Farce.
This is an indication of how confident Big Oil is that it owns the United States senate (thank goodness they were wrong…today at least):
Another attempt to revive the Keystone XL pipeline zombie failed in the Senate today, despite a massive lobbying campaign from Big Oil to force approval of the project.
The fossil fuel industry was so convinced that their bribery was going to pay off, that minutes after the vote in the Senate, industry front group, the American Petroluem Institute, sent out a press release celebrating that Sen. John Hoeven’s amendment to approve the pipeline had passed.
“Bipartisan Senate majority approves building Keystone XL pipeline” crowed the title of the release, which went on to congratulate the Senate for takign [sic] a “bold step” in approving the project.
One small problem. The amendment actually failed.
Just think, the American Petroleum Institute was so sure this bill would pass it didn’t even confirm that it did before sending out its press release. What would that have taken? One phone call? One email? Two minutes?
If the people in charge of extracting oil from Canada’s tar sands can’t do a better job than this of disposing of their damn garbage, I hate to think what other kinds of messes they’re making up there, much less the kind of mess they’d make constructing the Keystone XL pipeline:
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development says 145 black bears were killed by Fish and Wildlife conservation officers last year after being habituated to garbage in the oilsands region.
The number of bears shot in the Fort McMurray district was nearly three times the count the previous year and the highest in recent history, said spokesman Darcy Whiteside.
Nearly half — 68 bears — were shot in oilsands camps and facilities after being attracted to the camp by food, garbage or other attractants, Whiteside said Tuesday.
Another 51 were shot on residential properties.
No individual or company was charged with improper storage of food or other attractants, Whiteside said.
Environment and wildlife conservation groups were outraged by the number of black bear killings. They immediately blamed the deaths on lax garbage management and a lack of proper monitoring and regulation by the provincial government.
Way to go idiot humans. What a unnecessary, preventable tragedy.
This adorable video will almost — almost — make you feel sorry for nuclear power plants:
Looks like the gas industry’s exuberance and greed — fracking, fracking, fracking everywhere — may be its undoing:
Natural-gas prices are on the floor. Could they go negative?
The probability that wholesale gas prices will drop below $2 per million British thermal units, from today’s almost $2.50, is rising. Gas hasn’t closed below $2 since September 2009. Today’s market shares one critical similarity to then: bulging gas inventories. This overhang of excess supply could crash prices even further this spring.
This is horrifying. Welcome to police state USA folks:
In a stunning break with First Amendment policy on Capitol Hill, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice. Republicans also denied the entrance of a credentialed ABC News news team that was attempting to film the event.
Josh Fox, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Gasland” was taken into custody by Capitol Hill police this morning, along with his crew, after Republicans objected to their presence, according to Democratic sources present at the hearing.
“Gasland” received strong critical acclaim and takes a critical eye toward the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a process in which several tons of highly pressurized water and chemicals are injected into the ground, allowing valuable natural gas to escape.
Fox had hoped to film Wednesday’s hearing for a follow-up to “Gasland.”
Fox did not have formal Capitol Hill credentials, but such formalities are rarely enforced against high-profile journalists. … The right to a free press is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Documentary crews are almost never denied access to public meetings of elected government officials.
A separate ABC News crew, which did have official Capitol Hill credentials, was also denied access to the publichearing.
Republicans to all journalists and to America: Fuck the First Amendment. I mean seriously. This was a public hearing being held in the United States Capitol, a building owned by We the People, and the hearing was being conducted by people who We the People elected and who work for us! What the hell is going on around here?
If this isn’t a form of terrorism I don’t know what is.
No wonder Republicans want to do away with government. It produces hippie, socialist videos like this that rely on hocus pocus, commonly referred to by pot smoking liberal tree huggers as “science:”
The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880.The finding sustains a trend that has seen the 21st century experience nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York released an analysis of how temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience higher temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) higher than the mid-20th century baseline.
You can be sure you won’t hear about this from the corporate media:
Nebraska ranchers celebrated the Obama administration’s rejection of the proposed Keystone pipeline on Wednesday as a hardfought victory for the state’s environmentally sensitive Sandhills region – even as Republican lawmakers vowed to keep fighting for the project.
Ben Gotschall, a fourth-generation Sandhills rancher, said pipeline opponents shared the belief that the future safety of land and water and the health and wellness of people and communities were more important than foreign oil profits.
At the same time, many landowners in central Nebraska, where the pipeline would have run through a portion of a sensitive aquifer, cheered the pipeline’s rejection, which looks almost certain to become a key political issue in the upcoming presidential campaign.
“The president has done the right thing and it is my hope that a foolhardy attempt by the Republicans to go around him can be headed off,” said Randy Thompson, who owns land in central Nebraska on the pipeline’s original route.
The rejection was “a major victory for the environment and for the people of the state of Nebraska,” Nebraska Sierra Club lobbyist Ken Winston said, adding that the pipeline was pushed by “short-term profiteering and bad energy policies.”
“We do not want to go back down that road,” Winston said.
Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb said the advocacy group that organized protests in Nebraska and Washington would never stop fighting plans for the “risky export pipeline.”
It is stunning and tragic the extent to which the voice of We the People is absent from our media.
OMG, Fox’s spin on Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is just juvenile and ridiculous and silly. They’ve really outdone themselves with this one:
Here is the accompanying article together with a — bonus! bonus! — August 30 video of Daryl Hannah appearing on the O’Reilly Factor:
O’Reilly: It’s interesting. You’re running up against Hillary Clinton and President Obama. It’s you, Daryl Hanna…
O’Reilly: Against Hillary Clinton and President Obama.
So there you have it. Daryl Hanna won. Obama caved to liberal Hollywood* hippie chick Daryl Hanna. On Fox, it’s that simple folks.
Is it any wonder people who watch no news at all are better informed than people who watch Fox?
* On Fox, all those drug-crazed, hedonistic, nonbeliever Hollywood-types are nutzo liberals who pour money into the Democratic party and hate Republicans. That’s the deeper message here.
Wow, this is great news. For once the Colorado Public Utilities Commission shows some balls. I think this is the first time they’ve ever said no to Xcel:
Colorado regulators have denied Xcel Energy.’s request for a $100 million interim electricity-rate hike while regulators review its request for a $141.9 million increase, which would raise the average residential monthly electric bill by about 6 percent.
Xcel in November requested a $141.9 million increase, starting Dec. 23. But since it could be summer before there’s a decision on the request, Xcel asked for the interim hike. The Public Utilities Commission rejected the request Wednesday, saying the company failed to show it would be adversely impacted by maintaining current rates while the commission reviews the $141.9 million request.
Can you imagine? Xcel asked for a rate increase but they didn’t want to wait for the process to play itself out via the Public Utilities Commission, so they asked the Commission to approve an interim hike while it mulled the permanent one.
Geezus. Are these guys coddled or what?
A friend sent me a link to this interesting tidbit about Iran possibly exaggerating its ballistic missile capabilities. It seems to me this is something we should bear in mind while listening to the fear mongering about nuclear this and that coming from Washington and Jerusalem. And this is from Fox no less:
At first, Iran claimed it had launched three long range missiles; a pronouncement at the end of ten days of war games in the Strait of Hormuz designed to test the patience of western nations as they weigh how to sanction Iran’s oil exports.
“We are able to announce that our shore-to-sea missile systems are so powerful that we can hit any target, any time, if it’s necessary” announced Habibulah Sayari, Iranian Navy Commander.
Seyyed Mahmoud Moussavi, Iranian Military Drills Spokesman, stated “Both missiles hit the intended targets successfully.”
It turned out the missiles weren’t that long range after all.
The Qhader missile, introduced in September, has a range of just 124 miles. The U.S. Navy’s fifth fleet in Bahrain is 150 miles from Iran. Israel is four times farther.
“We’ve seen that they’ve photoshopped, for example, photographs of missile tests before to make it look more impressive than it actually is, so I would take all this with a grain of salt. I think this is mainly posturing. It’s gamesmanship. And it’s again meant to send a message that the Iranians aren’t simply going to sit back while their oil is sanctioned,” said Michael Singh, Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Read more and see a video here.