Author Archive: lfurman

Solar Energy Could Provide Free Electricity and CASH

Solar Energy Saves Money, Could Provide Free Electricity and CASH to Municipalities & Schools in New Jersey

New Jersey taxpayers could net $36.9 million per year, $369 million over 10 years, with the installation of 152.5 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) solar electricity systems on public schools, community colleges, and each of the public universities in the state.

The systems would pay for themselves within the first 8 years. At 2010 values of electricity and  Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), these systems would generate electricity worth approximately $300 Million and SRECs worth $1.2 Billion over the first 10 years, approximately $369 Million in excess of the cost of the systems, and provide virtually free electricity over the remainder of their 35 to 40 year lifespan.

Widespread deployment of solar energy increases the resilience of the electric grid, strengthens national security and can enhance local emergency response capabilities.

Oyster Creek to close in 2019

Rather than build cooling towers, Exelon will close Oyster Creek in 2019. This is a gain for current Exelon shareholders as they defer $600 Million on capital improvments, and corresponding $600 Million of liabilities, and collect revenues and realize profits from the sale of electricity for the next nine years.

Oyster Creek is a 610 megawatt plant. NJ has 311 megawatts of solar energy, about 221 which were installed between June 30, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2010. The energy from Oyster Creek and the other nuclear power plants can easily be supplied by new photovoltaic solar systems and wind turbines.  

Oyster Creek or Wind and Solar Power

Gov. Christie wants Excelon to build new cooling towers at Oyster Creek.  He’s right because thermal pollution from the power plant is adversely effecting the health of Barnegat Bay. Excelon says “We’d rather close the nuclear power plant than build cooling towers.” That would be ok too.

Oyster Creek is a 645 MW plant – when it’s operating.

it could be replaced with 645 MW of wind and solar in less than 3 years …

I’m Shocked, Shocked, David Frum is Voting Republican,

David Frum, the former Bush Speechwriter who was fired from the American Enterprise Institute for criticizing the Republican Party, offered a commentary on NPR’s “Marletplace,” on 10/27.

Click Here

Frum stated:

“I know, I know, I know! There’s Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul and Sharron Angle. Never mind Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Fox News. There’s the crazy guy in Texas who says that revolution is “on the table.” And anyway, what kind of fiscally conservative party campaigns on a pledge to protect Medicare exactly as it is? … “Yet I will, nevertheless, be voting the straight Republican ticket on Nov. 2 …

Unlike Frum, I am voting a straight Democratic ticket. I know that:

  • Joe Miller handcuffed a reporter who asked a question he didn’t like,

  • Carl Paladino exercises his right to free speech and transmit racist jokes and pornographic e-mails,

  • Christine O’Donnell doesn’t understand that the phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” establishes a separation of church and state,

  • Sharron Angle believes in “Second Amendment remedies” to election results and

  • Rand Paul appears to condone violence and intimidation –

and that’s part of it.

NJ Clean Energy Program and Energy Master Plan

Anybody else going to this? What other ideas are being brought forward? – promoted by Rosi

Friday, Sept 24, at citizens, business groups, and representatives from the Board of Public Utilities and the electric utilities will speak in an open forum on New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan, or EMP.  As it stands today the EMP calls for NJ to generate 22.5% of the electricity we use from clean renewable sources – solar and wind – by 2021.

Details below the fold…

The Fossil Fuel Trifecta of Disaster.

We are witnessing the Fossil Fuel Trifecta of Disaster.

Dec. 22, 2008, the Kingston Steam Plant fly ash pond broke, releasing 1.2 Billion gallons of toxic sludge from a coal plant and flooding the Clinch and Emery Rivers and 3000 acres near Kingston, Tennessee.

April 5, 2010, an accident killed 29 miners in the Upper Big Branch coal mine in Montcoal, W. Virginia.

Since April 20, for 56 Days and counting, 50,000 to 84,000 barrels per day, 2.8 Million to 4.7 Million barrels of oil has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.  If it hits the Gulf Stream we can expect tarballs from the Deepwater Horizon to wash up on the beaches of Daytona, the Outer Banks, the Jersey Shore, Coney Island, The Rockaways, Jones Beach, Fire Island, Nantucket, Cape Cod, all the way up the coast to Maine, Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland.

The questions are “When?” not “If?” and “How Much?”

Christie says, “We all must share the pain”

The Honorable Governor Chris Christie says, “we must share the pain.” He wants to cut $850 Million from the state education budget. He needs to do this to support a tax cut of $900 Million to people who make over $400,000 per year.

What pain is he asking the poor suffering masses who make over $400,000 per year to share? The pain of sunburn from a few extra days at the beach on the French Riveria? A few more days jetlagged? An additional hangover?

But Christie’s priorities don’t  surprise me. He is a Republican. His economic policies are the same failed economic policies of Hoover, Reagan, and George W. Bush. We need to listen to Keynes, Daly, Stiglitz, and Krugman.

Vermont Yankee to close. Why is Oyster Creek still open?

The Vermont Senate voted 26 to 4 to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Vermont Yankee is almost as old as Oyster Creek, in Ocean County, near Toms River, and is of similar design. Both Oyster Creek and Vermont Yankee are leaking tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, into the environment. Excelon claims the tritium from Oyster Creek is confined to the plant site.

An Entergy Executive responsible for Vermont Yankee testified under oath to two state panels that there were no buried pipes at Vermont Yankee that could leak tritium.  This testimony is now known to be false. The Entergy executive, who perjured himself is believed to be Vice President Jay Thayer.

Vermont Senator Randolph Brock, a Republican from St. Albans, who in the past has supported Vermont Yankee, said “If the board of directors and management of Entergy were thoroughly infiltrated by antinuclear activists, I do not think they could have done a better job of destroying their own case.”

President Obama and the State of the Union

I had the honor, privilege and good fortune of seeing then-Senator Obama speak in Hoboken, on November 2, 2006, at a campaign event for Senator Menendez. Afterwards I called my father and said “I think I just saw the next President of the United States.” Two years later, November, 4, 2008, he and the American voters proved me right; I attended a victory party for President Obama, Senator Lautenberg, for “Change we can believe in,” for the American people, and for, I think, the world.

I felt like that watching the State of the Union; less euphoric, more focused and disciplined.  

Christie – sloppy or dishonest?

While U S Attorney, Christie allegedly tracked people via cell-phone without a warrant – sometimes. Tracking people without a warrant might not be illegal. The Christie campaign said he obtained warrants in some cases, and didn’t get them in other cases.

Tracking people without a warrant – sometimes – and with a warrant – other times – sounds sloppy and unprofessional, if it’s legal. It raises questions – if you don’t need a warrant, why get one some of the time. It you do need a warrant, how do you not get one all the time?