Yowza! Looks like the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) won the stimulus dollars scratch off, big time. SECO, which usually has a budget of around $2 million, will get an additional $233.8 million of federal money due to the stimulus bill. That’s quite a sum that will be available to the state for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, green jobs training programs, and building retrofits.
The Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization held a hearing last week to make sure that SECO could handle this influx of funds and spend it wisely.
SECO’s response, in a nutshell, was “No Sweat.” Which I certainly hope is true. This is an incredible amount of money, and should be used as efficiently (yuk yuk yuk) as possible.
Floor Pass reports,
The agencies didn’t ask for help making policy changes to draw the dollars down from Washington, and they generally reported they had programs already in place to administer the money.
Robert Wood, the director of local government assistance and economic development, said the State Energy Conservation Office would have no problem spending the $233 million expected to flow through the State Energy Program. While there were some strings attached, the strings would not require SECO to make any changes not already planned pre-stimulus. (more…)
Read Full Post »
Posted in Efficiency, Energy, Nuclear, tagged Congress, congressional budget office, economic recovery, Energy Efficiency, house, karnes city, kingsville, Luminant, Nuclear, nuclear loan guarantees, nuclear loans, nuclear waste, obama, Public Citizen, PUC, renewable energy, senate, senate appropriations committee, shovel ready, south texas nuclear plant, stimulus bill, stimulus package, Tom "Smitty" Smith, uranium mining, wall street on February 11, 2009 |
Leave a Comment »
A message from our director, Tom “Smitty” Smith:
Today the House and Senate are working to reconcile their different versions of the long-awaited economic stimulus package. The stakes are now higher than ever for Texans, who stand to gain from billions that could go toward developing renewable energy and efficiency in the state, reducing pollution from diesel engines, and cleaning up abandoned nuclear waste sites.
But as much as the state needs that massive investment in our energy future, there is a troubling side to the senate version of the stimulus package: Senators amended the stimulus bill to include $50 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear plants in Texas and elsewhere in the nation.
If Congress needs a reminder why this is a bad deal, it should just ask Wall Street why it doesn’t loan money for nuclear reactors. According to the Congressional Budget Office, nuclear loans default at a rate of 50%. Banks learned long ago that these plants simply can’t be built on budget and aren’t viable without massive taxpayer subsidies. Texans are still paying for the last generation of over-budget nuclear plants each month in a hidden charge on their electric bills. (more…)
Read Full Post »
Posted in Global Warming, tagged bonnie raitt, comanche peak nuclear plant, comanche peak unit one, graham nash, Karen Hadden, Loan Guarantees, Luminant, Mitasubishi, NRC, nrc federal register, Nuclear, nuclear informationa nd resource service, Nuclear Power, nuclear regulatory comissision, paul winter, Public Citizen, rate hikes, reactor design, SEED Coalition, stimulus bill, Tom "Smitty" Smith, US-APWR on February 6, 2009 |
1 Comment »
Hey Look! A press release from SEED Coalition and Public Citizen:
60 Day Clock For Nuclear Opponents Starts Ticking;
Luminant Moves Forward Toward Expansion of Comanche Peak Nuclear Plant
Reactor Design Not Ready for Primetime
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission posted notice today on the federal register of Luminant’s application to build two reactors at the Comanche Peak nuclear plant site, southwest of Fort Worth. Citizens now have only 60 days to prepare and present their legal case in opposition.
The reactor design (US-APWR) has not been approved by the NRC and it has never been built anywhere in the world. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. submitted the US-Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (US-APWR) for design certification on December 31, 2007, but the review will take the NRC at least until 2011 to complete.
“This fast-tracked combined construction and operating license process was rationalized based on the assumption that new reactors would only use pre-certified designs, but the Comanche Peak reactor design is not approved yet. Not only does this put a huge burden on the public to quickly learn what’s happening and become involved within only 60 days, but it also puts pressure on the NRC to rubberstamp designs that should have extra scrutiny,” said Smith.
“The streamlined process is designed to cut citizens out and limit public involvement in the licensing of two reactors that could cost $22 billion before cost overruns,” said Karen Hadden, executive director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition. “It makes the fast-tracking of TXU’s coal plants in Texas look slow.”
Comanche Peak Unit One ran ten times over budget and was years late coming online. An untested reactor design increases the likelihood of similar problems occurring again and soaring rate hikes that would result.
“If safety was a real concern, the three processes all occurring simultaneously would be take one at a time. This rush increases risks of safety oversight and problems from faulty design and construction” said Hadden. “Reactor designs should be analyzed first, and if and when the NRC deems them adequate, a construction license application should be allowed. If the plant has no major construction flaws after completion, then the operating license should be decided.” (more…)
Read Full Post »