Environmentalists celebrated a major victory over Big Oil on Friday night at the White House after President Obama officially announced he would not approve the Northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. The 1,700-mile TransCanada project triggered a seven-year battle joined by scores of environmental groups who worked to defeat it.
Obama’s announcement on November 6 came four years to the day after 350.org, Sierra Club and many other organizations held a major protest against the pipeline at the White House.
The victory marks the first time people power of a grassroots movement leveraged political power to defeat a major fossil fuel project. It is likely to embolden green groups to step up efforts to convert energy policies to renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
Had the Keystone XL pipeline been built, it would have resulted in a daily capacity of 860,000 gallons of Alberta tar sands bitumen being transported to Gulf Coast refineries.
A forum on climate change held last Wednesday in Richmond was supposed to be about moving to clean energy, but it sometimes seemed to be more of a platform for Governor Terry McAuliffe to tout plans for more natural gas and nuclear energy in the Commonwealth. It wasn’t that he neglected energy efficiency, wind and solar—he had plenty of good things to say about these, and even a few initiatives to boast of. It was just that they paled against the backdrop of massive new natural gas and nuclear projects, to which he seems even more firmly committed.
At his first meeting as FERC Chairman, Commissioner Norman Bay gave the cold shoulder to demonstrators who repeatedly interrupted him to protest what they say is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s rubberstamp approach to regulation.
“Oh my God, we have a situation here. The situation is not going away,” shouted protestor Charles Chandler. “There is no democracy here. You just ignore what I write on my computer.”
The potential for exports of U.S. natural gas is not as rosy as proponents once imagined, said two panelists at this week’s New Energy Finance 2015 conference.
Here’s Charlie Blanchard of Bloomberg New Energy Finance: “We don’t think that Pennsylvania gas makes it to Miami, much less Tokyo. There’s really only enough of it to supply the eastern U.S. There’s not so much of it that we can export it everywhere.”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Environmental Impact Study scoping meeting was held Wednesday night in Nelson before a standing-room-only crowd in the 600-seat auditorium at Nelson County High School. FERC had “invited” several state police officers to maintain order. We welcomed them and told them we promised to behave. Continue reading Rubber Stamper FERC, Dominion Shills Come to Nelson County→
RICHMOND — A new economic study says the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline will generate $377 million in annual energy savings — $243 million in Virginia alone — by expanding the availability of natural gas and driving down the price for utilities and commercial and residential consumers.