Category Archives: Environment

THE UTILITIES QUIET CONTROL OF DECENTRALIZED POWER TECHNOLOGIES

From The Power Line  a blog hosted by Bill Howley

Scott Sklar is one of the most expert of US experts on decentralized power.  Here is a very informative article he posted recently on Renewable Energy World.  Mr. Sklar takes apart power company claims that by using modern decentralized power technologies, small scale electricity producers are getting a free ride from consumers stuck in the clutches of obsolete generation and distribution.

This is a must read for anyone wanting to know “the rest of the story.”  To read The Power Line blog, take a look here.

Just a note: Bill Howley is an avid blogger on energy issues.

Must-Visit Parks in New York City

New York City is not only famous for its fun and modern vibe, but it is also known as a green city as it is surrounded by a lot of parks. Thus, it is like you can have the best of both worlds when you are in this city – you can bask in the beauty of nature, and at the same time, you can enjoy the fun city life.

We have rounded up some of the best parks in the city that you should not miss when in New York. Plus, if you are into biking, here are some good options to ride your bike at.

Outdoor film viewing at the Brooklyn Bridge 1. Brooklyn Bridge Park

This park is located just under the Brooklyn Bridge. If you want to have a nice view of Manhattan, this is the place to be. This park is perfect for some weekend picnics with your family and friends or just strolling by yourself and enjoying the greens surrounding you. Brooklyn Bridge Park is also the venue for some special events such as free Movies with a View as well as kayaking and fitness classes. Ultimately, there are a lot of activities you can do in this park.

2. Central Park

Probably the most notable and famous park in the whole New York. Your visit to the city will not be complete without paying this park a visit and rent bikes in NYC to get around this iconic place. The Central Park is where you can find the Strawberry Fields which became famous because it was dedicated to John Lennon. This is a huge 38-acre park that has various areas you can enjoy. There’s an area where there’s a lot of people which is perfect for those who want to enjoy the fun vibe of the park. While there are also some areas which are quiet enough for some me-time.

3. Flushing Meadows – Corona Park

This is the second largest park in New York City. Since the park is big enough, there are a lot of recreational activities you can do here such as soccer, baseball, cricket, tennis and many others. There’s also an art museum here, a zoo and a botanical garden. Thus, whatever your preference is, there’s definitely a thing for you at Flushing Meadows – Corona Park.

Governors Island4. The Hills at Governor’s Island

This park is the perfect venue for some me-time, or you are contemplating on what to write about or what to paint. The Hills at Governor’s Island boasts of amazing views with a grassy spot. Its landscape architecture is made in such a way that the park will be safe from natural disasters. This is also an excellent place for those who love to bike around.

5. Hudson River Park

This is another vast park which is just adjacent to the Hudson River. It is famous for its being near the shoreline of the river and for its landscaped lawns and piers which are perfect for jogging around, skating, strolling and even cycling. There’s also bike rental available here in case you don’t have a bike, but you like to ride one. The Hudson River Park is also famous as a venue for some ecological study for some students since it has a 400-acres estuarine sanctuary.

WISCONSIN PSC COMBINES SOUL AND CETF FOR INTERVENOR FUNDS

By Bev Vaillancourt, CETF Board Member

As you may know, XCEL Energy and American Transmission Company (ATC)’s application for the Badger-Coulee line has been received by the Wisconsin PSC. Following that, SOUL and CETF separately applied to the Wisconsin PSC for intervenor funds to cover the cost of expert testimony as part of the application review process. Though together the request was for over $200,000, the Wisconsin PSC determined that the intervenor applications were duplicative enough to award a joint amount of $75,000.

With that decision, SOUL and CETF were faced with the problem of having to dramatically reduce what the two groups could offer in compensation to expert witnesses while still presenting a solid and compelling stance that the Badger Coulee line is 1) not needed, 2) environmentally harmful, and 3) economically obscene. In effect, SOUL and CETF were expected to divide the funds in any way the two groups could agree to do so.

After a great deal of introspection and discussion, the SOUL and CETF boards independently voted to join forces and dollars, with a focus on compensating key expert witnesses. A newly developed joint workplan, as required by the WPSC, will be submitted soon. A steering committee made up of 2 SOUL board members and 2 CETF board members has been formed to monitor progress of all documents required of expert witnesses, to ensure that filings with the WPSC are done in a timely manner, and to maximize our opportunities for collaboration and effective dissent.

Fund raising efforts are ongoing to try to maximize the dollars awarded by the WPSC. Look for more information on this website posted as this process unfolds.

We will keep you updated as more happens. The CETF Board is excited about working in joint effort with SOUL. In unity there is strength! The CETF board very much wants to hear from you. Feel free to post your thoughts to this blog.

NORTH AMERICA’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH TRANSMISSION LINES

Bill Howley writes….

If you want to see really high density HVtransmission, drive to Montreal.  There are huge lines all over the place on the south bank of the St. Lawrence.  And they are all because of Hydro Quebec’s huge, and I mean huge, hydropower system in northern Quebec.  If you are ever in Quebec City, go to the Quebec Museum there.  Hydro Quebec give them gazillions of dollars and got a big wing of its own to tout its hydro power developments on land and waters they stole from the Cree back in the 1960s and 1970s.  Strangers Devour the Land is an excellent account of this theft.

I’m a big fan of hydro power, but this is exactly what is happening now with Big Wind.  Big development of renewable resources must always happen in areas where the basic resource is maximized, because big, centralized development is so expensive.  That means exploiting high resource areas and, because these areas have relatively low population density, building massive transmission to reach high load areas.

Read more about North America’s love affair with transmission lines at The Power Line.

CAN POWERLINES HARM YOUR HEALTH?

You’ve probably heard of the harmful health effects of the electromagnetic radiation (aka EMR or EMF) emitted by high voltage powerlines. You may also have heard that there’s no certain proof that the adverse health effects were caused by the EMF. It reminds one of how we heard for decades that there may or may not be a link between cigarettes and lung cancer. An extensive BioInitiative Report released last year makes a strong case that responsible public policy should limit public exposure to EMF. The report is long, but at least take a look at the Preface and the Summary and Conclusions section. The briefest summary starts on page 34.