Legislators connect the dots, ask for hold on new coal power plant

10 legislators have sent a letter to the NC Utilities Commission asking them to hold off on approving Duke's request to build two new coal-fired units at their Cliffside station. Sounds like they are starting to connect the dots. From the N&O:

Durham Democrat Paul Luebke, Wake County Democrat Jennifer Weiss and others said Tuesday that Duke's coal plant proposal should be put on hold while the General Assembly considers legislation that would require the state's public utilities to derive at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar or animal waste. Bills were recently introduced in the state House and Senate. If the state adopts such an energy policy, building a major power plant might be unnecessary, the lawmakers said.

Word around the campfire is that the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) bill has a good chance of moving through the Legislature. Meeting our energy growth by more renewable and efficient means sounds a whole heap of a lot better than building new coal plants that will emit the equivalent to 1 million cars worth of carbon dioxide each year.

You can read more about this current move here and more about the Cliffside proposal here.


I have a question.

We outlawed leaded fuel because it was bad for the environment and bad for our health. People complained at the time it would hurt fuel efficiency and they had to have their gas tanks changed (something about the fuel pumps not working, so you couldn't put leaded gas in an unleaded engine or something). But, they got over it.

Why can't North Carolina say: "Okay, halogen light bulbs are now illegal to sell in North Carolina. Every store that wants to sell light bulbs has to sell fluorescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs."

An IEA study said that doing this worldwide would decrease energy needs by 10%, so I'm thinking that Americans have a lot more high-energy light-bulbs than most people, so maybe we could decrease energy needs by 15%. Within one year (all other bulbs would be burnt out), we would decrease our energy needs enough, not only to insure we don't need NEW coal power plants, but to close the dirtiest ones currently in use.

So, why not?

  1. The halogen light-bulb companies aren't here in North Carolina.
  2. CF bulbs don't cost as much as they used to, and
  3. we could lure a producer to open a factory in North Carolina, since we would be a major purchaser (state could have one contract with said producer for all state venues).
  4. power companies would continue serving the same number of customers, but with lower overhead, which saves money.
  5. lastly, it is good for the environment.

Your take would be appreciated.
Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Why Halogen?

You've brought up halogen before. Why specifically halogen bulbs?

As I understand it, they last longer and put out more light per watt than standard incandescent bulbs. Is there something I am missing? Are you really against all incandescent bulbs or are halogens particularly offensive for some reason?

Brain gap.

I somehow got stuck on halogen, when I should have been saying incandescent.


Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


I have the same question as SPLib. Halogens are more efficient incandescents.

The halogen gas inside a halogen lamp causes the evaporated tungsten to redeposit on the filament. This process, along with high pressure inside the capsule, slows down deterioration of the filament, improves lumen maintenance and extends the lamp’s service life

Halogens got a bad name because of 500W and 300W uplight fixtures which produced very nice ambient light but were dangerous and energy guzzlers relative to the amount of usable light. The inefficiency comes from pointing it at the ceiling not from any inefficiency in the lamp. Also because of the high heat they can easily cause fires. This is a problem of fixture design, not the lamp.

Low voltage and low wattage halogens allow for task specific lighting with reduced heating loads and include everything from kitchen and desk lighting to automobile headlights. Fluorescents are great energy savers relative to incandescents and some halogens but the key to efficiency lies also in the application. As an example, fluorescents generally don't start up well in cold weather until they have been on a while. A CF replacement for an incandescent would be good for an outdoor or unheated fixture that stays on a long time but not for one that gets turned on for a few minutes.

The definitive source of technical information on lighting technology and applications is the National Lighting Product Information Program part of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


How might this affect the proposed Diesel fired plant in Buncombe County? It's touted as a plant designed to run only during peak need?

It might make it entirely unnecessary, or it's status might give builders a loophole to build the damned thing, run it all the time, sell the energy to Virginia, and occasionally siphon some power to Buncombe on cold days in February while continually poisoning the air of our asthmatic county.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Biodiesel anyone?

Wouldn't it be great if the fuel was biodiesel or better yet, straight vegetable oil?


My Appalachian Voices bretheren busted their asses and made me very proud with their work on this issue. Getting a bi-partisan letter aimed and fired at Duke Energy is no easy task.

My comrade LazyHorse has a great post about the press conference and the letter over at the AV blog. Check it out!

Also, GREAT to hear about the RPS. I think that Hackney is going to help us do amazing things.

I would like to personally thank

Durham, Wake and Buncombe County reps for looking after the citizens of Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.

Is there any way to find out the other 6 or 7 reps who are involved in this?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Oooops...and Orange/Person Counties also

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I am soooo happy to see this

I am soooo happy to see this great news! Since starting blogging I have beat the drum for alternative energy sources. Having grown up in the filth and sulfur of steel mills of the upper Ohio Valley I knew from youth just how awful pollution is from coal fired plants and furnaces. Children, including me, were always sick with colds, and even dying of what was called "inflammation of the lungs". Old people coughed their life away too. But of course when anyone dared to mention it just might be the stuff pumped in the air from smoke stacks they are all but run out of town. I moved from "home" to get away from it as soon as I could. A new day is coming and I really think the world is ready for it.

Once more, people will pay more for clean air and clean light bulbs. They were willing to pay more for dolphin safe tuna if you may recall.


"Face it, coal is filthy"

There is an article @Huffpo where ranchers sued to stop the Governors "Fast Track Plan" and won.. For now..
"WACO -- On the eve of hearings on six of the 11 coal-burning power plants that TXU wants to build in a hurry across the state, a judge in Austin ruled that Governor Rick Perry never had the authority to fast-track permits for the new plants in the first place.'
"Here we are, a little old group from Riesel, Texas, and we sued the Governor and won,'' said the rancher, Robert Cervenka. If the new plants were built, "I'd have four right around my house.'' They would also double CO2 emissions in Texas, which already emits more of the greenhouse gas than any other state in the country."

It's always about the money, isn't it?
Republican Governor Perry received $173k from TXU, so it is in his/their best interests to fast-track the production of carbon. DUH!

We need more coal burning just like we need Hayes or Dole.. big DUH again.. imho