Tag Archives: Power

Going nuclear: Obama to announce nuke plant loan

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama next week will announce a loan guarantee to build the first nuclear power plant in the United States in almost three decades, an administration official said Friday. The two new Southern Co. reactors to be built in Burke, Ga. are part of a White House energy plan administration officials hope will draw Republican support. Obama’s direct involvement in announcing the award underscores the political weight the White House is putting behind its effort to use nuclear power and alternative energy sources to lessen American dependence on foreign oil and reduce the use of other fossil fuels blamed for global warming

Obama called for “a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants” in his Jan. 27 State of the Union speech, and followed that by proposing to triple loan guarantees for new nuclear plants. Obama’s budget for the coming year would add $36 billion in new federal loan guarantees on top of $18.5 billion already budgeted – but not spent – for a total of $54.5 billion. That’s enough to help build six or seven new nuclear plants, which can cost $8 billion to $10 billion each.

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Forbes: The World’s Most Powerful People

The 67 heads of state, criminals, financiers and philanthropists who really run the world.

forbesmostpowerfulForbes— In its inaugural list of the world’s most powerful people, Forbes has the News Corp. chief at No. 7, ahead of such luminaries as the king of Saudi Arabia (No. 9), Pope Benedict XVI (No. 11) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (No. 17),
Topping the list is President Obama, followed by China president Jintao Hu, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, is No. 10. Murdoch is the only pure media mogul to crack the top 10, though Brin and Page certainly dabble in media, as does No. 6 on the list Carlos Slim Helu, the Telmex CEO who recently purchased a 6.4% stake in the New York Times.

Other media bigwigs on the Forbes list of the 67 most powerful people include No. 13 Jeff Immelt, the CEO and chairman of NBC Universal parent GE.

Prime Minister of Italy and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi is No. 12, while New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of the business news service that bears his name, is No. 20.

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is No. 45, New York Times editor William Keller is No. 51, Al Jazeera director-general Khanfar Wadah is No. 54, Apple founder and Disney director Steve Jobs is No. 57 and BBC director-general Mark Thompson is No. 65.

Forbes held its list to 67 “based on the conceit that one can reduce the world’s 6.7 billion people to the one in every 100 million that matter.”

Its criteria consisted of: the number of people one influences; one’s ability to project power beyond one’s immediate sphere of influence; control of or access to significant financial resources; and how actively one wields power.

The list even includes a few of the more notorious drug traffickers, terrorists and other assorted outlaws. Osama bin Laden, for example, is No. 37.

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First Lady Michelle Obama to Mentor Washington Girls

Posted by Audiegrl

Will join staffers Desiree Rogers, Susan Sher, Tina Tchen, Valerie Jarrett

First Lady Michelle Obama, Fran Drescher and Sheryl Crow

First Lady Michelle Obama, Fran Drescher and Sheryl Crow

Chicago Tribune/Katherine Skiba—First Lady Michelle Obama — and some of her Chicago “sisters” in the White House — on Monday will launch a first-of-its-kind mentoring program with about 20 high school girls from greater Washington.

As the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s election nears, it’s the first lady who is making history now. Call this chapter “Girl Power.”

Observers say her leadership and mentoring initiative has not been done by a first lady before. It will see Obama — and White House staffers including Valerie Jarrett, Tina Tchen, Susan Sher and Desiree Rogers, Chicagoans all — act as mentors to high school juniors and sophomores.

Jarrett is a senior White House adviser. Tchen leads its public liaison office. Sher is the first lady’s chief of staff. Rogers is White House social secretary.

The proteges were chosen by high schools, the Girl Scouts and military families, including Gold Star families who have lost a loved one, said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, the first lady’s spokeswoman.

A similar initiative for young men is coming later, she said.

Tchen, an attorney from Chicago long active in politics, said the program builds on a March event at the White House that saw high school girls interact with the first lady, White House officials and a cast of celebrities including singers Alicia Keyes and Sheryl Crow; actresses and sisters Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad; actress Fran Drescher; and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel into space.

The First Lady chats with Fran Drescher and Alica Keys

The First Lady chats with Fran Dresche and Alica Keys

Tchen said the program launch will see proteges visit their mentors’ offices and gather as a group for dinner. The inaugural class’s duration has not been decided, she said, adding that she expects discussions of college, careers, and balancing work and motherhood.

The mentors, she said, want to give proteges a “window to a wide variety of different opportunities to play out your dreams.”

Letitia Baldrige, who was a top aide to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, said the mentoring program was “definitely” a first for a presidential spouse. She called it “wonderfully imaginative,” but cautioned it will be difficult in part because of the ongoing commitment it requires.

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Michelle Obama To Involve Female Stars in Her Community Service Outreach

Michelle Obama–in major rollout–invites female stars, role models to talk to students

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Largest Solar Power Plant In U.S. Rises in Sunshine State

posted by GeoT
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Testing will soon be complete, and the facility will begin directly converting sunlight into energy, giving Florida a spot in the solar energy limelight


ARCADIA, Fla. – Greg Bove steps into his pickup truck and drives down a sandy path to where the future of Florida’s renewable energy plans begin:

DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Ardacia, Fla

DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Ardacia, Fla

Acres of open land filled with solar panels that will soon power thousands of homes and business.

For nearly a year, construction workers and engineers in this sleepy Florida town of citrus trees and cattle farms have been building the nation’s largest solar panel energy plant. Testing will soon be complete, and the facility will begin directly converting sunlight into energy, giving Florida a momentary spot in the solar energy limelight.
The Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center will power a small fraction of Florida Power & Light’s 4-million plus customer base; nevertheless, at 25 megawatts, it will generate nearly twice as much energy as the second-largest photovoltaic facility in the U.S.

The White House said President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the facility Tuesday, when it officially goes online and begins producing power for the electric grid.

As demand grows and more states create mandates requiring a certain percentage of their energy come from renewable sources, the size of the plants is increasing. The southwest Florida facility will soon be eclipsed by larger projects announced in Nevada and California.

“We took a chance at it and it worked out,” said Bove, construction manager at the project, set on about 180 acres of land 80 miles southeast of Tampa. “There’s a lot of backyard projects, there’s a lot of rooftop projects, post offices and stores. Really this is one of the first times where we’ve taken a technology and upsized it.”

Despite its nickname, the Sunshine State hasn’t been at the forefront of solar power. Less than 4 percent of Florida’s energy has come from renewable sources in recent years. And unlike California and many other states, Florida lawmakers haven’t agreed to setting clean energy quotas for electric companies to reach in the years ahead. California, New Jersey and Colorado have led the country in installing photovoltaic systems; now Florida is set to jump closer to the top with the nation’s largest plant yet.

The Desoto facility and two other solar projects Florida Power & Light is spearheading will generate 110 megawatts of power, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3.5 million tons. Combined, that’s the equivalent of taking 25,000 cars off the road each year, according to figures cited by the company.

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Over 1,000 GreenGov Ideas and Counting!

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Message from Secretary of Energy Steven Chu

Earlier this week, we launched the GreenGov Challenge – a new way for federal employees and military personnel to help green our government. The response thus far has been tremendous, but I know there are many more of you that we still need to hear from.

Energy efficiency is an issue I’m passionate about, and it is a major focus for the Department of Energy. For the next few decades, energy efficiency will be our most effective tool for reducing our carbon emissions, and the best way to reduce energy bills for America’s families. Specific ideas on how to save money and energy are especially welcome.

chu-and-obamaI know many federal employees share my passion and have great ideas for how to help the government become greener. Many have shared great ideas already on my Facebook page.

The GreenGov Challenge is a way for you to have your ideas heard. Ideas can be submitted through October 31st. We recognize that some of the best ideas on how to save energy may not be new, but they are simply not widely adopted. I want to hear from you what you think are the most cost-effective ways to save energy and money as well as new ideas. The top ideas will be evaluated and put into action shortly thereafter.

I hope you will take a moment to think about the energy saving opportunities around you, to dream up new ways to solve them, and to be a part of making this effort a success. I look forward to reviewing your ideas and tackling this challenge with you.

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Diplomats say that Iran agrees to draft deal on uranium

“Everybody who participated at the meeting was trying to look to the future not the past, trying to heal the wounds,”

VIENNA – Iranian negotiators on Wednesday agreed to consider a draft deal that — if accepted by the Tehran leadership — would delay its ability to make nuclear weapons by sending most of the material it would need to Russia for processing, diplomats said Wednesday.

Mohamed-ElBaradei

Mohamed-ElBaradei

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed that representatives of Iran and its three interlocutors — the U.S., Russia and France — had accepted the draft, which still has to be finalized by the four nations’ capitals. ElBaradei said he hoped that would occur by Friday.
“I have circulated a draft agreement that in my judgment reflects a balanced approach to how to move forward,” ElBaradei told reporters, suggesting that all four parties had worked hard to overcome differences exacerbated by suspicions that Iran may be interested in nuclear weapons. Tehran insists its activities are peaceful and meant only to generate energy.
“Everybody who participated at the meeting was trying to look at the future not at the past, trying to heal the wounds,” ElBaradei said. “I very much hope that people see the big picture, see that this agreement could open the way for a complete normalization of relations between Iran and the International community.”
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Video: Sec. Clinton: Iran’s Nuke Program of Serious Concern

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Vice-President Biden Unveils Report Focused on Expanding Green Jobs And Energy Savings For Middle Class Families

Posted by Buellboy

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WhiteHouse.gov—Vice President Biden today unveiled Recovery Through Retrofit, a report that builds on the foundation laid in the Recovery Act to expand green job opportunities and boost energy savings by making homes more energy efficient. Joining the Vice President today were Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy; Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor; Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and Karen Mills, Administrator of the Small Business Administration.

At a Middle Class Task Force meeting earlier this year, the Vice President asked the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to develop a proposal for Federal action to lay the groundwork for a self-sustaining home energy efficiency retrofit industry. In response, CEQ facilitated a broad interagency process with the Office of the Vice President, eleven Departments and Agencies and six White House Offices to develop recommendations for how to use existing authority and funding to accomplish this goal. These recommendations are described in detail in the Recovery Through Retrofit Report.

Recovery Through Retrofit is a blueprint that will create good green jobs – jobs that can’t be outsourced, and jobs that will be the cornerstones of a 21st-Century economy,” said Vice President Biden. “And, thanks to the Recovery Act’s unprecedented investments in energy efficiency, we are making it easier for American families to retrofit their homes – helping them save money while reducing carbon emissions and creating a healthier environment for our families.”

Vice-President Joe Biden

Vice-President Joe Biden

This report builds on the foundation laid in the Recovery Act to expand green job and business opportunities for the middle class while ensuring that the energy efficiency market will thrive for years to come,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “An aggressive program to retrofit American homes and businesses will create more work, more savings, and better health for middle class Americans.”

Existing techniques and technologies in energy efficiency retrofitting can reduce energy use by up to 40 percent per home and lower total associated greenhouse gas emissions by up to 160 million metric tons annually. Retrofitting existing homes also has the potential to cut home energy bills by $21 billion annually. Yet, despite the real energy cost savings and environmental benefits associated with improving home energy efficiency, a series of barriers have prevented a self-sustaining retrofit market from forming. These barriers include a lack of access to information, financing and skilled workers.

The recommendations and actions in this Report have been carefully designed to help overcome these barriers and to leverage Recovery Act funding to help ensure that the energy efficiency market will thrive long after the Recovery Act money is fully spent.

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A Bottom-Up Approach to Greening Government: Take the Greengov Challenge

Posted by TheLCster

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On Monday, October 5th, 2009, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on Federal Sustainability – and in doing so, committed the Federal government to lead by example, practice what we preach and help build a clean energy economy through how we operate.

To harness the collective wisdom of the more than 1.8 million civilian employees and our men and women in uniform, we’re launching the GreenGov Challenge, an online participatory way for Federal employees to suggest clean energy ideas and vote on others.

Some of the top ideas will be presented to the Steering Committee on Federal Sustainability – a group comprised of a senior official from each agency who is responsible for delivering among other things, each agency’s sustainability plan.

Though anyone can see your ideas, only Federal employees can participate – so this is your chance to positively impact how your agency will meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

Be part of the GreenGov Challenge and help green our government!

The GreenGov challenge runs from Oct. 19th — 31st

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Will E-Bikes Be the New ‘Commuter Cool‘?

Posted by TheLCstergoinggreen

Keith and Mary Felch have cut their driving in half by using e-bikes.

Keith and Mary Felch have cut their driving in half by using e-bikes.

CNN —Keith Felch is admittedly a big guy, but more than a few super-fit cyclists in Southern California have been left wondering how that dude just went flying by. And then his wife, Mary, comes motoring past.

They stare, like how can a girl go past me,” she says, laughing. It takes the other riders a few seconds but then they figure it out.

They have electric motors.

The Felches, who live in Aliso Viejo, California, used to drive everywhere, except when they used their bikes for recreation.

That changed when they got their new e-bikes, made by a company called Optibike. Now, they ride to go shopping and to go to breakfast — but mostly they ride to work.

Keith Felch says the couple has cut 50 percent of their car-use since they started electric biking.

And there are other benefits. Keith Felch dropped 30 pounds and his blood pressure fell 10 points in the first six months he owned the bike, he says.

The Felches don’t exactly classify themselves as “environmentalists,” although Mary said it is important to have a positive effect on the planet.

I learned that the worst amount of smog that you put out [in an automobile] is in the first mile, so if we can make even some of those shorter trips on our bicycles, it makes a big difference,” she says.

What’s an ‘e-bike’?

E-bikes run on 1 horsepower motors, or good old-fashioned pedal-power.

E-bikes run on 1 horsepower motors, or good old-fashioned pedal-power.

By law, electric bikes must have no more than 1 horsepower and go no faster than 20 mph (on motor power alone).

Basically they are much like traditional bicycles with small motors that power the bike or assist a rider with pedaling. Many have gears like a regular bike.

It’s just adding the throttle aspect, other than that it handles like a regular bicycle,” Keith Felch said. He says he uses the throttle all the time, choosing one of two modes — eco [half power] or fast [full power].

He says he once tried a regular bike for his 4 ½-mile ride to one of his music studios where he teaches jazz improvisation.

But the hills nearly got him. He calls his electric bike a “hill eraser.”

It also makes the ride to his farthest studio — 22 miles away — seem much closer. He says he gets about 35 miles on his primary battery and has an additional one for long rides.

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Watsonville solar project to power thousands of homes

WATSONVILLE — A plan to install solar panels at the city dump to provide enough power for 4,700 homes (10% of the city population) is moving forward with the blessing of the City Council.

Solar Panels in Watsonville, CA

Solar Panels in Watsonville, CA

Construction of more than 6,500 panels could start at the end of March and be generating 2.3 megawatts of power before the end of 2010, according to Steve Schumer of San Jose-based Cupertino Electric Inc.

The city would lease the land to Cupertino Electric at a price yet to be negotiated. The council, which approved the project Tuesday in a 6-0 vote with Councilman Greg Caput absent, must still approve the lease agreement.

Schumer said a third party, whose name he declined to disclose, has signed a letter of intent to buy the electricity if the price is right.

“We’re close,” Schumer said.

The city also is working with Cupertino Electric to install solar panels at the Watsonville Municipal Airport to produce another megawatt of power. Don French, general manager of the airport, said the deal will go before the City Council after engineering studies are completed. He supports the project.

“I like the idea of solar panels, and if the airport can make a few bucks, I’m all for it,” French said.

A third project in the works would put solar panels on rooftops of city buildings.

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Secretary Chu Announces New Investments in Cutting-Edge Wind Energy Research Facilities

posted by Betsy
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“Wind power has the potential to provide 20% of our electricity and create hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Secretary Chu. “We need to position the United States as the clear leader in this industry”

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced new investments today in three university-led wind energy research facilities that will enhance the United States’ leadership role in testing and producing the most advanced and efficient wind turbines in the world. The funding is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the research will focus on improving both land-based and offshore wind generation.
Three university-led consortia have been selected for up to $24 million to support university research and development programs to improve land-based and offshore wind turbine performance and reliability, as well as provide career educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in wind energy technologies. The three competitively selected, university-led projects will include partners from private industry, state and local governments, and other universities. The projects selected today support the Obama Administration’s focus on increasing clean energy generation, while supporting the long-term development of a clean energy workforce.

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For more information about the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program click here: Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program Web site.

Related Information
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
AWEA: 20% Wind Energy by 2030 Web site

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