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+ - Greens demand State hand over Keystone docs->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "An environmental group is demanding the State Department fork over all of its communications over changes that were made to the final Keystone XL pipeline environmental impact review.

Friends of the Earth filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Monday over a correction the State Department made in its final environmental analysis on the controversial pipeline.

The change reflected a substantial increase in the number of deaths that could be caused if Keystone is rejected. The revision said that State now estimates 18 to 30 people would be killed each year from the increase in oil shipments by rail without construction of the pipeline. Earlier estimates had said six deaths but that was under a three-month period.

Friends of the Earth called the statistics "highly questionable" and wants to know what prompted the change. They are asking for all staff communications over a five-month span.

"More questionable still is what prompted the State Department to update these particular numbers while neglecting numbers that show how Keystone XL would catalyze an increase in emissions," said Luisa Abbot Galvao of Friends of the Earth.

In the final impact review, the department said Keystone XL would not significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, a finding that hasn't sat well with environmentalists.

Friends of the Earth wants all records between State's staff and lobbyists or other individuals representing pipeline developer TransCanada, and Environmental Resources Management, the contractor that worked on the final environmental review.

Its request asks for all of the communication, contracts or agreements made between State and TransCanada from January to June of this year.

It also asks for documents on the oil rail analysis, greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation measures compiled in the same time period."

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+ - Canada-to-NYC power line receives environmental approval->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The U.S. Department of Energy has completed its environmental review of a $2.2 billion project that will run a 330-mile electric line from Canada to New York City.

The 1,000-megawatt transmission cables will have a 5-inch diameter and run underwater or underground for the line’s entire length. The project, called the Champlain Hudson Power Express, will siphon hydro and wind-produced energy from the Canadian border to a converter station that will be built in Astoria, Queens, and feed into the Consolidated Edison system.

Transmission Developers Inc., the Albany-based company developing the project, claims the transmission line would reduce energy costs for customers by as much as $650 million per year, creating an average of 300 construction jobs over the four years it takes to build."

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+ - Which Is More Scalable, Nuclear Energy Or Wind Energy?-> 1

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Summary: Empirically, wind energy is much more scalable than nuclear energy.

China is the true experiment for maximum scalability of nuclear vs wind. It has a tremendous gap between demand and generation. It can mostly ignore democracy and social license for nuclear. It is building both wind and nuclear as rapidly as possible. It has been on a crash course for both for about the same period of time. It has bypassed most of the regulatory red tape for nuclear.

So how is it doing?

        China turned on just over 16 GW of nameplate capacity of wind generation in 2013 according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Over the four years of 2010 to 2014, China managed to put 4.7 GW of nuclear into operation at the Qinshan Phase II, Ling Ao Phase II, Ningde, Hongyanhe and Yangjiang plants. This is not their stated plans for nuclear, which had them building almost double this in 2013 alone and around 28 GW by 2015, but the actual plants put into production. The variance between the nuclear roadmap and nuclear reality in China is following the trajectory of nuclear buildout worldwide: delays, cost overruns, and unmet expectations."

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