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Coal pollution levels increase April 8, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in China, coal power, environmentalists.
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The Environmental Integrity Project recently stated that coal-fired plants are the largest source of mercury pollution in the U.S., generating more than 40 percent of US emissions. Also, the mercury output had recently increased at more than half of the country’s 50 largest power plants. Mercury is a highly toxic metal and settles in lakes and rivers, where it moves up the food chain.

Coal has become an important part of the country’s energy mix and we get half of our electricity from it. Coal increased substantially in the 1980s, as paranoia and biased media coverage contributed to negative public perceptions of nuclear. Meanwhile, the environmental community did little to oppose coal, figuring it wasn’t as bad a nuclear. As it turns out, a 1,000 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant produces approximately the same amount of global warming as 1.2 million cars, around all the cars in Idaho.

Lately, though, the truth has been sinking in. In 2004, for example, U.S. coal plants made up 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and are a significant source of radiation, heavy metals and CO2.

Natural gas doesn’t produce the toxics, but it still pumps out half the CO2 of coal and costs considerably more. Carbon capture holds promise but is still in the early stages and its economics are unknown.

You would think that coal would be on the way out (and it may be in the US), but China and India are planning hundreds of new coal plants. Pollution aside, coal has the advantages of being abundant, reliable, cheap and relatively easy to convert to electricity, so it is easy to see why it is of such interest in developing countries.

We think every form of electricity has a role to play within its limits and potential, including coal, providing its toxic and carbon pollution can be effectively dealt with. For our part, we are pleased more political leaders, environmentalists and members of the public are realizing the advantages of clean, plentiful and reliable nuclear. The nuclear renaissance is definitely here thanks to a more balanced and rational approach.

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Another vote of support in Elmore County April 1, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, economic benefits, Elmore County, environmentalists, nuclear jobs.
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Elmore County P&Z votes to change comprehensive plan
AEHI plan to build nuclear power plant continues to move forward Mountain Home, Idaho

Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (AEHI:OB) – During a hearing Wednesday night, Elmore County Planning and Zoning Commissioners decided to recommend a change to the wording of the county’s comprehensive plan. The current plan requires industrial development to locate along Simco Road, which was a sticking point for a plan by Alternate Energy Holdings to build a nuclear power plant in another part of the county.

“This latest decision keeps the door open for a possible nuclear power plant in Elmore County and I believe it reflects the commissioners continued desire to keep our project in play. While AEHI’s Payette County site is currently the lead location in Idaho, we also welcome the news that Elmore County is taking such steps to increase the possibility for more economic development,” said Don Gillispie, AEHI CEO.

During the meeting a nuclear power opponent requested the commissioners change the wording of the comprehensive plan in a way that would close the door to a nuclear power plant, which the commissioners refused.

The planned changes include expanding light industrial into areas of city impact and expanding heavy industrial into areas that “will not be detrimental to neighboring and existing land uses”. Those changes will be signed April 21st, after which they will go before the Board of County Commissioners for final approval.

Nuclear power has been recognized as a vital method to increase econimic viability especially in rural communities like those proposed in Elmore and Payette counties. AEHI’s project is estimated to increase employment by more than 5,000 workers through construction, and more than 1,000 during operations. The commercial benefit during construction is even more impressive, increasing the state’s GDP by $5.8 billion, with $4.3 billion of that money filtering directly through the county.

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc.: (www.alternateenergyholdings.com) Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation’s only publicly traded independent nuclear power plant developer willing to build power plants in non-nuclear states. Other projects include, Energy Neutral which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (www.energyneutralinc.com), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and International Reactors, which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications. AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power. AEHI Korea, Seoul, is helping negotiate with KEPCO.

“Safe Harbor” Statement: This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate. As a result, investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

Greenpeace eases opposition to nuclear a bit November 5, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in environmentalists, renewable energy, reprocessing.
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Few organizations have been as stridently anti-nuclear as Greenpeace. They’ve taken credit for scuttling nuclear plants (and doing nothing as coal took their place) and made opposition to nuclear energy a near-religious experience. However, with concerns about global warming and the growing realization that only nuclear can provide abundant, low-cost, always-on energy that society needs, even Greenpeace is holding back on the criticism.

In October, Greenpeace ran an advertisement in the Times of London about climate change and for the first time, there was no explicit policy against nuclear power. Instead there were stipulations for any new fossil power plants to come with CO2 abatement and for renewables to make up 15% of all energy. The ad promoted “low-carbon” energy but did not rule anything in or out of that.

Greenpeace UK’s executive director John Sauven adopted the same language in an open letter to British politicians which said: “If we don’t change the politics and take real action here and internationally we will lose our chance to save the climate… So far bold action has been trumped by short term interests.” Greenpeace UK executive director Stephen Tindale welcomed the change in its stance as a “positive step.”

Tindale, who ran Greenpeace from 2000 to 2005, is one of four prominent British environmentalists who are now lobbying in favor of nuclear power. Tindale reversed his opinions on nuclear power earlier this year to support it as a bridging technology to a time when renewables can take the major role in power generation.

Uranium is one of the most plentiful minerals in the Earth and we could power civilization for hundreds or even thousands of years with it, especially if the US reprocessed spent fuel like other nations, so we see it as a fairly permanent technology. Indeed, given the intermittency and unpredictability of renewables, we have no other choice if we are to sustain civilization as we know it.

“Only nuclear power can now halt global warming,” said James Lovelock, creator the Gaia theory, which regards the Earth and its abundant life as a kind of “organism.” We look forward to Greenpeace further moderating its stance along with other forward-thinking environmentalists, and taking a more all-of-the-above approach.

Opinion roundup July 17, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Agriculture, economic benefits, Elmore County, Energy policy, environmentalists, Mountain Home News, renewable energy, Snake River Alliance, Water policy, Wind energy.
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While our rezone application moves through the process at Elmore County, I thought I would post some letters to the editor and columns that have appeared lately.

Idaho Statesman, July 16, 2009
Enough delays: Approve Elmore County plant

During an Elmore County commissioners’ meeting, supporters of the nuclear power plant outnumbered opponents 5-to-1 and 1,600 petition signatures were submitted in support. Yet, after a year of hearings, the answer from commissioners was the comprehensive plan is outdated and go back to square one. Those opposing are few: a discounted far-left environmental group and a handful of Hammett farmers who support nuclear power but want it constructed in a different location. From the hearings I have attended, radio debates I’ve listened to, and discussions with both farmers and Hammett residents, their responses are loud and clear: the majority of Idahoans are in favor of the power plant and they recognize that this is our big chance to attract large companies who bring stable jobs but need more than what Idaho Power can provide them with. It’s what Idaho has been looking for and it’s what Idaho desperately needs to lead the Northwest and the United States in clean power. My plea to the commissioners is to please stop stalling by appeasing a few and start representing the majority voice. Let us help ourselves to have a brighter future by approving this power plant.

KEVIN F. AMAR, Meridian

Mountain Home News, July 15, 2009
If you want growth, nuclear power plant is viable option

Dear editor:
As I sit here on Saturday morning, June 20, 2009, I look outside my window and see Idaho’s energy future. At least the future that many near-sighted folks want us to put all our faith and trust. It is completely still with nary a whisper of wind to turn even the most efficient wind turbine and so overcast that solar power couldn’t power up an LED bulb.

Naive, I am not. I know this is not the norm for Elmore County; but to set so much reliance on wind, water and solar cannot be our standard for the future of energy for the Pacific Northwest, Western United States, or even the United States as a whole

We cannot afford any more coal powered plants — that is a given. We must invest in other means of powering our society with the electrical demands we have established. Whether for our homes, computers, cell phones, mobile phones, or even the increased future of hybrid or solely electric vehicles — we need electricity! That fact will not go away lest we make the conscious decision to revert back to the 1800s. We can do that, but mind you, it will make it very difficult to continue advances (or even sustain our current abilities) in medicine or just how we live from day to day. If we minimize production, whatever electricity we might have given to us would go first to the established leadership of our county, second to the military, third to health care and finally to Joe Average — come to think of it, it reminds me of how things were divided in Stalinist Russia.

I have heard the discussions before the P&Z, the County Commissioners, read the articles, blogs and opinions in the Mountain Home News and watched the DVD. I’ve listened to the arguments, pro and con, that take place throughout the county and I must say that the controversy over a rezone application has this whole county stymied.

I have seen how people outside of Elmore County have been brought in and have gotten deep into our business. Were they invited — yes, however; when the final decision is made, are they going to be living here to deal with the first-hand consequences of that decision? NO, they won’t!

I have lived in several areas around the United States and around the world. I have lived in areas of extreme prosperity and in utter poverty — and as a personal preference, I chose the comforts of prosperity. I heard it said at one meeting that, “…electricity is overrated.” We, in these United States, are accustomed to many hi-tech devices that we may not know how they work, it just suits our cause when and because they work. I’m not an expert, but I think it requires electricity to take such things as X-rays for proper dental work, broken bone manipulation or detailed neurological procedures. I seem to remember that farmers need electricity to run the water pumps for their irrigation lines in order to get to the point of harvest of hay, corn, wheat or potatoes. I know it is very time consuming to milk dairy cattle by hand and when you have upwards of 5,000 or 6,000 head of cattle that require two milkings per day it can be a VERY time consuming job, unless a dairy has the financial resources to employ hundreds of workers and we wish to pay $10 or more for a gallon of milk.

Since the time I arrived in Idaho in 1997, my power bill has tripled. When I arrived, I too asked the question of why isn’t wind or solar energy being harnessed. The standard response was hydro power is so cheap and plentiful.

So in 12 years, we’ve experienced drought, population growth, economic downturn and a serious lack to decisively invest into new sources of power. We are now so far behind the power curve it’s pitiful. To have known it would come to this level of disparity was unthinkable. No one could have known, but we did have the knowledge and resources available during the good years that could have made these tough times a bit more bearable, had we prepared.

I know the issues of rezone, water use, nuclear power, availability of suitable farm land all have their supporters and opponents to some degree, but the desired advancement throughout time has been this: we seek to make better, to use more efficiently, to build in a margin of safety wherever possible.

If we seek to “do it right,” I believe the co-existence of these issues is entirely possible, plausible and suitable for Elmore County.

Fears, yes, they exist because the human factor exists. But if we become so captivated by those fears that we become frozen in place rather than being motivated to exercise caution and seek safety at every turn to make it better, we can go forward with an expectation of success for everyone.

Of all the nuclear power facilities in the world — have all been failures? Have all been shut down because of fears of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island? Have we not learned from the mistakes that were made of improper design? Has not the Nuclear Regulatory Commission been involved to inspect and certify plants for the public’s safety?

Our world is constantly changing. I enjoy the rural lifestyle of Elmore County and even get fed up with traffic surges that happen twice daily throughout the workweek. But change required stoplights to be installed, road maintenance and improvements to be accomplished; all because we are growing county and that is already a fact of life.

If we want to keep our status quo, then we need to limit our household growths to 1 or 2 children, mandated by law (I think that idea was called Zero Population Growth — back in the ’70s and ’80s; it didn’t work) — reminds me of current day China. Mountain Home has about doubled in size since the 1990s and will probably continue to grow as time goes on. This doesn’t even include the rest of southwestern Idaho, which has seen a marked growth since the mid-1990s.

Change is inevitable and with change comes new requirements. Satisfaction of those requirements must be met and for an economy that means taxes, or housing, or jobs, or transportation, or construction or a myriad of things to meet those requirements.

So what do we do? We have a company that wishes to come into Elmore County (it really didn’t matter to this company where they came in as was evidenced by the Owyhee County course of events and to know that they were invited) to take a piece of land that is not prime and to establish an enterprise on that land.

If it was prime farmland, people would be scrambling at every opportunity to obtain and farm the land. It is land that does have farmable soil and relatively good position to highway and rail support. But the slope of the landscape causes high water drainage and proximity to the Snake River, which funnels the air and causes high evaporation of the remaining moisture content greatly decreases the viable use of this parcel of land for great farming purposes.

This company proposes to level the land, build a viable enterprise, boost the economy and improve the infrastructure of Elmore County. Would they be so determined in their efforts to complete this venture unless they were serious? Fact or fiction?

If you don’t want to promote growth, provide jobs and make improvements to Elmore County, then takes these objectives out of your plans, otherwise; make the plans coincide properly with these objectives, allow the rezone, and move forward.

Roy D. Newer II

Mountain Home News, July 15, 2009
Nuclear power plnt would be a boon to local economy

Dear editor:
This past spring, I spent quite a bit of time doing community organizing work in Elmore County on the rezone for Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.’s proposed power plant. This included visiting Elmore County towns for petition signatures and showing people how they could get involved in the effort to bring well-paying jobs and clean industry to Elmore County.

It was hard work and exciting, but I wasn’t emotionally prepared for the poverty I would see going door-to-door in Glenns Ferry and Hammett. In homes, food lines, businesses and on the street, I came across hardworking people very worried about their futures and how they would keep a roof over their heads. Many were seasonal agricultural workers.

Economic development is a social justice issue. Many times, influential people who run the established order want to keep things the way they are. That’s not necessarily a bad thing especially if, like Elmore County farmers, they work hard, employ people and produce a needed product like food.

However, if the established order also includes keeping people in poverty, there is something very, very wrong with that. One way to address it is through government programs. But for people to be truly economically self-sufficient, they need family-wage jobs with benefits. A power plant with 500 direct jobs, 1,500 spin-off jobs and average wages of $80,000 is one way to do it.

There is great need: according to Census Bureau data, poverty rates in the Glenns Ferry and Hammett ZIP codes are between 17 and 21 percent, well above the 12 percent state average (http://tinyurl.com/nra2jg). Of course, there are other ways to provide these jobs and if anyone else genuinely wants to provide family-wage jobs with a new industry, I urge them to submit their plans.

Also, the industries that create these family-wage jobs are taxed at much higher industrial and commercial rates. Those taxes pay for school, fire, police, parks, libraries, planning, administration, roads and lowering the taxes of everyone else. Currently, agricultural taxes simply don’t provide this level of local government funding. A power plant should also go above and beyond tax obligations and construct public buildings, establish scholarships and run a foundation for the privilege of being in a community.

It’s sad to hear people say, “The nuclear plant won’t hire Elmore people,” as though Elmore residents can’t work in a security-conscious, technically-oriented setting. I think Elmore residents are among the best qualified for nuclear plant jobs, because many are veterans or used to work at Mountain Home Air Force Base. A nuclear plant has many military aspects, including extreme security consciousness; a highly trained, armed security force; and strong safety culture.

Most jobs at a nuclear plant don’t require a college degree and some don’t require high levels of training: foodservice, janitors, landscaping and materials handling. Other jobs need training ranging from certification to advanced college degrees: mechanics, security officers, technicians, office workers, pipefitters, attorneys, managers, electricians or nuclear physicists. We believe Elmore residents already qualify for the vast majority of these jobs. We hope bright Elmore County youths will be able to return home and work at our plant or spin-off industries. In addition, the plentiful power from a nuclear plant will attract other industry.

Best of all, agriculture can continue as it always has, although wages for ag jobs may rise in a competitive job market. Our nuclear plant would occupy just 200 acres. As is common with nuclear plants, the land around ours will continue to be farmed and create a security buffer. Interestingly, the American Farm Bureau calls for increased use of nuclear power (http://tinyurl.com/kokgnq).

Environmental groups normally align themselves with social justice causes. But in this case, some are working alongside a few Hammett-area farmers to, in effect, keep struggling people from accessing better-paid jobs and opportunity. In this clash of principles, the struggling families of Elmore County have been on the losing side.

The environmental groups might say “We’re not against family-wage jobs, but a nuclear plant isn’t the way to do it.” To which I respond: If you cared to ask the struggling families of Elmore County what they think and want, you might not be so eager to tell them no.

Martin Johncox,

Boise

(Editor’s note: Johncox handles public relations for AEHI).

We're looking for qualified people for our nuclear plant March 26, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, economic benefits, Elmore County, Energy policy, environmentalists, rural nuclear, Snake River Alliance.
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Below is a news release we sent last week regarding our taking resumes and letters of interest from people about jobs. Jennie sums things up pretty well, so I won’t say any more.

Elmore nuclear plant company to accept resumes April 22
Approval of the project will require thousands of trained workers of all skills

March 16, 2009
For more information, contact: Jennie Ransom, AEHI spokeswoman 208-939-9311
Martin Johncox, 208-658-9100

Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., the Eagle company developing a nuclear power plant in Elmore County, will be accepting resumes and letters of interest from people on April 22 in front of Mountain Home Junior High School beginning at 5 p.m.

“I get ten letters a week, unsolicited, for people who want to work for our company,” said company spokeswoman Jennie Ransom. “When the time comes to build this plant, we are going to need to call on thousands of skilled local people, so I figured we might as well start collecting resumes.”

Ransom and other AEHI volunteers will staff a table to accept resumes and letters of interest. People who submit a resume will be encouraged to attend the Elmore County Commission meeting in the adjacent junior high school auditorium and show their support for the proposal to construct a large advanced nuclear reactor in Elmore County.

“The commission needs to hear from Elmore County residents and Idahoans in general that our plant should be a priority for economic development,” Ransom said. “The Treasure Valley has had to turn away major employers because of lack of energy. The plant would directly put people to work and allow other industries to come.”

The company plans to hire locally and from Idaho as much as possible. Idaho State University can supply many employees trained in nuclear technology, while the large number of ex-military in Elmore County would be ideal for security and operations jobs. Other Idahoans are skilled in management, construction, maintenance and office work, Ransom said.

“These are stable, family-wage jobs that cannot be sent overseas,” Ransom said, pointing to recent news coverage showing Idaho is the third most-stressed state economically. “The average wage in the nuclear industry is $80,000 a year and these jobs provide a great sense of accomplishment.”

Ransom said the company is interested in letters of interest and resumes from people in the following jobs:

Administration – human resources, secretaries, admin assistants, clerks, managers
Attorneys
Auxiliary operator
Boilermakers, pipefitters, plumbers
Buyers
Chemists andchemistry technicians
Construction workers
Electricians
Engineers – nuclear, civil, mechanical, electrical, industrial
Engineering technicians
Environmental compliance professionals
Facilities maintenance personnel – mechanics, instrumentation, HVAC, diesel, electrical.
Food service workers
Information tech specialists
Janitors
Laboratory technicians
Landscapers
Parts specialists
Radiation technicians
Reactor Operator
Receptionists
Security personnel – ex-military and Guard
Warehouse staff

The nuclear industry is very selective, however. Plant workers need high security clearances and must pass background checks and psychological tests. Ransom said the high number of former and current military personnel in Elmore County make it an ideal place for finding prospective employees.

AEHI’s 2007 economic study found the plant would grow employment in Elmore and Owyhee counties by 25 percent and generate 4,230 jobs statewide during construction, including a total annual payroll impact of $839 million – nearly 2 percent of the payroll in Idaho. It would also generate 1,004 annual jobs statewide during operation (estimated 60 years or more) with an annual statewide payroll impact of $57 million. It would also pay average annual wages of $80,000 to plant employees (267 percent of Idaho average) and pay would be $33,536 (112 percent of Idaho average) in industries indirectly affected (2006 dollars). Total annual labor income impacts in Owyhee and Elmore counties during operation would be $52.3 million.

Ransom said she was shocked at a Jan. 9 news release by an opposition group warning that one of the drawbacks of the plant would be “thousands of construction workers.”

“There might already be hundreds, if not thousands, of construction workers in Elmore County, and the only difference is that they’re unemployed and looking for jobs,” Ransom said. “Until our opponents come up with a plan to put people to work, it sounds elitist and out-of-touch for them to complain about construction workers getting jobs in Elmore County or anywhere else. The lack of jobs and tax revenue is already straining county services.”

Unemployment in the Elmore County has reached 7 percent, which is high for a place with a normally robust economy. Loss of jobs thousands of jobs at Micron, the closing of a potato processing plant, a poor Christmas season and fewer car sales are behind much of the unemployment. On March 7, the Idaho Statesman reported the Idaho jobless rate is at a 21-year high of nearly 7 percent, with some 53,000 unemployed; the state is expecting a 12 percent drop in tax revenue. Economists say joblessness will continue to rise nationally for the rest of the year and into early 2010, with the unemployment rate reaching 9 to 10 percent before it turns around.

Ransom said it could be a few years before large numbers of jobs commence at the AEHI plant, as AEHI must first obtain approval. Delays caused by the opposition, if any, will extend the construction start time.

However, even with no new plants under construction, the nuclear industry is already putting people to work. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, “nuclear energy is one of the few bright spots in the US economy – expanding rather than contracting.” An NEI report says the prospect of new plant construction in has already stimulated considerable investment and job creation among companies that supply the nuclear industry: “Over the last several years, the nuclear industry has invested over $4 billion in new nuclear plant development, and plans to invest approximately $8 billion in the next several years to be in a position to start construction in 2011-2012.”

In the course of this, NEI said, “private investment in new nuclear power plants has created an estimated 14,000-15,000 jobs.” The number of new jobs “will expand dramatically after 2011 when the first wave of these new nuclear projects starts construction.”

World increasingly supports nuclear March 12, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in approval process, balanced approach, Chinese nuclear energy, Energy policy, environmentalists, nuclear Europe.
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Due to the rigorous approval process, the United States lags in its implementation of building nuclear power plants. However, countries worldwide are preparing for the next generation of nuclear power, spurred by concerns about global warming and the need to remain economically competitive.

Environmentalists, too, are increasingly supporting nuclear. Recently, three prominent Greenpeace officials announced their support for nuclear, joining Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore. Unfortunately, Greenpeace is preparing to excommunicate these representatives, showing the limits of open-mindedness and tolerance.

Countries such as Germany, Great Britain and Italy, which had planned to decommission their reactors, are now moving forward on plans for their own Saudi Arabia, China, South Korea and other technically advanced nations are planning to build nuclear plants because they see the importance ofalways-on, carbon-free, safe and affordable base load power, and nuclear is the only source that can deliver. Given that the annual spent fuel from atypical nuclear plant can fit under a desk, it’s a very low-waste way of generating energy.

Signaling an increasing preference for nuclear energy in Europe, the European Parliament has voted to approve a nenergy report that favors nuclear power as a tool for meeting greenhouse gas emission targets. The report recommends a “specific road map for nuclear investments” and rejected an amendment that favored phasing out nuclear energy in the EU.

Nuclear-generated electricity from 146 reactors made upabout 37% of the EU’s total in 2008 – all of it carbon free. The EU Parliament also stressed that nuclear energy is to be used “at the highest technologically possible level of safety.” Other recommendations made in thereport are mandatory emergency action plans in case of gas supply shortages.

According to a 2006 poll by Eurobarometer, 48 percent of EU citizens would like to maintain or increase level of nuclear power, while 39 percent would prefer to reduce the share of nuclear energy in the overall energy mix.

Rhetorical meltdown February 21, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, anti-renewable energy, approval process, Elmore County, Energy policy, environmentalists, Idaho leadership, Mountain Home News, nuclear industry, Politics and nuclear, President Obama, Snake River Alliance, Steven Chu.
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It’s been a rough few months for the Snake River Alliance, and it shows in the shrill and over-the-top rhetoric of their news releases. I suppose it’s for the best they don’t blog and have removed from their Web site the ability for public comment.

Among the setbacks to the SRA: a pro-nuclear president and energy secretary are now in office; the SRA had to admit they were clueless when they stooped to calling us criminals; the state of Idaho has reshuffled its renewable energy priorities to better conform to reality; AREVA is moving forward with a uranium processing facility in Idaho; and the SRA has bailed on at least one public hearing to support embattled wind farm developers.

Apparently, the SRA is engaging in some fundraising by continuing its attempts to vilify us. Their latest news release, regarding our status as a fully reporting company before the SEC, is laughable to anyone with an understanding of business.

To clear up the SRA’s untruths:

• We were “four months late” filing our registration statements (on Feb. 19, we reported the SEC has accepted our registration statement, qualifying us to be a fully reporting company, conduct audits and file required financial reports for current and potential investors). This is nonsense. You can’t be late on a registration statement because there is no requirement to be fully reporting. It is a choice that public companies make to be more open.

• We didn’t disclose any lawsuits in filing our registration statement (at the time, we had a pending lawsuit against the SRA for defamation). You are only required to disclose lawsuits against your company, not lawsuits you have filed against others. Anyone who has been through this process knows that.

I failed to appear at the Legislature when invited. Very wrong. I have been invited twice to appear before an interim committee on energy (not the Legislature) and appeared both times. I testified once and the second time, the meeting ran an hour over and I had to leave to another meeting; I later emailed my remarks to the committee. The SRA knows this but conveniently forgets to mention it.

We “lost” the defamation lawsuit. After Andrea Shipley admitted she had no factual basis for calling us “scammers,” we did not object to their motion to dismiss the suit. Shipley’s critiques “generally represent the highly subjective opinions of the [speaker] rather than assertions of verifiable, objective fact,” according to the SRA court filing. Her admission that she had no factual basis for her statements is a retraction and that pleases us.

• We were late in paying a $50,000 bill to Owyhee County. We had originally proposed to build our plant in Owyhee County and the filing fee was $1,000 and we offered to pay $50,000 because of the exceptional nature of our application. We asked Owyhee County for a written bill, which we need for accountability purposes. The Mountain Home News on Oct. 8 quoted Commissioner Dick Freund: “Once notified in writing, they paid up almost immediately.”

We invite the SRA to be as open as we are and post a link to their financial statements – heck, maybe even start blogging, allow public comment and join the rest of us. The SRA’s distortions of facts and fulminations don’t substitute for a discussion of Idaho’s or America’s energy future.

Snake River Alliance backs out of defamatory statements January 27, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, environmentalists, Snake River Alliance.
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The Snake River Alliance has retracted a statement calling my company “scammers,” with the Alliance saying their statement wasn’t “factual” but merely their opinion.

On Aug. 11, 2008, Snake River Alliance Executive Director Andrea Shipley appeared on a television news broadcast and claimed AEHI representatives were criminals, calling the company “scammers.” AEHI sued the SRA for defamation, as no one in the company has been accused of charged with any criminal behavior. In response, the Alliance filed a motion to dismiss the defamation suit, instead saying their statements were offered as opinion, not fact, and were therefore protected under the First Amendment. In light of the SRA’s admission that their statements were not factual, we did not oppose the dismissal.

In their dismissal, the SRA admitted their statements were not factual, but just their opinion, which they could have done long ago. The SRA is known for over-the-top rhetoric and they came very, very close to crossing the line between protected speech and defamation; only by later retracting the factualness of their statement did they stay within the law and they now should think twice about the words they use.

Environmentalists continue fight against renewable energy January 6, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, anti-renewable energy, balanced approach, Energy policy, environmentalists, renewable energy, Snake River Alliance, Solar energy, Wind energy.
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Normally, the media are very starry-eyed when reporting on renewable energy. When it comes to coverage of nuclear power, the media are extremely skeptical and ask the tough questions (as all good journalists should), but renewable get a pass and questions about reliability, viability, environmental impact and public support are rarely raised.

That’s not the case in last week’s Idaho Statesman and kudos to Rocky Barker for taking a realistic look at renewable energy. He writes, “Greener energy sources such as geothermal wells and sprawling wind farms are being touted as the nation’s environmentally friendly answer to energy independence, but so far, alternative energy developers are finding that they face many of the same conflicts as traditional generation plants.”

Among other projects, Barker looked at “the most controversial wind farm in the state,” the proposed China Mountain project, a 185-turbine farm in Twin Falls County. The project, on 30,000 acres of public land, would produce more than 400 megawatts of electricity (by comparison, our plant would produce four times that amount of energy on four percent of the area, and at 95 percent reliability, compared to around 20 for wind). Environmentalists have opposed wind farms nationwide, not just Idaho.

As Barker reports, in July, a regional Fish and Game supervisor voiced concerns about the effects the wind farm could have on wildlife, including the endangered sage grouse. Neighbors complained about the effect the wind farm would have on the views from their cabins and Advocates of the West, a group that provides lawyers for environmental groups, is preparing to challenge several wind projects planned in sagebrush habitat.

July 1, 2008, was a good example of where the priorities of some environmentalist lie. The embattled China Mountain wind farm was facing a crucial public hearing, but it was the same night as a meeting to organize opposition to our nuclear plant. When push came to shove, “We were not present at the China Mountain scoping meeting because it occurred the same night as our public meeting about the AEHI plant.” Liz Woodruff, SRA energy policy analyst, said the SRA “submitted comments regarding the proposal” but tellingly doesn’t say if they actually supported China Mountain or urged officials to approve it. The Snake River Alliance’s own mission statement declares that it can oppose specific facilities, but advocating for specific facilities isn’t part of the mission (at least give the SRA credit for sticking to its real game plan).

I think the radical environmentalist veneer is starting to fall. Something tells me the SRA didn’t try to “educate and inform” residents opposed to China Mountain, as they have done to rally opposition to our plant. Personally, I think the SRA lacks the stomach to face an angry group of neighbors and declare that a wind farm should be approved because it’s in the broader public interest. If the Snake River Alliance is out there directly supporting specific renewable facilities in public hearings, they’re doing a good job keeping it quiet.

Some environmentalists take opposition to renewable a step further. Laird Lucas, lead attorney for Advocates of the West, says he’s “skeptical that wind, solar and geothermal plants spread out across the wide open spaces of the West and linked to populated areas through vast transmissions systems are the answer to increasing carbon-free energy supplies,” according to Barker’s story.

“I think there’s a chance that these big solar farms and wind farms will be obsolete almost as soon as we develop them,” Lucas says in the story. “We need to somehow get people engaged directly in producing our own energy.”

I think some environmentalists are really aiming for a larger target and their ultimate goal is to “power down” and de-industrialize our society. I’m not making any of this up – see it at http://www.postcarbon.org and similar sites, where discussion of “societal collapse” and hopeless peak oil scenarios are enough to make you end it all today. An industrial society needs industrial energy sources and combating those sources is one way to “power down” our civilization.

In the meantime, out-of-the-mainstream environmentalists will have to content themselves with paying lip service to renewable energy, by opposing it or failing to speak up for it every chance they get. I hope the media educate the public about this more.