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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

TXU

The proposed $45 billion purchase of TXU Corporation by private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Texas Pacific Group hit the market like a financial hydrogen bomb. It was so big that it pushed Anna Nicole Smith off the front page for a minute. The cast of characters included William K. Reilly, former EPA Adminstrator under Bush 41, Fred Krupp of Environmental Defense and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The enviros signed off on the deal with a promise that the new outfit would only build 3 coal plants instead of 11. Some people think this is smoke and mirrors, but there was a lot of excitement anyway.

Reilly works for Texas Pacific and he negotiated the deal with the environmental groups. TXU Corp is the largest power company in Texas with 2.4 million electricity customers and 18,300 megawatts of capacity (from 50 generating plants). The enviros agreed to drop their opposition to TXU's coal plant expansion in exchange for the 3 for 11 switch.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

China To Build Nuclear Plant Inland

China National Nuclear Corporation, together with China Three Gorges Project Corporation, China Resources Co. Ltd and Hunan Xiangtou Holdings Group Co. Ltd, have agreed to form a joint-venture called Hunan Taohua River Nuclear Power Co. Ltd, to operate a new nuclear project.

China's two major nuclear plants, Daya Bay and Qinshan are situated in the coastal areas. The power plant in Hunan will be the first in China's inland areas.

China wants to build two nuclear power plants of 1,000 megawatts each for the next 15 years in hopes of reaching a combined capacity of 40,000 megawatts by 2020.

Currently, China has just six nuclear power plants, 11 reactors on its east and southeast coasts. (Asian Biz)

Monday, February 26, 2007

China Orders Two More Nuclear Plants

China has given the French state-run company Areva a $5 billion deal to build two nuclear power plants in southern Guangdong Province by 2013.

Beijing awarded contracts for four reactors to the American-based Westinghouse Electric, now owned by Toshiba of Japan in 2006.

China now has a total of 6 plants ordered for construction.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sir Nicholas Stern Appears Before Senate Energy Committee

The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee held a hearing today to appraise the Stern Review -- a major report on the economic impacts of global warming. Testifying for the first time before Congress is Sir Nicholas Stern, left, head of Britain’s Economic Service, former World Bank chief economist and author of the namesake report.

Background: In 2005, the British government asked Sir Nicholas to undertake this major independent study. Stern assembled a team of top economists, scientists and other specialists. It took one year to gather and analyze the data, and they presented their findings last October. That assessment attracted a remarkable amount of international attention.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Paul Driessen Talks About Global Warming Profits

Driessen, left, is a global warming skeptic and writes:

Scientists who use climate change to explain environmental changes improve their chances of getting research grants from foundations, corporations - and US government programs that budget a whopping $6.5 billion for global warming in 2007. They also increase the likelihood of getting headlines and quotes in news stories: "Climate change threatens extinction of rare frogs, scientist says." Climate disaster skeptics face an uphill battle on grants, headlines and quotes.

Politicians get to grandstand green credentials, cement relationships with activists who can support reelection campaigns and higher aspirations, magically transform $14-billion in alternative energy pork into ethical planetary protection, and promote policies that otherwise would raise serious eyebrows.

Corporate actions that cause even one death are dealt with severely; but praise is heaped on federal mileage standards that cause hundreds of deaths, as cars are downsized and plasticized to save fuel and reduce emissions. High energy prices are denounced at congressional hearings, if due to market forces - but praised if imposed by government "to prevent climate change." Alarmist rhetoric has also redefined corporate social responsibility, created the Climate Action Partnership and launched the emerging Enviro-Industrial Complex.

Environmental activists have turned climate fears into successful fund-raising tools - and a brilliant strategy for achieving their dream of controlling global resource use, technological change and economic development, through laws, treaties, regulations and pressure campaigns. Recent developments promise to supercharge these efforts.

Note: The views are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Center.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dayolight Savings Time Moved Up To March 11

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 moved daylight savings time up from the first Sunday in April to March 11 starting this year to save approximately 100,000 barrels of oil per day by allowing more human activities before dark. (Wash Post)