Bacon Bits: Restored Licenses; Dominion’s Millstone Plant; RGGI

Organic Carbon Capture Device

Wait.  How many suspended licenses? Today’s Virginia Mercury has one of those stories that raises more questions than it answers, this one about the suspended driving license issue. My warning that there would be massive lines at DMV were groundless because, hey, these people still have their actual licenses.  DMV never got them back or ordered them destroyed. Do you think that might have contributed to the decision so many debtors made to keep driving and blow off the collection efforts? And while DMV reports 627,000 licenses eligible for restoration, it turns out DMV has addresses for fewer than half that number, only 246,000. You can discern the problem may be less severe than the hype using the (excellent, by the way) interactive map included with the Virginia Mercury story. You will note only a handful of localities show a large percentage of suspended licenses (in Richmond City almost ten percent, but in most one to two.) That also raises questions about the reported numbers. Maybe there’s another explanation for the discrepancy between licenses and addresses? 

Connecticut sets power rates with politics, too. Big news out of Waterbury, where the state – which runs the auction for renewable energy generation used by that state’s electric companies – has reached a deal with Dominion Energy Nuclear Connecticut for a ten-year power purchase agreement using the Millstone nuclear plant. The business is decoupled there, with utilities buying all their juice from merchant generators or through New England’s version of PJM. Dominion was threatening to shut the plant down and lay off 1,500 workers unless it could get the price and terms it wanted and it apparently succeeded. Seeking background, I was presented with a Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Agency docket easily as complicated as anything I’ve seen in Virginia, and a recently revised statute just as opaque as Virginia utility regulatory law. So, this is just a teaser, and I’ll be back to this topic perhaps.   Because…

Tomorrow the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board votes on RGGI. Compliance with the carbon reduction goals was a major justification for whatever deal was made to keep Dominion Millstone open, and the very same arguments will likely be put forward soon in Virginia. Dominion promised to seek license extensions on Millstone and is moving in the same direction with North Anna and Surry in Virginia. The special deal in Connecticut is needed because nuclear power, wonder of the age it is, cannot compete on price with low-cost natural gas and the lowering-costs of renewables. It needs a thumb on the scale, special above-market pricing. How much above is not readily available. I spent enough time with the record from the Connecticut PURA to discover it also keeps much of the case information confidential or redacted.

Je suis désolé, but I will miss that Air Board Meeting. We head out tomorrow on a long vacation. Perhaps the vote will finally draw some mainstream media coverage of that proposed regulation to impose a carbon tax and trade scheme on Virginia’s two major electricity providers. The Richmond Times-Dispatch had battling guest editorials this morning, pro and con, but my favorite claim was made in Michael Town’s pro column in the The Virginian-Pilot. He started with the fact that the amount of C02 in the atmosphere is now the highest it has been since three million years ago. The proponents don’t really want to be talking about atmospheric chemistry and temperatures over that long a time scale, it really doesn’t help their case that human activity is controlling. Please take a couple of minutes with this video.

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8 responses to “Bacon Bits: Restored Licenses; Dominion’s Millstone Plant; RGGI”

  1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    ‘We head out tomorrow on a long vacation.”

    Fair winds and God Speed, my Friend. Should you return to find the desolation of a lost Colony, hunker down, but fear not, we ‘s off in the hinterlands, massing for a yet another counter-attack.

  2. Steve, have a great time in Paris. Just a couple of words of advice. If you see a bunch of people wearing yellow jackets, it’s best to stay away. And watch your cholesterol.

  3. Hey, do you think RGGI will give Virginia credit for the expanding acreage devoted to organic carbon-capture devices? In 1940, Virginia’s forest land base was only 14.8 million acres. Today it’s 15.7 million acres.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Should those ideologues peddling their green revolution hoax get their way, then in that event Virginia’s forest lands of Organic Carbon Capture Devices will be Zero acreage by 2030, save for a few odd lots preserved for museums, and those deemed odd balls.

  4. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    With so many manufactured products containing carbon fiber, why isn’t a massive effort being made to capture carbon emissions to reuse in manufacturing? I’m certainly no chemist or physicist but given the strength, light weight and carbon fiber’s ability to be manufactured with fewer emissions than steel, one would think we see a major push in this area.

    Or are the hidden and underlying factors of climate change really about power and money?

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      “Or are the hidden and underlying factors of climate change really about power and money?”

      It is about power and money. That is why environmentalists demonized nuclear power after Three Mile Island. An easy target, one easily demonized, the environmentalists used it to scare people, and raise for themselves large amounts of money.

      Thus, environmentalists stopped our building of new nuclear plants, and thus killed our best chance of eliminating carbons. Otherwise we would be largely nuclear by now. Instead, environmentalist did great harm to our ability to control carbon. Now they destroy our land, covering it with steel and glass.

    2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      And now, in addition to increased carbons and dramatic decrease on open lands, we have extraordinary increase in costs:

      “Solar panels and wind turbines are making electricity significantly more expensive, a major new study by a team of economists from the University of Chicago finds.

      Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) “significantly increase average retail electricity prices, with prices increasing by 11 percent (1.3 cents per kWh) seven years after the policy’s passage into law and 17 percent (2 cents per kWh) twelve years afterward,” the economists write.

      The study by Michael Greenstone, Richard McDowell, and Ishan Nath compared states with and without an RPS. It did so using what the economists say is “the most comprehensive state-level dataset ever compiled” which covered 1990 to 2015.

      The cost to consumers has been staggeringly high: “All in all, seven years after passage, consumers in the 29 states had paid $125.2 billion more for electricity than they would have in the absence of the policy,” they write.”


  5. […] consumers will be paying to Dominion Energy in the new power purchase agreement that saves the Millstone nuclear plant from closing.  He could not discuss it.  The PPA price is, of course, confidential.  Isn’t […]

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