A weekly column addressing Vermont clean energy and clean environment issues.
Monday, April 3, 2000
Energy in the News...
by Annette Smith (Executive Director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Inc.)

Power plants, pollution, pipelines, and natural gas in the news:

The NOx waiver requested by Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources in 1996 has been put "on hold". Vermont State Senator Elizabeth Ready has scheduled a hearing for Friday, April 7 at 9 a.m. in Room 8 of the Statehouse to set up a study committee to look at this issue. VCE will attend.

The first National Pipeline Reform Conference will be held Sunday, April 9 through Tuesday April 11, in Washington DC. VCE will attend.

Connecticut has set up a special committee to study safety issues at merchant power plant construction sites, following a serious accident recently where injuries and fatalities occurred at a merchant power plant construction site.

The Arizona Corporation Commission has been asked to reconsider its approval of a merchant power plant that is already under construction. The Casa Grande plant had been strongly supported by Casa Grande town officials, but now they are worried that the town's water supply could be at risk.
   According to an article in The Arizona Republic, 13 merchant power plants are planned for Arizona, including eight in one county.
   "The plants use huge amounts of water and release tons of pollutants into the atmosphere. Industry analysts have said the first plants may have an advantage over those which come later, both in terms of demand for their product and in their ability to comply with environmental standards."

Inside F.E.R.C's Gas Market Report says "New England, long one of the nation's most underserved gas markets, suddenly is flooded with more gas than it can use," because of new supplies from Nova Scotia's Sable Island gas fields.

VCE has learned that Nova Scotia's natural gas has both environmental and economic advantages over gas from western Canada and the Gulf of Mexico:

  1. Nova Scotia's natural gas is called "sweet", as opposed to Western Canada's "sour" gas, which has a higher sulfur content. By comparison, Nova Scotia's Sable Island gas is more desirable and better for the environment.
  2. The cost of transporting natural gas for long distances was changed recently. Previously, it did not matter how far the gas traveled; it was transported under what was called a "postage stamp" rate. Now, the distance matters. It would make sense for Vermont to take this into consideration when looking at proposals to bring natural gas into Vermont.

The Joint Senate Resolution about the gas project is now posted on the internet. It is currently in the Vermont Senate Finance Committee.

Previous Weekly Update: Fuzzy Thinking || Next Weekly Update: On Pipelines...

Copyright © 2000 by Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Inc.
789 Baker Brook Road, Danby, VT 05739
(802) 446-2094 || ||
Updated: April 3, 2000