A Surge of Misinformation on Wind Farms and Hurricanes

A webinar on July 17th provided by Wind Powering America offered a very different perspective on the Carnegie Mellon study. The webinar featured Dr. Mark Powell, an atmospheric scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Powell, along with his colleague Steven Cocke, discovered multiple flaws in the Carnegie Mellon study and published a comment on the paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The Carnegie Mellon study used an extreme value based model that predicted every storm would hit Galveston at peak intensity. The study appeared to only use worst-case scenario data, while the chance of peak winds hitting a wind farm are actually very slim. By altering the modeling, Dr. Powell and Dr. Cocke found that only 2 turbines (compared to 24 turbines) in 20 years would be impacted by extreme weather. Their new model alters the perception of wind turbine resiliency to extreme weather events. However, Dr. Powell and Dr. Cocke’s published comments in PNAS did not receive nearly the media frenzy that the wrong Carnegie Mellon study did.

Bridging Faith and Science to Fight Climate Change

“We must find common ground or we lose all ground.”  Reverend Dr. Gerald Durley Over the weekend, an impressive line up of community leaders gathered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta, Ga. to show support for President Obama’s Climate Change Plan as a part of the larger ‘I Will #ActOnClimate’ campaign.  The event, which [...]

Southeast River Runs Part 7: Coal ash on the ACF River Basin

This is the seventh blog in a series featuring rivers of the Southeast endangered by toxic coal ash pollution. The rest of the series can be found here. Thanks to Dan Tonsmiere, Apalachicola Riverkeeper and Juliet Cohen of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper who contributed to this post. The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, or ACF, covers 19,800 square miles in western Georgia, eastern [...]

Statement: Alabama Power needs more transparent regulation

The Alabama Public Service Commission‘s third “Public proceeding regarding the operation and utilization of Rate RSE (Rate Stabilization and Equalization) of Alabama Power Company” on July 17, 2013 lasted for nearly 12 hours. No schedule was provided to indicate what time the floor would be opened to the public; I was unable to deliver my [...]

Return of the Friendly Ghost? Supreme Court Visited by CSAPR

The specter of federal air regulation for cross-state air pollution has risen once more. On June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review an appeals court rejection of EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSPAR). An earlier SACE blog covered the history of CSPAR right up until it was struck down by the U.S. [...]

Southeast River Runs Part 6: Coal ash in the ACT River Basin

This is the sixth blog in a series featuring rivers of the Southeast endangered by toxic coal ash pollution. The rest of the series can be found here. Thanks to Frank Chitwood, Coosa Riverkeeper who contributed to this post. The Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin, or ACT, encompasses 20,746 square miles in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee and occupies at [...]

Obama Administration Moves Virginia Offshore Wind Energy Forward

Originally posted on the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Promise blog by Amber Hewett on July 22, 2012. Reposted with permission from NWF with our gratitude.  An announcement this morning gives an important boost to offshore wind energy development, and demonstrates exactly the kind of leadership we hoped would follow President Obama’s climate speech last month. The president [...]

Energy Efficiency Model Can Help Meet Climate Goals: California

This was originally presented on NRDC Switchboard in Devra Wang’s Blog, 8-Jul-13, reposted with permission by NRDC. ——- California’s 40 years of remarkable success in using energy efficiency to avoid dirty power generation and save utility customers billions, as detailed in a new NRDC fact sheet released [8-July-13], offers valuable lessons to help meet President Obama’s groundbreaking climate [...]

Gina McCarthy Confirmed as EPA Administrator, Finally.

Today, after a lengthy and needlessly political delay, the United States Senate finally confirmed the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The Senate confirmed McCarthy by a vote of 59 to 40.  In past blogs, SACE has tracked the extremely bumpy path McCarthy had to navigate from nominee to Administrator. [...]

Southeast River Runs Part 5: Coal Ash on the Waccamaw River

This is the fifth blog in a series featuring rivers of the Southeast endangered by toxic coal ash pollution. The rest of the series can be found here. Thanks to Christine Ellis, Waccamaw Riverkeeper, who contributed to this post. The Waccamaw River flows over 140 miles from Lake Waccamaw in North Carolina to Winyah Bay [...]