Buckland leads the “charge”; Colorado county’s self-imposed recession

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Buckland sets a milestone for rural energy capabilities with new Li-ion battery
Lex Treinen, KTUU, August 13, 2019

The new technology has allowed the village of about 400 people to turn off its expensive diesel generator for up to six hours at a time, beginning on July 24, when the generators when the diesel generators went silent for the first time. The power station coasted on energy that is stored from the turbines and solar panels for just a few minutes during the first test, but since then it has worked its way up to six hours — that’s six hours of quiet, 100% renewable energy generation. And that’s already after daylight started to decline.

Our Take: Good on Buckland for taking steps toward a renewable energy future, while being prudent and not just tossing away the diesel generator once the new tech arrived. Buckland is an excellent example of renewables working hand in hand with existing infrastructure. Now about that federal subsidy…

Related: The U.S. left a hole in leadership on climate. China is filling it.


Garfield County commissioners fear ‘recession’ from proposed state oil and gas rules
Thomas Phippen, The Aspen Times, August 14, 2019

The main thrust of SB181 is to shift the mission of COGCC [Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission]  from “fostering” the oil and gas production to “regulating” the industry, prioritizing impacts on community health and the environment.
The new law states the COGCC director may delay granting any permit under certain conditions. Those conditions, published July 16, include drill sites near schools, neighborhoods and — most importantly to western Garfield County — floodplains, critical water resource areas and sensitive wildlife areas.
Industry groups fear that SB181 would effectively turn into a moratorium on oil and gas permits.
The rulemaking process is ongoing, but what concerns the commissioners is the lack of new permits approved this year in the county.

Our take: The rules of investment apply everywhere: make it harder for companies to invest, and they will spend less money. Good luck to Garfield Country in heading off a self-imposed recession.


Trump Plans to End Methane Curbs That Oil Companies Want to Keep
Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Bloomberg, August 14, 2019

A draft proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency would prevent the federal government from directly targeting that potent greenhouse gas as it restricts emissions from oil wells and infrastructure, despite fears that time is running out to avert catastrophic consequences of climate change.

The proposal threatens to undermine the oil industry’s sales pitch that natural gas is a climate-friendly source of electricity — a cleaner-burning alternative to coal that can help power an energy-hungry world for decades to come. Dozens of oil companies have made voluntary pledges to keep methane in check, and some have warned the Trump administration that federal regulation specifically targeting it is essential for natural gas to maintain that reputation.


From the Daily on Energy:

ENERGY DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES DEMONSTRATION CENTER FOR ADVANCED NUCLEAR REACTORS: The Department of Energy announced Thursday it launched the National Reactor Innovation Center at the Idaho National Laboratory to test new advanced nuclear reactor technologies.

The center is intended to give private sector nuclear technology developers support to test and demonstrate their reactor concepts and assess their performance.

“NRIC will enable the demonstration and deployment of advanced reactors that will define the future of nuclear energy,” said Energy Secretary Rick Perry. “By bringing industry together with our national labs and university partners, we can enhance our energy independence and position the U.S. as a global leader in advanced nuclear innovation.”