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AAEA President Receives New York City Council Proclamation

On November 14, 2018 the New York City Council presented AAEA President Norris McDonald with a proclamation recognizing his environmental work.

Councilwoman Inez Barron nominated McDonald for the proclamation. Councilwoman Barron introduced environmental justice legislation that drafted by McDonald and was passed by the council and signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017.

The videos below capture the moment.


Norris McDonaldComment
Trump Nominates Aurelia Skipwith To Head Fish & Wildlife Service
 Aurelia Skipwith

Aurelia Skipwith

Aurelia Skipwith currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks in the Department of the Interior, where her team is responsible for ensuring the protection and stewardship of lands and waters within the national park and wildlife refuge systems. Previously, she served as Assistant Corporate Counsel at Alltech, Inc.

She is a lawyer and a former executive of agrochemical company Monsanto where she was in research for six years and led a team that brought new agricultural products to market. She later moved into into corporate affairs. Skipwith interned with the US Department of Agriculture and was briefly a consultant for the US Agency for International Development’s food security bureau before working again in agribusiness.

Skipwith earned her B.S. in biology from Howard University, M.A. in molecular genetics from Purdue University, and J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Skipwith is the first African American and third woman to ever be nominated to the position. (U.S. Department of Interior, The Guardian)

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Norris McDonaldComment
Norris McDonald New York City Council Proclamation
 Norris McDonald

Norris McDonald

The New York City Council has announced that AAEA President Norris McDonald will receive a Proclamation recognizing his environmental work at a ceremony on November 14, 2018 at noon.

AAEA was founded in 1985 and established a New York Office in 2001. AAEA has been a leader in fighting for clean air for the City and authored the City’s Environmental Justice Law. Council persons Charles and Inez Barron introduced the environmental justice legislation that was eventually signed into law.

Norris McDonald joined the environmental movement in 1979 and we have spent a significant amount of our time and energy working for environmental protection in New York.

  Dan Durette  has been the Director of the New York AAEA Office since its founding.

Dan Durette has been the Director of the New York AAEA Office since its founding.

AAEA seeks to realize the initial promise of the environmental justice movement.  At the top of our agenda is the health of all people.  A healthy person is a happy person.  A healthy populace is a happy populace.  A happy populace is more inclined to pursue policies that continue to enhance societal health.

We seek opportunities for the many, including jobs, productivity, and personal power. Whether industrial or post-industrial, a society needs abundant power in order to be prosperous. Our challenge is to produce the most power with the least amount of pollution.

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Norris McDonaldComment
SCE Invitation Request For Affordable Solar Panels For Disadvantaged Communities

Notification from Southern California Edison

Good Morning Perspective Bidders, 

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Thank you for your registration in the SCE Proposal Evaluation & Proposal Management Application (PEPMA) website database. SCE would like to announce a competitive request for proposal (RFP) for The Disadvantaged Communities – Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) Program for all Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs), event number 153-10192018.

The Program Administrator (PA) will administer The Disadvantaged Communities – Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) Program.The program provides financial incentives for the installation of solar energy photovoltaic (PV) systems on single-family housing properties throughout California. The primary role of the PA is to support the Energy Division (ED)  of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in developing, implementing, and managing the Commission's adopted Program under the guidelines as established in decision 18-06-027. PA will provide Commission Staff and its consultants with Program updates, maintain records regarding Incentives, and collect project-level data.  A more detailed list of required responsibilities can be found in the RFP event Work Specifications.

Please review and follow the direction in the PEPMA RFP event.

The event will soon be active in the Proposal Evaluation & Proposal Management Application (PEPMA).

https://www.pepma-ca.com/Public/Default.aspx

Please be cognizant of the event schedule.

  • RFP issued to Bidders (via PEPMA)                               Friday, October  19, 2018

  • Bidders Conference (via Skype/Webinar)                    Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT (details below)

  • Bidder Questions Due (via PEPMA)                               Friday , October  26, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. PT

  • Bidders to receive SCE Q&A Responses                      Wednesday, October  31, 2018 before 5:00 p.m. PT

  • Bidder Proposals Due (via PEPMA)                               Friday, November 9, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. PT

BIDDER CONFERENCE

Bidder Conference is held according to the date/time identified in the RFP Timeline. The Bidder Conference attendance is optional and will be held online by webinar. Pre-registration is not required.

Call-in Information:

à Join Skype Meeting      

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Skype meetings MAY be recorded only if the presenter enables the recording feature AND initiates recording. If the meeting is being recorded, you will be warned and you may either consent to recording by staying on the call or hang up and contact the meeting organizer.

Thank you,

Norman Bush, C.P.M.,ϬóBB, CPM

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Norris McDonaldComment
AAEA Testifies at New Jersey Nuclear Zero Emissions Hearing

Testimony of Norris McDonald

 President

African American Environmentalist Association

 Before the

Board of Public Utilities

State of New Jersey

In the Matter of the Implementation of L. 2018, c. 16

Regarding the Establishment of a Zero Emission Certificate Program For Eligible Nuclear Power Plants

Public Hearings BPU Docket No. EO18080899

Middlesex County Administration Building

Freeholders Meeting Room

75 Bayard Street, 1st Floor

New Brunswick, NJ

October 11, 2018

FULL WRITTEN TESTIMONY

My name is Norris McDonald and I am the founder and president of the African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA). We are the nation’s oldest African American-led environmental group and we are dedicated to protecting the environment, promoting the efficient use of natural resources, enhancing human, animal and plant ecologies, promoting increased African American ownership of energy resources and infrastructure and increasing African American participation in the environmental movement.

            Earlier this year, we supported state legislation (the Act)[1] that would establish a Zero Emission Certificate (ZEC) Program.  We commend the Board of Public Utilities (Board) for holding these hearings in order to get public feedback for establishing an application process for participating in the ZEC Program.   We will be supporting the applications of Hope Creek and Salem nuclear power plants specifically because the units make a significant and material contribution to the air quality in the state.  The units also minimize harmful emissions that adversely affect the citizens of the state.  Finally, if the unit were to be retired, the retirement would significantly and negatively impact New Jersey’s ability to comply with State air emissions reduction requirements.  Most importantly, the application keeps the State on the right track to achieving ozone attainment. 

            Hope Creek and Salem are existing, licensed, and operating nuclear power plants that are invaluable assets in mitigating air pollution in New Jersey.  The state is in nonattainment for ozone, which is a component of smog, and negatively affects the health of New Jersey residents.  The ZEC Program is a Godsend to people suffering from asthma and other air pollution related illnesses.  Our testimony will provide specific reasons for including Hope Creek and Salem nuclear plants in the ZEC Program.  

            Minority communities are particularly vulnerable to air related illnesses with the highest rates of asthma attack, emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the state.  These vulnerable communities are helped by the ability of Hope Creek and Salem nuclear facilities to deliver incredible amounts of baseload electricity without producing any of the air pollution that hurts these areas.

The ZEC Program creates a framework whereby existing facilities, such as Hope Creek and Salem, can be considered credited assets in New Jersey’s ongoing goals to improve air quality.  These power plants operated for many years without being recognized and rewarded for providing emission free electricity to the State of New Jersey.  The implementation of the ZEC program fixes this oversight.

We encourage the BPU to adopt the broadest view of requirements when developing the program so that these valuable assets can continue to operate and support the state in meeting its clean air goals.

[1] On May 23, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law L. 2018, c. 16 (C.48:3-87.3 to -87.7) (“Act)

Norris McDonaldComment
AAEA To Testify At New Jersey Nuclear Regulatory Hearing
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FULL STATEMENT

Testimony of Norris McDonald

 President

 African American Environmentalist Association

 Before the

Board of Public Utilities

State of New Jersey

In the Matter of the Implementation of L. 2018, c. 16

Regarding the Establishment of a Zero Emission Certificate Program For Eligible Nuclear Power Plants

Public Hearings BPU Docket No. EO18080899

Middlesex County Administration Building

Freeholders Meeting Room

75 Bayard Street, 1st Floor

New Brunswick, NJ

October 11, 2018

 Introduction

FULL STATEMENT

My name is Norris McDonald and I am the founder and president of the African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA). We are the nation’s oldest African American-led environmental group and we are dedicated to protecting the environment, promoting the efficient use of natural resources, enhancing human, animal and plant ecologies, promoting increased African American ownership of energy resources and infrastructure and increasing African American participation in the environmental movement.

Earlier this year, we supported state legislation (the Act)[1] that would establish a Zero Emission Certificate (ZEC) Program.  We commend the Board of Public Utilities (Board) for holding these hearings in order to get public feedback for establishing an application process for participating in the ZEC Program.   We will be supporting the applications of Hope Creek and Salem nuclear power plants specifically because the units make a significant and material contribution to the air quality in the state.  The units also minimize harmful emissions that adversely affect the citizens of the state.  Finally, if the unit were to be retired, the retirement would significantly and negatively impact New Jersey’s ability to comply with State air emissions reduction requirements.  Most importantly, the application keeps the State on the right track to achieving ozone attainment. 

Hope Creek and Salem are existing, licensed, and operating nuclear power plants that are invaluable assets in mitigating air pollution in New Jersey.  The state is in nonattainment for ozone, which is a component of smog, and negatively affects the health of New Jersey residents.  The ZEC Program is a Godsend to people suffering from asthma and other air pollution related illnesses.  Our testimony will provide specific reasons for including Hope Creek and Salem nuclear plants in the ZEC Program.  

Minority communities are particularly vulnerable to air related illnesses with the highest rates of asthma attack, emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the state.  These vulnerable communities are helped by the ability of Hope Creek and Salem nuclear facilities to deliver incredible amounts of baseload electricity without producing any of the air pollution that hurts these areas.

The ZEC Program creates a framework whereby existing facilities, such as Hope Creek and Salem, can be considered credited assets in New Jersey’s ongoing goals to improve air quality.  These power plants operated for many years without being recognized and rewarded for providing emission free electricity to the State of New Jersey.  The implementation of the ZEC program fixes this oversight.

We encourage the BPU to adopt the broadest view of requirements when developing the program so that these valuable assets can continue to operate and support the state in meeting its clean air goals.

[1] On May 23, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law L. 2018, c. 16 (C.48:3-87.3 to -87.7) (“Act)

Norris McDonaldComment
Trump Administration Proposes Changes to Coal Regulations
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule entitled the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule.  ACE establishes emission guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit GHGs at their power plants. The ACE Rule replaced the prior administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). 

The proposal will work to reduce GHG emissions through four main actions:

1. ACE defines the “best system of emission reduction” (BSER) for existing power plants as on-site, heat-rate efficiency improvements;

2. ACE provides states with a list of “candidate technologies” that can be used to establish standards of performance and be incorporated into their state plans;

3. ACE updates the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program to further encourage efficiency improvements at existing power plants; and

4. ACE aligns regulations under CAA section 111(d) to give states adequate time and flexibility to develop their state plans.

EPA’s regulatory impact analysis (RIA) for this proposal includes a variety of scenarios. These scenarios are illustrative because the statute gives states the flexibility needed to consider unit-specific factors – including a particular unit’s remaining useful life – when it comes to standards of performance. Key findings include the following:

• EPA projects that replacing the CPP with the proposal could provide $400 million in annual net benefits.

• The ACE Rule would reduce the compliance burden by up to $400 million per year when compared to CPP.

• All four scenarios find that the proposal will reduce CO2 emissions from their current level.

• EPA estimates that the ACE Rule could reduce 2030 CO2 emissions by up to 1.5% from projected levels without the CPP –  the equivalent of taking 5.3 million cars off the road. Further, these illustrative scenarios suggest that when states have fully implemented the proposal, U.S. power sector CO2 emissions could be 33% to 34% below 2005 levels, higher than the projected CO2 emissions reductions from the CPP. 

EPA will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register and will hold a public hearing.

Federal Register notice and a fact sheet

EPA says the rule could cut cut electricity prices by 0.2% to 0.5% around 2025.  The EPA's own analysis of the Trump administration proposal also estimated that it will lead to an increase in pollution-related illnesses, like asthma, and a rise in premature deaths.

The move is just the latest effort by the Trump administration to revive an ailing coal industry and strip climate change-fighting regulations established by the Obama administration. He previously announced plans to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords, calling it an unfair deal for Americans. (CNN, 8/21/2018, EPA)

 

Norris McDonaldComment
Solar Stoves Available from Zambia

Meet Rosa and Clement.  They want to sell you a solar stove from Zambia

ROSA SOLAR STOVES Green Energies Project In Zambia

Health - Energy - Environment - Education - Agriculture - Tourism

ROSA LUKONDE KATUNA

CLEMENT MUSONDA KANKOMBA

Tel: +260974579031/ +260962075001 / LUSAKA, ZAMBIA

Email: musondakankomba@gmail.com; rosalukonde@gmail.com

INTRODUCTION TO THE PROJECT

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We are manufacturing and selling solar stoves and promoting green activities such as solar panels. The most common cooking fuel in urban Zambia is charcoal1 , with firewood also used in rural areas. The burning of fuels for cooking causes indoor air pollution and consequent health problems, as well as carbon emissions and deforestation. Solar stoves allow people to cook with reflected sunshine, without any need to obtain fuel. Cooking with the sun has health, environmental and economic benefits. We are passionate about sharing this exciting technique with more people in Zambia.

We are looking for support to obtain equipment to set up a workshop for making these stoves: drill machines; electric circle saw; bench; spanners; scissors etc. We will also need to buy materials to make the stoves – we would like to start with 10 box cookers; 5 parabolic cookers; 5 solar food dryers and 5 heliac solar cookers. Rosa Solar Stoves is situated in Los Angelos Road / John Laing 63/55 in Lusaka, Zambia.

It is a company registered by the Registration Office PACRA: Patents and Companies Registration Agency in the Republic of Zambia. It is registered under the index number BN No.: 320180000990.

We are excited to introduce you to the project, and thank you for your support. Eng. Clement MUSONDA

1. Solar Photovoltaic System Solar pump equipment / 210 W / 24 V - This system can be used in hospitals for water and sanitation. Access to clean water is very important for hospitals, allowing them to maintain hygiene and treat patients more effectively. A solar pump can move water from a borehole to a tank using energy from the sun. Water from the tank is then available whenever it is needed.

- In the agricultural sector, the system can provide water for farming activities and fisheries.

- It can also be used in education, as schools, nurseries and universities all need water for their activities.

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2. Solar cookers If we all used solar cookers, we would: – Reduce air pollution and promote health. Our towns and cities would be cleaner and more pleasant, and people would no longer cough and choke whilst cooking dinners on a smoky fire. In Zambia in 2015, 74 people per 100,000 died as a result of diseases related to indoor air pollution .

– Reduce deforestation. When firewood and charcoal are used for cooking, this means valuable trees are cut down. Zambia currently has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world . Cutting down trees can cause the loss of top soil, a reduction in rainfall and reduced soil fertility. In this way once fertile regions turn into desert. Cooking with the sun means there is no need to cut down trees for cooking fuel.

- Reduce climate change. Emissions of carbon dioxide are driving the climate changes that are leading to unpredictable droughts and floods across the world. By protecting trees, and using the sun instead of burning fuel, we can reduce emissions and help to tackle this global problem.

- Improve nutrition and tackle cholera. Foods slow-cooked on a solar cooker retain their nutrient contents and vitamins well. Solar cookers can be used to pasteurize water for avoiding water borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever. Education about solar cooking can be combined with health activities and nutrition programmes. Solar cookers can also be used to dry foods and preserve them for longer.

- Create jobs. We will need people to construct solar energy ovens and dryers in our new workshop. Other important jobs are to provide education on solar cooking methods, and to sell the cookers. We have experience with using a range of different solar cookers for cooking, drying and water pasteurization.

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Parabolic solar cooker: These cookers reach higher temperatures so can be used for frying.

Heliac Solar cooker : We used it to boil water to help stop cholera. 4,202 people became ill in a recent cholera outbreak, which killed eighty five people in Zambia, mostly here in Lusaka.

Solar food dryer : Drying is the easiest and cheapest method of conserving food. A solar dryer can considerably speed up this process. The warm air draws water from fresh food and thus conserves it without destroying vitamins and without affecting the nutrient content. Food to be dried is cut in halves, sliced or shredded and placed on the screens. Fruit should not be too ripe and juicy to avoid dripping. Tea leaves and herbs should be dried without very large stems. The length of time with any drying procedure depends on the water content of the food, the temperature and the humidity in the air. Tea and herbs only need a few hours but tomatoes and fruit may take several days to dry. The solar dryer can be used in health, agriculture and education; saving energy and helping the environment. Each tray can take 5 kgs of food. The dryer can take 30 kgs of food, which will weigh around 20 kgs after drying. The interruption of the drying process at night is an advantage because fast drying produces crusts that obstruct further drying. The moisture from the food soaks into the crust overnight, so the next day the drying process can continue unhindered. The warm air reaches 40-50°C. 

Norris McDonaldComment
LNG Liquefaction Ship

Shell built the world’s second floating LNG facility in 2013.  Prelude weighs in at 600,000 tonnes, which is six times the weight of the world's largest aircraft carrier.  Prelude, a "floating liquefied natural gas facility" is 1,600 feet long and 243 feet wide. That makes it the biggest ship in the world.  

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As a floating natural gas facility, it will be posted off the coast of Western Australia for 25 years, acting more like a platform than a mobile vessel.  The ship will be anchored to the sea floor with a 93-metre-tall turret while it processes 175 Olympic swimming pools' worth of liquid natural gas year-round.

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Gas will be harvested from the ocean, processed on board and then transferred to transport ships.  The ship could be supplied by pipelines from the mainland.  In the past, offshore gas had to be piped onto land and liquefied in shore side plants. But with the mega-ships, offshore LNG can be processed on site.

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Prelude has three 6,700-horsepower engines, giving it the combined power of about 152 cars.  The ship floated out of dry dock for the first time in late November 2013. It began its job off the coast of Western Australia in 2017.   

Prelude was built by the Technip /Samsung Consortium (TSC) in South Korea for a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell, KOGAS and Inpex.  It is made with more than 260,000 tonnes of steel. At full load, it will displace more than 600,000 tonnes, more than five times the displacement of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The hull was launched in December 2013.

The main double-hulled structure was built by the Technip Samsung Consortium in the Samsung Heavy Industries Geoje shipyard in South Korea. 

Prelude FLNG was approved for funding by Shell in 2011.  Analyst estimates in 2013 for the cost of the vessel were between US$10.8 to 12.6 billion.  Shell estimated in 2014 that the project would cost up to US$3.5 billion per million tons of production capacity. 

The Prelude FLNG system will be used in the Prelude and Concerto gas fields in the Browse LNG Basin, 120 mi off the coast of Australia; drilling and gas production are both expected to begin in 2016. It has a planned life expectancy of 25 years. The Prelude and Concerto fields are expected to produce 5.3 million tonnes of liquid and condensate per year; this includes 3.6 million tonnes of liquified natural gas, 1.3 million tonnes of condensate, and 400,000 tonnes of liquified petroleum gas.

Natural gas will be extracted from wells and liquefied by chilling it to −260 °F.  The ability to produce and offload LNG to large LNG carriers is an important innovation, which reduces costs and removes the need for long pipelines to land-based LNG processing plants. 

It will produce 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day.

On 25 July 2017, after a journey of 3,600 miles from its construction site in South Korea, Prelude arrived on site in Western Australian waters. It will begin its hook-up and commissioning phase, and is expected to become operational in 2018.    (Fast Company, 10/12/2009, News.com, 12/9/2013, Wiki)

Norris McDonaldComment
No Money In Supporting Nuclear Power For Environmentalists
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PRESIDENT'S CORNER

By Norris McDonald

It was refreshing to see the New York Post article about a recent paper by Matthew C. Nisbet, a communications professor at Northeastern University, that examined the climate-change and energy grants given by 19 green-leaning philanthropies — including familiar names like the Hewlett, Kresge and MacArthur foundations.  His conclusion: America’s biggest environmental groups seldom, if ever, talk about the climate-change benefits of nuclear energy. Why not? There’s no money in it. 

As the first environmentalist to publicly and aggressively support nuclear power in the climate change and global warming era, I can testify that Professor Nisbet's conclusion is absolute true.  I have been working as a pro-nuclear environmental activist for 18 years and I can barely pay my rent.  I also seriously doubt that my recommendation to the nuclear industry to start funding the environmental groups to support nuclear power will be adopted because they probably are not willing to put up the tens  to hundreds of millions of dollars it would take to get them to acknowledge the obvious: that nuclear power is the best weapon against global warming.

Here are some of the findings from his paper:

Between 2011 and 2015, the 19 foundations made 2,502 grants totaling nearly $557 million to environmental groups like the Sierra Club (the largest single recipient, with nearly $49 million in grants), Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund.

Of that $557 million, the big environmental groups received nearly $187 million to promote renewable energy and efficiency. They got another $92.5 million for “climate change-related communication, media and mobilization” and nearly $82 million to oppose hydraulic fracturing and to “promote actions to limit/oppose [the] fossil fuel industry.” But “no grants were focused on promoting nuclear energy, though $175,000 in grants were devoted to opposing nuclear energy for cost and safety reasons.”

To underscore: Over a five-year period, some of America’s biggest foundations doled out more than half a billion dollars to some of America’s biggest environmental groups and not a penny was spent promoting nuclear energy, even though nuclear provides about 20 percent of US electricity and twice as much emissions-free juice as all US solar and wind, combined.

Why would any of the large environmental groups risk losing many millions of dollars to support correct science as it relates to nuclear power and global warming?  Nisbet’s paper is important because it exposes the anti-nuclear orthodoxy that prevails at some of America’s biggest philanthropic groups. Just as important, it shows that those same philanthropic groups are ignoring the conclusions of the world’s top climate scientists.

Norris McDonaldComment
President Trump Invokes National Security To Save Nuclear Power Plants
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President Donald Trump ordered his Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take immediate action to stem power plant closures, arguing that a decline in coal and nuclear electricity is putting the nation’s security at risk.  Impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation’s energy mix and impacting the resilience of our power grid.   AAEA supports President Trump's order and we look forward to promoting Energy Secretary Rick Perry's recommendations.

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Under the Energy Department’s draft plan, the administration would take action under two laws: the Federal Power Act that allows the government to guarantee profits for power plants amid grid emergencies, and the 68-year-old Defense Production Act, a Cold War-era statute once invoked by President Harry Truman to help the steel industry.

For two years, the Energy Department would direct the purchase of power or electric generation capacity from a designated list of facilities “to forestall any future actions toward retirement, decommissioning or deactivation,” according to the memo. The proposed Energy Department directive also would tell some of those facilities to continue generating and delivering electric power according to their existing or recent contracts with utilities.

It’s not clear that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would go along with the plan. Although the administration could aim to bypass the electric regulators completely, FERC could play a role in any effort to require grid operators to make out-of-market payments to electric generators.

Trump’s directive comes as administration officials search for ways to extend the life of money-losing coal and nuclear power plants that face competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy. The plants are considered “fuel-secure” because they house coal and nuclear material on site and are not dependent on pipelines that can be disrupted, wind that stops blowing or a sun that sets.

The department’s strategy, outlined in a memo that would use authority granted under a pair of federal laws to establish a “strategic electric generation reserve” and compel grid operators to buy electricity from at-risk plants. The steps are necessary to protect national security.

The move comes as Trump uses similar national security arguments to justify market interventions aimed at protecting other treasured political constituencies -- steelworkers and automakers -- at the expense of U.S. allies.

A FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary requested immediate intervention from Perry’s agency in late March, after the Ohio-based company announced it would shut three nuclear power plants feeding the nation’s largest grid, operated by PJM Interconnection LLC.

Some 12,000 megawatts of coal-fired power are expected to retire this year, according to the National Mining Association.  (Bloomberg, 6/1/2018)

The American Lung Association Should Support Nuclear Power
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The American Lung Association (ALA) is the preeminent organization that is dedicated to protecting our lungs.  As such, the ALA should support nuclear power because it is the preeminent emission free electricity generator.  The African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA) decided to support nuclear power in 2000 principally because it does not produce smog forming or greenhouse gases.    AAEA also believes nuclear power represents a tool for achieving environmental justice in vulnerable communities suffering from disproportionate amounts of air pollution.

According to ALA's Policy Principle on Energy:

The American Lung Association strongly supports measures to prevent lung disease, reduce the incidence and exacerbation of lung disease. The American Lung Association believes that protection of lung health and a sound U.S. energy policy are compatible goals that require an emphasis on energy conservation, energy efficiency, and the use of cleaner energy resources, including a transition from coal and oil to cleaner alternatives. Our overarching principles call for the implementation of effective air quality programs and standards, transitioning to a clean energy future, with a commitment to promote environmental justice.

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ALA should include nuclear power in emphasizing technologies that are compatible with protection of lung health and sound U.S. energy policy.   Because nuclear power plants do not emit the nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter, all precursors to ozone production and smog, the technology, by its very nature, is a friend to our lungs.  

According to ALA's policy position for Focusing on Environmental Justice:

The American Lung Association recognizes that energy and transportation sources of air pollution are often located near where many people, especially communities of color or lower income, live and work, which means their exposure to pollutants emitted can be more immediate and disproportionately harmful. The American Lung Association recognizes that, for many reasons, people in those communities also face a greater burden of lung disease, making them even more vulnerable to these pollutants.  The American Lung Association supports the formulation, execution and enforcement of health and environmental laws and policies to address these factors, clean up contributing sources and reduce such exposures.  The American Lung Association will work to reduce the disproportionate health burdens borne by economically disadvantaged and politically disenfranchised communities.

In terms of baseload electricity generation, nuclear power is the best way to power society with the energy it needs while reducing air pollution exposures.  If ALA wants to work to reduce the disproportionate health burdens borne by economically disadvantaged communities, it should aggressively promote the continued operation of our nation's nuclear fleet.

AAEA has a long history of promoting nuclear power to mitigate environmental injustice.  We have promoted environmental justice and nuclear power as complements in California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Mississippi.  We have presented testimony before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), state legislatures, state agencies, and city agencies.  AAEA drafted and led the fight to pass the environmental justice law for New York City.  

In its policy position on Nuclear Electricity, the ALA states:

Before nuclear generating capacity is expanded, the American Lung Association believes that two key thresholds must be met. First, the expansion of capacity must be economically viable without direct government subsidies. Second, the nuclear industry must demonstrate that it can reduce the continuing risks to safety and the environment. The American Lung Association supports measures to improve the health and safety of uranium mine workers, and the communities where they live, including protection from harmful air pollutants.

All energy sectors receive government subsidies and will continue to receive such support.  Nuclear power competes for these subsidies just like the other energy sectors.  Nuclear power has demonstrated its safety because not one person in the United States has died from a radiation accident at a commercial nuclear power plant.  Moreover, considering how much emission free electricity the nuclear industry has produced over the past fifty years, it has to be considered a major benefit to the environment.  Mining safety has improved since the early days when our nation was rushing to utilize uranium for military purposes.  

All of the energy sources produce emissions in the production and transportation of their construction.  Yet none of the other sources spend the rest of their operational lives producing emission free electricity.  (ALA Public Policy Position - Energy

AAEA President Speaks at Nuclear Energy Assembly 2018
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                   Michael Pacilio, Norris McDonald, Bob Perciasepe and David Gattie

                  Michael Pacilio, Norris McDonald, Bob Perciasepe and David Gattie

AAEA President Norris McDonald participated in the Nuclear Energy Assembly (NEA) conference in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.  It was the Nuclear Energy Institute's 65th Annual Industry Conference and Supplier Expo.  The Nuclear Energy Assembly (NEA) is the yearly conference of the nuclear technologies industry that brings together industry leaders from all levels. Joined with the annual meeting of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN), this conference celebrates the future of nuclear energy.

The NEA was held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and included about 1,000 participants. The theme of the panel McDonald appeared on was:

"Why a Sustainable America Will Be Nuclear Powered"

11:30 a.m. –12:30 p.m.

Michael Pacilio (moderator) Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Exelon Generation

David Gattie Associate Professor, Environmental Engineering University of Georgia

Norris McDonald Founder and President African American Environmentalist Association

Bob Perciasepe President Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Signs Nuclear Support Bill
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 that will save two struggling nuclear power plants in the state.  The legislation would require utility customers to spend more than $300 million a year to rescue nuclear power plants run by Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG).

Murphy signed the nuclear legislation as well as measures boosting wind and solar energy, mandating that half the state’s energy come from renewable energy by 2030.

AAEA presented testimony in support of the legislation in December 2017 and in February 2018.  We also wrote a letter to the governor encouraging him to sign the bill.  

Illinois and New York also have moved to compensate nuclear plants for their zero-carbon value.  New Jersey, with the other states, adopted zero-carbon energy credits, in which the state issues credits to nuclear plants for generating carbon-free power, which they can sell on the open market to raise revenue.

The U.S. depends on the nation’s 99 nuclear reactors for 60 percent of its carbon-free electricity.  (Washington Examiner, 5/24/2018)

PJM Wrong On Reliability Without First Energy Nuclear Plants

The PJM deactivation analysis that planned retirements of three FirstEnergy nuclear facilities in Ohio — the 896 MW Davis Besse plant, the 1,247 MW Perry plant and the 1,811 MW Beaver Creek facility do not present a reliability threat in the short term is wrong.   The PJM conclusion does not include compliance with Environmental Protection Agency Criteria Pollutants, particularly ozone attainment requirements. 

 Davis Besse

Davis Besse

The emissions free nuclear plants offset the nitrogen (NOx) loads from coal plants that contribute to the formation of smog.  Because wind and solar do not have the capability to replace baseload electrical power, natural gas will be the replacement fuel of choice.  Thus NOx from natural gas generation will contribute to the non attainment status for ozone, which reduces reliability if the PJM expects states to comply with the Clean Air Act.

PJM is also relying on speculative new transmission projects to provide reliability.  Such a dice throw is unreasonable.  Approval of proposed transmission projects are meeting significant resistance and are not getting approvals all over the country.  PJM says it can retain reliability through projects already planned in its Regional Transmission Expansion Plan. Again, such planning does not account for PJM states being in none compliance of the Clean Air Act for ozone.  Ignoring health effects is not a good reliability plan.  Another speculative conclusion by PJM is that, even with the retirements, they expect to have sufficient generation and transmission capacity to withstand two concurrent asset outages — a so-called "n-1-1" event.  "They expect?"  This should be a surety, not an expectation.  It is anything but sure.

 Perry

Perry

The reliability analysis is too narrow and does not give credit for the unique attributes of theirnuclear plants, particularly the emission-free nature of this type of generation.  The PJM reliability study ignores the value that these units offer the grid in terms of fuel diversity and zero-carbon and nitrogen emissions generation. 

PJM's new fuel security initiative, which seeks to identify and reward generators with secure fuel supplies, such as onsite stockpiles or dual fuel capabilities is flawed.  "Onsite stockpiles?"  Do they expect these facilities to stockpile wind and solar?  Onsite?  That is not going to happen.  Natural gas, fuel oil and coal are left.  All nitrogen generators.  The PJM should not be promoting any strategy that adds one more pound of NOx or particulate matter (PM) to the ambient air.  

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If FirstEnregy does not receive emergency support, the Davis Besse plant will retire at the end of May 2020, while the Perry plant and one unit of Beaver Island would come offline at the end of May 2021. The final unit at Beaver is scheduled to close in October 2021. (Utility Dive, 4/30/2018) 

Vibranium and Uranium

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

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Norris McDonald

Vibranium is a fictitious metal that appeared on Earth via a meteorite strike about 10,000 years ago.  The meteor crashed into the fictitious African nation of Wakanda. Vibranium is featured in the blockbuster movies Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity Wars.  Vibranium can absorb kinetic energy.  Vibranium was used to make the Black Panther suit.  Captain America’s shield was also made out of an alloy of Vibranium and iron.  Vibranium and Vibranium alloys were used to make Wakanda into a secret superpower.  The metal powered everything from hover craft to jets to trains to shooting weapons. 

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Uranium is a real metal with seemingly magical powers.  Uranium is used to produce emission free electricity.  Nuclear power plants use uranium to produce 20% of America’s electricity.  Interestingly, it is the kinetic energy of the fission products in nuclear fission of uranium that produces most of the heat that is used to heat water to make steam to turn turbines to produce electricity.   Uranium can also be used to make weapons.

Uranium is as important in the real world as Vibranium is in the Marvel comics and movie worlds.  Uranium produced electricity does not emit any smog forming gases or greenhouse gases.  In a world threatened by global warming and climate change as the most important environmental issues facing humanity, uranium-produced electricity is an invaluable asset.  Uranium is our Vibranium.  And uranium is real.

Norris McDonaldComment
NJ Governor Phil Murphy Should Sign ZEC Program Bill

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

By Norris McDonald

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Senate and House legislators in New Jersey passed S2313 and A3724, companion bills on April 12, 2018 that will ensure the continued operation of the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in that state.  The Zero Emission Certificate (ZEC) legislation provides needed financial support for the facilities.

Salem and Hope Creek power plants support more than 5,000 jobs, produce enough electricity to power 3 million homes per day and provide more than 90 percent of the state's zero-carbon electricity.  The bills preserve more than $800 million in annual economic activity across New Jersey.

AAEA testified at hearings in December 2017 and in February 2018 in support of the legislation.  Our phone calls to legislators and an Op Ed the day before the vote also hopefully helped in convincing legislators to support the bills. AAEA concentrated on the health effects of closing the plants.  

The passage of these bills in New Jersey comes in the wake of similar actions taken by lawmakers in New York and Illinois who recognized the economic and environmental benefits of commercial nuclear energy in those states. 

The New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus  overwhelmingly voted to support nuclear power, giving 90% of its vote to  the House and Senate bills. Only two out of twenty members voted against legislation to keep two of the states nuclear plants open.  AAEA encouraged the members to support the legislation.

Clearly, the NJ Legislative Black Caucus understands that minority communities are particularly vulnerable to air related illnesses with the highest rates of asthma attack, emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the state. These vulnerable communities are helped by the ability of Hope Creek and Salem nuclear facilities to deliver incredible amounts of baseload electricity without producing any of the air pollution that hurts these areas.

Governor Phil Murphy signed Environmental Justice Executive Order 23 on April 20 directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with support from other state agencies, to develop guidance on how all state departments can incorporate environmental justice considerations into their actions. Environmental justice touches a wide variety of issues related to quality of life, including housing, health, and transportation.

Clearly Governor Murphy understands the link between environmental justice and the effect nuclear power has in mitigating environmental injustice.  Governor Murphy recently expressed his support for nuclear energy in a quote to The New York Times, “I believe the biggest bridge we have to our clean energy future are the nukes.”   Because nuclear power does not emit any smog forming gases, it is a major clean air asset.  This clean air asset is also an environmental justice asset because African Americans throughout New Jersey suffer most from the negative effects of air pollution.  The governor expands on his support for environmental justice,

“All of our residents regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion deserve to live in communities free from the effects of pollution and are entitled to participate in decision-making that affects their environment, their communities, their homes and their health. Good environmental policy is something that must lift all communities. The Executive Order I am signing will ensure state agencies are considering the cumulative impacts of their actions in overburdened communities on an ongoing basis.”

The governor understands that low-income communities and communities of color in New Jersey and across the country often bear the brunt of pollution and the impacts of climate change.  Further exemplifying the disparity, between 2012 and 2016, the rate of asthma for African Americans was 17.2% compared to 12% for whites in New Jersey. 

For these reasons, we encourage Governor Murphy to sign the bill.

[Support Letter To Governor

Norris McDonaldComment
New Jersey Governor Signs Environmental Justice Executive Order
 Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order on April 20 directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with support from other state agencies, to develop guidance on how all state departments can incorporate environmental justice considerations into their actions. Environmental justice touches a wide variety of issues related to quality of life, including housing, health, and transportation.

“All of our residents regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion deserve to live in communities free from the effects of pollution and are entitled to participate in decision-making that affects their environment, their communities, their homes and their health,” said Governor Murphy. “Good environmental policy is something that must lift all communities. The Executive Order I am signing will ensure state agencies are considering the cumulative impacts of their actions in overburdened communities on an ongoing basis.”

Low-income communities and communities of color in New Jersey and across the country often bear the brunt of pollution and the impacts of climate change. 

Further exemplifying the disparity, between 2012 and 2016, the rate of asthma for African Americans was 17.2% compared to 12% for whites in New Jersey.  (Office of Governor Phil Murphy)

Text of Executive Order 23 is online.

Norris McDonaldComment
New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus Supports Nuclear Power
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The New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus  overwhelmingly voted to support nuclear power, giving 90% of its vote to  the House and Senate bills. Only two out of twenty members voted against legislation to keep two of the states nuclear plants open.  AAEA encouraged the members to support the legislation.

Clearly, the NJ Legislative Black Caucus understands that minority communities are particularly vulnerable to air related illnesses with the highest rates of asthma attack, emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the state. These vulnerable communities are helped by the ability of Hope Creek and Salem nuclear facilities to deliver incredible amounts of baseload electricity without producing any of the air pollution that hurts these areas.

Zero Emission Certificate Program - Vote of the NJ Legislative Black Caucus

Senate Session    4/12/2018  -  Yes {28}  No {9}  Not Voting {3}   S2313

1) Senator Rice, Ronald L. (Chairperson) – Yes

2) Senator Turner, Shirley K. – No

3) Senator Gill, Nia H. – No

4) Senator Cunningham, Sandra B. – Yes

5) Senator Singleton, Troy – Yes

Assembly Session  4/12/2018  -  Yes {60}  No {10}  Not Voting {8}  Abstains {1}  A3724

6) Green, Jerry - Not Voting (Deceased)

7) Sumter, Shavonda E. – Yes

8) Barclay, Arthur – Yes

9) Conaway, Herb, Jr. – Yes

10) Jasey, Mila M. – Yes

11) Tucker, Cleopatra G. – Yes

12) Blonnie Watson - ?

13) McKnight, Angela V. – Yes

14) Timberlake, Britnee N. – Yes

15) Holley, Jamel C. – Yes

16) Wimberly, Benjie E. – Yes

17) Johnson, Gordon M. – Yes

18) Taliaferro, Adam J. – Yes

19) Speight, Shanique – Yes

20) Reynolds-Jackson, Verlina - Yes

Senate and House legislators in New Jersey passed S2313 and A3724, companion bills that will ensure the continued operation of the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in that state. Salem and Hope Creek power plants support more than 5,000 jobs, produce enough electricity to power 3 million homes per day and provide more than 90 percent of the state's zero-carbon electricity.  The bills preserve more than $800 million in annual economic activity across New Jersey.

AAEA testified at hearings in December 2017 and in February 2018 in support of the legislation.  Our phone calls to legislators and an Op Ed the day before the vote also hopefully helped in convincing legislators to support the bills. AAEA concentrated on the health effects of closing the plants.  

The passage of these bills in New Jersey comes in the wake of similar actions taken by lawmakers in New York and Illinois who recognized the economic and environmental benefits of commercial nuclear energy in those states. 

Norris McDonaldComment
New Jersey Passes Legislation To Keep Nuclear Plants Open

Senate and House legislators in New Jersey today passed S2313 and A3724, companion bills that will ensure the continued operation of the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in that state. Salem and Hope Creek power plants support more than 5,000 jobs, produce enough electricity to power 3 million homes per day and provide more than 90 percent of the state's zero-carbon electricity.  The bills preserve more than $800 million in annual economic activity across New Jersey.

AAEA testified at hearings in December 2017 and in February 2018 in support of the legislation.  Our phone calls to legislators and an Op Ed the day before the vote also hopefully helped in convincing legislators to support the bills. AAEA concentrated on the health effects of closing the plants.  

The passage of these bills in New Jersey comes in the wake of similar actions taken by lawmakers in New York, Illinois and Connecticut who recognized the economic and environmental benefits of commercial nuclear energy in those states. 

Norris McDonaldComment