Long Term Nuclear Waste Disposal — Where To Go? Nevada or Texas?

August 2, 2018

 

As Las Vegas business leaders have been recently inundating Washington DC to lobby lawmakers against storing nuclear waste at the federal Yucca Mountain depository in Nevada, just 90 minutes north of Sin City, a debate continues about the final destination for highly radioactive spent fuel and other nuclear plant products.

A Congressional tour of the facility several weeks ago ignited new concerns about how focused US lawmakers actually are on opening the facility to high-level nuclear waste — or opening any such facility in the near future — while nuclear waste storage becomes an increasing burden — and danger — around the nation.

A bill by Illinois Republican Representative John Shimkus passed the US House in May, streamlining the process to open Yucca Mountain to increased radioactive material storage up to 110,000 cubic tons.

The Senate is not likely to take up a similar bill until after the November midterm elections, and the House bill could come to nothing if Democrats, who are largely against the project, take over the House.

Thirty-nine US states have no way to store nuclear waste in the long-term, while spent fuel remains in short-term storage that is increasingly long term.

While some local residents in Nevada favor granting a permit for the Yucca Mountain complex, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry and President Trump back the project and the federal government has already designated the site as a nuclear waste repository, political opposition that’s continued for decades still stands in the way of the project.

And there are no other such projects on the table, with the exception of one site in West Texas.

Opposition in Nevada now centers on…

Even With Much Higher Oil and Gas Taxes Coming In, State Education Is Lacking Funds, Report Says

August 1, 2018

 

With about a quarter of Texas oil and natural gas production taxes going toward the Foundation School Program even as the state’s school-age population is the fastest-growing in America, a new report indicates public schools in Texas are under-funded.

The report calls for restoring of education funds cut by the 2011 legislature to enable Texas to meet its commitments for education and to cope with incoming students, estimated at about 850,000 in the past decade…

Western States Debating Energy Policy Should Look to Texas: Beauprez

Today, the bounty of Texas’ balanced energy policies is obvious. Texas leads the United States in natural gas production and renewable energy production.

While each state hosts its own unique portfolio of energy resources, The Texas Way demonstrates that an “all of the above” energy policy that maximizes each energy resource available to the state will deliver significant and sustainable state economic growth.

By Bob Beauprez

 

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently published an article highlighting the extraordinary energy transformation that is underway across the United States.

Secretary Perry aptly wrote that “our country is in the midst of a spectacular period of energy progress” that is now “producing abundant, affordable energy from a wider range of energy sources than anyone thought possible…”

Not only has this “energy progress” created a surge in domestic energy supplies but it is also driving the U.S. economy, creating new jobs, lowering consumer energy prices, and protecting national security interests by virtually eliminating U.S. dependence on volatile foreign energy sources…

Full interview with Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman Charlie Zahn: South Jetty

This is an interview conducted with Charlie Zahn, chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Commission, conducted on July 18, by Port Aransas South Jetty News Editor Dan Parker and reporter Zach Perkins. Topics mainly were related to the port’s desires for a crude oil port terminal to be established on Harbor Island.

 

South Jetty: Could you provide for us an overview of the Port of Corpus Christi, its importance to the region and how a project like the one planned on Harbor Island might contribute to the port’s mission?

 

Zahn: The Port of Corpus Christi is the No. 4 largest port in the United States by tonnage, and today, we are the No. 1 port in the United States for the export of crude and refined products. We have made a substantial contribution to the economy, not only in the Coastal Bend, but in Texas and the United States. We generate locally over 88,000 jobs…

Air Conditioning Makes Texas Summers Easier To Bear

By Alex Mills

 

Summers are hot in Texas.

Rising temperatures are accompanied by rising electric bills.

Texans, however, don’t pay as much per kilowatt hour (kWh) as other parts of the country. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) surveys electricity rates and ranks Hawaii at 31 cents per kWH as the most expensive followed by Massachusetts at 22 cents, Connecticut at 21 cents, Rhode Island at 20 cents and New Hampshire at 19 cents. Texas averages 11 cents per kWh. The cheapest is Louisiana and Washington at 9 cents each.

Air conditioning has made the summers in Texas more bearable. Most homes are built today with central air installed immediately….

Fine Against Pasadena Refining System Culmination of Years of Advocacy: Air Alliance Houston

PASADENA, TX. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on July 25 assessed fines totaling $907,191 against Pasadena Refining System, Inc. for violations of the state’s pollution laws. The action comes after years of complaints by community members and environmental groups about explosions and fires[2] and illegal releases of airborne particles that can cause difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, strokes, and even premature death.

 

“This is a huge win for the people of Pasadena who have a right to breathe clean air,” said Bakeyah Nelson, executive director of Air Alliance Houston. “This facility has been a serious threat to the health of those living nearby for years. We hope TCEQ directs its future efforts toward preventing these violations in the first place.”

 

Petrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, operates the century-old refinery, located 15 miles east of Houston. In 2014, the Environmental Integrity Project joined local organizations to file concerns about the facility with TCEQ. Among other issues, Petrobras had allowed the facility’s federal permit to lapse. In 2016, TCEQ took the extraordinary step of holding a public hearing on the refinery’s operating permit. More than 40 Pasadena residents attended the hearing to speak in opposition to the plant and its record of pollution and other incidents.[3]

 

In a separate action last week, Environment Texas and Sierra Club announced the settlement of a lawsuit against Pasadena Refining that included $3.5 million in fines.[4] The suit alleged years of pollution violations that had gone unpunished by state and federal regulators.

 

“Pasadena Refining has plagued the people of north Pasadena for decades,” said Adrian Shelley, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, “This fine and the recent lawsuit settlement will bring some relief to that community. Pasadena Refining is for sale, and whoever purchase it must prioritize safety and public health.”

 

Juan Parras, founder and director of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, said, “We believe that fines should be set aside for the impacted community to address health-related issues associated with exposure to toxins. These costs of industry pollution should not be passed on to state, county, or city healthcare providers.”