Skip to comments.Sen. Reid: Feds Should Trump States in Building the Smart Grid
Posted on 02/25/2009 4:13:16 PM PST by patriotmediaa
Sen. Reid: Feds Should Trump States in Building the Smart Grid February 23, 2009 at 6:32 PM When it comes to using billions of federal stimulus dollars to build out a smart electricity distribution grid, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesnt want state regulators standing in the way.
Thats the gist of comment the Nevada Democrat made at a Washington D.C. clean energy meeting Monday, according to Reuters. Reid plans to introduce energy legislation on Thursday to speed the building of transmission infrastructure to bring remote solar-thermal, wind and geothermal power sources to population centers and the bill would, among other things, seek to give the federal government the authority to build new transmission lines whether or not states like it, he said.
While states will have a role to play in where transmission lines go, there may come a time when the federal government has to step in to overrule their objections, Reid said at the National Clean Energy Project, an event hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. (The event was a whos-who of energy and political big-wigs, including former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Texas oil billionaire and wind power and natural gas-fueled vehicle evangelist T. Boone Pickens, among others.)
Reids comments came the same day that Senator Jeff Bingaman said he wants to bring a separate energy bill to Congress in the next four to six weeks, one that would also deal with energy efficiency and incorporating renewable power into the nations electricity system. The New Mexico Democrat is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which would take up Reids bill once it is introduced.
Whether Bingaman envisions the same federal powers on siting transmission lines as Reids comments appeared to call for wasnt clear, though Bingaman did say that he wants to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission more authority to modernize the nations power grid, according to Reuters.
Given that the stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama last week contains $11 billion to upgrade power transmission and distribution infrastructure and $4.5 billion in matching grants to be given out to smart grid-related projects it might not be surprising to see lawmakers and policy chiefs looking to assert more control over state utility regulators as to where transmission lines go.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said last week that he intends to push for federally funded smart grid efforts to adhere to standard technologies to avoid todays efforts from lapsing into obsolescence in the years to come. (Its likely that the National Institute for Standards and Technology, which received $10 million in the stimulus bill to develop a smart grid interoperabilty framework, will play a role in defining those standards).
The lobbying over grabbing a portion of the stimulus packages smart grid funding is already underway, with utilities like Pepco and Pacific Gas & Electric and companies like IBM and Cisco Systems seeking to position their smart grid projects for a piece of the funding, Bloomberg reported Monday
This from the senator who has done everything in his power to prevent the opening of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in his state.
Some days, on my commute home, I pass a 30 ft. by 60 ft. Confederate Battle Flag waving from a very tall pole. I'm getting to like seeing it more and more.
Damn... and I thought the 10th Amendment still applied...my bad...
Nevada, get rid of that looser before we surround your state and starve all of you out.
Well somebody - I assume it was Reid and Pelosi - has sure larded up the bill with lots of goodies for WAPA - the Western Area Power Adminstration. Of course, there are “no earmarks”. Fearless Leader said so last night...
Not only will there be a urination contest over State-vs-Federal control of the Smart Grid $ but there will be another one over standardization. NIST has failed to set meaningful standards in similar undertakings but maybe this will work. The last thing any of the for-profit companies want are interoperable standards that will promote price cutting and reduce margins.
smart grid = high electric rates followed by brownouts followed by blackouts
First, all the greenie power people are now about to see what hundreds and thousands of windmills and solar panels and ALL the connecting transmission wires and stations will look like, all at the point of a Federal spear.
I hope they like their new landscape vistas.
Second, this "Smart Grid" is just a name for control technologies that are not necessarily new or even desirable from a consumer standpoint.....
.....They will have the ability to change your thermostat for you, even if you don't want it changed.
That's just one example of "demand side management and control".
You see, we have abandoned the premise that we should build a ROBUST electric generation, transmission, and distribution system based on redundancy and reliability with enough capacity to serve the NEEDS.
We now will tell you how much power you can use and will only build enough capacity as defined by pinhead enviro-nazi bureaucrats.
“Smart Grid” is about taking your FREEDOM away
Smart Grid == Electricity rationing
Some days, on my commute home, I pass a 30 ft. by 60 ft. Confederate Battle Flag waving from a very tall pole. I’m getting to like seeing it more and more.
Too many people think this is "high tech" and must be somehow an advancement. They have no idea that it means going back to the days before we had reliable power.
People had better start paying attention to these unsexy issues like energy. The insane asylum patients have crippled energy development here since the 1970's and are now running things. They are set to send us back to the 1930's with respect to energy freedom in your home and car.
This is all a con game to force Texas to join the national grid so they can steal/ration Texas electricity to other states.
$11 billion will get you about 1000 miles of right-of-way and transmission line. That’s precious little when one considers the vast mileage of transmission already in service.
(YOUR HOME IS NEXT)Home sellers face $300 ‘green’ audit
Province’s clean-energy bill would raise hydro rates, promote alternative power and create 50,000 jobs
February 24, 2009
Ontario residents won’t be able to sell their houses or condos without first getting a home energy audit which now costs about $300 under the proposed new Green Energy Act.
That’s one of several measures in the legislation unveiled by Energy Minister George Smitherman to boost incentives for electricity conservation and encourage renewable sources of energy.
The legislation was applauded by environmentalists as ambitious, although the David Suzuki Foundation says its green intent is undermined by government plans to build a new nuclear power plant at Darlington.
But critics fear the energy audits and Smitherman’s estimated 1 per cent rise in household electricity bills as a result of the law will pinch pocketbooks as the recession deepens.
“It’ll be used to beat down the seller of a home,” Progressive Conservative MPP and energy critic John Yakabuski warned of the audit, which would put detailed information on a home’s energy efficiency into the hands of buyers.
Toronto homeowners are already concerned about the impact the city’s new land transfer tax in addition to the provincial one is having on sales and prices. Both taxes add up to thousands of dollars even on cheaper houses.
As for higher electricity prices, Smitherman promised measures to help low-income families but said anyone thinking prices will fall is mistaken as governments around the world try to curb greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
“Most people expect that electricity prices will be going up,” he told a news conference, adding that there are incentives and government aid under the act to help homeowners improve their energy conservation efforts.
While homeowners will have to get a private contractor to do an energy audit before selling, there will be no requirement to take any action the measure is simply intended to inform potential buyers what state of energy efficiency a property is in so they can take action if desired.
But New Democrat MPP and energy critic Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth) said the act which will also update the provincial building code to require new buildings to be more efficient and require higher efficiency standards for appliances just doesn’t go far enough.
“What we’ve seen today is still too timid compared to what we need in Ontario,” Tabuns said, citing as an example that Portugal now requires solar systems in new houses.
The higher cost on electricity bills and many of the 50,000 jobs that the government claims the act will create over three years will stem initially from a $5 billion investment to improve the electricity transmission and distribution grid.
Smitherman’s plan is to modernize it so homeowners, for example, can put solar panels on their rooftops and sell any excess power they don’t need back into the system at a price yet to be determined, making the grid a “two-way street.”
Utilities such as Toronto Hydro will undertake that work under ministerial directives to be issued soon, Smitherman said.
Government programs, still in the developmental stages, would provide low-interest or no-interest loans to help homeowners pay for the solar, thermal, ground source heat pumps and micro-wind energy systems that will be promoted under the act, which still requires a vote of the Legislature this spring.
“There will be strong incentive for people to be small-scale energy producers,” Smitherman said. “The vision here is thousands and thousands and thousands of Ontarians into the game.”
The question is will Ontarians be able to afford it, said Yakabuski, who noted there won’t be any details for months on how much financial aid citizens can expect or how much they’ll be paid for any electricity they provide the grid.
“They’ve got to put a lot of meat on these bones,” said Rick Smith of Environmental Defence, who nevertheless hailed the Green Energy Act as a way to slow the pace of global warming and help attract “billions of dollars in (green) investment ...”
Smitherman’s prediction of 50,000 jobs is also fuelled by provisions in the act to require Ontario-made content in green energy projects, such as steel in wind turbines that could come from mills in Hamilton or Sault Ste. Marie.
No content level has yet been set but it will be over 25 per cent, government officials suggested.
“It’s going to be able to put people back to work,” said Ken Neumann, director of the United Steelworkers union in Canada.
Smitherman said the home energy audits will help create “green” jobs for auditors, with plans to phase the requirement in over a longer period because there are not enough contractors in the auditing business to meet demand.
As for wind turbine projects, like the controversial proposal for one in Lake Ontario off the Scarborough Bluffs, standards for setbacks from property will be set in the coming months by the environment ministry.
Smitherman said the distance currently envisioned is 500 metres further than some existing wind turbine projects are from homes but that the legislation would not be retroactive, so no turbines now in place would have to be moved.
It's not THEIR landscape vistas at risk. The windmills will stretch from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico --right through the heartland. The energy those wind farms generate will be piped to the coasts.
We get all the bad stuff, and they get the low-cost power.
Reminds me of when I was a senior in college, reading all these breathless news stories about the coming “information superhighway” and thinking, do they mean Internet? Nice to know that the papers are getting their collected asses kicked by “the Internet”. As for the “smart grid”, why not un-f*** the financial system, cut taxes and government spending, and allow econmic growth again so that the electrical utilities will see the need to upgrade their own damn electrical grid?
Appearing in the latter half of the show, privacy expert Katherine Albrecht warned of GE’s development of a technology called “Smart Grid.” The plan calls for people to install “smart” meters and thermostats in their homes, which would allow outside parties to monitor their household activities remotely. Sometimes appliances could be turned off during peak usage hours, which could pose problems. And such detailed monitoring would encroach on people’s privacy, she noted.
Albrecht also expressed concerns over the increased usage of RFID tags to track drivers in their cars. Such tags may also be added to “enhanced” driver’s licenses, and this would turn the cards into remotely readable tracking devices— making people trackable all the time. She offers a newsletter about RFID privacy issues at spychips.com.