The front row of folding chairs was empty. Eight people showed up to the meeting in the hall at the First United Methodist Church on McKenzie Avenue, just a block away from the Huron Campus. It’s a tragic story: IBM employed the town, cut their jobs, then left Endicott contaminated. These folks have been through a lot - they have friends and relatives with cancer. One guy is working on a film about the contamination.
As state lawmakers continue to search for ways to plug an estimated billion-dollar budget hole, they are taking a renewed look at state agencies’ use of special funds, including money dedicated to environmental programs.
A federal judge has ordered a pair of attorneys for an environmental group to pay $52,000 in legal fees to an energy company because, the judge said, they filed a “frivolous” legal challenge to a fracking waste injection well in Indiana County. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter of the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled the attorneys, Thomas Linzey and Elizabeth Dunne, should pay part of Pennsylvania General Energy’s (PGE) legal fees for advancing a “discredited” legal argument that had already been defeated in prior decisions. In addition to the fine, the judge referred Linzey to the state Supreme Court Disciplinary Board for additional discipline. Read full story here.
While the wind power industry booms across the United States thanks to favorable federal and state policies, the development of new wind farms has stalled in Pennsylvania. More than two dozen wind farms popped up across the state leading up to 2012, but only one in the years since. Read full story here.
It was a stormy night in Memphis, Tennessee, and Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t feeling very well. He had a slight fever and a sore throat, and felt exhausted after the trip to the city that would see him die. But he got up from his bed at the Lorraine Motel and joined hundreds of striking sanitation workers gathered at the Bishop Charles Mason Temple. Public garbage collectors were demanding equal rights and accusing the city of neglect and abuse. It was April 3rd 1968, the night before his assassination, and the third time he had traveled to Memphis to support the strike.
SYRACUSE (WRVO) - A proposed incinerator in Seneca County that could turn trash into electricity is drawing some criticism from the community. The Rochester-based Circular enerG wants to build the 48-acre facility on part of the now empty Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, a Finger Lakes town between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. It would burn solid municipal waste, brought in by truck and or rail, to power a turbine. The company hopes to start construction on the project in 2019 and be ready to start burning by 2021. At that point, Circular enerG estimates it could accept 1,300 tons of trash per day, resulting in less than 25 megawatts.
An independent federal commission terminated a Trump administration proposal that would have propped up struggling coal and nuclear plants. On Monday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — an independent body with both Republican and Democratic members – unanimously rejected the Department of Energy’s “Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule.”
The plan would have forced grid operators to guarantee “full recovery of costs” plus “a fair rate of return” to power plants that can keep 90 days of fuel on-site. Only coal and nuclear plants can do that. Read full story here.
The Mariner East pipelines and related plant could have a potential $9 billion financial impact in the state over six years, according to a report by the firm EconsultSolutions. Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the $2.5 billion pipeline, paid for the report. It analyzes the economic benefits of the Mariner East 1, 2, and 2X pipelines that will carry natural gas liquids from the western part of Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio about 350 miles across the state to a processing and export facility in Marcus Hook, Delaware County. Read full story here.
SYRACUSE (WRVO) - The Green Party in New York offered up its own State of State address last week, with a series of ideas the party says will push the state forward. Howie Hawkins, a two-time gubernatorial candidate for the Green Party, says there are things his party liked in Gov. Cuomo’s list of 2018 legislative priorities, but there's not enough to pull them on board. “He’s socially progressive but economically, he’s pretty conservative,” said Hawkins. “And the system isn’t changing. And when you get to issues like poverty and the struggles of middle income people, he offers nothing.”
Hawkins says Cuomo’s 2018 legislative agenda doesn’t go far enough on several fronts, including promoting clean energy and reforming public campaign financing. And as far as a multi-billion dollar budget deficit the state faces, Hawkins says the answer is easy.
President Trump wants to open up almost all federal waters to offshore drilling, including waters along the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware. The draft proposalcould lead to the largest lease sale ever. But the plan would face substantial opposition along the New Jersey and Delaware shorelines. Read full story here.