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The Green Scorpion on the American Frog

Happy Friday. Here's what we're looking at today: Ottawa declares emergency over the trucker convoy, a wave of coal closures inbound for US, DOE restructures to ramp up renewables, Hinkley Point C gets the green light, green group Riverkeeper double deals and screw over New Yorkers.


  • Midwestern farmers see fertilizer prices skyrocket ahead of the planting season. (CAE)

  • Striking concrete workers in Seattle have shut down the city’s $23 billion construction industry. (MPU)

  • President Biden gets inflation wake up call as odds rise for GOP takeover. (BBG)

  • Ottawa declares emergency as protests spin "out of control." (BBG)

  • China infrastructure: slower growth means faster state spending. (FT)


  • Japan to divert energy supplies to Europe in solidarity over Ukraine. (FT)

  • UK's reliance on gas imports to increase to 70% by 2030. (FT)

  • Political chaos in Libya threatens oil production, again. (OP)

  • Why Canadian crude producers aren't sending more oil to the US. (OP)

  • More than 23 GW of coal set to retire as plant closures accelerate. (S&P)


  • Forrest plans huge 5.4GW wind, solar and battery storage hub in Pilbara. (RE)

  • Microsoft, Google, other corporate buyers get creative as demand for renewable energy sparks. (UD)

  • DOE optimizes structure to implement $62 billion in clean energy investments from bipartisan infrastructure law. (DOE)

  • A renewable energy bubble is hit by the perfect storm. (BBG)

  • Solar panel assembler files petition seeking anti-dumping review of Southeast Asia imports. (UD)


  • Cameco restarts Canadian uranium operation. (WNN)

  • Completion of MBIR reactor brought forward. (WNN)

  • New breakthrough could speed up nuclear fusion development. (OP)

  • EDF to buy part of GE Steam Power's nuclear activities. (WNN)

  • Regulator gives green light to to next phase of Hinkley Point C. (ANS)


  • Documents show major gaps in Texas gas inspections. (E&E)

  • ISO-NE plan to extend MOPR through 2024 faces uncertain fate at FERC, experts say. (UD)

  • Surging Con Ed bills leave New Yorkers with electric burns. (TC)

  • EIA: utility emission goals will have minimal impact beyond carbon reductions already taking place. (UD)

  • Environmental group says major transmission has "fatal flaws." (S&P)

The Green Scorpion on the American Frog

I'm in the mood for fables this week. In the Russian fable of the frog and the scorpion, a scorpion sits on a riverbank but cannot cross because it cannot swim. A frog comes along and the scorpion asks for a lift. The frog hesitates, but the scorpion points out it would be foolish to sting the frog: they'd both die. But midway through the swim, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog asks why the scorpion would do something so foolish. "It is in my nature," replies the scorpion before they drown. 

What the scorpion is to the frog, Riverkeeper is to New York. Last year, the group declared victory as the profitable Indian Point (IP) nuclear power plant was forced to close before its time. The group suggested that IP wasn't needed because a transmission line to Hydro-Quebec, the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), could be built as a way to import clean energy instead. Replacing domestic generation with imports is unwise on its face, but the idea is at least coherent.

But now, Riverkeeper has changed their mind. Hydro, they claim, isn't green because of what it does to the land. "Dams transform natural landscapes into reservoirs. Many natural landscapes function as carbon sinks, and their inundation not only causes a loss of these natural sinks, but also results in a large and ongoing flux of greenhouse gas emissions," they claim. Therefore, the CHPE shouldn't be built. A remarkable about-face. 

Let's go back to what happened with Indian Point. So, Riverkeeper, out of the goodness of their hearts despoiled the town on Buchanan, NY by killing IP. With IP went a quarter of NYC's electricity. What stepped in to replace it? Gas. According to a report from Environmental Progress, New York's in-state electricity generation got 46% dirtier. The Energy Information Administration concurred.

Clean hydro imports from Quebec could alleviate this. And it might soften New Yorkers' electricity bills. But Riverkeeper and their cohort of green NGOs like the NRDC, the Sierra Club, and Greenpeace, don't want that. 

What they really want is to reduce human consumption of energy and to bring society into harmony with nature. In other words, to exert greater control over human life and to enforce energy poverty. Their primary concern is the planet, not humanity. Their ideas come from aristocrats who feared overpopulation like Malthus and racist misanthropes like Edward Abbey.

Their game is simple but effective. As they make society more reliant on weather-dependent renewables it becomes more vulnerable to weather in general. That vulnerability seems to justify their apocalyptic vision of Mother Nature's revenge against industrial society. "We told you everything would get worse from climate change," they say. Then the public, wanting to avoid catastrophe and do the virtuous thing, assents to their demands. But as the public begins to look around midstream through the "energy transition" they see more blackouts, higher bills, and more gas plants switch on. The people recognize they've been lied to. "Why have you done this?" they ask.

"Because," Riverkeeper replies, "it is in our nature."

Nuclear Barbarians: Nuclear Radvocacy ft. DJ LeClear aka "The Rad Guy"

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Crom's Blessing

Contemplate Frank Frazetta paintings to absorb their power.