The Green Queen: Buffett Cancels Plans for Nuclear Reactor, 656 Windmills Instead; Royal Dutch Shell U.S. Shale Gas
7 June 2013
(EIRNS)—A new nuclear power plant project for Iowa was unilaterally cancelled this week by Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Co. (owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway), and instead the conglomerate affirmed that it will proceed with a $1.9 bil project to build 656 wind turbines across Iowa by 2015.
Two site options for the new nuclear plant in Iowa had already been identified, and two favorable feasibility studies done. The plant was a modular, very safe design. But the company cancelled everything. They also said they will build no new coal generating plants in Iowa. The queenie Sierra Club et al. have released ecstatic statements on the "wisdom" of Warren Buffett.
656 wind turbines for Iowa, in place of a nuclear reactor.
Only five new nuclear power plants are now under construction in the U.S.; all east of the Mississippi River (Scana Corp., 2 in South Carolina; Southern Co., 2 in Georgia; and the TVA, Tennessee). Most of the existing 104 U.S. nuclear plants are long past a quarter-century old, and though in good repair, are way below requirements. Only 16 out of the 104 are west of the Mississippi River.
Warren Buffett’s nuclear U-turn and his turbine binge, are in line with the crazed, green, central states wind corridor, which is being built through the Prairies. The British firm National Grid is on the move to put in and dominate new transmission lines. Its takeover bankers are NM Rothschild and Lazard. Buffett’s own operation, which already owns 30,000 km of U.S. transmission lines, is bidding for a big stake to convey electricity out of Alberta, Canada.
This week’s nuclear plant cancellation dramatizes two features of the U.S. economic crisis situation: the power platform of the nation is being rapidly taken down; the players involved are directly interconnected with the London/Wall Street-centered Anglo-Dutch imperium. Besides wind, food-biofuels, and solar, the fracking boom for non-conventional extraction of shale gas and oil, is, itself, a giant backstep from nuclear power. This downgrade is the intent of the Anglo-Dutch energy cartel.
Warren Buffett and cohorts are on an end-game consolidation spree, in their green-death plans. They make unilateral decisions; Obama goes along. A week ago, Buffett’s MidAmerican announced the $10 billion acquisition of NV Energy, based in Nevada; the new company will be taken private. MidAmerican has 7 million gas and electric customers worldwide, and with its new buy-up of NVEnergy, adds another 1.5 million in Nevada.
The Berkshire Hathaway/MidAmerican control-network is vast. It owns, among other things, the Kern River Gas Transmission pipeline from the Rockies gas fields to California. Buffett ranks among the largest, or near largest, owner of national gas transmission in the USA; owner of railroads in the USA; single operator of coal plants in the West, through subsidiaries such as PacifiCorp and others.
- Retrograde, Royal "Shale Gale" -
Electricity outages are on the map for this Summer in Texas and California, given any severe weather, because anticipated reserves of electric capacity are so low (per the annual "American Electric Reliability Corporation’s 2013 Summer Short-Term Reliability Assessment," released May 15). Only the downspiral of electricity usage in the U.S. is keeping the lights on.
The relative shares of U.S. electricity generation by energy source is (as of 2012): coal—37%; natural gas—30%; nuclear—19% and falling; hydro-power—7%; wind—3.46%; biomass—1.42%; petroleum—1%; solar—0.11%.
Over the last 20 years, during the process of deregulation and Enronization of power companies, natural-gas-fueled electric plants accounted for 77% of all new generating capacity, at first because they were cheaper to build; and since, because of the new shale-extraction methods (fracturing, a.k.a. fracking, and horizontal drilling) and cheap natural gas. As a primary energy source, it’s crazy; only as a bridge to resume nuclear power is there merit.
Shale gas production has shot up to account for over 30% of all natural gas produced in the U.S. as of last year, much of it from the gas-rush in the Bakken fields (North Dakota-centered) and Marcellus fields (Pennsylvania-centered). In 2011, the largest single U.S. commodity export category was gas and other fuels, for the first time in 60 years. In 2012, the U.S. became a net exporter of propane.
Royal Dutch Shell is leading the pack of cartel companies cashing in on the U.S. shale gas boom. Royal Dutch flunkey Obama likes to say that the U.S. will soon be "the Saudi Arabia" of natural gas. Worldwide, Royal Dutch Shell pumped more gas than oil in 2012, for the first time ever. In 2012, Shell CEO Peter Voser, speaking in Texas, lauded Obama’s foresight on the "natural gas revolution" and "shale gale."
Obama has OK’d converting U.S. former Liquified National Gas (LNG)-importing facilities, to export sites, and granted approval for the first-ever, new LNG export ports on U.S. shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Anything his masters request.
In 2012, the U.S. produced nearly 22% of global natural gas production. Each of the last two years, U.S. natural gas production grew by over 6%. Of the 48 worldwide gas processing plants under construction, 33 of them are in the U.S. — per the design of the British-Dutch imperial fuel networks.
Royal Dutch Shell has a site picked near Pittsburgh, for building a huge new ethane-cracking facility. Chevron has a site there for a new regional headquarters. [MGM]