Comments by CommonCents

Frank Heller's picture

STATOIL's deep water drilling for oil & gas

Progressives are well trained hypocrites or blind to the role Statoil plays in oil & gas exploration and drilling..."Statoil says it has given Noble Corp. the contract to drill the Mariner oil field in a deal estimated at $655 million over four years.

The Norwegian energy company says a new type of rig will enable it to operate at depths of 70 to 150 meters (230-500 feet) and drill wells down to 10,000 meters (32,000 feet)."

or this:.."BP, Shell and Statoil are under investigation by the European Commission over suspected collusion to distort the oil price"

Giving them leases in the Gulf of Maine which could be converted into oil/gas exploration sites would be a major mistake?

Better yet is this fact: "Statoil (STO) says it is leasing more than 1,000 railroad cars to carry crude oil from fields in North Dakota to refiners across North America, another sign of how the U.S. pipeline network is having a hard time keeping up with the region's oil boom. The rail effort will help STO get a better price for its Bakken and Three Forks oil, which trades at $5-$20 discounts due to limited transport capacity."

STATOIL is one of the KOCH brothers better customers.

Frank Heller's picture

The role of Land Grant Universities in creating new Industries

I graduated from Penn State, which like UMO, was a land grant university set up under the Morrill Act, which stated:

"without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactic, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life."

PSU has long nourished high tech industry, HR SINGER, etc, and 'spun' them off. It's engineering college is world reknown while the University of Maine seems to have lost its mission and become more of a liberal arts college.

Governor LePage appears to have given them a nudge in the right direction; while the opposition Democrats are endorsing a large foreign energy conglomerate with vested interests in oil and gas exploration and blessing it with subsidies.

Even worse is a PUC which is heading us away from reliable green electricity at 6 cents/KW from Canadian and domestic hydro sources, and into unreliable power sources at the highest rate in the world----off shore power in Europe was heavily subsidized and is now laboring under gradual reductions in these subsidies.

Why should Mainers be forced to subsidize off shore wind when the end result are ever higher electric production and transmission costs? The PUC could well be violating their mission and legally vulnerable.

Frank Heller's picture

STATOIL Should be paying us,not the other way around

Statoil's 2012 net profit slid 12.5 percent to $12.5 billion,......only $12.5 billion; so lets have Maine taxpayers help them out; right? Which Democrat lobbied for this 'deal' and how much did Statoil's lobbyist pay them or their special friends for the privilege?

Frank Heller's picture

the National Employment Law Project is a partisan advocacy group

The National Employment Law Project in New York is a vocal social and economic advocacy project and hardly an impartial 'expert' to be quoted:

"A national advocacy organization for employment rights of lower-wage workers. News, policy papers, and "know your rights" publications, mostly geared toward"

I would imagine they exert undue pressure on both hearings examiners and lawyers to fully implement their agenda of social and economic justice:

"The National Employment Law Project (NELP) responds by working to restore the promise of economic opportunity in the 21st century economy. In partnership with national, state and local allies, we promote policies and programs that create good jobs, strengthen upward mobility, enforce hard-won worker rights, and help unemployed workers regain their economic footing through improved benefits and services.'

So much for fair and even reporting by the LSJ.

Frank Heller's picture

Wind farms don't pay with offsets for vegetation removed.

A wind farm with an avg. 40 acre 'footprint' will remove a lot of biomass for roads, transmission lines and the turbine. This forest removes tons of carbon from CO2, sequesters it, and returns pure oxygen.


They get full subsidy no matter what they clear cut!

This is unjust and unfair...

Frank Heller's picture

Fueling a CNG powered HONDA from your garage.

Yup, if you have natural gas coming into your home, you can buy a CNG powered Honda and refuel it using a compressor in your garage connected to the gas pipeline. Plenty of refunds, and this model of Honda was judged the 'greenist' car on the market.

Frank Heller's picture

Making Maine more energy independent by ignoring hydro potential

With an estimated( USDOE energy lab in Idaho) 540 MW, in untapped hydro resources, and Gigawatts more in tidal energy; you'd think that Rep. Paul McGowan would have thought enough to highlight the one energy resource that made Maine an economic power house through the 17th century and well into the 19th.

But he didn't and instead babble on about wind energy which will only sap the economic vitality of Maine's Middle Class since it can cost up to 5x more than hydro energy from Quebec.

You would think he would reach across the aisle and endorse the Governor's effort to bring cheap, clean, green electricity to and through Maine; but no, he only wants divisiveness and discord and 'his way'. How moronic, uncivil, and hurtful for all Mainers without trust funds.

Frank Heller's picture

Actually, undersea generation of electricity is still risky.

Unless marine currents are channeled through barrages holding arrays of underwater turbines, the greater the current the more likely that the mounting frames will be subject to a wide variety of stresses and strains.


Go to a Coast Guard station and examine the used off shore buoys and the wear & tear on them.

There are long standing barrages off of France, like the Rance installation built in 1966; and new one at Orkney, Scotland. see this video to see how they work:

Now imagine the environmental opposition to building this in Maine or ever restoring the tidal barrage at say, Parker head.

Frank Heller's picture

Lessons from the huge Platsburgh(NY) Windfarm

This wind farm sprawls over hundreds of acres of farm land outside of Plattsburgh, NY.

Two problems have emerged:

>>migrating geese get 'trapped' during storms and hurt by the wind turbines---check Syracuse U. Ornithologist for details

>>Geese migrate around the wind turbines and no longer land and feed on fields, depriving them of fertilizer and birds of food.

There's always a downside to wind farming, once you get beyond all the payoffs to land owners.

Frank Heller's picture

More hydropower would enhance our native fishery

"More hydropower would hinder ongoing efforts to restore salmon, alewives and other species to our rivers, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine"

But not according to the UK and European Small Hydro association who've created hydro generating plants which enhance the fishery by improving water quality; reducing storm and drought damage; add in spawning beds; and increasing the amount of aquatic habitat by equipping dams with species appropriate, naturalistic fish ways.

Maine's advocates turn their back on the success found in Canada and other states in having both dams and fishways which attract migratory 'river herring'.

Perhaps instead of consulting people whose agenda has blurred their grasp of the facts, you might want to consult environmentally sensitive hydropower experts.