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April 24, 2012

Dam Partisan Politics!

by at 12:40 pm.

My man, Campi. The editorial ponders:

Is the Obama administration pushing for a crestgate system at the Pawtucket Dam to increase hydropower on the Merrimack River?

The illuminaries at the Blog of Record have stumbled upon a report. Maybe Bob LaRochelle FEDEX’d it over? Who knows? Anywho. This report, MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FOR HYDROPOWER, is relevant to the matter regarding Enel’s proposed desecration of our City’s history. Unfortunately, the Blogger in Chief, over there, missed the boat.

The editorial opted to lift a line or two directly from an online press release about the 41 page document. The editorial cherry picked from here:

“Through collaboration and partnerships among federal agencies, the hydropower industry, the research community, and numerous stakeholders, we are succeeding in advancing the development of hydropower as a clean, reliable, cost-effective and sustainable energy source,” Castle told NHA conferees. “From assessing opportunities for new generation on existing Federal facilities to developing tools to get more energy from the same amount of water, we are working on many fronts to increase the potential of the largest source of renewable energy in the country.”

Now, whether the brain trust behind this editorial was too busy, or just had enough to sling some partisan arrows with, they negated to include some pertinent lines from the MOU:

Page 4

7. Promote an environmentally responsible approach to enhancing hydropower development that recognizes the need to preserve biological diversity, ecosystem function, our natural and cultural heritage, and recreational opportunities, and also recognizes that some geographic locations are not appropriate for new hydropower development.

*Wiki-Note: Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artifacts (cultural property) and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. Cultural heritage includes tangible culture (such as buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, works of art, and artifacts), intangible culture (such as folklore, traditions, language, and knowledge), and natural heritage (including culturally-significant landscapes, and biodiversity).

10.Investigate ways to responsibly facilitate the permitting process for federal and non-federal hydropower generation and other renewable energy projects at federally owned and Indian tribe facilities by increasing coordination among the agencies that have jurisdiction and reducing unnecessary delay, while ensuring that environmental impacts are fully considered.

(emphasis mine)

I’d venture to say, the NPS and DOI are prepared to play the “cultural heritage” card. There is a crumb trail a mile long. Also, my understanding is that FERC has let Enel slide on the whole “environmental impacts” thingy. So, this MOU is hardly the coup-de-grace the BOR (pronounced bore) wishes it was.

Lastly, the audible dog whistle, “the reason you are going to get shafted by the bladder dam is because of the Democrats and their damn ‘green energy’ policies!” subtext to the BOR’s editorial? That is rather scumbaggy. Just sayin.’

On second thought, maybe this MOU isn’t ALL THAT relevant?

Photobucket

4 Responses to “Dam Partisan Politics!”

  1. Joe S. Says:

    The BOR has not yet retracted their editorial criticizing the State for overestimating the number of jobs created in 2011, even though the evidence contradicting the State job numbers has since been publicly dicredited.

    Why would you expect them to give fair treatment to the dam issue?

  2. joe from Lowell Says:

    What if the City Council created an electric power authority, and took Boott Hydro’s facilities by eminent domain?

    They could then plow the revenues, beyond those needed to pay back the bonds issues to fund the purchase, into creating mini-hydro plants in the basements of all the old mills along the canals. They still have the spillways in place.

  3. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    The entire point of the editorial was nothing more that Campi trying to stay out in front of what he perceives to be the winning side. With lines like (paraphrasing since I don’t have the paper in front of me) “As the Sun suggested” and of President Obama’s support for hydropower…”The Sun approves”…I’ll be that took a load off the President’s mind!

    They are trying to create the perception that they are relevant in this discussion when everyone knows that they are no longer relevant when it comes to much at all.

  4. Dan Gordon Says:

    wow this seems like tricky situation. While I support hydro power, i think these type of projects need to be conducted very responsibly. I hope that the president will see to this. great article.

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