Geothermal power may rework the way in which lithium is sourced

The South West of England is famous for its dramatic coastline, green countryside and fresh seafood. If everything goes according to plan, another mainstay of the region could be added in the next few years: lithium mining.

Efforts are being made in the county of Cornwall to develop the area’s natural resources and develop an industry that could one day produce both renewable energy and a local lithium well.

In addition to its use in cellphones, computers, tablets and a host of other devices that are integral to modern life, lithium is vital to electric vehicles and battery storage, two technologies that have a huge role to play in transitioning the planet to a low- and zero-emission future have to play .

Examples of how this burgeoning sector could develop over the next few years are Geothermal Engineering Ltd, a company based near the town of Redruth in Cornwall which specializes in the development and operation of geothermal projects.

In addition to the planned renewable energy operation, GEL is also working on an experimental project focused on extracting lithium from geothermal waters. It is a collaboration with another company, Cornish Lithium, through a joint venture called GeoCubed.

“The aim is to show that lithium hydroxide, a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, can be produced in Cornwall from naturally occurring geothermal water with a net zero carbon footprint,” says GEL.

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The Cornwall project is focused on direct lithium extraction or DLE. According to the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the technologies behind DLE “can be broadly classified into three main categories: adsorption using porous materials that allow lithium bonding, ion exchange, and solvent extraction.”

While its potential is enthusiastic, the NREL warns that scaling the above methods to what it describes as “full production capability” “remains a challenging task.”

“For example, developing a solid material that only associates with lithium is a major challenge in geothermal brine, which contains many minerals and metals,” it says.

“Irreplaceable” for a green transition

Projects like this in Cornwall come at a time when sustainability and ESG concerns are growing. The security of global supply chains is another issue, especially when the vast majority of lithium production is currently dominated by countries like Chile, China, Australia and Argentina.

With this in mind, the commercialization of less intensive, more localized and easily accessible lithium sourcing opportunities could be of tremendous importance in the future.

Major economies and car manufacturers are also planning to increase the number of electric vehicles on our roads. At the same time, the push to expand renewable energy capacity shows no signs of slowing down.

Julia Poliscanova is senior director for e-mobility at Transport & Environment, a campaign group based in Brussels. Speaking to CNBC, she described lithium as “essential for all of our green transitions.”

Regarding the sustainable sourcing of lithium and other materials, Poliscanova said that “in the medium to long term, it is clear that the majority of this has to come from circular business models, especially from recycling”.

She noted that there will be “really immense growth and demand” over the next few decades. This would require new extraction techniques in the short to medium term.

Poliscanova added her point, saying that most of the lithium that will be used in 2030 has not yet been extracted.

“That’s where geothermal lithium comes in,” she said, “because the new lithium, the new resources that we…need needs to be mined sustainably, with as little impact on the environment and our communities as possible.”

“How do we find out?”

GeoCubed’s £4 million ($5.46 million) pilot plant will focus on a range of direct lithium extraction technologies. The overall objective is to develop a commercial facility at GEL’s United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project.

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In an interview with CNBC, Ryan Law, founder and CEO of GEL, outlined the opportunity his company wanted to seize. Below its surface, Cornwall hosts a lot of granitic rocks, which in turn are high in lithium content, Law explained.

“The combination of the lithium-rich granite rock and hot water — hot water can hold more lithium — means the water that we bring to the surface at United Downs to power our power plant is very high in lithium,” he said.

“The next step is: How do we get it out?” Law continued. “And we looked at that in collaboration with a number of partners.”

times are changing

GEL is one of several companies looking to develop facilities focused on direct lithium extraction. In addition to GeoCubed, Cornish Lithium is also working on a number of other projects.

Listed elsewhere in Australia as of April 2021 Volcanic Energy Resources said its direct lithium extraction pilot plant in Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley has started operations.

In the US, a company called Controlled Thermal Resources announced in November that it had begun its drilling program at the Hell’s Kitchen lithium and energy project in California.

At the time, CEO Rod Colwell said the company was “on track to deliver the project’s first 50MW of renewable baseload power in late 2023 and an estimated 20,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide in 2024.”

The Hell’s Kitchen project is attracting the attention of a few key players. Last summer, General Motors said it “agreed to enter into a strategic investment and commercial collaboration with Controlled Thermal Resources to secure local and low-cost lithium.”

“GM will be the first investor to receive initial rights to lithium produced in the first phase of the Hell’s Kitchen project, including an option for a multi-year relationship,” the automaker later added.

changing tide

The above developments are in various stages of progress, but if they are able to produce on a large scale, it could lead to a sea change in the way lithium is extracted.

According to the NREL, most of the lithium comes from “open pit mines or lithium-bearing saltwater beneath salt flats.”

The latter is described as salt water containing lithium being “pumped into large pools where it evaporates under the sun”.

The environmental impact of such processes can be significant. The NREL says that both open pit mining and the salt flats method “can lead to land destruction, potential contamination and high water consumption, particularly in areas already suffering from drought and desertification.” In addition, they also take up a lot of space.

In contrast, DLE enables “a more sustainable lithium supply, including the use of geothermal energy as a renewable energy source for production.”

This image shows Geothermal Engineering Ltd’s proof-of-concept power plant at the United Downs Industrial Estate in Cornwall, England.

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Transport & Environment’s Poliscanova, who is also Special Advisor to the Board of Vulcan Energy, went on to emphasize the importance of geothermal lithium as a complement to recycling efforts and circular economy ideas. Recycling, she later said, should be the “number one priority.”

Indeed, recycling seems to play a key role in the future, especially in the EV sector. Elon Musk’s Tesla, for example, says all of its scrapped lithium-ion batteries are recycled.

And back in November, Swedish battery company Northvolt announced it had made its first battery cell with what it describes “100% recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt.”

push

Back in Cornwall, the GeoCubed project continues. Earlier this month it announced that it had selected a company called Ross-shire Engineering to provide Engineering, Procurement, Build and Commissioning or EPCC support to its pilot plant.

Its statement also referenced an electric submersible pump test conducted by GEL in August 2021, which resulted in the extraction of “a bulk sample of geothermal water.”

GeoCubed said the lithium concentrations in the sample were “encouraging,” adding that “other important by-products such as cesium, rubidium, and potassium were shown to be present at elevated concentrations.”

If everything goes according to plan, the pilot plant will go into operation at the end of March this year.

I like Enphase Vitality over EVgo

EVgo: “EVgo, I know that sounds good Enphase energy, OK? This is the one i like I checked it out [CNBC Next Generation 50 index]. You want enphase energy. I know it’s a high dollar amount, but it’s a better company. “

BigCommerce holdings: “I think it’s about the concept of the ‘concept’. I said it’s the conceptual versus the tangible. This is a conceptual stock. The company is losing a lot of money so it has lost its luster. If we have that Raising rates, that’s exactly what happens. It’s a strange interaction, but it has been tried and true. So this is going to have a hard time here. ”

Credit deposit: “Oh man … that’s tough. I mean, it’s tough enough for yourself JPMorgan, do you have to own LoanDepot? Look, it costs $ 5 [per share]. Shall I tell you to sell it for $ 5? Look, it could go as high as $ 4 or $ 3. I don’t expect a lot of positive things. ”

marqeta: “I know I should be more excited about some of these stocks, but again, my focus is on what the Fed is doing, what rates are doing, what the recovery is doing, and in this situation you don’t want that stick.”

Alibaba: “Your golden goose could be cooked. I put it this way: It’s down 46%. I’m not going to tell you that you have to lose some stocks 46%. That is, every time I’ve said, ‘You know You what, China got the green light, ‘it has been wrong for the past three years, so I’m starting to learn that you can’t be wrong. ”

Harley Davidson: “I think they are reinventing themselves. I like what they have in stores, but then again they have to get younger. They keep trying to get younger and they can’t. Some of the overseas companies still have great things, great brands. I’ll give you the ‘no’ sign. ”

KnowBe4: “This is a software security company and you know I always refer to my manager, and my manager is here Palo Alto networks. ”

Join Now for the CNBC Investing Club to follow Jim Cramer’s every move in the market.

Thai agency branches into EVs from renewable power

Many people expect electric vehicles to become a fixture in a future world that relies on renewable energies. But not many EV companies started out as renewable energy companies.

One company trying to accomplish this feat is Energy Absolute, based in Bangkok. The biodiesel maker and renewable energy company entered the commercial electric vehicle business in 2019.

In March of this year, Thailand set a goal of having one million electric vehicles on its roads by 2025 – and hopes that number will climb to 15 million a decade later. This includes not only private cars, but also commercial vehicles – delivery vans, trucks, buses and the like.

A former securities dealer, Somphote Ahunai, founded Energy Absolute in 2006. He listed the company in Thailand in 2013 and began expanding into energy storage in 2016 when the company acquired shares in Taiwanese company Amita Technologies, a manufacturer of energy storage systems. It is now in the final stages of building a $ 3 billion battery gigafactory project to manufacture lithium-ion batteries.

Ahunai told CNBC’s “Managing Asia” that the government’s efforts to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in Thailand helped him get the project started, and now he says he is urging the government to “open up the market and get one.” to create favorable policies for the electric vehicle market “.

However, the pandemic has affected the company’s push toward electric vehicles. An order for 3,500 five-seat hatchbacks was canceled by a local taxi company as tourism dried up. Ahunai made a quick pan to focus on utility vehicles and battery storage instead.

“A lot of manufacturers are focusing on the passenger car. Not many people are focusing on the commercial vehicle yet because they can’t overcome how to charge the vehicle faster and the battery last longer,” said Ahunai.

Ahunai plans to install 1,000 charging stations across the country in the next few years.

A charging sign is located at an Energy Absolute Anywhere charging station in Bangkok, Thailand, 2019.

Nicolas Axelrod | Bloomberg | Getty Images

“We have introduced nearly 500 charging stations across the country, mainly in Bangkok and the surrounding area,” said Ahunai, adding that the company holds nearly 80% of the market share of charging stations in Thailand.

His focus on commercial vehicles is in line with Thai policy of putting around 70,000 electric commercial vehicles on the road every year.

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“If we back up successfully [the commercial electric vehicle] Segment … then we create economies of scale so that we can move into the other segments, “said Ahunai.

Japanese, American, and German automakers have all made vehicles in Thailand, but despite the country’s auto-building expertise, it does not have its own internationally recognized vehicle brand. Ahunai said he believed electric cars could change that. He wants Energy Absolute to be at the center of that effort.

“We believe that by using [our] Technology and Thailand [auto-making] Infrastructure, we can use that as a stepping stone to the world market, “said Ahunai.” At least we can penetrate the ASEAN market with almost 600 million inhabitants. So that’s a good market for us at the beginning. “

At the moment, most of the company’s revenue comes from renewables like wind and solar, but Ahunai said his foray into commercial electric vehicles will be an important source of income for the future.

“If you look at what we are investing [in] Now, “he said,” it will completely change the company’s revenue structure in a few years. “

GE to interrupt up into three corporations specializing in aviation, well being care and vitality

US industrial giant General electrics will split into three companies after years of underperformance, the company announced on Tuesday.

The company will be split into separate units focusing on aerospace, healthcare and energy. GE plans to outsource healthcare by early 2023 and energy by early 2024, the company said in a press release.

GE stock, which was up 55% in the past 12 months, rose more than 6% in early trading Tuesday.

“By creating three industry-leading global public companies, each can benefit from greater focus, tailored capital allocation and strategic flexibility to drive long-term growth and value for customers, investors and employees,” said CEO Lawrence Culp in a statement accompanying the announcement . “We use our technology know-how, our leadership role and our global reach to better serve our customers.”

The steps are still a long way off, so concrete naming decisions have not yet been made, but the current General Electric will be the aviation-oriented company.

Co-founded by Thomas Edison in the late 19th century, General Electric has undergone several changes over the past century as the US economy changes, becoming a leading supplier of equipment, jet engines, and power turbines.

The conglomerate expanded rapidly under the late Jack Welch in the 1980s, moving into financial services and broadcasting again with the purchase of NBC, while generating enviable earnings growth and returns for investors.

GE was the largest company by market value until the early 2000s, but then came the financial crisis. Under the pressure of its ailing financial arm, GE was never able to climb to the top under Welch’s successor Jeff Immelt. The stock was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2018 after being one of the original members of the blue chip index until 1896.

Culp, who previously directed Danaher, Took over as CEO of GE in 2018. The company has spun off or sold several of its units under Culp as the board of directors sought to simplify the conglomerate’s business structure.

“We have made a lot of progress over the past few years not only in terms of our balance sheet, but also in improving our core business,” said Culp on Tuesday when he called investors and analysts. “But I think, as we’ve seen in so many cases outside of GE over the past decade, doing good business increases focus and accountability.”

Despite the recent outperformance, GE stocks have outperformed the market significantly over the past two decades. The stock has lost 2% annually since 2009, compared to an annual return of 9% for the S&P 500, according to FactSet.

GE’s decision was praised by Wall Street analysts Tuesday morning.

“The move increases costs, but the agility of three focused companies is likely to be seen as an opportunity to more than offset new costs,” Wells Fargo analyst Joseph O’Dea said in a statement to customers.

The company has been plagued by heavy debt over the past few years that has aroused skepticism on Wall Street. The capital structures of the new companies will be announced at a later date, GE said, and Culp added in a call with investors that the energy segment will have the least debt.

The company announced that it would use the proceeds from the recent sale of its aviation finance unit to pay off debt, with gross debt expected to be less than $ 65 billion by the end of 2021. The spin-offs will incur transaction and operating costs of approximately $ 2 billion. GE appreciated.

– CNBC’s John Melloy and Michael Bloom contributed to this story.

Paul Polman blasts banks for financing extra coal than inexperienced power

LONDON – Former Unilever CEO Paul Polman beat up some big banks for investing more money in polluting industries than in renewable energy.

Speaking to CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Tuesday, Polman said, “We are still seeing some of the big banks funding more fossil fuels, funding coal than green energy, and that’s a big no-go.”

Sixty of the largest banks make up $ 3.8 trillion in fossil fuel companies between 2016 and 2020, according to a group of climate organizations called Banking on Climate Chaos 2021.

Polman acknowledged that some of the big banks are supporting projects that support the zero emissions transition, but said it was financially rather than ethically motivated.

“People are beginning to realize that implementing the Sustainable Development Goals – which cost $ 3 to 5 trillion annually – is far less than dealing with the dire consequences of inaction. And the financial market is actually the first to understand that. I don’t think they are moving for moral reasons, I want to be honest, but they are moving for economic reasons, “he said.

Polman added that the oil and gas industry needs to be helped to move towards greener alternatives. “We have to help the… high emitting industries that need to transform. I don’t think chastising them will do them any good … it just doesn’t work reflecting a lot of the stranding of their assets that are now worth these companies and helping them make this transition. “

The term “stranded assets” refers to fossil fuel-related assets such as coal and oil reserves that no longer able to generate financial returns when the economy moves towards green energy. Mark Carney, UN special envoy on climate change and finance, said financial markets need to be reshaped so that financial decisions can take climate change into account.

Carney chairs a coalition of financial firms called the United Nations’ Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, which aims to accelerate the transition to cleaner energy. Together, the banks manage more than $ 90 trillion in assets.

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“You see now with the Glasgow Promise that Mark Carney is a leader, that we have nearly $ 100 trillion, which is half the money in the world, and says that by 2050 I want to be net zero. Can we apply that to 2030 goals, which are absolutely crucial? Can we translate that into key actions now? ”Polman explained.

Polman’s comment comes after some of the big banks pledged to spend more to finance carbon reduction. Bank of America President Brian Moynihan said Tuesday the company will spend $ 1 trillion to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. “To get there, we will provide $ 150 billion in funding over $ 1 trillion by 2030,” he said at COP26.

BofA is part of a task force called the Sustainable Markets Initiative that has issued a guide for financial services companies to help their customers achieve net zero emissions. Other members are JPMorgan, Barclays and Swiss credit.

– CNBC’s Sam Meredith and Catherine Clifford contributed to this report.

Vitality secretary defends Tesla EV tax credit score exclusion

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Friday defended the Biden government’s proposal to provide tax credits for electric vehicles from unionized automakers, a move that could rule out non-unions Tesla.

“This President is very, very positive about organized labor because organized labor has raised the living standards of so many Americans, and we want to make sure that we do everything we can to encourage that the economy and the labor force really focus on the standards for ordinary Americans, “Granholm told CNBC.Squawk box. “

The tax credit in question would lower the cost by $ 12,500 for a middle-class family who purchases an electric vehicle made in America with U.S. materials and union labor, under the $ 1.75 trillion framework for President Joe Biden’s climate and environmental priorities Social spending. Biden announced the blueprint on Thursday after working out a deal with the Senate Democratic objectors. No details were given beyond the White House factsheet.

Elon Musk’s Tesla is the largest electric vehicle manufacturer and recently launched one $ 1 trillion market valuewhat makes it more valuable than General Motors, ford and several other of the largest global automakers together. The EV Titan’s workforce is not unionized, so Tesla products are not eligible for government tax credits as suggested by the Democrats.

In March it was Tesla ordered by the National Labor Relations Board to urge Musk to remove a threatening and anti-union tweet as the company’s financial records consider Musk’s tweets to be official corporate communications. In the tweet, Musk said his workforce was free to unionize but said they would gain “nothing” because they would lose stock options and pay union dues if they were unionized.

Granholm said Biden is keen to create a level playing field in economic terms.

“He wants to close the prosperity gap in this country,” she said. “He wants to raise the middle class. He wants a policy that builds the middle class from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down.” She said the president believes trade unions can help make this happen.

The Energy Secretary also said she was “totally optimistic” about investing in the $ 23 trillion global clean energy market, which she believes will be there by 2030, and said the US could get a share of that market instead of “standing on the sidelines”.

“We haven’t brought more alternatives online. We haven’t put more technology into the vehicles to make them affordable for everyone,” she said. Tesla is often viewed as a luxury automaker.

“So that requires investment,” said Granholm. “That is why the tax breaks that come with incentives for the private sector to go from the fringes when investing in clean energy are so important to moving this forward.”

How A lot Cash Every State Can Save by Switching to Clear Power

Clean air, green jobs, healthy children, energy independence … a 2009 editorial cartoon by Joel Pett shows a climate summit and one participant says, “What if it’s a big joke and we’re making a better world for free?”

So what if we phased out fossil fuels and not only had cleaner air, but also Saved thousands of lives and trillions of dollars – enough money to fund more clean energy infrastructure in the country, like solar and wind farms and charging stations for electric cars?

Moving to cleaner energy can save the US $ 3.5 trillion by avoiding the health effects caused by air pollution from burning fossil fuels. writes Karin Kirk of Yale Climate Connections. The price is based on the value society attaches to preventing deaths from air pollution.

Use data from Net zero America, a 2020 report examining what it takes for the US to meet a macroeconomic goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Yale Climate Connections has the benefits of phasing out fossil fuels and moving to demonstrated cleaner energy.

Can solar and wind parks pay for themselves? How much each state could save varies, with the greatest compromises in the most polluted places. California, the largest state with the worst air pollution, could save $ 607 billion, most of it from traffic pollution. Pennsylvania could save $ 234 billion, most of it by phasing out coal burning. With that money, Pennsylvania could build nearly 85,000 2-megawatt wind turbines for power generation.

According to Yale Climate Connections, using data from Net Zero America, how much money each state could save by reducing fossil fuel pollution and the clean energy infrastructure they could use the money to build. (Wind turbines are 2 megawatts, solar parks 5 megawatts. No data were available for Alaska and Hawaii.)

Total money saved by reducing air pollution: $ 607 billion

The money is enough to build:

  • Wind turbines: 219,942 or
  • EV fast chargers: 12.1 million or
  • Solar parks: 121,408

Michio Kaku calls nuclear fusion check at nationwide lab ‘large step towards the holy grail of power analysis’

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku praised a recent nuclear fusion experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“This is a huge step towards the holy grail of energy research,” said Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at City College and the City University of New York. “To break even, to gain more energy than you invest, and that could end up being a game changer.”

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced a major achievement in nuclear fusion, the it had back on August 8th, was able to use 1.3 megajoules of energy at its National ignition system, albeit very briefly. Kaku told CNBCs “The news with Shepard Smith“that the achievement was a huge step towards clean energy.

“A fusion reactor is carbon neutral, it does not produce carbon dioxide, it does not produce large amounts of nuclear waste, which is found in nuclear fission plants with uranium, it does not melt,” said the author of “The God Equation: The Search for a Theory of Everything.” “The fuel is sea water, hydrogen from sea water could be the base fuel.”

merger, the lesser known and opposite reaction to fission, is when two atoms collide to form a heavier atom and release energy. This is how the sun generates energy.

Kaku explained some of the disadvantages of nuclear fusion and why it is not currently an easily accessible source of energy.

“It turns out that when you heat hydrogen to tens of millions of degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of the sun, things get unstable, and so this reaction took place for over a hundred trillionth of a second, just a snap of your fingers, so in other words, us want to have a continuous flow of energy, not bursts of energy like we found here, “said Kaku.

Georgia Energy: Ideas to assist prospects lower your expenses, vitality throughout sweltering summer season warmth

with Georgia With temperatures well above 90 degrees in some spots this week, Georgia Power is encouraging customers to take steps to minimize the impact of higher temperatures and increased energy consumption on their utility bills. The company is committed to providing information and choice that will give customers the options they need to reduce energy consumption and save money on a daily basis, whether they are renting a home or owning their own.

Tips, tools and resources
Georgia Power provides efficiency tips and tools that all customers can use to save money and energy year round. Hundreds of simple energy tips are available at www.GeorgiaPower.com/EnergyEfficiency. The website also provides access to a free online energy check and a variety of discounts and incentives for homes and businesses.

Simple summer tips to save money and energy include:

  • Think thermostat – heating and cooling bills make up almost half of your average electricity bill. Set manual thermostats to 78 ° F in summer for maximum efficiency and take advantage of programmable thermostats that help reduce energy use based on your lifestyle. Every degree cooler can add 4% to your bill.
  • Use your fans – a ceiling fan only costs approx. $ 1.50 running for a month and will help you feel cooler without having to adjust your thermostat.
  • Get your air conditioner serviced – Even if you don’t lower your thermostat, your device has to work harder as the outside temperature rises. Inefficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can add to costs and add hundreds of dollars in additional energy bills each year.
  • Vents – To maintain constant temperatures throughout your home, keep vents and registers clear of obstructions such as furniture, curtains, and carpets.
  • Trim Plants and Change Filters – To ensure your unit is getting the correct airflow, change any filters inside and trim the plants around your outdoor unit.
  • Food Storage – Set your fridge thermostat between 35 ° F and 38 ° F and your freezer at 0 ° F for maximum efficiency – but be careful not to overfill. Removing food to allow air to circulate can reduce energy consumption.
  • Keep your refrigerator clean – Proper refrigerator cleaning and maintenance, e.g.
  • Heat in the kitchen – Reduce the temperature in your home by cooking food in the microwave or on the stove instead of in the oven whenever possible. Adjust pots and pans to the burner size to minimize heat loss. Use lids on pots to keep the heat in.

In addition, Georgia Powers is My electricity consumption Program, a free service associated with many Georgia Power online accounts, enables customers to track their daily energy usage online, forecast their monthly bill, and stay on a set energy budget.

Flexible tariff options to suit customers’ budget and lifestyle
Georgia Power is reminding its customers that now, as the seasons change, is a good time to review your current tariff plan and make sure you are getting the best tariff that fits your budget and lifestyle. Making sure you have the cheapest tariff for your usage is one of the most effective ways to keep your energy bills down. Customers can learn details on seven Georgia Power tariff plans at www.GeorgiaPower.com/Pricing, including plans tailored for those who want the security of a year-round bill, customers who prepay and avoid a down payment, EV drivers, and others who want low-cost electricity after hours.

Invoice payment support
Georgia Power also provides bill payment assistance. The company works with customers to coordinate payment arrangements and discounts like the income-qualified senior discount, and can connect them with community organizations that may be able to help them pay their bills, including the Salvation Army’s Project SHARE program. More information is available at www.GeorgiaPower.com/Assistance or by phone at 888-660-5890.

SOURCE Georgia Power

Power cash continues to circulate to Ohio lawmakers

That paper Originally published by Ohio capitalrnal..

In order to withdraw energy money from the politics of Ohio, it takes more than a bribery scandal of historic proportions.

The campaign financial report, filed late last week, shows the campaign’s fundraising pipeline from natural gas and utilities to Ohio’s campaign account is alive and well. The majority went to Republicans, who have good control over the legislature.

By passing it even to companies that benefited from or are related to House Bill 6. Deportation, indictment and pending trial of former Ohio House chairman; Three Associated plea and denial of charges by lobbyists and a charitable black money organization for extortion; When Agreement with a prosecutor similar to First Energy Corp.’s admission of guilt. – The donations continue to flow.

For example HB6 Aid funded by the payers of two coal-fired power plants in Ohio and Indiana, owned by a cooperative called Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

The capital of these power plants is divided into utility companies such as American Electric Power (43%), Buckeye Power (18%), Duke Energy (9%), and Dayton Power & Light Company (4.9%). The law requires a monthly fee on all private and industrial payers to support a failed coal-fired power plant – with relief worth $ 114 million in 2020 alone. Estimated $ 700 million for owners By 2030.

Between January 1 and July 31, AEP donated $ 60,500 to Republican lawmakers and Governor Mike Dewin. CEO Nick Akins donated $ 5,000 to DeWine. Four other AEP executives also gave DeWine a total of $ 5,500.

The company has not been charged with HB6-related crimes. However, this was announced earlier this year. Received corresponding subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.. According to the company’s tax records and returns, AEP was the only nonprofit funder to donate $ 700,000 to Generation Now. Current generation Condemned for his role in the plot He agreed to confiscate $ 1.5 million from the government.

Among other OVEC shareholders: Buckeye Power donated $ 41,200 to lawmakers, mostly Republicans. Duke Energy donated $ 21,000 primarily to Republicans. DP&L, now known as AES Ohio, donated $ 10,000 to Republicans.

FirstEnergy – Last week, federal prosecutors gave $ 61 million and $ 4.3 million to Generation Now, which is secretly controlled by householders. Former PUCO chairman Sam Randazzo with legal and regulatory incentives – No donations have been reported so far in 2021. Randazzo has not been charged with a crime and remains innocent in a statement last week.

In addition to utilities, the natural gas industry has invested heavily in the General Assembly as candidates prepare for the 2022 elections.

NiSource, a natural gas company and parent company from Columbus, Ohio, has donated nearly $ 62,000 to nearly $ 62,000 to Republicans.

Dominion Energy, a natural gas company, donated more than $ 26,000 to Republicans in Ohio.

Ohio-based natural gas company IGS Energy donated $ 23,000 to Ohio Republicans.

Additionally, Marathon Oil gave lawmakers $ 21,000, and almost everything was given to Republicans. The company’s CFO also donated $ 10,000 to DeWine.

Industry wins

The fossil fuel company has had two major legislative victories so far in 2021. In the meantime, the utility that owns the OVEC facility has so far blocked the vote on laws to abolish subsidies.

At midnight, the last legislative period before the summer vacation, the legislature passed Senate Law 52. County Commissioners have created a new mechanism that can end wind and solar projects early in development.. Commissioners can also block potential wind or solar projects in all or part of the unincorporated area of ​​the county.

The Commissioner has no such authority over the construction of natural gas facilities and pipelines regulated by the Ohio Electricity Location Commission.

Election funding data shows how industry funding has been concentrated in the Senate. The Energy PAC has donated $ 37,500 to the Senate Election Committee and $ 27,500 to Senate Presidents Matt Huffman and R-Lima. Senator Rob McCollie, Senator R-Napoleon, main sponsor of SB 52 and chairman of the Senate Energy and Utilities Commission, received $ 13,500.

Huffman and McCollie did not respond to requests.

Also that summer, lawmakers passed Bill 201 banning local governments from enacting laws and zoning ordinances. “Restrict, prohibit or prevent” Because people and businesses get natural gas and propane services. Major cities in the United States have enacted or proposed the following measures: Prohibiting or preventing the use of fossil fuels in new homes and buildings, According to the Wall Street Journal. Berkeley, California passed the first gas ban in 2019.

Proponents of both bills opposed comparisons between seemingly contradicting concepts – district officials could abandon the development of solar parks but limit the connection of new houses to gas pipelines. You can’t pass the law.

Last winter, under the pressure of a worsening budget scandal, the legislature abolished the massive rescue operations for two nuclear power plants that previously belonged to a subsidiary of FirstEnergy. This is an important clause of HB6. Abolition of separate “decoupling clauses” in the millions for the company..

However, the OVEC scholarship stays on the books.

legislation Dependent on the Senate Commission for Energy and Public Utilities The relief for OVEC coal-fired power plants will be abolished. The bill has not yet been voted on by the committee, which is a victory for shareholders who keep moving the bill.

What the company said

The Ohio Capital Journal contacted the companies listed in this article and asked why they were donating.

“The Dominion Energy Politician Action Committee only uses funds donated by employees to financially support Ohio candidates on a bipartisan basis,” the company said in a statement. .. “A cent does not come from a customer’s invoice. Dominion Energy employs 1,600 people and provides safe, reliable, and affordable natural gas service to 1.2 million Ohio customers. Is provided. “

Duke Energy spokeswoman Sally Teren said the company believes it should get actively involved in the energy policy process to represent its customers, communities and shareholders.

“We enable the safe delivery of increasingly clean energy solutions at reliable, affordable prices, and we support officials who support policies that are an effective voice in making important political decisions. We will continue to strengthen this principle, ”she said.

“And a unique agenda that is as active (if not more) as we are in politics and not always in the best interests of our company and our stakeholders. It is important to remember that some people insist on this. “

AEP spokeswoman Tammy Redout said the company will use PACs to participate in political processes and involve lawmakers on issues that affect their ability to provide reliable and affordable energy to their customers. ..

“Participating in the political process ensures that we hear our voices on issues that are important to our customers, shareholders, employees and the company,” she said. “PAC strives to understand candidates for public office and to work with them to understand and address solutions to problems that are important to AEP and the energy industry.”

NiSource spokesman Christopher Garland said the company’s PAC is voluntary and complies with both company policies and related election funding laws.

“We work to educate officials about the implications of our business and possible policy choices,” he said.

Marathon spokesman Jamal Cary said the company’s PAC will assist lawmakers in supporting policies that “work towards affordable and reliable energy availability to improve the quality of life.” ..

Ohio Capital Journal Part of the States Newsroom, a network of media companies supported by a federation of grants and 501c (3) donors as a public interest charity. The Ohio Capital Journal retains editorial independence. If you have any questions, please contact the editor, David DeWitt: info@ohiocapitaljournal.com, and follow the Ohio Capital Journal Facebook When tweet..