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Revolt News 133


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Revolt News 133

1. (URGENT) Rosalind Craven attended a case management conference at the High Court in Leeds last Friday, when the judge gave her helpful directions and NGC did not obtain the accelerated proceedings they were seeking. The case is to be heard 3rd and 4th December. Rosalind says this shows the outcome is not a foregone conclusion, and this is the first time we have had an impartial hearing before an independent judge. It would help considerably if other landowners could give a statement if they share any misgivings (they do not have to appear at court) and they should contact her on 01347 838291.

2. Some interesting points are made by Professor Ray Walls, a chemical engineer now with Bradford University, in response to news132. He draws a parallel between surplus power generation in the north and the creation of the Cow Green reservoir in Teesdale in the 70's, when Teesside's industries required more water. The over-capacity thus provided at least insulated the North East, but not Yorkshire water from the droughts of the 90's. The case for large power stations remote from consumers was established on sound environmental reasons following the clean air acts of the 50's and 60's. However the availability of natural gas changes this requirement completely. There is no environmental reason for the generation not to be in the city centres once more e.g. Battersea. Ray concludes "For a more proactive outlook energy use should now be concentrated on the pipe-lining of gas to industrial and domestic users. Electricity could be obtained locally in the home and factories from fuel cells using natural gas and also transport LPG from the use of heat pumps on the natural gas supply to give a liquid fuel."

3. More fuel cell news reported by Angela Ovenston includes: 

(a) The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) has successfully connected a five-kilowatt (kW) proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system to the electricity grid in Texas. The unit is the first residential-sized system in Texas to be connected to the power grid. <http://www.harc.edu/pressroom/02_0903.html

(b) The US Department of Defense Fuel Cell Test and Evaluation Center (FCTec) has purchased and will install a Plug Power 5-kW residential combined heat and power fuel cell system. The system is the first of several different manufacturers' systems that will be purchased and tested by FCTec as part of a DOD project to develop and validate a test protocol for residential fuel cells in cooperation with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. <http://www.ctc.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=1511&PR=02sep19.htm

(c) Business Communications Company, Inc. will release a new study, Fuel Cells for Large Scale Applications, which estimates that the North American fuel cell market for large-scale applications is currently valued at about $251 million. The market is expected to increase over the next five years at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 20.7% reaching $642 million by 2007. <http://www.buscom.com/energy/E122.html>

4. The CBI and the Engineering Employers' Federation have described the government's energy tax (climate change levy) as "flawed" and "crazy" (Ceefax 1.11.02). Firms which cut energy use had to pay heavy penalties, while others that had made no improvement were rewarded.

5. Former Enron chief financial officer Andrew Fastow has been indicted on 78 counts and could be sentenced to jail for several hundred years (Ceefax 1.11.02).

6. Victory for a family in Dawson, Georgia, passed on by Maureen Asbury from the Dawson Community News, 30.10.02. The Georgia Power company had failed to pay fair market value for the property for their 500 kV line. They offered $70,000 for an easement, and raised it to $92,000 just before the trial, but the court awarded $375,000 to the family who have owned the 77 acre farm since 1932. It has been cut nearly in half by a large swathe across it. The family asked the company to put the line at the back of the property, but the company wouldn't listen. The family's attorney Douglas Flint said "These power lines are going everywhere, and we have got to get some control over this. The reality of this is that it's a money issue. That's the reason the power companies are willing to destroy family farms and homes to build these towers, because it's cheaper that putting them underground. But when the juries say 'enough' and start hitting them in their pocketbook, that's the only message they're going to listen to. They need to spend the money and put these lines underground."

7. The bonfire last Saturday 2.11.02 went "swimmingly" - there was even more water than when NG climbed over locked gates in Alne back in February. The Gill brothers had taken every care with preparation: the fireworks donated by local newsagents were set off in a remote part of the huge field some hundred metres from the spectators' area, the bonfire area was fenced off and Sister Farger stood by with first aid kit. The most hazardous part was the trek across the field, making a joke of the "10-inch rut rule", but no-one drowned (as far as we know). Something like a hundred pounds was collected for the St Nicholas Hospital in Easingwold. The prize for the best guy was won by young Sophie Robinson. Effigies of the chief villains were ceremoniously burned to hearty jeers and boos: Lord Wakeham (2-1) winning the "most despised" title by a short head, followed by David Jefferies (5-2) with Margaret Beckett making a late challenge to finish joint third with John Battle at 3-1. Michael Heseltine was well behind in fifth place, James Ross sixth and Roger Irwin seventh. Two late entries were Charles Waite and Margaret Thatcher, though neither could make any impression on the field and they finished last.


Mike O'Carroll


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