[MCN] John Meyer re converting Colstrip to solar/wind

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Sat Aug 26 19:29:16 EDT 2017


> On Aug 26, 2017, at 4:59 PM, Lance Olsen <lance at wildrockies.org> wrote:
> 
> 
>> On Aug 26, 2017, at 3:53 PM, John Meyer <John at cottonwoodlaw.org <mailto:John at cottonwoodlaw.org>> wrote:
>> 
>> Team Missoula,
>> 
>> How do we get around the issues Lance has identified?

First, tell me whether we should we get around them, or if getting around them is the only path to jobs? I’d say yes to that, but only if the only possible jobs, for the tribes and others, is in MANUFACTURING

But jobs in manufacturing aren’t the only option; the jobs in installation pay darned well, and the path to those jobs may be a lot shorter, and with a lot less hassle, for us, or for Congress. You might be running risk of jeopardizing those jobs by insisting on manufacturing.

My take is that we need to act with some urgency and that we might actually get on with it by working toward jobs installing (imported) solar panels on every rooftop on every Indian reservation in the state. 


>> 
>> 1. Crosscurrents of trade policy
>>      - Can someone talk to Senators Tester and Daines and ask them to help us with tariffs and subsidies?

The question about subsidies goes straight to another of your questions

>>        We need to identify the other sectors we are going to be competing with. 
>>           What are they?

To name a few off the top of my head, small farm ag, industrial ag, and the owners of forest lands. All these and others will need subsidies to capture and store carbon in the soils. And competition for funding is much more widespread, even including medicare, the military, schools. — many, many sectors will be competing for funding that would be needed to subsidize manufacture of solar panels in Montana or elsewhere.

All that said, tho, transferring subsidies now granted for coal, oil, and gas to subsidies for solar (and wind) is widely discussed and already has some support. This may not end up applying to solar manufacturing, tho, so I’d suggest caution on that count


> 
> Prospect of Trump tariff casts pall over U.S. solar industry - Reuters <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-solar-insight-idUSKBN1AA0BI>
> https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-solar-insight-idUSKBN1AA0BI <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-solar-insight-idUSKBN1AA0BI> <https://www.google.com/search?q=trump+trade+solar+panels+china&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS737US737&oq=trump+trade+solar+panels+china&aqs=chrome..69i57.15170j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#> <https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:MlR_mh7UwREJ:https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-solar-insight-idUSKBN1AA0BI+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us>Jul 24, 2017 - U.S. solar companies are snapping up cheap imported solar panels ahead of a tradedecision by the Trump administration that could drive up ... Low-cost photovoltaic cells and panels made in China and other Asian countries ...
> Amid layoffs and bankruptcies, solar renegades turn to Trump to fight ... <https://thinkprogress.org/suniva-trade-case-48252a50c0dc/>
> https://thinkprogress.org/suniva-trade-case-48252a50c0dc/ <https://thinkprogress.org/suniva-trade-case-48252a50c0dc/> <https://www.google.com/search?q=trump+trade+solar+panels+china&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS737US737&oq=trump+trade+solar+panels+china&aqs=chrome..69i57.15170j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#> <https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4F-BYpILf88J:https://thinkprogress.org/suniva-trade-case-48252a50c0dc/+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us>May 30, 2017 - In 2012, the ITC, at SolarWorld's behest, found that China had been engaged in “unfairtrade practices,” dumping subsidized panels on the ...
> Will a trade fight with Asia sabotage the U.S. solar industry? That may ... <http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-solar-20170815-story.html>
> www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-solar-20170815-story.html <http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-solar-20170815-story.html> <https://www.google.com/search?q=trump+trade+solar+panels+china&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS737US737&oq=trump+trade+solar+panels+china&aqs=chrome..69i57.15170j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#> <http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:EjNDi40DVIwJ:www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-solar-20170815-story.html+&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us>Aug 15, 2017 - A trade case filed by two bankrupt solar firms could leave Trump an ... mostly in Chinaand other Asian countries — whose cheap panels have ...
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Sat, Aug 26, 2017 at 2:33 PM, Lance Olsen <lance at wildrockies.org <mailto:lance at wildrockies.org>> wrote:
>> 
>>> On Aug 26, 2017, at 1:24 PM, John Meyer <John at cottonwoodlaw.org <mailto:John at cottonwoodlaw.org>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> To be clear: 
>>> 
>>> I was saying convert Colstrip into an actual manufacturing facility where they make solar panels that can be sold throughout the U.S. 
>> 
>> Ah, well, now you’re venturing into crosscurrents of trade policy, and competing sectors within the US solar industry, and issues of pricing the solar panels, that could be very difficult. Based on what I know --or think I know-- as of now, that’s not likely to work out as well as it might seem
>> 
>>> 
>>> My limited understanding is that many of the solar panels installed on homes are made in Asia. Converting Colstrip into a solar manufacturing facility would create jobs here. 
>>> 
>>> If Tesla can manufacture in California is there any reason why we cannot or should not manufacture solar panels in southeast Montana? 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Sat, Aug 26, 2017 at 12:44 PM, Lance Olsen <lance at wildrockies.org <mailto:lance at wildrockies.org>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> On Aug 26, 2017, at 10:56 AM, John Meyer <John at cottonwoodlaw.org <mailto:John at cottonwoodlaw.org>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Lance,
>>>> 
>>>> I completely agree with everything you said. 
>>>> 
>>>> One issue I hear over and over from leaders is that if we want to stop burning coal we need to find alternative jobs for the Natives and non-Natives that work in the coal industry. 
>>> 
>>> Amen, that’s a critical issue, John, and one that’s likely to test us as a society because getting from here to there won’t be a free lunch and the coal industry is likely to resist picking up the tab. So the question of equity raises its head all ‘round
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> If there are any investors reading this email that would like to convert Colstrip into a wind and solar manufacturing facility
>>> 
>>> The transmission lines from Colstrip will be more important than Colstrip itself. That’s not to say that conversion at Colstrip wouldn’t help move the needle, but I’m not seeing it as a sole source of solar/wind generation into the transmission lines. 
>>> 
>>> Solar/wind farms on tribal lands could feed those transmission lines. So could little community microgrids, even rooftop solar.
>>> 
>>> Like the transmission lines, the market for electricity extends far beyond Montana, well into the Pacific Northwest. The extent of this market illustrates the potential use of transmission lines. Therein lies the economic potential for the necessary shift to solar/wind generation. Groups in the Pacific Northwest have already shown interest in feasibility of using the transmission lines from Colstrip for power generated by wind, 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> please shoot me an email. The Tribal leaders I've been chatting with in eastern Montana are open to the idea. 
>>>> 
>>>> Have a great weekend.
>>>> 
>>>> On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 7:30 PM, Lance Olsen via Missoula-Community-News <missoula-community-news at bigskynet.org <mailto:missoula-community-news at bigskynet.org>> wrote:
>>>> Today, a politician said in a press conference that we need to “manage” the forests in order to manage fires, and smoke
>>>> 
>>>> At this stage of the game, it’s much, much more important to manage the fossil fuels than to throw the management burden on forests. 
>>>> 
>>>> We were always going to have fires. That much won’t change, no matter what we manage. After all, the amount of fossil carbon we’ve already pulled from the ground and sent into the atmosphere means we’ll have more than the usual fires, even if we’d kicked the fossil fuel habit yesterday.  Because carbon dioxide has a lifetime of centuries or more in the atmosphere, we’ve already created a bright future for fire. That’s definitely not a good situation, and yet, it’ll be a bad situation gone dangerously worse if we can’t/don’t/won’t manage our use of fossil fuels. 
>>>> 
>>>> It was never going to be easy to tell whether any specific fire is due to climate change, or just another one of the fires we were going to get anyway. But that’s not the most important question anyone could ask about “managing” fire.
>>>> 
>>>> Harvesting trees to manage fire can make some difference, how much is debatable, but it’s a false hope if we can’t/don’t/won’t also push hard for harvest of the energy we can get from solar and wind
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> **********************************************
>>>> “Things are happening right now with the ice sheets that were not predicted to happen until 2100,” Schlesinger says. 
>>>> “My worry is that we may have passed the window of opportunity where learning is still useful.” 
>>>> 
>>>> John Bohannan, ”Trying to Lasso Climate Uncertainty.” 
>>>> SCIENCE, 13 OCTOBER 2006
>>>> 
>>>> *********************************************************
>>>> “Personally, this is very disturbing to me,” McCarty said, because the fire indicates significant permafrost degradation
>>>> “sooner than [scientists] thought it would happen.” Researchers project significant permafrost loss in Greenland by 
>>>> the end of the century. Not 2017, she said.
>>>> 
>>>> https://eos.org/articles/greenland-fires-ignite-climate-change-fears <https://eos.org/articles/greenland-fires-ignite-climate-change-fears>
>>>> 
>>>> **********************
>>>> "In order to control climate change, a range of radical policies will have to be adopted by the world’s authorities –
>>>> towns, cities, states, national governments and their agencies, and international organisations.”
>>>> 
>>>> Paul Fisher, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
>>>> http://www.ethicalcorp.com/how-g20-can-supercharge-green-finance <http://www.ethicalcorp.com/how-g20-can-supercharge-green-finance>
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -----------------
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>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -- 
>>>> 
>>>>  <http://www.cottonwoodlaw.org/>
>>>> 
>>>> John Meyer
>>>> Executive Director & General Counsel 
>>>> Cottonwood Environmental Law Center
>>>> P.O. Box 412 Bozeman, MT 59771
>>>> John at Cottonwoodlaw.org <mailto:John at Cottonwoodlaw.org>
>>>> (406) 546-0149 <tel:(406)%20546-0149>
>>>> 
>>>> The information contained herein is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you must delete this email and inform the sender of the error.
>>>> 
>>>> www.cottonwoodlaw.org <http://www.cottonwoodlaw.org/>
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> *************************************************************
>>> “The ecological systems upon which humans rely for life support are in crisis, and 
>>> human behavior is the root cause. These problems are thus not environmental, 
>>> but rather related to how humans meet their needs and wants in disruptive ways.”
>>>  
>>> Elise Amel, Christie Manning, Britain Scott, Susan Koger
>>> Science 21 April 2017
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> -- 
>>> 
>>>  <http://www.cottonwoodlaw.org/>
>>> 
>>> John Meyer
>>> Executive Director & General Counsel 
>>> Cottonwood Environmental Law Center
>>> P.O. Box 412 Bozeman, MT 59771
>>> John at Cottonwoodlaw.org <mailto:John at Cottonwoodlaw.org>
>>> (406) 546-0149 <tel:(406)%20546-0149>
>>> 
>>> The information contained herein is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you must delete this email and inform the sender of the error.
>>> 
>>> www.cottonwoodlaw.org <http://www.cottonwoodlaw.org/>
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> *************************************************************
>> “The ecological systems upon which humans rely for life support are in crisis, and 
>> human behavior is the root cause. These problems are thus not environmental, 
>> but rather related to how humans meet their needs and wants in disruptive ways.”
>>  
>> Elise Amel, Christie Manning, Britain Scott, Susan Koger
>> Science 21 April 2017
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> 
>>  <http://www.cottonwoodlaw.org/>
>> 
>> John Meyer
>> Executive Director & General Counsel 
>> Cottonwood Environmental Law Center
>> P.O. Box 412 Bozeman, MT 59771
>> John at Cottonwoodlaw.org <mailto:John at Cottonwoodlaw.org>
>> (406) 546-0149
>> 
>> The information contained herein is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you must delete this email and inform the sender of the error.
>> 
>> www.cottonwoodlaw.org <http://www.cottonwoodlaw.org/>
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
> *************************************************************
> “The ecological systems upon which humans rely for life support are in crisis, and 
> human behavior is the root cause. These problems are thus not environmental, 
> but rather related to how humans meet their needs and wants in disruptive ways.”
>  
> Elise Amel, Christie Manning, Britain Scott, Susan Koger
> Science 21 April 2017
> 

*************************************************************
“The ecological systems upon which humans rely for life support are in crisis, and 
human behavior is the root cause. These problems are thus not environmental, 
but rather related to how humans meet their needs and wants in disruptive ways.”
 
Elise Amel, Christie Manning, Britain Scott, Susan Koger
Science 21 April 2017

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