Skip to main content

The View from Mecklenburg

photo_southhill The South Hill Enterprise says that it has the “largest paid circulation of any Mecklenburg County newspaper,”  which we take to mean it gets whomped by penny savers but otherwise has cornered the market in southern Virginia. Enterprising reporter Lisa Andrews went out to see how the local population was responding to the passage of the Energy bill in the House. Andrews also talks to the Washington politicians, but let’s just glide right by them.

Local farmer Hart Hudson said Friday, “I am not in favor of anything that will increase the cost of production.” Hudson said he supports the VFBF [Virginia Farm Bureau Federation] stance and he urged others to oppose the passage of the bill as it makes it way to the Senate.

Well, that’s to be expected, if a little narrow-band.

Dean Price, owner of Red Birch Energy in Bassett, referred to the bill as a way to use “trickle down” economics and to encourage local farmers to spend locally. “This legislation will allow more American entrepreneurs and farmers like me to grow and sell our own energy,” Price said. “These kinds of jobs can’t be outsourced and will be a huge part of a new economy and business model in Southern Virginia.” He said that the economy is on the verge of an economic boom.

We hope Mr. Price is right about the economy. We looked up Red Birch Energy and found that it is a biodiesel concern that uses local canola to make its diesel fuel.

“I encourage the Senators and Congressmen of the Fifth District to notify the small farmers in the area how this bill will impact them and how they can take advantage of the opportunities included in the bill,” President of the National Black Farmers Association John Boyd said Monday. “I would like to see them holding meeting and keeping the rural farmers up to date on the progress. Ultimately the bill will reach rural America. It will come to us, an area that doesn’t normally get affected by such legislation. We will feel the impact of the solar power and it will help rural America.”

We like Mr. Boyd’s expansive nature a lot, but reckon every energy initiative has a considerable impact on farmers. We took a peek over at National Black Farmers Association Web site and found that Mr. Boyd created it on his own and really has a beef, so to speak, with the USDA. You can read all about it over there.

The 13th annual Picnic in the Park is set for this Friday from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. in Parker Park. The free event features music, kids games, popular concessions, and, of course, the biggest and best ever fireworks display provided by Dominion Fireworks.

I might have aimed my camera differently, but if you’re around Parker Park, drop by.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…