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Geothermal Project Shutting Down In CA

Discreetly tucked away in the ‘Environmental’ section of the Saturday morning edition of the New York Times:

Geothermal Project in California Is Shut Down

By JAMES GLANZ

December 12, 2009

The company in charge of a California project to extract vast amounts of renewable energy from deep, hot bedrock has removed its drill rig and informed federal officials that the government project will be abandoned.

The project by the company, AltaRock Energy, was the Obama administration’s first major test of geothermal energy as a significant alternative to fossil fuels and the project was being financed with federal Department of Energy money at a site about 100 miles north of San Francisco called the Geysers.

But on Friday, the Energy Department said that AltaRock had given notice this week that “it will not be continuing work at the Geysers” as part of the agency’s geothermal development program.

The project’s apparent collapse comes a day after Swiss government officials permanently shut down a similar project in Basel, because of the damaging earthquakes it produced in 2006 and 2007. Taken together, the two setbacks could change the direction of the Obama administration’s geothermal program, which had raised hopes that the earth’s bedrock could be quickly tapped as a clean and almost limitless energy source

In addition to a $6 million grant from the Energy Department, AltaRock had attracted some $30 million in venture capital from high-profile investors like Google, Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers…

On Friday, the Energy Department, which has put some $440 million into its geothermal program this year alone, said that despite the latest developments, it remained confident of the technology’s long-term prospects

AltaRock has also received some $25 million in federal money for a project in Oregon, and some scientists speculated on Friday that after the spate of problems at the Geysers, the company wanted to focus on a new site.

But the company, whose project at the Geysers was located on land leased from the federal government by the Northern California Power Agency, has held information about its project tightly. Not even the power agency has been informed of AltaRock’s ultimate intentions at the site, said Murray Grande, who is in charge of geothermal facilities for the agency.

“They just probably gave up, but we don’t know,” Mr. Grande said

Notice how so many of these purported alternatives to coal and oil simply are not working out, despite the taxpayer dollars that have been so gleefully poured into them.

Also, notice how seldom this unfortunate news gets reported by our watchdog media.

We posted an earlier article from this same Mr. Glanz about these same two geothermal projects faced closing due to their deleterious effects on the surrounding geology.

But somehow those two stories got very little attention from the rest of our mainstream media. As will this latest development.

Why is that?

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, December 12th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Geothermal Project Shutting Down In CA”

  1. proreason says:

    Steve’s right that these projects all seem to fail. This one seemed to me to have some promise, so I think there is another lesson in this story. It’s based on the Swiss’s experience with earthquakes related to their geo-thermal project.

    “Don’t mess with Mother Nature”, and of course, it’s corollary, “beware of what you pray for”

    Mankind would do well to develop a bit of humility.

    There seem to be some greater forces out there.

  2. VMAN says:

    This is freeking incredible!!!! Let’s drill into the earth’s core and in California no less. What do these idiots think is going to happen in a state riddled with fault lines. Green energy is a load of CRAP!!!!

    • canary says:

      yes, I want to see if Gores fact the core is billions of degrees hot. Cause, digging holes here the earth get’s colder, the earth still frozen in the spring.
      A new cost effective, land saving way to cremate & bury humans with one toss. Let Gore do the ground-breaking ceremony’ name it after him.
      “Gore’s Core” free burial to save the earth.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Bear in mind that the people behind these “green” projects are those types interested in getting obscenely wealthy over it all. You see, there is no difference between them and the team-owner who wants a new stadium so he gets local and state government to pass a 2% tax to pay for it. Because rule #1 of getting rich is “Never use your own money”. Therefore, when all goes tango-uniform, no net loss to you, personally. The only difference with the team-owner is that the rubes actually get a little something for their money. Very little…but something.

    And, the little stinkers will shroud it all in the “green is good” mantra and get stupid, guilt-ridden rubes like us to pay for it all. However, when it really DOES go T.U…..the rubes are wondering what happened to the money. In this case, it literally went “down the hole”. This makes the rubes angry. But see rule #3 for that.

    Interestingly, no one….NO ONE…..has been able to make wind/solar/tidal energy profitable. This is why the utopian automatons keep saying YOU need to make sacrifices while they drive their 5500lb SUV’s to their dinosaur-burning private jets, going thither and yon and laugh while doing so. Because they know we’re stupid and they will keep playing the mark as long as the mark keeps paying out. That is rule #2.

    And Rule #3 is never take the blame for any of it. Have a willing scapegoat. Someone likable but not TOO likable. You know, like Ollie North.

    Ask any bunko cop how a scam works and they will be more than happy to tell you (And all of the variations thereto).


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