Monday, December 19, 2011

A Lump Of Coal For Christmas

In days of old if a child misbehaved they got a lump of coal as their Christmas gift. I say we institute the practice of giving a lump of coal to the most gangrene folks of the year. Bechtel may be a winner with all of their failed “clean coal” projects. One of their customers got wise and managed to get out of Bechtel’s grip this year. That customer is American Municipal Power (AMP) a not for profit association of Ohio municipalities that had engaged Bechtel three years ago to build a 1,000 megawatt power station. When Bechtel admitted the power station would cost $4.1 billion and not $3.1 billion as originally budgeted AMP told Bechtel to get lost and actually sued Bechtel in Federal court for misleading them on the project. AMP decided to buy a combined cycle natural gas generation station instead. I guess the management at AMP must read my blog or must have studied thermodynamics as young Buckeyes. Here is what the Athens Ohio news reported in February 2011 when the suit was filed:

The company said at the time that the contractor had increased its cost estimate by 37 percent between May and November 2009, making it economically unfeasible to proceed.
AMP was partnering with Bechtel Power Corporation on that coal-fired facility, and Bechtel was the contractor that AMP said increased its cost estimate. On Friday, AMP filed a federal lawsuit against Bechtel Power alleging breach of contract, gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
AMP, in the court filing, is asking for actual damages not less than $97 million plus punitive damages and court costs.
In the lawsuit, AMP alleges that Bechtel repeatedly misrepresented to AMP the various costs associated with the project as well as Bechtel’s previous experience in developing similar projects.
AMP attorneys wrote that by November 2009 Bechtel’s presentation to AMP indicated that the cost of the project would be $1.06 billion more than what Bechtel had said it would cost in August 2008 and May 2009.
AMP attorneys wrote that Bechtel’s “enormous surprise increase of more than a billion dollars” in the cost of the project rendered it “economically unfeasible.” The attorneys wrote that had AMP known that the project would cost over $1 billion more than what it was originally projected to cost, the company would not have made various purchases with relation to the plant that totaled over $97 million.
These costs would not have been incurred, the lawsuit states, if it were not for Bechtel’s “wrongful conduct.”
AMP alleged that Bechtel repeatedly failed to “withdraw, correct or amend” its price projections “in any sort of honest, forthright, proper, timely, diligent, careful or reasonable manner.”
As a result, AMP is asking for upward of $97 million in damages due to Bechtel’s allegedly “willful, wanton, reckless and/or grossly negligent misconduct.”

The AMP management gets a green star from the Green Machine while Bechtel gets a lump of coal. Who else deserves a lump of coal for Christmas? One recipient has to be Al Gore for his hypocrisy on Fisker that he colored green. Secretary Chu gets his lump of coal for selling out thermodynamics for hope. Elon Musk gets his sack of coal for the Tesla fake out. The UN gets a train load for the nonsense they resolved in Durban. The Chinese get a cargo ship full for being the world’s biggest polluters. Tokyo Electric Power Company gets a coal mine for the Fukashima disaster. Russia gets all of the Powder River Basin coal reserves as it is estimated that 1% of the oil produced each year in that country is spilled and never delivered. The spilled oil equals 5 million tons each year. This leakage equals 6 times as much as the BP Deepwater Horizon spill. I guess Toxic Tony has been overtaken by Toxic Trotsky as the winner of the Green Machine’s annual global gangrene award.