Take the White Stallion Energy Center Quiz:

Which of the following Matagorda County Commissioners support White Stallion?

a)   County Judge Nate McDonald

b)   Kent Pollard

c)   James A. Gibson

d)   Daniel Pustka

e)   David “Woody” Woodson

f)   None of the above

Answer: f  (Author of this quiz called all to confirm and spoke directly with McDonald, Pollard and Pustka.)

 

Which of the following elected officials have come out in support of the proposal to build this plant in Matagorda County?

a)   Congressman Ron Paul

b)   State Sen. Glenn Hegar

c)   State. Rep. Randy Weber

d)   Mayor Mark Bricker

e)   None of the above

Answer: e  (Calls to their offices and a search of the public record indicate none of these politicians have taken a position about the plant, aside from general concerns from Hegar and others about water usage, etc.)

 

Which of the following elected officials have come out opposed to the proposal to build the White Stallion Coal Plant?

a)   Mayor of Houston — Annise D. Parker

b)   State Representative Beverly Woolley — District 136 — Harris County

c)   State Representative Jessica Farrar — District 148 — Houston

d)   State Senator Rodney Ellis — District 13 — Ft. Bend/Harris Counties

e)   State Senator Mario Gallegos — District 6 — Houston

f)   Matagorda County Clerk Gail Denn

g)   All of the above

Answer: g  (All of the above)

 

Despite a virtual moratorium in the capital markets on the financing of coal burning plants, who said the parties involved in this Coal Plant have “many tens of billions of dollars in market capitalization”?

a)   Goldman Sachs Chairman Lloyd Blankfein

b)   Annie Character Daddy Warbucks

c)   Stock Broker Bernie Madoff

d)   White Stallion Principal Randy Bird

Answer: d  (He has said this in writing and publicly)

 

Despite evidence that it has no money to build this plant, and after raising the hopes of hundreds of unemployed people in Matagorda County, when has White Stallion promised to break ground on the plant “any day now”?

a)   Three months ago

b)   Six months ago

c)   A year ago

d)   18 months ago

e)   All of the above

Answer: e  (Since April, 2009, news reports show that they have been promising to start to “move dirt around”, as WSEC’s employee Rick Stanley put it in the latest claim last January.)

 

Who is financing the White Stallion Energy Center?

a)   Goldman Sachs

b)   J.P. Morgan

c)   Rich guys from Kentucky

d)   Rich guys from Saudi Arabia

e)   None of your business

Answer: e (Randy Bird and Frank Rotundi have refused to release this information, but there is no indication that they have raised this money — and plenty of evidence, based on their last endeavor with the now-defunct EnviroPower, that they are planning to flip the permits.)

 

After Bear Stearns sued for breach of contract and failure to pay expenses for services rendered Randy Bird and Frank Rotondi’s last company, EnviroPower, how much did Bird and Rotondi claim that company was worth?  How much electricity did EnviroPower produce?

a)   $4 billion—and thousands of Mega Watt Hours

b)   $4 million—and millions of kilowatts

c)   $1 million—and billions of lightbulbs worth

d)   – $12 million and zero electricity

Answer: d (EnviroPower was established between 2001-3 to promote two coal plants, one Kentucky and another in Illinois.  Neither was built and the lawsuit, which later moved to Texas, enabled EnviroPower to successfully avoid the $1.3 million in penalties ordered by a New York Court.  The minus $12 million [negative net worth] of Enviropower was reported in Enviropower v. Bear, Stearns & Co., 2008 WL 483666 (Tex. App. — Houston (1st Dist.), Feb. 21, 2008)

 

How many plants have Randy Bird and Frank Rotondi built and operated?

a)   seven

b)   ten

c)   hundreds

d)   none

Answer: d (This is in the public record and included in the profile written for the Houston Air Alliance.  It has never been challenged by either Bird or Rotondi.)

 

How many of the nation’s six largest new coal plants have created the number of jobs promised by the developer?

a)   Six

b)   Four

c)   Two

d)   One

Answer: d (According to a study by the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies in Chattanooga, TN, job creation in five of the six host counties—including the Milam County, TX’s Sandow 5 plant—fell far short of job estimates promised by the coal plant operators and their supporters.  Pottawattami County, Iowa, was the only county that actually saw the number of promised jobs come to fruition.  The full report is available at www.afractionofthejobs.com)

 

How many of the six counties in that study actually saw a decline in job retention rates, suggesting that many of the new construction jobs went to workers coming from outside the host county?

a)   Five

b)   Three

c)   Two

d)   All of them

Answer: d (see www.afractionofthejobs.com)

 

Who will White Stallion’s customers be?

a)   Local chemical plants and refineries

b)   The City of San Antonio

c)   The City of Houston

d)   The Little Sisters of the Poor

e)   Nobody, including White Stallion, knows at this point.

Answer: e (There is no indication that the company has obtained any firm contracts either with public or private customers.)

 

What assurance do we have that the $20 million in tax revenue White Stallion promises the plant will generate for the County, schools and hospital will actually materialize?

a)   It’s a sure thing

b)   Not a snowball’s chance in hell

c)   We can’t know that unless we know who plant owners are going to be.

Answer: c (The White Stallion principals have refused to sign any contract with the County to formalize their often-expressed verbal assurances about the benefits to the County.)

 

How many permits for coal-burning plants has the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rejected?

a)   Too many to count

b)   A dozen

c)   Six

d)   One or two

e)   None

Answer: e (This has been widely reported in the press, including the Houston Chronicle and the Texas Observer.)

 

Following expert testimony and recommendations from Administrative Law Judges, how many modifications has the TCEQ ordered plant developers to make to ensure the plants meet environmental safety standards?

a)   Too many to count

b)   A dozen

c)   Six

d)   One or two

e)   None

Answer: e (This has been widely reported in the press, including the Houston Chronicle and the Texas Observer.)

 

How will dredging the Colorado River to make room for coal-carrying barges to the plant affect the fish, estuaries and wildlife along the river?

a)   They’ll love it because they’ll have more room to swim and play.

b)   Delicate ecosystems will be shattered, as will fish, wildlife and nature and eco-tourism in Matagorda County for generations.

c)   Who knows?  The Army Corps of Engineers so far has not called for an Environmental Impact Statement on how this dredging will affect the river and surrounding area.

Answer: c (This is in the public record from a public hearing held last month)

 

Where can a non-elected government agency come into a local community and impose the construction of a privately owned merchant coal-burning plant without any approval from local or elected officials?

a)   The People’s Republic of China

b)   The former Soviet Union

c)   New York City

d)   Matagorda County

Answer: d (This is true under state law, not only for Matagorda County but the other 253 counties in the state of Texas.  Because they are not municipalities, they are subject to the state government and have no legal sway over state appointed, non-elected government officials, including the commissioners on the TCEQ.  Furthermore, the commissioners are entitled not only to ignore local concerns but also the recommendations of experts and Administrative Judges who, in the case of White Stallion, have urged them not to award permits.)

 

Which of the following have to tough it out and go without water if an industrial plant needs water during a drought?

a)   Rice Farmers

b)   Ranchers

c)   Fishermen

d)   Recreational, nature and eco-tourism companies

e)   All of the above.

Answer: e (This is a matter of state law, held up in court rulings.)

 

Who said we don’t need the additional energy generated by coals plants like White Stallion?

a)   Tree-hugging liberals from New York City

b)   Washington bureaucrats

c)   The Sierra Club

d)   Greenpeace

e)   Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)

Answer: e (See ERCOT’s state of market report)

 

Who said coal plants cost too much to build?

a)   Tree-hugging liberals from Washington D.C.

b)   The Clean Air Alliance

c)   The No Coal Coalition

d)   The Union of Concerned Scientists

e)   Jonathan Siegler, former executive with the TXU coal plant giant.

Answer: d and e (The Union of Concerned Scientists’ latest report is “A Risky Proposition: The Financial Hazards of New Investments in Coal Plants,” released March 11, 2011.  As reported in the Dallas News on March 24, 2011, under headline “Former TXU Exec says Cost Too High to Build Power Plants” Jonathan Siegler, chief financial officer for Bluescape Resources, said the cost to build any type of new power generation — coal, nuclear, solar, wind or natural gas — is higher than the current price of power.  “The signals are that it’s not time to build,” Siegler said at a conference organized by the University of Texas’ Energy Management and Innovation Center.  Siegler was the top strategist for TXU Corp. before it was purchased by private investors and became Energy Future Holdings.
“With gas prices coming down,” he said, “asset values for existing generation are trading well below replacement cost.”)

 

Who wants the State of Texas to create legislation that will provide financial and regulatory incentives to retire some of the state’s oldest and least efficient coal-fired power plants and to phase in cleaner energy such as natural gas?

a)   The Sierra Club

b)   The Houston Clean Air Alliance

c)   Greenpeace

d)   Texas Lt. Gov David Dewhurst, a Republican

Answer: d (As reported in Platts Energy News last Friday 04/01/2011, Dewhurst “is developing a plan to provide financial and regulatory incentives for retiring some of the state’s oldest and least efficient coal-fired power plants. ” Dewhurst spokesman Mike Walz said the Lieutenant Governor “is interested in gradually increasing the use of cleaner-burning, Texas natural gas through market-based incentives, so we can continue to improve air quality, create more Texas jobs, increase our energy independence and provide for the future energy needs of our growing population.”  He added that Dewhurst is not advocating closing down coal plants overnight and instead envisions a phase-out for plants, Walz said.)

 

How much money has the coal lobby given Texas politicians since 2003?

a)   $100,000

b)   $250,000

c)   $400,000

d)   More than $750,000

Answer: d (This figure comes from Texans for Public Justice, a lobbying watchdog group, and was published Dec. 13, 2005 in “Lobby Watch,” the organization’s newsletter.)

 

How much money have coal companies spent hiring lobbyists to promote coal plants?

a)   $400,000

b)   $500,000

c)   $750,000

d)   At least $1.8 million and as much as $3.8 million

Answer: d (Source: Texans for Public Justice newsletter, “Lobby Watch”, Dec. 13, 2005.)

 

 

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