Energy Archives

Friday Link Wrap-up

Hunter Baker, writing at "First Things", responds to Jim Wallis’ question "What Would Jesus Cut", referring to government spending. (Which begs the question, would Jesus borrow us into prosperity?)

Obama’s HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, admits to double counting some savings that ObamaCare™ would bring. Not really news, except for those who haven’t been paying attention.

Media Matters, an allegedly non-partisan press watchdog group, has a Transparency project that lists major donors to conservative and libertarian organizations. "The Agitator" notes that, while a number of those conservative organizations themselves already provide this transparency, Media Matters itself does not.

Who’s going to clean up this mess in Wisconsin?

It could cost as much as $7.5 million to repair damage protesters have done to the Capitol Building marble say officials in Madison. Fixing posters to the marble with tape and glue appears to have done the bulk of the damage.

During testimony Thursday, a representative from the Attorney General’s office said a contractor estimated it would cost $500,000 to remove all of the posters and garbage. He says it would cost $6 million to restore the marble inside of the Capitol building and another $1 million to touch up the marble outside of the building.

Guess who came to the rescue? The Tea Party. Liberals trashed it, conservatives will care for it.

Mark Steyn notes a very odd way to say, "Thank you.". A young Kosovar is who killed 2 US servicemen in a Frankfurt airport. I mean, we didn’t even wait for UN resolutions before helping Kosovo get its independence. That’s gratitude?

Remember how upset the Left was about indefinite detentions and military tribunals at Guantanamo, and how much the press covered it? Yeah, well, all that is back on again and now they’re rather quiet about it. Wonder what changed.

Michael Moore and Rachel Maddow say, no, we’re not broke as a nation. Reality begs to differ.

Bummer. A set-back for reprogrammed adult stem cells. Undisturbed adult stem cells continue to be extremely useful, but trying to reprogram them into what are essentially embryonic stem cells is having problems.

Look, if you’re going to be biased in what you say, I have no problem with that. Just be honest about it. NPR isn’t. James O’Keefe strikes again at the heart of liberal bias at the network. NPR tries some damage control, but Patterico calls their ombudsman on it. Predictably, liberals now deplore gotcha’ journalism. (Though calling up a governor and misrepresenting who you are is just fine. Wonder what changed.) And apparently O’Keefe isn’t done with the revelations.

The UK’s CEO of the national power grid is predicting that blackouts will be just a part of the new normal once wind turbines become more prominent and supplant other means of electricity generation. How long before paying to not get blacked out becomes popular, and the politization of energy begins?

Civility Watch: Credible death threats against the Palins.

And finally, the Society of Centurions is named after the Centurion who was at the cross when Jesus died, and ultimately admitted, "Surely he was the Son of God". It is an organization for former abortion providers. Changing one’s view on abortion is one thing. Considering it wrong after you’ve provided them is another thing entirely. Priests for Life admonishes, "Let’s pray for the Centurions, and may their numbers increase!" Amen.

Rand Paul on Choice

Via Hot Air, Senator Rand Paul schools administration officials on the issue of “choice”. Under liberals’ logic, it’s okay to kill babies but we can’t buy light bulbs we want or a toilet that will flush. Click the image to watch.

Rusty Nails (SCO v. 22)

School officer shooting – a hoax
Oh, this is just icing on the cake for homeschoolers. Remember the school officer shooting that resulted in a pee-deprived 5 hour LOCKDOWN, for up to 9 schools, in a 7 square mile area? Well it appears that the “shooting” was orchestrated by the officer who was “shot”.

Keep incidents like this in mind whenever someone advocates that ordinary citizens should have sensible gun-control laws foisted on them, because we can only trust those who have been trained to be responsible with firearms. Incidents like these do not indicate that all law enforcement is bad, but merely that they are human.

If you think parents were peeved before…


It was green in every way – except that of money
Huntington Beach’s [California] first ‘green’ home is seized by bank.

The first ‘green’ home in Huntington Beach, debuting to much fanfare a little more than a year ago before having its asking price chopped dramatically and becoming a short sale, has gone back to the bank.

You’d think someone like… Robert Redford, might have cared enough to pick it up.

I suppose that some enviros have yet to understand the concept of free market economics.


Green in name, but not in deed? Must be due to Big Oil Greed?
And in the same Huntington Beach, we have a middle school protest over the installation of solar panels on school property. Why? Because said panels will be installed by – shudder! – Chevron.


Hey, Wally?
For some lighter Huntington Beach news, it seems that The Beaver just got married in the H.B.


A common sense lib
From the Huffington Post,

As a liberal Democrat, I worry about the damage we might do by rushing toward a fresh raft of gun-control laws. It’s very hard to demonstrate that most of them — registration, waiting periods, one-gun-a-month laws, closing the gun-show loophole, large-capacity-magazine restrictions, assault-rifle bans — have ever saved a life. It’s a hard thing to accept, but in a country of 350 million privately owned guns, the people who are inclined to do bad things with guns will always be able to get them. One might as well combat air crashes by repealing gravity.

The Battery Saga (Part One)

My primary car that I drive (our family has two) is a 2000 Honda Insight which I purchased used a few years back. Mid summer after some heavy rainfall I drove through some deep water and tore a plastic panel off the underside of the car. Two months ago the “IMA” and “Check Engine” lights came on. IMA is the term for the Honda hybrid system, the acronym IMA means Integrated Motor Assist. Thus begins the battery saga.

So … I took the car to the Honda dealer with which I had previously been taking the car for checkups and tuneups. They informed me that the panel could be replaced but that three units related to the IMA system cause the IMA light to trigger. They said the MCM, BCM, and the big NiMH battery pack all needed replacing and that would come to about $6.8k. The two control modules would came to about $4.4 and $2.2k for the battery pack in the cost breakdown. I had them replace the panel and told them I’d “think about” the other repairs.  Read the rest of this entry

Cap and Trade a Career Killer

So not only will proposed cap and trade legislation dramatically hike your utility rates, it’s also becoming something of a political career killer just like Obamacare:

Even as Speaker Nancy Pelosi twisted arms for the final votes to pass her climate bill in June 2009, Democrats feared they might be “BTU’d.” Many of them recalled how Al Gore had forced the House to vote in 1993 for an energy tax, a vote Democrats later blamed for helping their 1994 defeat.

The politics isn’t the same this time around. This time, it’s much, much worse.

Ask Rick Boucher, the coal-country Democrat who for nearly 30 years has represented southwest Virginia’s ninth district. The 64-year-old is among the most powerful House Democrats, an incumbent who hasn’t been seriously challenged since the early 1980s. Mr. Boucher has nonetheless worked himself onto this year’s list of vulnerable Democrats. He managed it with one vote: support for cap and trade.

Anger over the BTU tax was spread across the country in 1994; the tax hit everything, even nuclear and hydropower. And the anger was wrapped into general unhappiness with Clinton initiatives. Some Democrats who voted for BTU but otherwise distanced themselves from the White House were spared. Mr. Boucher, for instance.

Cap and trade is different. The bill is designed to crush certain industries, namely coal. As coal-state voters have realized this, the vote has become a jobs issue, and one that is explosive. It is no accident that Democrats face particularly tough terrain in such key electoral states as Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana. They are being laser-targeted for their votes to kill home-state industries.

As the article goes on to point out, Mr. Boucher’s position on cap and trade (including his authorship of the legislation) may prove to be his undoing:

Mr. Boucher sensed danger earlier this year and has run right: He voted against ObamaCare and has a newfound love for Bush tax cuts. But he’s in a defensive crouch on the main issue, reduced to excuses for his cap-and-trade vote. A top one is the old chestnut that he got involved to make the bill better. He points to money he had inserted for “clean coal,” and has somehow spun his work into an ad claiming he “took on his own party” to “protect coal jobs” in the, ahem, “energy” bill.

Yet as the race has tightened, the Boucher campaign has looked more desperate. It nitpicked the Americans for Job Security ad and demanded TV stations pull it. The union bosses for United Mine Workers of America had to step up, inviting Mr. Boucher to keynote a picnic to try to shore up coal workers. He’s newly passionate about reining in an anti-coal EPA.

Mr. Boucher appears to still lead, but with a GOP wave building, no Democrat with an anti-job vote against his own constituents is safe. Virginia’s ninth has already delivered one of the lessons of 2010: Cap-and-trade policy is terrible. Cap-and-trade politics is deadly.

Hat tip: Powerline

Friday Link Wrap-Up

I may start doing this more often.  I collect links during the week, some I comment on here, and some just languish in Google Bookmarks.  But instead of a daily report of links like my co-blogger Mark, I’m going to save it all until the end of the week.  This installment will be a bit longer than others since I’ve got some aging links here that really want to see the light of day.  So here they are, usually, but not always, in reverse chronological order:

Coattails?  What coattails? “Some Democrats on the campaign trail have hit upon a winning campaign tactic: Run against President Obama and his agenda — especially the health care overhaul.”

Seeking asylum in the US for … homeschooling persecution? “A German Christian family received asylum in Tennessee after being severely penalized for illegally homeschooling their children in Germany.”  I’ve covered this particular situation before; here, here, here, here, here and here.

California, parts of which are boycotting Arizona for it’s new immigration law, which just enforce existing federal law, should take a look at it’s own lawbooks first.  They might find something familiar.

The economic meltdown in Greece should be a wake-up call to politicians of both parties in the US.  Otherwise, it may turn out to be, rather, a coming attraction.

ObamaCare(tm) is predicted to increase the crowding in our hospitals’ emergency rooms.  “Some Democrats agree with this assessment. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) suspects the fallout that occurred in Massachusetts’ emergency rooms could happen nationwide after health reform kicks in.”  But he still voted for this snake oil anyway.

“Economic Woes Threaten Chavez’s Socialist Vision” Only on NPR would this be news.  For the rest of this, it’s a redundancy.

Comedy Central stands on the bedrock of free speech and will mock anyone, just as long as there’s no chance of getting beheaded for it.  “The show in development, “JC,” is a half-hour about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his “powerful but apathetic father” and live a regular life in New York.”

Green energy falling by the wayside in Europe.  Seems the massive subsidies for this alleged cost-saving energy are too much for governments going through financial troubles.  Should we (will we) take note?

A Modest Proposal

I’ve been mulling this over for quite a while, and I think it’s time to put these thoughts out there and see if I can get other fair-minded folks to back me up on this.  I’ll have to admit it’s not something that’ll be easy to adjust to, but I think that, in the end, you’ll thank me.

On average, every year airline travel kills 1,000 people.  Every year.  Now, statistics about deaths per passenger or per passenger-mile are used to try to mitigate this, but if one of those 1,000 people is someone you know — friend, family, or perhaps yourself — it doesn’t matter how many others didn’t die.  Those are 1,000 people that aren’t going to be landing at an airport near you ever again.  Consider this; that’s 1/3 of a 9-11-type terrorist attack every year.  Where’s the uproar about that

And even if you cravenly choose to brush this aside, let’s not forget the death traps that are automobiles.  On an average year, these instruments of death cause 40,000 – 50,000 deaths!  Every year!  Osama bin Laden doesn’t have to kill us infidels with planes; he can just wait for Detroit to do it for him. 

Given the immense human cost of these modes of transportation, I think that any sober individual would agree that these statistics prove that air flight and driving should be outlawed, or at least a moratorium put on their use until such time as they can be made completely harmless to man and beast alike. 

This isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a Democrat/Republican, liberal/conservative thing.  All Americans have life, and losing it should be avoided at all costs.  Even one death is too much if we truly value the safety of our people, especially our children.  Children are usually put into these instruments of death without a say in the matter, and so we must speak for them.  Ban transportation for the children.

This may adversely affect our culture, our economy, and our competitiveness in the world market, but again, what is one life worth?  Environmentalists seek to save endangered animals; what about the endangered humans?

In conclusion, instead of moving around so much, we should stay still.  Still, baby, still! 


In other news today, with the oil spill from the BP rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico ,which killed 11, heading for land, many on the Left are calling for a stop to off-shore drillingSome are invoking an accident from 21 years ago to buttress their point, and asking for at least a moratorium on new drilling.  Perfection, apparently, has not yet been reached.

D.A.R.E Loses Major Battle

No, not that D.A.R.E. I’m talking about Democrats Against Renewable Energy.  The Obama administration has prevailed.

BOSTON, Mass – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today approved the Cape Wind renewable energy project on federal submerged lands in Nantucket Sound, but will require the developer of the $1 billion wind farm to agree to additional binding measures to minimize the potential adverse impacts of construction and operation of the facility.

“After careful consideration of all the concerns expressed during the lengthy review and consultation process and thorough analyses of the many factors involved, I find that the public benefits weigh in favor of approving the Cape Wind project at the Horseshoe Shoal location,” Salazar said in an announcement at the State House in Boston. “With this decision we are beginning a new direction in our Nation’s energy future, ushering in America’s first offshore wind energy facility and opening a new chapter in the history of this region.”

The Cape Wind project would be the first wind farm on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, generating enough power to meet 75 percent of the electricity demand for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island combined. The project would create several hundred construction jobs and be one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in the nation, cutting carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants by 700,000 tons annually. That is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from the road for a year.

This project has been held up for at least 7 years, with liberal luminaries like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Walter Cronkite opposing it.  It’s all well and good for us plebeians, but not where it might spoil the view for the well-heeled. 

It’s good of the Obama administration to get this project unstuck, but he has to get his own party on-board with renewable energy in their own backyards, and ensure that delays like this don’t happen again, if he wants to be taken seriously with this whole "green energy" thing.

Home Energy Audit and Guidelines on Flourish Blog


On the Flourish Blog , very helpful home energy audit and guide to actions to reduce your energy use and lower your utility bills. Puxataney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, so it’s a good idea to take a look.

In Batten Down the Hatches, the Flourish team writes:

Winter is a good time for lots of things: hearty soup, skiing, snow days, hot tea, and good books. But it’s also the perfect time to save energy and reduce your resource use with a thoroughly winterized home. If the winter season has brought higher energy bills in the past, fear not! Here are some tips for helping your energy and environmental costs chill out during the most wonderful time of the year.


Exploring Nuclear Power Again … The Waste Question

No country with nuclear power today has solved the waste disposal problem. The preferred solution being sought today is to disperse the waste in repositories hundreds of meters below the earth’s surface. The (perceived) absence of success in this area is a dominant obstacles that the nuclear industry faces. Last Friday, I after a discussion of nuclear energy started, with a lot of half-remembered data on my side and in order to stop that feature of the conversation, I dug up on the net an authoritative report on the “future of nuclear energy.” These papers are in pdf form:

  1. The full document is here. This is a study by a group of MIT professors on the status of Nuclear power in the US and the world.
  2. The summary is here. This is a summary of the findings in the prior document.
  3. Finally, in 2009 (the original documents were written in 2003) an update of the current situation given the economic and political conditions is given here.

In the discussion last night (on this post) waste seemed the dominant topic. As noted, that post last night was a summary (of a summary). So I’m going to delve in to the report’s waste chapter for more grist. Read the rest of this entry

Nuclear Energy: Some Data for Discussions

Last Friday, I after a discussion of nuclear energy started, with a lot of half-remembered data on my side and in order to stop that feature of the conversation, I dug up on the net an authoritative report on the “future of nuclear energy.” These papers are in pdf form:

  1. The full document is here. This is a study by a group of MIT professors on the status of Nuclear power in the US and the world.
  2. The summary is here. This is a summary of the findings in the prior document.
  3. Finally, in 2009 (the original documents were written in 2003) an update of the current situation given the economic and political conditions is given here.

Anyhow, I’m going to attempt summarize the summary. Please bring up any points on which further elaboration would be useful. Read the rest of this entry

For the Weekend

This weekend I’m going to read these documents prior to a post on nuclear power. Any and all are invited to read them to so that our discussion might be more informed.

  1. The full document is here. This is a study by a group of MIT professors on the status of Nuclear power in the US and the world.
  2. The summary is here. This is a summary of the findings in the prior document.
  3. Finally, in 2009 (the original documents were written in 2003) an update of the current situation given the economic and political conditions is given here.

The summary begins:

At least for the next few decades, there are only a few realistic options for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation:

  • increase efficiency in electricity generation and use;
  • expand use of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal;
  • capture carbon dioxide emissions at fossil-fueled (especially coal) electric generating plants and permanently sequester the carbon; and
  • increase use of nuclear power.

The goal of this interdisciplinary MIT study is not to predict which of these options will prevail or to argue for their comparative advantages. In our view, it is likely that we shall need all of these options and accordingly it would be a mistake at this time to exclude any of these four options from an overall carbon emissions management strategy. Rather we seek to explore and evaluate actions that could be taken to maintain nuclear power as one of the significant options for meeting future world energy needs at low cost and in an environmentally acceptable manner.

Taking Nuclear Seriously as a Carbon Fix

Argonne has a short paper out outlining a “green” energy solution that looks more plausible than any I’ve seen for a while. If you take “carbon” seriously (I don’t but I’m in something of a minority on that) you should read this. If you don’t, however, and do take peak oil or oil independence seriously then you should still read it.

For Green Freedom the basic idea is that you take a nuclear power plant for its supply of electricity and steam. With that you use a potassium/carbon compound CO2 + water + hydrogen via electrolysis to combine in a process that produces methanol which is then in turn further processed to a synthetic gasoline. Basically the nuclear reaction/energy drives a reaction reclaming carbon and O2 from the air to form that gas, which is then burned in cars re-releasing that carbon back to the atmosphere in a completely carbon neutral process. It is not of course energy/lite, but that isn’t the point here.

The paper suggests some economics, but basically a price point for gasoline right about where it is now, makes installation of new plants feasible.

Of course the anti-nuclear stance of the left is a religious position, data on Gen III and Gen IV nuclear power generation will be of no interest or use in discussions.

Liberal Climate Logic

Mr DeLong points to a plot that the anthropogenic global warming proponents are pushing. He’s also pointed to a big “inflection point” of industrialization and its economic effects in his pdf on “slouching toward utopia”. One wonders if he can put two and two together and get four … and connect the two. It seems if you believe anthropogenic global warming began at the same time as industrialization … the obvious conclusion is that to “restore” the climate the industrial revolution has to be renounced. All the factories, power plants, cars and all have to be forgone. A return to the pre-industrial age is a necessity. One wonder if he really wants to do that. My guess is … no. But if you believe the first and the second is clearly in that chain of logic causally connected then the conclusion seems inescapable. To paraphrase Mr DeLong, “How can any person who believes in anthropogenic global warming participate in a non-agrarian non-carbon neutral non-self-sustaining lifestyle?” It seems clear if you are blogging about global warming you are a hypocrite and a willing contributor to the problem. Since the conclusion that pre-industrial population levels is inescapable for the true anthropogenic global warming believer for us to have a reasonable chance of returning to pre-1850/1870 carbon output. Killing off 6 billion or so people, now that will truly take a real far thinking progressive mentality.

Of course this leads to the same problem as the one facing Mr Obama and his nuclear weapon-free world pipe dream. How do you disarm if there are bad men in the world. The same is true for industrial capacity. How can you disarm your factories and your multi-trillion dollar economy if the other guy doesn’t do it as well? Oh, wait … you can’t.

And because you cannot, there is of course only one way out of this problem … and it is that we need an alternative source of power, of which right now there is only one. Nuclear (fission) power is the only viable alternative to coal and oil based power generation with our current levels of power consumption. And … oddly enough nobody on the left is talking about that. Oddly enough as well, Gen-IV reactor designs are almost have nothing in common with those of the Rickover water cooled variety.

An Informal Poll

I value gas mileage highly in my choice of automobile. In fact, one of the implicit criteria I had in obtaining new cars lately is that my “new” car should get better mileage than the one it replaces. My current car I drive is a 2000 manual transmission Honda Insight. It gets “officially” 61/71 mpg city/highway. My experience is that in temperate weather on dry pavement I get about 65/80 … but any drop in conditions or the thermometer drops the milage as low as 52/62 respectively.

Anyhow, here’s the question. How many years will I have to wait until a replacement vehicle costing under $25k that gets better mileage will be available. The only other criteria I have is that it at least seat two with some luggage and when I’m alone can fit me with my bike (wheels removed). The Insight can do this handily. 2012? 2015? Or never?

So, what’s your guess? When will there be an alternative out there which meets those criteria?

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