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April 15, 2009

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peter

Me first, me first. Too bad the hard economic times are tempered by an appeasing American President.

bad

wah wah wah

We are creating terrorists by not driving our SUVs enough.

bad

How many terrorists will be created if we all inflate our tires?

Soylent Red

Poor little brown people.

I blame the failed policies of George W. Bush. Bush doesn't care about brown people.

daddy

I'd love to increase their pain even more by starting to drill more domestically, but from what I'm seeing up here I"m afraid that's just not going to happen anytime soon.

And the local news mis-reported something else today of interest. We are required to remove our studded snow tires by 15 April. The radio news just reported that the Legislature "extended that removal date to 1 May due to the bad condition of our roads". What the radio news neglected to say was that "the bad condition of our roads" was Snow, as in Global Warming Snow. I believe thats 2 years in a row that "Bad Roads" as opposed to Global Cooling, has extended our Snow Tire Deadline. Brrrrr.

matt

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of dictators, oligarchs, or 14th century potentates.

narciso

I would be a have a little more
schadenfreude, if certain details, second page in the LUN, hadn't come to light. The gambles taken with this administration resemble nothing so much than Russian roulette with a loaded chamber

Ignatz

OPEC peers into the abyss...

And instead of giving them a helpful nudge so they can do more than peer into it, Fearless Leader tosses them a lifeline with his idiot windmills and no-drill, no-where no-how agenda.
Moron.

Mark_0454

riding to work I saw this headline over someone's shoulder. I decided to check it out when I got home.

Study: Wind turbines can meet power needs

This is the start of the article. (apparently from LA times).

RLINGTON, Va. — Wind turbines off U.S. coastlines could potentially supply more than enough electricity to meet the nation's current demand, the Interior Department reported Thursday.

Simply harnessing the wind in relatively shallow waters — the most accessible and technically feasible sites for offshore turbines — could produce at least 20 percent of the power demand for most coastal states, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, unveiling a report by the Minerals Management Service that details the potential for oil, gas and renewable development on the outer continental shelf.

At first I could not figure out how to reconcile those two sentences. Can wind turbines supply our electricity or only 20%? Then it occurred to me. It is how you define demand. The writer here, I think, is defining demand as the 20% of electricity that must come from re-newable resources. This doesn't seem very honest.

dk70

It won't take long for somewhat improved economic conditions to drive gas back to $3/$4 again and continue sending goobs of money back to "Chavez, the mullahs of Iran, the Russian oil mafia and the Saudi sheiks."

MarkJ

Judging from Obama's actions in the past few weeks, I think he's been dipping into the "very special herbs" that Michelle is growing in her White House garden.

RichatUF

dk70-

Doubtful. The Chinese Bird's Nest is a bit rusty and it'll take a while for US consumer demand to return to its highs. Also the nice bit of disinformation with the Peaker/Warmer Complex doesn't have the shut in Ghawar production.

It'll eventually pierce the bubble that Brazil is moving forward and their oil will be as good (and more stable) as Nigeria's, Greenland will open and will be as good as the North Sea, Iraq will moderize, and KSA can now produce 12 million barrels a day. Since so many oil producing countries blew out their budgets and the US dollar is in a bear market, it'll take some time to all filter through, but oil traded for $6/bbl at the bottom in the 82 bear and $10/bbl at the bottom of the 98 bear.

Soylent Red

Well, sightly OT, but still relevant...

When the French think you're a pussy, it might be time for reinvention.

Jim Miller

That 20 percent is even weaker than first appears, assuming your quote is right:

"at least 20 percent of the power demand for most coastal states,"

Two qualifiers to pay attention to: "coastal" and "most". So the scheme wouldn't do much for Idaho, for example. Or Illinois, unless they plan to put them in Lake Michigan.

The "most" is even trickier. That statement could be true, even if the scheme did little for states such as California, Texas, and Florida, to mention three not entirely at random

cathyf

I'll throw this Alan Reynolds article from last June about oil prices. Ok, the ridicule of the $200/barrel crew I'm all on board for, but I'm just not buying the rest of it -- oil is a quite storable good, and "overshooting" corrections by 200% makes a mockery of the Efficient Market Hypothesis.

RichatUF

dk70-

I should add that I would not at all be surprised to see the federal gas tax go up significantly to replace his cap-and-trade scheme. Obama's budget called for cap-and-trade to begin "paying for" his Making Work Pay tax rebate and the payola to his environmentalist clients.

I just think it would be difficult for gas prices to go to $3-$4/gal nationally without any sort of bullish case for oil. I'm sure Obama would like to give it a try though.

Pofarmer

This is long, but I received it in and e-mail, and don't have any way to repost.

Green Hell: Obama's Environmental Plans Will Lead To 'Energy Chaos,' Author Says

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 6:55 PM

By: Jim Meyers Article Font Size

Fox News commentator Steve Milloy, founder of the junkscience.com Web site, tells Newsmax that the U.S. is at “the point of no return” as the Obama administration is set to implement environmental policies that will lead to “energy chaos” in this country.
Milloy, author of the new book “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them,” also said the so-called cap and trade plan to reduce carbon emissions could double the cost of electricity and affect every aspect of American life.
“I’ve been spending most of my time over the past 15 years trying to expose the faulty science behind the environmentalist agenda,” Milloy said.
“We are nearing a point of no return with green policies. Barack Obama wants to ram through this cap and trade, which is going to cause havoc in our economy.
“I thought we really need to step this up and let people know what is in store for them if green policies go through — how are green policies going to affect your day-to-day life, your pocketbook, national security, the whole range of issues that confront Americans today. That’s the purpose of the book. To let Americans know what green means to them.”
Martella asked what Milloy believes are the worst aspects of the cap and trade plan.
The most immediate effect, Milloy said, will be “for your electric bill to go up anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent or more. But perhaps the most insidious part of that bill is that it will solidify control of energy policy and our economy by the greens.
“Greens are these people who say they are all about the environment, but I think that is the furthest thing they are about. They use the environment as a kind of shield behind which they advance their left-wing, socialist, totalitarian agenda.
“You just look at everything these people want to do. It’s all about government control of our lives. Even if there was an environmental problem that I could agree with them on, their solution is always going to be more government control.”
Martella noted that environmentalists favor such steps as banning offshore oil drilling and prohibiting oil shale production.
“What they’re causing is energy chaos, and out of that chaos the only solution is more government control,” Milloy declared.
“They don’t want us to drill for oil. They don’t want us to use natural gas. They don’t want us to refine gasoline. They don’t want us to use nuclear power. They certainly don’t want us using coal.
“People might think that’s because they’re for renewable energy like solar and wind. That’s not true either. Look at all the wind projects that are being stopped by the greens.
“In Georgia there’s a wind project being slowed down because of the alleged concern about the mating habits of whales. Last June the Bureau of Land Management placed a moratorium on solar projects on public lands because they were concerned about the impact on the critters.
“I live in Maryland, a very green state, and my governor has placed a ban on windmills on public lands.
“So although the greens say they are for renewable energy, when you get right down to it they’re really not. They’re not for any energy solution. They’re just for sabotaging our economy, causing chaos, which brings in more government control.”
Martella observed that a “wealthy green elite” stand to profit handsomely from green technologies.
“Absolutely. And the most famous one is Al Gore,” Milloy said.
“Al Gore is a partner in at least two investment partnerships that are heavily invested in green energy technologies like wind and solar, and fuel efficient cars. And if the Obama administration’s cap and tax goes through along with the stimulus package, these guys stand to make billions and billions of dollars.”
Martella asked Milloy to comment on efforts to effectively do away with safe and inexpensive incandescent light bulbs in favor of expensive fluorescent bulbs containing mercury.
“It’s all back to their causing chaos in our economy,” said Milloy.
“For the last 40 years the greens have been telling us to take toxics like mercury out of our house. But now they’re telling us it’s O.K. to bring mercury in our house because these bulbs use less energy and are going to reduce global warming. Of course none of this is true.
“These bulbs cost more. They don’t really work. There was a front-page article recently in the New York Times about how these bulbs are prone to malfunction.
“Worse, if you have the misfortune of dropping one of these in your home, you can’t just sweep it up and throw it away in the household trash. You need to go to [an EPA Web site] and get a 20-step procedure, which includes opening the window, evacuating the room for 15 minutes . . . and throwing the bulb away in a special disposal process. It has to be treated like hazardous waste.
“It’s just a nightmare for people.”

clarice

I think that the Obama energy policies are disastrous, but, po, I am a cockeyed optimist whose seen more dire predictions turned to naught than I can count. Except for teens in back seat lust, there aren't many things that reach a point of no return.

Pofarmer

I'm not worried about a point of no return. What I'm worried about is cockeyed policies that leave us short of energy and less competitive in a very competitive world. Are you gonna pedal your bike to use your laptop? The east and west coasts are predicted to have power shortages by 2010, and I don't see anybody in this administration addressing those issues.

RichatUF

cathyf-

oil is a quite storable good

True, but when you can get from KSA to HK by hop scotching single and double hulled oil tankers, somethings got to give.

"overshooting" corrections by 200% makes a mockery of the Efficient Market Hypothesis

OPEC are all state run monopolies and Russia is a state run monopoly (and a Caspain Sea bully).

And a correction oil went from 40 to 6 from 82-86 with the bottom being in 86. My apologies for the error. Further discussion.

Nathan K.

Of course, it is sad about the worldwide recession, but the silver lining is that Venezuela, Iran and Russia are doing even worse because of it (and their leadership!).

dk70

RUF,

I understand your point. Gas is $2.25 around me and I wasn't thinking national average. However, we've committed lots of dollars with the stimulus (plus that trillion to Europe) and stimulus dollars should hit a couple of months before the regular start of the 09-10 program year. This is on top of previously appropriated budgeted funds for the same 09-10 program year. There is going to be a lot of dollars sloshing around the system and I imagine that there would be an uptick in economic activity albeit not as large as wanted.

There is some sleight of hand going on too. The plan for the Stimulus funds targeting youth in our area is set for hiring 7,000 youth in summer jobs. The catch is that these youth must be added to a company's payroll even though it's just for the summer. This way it's reported as a new hire and reported in the monthly job numbers. Of course then these companies will have to pay Federal and State Unemployment taxes and then have their pay in rate increase when these kids are done with the summer work and leave the company. Think it will be successful? If you were an employer, would you hire these youths or participant in this program?

Pacrim Jim

It almost seems orchestrated to bring down the tyrants. If so, I'm happy to see my tax money so well used. Good going, [unnamed government agents].

daddy

Mark,

Concerning that wind turbine story you noted above that you considered less than honest:

"Wind turbines off U.S. coastlines could potentially supply more than enough electricity to meet the nation's current demand, the Interior Department reported Thursday."

I agree with you. That was the exact same story I noticed last week in an Asian paper presented at whichever hotel I was at. It is a perfect example of my standard anti-CNN/anti-BBC rant; that folks Internationally are being daily presented with dishonest propaganda like this about America that leads them to false conclusions about our country, our politics, our people, our energy choices, etc, so that good hearted, good natured folks I deal with over there already start off sounding like members of a BBC roundtable when I meet them, and can't understand why I don't want CNN International blaring at me in every airport or lobby I walk through.

Andrew

and yet the Memphis gas terminal was completely out of gas. First time in years.
No demand and yet no gas availability.
go figure.

Rick Ballard

Rich,

An additional factor in the "not a free market" hypothesis re oil is the Asian subsidy level. Actually, it's the Asian, ME and Venezuelan subsidy level. The subsidies push demand beyond the level which would occur in a fair or free market, allowing producers a greater opportunity to reap windfalls. I'd toss in the Kazakh game as well. That's 1 mbd that's been held off market for years as Peaker Mania developed.

The success of Thunder Horse indicates that deepwater oil (for which there are absolutely no reliable estimates re reserves) is going to keep that Peaker "magic moment" just over the time horizon for a while longer.

Peak oil, AGW and China's "miracle" economy are all lefty fiction dressed up in clothes fit for an emperor.

Old Lurker

But but but gasoline taxes fall on folks making under $250K.

Pofarmer

Another good post on wind energy I'm stealing from another board. This is in KANSAS, which is supposed to be great for wind power.

Also, if the wind was that great along the coasts, why did they transistion to steam ships?

According to info provided by a magazine put out by our local energy provider..

"Although Wind power is a renewable energy source, it is also an intermittent provider. A wind speed of 8 mph must occur before a wind turbine can begin to generate power at the minimum capability. The current largest wind farm in the state is a smidge over 100 mw of capacity.. 32% of the time it produces less than 11 mw or 10% of it's rated capacity. 66% of the time it produces less than 55 mw.. and 18% of the time it produces virtually no energy."

At $1500 per kw of installed capacity it would costs about $165 mln dollars to install a wind farm of this size today.. although that may be on the lower end right now..?? If you compare that to the Holcomb plant where they want to build two 700 mw power plants for $3.5 billion at ONE CENTRAL LOCATION.. If you assume that an alternative would be to generate power from 1.5 mw wind turbines... that produce on AVERAGE .5 mw given their historical output in the area.. you would need 2800 turbines... or roughly 39 wind farms which would costs about $6.435 BILLION dollars almost double what the Coal plants would costs... Then you have to build the transmission system to connect the almost 40 wind farms together.. This system would give you 429 mw's (1/3 of Holcomb) 32% of the time.. as well as virtually 0 mw's 18% of the time... but on windy days you could see over 3,300 mw's.. so you would have plenty of juice on those days.

Coal generated power costs about $0.0275 per kw to produce.. proven wind projects are grading out now just about double that amount. Natural Gas stayed below $3 per MMBTU's up until California's electricity crises.. then spiked more than once to $10 and as high as $15.. reaching as high as $0.10 per kw estimated in 2005.. or 4 times what coal would costs... During our latest energy spikes.. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, etc... Powder River Basin Coal prices virtually didn't change by more than the costs of transportation.. We have a gigantic reserve of coal right here in the center of the Country.. Wyoming... you don't even need a Navy to protect it.

Is anyone talking about this?

http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/1140880.html

I don't see it in that story. It talks about Colorado wanting to go down the path of renewables but no mention of the constraints that will be faced. Where is the realism in these discussions? California couldn't even keep the lights on at the turn of the Century.. and yet everyone wants to follow their lead about dictating what power sources can be used.. that doesn't make sense.

I posted over on Marketing a Crazy idea.. (you can't say I didn't sample the kool-aid..) basically.. "okay in a world where 20% of our generation capacity comes from wind.. what would that look like?" How do you make that work? How do you justify building almost $500 Billion dollars of wind turbines... Does the gov't do this? Does Ben Bernanke just print the money for it? Do the Chinese build it for us? Seriously HOW DO YOU DO THIS? What do you do with the excess power? What do you do when there is NO power? How do you get it to the population centers? If you impose Cap and Trade to drive the alternative costs up? What about cows belching.. and freighters using bunker oil (2,000 times more noxious than gasoline) which probably delivers 90% of what you will find in the local Wal-Mart store... At some point saving the planet (according to the way some would have you believe) leaves us bankrupt and without power... and it doesn't take very long traveling down the yellow brick road to come to that conclusion. Global Warming is a scam.. and the people who dreamed it up and all the solutions... well... "don't have a clue."

Meanwhile while we're paying taxes and running for higher political offices... how do we keep the lights on?

Governor. I got a teabag for ya. enjoy.

Again I am not against wind.. and I think there are some possibilities to diversify our power generation into that direction... but just because you decide you can walk on your hands for awhile doesn't mean you should consider amputating your legs.

kentuckyliz

I live in coal country. The coal operators and power company people fully expect cap and trade and will pass the cost along to the consumer. Utility rates have already increased. People are protesting the utility commission in WV and signing petitions--they're on fixed income and can't afford rate increases. That's the other "tea party" going on that is entirely unreported.

The EPA is stopping permitting. Mines are reducing shifts and shutting down. The price of coal is increasing and there is scarcity. Entirely artificial scarcity.

Get ready for some serious power shortages, skyrocketing electric rates, plus C&T taxes added to your bill. It's just around the corner. It's starting to happen. 3...2...1...

Ignatz

Take it from a Californian; the morons in charge here made life pretty hellish one summer simply by some very, very mild constraints compared to what Barry, Browner etal are proposing.
If they get their way we will have a nationwide mess which will takes years, possibly decades, to fix.

Pofarmer

Might be a good time to actually get to engineering my micro hydro setup. A good constant cheap 5KW would go a long way.

RichatUF

dk70-

I wouldn't and I'm sure many others won't either. But I'm not sure a few government programs which will employ community organizers will make all that much of a difference in the unemployment numbers when GM and Chysler file for bankruptcy.

The stimulus and his 10 budget money will in many cases sit idle on government books as school districts that get money are getting smaller, its discovered that their isn't quite the demand for homeless shelters, and all the green spaces have already had 3 different crews pick up the trash and cut the grass. And were it isn't idle it will be wasted on higher government saleries. The money dedicated for education may drive people to stay in school longer and take classes during the summer reducing the punch of any sort of youth jobs programs.

Another driver in the unemployment numbers is going to be those at the front end of the baby boom who were holding on for those last few years who are forced into retirement instead (this will give a stealth productivity boost and I used to think it would build wage inflation pressures on the front end but now I'm not sure-much like the stealth Euro strength the last few years).

Obama's budget may drive inflation (but mostly as supply and demand distortion esp in healthcare, education and utilities are already highly state regulated), but if people aren't putting capital to work either as investment or production there won't be the sort of bullish case for oil, either as an investment or for industrial demand.

cathyf
OPEC are all state run monopolies and Russia is a state run monopoly (and a Caspain Sea bully).
Yeah, I get that, sure. It's just that when oil prices are where they are now, the way that you get to be richer than the dreams of avarice (to quote Dr. McCoy) is to keep your oil in the ground and wait for the recession to be over. Or if you are not a producer, you buy oil and stick it in storage. Or you buy futures contracts on the nymex. Being a state-run monopoly isn't in general inconsistent with the desire to get rich.

According to people like Reynolds, this is a sure thing out there -- "oil is a cyclic commodity" they say. So you can just buy in the troughs and sell at the peaks and the troughs and peaks will persist in a perpetual motion money machine.

Bill in AZ

President Zero is on the job here. Announced $8 Billion for trains to save or create 150,000 jobs and reignite commerce. What's next? Steamers on the Mississippi? "Uh, they, uh, uh, run on , uh, steam, righ'?" Maybe restart the Pony Express? How about the telegraph?

Brian G.

I blame Bush.

cathyf

Just a note -- with that trillion dollar "stimulus" bill did NOT have was any money for Mississippi River locks and dams. One project which a) is an appropriate government activity, b) would provide economic benefits, and c) really needs doing. Ok, for me the deal-killer is still "d) can we afford it?" But what is amazing is that most of the crap in the "stimulus" bill doesn't even satisfy the a, b, & c criteria, so that is being tacked on later (and tacked on later to the deficit.)

Porchlight

Maybe restart the Pony Express? How about the telegraph?

Buggy whips for everyone!

bad

Buggy whips for everyone!

Mistress Pelosi probably has enough for everyone...

Pofarmer

President Zero is on the job here. Announced $8 Billion for trains to save or create 150,000 jobs and reignite commerce. What's next? Steamers on the Mississippi? "Uh, they, uh, uh, run on , uh, steam, righ'?" Maybe restart the Pony Express? How about the telegraph?

I know I'm cracked, but that was hilarious.

Pofarmer

Just a note -- with that trillion dollar "stimulus" bill did NOT have was any money for Mississippi River locks and dams.

I noticed that, as well. The thing is, the Barge association, through a fuel surcharge, has already collected something like half of the proposed amount to do renovations on most of the important locks. Trick is, they can't even get the govt to do the engineering work that would need to happen for the improvements to actually, ya know, get built.

PeterUK

""Although Wind power is a renewable energy source,"

No it is not,if the wind stops blowing there is sweet FA you can do about it

JM Hanes

"Wind turbines off U.S. coastlines could potentially supply more than enough electricity to meet the nation's current demand, the Interior Department reported Thursday."

They probably just pulled out their calculators and their Wind Resource Maps, did a little averaging, et voila! I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to discover that's what passes for "developing" potential resources in the Energy Dept. these days.

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