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July 09, 2008


Dr Rev. E Buzz

You ever notice how more and more we are talking about those idiots in congress having the sole responsibility for giving us "power", not the ingenuity of the American corporation and entrepreneur. Oh, but may be if someone as wonderful as Dean Kamen were to be the Jesus to help us...yeah...

We're expecting a person like Harry Reid to give us the energy we need.

Socialism is creeping in...it does not make one feel comfortable.


Ed Markey's about to make a big fool of himself with the Investment in Climate Action and Protection Act.


Ed Markey made a fool of himself a long time ago. Frankly I'm shocked by the constant mention of MA pols name in the news these days. We have McGovern helping FARC and Delahunt hoping Al Qaeda "gets" Addington, yesterday Michael Capuano proposing to limit the way we can get information about our elected officials. This state is nothing short of a ship of fools.

Oh and Good Morning!


Good morning, Jane--WSJ has a good editorial on Frank's move to get an industrialized river in Mass declared a "wild and scenic" river to prevent an lng terminal from being built.
Is it--ahem--something in the water?
OT: My notion for O
http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/07/memo_from_leni_riefenstahl.html>Marching Orders



Is there any democrat not doing everything in their power to stop us from access to energy? If so, I don't know who.

Perhaps we should compile a data base.

I loved your AT piece as always.


Well, like most of this stuff, it's a wash. Up front costs for a Geo-thermal system are higher, depending on the size of the house and the climate sometimes MUCH higher. Maintenance costs have also been somewhat higher than a conventional system. Around here, most systems are sized for the A/C portion, and then will have a NG/electric backup for heat on the really cold days. If you size a system for heat in a cold climate they get REALLY expensive REALLY fast. If you want to save money heating burn corn or wood.

Ric Locke

Ground-source heat pumps are one of those technologies that sound great until you start running the actual numbers. The main problem is that "ground" doesn't conduct heat very well, so if you want significant heat transfer the ground coil has to be BIG, which means expensive. It also has to be built and installed with a level of care the average plumber can't manage, which again means expensive. If it leaks it probably costs more than the original installation did to dig it up and fix it, and it more than likely will leak because the underground environment is both corrosive and full of sharp objects (rocks).

As a rule of thumb, if your house lot is a half-acre or bigger and you can afford the coil installation without borrowing, such a system may make sense. For anybody else the NPV just isn't there.



Clarice - You are linked at Powerline today. I think Larwyn probably is the reason why!


My parents had an air source heat pump that was good for 30 -40 degree differential. Then, in the winter, you used a regular furnace for the rest. based on their experience, when I built my home in the early 1990s, I didn't consider it worth the trouble. I think Ric's overview deals the substance.


Part of the problem with the energy conversation is setting sensible waypoints for planning conversion from fossil fuels to economic nuclear or solar alternatives. When can we reasonably project the per KW cost to make sense? Sensible answers suggest not in the too-far distant future.

The realistic point of view is neither panic nor draconian government, but keeping enough supply to assure quality of life up to those waypoints.

[joke] Meanwhile, we can't depend on Ross Perot's alternative because too many wind-driven propellers will cause so much drag that it would slow the earth's rotation -- and wouldn't that put liberals' knickers in a twist.[/joke]

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, has made a refrain in recent weeks of saying, “We cannot drill our way out of this problem.” But he opened his news conference on Tuesday with a different approach: “Let’s begin the discussion here by saying, Democrats support domestic production.”
He probably mumbled under his breath .. "at current levels."

So far using the "Three days of the Condor" yardstick, we're up to...

Higgins: It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. Maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?
Joe Turner: Ask them?
... you can wait till it gets cold in the fall and they have to fill the oil tanks and turn on their natural gas heat, just before the November elections, but with that 9 percent approval rating, I'd suggest "any and all means" short of war, because from here it only gets worse from here.

Next stop War for Oil ...

Higgins: Not now - then! Ask 'em when they're running out. Ask 'em when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask 'em when their engines stop. Ask 'em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won't want us to ask 'em. They'll just want us to get it for 'em!


Thanks Jane. Caught up to larwyn at last,cc.
Over 30 years ago I worked for an outfit that tried to encourage utilization of all domestic energy sources..Not a single argument made today wasn't made then..and, yes, the Dems have fought every single one of them tooth and nail except for conservation by dubious means such as increasing CAFE standards (lighter, more fragile vehicles),inconsistent subsidizing of renewables which eventually drove out the most productive who couldn't be sustained without a regular annual tranche of fed $$,and the 55 limit on fed highways.
It's our fault, really for not going after the enviros lies and monkey business tooth and nail and letting them capture the Dem party.


Clarice! Awesome. I expect a Rush shout-out on this one.


I renovated an old farmhouse on five acres, and explored ground source heat pump intensively. It turned into a nightmare, siting difficulties (a proper installation requires a lot of ground area), potential conflicts with well and septic, and serious rock problems.

Costs to do the installation were prohibitive, and even the installer was lukewarm (ha!) about the prospects for long term reliability. Ended up with a typical air-exchange heat pump with backup resistance heat when needed.

Sorry Tom, good idea in theory but too many obstacles in practice.


the Dems have fought every single one of them tooth and nail except for conservation by dubious means such as increasing CAFE standards (lighter, more fragile vehicles)

Yeah, but here's the kicker. At the same time they are increasing CAFE standards, the EPA is enacting regulations that are REDUCING mileage. There needs to be some cost benefit analysis done. Our old 2000 V-6 Chevy Malibu would get 28 mpg gallon religiously and 30 plus on long trips. The new "fuel efficient 4 cylinder Malibu" is only rated at 22 or so. Same with our 04 Pontiac Montana. It will get 25 on long trips with all 5 of us in it and cruising right along. It will get 28 if you keep your foot out of it. The new GMC Acadia, Subara Outlook, Buick Enclave, isn't getting 20 according to real world reports. Over the road trucks that used to get close to 6 MPG are now getting closer to 4. Why???? We had little Volkswagon Rabbit Diesels getting 50 MPH in the 80's but none today????? This is madness. We're being strangled by the EPA but nobody is saying ONE. DAMN. WORD.


Thanks, Sue.



http://michellemalkin.com/2008/07/09/bo-we-got-carried-away-letting-our-daughters-talk-to-access-hollywood/>Uh, you know, I think that we, uh, got carried away in the moment.



Sue- I suspect that's his way of reserving the right to criticize anybody else that talks about his daughters now.


** Brain cramp: "Ross Perot's alternative" s/b "T. Boone Pickens"** Sorry.

hit and run

but "geothermal" gets too many people thinking about the hot springs of Yellowstone or Iceland)...I hope to return to this topic, so if folks have some personal experience or expertise, please chime in.

We are heading to Yellowstone in an hour and a half.

Will chime back in late tonight.


Hmm--I checked in because I was sure Hit's plan involved putting him on a treadmill with a beer IV or something.

Rick Ballard

Cool. A different approach to envirostatus symbolism. Can you put the system under the driveway and park your Prius on it to get a layered look?

Anything to stay away from that yucky CO2 and those scary nukes, I suppose.

The new goal gasification plants seem to provide a nice (if expensive) method of assuaging the CO2 hysteria through sequestration - carbon credits, anyone?


Natural gas AC is far more efficient than other means of powering AC. Electricity is far more convenient, there are also much more efficient AC units which cost only a few dollars more than the standard units. Raising the efficiency standard on AC units will do the trick here, say 17 SEER -- Most AC companies charge the equivalent in savings for the more efficient units, when the costs are nowhere near that point. Typically the most efficient units are double the consumer price of the standard, making it effectively a no savings for the consumer -- Yeah I know it's a scam..

There are other technologies which might make more economic sense. For instance, transport fuel was solved by WWII Germany with the Fischer-Tropsch coal-to-liquids process, it was invented in the 1920s, still works today. The USA is the Saudi Arabia of coal. It's break even point is about $40 per barrel of oil.

In nuclear technology the newest PBMR looks really promising. China has a start up PBMR based power plant coming on line in the next year of so. The newest the USA has is the AP-1000 which is older technology -- Why China and not the USA, you need to ask the nearest Democrat Marxist that question.

The dumbest idea of all time, burning food is just, well, you know, like most Democrat ideas, dumb. The second dumbest idea, also a Democrat favorite is those giant bird Cuisinart's.


I heart T B Pickens and look forward to seeing his entire plan--part one is in today's WSJ.


Want to immediately solve the energy crisis?

Everyone buy an electric Prius and all at the same time plug it in to the out-dated, over-loaded electric grids whereby a complete blow-out will blackout all concern for climate change.

The next day every American will be out on the streets, pitch-forks in hands demanding coal, oil, and nuclear be immediately accessed, refineries built and a trillion dollar lawsuit against Climate Change Al Gore-Hollywood scientists will be forth coming.


Clarice, I started to look at T. Boone Pickens' video and dozed off. Reading the WSJ article, it does not explain how many units would have to be built, much less the consequences of doing so. Nor has he explained why wind should be preferred. Wind is only convection of solar energy turned into heat. Why not avoid the middle man and go 100% solar?

Pickens throws away the remark that we should drill on the outer continental shelf now, too. A plan should be precise, thorough, and clear. This is no plan.


OT: The General in charge of training Iraqi troops has announced that most troops will be done w/in 12 months. (Next July 2009)

That sort of puts a crimp in Obama's plan to surrender in 16 months. (April 2010)

It must suck to be so clueless.


Also OT,

Obama says in response to criticism about the Access Hollywood fluff piece on his family:

OBAMA: Uh, you know, I think that we, uh, got carried away in the moment. We were having a birthday party and everybody was laughing, and suddenly this thing cropped up. And, uh, I didn’t catch it quickly enough. And I was surprised by the attention it received as well.

LAUER: Senator, if you had to do it over again?

OBAMA: Yah, I won’t be doing it again and we won’t be doing it again.

A four-part interview "cropped up" and he "didn't catch it quickly enough"? And he was "surprised by the attention it received" on freaking Access Hollywood?

What a dope. I don't really care about the interview, but it just amazes me that the guy can't play it straight and say "well, we thought it would be a fun way to introduce the kids to the voters" or whatever. No, he has to lie and say it just took him by surprise.

Barney Frank

Nor has he explained why wind should be preferred.

Cause he has a large investment in it?
Maybe the same reason he's pushing natural gas also?
Boone Pickens is great but he's also a tad conflicted here.

Rick Ballard

"he's also a tad conflicted here."

I don't think so. The wind farm is the Potemkin village erected in front of the huge natural gas turbines necessary to provide energy when the wind proves rather fickle. Once the NG backup plants are built (right after the "coast to coast" transmission lines are proven to be economically unfeasible) and the maintenance costs become prohibitive to the point where units are abandoned (vide Alameda County, Altamount Pass), then Mr. Pickens can proceed to peddle NG to his heart's content.

No conflict at all - especially considering the tax breaks he's counting on to help with the initial cost of the wind farm.


I finished a 2000 sq ft. lakeside house with a detached 1000 sq ft. carriage house for my son and daughter earlier this year. They have separate open-loop geothermal units (Heat Controller) running from a shared variable speed pump (Grundfos).

The units were sized for heating (in Michigan), so the air conditioning oversize gives you the option of hanging meat in unused rooms.

Operating costs seem to be lower than similar sized natural gas units.

I keep thinking that eco-crazies are going to be protesting in the street if they ever learned we pump 28 gallons/minute out of the ground and blow it into the lake.


T Boone Pickens holds a ton of Natural gas holdings, so when he wind is just shifting natural gas into our tanks and replacing the source of fuel for power plants with wind, assume that there is something in the conversion of natural gas to gasoline equivalent that puts some more change into the pockets of a guy who pockets are already bursting.

He is good guy, but lets not put him on a pedestal, you can bet the plan is very very good for T Boone and secondarily that means very good for Oklahoma State Univ, which will likely get the bulk of his estate some day.


Tom, thanks for bringing up the subject of ground-source heat pumps. The problem of mandating this equipment is that it is heavily site-specific, as others have pointed out. But a lot of the difficulties involve installers who don't examine all the options for the ground loop, are dull-witted or are careless. It is a valuable technology. At my home, I could install a ground-source heat pump that would provide all of my heating needs (in Minnesota), because I'm close to the water table. The comment that dry ground doesn't conduct heat very well is true, but if you can get the loop into the water table, the whole equation changes.


I agree with Barney. Astute as T-Bone is, he also has been a natural gas advocate for years. Were electricity more easily transportable, the windmills would make better sense. So far, wind only works with government subsidies. Another point, which becomes more pertinent as the scale of wind power increases, is that we are all downwind from the unintended consequences of wrenching energy from the wind. That wind is a convective force helping to regulate climate. It is an error to use the earth's natural climate regulatory mechanisms, the sun, the wind, and the water, to generate so-called 'sustainable' power. To just the extent that you derive power from those mechanisms, to that same extent you derange the natural climate regulation.

I realize there is a lot of energy, orders of magnitude greater than our present needs, in those regulatory mechanisms. But still, Climate seems to be a finely balanced system. Interfering with it in significant ways will cause significant unexpected problems.


Whoa, Barney; Rick and Gmax are onto that Cowboy, too. Maybe he's just taking a little dig at Kennedy and NIMBY nuts.

Head 'em up, move 'em out.


Jwest, I'm amazed that you chose an open-loop system. Were you concerned about leaks in a closed-loop system? Good grief. I'm on a Minnesota lake, and I'd never be able to get a discharge permit that would only represent moving water a hundred feet or so, from the water table to the lake.


Elegant exposition, mefolkes, and you'd only be getting that water table advantage if you are effecting it thermally for those downstream. Again, scale rules.


...we pump 28 gallons/minute...

I'm very interested in your home. I am planning a retirement home and I am very interested in geothermal cooling. Is 28gpm the rated capacity, or do you actually need that much water to function efficiently? What is the temperature of your ground water? Do you know the differential temperatures during heating or cooling cycles?



I was amazed also that there were no restrictions on discharge in Michigan. The water table is at 30 feet, so the lift is negligible. My discharge runs about 300 feet to the lake, but it’s a straight downhill run. No concerns about closed-loop systems, but why dig up the yard if you don’t have to.

Here’s a tip for those building with energy costs in mind.

I installed the largest Bosch tankless water heaters in both the homes, but ripped them out right after we tried to fill a spa tub. With 53 degree incoming water, the tankless units will only put out about 2 gallons per minute of 116 degree water. So, unless you enjoy reading a long novel while your tub fills, better stick with conventional heaters.

We did put in 30 gallon electric (not hooked to power) water heaters as storage tanks for the waste heat captured by the desuperheaters on the geothermal units. These are coupled to conventional 80 gallon natural gas units with electronic ignition.

Tom Arnold

Installed a geoexchange unit last spring. Prior to that was burning pellets for winter heat. System is very efficient with total whole home heat and air conditioning costing about $400 per year. Ave winter bill is $47/month increase but summer is only $25. Definitely expensive to install, but given alternatives, it was needed. We put in a copper field in an area of 40 X 50 feet 6 feet deep. This was my preference as opposed to the suggested drilling of three 100 foot wells. The large field enables a more efficient heat exchange which provided quality service even with near zero F temps this past winter.
My wife insists that the whole house air was itself worth the expense.


It dismays me that we do not lead the world at pebble bed nuclear reactors. They are safe, they do not use a corrosive fluid for heat transfer, they are easily scalable, the fuel can be reprocessed, and I believe the Chinese will one day be franchising and building these units all over the world, supplying and recovering the fuel. Who lost the Middle Pebble Kingdom?



There are two separate units using 28 GPM combined. The main house uses about 16 GPM while running balls-out (both stages of the two stage unit). On the carriage house, the smaller unit uses about 12 GPM running the same way.

Water temp is 53 degrees year round. I don’t know the differential temps.

Heat Controller is the manufacturer of the units I put in. Luckily, I was able to find one of their design engineers who installs these on the side.


Jwest, pumping 28 gallons per minute could easily lower your localized water table, resulting in foundation settling on building belonging to you or your neighbors. An open loop system also fails to "bank" heat in the ground/water table when you are cooling during the summer, making heating slightly more efficient during the winter. I know that some cabins/cottages/houses in my neighborhood have had subsidence problems just from ordinary domestic water use. Until our new sewer and water project was completed, the water pumped out was effectively re-injected into the water table, fifty yards or so behind the cabins, by the septic systems, and yet this recharge couldn't flow fast enough to compensate for the water withdrawn for domestic use. The subsidence problems have vanished now that we no longer use shallow wells. I wouldn't want to risk damage to my expensive buildings from so much pumping of water in order to save a bit of hassle or money in the installation of a ground-source heat pump system. As I said earlier, this system is highly site-specific, and you might never have a problem with your open-loop, but I wouldn't risk it for my property (which is roughly fifteen feet above the water table and lake level).


Kim, you are on the money asking about pebble bed reactors. They seem to be the safest, and most affordable.


Thanks, sbw; the easily scalable part is important. The units can be made big or small without much change in design.



We looked at any possible lowering of the water table prior to installing the units. In this particular area, the problem is an over-abundance of water that leads to natural springs popping up in basements and crawl spaces.

I worry about injection well return systems introducing contaminates into the drinking water. If the site is suitable for open loop, it is the most cost effective and cleanest way to go.


The wind farm is the Potemkin village erected in front of the huge natural gas turbines necessary to provide energy when the wind proves rather fickle. Once the NG backup plants are built (right after the "coast to coast" transmission lines are proven to be economically unfeasible) and the maintenance costs become prohibitive to the point where units are abandoned (vide Alameda County, Altamount Pass),M

Dang Rick. Just dang.

There's the dirty little secret. For every watt of wind power you provide you have to have one watt of conventional power to back it up if the wind don't blow or blows too hard. Texas is already experiencing grid problems with less than 2% windpower due to surges from the windmills kicking on and off. However, they are continuing on with thier goal to be 10% or whatever. Good luck with that. I imagine folks are going to get tired of the brownouts and burned up appliances, not to mention the added expense these are going to bring. There is no way they will ever be cost competitive without subsidies. Absolutely no way. If they were that great, windmills wouldn't have been abandoned at the first opportunity when grid power became available.

glenda waggoner

Can Obama do ANYTHING one day and say the next day that he didn't mean what he said or did, or whatever? He doesn't even have a clue about what his daughters' need; nevermind the country. Ominously, he has no
clue to who HE IS! People, awake!
And I wish I had Larwyn's energy. Another
great article @ AT, Clarice. And as a fellow Texan, TBoone has a method to his madness--drill, drill, drill and satisfy the greens with the monstrous white windmills. Has anyone ever asked what is more of an ugly spot --marked pipelines or
gigantic windmills?


Jwest, there is a difference between injection well return systems and closed-loop systems. The former is merely an open-loop system where the outflow is pumped back into the ground, rather than into a surface body of water. I don't see a contamination hazard with that, and a true closed-loop system, being sheltered in the ground, has no need for any chemical like anti-freeze. Plain water leaking from a closed-loop system would pose no hazard. Interesting about your problem with excess water. Most people would face my problem, rather than yours. Again, highly site-specific, much like the problems folks have when they try to put up solar and wind power installations on sites where surrounding hills block too much sunlight and wind. I'm keenly aware of individual site characteristics, because I'm shopping for a lot on which to build my retirement home in Alaska. Interestingly enough, one place has a small hot spring that could be used in conjunction with a ground-source heat pump.


T. Boone Pickens is right about natural gas vehicles. We have an abundance of the fuel, a distribution system in place and current vehicles can be easily retrofitted to use it.

The wind power is a pipe dream. Nuclear power is the only real alternative.

Nuclear power was given a bad rap on economics due to the expensive way the initial plants were built. Each plant was constructed as a prototype. No software existed to establish piping runs, valve locations, supports, etc. in 3 dimensions, so it was an engineering nightmare.

Computer controlled machining equipment was in its infancy. In order to machine any of the hundreds of flanges to the tolerances required for nuclear work, you needed craftsmen of European decent in leather aprons and little square eyeglasses perched on their collectively expensive noses.

Today, a program to build hundreds of new nuclear plants to one design would bring the costs down to a fraction of what opponents cite in their analysis.

Bringing hundreds of new plants online with a government/private industry partnership would provide the cheap base power necessary to bring back primary industries and help expand secondary industries.


T. Boone Pickens is right about natural gas vehicles

I'm sorry, but natural gas vehicle suck for a whole host of reasons. Natural gas just doesn't have the BTU density for a good transportation fuel.

glenda waggoner

my bad, I thought with a name like TBoone, he had to be a Texan.



Natural gas bridges the gap between plug-in vehicles (50 mile range) and regular cars (200+ mile range).

The NG cars have about a 120 mile range, can be filled at home overnight and could easily be filled at existing gas stations after they install cheap equipment for the task.

There needs to be three options for consumers instead of two on fuel to make everyone happy.


Natural gas bridges the gap between plug-in vehicles (50 mile range) and regular cars (200+ mile range).

Cost is too high, efficiency is too low. High mileage diesel would be MUUUUUCCCCHHHHHH better option if we could nueter some folks at the EPA.


Natural gas as a fuel only makes sense if you have a substitute for it in the power plant. If wind is not it, then I dont see how artificially increasing demand for this, wont drive the price of NG through the roof, and there goes most of the attractiveness.

It does retain the benefit that we control the energy source and thus for national security it is better.


Cue the wabbit!

Via instapundit, Via Roger Simon and straight from Variety: An Inconvenient Truth at La Scala!

Forget Traviata or Turandot… it is the melodious strains of “An Inconvenient Truth” that will soon be global warming their way across the storied boards of La Scala. Please feel free to add your suggested lyrics below. But be warned - this is truly “Beyond Parody.”


Here is a blow to the tabloids ..

KUSA - 9NEWS has learned that newly discovered DNA evidence in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case does not match any Ramsey family members or anyone in law enforcement DNA databases.
The recent testing was done on a different area of the child's clothing and it matches previous DNA tested from the child's panties in 1997. It is DNA from a male.
The discovery, from a new testing method, has prompted the Boulder District Attorney's office to release a letter officially clearing the Ramsey family, including John, Patsy and their immediate family of any involvement in the December 1996 death of the 6-year-old.
District Attorney Mary Lacy met with John Ramsey and his defense attorneys, Bryan Morgan and Hal Haddon, on Wednesday morning to formally deliver the letter clearing the family of any involvement.
.. this ought to free up their reporters to continue more in-depth coverage of Brittany Spears, OJ Simpson, Gary Coleman, and Michael Jackson.



Afterall, in Jesse Jackosn's eyes, Obama is white.


We heat with fuel oil. The winter before last we used all of 13.9 gallons, which came to $33.37 with tax. I didn't have it topped off after this last winter, so don't know exactly how much we used then.

Oh, also we burn about 5 (real) cords of wood per year in the Buck stove, which is great exercise. I cut all the wood for free, except for the gasoline in my Stihl chainsaw. It's nice living in Ohio country.


I hope nobody thinks that Mr Maguire's trip to the UK is a junket.The weather is more like that of late September ( back in 63)cold and wet.If anyone is in contact with him,let him know and he can get a connection to Spain from Heathrow.

Ralph L

I read somewhere that P. Charles had pushed the Queen to use geothermal at Buckingham Palace. Bet they had to drill to magma to heat that stately pile.


It is cold and raining here,the great blades of the turbines on the hills above the town are still.Actually, I have never seen them move,but what the hell? The developer can charge a higher price for green electricity,the renewable obligation certificate is a license to print money.
Back up power stations for the 60% of the time wind does not blow,or blow with insufficient or too much strength have to be kept running all the time,since they can not be turned on and off.
The case of Denmark,the world leader in wind power, is interesting.Because the wind disobligingly blows at times out of sync with demand,Denmark sells electricity to Norway,then buys conventionally generated power from Germany during times of high demand.
Wind power,the Tulip Mania of the 21st century.

jm hanes

Aw shoot, Peter! Hope the weekend forecast is looking up, as my daughter just left for a friend's wedding in London. Have you ever said where in the UK you yourself are located? Don't know whether the fact that I don't seem to have a mental map pin for you is a function of memory deficits on my part or wisdom on yours.

Rick Ballard

Obama Bear Market Report

US markets dropped sharply once again on the 33rd day since the June 7 Obama Putsch. NASDAQ was hardest hit, dropping 2.6%, with the SP500 following at -2.28% and the DOW -2.08%. The SP500 has now dropped a total of 11.09% since market close on June 6, the last trading day prior to the putsch.

In a special interview for this article, seasoned market veteran Sydney Smith offered this succinct rationale for the markets reaction to Obama's candidacy: "What the hell did you expect, you idiot. This jerk has never held a job that wasn't paid for by taxpayers and he's a damned Marxist to boot."

Mr. Smith then continued at some length but editorial policy prevents the publication of his entire remarks.

Please visit again tomorrow, when the OBMR will initiate an examination of the probable state of the economy during an Obama Presidency. The series title is: The Rebirth of the Hunter-Gatherer Paradigm. Be sure and look for it.


For Neo,
''Afterall, in Jesse Jackosn's eyes, Obama is white.''


solves the 'what is on the birth certificate that they don't want anyone to know question',has over 300 comments.




The series title is: The Rebirth of the Hunter-Gatherer Paradigm. Be sure and look for it.

Is it a scary story for the bad children?


Ground Source Heat Pumps are 'slightly' more expensive but the savings to the owner and the amount of power saved is great. It just takes a little engineer work (skip the engineers that charge thousands). Get a book and study it through and through and then sub-contract the work or do it yourself. Lots of equipment for rent. Neighbor just went overboard on one (15 hundred foot wells) and spent $20K but his system would service 5-6 homes. Co-op the holes/ditches and lines. Each provide they're own pumps/controls, etc.


pager: The only part of the story I buy is the explanation of Obama's time at Trinity UCC. I think Obama is a huckster of the 1st degree, and his time at Trinity was to learn just how Wright tended his sheep.

Obama's take on religion can best be understood by examining the "cockroach" in MIB (Men In Black). He doesn't wear an "Egar suit", but he does wear religion like an "Egar suit." It's a method and a means. Muslim, Christian, Buddhist .. each another "Egar suit", each equally useful, each equally irrelevant. That's what his grandmother taught him.
Trinity was his gateway to understanding the real "Black community" .. the "Black community" that Jesse Jackson knows so well, but Barry, the white guy with dark skin, didn't know. The Rev. Wright was his tutor that helped him get his "street cred" that allowed him to secure the "neighborhood vote" for life, while Wright had their souls.

Rick Ballard


Not for bad children, no. Maybe for people who believe that nonscalable solutions to practical problems caused by lack of political will...

Anyway - do you think that an import tariff on oil which creates a price floor of $65 would be considered "antitrade" by the rest of the world? 'Cause a $65 floor would drop the credit cost on a bunch of substitution products - beginning with coal gasification and shale extraction. If that tariff were backed by accelerated permitting and strict time limits on filing watermelon suits against anything which produces energy I don't see why energy independence couldn't be achieved in about the same amount of time that it took to complete the Interstate Highway system.


A $65 sounds just great. But. There's always a but. If oil drops, and I think it will. Won't that make the U.S. even LESS competitive in energy dependant industries than we already are?

Rick Ballard


Current projections of actual peak oil place its occurence at between 2030 and 2040 - a fifteen year program would finish at about the time the noose really starts to tighten. The problem with competition in energy intensive industries is legitimate but I don't think it's insuperable. Taking a hit for ten - fifteen years might well be worth the long term advantage.


Remember Bush's comments to the Saudis that their oil won't last forever.

From watching the Democrats energy plans, you can only conclude that they really believe in AGW, or they are sold on the idea of saving America's oil in the ground until all the oil in the Middle East is used up.

The first is a UN policy to gain control of the use of energy and therefore power, the second is devilish.



...Maybe for people who believe that nonscalable solutions to practical problems caused by lack of political will...

Its all about those volunteers "green collar jobs" that we have been hearing about...hear that Michigan has quite a few.

do you think that an import tariff on oil which creates a price floor of $65 would be considered "antitrade" by the rest of the world?

Yes, much like the teeth gnashing when the Bush Administration imposed some temporary tariffs regarding steel. The problem I see is that permitting and legal relief wouldn't fly (we've been permitting and sueing regarding Yucca Mtn for nearly 30 years). Also, I'd wait for the GOP to go ahead in get into the circular firing squad with the usual heavy breathers pounding away on the "tax increases" drum.

I would be more confident if McCain weren't the go to guy to campaign on a "Drill Here, Drill Now, Flip Off the Global Oil Exporters" platform; he seems to be stuck on a "Maybe we should Drill here sometime, Hug Environmentlists Now" message.


Problem with peak oil is they've been calling for peak oil in 30-40 years since the early 1900's. Maybe they'll hit it this time?


Problem with peak oil is they've been calling for peak oil in 30-40 years since the early 1900's. Maybe they'll hit it this time?

Like Krugman and recession.

Rick Ballard


That just brings us back to Pickens - Mr. Peak Oil himself. It's going to be interesting watching public sentiment shift over the summer as those $100 fill ups keep emptying wallets. I could see McCain standing up at ANWR with a shovel in his hand by Labor Day.

It ain't like he's so chock full of principle that he can't turn on a dime - this is absolutely his last shot and he'll drop that "my friends" carp in a heart beat if he thinks he has to.



I was looking around the internets about "peak oil" and also found some stuff regarding offshore oil in Greenland. Its news to me! Maybe we ought to look just off the US Atlantic coast.

Also do you have the current cost per bbl of oil shale production? I saw some blurb about a Shell process getting it down to $12/bbl which would get it into the range of deep water projects.

Rick Ballard


This RAND paper is a little coy about the economics but $20 after scale up seems workable. Shell needs to build a nice pebble bed right next door in order to maximize production and lower power costs.

kepa poalima

does pres. bush use a ground source heat pump system in texas?


does pres. bush use a ground source heat pump system in texas?




If some simplification in the hardware is made, ground source heat pumps may be a good idea in the future.

As Ric Locke, Dan, and Mefolkes said, there are problems with bulky equipment and site locations difficulties though.

The power companies tout these things hard and they have seen no evil in them. Not a bit, not anywhere. There are never any problems with the piping systems, they say. Their average life span is many years, they say.

Like the pocket calculators when they first came out, the improvements may come and prices may come down to reasonable, even cheap. But until that barrier is broken, ground water heat pumps aren't there yet IMHO.

Of course IMHO, when push comes to shove here, ground water heat pumps are a metaphor of all these new energy technologies -- great concepts, no real practicality...yet.


Scientists are examining cow farts and burps in a novel bid to combat global warming.

Bill in AZ

Interesting open letter I received by email from Delta Airlines. The names of CEO's of a dozen major airlines are at the bottom of the email. Pointing at speculators...

Our country is facing a possible sharp economic downturn because of skyrocketing oil and fuel prices, but by pulling together, we can all do something to help now.

For airlines, ultra-expensive fuel means thousands of lost jobs and severe reductions in air service to both large and small communities. To the broader economy, oil prices mean slower activity and widespread economic pain. This pain can be alleviated, and that is why we are taking the extraordinary step of writing this joint letter to our customers.

Since high oil prices are partly a response to normal market forces, the nation needs to focus on increased energy supplies and conservation. However, there is another side to this story because normal market forces are being dangerously amplified by poorly regulated market speculation.

Twenty years ago, 21 percent of oil contracts were purchased by speculators who trade oil on paper with no intention of ever taking delivery. Today, oil speculators purchase 66 percent of all oil futures contracts, and that reflects just the transactions that are known. Speculators buy up large amounts of oil and then sell it to each other again and again. A barrel of oil may trade 20-plus times before it is delivered and used; the price goes up with each trade and consumers pick up the final tab. Some market experts estimate that current prices reflect as much as $30 to $60 per barrel in unnecessary speculative costs.

Over seventy years ago, Congress established regulations to control excessive, largely unchecked market speculation and manipulation. However, over the past two decades, these regulatory limits have been weakened or removed. We believe that restoring and enforcing these limits, along with several other modest measures, will provide more disclosure, transparency and sound market oversight. Together, these reforms will help cool the over-heated oil market and permit the economy to prosper.

The nation needs to pull together to reform the oil markets and solve this growing problem.

We need your help. Get more information and contact Congress by visiting www.StopOilSpeculationNow.com.


Hi - Both air-to-air and ground source heat pumps are an excellent idea, for one simple reason: they TRANSPORT heat rather than GENERATE it. Furnaces use, e.g., 100 units of energy to deliver roughly 85 units of it in the form of heat (if they are running well). Heat pumps use 100 units of energy to move 300-600 units of heat energy into the home. Even though electricity to run the pump is expensive, the intrinsic savings are overwhelming.


Why bother theres no such thing as global warming!And the recession is all in our heads!



Actually, the equipment isn't bulky.

In the carriage house, I used a complete unit that is no bigger than a standard furnace.

The main house had a space problem on the first floor so I used a split unit, with the compressor in a crawl space. The evaporator/blower unit is in a closet with just two small coolant tubes connecting them.


First: Get a copy of "Direct Use of The Sun's Energy" by Farrington Daniels.
Water source heat pumps change the temperature of the ground water (thermal pollution)
Solar assisted water source heat pumps are the most efficient.
a water source(small swimming pool) is heated by inexpensive low efficiency solar collecters to 60-70 degrees providing a water source heat pump with a constant supply of moderate temperature water.

A barrel of oil may trade 20-plus times before it is delivered and used; the price goes up with each trade and consumers pick up the final tab.
That is just cringe-inducing stupid...

So, do these guys think that in a Wimbledon match, every time Serena hits the ball over the net, it advances 15 feet, and eventually the game falls off of the edge of the country into the sea?

Bill -- is the ceo of Southwest on the letter? They hedge their fuel costs in the futures markets, much more than any other airlines. I would translate the letter as, "We didn't hedge our fuel risk, and the price went up. WAH!!!!"


There's a huge problem right now with volatility in the futures markets. Major grain companies won't post bids past a month or two out, it's just too expensive to hedge, the margin calls can be enormous and eat up all a companies cash reserves and then some. Prices right now are moving more in a day than they used to move in a year sometimes, and that's not an exaggeration. You can trace it right back to around the time hedge funds were allowed to enter the futures markets.


Oh, here we are. Colombia is loaded with coal. So is Australia.

Also, lest we forget, any CO2 sequestration scheme also sequesters a much more rare commodity; oxygen, and lots of it. I'd say it was downright thoughtful of all those prehistoric critters to remove the excess carbon from the biosphere without taking the oxygen with it. Distinctly selfless; we should praise their memory and their diligent sacrifice.


Kim--our local port district looked into a carbon sequestration situation for a coal fired power plant in the hinterland of our county. There is a bunch of opposition but don't think it's entirely off the table.

Pofarmer--if you get back here-- hedgefunds investing in commodities is a recent developement but is explained fairly well in this article.


What would be cool is Ground Source Heat Pump in 3D I think.

Barney Frank


I got the same email but from Hawaiian Air.
As I recall Southwest was on the list of supporters.

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