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Please, Waste Oil, Says Trump Energy Department

I’ve said the morons blowing black smoke out of their trucks by running their diesel engines suboptimally are wasteful antisocial malcontents with adequacy issues. To give its yahoo base patriotic cover, the Trump Energy Department says wasting oil is no big deal:

Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S., the Trump administration declares in a major new policy statement that threatens to undermine decades of government campaigns for gas-thrifty cars and other conservation programs.

…Growth of natural gas and other alternatives to petroleum has reduced the need for imported oil, which “in turn affects the need of the nation to conserve energy,” the Energy Department said. It also cites the now decade-old fracking revolution that has unlocked U.S. shale oil reserves, giving “the United States more flexibility than in the past to use our oil resources with less concern” [Ellen Knickmeyer, “US Says Conserving Oil Is No Longer an Economic Imperative,” AP via ABC News, 2018.08.19].

You corn farmers saying we should conserve oil by burning more ethanol instead? Ha! Even post-Pruitt, your guy Trump tells you to jump in a lake! Il Duce wants us to burn all the oil we can!

Now seriously, keep in mind: oil didn’t suddenly become non-finite. Fossil fuels remain a finite and polluting resource. Our concern about depleting a finite yet affordable and deeply integrated source of energy should always remain a concern. Responsible stewards of natural resources should always look for ways to use less energy and cause less environmental impact, if not for our own immediate sake as we supposedly wallow in a proclaimed glut of fuel, then for the sake of future generations who may wonder why we burned up all the easy oil that could have given them more time to develop new energy sources amidst dwindling fossil fuel supplies.

The proclamation that conservation is not an economic imperative and that we can burn oil with less concern could only come from a selfish rich man with no thought beyond his own immediate gratification… and perhaps his big fossil fuel stock portfolio.

64 Comments

  1. jerry 2018-08-19

    In Harding County, SD, trump/Russian government steals land to further that waste as we drive ourselves to extinction. Republican run government is a dictator, beholding to special interests like big oil and Wall Street in collusion with Russia.

    “Buffalo | In the last few weeks up in windswept Harding County, sheriff’s deputies have driven down long, dirt roads to serve court papers to landowners, announcing whether they like it or not, TransCanada would be running an oil pipeline onto their land.

    But at least one South Dakota landowner isn’t relenting yet.

    “I’m ready to take this all the way to court,” said Jeffrey Jensen, of rural Harding County, by phone on Thursday. “I got nothing to lose. Wouldn’t bother me in the least.”

    The Gilded Age returns, instead of the railroads of the past, poison for the future, with great riches for the gilded in return… at the expense of the taxpayer.

  2. Porter Lansing 2018-08-19

    97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is man made. So, let’s talk to you disbelievers in well established science.
    The issue surrounding global warming is air pollution. Now, it’s easy to ignore air pollution in South Dakota. If there is any, it’s caused by dirt roads. But, much of USA has serious issues with auto emission caused air pollution. Where I live we don’t have wind. We have inversion.
    Even if the measly 3% of scientists are right and global warming isn’t man made, air pollution IS absolutely man made. We in the West refuse to sit back and let a disinterested New Yorker dismantle our fuel economy standards. It ain’t gonna happen. We’ll set our own standards and flatlanders should be glad we do. “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the pollution blows.” It blows West to East … right towards y’all.

  3. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-19

    Then we should pursue initiatives that will actually lead us to the generation of less total carbon and less total emissions. No tricks like cap and trade will reduce carbon unless we simply emit less carbon when we use energy.

    If you want to stick with renewables, that means reliance on a grid that can transmit energy across vast distances to where the demand is occurring, or getting commercial energy storage to work, or transforming our economy so that it uses most of its electricity on an intermittent basis (heating/cooling, industry in particular).

    But since those are not working as needed today, we are on the path of renewables plus natural gas for the foreseeable future. Thus population growth and economic growth will eventually lead to more total carbon.

    Artificially limiting growth or turning things off when renewables cannot provide the energy are not politically-viable solutions.

    Also, I don’t see how one can say that natural gas displaces imported oil other than if we were to electrify transportation, use more hydrogen (most of our hydrogen comes from natural gas today), or displace heating oil with heat from electricity or natural gas.

  4. mike from iowa 2018-08-19

    Yeah.but, the EPA is about to turn coal burning loose again to wipe away any gains that may have been made.

    A factory in Indiana has, since 2013, been the largest single supplier of lead into the atmosphere with no apparent end in site.

  5. mike from iowa 2018-08-19

    Stoopid wingnuts have to be gotten rid of if we ever want to save the planet from systemic raping and plundering of resources.

    Florida is battling the worst red tides ever and Drumpf plans on offshore oil rigs for Florida. Just what they need-less tourism.

    Drumpf still likes the idea of the world’s largest copper/gold mine situated at the head of Bristol Bay in Alaska, home to the largest remaining salmon runs in the world, until any 700 foot high earthern bern of dirt collection pond walls breach and kill off the salmon and ruin the bay for 20k indigenous people and their cultures.

  6. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-19

    There are some things we could be doing to further reduce emissions and carbon from coal…but the problem is that they cost more…a lot more. In the current market they really need to cut emissions by half to be on par with natural gas, and nobody is talking about those kind of reductions today.

    It is just easier to build solar, wind, and gas than having to develop and permit an advanced coal plant over a decade or more.

    Reducing emissions by storing carbon underground requires extra energy to compress the gases, which is pretty expensive to do. It would be better to capture the carbon and use it above ground.

  7. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-19

    Let’s not forget that a lot of the elements that wind and solar use today are not coming from plants, they are extracted from the earth by mining. And those impacts go largely unnoticed by Americans because that type of mining only occurs outside the United States today.

    We should be recycling energy wastes and electronic wastes today to make energy storage and renewables more sustainable, but it is cheaper to throw those items away for now.

  8. jerry 2018-08-19

    Meanwhile, China goes to court. It looks like China can prove harm, so they should win the case as well. Hopefully, we can see more alternative energy at affordable prices so consumers may be more likely to purchase electric and hybrid vehicles.

    “The 30 percent tariffs announced in January improperly help US producers in violation of WTO rules, China’s commerce ministry said

    China has tried to portray itself as a defender of the WTO-based trading system

    BEIJING: China says it is challenging a US tariff hike on solar panels before the World Trade Organization, adding to its sprawling conflicts with President Donald Trump over trade and technology.
    The 30 percent tariffs announced in January improperly help US producers in violation of WTO rules, the Commerce Ministry said. It said a formal complaint was filed Tuesday with the WTO in Geneva.” http://www.arabnews.com/node/1356871/business-economy

    Trade wars are easy to win and tariffs, way cool, as the elite say.

  9. mike from iowa 2018-08-19

    We should be recycling energy wastes

    Do wingnuts go to toxic or non-toxic recyclers? Hazardous or non-hazardous dumps?

  10. OldSarg 2018-08-19

    We can’t run out of oil. Oil is not a “fossil” fuel. There may be some oil that came from dinosaurs, plants or animals but that is so far fetched only a fool would believe that so many died to produce as much oil as comes out of the earth. It is just not rational to even think these dinosaurs, plants or animals died and miraculously sank 14,000 feet under the ground naturally converted to oil and and then by pure happenstance all pooled together to be pumped out of a hole. . .

    Hydrocarbons (oil) is produced abiotically. The earth is an oil making machine. It is a continuous Fischer-Tropsch process. You have heard of the term “gasification” right? If not don’t blame yourselves. You have attended schools where science is a fraud taught by people too lazy to do research and just vomit the same crap out of your crappy “science” books that are filled with trash. This is also why you all believe in “global warming” and constructivist math, you are all too lazy to even read. You just re-spout the media’s headlines as if it is all true all the time.

  11. Porter Lansing 2018-08-19

    Imagine that. OldSoviet parrots a Russian scientific anomaly. How convenient for a Russian sympathizer to rely on Russian science.
    ~ Abiogenic sources of oil have been found, but never in commercially profitable amounts. The controversy isn’t over whether naturally forming oil reserves exist, said Larry Nation of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. It’s over how much they contribute to Earth’s overall reserves and how much time and effort geologists should devote to seeking them out.

  12. mike from iowa 2018-08-19

    Fossil fuel is a general term for buried combustible geologic deposits of organic materials, formed from decayed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the earth’s crust over hundreds of millions of years.

    Moar science- the Parker Solar Probe will make 7 passbys of the sun. On the 7th and final passby it will attain speeds of 433k mph, roughly half the speed by which Drumpf spits out lies and nearly the velocity of non-sense generated by OldSpitwad.

  13. mike from iowa 2018-08-19

    Gasification is a man made environmental pollutant spewed by right wing nuts similar to flatulence from livestock.

  14. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-19

    Technically fossil fuels are renewable….but on very long time scales.

    Otherwise oil would be a much larger export from Pennsylvania today.

  15. Donald Pay 2018-08-19

    I think 98% of industry executives and 99% of regular folks are not as dumb as the Trump Administration thinks they are. What person wants to waste money on more inputs than you need? Energy is a costly input and a drain on household budgets, and any way to reduce that cost is likely to be taken up simply by market forces, but tax write-offs for efficiency measures speed the process, and create jobs, far more jobs than those created by burning coal and natural gas. Show me that businessman or corporate executive who ignores the market or doesn’t plan for the future, when energy may be even more limited and costly, and I’ll show you someone on his way out the door. Utilities have gotten the message and are staying away from coal and nuclear, at least for the near-term.

  16. jerry 2018-08-19

    The land theft in Harding County shows why we need to waste the oil to make the demand for oil a reality. How else can you justify degrading property, endangering scarce water supplies without the supposed need for the oil.

  17. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-19

    Utilities don’t want the coal and nuclear to go away. They tend to be in support of the Trump administration’s efforts to boost them, and like having the bulk energy available.

    But if we are going to use them, then let’s use them better. For nuclear that means using them more flexibly to work with renewables. For coal it has to mean reducing carbon and other emissions. You would have better outcomes with new versions of each, but that would cost more.

    I hope that energy storage will work. That would help energy across the board. It would help renewables alleviate the intermittency, and coal/nuclear could run 24/7 with a constant output (to maximize efficiency) and store the excess to use later.

    If energy storage does not work, then we will need nuclear for carbon-free back-up energy for renewables, or some type of advanced coal or gas plant that significantly reduces the carbon it emits.

  18. Jason 2018-08-19

    This is from Cory’s article:

    Despite the increased oil supplies, the administration continues to believe in the need to “use energy wisely,” the Energy Department said, without elaboration. Department spokesmen did not respond Friday to questions about that statement.

    Your article title is false Cory.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-08-19

    Hold on, to Jerry’s point at the top (taken from Christopher Vondracek’s article in today’s RCJ, which will get separate blog treatment):

    We have so much oil that the federal government now say there is no economic imperative to conserve it.

    But there is apparently so grave a need for more oil that South Dakota and the Trump Administration will allow a foreign company to seize land from American landowners by eminent domain.

    There’s a disconnect here, right? If there’s no need to conserve, then there’s no compelling need to increase oil reserves that justifies overriding private property rights.

  20. grudznick 2018-08-19

    I don’t think it is South Dakota or the Trump Administration who is allowing anything. It is public policy, and the law of the land. If you do not like common carriers having the right of eminent domain you should contact your representatives.

    If South Dakota or the Trump Administration were to flog the law and thumb their libbie noses at it, I expect there would be a blogging about them flogging the law.

    Pick your side: follow the law or don’t follow the law.

    If you don’t like the law, change it.

  21. Jason 2018-08-19

    Pipelines don’t get oil from the ground. They distribute it from the wells. If more pipelines are needed, that means there is too much oil for the existing pipeline, a new line is needed to another location, or a pipeline is old.

  22. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-08-19

    “The earth is an oil-making machine.” Evidently, as we see by the existence of oil created from long geologic processes on biomass.

    For the moment ignoring OldSarg’s abiogenic fairy oil, let me ask…

    How much oil does the earth produce each year?

    How much of the oil produced by the earth is economically accessible?

    How much oil do we use each year? (Hint: this Feb 2018 BBC article says we use 100 million barrels a day.)

    If OS can show us that biomass, pressure, and his abiogenic oil fairies can produce 100 million barrels of oil a day, then he wins the point that we can maintain current levels of use but that we still have an economic imperative to maintain current conservation efforts to make sure that daily use doesn’t outstrip daily petro-recharge.

    If OS can show us that science and fairies are producing significantly more than 100 million barrels of oil per day, he still needs to explain why wasting oil now is acceptable rather than continuing our current conservation efforts to make room for economic growth to use the oil we’re not using now. He also needs to explain why we have no imperative to use less oil anyway, despite the burgeoning supplies recharged by oil fairies, to reduce the costly pollution that comes from wasteful oil usage.

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-08-19

    Jason’s comment is akin to saying that he doesn’t get his food from farmers.

  24. Jason 2018-08-19

    Cory, you brought up the SD land for the pipeline. That is what may post is referring to.

    Are you going to change your article title that is a lie?

    I refer you to my post a 17:40.

  25. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-19

    Most people will say that they get their food from the store.

    And right before I turn on the TV, a wind turbine somewhere starts turning just in time….

  26. mike from iowa 2018-08-19

    It is public policy, and the law of the land. If you do not like common carriers having the right of eminent domain you should contact your representatives.

    Since virtually every wingnut pol in South Dakota is bought and paid for by A<EC, which is a subsidiary of koch bros and koch bros are heavily invested in dil-bit and refineries and pipelines, which pols would you suggest a citizen complain to, Grudz? What exactly do you expect those bought and paid for pols to do for John Q (no money for bribery) Public?

  27. mike from iowa 2018-08-19

    I can vouch for the turning wind turbines, Doc. I can see 2 or 3 from my computer window and they sure as shooting are turning.

  28. Rick 2018-08-19

    Jason, how is the oil distributed from the oil wells located north of Belle Fourche where you live? Does each one have a pipeline that connects to a larger pipe?

  29. Clyde 2018-08-19

    If I may stick in my 0.02….

    The carboniferous age was dominated by plants and a warm climate. That is the era that the fossil fuels we are using up were mainly deposited. Photosynthesis was doing fine but oxygen consuming organisms were way behind. Its estimated that the oxygen content of the atmosphere was way over 30% while today it is somewhere around 10%. Therefore the carbonaceous materials were fossilized rather than consumed by decay. We are now oxidizing them.

    Even though we have a government declared glut of oil ethanol from corn is still cheaper than gasoline from oil and cost per mile from electricity is cheaper than both.

    Robert, on nuclear and an extensive grid……

    We are being charged for power lines that snake all over the country now. We don’t need more IMO. We need solar panels on every roof top and less of a grid. I know about the storage problem but there are those who say we have enough of a grid to handle peaks right now. All we need is an initiative to do things differently and get rid of the utility monopolies.

    Another way to store power:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHrlnnbJuDg

  30. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-19

    They make energy 25-30% of the time Mike. But how much of your demand overlaps that availability is less than that.

    You could probably wash dishes or throw in a load of laundry overnight instead of during the day…that would probably help them balance things out a little. And some places will power water heaters when wind energy is available too.

  31. Debbo 2018-08-19

    Regardless of quantity of oil available, it’s poisoning our planet and will destroy human livability if nothing changes.

  32. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-08-19

    Or think of it this way:

    I fill my gas tank in Aberdeen. I set out for Rapid City. I need to get there on a single tank, without stopping (imagine it’s midnight, and I’m driving straight there on the backroads, through Eagle Butte and on to Newell, no stations open on the way). I look at my gas gauge, see it on F, and think, “Look at all that fuel! I have no economic imperative to conserve fuel until the gauge hits 1/4! Pedal to the medal!”

    That short-sighted thinking ignores the fact that if I conserve now, keep my speed under 60, I’ll get farther before I hit 1/4 and have much less chance of running out somewhere in the gas-stationless hinterlands.

    Economic imperatives should look beyond this week. We have an economic imperative to maximize the opportunities our children and grandchildren will have to enjoy an even stronger economy and a Mad Max barter-and-battle world.

  33. Richard Schriever 2018-08-20

    McTaggart – FYI – I happen to be currently engaged in an activity that is greatly reducing the waste of resources in our transportation system. It’s called Cold In Place Asphalt recycling. It uses no new technology – simply applies existing technology in a more efficient way. When repairing an asphalt road, our method replaces the mill and overlay method. Mill and overlay requires hundreds of truck trips to haul out the old materials (millings) and haul in new asphalt. We have put together “trains” of mills, mobile asphalt processing mills, pavers, and rollers which can do the same process “on the fly” and “in place” eliminating all those hundreds of truck trips. We cab completely re process and re-place an asphalt road labe for about 3 miles in one day. We have been doing this in various upper Midwest states for several years – and this year will finally be doing our FIRST application of the process in SD.

    I believe this is precisely the kind of better use of resources you are calling for. Just so you know – there are those of us who are actually working on developing and applying of those principles.

  34. JonD 2018-08-20

    Fascinating video, Clyde! I hadn’t heard of that one. I did see a PBS program on energy storage that showed something rather similar; massive belowground flywheels that can be spun up during periods of energy surplus at hydroelectric sites and then used to run generators when demand increases. I suppose you’d call these a sort of active, versus passive, mode of storage.

  35. Richard Schriever 2018-08-20

    McTaggart – during this summer season I have had the opportunity to observe just such a phenomena as you describe re: a turbine turning on “just in time”. You see – sitting by the side of a road in the middle of a wind farm all day for several days allows one to observe closely exactly how the whole farm functions. It was actually quite fascinating to watch – as the temperature rose through the day, and peoples’ air conditioning turned on/off, they got home from work and started cooking, etc. One could gauge this rhythm of life pretty closely by observing just when particular turbines released their brakes and began generating, or applied their brakes and ceased generating. It really does work just the way you described. .

    Close direct observation vs. reading an article somewhere is a highly informative activity. I believe it is sometimes called SCIENCE (vs. the more general “research”. You should try it sometime.

  36. Richard Schriever 2018-08-20

    JonD, another type of “battery” if you will, is hydraulic (water) storage of energy. This is being used in Germany and Canada as we speak. Excess wind energy generated is used to pump water to a storage reservoir and when ne3eded the water in the reservoir is used to turn a hydro-turbine. Simple, easy, effective, old technology – doesn’t require a lot of fancy research and development expense.

  37. jerry 2018-08-20

    The rail concept, where applicable, the idea of Hoover Dam as a battery, wind and solar could wean us off the oil.

  38. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-20

    So you can will the turbines to start turning whenever you want the energy :^) ? I think the Green Lantern would be proud (he runs on the power of will).

    Just because a wind turbine is turning does not mean your particular energy demand is being satisfied, or completely satisfied by wind alone. We do need to do a better job at using the energy when it is available, so washing dishes and doing laundry during peak times for wind (overnight when other demand plummets) can help.

    Maybe you could measure (#4Science) how much energy people are using and when they are using it. Then figure out how much of that is coming from wind, whether it covers their electricity demand, and what they use when the wind is not enough. The energy information administration (EIA) has some data in that regard, so you do not have to take my word for it.

    One of the issues with any form of energy storage is the rate at which they can store and release energy. Pumped hydro and rail concepts are limited by gravity and are more akin to baseload energy. Quick-charging supercapacitors are different than lithium batteries. Ultimately we will need a superposition of many different approaches, including things like flexible nuclear or dedicated asynchronous uses of energy.

  39. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-20

    Richard,

    It is a good thing that you are reducing those truck trips. Sometimes the asphalt itself is an end-product of the recycling of various wastes too, like coal fly ash.

    There are studies for the uses of biomass fly ashes in asphalt:

    Effect of biomass fly ashes as road stabilisation binder

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14680629.2016.1235508

    “the higher relative biomass fly ash content had a positive relationship with total binder characteristics but indicated reduced strength properties in the stabilised materials. “

  40. Clyde 2018-08-20

    Richard, “pumped storage” hydro is being used on a limited basis now. I recently drove past a pumped storage reservoir in the mountains above Denver. I’m sure we could use more of it.

  41. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-20

    “As Colorado, the American West, and the US as a whole develop more intermittent generation capacity there will need to be plans in place to deliver energy when it is needed as opposed to when it is generated.

    Energy storage is not a silver bullet to renewable energy integration, other steps will be necessary including:

    1. An optimization of spatial distribution to minimize intermittent output and maximize energy production of wind generation.

    2. Diversification of renewable generation sources, to minimize intermittence.

    3. Virtual storage technology such as demand response and virtual baseload through efficiency improvements.

    4. Energy storage on multiple time scales.”

  42. Jason 2018-08-20

    I am just glad Trump said to use oil wisely and not waste it.

  43. Richard Schriever 2018-08-20

    McTaggart – if you didn’t know – somewhere in a dark computer filled room – or several actually – there are algorithms at work that determine where the least expensive energy is available at any given time – and in response to that calculation, switches are thrown in reply to fluctuations in demand to attempt to use the least expensive (most profitable) electricity available. Energy companies are not stupid – they hire programmers and build switching facilities and are working to tie them all together to slowly (yes too slowly) build a SMART responsive grid – right down to the individual braking switches on wind turbines.

    Yep – they do turn on and off in response to your demand. Maybe not you alone, but you collectively, yes.

  44. Richard Schriever 2018-08-20

    FYI -I have also actually used flash in a road stabilization project. I.E., I don’t simply observe, report, read, I also APPLY science.

  45. grudznick 2018-08-20

    Mr. Schriever, I like the sound of your asphalt reusing program. It is, however, sad that you sit in your car all day just watching other people do things and the wind mills turn to the extent you know so much about the timing of things. Imagine if you got out of your car and went and helped the people working, and you worked hard so they worked even harder! You could get done so much soon. This country and state was built on working hard.

  46. jerry 2018-08-20

    What the frack? “Fracking companies used 770 percent more water per well in 2016 than in 2011 across all the United States’ major gas- and oil-producing regions, according to a new study.
    The number of new fracking wells decreased as gas prices fell, but the amount of water used per well skyrocketed, with up to 1,440 percent more toxic wastewater generated in the first year of each new well’s production period by 2016.
    The research, published Wednesday afternoon in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, raises new concerns that hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling technique used to extract oil and gas trapped deep in bedrock, imperils vital drinking water reserves.
    In regions where the warming climate is drying sources of fresh water, fracking intensifies pressure on an already-strained system while increasing the availability of fuels that cause emissions, speeding up the rise in temperatures.”

    What will we do for water? Have you tried desalinated water? Not to tasty, but it is wet.

  47. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-20

    If software were the solution, we would not be emitting any carbon when wind and solar are on the grid, but we do. We could fulfill all of our needs whenever we want with renewables…and we cannot. Sorry.

    Once you reduce the carbon with renewables and efficiency, that amount of carbon cannot be removed (if you avoid nuclear). Population growth and economic growth will lead to exponential increases, so we will emit more than today.

    That is what I am complaining about…we indeed should find a way to use every Joule of energy that wind produces (and use that here instead of shipping it off elsewhere). But we should work just as hard…if not more so…to eliminate as much carbon as we can.

    Get back to me when we produce wind energy overnight and send it to China when they can use it, and Asia does the reverse for us the next day. That would reduce the need for large scale energy storage, but we simply cannot do that today.

  48. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-20

    Good news Jerry,

    More renewables means more natural gas today.

  49. Porter Lansing 2018-08-20

    @Jerry – Your post about fracking and water brings to mind an incident. A water truck full of fracking water blew a tire and rolled into a mountain stream in the Cache la Poudre canyon, above Fort Collins. (Yes. They ARE allowed to frack in the pristine Rocky Mountains. grrrrr….) The fracking liquid spilled into the creek and the drilling company refused to tell the county cleanup team what was in the liquid,due to proprietary rights. The liquid just rolled down the stream and never got contained.

  50. Clyde 2018-08-20

    R Schriever, your description of the SMART grid that we have been moving towards in this country is, I’m sure, spot on but lets look at the incentives that have created the octopus of power lines that run willy nilly all over the country.

    Since the power industry consists of very loosely controlled monopolies spread across the country it seems that the main incentive of the grid is to make sure that no independent power producer can afford to sell power at the utility’s “avoided cost”. The wholesale price of power that a independent would have to produce to is always low. We keep the power production for the monopolies that way.

    Since the state PUC controlled monopolies are usually not controlled MUCH, the mass of power lines and their cost can be passed on in the retail price to the consumer.The result…..we keep the monopoly system in place.

    Lets not forget that its only been about 60 years since community’s produced their own power. Rural power didn’t exist because it wasn’t affordable to run lines all over the country. It took government subsidy to make that happen. We had an uncluttered landscape except for farm windmills.

    My sister was on the city council of Sibley Ia. who kept their generating plant into the 1980’s when the EPA forced them to abandon it. The city coffers were overflowing from power sales at big utility company rates and all the city streets and infrastructure were up to date.

  51. jerry 2018-08-20

    Human kind will pay for the abuse we have allowed on our planet. It will be a painful note when due… with much interest. Clyde is correct on small, city run utilities. The Black Hills Power one is getting sued for the Legion Lake Fire, which will mean higher utility bills to make sure the dividend is paid.

  52. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-21

    The Trump Administration appears to be in favor of reducing federal regulations on emissions from coal power plants, particularly Obama-era carbon restrictions.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/21/politics/epa-climate-power-plants-trump-west-virginia/index.html

    That doesn’t mean automatically that more soot and carbon will be emitted by power plants, but it would be up to the states to do more of the regulation and oversight. It is a little murky because Congress could get involved, particularly if pollution coming from one state violates the regulations of another.

    Regardless, utilities are not planning for new coal power plants, and they would have a hard time getting approved.

  53. mike from iowa 2018-08-21

    Doc- Drumpf is playing to his base and erasing any federal record with Obama’s name attached to it. Does not matter the harm if could do, But, seriously, stuff is shaking around the Drumpf’s world as we speak. He will probably declare war on half of America just as a distraction for Manafort and Cohen.

  54. mike from iowa 2018-08-21

    Another week, another tragic juxtaposition in our nation’s decades-long history of failure to address global climate disruption. At the same time as a vast field of ice north of Greenland has just broken apart, for the first time in recorded history, the Trump administration announced new, lax rules for coal-powered plants that they themselves admit will kill over a thousand people each year.

    from an opinion at The Daily Beast

  55. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-21

    https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-proposes-affordable-clean-energy-ace-rule

    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-08/documents/frn-ace-proposal_8.20.2018.pdf

    The Affordable Clean Energy plan (ACE) essentially tries to reduce CO2 by making existing coal plants more efficient. It looks like they want whatever reduction they can get without shutting down coal plants.

    “ACE defines the “best system of emission reduction” (BSER) for existing power plants as on-site, heat-rate efficiency improvements”

    It will offer a set of “candidate technologies” including Intelligent Sootblowers, Boiler Feed Pumps, Air Heater and Duct Leakage Control, Variable Frequency Drives, Blade Path Upgrade, New Economizers, and Improved O&M practices.

  56. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-21

    Nothing much in here about gas and renewables, or nuclear for that matter. So it is unclear if states would be required to do anything with renewables. But nothing keeping states or utilities from developing non-coal sources either.

  57. mike from iowa 2018-08-21

    Gotta tell you, Doc, when wingnuts come up with a plan that utilizes the word “Best” I automatically shrink and duck for cover because it is not as it seems.

    Wingnuts rewrote the Endangered Species Act in 2005 using “best available science”. They used “best available science” for rehabilitating the Gulf, and there are other examples.

  58. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-21

    Unclear what would happen if states decided to shut down a coal plant to reduce carbon…the emphasis is on reducing carbon from coal plants while they are operating (i.e. they get no credit for zero emissions during shutdowns or trying to include that in an average).

    No hard number for how much coal plants need to reduce carbon, only that there are a set of paths that states may choose. Other emissions are not really mentioned in here (NOx and SOx).

  59. Robert McTaggart 2018-08-22

    It would not surprise me if South Dakota considered a request to include co-firing biomass into its rules, but those potential rules may have more to do with what upgrades in efficiency are feasible at existing plants.

    EPA is predicting a 6% decrease in carbon emissions as a result of the rule (compared with what would occur without it).

    https://www.powermag.com/what-coal-generators-should-know-about-the-epas-proposed-ace-rule/

    Found this from 2010:
    https://www.iea.org/ciab/papers/power_generation_from_coal.pdf

    Maybe you can get coal efficiencies up to 50% if you change the cycle, but you need carbon capture and storage to get to 90% reduction. Current coal plants are roughly 35% thermally efficient, so ACE would get them closer to 40%.

  60. jerry 2018-09-03

    Oil glut will drop prices like an anvil in butter…unless trump sparks a war with Iran to keep the oil baron’s pockets full.

    “However, all the charts and slides converge on upward supply without much on demand to offset the upward slope. It is almost impolite to ask where is the market for the massive supply of oil now and in the near-term future? What about demand for oil?
    China? Not quite as electric cars – yes, Tesla or Chinese versions appear as I-Phone-like technology against the combustion engine.

    California, with 40 million people and seven states following its waiver, can set miles per gallon requirements on engines towards zero emissions.

    This is the meaning of President Trump’s policy to force California back into the Union where Washington decides on what the combustion engine can and will do.” https://www.daily-times.com/story/money/industries/oil-gas/2018/08/26/fine-trump-and-oil-trade-geopolitics/991571002/

    So there ya go, just another reason why the good ranchers in Harding County as well as those protesting the black snake called Keystone prove that the tar sands should remain right where they are. There is no need for them now or in the future as a source of energy.

  61. Robert McTaggart 2018-09-04

    The Department of Energy says the following regarding the transportation of ethanol by pipeline:

    “Delivering ethanol by pipeline is the most desirable option, but ethanol’s affinity for water and solvent properties require the use of a dedicated pipeline or significant cleanup of existing pipelines.”

    https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_production.html

    We do not use a whole lot of pipelines for ethanol today, but we probably would want to do that. Do you think there be any opposition to pipelines if they were transporting biofuels?

  62. jerry 2018-09-17

    Meanwhile, in smart countries like Germany and France, they think in the big picture with the first two operating hydrogen fueled only, trains. As long as all we are gonna do is consume, why not have someone build us some trains we can travel on?

    “MUNICH, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Germany plans to bring the world’s first trains powered by hydrogen fuel cells into service, with 14 emission-free trains due to transport passengers in Lower Saxony from 2021.

    The trains will be built by France’s Alstom at its site in Salzgitter to replace diesel trains running between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude.” https://www.reuters.com/article/germany-trains-hydrogen/germany-signs-contract-for-first-hydrogen-powered-passenger-trains-idUSL8N1NF5XJ

    Outstanding!

  63. jerry 2018-09-17

    Bah zing! These will be an awesome way to send goods as well as passengers! This is why it is so much fun to visit Europe and see how real public transportation works so well. We are so third world in our state, we have no passenger train service and barely transportation of our farm products.

    “The trains, named Coradia iLint, can cover up to 1,000 kilometres (621 miles) with one tank of hydrogen, and can reach a maximum speed of up to 140 kilometres per hour.
    “This day represents a real breakthrough in rail transportation,” said Alstom’s senior vice president for Europe, Gian Luca Erbacci. “For the first time, worldwide, a hydrogen-fuelled passenger regional train will replace diesel trains.”

    Germany will be able to stay in the range projected by the Paris Accords with this change of low emission fuel and also find it cheaper with no need to run expensive electrical cable! Man those French and Germans know how to think and build.

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