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Flooding Part of Cost of Climate Change, Says Pentagon

When they aren’t broadcasting their national Trumpist propaganda for most of the day, KELO Radio does put out some useful news. In this report on the as-yet uncalculated cost of our latest winter storm or the last one, KELO Radio throws this icy shard through the windshield of Noem/Trump climate denialism:

The Department of Defense sees climate change as a threat to national security. Challenges to local, state, and federal governments against the elements are still being battled.  As many as 50 levees failed under recent weather events nationwide according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The final cost has yet to be determined and the numbers like the water levels continue to rise [Jason Shadler, “The Total Cost of Weather Damage to South Dakota Isn’t Known Yet,” KELO Radio, 2019.04.12].

Every dollar we have to spend rebuilding levees and roads is a dollar we can’t spend supporting our brave soldiers and investing in technology and diplomacy to keep them out of harm’s way. Support the troops: accept climate science and fight climate change!

64 Comments

  1. Adam 2019-04-13

    I choose to let the biggest group of Climate Change deniers and “Fake News” screamers suffer the consequences of their cross eyed denial. I no longer attempt to reason with them, only call them out for the dumb asses they truly are.

    I actually take a small bit of pleasure in watching Agriculture suffer from its own negligent hand and raw stupidity on the most important issue(s) of our time.

    In the U.S., we mostly employ stupid animals to grow our food – ones who start trade wars they can’t win and think they’re smart solely because they hate Liberals.

    God is washing away their top soil and flooding much of their storage because they continue to be the primary pillar of Trump’s strength.

    How much more sin do you suppose God is willing to put up with from the American farmer and rancher? Not much, apparently.

  2. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-13

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/04/nuclear-energy-is-50-better-than-solar-for-lifetime-co2-emissions.html

    “Solar is 50% worse than nuclear for lifetime CO2 emissions per kilowatt-hour. Nuclear and wind tie for the best.”

    “By 2050, a 2017 Nature study forecasts that EROI [Energy Return On Investment] will get worse for new energy projects. It might be tougher to extract resources for fossil fuels and solar and wind would be built in inferior locations.”

    “…wind power uses about 5 to 10 times more material to generate the same amount of power as nuclear. Solar also uses a multiple of the land and materials to generate the same power as nuclear.”

  3. Jan lutter 2019-04-13

    Get rid of satellites in the atmosphere. They are starting up the ozone in the sky and bad storms.

  4. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-13

    There are no satellites in the atmosphere, not unless you want their orbits to decay.

  5. Robin Friday 2019-04-13

    RMcT, Seems like that’s what they said about ethanol, too expensive. Isn’t there a principle or a possibility that if alternative fuels such as wind, solar and biofuel became established and widely developed and utilized, they would become less expensive? Isn’t it possible that if so many trillions of dollars didn’t go to maintain fossil fuels and oil companies and fight against alternatives, there would be room for other fuels?

  6. Robin Friday 2019-04-13

    I hesitate to respond to Adam because of the very reasons he elucidates about climate change deniers and because I feel as he does about climate change deniers. Suffice it to say that gods are not responsible (none of them) for Trump and neither are American farmers.

  7. Adam 2019-04-13

    Trump and today’s rural American culture COULD BE proof of Satan’s existence and his current influence upon humanity.

    I hope it’s not true, but I’m just sayin – some people think, “it’s pretty clear.”

  8. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-13

    Hi Robin,

    The hope is that if you just stop using fossil fuels, a solution will arise to the issues for biofuels and other alternatives. There would be no other choice but to solve them.

    There is also the hope that if you keep dumping money into the research, the result that you want will eventually happen.

    And lately there is the hope that physical constraints such as the amount of available land, or the amount of critical elements for the technologies, or the needs for waste management will not apply to renewables.

    But they have failed (so far) to show that fossil fuels are not required to back them up.

    The greatest opportunity that they have lost is replacing clean energy from a shut down nuclear power plant with 100% renewable energy + storage. Instead, that baseload energy is being replaced by natural gas. So not only was the energy challenge not met, but we are emitting more carbon into the air than before.

    It is easy on paper to say that people will be fine with getting used to less reliable energy and less energy overall. But about 90% of our energy today still comes from fossil fuels. I doubt any Democratic candidate is going to campaign on reducing everyone’s energy consumption by 90%, funnel monies into storage research, and keep that up until we figure renewables out. Said candidate would be un-electable.

    Which is why we are going to backup renewables with natural gas and work on carbon capture…if we avoid nuclear.

  9. jerry 2019-04-13

    Seems pretty clear that when you have two blizzards within a couple of weeks of one another, something is wrong. The good news is that there are those who take it seriously. Don’t look for the utility company’s for that serious note though, they’re pretty set in their ways of the status quo. Utility companies should be sensationalized in all shapes and forms. By doing that, utility cables would be installed underground so we would not lose power when we get into common storms like this.

  10. jerry 2019-04-13

    Nationalized, geesh.

  11. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-13

    Fear not…the future will have more renewables than today, and the technologies will improve over time. However, given the time that we supposedly have to address climate change, a renewables-only future will not be sufficient.

    We will see if a solution with renewables, storage, fossil fuels w/carbon capture, and advanced nuclear will be feasible or not in our current all-or-nothing politics where the other side cannot win. We need the option that delivers the energy we actually consume, meets our carbon targets, and reduces costs compared with other approaches.

  12. mike from iowa 2019-04-13

    Seems to me my hometown of Cherokee, iowa has had 2-3 100 year floods in the last decade or so. This year the Little Sioux River topped 28 feet for the first time ever and a few years ago approached that 28 feet mark. Flood stage is 17 feet I believe. Here are the last three historic crests

    (1) 28.40 ft on 03/14/2019
    (2) 27.90 ft on 05/27/2013
    (3) 27.30 ft on 06/27/2010

    We were warned by the gubmint that midwest flooding would get worse this year.

  13. Debbo 2019-04-13

    Good grief Mike! That’s really bad. Do your neighbors seem to be aware that the problem is human caused climate change?

  14. Adam 2019-04-14

    Remember when conservatives ALL claimed that Climate Change was “just a hoax perpetrated by Al Gore to make money”? I’m old enough to remember it.

    Because of a great many historical phenomena like this, conservatives have spent every last cent of their Climate Change related political capital. Society is learning to ‘never listen to a conservative on Climate Change’ as they’ve been denying all kinds of reality for so many decades now… living in a fantasy land of Pizza Gate style BS.

    The primary sign of a conservative is the premise to every conversation being, “the smartest people aren’t as smart as they think they are. I’m not saying that they’re dumb or that I’m smart; I’m just saying sometimes they’re wrong but they think they’re right. Ain’t that sound reasonable?”

  15. Adam 2019-04-14

    A conservative is nothing more than a devil’s advocate.

  16. jerry 2019-04-14

    This last big blizzard will do the same as the big one a couple of weeks ago, melt quickly. Therein is one of the big problems. In the past, there were stock dams that took in much of the spring runoff and then held water for the livestock, hopefully through the summer. Now, many if not most of those stock dams have either silted over or are plowed under making a clear shot of the runoff down the draws into the rivers.

    One thing that all of these blizzards have in common is they kill game birds by the thousands. Pheasants were not made to survive these storms as they are not native. Something to think about while we taxpayers foot the bill for predator control that is as useless as those who think they are a good idea. Karma has a way of showing the foolishness of man.

  17. Adam 2019-04-14

    Jerry, a wise man once said, “no sympathy for the devil.”

    Another once said, “A portrait of a bush league Fuhrer [which I (Adam) call ‘Today’s Rural Culture’], a sparse little man who feeds off his self delusions, and finds himself perpetually hungry for want of greatness – and like some goose-stepping predecessors, he searches for something to explain his hunger, and to rationalize a world passing him by without saluting. There is something he looks for and he finds in the sewer. In his own twisted and distorted lexicon he calls it ‘faith,’ ‘strength,’ and ‘truth.’”

    So is the average Rural American [Old English style speak].

  18. jerry 2019-04-14

    One of those wise men just had successful heart surgery, Mick Jagger https://www.google.com/search?q=sympathy+for+the+devil&rlz=1C1AVSK_enUS663US669&oq=sympath+for+the&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.6414j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 .

    Just to be clear, the rural person, of which I was born into, does not always look to an authoritarian for leadership. Speaking for myself, we have always looked within to figure ways of survival and of making crap work. It is easy to blame the rural person for the flaws of the state, but then, we must remember that the population areas of this state voted and have voted overwhelmingly for leadership like GNoem and trump.

    Many of us went to church because we wanted to visit someone not for spiritual guidance. The coffee was hot and the cookies were sweet and after that, we all beat feet.

  19. John 2019-04-14

    Roll out the tile drain! Sioux Falls needs the water!

  20. Adam 2019-04-14

    I don’t blame all rural people for putting people like Kristi Noem into office, I blame their culture which has been allowed to seep too far out of the middle of nowhere and into our suburbs.

    Suburbanites need to realize that their fancy has been tickled by isolationist radical retards who are more in love with themselves than they are their country – so that enough people can turn their back to our culture of isolationism.

    South Dakota is so far out in the middle of nowhere that even its business communities are country stupid, and that also goes for much of Sioux Falls.

    I have found that the most decent and smart rural folks acknowledge that most of their neighbors are radical nutbags, they just don’t want to talk too loud about it for fear of receiving negative repercussions from their very few neighbors.

  21. Adam 2019-04-14

    BCB, yes, Rod Serling and Dennis Hopper nailed that episode of Twilight Zone like Babe Ruth hitting a grand slam.

  22. leslie 2019-04-15

    USDOD and DEMOCRATS respond to climate change. Noem Rounds Thune Beohner Ryan McCarthy McConnell and Trump and all their voters have all put their personal pocketbooks ahead of the nation and the world surviving the threat. They are breaking every system created for the United States to function, in exchange for luxury of the one percent.

  23. leslie 2019-04-15

    As a side note to Doc, the subsidized nuclear industry has failed at the time it could have benifitted the world the most. Capitalism! It doesn’t work in the big picture. It just creates Koch wannabes like McConnell. Little grinches that rake golden coins to their chests. And shield themselves with their little tax exempt “fake” foundations.

  24. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-15

    Side note back to leslie :^)

    Is it nuclear’s fault that certain costs and regulations are imposed upon nuclear that are not imposed on other sources of energy? Nope.

    Or that the science isn’t allowed to proceed on the true impacts of lower radiation doses (which would likely save millions of dollars just in concrete)? Nope.

    Is it nuclear’s fault that recycling (aka reprocessing) or another form of long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel has not been allowed to move forward in the United States? Nope.

    Or the ability to grow markets and make improvements to compete in said markets, which has been hindered for nuclear energy? Sort of. On this one they are trying to do the smaller reactors that cost less upfront and have some more flexibility to work with renewables to compete with natural gas, but we have not licensed them yet. So we’ll see.

    We have not been building reactors on a consistent basis to develop domestic talent for constructing reactors. And that kind of approach does not foster a strong domestic supply chain either. For example, instead of building one-piece reactor vessels here, you have to get them from elsewhere. How can you sustain a specific type of foundry application when there are whole years where no vessels are made?

  25. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-15

    It is often the case that most of a state’s carbon-free power comes from nuclear, and shutting them down would only increase their carbon emissions. So to say that avoiding that amount of carbon over the last 50 years is not helping out is a bit of a mischaracterization.

    So if you would like nuclear energy to really compete, then let it compete. But I don’t think you really want that to happen.

    If energy storage works well enough for renewables, it will work well enough to work with nuclear. We could do everything with nuclear + energy storage. That is what the anti-nuclear crowd fear the most at the end of the day.

  26. leslie 2019-04-15

    The heavily subsidized nuclear industry went after profit, not systematic power production, safety and pollution concerns. Just like mining and pipelines ect. We know how Trump’s regulatory sidestep will turn out for Koch pressurized tar sands under the Missouri. It has happened twice recently on the Yellowstone. The nullification of an indepedant judiciary will assure that and is occurring at this very moment. To cry now about regulation strangulation is futile. You had your chance. Respectfully, “Nope” is a foolish response. Your only hope at survival is to join with the Democrats’ cause.

    Our military uses nuclear power in many ways, but even the Navy’s $200 B budget does not cut through the human failures caused by access to luxury that corrupts heads of these organizations. It is similarly nuclear’s failure. There the buck stops. I’d love to see this miraculous atomic source of power bring us to a new age of efficiency as much as you, but compromises made for short-term individual wealth doom the industry.

    $190 B is estimated to cleanup Fukushima’s several melted-down reactors. Was the tsunami Japan’s fault? Nope. Were there failures to back up cooling systems at the shore-line plant? Yep. Were inadequate regulations at fault? Yep.

    Modern Mankind is incapable of managing complex systems for the good of the many. Maybe women could. HRC would have had us far on our way to managing global warming.

  27. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-15

    It was bad enough that NIMBY essentially drove the decision making to place all 6 in one location, but the company exacerbated the problem via staffing decisions and not securing their backup fuel. And there was some Japanese culture at play too, not wanting to disagree with higher-ups.

    The point is that all of those are human decisions, not driven by nuclear energy itself. A lot of bad decisions get made when the people being impacted by said decisions (or at least their representatives) are not in the room.

    I think what bothers you about “Nope” is that they are true. I do not think it is fair to complain that nuclear is not doing enough on one hand, but hindering how well it can be implemented with the other. Everyone agrees that the waste from shutdown nuclear plants needs to go somewhere else than where it is right now, but we can’t get that done.

    You know, there are Democrats who support nuclear power….to power the world out of poverty, supply good-paying jobs for labor, generate economic development at home, and actually deliver the timely and plentiful clean energy we will need to combat climate change. None of those things will happen for free.

    Democrats are not anti-business either. Just look at Bernie…who thought one could become a millionaire by railing against millionaires? Hmmm….nobody has railed against billionaires yet….

  28. Robin Friday 2019-04-15

    Thanks for your great response, Mr. McT. I do not advocate “just stop using fossil fuels” because I don’t think that’s realistic. Therefor, it’s not going to happen. I just wish fossil energies not to completely kill alternative energies as they and our government seem determined to do, before they even get the chance to get off the ground.We could greatly reduce the “need” for fossil fuels if we just would. And tar sands and fracking? To my mind, that’s desperation we don’t need.

  29. Robin Friday 2019-04-15

    addendum: As for nuclear, it has always been suspect for me, but I tried not to be adamant. I always worried about safety. My brother worked at Hanford. Fukishima put me over the top.

  30. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-15

    I definitely get that nuclear is not everybody’s cup of tea. But unless we solve energy storage or carbon capture, getting rid of nuclear is a mistake for the climate.

    Hanford is an on-going legacy of nuclear weapons development. Yes, we did what was necessary at the time, but we need to circle back and fix it (i.e. people have to agree upon a solution).

    The best response to Fukushima is to approve the reactors that do not operate with water-cooling and rely on pumps and valves…and approve the new fuels that are more heat-resistant. Then if you lose power due to any combo of extreme events, no big deal. Easier said then done given the politics.

  31. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-16

    Bernie is on record as saying he wants to end all nuclear power, and has voted against bills that seek to advance the state of nuclear power.

    They shut down the only nuclear plant in Vermont. Burlington is apparently 100% renewable in terms of its electricity, but that is only because they burn biomass for electricity. The EPA says that particular process that they are using is worse than coal in terms of carbon emissions.

    If he doesn’t want to do nuclear, fine. But at least promote carbon capture to be consistent.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/04/16/bernie-sanders-denies-closure-of-vermont-nuclear-plant-increased-emissions-the-data-says-otherwise/

    Cory Booker is the only candidate on the Democratic side that I know of that is pushing for advanced nuclear energy, and he is on the Green New Deal as well.

  32. leslie 2019-04-16

    Doc- Taiwan pop. 24M protested nuke power and will phase all 6 reactors out by 2025, favoring solar/wind renewables and electric transportation. Panels on rented rooftops yeild incomr to homeowners. Ronald Reagan had the opportunity to jumpstart solar panels decades ago, but like Trump’s squashing Iranian nuke weapons treaty, Republicans squandered leadership in favor for capitalistic benefactors. Mistakes like silting over coral reefs relied on by the fishing economy during the latest nuke construction project,doomed the plant after hosing down young people determined to force a carbon-free society. The

  33. leslie 2019-04-16

    … Taiwanese struggle with demand fluctuations like you describe, but politically they have stopped wringing their hands over whether to wrest energy control away from the energy buffalos, nuclear included. PBS

  34. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-16

    The issue with Taiwan is that if they rely upon renewables, they will have to burn some kind of fossil fuel to make up the difference. That isn’t running away from fossil fuels, that is just using fossil fuels differently. Energy security is a bigger deal for Taiwan…as there is this other nation nearby that could cut off imports of fossil fuels. Nuclear gets around that issue.

    Because there is no energy storage, the other option is living without access to timely and plentiful energy upon demand. That is being taken for granted…until it is gone. Like when a heat wave hits and there isn’t enough energy to power all the air conditioners despite all the sunshine.

    I would like to see the smaller reactors in play, which would be perfect for Taiwan and Puerto Rico and others. But even the big ones with the large upfront costs win out over time over renewables. As you make more kilowatt-hours, the costs per kilowatt-hour of operation take over in that analysis.

    In other words, it is worth it to pay for the better vehicle and run it for 15 years, or to buy the cheapest vehicle and keep buying a new one every 2-3 years and tossing the old ones in the dump? The latter is what we are doing at the moment because we like the initial low price tag.

  35. Adam 2019-04-16

    Step One is for country folks to get their heads out of there asses.

  36. leslie 2019-04-16

    my, my adam! are you the gent I stood in line and sat for dinner with at the custer golf course? :) (chuckling). I do know a few of those. supposedly we dems/progs are supposed to invite them to dinner and patiently explain Republicanism doesn’t work. then they will see the light. Apparently there are converts after Bernie’s town hall last night

  37. Adam 2019-04-17

    Leslie, it will always be some peoples job to invite them to dinner and patiently explain why cultist-grade anti-liberalism doesn’t work, but let us never forget the importance of a well rounded, multi-pronged approach to changing their mind – especially where and when there is an absence of one or more much needed prongs in the approach.

    I submit that South Dakota Democrats have been so beaten down and abused for so very long, suffering from constantly evasive goal posts, a growingly extreme vast majority and some of the most minimal human contact with the rest of the country that they the ability to just simply call out the crazies for being so damn crazy has been scared out of them.

    Sort of like wars like the Civil War – both parties try reasoning with each other to some extent, one says, “I won’t ever give you what you want,” the other says, “don’t be crazy here,” and then it declares war (which is the ultimate dehumanization of the enemy).

    I’m not saying we should declare any variety of ‘war’ but it seems clear that it’s time to call out things like “narcissism is a mental illness which is on the rise in rural America,” and when these crazy folks are all on the exact same ‘Climate Change is a hoax’ page, there’s no need in reasoning with them. If in the year 2019 they still deny it, then their brains are mush, and they need someone to explain that to them as well as other things.

    A true gentleman is like a true Scotsman. There may not actually be such a thing ;)

  38. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-17

    The United States Supreme Court has rejected appeals trying to challenge programs in states that have provided legislative support for nuclear energy as part of their clean energy portfolios.

    Such efforts are under consideration in both Ohio and Pennsylvania at the moment, and have been approved in states like Illinois, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

    The Obama-era Clean Power Plan rewarded uprates for existing nuclear power plants, but did not support their continued operation. This is a problem because until renewables and energy storage work as promised, the clean electricity from nuclear plants that are shutdown will be replaced by electricity generated by consuming fossil fuels.

  39. jerry 2019-04-17

    Nukes cause cancer, always have and always will

  40. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-17

    Ummm…Doesn’t the sun cause cancer?

    Uncontrolled amounts of anything can cause cancer. But that is why we use SCIENCE to control them.

    Nukes kill cancer cells (called radiation therapy), and medical imaging avoids the use of unnecessary surgeries and promotes targeted healthcare. You are welcome.

  41. jerry 2019-04-17

    Proven, nukes cause cancer, always have and always will.

    “In1986, the Soviet minister of hydrometeorology, Yuri Izrael, had a regrettable decision to make. It was his job to track radioactivity blowing from the smoking Chernobyl reactor in the hours after the 26 April explosion and deal with it. Forty-eight hours after the accident, an assistant handed him a roughly drawn map. On it, an arrow shot north-east from the nuclear power plant, and broadened to become a river of air 10 miles wide that was surging across Belarus toward Russia. If the slow-moving mass of radioactive clouds reached Moscow, where a spring storm front was piling up, millions could be harmed. Izrael’s decision was easy. Make it rain” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/04/chernobyl-nuclear-power-climate-change-health-radioactivity

    That’s why Westinghouse went broke, no one wants these cancer mills.

  42. Adam 2019-04-17

    All that’s important is convincing the country deniers and rural conspiracists to stop being so godforsakenly dumb.

    Step Two cannot come before Step One.

  43. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-17

    Radiation doses above a certain threshold have been proven to cause cancer. That threshold is many times higher than natural background radiation. Below that, the epidemiology is mixed in with other things like diet and smoking. The linear model is easy and simple to talk about, but that does not mean it is predictive for large populations at low doses.

    But here is the key question: Are you going to stop using solar power now that you know the sun causes cancer?

  44. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-17

    Westinghouse went broke for a multitude of reasons pertaining to business acumen and lack of expertise in building big reactors, but none of them involved cancer.

  45. Adam 2019-04-17

    McTaggart thinks, “Are you going to stop using solar power now that you know the sun causes cancer?” is a key question. ROFL

  46. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-17

    The answer of course is no. Jerry is not going to stop using solar power just because of an association of the sun with cancer.

    Fortunately you do not have to absorb UV all day to use solar power, and you do not have to sit in the core of a nuclear reactor to use nuclear power. There is this thing called SCIENCE that one can use to protect the public from radiation.

    If one solitary nucleus gets out in the next 10,000 years, all hell breaks loose. If somebody dumps tons of cancer-causing chemicals used in the processing of solar cells…no big deal.

  47. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-22

    Add New Jersey to the list of states supporting currently operating nuclear power plants and preventing unnecessary carbon emissions.

    Nuclear today makes 90% of the carbon-free energy in New Jersey. The zero emissions certificate credits (aka subsidy) will cost $300 million per year, or add $41 to the annual utility bill. The vote was 4-1 on the PUC board.

    https://dailyenergyinsider.com/news/18895-new-jersey-board-of-public-utilities-awards-subsidies-for-nuclear-power-plants/

    “We have a moral obligation to our fellow citizens to do everything we can to decrease carbon emissions. In making this decision, the Board considered fuel diversity, resiliency, RGGI, the New Jersey’s economy, and environmental impact and we’ve concluded that now is not a time to move forward in a way that will remove nuclear from our energy mix and ultimately increase air pollution and carbon emissions in our state.”

  48. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-22

    For those of you interested in clean water…

    https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/how-recycle-resell-buy-used-electronics-ncna996956

    “There are many harmful chemicals and toxins in e-waste, such as cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic, and those are ending up in landfills across the U.S. where they can leach into the soil and underground waterways..”

    Do you think the leaching could be exacerbated by flooding?

    Good news, solar cells and batteries can become e-waste too. Yet another reason to recycle them and/or properly isolate any end-of-cycle wastes.

  49. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-22

    Talking about the costs of climate change…the NHL is purchasing carbon offsets for the carbon it emits during travel in the playoffs.

    This doesn’t mean that the carbon will be avoided in the first place, nor does it mean that the carbon they emit will be captured and stored.

    No, the carbon will still be emitted.

    The offsets are equivalent to removing 99 cars from the road for one year, and the monies will be spent as a subsidy for green energy development elsewhere or for renewable energy education.

    Essentially it is a self-imposed tax, but I suspect that the costs will be dutifully passed along to the consumer. Shocking.

  50. jerry 2019-04-25

    Here is a pretty good idea from Black Hills Corp.

    “Rapid City, South Dakota — December 17, 2018 — Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) announced today its Black Hills Energy electric utility subsidiaries in South Dakota and Wyoming filed for approval of new, voluntary renewable energy tariffs to serve customer requests for renewable energy resources. In addition, Black Hills Energy South Dakota and Wyoming electric utilities filed a joint application with the Wyoming Public Service Commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct a new $57 million, 40-megawatt wind generation project near Cheyenne, Wyoming.” https://www.blackhillscorp.com/node/118086#.XMICdOhKjIV

    Of course, this has to be approved by the South Dakota PUC so therein lies the problem. These guys don’t do anything unless it can leak oil and pollute water.

  51. jerry 2019-04-25

    Nationalize big oil to combat climate change, you betcha.

    “Last year, the industry spent an astonishing $124,837,199 on lobbying politicians in the US. During the 2016 elections, the industry spent over $100m on campaign contributions; recent top donors include the Koch brothers, Chevron and ExxonMobil. This is not wasted money, far from it. In the neoliberal era, rolling back the state has in practice meant withdrawing state support and social security for the majority, but continuing vast subsidies for vested interests. One recent study found that worldwide fossil fuel subsidies amounted to $4.9tn in 2013. It estimated that eliminating those subsidies would have cut global carbon emissions by 21% and air pollution deaths by over half.” Guardian April 25,2019

  52. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-25

    Yeah, nationalizing oil always works out for the best in other countries…

    The real number is subsidies per kilowatt-hour. Why is that important? If you are pinning your hopes on a renewables-only approach, then you will have to generate more kilowatt-hours than today. In addition, future sites that are not as sunny or windy will require higher subsidies because they will be producing less income.

    It’s not like people are going to stop using power or stop going places. So instead of having the funds available for timely construction or maintenance, those things get put off or the costs get passed along.

  53. Debbo 2019-04-25

    “One recent study found that worldwide fossil fuel subsidies amounted to $4.9tn in 2013. It estimated that eliminating those subsidies would have cut global carbon emissions by 21% and air pollution deaths by over half.” Guardian April 25,2019

    Holy crap! Totally outrageous!

    Let’s have a state account for utilities. When there is a specific need for a specific infrastructure, and certain conditions are met, the utility company gets the subsidy, which can only go toward that specific bit of infrastructure.

    Certain conditions? Yes. No total compensation can exceed x% of the lowest employee’s wage. Employees are unionized, etc.

  54. jerry 2019-04-26

    Yes, thanks for noting doc. Nationalizing the oil industry works very well as indicated.

    “Government-controlled companies dominate the ranks of the world’s largest energy producers. In fact, based on revenues for 2017, the top three biggest energy-producing companies are state-owned enterprises controlled by national governments.” https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/121715/worlds-biggest-state-owned-oil-companies.asp

    As noted by the Guardian’s article, nationalizing will be the only way that we can wean ourselves from the over production of oil to curb climate change. Mozambique is just getting clobbered with another cyclone. The first one Ida, was just weeks ago and was the biggest recorded. Cyclone Kenneth is even bigger with over 3 feet of rain.

  55. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-26

    No, the other way to address an overproduction of oil is for alternative transportation…be that biofuels or electric vehicles…to deliver the same or better performance for less cost, and with an equal or better level of convenience.

    If you have to wait 2 hours at the “gas station” to recharge, that is not going to be feasible. So part of that equation is having readily available, cheap, abundant electricity whenever people want it.

    Then if those choices are equal in terms of price, and one is better for the environment, then the decision is easy. Right now it is difficult because of the upfront costs associated with making such a transition on a personal basis.

  56. jerry 2019-04-26

    Nationalize energy period. We already do that with electricity, water, interstates and the list goes on. Private, for profit business, cannot be trusted to do what is best for the consumer. We need government intervention as we always have.

    When that happens, you will be able to see change in how we travel without waiting “two hours” to fuel up. How far up did you have to go to pull that out? A battery exchange could be feasible with one size fits all.

  57. Robert McTaggart 2019-04-26

    Nationalizing things won’t change the physics of batteries. Distribution maybe, but not the battery itself.

  58. Ian 2019-05-05

    Recent extreme weather, flooding, and a shift in rainfall patterns and growing seasons have all taken their toll on South Dakota. It is one of the reasons for the downturn in the farm economy. And it is only going to get worse, unless we take action now. One good solution is the *bi-partisan* H.R. 763 – the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend act. It unleashes the power of market forces and free enterprise to solve the problem. It does not impose new heavy-handed regulations, nor does it involve government interference in picking winners and losers: the dividend is paid out to citizens every month, putting money in our pockets. By levelling the playing field, it will also make wind energy more competitive, so SD can harvest and sell more wind energy. It is a win-win. Overview: https://energyinnovationact.org/

  59. Debbo 2019-05-05

    Ian, I see that ag is omitted from the fee structure and that there are only 2 GOP sponsors, unless I counted wrong.

    To be clear, I am 100% in favor of action to reduce carbon and it looks like this could do it. However, other good proposals have gone down in flames, so I’m thinking about weak points that the GOP will attack.

    Minnesota has 8 Congresspeople, but I saw only 2 of the 5 Democrats and that surprised me. Our farm country Democrat, Colin Peterson, ought to be on board since farmers are exempt. I’ve no idea why he’s not. My rep is Angie Craig and she is.

    Is this just recently filed? What’s going on with it?

  60. Clyde 2019-05-11

    This argument go’es on ad nauseam. Robert with his nuke’s and etc.

    Andrew Yang has brought up a rather disturbing point. That is that the US only accounts for 15% of the worlds CO2 emission’s. If we stopped all carbon emitting tomorrow it isn’t going to save the world. It’s too late. The greed of those that knew has done us in now. So if you live on low ground you had better move.

    I have been saying for some time that we needn’t worry about global warming because a nuclear winter will cure all our problems. Seems we are getting closer to one every day.

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