Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ann Coulter 7-16-08 This is Not a Drill

These comments ensued. In this edition, Vic calls energyguy a watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside). Lolo1 gets into a fairly spirited argument with energyguy. George Washington asks some good questions, but energyguy failed to respond (not intentionally, GW, energyguy assures you). Rich D gets into the fray and energyguy disagrees with him factually and logically.

Also, T. Boone Pickens gets picked on by several, and defended by energyguy, Lolo1 accuses energyguy of being a shill for T. Boone, (and I am not by any means), and energyguy explains his opposition to nuclear power.

We also learn that ExxonMobil is about to introduce a breakthrough in automotive battery technology that will make plug-in hybrids commonplace.

This series ends with energyguy's complete refutation (with facts) of Vic's claims that power from gas turbines is uneconomic. What say you, Vic?

All this reminds me of what a tenured, seasoned, professor of chemical engineering told us in our senior year of undergrad:

"Men, you are about to become chemical engineers. You will find yourself outnumbered at times in your career, but you will NEVER be out-gunned."
and then, he smiled. He was always pounding into our thick skulls that arguments are worthless unless backed up by facts. -- energyguy

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did participating. Let's do it again, yall, and soon!

energyguy Location: CA
Ms Coulter

wrote: "Conservation, efficiency and using oil we hold in reserve for emergencies does not get us more energy. It's as if we were running out of food and the Democrats were telling us: "Just eat a little less every day." Great! We'll die a little more slowly. That's not what we call a "plan." We need more energy, not a plan for a slower death."

Great writing, funny, wish I could do that. Ann, you are my kind of woman.

I agree that using our SPR is unwise; that is for supply emergencies. This is not such.

Conservation and greater efficiency, though, are two of our best bets for immediate and long-term solutions.

A vehicle that gets 80 miles per gallon uses one-fourth the gasoline compared to one at 20 miles per gallon. That has the same effect on the driver's wallet as gasoline at $1 per gallon.

Anyone remember those days? And that we were complaining about the high price of gas?

Those 80-mile per gallon vehicles are here, folks. see, also, and just consider a VW Jetta TDI diesel (it gets about 50 mpg) with an add-on plug-in hybrid system. Add-on hybrid systems are here, too.

To Marinaro: Right On.

Since the engineers appear to be introducing themselves, here's my intro:

-- Roger E. Sowell, energy attorney and former refinery engineer, with a BS in chemical engineering.

energyguy Location: CA
President Bush

did ask for funding for alternative energy, including hydrogen.

The U.S. government has spent many millions through DOE research into solar, wind, hydrogen, and many others. Take a look at what Sandia National Labs and a few of the other national labs are up to. Also, see the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website, part of the DOE, at

The geeks and engineers are showing us the way out of this high-priced energy mess. Sure, the products are a bit pricey to start with, but so were personal computers in the early days.

I did not hear any whiners back then saying that this is unfair, those damn Republicans are creating a device that only the rich can afford.

Prices for the ultra-high mileage vehicles will come down very fast. There was a time when air conditioning on a car was an add-on, a luxury. I know, because I always wanted AC on long family vacations driving across Arizona in the summer as a kid. Not many years later, AC was not even an option. They were so cheap they were just included.

Geeks and engineers. Gotta love em.

-- Roger E. Sowell, energy attorney and former refinery engineer, with a BS in chemical engineering.

The Crawfish Location: PA
Subject: Oil-based fuels

As long as aircraft, trains, large trucks, heavy equipment, and ships run on oil-based fuel, we'll need it. I don't see viable alternative fuels for those machines coming down the pipe anytime soon.

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: Bubba -- at 7:13 am

wrote about more refineries, and nuclear power.

As some on TH know, I am against both. And here is why.

The democratic party's mantra that we have not built a new refinery in 30 years is dis-information. It misses the entire point, and that is, that we have always had adequate refining capacity, excepting a few weather-related events.

We had 12 million barrels per day refining capacity in about 1983. Today we have 18 million. That is 50 percent increase in 25 years, roughly 2 percent per year. That kept up with the demand for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The geeks and engineers did this by expanding existing refineries.

We do not need more refineries in the U.S., and here is why. The coming (or more accurately, the existing) decline in gasoline consumption in the U.S., does not indicate building more refineries. Instead, look for the U.S. refineries to begin exporting gasoline and diesel to other countries.

Note that there are a few U.S. refineries with major expansion projects right now. BP in Whiting IN is one, also a big refinery in Port Arthur TX.

There is a lot of talk about a new refinery in the Dakotas for the Bakken oil, but so far no one has written a check for the $8 billion or so that it will cost. I doubt anyone will.

Finally, just last week Shell cancelled their plans to build a new refinery in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. They cited market uncertainty, and surging construction costs as their reasons. Market uncertainty means "we don't think we can sell the products at a high enough price when we finally get this thing built in 4 years."

more on nukes later.

-- Roger E. Sowell, energy attorney and former refinery engineer, with a BS in chemical engineering.

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: ExxonMobil to the Rescue

I will probably get some flak for this.

The CEO of ExxonMobil recently stated in a speech in Europe, that his company will soon unveil a new technology for lithium batteries. Something about a membrane.

That will make the Lithium batteries more desirable for things like cars, especially plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Now, my question to all the Exxon-haters out there, is why would ExxonMobil do something like that?

Those are the smart guys (and gals). They know their stuff, better than anyone, at finding oil, refining oil, making petrochemicals, and making money at it.

Why would they even be performing research in that area, batteries?

-- Roger E. Sowell, energy attorney and former refinery engineer, with a BS in chemical engineering.

The Crawfish Location: PA
Robert 12:30AM

What alternative energy sources are viable, or will become viable in the next 25 years, for aircraft? How about trains, large trucks, and heavy equipment? I just can't see any other way to power one of those new huge Airbus planes or an F-35.

Nuclear power is an alternative for ships, but do we want to have those third world crews, many of whom have a hard enough time with routine maintenance that keeps their vessels from becoming dangerous rust buckets, dealing with nuke reactors? Do we really wnat those third world crews to be able to get their hands on nuclear waste that can be used as a weapon? Heck, even using their own ship as a weapon by initiating a reactor runaway when they pull into port in Noo Yawk, Basstun, Newport News, El Lay, Than Franthithco, Seattle, Houston, N'awlins......

orlandocajun Location: FL

"Why would they even be performing research in that area, batteries?"


energyguy Location: CA
Subject: orlandocajun -- BINGO

ExxonMobil sees the light. And the future.

And the future is plug-in hybrid cars with their batteries. This is the smart response, part of If you Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em.

If drilling was the way out of high oil prices, I suspect ExxonMobil would never be working on batteries.

Kinda takes the wind out of the sails of those watermelons who say ExxonMobil is doing nothing for the environment.

Way to fire, Rex! 41-38.

-- Roger E. Sowell, energy attorney and former refinery engineer, with a BS in chemical engineering.

killer Location: GA

I am an Attorney in Georgia,no big deal.But,please allow me to help you,in your attempt to assist Exxon.If Exxon had done this in 1950,they would have been good corporate citizens.But, to do it when resources of fuel are dwindling, is self explanatory.Superconductivity is on the rise world-wide.Battery experimentation is being examined by every nation on earth, almost.It is alleged, that by 2012,we will have available to "US" batteries, that could last for 100's of years.Exxon is doing US no favors,believe me.Sir,they are trying to position themselves for the coming cycle,which is their JOB!!!

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: The Crawfish -- at 8:19 am

wrote: "What alternative energy sources are viable, or will become viable in the next 25 years, for aircraft? How about trains, large trucks, and heavy equipment?"

You have a point with aircraft. More fuel-efficient engines are what is working now, as in A380 and Boeing's Dreamliner. Although the Dreamliner uses composite materials to reduce weight, too.

We will need jet fuel for a long time.

For trains, see GE's hybrid train. It was on display in Los Angeles' Union Station a few months ago. Recovers energy from braking. Trains tend to brake a lot.

For trucks, see Eaton Corp's hybrid technology for delivery trucks. On sale in 4th Quarter of this year.

Hybrid technology works for just about anything that has to hit the brakes. That includes heavy equipment.

Big Rigs, for long hauls, are a bit of a problem. They don't have the stop-and-go driving that allows the hybrid to increase mileage. But, geeks and engineers are working on that one, too. One of the technologies reduces drag by increasing air pressure at the end of the trailer.

Good point about nukes on ships. Not to worry, though. Way too expensive.

-- Roger E. Sowell, energy attorney and former refinery engineer, with a BS in chemical engineering.

Woody Location: IA
Subject: To energyguy

Though you may be correct in what you're saying, your sign-off,telling everyone about your "degree", is more than slightly arrogant.

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: Woody

Ok, just for you, I will sign off differently this time.

How's this? You happy now? Anything else you want to whine about?

-- A Cowboy, and beer-drinkin' guitar-player with friends in low places.

Joycey Location: OH
Subject: Energy guy

I don't know about you but My family was already conserving energy. I was raised not to waste. We don't have anymore cutbacks to make. Buying a new car is not a solution for families that can't afford a new car. We are to busy paying college tuition. "Let them eat cake",
"Let them buy a new car". Where are your 80 mpg cars. Best I've seen is around 40 are you talking about dangerous motor scooters. Where are the groceries going that we soon will not be able to afford on a motor scooter. If I have to make 10 trips on a motor scooter I haven't saved a nickle.

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: Joycey

I predict that gasoline prices will get much lower, and very soon. Here is why.

First, summer driving season ends on Labor Day. Prices historically drop then as demand drops due to school starting.

Second, a very big refinery is starting up in India around Labor Day. This refinery will eventually sell gasoline and diesel to customers in India, but for now will be exporting. That will bring prices down somewhat. see Reliance Industries.

Third, U.S. drivers are cutting gasoline use like never before. We have seen a consistent decrease in gasoline use for the past few months. SUVs and pickup trucks are sitting on auto dealer lots. Meanwhile, hybrids are zooming off the lots. GM, Ford, and Chrysler are shutting down plants that make their gas-guzzlers. Toyota is shutting down the Tundra pickup plant for a few months.

Fourth, gasoline prices are already dropping, at least in Los Angeles. Trends sometimes start in California and infect the whole country.

And last, AFSTrinity demonstrated their 150 mile per gallon SUV in January at the Detroit auto show. It is real. They took a brand new Saturn VUE, a small SUV, and added their plug-in hybrid system to it. Aptera is taking orders now for their car, which gets serious gas mileage.

This is like a snowball rolling down a hill. Gasoline prices will be lower, and soon.

All this is just one guy's opinion.

-- Roger E. Sowell, beer drinker.

george washington Location: FL
Energy Guy...

While I am certainly no energy expert, I like to think that I possess a fair amount of common sense.

The use of gasoline to fuel our personal vehicles is a practice whose days are ultimately numbered.
Obviously, we can't continue to burn gasoline indefinitely.

Looking at the alternatives, as far as automobiles are concerned, electric would seem to be the best currently known alternative.

A general conversion to electric cars is not going to happen overnight, however. The practical reality is that turning the fleet over, in all that that entails (including infrastructure for re-charging stations, etc.), may well consume one or two decades, or more.

Assuming that we were to go that route, how would we generate the electricity needed to power the new electric auto fleet?

I note that you oppose additional nuclear powered electrical generation plants. What would you propose? I must admit that I do not know some of the facts needed to assess the feasibility of some of the alternatives.

What would be the requirements of any all-electric auto fleet in kilowatt hours per day? Are wind or solar, as the technologies currently exist, capable of even producing what must surely be a prodigous amount of electricity? At what cost per kilowatt hour?

I am not trying to put you on the spot here. I do not have this information and have seen all manner of contradictory information.

I, for one, would love to see some sort of national emergency conference convened at which the known facts are reliably produced and summarized for the nation to assess.

Your Obedient Servant,

George Washington

CKHustler Location: MN

I noticed something you said...

"ExxonMobil sees the light. And the future. "

Thats just it...the future. What about the present? If our economy tanks because of rising oil prices, well, there goes our economy in the present and those future technologies will have done nothing to help.

We are all for future technologies, but we want a solution that will get us to the future technologies without losing our economy in the process. Open up drilling and refining to any individual who wants to. That would solve our energy crisis immediately as prices would plummet the next day due to future market stability.

Your so busy looking a mile down the road, your missing the bus sideswiping us while we try to get there.

The Crawfish Location: PA
Energy Guy and R-Geek

Energy...good info, and keep up the beer drinkin'!

Geek...thanx for stopping by and giving The Swamp a plug. Once I finish all 17 parts of the series, I'll make a final post that has links to all 17 parts. I'll send a link to THAT post to the McLame and Barr campaigns, since us minor-league bloggers are the only ones who seem to be able to find this ammo that's sitting out in the open.

Some of my fellow bloggers and I came up with our own (currently fictional, but maybe sometime soon a reality) political party, The American Tradition Party. I've got a link to our 2008 Platform as one of the featured posts.

Rich D. Location: PA
Subject: energyguy

"And the future is plug-in hybrid cars with their batteries. This is the smart response, part of If you Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em."

Their is no forseeable improvement to batteries that would increase their energy density, service lifetime, and cost significantly. It is misleading to say that a car gets 150 mpg - a bicycle's mpg is infinite.

As you are against nuclear power for some unexplained reasons (that you promised), how the dickens do you proprose to charge the batteries? Hydro is out, wind is of low availablity, especially when needed most during summer months in the daytime, solar puts hazardous chemicals on your roof just waiting for a fire, hydrogen is only a lossy carrier, ethanol starves poor people and ruins engines, and batteries need to be recycled and replaced at a hugh cost, and will require azmat crews at major accidents.

Rich (Oh, B.S. in B.S.)

Lolo1 Location: CA

interesting comments, but people are still not getting the big picture.

Congress over the last forty years has done nothing to develop our infrastructure, and not just in the realm of energy. Water wars anyone? They cow towed to the environazi's and now we have gridlock. Yes, I can blame the Democrats and Pelosi. Don't give me that Reps had the Congress for 6 years stuff. They campaigned on lowering gas prices and they have since almost doubled. Quite frankly I blame them all!

Currently hybrid technology does not fit the needs of all Americans. And to those who scream about gas mileage remember it is Congress that continually raises and lowers fuel standards. Cop a clue folks, you are taxed per gallon, the more you use the more you pay in taxes.

The world is not going to run out of oil. This dooms day scenario has been predicted since the 1930's. Does that mean we shouldn't pursue other methods? Nope. I like technology and it often does more good than harm. Gonna be interesting to see the creative way they come up with to tax it.

To the engineers on board go to IBD and read Local Fission Hole. Curious as to what you think.

In the mean time while Congress fiddles Rome is burning. If you guys think they are really serious about getting off of foreign oil I have a bridge to sell you.

energyguy Location: CA
Rich D -- at 10:51 am

Brief response, I gotta get some work done, but will be back around 5 PDT.

Wind is one of the best options we have, but there are plenty more. Try a search for Wind Energy Map. The DOE recently completed a wind survey across the U.S. and found more than enough wind is available to supply all our electric power needs. And that was just with 15 mile per hour wind, measured at a height of 50 meters.

Low-speed wind available is much greater. As T. Boone says, America is the Saudi Arabia of wind power. T. Boone is a Great American, IMHO.

And I disagree on the battery point you raised. AFSTrinity is using an ultra-capacitor with nanotechnology from a professor at MIT. Serious geeks and engineers, there. (Is that arrogance to mention that? I am lost as to the protocol around here...)

I are an en-gun-eer. I have a lot of faith in 'em.

More tonight.

-- Roger E. Sowell, with a BS in BD (beer drinkin)

yall crack me up!

Lolo1 Location: CA
Subject: energyguy

And when you come back please explain the economics of wind and it's impact.

Vic Location: SC

EG is against Nuclear Power because he is a closet eco-idiot masquerading as someone who knows something. He claims to be an engineer responsible for building and selling combined cycle gas turbine plants and that they are the “cheapest” form of generation. They are, in fact, cheap to build and very expensive to operate.

If he is in that business then the obvious reason he is against Nuclear Power, besides being a watermelon, is that they would cut into his profit margin and business.

Lolo1 Location: CA

Well that certainly explains the enormous cost of energy here in California! Highest in the nation!

Too many people like energyguy bring their agendas to work and force them on others.

Ron Location: PA
Subject: If government hadn't

taken half of every business and industries' operating capitol every year since WWII, we would have all these things now. Since our industries didn't have that money, they couldn't spend it on research and development that would have resulted in 60-mph cars, NG-powered cars, 500-mile battery cars, etc.

energyguy #145: If we have all the refining capacity we need, WHY ARE WE IMPORTING GASOLINE???

Vic Location: SC

The high cost of electricity in CA is due to a number of reasons, all of which can be laid at the feet of the Democrap Legislator and “reregulation”. First off, about 50% of CA electricity comes from out of State. This places you at the mercy of the other States for what generation mix you get. Home State utilities always provide their own customers with the cheapest generation while they sell the higher price stuff to their neighbors. For example, in short term contracts a neighboring utility will call and ask if a border utility has any spare generation rather than light off a high priced gas IC Turbine. Let’s say the neighbor has $25.00/MW coal while the buying utility has $250.00/MW gas turbine. They will split the difference, i.e. the utility gets the coal generation at $125/MW.

The other reason is that the only thing CA has put on line has been gas turbine generation. Which, as I said, is expensive to operate.

Another reason is that CA has shutdown all of it’s nuclear generation but one plant and it is slated for shutdown. These plants cost a lot of money to build and now you are getting nothing from them but the bill.

And still another reason is the high cost of transmission in CA. You have to build around high priced real-estate, mountains, and deserts with towers that are somewhat earthquake resistant. And let me tell you, one of the first things to go in an earthquake is the power lines.

Lolo1 Location: CA
Subject: Vic

Oh I am well aware of all of you say and then some since my Dad is retired electrical engineer.

Let me add a couple of things. The PUC is made up of appointed people. Every single one of them is a Democrat! These members, as well as PG&E itself, donate heavily to Feinstein. I think you get the picture.

I was pointing out that the logic, or lack there of, from energyguy is precisely how and why this state is in a mess.

I am waiting to hear from him the economic impact of wind energy on the country as a whole.

Bet he has no clue.

I read what T. Boone Pickens is trying to do from his website. It is not a countrywide solution. He is looking to capitalize on the misery of others, which will create even more misery for future generations.

Vic Location: SC

T. Boone Pickens is doing the time-honored tradition of robber barons in getting the government to help pay for his scheme and getting regulations passed that force people to buy his product. He and his investors have invested millions in building a huge wind farm. Now he wants even more government subsidies and some kind of mandate to force people to buy “wind”. In addition, he wants progress on the so-called “grid upgrade” that would allow his wind power to be moved from Texas to places like NY and CA which are grossly underpowered. The last I saw of that plan it would call for each individual utility to pay for it. That means higher prices for the utilities that it passed through so that the NIMBYs, NAMBYs, and NOPEs could get power and he could sell it.

Lolo1 Location: CA
Subject: Vic

On the money!!!

And wasn't it energyguy that called him a Great American?

He must be brown nosing for a job.

Butcher Location: OH
Subject: Vic what a great insight to it.........

Vic Location: SC
Subject: Lolo

T. Boone Pickens is doing the time-honored tradition of robber barons in getting the government to help pay for his scheme and'
I find that we agree here, ol T. Boone Pickens, are we giving him air time every time we mention hids name??? OL TBP is selling the nation a spiel and not doing good at it.
I have grown past the age of Dinosuar auto's and look forward to the days of clean fuel transportation, but I will be long dead. Shhhhh everyone.
I and I mean myself and my company are looking into self electrified homes. Not death chambers but homes powered by Electric wind generators that already exist. A 12-15KWh generator could supply the average three bedroom 2400 sq.ft home of all its electrical needs, 24/7 so there are alternatives.
In transportation, viable alternatives are coming but far off so we need to drill OS. However I do not believe we need to destroy the ANWR at this point in time, because the figures of available oil say's we do not need it.

ModMark Location: NY
Subject: Nice guy Vic

"EG is against Nuclear Power because he is a closet eco-idiot masquerading as someone who knows something. "

EnergyGuy has come to TH offering his opinion to all and not once have I seen him resort to this typical insults so common with you Townies.

So typical of you and the Townies, just destroy the man and ignore his message.

You just sound like a bitter old man.

Marinero Location: WA
energyguy & wiseone

I'm happy to say that American innovation is still alive and well. As energyguy mentioned, AFS Trinity and Aptera, and perhaps more importantly,,, and As long as this spirit of innovation exists, and as long as government can stay out of the way enough not to kill it, America will be able to overcome any obstacle.

Energyguy, respectfully disagree with your opposition to nuclear. I'd like to know why you oppose it.

Rich D. Location: PA

"And I disagree on the battery point you raised. AFSTrinity is using an ultra-capacitor with nanotechnology from a professor at MIT. Serious geeks and engineers, there. (Is that arrogance to mention that? I am lost as to the protocol around here...)"

TYhis hybris is 2-3 years out.Their website says the batteries are shot after 10 years. So what do you disagree with? 300 pounds of stuff to recycle? 12 hour battery recharge time? There have been recent articles in IEEE Spectrum.

ModMark Location: NY

Just a minor point, isn't propane an oil product?

Hopefully EnergyGuy comes back tonight to discuss natual Gas, he is really big on this stuff. No nuke he says.

Thank you very much for your straight forward questions, you have my fullest respect sir!

This reply started about 11 p.m. PDT-- energyguy]

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: Replies

ModMark - thanks for coming to my defense in your reply to Vic of 3:31 pm. Vic is rather unhappy, I think, over an exchange he had with me a few days ago re Hugh Hewitt's blog on It's The Oil, Stupid. He advocated nukes, and I did not.

Vic accuses me of being a watermelon, green on the outside, red on the inside! HAH! He is just upset that many refineries built gas-fired, combined cycle cogeneration plants to generate serious power, and took away that business from his beloved utilities. They built nukes, their rates went up, we responded with cogens. Big ones, too, some at 500 megawatts.

Anyone interested, here is the link: s_the_oil,_stupid

Ron at 11:48 am asked, why are we importing gasoline? Answer, it is cheaper. Many refineries in Europe, particularly in Rotterdam, became export refineries to the U.S. rather than shut down when they had over-capacity in EU. We import a lot of unfinished oils, and further refine them into useful products. See EIA. Refiners do a lot of make-or-buy analysis. When it makes sense to buy, we do.

more on next post.

ModMark Location: NY
Subject: By the way Gunny

Shell just canceled a major refinery in Ontario last week. Seems the market condition can't justify a major capital investment.

energyguy Location: CA
Lolo1 at 11:42 a.m.

wrote: "Too many people like energyguy bring their agendas to work and force them on others." -- what agenda? To spread useful information? To draw logical conclusions? To share my experiences? To add ( I hope) to the discussion?

I sorta thought that was a fairly noble purpose of TH blogs.

This forum is a classic example of the marketplace of ideas that our founders so dearly loved. A good idea will withstand scrutiny, and not so good ones will not.

I know I have a target on my back for the positions I take, but I see that as a good thing. Fire away. Vic did. I fired back.

Oh, I forgot to sign off in a Woody-acceptable manner above.

-- Roger E. Sowell, beer drinker.

energyguy Location: CA
Marinero at 4 pm

wants to know why I am opposed to nuclear.

I think my debate with Vic on Hewitt's column (see above) put forth my views pretty well. But, here it is in a nutshell:

Nukes are toxic. Non-believers, please do a search on Karen Silkwood -- she was poisoned by plutonium and died after she sued Kerr-McGee. Nukes create toxic wastes that must be sequestered for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Leaving a toxic legacy for future generations is not playing nice.

Second, nukes are too expensive. As I wrote above, refineries, chemical plants, and other large industries found it much more attractive to build cogens and quit buying power from the utilities due to their nukes.

As ModMark wrote above, new refinery was just cancelled, in part due to soaring construction costs. Nuke plants will have the same cost issues.

And this time, smaller companies and homes have a new option they did not have back then: Distributed Generation. These babies burn natural gas, generate power, produce hot water, heat the home in winter, and cool the house in summer. The geeks and engineers have been busy.

New nuclear power plants will be blocked at every turn. As an attorney, I can assure any readers on TH that the environmental legal eagles got a lot smarter in the last 30 years (I am not one of that group). They can tie up a nuke plant in court battles for years.

-- Roger E. Sowell, beer drinker

energyguy Location: CA
Rich D at 4-something

wrote that hybrid batteries die at 10 years, recycling, etc.

How many cars today last 10 years or longer? 10 years is not a bad life cycle for a battery, I think. And, there are already battery recycling plants, we will just expand their business.

Plus, the geeks and engineers are on it. Better batteries are on the way, the same as with any technology. I point out personal computers (cannot say PC, too many meanings these days). They just get better and better, or cheaper and cheaper for the same performance. Have a little faith in the geeks and engineers. I do. A lot.

-- Roger E. Sowell, beer drinker

GunnyG Location: VA
Subject: ModMark

"Shell just canceled a major refinery in Ontario last week."

Typical cherry pick Mark.

Cost considerations were given as the reason for the project’s cancellation... (Read that to mean taxes, permit fees, payoffs, etc.) tml

CALGARY -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc. has canceled plans to build a new multibillion-dollar refinery near Sarnia, Ontario, due to poor market conditions and surging construction costs, the oil major said Tuesday.

Riding construction costs? Spell that UNIONS.

So between rising construction costs (Unions) and gov't taxes and fees, Shell took their business elsewhere. Gee, go figure.

Marinero Location: WA
thanks energyguy

... for the explanation. I admit I know very little about all this; however, my understanding is that nuke plants are a lot safer than they used to be. They work in France, so why not here? That's a rhetorical question. Anyway, I'm trying to keep an open mind.

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: Wind Power

Someone above wanted to know if I am up on wind-generated power costs.

I am on record as supporting T. Boone Pickens, A Great American, in his wind and natural gas project. Someone criticized me for that statement. Ok, I have a pretty thick skin, you have to in order to survive doing what I do.

To my critic, have you read T. Boone's biography? Do you know he started out dead broke in the oil fields, and made his own fortune that is now worth $4 billion? Do you know he also man-handled Wall Street, buying and selling entire corporations? He is a living legend. I would like to see my critic's credentials.

Now, as to wind power.

Here are some links that are pretty useful. / /pdfs/2007_annual_wind_market_report.pdf

This last one was recent, issued May, 2008.

Windmills over a wide area have a fairly good average generation, I have seen numbers (published ones) that state about 30 percent. The costs depend on many factors, how strong the wind is, how big the generator is, and others. They are sufficiently economic that Texas is building them as fast as they can. In a state with more oil and gas than any other.

-- Roger E. Sowell, beer drinker

ModMark Location: NY
Subject: EnergyGuy

My concerns of a no nuke policy.

My biggest concern is if we develop to great of dependence on Natural Gas for producing electric.

While there is plenty of supply now with CNG tanker rolling into our ports and major new finds of gas, how long till global demand for NG is equal with supplies.

Any industry which relies too much on a single source is vulnerable. We are screwed right now with transportation ie cars. Price is skyrocketing and what choice do we have.

The challenge for nukes, build them on budget. Short term make be more expensive but once paid for, they can be a stable source of electrons.

Thanks Gianna for those cheap electrons.

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: More Links - Cogen

Cogen link - good explanation of these things: =0&rs=0&artid=511

GunnyG: unions may have been part of the problem leading to Shells refinery cancellation, more likely it is the cost of materials. Refinery projects all over the world are seeing doubling and such on costs. I doubt that is due to all the Union workers in the Middle East.

Steel, especially stainless steel, has more than tripled in price recently. Refineries use a lot of it. Concrete, same thing. Copper, same thing. Even the engineering costs are zooming, because of not enough engineers who can design and build a refinery.

Marinero: The French are creating the same toxic legacy with their nukes as we are. Heck, ours work here, too. They run right along, creating toxic radioactives, and putting at least 75 percent of the heat into the air via their cooling towers -- btw, isn't that called Global Warming?

-- Roger E. Sowell, beer drinker

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: Gotta run

will check back tomorrow a.m.

It has been fun.

-- Roger E. Sowell, still a beer drinker.

Lolo1 Location: CA

You do bring your agenda into the workplace. Sorry but I have seen it too many times. Because you think or believe one thing you automatically shoot down others.

I also find it strange that T. Boone Pickens starts doing ads and suddenly we have a new blogger at TH advocating for him.

Reminds me of all the RP supporters.

Lolo1 Location: CA
BTW folks

Heard on the radio today, ABC NEWS, that it would take two years to get the oil to market.

ModMark: Not much of a rant dude! The problem with your oil refinery scenario is the you are right for the wrong reasons. Yes the oil market bottoming out caused the combining and closing of refineries because they could not afford the litigation to repair and keep them up to standards. Same with the oil companies. Notice there are now only five? Competition is being systematically removed from the market which hurts consumers. Now we need the refineries, especially in CA due to cafe standards, but cannot get them. Furthermore if you don't want to give the ME the money and want it to stay here at home, why import and give some other country the same opportunity the ME has?

I would like very much to give them the finger too! But remember they don't care because they have huge markets with India and China. They don't need us.

Ralph Location: CA
Subject: Wind generators are no answer

Shoot! Just when I wanted to put a wind generator on my property thinking it would make me energy (at least for our electrical needs) independent, I hear someone pose real life questions about their viability. First of all, you can't put them onto the electrical grid because if there is a significant output from the wind generator, it could throw the grid off, since it is designed to take a specific electrical load. Additionally, there is no continuous wind at a specific velocity, which adds to the problem. There was more, but the idea of using any wind generator larger than that for single family homes is not practical. Like corn based ethanol, this too is a hoax being foisted on the American people. It is important to examine the details associated with all of these "alternative fuels".

energyguy Location: CA

wrote: "You do bring your agenda into the workplace. Sorry but I have seen it too many times. Because you think or believe one thing you automatically shoot down others.

I also find it strange that T. Boone Pickens starts doing ads and suddenly we have a new blogger at TH advocating for him."

Wrong. Do a search on my handle and TH, see how long I have been posting. I have not seen you on TH, either. Does that make you a newbie?

Have I shot down others? By what means? By name calling? By presenting facts, and making an argument? Lolo1, that is what a debate is all about. Marketplace of ideas. Feel free to shoot at mine, only bring some facts and logic.

You do not have to agree with me, obviously many people don't. But, everyone should have the opportunity to weigh your arguments, against all others. ModMark and I disagree amicably over the proper place of nuclear power.

Gotta run again. Back in the a.m.

-- Roger E. Sowell, beer drinker

energyguy Location: CA

wrote: "Yes the oil market bottoming out caused the combining and closing of refineries because they could not afford the litigation to repair and keep them up to standards. Same with the oil companies. Notice there are now only five? Competition is being systematically removed from the market which hurts consumers. Now we need the refineries, especially in CA due to cafe standards, but cannot get them."

I disagree, and will tell you why. In 1983, there were approximately 300 refineries in the U.S. Today, there are approximately 145. It depends on how we count refineries. Most of the 150 or so that shut down were too small to afford the expense of complying with all the environmental regulations aimed right at refineries. Some of these regulations included full lead removal from gasoline, benzene removal from gasoline, and sulfur removal from diesel. There were others.

The number of oil companies is less due to mergers and acquisitions, for example Exxon with Mobil, Chevron and Texaco. Having fewer refineries, and fewer oil companies are due to completely different reasons.

By your logic, we should never have only three automobile companies, if five oil companies is too few!

Competition to sell a gallon of gasoline is near an all-time high, which helps consumers. Refining companies now exist that were not even here 30 years ago. Alon is one. Others that became major factors include Valero, and Tesoro.

CAFE standards are increasing, which decreases the demand for gasoline if the number of miles driven stays constant. We have an increasing number of cars in California, but many of them do not use gasoline, or are hybrids.

We cannot get refineries? Which gas stations are out of gas in CA? Alon just purchased two refineries in Los Angeles, and will invest mega-millions to run them as one entity. Sounds to me like we are getting them.

-- Roger E. Sowell, beer drinker.

energyguy Location: CA
Subject: Ralph -- at 11:01 pm

You must be kidding, right? If that was satire, very well done! "Windmills are not viable."

If not, then have a look at this site: 24

Note the photo of a wind-generator that is so big it is being installed with a construction crane.

Next, I suggest you do a search on an Images site with keywords Wind Power. Here is one to get you started: um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

These photos show an awful lot of windmills operating, with a large amount of private money invested in them, to be "not viable."

I have a new sign-off, courtesy of some old friends who follow this thread. Thanks, guys!
(the first step in refining is boiling crude oil)

-- Roger E. Sowell, SOB. Society of Oil Boilers.

Rich D. Location: PA
Nuclear Power - energyguy

Where have you been? Are you living in the 60s?

Westinghouse near Pittsburgh has been advertising for engineers at their new facility for months to keep up with the demand for their power plants. Two in South Carolina, two in Georgia, four in China,... NuclearPower/AP1000Reactor.pdf

Construction time is less than 36 months, and generation cost will be 3-3.5 cents/KWhr. It is over 200 times safer than the NRC goals require.

Rich D. Location: PA
Hollyweird, Fonda, and conspiracies

energyguy: Non-believers, please do a search on Karen Silkwood -- she was poisoned by plutonium and died after she sued Kerr-McGee.

Where to start?

She died in a one-car accident. Blood tests performed on Silkwood's body showed that she had 0.35 milligrams of methaqualone (Quaalude) per 100 milliliters of blood at the time of her death. That amount is almost twice the recommended dosage for inducing drowsiness.

NYTimes: "Moreover, as Kerr-McGee officials knew, all fuel rods upon delivery in Washington underwent scrutiny with equipment far more sensitive than that in Oklahoma. To date, according to Westinghouse officials, some 25,000 eight-foot-long fuel rods have been subjected to white-hot temperatures at the core of the reactor. Not one has ruptured."

"In short, the evidence in the case suggests that Miss Silkwood was not a nuclear Joan of Arc but an activist outraged by terrible working conditions who mistook a technician's shortcut for corporate cover-up and eventually became a victim of her own infatuation with drugs. That tale, while not very seductive, at least sticks to the facts."

Regarding fuel:

wiki: "The fuel rods will spend about 3 operational cycles (typically 6 years total now) inside the reactor, generally until about 3% of their uranium has been fissioned, then they will be moved to a spent fuel pool where the short lived isotopes generated by fission can decay away. After about 5 years in a cooling pond, the spent fuel is radioactively and thermally cool enough to handle, and it can be moved to dry storage casks or reprocessed.

Now, energyguy, what modern nuclear plant uses plutonium in the fuel rods?, and how much stock do you have in co-generation companies?

Let them eat darkness.

ModMark Location: NY
Subject: RichD, Nukes

I think EnergyGuy is looking for a debate on this issue, I will even join your side.

I think he is quite conservative, so calling him a lib will not work.

energyguy Location: CA
Rich D

Quoting the NY Times as authority on the Silkwood matter is not persuasive. I read the legal case. There was Plutonium in her urine on repeated occasions. And in her apartment.

Yes, she died alone in a car accident, and a box of papers incriminating her employer, Kerr-McGee, was removed from her car after the accident and never found.

A good summary of the case can be found in the book, "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury."

If spent nuclear fuel rods are so safe, why then are they not sold at Wal-Mart as poles for kids' basketball hoops?

Why are they to be sequestered "forever" in a remote mountain in the desert?

All this debate over toxicity or safety of nuclear plants is useless, or moot. Environmental attorneys are chomping at the bit to file the lawsuits should any of these ever get approval for construction.

Time will tell, let us wait and see.

The point I made is that public utilities should re-consider foisting off horribly expensive nuclear plants on their rate-payers, like they did last time.

Big industries went off the grid, at least in part, by building cogeneration plants. That is a fact, completely apart from any investments I have.

Did you read the point I made about Distributed Generation? And the point I made to Vic (see the Hewitt column) about the Utility Death Spiral?

Last time I checked, nuclear fission using Uranium creates Plutonium, among other toxic things. Please correct me, if I am mistaken.

I am well aware of the nuclear vendors' claims that they have a good design, it is very safe, and it is relatively cheap and quick to build. Of course they will say all that, it is in their best interest to do so. What should we expect, they will say they are unsafe, too damn expensive, and will take forever to build? Hardly.

Time will tell.

-- Roger E. Sowell, SOB. Society of Oil Boilers.

energyguy Location: CA
Re Cogens

This is for Rich D and Vic, should they still be reading this.

In 2007, the EIA website (see below) had this to say about utilities additions of natural-gas fired, combined cycle cogeneration power plants. Sorta confirms my point:

"New generating capacity added during 2006 totaled 12,129 MW, while retirements totaled 3,458 MW. Natural gas-fired generating units accounted for 8,563 MW or 70.6 percent of capacity additions.

Of that amount, 7,374 MW were highly efficient combined-cycle units. [representing roughly 90 percent of all natural gas installations -- energyguy]

Since the late 1990s, natural gas has been the fuel of choice for the majority of new generating units, resulting in a 99.0 percent increase in natural gas-fired capacity since 1999."


Geeks and engineers. Saviors of Society.

-- Roger E. Sowell, SOB. Society of Oil Boilers.

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