Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

WH Auden

Jazz Show last week gave us warning that in part of the west they should expect rolling blackouts:

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has released its latest reliability assessment for the summer of 2022 and, to put it mildly, the news is not good. In far too many states, the power grid is already nearly at full capacity, and in the next few months, that capacity will be exceeded. This isn’t a question of “if” or really even “when.” It’s just a fact. Industry experts know this and have been trying to sound the alarm for several years. 

So what’s the solution I wonder? Well the left coast (via Don Surber) has it. Blow up the Dams!

“The first of four aging dams on the Klamath River, the 250-mile waterway that originates in southern Oregon’s towering Cascades and empties along the rugged Northern California coast, is on track to come down in fall 2023. Two others nearby and one across the state line will follow.

“The nearly half-billion dollars needed for the joint state, tribal and corporate undertaking has been secured. The demolition plans are drafted. The contractor is in place. Final approval could come by December.”

A state that faces rolling blackouts in the summer and water shortages year-round is blowing up its hydroelectric dams.

So you are having shortages of water and we have the threat of blackouts in the west and their solution is to BLOW UP FRIGGEN DAMS!?!

Well I guess this is the type of plan you get when you’re neglecting math, science and engineering for gender both in government and education.

How are you going to power up all those green cars without energy?

Someone needs to teach these people that electricity doesn’t come from plugs and water doesn’t come from taps.

But when they’re burning wood and using candles to keep warm and to generate light they’ll figure it out, maybe.

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

Glenn Reynolds

I was driving home from morning mass today and passed the gulf station on main street in Fitchburg.

The sight of regular at $4.17 was bad enough but Diesel at $6.30? That’s a disaster and not just for people with German cars.

This means that every single product that you buy will cost more because every single product you buy is delivered by truck.

However there is something even worse.

The primary difference between diesel and home heating oil is the way it’s taxed. This means that every blue New England state, including those who fought tooth and nail to keep pipelines and other energy delivery systems out, are going to have a ton of trouble affording to heat their homes.

To say this is going to decimate the middle class is an understatement, but to our friends who want us all dependent on government this is a feature not a bug.

If you want to know the cost of letting a stolen election happen, now you know.

Blogger in Big Bend Ranch State Park last week

By John Ruberry

After a ten-day vacation I’ve returned home to Illinois, which should be renamed ILL-inois.

Since I was born–let’s just say for the same of humility it was a really long time ago–Illinois and Texas had roughly the same population. The Land of Lincoln had slightly more than 10 million residents then, while the Lone Star State had about half-a-million fewer people. According to the 2020 Census, Texas was the home of 29 million people, with Illinois at just under 13 million. Overall, in the same time period the overall US population soared from 179 million to 329 million. 

Texas has prospered and continues to do so; Illinois has gone from stagnation to decline. The Prairie State has been losing population every year since 2014.

I know of many Illinoisans who have bailed on this state and moved to Texas. The most noted departure was that of Roger Keats, a former Republican state senator and onetime candidate for Crook County–oops I meant Cook County–board president. In his 2011 farewell letter to suckers like my wife and I, who remain here, titled “Goodbye and Good Luck,” Keats wrote, “I am tired of subsidizing crooks.”

Since I was born four Illinois governors, three Democrats and one Republican, have served time in federal prison. No Texas governors have suffered that indignity. Last month, Michael Madigan, who was Illinois’ most powerful politician until he was ousted as Illinois speaker of the House in 2021, was indicted on a whole slew of racketeering charges. Madigan, except for two years in the 1990s, served as House speaker beginning in 1981. From 1998 until 2021 Madigan was also chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. Overlooked in the rundown of Boss Madigan’s career by journalists after his indictment is this ironic nugget: his predecessor as speaker was George H. Ryan, a Republican, who is one of Illinois’ felon governors. 

While the numbers might be slightly different today, here are more highlights from Keats’ Parthian shot: 

Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy; 47th in job creation; first in unfunded pension liabilities; second largest budget deficit; first in failing schools; first in bonded indebtedness; highest sales tax in the nation; most judges indicted; and five of our last nine elected governors have been indicted. That is more than the other 49 states added together!… “We are moving to Texas where there is no income tax while Illinois’ just went up 67%. Texas’ sales tax is half of ours, which is the highest in the nation. Southern states are supportive of job producers, taxpayers and folks who offer opportunities to their residents. Illinois shakes them down for every penny that can be extorted from them.

While flying into Dallas Fort-Worth Airport I saw numerous suburban subdivisions under construction. I remember those halcyon home building days in Illinois. But the biggest boom I saw was in the oil industry towns of Odessa and Midland on the Permian Basin. Homes, office buildings, and hotels are popping up there like dandelions in spring. Or like Illinois politicians in prison.

Southern Illinois could be a lucrative area for oil fracking. But our state’s Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, says he supports “clean energy” and it’s believed he opposes fracking. He’s up for reelection this year. Why aren’t his Republican opponents calling for fracking in Illinois?

No place is perfect, not even Texas. It has its own power grid, heavily dependent on wind power, which works great, until it doesn’t, as was the case after a large ice storm last year. Millions of Texans were without power for several days after that storm. But twice in the last decade, I was without electricity for several days, as were hundreds-of-thousands of others in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Unlike the Texas outages in 2021, this was not a national news story. My provider for electricity is Commonwealth Edison, which has been implicated in the Michael Madigan scandals.

Illinois is misruled by con-artists like Professor Henry Hill, the scoundrel from the play and the movie The Music Man, only our grifters are bereft of Hill’s charm.

We may not end up relocating in Texas, but Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I will leave Illinois. My family roots here reach back to 1850. When my great-great grandfather, another John Ruberry, arrived in Illinois from Ireland, this state was the land of opportunity. Illinois is now the land of corruption, high taxes, and decline. 

Like Keats, my wife and I are sick of subsidizing these crooks.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Morton Grove, Illinois at Marathon Pundit.

Photo by Joel Arbaje on Unsplash

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – There is a bill in the Louisiana House of Representatives that would “allocate up to 25,000 acres of Louisiana offshore waters to be leased from the State by private, green energy companies to manufacture and build windmill turbines as an alternative to coal and natural gas production.”

Restrictions have kept lease limits to 5,000 acres which apparently is scaring wind farm investors away. Proponents of HB 165 say that the 25,000-acre limit greatly expands potential for investors to come in and build wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wind turbines are huge structures. A single wind turbine requires a great deal of real estate, even in the Gulf.

Although most Gulf of Mexico wind energy projects will eventually be built in federal waters, HB 165 co-author Rep. Joseph Orgeron “says the exploratory pilot projects will be built in state waters closer to the coast. Louisiana’s less-populated coastline allows more development within the 3 nautical miles of state waters that extend from shore.”

Chris Alexander, an attorney and conservative activist in Baton Rouge writing for The Hayride calls HB 165 “a monstrosity.” Citing several red flags in the bill, he says:

It would allocate up to 25,000 acres of Louisiana offshore waters to be leased from the State by private, green energy companies to manufacture and build windmill turbines as an alternative to coal and natural gas production. The first red flag in the bill is that it removes all legislative oversight and places plenary authority in the State Mineral and Energy Board to award any lease if it deems, in its sole discretion, that the lease is in Louisiana’s best interest. Why would the bill vest this enormous power in any board while removing traditional legislative oversight and accountability? Any objective observer would necessarily be suspicious of such a provision.

The bill also removes the traditional requirement that a minimum dollar amount and minimum percentage of revenue to be produced be advertised by the board as a minimum requirement for granting the lease. No legislative oversight, and no requirement of minimal revenue creation. What could possibly go wrong here?

See his post for more.

My first thought when I read about this development was “what happens in a hurricane?” Apparently there is a plan for that in that the turbines “feather in” their blades and wait for the storm to pass. Uh, sure. There is even discussion of floating turbines that can be hauled in prior to a storm.

My second thought was about migratory birds. It is common knowledge that the Louisiana Gulf Coast is a critical stop for over half a million shorebirds from 28 species migrating back and forth each winter. With our wetlands already in danger and providing less and less territory for the birds to refuel, how many will also be lost to windmills?  Collateral damage, says Erik Johnson of the Audubon society:

There are worse threats to birds. House cats, for example, are blamed for killing about 2.4 billion birds each year. Automobiles knock out 200 million more, and pesticides poison at least 2.7 million birds each year in the U.S. “Wind energy will really be a drop in the bucket by comparison,” Johnson said.

My next thought was about the shrimpers and fishermen who have relied on the Gulf waters for generations to make a living.  Since the Cajuns began arriving in Louisiana in the late 1700s, they have been shrimping and fishing these waters to make a living. These are people devoted to the land, people who won’t leave it no matter the worst hurricane, people who survive and who have battled the elements and the oil companies and the diminishing coast just to keep their livelihood viable. And now these fishermen have to worry about wind farms:

But the Gulf is also the source of 70% of the country’s shrimp. Of the more than 200 million pounds of shrimp netted in the Gulf each year, much of it was caught in the waters off the Louisiana and Texas coasts. These prime fishing waters happen to overlap with the areas of the Gulf that have the greatest potential for wind energy development.

Between the transmission lines laying on the sea floor, the turbines destroying nets, and the narrow navigational paths between turbines, the fishermen are concerned.

The agency has promoted the idea that wind farms won’t be any worse for fishing than the 3,500 offshore oil and gas structures already in the Gulf, not to mention 27,000 miles of underwater pipelines, most of which are inactive or abandoned.

[Acy Cooper of the Louisiana Shrimp Association] agrees shrimpers are accustomed to the Gulf’s industrial obstacle courses, but it doesn’t mean they like it. The introduction of offshore wind infrastructure increases navigational challenges.

HB 165 was approved without objection in the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment last month and was moved on to the Senate where it will first be considered by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources before moving on to a full Senate vote.

In his Hayride piece, Chris Alexander offers a final parting shot against the bill:

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not make known another fact that the proponents of HB 165 would surely rather you not know:  Roughly 70% of the rare earth elements that are essential to the construction of wind turbines will be produced and harvested in China. How many Louisiana voters believe that we should become even more dependent on a foreign country for our energy needs, particularly a sworn adversary?

If the environmental concerns don’t bother you, further dependence on China should.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium; she is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.