Posts Tagged ‘energy’

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.

Russia, Germany and Mutually Assured Stupidity

Posted: April 4, 2022 by datechguy in war
Tags: , , ,

Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’

Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.

Luke 14:28-32

Saturday we talked about how stupid is was for Russia to complain about Ukraine hitting fuel dumps in Russia under the argument that it hurts potential peace talks on the grounds that if you decide to go to war with someone they retain the right to fight back.

Now it’s Europe’s turn to be stupid. Don Surber pointed out that virtue signaling by the Chemical Giant BASF (whose name I remember from the old blank VHS tapes I used to by in the 80’s) might just prove costly.

But in the meantime, Brudermuller described that “It’s not enough that we all turn down the heating by 2 degrees now” given that “Russia covers 55 percent of German natural gas consumption.” He emphasized that if Russian gas disappeared overnight, “many things would collapse here” – given that we would have high levels of unemployment, and many companies would go bankrupt. This would lead to irreversible damage.” He continued:

But in the meantime, Brudermuller described that “It’s not enough that we all turn down the heating by 2 degrees now” given that “Russia covers 55 percent of German natural gas consumption.” He emphasized that if Russian gas disappeared overnight, “many things would collapse here” – given that we would have high levels of unemployment, and many companies would go bankrupt. This would lead to irreversible damage.” He continued:

“To put it bluntly: This could bring the German economy into its worst crisis since the end of the Second World War and destroy our prosperity. For many small and medium-sized companies in particular, it could mean the end. We can’t risk that!”

The dire warning of coming disaster in the event Russian gas is shut off came in response being questioned over whether it’s at all possible to abandon Russian energy. 

Now remember what got them to this point, Germany joined others in going after Russia’s financial industry to punish them for their moves in Ukraine and of course like Russia’s shock and surprise that Ukraine would dare to hit back Europe in general and Germany in particular are shocked and surprised that Russia didn’t take this lying down.

After European nations imported the most gas from Russian sources yesterday in months, scrambling to stock up on supplies as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deadline to either pay for gas in rubles (or be cut off) came and wentRussian gas giant Gazprom has officially halted all deliveries to Europe via the Yamal-Europe pipeline, a critical artery for European energy supplies.

Instead of flowing toward Germany and the EU, gas supplies on Friday and Saturday started flowing in the opposite direction, according to Gascade, the network operator.

Well there is US LNG but they’re already at full import capacity there, well what about Nuclear Power, oh wait:

Germany on Friday is shutting down half of the six nuclear plants it still has in operation, a year before the country draws the final curtain on its decades-long use of atomic power.

The decision to phase out nuclear power and shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy was first taken by the center-left government of Gerhard Schroeder in 2002.

His successor, Angela Merkel, reversed her decision to extend the lifetime of Germany’s nuclear plants in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan and set 2022 as the final deadline for shutting them down.

The three reactors now being shuttered were first powered up in the mid-1980s. Together they provided electricity to millions of German households for almost four decades.

Alas for Germany Russia and before them the Old Soviet Unions investment in the Greens and anti-nuke activists have paid off handsomely.

One might argue that this will not stop Russia’s economic woes and possible short term collapse and you might be right but it must be remembered a people with a history of destroying their own cities and crops to harm an enemy are likely not going to flinch at a hardship if they can get revenge on those they consider its source.

It’s very possible that the war in Ukraine will cause long term damage to Russia’s economy but it’s also very likely that they will be very happy to take as many of those who decided to take them down with them.