Conversely, the Moratorium on All New and Exploratory Drilling is Well Within President Obama’s Control

unlike the continued gushing of crude into the Gulf of Mexico,
Glenn Beck and Pat Gray do an excellent job breaking down how this moratorium is a wild overreaction on the part of the president and how he may not intend to “let this crisis go wasted” but use it to pass Senator Kerry’s renamed yet still abominable cap-and-trade bill.
More to the point, the need for oil is not going away anytime soon, not even if the Magic Substitute Fuel Source were identified tomorrow. The effect of the president’s moratorium will only be to make us more dependent on the foreign oil suppliers that everyone condemns while needlessly draining the pockets of all non-rich Americans. (It occurred to me recently that most of the people calling for us to get off fossil fuels now! now! now! would not be financially impacted if we actually did follow that pointless and very rash course of action.)
Accordingly, this should be treated (heh) as a learning moment. For example, it would not be nearly as difficult to cap this well if it were not one mile under water, a condition successfully imposed by well meaning but misguided environmentalists. Accordingly, wouldn’t it make more sense for the moratorium to be solely on deep water drilling?

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Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

I was going to comment and perhaps educate you a little on energy – a trade which I have plied for 30+ years – but once I saw Glenn Beck as your “source”, I decided common sense was not in order.
Perhaps next you could give us Howard Sterns outlook on our national policies? And after that, let us know what Lady Gaga thinks?
I honestly would not believe if it was not true – that people who otherwise might be slightly educated listen to and quote a Morning ZooKeeper!

chuckR
chuckR
11 years ago

So Stuart, tell us about the economics, mechanical reliability and power availability of wind, solar and tidal. For example, how is it that, having been subsidized to get up and running, there are now thousands of broken and abandoned wind turbines at locations like Altamont? That doesn’t sound very economical, does it? The sad fact is that these are diffuse power sources – often the tip-off is in the bragging press releases mentioning kw of power or mw-hrs of annual energy production. These sound like big numbers until you compare to, say, the power of a 750mw nuke with almost 100% annual availability to generate energy. I’m not opposed to these alternates, unlike the Kennedy family. One of the biggest problems is the BANANA attitude of so many who support them in principle only – build absolutely nothing anywhere near anybody. We have to continue trying these alternatives to find one or more that is viable. But if one isn’t ready, you can kill its future when it flops despite subsidies. Engineers will continue the slow process of incrementally increasing efficiency and reliability. Often that is a slow and evolutionary process with its share of dead ends. And that’s not as swell as the position that we need just a few breakthroughs to achieve reasonable alternative energy, but its how the real world actually works. ps – I’ve worked on components for nukes, heliostats, turbines and tidal generators as well as for oilfield processes. Glad for the work – you don’t make progress on wishing and hoping and stake in the ground pronouncements. pps – living in Jamestown, I’m not a fan of Weaver Cove. It represents a lack of imagination. Some NE coastal state should permit something like LOOP – Louisiana Offshore Oil Port. Lighter off oil and gas… Read more »

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Monique, I’m thinking that the Obama administration moratorium on all new and exploratory drilling is a temporary stop and let’s look at what safeguards, rules and regulations we have in place before we continue drilling. Already heads have rolled and Minerals Management Service has been split up because you had the “fox guarding the chicken coop” scenario and we are now learning the blow-out preventer was modified, documentation and instructions were not maintained, procedures were not followed and contingency planning was instituted and there was at least 1 hour of forewarning events prior to the explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon that BP, Transocean and Halliburton ignored. You have to remember as with a lot of other presidents Obama inherited from previous administrations a vestigial regulatory system and an utter lack of contingency planning for such an emergency. It’s also true that the federal government has to rely on the oil industry for technical expertise in these cases. What is surprising to me is that two weeks ago the United Arab Emirates offered to the U.S. government through their embassy a team of oil spill experts to help in the Gulf of Mexico cleanup efforts (that is clean-up not helping to seal the well). The UAE offer is made on behalf of the government in recognition of the Gulf of Mexico environmental issue. The only problem is who is driving the train right now; the federal government and president Obama or British Petroleum PLC? One of the largest oil well disasters took place June 3, 1979 in Gulf of Mexico: exploratory oil well Ixtoc-1 blew out, spilling an estimated 140 million gallons of crude oil into the open sea. It took 9 months to cap the well head and stop the leaking. Although it is one of the largest… Read more »

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

>there are now thousands of broken and abandoned wind turbines at locations like Altamont I’d bet there are a lot more broken and discarded oil fields around the world. But that is a silly example you are giving when you know very well what they have done in Denmark and much of Europe over the last 2 decades. Yes, they have tens of thousands of turbines which are lasting for decades and providing a large percentage of the electricity. But that is neither here nor there…..unless you want to tell us about the tens or hundreds of billions of government tax credits and deductions which have been given to the oil companies over the last decades? Oh, you don’t want to mention those? Well, goes without saying. The fact is that just about every technology we take for granted, from GPS to the telegraph to the steamboat to the internet to the railroad, was brought into fruition quicker with government policies. Inconvenient facts, I know…but try to consider them. Of course, oil and coal actually cost us MUCH more than what we are paying for them. Nukes too. The prices do not take into account the removal of mountaintops, the cleanup and storage of the nuke waste, the wars fought to protect access to oil, the disease caused by excess pollutants, etc. Basically, the corporations get to make the max profits and we as a society have to eat the excess costs. I’d rather pay a buck a gallon more for oil and not have it spilling out all over our pristine waters. But, again, even that may be neither here nor there. The point is that the actions Obama has taken so far, including raising the CAFE standards and hundreds of other conservation matters, is saving us VASTLY more… Read more »

Swazool
Swazool
11 years ago

I didn’t get through entire article, when I saw Glen Beck I referenced I had to see the comments. Monique sure does make me giggle sometime.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Look Stuart, and others, there are dirty secrets to wind turbines and electricity.
First, there is no spot in the U.S. where the wind blows constantly. That means that the source is not constant. If the wind power were “supplemental” that means that the other power generators have to be “ramped up” when the wind power is low. That is not a speedy seamless procedure. So the other power generators would need to be run fairly constantly.
The second dirty secret is that electricity cannot be stored, so wind power produced at 2 AM, when nobody needs it, is wasted. “Sell it to the grid”. Sure, but if no one uses it, it is simply wasted.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Of course, Monique, you are correct – you just set up a giant straw man and knocked him (or her) right down….all by yourself! We are not talking about getting rid of all fossil fuels either now or later. What we are discussing is the need for vast offshore drilling in addition to that we already have. So, now, let’s talk facts! The amount of oil projected to come from NEW OFFSHORE DRILLING in the USA is about 1% – that is by 2025 – about 15 years out. Do you understand that? 1%. This moratorium that you are so concerned about might end up slowing things down a bit – let’s say we slow it down by 10% all in all, in order to make things safer and more environmentally friendly. That would then mean 1/10 of 1% (the new offshore oil we would be short because of the moratorium). 1/10 of 1%. This number is so small as to be a joke and is offset many times over by the improvements Obama has already made in efficiency and alt energy. The point is, you should have at least a basic idea of the facts and figures before you go quoting the Morning Zookeepers or Fixed News set. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, my friend. These are not opinion, nor personal views. These are facts, something the right seems loath to deal with. It is also a fact that Bush and Cheney rolled back Energy Efficiency standards and stated that conservation was not a part of our energy plan. In fact, the past President said the high energy use was an American Birthright and that we would protect that (with foreign policy). But somehow you don’t mention that stuff…..yet a prudent decision about offshore drilling which… Read more »

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

>here are dirty secrets to wind turbines and electricity Faust, these are not dirty secrets – and the post nor the thread are/were about wind power as a sole objective. Right now, the US is installing more wind power per year than any other country in the world. That is happening regardless of what you and I discuss….and it is a good thing. Being as wind will always be a rather small part of our electric mix, it is doubtful that that storage issue will even come into play. However, be aware that there are some solutions to energy storage. One of them is plug-in (electric or plug-in hybrid) cars, which charge at night and do store electric. Therefore, they are using electric when it is generated and when it is not being used as much by others. Electric can also be easily stored by pumped hydro, as it is right now in New England and elsewhere. Look up the pumped plant in Northfield Mountain, Ma and see what I am talking about. There is only a relatively small loss (20% or less) to pump billions of gallons of water from a river to on top of a hill, and then let it generate electric on the way back down. In any case, let’s get back to that tiny percentages of 1% of future oil which Monique is so concerned about…… The problem is that much of the right simply has no credibility in matters of energy conservation since they don’t like regulations such as increased CAFE, cleaner cars, more efficient heating systems, etc….they fight tooth and nail against any and all regulations designed to tighten up our energy ship. This has been going on for decades. I remember when Reagan was elected – he immediately rescinded all the solar… Read more »

chuckR
chuckR
11 years ago

Stuart
The abandoned and broken oilfields served their purpose – the oil extracted and refined provided a concentrated fuel source available at any hour and any wind condition. The benefits exceeded the costs. The comparison to the abandoned and broken wind turbines that never were economically viable is both silly and inept. Bonus – with new developments in micro tubulars, workovers of these fields may become economically feasible. It is estimated that for every barrel extracted, there is another one down there.
Denmark – in 2008 when we had $4 gas, they had $9 gas. That is a perverse subsidy of sorts – the difference is all tax. Their country, their choice. With that sort of energy tax, the whole equation changes. You are welcome to move there and pay 60% of your income to support that approach.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Monique, You said; “”tell us about the economics, mechanical reliability and power availability of wind, solar and tidal.” My understanding is that, even setting aside their cost – 2X, 3X and 4X that of fossil fuels – all “alternative” energies combined (possibly excluding nuclear) do not generate sufficient power to substitute for fossil fuels. Not even close.” In answer to your statement it’s unfortunate you and Stuart live in the closed world of New England which I use to live in. You should get out more and understand what is going on beyond the New England boarders! According to Popular Science; “The world’s largest solar collector absorbs an awesome amount of the sun’s energy: equal to 37 trillion kilowatts annually – or 4,000 times the amount of electricity used by all humans on the planet. A typical square mile of that collector – otherwise known as the surface waters of Earth’s vast oceans – contains more energy than 7,000 barrels of oil.” Georges Claude, a Frenchman who also invented the neon sign, proved Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) could be harnessed to drive electric generators to make electricity. In 1930, Claude designed and tested an OTEC plant on Cuba’s north coast. His patented invention, a version of OTEC called open cycle, generated 22 kilowatts of power, but consumed more than that in operating, partly because of the poor site choice. Claude’s next attempt, a floating plant off Brazil, was thwarted by storm damage to an intake pipe; the luckless inventor died virtually bankrupt from his OTEC efforts. Fast forward to 1979 at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) the first successful at-sea, closed-cycle OTEC operation in the world was conducted aboard the Mini-OTEC, a converted Navy barge operating in waters off Keahole Point. Its turbine generator produced a… Read more »

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Warrington Faust,
I take exception to you statement which is not knowledgeable in content, hearsay or misinformation; “First, there is no spot in the U.S. where the wind blows constantly. That means that the source is not constant.”
In fact for your and everyone else’s information “Ka Lae on the Big Island of Hawaii is the southernmost point in the United States (you are in the “Deep South of USA”). It is located at 18:54:49 N 155:41:00 W. There is a constant 27 knots per hour wind blowing east to west, 24 hours per day and 365 days per year.”
And yes there is a large wind farm there helping to supply the Big Island of Hawaii with up to 40% of alternate energy daily needs.
There is also the only natural “green sand” beach in the state.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Warrington Faust,
Your statement; “The second dirty secret is that electricity cannot be stored, so wind power produced at 2 AM, when nobody needs it, is wasted. “Sell it to the grid”. Sure, but if no one uses it, it is simply wasted.”
Wrong!!!! Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and all its Hawaiian subsidiaries on the other islands store electricity generated by wind and solar for use later when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing.
HECO has a US patent device for dealing with alternate energy resources on the grid and smoothing and extending resource variations. That is why State of Hawaii is a national alternate energy test bed and the only active General Electric real time “Smart Grid” in the nation.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Stuart’s reference to people here as “slightly educated”and by extension subhuman animals(reference the “zookeeper”comment)should be reason enough to turn off replies to this anonymous winbag.PLEASE Stu-tell us what one of you specific inventions was,and the patent#.I won’t hold my breath waiting.
I tend to stay out of energy discussions because I don’t know enough to make a worthwhile comment.
I wonder how energy efficient Stuie is.
I think he likes to live VERY well.While he lectures us.So typical of a hypocrite liberal.”Oh,thou hypocrite”back at ya 100X Stu.

chuckR
chuckR
11 years ago

Ken – what is this HECO device? Have they installed it and is it working? There is a German initiative underway to convert power to hydrogen to then create an (un)natural gas. Then there is pumped storage – hydropower in reverse. All these depend on getting enough energy to convert economically – you can’t do it if there isn’t enough excess energy at a specific site to make it economically justifiable. Of course, if you worked on upgrading the power grid, then you can do it at a central site.
Half a century ago, Buckminster Fuller claimed you could wheel power around the world to meet everyone’s needs. That pie is still in the sky.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Ken and Stu,
Please accept it when I speak in short hand. When I say “no place in the United States”, I mean the continental United States.
When I say that electricity cannot be stored, I mean it cannot be stored efficiently. Pumping water up a hill and letting it genrate hydro prower on the way down, does not approach 100% efficiency. It is better than wasting it, but you need to have electricty going to waste before it is reasonable.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

> mean it cannot be stored efficiently. Pumping water up a hill and letting it genrate hydro prower on the way down, does not approach 100% efficiency.
You don’t seem to have a problem driving a car which might be 20% efficient or using coal or other fossil fueled electric which might be 50% in total.
The point is, electric can be stored. Hydro is regularly. Fleets of battery electric cars will store incredible amounts, when we move that way.
Saying the wind does not always blow, IMHO, is not a valid debating point for explaining why we should drill offshore without total safety. In theory the wind does not always blow. But in the reality of having 10% or 20% of our load being from wind, it hardly matters…..
Chuck, as to $6 or $7 gas, yes – it is tax. But this tax is used to offset the cost of using foreign oil – it is used, in Denmark, for wind energy installations, R&D and other things. In other words, they are paying the real cost of that oil, instead of what we do – which is put that cost into our Deficit, Military and other things. Either way, you pay!
Being as Denmark is rated the happiest country in the world, it can’t be too bad. I was there a number of times…….
Oh, they might pay $1.75 a liter for gas, but their cars will go 15 miles of more on a liter. Do the math – you will see they get to places for the same price we do. Also, they have cheap trains that go everywhere – even small villages.
All that stuff is part and parcel of an enlightened and forward thinking energy policy.

chuckR
chuckR
11 years ago

Stuart
Cars are about 30% efficient. There are many approaches to increasing that and some of those efforts will prove to be winners. We’ll see whether hybrids are among the winners as they are retired and batteries recycled. Right now if someone wants an efficient hybrid at a premium equaling the cost of a useless built-in nav system, go right ahead. But please stay out of the left lane. The increased CAFE requirements mentioned are a joke – there is a provision to allow lower mileage based on a larger vehicle foot print. Translation – if you make big cars and trucks then you don’t have to do as well as companies that are already fairly efficient. Gee, I wonder if that favors American Leyland, err, I mean Government Motors? How did that happen on O’s watch? Please don’t blame Bush.
Older fixed power stations used to be as low as 30% efficient. The most advanced smaller plants today are up to 60%. Traditional plants last 50 years and more, a somewhat better record than solar or wind (understatement).
Lastly, Denmark is a special case. If Wiki is to be believed, in 1973, they were dependent on oil for 90+% of all power. We were far less dependent and had and still have our own resources. If I were a Dane then, I’d likely have approved of the long term effort. I wouldn’t have approved of the banning of nuke plants after Chernobyl – maybe just banning eastern bloc design nukes. Wonder how much French nuke electricity is wheeled into Denmark? The Danish gas tax alone is about $6 more than our tax – the oil is fungible and product cost is similar. So the gas tax is $6.50 versus our $0.50.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

chuckR, Dr. Karl Stahlkopf, HECO senior vice president for energy solutions & chief technology officer invented the concept of the PureWave® Electronic Shock Absorber (ESA) and storage system to work with wind farms and other variable alternate energy resources on the commercial scale. HECO received a US patent in 2005. Stahlkopf worked with teams at HECO and its subsidiaries Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) and Maui Electric Company (MECO) to further develop the idea. HECO received patent approval for the device in early 2005. Chicago-based S&C Electric Company, a leader in power electronic system design and delivery, received exclusive rights from HECO to design, build and commercialize the ESA. The device employs S&C’s trademarked DSTATCOM™ Distributed Static Shunt Compensator with the addition of ultracapacitor energy storage. Production of the first PureWave® ESA began in early 2005. S&C offers a variety of rugged products and complementary services ideally suited to the wind generation industry. The first PureWave® ESA was installed at the Lalamilo Wind Farm near Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kahua Ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii is the test site of a commercial grade wind-to-hydrogen and solar-to-hydrogen Power Park hydrogen generation systems and storage: http://www.hnei.hawaii.edu/hhpp.asp First Wind operates the Kaheawa Wind is a 30 MW wind farm on Maui and has a PureWave® ESA installed. Extended hydrogen fuel cell storage technology is being explored along with General Electric Company only active “Smart Grid” commercial test in the USA. General Electric Company is also performing tests on the Big Island of Hawaii. Shell WindEnergy Inc (Shell Oil) is developing in 2011 the Auwahi 40 MW wind project on Maui working with MECO and will explore the usage of extended pumped hydro storage technology. A PureWave® ESA will also be installed. According to HECO Pumped Storage Hydroelectric (PSH)… Read more »

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Chuck, perhaps you are speaking about automobile ENGINES when you are talking about 30% efficient. Or, you are talking about drive trains. However, the total efficiency of the car includes everything from getting that oil to every gas station and delivering it to you, the energy in drilling for it. the energy in building and maintaining your car, etc. 20% is actually probably way too high. The engine itself could be 25-30 in converting the refined fuel into mechanical ability……but that does not take tires, braking, heating up of all axles and joints, etc. I would be very surprised if the total efficiency of a petrol car was much over 15%. In any case, whether 15 or 20, it is certainly vastly worse than the pumped hydro which Faust was saying was no valid as a storage method because it is 80% or so efficient. Their gas tax may be $6.00, but again..the point is that we are paying many of the same costs, just in a different way. The current wars (defeats?) are now up to about $10,000 per taxpayer and will be vastly higher than that in the end. That would pay a lot of gas tax! The problem with Americans is our lack of planning. We should have started down the same path that Denmark, Brazil and many other countries did….in 1978! And we did, except as mentioned before, all that stuff was rolled back. Laugh if you want at the higher CAFE standards…..but watch the fleet mileage for the USA over the next decade or two. It will improve by VAST amounts due to this legislation. Heck, my newer Passat now beats 30MPG which is not bad for a turbo and a family sedan. VW has some in the works that get double that mileage. The… Read more »

chuckR
chuckR
11 years ago

Ken – very interesting. The observation on no PSH for wind dovetails with the need for an updated distribution system that gets diffuse power to a central site where the economics work for the conversion/storage process.
Stuart – typically, losses in cars are taken as approx 15% of shaft output – put out 200hp and 170 reaches the road. As to calculating the true efficiency of a system from cradle to grave, the dollar cost is one of the less terrible ways to figure that. You can apply the same reasoning to any of the alternatives too, eg, what is the true cost of the copper windings in a turbine genset.
We should have been planning in 1978. Instead we were treating The China Syndrome like a documentary instead of a fictional thriller. Plus, you can plan and wish and hope and it won’t necessarily get you the breakthrough you need. Today’s cars get the mileage they do – despite being uparmoured with safety features unavailable in 1978 or 1988 or 1998 – thanks to microprocessor technology that was, in 1978, 20 generations away from where we are now.
ps – not impressed with a 30mpg Jetta, have a 143kmile ’98 A4 that can match it with an efficient 1.8L turbo.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Stuart writes:
“The problem with Americans is our lack of planning. We should have started down the same path that Denmark, Brazil and many other countries did….in 1978! And we did, except as mentioned before, all that stuff was rolled back.
Laugh if you want at the higher CAFE standards…..but watch the fleet mileage for the USA over the next decade or two. It will improve by VAST amounts due to this legislation. Heck, my newer Passat now beats 30MPG which is not bad for a turbo and a family sedan. VW has some in the works that get double that mileage. ”
Yes, we should have imitated Brazil where “law enforcement” includes machine gunning crowds with women and children, and 45% of the population of Rio is homeless. I don’t think the desires of the electorate count for much there.
The Passat. In 1989 I rented a Chevy Cavalier for a trip to upsate NY. It delivered around 35 mpg. In 1987 I had a Chrysler LeBaron turbo, that regularly turned in 30mpg plus. I bought the 300hp kit Chrysler offered and even with that installed it was usually over 28 mpg. My friends with automatic transmissions reported about 2 mpg less than the 5 speed (no overdrive in the auto)

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Stuart writes:
“The problem with Americans is our lack of planning. We should have started down the same path that Denmark, Brazil and many other countries did….in 1978! And we did, except as mentioned before, all that stuff was rolled back.
Laugh if you want at the higher CAFE standards…..but watch the fleet mileage for the USA over the next decade or two. It will improve by VAST amounts due to this legislation. Heck, my newer Passat now beats 30MPG which is not bad for a turbo and a family sedan. VW has some in the works that get double that mileage. ”
Yes, we should have imitated Brazil where “law enforcement” includes machine gunning crowds with women and children, and 45% of the population of Rio is homeless. I don’t think the desires of the electorate count for much there.
The Passat. In 1989 I rented a Chevy Cavalier for a trip to upsate NY. It delivered around 35 mpg. In 1987 I had a Chrysler LeBaron turbo, that regularly turned in 30mpg plus. I bought the 300hp kit Chrysler offered and even with that installed it was usually over 28 mpg. My friends with automatic transmissions reported about 2 mpg less than the 5 speed (no overdrive in the auto)

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

After finding out that the wind turbine off the highway near Boston is phoney, it is motor driven. I am wondering if anyone knows if the NE Tech turbine is real.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

ChuckR, General Motors (GM) and Hawaii “The Gas Company” recently signed a partnership agreement in that GM will start shipping (2011) hydrogen fuel cell cars to Honolulu (Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicles) and “The Gas Company” will build the infrastructure to deliver hydrogen to the general public. Hawaii is the only state in nation that manufactures synthetic gas which means Hawaii has price controls as there is no exploration, drilling, interstate pipeline or LNG tanker costs to drive up the price as with natural gas supplies and as more alternate energy systems come on line any electricity used by “The Gas Company” during manufacturing process will lower. One of the byproducts of the synthetic gas production process is hydrogen. “The Gas Company” does not have to alter any of its manufacturing process and at this time has over 1,000 miles of pipeline laid on the island of Oahu. “The Gas Company” will be partnering with local gasoline stations to pipe and install a hydrogen separator fuel pump. The expected cost at the pump for the hydrogen will be equal or lower than a regular gallon of gasoline. Because the fuel cell cars are basically electric all of the normal lubricating oils are reduced or nonexistent thereby reducing operating cost and protecting the environment. Starting in 2011 Better Place, which signed a partnership agreement with state of Hawaii, will be installing 10,000 public electric car charging stations in Hawaii and on the island of Oahu 15 each automated 5-min battery swap-out stations will be constructed. Better Place will have an electric car battery subscription yearly rate where they own the battery and are responsible for disposal. You own the car and basically lease the battery with rights to plug into their charging stations no-cost or drive in to one of… Read more »

Robert Balliot
11 years ago

Really? Why would anyone cite Glen Beck as an expert resource on energy policy?
If you are going to use a Fox entertainment source, why not use Homer Simpson instead? At least he has an fictional background in nuclear energy.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

>there is nothing equivalent to fossil fuel as a concentrated fuel Ah, so now we have stepped back from “Obama should not carefully weigh the current oil spill in relation go the possible 1/10 of 1% of our oil it could affect” to “fossil fuels are very cool”? That’s a long retreat, Monique, and typical of the “logic” of the right. Since fossil fuels are cool, it is therefore OK to waste them and destroy the earth to get them, right? That’s what I read. Well, let’s talk about this. First of all, biofuels are every bit as powerful as oil or gas, yet made from grass, trash or just about anything else. New technologies have been developed which use algae and other engineered molecules to create diesel fuel from…well, really from nothing (chemical process, sunlight, microbes). No, these are not ready for prime time yet, but almost. Everything is energy. Energy is so abundant that it is a joke even to consider we are “running out” and therefore have to despoil our environment. A piece of nuke materials you could lift can run an aircraft carrier around the world – in fact, it does not even have to be nuke material. A nice sized block of just about any element could do the same (E-mc2). The only real “truth” in your statement is that if we want to accept the pollution and all the other problems which go along with cheap energy, and if we do not care about either the future nor our children, oil is pretty cool…and profitable too! Well, I guess I should not be surprised – the “conservative” viewpoint is always about looking back. Yeah, coal was king and built much of this country. We chopped down virtually 100% of the trees too – burnt… Read more »

chuckr
chuckr
11 years ago

IIRC – the BP field is estimated at 6 billion barrels. US imports are at 9 million barrels per day. So that one field is roughly 21 months of imports. How is this 0.1% ?
Still, I would have preferred shallow water drilling and land drilling, but that has been largely foreclosed. Either is more manageable if something goes wrong.
Re: wind turbines. Denmark is 16x larger than RI and has 5x the population. If wiki is to be believed, in 2001 they had 5000+ wind turbines. If we wanted to get to where they were a decade ago, we’d need 1+ per square mile. Independent of economics, will the BANANAs (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything) allow that to happen? I happen to like the looks the two in Portsmouth, but that isn’t a universally held opinion. It will be interesting to see how Jamestown fares in its quest to acquire one or two to meet town power needs (not residential).

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

chuck, I’ll let you do the research on estimated reserves vs. what is actually pumped from the ground.
We are discussing the effect of NEW wells, not what comes from existing production. Industry sources say that it would be about a decade before we see large production from new leases offered today…and that, even then, the amount pumped would be relatively meaningless for our national energy picture. If every single drop of estimated oil and gas from offshore were harvested at one time (like you seem to indicate in your post, but is completely impossible), it would provide less than a 20 year supply for our country……meaning it would have held us together from 1990 to now.
The reality is that it comes out very slowly no matter what you open up – there are only X amount of drilling rigs which exist, only X amount of capital, etc.
On the other hand, conservation and increased CAFE standards results in BIG numbers – for instance:
“Exxon believes U.S. fuel demand to keep cars, SUVs and pickups moving will shrink 22% between now and 2030.”
Imagine that! We will use 1/4 less energy, yet all still be moving! Science, technology and human behavior are amazing things!
Point is, we can do much better than even that. We could cut our use in 1/2 with little or no change in life style – but we have to want to do it.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Well, according to Drudge, it has finally happened “FEDS OPEN CRIMINAL PROBE OF BP”. I suppose they had to do something to maintain plausibility and “be in the game”.
Anyone who has ever glanced at the Code of Federal Regulations, knows that they will get a conviction. The CFR has grown to such a size that only a single guy, who doesn’t work and lives in the basement can avoid breaking one every day. In fact, I am not so sure it is legal to live in the basement. What size are the windows in relation to floor area? Are those windows low enough to provide egress in a fire?

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Monique I suspect it will turn on some sort of “criminqal negligence”. The project was just too big not to have some negligence.
There are also “environemental crimes” most people couldn’t dream of. For instance, if someone throws a mattress into my wetlands (which has happened, along with sofas and bureaus)and I “allow it to remain” there I can be fined $5,000 per day. Since there is no necessity that I permitted it, or even knew of it, the “fact” establishes a crime. I have tired of hauling bureaus and mattresses. Am I “negligent”.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Stuart, You said; “Well, let’s talk about this. First of all, biofuels are every bit as powerful as oil or gas, yet made from grass, trash or just about anything else. New technologies have been developed which use algae and other engineered molecules to create diesel fuel from…well, really from nothing (chemical process, sunlight, microbes). No, these are not ready for prime time yet, but almost.” Like I said you people living in New England have just got to get out of New England more often to see what is going on in the rest of the world! In fact, at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) HR Biopetroleum as proof on concept algae to biofuel project was established and was very successful. It was expanded to create a full size commercial production working model which also was very successful and demonstrated the algae to biofuel could sustain a commercial enterprise with enough algae to biofuel. Maui Electric Company (MECO), NELHA, HR Biopetroleum. Royal Dutch Shell, and Alexander & Baldwin Inc have formed a partnership to convert a current 550 MW electric generating plant into a biofuel plant fed by biofuel grown from algae on 1,000 acres next to the plant making it the first commercial self sustaining plant in the nation which is scheduled to come on line in 2011. HR Biopetroleum likely will use about 750 of those acres for algae production, meaning it could produce between 7.5 million and 11.25 million gallons of oil annually. At the same time algae to biofuel activities of HR Biopetroleum has caught the attention of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency which has provided $640,000 microalgae strains that could be used for making fuel to run military aircraft. Royal Dutch Shell also is providing funding for HR Biopetroleum to grow… Read more »

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

>>>What happened is horrible. But how does it rise to the level of criminal??
Negligence and fraud are two actions which I was taught can “pierce the corporate veil”. The idea being that if I (or BP) makes a honest mistake or suffers an accident due to bad luck, then regular corporate protection applies.
However, if there is evidence that the companies involved committed actual fraud or negligence, that can certainly be criminal. It would be akin to you owning a school bus company and sending out buses which you knew needed new tires…but, instead of buying new tires, you bought retreads and had the seller doctor the invoice.
An accident soon after might be criminal negligence.
As to Wall Street, I know Monique and others pray to that God, but using that same logic Obama must be the second coming since the market is up 50% since he took the oath. You can’t pick and choose which ups and downs are due to what – except perhaps over a 5 year or longer period.
I’d suggest, Monique, that you sell your shares so folks like me can buy them up on the cheap.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

More on environmental crimes:
“I have tired of hauling bureaus and mattresses.”
I was PM’d to ask why I didn’t just pay someone to haul it away.
What people don’t know! First, that land is in Mass. Under current definitions (as God has given me the light to understand them) “wetlands” are now any land where water flows through, sub surface. Essentially, that is the downside of any hill. So, do not imagine a pond or marsh.
It seems all of the local small haulers know it is wetlands (from my attempt to develop it), they won’t go near it. I would have to find a properly licensed carrier to do it. What with hay bales and all, I might be looking at a bill for $5,000 to remove a mattress. A liscensed company would be required to report the “incident” to the environmental authority, there’s that $5K fine again. Trying to take any action against the “neighbors” (I have pictures of them dunping)would involve the Environemntal authority again, the fines again. So, every month or so, I take a trailer there and pick it up. Then I put it on the sidewalk in front of a rental property for city collection.
So, you think they can’t find something on BP?

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

As I said earler in this blog; “Already heads have rolled and Minerals Management Service has been split up because you had the “fox guarding the chicken coop” scenario and we are now learning the blow-out preventer was modified, documentation and instructions were not maintained, procedures were not followed and contingency planning was instituted and there was at least 1 hour of forewarning events prior to the explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon that BP, Transocean and Halliburton ignored.”
Think about it Warrington!

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

We can always rely on the righties to come immediately and fully to the defense of ANY corporation, no matter what their actions.
It’s good to have a friend to rely on!
It is also good to clearly see how “power to the people” has absolutely nothing to do with the right or the tea party movement. They are all about “power to the corporations and the wealthy” and…well, those fisherman and beach goers and the others who make their living down there – they can go pound (tarry) sand.
Hey, Faust wants a place to dump his mattress, and so we have to allow for that.
🙂
I have a great suggestion to solve that problem. Buy a cheapie mattress……they take the old one away for a nominal fee.
Or, declare your right-leaning freedom and burn it, therefore polluting our air and helping cause more disease. That would be the “right” think to do.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Ken,
I an a project as big as a mile deep oil well, the idea that things got mismanaged is hardly unusal.
As they say in the military, the best plan does not survive the first contact with the enemy.
If heads have rolled at Minerals Management Service, the question is why did it take a major blow out to get that in motion? The “fox guarding the hen house” is almost sop in many government agencies. Consider FDa, one year with the agency, the alternate year in private industry. You are paid by your private industry employer while on duty with FDA. Everyone knows this. Talk to anyone who has been a “procurement officer” in the military. That is just how our government operates, it is SOP.
Stuart,
Here is a guidepost for life “Far right, or wrong”.

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