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zimv20
Aug 18, 2003, 09:08 PM
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=434764


Writing in The New York Times, President Clinton's energy secretary, Bill Richardson, accused the Bush White House and the Republican-controlled Congress of stalling on legislation to force power companies to take measures guaranteeing grid reliability. Very similar criticisms were voiced by some of the leading contenders for next year's Democratic presidential nomination.

"Just two years ago, [President Bush] and his allies in Congress blocked a Democratic proposal to invest $350m in upgrading America's electrical grid system," said the Florida Senator Bob Graham. "The blackout is further evidence that America needs to invest in its infrastructure."


i hadn't heard about this bill. anyone else?

Desertrat
Aug 18, 2003, 09:18 PM
Nope. It would be interesting to know its grimy details.

Ran across an article in a post to TimeBomb2000, written by some economics prof. and focussed on Pennsylvania. He pointed out that due to the uncertainties of deregulated generation pricing, with respect to the still-regulated transmission systems, electric companies are putting less money back into improving infrastructure. Like many other major-corporation endeavors, there is more profit away from the primary line of business. (E.g., GM and Ford making more from financing than from the cars themselves.)

I've run across articles over the last few years that because of demographic shifts, load centers are changing but few new transmission lines are being built. Some of it is the ever-higher costs of rights of way; some is the NIMBY factor.

While I don't have a clue about "creeping change" or "rapid change" in load shifts, etc., I really doubt any president or the congress can do very much.

'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 18, 2003, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i hadn't heard about this bill. anyone else?

I presume this is a reference to the energy bill passed out of the Senate a couple of years ago, which died due to inaction by Congress. In fact when the Senate recently deadlocked on another energy bill, Daschle suggested reviving the old bill, and much to everyone's surprise, Frist agreed. What happens from here very much remains to be seen since Congress is unlikely to pass a bill even remotely like the Senate's bill, making a conference committee resolution very problematic.

zimv20
Aug 18, 2003, 10:58 PM
heard on NPR that at least one of the holdups is bush's insistence that alaska drilling be part of the energy package.

pseudobrit
Aug 19, 2003, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
heard on NPR that at least one of the holdups is bush's insistence that alaska drilling be part of the energy package.

Perhaps he'll hold our electricity hostage until we let him take our oil, too.

ThoughtKriminal
Aug 19, 2003, 06:38 AM
New Yorkers really sound like a bunch of blind crybabies right now.

HOW DARE BUSH DENY YOU OF YOUR PRECISOUS CELL PHONE FOR A WHOLE DAY!!!!!!

all of this crying over one day, and you still wonder why Iraqi's arent singing Halleuja Praise the United states of Amnesia after blowing their entire infastructure to hell and back, and choosing their backyards as your battlefield.

330 mil is what, 5 whole bombs?

So, worry about this for about 30 more seconds before you go back to analyzing every torrid detail of Kobe Bryant's sex scandal.

If I see anyone wearing a "I survived black tuesday" tee I promise i will smack them in the face. So wear them at your own risk, as your obviously a whining pu$$y who would only go cry to your theropist about it.

ThoughtKriminal
Aug 19, 2003, 06:43 AM
that wasnt a flame directed towards anyone in this thread, just for reference.

Desertrat
Aug 19, 2003, 07:47 AM
I live near the end of the power line of a little REA CoOp. Outages are common during the summer, from the high winds associated with our thunderstorms. The longest has been 40 hours, which speaks well for the poor doggoned linemen who must go replace down poles back in the middle of nowhere.

Lights out? Go fire up the generator. Or, just go on and go to bed and see what's the status come sunup...

:), 'Rat

mactastic
Aug 19, 2003, 08:57 AM
Surprise surprise, the Democrats are blaming the Republicans for including ANWR in the bill and holding up its progress, and Republicans are blaming those nutty environmentalist Democrats for blocking the legislation, as well as preventing more capacity from being built. Sounds like a whole lot of noise that will more than likely die down soon once people forget their brief inconvience. Most likely, nothing will change. Partisans will use this to bash their opponents, but no real solution will be realized. Probably the most far-reaching effect of this will be Democrats demanding that ANWR be removed so the energy bill can be passed, and Republicans using this to show how evil and anti-business environmentalists are.

Desertrat
Aug 19, 2003, 11:08 AM
Funny about the fuss over ANWF. The TV always shows photos of beautiful mountains, and the wildlife there. The drilling areas are many miles away, on the coastal plain.

I've been around many, many oil wells--and long before there was any EPA or other environmental protecting group. Most all oil-lease contracts had a clause that basically said, "Leave my pasture like you found it." You go back after the well is on line, and there's nothing to see but the Christmas Tree or the pump. The area is not left in a giant mess. It's not uncommon to see deer feeding nearby, or an occasional coyote trotting past.

'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 19, 2003, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Funny about the fuss over ANWF. The TV always shows photos of beautiful mountains, and the wildlife there. The drilling areas are many miles away, on the coastal plain.

I've been around many, many oil wells--and long before there was any EPA or other environmental protecting group. Most all oil-lease contracts had a clause that basically said, "Leave my pasture like you found it." You go back after the well is on line, and there's nothing to see but the Christmas Tree or the pump. The area is not left in a giant mess. It's not uncommon to see deer feeding nearby, or an occasional coyote trotting past.

Deer and coyotes? A lot of people have those critters in their back yards.

ThoughtKriminal
Aug 19, 2003, 12:46 PM
I always figured not drilling in alaska was a reserve thing.. As we are bleeding the planet dry in 100 years of a precious resource to us (the earth really doesnt give a crap about it, no matter what the protest signs say) that takes millions of years to make and that we would basically fall into the dark ages again without? Say either We bleed it completely dry or just completely destory all of our international relationships(*salute* Mr. Bush).

Personally i would rather spend an extra 3 bucks at the pump than be at the mercy of the inevitable/the rest of the world when the time comes.

And honestly, even if we start pumping alaska, the price of gas isnt going to drop. The only thing that will change is the size of Dick Chaney's Wallet.

Ever wonder why the price of crude oil keeps going down but the price of gas keeps going up?

Desertrat
Aug 19, 2003, 01:57 PM
From the view of a reserve, I do agree that we shouldn't drill the ANWR.

To open a can of worms :D, I'd like to see the U.S. have as great a percentage of its electricity from nukes as do some other countries; notably, France. I'd like to see the end of coal- and oil- and gas-fired plants. I'd like to see more wind-generators, depending on siting--300+ of which have recently been installed along I-10 east of Ft. Stockton, Texas.

I've often wondered at the relative lack of problems had by the Canadians and British with their nukes, most of which seem to be in the 400 MW range as opposed to our 1,200 MW units. The costs may go down with "economy of scale", but possibly the problems increase? At any rate, smaller units might be located closer to load centers, reducing the need for many new transmission lines. Dunno how it would affect grid-complexity, though.

'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 19, 2003, 05:39 PM
Hey D-Rat, and here I thought you were the keeper of the KISS principle. Taking the entire system into account, isn't a nuclear power plant just about the most complicated method imaginable for boiling water?

mactastic
Aug 19, 2003, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Hey D-Rat, and here I thought you were the keeper of the KISS principle. Taking the entire system into account, isn't a nuclear power plant just about the most complicated method imaginable for boiling water?

I think they are the most complex fixed structure around. I've seen a planset that construction companies used to build one. It was a stack of 30x42 sheets about 4 feet tall.

Desertrat
Aug 19, 2003, 07:01 PM
The wiring for the controls is quite complex--but so is the wiring for any power plant. Same for the ancillary plumbing.

I worked for the City of Austin Elec. Dept, back 40 years ago, when they were building a rather small gas-fired plant. I was amazed at the number of blueprints required!

The discrete elements of complex projects aren't all that complicated. What makes for a huge pile of blueprints is the large number of elements.

The plans and specs for an F-15 occupy two semi-trailers, and outweigh the airplane--yet, they fly.

Keeping the KISS principle in mind is what helps you make each discrete element of a project as simple as possible.

Ya want me to get into how a nuke is built, and how they work?

:), 'Rat

Ugg
Aug 19, 2003, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Funny about the fuss over ANWF. The TV always shows photos of beautiful mountains, and the wildlife there. The drilling areas are many miles away, on the coastal plain.

I've been around many, many oil wells--and long before there was any EPA or other environmental protecting group. Most all oil-lease contracts had a clause that basically said, "Leave my pasture like you found it." You go back after the well is on line, and there's nothing to see but the Christmas Tree or the pump. The area is not left in a giant mess. It's not uncommon to see deer feeding nearby, or an occasional coyote trotting past.

'Rat

That is very true in most of the lower 48 but the far north is just a wee bit different. A human footprint can last 40 years on the tundra and it can take a 100 years for a caribou corpse to fully decay. The coastal plain isn't that far from the mountains by the way, and the plain supports a lot of caribou, migrating birds, wolves, arctic foxes and ptarmigan.

Due to global warming (whether human caused or not) the permafrost is slowly melting and the existing pipeline is starting to sink. It's costing many millions to keep it from burying itself in the tundra.

I agree with you that drilling in the lower 48 is relatively benign, that is not the case in Alaska.

Desertrat
Aug 19, 2003, 08:55 PM
Thanks, ugg, for the info about the existing pipeline.

I don't pretend that drilling operations are really benign--they ain't. However, a well site is fairly small--an acre or two, and today's drilling can do several wells from one platform. (Apparently a dozen or more is common in the Gulf of Mexico.) The darndest deal is horizontal drilling. They go down to a pay zone and "persuade" the drill head to turn a radiussed 90 degrees and head off across country.

Sounds like the pipeline gathering system and then the transmission line would be the big problem.

I have a friend who worked a few years for Arco at Prudhoe Bay, doing cost-effectiveness analysis. Some of her stories of the myriad problems are hair-curling.

Deserts are also slow to heal. I've read that as late as the 1980s, tanks' treadmarks from WW II still show in the training areas of the deserts of southern California and Arizona.

How to change an oilman's view toward environmental protection: Point out how messing up ecosystems screws up HIS hunting and fishing. He can relate to that on a personal level.

'Rat

pseudobrit
Aug 19, 2003, 10:42 PM
A few points on ANWAR:

1) it's not that much oil

2) they have to cool the wells because the oil coming up is warmer than the permafrost and would melt it, sinking the whole operation.

3) The whole thing would be less efficient than invading an oil-rich country with the military and stealing it from them. Unless the natives got restless and started blowing up their, er, our pipelines.

pseudobrit
Aug 19, 2003, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
How to change an oilman's view toward environmental protection: Point out how messing up ecosystems screws up HIS hunting and fishing. He can relate to that on a personal level.

I don't think that'll phase him. He'll just use his billions to travel and hunt somewhere he hasn't despoiled.

That and the fact that Dick and Bush don't seem like very active outdoorsmen. Even as much as Bush tries to play the part.

Ugg
Aug 19, 2003, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
A few points on ANWAR:

1) it's not that much oil



http://www.nrdc.org/land/wilderness/arctic.asp

They have a graph on the first page that shows America's current and projected oil consumption as well as the amount of oil, 3.2 billion barrels that "might" be there. Since no exploration has been done the number of course is up for debate but even at the highest estimate of 11 billion barrels, that is barely over a year and a half supply for the US at current consumption levels.

As 'Rat said, the logistics for getting the oil out of the ground and down to Valdez are phenomenal. I don't know what the per barrel cost of extraction is but I would bet that environmental costs are minimal. I would also bet that environmental costs also make good business sense. Oil saturated ground doesn't behave like normal tundra and the soft spots it creates are headaches for the engineers. In the summertime garbage rules are strictly enforced as roaming polar bears make it very dangerous for employees to venture outside. The Brooks Range is also higher on the eastern side near ANWR than it is on the western side of the state where extraction is currently taking place. Running that pipe up and over that range would take one heck of a lot of bucks. Also, as the Matterhorn has proven this year, when permafrost in the mountains thaws the effects are mind-boggling.

IMHO, Nigeria would be safer, cheaper and less environmentally damaging. Don't they have an evil dictator? Oops, I guess it's just an oligarchy, isn't it?

pseudobrit
Aug 19, 2003, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
Oops, I guess it's just an oligarchy, isn't it?

Did someone say oilarchy?

Ugg
Aug 20, 2003, 12:14 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Did someone say oilarchy?

I think it was that oily gw guy...

Desertrat
Aug 20, 2003, 08:58 AM
A sort of a rant, not aimed at anybody here:

Our government is supposed to do something to keep the economy going. That's gotta be a fact, given how presidential elections are affected by economic issues.

Our economy and our daily well-being depend on oil and natural gas. Period. End of argument. Worse, it depends on the importation of foreign oil and refined products plus natural gas.

I can't help but believe that part of the duty of our government, then, is to assure the supplies, since the economy and oil/gas are so tied together.

Okay. International politics is a chess game of competing national interests. "The Great Game" can be viewed romantically as in Kipling's "Kim", or dispassionately as in Kissinger's "realpolitik". Regardless, the game goes on whether the players like it or not. The game affects all our lives whether we get personally involved or sit on the sidelines and complain.

Even without our past meddling in political affairs, the middle east is and always has been politically unstable. I can agree that from a long-term view, Western meddling did not help matters. But hindsight is 20/20 and what's done is done and we have to live with the views and emotions of those who are there right now.

My view of the Bush I and Bush II efforts is that they (and others, either party) are quite aware of all of the above, and their hope is to create some forms of administration of mideast countries which will be cooperative in supplying the market--including the U.S. market--with oil over the longest possible run.

We're approaching the peak of "Hubbert's Pimple", and the competition for petroleum and its products during the next ten to forty years will become even more vicious than it is today.

I've been watching all this since the Oil Embargo of 1973 and the resulting price escalations. I think I see a trend through all administrations--albeit with fits and starts--about ensuring our supplies.

Ah, well. Rant mode off, for now...

:), 'Rat

Ugg
Aug 20, 2003, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Our government is supposed to do something to keep the economy going. That's gotta be a fact, given how presidential elections are affected by economic issues.

Our economy and our daily well-being depend on oil and natural gas. Period. End of argument. Worse, it depends on the importation of foreign oil and refined products plus natural gas.


I agree wholeheartedly with every aspect of your post. You've left out a couple of things though. Whether it is the electrical transmission grid or domestic fuel refining and delivery, both Bushes and Reagan have been woefully inadequate when it comes to ensuring that those systems are in good shape. They have also pushed consumption over conservation or alternative energy sources.

We've had 30 years to ponder the reality of oil in our everyday life.

1. There's a finite amount of it and increasing world demand (The Chinese and Indians have only just begun to buy autos and build roads) means that in the not too distant future there will not be enough for our fuel guzzling appetites.

2. The majority of the easily recovered oil lies in politically unstable areas. The fact that they are politically unstable due to the great riches to be realized from oil is another issue altogether.

3. Placating the heavy donors to the Republican Party has become more important than ensuring that the US has a viable energy policy.

It's time to move on. It would have been so easy for gw to push alternative energy. A couple billion in tax breaks and R & D would make a world of difference but no, his world is oil and it is as though he has blinders on when it comes to anything else. Even his fuel cell R & D is based on fossil fuel.

BP manufactures 20% of the world's solar panels, they see the writing on the wall. When will gw and the Republicans do the same?

mactastic
Aug 20, 2003, 09:19 AM
Sort of off topic, but seeing the people lining up in Phoenix for gas makes me nervous. You are correct 'Rat, we depend on fossil fuels for every bit of our daily life. And we've made little to no effort to change it. The best suggestion we've been offered is more nuclear plants, which, I'm sorry, but until you figure out a way to deal with the waste without finding a storage spot for the next 250,000 years, I can't support nuclear power. Espescially in light of the terrorists stated goals of breaching one of them. Instead of the part where you say "period. End of arguement" I would add a part that says, "We should end our dependance on fossil fuels ASAP." I think it is shortsighted to prematurely end the arguement there. If we made renewable sources of energy a top national priority we wouldn't have to force a transformation of the middle east. I feel that the current neo-con crowd in the WH would rather spend the next 10 years pacifying Iraq to improve our access to oil than to put that money into developement of renewable sources of energy.

Desertrat
Aug 20, 2003, 10:37 AM
I'll agree with anybody that we've been way too slow at finding ways to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.

Item: For no more cost than today's conventional residential construction, an R-30 house can be built. "Heat it with a match, cool it with an ice cube."

Item: Where are the tax incentives (carrots) to get more people out of gas hogs and into fuel-efficient cars? All I see is suggested sticks which, punitive in nature, up the "stubbornness ante".

(I'll readily agree that storage {not "disposal"} of nuclear waste is a problem. However, injecting the politics of NIMBY into a geological/engineering problem doesn't help matters.)

To me, a problem of wind generators is that of location (for winds) and area (use a lot of space per megawatt). I'm for them, but they still are problematical compared to point-source plants. They present the same aesthetic problems as offshore drilling rigs or a city's overhead distribution lines. (Note the current NIMBY flap of locating them within rich folks' view.)

The methodology of the national debate should be changed, I think. As it is, it is couched in terms that don't mean a lot to the average Joe Sixpack. It doesn't reach him on an emotional level that indicates it's really his own personal problem. We've wound up with a sort of "Let's you and him conserve." situation. It's an unintended consequence of the Law of the Commons, "I'll get mine while the gettin's good."

'Rat

zimv20
Aug 20, 2003, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat

Item: Where are the tax incentives (carrots) to get more people out of gas hogs and into fuel-efficient cars?


hear hear. i would have loved $1k or so back when i bought my 40/55.

ot: i had my first accident since '86 last week (happily, his insurance company accepted full responsibility). when i went to rent a car, the nice people there informed me that the mitsubishi lancer i was renting got "great" gas mileage. i took it on the highway and got a whopping 21 mpg. wtf?

mactastic
Aug 20, 2003, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
I'll agree with anybody that we've been way too slow at finding ways to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.

Amen to that.

Item: For no more cost than today's conventional residential construction, an R-30 house can be built. "Heat it with a match, cool it with an ice cube."

After the energy crisis here, a program was started to allow consumers who can produce more energy than they consume at any point during the day to sell that excess power to the utilities for the same (retail) price that people pay. IMHO this is a brilliant way to go, building an energy efficient home becomes a source of income, or at least reduces what you pay if you have a heavy load at other times. Unfortunately the utility companies don't like this and are lobbying the gov't to change the rules to allow them to buy the power at wholesale prices, then sell it back at retail. There were people here who completly recouped their initial investments in renewable energy that one summer because of this program.

Item: Where are the tax incentives (carrots) to get more people out of gas hogs and into fuel-efficient cars? All I see is suggested sticks which, punitive in nature, up the "stubbornness ante".

That sounds like a tax increase, not popular among the conservative crowd. Of course I haven't seen them object to strenuously to corporate welfare, just welfare for actual people. Every time a proposal is floated for instance to raise CAFE standards it is decried as a liberal attempt to reduce freedoms.

(I'll readily agree that storage {not "disposal"} of nuclear waste is a problem. However, injecting the politics of NIMBY into a geological/engineering problem doesn't help matters.)

Would you be happy if the Yucca Valley storage site was going to be built in your backyard?

To me, a problem of wind generators is that of location (for winds) and area (use a lot of space per megawatt). I'm for them, but they still are problematical compared to point-source plants. They present the same aesthetic problems as offshore drilling rigs or a city's overhead distribution lines. (Note the current NIMBY flap of locating them within rich folks' view.)

Wind generators can be placed offshore in many places just over the horizon so views aren't spoiled. Denmark is a leader in this area. Some time ago we were talking about an article someome (Mr. Anderson I believe) found that discussed the possibilities of using the tidal forces in San Francisco Bay to power a huge amount of the region. I've seen serious discussions about the potential of distributed generation, and even a hope that if we went back to localized generation of power we could return to a DC power system and save a ton of energy that is currently heating every single power adapter in your house. Solutions are out there, but not widely talked about. We need to have a long term view of the situation, not one that ends at the next election cycle.

The methodology of the national debate should be changed, I think. As it is, it is couched in terms that don't mean a lot to the average Joe Sixpack. It doesn't reach him on an emotional level that indicates it's really his own personal problem. We've wound up with a sort of "Let's you and him conserve." situation. It's an unintended consequence of the Law of the Commons, "I'll get mine while the gettin's good."

'Rat

The only way it will affect the average Joe is either for the stuff to run low (70's oil embargo, Phoenix today) or for the government to step in and say "We need to do this for the good of the country." When the price of gas hits $3 in this country, then we will have a serious discussion about this. Until then it's dismissed by many as a treehugger's fantasy.

ThoughtKriminal
Aug 20, 2003, 11:59 AM
Please... we let oil companies run our country and wonder why on earth we havnet found other sources of energy... lol foolish.

Desertrat
Aug 20, 2003, 07:16 PM
TK, like it or not, what the oil companies are selling is convenience, which a powerful marketing tool. Look what it's done for McDonald's, et al.

BSing with my buddy at the barber shop, today, and browsed the June, 2003 issue of "Motor Trend". Noticed that the Honda Civic Hybrid is about $20,000, or some six to eight grand higher than the conventional version.

Saw where FoMoCo is coming out with a hybrid, later this year. It will use a small IC 4-banger; supposed to get 30mpg in town. It uses the electric motor during 0 to 30 mph. It's a (hang on, now!) an SUV. "Several thousand dollars more" than a coventional version.

:), 'Rat

Ugg
Aug 20, 2003, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
BSing with my buddy at the barber shop, today, and browsed the June, 2003 issue of "Motor Trend". Noticed that the Honda Civic Hybrid is about $20,000, or some six to eight grand higher than the conventional version.

Saw where FoMoCo is coming out with a hybrid, later this year. It will use a small IC 4-banger; supposed to get 30mpg in town. It uses the electric motor during 0 to 30 mph. It's a (hang on, now!) an SUV. "Several thousand dollars more" than a coventional version.


Yup, while change is inevitable, it ain't cheap. Now, if we were to look back about 40 year or so when Ralph came out with Unsafe At Any Speed the roaring from Detroit was loud enough to drown out most Nascar events. It will sink us and make autos too costly for the average consumer, they said. Well, history proved them wrong. I doubt that anyone would want to drive one of those deathtraps on today's dangerous roads.

Did Nader's hue and cry make cars safer? Yes. Did it make them more expensive? Yes. Are people complaining? No. Well, maybe only those who complain about government intervention but I'll bet you the first accident they experience while driving a deathtrap would quickly change their tune.

CAFE standards changed the way Americans thought about their cars, albeit all too briefly. Had there been the political will power to continue the upward climb of MPG numbers and reclassify SUVs, we wouldn't be in nearly as big of a bind as we are today. So, the result is we all have to pay the price. Whether Americans at the gas pump and auto dealer, or Iraqis, Venezuelans, Mexicans, Indonesians, Iranians, Saudi Arabians, etc. with their lives and freedom, the price will have to be paid somehow.

'Rat, I'm sure your son has lots of tales about the high cost of owning a car in Germany and the comparatively draconian measures that the Germans take when it comes to energy usage. (It really sucks to have to turn on the light 4 times when you're going down four flights of stairs!). But, their energy consumption is substantially less than ours per capita and they enjoy a standard of living that is equal to ours.

You've spoken about the lack of discipline about the young 'uns in this country but our lack of discipline when it comes to energy usage can only be placed at our feet. Whether it be the endless and mostly tacky X-mas displays, homes that grow bigger by the day while the number of inhabitants grows smaller, places like Las Vegas, etc, we are guilty. Mea Culpa.

The piper is calling and he's demanding payment. We do have a choice though. American blood spilled in the desert or a little less greed at home....

Backtothemac
Aug 20, 2003, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
heard on NPR that at least one of the holdups is bush's insistence that alaska drilling be part of the energy package.

No, it was that the Democrats insisted on not drilling there. Same thing really. Point being that you can thank the left for the problems in this counrty. They bitch about oil, but never put up any viable alternative. They complain that we need windmills, and solar panels, but not in their backyard.

They, have not done anything to make this country less dependent on oil than the republicans, but blame them for everything. At least republicans have the good sense to drill for oil here to remove our dependence on foriegn oil. Bush has put money into hydrogen research, and wants to modernize the powergrid.

When was the last time that a nuclear plant came online. Anyone know? The China Syndrome was the all the energy left needed to keep nuclear power out from here on, and to keep us slaves to the oil of the middle east.

I personally, say that all of the people in Washington are acting on their own interests instead of ours.

zimv20
Aug 20, 2003, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
No, it was that the Democrats insisted on not drilling there. Same thing really. Point being that you can thank the left for the problems in this counrty.


i don't believe you really feel that way. it's not for any single party to dictate all policy, republican or democratic, and i know you know that.

something i learned a long time ago in management -- responsibility and authority go hand in hand. when you lay all responsibility on the democrats w/o providing them authority, i can't buy it.

both sides have the responsibility to see that things happen. if bush is truly the compromising uniter he campaigned as, he should know to drop his support of the big controversial measure from the bill, let the measure pass, and then tackle the issue later.

Desertrat
Aug 21, 2003, 11:01 AM
Nader's "Unsafe At Any Speed" focussed on a car that was no longer in production. And, on a design that a lot of folks dearly loved: The VW Beetles and buses, the "bathtub" Porsches...

It's a perception book: Just as the Pinto fire lawsuit scared people away from Pintos, although the frequency of such fires was no greater than for other cars of that size.

"I doubt that anyone would want to drive one of those deathtraps on today's dangerous roads." Only to car shows, where they command incredible prices. With seat belts and radial tires, they're safer than many of today's cars.

To me, the biggest problem is that of the war between fuel economy and safety. A lighter weight vehicle can be set up for 40 to 60 miles per gallon. Trouble is, they're fairly flimsy as to crash protection. You start adding side-bars and air bags and such, and the weight goes up--and fuel economy goes down.

A Mazda Miata weighs some 2,500 pounds. It won't perform in a sporting manner nearly so well as the old Lotus Elan of the late 1960s. Less horsepower and 1,000 more pounds in the Miata. But it's a lot safer.

Face it: For family folks and business people, the mini-van and the SUV are the most practical transportation available. If you can get the great majority of SUVs down to around 3,500 pounds instead of 4,500 and up, the fuel economy can be enhanced.

'Rat

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 11:07 AM
I was at a car show not too long ago and I saw a beautifully restored Corvair convertible. The license plate read "FK NADER" Pretty funny.

ThoughtKriminal
Aug 21, 2003, 11:44 AM
Point being that you can thank the left for the problems in this counrty.

thanks for letting everyone know your a tool and saving them the trouble of actually like, reading your whole post.

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 11:46 AM
Name calling isn't going to help things.

ThoughtKriminal
Aug 21, 2003, 11:48 AM
actually on second thought maybe that statement isnt as ludacris as it might sound at first. Now that the taliban is gone 99% of the world is left of you.

ThoughtKriminal
Aug 21, 2003, 11:50 AM
Name calling isn't going to help things.

Your right, sorry. Name calling must be an advent of the left.

It wasnt really meant as an insult, my point is that its hard to take anyone seriously who takes that broad of strokes with that broad of a brush. Ann Coulter for example, often makes very good points. However no one listens because she cries "treason" even five minutes.

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 11:52 AM
Just tryin to keep things civil in here.:p

We don't want to give Arn any reason to make this forum go poof.

zimv20
Aug 21, 2003, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat

To me, the biggest problem is that of the war between fuel economy and safety. A lighter weight vehicle can be set up for 40 to 60 miles per gallon. Trouble is, they're fairly flimsy as to crash protection. You start adding side-bars and air bags and such, and the weight goes up--and fuel economy goes down.


of course, engineering trade-offs have been and will be the great challenge of designing cars. but i feel you're over simplifying.

my '98 VW bug, w/ a diesel engine, gets 40/55. but it is also one of the two cars of its size to get a perfect safety rating (the other, believe it or not, is the the '82 ford escort).

i have awesome mileage and awesome safety. it _is_ possible.

Backtothemac
Aug 21, 2003, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by ThoughtKriminal
thanks for letting everyone know your a tool and saving them the trouble of actually like, reading your whole post.

Your right. I am a tool. :rolleyes:

You should read the entire post before you pass judgement. I should have said that you can blame them for the energy crisis. Actually, I have said before that you should blame all of the last 6 administrations.

My statement is that those on the left complain about oil, and have done nothing to reduce our dependence on foriegn oil.

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
of course, engineering trade-offs have been and will be the great challenge of designing cars. but i feel you're over simplifying.

my '98 VW bug, w/ a diesel engine, gets 40/55. but it is also one of the two cars of its size to get a perfect safety rating (the other, believe it or not, is the the '82 ford escort).

i have awesome mileage and awesome safety. it _is_ possible.

Hondas almost always rate well in saftey as well. My '98 Civic gets 35/40 mpg and is also a very solidly built car. IMHO they do well because they are one of the few automakers to still research and design their own engines still.

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

My statement is that those on the left complain about oil, and have done nothing to reduce our dependence on foriegn oil.

We've tried. ;) It's just that the right always stops us from doing something.

Backtothemac
Aug 21, 2003, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
We've tried. ;) It's just that the right always stops us from doing something.

Yea, but look at nuclear power. A nuclear plant has not come online since what 79? After the China Syndrome all the energy protesters said, no to nuclear plants. They are safe, stable, and cheap. But why don't we use them? Because our wonderful mentality of not in our backyard.

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Yea, but look at nuclear power. A nuclear plant has not come online since what 79? After the China Syndrome all the energy protesters said, no to nuclear plants. They are safe, stable, and cheap. But why don't we use them? Because our wonderful mentality of not in our backyard.

And we subsidize the hell out of nuclear power. The government insures those suckers because no one in their right mind would do so otherwise. I happen to live within 10 miles of one right now, and I gotta say it makes me a little nervous. In fact we're having a siren test this weekend to make sure it works in case something goes horribly horribly wrong! Now PG&E wants to store spent fuel above ground because they are running out of anywhere else to put it. Do you have any idea how long 250,000 years is? I wonder what the cost of operating a storage facility for that long will cost. It won't be cheap thats for sure. Espescially if it has to be hardened against terrorist attack, extra security has to be provided so a suicide squadron can't take it over, it requires a huge perimeter for saftey reasons as opposed to a traditional plant. I can't see how you think nuclear power is either safe or cheap.

zimv20
Aug 21, 2003, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

My statement is that those on the left complain about oil, and have done nothing to reduce our dependence on foriegn oil.

???

are they the same people? is it congressmen complaining, or just "regular" people?

if you want to see how popular environmental issues are w/ the public, look at the popularity of the green party. they can't get enough votes to warrant federal funds for campaigning.

------

i want my leaders to lead. if drilling in alaska would make any significant reduction in dependence on foreign oil, i just might support it. but in reality it won't make a dent (by the time it goes online, its production would be less than our increased demand).

we must wean ourselves off oil, period, not just foreign oil. let's see some _real_ leadership (and _real_ money) in alternative fuels. and let's see some real changes in our consumption patterns, starting w/ raising the damn mileage in our vehicles.

Backtothemac
Aug 21, 2003, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
???

are they the same people? is it congressmen complaining, or just "regular" people?

if you want to see how popular environmental issues are w/ the public, look at the popularity of the green party. they can't get enough votes to warrant federal funds for campaigning.

------

i want my leaders to lead. if drilling in alaska would make any significant reduction in dependence on foreign oil, i just might support it. but in reality it won't make a dent (by the time it goes online, its production would be less than our increased demand).

we must wean ourselves off oil, period, not just foreign oil. let's see some _real_ leadership (and _real_ money) in alternative fuels. and let's see some real changes in our consumption patterns, starting w/ raising the damn mileage in our vehicles.

Yes, I am talking about the wonderful politicians. Look, nuclear power is safe, clean, and very inexpensive. it is enviromentally friendly. Take the spent rods, and launch them to the sun for all I care. It is good power. As for the oil in Alaska. There is enough oil there for 30 years of oil in the US. I worked with the US. Geological survey there, and I can tell you there is plenty of oil. Also, you are right about raising the mileage in our vehicles. More needs to be done. My point isn't about the environment, but about reducing our dependence on foriegn oil.

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 02:17 PM
Everyone is in favor of reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It's like being in favor of moms or apple pies. The rub is in how we go about achieving that independence. You'd prefer to drill in every square inch of land, while I would like to see complete reliance on non-polluting renewables. We have to find a middle path.

Backtothemac
Aug 21, 2003, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Everyone is in favor of reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It's like being in favor of moms or apple pies. The rub is in how we go about achieving that independence. You'd prefer to drill in every square inch of land, while I would like to see complete reliance on non-polluting renewables. We have to find a middle path.

Your right. Start drilling here. Over the next 5 years, take the reduced dependence on foriegn oil, and invest that into clear air technology such as hydrogen, and others. Also, Methaine is clean air fuel. There are many options. Mandate windmills in the midwest coming off of the cascades. People don't like the way they look, mess up their view of the cape, tough. It is law.

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Your right. Start drilling here. Over the next 5 years, take the reduced dependence on foriegn oil, and invest that into clear air technology such as hydrogen, and others. Also, Methaine is clean air fuel. There are many options. Mandate windmills in the midwest coming off of the cascades. People don't like the way they look, mess up their view of the cape, tough. It is law.

I would totally support new drilling if it was coupled with a guarantee of massive investment in renewables and a real commitment to weaning ourselves off fossil fuels within a 20 - 30 year period.

Then we could kick the Saudi's to the curb.

Backtothemac
Aug 21, 2003, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
I would totally support new drilling if it was coupled with a guarantee of massive investment in renewables and a real commitment to weaning ourselves off fossil fuels within a 20 - 30 year period.

Then we could kick the Saudi's to the curb.

Exactly, but the repulicans don't want to put the money in clean air tech. Remember the SOTU address when Bush announced the research into Hydrogen. The republicans had a ****. They did not even clap. Then two breaths later he says to drill in Alaska, and the dems had a ****. No claps.

NOONE has the guts to tell them both to shut up, and accept that we are going to drill, and develop clean air side by side.

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Exactly, but the repulicans don't want to put the money in clean air tech. Remember the SOTU address when Bush announced the research into Hydrogen. The republicans had a ****. They did not even clap. Then two breaths later he says to drill in Alaska, and the dems had a ****. No claps.

NOONE has the guts to tell them both to shut up, and accept that we are going to drill, and develop clean air side by side.

Well the problem is I don't trust Bush and his oil pals to put all that much effort into renewables. We've been burned before, both by government and industry. The public have a very short term memory, during our power crisis everyone wanted solar stuff, now it's totally back burner. Cars were pretty efficient in the early 80's when we were still reeling from the oil shortages, but now look where we are. Every other car is an SUV now it seems like. Sadly people don't seem like they want to conserve if their neighbor doesn't have to, and the pols don't have the guts to tell them oil dependancy is a national security issue.

Ugg
Aug 21, 2003, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
My statement is that those on the left complain about oil, and have done nothing to reduce our dependence on foriegn oil.

Why is the left constantly pushing for alternative energy? How many lefties do you know that drive gas guzzlers? Who made the push for increased CAFE standards, and who decided to eliminate tougher standards?

You really need to rethink what you have said. The left has been the reason our dependence on foreign oil isn't greater than it is.

Ugg
Aug 21, 2003, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
As for the oil in Alaska. There is enough oil there for 30 years of oil in the US. I worked with the US. Geological survey there, and I can tell you there is plenty of oil.

The estimates of oil in ANWR vary, anywhere from 3 billion to 11 billion barrels. While it is true that it would take 30 years to pump it all out, it is also true that the oil only amounts to 6 months to 18 months of our current total oil consumption.

IJ Reilly
Aug 21, 2003, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
The estimates of oil in ANWR vary, anywhere from 3 billion to 11 billion barrels. While it is true that it would take 30 years to pump it all out, it is also true that the oil only amounts to 6 months to 18 months of our current total oil consumption.

What's more, oil extracted from ANWR would just go straight into that big pot of world oil, not some sort of special supply reserved for US consumers. Some of it would undoubtedly be shipped to Asia, or wherever else the oil companies could get the best price for it. The idea that we can ever become "energy independent" by drilling more oil wells in Alaska is ludicrous.

Desertrat
Aug 21, 2003, 06:51 PM
IJ, ANWR oil to Asia is a distance & transportation thing. Japan is closer to Valdez than any lower-48 refinery not already supplied from elsewhere. Persian Gulf oil might go to Europe instead of Japan; Venezuelan or Mexican oil comes here...

To get Alaskan oil to U.S. refineries in a cost-effective manner would (I'm guessing), mean new refineries on the Pacific coast. Then it would be NIMBY time...

'Rat

RobVanDam
Aug 21, 2003, 11:34 PM
About Bush being at fault. For over a decade numerous organizations have said that our nation's electrical system needs an entire overall. Bush has had to deal with terrorism in his one term, which he has only served 3/4ths of yet.

Clinton served two terms and his biggest accomplishment is that got a blowjob.

Who gets more blame IMO? Clinton.

zimv20
Aug 21, 2003, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
About Bush being at fault. For over a decade numerous organizations have said that our nation's electrical system needs an entire overall. Bush has had to deal with terrorism in his one term, which he has only served 3/4ths of yet.

Clinton served two terms and his biggest accomplishment is that got a blowjob.

Who gets more blame IMO? Clinton.

score: 5/5 (insightful) :rolleyes:

please point me to the article where the dems blocked a GOP effort to improve the grid.

when you can't find it, see if you can find reference to tom delay blocking such a measure by the dems.

Backtothemac
Aug 22, 2003, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by Ugg
Why is the left constantly pushing for alternative energy? How many lefties do you know that drive gas guzzlers? Who made the push for increased CAFE standards, and who decided to eliminate tougher standards?

You really need to rethink what you have said. The left has been the reason our dependence on foreign oil isn't greater than it is.

Lets see, Mr. Kennedy, Ariana, and many others. They are called Limo liberals.

Yea, Ariana bashes corporate America, and her evil rich opponents that have millions, and don't need tax breaks.

Yea, she paid $771 in tax over the last two years. And yet owns a 7 million dollar 8,000 square foot house.

:rolleyes:

How about Mr. Kennedy tooling around saying we should not drive an SUV because of Gas milage, but yet owns a friggin private plane, flys everywhere, and when he lands takes a limo everywhere he goes.

At least the republicans are not liers about loving their SUV.

mactastic
Aug 22, 2003, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by Ugg
Why is the left constantly pushing for alternative energy? How many lefties do you know that drive gas guzzlers? Who made the push for increased CAFE standards, and who decided to eliminate tougher standards?

You really need to rethink what you have said. The left has been the reason our dependence on foreign oil isn't greater than it is.

It's actually fairly embarrasing how many people I know around here who would consider themselves liberal, or environmentally sensitive, yet they drive around in an SUV. Some of them have a legitimate reason, ranching, construction workers, etc., but too many are simply hipocritical. I constantly give one of my neighbors a hard time because she drives a giant suburban around with a sticker that says "Keep Tahoe Blue".

BTTM,
Having said that, I must say that singling out a few polititians (who aren't known for consistency of viewpoint IMHO) doesn't negate the fact that many people in this country do what they can to conserve, drive gas efficient vehicles, support green energy etc.

As far as hipocrasy goes, liberals are by no means the only ones who engage in it. Can you blame Ariana for taking advantage of the same loopholes in tax law that many conservatives do? When John McCain was running for president on a campaign finance reform platform, he was still taking soft money donations. His rationale was that it was the only way he could be competitive, possibly win, and make the changes that he wanted... by playing by the rules in effect at the time. At least McCain and Huffington are calling for the kind of change that will directly affect them negatively, but that will be better for society at large.

Desertrat
Aug 22, 2003, 12:54 PM
How can "the government" (Congress?) make a big difference in our electric grids? What sort of law will make the various parts and pieces and the inter-communication equipment more reliable?

Folks talk about "de-regulation", but "re-regulation" would be more apropos. Laws were changed as to retail customers purchasing from other than the nearest company, and some rates were de-regulated, but the generating companies are still regulated.

And the transmission-line companies are still regulated as before, SFAIK.

And any and all private corporations either operate at a profit or go broke.

'Rat

Backtothemac
Aug 22, 2003, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by mactastic

Can you blame Ariana for taking advantage of the same loopholes in tax law that many conservatives do?

Yea, I can, becuase she criticizes everything that would benifit anyone that is wealthy. She is anti-suv. She is anti-republican. She does everything opposite of what she does.

Think about it. 7 million dollar house! And she only pays 771$ in taxes over two years.

I pay more tax than that, and I don't make nearly what she makes.

mactastic
Aug 22, 2003, 02:56 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Yea, I can, becuase she criticizes everything that would benifit anyone that is wealthy. She is anti-suv. She is anti-republican. She does everything opposite of what she does.

Think about it. 7 million dollar house! And she only pays 771$ in taxes over two years.

I pay more tax than that, and I don't make nearly what she makes.

Ok, I don't know the details of her return, but we don't tax people on their wealth, just their income. The value of her house has little to do with her income level.

Are you advocating for higher taxes here?:p

Perhaps we should raise her property taxes?:D

Backtothemac
Aug 22, 2003, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Ok, I don't know the details of her return, but we don't tax people on their wealth, just their income. The value of her house has little to do with her income level.

Are you advocating for higher taxes here?:p

Perhaps we should raise her property taxes?:D

Well, logic would say that the woman makes plenty of money to have a 7 million dollar home. I personally think we need a flat tax. Everyone married or single who makes more than 25,000 a year should have to pay 15% of their income in taxes. Including corporations, and power companies.

mactastic
Aug 22, 2003, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Well, logic would say that the woman makes plenty of money to have a 7 million dollar home. I personally think we need a flat tax. Everyone married or single who makes more than 25,000 a year should have to pay 15% of their income in taxes. Including corporations, and power companies.

Ariana did have a rich ex-hubby. She probably got most of her money that way. They divorced after he ran for senator from cali, lost badly, and announced he was gay. Cut her some slack, thats gotta really suck!:D

Besides, any tax dodging loopholes Ariana uses she learned from her republican ex!

Backtothemac
Aug 22, 2003, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Ariana did have a rich ex-hubby. She probably got most of her money that way. They divorced after he ran for senator from cali, lost badly, and announced he was gay. Cut her some slack, thats gotta really suck!:D

Besides, any tax dodging loopholes Ariana uses she learned from her republican ex!

But doesn't that make her a tool. She can't bitch about people not doing the right thing when she herself is obviously living life through loopholes.

She is scum and trash.

mactastic
Aug 22, 2003, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
But doesn't that make her a tool. She can't bitch about people not doing the right thing when she herself is obviously living life through loopholes.

She is scum and trash.

Oh come on, Simon's a tool too, he's coming off as a great business leader for our state when his company is under investigation for fraud. Thats not doing the right thing. Newt Gingrich was all over Clinton for sexual improprieties while he was boffing his secretary. Not exactly the right thing either. Polititians are not exactly moral role models if thats what you were expecting. I'm sure if you looked into their backgrounds, 75% or more would have a skeleton big enough to put their job at risk. This problem is pervasive in our political system. At least people like her and McCain are advocating for changing the unfair system that they operate within.

Backtothemac
Aug 22, 2003, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Oh come on, Simon's a tool too, he's coming off as a great business leader for our state when his company is under investigation for fraud. Thats not doing the right thing. Newt Gingrich was all over Clinton for sexual improprieties while he was boffing his secretary. Not exactly the right thing either. Polititians are not exactly moral role models if thats what you were expecting. I'm sure if you looked into their backgrounds, 75% or more would have a skeleton big enough to put their job at risk. This problem is pervasive in our political system. At least people like her and McCain are advocating for changing the unfair system that they operate within.

You know what. I think they are all tools. I am sick of the personal attacks in the political world. Great men no longer lead. They just fade away.

mactastic
Aug 22, 2003, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
You know what. I think they are all tools. I am sick of the personal attacks in the political world. Great men no longer lead. They just fade away.

You are correct. The problem is how do we fix it? Obviously the moral high ground is not held by either side here, the tone of political debate is most charitably described as tense, and hostile is more accurate IMHO.

You said you were thinking about going in to politics? You should, we need people like you. I'll come fight like hell against you though, so beware!

Backtothemac
Aug 22, 2003, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
You are correct. The problem is how do we fix it? Obviously the moral high ground is not held by either side here, the tone of political debate is most charitably described as tense, and hostile is more accurate IMHO.

You said you were thinking about going in to politics? You should, we need people like you. I'll come fight like hell against you though, so beware!

We have revolution. Elect someone that is truely outside of the loop.