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independent: Bush blamed for chaos which led to blackouts

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. macrumors 601



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

    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.

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    IJ Reilly

    Re: independent: Bush blamed for chaos which led to blackouts

    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.
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    heard on NPR that at least one of the holdups is bush's insistence that alaska drilling be part of the energy package.
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    Perhaps he'll hold our electricity hostage until we let him take our oil, too.
  6. macrumors member

    New Yorkers really sound like a bunch of blind crybabies right now.


    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.
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    that wasnt a flame directed towards anyone in this thread, just for reference.
  8. macrumors newbie

    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
  9. macrumors 68040


    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.
  10. macrumors newbie

    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.

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    IJ Reilly

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

    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?
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    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.

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    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?
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    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.
  16. macrumors newbie

    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
  17. Ugg
    macrumors 68000


    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.
  18. macrumors newbie

    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.

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    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.
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    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.
  21. Ugg
    macrumors 68000



    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?
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    Did someone say oilarchy?
  23. Ugg
    macrumors 68000


    I think it was that oily gw guy...
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    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
  25. Ugg
    macrumors 68000


    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?

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