Picken's Plan: What do you think about it?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by tkepongo, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. tkepongo macrumors regular

    tkepongo

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    #1
    I think it's a great idea however, there alot of IFs in this such as whether or not congress would support it, if Americans would, if car manufacturers starts to build more natural gas vehicles (NGV). I'm willing to support it but would you?
     
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    1. this will be in PRSI forum soon.
    2. a link to the news story would be good.


    in any event: its not a bad plan; provided we can get it going and get working on it asap, because the longer we wait, the worse shape we'll be in. its action in the right direction rather than inaction at the very least; and i suppose thats part of why i favor it.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #3
    Piece of cake for pickup trucks, and I guess SUVs. Just install a tank as is done now for propane or propane/gasoline dual-fuel trucks. A fairly simple modification to the carburetor or fuel injuection setup and away you go.

    However, to get a refill on propane, at present, requires service at an authorized location, with the fuelling done by a licensed person. No self-service. That requirement would likely remain in place. (It's legal to set up to do this at your home, if you wish.)

    'Rat
     
  4. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #4
    My car runs on natural gas, and it works fine most of the time. As do most of the cabs and buses around here. Only about $2.50 a gallon too.
     
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #5
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #6
    Here's my concern - NG is burned at a rather efficient rate of about 60% total energy extracted in a power plant, but at only about 20% efficiency in a car engine. Why? Because in a power plant, it makes economic sense to install such things as highly efficient generators and co-generation facilities to capture waste heat.

    So why would we want to free up NG for use in autos rather than burning it in plants and running electric vehicles?

    I like the part of Swiftboater Pickens' plan for increasing wind power generation capacity. I just don't think trading out NG for gasoline in cars is anything other than a lateral move at best.

    Of course, since he can't keep his word regarding his million dollar offer to anyone who can prove the swiftboaters were lying, I don't expect much else from him here.
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Using NG as well as gasoline would extend our transition time to some sort of quasi-finalized transportation methodology--that mix of new systems that will come about in place of today's vehicles and power systems.

    I guess adding the use of NG would yield a certain amount of reduction in oil imports...We've gone from $70 billion a year to some $500 billion a year for oil. Going broke ain't fun.

    As we've all pretty much agreed, here, that sort of thing is just part of the effort, not any sort of solution in itself...
     
  8. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

    SactoGuy18

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    #8
    A couple of issues with Pickens' plan:

    1) You KNOW the radical environmentalists will oppose any idea of a massive wind farm, complaining about excessive bird kills and being a blight on the land with potentially thousands of wind turbines in a small spot.

    2) The enormous cost of transmitting power from the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains (where the winds are the strongest) means the only places where wind power is viable is in eastern Colorado and western Texas, where the electrical transmission costs to the nearest large base of customers is much lower. This means the wind farms in western Texas can connect to the Texas power grid to feed power to various cities in the state and the wind farms in eastern Colorado can connect back to the Boulder-Denver-Colorado Springs metropolitan corridor.

    3) Using natural gas for powering automobiles sounds like a good idea, but it also means either using bigger fuel tanks (which will impinge on interior space) or going to higher compresssion for the natural gas storage in the car (which means you need really strong tanks that are costly to manufacture).
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    But what will that do to electricity costs once we start replacing oil with NG? What are we seeing happening to the price of corn now that we're starting to use ethanol heavily? Until we make something other than a lateral move, or reduce our energy footprint, we're still going to go broke somewhere. Sure, Picken's plan means we won't go broke buying petroleum; we'll just go broke buying NG instead. Not exactly a great plan in my book.

    Like I said, increasing our wind generation capabilities I totally support. Low-speed wind generators significantly reduce bird kills. Offshore installations don't have the potential for severe environmental damage the way oil platforms do. Microturbines can be applied to building parapets that allow collection of the wind sweeping up the face of a building. There are even deployable blimp-type generators that can be used in places where diesel generators are currently employed regularly. Wind power can and will be a significant part of any sane energy solution.

    But the idea that we would simply take that renewable energy savings and squander it by being even less efficient with our remaining non-renewable resources seems stupid to me.
     
  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Looks to me that "squandering" would maybe apply to using NG for generating electricity in lieu of coal. Low on NG; we have lots of coal. And I doubt that NG is envisioned as the be-all/end-all for use in cars.

    I'm not looking for any short-term "perfect world" solutions. We first have to get through this time of transition, and we're in a time of "whatever works is good". I'm guesstimating around a ten-year shakedown period, but that's just a guess.

    Offshore oil platforms enhance marine habitat. That's demonstrable around the rigs in the GOM. One acre of ecosystem per hundred feet of water; an entire food chain develops. If you want a successful day of fishing, you go to the rigs.

    Parallelling what I learned some forty years ago is the article at http://www.lewrockwell.com/fontova/fontova71.html . Scroll on down to his comments about the work with the Travel Channel TV folks.

    As far as spills, those are short-term effects. If they weren't, the entire east coast of the U.S. would be uninhabitable, given the amount of crude oil and refined products washed ashore as a result of Nazi U-Boat activity during WW II. Many dozens of tankers were torpedoed.

    Sactoguy18, about the only objection to construction that might arise would be from the BANANA crowd. There are legitimate complaints about routing of transmission lines, of course. My own question for the "forest" that Pickens is building in the Texas Panhandle has to do with erecting such structures in Tornado Alley...

    'Rat
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #11
    How long do you think the infrastructure changes for NG would take? I'm guesstimating around a ten-year period just for that to happen without massive government intervention. Ain't no gas station owner going to want to spend good money to convert to an NG platform that may only be around for a short time frame.

    You know what would save us a ****pot of oil immediately? Lower the speed limit to 55. Instant savings, no infrastruction changes necessary, no waiting around for new wells to be drilled. Guess how much support THAT idea has among lawmakers?

    But they'll all line up behind additional drilling that would take 10 years to come online and not do much to alter the supply/demand equation.

    Sure, they enhace the marine environment -- unless they destroy it. I don't see how you can argue that oil rigs have less potential for environmental damage than an offshore wind platform; which was my point that you are arguing with here.

    Not comparable. Many of these areas are near-shore operations that would devestate local economies if something bad happens. And again, I'm only arguing that wind power generation offshore has much less potential for environmental harm. I'm not arguing that oil rigs foul the water on an everyday basis, as you seem to be trying to claim.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Hey, I"m in no way claiming anything against offshore windfarms. They'd have the same sort of more-fish impact as drilling platforms.

    But I'll state categorically that the oil platforms aren't harmful.

    No argument on the speed-limit thing, of course. The downside is the insurance companies bringing safety into it, raising premiums against "dangerous" drivers. Same for the Justices of the Peace, with their enhanced incomes from court costs. Overall, though, there would be equal benefit by getting people out of gas hogs and into econoboxes--and the marketplace is already doing that.

    As far as the time frame, sure, something like ANWR would be a ten-year deal. But the new near-offshore drilling would be in the realm of one to two years.

    As far as the WW II tanker sinkings, those quite often happened within short distance of shore. At night, one reason for the blackouts was so the ships wouldn't be silhouetted against house/street/building lights. At night, the flash of torpedos was occasionally seen from land.
     

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