Gang Of Ten Energy Proposal “On Hold”

And by “On Hold”, we of course mean, quietly withdrawn, probably never to be seen in its present form again.

Galloway has the details here, with an interesting sideline about T. Boone Pickens getting into the mix here.

23 comments

  1. odinseye2k says:

    Pickens’ wind farm idea makes sense, but his desire to take the slackened demand for natural gas and put it to cars is patently stupid to anyone that doesn’t have major natural gas holdings.

    All switching to natural gas does is sets us lower on the same supply depletion curve that oil is on and great expense to our infrastructure. If we’re going to do the overhaul, we may as well do out on a sustainable basis.

  2. Tea Party says:

    Just a brief review of the PickensPlan show natgas to be used on very large use Gov’t trucks. Eliminating 10% gas use on the largest Gov’t trucks would leverage into a 30% less import, as I read the Plan.

    And yeah, I am sure Mr. P. can rustle up some gas somewhere. Point is, natgas, ought to be used on the largest gas users, not each and every auto, which is what Mr. P. suggests.

    I like the Plan, seems to make sense.

  3. GOPeach says:

    My little buddy, Chuck Clay. never ceases to amaze me. He is the cutest little man…. and sharp as a tac! I wish him the best in handling this T. Pickens Boone idea.

    But remember – Gov. Palin has PART of the answer. Combine her ” Drill Here – Drill Now” initiative and we might have some REAL solutions!

    Hey – since all this oil crisis – fewer people are out there driving – the air is so much cleaner.

  4. Chris says:

    This is all irrelevant, as energy demand is going to drop in the coming months. The unemployed don’t need to drive to work. Consumption will fall because everyone will be holding on to cash so trucking will drop off. Finally price controls will create massive scarcity such that no one will be able to find gas to be able to use it.

    This whole drilling thing is more smoke and mirrors designed to dup the dumb rednecks. Its Gay Marriage for 2008.

  5. StevePerkins says:

    I wasn’t sure about this Pickens guy at first, given the magnitude of his GOP contributions and fundraising. However, the more I read, the more interested I am.

    I think there are some holes. For instance, I’m not sure if we can really build enough wind to replace the natural gas portion of our power grid generation. I also don’t like the way he poo-poo’s nuclear because it would take too long (20 years, when his own plan is 10).

    However, nothing’s perfect… and this is probably the most reasonable step in the right direction of anything out there I’m reading right now. Chalk me up on the bandwagon roster:

    http://www.pickensplan.com

  6. Doug Deal says:

    Steve,

    Perkins plan is foolish. The main benefit of using natural gas electic power generation is that is can be turned on and off like a light bulb.

    Coal and nuclear (and probably hydro as well, but I know little about hydro) usually fill a set demand and are not condusive to quick startups and shutdowns. When a peak puts strain on the system, a natural gas plant can be quickly brought online to fill the excess demand. Solar and wind are dependent upon varying conditions and are not relyable enough to fill this role. (What if you need more power when your wind and solar farms are covered with a cloudy and still air mass or at night?)

    So, what he is proposing is impossible. The only thing he could replace are coal and nuclear plants, which does not “free up” natural gas at all.

  7. kcordell says:

    Saxby said this morning that the energy bill was going to be “reworked.” When asked if the 50 mile limit was going to be dropped he replied ” I can’t give out any details.”

  8. StevePerkins says:

    You outta write a book, Doug. Every time wind comes up, you’re full of information about how turbines are actually only 0.00012% efficient as Pickens says they are, and how the laws of physics do not allow for storage of electricity to be used at later times, etc. I’m being tongue in cheek, of course, but in all honesty you could have some very valid points. I’m not personally knowledgeable enough to debate you. However, just going by perception alone… they seem a tad overstated, and I never seem to hear this stuff outside our beloved college football blog here.

    That’s the whole problem with energy policy. It’s like listening to Atkins Diet people argue with low-fat diet people… everyone’s an expert, they just talk “at” each other, and you walk away feeling like you know less than you did before you started listening. I hate that this sort of thing breaks down along partisan lines… because like everything else that turns partisan, people start with their conclusions and graft onto that only the facts that fit. You’ve got one group on the left chanting “Everybody ride a bicycle”, one group on the right chanting “Drill baby drill!”… and I just stand there looking at both sides like they’re complete and utter morons.

    So yeah, when someone comes along and starts saying sensible-sounding things that are somewhere in the middle, I gravitate in that direction. Is the Pickens plan perfect? As I’ve already said, probably not. However, even he acknowledges that it’s just a transitional measure to cut the bleeding over the next few decades while the auto industry gets new technologies on the ground.

  9. Doug Deal says:

    Steve,

    Partly, it is because of my education, Physics and Chemical Engineering, plus a lifelong curiosity in a lot of areas germaine to this topic, particularly global warming, nuclear energy, astronomy, and technology in general.

    Some of it is just common sense. Take wind for example. Wind is not controlled by man, and cannot be made to blow at our whim. Sometimes it is too fast, and the turbine must be shut down for it’s own protection, or it is too slow and the power is lower than the rated value.

    The power that can be generated from the wind goes up by the cube. So, if wind was only half the rated value, you would only get 1/8th the rated power generation.

    Over the course of a year, the realized power generation of a wind turbine averages between 15-30% of the “rated” value (perfect winds 24-7-365).

    Solar is the same way. You cannot generate power at night, and power is greatly reduced in the winter (less daylight hours, plus the sun is lower in the sky, travelling through more atmostphere and unless the panels track, less cross section normal to it’s rays.

    All of this stuff is posted somewhere. I am not against wind power (or solar), and would like to see it used where appropriate, but it is not possible to use it to replace the bulk of our energy needs without significant backup generation. Backup generation adds greatly to the expense, and requires the use of natural gas, which defeats the purpose of using “renewable” energy.

  10. Progressive Dem says:

    To date we haven’t been able to build batteries capable of storing large amounts of electricity. But there are a whole lot of people working on that effort. Batteries can make solar, wind and tidal power practical alternatives.

  11. drjay says:

    what about the guy in massachussetts that has so many solar panels on his house that he sells it back to the power company–his meter actually runs backwards a lot of the time–if its a grid aren’t ther ebuilt in pick ups and drop offs to compensate for demand–can they not compensate or production as well??

  12. Doug Deal says:

    The power sold back to power companies is not wanted power by the utility, it is mandated by the government, and is a form of a subsidy that t he rest of us pay to people who generate their own power.

    A close analogy is the government forcing bottle water companies to buy back your backwash from the bottom of your water bottle. Not particularly useful, but it does qualify as water. Electrical grids are not like sewer pipe where you just have to connect up to it. A/C electrical power has voltage, phase, and other considerations, or it could harm the quality of power being delivered to other parts of the grid.

    From most of the economic studies I have read, home solar power (with subsidies) have about a 30 year payback window, but only have about a 20 year serviceable lifespan. This means that you can never realize a profit with current technology. Further, that assumes that there is no time value of money or opportunity cost investing in solar panels.

    One story I read was about a woman who spent $50,000 on a solar home, using the grid to backup at night and during bad weather. It saved her, on average $150 a month. She was excited that when it paid for itself, that would be free money. Doing the math, she would have to wait 27 years and hope the panels lasted longer than they are expected to last.

    On the other hand, if she had invested $50,000 in a modest 4% return, after 27 years, she would have $144,000. At 8%, she would have $400,000.

    I think the system is wonderful, and if I had the money to throw away, I would love to have a solar powered house as well as a climate control systems that have pipes buried in the ground to heat/cool my house. Unfortunately, they just aren’t practical from an economic standpoint.

  13. Game Fan says:

    Peachtree city and other places have some police cars with CNG. And this decision is made at the local level. Sorta makes sense if you have lots of vehicles winding up in the same location. Economies of scale.

  14. rugby fan says:

    Doug:

    I’ve wondered this and don’t know if you can answer this, but why is that at oil refineries (and I think everywhere petroleum is stored) there is a lit cauldron burning?

  15. Doug Deal says:

    Burn off waste gasses. It could be methane, ethene, butylene, butane, aromatic compounds or any of a number of other “undesirable “products as defined by the needs of the plant. Burning them in excess of oxygen turns them into harmless carbon dioxide and water.

  16. Bill Simon says:

    “A close analogy is the government forcing bottle water companies to buy back your backwash from the bottom of your water bottle”

    Doug…you have a tendency to go with the sickest analogy possible. I thought I was the only one who had that knack. šŸ™‚

  17. Bill Simon says:

    Rugby,

    But..don’t take Doug’s answer as a license to light-up your fag while you’re re-filling your tank with gasoline to get rid of those fumes you smell…

  18. Doug Deal says:

    Unless you are dragging on the cigarette a few inches from the surface of the gasoline, it is highly unlikely that you would ignite it. A smoldering cigarette is probably around 400-450 F, while gasoline ignites at about 530F. The tip while pulling air through might get up to 700+, however.

    As for the evaporated gasoline in the air, unless you are in small close in space with no air circulation, puffing on your cigarette will not ignite the fumes. Once an air-fuel mixture is dispersed to the point that it is non explosive, an open air mixture cannot then later become explosive.

    If this were truly a danger, then pretty much any type of electric arcs would be illegal anywhere near these pumps, since an electric arc creates temperatures of around 5,000 F or more.

  19. Bill Simon says:

    Doug,

    Ever heard of static-electricity sparks?

    If you check the annals of The National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”) Code, you will find examples of how static electricity ignited vapors of all types when no one thought such a thing could POSSIBLY happen.

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