Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Peter H. Asmus (spacedebris) Tue 22 May 01 10:38
Yes, I believe the word is getting out on how the fossil fuel generators took advantage of a flawed piece of legislation. It is one thing to profit from the imbalance between supply and demand, it si another to withold generation and artificially jack up prices. the more consumers hear about this, the more heat will come on Bush. But let's be frank. This is not a Democrat or Republican bashing issue. Both leaders -- Davis and Bush -- owe a lot to ratepayers throughout the West and California. Yes, efficiency is a cornerstone of the proper response, but the measures California has passed are still too tied into utility programs that have not worked. Becuase of this, Reeps can say this stuff doesn't work --when, if properly designed and implemented, it does. Look for new ballot measures and consumer uprisings. The biggest shame in this is that demand for solar PV and small wind turbines is now so big that suppliers can't keep up with demand. And that is a direct outcome of a failure in long-term planning that links solutions to the energy crisis to global cliamte change and economci development programs in poor urban communities (massive efficiency retrofits and rooftop PV) and poor rural regions (bulk wind and biomass). Bush's neanderthal approach to the energy situation, and FERC's lame market rhetoric, will go down in hisory as some of the greatest sins in government inepitude of ALL TIME.
John Payne (satyr) Wed 23 May 01 06:41
<scribbled by satyr Wed 23 May 01 06:44>
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 23 May 01 06:44
Maybe that should read: It's not an energy shortage, it's a greed glut.
consenual fiction (satyr) Wed 23 May 01 06:45
> It's not an energy crisis, it's a greed crisis. Oh, there's PLENTY of THAT to go around, shored up by relentless bafflegab.
consenual fiction (satyr) Wed 23 May 01 06:45
Alpha 10 (rmt) Wed 23 May 01 10:14
After last week's gorgeous poll showing 91% of americans want solar and wind, today we learn that 59% of Californians want nuclear power. What did i expect? These are the same people who love Survivor, who couldn't tell an electron from an election, or a neutron from an old con, and who forget Plutonium is named for the Lord Incarcerator of the Underworld. The point is... even if nuclear is less risky than twenty years ago, debatable, we have all the no risk solutions we need through a solar hydrogen economy.
Peter H. Asmus (spacedebris) Wed 23 May 01 10:27
I, too, was quite appalled by the polling results. Consumers were pretty smart on all of the other items polled -- being opposed to drilling for oil in the Artic for exmaple. But nuclear? My, how we all forget. Nuclear power is so out of synch with the trends in the energy business. Can you imagine how nulcear would fare in a competitive, deregualted market. Ramping generation up and down to get the best price; huge capital investments in plants whose waste STILL has no repository. Nulcear power and capitalism, like oil and water, do not mix.
Alpha 10 (rmt) Wed 23 May 01 11:45
Last week FPL announced a 110 MW wind project in Kansas to be completed by the end of this year. If my intelligence is correct, these are the turbines originally slated to begin repowering the Altamont, now on hold indefinitely. What a waste of a good Cali crisis. Such an obvious solution, washed away by slow moving quagmire.
Alpha 10 (rmt) Wed 23 May 01 22:55
That's 110 MW of windpower scheduled to be installed in the Altamont this year, gone to Kansas at the decision of Florida Power and Light. Add that SMUD announced negotiations with Enron Wind for a 45 MW wind plant in Rio Vista have broken down. This project was already approved by the state as a peaker on the fast track, scheduled to be online in the fall. It won't be built this year. That's 155 MW of renewable power in NOCAL which won't be built, because of two factors. Lack of any coherent state policy, and the intransigent decisions of out of state generators with much to gain by withholding supply. What a disservice.
paved habitat (satyr) Thu 24 May 01 09:16
I grew up in Kansas, and one of the main reasons I don't still live there is the wind, which can be daunting. (why most of the best windpower sites aren't what's usually considered prime real estate) > Bush and Davis Well matched, don't you think - rather like B-team basketball. > 59% of Californians want nuclear power I parse that to read "59% of Californians want" a steady surplus of power, and are willing to accept nuclear if that's what it takes to trump the power companies in their price-gouging game.
paved habitat (satyr) Thu 24 May 01 09:43
I think it needs to be emphasized that one primary reason no new large power plants came online in California in the last decade is that investment went elsewhere, following the scent of higher profits - as in the computer and internet industries, until recently, for example. Capital has become impatient and almost extortionist in its demand for profits, and ravenous in its search for circumstances which can turned to its advantage. The steady, but relatively modest return on investment offerred by utilities wasn't incentive enough.
Fuzzy Logic (phred) Sat 2 Jun 01 00:17
From one of my mailing lists, a recent letter to the editor of the Southern Illinoisan newspaper on why nuclear isn't going anywhere fast, and why it contributes to global warming (as long as we have coal plants and not wind turbines and solar panels refining uranium, which under any circumstances is actually close to a net energy loss for the current crop of nuclear reactor designs): -------------- Editor, The Southern Illinoisan: I want to comment on a recent AP story regarding the so-called "comeback" of nuclear power. I am chairman of the U.S. Department of Energy's federally chartered citizens' advisory board at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant,outside Paducah, just across the Ohio River from Illinois, so I do have some experience in the issue. The Paducah site enriches uranium in one of the necessary steps of uranium processing in order to make it into fuel. The idea that somehow nuclear power is "environmentally friendly" is just plain wrong. Nuclear power will not save us from global warming. The Paducah site, which is only one of numerous steps from mining to fuel-rod fabrication in the nuclear-fuel cycle, requires at least one large Illinois coal-fired power plant and, at higher production levels, two coal-fired power plants to supply the electricity necessary to operate the plant. If you add up all the coal-fired electricity being used to mine and process uranium, you will find a significant amount of fossil fuel being burned to produce the fuel. Second, the nuclear-fuel cycle has caused mind-boggling environmental damage and economic problems. For example, one-third of all the uranium mined on Earth sits at Paducah in the form of depleted uranium (over 400,000 tons) in containers which are deteriorating. The cost of converting this material to a form suitable for long-term storage is currently estimated at $4 billion. The million gallons of radioactive witches' brew buried in tanks at Hanford, Wash., is another problem both technologically, environmentally and economically challenging our nation. But these are only two examples of dozens of major problems facing the cleanup of nuclear processing. The answer to our energy problems lies in learning to use energy more efficiently and in finding methods for production which do not have the same economic and environmental costs as nuclear power. Those technologies are here, but it will take leadership from our politicians, and from established media outlets such as The Southern Illinoisan, to break the grip that the oil and other energy companies have on our economy. Suggesting that nuclear power is somehow the answer to our energy problems can't hold up to close scrutiny. Mark Donham, Brookport
musing generally (satyr) Fri 8 Jun 01 09:40
What's the word for transmogrifying a diagnosis (description of a process) into a prescription (recommendation for a course of action)?
Peter H. Asmus (spacedebris) Thu 14 Jun 01 07:57
Here is a recent Here is something I'm circulating: How Bush And Davis Are Missing the Boat on Wind Power George W. might check back with the folks back home in the Lone Star state as he contemplates the fate of his national energy plan in light of the Democratic control of the Senate. Gov. Davis should take some notes, too, and come to terms with perhaps the largest mistake in his approach to dealing with Californias energy crisis. What they would discover is that wind power, the worlds fastest growing power source, is a technology ideally suited to a deregulated power market and has broad bi-partisan support. Incredibly short project lead times, the ability to add new capacity in flexible increments, and an unsubsidized costs as low as 4 cents per kilowatt hour, all add up to a technology success story that is one of Americas best kept secrets. Add in the environmental benefits of substituting wind for the fossil plants that comprise over 90 percent of new power supply in California and the rest of the nation, and the case for generating electricity out of thin air becomes even more compelling. The largest energy companies in Texas, among them Enron and Reliant, are voluntarily exceeding state mandates for integrating this renewable fuel into the new competitive retail market in Texas. Why? Wind power is one of the lowest cost electricity generation sources available. Under the Texas deregulation law, 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new renewables (enough electricity for over 400,000 homes) were to be added to the states grid by 2009. So far, wind power has captured 90 percent of this new market for renewable energy. Instead of bringing 400 MW of new wind power on-line by the end of this year, as was stipulated in the timetable spelled out in the law, Texas is adding 900 MW all within one year. While California had at one time authorized adding 400 MW of new wind power by this summer, less than 50 MW is currently in the works. At the recent American Wind Energy Association annual conference held in Washington, DC, wind power developers were bitterly complaining that the message they get from the state officials is that they have no need for any more electricity since so many long-term contracts for fossil fuel supply have already been signed. This is the biggest failure of the Davis administrations energy policy given the fact that this state once had bragging rights to 90 percent of the worlds wind power. Today, the Golden State generates roughly 10 percent of the worlds wind power and about 1 percent of the states electricity supply. In contrast, Denmark now gets 17 percent of its total electricity from wind power. These sleek machines in the garden will allow the 12 members of the European Union to reduce the carbon emissions linked to global climate change dramatically. A full third of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions required complying with the global climate change Kyoto protocols by 2020 will come from replacing fossil fuels with wind power. Consider these disturbing factoids about Americas progress on the global climate change front. Instead of meeting the Kyoto climate change treatys 7 percent reduction in CO2 from 1990 levels by 2012, the Department of Energy projects US CO2 emissions are expected to exceed 1990 levels by 34 percent by that same date. Today, California is the canary in the coalmine. Carbon dioxide emissions linked to global climate change are going up, not down, because the dirtiest generation sources are running more often in times of a supply crunch. Deregulation was supposed to lead to efficiency, not an abrogation of stewardship responsibilities and commitment to preserving human health. Whereas natural gas is a finite fossil fuel, the worlds wind resource is still largely untapped. The winds blowing on just 6 percent of windiest land sites in the US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) could supply one and half times the entire USs electricity needs. Wind power is the most phenomenal success story in the history of power generation technologies. Our political leaders are failing to link solutions to energy supply with smart responses to the threat of global climate change, like wind power. I just wish George W would call back home and hear from the nations leading purveyors of electricity on why wind power is so hot. Davis might want to join in on a conference call. Both leaders might learn something that could help their respective political careers while laying a foundation for a more sustainable energy future.
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 14 Jun 01 09:51
This is compelling: > The winds blowing on just 6 percent of windiest land sites in the US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) could supply one and half times the entire USs electricity needs. >Our political leaders are failing to link solutions to energy supply with smart responses to the threat of global climate change, like wind power. Thanks, I want to remember that.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 16 Jun 01 10:03
That's a great piece, Peter. Has it been published anywhere the jackasses might see it?
Peter H. Asmus (spacedebris) Wed 27 Jun 01 09:07
David -- Well, A different version has been syndicated by Pacific News Service, which goes to alternative papers and ethnic pubs. What do folks think of the new price "caps"? Better than nothing, for sure. The biggest bummer in all of this is that Davis has blown it, too. We have locked into so much fossil fuel power over the next decade that California will stifle the innovation that a long list of companies can offer. Perhaps we will need a revolution. Global Exchange si organizing a number of protests. I hope to be performing my new song -- "Rolling Blackouts" -- at one of these protests ASAP!
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 27 Jun 01 09:25
Do you have it in downloadable audio form yet, Peter?
musing generally (satyr) Wed 27 Jun 01 12:31
Is fossil fuel power specified in the contracts, or is it just power provided by specific companies which are primarily in the fossil power business? Betya they come around soon offering a dime on the dollar for standing windplants...
Peter H. Asmus (spacedebris) Thu 28 Jun 01 08:54
The contracts are specifically for power from fossil fuel plants. Over 400 MW of wind was supposed to come on-line by this summer, but less than 70 MW will.... Do not have "Rolling Blackouts" recorded yet, but I will be posting lyrics soon. The bass player in Space Debris is about to go on a vacation, and as soon as he returns, we hope to record it and distribute ASAP!
musing generally (satyr) Thu 28 Jun 01 10:22
I'm visualizing a composite characted from the Fantastic Four, a flaming version of the big blocky guy, with a column of soot rising above him, saying "must stop evil renewable power" (repeat)...
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 29 Jun 01 12:12
Peter H. Asmus (spacedebris) Sat 7 Jul 01 13:37
Well, that's npt exactly what I had in mind -- but perhaps I should be thinking of the video.... Performed the song at a 4th of July party and it was a hit. Sounds a bit like a Lou Reed song, mixed in with Dylan and the Rolling stones, set against an uptempo rhythm that even teenagers like....
musing generally (satyr) Sat 7 Jul 01 15:16
It's a dog-eat-dog media world out there, driven by perceptions. A video that's heavy on sarcasm, without being libelous might help a lot, assuming it made it onto one of the cable channels.
goathead soup (satyr) Fri 20 Jul 01 12:59
Any of you yahoos know Russel Smith of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association? ("That's Right, I Said a Texas Wind Boom", Whole Earth, Summer 2001)
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