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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Killing Coal And Killing Our Economy

SEARCH BLOG: COAL

I received the email farther down the post the other day and am still going through the links.

Here is the issue: the country generates 48% of its electric power through coal and almost 21% through natural gas. Another 19% is generated by nuclear power. President-elect Obama has aroused the anti-coal, CO2 forces who want to dismantle the coal-powered electric grid and replace it with "environmentally friendly alternatives"... whatever those might be. Those alternatives do not include additional natural gas or nuclear power facilities. Don't look for more hydroelectric power [6%]... and the Democratic Congress is keeping U.S. reserves of natural gas off limits.

Coal is our cheapest source of electric power. China is building hundreds of such plants. Poland is one of Europe's few electricity exporters and uses coal power almost exclusively. Anti-energy forces in the U.S. believe that we should sacrifice our future economic growth for reliance on unreliable alternative sources such as solar and wind-powered electricity, which are extremely expensive as well.

These "other energy sources" now constitute only 3% of our present electricity production. It's going to take a national landscape... literally... of windmills to replace coal.

The logic appears to be: kill our economy and save the planet.

The material I referenced is below. You decide.

UPDATE: READ PART 2 BY CLICKING HERE
READ PART 3 BY CLICKING HERE

Bruce,

Hope that you can find some time to digest this info. I am a bit alarmed.

Talk about a collision course...

Bill

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) by State
http://www.pewclimate.org/what_s_being_done/in_the_states/rps.cfm
and
http://www.pewclimate.org/sites/default/modules/usmap/pdf.php?file=5907

*This is an interactive map with info per state. The second link provides a complete roll up.


Coal plans go up in smoke
Environmentalists in the US have halted a huge new wave of coal-fired power stations. What lessons can Europe learn from them?Juliette Jowit The Guardian
Wednesday 3 September 2008
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/03/activists.fossilfuels

Meet the Boomers
What's the best way to phase out the huge fleet of aging coal plants?
By Ted Nace at 3:04 PM on 11 Nov 2008
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/11/10/151814/44

Existing U.S. Coal Plants
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Existing_U.S._Coal_Plants

Existing Capacity by Energy Source
EIA, DOE
http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epat2p2.html

Proposed coal plants in the United States
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Category:Proposed_coal_plants_in_the_United_States

Financial Risks of Coal Energy Investment
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Financial_Risks_of_Coal_Energy_Investment

Stopping the Coal Rush
Sierra Club
http://www.sierraclub.org/environmentallaw/coal/plantlist.asp

Nuclear and the New American President
12.31.08
http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=1909

Another Inconvenient Truth: The Need for Coal
10.2.08
http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=1839

Dynegy pulls out of coal deal
By TOM FOWLER Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
Jan. 2, 2009, 10:42PM
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6192049.html


========

Existing U.S. Coal Plants
Years Built # of Plants Total Capacity
2000-2004 15 1,837 MW
1995-1999 27 4,524 MW
1990-1994 67 8,638 MW
1985-1989 104 23,577 MW
1980-1984 119 55,887 MW
1975-1979 126 55,845 MW
1970-1974 136 66,334 MW
1965-1969 166 42,142 MW
1960-1964 162 25,240 MW
1955-1959 221 29,568 MW
1950-1954 234 18,674 MW
1940-1949 111 3,194 MW
1930-1939 20 132 MW
1921-1929 14 87 MW

=========
=========

Legislation in the 110th Congress Related to Global Climate Change
http://www.pewclimate.org/what_s_being_done/in_the_congress/110thcongress

Economy-wide Cap-and-Trade Proposals in the 110th Congress
As of December 1, 2008
http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/Chart-and-Graph-120108.pdf

Energy Market and Economic Impacts of S. 2191, the
Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007
Report prepared by
Office of Integrated Analysis and Forecasting
Energy Information Agency (EIA)
U.S. Department of Energy
April 2008
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/s2191/pdf/sroiaf(2008)01.pdf

*This is a worthwhile read. It's complicated, but provides an idea of what will happen when this type of legislation is passed.

America's Climate Security Act of 2007
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America's_Climate_Security_Act_of_2007

America's Climate Security Act of 2007
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=America's_Climate_Security_Act_of_2007

S.2191 - America's Climate Security Act of 2007
Title: A bill to direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases, and for other purposes.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:S.2191:

Economic Analysis of the Lieberman-Warner
Climate Security Act of 2007
http://www.crai.com/uploadedFiles/RELATING_MATERIALS/Publications/BC/Energy_and_Environment/files/CRA_NMA_S2191_April08_2008.pdf

==========

Energy & Environment
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/domestic/energy/

Top 10 Energy and Environment Priorities for the Obama Administration and 111th Congress
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/12/environment_priorities.html

Green recovery
A Program to Create Good Jobs and
Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy
September 2008
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/09/green_recovery.html
and
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/09/pdf/green_recovery.pdf

Investing in a Green Economy
Using Cap-and-Trade Auction Revenue to Help American Families and Spur Clean Energy Innovation
June 2, 2008
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/06/auction_revenue_report.html

===========

Dear Barack and Michelle
An open letter to the president and first lady from the nation's top climate scientist
02 Jan 2009
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2009/1/1/23367/28094

Tell Barack Obama the Truth – The Whole Truth
http://gristmill.grist.org/images/user/8/20081229_Obama_revised.pdf

Dr. James E. Hansen
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/

workshop held in Washington, DC on 3 November 2008
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/MiniWorkshop_all/

My FilesShared Folder 'Nov_3_Workshop'
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=53eef30a28cad46991b20cc0d07ba4d2e59c28d3c1a2c3db

===========

America's Power
http://www.americaspower.org/

Statement: ACCCE Details More than 80 CO2 Capture and Storage Projects
http://www.americaspower.org/News/Statement-ACCCE-Details-More-than-80-CO2-Capture-and-Storage-Projects

Americans for Balanced Energy Choices
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Americans_for_Balanced_Energy_Choices

============

EPA’s Response to the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant Fly Ash Release
http://www.epa.gov/region4/kingston/index.html

EPA On-Scene Coordinator - TVA Kingston Fly Ash Release
http://epaosc.net/doc_list.asp?site_id=4642

Appalachian Voices
http://www.appvoices.org/

TVA Coal Ash Disaster
End Mountaintop Removal Action and Resource Center
http://www.ilovemountains.org/tva-spill/

Preliminary tests find high levels of toxic chemicals in Harriman TN fly ash deposits
APPALACHIAN VOICES
January 1, 2009
http://www.appvoices.org/resources/Coal-Ash-Disaster-Test-Results-Appalachian-Voices-Press-release.pdf

============

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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates

FEDERAL RESERVE & HOUSING

SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
November 28, 2007 FED VICE CHAIRMAN DONALD KOHN
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."
http://www.reuters.com/

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
fed_rate_moves_425_small.gif
[Image from: CNNMoney.com]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)