Saturday, July 21, 2012

Obama Wants To Out German The Germans


Remember this promise?

Through the EPA, the President has kept his word.

EPA emission regulations shut door on coal

By John Kemp(Reuters) - Proposed emission rules for new power plants unveiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 27 spell the gradual demise of coal-fired power generation and entrench the current cost advantage for natural gas.
Since coal accounted for one-half of all electric power just a few years ago and now accounts for about one-third and dropping, what does that mean for the U.S.?  Presently, there is an abundance of cheap, cleaner natural gas to take coal's place.
But US production appears to have peaked, finally, or maybe, after a historic supply-and-demand mismatch, though on a weekly basis, according to the EIA, production is still between 3% and 4% higher than the same week last year. However, given the collapse in drilling, production will eventually taper off, and might do so suddenly. Yet, demand from power generators has been skyrocketing as they’ve switched from coal to gas; and on a weekly basis, overall demand has jumped by over 10% when compared to the same week last year—and it’s burning up the record amount of gas in storage
The EIA forecast of a slight upward drift in price? Compared to the reality graph beneath it? Natural gas doesn’t correct to a sustainable price to maintain it. It’s an industry of violent spikes and horrific descents, precisely because transportation is an issue. Oversupply can’t be corrected by exporting; it causes prices to plunge. And a shortage—a scenario the US may be facing at current trends—will be corrected initially by importing LNG in competition with the rest of the world. So prices may spike once again. [source]

What does that mean to the homeowner who heats with natural gas and receives electricity from a utility generating power from natural gas?  Go back and read the last two paragraphs.

But wait!  There is the rush to wind and solar power.  Yes there is; yes we can!  What does that mean?  Perhaps we can learn from those who have done it.
Germany's revolutionary switch to renewable energies is stalling and the country's new environment minister has now admitted as much by casting doubt on the ambitious goals set last year. Media commentators say that he and the rest of Chancellor Merkel's government must do more.
Chancellor Angela Merkel outlined a grand vision for an energy revolution a year ago, shortly after her government had decided to shut down all nuclear reactors by 2022 in a spectacular about-face following the Fukushima accident. 
Germany was to put itself at the forefront of the fight against global warming by radically expanding the use of renewable energy to 35 percent of total power consumption by 2020, rising to 80 percent by 2050. Currently, it represents 20 percent of the country's energy mix. 
But now two ministers, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier and Economy Minister Philipp Rösler, have cast doubt whether the targets are reachable and said their priority is to make sure that electricity prices don't rise too much. 
Altmaier, a close ally of Merkel who took over the ministry after his predecessor Norbert Röttgen was sacked in May, on Sunday cast doubt on whether Germany will be able to cut its energy consumption by 10 percent by 2020 as planned -- a precondition for reaching the 35 percent renewables target that year. 
"If we still want to manage that somehow it will take huge efforts," he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Altmaier said his ministry had made mistakes, that there had been a lack of coordination and that forecasts for electricity prices had had to be revised. He even warned that the energy revolution could lead to social problems if prices rose too high. "For me it's a priority that electricity remains affordable," he told the paper. [source] - h/t Benny Peiser
Best advice: live near a forest and own a wood-burning stove and have a nice big fireplace.  Get up at dawn, go to bed at sunset, and throw out your electronic devices.  Be one with nature and maybe get a free membership to the Sierra Club.  Don't worry about burning wood because you can regrow the trees and you'll be "carbon neutral"... or is that "carbon neutered?"

2012 IS HERE


Can"t Find It?

Use the SEARCH BLOG feature at the upper left. For example, try "Global Warming".

You can also use the "LABELS" below or at the end of each post to find related posts.

Blog Archive

Cost of Gasoline - Enter Your Zipcode or Click on Map

CO2 Cap and Trade

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


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."
"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."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
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 "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

My photo
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)