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Nuclear mini-me’s

17 Jul

I remember when I was probably 12 years old, a member of my church congregation was an engineer at a nuclear facility under construction south of my home town of Greeley, Colorado.  He invited my family to come to the plant for a tour.  The plant is not a large plant, like the one near Phoenix, AZ, just a nice small facility.

So on the way to work the other day, my wife and I were talking options in energy and I expressed my thoughts that what we need in the US are a whole bunch of small nuclear plants, perhaps 2 or three in each state.  No only would this employ people in constructing and running the plants, but would be a safety feature.  Take down one huge plant and you have a problem.  Take down one small plant, and there or two or three around it to get the job done.

Anyway, my wife sent me an email yesterday for this very idea as proposed in Popular Mechanics.  Check it out here.

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More on Energy Solutions

15 Jul

In an article of the same name, Dan Scandling comments on the new Manhattan Project for Energy Independence as outlined by two members of congress, Randy Forbes and Frank Wolf.  While I might applaud the desire, and even give a one-handed clap for the seven goals outlined, energy independence, and security, are right around the corner, and can be done with existing resources.  At today’s rate of consumption, we have a 240 year supply of oil from oil shale, and a 250 year supply of liquid fuel from coal.  We don’t have to spend millions and millions of dollars and wait 10 years to achieve independence, we can do it today by tapping these vast resources.

Mind you, I have no problem with alternative forms of energy; my home is not going to be powered by a gas generator anytime soon, unless someone can figure out a muffler system that works better.  Cars are not going to be powered by wind generation or nuclear fusion, and the trucking industry is not going to transport your goods and mine to market by way of solar power.  However, if we can identify those resources that best fit a specific need, and make them specialists to that need, we might make really good progress; Gas for cars, regular and bio-mass diesel for trucks and trains, solar and wind for the home, and bugs that poop oil for the farm.

On “The Fallacy of Energy Independence”

3 Jul

I posted this response to a blog written by Mormon Paleo Thought

Energy Independence means that we begin to produce and store enough fuel from the trillions of barrels of oil shale (enough to last 24o years) and put it out on the US market for refining. Thus we remove our 25% drain on the world oil supply, making that oil available for the rest of the world to refine and use. Doing so reduces our dependence, reduces pricing, increases world supply, and strengthens our economy.

As for the constitution, it is not designed to govern every facet of our life. But the constitution does provide for the common defense, and for us to rely on our enemies to provide our oil supplies leaves us vulnerable, and flies in the face of defense. If our enemy decides that they no longer want to provide us with oil, then what? Our economy comes to a screeching halt, and we are left to their mercy.

Finally, the idea that it won’t work comes from a defeatist attitude. It won’t work as long as we believe, or are led to believe, it won’t work. The fact is, we have enough coal to liquify to last 250 years, and South Africa has been using German technology developed in the 40’s for 50+ years. It does work, we just have been badgered by fascists who have usurped the environmental cause to believe it won’t, and to stop trying.

Corn Ethanol, good news or boondogle?

28 Jun

I started reading what I thought might be an interesting study published by the US Ag Department in 1995, the title of which is Estimating the Net Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol.  Unfortunately, I got stuck on the Summary with the statement “Each gallon of ethanol produced domestically displaces 7 gallons of imported oil.”  I could only find one result on a Google search for “How much oil does it take to make one gallon of gas?” and admittedly I prefer not to use a Wiki response, but what can I say.  According to wiki.answer.com, it takes 2 gallons of oil to produce one gallon of gas. 

So, it appears that one gallon of ethanol replaces 3.5 gallons of gasoline.  This makes ethanol 350% more effecient that gasoline, right?  And yet, the same study concludes (and disagrees with Pimental’s 1991 study) that one gallon of ethanol has 125% of the btu’s that gas has. 

I don’t get it.  Is the study contradicting itself? 

Interestingly, there is a link prominent in the study to Governor’s Ethanol Coalition Homepage that appears 15 times, once after each section of the study.  What is the Governor’s Ethanol Coalistion?  “In September 1991, Nebraska’s governor asked other governors interested in creating a group devoted to the promotion and increased use of ethanol to join him in Lincoln, Nebraska. From that meeting, the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition emerged.”  The 2008 Coalition Chair is Rod Blagojevich, D-Illinios Governer since 2002.  Here is his record on Energy Independence and Security.

So, what are we to make of this?  Another boondogle and the expense of the tax-payer, in my humble opinion.

McCain offers $300 million for a battery

27 Jun

Which is why we are in trouble if McCain gets elected.  I can go to the local hardware store and buy one for $1.50.

No, all kidding aside, I am very conservative, which is why I find McCain’s idea balderdash.  If there is currently the ability to come up with the next great battery, the free market would take care of it. 

I know I sound like a broken record, but I am going to pound my fist until I am heard- Drill and Mine US Oil–Buy and Refine US Oil.  Our future rests in independence and security, which will only come from using our own resources and going back to the fearce, rugged independence on which this great nation was founded.

Now, I am not against alternative fuels to help fill the gap, and even remove some of the waste we currently fill landfills with, but come on, oil is king, and we have lots, and lots, and lots of it.  We should be using it.

Any I am not alone in my thinking.  Stop by Pajamas Media for a piece on McCain’s battery proposition. (http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-saving-grace-in-mccains-energy-policy/)

Renewable Energy Bill-

22 Jun

I wrote this in response to an ariticle at APP.com:

“According to Ariel Cohan, Ph.D., the bill is lacking in five major areas: Energy Sector Liberalization; Ethanol Trade Liberalization; Anti-Economic Warfare Provisions; Measures to Fight Anti-Competitive Practices; Transparency Provisions. He concluded “Threats to U.S. energy security and the international energy network have never been higher. Title VII fails to consider even simple solutions to counter real and emerging threats. The energy security of the United States requires a bill based on better vision, discernment of threats, and economics.”

Perhaps if Senator Reid would have included measures to address the above, the bill would have passed and we would be well on the way toward energy independence and security. However, in my opinion, any measure must include drilling and mining US oil, buying and refining US oil.” (knoyddotcom (me))

This is response to the APP.com post http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080622/OPINION01/806220340/1029/OPINION

In response to the measure (not the article) The Heritage Foundation posts this: http://www.heritage.org/research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm1514.cfm