Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BS: Gas Prices II

UB Ed 24 May 01 - 05:10 PM
CarolC 24 May 01 - 05:19 PM
Kim C 24 May 01 - 05:38 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 24 May 01 - 05:55 PM
Jon Freeman 24 May 01 - 06:39 PM
Gypsy 24 May 01 - 11:10 PM
DougR 25 May 01 - 12:58 AM
DougR 25 May 01 - 01:35 AM
mousethief 25 May 01 - 01:46 AM
kendall 25 May 01 - 07:30 AM
kendall 25 May 01 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,UB Dan 25 May 01 - 09:56 AM
Kim C 25 May 01 - 09:56 AM
wdyat12 25 May 01 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,djh 25 May 01 - 10:09 AM
Kim C 25 May 01 - 11:22 AM
Grab 25 May 01 - 11:22 AM
Kim C 25 May 01 - 11:41 AM
DougR 25 May 01 - 01:37 PM
Kim C 25 May 01 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,UB Dan 25 May 01 - 02:19 PM
GUEST 25 May 01 - 02:43 PM
DougR 25 May 01 - 03:18 PM
Blackcatter 25 May 01 - 07:07 PM
kendall 26 May 01 - 01:29 AM
DougR 26 May 01 - 01:35 AM
Blackcatter 26 May 01 - 01:47 AM
Jon Freeman 26 May 01 - 04:32 AM
CarolC 26 May 01 - 05:02 AM
kendall 26 May 01 - 11:18 AM
DougR 26 May 01 - 05:53 PM
DougR 26 May 01 - 05:56 PM
CarolC 30 May 01 - 11:50 PM
DougR 31 May 01 - 03:22 AM
UB Ed 31 May 01 - 08:07 AM
Grab 31 May 01 - 09:44 AM
UB Ed 31 May 01 - 09:55 AM
Kim C 31 May 01 - 10:33 AM
kendall 31 May 01 - 12:39 PM
Jim the Bart 31 May 01 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,UB Dan 31 May 01 - 02:16 PM
mousethief 31 May 01 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,UB Dan 31 May 01 - 02:32 PM
UB Ed 31 May 01 - 02:42 PM
Jim the Bart 31 May 01 - 06:38 PM
CarolC 31 May 01 - 07:08 PM
kendall 31 May 01 - 07:20 PM
DougR 31 May 01 - 08:36 PM
UB Ed 01 Jun 01 - 09:31 AM
Jim the Bart 01 Jun 01 - 10:04 AM
Jim the Bart 01 Jun 01 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,UB Dan 01 Jun 01 - 10:33 AM
UB Ed 01 Jun 01 - 01:01 PM
kendall 01 Jun 01 - 01:30 PM
UB Ed 01 Jun 01 - 01:45 PM
DougR 01 Jun 01 - 01:48 PM
Charley Noble 01 Jun 01 - 02:05 PM
CarolC 01 Jun 01 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,UB Dan 01 Jun 01 - 03:31 PM
CarolC 01 Jun 01 - 03:41 PM
UB Ed 01 Jun 01 - 03:43 PM
CarolC 01 Jun 01 - 03:53 PM
UB Ed 01 Jun 01 - 04:40 PM
Charley Noble 01 Jun 01 - 04:54 PM
UB Ed 01 Jun 01 - 05:08 PM
CarolC 01 Jun 01 - 05:29 PM
DougR 01 Jun 01 - 05:39 PM
CarolC 01 Jun 01 - 05:48 PM
CarolC 01 Jun 01 - 06:15 PM
kendall 01 Jun 01 - 07:52 PM
Charley Noble 01 Jun 01 - 08:03 PM
Midchuck 01 Jun 01 - 08:19 PM
CarolC 01 Jun 01 - 08:43 PM
DougR 03 Jun 01 - 04:13 PM
UB Ed 04 Jun 01 - 01:41 PM
CarolC 05 Jun 01 - 12:59 AM
CarolC 05 Jun 01 - 01:12 AM
Metchosin 05 Jun 01 - 06:06 AM
kendall 05 Jun 01 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,UB Dan 05 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM
DougR 05 Jun 01 - 03:47 PM
kendall 05 Jun 01 - 04:19 PM
Jim the Bart 05 Jun 01 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Brit 05 Jun 01 - 04:59 PM
DougR 05 Jun 01 - 06:08 PM
CarolC 05 Jun 01 - 08:01 PM
kendall 05 Jun 01 - 08:39 PM
UB Ed 06 Jun 01 - 08:44 AM
kendall 06 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,UB Dan 06 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,UB Dan 06 Jun 01 - 10:38 AM
Jim the Bart 06 Jun 01 - 12:05 PM
DougR 06 Jun 01 - 01:41 PM
mousethief 06 Jun 01 - 02:05 PM
DougR 06 Jun 01 - 02:18 PM
CarolC 06 Jun 01 - 02:36 PM
mousethief 06 Jun 01 - 02:38 PM
CarolC 06 Jun 01 - 02:39 PM
mousethief 06 Jun 01 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,UB Dan 06 Jun 01 - 03:20 PM
UB Ed 06 Jun 01 - 03:24 PM
UB Ed 06 Jun 01 - 04:20 PM
Jim the Bart 06 Jun 01 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Gareth 06 Jun 01 - 07:13 PM
kendall 06 Jun 01 - 07:27 PM
Scotsbard 06 Jun 01 - 08:03 PM
kendall 06 Jun 01 - 08:54 PM
Jim the Bart 06 Jun 01 - 10:27 PM
kendall 07 Jun 01 - 09:45 PM
CarolC 08 Jun 01 - 06:56 PM
CarolC 08 Jun 01 - 07:00 PM
toadfrog 08 Jun 01 - 10:39 PM
UB Ed 11 Jun 01 - 08:16 AM
kendall 15 Jul 01 - 07:24 PM
CarolC 15 Jul 01 - 07:41 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 24 May 01 - 05:10 PM

Link to previous thread


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 24 May 01 - 05:19 PM

GUEST, UB Dan,

My source for the information about California was a panel speaker on a Public Television (U.S.) news program.

As for your question about whether or not I would prefer fossil fuel energy plants or nuclear energy, I would have to say that I would prefer natural gas energy plants over nuclear energy. Oil and coal are bad for the health of the planet in different ways than nuclear, but I think they are both bad to the same degree. Natural gas is cleaner to use, but it is a finite resource.

Kim C, as far as not telling people what to do is concerned, would you extend that statement to include the government not telling people they can't grow and use industrial grade hemp?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Kim C
Date: 24 May 01 - 05:38 PM

Yes, Carol, I absolutely would! Hemp is one of the most useful plants known to man and the current regulations on it are stupefying. It would also be a great boon to the paper industry as we wouldn't have to harvest so many trees. Personally I would love to grow hemp so I could harvest it for fiber and spin and weave my own cloth.

Sure, tall people can fit in smaller cars. But what about my firewood? Can't get much in the boot of a Ford Fiesta.

I used to want an MG Midget until I saw more than one accident in which such a small car somehow drove UNDER an 18-wheeler. A friend was killed in one such accident.

Now what about vans? I haven't heard anyone say anything about vans or buses either, for that matter. Or other large transport trucks.

Somebody mentioned diesel in the other thread. Diesel cars for some reason haven't ever gone over well in the US. I drove a diesel VW Dasher back in the 80s when diesel was cheaper than gasoline (at least here it was). Trouble was, when it broke, nobody wanted to fix it. Eventually it died and went to VW heaven. Nowadays, diesel costs just as much as everything else, and sometimes more, at least here in Tennessee. But lemme tellya, that bugger ALWAYS started.

I wouldn't personally mind driving a smaller vehicle for myself, for everyday use. I would LOVE a PT Cruiser. However, unfortunately, I can only afford one car payment at a time. The Buy Kim C a Smaller Car Fund is currently accepting donations if anyone would like to contribute. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 24 May 01 - 05:55 PM

DougR if you're selfish I'm entitled to challenge that attitude. But if you pin me down as to whether it's you or your attitude I'm at odds with, what's the difference? Surely we are our opinions.

But I guess if your defence hinges on being able to say "That wasn't me, it was just my opinion," the difference gets quite important.

In the post that annoyed you, I don't remember having a go at you at all - I was mainly thinking of those creeps who call the shots for your present president. Surely we can have a go at politicians from time to time?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 24 May 01 - 06:39 PM

Kim,

Deisel Engines are not as fast per engine size as a petrol version and are nosier but they are more economical and seem to have a history of greater reliability. In the UK, they have always (in my memory) been the choice for lorries and other commercial vehicles where these matters have been of greatest concern but their increase in popularity in family cars is more recent. Apart from economy becoming increasingly important, the turbo diesel, mentioned by Grab, problably helped their popularity by increasing their performance. I would guess that as these cars have increased in popularity, more (non-commercial vehicle) garages have learned how to work on them.

Vans, I had thought about them a few times in this thread but haven't got round to looking any information up. I wonder how some of the Ford Transits for example would compare to some SUVs in terms of fuel consumption. I'd quite like one... Could sleep me in the back - great for festivals, carry logs (yes my parents do have a wood burner - but get the wood delivered)...

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Gypsy
Date: 24 May 01 - 11:10 PM

4 cylinder van + trailer = woodhauling. Should be able to tow at least a tier. Which is about as much as i care to unload at a crack.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 25 May 01 - 12:58 AM

Fionn, ok, so you don't like me. That's your priviledge, and you probably have lots of company. To dislike someone because of their beliefs is not something I embrace, but you have that right. I don't dislike you, personally, because I don't know you! To me, you are just someone that I trade opinions with on the Internet. I do not agree with your political philosophy, you don't agree with mine, but what the hey!

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 25 May 01 - 01:35 AM

After all, now that the Democrats are in control of the U.S. Senate: We will see a reduction in gasoline prices immediately California will have no more black-outs All will be right with the world Right? DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: mousethief
Date: 25 May 01 - 01:46 AM

DougR: I know you believe the Republican propaganda, even though you shouldn't; don't believe the Democrat propaganda either. :-P

Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 25 May 01 - 07:30 AM

They are all a bunch of self serving bottom feeders. The main difference is, the democrats are willing to share a clam or two, whereas, the republicans want the whole world for themselves, AND, Hell for a sheep pasture.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 25 May 01 - 07:44 AM

That link to the cheapest gas in your area has been dis abled. Probably by the oil companies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 25 May 01 - 09:56 AM

Carol, I wasn't sure where the California story had come from and I was just poking around...mostly because it really interested me. I stopped looking just because I got side tracked by those other stories (mostly about Sweden's efforts to move away from nuclear power to renewable energy sources). I hope you don't mind all my follow up questions, but I am so pleased to get your answers. My kneejerk reaction is that obtaining natural gas would affect the environment as much as obtaining oil...e.g. drilling and transport...although I gotta admit I've never heard of a natural gas spill. Is gas "harvesting" similar to oil "harvesting"? Is it just not as widely used because of the cost? (I'm assuming its more costly)

Jon, I didn't get an answer to your question about emmissions, but I was poking around a bit at the following sites:
Automobile Emissions: An Overview
http://www.epa.gov/OMSWWW/05-autos.htm

Auto Emmissions ranking:
http://www.epa.gov/autoemissions/

The impression that I get is that emmission standards are ranked on a percentage, so I think a car could have a lower percentage but burn more fuel, resulting in a greater net amount of pollutants. Emmission standards are getting stricter but like I said, I see your point.

Kendall, be careful the oil companies are watching you now :) Seriously, the oil companies sell to retailers...they don't care what the retailers charge, they just care what they get to charge the retailer. I can see making a case that the oil companiess may fix prices...but disabling websites for local gas stations...really. No gas station drills its oil locally. That's like saying a supplier to the diamond market would be worried if you got earrings on sale at the jewelery store.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Kim C
Date: 25 May 01 - 09:56 AM

No, probably because they have just raised the prices again just in time for the Holiday Weekend!!! It was $1.65 for regular this morning.

Here's something I don't think we've addressed. One, not all SUVs have V6 and larger engines. The first Cherokee I owned had a 4-cylinder and was comparable to my Mazda in terms of gas mileage. Also most of the smaller trucks and SUVs have 4-cylinder engines. Additionally, there are a lot of midsize passenger cars out there - not luxury cars- that have V6 engines.

Sure, a trailer would be nice, but they're not going to let me buy one on my good looks alone. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: wdyat12
Date: 25 May 01 - 10:02 AM

Whatever happened to Hydrogen Fusion? Have the oil companies surpressed this alterative fuel research too?

wdyat12


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,djh
Date: 25 May 01 - 10:09 AM

Fionn , SURELY WE ARE OUR OPINIONS.
Do you really think? What of matters where we know little and our opinions are barely formed, what are we then?(sorry this has nothing to do with gas $) I find that opinion curious is all. Only a stoic could ever be known to anyone, even themselves if opinions were what constituted the self.
More to the point of the thread I think Republicans always tend to play the fear card, it is ugly. I think the biggest diffrence between most dems and reps in terms of the voters is that most Democrats are skeptical of both parties and are trying to choose the lesser evil. While most Republicans are party line pit bulls. I have yet to hear one republican admit Dubya isn't the fittest choice for the white house, but, they all wanted to throw a road scholar out over non-political dirty laundry.
Doug , is a fossil fuel peddler the best man to have addressing the energy crisis?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Kim C
Date: 25 May 01 - 11:22 AM

I am what I am.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Grab
Date: 25 May 01 - 11:22 AM

Carol, I wasn't suggesting we ignore the plastics and stuff completely - it's just that to get a total-impact cost of an item is seriously bloody hard! Focussing on one major point is just somewhere to start, since I don't have the whole week free to research this. :-) I've not heard about using hemp for plastics, that sounds interesting.

You're right about the renewable energy (actually not renewable, but it's from a source which isn't going to run out for a few million years yet :-) but that has drawbacks too. The 4 main renewable options are hydro, wind, sun and wave. Hydro requires large areas to be flooded, and the fluctuations in water level mean that birds and animals can't live there (as the level rises, the nests get flooded), plus farmers downstream get their water supplies cut off. Wind requires sodding huge turbines, which are unsightly and noisy, and the effects of the blades on birds and the low-frequency vibration on animals are not yet known. Sun requires large areas for the solar panels, and sunny areas too, which isn't much good in the UK! And wave power requires big unsightly barriers to be created which would block boats and could have an effect on sift deposition.

Apart from these drawbacks, there's also the impact of _creating_ the facilities for these. Hydro requires concrete dams, which requires some limestone area somewhere to be strip-mined, plus lots of complex machinery (metals and plastics). Wind, you need big turbines (metal and plastic). Sun, solar panels are very energy-intensive to produce, requiring metals, plastics, and lots of _seriously_ nasty chemicals. And waves, we're on metal and plastic for the barrier again. All this involves some serious impact on resources. I seem to remember that solar panels used to be a net energy _loss_ due to the energy effort involved in making them but I may be wrong, and the improvements in silicon technology probably means this isn't the case any more. Older solar technology uses mirrors to focus the heat to boil water and drive a turbine.

Kim, certainly the smaller the engine the better - I've no arguments with you on this at all. A V6 in a normal-sized car is rather excessive unless you want it as a sports car. SUVs still have the problems of more inefficient tyres and higher air resistance, though. Incidentally, I'm not trying to get at you personally - this is just a general observation on the state of SUVs. Oh, and I've seen your picture in the photo list - how much better looks to they want? ;-)

Wdyat, hydrogen fusion is still on the go, but it's a long way off being a practical electricity-generating proposition. It requires enormous investment in the hardware to do it, which rather limits how fast it can advance. Nuclear fission got its investment by being a step to nuclear weapons, but fusion isn't and so can't get any of the military-industrial money.

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Kim C
Date: 25 May 01 - 11:41 AM

Thanks Grab. (blushing)

Personally I think NASA should be spending my tax dollars on research into teleportation. Then Scotty can just beam us up to wherever we need to go. Hey, don't laugh. A lot of stuff that was sci-fi 50 years ago has come true.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 25 May 01 - 01:37 PM

"Should a fossil fuels peddler be in charge of solving our energy problems?"

I don't see why not, seeing as how fossil fuel is all we have right now.

Guest UBDan, aren't you aware that most problems of the world are the result of right wing conspiracies? Why not gas prices?

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Kim C
Date: 25 May 01 - 01:49 PM

And all this time I thought it was the alien Druids from outer space...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 25 May 01 - 02:19 PM

DougR, actually Carol has offered some very interesting ideas on alternate energy. There is also nuclear power...fossil fuel is not all we have...
but the problem is a U.S. national problem and George W. Bush is president of the nation. The problem existed before he took office, and it needs to be solved. So yes, he needs to be involved in solving it. To say George W. Bush should not be involved is just silly...it would be like having me say that we should just move to an alternate reality where there is no energy problem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 01 - 02:43 PM

There are alternative avenues to explore Doug. The Oil co.'s are too powerful for such alternatives to see the light of day. I wasn't saying the president shouldn't be invovled just that he is the wrong man for the job.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 25 May 01 - 03:18 PM

No, no no! You misunderstand me, or I just haven't made my position clear. I am not opposed to alternative power sources! Not at all! I think we should definitely increase the number of nuclear power plants in the country. From what I have read, nuclear power emits practically no pollution into the air and with new technologies available, the safety problems have been greatly lessened. The major problem with nuclear energy is safely disposing of the waste, at least that is my understanding.

All of these aternate sources should continue to be studied, and if any of them can replace the use of fossil fuels, right on! It seems to me, though, that these sources might not be readily available for many years. Therefore we are stuck with fossil fuels until they are fully developed, and made available to the public.

With the population continuing to increase which creats the need for more and more energy, I simply believe that we must continue to produce more fossil fuel, and we should produce it in our own country.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Blackcatter
Date: 25 May 01 - 07:07 PM

Hi all

To me, the issue with SUVs is this.

SUVs are classified as trucks along with vans and pick-ups. Minivans are classified as cars.

The classification is important in that there are a whole litanty of different secifications for trucks vs. cars. Emission standars are lower and even some safety specs are different. Theses classifications stem from the years prior to the late 1980s when trucks were considered "specialty" vehicles, were much less popular - especially for the average person, and because of the nature of them, for the most part, being work vehicles, they had lower levels of standards.

Since that time, it seems everyone wants a truck, yet few people use them for what they were designed for. I remember when I lived on the Western Slope of Colorado in the late 1970s - nearly everyone had a 4X4, but many people ALSO had a regular car. In the few months without snow, our family used the car almost exclusively and in the winter we used the 4X4 - much of the time it wasn't even in 4 wheel drive - even on snowy gravel roads, the big 6 in the International Scout was plenty of power to get us around.

The US has steadfastly refused to modify the specs for trucks - and a lot of people get a kick out if a high-powered and tall vehicle that can intimidate "lesser cars" on the road. (I'm not saying that anyone on this list enjoys this).

On the other hand - I pass the occasional wreck and many times I see that the SUV involved is upside down (and crushed to some extent because most no longer have roll-bars which used to be standard because the makers KNEW they were more likely to roll over).

The sooner we burn all the oil in the world, the sooner we will find out how to live with out - I'm looking forward to that day.

pax yall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 26 May 01 - 01:29 AM

My remark about the oil companies killing the gas thread was strictly tongue in cheek. I'm not THAT paranoid...yet. As I understand it, oil and natural gas are found together, so, you cant drill just for gas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 26 May 01 - 01:35 AM

I figured that, Kendall, but I couldn't let it pass (gas that is)

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Blackcatter
Date: 26 May 01 - 01:47 AM

Oil and gas are found together, but they are found in different quantities. Some fields have almost no gas and a lot of oil and vice versa.

The sad thing is that a lot of natural gas is burned off as a "Waste" product because the price is low and some oil fields are not set up to pipe the gas to the public.

Ever see those big oil rigs out in the Gulf or North Sea with the huge flame burning off the side? That's natural gas. Sheeeeeeeesh.

Here's a question - how many of us have flourescent lights throughout their house. Compared to incandescent: They last 7-10 times longer, use 10 to 20% of the energy, and generate only around 25% of the heat - which saves on cooling bills as well. My house is totally flourescent and my electric bill has dropped an average of $10 a month. I'll pay for them all within a year with those savings and I'll have to change them years from now (that's cool, because I'm lazy).

pax yall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 May 01 - 04:32 AM

I just looked to see what the energy saving bulbs we use were - I hadn't realised that they were mini-florescents. We don't use them throughout the house but we do use them for the living room and hall.

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 26 May 01 - 05:02 AM

UB Dan,

"My kneejerk reaction is that obtaining natural gas would affect the environment as much as obtaining oil...e.g. drilling and transport...although I gotta admit I've never heard of a natural gas spill. Is gas "harvesting" similar to oil "harvesting"?"

I think I would tend to agree with you about that, and the posts of others seem to support that view. Here's your original question...

"Generally, would you prefer fossil fuel energy plants or nuclear energy plants."

If the question is which sort of plants I would prefer, I think I would prefer natural gas to nuclear, coal or oil. As far as extracting the gas and transporting it is concerned, I still think it is probably preferable to the other resources mentioned, but not enough to justify its long term use.

Grab,

Generally, I agree with you about hydro. Although I think if I had to choose between hydro, coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear, I would probably choose hydro, unless the survival of a species or a people would be threatened by it.

I think you are also probably right about it not being easy to assess the total impact cost of the different technologies. Part of what I'm using to form my opinions is potential long-term impact. What I'm asking is, what are the total costs/envionmental impacts for each energy unit produced (i.e., units of heat, units of electricity, etc.). I don't have any data on that, and if I did, I probably wouldn't know how to interpret it. But this is what I think...

As far as solar is concerned, the chemicals used in production are a one time deal per each solar panel. After that, energy is produced (captured), with little or no further impact to the environment. You're right, there are some places where solar power is not practical. Frequently, those kinds of places have good conditions for producing power with wind.

As far as wind is concerned, again, whatever impact on the environment results from the production of the turbine unit is a one time deal for that unit. After that, there is little or no further impact to the environment. Except for the possibilities you've mentioned. However, even those possibilities are restricted to the area that is local to where the turbine is in use. Fossil fuels and nuclear power pollute over a much broader area. In fact it has been suggested that there is no part of the world that is free of the toxins produced by the use of these resources.

Fossil fuels put pollutants into the environment whenever they are used to produce energy. That's on top of whatever impact there has been to the environment while they were being extracted, and in the case of oil and coal, while they were being processed for use. With nuclear, we have the problem of disposal of the waste and by-products, and also problems to the environment from extracting and processing the fuel. With nuclear, these problems persist long after the spent fuel is no longer in use, so the potential for long term negative impact is much greater.

I've heard about the problems with wave power. The impression I have is that that particular technology is not as far along as the other new technologies. Maybe someone reading this thread can give us more information about it.

As far as solar being a net energy loss, again, I'm thinking in terms of long term impact. The cost to someone like me of adding pollutants to the environment is very high. It means the difference between being able to use my body, and having a severely limited use of my body. One can argue that since it's just my body, the rest of the world needn't be concerned. The problem with that perspective is that the numbers of people who are loosing the use of their bodies because of environmental toxins is increasing. You or someone you care about could be next. It's a bit like playing Russian roulette. Do you want to take that kind of chance with your health or the health of a loved one?

So I would add that factor into the equation when I try to figure out the total impact cost of any particular energy resource.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 26 May 01 - 11:18 AM

Old Maine proverb, IT'S A DIRTY BIRD THAT BESHITS ITS' OWN NEST.

We are dirty birds.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 26 May 01 - 05:53 PM

I saw on CNN today that at least one service station in California is selling Soy Bean Oil at the pump to replace diesel fuel. The cost is $2.99 per gallon. Some trucking companies are evidently using a mixture of that with diesel oil to cut the cost. Still better for the environment though.

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 26 May 01 - 05:56 PM

I also noted a story in the newspaper this morning that the U. S. Congress is considering legislation that would require the auto manufacturers to design SUV's so that they could attain 27 miles per gallon. The manufacturers say, however, that it would not be possible.

I mention this because on another thread many mudcatters stated that they didn't read daily papers, so they may have missed the report.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 30 May 01 - 11:50 PM

I just heard on BBC World News that the rolling blackouts in California are the result of a failed de-regulation.

Does anyone have any background information on that?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 31 May 01 - 03:22 AM

CarolC: California's problems were created by California politicians. There is no one else that can be blamed, althogh the Governor is trying desperately to lay the blame at the feet of President Bush, who has been in office less than six months.

Deregulation certainly has had something to do with it, but I think that the major problem has to do with the moratorium on the construction of power plants. The population of California grew tremendously during the past ten years creating a demand for more power , but some folks over there didn't want to build more power plants becaue of environmental concerns, so now there is a problem. I don't think there are any short-term solutions.

Governor Davis is begging the Feds for price caps on the power suppliers, but price controls have never worked, and Bush isn't being sucked in.

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 31 May 01 - 08:07 AM

Let me add on regarding California:

No new power plants in 10 plus years due to the most strict environmental regulations in the USA.

Significant drought in US Northwest where lower water supplies mean lower hydroelectric output.

"Political Deregulation" where incumbent utilities had to divest owned generation, buy energy from the spot market exclusively from a state run hourly exchange and charge consumers capped rates that ultimately were below the price to acquire the power. Additionally, consumers only got to glimpse the "real" cost of their energy and subsequently freaked.

Now, regarding SUV's, there was an article in the May 30 Wall Street Journal reporting that SUV sales were down due to market saturation (no longer unique like a PT Cruiser) and fuel prices.

Hmmmmm. The cost issue again?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Grab
Date: 31 May 01 - 09:44 AM

Blackcatter, that's less the case these days, particularly in the UK. Since power plants have converted to natural gas, I believe most do capture the gas and only flare as a safety measure in case of overpressures. There'll still be a small flame as a "pilot light" though.

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 31 May 01 - 09:55 AM

Grab, Blackcat was talking about the harvesting of natural gas, not the use of it in a power plant...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Kim C
Date: 31 May 01 - 10:33 AM

Oh yes of course it very well would be possible for SUVs and trucks to get 27 mpg and I am all for them having the same standards as passenger cars. They just don't want to go to the trouble.

I used to have a pet bird. Dirtiest pet I ever had.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 31 May 01 - 12:39 PM

Dubbya keeps chirping about regulations on pollution, and, no oil refineries being built in 25 years, but, he doesn't mention that the existing ones are constantly expanding, and that output is up 13 percent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:14 PM

Earlier this week I heard on NPR that the President trotted out the old line about price caps being counter-productive - "they just make the problem worse". As far as I can see, a capped price makes a supply problem worse only if 1)people use more energy because the price is lower or 2)suppliers provide less because there is less profit in it.

If #1 is true, the Pres is making an argument for conservation (less use), which VP Cheney has dismissed. If #2 is true, the problem boils down to greed on the part of suppliers. In either case, I don't see where capping the price is the real issue. Unless I'm missing something here, capping profit margins combined with conservation and cutbacks by users would go a long way to easing California's crisis.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:16 PM

Kendall, I'm trying to figure out if your assumption is that Dubbya is making it up...Are you saying that there is no power shortage in California? Is the 13% rise in output that you are talking about, a sufficient rise? Aside from the fact that you don't like Bush and dirty birds have dirty nests, I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

CarolC. Thank you for your responses to my earlier questions. I see the distinction now between type of plant and method of obtaining natural resourrce. I wasn't ignoring them, I just thought the thread might have died over Memorial weekend.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: mousethief
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:21 PM

Guest UB Dan, I don't think Kendall's comment was meant to apply to California, but to the nation as a whole. Oil refineries and electricity generating plants are two completely different animals.

Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:32 PM

ohhhhhhhhhh...thanks Alex. I was just confused because the posts just before his were discussing the power shortage and power plants in California. Sometimes it takes me a minute to realize that a completely new topic has been introduced. I guess I'm still just not to sure of what to make of a 13% rise in production over the past 25 years...I would have thought it to be a lot more. Have there really been no new oil refineries in the U.S. in the last 25 years? We gotta be using more...is it just being refined outside of the U.S.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 31 May 01 - 02:42 PM

Bart,

Capped prices are bad if the cost to supply is greater than the cap which is what was happening in California.

Capped prices are also "not optimal" in that the ultimate consumer never gets to see the "real" price (cost) of the product and subsequently receives no incentive to modify their behavior.

The CA incumbent utilities are currently making up the difference between supply costs and delivered revenues because of the caps. Remove the caps and consumers will modify their behavior.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 31 May 01 - 06:38 PM

My understanding of the problem in California is that state laws have both capped the prices to consumers while hampering the way in which the utilities, which distribute to the consumer, purchase power from the generators. The utilities are not allowed to enter into the type of long-term deals that would guarantee a stable source of power at set rates. Instead, they are forced to pay whatever the producer demands at the moment without being able to pass that cost along to the consumer.

It is the power producers that are gouging; in this "crisis" they have been charging way more than is called for by increased costs in production. Capping the cost from the producers to the distributors is what Gov. Davis is after. Although the producers have been crying that the increased rates are called for by their increased exploration costs, they have been posting record profits.

The deregulation of the energy producers has created this situation; the power producers are no longer compelled to supply power to the utilities in California - they can sell anywhere they want for any price they can get. This was done, supposedly, to create competition and to lower prices. The reality is quite different. The same thing is going on in the telephone industry. All hail the free market.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 31 May 01 - 07:08 PM

Thanks, Bartholomew. I think you may have answered my question.

I find this part to be particularly interesting as well...

...the producers have been crying that the increased rates are called for by their increased exploration costs...

...interesting in light of the fact that we are being told by the Bush administration that increased exploration is supposed to bring the prices down.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 31 May 01 - 07:20 PM

I dont dislike Bush personally, it's his politics I cant swallow. Actually, I think he would make a good drinking buddy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 31 May 01 - 08:36 PM

But he don't drink, Kendall, only Jenna drinks!

It would be nice of someone who can do blue clicky things would direct me to information that would confirm Bart's claim that the producers are gouging the purchasers. Anyone?

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 09:31 AM

Doug, I don't believe there are any web sites dedicated to energy producer conspiracy theories. I would recommend a search on North America Electric Reliability Council (NERC) and Utilities.

There is a great deal of Speculation that the producers were gouging; that will ultimately be played in a court room. As with any attempt to implement a theory in the real world, skillful speakers can elegantly support contrary positions.

Reality One: The entire US is not deregulated. This is a process that is being phased in to cushion the blow for the shareholders of previosuly regulated entities as their organization recreates itself as a competitive entity.

Reality Two: Competition is supposed to be......Competitive! Darwinistically, can we blame the producers for taking advantage of a situation if we insist they behave competitively?

Reality Three: Our regulators and legislators driving electric choice and establishing the rules for competition are not necessarily the "best and the brightest". The electric utility industry is a highly complex industry based on physics and engineering principles that may not be fully appreciated by a political science or undergraduate economics major.

Anyway, my point is, if you want choice and competition, take off the caps. It doesn't matter where you cap the price; it still masks reality (whatever reality happens to be). If the producers' prices had been more transparent, I believe the result would have self-regulated.

Here's more on the Conspiracy theory:
Thursday, May 31, 2001 (AP) Regulators say they're close to proving power manipulation MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Business Writer

(05-31) 14:49 PDT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A year after California's electricity price shocks began, regulators say they are close to proving how power wholesalers aggravated a crisis that so far has raised customer rates by $5.7 billion, saddled two utilities with $8.2 billion in losses and dumped a $13 billion bailout bill on taxpayers.
California lawmakers and regulators are determined to recover some of that money from the power wholesalers who have cashed in on the crisis.
Toward that end, the California Public Utilities Commission, Attorney General Bill Lockyer and the California Electricity Oversight Board are trying to prove out-of-state wholesalers illegally manipulated the market to create artificial supply shortages that have driven wholesale electricity prices as high as $1,900 per megawatt hour.
Before California's power woes began in June 2000, wholesale prices on the spot market rarely climbed above $150 per megawatt hour.
California's Legislature also has formed two special investigative committees to look into the allegations of market misconduct. And at least five suits, including one filed by San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne, are seeking damages from power wholesalers on behalf of all Californians.
At the very least, the investigators say they will show the wholesalers violated federal laws against "unjust and unreasonable" electricity prices.
"I don't think these are going to be very hard cases to make," said Owen Clements, chief special litigator for San Francisco. "Even if they didn't break the letter of the law, they clearly have violated the spirit of the law."
The investigators also suspect that the wholesalers have orchestrated a variety of more sinister abuses, possibly by colluding. Those allegations will be hard to prove, according to legal and energy experts.
The power wholesalers say they have done nothing wrong, arguing that they are being turned into scapegoats by a 1996 deregulation law sculpted by California lawmakers and the two utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison, that have reported a combined $8.2 billion in losses since June 2000.
Michael Aguirre, a San Diego attorney handling one of the private suits, fears California regulators and politicians are spending more time rattling cages than digging into the labyrinthine operations of the power wholesalers.
"Investigations like this require a lot of hard work, not a lot of rhetoric," Aguirre said. "So far, everyone seems to be talking loudly while carrying a small stick."
The PUC investigation appears to be the farthest along. With the help of former utility workers hired to assist in the investigation, the PUC has been poring through power plant documents in an effort to prove that some facilities shut down unnecessarily -- sometimes at the direction of Houston energy traders monitoring the market over the Internet -- to diminish supply and drive up prices. Once prices spiked, the plants ramped up production to reap big profits, under the theory being investigated by the PUC and Lockyer's office.
"I feel very confident that we are finding compelling evidence to prove our case," said Gary Cohen, the PUC's general counsel.
Cohen said the PUC could file a civil suit against the wholesalers by the end of June. Lockyer expects to wrap up his investigation in late July, at the earliest.
"The (wholesalers) say they are just playing the market the way that it was set up to operate, and to a certain degree, that's true," Cohen said. "We need to come up with a legal theory to show what they did was wrong."
Both the PUC and Lockyer also are investigating allegations that the power wholesalers used industry Web sites to accumulate sensitive supply and demand information in a possible violation of antitrust laws.
To gain insight into the behind-the-scenes decisions made by wholesalers during the past year, Lockyer is offering multimillion dollar rewards to power plant workers and energy traders who provide the state with inside information that helps prove the power companies manipulated the market.
Power wholesalers say regulators are way off base in their probes. Industry officials maintain that the plants, many of which are 30 to 40 years old, shut down for legitimate equipment repairs and maintenance.
"No one in our industry cuts back on production so a competitor can make more money. It just doesn't happen, at least not on planet Earth," said Gary Ackerman, executive director of the Western Power Trading Forum, a Menlo Park trade group.

On The Net: California Public Utilities Commission: www.cpuc.ca.gov California attorney general: www.caag.state.ca.us


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 10:04 AM

Try here:

click here

If my clicky worked you should be viewing an article called "California's Deregulation Disaster" in the Nation online. My information came from a series on National Public Radio, but I believe this article has the gist.

My point about the pricing of energy is that we, as users, have had our choices limited by the large energy producers. Oil is where the big bucks have been, so those in the oil industry (providers, processors, refiners, et al) have spent a ton on lobbyists who help maintain their competitive advantage. They do this by passing part of the cost of production on to the public; the rights to take oil from public lands, purchased at a fraction of the value of the oil, is just one example of this. The ability to walk away from the clean-up when a field plays out (see the desolation at the sites of the original oil strikes in Texas for an example of this) is another.

Now the plan is to subsidize coal as an "alternative" to oil in energy plants. The public is, once again, being asked to prop up a dieing industry, built on a non-renewable source. It makes no sense.

Any claim that "the market" will solve the problem is the standard capitalist line of bullshit. As long as "it takes money to make money", market equity will not exist. All you have to do is read the history of Standard Oil and the Rockefellers to understand this. There is no free market for energy - there never was a free market for energy - there never will be a free market for energy. Until we develop an energy policy that isn't gauged to squeezing out the last dime of profit from non-renewable energy sources we are at the mercy of the guys who hold the mineral rights.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 10:09 AM

Let me try the link again:

click here


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 10:33 AM

Bartholomew,
I'm missing something in what you are saying. You say the high prices are due to limited choice and that a big problem is the government subsidies of the oil/cool industry. This is the result of a regulation of the industry. More choice and less government support would be deregulation, and this is what is being started now...

At the same time, you also seem to be saying that the open-market capitalist system cannot succeed...does this mean that there should be less-choice and energy should be a government run industry. Or are you worried about monopolies...(the Rockefeller's where one of the reasons anti-trust laws were established).

I'm just not sure if your saying regulation or deregulation is preferable, or if your just saying the conbsumer will lose no matter what.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:01 PM

Sounds like Bart favors tight government regulation of infrastructure industries.

I disagree that our energy choices are limited by big producers. (Please understand I generally wish to believe I have some level of control over my choices). As an individual, I can avail myself of any energy option I wish, as long as I'm willing to pay the price. If people wished to pay for solar technologies, big energy industries would provide it. The point is, we don't want to pay. So, our energy choices are ultimately our own.

Hiding the price to produce from the customer in a subsidy is just wrong, regardless of regulation or free market.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:30 PM

Ok, Doug, I'll settle for Jenna.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:45 PM

Kendall, are you smoking again while playing that Taylor? Although quite youthful, I doubt she has sufficient energy to solve our problems.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 01:48 PM

Dirty old man! :>)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 02:05 PM

Doug R – why back up there you were alleging there were no disadvantages to N-power other than safely disposing of the radioactive wastes. Well, that's still a biggy! There's not only the waste that comes from the plant operation and decommissioning, but also the low-level wastes created from mining and processing the uranium ore. Most Bush energy advocates conveniently ignore the front-end and back-end of the process. Most of us that grew up on a farm suspect that to do so is a mistake.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 02:28 PM

UB Ed, and UB Dan (does the UB part of your names stand for the same thing?)... I'm not sure I understand what you are saying in your most recent posts.

I saw on one of my local PBS stations (WETA) that there will be a program on the subject of the California energy situation on Frontline (I'm pretty sure they said Frontline) called 'Blackout'. On WETA, it is scheduled to air this coming Tuesday at 10:00 PM, EST. I'm hoping to tape this show (if I remember to set the timer on my VCR... I will be out of town on Tuesday. My son's GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL on Monday! HOORAHHH!!!!!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 03:31 PM

Carol, Yes the UB stands for the same thing :)
Congratulations on your son's graduation. My latest post was to try to get a better idea of what Bartholomew was saying. You have given me some excellent points to think about in our recent conversations and I'd like to get a better idea of what Kendall and Bartholomew are proposing. Sometimes posts seem to be intended to share the writers frustration, but these don't really help me get a fuller picture of the situation or of what sort of solutions are available. This is something that I think you have been very good in giving me. Bartholomew mentions that government regulation and subsidy of the power industry is bad and that open market capitalism will not work. I'm interested in finding out which direction he would like to see it head. I might be able to learn something. But some of the messages read like brochure text...catch phrases, lots of feeling, but not much information. I'm not implying that people can't share their feelings...I know these conversations are not controllable, but I'd like to get an idea of why people feel the way they do. A brief example, (no offense intended) Kendall says that he does not dislike Bush personally, but he can't accept his politics...simple enough, right...not really, I don't know what political belief it is that he disagrees with in relation to the current topic(s) [gas]. take away labels like conservative, liberal, republican, democrate and tell me what bill or vote it is that you disagree with and why...what other alternative is available. You (Carol) have explained your position very well, I understand it completely and I can add it to my own understanding of the situation. That's what I'm trying to get. I think Bartholomew has something interesting to add...but I'm just not sure I'm getting it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 03:41 PM

Fair enough, UB Dan. Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 03:43 PM

Carol, watch the PBS show. Generally they try to provide balanced info. For anything you don't understand, belly on up and ask! Its very likely that I was unclear in my post.

Ed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 03:53 PM

For anything you don't understand, belly on up and ask!

--UB Ed

Thanks. Ok, I don't understand what you mean by these words...

"Hiding the price to produce from the customer in a subsidy..."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 04:40 PM

Carol, I was responding to Bart's comments about government subsidies for coal and other energy producers. Such subsidies effectively mask the true cost to produce a resource from the ultimate consumer. The consumer winds up paying for it, but through another forum (taxes).

As a overly simplified example, suppose I pay 5 cents for coal-fired electricity to the utility and 2 cents of my annual federal taxes goes to utilities as a subsidy. The actual cost to me is 7 cents, but I really only know about the 5 cents. Pretend that I may be happy with the current situation (paying 5 cents) but would wish to do something diffrently for 7 cents. In this situation (1) I don't evenknow where my money is going and (2) my perception of the cost of coal-fired electricity is that it is low enough that it is not worth my while to seek an alternative source. Thus my behavior is not influenced to change.

That's my problem with subsidies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 04:54 PM

It's also the same with the "hidden costs" of N-power.

There are some interesting geo-thermal projects going on here in Maine, where we are tapping ground water to use as energy for space heating. The ground water is about 50 degrees F and apparently there's enough difference from our winter outdoor temperature for an efficient heat exchanger to make economic sense. In the summer, it works just as well for cooling the house.

Sure would be sad if such a decentralized system could be implemented all over the country.;-}


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 05:08 PM

See Charley, those are the neat things to do. I guess that you're talking about a ground source heat pump. Its more efficient than a traditional air source, but more expensive. So you gotta cost it out at life cycle costs to justify.

Keep in mind, however, this decentralized system still runs on electricity delivered from the utility.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 05:29 PM

It looks to me like both UB Ed, and UB Dan are saying that government deregulation of the big energy industries is a good thing because subsidies are bad (because of the hidden costs).

I agree about subsidies being hidden costs. The problem I have with the idea that there should be no government involvement, is that the government has been heavily subsidizing the big energy industries for a long time. As a result, they are now very big and powerful competitors in the marketplace. If people aren't using solar, it's not because they necessarily don't want to. It's because the marketplace favors the use of the bigger, more entrenched energy industries. Thanks, in part, to the help of government subsidies to those industries.

Except for the nuclear industry which has never been competitive in the marketplace. It has relied heavily on government assistance to get developed, and then once implemented, the use of it tends to raise the cost of energy for consumers. So it has the hidden cost of 'subsidies', and it ends up being more expensive anyway.

The governmet is going to subsidize somebody. I think we can take that for granted. I submit that it would be more in our long-term interest if it would subsidize alternate energy technologies rather than the existing energy industries. Because that's the direction in which we need to move, and because the existing energy industries have recieved enough.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 05:39 PM

Carol, in the long-term, I agree with your last paragraph. However, the need is now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 05:48 PM

Yes, DougR. And for that reason, I'm interested in finding out what the truth is about whether or not there has been any misbehavior on the part of energy producers and (if true) how it has effected the situation in California.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 06:15 PM

Ok. I've read the article Bartholomew mentioned in his link. I strongly recommend that people read this article. DougR, I think it addresses many of the issues you have brought up. I would love to post the entire thing right here, but it's too long. So I'll just post an excerpt...

"Through it all, dereg apologists are having a hard time explaining why two California power companies were immune to the crisis: the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Both are owned by the public, and both maintain heavy commitments to renewables and efficiency. In 1989 Sacramento voted to shut its one nuclear reactor, and has since pioneered a major shift to solar, wind and biomass energy, with heavy commitments to conservation.

During the crisis, rates charged by both companies have been stable. The two "munis" actually made money selling power to their embattled private neighbors, underscoring the fact that throughout the United States, public-owned power districts supply electricity cheaper and more reliably than the private utilities. The California crisis has already spurred grassroots movements in San Francisco, Davis and elsewhere to demand municipals of their own. "In the long run," says author Dan Berman, "public ownership is central to any real solution to the problems of the electric-utility grid."...

...Which leaves what the consumer/environmental community that opposed AB 1890 has been arguing for all along--renewables. The most notable new Western power plant is now stringing its way along the Oregon-Washington border. It consists of 450 windmills with sufficient capacity to power 70,000 homes. With construction under way in February, electricity could be surging out by December 31, a far faster construction timetable than for any other source. The fuel supply will be cheap, stable and clean. Environmental opposition will be nil.

Thanks to 15,000 windmills built in the 1980s under Governor Jerry Brown (now mayor of Oakland), California once produced 90 percent of the world's wind power. But the big utilities wanted little to do with them. Last year the world-leader's mantle slipped to Germany, which built the equivalent of a large reactor's capacity in wind power. Had California done the same, things might have been different. "The message is clear, " says Coyle. "The power supply needs to be controlled by the public. And efficiency and renewables work. Do we have to go through this again to relearn those lessons?""


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 07:52 PM

Dirty old man? of course! Hell, I was a dirty YOUNG man. Before that, a dirty boy, I got kicked out of the Boy Scouts for eating a brownie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 08:03 PM

KENDALL! Shame! LOL-LOL-LOL-LOL....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Midchuck
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 08:19 PM

Cady's First Law:

There is nothing that a corporate executive can f*** up so bad that a bureaucrat can't make it worse.

Cady's Second Law:

There is nothing that a bureaucrat can f*** up so bad that a corporate executive can't make it worse.

Note that most conservatives would agree with the first and disagree violently with the second; and most liberals would do the reverse.

I hold both to be true, even though that creates a logical feedback with no final resolution. Maybe that's the problem.

Peter.

P. S.: Solar power is nuclear power. So make up your minds.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 08:43 PM

Midchuck, who's Cady?

Re: the sun and nuclear power... you have to admit, since we can use the sun right where it is, it doesn't have a NIMBY problem associated with it's use as a source of power.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 03 Jun 01 - 04:13 PM

Kendall, a Brownie! Brownie's are a bit young for Boy Scouts aren't they ...oh, but maybe that's whay they kicked you out! I love Browies myself, but can't eat them anymore. Too fattening. :>)

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 04 Jun 01 - 01:41 PM

Carol, I don't think deregulation is the answer. I've simply been discussing some of my opinions as to why it doesn't seem to be working in certain areas.

Government subsidies can occur regardless of a regulated or unregulated environment. In general, I believe in the long term, most susidies are not good.

That being said, specifically with regard to the electric utility industry, it is important to understand that it works in accordance with the laws of physics. Generation stations and transmission lines are built to compliment each other; as such a program that seeks to unbundle these two aspects of the business must address these complimentary issues. I've yet to see a regulator do this. With this regard, Midchuck Caddy comment is right on.

Another aspect of this industry is that there are indeed benefits of economies of scale. A large centrally located power station can produce energy at a $/kwh rate much less than smaller dispersed units. That being said, when electric utilities could still build these types of facilities, there was no way these dispersed sources (like windmills) could economically compete. Hence the utilities' lack of interest. Note also that these regulated electric utilities were not owned by gas, oil or coal producers, so they really didn't have an incentive to discriminate against other technologies.

An interesting aspect of this deregulation mess and the success of power plant opponents is to drive electricity prices up to levels where these dispersed resources appear to be more affordable.

Ed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 12:59 AM

UB Ed,

You have made some interesting assertions in your 04-Jun-01 - 01:41 PM post. Upoon what do you base it, and where do you get your information?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 01:12 AM

(Sorry, a bit sleep deprived here.)

Upon what do you base them, and where do you get your information?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 06:06 AM

As a citizen of a Province which has Public Utility and has been tarred with the brush of price gouging during the recent California energy crisis, this has been really interesting so far, especially looking at this from a Canadian perspective.

Hydroelectric energy production in this province, is not primarily through private companies and shareholder dividends, but through a publicly funded corporation called BC Hydro (Powerex is its subsidiary which sells energy surplus to domestic requirements to the US).

Citizens of BC get a price break on their hydro rates because we are, in theory, the owners and get a return on investment of our tax dollars that go into the construction of dams, generating plants and infrastructure. But we pay dearly for our public utility, through our higher taxes to fund such projects, compared to taxation in US jurisdictions and in some instances, the cost is also reflected in the destruction of our fisheries habitat. It is therefore difficult to determine the real price individuals pay for hydroelectric energy in B.C, but it is certainly far more than the kilowatt per hour rate reflected in our hydro bill.

One in California, or elsewhere, may look at our fairly low domestic hydro rates compared to their own and feel we are getting an incredible deal and they are being gouged, but they are unaware of the real cost of Hydro to taxpayers in this Province.

BC sent power to California despite the fact that there were serious questions in the minds of some here, that BC Hydro would ever be fully paid for the electricity it sold to companies that were already publicly in serious financial difficulties. Not normally a wise business move. Like mortgage rates, prices become high, the higher the risk as well. Also, the need came at a time when the capacity of our generating plants was low and our own domestic needs were high. (It's really cold in most of this Province in the winter).

I do hope the same thing doesn't occur next winter as well, because BC snowpacks this year are at record lows, drawing down water for hydroelectric production seriously affects salmon survival in BC rivers and if we have a cold winter again, our domestic needs are going to be high again too. All this impacts upon the free market price of hydro at the time and things could be very expensive for California again. And if we have been repudiated for selling the power last winter at a high price (along with several other US power corporations) imagine what bastards we will be considered, if we can't supply our own needs and that of the American market too.

And yes, it would be helpful for this Province to make a healthy profit on its surplus again for a change, although I am still confused how that profit has been determined. A figure of 179 million has been bandied about, but I am not certain if this profit was calculated before or after the unpaid figure of 300 million dollars that the bankrupt California companies were unable to pay for power that was sent and used. So the high profit may be so far, on paper only.

I would be really interested in any further information regarding geothermal electrical power generation. This Province and the whole of the west coast of North America should, theoretically, have huge potential in that area.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 06:15 AM

Last night there was a short blurb on those hybrid cars, and, on US made vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel cells. Thats the wave of the future. I intend to have one as soon as possible. Screw EXXON!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM

Thanks kendall...that clears it all up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 03:47 PM

And my grandson just went to work for Exxon! I'll have to tell him his career move is doomed to failure, I guess. Where can I buy me one of those hydrogen powered vehicles, Kendall?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 04:19 PM

You cant yet. They are to be released in about 2 to 3 years. The electric/gas hybrids are available now, but, there is a waiting list.

How can anyone who cares about the environment do anything to make EXXON successful?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 04:50 PM

At this point in our history, "de-regulation" will not result in free and competitive markets. Energy suppliers exert the same monopolistic control over markets and consumers now that the trusts did back in old T. Roosevelt's time.

We need to decide whether electricity at "a just and reasonable price" is a right of the American citizen, as FDR's administration claimed. If it is, we need to treat the providing of electrical power like we do the providing of highways, the providing of national security, the providing of an education and the providing of mail service.

When public services are placed opened to market forces choices are diminished, not increased; there would be no rural mail service if it had to be done at a profit.

Doesn't anyone see that the more we give ourselves over solely to the profit motive the worse the quality of our life gets? We complain about a degradation in "Values" in our society. Well, how can any other value be heard when everyone is shouting "How much CASH is it worth?"? And that's exactly what you do when place every necessity of life on the market.

As I see it, a person's position on this (and so many other societal "crises") is going to depend on how completely he/she believes in Capitalist dogma. To support the Bush administration's policies you need to truly believe in a few basic premises at least:
1. Free markets exist.
2. Free markets guarantee greatest choice.
3. Free markets guarantee the best price.

I might accept #2 & #3. Unfortunately, without #1 the others don't matter.

You have to also believe that the accumulation of wealth should be unrestricted and that "unleashing the power of capital" is the path toward a healthy society.

You have to forget all the lessons that we learned so well in 1929.

I don't accept capitalism without socialism anymore. The only thing Free Market Capitalism has been good at is the production of STUFF. All it's good for is exploiting people and things with an eye on personal gain.

Capitalism hasn't made us a better society. It hasn't made us happy. It has only made us "richer" in material comforts. It has created generations of asthmatics to come. It has created the bottled water industry. It has nearly buried us in our own garbage. It has turned citizens into criminals(If you don't think it's in the best interest of the liquor, plastics, tobacco and other industries to keep hemp illegal, think a little harder) and criminals into millionaires (what better example of free market capitalism is there than the cocaine trade?). And it is rapidly becoming the only game in town.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,Brit
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 04:59 PM

This is a bloody parochial thread! Complaining that groundnut oil (or whatever) is $2.99 a gallon - I would be glad to fill my diesel powered car at that rate. Just because California doesn't know its arse from its elbow at the moment does not change the fact that in 20 years time you will be paying $29.9 a gallon for your fuel, if you're really lucky. All this faffing about hydrogen as a fuel ignores the fact that it takes about twice the amount of enengy to make the hydrogen than you can ever get out out of it! Wind power - it takes an entire turbine farm to get enough energy to run a 40% of a single Sainsbury (a spermarket chain) depot in the South of England. Solar Energy - as mentioned in other messages, it still has barely reached its break-even point in terms of the construction of the solar conversion units. Hydro-power - already probably reached its effective limits - its been developed the longest. Tidal power - probably has still some mileage, but is limited both in application (there aren't many suitable sites which will stay in one piece) and in time (they tend to silt up).

Hydrogen fusion has been on the brink of a break through since as long as I can remember - in the 1950's.

Thre does not seem to be anything on the horizon - but we do know that fission does work and it seems to be the only thing that will keep us warm in winter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 06:08 PM

I don't know, Kendall, they're paying him a lot of money. Maybe that has something to do with it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 08:01 PM

Guest,Brit, I would be interested in knowing where you get your information about alternative energy sources as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 05 Jun 01 - 08:39 PM

The bastards couldn't afford me Doug. There are things that money cant buy. Brit, back when the automobile hit the scene, they said, "It will never be practical, wont go more than 5 miles an hour."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 08:44 AM

Hi Carol. I'm an electrical engineer who has worked in the electric utility industry over 20 years. My personal experience includes evaluating power supply alternatives, planning for tranmission lines, environmental licensing for new facilities, wholesale energy trading and most recently, competitive retail energy sales.

My comments regarding the linkage of generation and transmission are based on electrical theory and personal experience. My comments on economies of scale are from personal experience.

Bart, I like your comments about the free market and prerequisites. I wonder, however, if you'd be comfortable with changing the word "socialism" to "regulation".

Carol, Brit seems to make some economy of scale arguements as well. Brit, you got any readily available info on this?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM

And, while you are at it, change the word "de-regulation" to "Price gouging, or exploitation"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM

Kendall, I understand your desire to have free cars that run on water...but until that time, you need to think logically about how that can come about. How can you be upset at EXXON as the destroyer of worlds and be upset that prices may rise. If prices rise, this will encourage the development of alternate energy. Also, who at EXXON are you upset at...is it just EXXON...is it all gasoline retailers...is it oil producers...is it oil transporters...is it that they charge money for their product...EXXON is an easy mark if your quoting cereal box philosophy because they had a very high-profile oil spill. But don't you think that they should also be rewarded for their efforts to clean it up. I'm not saying that they did it out of the goodness of their heart...but they did devote alot of time and money to clean it up. Should our message be that it doesn't matter whether they tried to clean it up or not. Or is that not the issue? If it is not the issue, then what is? Kendall, help me...I don't understand the message you are trying to convey.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 10:38 AM

Bartholomew,

I'm still a little confused on your main position, but I think it is that the utility companies should be government owned and government run...is this right? It also looks like you take this position because you believe capitalism is oppressive and exploitative, because of greed and because true free markets don't exist. Those who have an advantage will drive out all competition, obtain a monopoly and then provide inferior services at exorbitant prices. Did I understand you correctly or am I missing it? Below, I have also responded directly to some comments, but I want to make sure that I'm not just misunderstanding you or not getting the full picture.

"We need to decide whether electricity at "a just and reasonable price" is a right of the American citizen, as FDR's administration claimed. If it is, we need to treat the providing of electrical power like we do the providing of highways, the providing of national security, the providing of an education and the providing of mail service.
When public services are placed opened to market forces choices are diminished, not increased; there would be no rural mail service if it had to be done at a profit."

**What about providing food and shelter and telephones...these should all be rights as well.. Education and mail service both have competition from the private sector...and cooperation (the U.S.P.S. and Fed Ex are working out a deal to figure out how they can help each other. If there would be no rural mail service if it had to be done at a profit, there would also be no guaranteed overnight delivery, no immediate pick-up, etc...if profit was never a consideration. Also there are phones in rural areas...and yet the phone services operate for profit.

"I don't accept capitalism without socialism anymore. The only thing Free Market Capitalism has been good at is the production of STUFF. All it's good for is exploiting people and things with an eye on personal gain."

***Well, the production of stuff, employment, wages, capital....I don't accept socialism without capitalism, what has it been good for?

"Capitalism hasn't made us a better society. It hasn't made us happy. It has only made us "richer" in material comforts. It has created generations of asthmatics to come. It has created the bottled water industry. It has nearly buried us in our own garbage. It has turned citizens into criminals(If you don't think it's in the best interest of the liquor, plastics, tobacco and other industries to keep hemp illegal, think a little harder) and criminals into millionaires (what better example of free market capitalism is there than the cocaine trade?). And it is rapidly becoming the only game in town."

***A better example of free narket capitalism than the cocaine trade is bottled water...generally tap water operates under stricter guidelines than bottled water, yet people are willing to pay for it...what about the hoola-hoop, yo-yo's, supermarkets, malls...Why would a plastic companies care what their plastic is made of as long as they sell it and make a profit? If liquor and tobacco keep hemp illegal why don't they try to drive each other out of business. If it were legalized, I think you would find it sold under the Marlboro brand...Do you really think they have conspired against it...and all for capital gain...they'd make more money selling it if they could. Capitalism has made us a better society, more money, more research, more technological and medical advances...Yes bad things happen...yes there is pollution, but these things all exist in socialist and communist settings as well. I'm not convinced that the world is going to hell in a hand basket...and I'm not sure money is the cause. Instead of taking money away from people who have it, I think the answer lies in generating more for those who don't have it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 12:05 PM

This is a long post. That's because I'm tired of trying to express myself in sound bites. UB Dan – You've got the gist of my raving, but it's hard to convey a full picture in a few reader's digest styled posts.

I believe that we have enough resources on this planet to provide for the basic needs of all the people – even those who live in the stinking deserts – as long as people can control their greed. I also believe that NO ONE, in any part of this world, has more of a right to their equal share in things that anyone else; and, conversely, that NO ONE is excused from contributing what they can (in physical labor, intellect, talent, skill or whatever) to the common wealth.

In short, I believe in that an idealized state is possible and that we are kept from achieving the ideal because of our bad habits, shabby thinking, outmoded ideas, raw fear and a bunch of other unavoidable human traits. The problem is to figure out a way to get from where we are to the idealized state that we would all like to be in – the state where we are all fulfilled, developed, loved & loving, challenged, rewarded and able to live WITHOUT FEAR.

I don't know of any system ever developed that has done a better job of putting us on the road to the good life than the one we have devised in the US. Maybe it's parochialism on my part., but that's how I feel. I also think that within our system there are serious defects that not only keep us from getting to Heaven on earth, but also threaten to bring the whole damn thing down.

So what do I think is wrong and how do I think we should fix it? That is the tough question, isn't it? At the most basic level, I think you must implement policy that encourages our best tendencies as human beings and minimizes our worst. This means that the part of capitalism that encourages hard work and new ideas is good, while the part that encourages greed, envy and the other deadly sins is bad.

To address your comments on my comments:

Yes. IMO food, shelter, clothing, education at a basic level should be provided for everyone. Certain services should also be provided at a nominal charge – electricity, clean water, highway systems, libraries (with computers), mail delivery. By nominal charge, I mean that the services are self-supporting without the need to show profitability.

If someone wishes to provide a higher level of service (like FEDEX) at a higher price, that's fine. But the private sector cannot be allowed to eliminate public services. The tendency in this country is toward privatization as a cure to perceived bureaucratic inefficiency. I don't see any reason why public companies can't be run as well as private. I believe it's corruption that's the problem and I believe that accountability is the cure.

Regarding socialism and capitalism. Socialism is only possible within a capitalist state; it is a form of capitalism. Communism – common ownership – can only work on a local and limited basis. As I see it, without FDR's experiments in socialism this system smashes on the rocks in the 30's.

Look at Hitler's Germany – "National Socialism" was a form of state managed and supported capitalism; it was their answer to a ravaged economy. The New Deal was ours. All of the people who are trying to dismantle the social safety net have forgotten that it was put into place for a reason and that the fundamentals haven't changed. We are riding high on technical advances and developing markets; an extended run of bad luck and we're back to selling apples on the street corners (or PC's for the IBM crowd).

Bottled water. What better symbol of how Capitalism works is there? We pollute the one resource that we can't live without, by spilling our personal and business waste into our commonly held water supply. Then entrepeneurs figure out a way to filter out the waste and sell this resource back to us a bottle at a time. Our insane drug policies are a personal sticking point. My point in bringing it up at all is that as long as criminalization of various substances helps businesses, the profit motive will keep us from finding realistic approaches to dealing with these issues.

One last point – There are too many people in this world who are simply not willing to generate money for those who don't have it. The ultimate example of how capitalism works is the game Monopoly. If you play it right, one person ends up with everything and everyone else is out of the game. Whether you believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket or not, this system is. And emphasizing the worst aspects of it won't fix it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 01:41 PM

Good luck, Guest UB, should you elect to reply to Bart's comemnts.

It will come as no surprise to anyone on this forum that I agree wholeheartedly with you. I think you make your points very understandable and, based on your comments to Carol, it would appear to me that you have credibility.

On this forum, the majority of the posters view "big business" as the enemy. Never mind that without them our country would have a bit of an unemployment problem.

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 02:05 PM

There's that black-or-white thinking again, Doug, just from the other side. You seem to imply that people either love Big Business and thus we leave them alone to do their thing, or people hate them and want them totally shut down.

Truth is, Big Business, unchecked, tends to monopoly. I'm for big business, but only with big regulation to keep it in line.

Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: DougR
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 02:18 PM

Well, Alex, I suppose that is one of the differences we have. :>)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 02:36 PM

UB Ed,

One of my uncles was, until he retired, a Vice President of an electrical utility company in New Hampshire (USA). He and I used to get into spirited debates about the direction in which the energy industry can and should go. I used to make predictions based on the treads that I was reading and hearing about, and he would strenuously disagree.

My satisfaction was immense (as I'm sure you can imagine) when one of my predictions proved true, and his company started paying its customers to conserve energy because it's cheaper to do that than to build new power plants.

Don't be too surprised if things don't go the way you expect them to based on your previous experience. I think we're in a whole new ballgame now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 02:38 PM

You like monopolies and I don't? Guess that's a difference, then.

alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 02:39 PM

Sorry... that should be *trends.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 02:40 PM

Or are you saying that you like black-or-white thinking and I don't?

Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 03:20 PM

Doug, there are two of us UB folks...Ed has much more credibility than me.

And...I do agree with some aspects of what Bartholomew says. I like the mail analogy...USPS exist and is available at cheap affordable price for all...for those who want better service FED EX and various other private companies exist...these private companies encourage the USPS to offer the best service it can, and USPS encourages fed ex to keep prices low. I also think that the current anti trust laws are important.

I do disagree with him on some issues...he tends to see some cause and effects differently than I do...for example, Bartholomew thinks cigarette companies work to keep marijuana illegal so they can sell tobacco, I think they sell tobacco because marijuana is illegal. I think we also disagree on the entire legalization of drugs issue.

The best comparison to make is that Bartholomewe doesn't trust private industries without government intervention...and I don't trust government without private intervention. We both agree that corruption exists and it does harm, but we fear it most in different sectors.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 03:24 PM

Bart, thanks for the long post. You did a great job organizing and presenting your thoughts. I especially liked the accountability comments. I can pretty much agree with your comments, but I will take exception to my perception of a wrong term.

"...the part of capitalism that encourages hard work and new ideas is good, while the part that encourages greed, envy and the other deadly sins is bad."

I don't believe its capitalism that encourages any of these traits. Rather, I believe it is basic human nature and they way you were raised, that influences that outcome. That being said, I think capitalists can promote social welfare (Please note various wealthy philantrophists). Unfortunately, there aren't enough who were raised "right" and that seems to be where government comes in.

Balance, balance, balance...

Ed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 04:20 PM

Ah Carol, you must have given your old uncle fits (I'm sure he loved you dearly). With your experience, I think you're gonna peel me like an onion. Rest assured, very little surprises me anymore. What I'm talking about is the basic way the industry operates.

Begin with my initial premise of economies of scale and then mix in other exogenous variables including legislated societal programs and increasing licensing requirements and the costs do turn around. In a regulated environment, this was the only way to get folks to conserve or to build cleaner power stations. And that was ok.

My company built a coal-fired facity in the mid 1990's with pollution removal efficincies for various criteria pollutants in the 90% or better range. Of the $1.2 Billion spent, $400 Million was for pollution control equipment. Even with that price tag, it was less expensive to generate with that technology than solar, wind or dispersed generation. (By the way, my company also had over 25% of its members' load under direct load reduction programs.)

Fast forward to today, even tougher environmental requirements accompanied by unrealistic expectations for competition and you have a situation where costs now are to the levels where these alternative technologies can compete. The big question is, have we imposed the "right" level of requirements on conventional power sources or have we gotten off the economic curve (this is a question on incremental effects; where do you stop? For example, I can spend $1 million to move my pollution reduction technology from 93% to 94% efficiency. To get from 94% to 95% would cost $100 million more. Am I required to do that or have I met the criteria?)

Additionally, you may have noticed a recent rash of mergers and acquisitions among traditional utilities. This is to achieve the size perceived necessary to compete in a deregulated environment. This is clearly an economies of scale issue.

So, that's why I believe economies of scale still make sense, if one can operate in a common-sensical world. I am aware, however, that that is not the case.

By the way, hold onto your conservation hat. I expect the competitive retail power suppliers to offer discounts to customers who can shed load during peak cost periods.

Ed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 04:43 PM

UB Dan - I don't think the cigarette companies keep marijuana illegal; they just happen to benefit from the fact that it is. They would be glad to sell both to us. The same goes for the liquor industry.

Regarding the legalization of drugs:
I believe that it is not a government's role to legislate morality or protect us from ourselves. If you know the likely consequences of smoking, drinking or getting hooked on smack and choose to do so anyway it's your choice. Unfortunately, if you cease to function properly because of your choice, you will probably end up being a burden on the rest of us.

UB Ed - I think Western thought tends to overvalue the competitive aspects of Capitalism and disregard the imoortance of cooperation in keeping the system running. A business transaction is an agreement between buyer and seller. If one or the other has sole control over the terms of that agreement the system breaks down. A businessman who has all the money in the world has no one to do business with.

Doug R - I am in favor of big business in areas where small business is less efficient and where economies of scale make sense. But our businesses get bigger (through mergers, acquisitions, hostile takeovers, etc.) not to provide better goods and services at more reasonable prices, or to provide more jobs (Ha!), but to maximize profits. The flight of manufacturing jobs from unionized states to non-unionized areas of the world should be illustrative. Big business doesn't give us jobs, they merely control them. Without big business there would have to be a lot more small businesses; small businesses with a vested interest in the communities they serve and to the people they employ. We might not have all the cool stuff we see blasted at us in a million non-stop advertisements, but we'd have plenty of other stuff, maybe better, more interesting stuff.

Big business doesn't care if we have jobs, are fulfilled in our jobs, or fairly compensated in our jobs as long as we make enough dough in those jobs to buy their crap. Doug, I respect your opinion. But I wish I could make you understand that big Business is not your friend - it is just using you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: GUEST,Gareth
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 07:13 PM

For what it's worth, take recent events in the U.K.

A reduction in the tax on Petrol (Gas, over the pond)

Followed by an immediate raise in the Price of Petrol by the Oil Co's.

am afraid that this was not down to Saddam Hussain, no matter what else is laid at his door.

Bluntly the Oil Co.s exist to make money, at our expense.

Incidently in 30 years experience in the U.K insurance industry (claims) I have yet to find a U.K. farmer who runs a Petrol powered car - they are all Deseil.

(NB UK farmers can buy Derv virtualy Tax free, for use on farm machinery only)

Expecting the Oil Co's to act with a degree of social responsability is akin to expecting a shark to show mercy.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 07:27 PM

OK, here it is, as brief as I can make it. I have nothing against big business as such. I do have something against their "bottom line" mentality. The profit motive is what makes our world go round, but, when these birds move to Mexico to increase their profits while undermining their own country, that is short sighted. Even L.L. Bean, a local store of world fame for quality now has stuff made in China. That's bad enough, but, the price is still as high as it was when it was made in the USA. This is one store in little Freeport Maine, and, it took in over one billion dollars last year. What happened to the American workers who used to make the goods that Bean sold? Do they care? I dont buy anything made in China. Those poor bastards work for slave wages while our big retailers get fat sucking their blood and gouging me! What have I against EXXON? there again, they were not prepared for a spill because that equipment costs money. They did a half assed job of looking like they were dealing with it, but, we all know that area is ruined. The oil is still there under the rocks and EXXON has left the scene. Now, my main bitch with EXXON, they knowingly put a convicted drunk driver, a man who lost his drivers license for O.U.I. in charge of millions of gallons of crude oil, and, while he was sleeping it off, well, some incompetent low ranking seaman ran her aground. That seems to be typical of big business, The hell with the consequences, the bottom line is ok. I will walk before I will buy another drop of gas from EXXON, or, Mobil. Lastly, I'm not stupid enough to think hydrogen burning cars will be the answer in the next few years, but, with R & D who knows what they will come up with? I'm certainly not willing to throw up my hands and say, "Oh well, what can little ol' me do?"

Now, I have a suggestion, why dont we create a special thread where we can post everything having to do with politics, relegion and gun control all in one thread? What say?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Scotsbard
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 08:03 PM

Gotta weigh in on just one thing:

Proponents of fusion power at the enthusiast level seem generally unaware of the likelihood that it will produce just as much radioactive waste as fission.

Why? ... The real problem with fission reactors is not the spent fuel, which is relatively small in size and mass and can be reprocessed (dozens of tons over the life of a plant), but the plant itself, which becomes hundreds or thousands of tons of rather randomly isotoped radioactive junk. Fusion reactors will do the same thing to their components; gradually irradiating them into unusable, dangerous junk. It's inherent in the both processes, as they both scatter neutrons and helium nuclei in all directions at high velocities.

The scientists working on fusion never mention this because it would scare off funding, and the average enthusiast apparently knows no better. The cold fusion thing was an experimental goof, but should something eventually be accomplished there, it shows a little more promise.

Until then, we should get our heads out of the sand regarding serious conservation. A 150# cyclist can haul his 30# bike 30m at 15mph for a couple of sandwiches worth of fuel. A 200# motorist consumes a gallon of gas to haul his 4000# car the same distance in half the time.

You figure out which is more efficient.

~S~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 08:54 PM

How far do you think a dis abled 200 pounder can pedal a bike?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 10:27 PM

So those who can bike when it's practical and drive when they have to. They don't buy the biggest, gaudiest SUV and then fire it up everytime they need to go two blocks.

My Dad never realized he was a great conservationist when he'd growl "turn the darned lights off when you leave a room", but that's what he was (and still is, thank god...). It's all about common sense and paying attention to the COST of things, as well as the price.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 09:45 PM

Excellent statement! the price AND the cost.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 06:56 PM

"Ah Carol, you must have given your old uncle fits"

You're probably right about that.

"With your experience, I think you're gonna peel me like an onion."

I doubt that.

I taped the Frontline show. I'm going to have to watch it a few more times before I can comment effectively on its contents. It's incredibly informative, and also very complicated.

I agree very strongly with Bartholomew's statement about the difference between price and cost. If we try to measure the real costs of continuing to pollute our environment... costs that show up in people's health and related medical costs, lost productivity, and numerous other hidden costs that proponents of dirty energy are not talking about, I think maybe we would see non polluting energy having a much lower total cost to society.

For those who feel that the government shouldn't have anything to do with regulating the energy industry, I would like to point out that the government does have a role to play in matters that concern the common good. That's why we have a military. We don't have a private military. We have a government run military because it is percieved to be for the common good. The government regulates how we are allowed to use our motor vehicles while we are driving them (traffic laws). Again, because this is percieved to be for the common good.

It is no less legitimate for the government to regulate some aspects of how we produce and distribute energy if it is for the common good. The resources that are used to produce energy belong to the public anyway. So there's another reason that it is legitimate for the government to regulate how these resources are used, in order to maximize the benefits to society as a whole, rather than to benefit specific business entities at the expense of the common good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 07:00 PM

I would just like to add that the upshot of the Frontline show was that the energy crisis has nothing to do with supply, and everything to do with profits. And they show quite a bit of documentation to back this up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: toadfrog
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 10:39 PM

One problem with all the above. The thread is about gasoline prices. That is a very different kind of problem from the energy crunch in California. Gasoline is fungible. It is easily portable. It is arguable that there is free competition in the gasoline market. So long as the antitrust laws are applied (admittedly dubious) I have no problem whatsoever with leaving gasoline prices to the free market (or with a good stiff tax on gasoline). If high gasoline prices hurt, just about everyone is free to drive less. And should. It is only the farmers who are getting screwed, by high diesel prices. And farmers are being screwed from about five different directions at once.

But electricity and natural gas are an entirely different matter from gasoline. No one can persuade me that free competition exists, or is even possible, in the market for electricity. I shouldn't even have to cite some authority to show that electricity prices are being manipulated; everybody knows this is so. It isn't even illegal to manipulate electricity prices. It is arguable that the manager of a generating firm who does not manipulate prices, and screw the public, and cause wild and crazy price fluctuations, violates his/her duty to the shareholders. It has to be regulated. It will not do to say, people should just use less electricity. Do you realize that the entire aluminum industry in the Northwest, and with it tens of thousands of jobs, is headed for sudden death because of the increased cost of electricity? And the Northwest also has steel mills, which are also headed for trouble. Probably not many Mudcatters work in manufacturing. But lots of people do, and a disaster to them may trickle down to you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: UB Ed
Date: 11 Jun 01 - 08:16 AM

Carol and Toad both make good comments. A "free market" for electricity is tough to do as the barriers to entry are high and the access to market extremely limited. Profit-driven firms will make hay as the sun shines and it currently is shining for the producers.

Carol, I particualry appreciated your comment regarding the incredible complexity of the issue, as well as your genuine interest in learning as much as you can in order to form your opinions.

I agree that certain infrastructure industries should be regulated. Toad's right, the economic impact of this "free market" could drive our entire economy down the tubes.

Carol, I also agree in principle with assessing the cost of alternative solutions versus the price. As you can imagine, this is also extremely complicated as folks attempt to quantify qualitative measures or apply mitigative measures to cure something we don't fully understand.

Ed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 07:24 PM

What happened to the gasoline shortage? You know, the one that Bush said forces us to rape another wilderness? The price of regular is down to $1.29 here, and, it is dropping all over the country. Why? is there a sudden increase in the supply from OPEC? No, the refineries are back to work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Gas Prices II
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 07:41 PM

I saw something on the news tonight about BMW preparing to put a hydrogen powered car on the market. Sounds like a good plan to me. It might appeal to any consumers who may be using large SUVs for status rather than for utility.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


 


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 29 May 7:32 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.