Drill, Baby, Drill!

This is the last thing I ever expected: “Obama to allow oil drilling off Virginia.” Gov. Bob McDonnell must be in heaven right now. Ditto for Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessons.

I share the environmentalists’ concerns about the potential for oil pollution on Virginia’s coastline, and I am hopeful that strict safeguards will be put into place to prevent oil spills. But oil is just a sideshow. The real fossil fuel wealth off the coast is natural gas. As I understand it, production of natural gas would nicely complement the production of wind power off the coast. Because wind power is inherently intermittent, Dominion Virginia Power would have to maintain a back-up capacity to kick in when the winds die down. The most practical fuel for such back-up power would be natural gas.

(I presume that Obama’s plan would permit natural gas drilling as well, although the MSNBC story does not address the point.)

Obama’s decision to open up energy production off the Virginia coast also jump-starts Sessons’ goal of making Virginia Beach the energy production capital of the East Coast. The idea once sounded far fetched. No longer.


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Comments

140 responses to “Drill, Baby, Drill!”

  1. Larry G Avatar

    jesusHkeeerist… a blog post from the Bacon guy himself…

    give me a minute.. let me make sure I'm not dreaming here…

    nope.

    and then a real shocker… not a hint of the "socialist" dog rhetoric either.

    but Bacon seems genuinely surprised that Obama would even consider such a heretical idea..you know him being the socialist dog that we know he is…right?

    HOLY MOLY!

    Here's my thought. Now that Obama has thoroughly engaged the "right" thinking folks of this nation.. it looks like he's going to return the favor to those liberal kool-aid drinkers.

    Will he get credit.. like he got credit for keeping a Republican DOD or hanging tough in Afghanistan?

    Nope.

    but I digress..

    NICE POST BACON!

    but here's an interesting thought to consider.

    Obama has a popularity rating hovering around 50% having paid the price of Health Care.

    Does anyone think the man is smart enough to address some policy initiatives that could bring back some of the folks in the middle and leave the wingnuts high and dry with 25% of the vote?

    Well.. I'd say it's a sure thing if the citizen militia's carry out their plans for a million gun march on DC.

    I keep saying – the measure of this President is still being determined but more and more he's looking like he's more of a man than most of his opponents are.

  2. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Eileen, I'd like to know if the Sierra Club sees a difference between drilling for oil offshore and drilling for natural gas. My sense is that drilling for gas does not pose the same environmental risks as oil — certainly there's less risk of oil spills.

    Another question: The Sierra Club does support the development of off-shore wind farms, and I think the Club acknowledges that wind does pose challenges for transmission load management. Do you see natural gas-powered electrical generating plants, which can power up and down quickly and economically, as a useful supplement to wind power.

    Instead of having a win/lose situation, where either the environmentalists or the McDonnell administration emerges victorious and the other suffers the ignominy of defeat, is there room for a compromise? Would it be possible to continue the ban on drilling for oil while allowing the exploitation of natural gas?

  3. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Here is something where the President is making good sense. We need multiple solutions for energy. Simply drilling for fossil fuels; investing in alternative energy sources; and working towards energy efficiency alone won't cut it. We need multiple solutions.

    TMT

  4. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Don't hold your breath. It will be years before the first drill bit hits bottom.

    RH

  5. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Has anyone noticed that there are no drilling rigs off the Panhandle of Florida or in the east of the Gulf of Mexico? Maybe no oil or maybe [Panhandle] because of Eglin AFB & Pensacola NAS.
    If drilling for anything or windfarms off of Va's. coast come to pass, I am sure that the USN or NASA may have something to think about. Just look at a nautical chart of all of the restricted areas off of Va's coast.

    When I mentioned this before, one commenter said "Aw,the Navy can just dodge around the platforms." I guess that person had never tried to turn an aircraft carrier around.

    I see this as a perfect excuse for the Navy to start relocating its resources to Jacksonville, FL. Maybe that is a good thing from a strategic standpoint [not all eggs in same basket, so to speak] and it will certainly solve the traffic problem in Hampton Roads. But it will be heck to pay on the local and state economy.

    Moreover, what about all the other hurdles – royalities, refining, etc.? And, say we have a "Manhattan Project" to find & develop the resources [assuming something is there worth drilling for], how long before the $$$$ come pouring into the Va. treasury and the first mile of road is built? Bosun

  6. Larry G Avatar

    Unless the Sierra Club has changed, their preferred solution to the energy issue is for people to use less energy rather than look for more sources of it.

    I'll let them speak for themselves but they'll point out that except for the Canadians and I believe northern Scandinavia that the average per capita energy usage in the US is twice what it is in virtually every other industrialized country – all of whom have longer life expectancies than us since we rank 35th – right below Cuba.

    Many of them are also opposed to wind energy believing it to be a bird-killing blight on the landscape.

    I'm not sure what their position is on NG.

    There are net zero houses being built now days..for about a 100K more than a conventional house.

    One of the more simple things they do is to properly orient the house to the angle of the SUN – something that would never work in many tract subdivisions.

    But when are ya'll going to give Obama credit for showing some courage here???

    He has more guts that Bush had on this issue, eh?

  7. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I'm sure the Navy is capable of conducting exercises in areas where there are obstructions. It would be good practice anyway. I beleive there are oil platforms inthe Middle East.

    Also pretty sure the captain of an AC is not about to allow it to go where its mobility is (more) restricted.

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

    The Sierra Club must love our current recession which is lowering our use of energy substantially.

    I don't know what longevity has to do with energy usage but it is related to productivity and efficiency: the more GDP you produce per unit of energy, th more efficient you are.

    For those that think the Federal governmnet is inefficient, here is a chart that ranks the states by energy consumption per dollar of GDP. District of Columbia is ranked first (lowest) in energy use per dollar of GDP.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/states/sep_sum/html/pdf/rank_use_gdp.pdf

    Amongst the staes there are differences that are a factor of ten in terms of efficiency, so a factor of two among nations is not so surprising, and there is the matter of what states do to earn their money.

    [The table referenced is NOT per capita, but gross state usage]

    Notice that the Agricultural states are high energy users compared to the GDP they produce as differentiated from the more urban states of Connecticut, Massacchusetts, Rhode Island and Delaware.

    This table shows the energy efficiency of the top forty economies on a per capita basis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gdp-energy-efficiency.jpg

    Here you can see that the major European nations are slightly higher in energy efficiency but lower in GDP production. This means that on average they are poorer than we, and as Groveton notes they pay higher taxes.

    The major European states use less energy per capita than the US and produce much less GDP per capita.

    The most efficient nation of all – by far, is not Japan, but Bangladesh. I suppose you can avoid using a lot of conventional energy if you rely on waterbuffalo and dung.

    I believe that Bangladesh is unusual, though. Most poor countries are also energy inefficient.

    RH

  8. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    There are net zero houses being built now days..for about a 100K more than a conventional house.

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

    Assuming you already have alot that allows you to resolve the siting issues. Construction deltas don't sow the full cost.

    If it costs you $2500 a year to supply energy to your home, that $100k means a forty year payback. You wopuld be money ahead to invest that $100k elsewhere (Exxon, maybe?) and just buy the energy.

    RH

  9. Larry G Avatar

    what longevity has to do with energy usage.

    it means that people don't die because they can't use as much energy as we do.

    energy efficiency is how you produce more with less energy use.

    it's a simple concept for most folks.

    You can go from point A to point B in a 4 passenger car (or equivalent payload) and use 20 gallons of gas

    and you can go from point A to point B in a 4-passenger car (or equivalent payload) and use 10 gallons of gas.

    you have accomplished the same with 1/2 the energy usage.

    you can move 1 ton 400+ miles on 1 gallon of fuel.

    That's GDP

    if you move than same ton for 2 gallons of fuel – you've cut your GDP in half.

    energy efficiency boosts GDP.

  10. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "….it means that people don't die because they can't use as much energy as we do."

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

    Care to look up the longevity in Bangladesh? They use a lot less than we do.

    Middle Europeans may live as long as we do, but that has nothing to do with how well they live compared to us. We use GDP per capita for that measuremnt, and GDP is pretty closely related to energy usage.

    We've been around on this before, aqnd I have showed you the data. You prefer to see thinngs some other way.

    RH

  11. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Larry has his sights on the cause of this activity by POTUS: gain back some poll points.

    What needs to happen is to have a plan to reduce consumption of resources – fundamentally change the patterns of consumption and the most effective is to Fundamentally Transform human settlement pattern – AND create a strategy for sustainable energy supplies.

    Natural Gas is ‘natural’ but it is not renewable. At best it is a stop gap.

    Observer

  12. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    NOT SURE THIS ALL TRACKS:

    you can move 1 ton 400+ miles on 1 gallon of fuel.

    That's GDP

    THAT IS WORK ACCOMPLISHED, SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR IT BEFORE IT IS GDP

    if you move than same ton for 2 gallons of fuel – you've cut your GDP in half.

    NO, CUT EFFICIENCY IN HALF AND WILL INCREASE GDP IF SOMEONE BUYS IT

    energy efficiency boosts GDP.

    NO, ENERGY EFFICIENCY HAS THE OPPOSITE IMPACT

    SMASHING YOUR CAR INTO YOUR NEIGHBORS CAR INCREASES GDP IF SOMEONE PAYS TO HAVE THE CARS FIXED.

    PRJ

  13. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "…energy efficiency is how you produce more with less energy use.

    ——————————-

    Did you not look at the graph?

    Australia Belgium Netherlands and Sweden all use energy at the same rate of GDP as we do, but they produce far less GDP per person.

    Same for Taiwan, Spain, Greece, and South Korea, followed by Poland, South Africa, and Turkey.

    By this data, Japan, UK, France, Germany, and Itally are more energy efficient by about 25%, not 50%, as you claim. But they also produce 25% less GDP per person.

    Even if they live as long as we do, they have to subsist with 25% less stuff.

    When efficiency comes at that kind of cost, it isn't very efficient, is it? Bangladesh is really energy efficient, but no one is holding them up as a shining example.

    RH

  14. Larry G Avatar

    when 34 countries rank HIGHER than you do on longevity AND at the same time ALL 34 use LESS energy than you do – then making the claim that people will die if they use less energy is what?

    dumb?

    yup.

    this is no other way to "look at this" guy.

    facts are facts.

  15. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "What needs to happen is to have a plan to reduce consumption of resources – fundamentally change the patterns of consumption "

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

    Bangladesh is very efficient and consumes very little. In fact, they have a national plan called "Building with Nature" which has used the natural output of the rivers to create 25,000 acres of new land which they have given to residents to settle.

    Would you say they have a dysfunctional settlement pattern?

    Are you suggesting we imitate Bangladesh or even Brazil, India or the Phillipines as a way to reduce energy and other resource usage?

    RH

  16. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "when 34 countries rank HIGHER than you do on longevity AND at the same time ALL 34 use LESS energy than you do – then making the claim that people will die if they use less energy is what?"

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

    What is the longevity in Bangladesh and India and Phillipines?

    I rest my case.

    As a rule, poor people do not live as long as wealthy ones.

    By the way, how many of those 34 countries have some kind of national health care?

    Yes, they use less energy. They also do not produce as much stuff per person.

  17. Larry G Avatar

    " THAT IS WORK ACCOMPLISHED, SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR IT BEFORE IT IS GDP"

    if you pay for ONE GALLON of fuel rather than TWO GALLONS of fuel your EXPENSES before profit are 1/2 as much.

    or to put it another way – you produce twice as much from that fuel.

    In your world, the most inefficient car – would be the most productive car…

    the car that got 10mpg would be considered more productive than the car that got 20mpg.

    I'm not sure how you get twisted around the axle on this stuff.. but you certainly don't learn much from it either.

    I'm not giving you my ideas here guy – this is pretty much what is in the literature.

    " In 1970 it took about 18,000 Btu to produce one dollar of GDP; it now takes a little less than half of that. By 2030, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects it will take 5,800 Btu for each dollar of GDP"

    http://www.energyxxi.org/issues/Improve_Energy_Efficiency.aspx

  18. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Of course, the flip side is that one reason they live longer is that they do not work themselves to death.

    1987 Average worker, U.S. 1949 hours

    1988 Manufacturing workers, UK 1855 hours

    2004 Average full-time worker, Germany 1480 hours [7]

    If I worked 500 hours less each year I'd use a lot less energy, too.

    RH

  19. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "..you can move 1 ton 400+ miles on 1 gallon of fuel."

    This is the kind of nonsense argument, believed because it is endlessly repeated that makes me laugh.

    This is the freight rail fable. So what, if it goes four hundred miles and then it is still in a freaght car at the botttom of four hundred other tons? It is a nonsense argument because it does not address the SYSTEM. A system analysis will tell you the cheapest set of trips that gets everything where it needs to go. Some of those trips will be rail trips. And a lot of those will be rail trips carrying tractor trailers.

    RH

  20. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "NO, CUT EFFICIENCY IN HALF AND WILL INCREASE GDP IF SOMEONE BUYS IT"

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

    It is the IF that kills this argument. If you cut efficiency in half you increase costs. You will be out of business before someone buys your stuff, and this decreases GDP.

    RH

  21. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Mr Larry:

    PRJ here again. Do not confuse me with 'RH', I am on your side, just trying to clarify your points before he makes fun of you:

    "if you pay for ONE GALLON of fuel rather than TWO GALLONS of fuel your EXPENSES before profit are 1/2 as much."

    Yes, you are more efficient but the GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT is the value of all goods and services and when the oil company sells you two gallons of fuel rather than one that INCREASES GDP

    "or to put it another way – you produce twice as much from that fuel."

    YES, that is efficiency

    "In your world, the most inefficient car – would be the most productive car…"

    NOT PRJs world, in everyones world that uses GDP as a measure of 'GOOD.'

    "the car that got 10mpg would be considered more productive than the car that got 20mpg."

    FROM THE USERS PERSPECTIVE, PRODUCTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY ARE THE SAME.

    FROM THE GDP PERSPECTIVE THE MORE CONSUMPTION THE BETTER.

    "I'm not sure how you get twisted around the axle on this stuff.. but you certainly don't learn much from it either."

    You need to be a bit careful on this, you sound as obstinate as RH.

    "I'm not giving you my ideas here guy – this is pretty much what is in the literature."

    But you are confusing two different items.

    " In 1970 it took about 18,000 Btu to produce one dollar of GDP; it now takes a little less than half of that. By 2030, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects it will take 5,800 Btu for each dollar of GDP"

    That is all about EFFICIENCY per unit of GDP, it is not about EFFICIENCY increasing GDP.

    PRJ

  22. Larry G Avatar

    " In 1970 it took about 18,000 Btu to produce one dollar of GDP; it now takes a little less than half of that. By 2030, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects it will take 5,800 Btu for each dollar of GDP"

    That is all about EFFICIENCY per unit of GDP, it is not about EFFICIENCY increasing GDP."

    if you use 1/2 as much energy to produce the same amount of goods – have you not DOUBLED your productivity?

    If you move 10,000 lbs of goods using 1/2 the fuel – have you not, in effect, allowed yourself to move 20,000 lbs on the same amount of fuel?

    the premise is that energy efficiency – IMPROVING energy efficiency IMPROVES productivity and productivity is measured by GDP.

    If you produce the same amount of good with less energy -you have become more productive.

    isn't that exactly what this says:

    " In 1970 it took about 18,000 Btu to produce one dollar of GDP; it now takes a little less than half of that. By 2030, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects it will take 5,800 Btu for each dollar of GDP"

    that 18,000 BTUS cost money. that cost has to be subjected from your one dollar of GDP because you get your net.

    1/2 of the 18,000 will cost less – perhaps not 1/2 as much in inflation is factored in but in general you'll end up producing more with less.

    We need to agree on this and I'll allow that I'm included but Rays' premise is that using less energy does not save you money nor gain you productivity – that a car that gets 20 mpg has no advantaged over a car than gets 40mpg.

    Entire industries – spend substantial amounts of money in trying to find out how to produce more from less.

    it's the basis for energy efficiency.

    otherwise – why would we even care about the EPA ratings on the cars?

  23. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "In 1970 it took about 18,000 Btu to produce one dollar of GDP; it now takes a little less than half of that. By 2030, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects it will take 5,800 Btu for each dollar of GDP"

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

    Plot that out. Around 2050 it goes asymptotic at 3400 BTU. After that no further gains are possible, unless you have a fundamental change in the relationship between physics and money earned.

    Efficiency only gets you so far, and even then with diminishing returns on your investment. After that you will need more resources to support more people.

    RH

  24. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "included but Rays' premise is that using less energy does not save you money nor gain you productivity "

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

    It is not my premise, and you have got it wrong. If you want to argue with me and my teachers, at least state my argument correctly.

    Overall, efficiency does not lead to less use of resources, but rather more use.

    That is because efficiency makes each use more "profitable". We could light our homes with candles, but it would cost a lot more for the same amount of light: it is "profitable" for us to use elctricity, so we use more of it than we did when we lit with candles, not less.

    Furthermore, efficiency has a finite physical limit. Each gain in efficiency costs you more than the last gain. The energy information administration data you quoted curves up towards the right and eventually goes asymptotic.

    It is ridiculous to take the pollyanna attitude that we will always have more and more efficiency and technology will mean we have limitless resources.

    For each use, efficiency will save you money compared to the previous condition. However, efficiency also leads to more use.

    RH

  25. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    is the value of all goods and services and when the oil company sells you two gallons of fuel rather than one that INCREASES GDP

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

    GDP is tha value of all goods SOLD. If you take twice as much fuel as the next guy, your goods won't sell and you wonn't be buying that gallon of fuel.

    Look at it the other way, You have a fixed fuel budget. If it takes you twice as much fuel as the next guy you produce half as much and that reduces GDP.

    I'm not making fun of anyone. If I suddenly could make my farm twice as efficient, I would quick, burn three times as much fuel and make six times as much product, and sell it quick, before my competitors learn the trick and do the same, lowering the price of hay.

    No way does fuel eficiency actually save fuel.

    RH

  26. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    You would be more efficient if you could eat less and accomplish the same work.

    For a while. Eventually you find that with insufficient nourishment you cannot do as much work.

    But, if you can get by with less food, you would have some left over to give to someone else to do work for you.

    You have to assume that you can sell your product for more than you can sell the food, otherwise you would not do it.

    (This is why farmers are on the bottom of the food chain. Whether they sell it or eat it their cost is the same.)

    But for you, it is always more beneficial to produce more than to produce the same and "save energy".

    rh

  27. Larry G Avatar

    " If it takes you twice as much fuel as the next guy you produce half as much "

    conversely if you can figure out how to produce more from less – you'll sell more an take his business.

  28. Larry G Avatar

    " GDP is tha value of all goods SOLD"

    GDP is made up of thousands of individual producers…right on down to an individual worker

    if he can produce more items from the same amount of work and energy, then he will be be able to sell the same number for a lower per item production cost.

    think of it as costing an hour worth of labor and $2 worth of energy to create something that sells for $25.

    then they figure out a way to only use $1 worth of electricity – so they can sell the same item for a dollar more in profit or they can lower the price by .50 cents to sell more – whatever path brings them more profits.

    All things being equal, if you can produce your widget with less energy – you can make a higher profit by more profit per item and/or by lowering the price which usually brings more buyers.

    what say you PRJ? let's hear your take on this.

    anyone else?

    is this is not the logic, then what are the Energy Star ratings for?

    If you can choose from two HOT WATER heaters – same price, same gallons and one of them uses 1/2 the energy – wouldn't most people buy the more energy efficient unit so they'd save on the electric bill?

    Isn't this what tankless water heaters are about?

  29. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    Foreign workers will do the drilling. Hampton Roads will turn into a combination of Long Beach and Texas City. In the summer all those btu's will be visible for a hundred miles, and there won't be a fish worth eating in Chesapeake Bay.

    But hey, we cut our dependence on foreign oil and created hundreds of non-union jobs. What's not to like?

  30. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "…is this is not the logic, then what are the Energy Star ratings for?"

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

    You didn't see the news story about Energy Star ratings?

    They are a fraud.

    The government sent in applications for energy star ratings from dummy companies for fake products. One of them was an "air cleaner" that consisted of an electic space heatger with a feather duster glue on top.

    Nobody actually hooks up a meter to those things and tests them: it is all data supplied by the manufacturor, and rubber stamped by Energy Star.

    I paid extra for an energy saving hot water heater and the thing was an absolute joke. Not only does it not save energy, it doesn't even heat the water.

    RH

  31. Larry G Avatar

    the ratings were a fraud – the basis for the ratings was not.

    What is the IDEA behind the ratings to start with?

    if the ratings are done correctly with true energy usage – then what is the purpose behind them?

    Isn't it to let people choose more energy efficient appliances that will cost less to operate?

    Same deal with EPA ratings on a car or LEED building standards.

    the point is to understand which products use less energy.

    and we know that all things being equal.. that some things use more energy not because they do more but simply because the were not designed to be energy efficient.

  32. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "…conversely if you can figure out how to produce more from less – you'll sell more an take his business."

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

    Absolutely true, but like trying to work more on less food, there is a limit to what you can achieve.

    AS you point out, you will lower your prices and sell more stuff. Since you make more profit from selling more stuff than you do from saving energy, you wind up burning all the enrgy you saved through efficiency. GDP goes up because you sell more stuff.

    Now, what about all those countries that are more energy efficient than we are, but don't produce or sell as much stuff as we do?

    {Hint) There are probably other variables at work, but one way or another, they transalte into a different life style anbd sluggish economies. there is a reason the world looks to the US.

    RH

  33. Larry G Avatar

    " Absolutely true, but like trying to work more on less food, there is a limit to what you can achieve."

    you'll have to tell that to Walmart and any other large manufacturer of products that scale up to higher and higher levels.

    Factories do not need food.

    The more energy and labor a factory can save – the more profit they can make on a product.

    Things that used to cost a buck -now cost pennies…

    some drop from a buck to less than a penny.

    As long as there is a demand for what is being produced – you don't run out of "food".

    let me know when we run out of plastic bags or plastic 2-liter bottles guy…

    When a 2-liter bottle manufacture tells Coke that they can sell the same amount of product in a new innovative bottle that costs 1/2 the former version – do you think they are worried about running out of bottles or having the price of the new bottles dip too low?

    you're arguing against the very thing that makes the world go round, guy.

    manufacturing is ALL ABOUT lowering costs – and energy and labor costs are two of the biggies.

  34. Eileen Avatar

    Just getting round to the blogs… sorry!

    Here's the official answer from MMS:

    "No, gas-only leasing is not currently an option because the OCS Lands Act does not allow for leasing of and exploration for natural gas only, as it authorizes "oil and gas leases" under section 8(13 U.S.C. 1337). Additionally, there are technical and engineering challenges to gas-only leasing including maintaining appropriate reservoir development and determining what would happen if oil was found."

    The process of getting natural gas from underground to the end user has the potential for being just as environmentally destructive as that of oil. The Navy and NASA is just as opposed to one as the other… in other words, both.

  35. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Of course the basis for th eratings was a fraud,there were never any measurements taken.

    Now if you mean the idea behind them, great, but it didn't happen.
    The consume has no idea which equipment is more efficient and no way to differentiate.

    Consumers reports, maybe.

    Look, there is nothing wrong with an individual doing whatever makes sense to save energy for himself. He will save money doing it, provided he doesn't get hyped into buying a net zero house which will pay back in 20 years, when he is already 75 years old.

    I'm an early adopter. I drive a car that averaged 59.6 MPG this week. But I don't believe I;m saving the world. The mooney I saved on fuel, I spent on the car. And, no, I'm not ready for a Nissan Leaf yet.

    Money equals resources used. Thats why Americans use more energy (and everything else): they make more money. Part of the way they do it is being more energy efficient than most other countries.

    Neither do I believe I am "saving" any gas. All the Priuses on the highway might reduce the demand for fuel enough to lower the price a penny. If there are only one third as many SUV's they will drink all the fuel saved by Toyotas.

    So, promote really smart energy savings, and don't so it indiscriminately. Wrap some extra insulation around your hot water heater. Build some passive solar, if you don't mind a junky looking house. Patch up the infiltration around your home.

    Just don't get crazy about it. It is easy to spend more than you save and since money is resources, there is nothing green about being stupid.

    And don't plan on saving the world: there are two billion people waiting in line to buy that gallon of gas you "saved".

    RH

  36. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Factories do not need food.

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

    Factories don't violate physics, of course they need "food".

    They are no different from you, they can make some economies, but eventually, in order to scale up they need more "food", not less.

    Now youare just being silly.

    RH

  37. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "The more energy and labor a factory can save – the more profit they can make on a product."

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

    This is simply not true, reasonable as it sounds.

    They can easily spend more money saving energy than the energy is worth.

  38. Larry G Avatar

    " They can easily spend more money saving energy than the energy is worth"

    the ones that stay in business do not Ray.

    it's the entire point of being in business.. to produce more for less.. to make a profit.. to win against your competitors… so you can sell even more and make even more money.

    using your logic.. Verizon would make more expensive phones than necessary – god knows why.. but according to you "in theory" that could do that.

    they can't do that – and stay in business guy.

    the ones that stay in business don't make those kinds of mistakes…

  39. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Eileen is right.

    You go to all the trouble of drilling a hole in the ground, youpretty much have to sell whatever comes up.

    I spent two summers working in the oil fields (Working on more efficient ways to get the energy out.) Those guys that work the rigs work harder than any crew I've ever seen anywhere.

    RH

  40. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "…the ones that stay in business do not Ray."

    Correct. And that is why we, as environmentalists should not advocate technologies that cost more than they save. If we do that, WE will be out of business.

    As for the rest of them, they cannot continually get more efficient, and do it cost effectively. Eventually, you have got all you are going to get. It is simple physics.

    If it takes X kilojoules to drill holes, then youare going to have to buy something more than X kilojoules. Period.

    So one of your brilliant engineers comes up with a plan to glue the parts – eliminate the holes and the bolts.

    Cool, much more efficient.

    Only now you have a part that cannot be repaired.

    The really smart companies will have the best and most efficient products, and the best and most efficient processes to make them. They will get bigger, and they will use more energy, not less. They will sell their products for less, and sell more of them, and make more profit, not less.
    They will use more resources, and use them more efficiently than anyone else.

    After they spend 50 years getting to this position, someone like EMR will come along and accuse them of environmental excess, windfall profits, and ignoring their social responsibilites.

    RH

  41. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "The more energy and labor a factory can save – the more profit they can make on a product."

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

    All I said was that this is not a true statement, and it isn't. If this was true they could make more money by saving ALL the energy, just shut it off.

    and you agreed with me.

    "the ones that stay in business don't make those kinds of mistakes…"

    They don't stay in business because they didn't make a profit, even though they saved more energy.

    You and EMR pontificate this kind of absolutist nonsense, and it interferes with your seeing the way things are instead of the way you wish they were.

    The problem with this statement and many other similar ones is that it does not explicitly recognize that there is always a trade off. Some energy savings are worth while and some are not.

    You can save all the energy in the world, but it is of no use if you are out of business. If you are in business, you will be wasting energy somewhere, but it will be cheaper to do that than the alternative.

    RH

    RH

  42. Larry G Avatar

    Ray – there are so many different ways to innovate that you could never anticipate all of them much less when they'd reach the practical limits of being able to innovate to save energy and labor and other resources.

    the internet is replacing print.. so even if it were true that they reached the practical limits of print – another game-changing technology rearranges the landscape.

    cellular routers replace landline broadband and in the process put every police car on the internet in real time making direct computer checks on plates.. in an instant.. so fast that they are now using license plate scanners connected in the car to a database in the internet cloud.

    UPS trucks don't keep paper delivery records.. as soon as the package is delivered – the transaction is stored on the internet

    the world strives for efficiency in a million different ways every day – and succeeds in ways that you cannot conceive.

  43. Larry G Avatar

    Ray – a business can save energy and still make a profit and not go out of business.

    There are businesses across this planet that do that.

    there no absolutist thought here at all other than the fact that it is very possible to save energy, still make a profit and still stay in business.

    the people in the business are not stupid Ray. They are not going to save energy if it costs them more.

    their goal is to reduce costs – in any number of ways that are available to them – INCLUDING energy reductions.

    if you can still make money by shutting the energy off then by all means do so but if you cannot – then you sure as heck will not shut it off.

    not recognizing tradeoffs?

    Ray – it's ALL ABOUT tradeoffs.

    no one in their right mind saves energy just to be saving energy regardless of whether it affects their production.

    You make the widgets with the least amount of resources that you can cut back on – as long as you still are able to produce the widgets.

    why would you cut back to the point where you no longer could produce them?

    don't you think folks would notice when the widgets no longer came off the assembly line?

  44. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Part 1 –

    "All things being equal, if you can produce your widget with less energy – you can make a higher profit by more profit per item and/or by lowering the price which usually brings more buyers.".

    Not quite. If you can produce your widget with a lower cost of energy (not just less energy) – you can make a higher profit per item …

    Oil, coal and natural gas are all very cheap ways to generate power. Cheap, at least, until one considers the possible costs of global warming caused by carbon emissions. Then, depending on your viewpoint, these fossil fuel energy sources either cost a lot more or no more at all.

    Let's say that carbon emission is a real problem and that global climate change is the symptom of a real disease. The average person in the United States uses enough electricity to generate about 8 tons of carbon per year. That number varies substantially based on the input fules needed to generate electricity. See http://grovetonsvirginia.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/qf-virginia-and-co2/ for a very short description of the situation in Virginia.

  45. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Part 2 –

    The government wants to charge carbon emitters something like $30/ton. Companies like Dominion will pass that charge through to their users. The average Virginian will pay something like $250 more per year for electricity. What are the "knock on" events which will follow from this?

    1. Short term, people will use less electricity because it costs more. The European experience is that the residential useage will decrease by about 15%.

    2. In the short to mid term, prices will rise and profits will fall. Companies which use electricity (or any other energy source based on input fuels which generate a lot of carbon) will find their costs of good sold going up. They will squeeze profits to some extent but pass along some of the cost to their customers. They will certainly be more motivated to be efficient but power is a large cost for many of these companies today and they have been working to reduce energy useage just because its a COGS – regardless of carbon profile.

    3. Consumption (in aggregate will fall). Since almoat all products require the use of carbon emitting energy in their creation and transportation the carbon tax will make almost all products more expensive. Simultaneously, since people will now be paying more for power they will have less money to spend on things like Apple's new iPad.

    4. Trickle down poverty will hurt those at the bottom of the economic food chain. Some will die. Fewer good will be purchased since the goods cost more and people are paying more for energy and, thus, have less disposable income. Fewer goods produced will result in higher unemployment. Some of that unemployment will occur in countries where the employed are living at basic subsistance levels. The man who sells the fish soup to the Chinese factory workers before they go to their shift to make the plastic casings for iPads may find himself out of work. If he can't find alternate employment his odds of dying go up – from disease, malnutrition, death after incarceration in a Chinese prison for stealing food, etc.

    RH is right. When you systematically raise the prices of goods you sytematically lower demand. When you lower demand you raise unemployment and that's hazaderous for the health of those who lose their jobs – especially in places where people are working to eat and not much more. Of course, if Al Gore is right then the millions who die as a result of carbon taxes will pale in comparison to the billions who will die when we experience the full brunt of global climate change.

    So, before we make the "millions dead" vs. "billions dead" gamble we'd better be pretty sure of the science. East Anglia's fraud certainly didn't help to clear things up. Neither did Tim Kaine's dismissal of Virginia's chief weather scientist (a global warming sceptic). Seems like we need better facts before we go down too rash a path. All of which is another reason to like Ken Cuccinelli's suit against the government demaning more details on the "science" of global warming.

  46. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Also, just an aside …

    I assume that everybody on this site can see through Obama's stance on offshore drilling. You know, it's good for Virginia and alaska, bad for California and New Jersey…

    It's all about setting the stage for a climate bill later this year. Think carbon cap and trade. Think $250 more per year in Virginia electricity bills. Think bigger federal government writing more regulations to control more of your life.

    Nicaragua is beginning to look better and better as a place to live. The government there completely controlsd the lives of the citizens. It's just that Daniel Ortega admits he's a socialist and Obama hasn't come out of the closet yet.

    This has little to do with offshore drilling and much to do with yet another federal government takeover.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/31/AR2010033100024.html

  47. Larry G Avatar

    can anyone give me the body count in Europe from higher electricity costs?

    question 2.

    why did we heed scientific judgement with regard to the Ozone holes and took action – that cost money ?

    how many people have died from the ban on CFCs?

    Scientist have never proven an absolute clinical connection between cigarettes and Lung Cancer.

    right?

    so.. if we truly doubted the CFC connection to the Climate or truly doubted the cancer connection to Cigarettes and instead accused the scientists of "cooking the books" what would have happened?

    how many folks disbelieve the scientists when they give a tsunami warning even though we know they are often wrong?

    this is pretty silly folks.

    we seem, for some reason to use double standards on these issues.

    No real rhyme or reason as to what we believe or not – because in all cases – all you have is the word of the scientists and never absolute incontrovertible proof – before the fact.

    why do we believe in Ozone Hole warnings and Tsunami warnings but not Global Warming warnings?

    that is the question that I'd like to hear answered by folks like Groveton.

  48. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Well, once again another Anon blew off the Navy's concerns about structures in its training and operating areas. He is 'sure.' I guess the commenter is qualified by experience commanding a vessel underway, huh?

    I guess the Navy's concerns expressed in the NNDP article on Thursday were just a smoke screen.

    It amazes me that the crowd that is suppose to be so strong on National Defense seems quick to sacrifice it for short-term domestic political gains.

    "I'm sure the Navy is capable of conducting exercises in areas where there are obstructions. It would be good practice anyway. I beleive there are oil platforms inthe Middle East.

    Also pretty sure the captain of an AC is not about to allow it to go where its mobility is (more) restricted."

    Not answered is why no drilling in the eastern Gulf where the Navy conducts operations.

    Perhaps since they will be drilling off Jax, then the Navy will not move vessels there; keep your fingers crossed.

    Not answered is when will citizens see road improvements from the oil royalities.

    In my mind, "Drill, Baby, Drill" should really be, "Show Me the Money!" Bosun

  49. Larry G Avatar

    the opposition to drilling ANYWHERE in the area on that basis alone is clearly a ruse.

    I'm quite sure the Navy will lay out the areas they don't want rigs and we'll go from there.

    let's come up with more substantive reasons ….unless someone is thinking the entire east coast is what the Navy wants.

    You know – on all 3 coasts including the Gulf Coasts, we have the Navy and on the gulf – we have platforms.. right?

  50. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "why do we believe in Ozone Hole warnings and Tsunami warnings but not Global Warming warnings?".

    Because the cost to analyze and address global warming is thousands of times greater than the cost to analyze and address tsunamis and ozone holes. Comparing these things is like comparing a doctor prescribing aspirin to a doctor telling a patient that he or she needs to have months of experimental chemotherapy and one of their lungs removed.

    As for the cost of electricity and Europe – you might want to ask the Irish, Portugese, Icelanders, Greeks or Spanish about how well the European model of high taxes, big government and heavy regulation is working with regarrd to the global competitiveness of those countries. In fact, Germany is the only really strong economy in Europe. You want to know why? Because the Germans have the advantage of de-socializing half the country (i.e. the former East Germany). Abandoning the horrific economic failures of centralized planning in East Germany has provided a basis for economic momentum for the now-unified Germany. How ironic that people like LarryG cite Europe like it's a single country without really understanding the complexities of that large and diverse collection of countries.

    All around the world the economic lesson is the same – reduce central government interference and increase the pace of GDP growth. From India's eschewing of socialism to economic liberalization in China to a reduction of government interference in Brazil the pattern is clear. Less central government control = faster growing GDP. How ironic that the United States had the right model for decades only to abandon it now that it is proven correct.

    In economic terms, regulating health care is but a small drop in the bucket compared to regulating energy.

    Once upon a time an Italian named Mussolini promised that increased government control would get the trains to run on time (among other promises). By the time his reign of ruin was over Italy was a bombed out shell of its former self.

    Beware leaders claiming that the central government has all the answers and should have all the power. This has never worked out for the people they govern. Never.

  51. Larry G Avatar

    re: " Because the cost to analyze and address global warming is thousands of times greater"

    yes.. and isn't that the same proposition with regard to potential harm?

    so we have the potential of a true catastrophe but we won't deal with it because of the costs but because the costs of avoiding an equivalent Ozone catastrophe was less so we believe the same scientists who advised us on that but we won't believe them now because it is more costly to fix?

    I'm just asking for a consistency of position here.

    do you change your opinion about whether you believe – or not – according to costs?

    the cost to fix is too high but the costs of a potential catastrophe are not?

    as to the cost of electricity – and a attributable death rate – I'm just asking for a ranked list of countries with cost vs deaths…

    I think you'll find that such a list does not exist – ergo making a case on that basis is less than rational in my view.

    we have billions of people who don't have electricity – at the same time they are overpopulating their habitat – and dying from a lack of food and clean water.

  52. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    as to the cost of electricity – and a attributable death rate – I'm just asking for a ranked list of countries with cost vs deaths…

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

    I don't need the list, all I need is one example.

    Poor people were the ones affected by heat stroke deaths in Detroit, London, Philadelphia and Paris.

    RH

  53. Larry G Avatar

    how many die in Peru, India and Nambia from heat strokes due to a lack of electricity?

    this is such a totally bogus thing here…

    I'd say the majority of the world uses LESS electricity per capita than the folks in Detroit and Loudon – but do they die in greater numbers ?

    nope.

    well.. then what are the data?

    there is no data – only dumb opinions based on anecdotal detritus.

  54. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    but do they die in greater numbers ?

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

    No, everyone dies in the same proportion: 1:1.

    Generally, poor people do it a lot sooner.

    There are a lot of reasons for this, but many of them boil down to unaffordable energy costs.

    RH

  55. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    There are known methods for calclating the probable costs of extrteme events with low probabilities.

    There are known methods for calculating the likelihood that a proposed intervention will work.

    You would not buy an insurance policy for a $200,000 house that costs $400,000. The earth is no different. Even facing a known catastrophe (your house is on fire), you would not spend the money.

    You won't agree with the kinds of numbers produced by such methods. Yu will say they are too subjective and therefore meaningless. Not so: we make similar calculations every day.

    In any case, even a bad number with a known method for gettin g it is better than no number. As soon as you determine the number is wrong you start revising the method used to get it.

    "All models are wrong, but some are useful."

    On the other hand, just using the precautionary principle, we assume that every catastrophe is worth whatever it takes to prevent. Obviously, the more catastrophes we can imagine the less we can afford to spend on each one.

    It is the global equivalent of health care. We know that everyone's heart will stop. We cannot afford to give them all heart transplants.

    It is mathematically impossible to achieve zero risk, or zero pollution, in the real world. We cannot afford to spend an infinite amount on every potential catastrophe. If you demand that this be done you are claiming a superior property right: absolute protection of your property, no matter what it costs everyone else.

    It is a violation of Pareto Efficiency, and bad public ploicy.

    You could, of course guarantee that no one would pollute your property: just eliminate everyone else. As even you can see, this is equivalent to claiming superior property rights.

    Since we cannot fix eerything, we have to prioritize them,and that means we have to set a price.

    RH

  56. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "yes.. and isn't that the same proposition with regard to potential harm?".

    Yes, certainly.

    The Earth colliding with a large meterorite or comet would also have catastrophic consequences for humanity. Maybe we should take 90% of every American's personal wealth and give it to the government in order to build a comet shield. Some might say that the government would use the money to build a powerful new weapons system for use against Earthly opponents rather than heavenly bodies.

    I feel somewhat the same way about climate change. First, I perceive some pretty serious doubts regarding the research – especially in the last 12 months. Second, I question the government's competence to effect major changes to an absolutely crucial input to our economy. Third, it would take all governments working together to make a difference and I am not so sure you'll see countries like China and India participating. Finally, I suspect a hidden agenda – namely, wealth redistribution on a massive and global scale.

  57. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    how many die in Peru, India and Nambia from heat strokes due to a lack of electricity?

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

    How mamy die because they can't afford the fuel for an ambulance, let alone the ambulance?

    "There is a reason fuel is $7.50 in Germany". Fine for Germany. If we "adjust the price", as EMR euphemistically puts it, from $3.00 a gallon to $7.50 what reason will you give to those needing an ambulance in Mumbai.

    Give me a break, Larry, and get real. This argument isn't worth having. Go look at the leg bones of people in those places and look at the joint erosion due to heavy manual labor.

    Hell yes, I think I'll "save fuel" by selling my tractor and buying draft animals so I can join the starving in Somalia.

    RH

  58. Larry G Avatar

    on your doubts – one, two , three…

    how are these the same or different than your doubts about the ozone holes?

    does it basically fall down to how much it costs to deal with something that does not seem to have certain outcome?

    so you're willing to be charged for CFS replacements as basically an affordable hedge bet but the hedge bet on Global Warming is much more costly and apparently some of the same scientists who convinced you about ozone – are now suspect to have hidden socialist agendas?

    How about the National Science Academies. do you trust them?

  59. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    LarryG:

    It is articles like this which make me question the next round in Obama's agenda:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/climate_change_happening_before_your_eyes

    We all saw the disgusting manner in which Congress went about health care reform. Votes bought with new airports, special payments, threats of ethics investigations. Ultimately, Congress passed a bill which nobody had time to read before the vote and nobody understands even today. Our super honest Congres also managed to shovel a completely unrelated takeover of the student loan industry into the final "health care" bill.

    Now, they've started on their next socialist jihad – climate change. They put out the first piece of pork – offshore drilling in Virginia. This is not intended to find oil. It is intended to give Warner and Webb cover for supporting the upcoming climate change legislation. Notice how the offshore drilling decisions did not affect New Jersey and California. Why? Beacuse the residents of those states are opposed to offhore drilling. Thereofore, Obama can't buy any future climate change votes by "allowing" the drilling in those states.

    Meanwhile, neither Obama nor anybody else really knows whether CO2 production is causing serious changes to weather patterns. Just like they don't have any idea whatsoever whether the new health care legislation will reduce the cost of health care in the United States. All they "know" is that the money you earn is really their money and they need a pretense to "allow" you to keep less of "their" money.

    This isn't all that hard.

  60. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "Maybe we should take 90% of every American's personal wealth and give it to the government in order to build a comet shield. "

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

    Thank you.

    If I gave "its only 2 or three percent" to everyone who thinks they have a priorty interest on my property, i'd be around 10 thousand percent in the hole.

    This is what drives the no new taxes types.

    It is why I agree with Groveton that only my local government can tax me: that way I cannot be double and triple taxed onthe same money.

    Then if the state wants money for their priorities, they can negotiate with the county instead of me, individually.

    Let them figure out the priorities among themselves instead of having them assert each and all of their superior property rights against me individually.

    RH

  61. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    there is no data – only dumb opinions based on anecdotal detritus.

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

    You mean like universally approving the precautionary principle?

    RH

  62. Larry G Avatar

    there are myriad reasons why countries at the lower end of the life expectancy rankings have higher death rates.

    the cost of electricity is not one of the major ones especially when you consider that overpopulation IS one of the major causes of food and water shortages – much more basic than electricity.

    If you don't want to have this argument then don't use it in totally bogus ways with regard to energy use and efficiencies.

    the fact that a business can make more widgets with less electricity has absolutely nothing to do with people in France dying because electricity costs more than here.

    so don't use the "people will die" argument in opposition to energy efficiency to start with.

  63. Larry G Avatar

    " We all saw the disgusting manner in which Congress went about health care reform."

    Groveton my man – have you forgot how Bush and Tom Delay pushed through Medicare Part D?

    I'm not arguing that it was right but I AM asking you why you use a double standard and give Bush/DeLay a bye on their corrupt process but knee cap Obama?

    are you a fair-minded person?

    would you rate both Presidents on the same criteria?

    why not?

  64. Larry G Avatar

    " Meanwhile, neither Obama nor anybody else really knows whether CO2 production is causing serious changes to weather patterns. Just like they don't have any idea whatsoever whether the new health care legislation will reduce the cost of health care in the United States. All they "know" is that the money you earn is really their money and they need a pretense to "allow" you to keep less of "their" money."

    did they know any more or less with the Ozone Holes or Medicare Part D?

    Again.. I ask you – why are you worried about Obama right now but you were silent when Bush and company were essentially doing very similar?

    Why are you "worried" not but you were not "worried" when Bush was savaging the budget turning a surplus into a humongous deficit at the same time he was cutting taxes?

    I'm no lover of Obama.. he's got his issues.. but what I see is a totally tilted way of evaluating the two Presidents.

    and why do we have two different standards for rating them?

  65. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Ray – there are so many different ways to innovate that you could never anticipate all of them much less when they'd reach the practical limits of being able to innovate to save energy and labor and other resources.

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

    This is just wishful thinking: Pollyanna at her finest.

    There are many ways, but not an infinite number of ways.

    None of them can violate physics.

    Each incremental one has a higher cost than the last, and it is less useful.

    Entropy is the negative log of work, and that log funtionmeans there is and asymptote, just as the BIA data suggests.

    Thee is no getting around it: we cannot conserve ourselves to infinity, and if we conserve anything, we will use it for something else.

    There will come a time when we expend a million BTU's to get 100,000 BTU's of energy out of the ground. But we will still do it because the price of a million BTU's of coal or wind power will be less than the price of 100,000 BTUs of oil.

    It will be hideously expensive, but we will still do it because it will be cheaper thqant he cost of "conserving" that oil.

    Sorry to bring you the bad news. Sell your perpetual motion machine someplace else.

    RH

  66. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Why are you "worried" not but you were not "worried" when Bush ..

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

    You don't listen, Larry. He just said NO ONE knows.

    Where I depart is that I claim that just because no one KNOWS does not mean that we cannot come up with a best practical estimate, same as we use "best practical technology" for reducing pollution.

    WE use best practical estimate to reduce but not eliminate uncertainty, just as we use best practical technology to reduce but not eliminate pollution.

    RH

  67. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    …overpopulation IS one of the major causes of food and water shortages – much more basic than electricity.

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

    You can convert electricity to food and water. You ae he one that bvelieves in infinite gains through technology, so this should not be a problem.

    But what you have just done is agreed that infinite conservation, whether by efficiency or any other means, is easily overcome by infinite population.

    Conservation means we will have less to supply to those people sooner. We will surely starve when we run up against the edge of the petri dish, but if we attempt to establish a "clear edge" short of the glass rim, all it means is that we will either starve sooner or the conservation effort will fail.

    Unless you believe in perpetual motion machines and making agar out of nothing.

    At the limit, conservation means we have to decide who dies of starvation and who dies of heat stroke, or else, who doesn't get to exist in the first place. It is the ultimate in claiming superior property rights.

    But, instead of spending billions on a futile attempt to achieve infinite renewables we could just reduce the use of one resource that is incredibly cheap: fecundity.

    We won't even have to pass the cost on to our grandchildren, because they won't exist. By not having children I saved more resources than I culd ever save in ten lifetimes with other existing technology.

    Care to accuse me of talking through my hat?

    RH

  68. Larry G Avatar

    " There are many ways, but not an infinite number of ways."

    but many, many more than you are capable of understanding or wrapping your mind around.

    people know much of what you do not. right?

    re: " You don't listen, Larry. He just said NO ONE knows."

    oh but I was listening.

    I ask how you'd know any more or less with Ozone than you might with Climate Change – and WHY you'd respond differently to them if in both cases – you did not know?

    got it?

    why do you pay attention to the scientists who warn about Ozone and you disavow those same scientists telling you about climate change?

    what criteria are you using when you don't know in either case?

  69. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    " We all saw the disgusting manner in which Congress went about health care reform."

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

    Yep, including Republicans sitting on their hands.

    Strange way to keep from getting germs.

    Now the shoe is on the other foot. We will watch Dems and Greens claim that offshore drilling isn't the answer because it won't produce enough to make a difference.

    RH

  70. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    you disavow those same scientists telling you about climate change?

    ===============================
    I never disavowed any such thing.

    All I'm saying is that we just watched the representatives at Copenhagen disagreeing about how costs will be shared.

    We don't even know what they are yet. I'dlike to have some idea of what I'm signing up for before I sign a blank contract.

    You are sying it doesn't matter, everything is priority one if it reduces risk. There is no way to discriminate.

    Which is just about the stupidest thing I ever heard of.

    We WILL discriminate, so we ought to atleast set the standards for determining priorities. Yu have selected the solution without even defining the problem.

    RH

  71. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    According to WaPo article 4/1/10 on recent federal energy report, there are six days of oil off Virginia coast. Six days. So is this drilling an energy plan for the future, or for next week?

  72. Larry G Avatar

    re: " bvelieves in infinite gains through technology,"

    we never said that. what we said was that if one company can fin a way to make just as many widgets with one half the electricity that it won't cause people to die or the country to go broke or GDP to drop.

    energy efficiency INCREASES productivity.

    We use hot water tanks. Europe uses on-demand tankless water heaters.

    Europe uses less electricity for hot water and still bathes just like we do but they use substantially less electricity to do it.

    That's not infinite but rather a continuum – and absolutely no reason to believe that if we adopt that model in this country – that people will "die" and every reason to believe that over the longer run – we too would use less electricity to heat water.

    and people in Nambia won't die either if the US transitions to tankless water heaters.

    all it takes a a smidgen of common sense to see this but apparently it is in short supply at times.

  73. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Mimi, Did the Washington Post say how much *natural gas* is off the Virginia coast? There's a whole lot more gas than oil. Gas is where the big bucks are.

  74. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    From WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/31/AR2010033104207.html
    ———————
    The last study of the Atlantic Ocean by the federal government, conducted two decades ago, estimates that at least 130 million barrels of oil and at least 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could be off Virginia's coast. That's equal to the amount of oil used in six days and the amount of gas used in less than a month in the United States.

  75. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    We are at around 39 parts per billion of atmospheric CO2.

    Suppose it costs only $10 trillion to reduce that to 36 PPM, the next 3 PPM costs $20 trillion, the third reduction costs $40 trillion and the fourth costs $160 trillion, etc.

    What level of CO2 are we willing to pay for?

    RH

  76. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    LarryG:

    Your arguments are typical of the partisan attitude in America that is just killing us a country. Unfortunately, both Bush and Obama are the twisted and hideous products of that partisan attitude.

    Bush's biggest problem was his foreign policy ideology. He felt that America could bring democracy to the world through the barrel of a gun. His ill-conceived invasion of Iraq is the biggest, most painful and hardest-to-fix example of that hubris. However, the american system of checks and balances eventually worked to rein in Bush. Congress and the press pushed him into a corner where his ideology was put in check.

    Obama is every bit as bad as Bush. His ideology is around social justice through wealth redistribution. Bush was willing to make up weapons of mass destruction to futher his personal vision of spreading American style democracy around the world. Obama too is willing to tell any lie, pay any bribe to put the central government in an all powerful position from which it can redistribute wealth. Like Bush, he needs lies to cover his real agenda beacuse he knows the American people would reject his worldview if it were ever honestly exposed. Unlike Bush Obama has too few checks and balances on his megalomania. The Democrats have too big a majority in Congress and the mainstream media is largely composed of self-described elites who share Obama's belief that they are far smarter than the majority of Americans and, therefore, ought to control the country for the good of us all. Sadly, the US Supreme Court has stopped being the protector of the US Constitution and become (since the days of Earl Warren) just another enabler of the "government knows best" fallacy. The separation of power among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government is presently at an all time low. This allows idealogues like Barack Obama too much power.

    Yet, he ultimate chack and balance to an overly powerful central government was meant to be the separation of power between the federal government and the states. Even in times like these, when one idealogical juggernaut monopolizes control of the federal government, the states were supposed to make most of the rules. Yet, that too has been bastardized by the self-proclaimed elites. The three branches of the federal government have fuse together to become a three-headed monster bent on forcing the American people to their narrow and elitist wordview. They have subverted the constitution and are perpetuating a fraud against American democracy. This is the case whether it's trying to spread democracy through force with the artifice of fictional WMDs of trying to spread the wealth through the artifice of fictional cost savings in a wealth distribution plan intentionally mislabeled health care reform.

  77. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    we never said that.

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

    I think that is what you said in so many words: more innovation than I can dream of.

    As mimi points out, it doesn't amtter how much you get, you will use it all up. Efficiency and innovation increases use, not diminishes it.

    You are right: no one will starve or freeze because someone else conserved, but it is a meaningless statement.

    Those that freeze or starve will be the ones that cannot afford the price, whether that is a free market price or an adjusted price, and no amount of conservation will save them.

    Conservationists refuse to face this rather stark ethical choice, and yet they force ethical decisions every day.

    WE force GE to dredge the Hudson and we BELIEVE this reduces rather than increases the risk of PCB poisoning, and we BELIEVE this reduction costs less than any other poison control we can think of.

    Nah. If that was he case I'd sign up for it, no matter how shaky the numbers. If they are the best we've got, so be it.

    Instead, What we really believe is that GE has deep pockets and we can raid them at no cost to ourselves.

    RH

  78. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "That's equal to the amount of oil used in six days and the amount of gas used in less than a month in the United States."

    We all ASSUME that domestic production will be for domestic use, right?

    What if the Saudis offer usa higher price and put the oil in their own strategic reserve?

    Would we sell our oil to the highest bidder?

    RH

  79. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Please don't use my 6-day post to shore up a cockamamie argument against conservation. Conservation is an important part of any responsible energy plan.

  80. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    My gut feeling is that some redistribution is in order.

    WE could stop arguing about it if we could agree on what ratios are appropriate for the fist through fifthe quitile plus the top 1%.

    What is an appropriate ratio for line workers vs CEOs?

    How much wealthier than the rest of us is the richest man if he has 25 billion vs 50 billion?

    An average joe today can by and average car with 4 months of pay, in 1950 it might have been four years of pay. OK, so we are better off.

    Now do the same calculation for CEO's and not only is it measured in minutes. But the ratio of change is much higher.

    You cannot scare the guys at the bottom with a threat of socialism.
    And the wealth gap is making more and more of those in the middle feel closer to the bottom than the top.

    EVery new regulation we get is one of two things:

    Brought on by the excessive behavior of someone os some company previously

    or

    Invented as another means to erect a barrier behind those already in the markt.

    RH

  81. Larry G Avatar

    well I'll give Mimi my view of the 4 days and that is that the 4 days may or may not be true but that's really not a point that is going to resonate with enough of the public to make a difference and, in fact, it's really just the same old, same old, polarizing of the issues.

    Right now, Mimi and I and others are directly responsible for blowing the tops off of mountains in WVA.. destroying the valleys and at the same time putting enough mercury in the air to poison much of the fish in our rivers to the point where we have health advisories to not eat them if you are a child or a pregnant women.

    What will we do about it?

    What some environmentalists are perceived to be saying right now is that no option is acceptable except the one where we all use 1/2 as much electricity and pay twice as much as for it – and even if that argument is 100% correct – it will not gain the support of the public.

    so throwing down the gauntlet on this issue is just going to further polarize and further entrench those who hate the environmental folks and everything they stand for.

    I think the environmentalists do have a responsibility be forward looking even if it means moving forward in 1/2 loaf increments.

    We have too many people already whose basic attitude is "my way or the highway" and "when our guy gets into office -he's going to do things like they oughta be done"

    Obama made a very important statement in my view and the environmental community would do well to take it to heart.

  82. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I am for conservation. I'm an environmental scientist and environmental/energy economist by training.

    What I'm opposed to is false advertising: making promises conservation cannot keep.

    Nothing will get us less conservation faster than charlatans inventing, spreading, and preaching nonsense.

    All I asked was, who are we going to sell our months worth of Petroleum to, and for how much?

    The answer will reveal a lot about how we feel about free markets, protectionsism, socialism, property rights, subsidies, and social welfare.

    You know, all that stuff conservationists pretend to either love or hate.

    As I've said before, "my cockamaie ideas" are neither mine nor unusual.

    RH

  83. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    … gauntlet… important statement….

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

    Bingo, Being reasonable is not the same as beating a retreat or being a traitor.

    Red and Blue and Green and Brown partisans need to figure this out.

    RH

  84. Larry G Avatar

    I'm weary of the partisans on both sides.

    I'm sick of both sides wanting a whole loaf and not willing to give an inch

    Our leaders are not different from us – they actually reflect us and right now we are so polarized that we're essentially in a stalemate.

    Obama went for the 1/2 loaf.. an olive branch..

    he has to..

    things are so bad that most of the Republicans have stated publically that they're not going to cooperate on ANY legislation.

    Someone has to try to break the impasse…

    The President is the leader of the country – he's doing his best (in my view) and even though I pretty much agree with Mimi's basic point – I'm with Obama in hopes that we are able to move forward…

    I did not vote for this guy to get into office and to ignore the opposition.

    Right now, I think he's more of a man than much of the opposition and I'm looking forward for him to engage the opposition and find ways forward if possible.

    If allowing drilling is a potential path – I'm all for it.

  85. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Ok, RH, that's not how I interpreted the thrust of your post (paraphrasing–conservation=good but how much do we get for it?) but I'll take your word for it.

    When I heard this drilling news, my thoughts went along these lines–especially when I saw the jaw-dropping estimate about how much oil/nat. gas they estimate is actually in the Atlantic–there's a risk to drilling, and an enormous cost–is it worth it? And why is it the first place we jump to? Why aren't we hearing news about a serious partnership with, just for instance, Shai Agassi–of Better Place–who is re-thinking the approach to electric vehicles and the energy grid? Talk about an innovator. When I read this article: http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/16-09/ff_agassi?currentPage=all I wanted to quit my job and go work for him.

  86. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Looking at taxes as a percentage of GDP may mislead us into thinking we can increase tax revenue more than we actually can. For some purposes, a better statistic may be taxes per person, which we can compute using this piece of advanced mathematics:

    Taxes/GDP x GDP/Person = Taxes/Person

    Here are the results for some of the largest developed nations:

    France: .461 x 33,744 = 15,556. Germany: .406 x 34,219 = 13,893. UK: .390 x 35,165 = 13,714> US: .282 x 46,443 = 13,097. Canada: .334 x 38,290 = 12,789. Italy: .426 x 29,290 = 12,478. Spain: .373 x 29,527 = 11,014. Japan: .274 x 32,817 = 8,992

    The bottom line: The United States is indeed a low-tax country as judged by taxes as a percentage of GDP, but as judged by taxes per person, the United States is in the middle of the pack.

    From Greg Mankiw

  87. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    OK, according to the Washington Post (via Mimi) there's enough gas off Virginia's coast to meet the country's needs for about a month. Gee, that doesn't sound like a whole lot. Why go to all the trouble?

    You can apply that logic to *any* natural gas development project *anywhere*. Gee, drilling the Marcellus shale deposits in Tennessee will supply total U.S. natural gas needs for *only* three months (I made up the number for purposes of illustration), so we shouldn't bother. If you apply that logic across all 50 states, you could manage to take 10 or 20 years of potential natural gas production off the market. I'm sorry, I just don't buy it.

    For the record, Mimi, since you are new to the blog: I am a huge advocate of energy conservation — and not just the usual weatherproofing stuff. I believe we need to engage in "deep" conservation, which entails fundamental reform of our transportation system and human settlement patterns. I happen to think we need to avail ourselves of all potential sources of conservation and energy to dig ourselves out of the hole we're in… with one proviso… that we invest in projects that offer a competitive economic Return on Investment, not because someone's lobbyist finagled a bigger subsidy or tax break than someone else's lobbyist.

  88. Larry G Avatar

    Mimi – do you know where the electricity for plug-in cars will come from?

    It'l come from more mountain tops blasted off and more airborne mercury pollution.

    Are 'we' in favor of more mountaintop mining and more mercury in our rivers and fish?

    are we in favor of trading oil/gasoline for more mountaintop mining?

    these are questions that I find troubling…

    what should an environmentalist support?

    Could an environmentalist in good conscience support more mountain-top mining for "clean" electric cars?

    I'm interesting in knowing folks thoughts on this.

  89. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    LarryG,
    Yes, anything humans do is polluting the earth. It's a greener outcome to take the Metro to work for one day/week than it is to purchase and drive your Prius to work every day.

    In admiring the work of Agassi, I'm taking the position that the most critical thing we can do is get off oil. And the biggest way we consume oil is by driving our cars w/ the internal combustion engine.

  90. Larry G Avatar

    I'd only point out that we have very large internal combustion engines producing electricity – really no differently that a hybrid burning gasoline produces electricity for the electric engine.

    the only difference is fuel.

    you could have a hybrid car than runs on natural gas or propane rather than a batter recharged by a coal-power plant – right?

    NG and Propane are cleaner than gasoline and coal – and apparently plentiful comparatively.

    If I had to choose – and I do feel like we do – then I'd choose what appears to be the least of the bad choices and pick NG/Propane hybrids or Solar-recharged plug-ins over coal-powered or gasoline-powered solutions.

    Coal is by far – by far – much worse as a fuel than any of the others including gasoline in my view.

    and we don't get rid of coal – basically – because we cannot agree as a society what to use instead so we go right on using what is pretty clearly the worst of the choices.

  91. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "My gut feeling is that some redistribution is in order.".

    That's been obvious for some time now. Perhaps you could get your friend Obama to be as honest about his interest in redistribution. It seems obvious to me, in retrospect, that Joe the Plumber was right.

    "WE could stop arguing about it if we could agree on what ratios are appropriate for the fist through fifthe quitile plus the top 1%.".

    Quartiles and percentiles are ratios. Presumably you want to set wealth limits within the ratios. Congratulations! You have passed Obama from Socialism to Communism.

    "What is an appropriate ratio for line workers vs CEOs?".

    What is an appropriate ratio for fans vs professional athletes or fans vs. professional entertainers? Or, in your world, would the government regulate the incomes of typically-conservative CEOs but not typically-liberal movie producers? If you want to regulate the wealth of everybody then I call "dibs" on being the person to call Michael Moore and Jane Fonda to give them the good news. What about silver spoon inheritance kiddos? Cause I want to call the Kennedys eeven more that Jane Fonda with that happy thought.

    "How much wealthier than the rest of us is the richest man if he has 25 billion vs 50 billion?".

    The richest man in the world is a Mexican named Carlos Slim. Would you propose that we invade Mexico in order to reistribute some of Senior Slim's money? You are starting to sound like Bush.

    "An average joe today can by and average car with 4 months of pay, in 1950 it might have been four years of pay. OK, so we are better off.".

    If the average Joe is better off … why do we need to redistribute wealth?

    "Now do the same calculation for CEO's and not only is it measured in minutes. But the ratio of change is much higher.".

    I see. The United States should move from equality of opportunity to equality of outcome. Somewhere in the depths of hell Karl Marx is smiling.

    "You cannot scare the guys at the bottom with a threat of socialism.".

    Tell that to the militiamen Obama rounded up in Michigan earlier this week.

    "And the wealth gap is making more and more of those in the middle feel closer to the bottom than the top.".

    I thought that the average Joe was buying his car 12X faster now than in the 50s.

  92. Larry G Avatar

    "redistribution" – that's sort of a bomb-throwing word these days one step down from "class warfare".

    The ultimate income redistribution in the history of the world is bar none – public schools where they take thousands of dollars from people who do not have kids for an entirely socialistic purpose.

    It's the first major step on that very slippery slope, eh?

    so the entire concept of a govt plan to produce and nurture and maintain a middle class is getting in the middle of the natural order that preceding the invention of America.

    Does all of this justify income redistribution?

    I dunno but I can tell you that this is not an original idea with this Prez or many other Prez and – most of Europe and Japan.. Australia and Japan.

    Heck.. as soon as we talk about making you put in a septic tank – we're decided to take your money for a benefit for others, right?

    Somehow.. we've gotten into some really stupid ideology with regard to this subject as of ate.. I guess everyone has noticed…

    When we decide to get rid of public schools, as the first necessary step in rolling back income redistribution, you'll get my attention.

  93. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Jim Bacon,
    You know, I covered the last big push to drill off of Virginia in the late 1970s when I worked for The Virginian-Pilot. Then the moratorium came in.
    But you have to ask yourself, why hasn't there been more obvious Big Oil interest in the Mid-Atlantic. There certainly is in Alaska and the Gulf (a true hotspot). But name one oil firm that is raring to go in the Baltimore Canyon or elswehere.
    Obama is cynically throwing the GOP a bone here get more going on CO2.

    Peter Galuszka

  94. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Another thought occurred to me in reading up on the Atlantic Ocean drilling articles–an official said, "It will be offshore 50 miles–too far for the naked eye to see".

    Reminded me that if you drive through West Virginia looking for the shorn-off mountain tops, you won't see them–because they are just beyond sight of the highways.

  95. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    I know Shai Agassi reasonably well. He's an impressive guy. Very young entrepeneur with Top Tier, very senior executive with SAP and now back on the entrepreneurial band wagon.

    Shai is all about the money. I say that with respect. He is the capitalist's capitalist. His ability to synthesize different things into a cohesive picture is amazing. But he works for the money – not because he's a do gooder. And that's all good.

    Show me a way to incent guys like Shai to pursue their own enlightened self-interest and help the environment at the same time and you'll convince me. Right now, he's doing just that without carbon cap and trade. I'd guess that he has factored the liklihood of some kind of carbon regulation into his economic equation. That's what capitalists do.

    However, if Shai succeeds and makes lots of money LarryG will come by and want to take it away. You see, in Larry-world Shai's brilliance, hard work, unbelievable risk taking and positive outcome for his investors wouldn't justify a high percentile reward.

    Mimi – Shai is on Facebook. If you want to work for him – write on his wall and tell him so. But you won't have much time to attend those progressive tax meetings you like. And you'll need to get very fond of airline food. You'll also need some thick skin. Shai doesn't suffer fools or foolish ideas gladly. At one point in the Wired article Shai looked at someone "like they were an idiot". LOL. That's Shai.

  96. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "The ultimate income redistribution in the history of the world is bar none – public schools where they take thousands of dollars from people who do not have kids for an entirely socialistic purpose.".

    I've got to get you some remedial history classes. Here are just a few bigger redistributions throughout history:

    1. Hitler's siezure of Jewish assets.

    2. The US income tax legislation passed in 1913. Yes, before 1913 there was no personal income tax in the US.

    3. Fidel Castro's taking of private property in 1959.

  97. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "It's a greener outcome to take the Metro to work for one day/week than it is to purchase and drive your Prius to work every day." According to a good friend of my who worked at USDOT during the Clinton administration as an SES manager, this is not always true. Except when all rail cars are full, using Metro rail generates more greenhouse gases (assuming arguendo that CO2 is a pollutant) than driving most internal combustion vehicles.

    I'd guess a Prius would win many times even during evening rush.

    TMT

  98. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Peter – "Obama is cynically throwing the GOP a bone here get more going on CO2." While I like the policy change, I think that you are correct. While I think the President is in over his head, he is, nevertheless, a very smart man.

    TMT

  99. Larry G Avatar

    " However, if Shai succeeds and makes lots of money LarryG will come by and want to take it away. You see, in Larry-world Shai's brilliance, hard work, unbelievable risk taking and positive outcome for his investors wouldn't justify a high percentile reward."

    actually the opposite.

    I just anyone who advocates plug-in cars as a modern "green" technology is actually NOT tuned in to the issues.

    Some who delve in the plug-in car world know the problem – others think without thinking.

    There's no easy answer to the car/energy deal.

    Plug-IN cars that run on coal are not very "green" – just another mirage for the hopeful.

    GOOGLE got this right in my view. The advocate plug-in cars with solar-roofed carports where the carport put's electricity into the grid during the day and you get it back at night.

    but the bottom line is that plug-in cars are going to be very expensive both cost and pollution-wise for a while.

  100. Larry G Avatar

    greatest social program in the history of the world

    Oh.. I think if you add up the costs of public schools worldwide since they first came into existence that they'd be right up there with the examples that Grovteon cited.

    But it's not the money spent that is the issue.

    It WHY the money was spent.

    It was spent for a SOCIAL purpose and it involve income redistribution to make it happen.

    that's all.. just fess up to what it is – and is not.

    the next greatest social program for health care in this country was EMTALA that basically said than anyone who needs medical care can show up at an ER – without citizenship papers or insurance card and they cannot be turned away.

    How much "free" medical care has been given away in this country since 1986?

    that would be an interesting number but again – it's not the number – it's the purpose – which is your plain ordinary run of the mill income redistribution from the folks who have insurance to the folks who do not.

    All I ask is that no matter which side of the issue you are on – at the least recognize the truth….and fold that into your own view of how things should work or not.

    I see Universal Health care like I do public schools and EMTALA – and so I assert that my position is perfectly consistent with no cherry picking of what kind of social programs I personally like and support and which ones I don't like.

    I say that all of them are social programs – and once we cross the line of educating all kids and treating all ER patients, we are just fooling ourselves on the other related issues.

    Deal with the realities…

  101. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "Except when all rail cars are full, …."

    I have made this argument here and been roundly trounced for it.

    I have three ways to look at this.

    1) The average load factor argument: cars very seldom go anywhere empty, but Metro does. The trade off is parking for cars vs repositiong of railcars (essentially parking them in motion). Arguments in favor of rail inevitably hinge on unrealistc load factors.

    2) Total costs per passenger mile.

    Even if you assume unpaid costs for road consruction and repair many tansit agencies don't look so hot. A passenger mile on Loundoun County buses cost almost three times what it costs me, last time I looked. I argue that dollar costs represent resources costs, so when you ride Metro you have to absorb the resource costs of all those night time tack inspectors that you pay for.

    (I suspect that arguing unpaid subsidies for road costs is bogus. We nearly all ride in cars, so we must be paying the road costs, one way or another.) Arguments in favor of transit frequently use a hypothetical peak load that is seldom realized.

    3) The full equivalence argument or systems argument.

    You always get a seat in the car, and a seatbelt, and probably an airbag. What would transit cost if standees were not allowed? Then compare the full costs, door to door. Autos always win this comaprison because they eliminate the cost of one entire system: the train or bus. Very seldom can a transit trip fully eliminate the auto portion of the trip, and it is always slower. If you are really paranoid, there are issues of safety, disease, and terrorism.

    I like Metro, I just dislike false advertising.

    RH

  102. Larry G Avatar

    well… how much region-wide network capacity would you have to add to accommodate the METRO load?

    this is one of those deals where you can rightly point out the inefficiencies of metro but can you point to a more cost-effective non-metro system?

    I don't think so. you might be able to add some capacity on some selected roads but you'll not have a snowballs chance of adding overall network capacity sufficient to handle the diverted METRO loads.

  103. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "that we invest in projects that offer a competitive economic Return on Investment, …"

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

    Me too. What seems to frost people here is that I point out from a systems viewpoint how hard it is to get a true ROI.

    Where I part form Bacon and EMR is that I don't see how you ever get a positive ROI from re-arranging entire cities just so they can be served by transit. This is the mother of all subsidies and market interferences.

    Furthermore, I submit that a net positive ROI is necessary but insufficient: ideally it will be the best ROI among all alternatives, otherwise you are favoring some people's property over others, then given a positive ROI, there are distribution issues to address.

    RH

  104. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "And the wealth gap is making more and more of those in the middle feel closer to the bottom than the top.".

    I thought that the average Joe was buying his car 12X faster now than in the 50s.

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

    I don't know the exact numbers, but I would submit that even though the average joe is buying his car 12 times faster, the average executive could buy his car 120 times faster, and it is a nicer car.

    And, he doesn't have to buy it, it is a company perk.

    Compared to him the average guy feels closer and closer to the bottom. Rich guys can wail all they want, but they are going to have a hard sell.

    RH

  105. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    RH says:

    “I am for conservation. I'm an environmental scientist and environmental/energy economist by training.”

    Before that he said:

    “An average joe today can by and average car ($27,958) with 4 months of pay ($11,648)…”

    How does Joe do that? He cannot do it, RH is off by a factor of 2.4.

    “… in 1950 it might have been four years of pay.”

    Please find us the 1950 numbers and show that is the case. We doubt it.

    “OK, so we are better off.”

    Not really.

    Mimi said:

    “In admiring the work of Agassi, I'm taking the position that the most critical thing we can do is get off oil. And the biggest way we consume oil is by driving our cars w/ the internal combustion engine.”

    Wrong. The best and fastest way to any First World Region off oil is to change human settlement patterns so that most trips for Urban citizens do not require a Large, Private Vehicle as Professor Risse documented years ago. Some high value trips by shared-vehicles, most trips by foot or mini-car, a few by Large, Private Vehicles.

    Agassi has an idea to make money, not a way to provide Mobility and Access to Urban citizens in a sustainable way.

    Observer

  106. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Peter, I don't know if the oil majors will drill for Virginia oil/gas or not. That's not the point. The point is to open it up and see what level of interest there is. If there's no interest, nothing has been lost.

    As for the O-man throwing Republicans a bone in exchange for CO2 limits, you're probably right. A rare instance in which Peter G and Groveton would agree with each other.

  107. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    RH stepped into it now! He says:

    “The average load factor argument: cars very seldom go anywhere empty, but Metro does.”

    Yes indeed and that is why Dr. Risse says that there must be station-area Balance AND there must be system wide Balance so that is why he started saying in the 80s that METRO is failing because “most of the trains leave most of the stations most of the time essentially empty.” Shared vehicle systems that pay for themselves out of the fare box NEVER do that.

    “… Arguments in favor of rail inevitably hinge on unrealistic load factors.”

    That is often true, that is why Balance and settlement patterns are so important.

    Thank you for making Risse’s point.

    AZA

  108. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    well… how much region-wide network capacity would you have to add to accommodate the METRO load?

    this is one of those deals where you can rightly point out the inefficiencies of metro but can you point to a more cost-effective non-metro system?

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

    It is a two edged sword. Can we honestly say that Metro has reduced the need for more auto capacity?

    My position is that it is unfair to recognize your position without recognizing the other. Lets figure out where those arguments conflict and resolve or factor the differences. Both sides have some truth. Lets figure out what that is and scrap the self serving crap. That is partisanship that leads to waste and inefficiency.

    Partisanship is not green. Not even Green partisanship.

    What we know is that every time someone rides the Metro it does NOT eliminate one car trip. Various studies suggest the multiple is from 2.5 to as much as 5 to one.

    One seat on a new Metro car costs $50,000. That makes it eleven times more expensive than a seat in a Prius. Just for the vehicle.

    If it takes three Metro trips to eliminate one car trip, then that metro seat is 33 times as expensive as a prius.

    The metro rider is paying 2/3 of his operating costs and none of his capital costs. And it is no wonder we have to pay him to ride Metor, which seat would you rather sit in, really (if you get one)? The prius driver pays all his capital and operating expenses, and he contributs to Metro as well.

    If that doesn't convince you, find all the prius drivers in the Metro area and figure out their total deficit. I'll bet It won't equal the deficit accounted for by one Metro train.

    Obviously this is one sided and I have not considered externalities, but it at least suggests that we cannot accept blindly the idea that Metro or any transit is automatically green. Really, Metro doesn't even have regenerative braking, or double tracks. What were they thinking?

    RH

  109. Larry G Avatar

    just tell me where the 800,000 mostly rush hour trips are going to be put on the road grid.

    that would be the cost that you're talking about.

    those who do believe that METRO is a waste of money an that roas could do the job cheaper – ALWAYS have that option to convince the powers that be.

    so no one is accepting "blindly". They made their calculations and chose METRO.

    Opponents are free to make their case and if their case is substantiative then it will be taken quite seriously.

    Bus Rapid transit has been often touted but it has that network problem.

    getting someone from GreenBelt to Loudoun in a bus at rush hour would be no mean feat.

    you act like the folks who decided to build METRO are boobs who never made the required trade-offs to justify their decisions.

    But they did. You don't agree but you don't provide compelling data to prove your point so what are people to believe? The folks who built it or you?

  110. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “… Arguments in favor of rail inevitably hinge on unrealistic load factors.”

    That is often true, that is why Balance and settlement patterns are so important.

    Thank you for making Risse’s point.

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

    This is the kind of nonsense partisanship I'm talking about. These idiots assume I'm against them jsut because I point out problems in their statements.

    You can have balance and still not have the density required to get good load factors.

    As long as we go to work in the morning and home at night the cars going one way will always be mostly empty: 50% load factor at best, and it goes down from there.

    The stations at the end of the line get fewer travelers,and so on.

    If you have balance on the macro scale you will have an equal number of passengers going both directions. But if that is the case, why go back and forth? Just change jobs with a guy going to where you are coming from, or swap houses: if we do it perfectty everyone can walk from home. And then we don't need Metro.

    Excuse me while I find my looking glass.

    Balance is a dynamic condition, not a static one. We need autos and roads and bike paths and even some transit. But once we put those down, they are pretty much fixed. The only way you get balance is to try to move the jobs and homes around with respect to the transportation.

    WE own the transportation system but we do not own the homes or jobs (Well, NOW we own a lot of homes, too. Might be an opportunity to creat more balance. Take all the WS/WL homes and just tear them down.) You see the problem, we start screwing around with other peoples property they will expect to be paid for thier losses.

    We have a lot more homes in more locations than jobs, so the easy inexpensive thing to do is move the jobs.

    Somehow I doubt that is Risses point.

    RH

  111. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    AZA – This is not an argument, but a legitimate question. Where does "station-area Balance" and "system wide Balance" exist, either exactly or close enough such that shared vehicles operate efficiently all of the time? It would be easier to understand and agree or disagree rationally if there is an example or two of where balance exists or did exist at some point in history.

    If there are no examples of balance (or at least relative balance), either from the present or the past, how can you be so sure the concept works?

    TMT

  112. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    that is why he started saying in the 80s that METRO is failing because “most of the trains leave most of the stations most of the time essentially empty.” Shared vehicle systems that pay for themselves out of the fare box NEVER do that.

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

    Right. So one conclusion is that we should move every home and every job to achieve balance and subsidize the Metro.

    The other conclusion is that it has been failing for thirty years and will continue to fail. The most basic premises and arguments for bulding it were wrong and oversold. We should gradually shut it down and give up, or we should accept the costs, treat it like a public park and make the entrances free.

    Metro is incrasing fares and reducing services. Evidently they are introducing the death spiral as a way to gradually shut it down.

    RH

  113. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    just tell me where the 800,000 mostly rush hour trips are going to be put on the road grid.

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

    Someplace where the road gvrid is not maked out? Someplace that needs more jobs instead of a place that has too many?

    Where would they have happened if we had never subsidised them with Metro?

    Charlotte Maybe? Knoxville? Warrenton? Fredericksburg?

  114. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    If there are no examples of balance (or at least relative balance), either from the present or the past,

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

    We used to call them factory towns, but that kind of paternalism fell out of favor.

    Father Risse is selling a different flavor of gumball, that's all.

    RH

  115. Larry G Avatar

    oddly enough, I actually agree with the point that Ray makes about the loading being dynamic and the serious flow to public transit is the inability to adapt to the changing loads.

    I doubt seriously if we're ever going to see any METRO system anywhere in the world that does not have twice daily rush hours unless EMR and AZA can convince the business world to convert to coordinated 24 hr swing shifts.

    this is the essential problem whether you're dealing with automobiles or passenger trains – and that is the work day that starts for most people in the morning and ends for most in the late afternoon.

    But business will never operate on coordinated 24-hr swing shifts because business is commerce and commerce requires both parties present for most transactions that seldom occur at 3 a.m. and thus seldom need a car or a train at that hour.

    The car sits in the garage at 3 a.m. and only fire up at the moment they will be driven at which point they will be occupied.

    A METRO Car sits empty waiting for the train to pull out and many stay empty until the height of rush hour at which point cars that were empty at 4am or standing room only at 7am.

    However, Ray is wrong about rush hour.

    METRO not only takes 800,000 people off the roads but many at rush hour.

    If you tried to increase the network capacity of the beltway and environs by 800,000 rush hour trips.. it would be ungodly expensive..heavily polluting and just like the METRO cars – mostly empty outside of rush hours.

    the transportation/settlement pattern fly in the ointment is rush hour.

  116. Larry G Avatar

    your turn – where in the entire world – did we create more places to deal with the rush hour issue – as an explicit strategy that actually did solve the problem?

    your answer please.

  117. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    those who do believe that METRO is a waste of money an that roas could do the job cheaper – ALWAYS have that option to convince the powers that be.

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

    The argument I've been making is that both sides are spinning rater than looking for real, cost effective solutions.

    We have built Metro and it isn't going away. How do we use it best and cheapest?

    Meanwhile we still have a highway transportaton problem. How do we fix that best and cheapest?

    It isn't an either or solution, so how do we merge the answers effectively.

    RH

  118. Larry G Avatar

    re: company towns and standardized rush hour.

    I would point everyone here to the concept of a commuter bus.

    These critters only operate at rush hour.

    At other times of the day, they are not running around empty – they are parked.

    Same Deal with Vans. Go to most any commuter lot at 6 p.m. and take a gander at dozens of parked vans ..that will at 5-6 a.m. be loaded and headed up te road.

    Commuter rail does this also – but at a cost of about 3-5 times what the van/bus costs.

  119. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    the transportation/settlement pattern fly in the ointment is rush hour.

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

    Lets outlaw work.

    You cannot point at anyone thing and say this is the problem. it is the one thing EMR has right: everything is connected.

    But he assumes a fixed solution and ignores the tradeoffs and the flux.

  120. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    the serious flow to public transit is the inability to adapt to the changing loads.

    =================================
    It is a flaw to roads , too. Once we build it there it is.

    Just try to imagine a Metro system that does everything cars do in all the places cars serve.

    Now try to tell me how cost effective Metro is. It can't be done. Even EMR devolves to personal rapid transit: individual shared cars, limited to tracks.

    In five years we will be able to program our GPS to do that,and avoid all other vehicles perfectly. We will eliminate traffic lights and manage 25 MPH right angle intersection zippers.

    Work with what you've got and already invested in.

    RH

  121. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Commuter rail does this also – but at a cost of about 3-5 times what the van/bus costs.

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

    It is Easter, and hope springs eternal. Maybe we can learn something from all the agony.

    RH

  122. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "Plug-IN cars that run on coal are not very "green" – just another mirage for the hopeful."

    Thomas the Tank Engine runs on coal. Electric cars run on … electricity (well, batteries actually but they, in turn, run on electricity).

    Let's do some basic math (and I really need to build a better model which I will publish on my blog once built).

    Assumptions:

    1. Burning a gallon of gasoline in an internal combustion engine produces about 20 pounds of CO2.

    2. The average passenger car in the United States gets about 22 miler per gallon.

    3. An electric car requires 12 KWh to recharge after a 50 mile trip.

    4. The amount of CO2 generated per KWh varies greatly by state. The high is 2.24 pounds per KWh in North Dakota. The low is an almost unbelievable .03 pounds in both Idaho and Vermont. The US average is 1.34 pounds.

    Let's do some math…

    1. Average passenger car (includes weighted average of hybrids and non-hybrids). 20 pounds of CO2 per 22 miles. Or, 0.9 pounds of CO2 per mile driven.

    2. Electric car (average case) – 12Kwh per 50 miles driven or 0.24 KWh per mile. On average it takes 1.34 pounds of CO2 to generate 1 KWh so the electric car emits 0.32 pounds of CO2 per mile.

    3. Electric car (best case) – 0.24 Kwh per mile times .03 pounds per Kwh = .0072 pounds of CO2 per mile. At this level I would guess that driving a car would be greener than walking given the extra CO2 generated by walking vs sitting.

    4. Electric car (worst case) – 0.24 Kwh per mile times 2.24 pounds of CO2 per Kwh = .5376 pounds of CO2 per mile driven.

    My big worry in this very fast and dirty analysis is the 12 KWh per 50 miles for an electric car. It is from a single, unofficial data point. The remaining data is from various US government agencies and (I believe) pretty accurate.

    Anybody who sees a flaw in this analysis – please let me know.

  123. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    This will be my last post on BaconsRebellion. I will be leaving my present employer and going to work for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In this capacity I cannot publicly comment on political issues. Gov. McDonnell has announced my appointment in a new, full time position within the state government – Director of Efficiency. I have a number of plans for change which I will be pursuing in my new role. I am particularly interested in moving the state capital from Richmond to a more cost – effective location, possibly outside the United States. Gov. McDonnell told me that this will take considerable political will power but in the current economic environment everything is on the table.

    Thanks to all of you for your support over the years.

  124. Tobias Jodter Avatar
    Tobias Jodter

    Overall, efficiency does not lead to less use of resources, but rather more use.

    That is because efficiency makes each use more "profitable".

    …snipping…

    Furthermore, efficiency has a finite physical limit. Each gain in efficiency costs you more than the last gain. The energy information administration data you quoted curves up towards the right and eventually goes asymptotic.

    ———————————-

    This is the most profound statement(s) in this particular thread (which, btw, RH has totally owned if we would all be honest). Can you recommend any further reading on this analysis????

  125. Larry G Avatar

    " An EV recharged from the existing US grid electricity emits about 115 grams of CO2 per kilometer driven (6.5 oz(CO2)/mi), whereas a conventional US market gasoline powered car emits 250 g(CO2)/km (14 oz(CO2)/mi).[19] The savings are questionable relative to hybrid or diesel cars, (according to official British government testing the most efficient European market cars are well below 115 grams of CO2 per kilometer driven), but would be more significant in countries with cleaner electric infrastructure. In a worst case scenario where incremental electricity demand would be met exclusively with coal, a 2009 study conducted by the WWF, World Wildlife Foundation, and IZES found that a mid-size EV would emit roughly 200 g(CO2)/km (11 oz(CO2)/mi), compared with an average of 170 g(CO2)/km (9.7 oz(CO2)/mi) for a gasoline powered compact car.[20] This study concluded that introducing 1 million EV cars to Germany would, in the best case scenario, only reduce CO2 emissions by 0.1%, if nothing is done to upgrade the electricity infrastructure or manage demand.[20]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car#Carbon_dioxide_emissions

    this above calculation does not take into account the mountaintop destruction nor the airborne mercury pollution.

    more evidence:

    " Plug-in cars could actually increase air pollution"

    " If large numbers of plug-in hybrids were being recharged with power from the least-sophisticated coal plants, "There is a possibility for significant increases of soot and mercury," says a report by environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council. Soot particles can make it hard to breathe, especially for asthmatics. Mercury is toxic."

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/environment/2008-02-25-plug-in-hybrids-pollution_N.htm

    What I'm saying here – is lets recognize the realities – explicitly on the front end and not an "oh oh" after the fact.

    There are no easy solutions here.

    Coal is cheaper than any other fuel by far but it is also by far the most polluting.

  126. Larry G Avatar

    Groveton going to work for the Clown Show in Richmond?

    ha ha ha…

    of course he did pull back from the Clown Show rhetoric…but then again today is April 1.

  127. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    TMT:

    In response to your question:

    As I recall Professor Risse said once his inspiration for the idea of station-area Balance came from discussions with the director of the Wien (Vienna) transit system in the early 80s. That is also where he got the idea for the U Shaped Curve of vehicle / land use efficiency.

    He may have generated the System-wide Balance on his own but I recall him saying that the systems in Stockholm (designed in conjunction with the Planned New Communities) as well as some lines and stations in the Toronto, Wien and Frankfurt systems had more functional Balance than most.

    All this was factored into his “Rethinking METRO…” which in the later revisions included the idea of a network of different capacity systems serving a large Region with the ‘native’ capacity of each system being different and thus serving a wide array of station-area settlement patterns and meeting varied Household / Enterprise needs.

    At this point, I suspect he would say a comprehensive shared-vehicle system would include heavy rail, light rail, street cars, PRTs and BRTs in addition to longer haul InterUrban Agglomeration (not ‘commuter rail’) and HighSpeed InterUrban Region systems.

    I found the lead story on CNN this evening “Americans Rebuild for the ‘New Urban Century’ of interest. Too bad the author did not have a more expansive view of what needs to be done. We hope no one thinks that ‘New Urban Century’ is related to just ‘New Urbanism.’ It must be so much more.

    And speaking of support for change. One could get some real traction for action on Climate Change from the folks in Rhode Island today.

    This just in: “Green Cars are just another form of Green Greed.”

    AZA

  128. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Yes, it is April Fool's Day. I noticed this when I went to the Google search page and it had been renamed Topeka. A linked article on the Google blog indicated that Google had renamed the company Topeka because the mayor of Topeka had just renamed the city Google. Pretty funny for a bunch of nerds.

    "An EV recharged from the existing US grid electricity emits about 115 grams of CO2 per kilometer driven (6.5 oz(CO2)/mi), …".

    That's .41 pounds of CO2 per mile. I estimtated .32. As a new employee of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I say with pride, "close enough for government work".

    Under either calculation that's a lot better than gas powered passenger cars.

    The worst, worst case is charging the car from an all coal plant. However, even North Dakota emits less than twice the US average per KwH while an electric car emits less than 1/2 the carbon of an average car.

    The mountain top removal is just another example of special interest victory over the common good. I don't know this for a fact but I'd be very surprised to find that the Germans allow coal companies to lop the top off mountains in order to mine coal. This is one case where I think more government regulation (at the state and/or local level) would be appropriate.

    Mercury is a different question. Not sure if a coal plant with scrubbers can have the mercury emissions reduced. Maybe, maybe not. However, urnium mining is an ugly, ugly process too. The mercury might seem acceptable in light of huge radioactive uranium tailing ponds.

    I'll take the CO2 reductions that come with electric cars as a start. Plenty of US states generate most of their electricity without using much coal. Vermont and Idaho use virtually none. My favorite idea is to dam the Potomac at Great Falls and generate hydro power for Fairfax and Montgomery Counties. The Potomac is in a deep gorge there anyway. We wouldn't lose many houses. All we'd really lose is some all but useless park land. In fact, we could build complex structures on the parkland before we build the dam and create an underwater diving park like the ones in Florida. Anyway, after we use all the zero pollution electricity we want in Fairfax and Montgomery we'll sell the rest to you coal-pigs and use the money to build monorails.

  129. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    AZA – Thank you for the answer. I'll try to learn something about those cities/areas.

    TMT

  130. Larry G Avatar

    re: " The mountain top removal is just another example of special interest victory over the common good."

    Groveton – I think you'd benefit from a little more background here.

    It's not the removal of the tops of the mountains that is the problem – it's what they do with the fill – which is rocks with embedded toxics that react when exposed to rain – not that different than the problem with exposing rocks with sulfur that turns to acid that completely destroys a stream – for as long as those rocks are exposed to water.

    here's something from WaPo yesterday:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/01/AR2010040102312.html

    now again.. I say to all who are reading here –

    this is not a West Va Problem.

    this is YOUR problem.

    when you turn on your light switch or perhaps in a year of two when you plug in your car – you and I are responsible for this.

    We demonize the coal mining companies but they are simply responding to the demand for coal and the major issue is that surface mined coal is cheaper than deep mined coal and West Va is competing for strip mines in the more arid parts of the country (that do not have the runoff issues).

    these issues are never simple.

    The Sierra Club doesn't like any of the choices on energy so their solution is for all of us to use less.

    EDF and NRDC take a less strident view – they want us to START to move away from the worst of the worst and START to move towards less damaging choices.

    But the folks who refuse to change – on both sides – the folks who won't choose and the other folks who drill baby drill – neither of them are apparently interested in moving forward on any path and that I find unacceptable.

    And that's what this President is saying – and I agree with him.

    It's irresponsible to basically play check-mate politics but it seems to be where we are now days.

  131. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    At this point, I suspect he would say a comprehensive shared-vehicle system would include heavy rail, light rail, street cars, PRTs and BRTs in addition to longer haul InterUrban Agglomeration (not ‘commuter rail’) and HighSpeed InterUrban Region systems…….

    This just in: “Green Cars are just another form of Green Greed.”

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

    Here is another example of partisanship that defies reality. We are going to have cars for quite some time, yet.

    Rail systems depend on cars for revenue. Let's stop the nonsense and work on a "best total system".

    Going back to the discussion of cost benefit analysis on rail. We know what Metro as cost us, to date, and we know it has a $35 million deficit (at least) on top of that.

    The first 103 miles cost over ten Billion dollars and capital expenses for the next 25 years are planned at $1.5 billion per year. Historically we can count on actual costs being 75% to 100% higher than that.

    It took 25 years to complete the first Round of Metro, and before it was even finished an additional 25 year plan was approved.

    With regard to operation, it is interesting to note that MetroRail and MetroBus are equally labor intensive on a per rider basis and labor represents 70% of operating costs. This puts a new perspective on the "efficiency" of rail transport. In addition MetroBus puts most of its capital into vehicles, while Metro rail spends much of its capital on right of way and stations. The result is that you get more seats per dollar with buses. On the other hand, the rail system collects 70% of its operating costs in fares, but the bus system only 30%.

    The total shortfall in revenues, direct or indirect, is allocated in the following proportions:

    for bus shortfalls: (differentiate regional v non-regional routes, apply these weightings to the regional routes)
    :

    25% for "density-weighted" population;
    25% for revenue hours;
    35% for revenue miles;
    15% for average weekday ridership.

    for rail shortfalls:

    33% for "density weighted" population;
    33% for number of rail stations;
    33% for average weekday ridership.

    For rail, this works out to a subsidy of $1.36 per passenger. With respect to "balance" the Blue/Orange Line needs over 400 railcars per rush hour from the West, but less than 130 from the East.

    With regard to utilization and average Metro bus runs 2700 hours a year and racks up 34,500 miles for an average fleet speed of 13 miles per hour. The average Metro Railcar racks up 65,000 miles per year. It is not possible to estimate average railcar speed from usage data, but casually scanning the published schedules suggests something like 15 to 20 mph. Surprisingly, within the central city, more people ride the bus than metrorail.

    So the question is, what benefits did this buy us? It doesn't appear ro have alleviated any (or very much) congestion, even though it does haul 800,000 people every day. And remember, Metro was partially funded by deleting the Inner Loop Freeway system, which had to have INCREASED congestion over what it might have been absent Metro.

    Therefore what we have bought is additional (mainly rush hour) capacity, over and above what the road system can handle. And the quality of that capacity is severely limeted: standing room only and no freight, litte or no door to door service, depends heavily on autos for support.

    Looked at that way, the main benefit of Metro accrues to the Federal government and employers who wish to be located close to the federal government. We ought to be realistic about what it is we have bought and may buy with respect to Metro.

    RH

  132. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "There is general public enthusiasm for a rapid rail transit system in Washington, D.C., primarily because it would reduce surface congestion at rush hours. METRO, as it is now designed, may nevertheless prove to be a poor second choice to the automobile by suburban commuters for destinations other than the CBD and, at the same time, fail to provide satisfactory service for the transit-dependent. If downtown employment projections (and consequently, planned patronage) are not realized, the “benefits” of METRO will in no way justify the costs of the inflexible fixed-track system. "

    Eloise Brooks
    Systems Evaluation Division, Institute for Defense Analyses

    RH

  133. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Can you recommend any further reading on this analysis????

    You can look up Jevon's Paradox to see how efficiency increases (overall) usage.

    The limits to efficiency are based on fundamental thermodymamics, which should be discussed in elementary science classes and fully explred in high school physics.

    I don't take credit for any of this, but my experience does provide a certain cost and environmental perspective that seems to be lost on many people.

    RH

  134. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Natural Gas is ‘natural’ but it is not renewable. At best it is a stop gap.

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

    A stop gap for 300 years, easily.

    RH

  135. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    your turn – where in the entire world – did we create more places to deal with the rush hour issue – as an explicit strategy that actually did solve the problem?

    your answer please.

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

    I beleive that Beijing and several other eastern cities are deliberately planning satellete or ring cities to relive congestion downtoan.

    If I recall, Beijing is planning six entire new cities.

    The city of Porirua North of Wellington was a planned satellite city, built for a population of 70,000. An earlier plan for Wellington was to raze much of it and rebuild with more density. That planned was scrapped as being too radical. Poriirua was developed after it became apparent that the previous green belt/ clear edge plan had failed.

    A similar situation occured in Tokyo which has planned polycentricity.

    "Japanese planners initially adopted European greenbelt/satellite city schemes uncritically, and then gradually adapted them to circumstances in Japan, eliminating the greenbelt concept along the way.

    Metropolitan plans have since the 1970s instead proposed the development of a multi-polar metropolitan region as a way
    of reducing travel needs and distances while eliminating the need to prevent development in
    intervening areas."

    RH

  136. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Coal is cheaper than any other fuel by far but it is also by far the most polluting.

    ============================
    Has to be analyzed as a cradle to grave "system" : How much to generate the energy, plus how much to clean up after, plus the cost of government intervention/regulation/intubation.

    TC = PC + EC + GC

    RH

  137. Larry G Avatar

    " Natural Gas is ‘natural’ but it is not renewable"

    Translation – "and because it's not renewable, we oppose all options even if compromise bridges to put us on a path"

    "we want the whole loaf or we're gonna hold our breath and make bad smells".

    the right wingers are just as bad.

    both sides shared responsibility for the uber-partisan check-mate politics now playing out.

    Citizens give low marks to Congress.

    Congress is reflecting the citizens and we have too many who have adopted a "my way or the highway" attitude.

    That's why Obama's statement came as such a shocker to the folks on the left.

    They expected him to do their bidding and demonize the right.

    I'm pretty disgusted with both extremes.

    The left are loons just as O'Relly suggests sometimes.

    the right is even worse.

  138. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "It is also worth noting that the hoped-for benefits of polycentric development have been reduced
    in the Tokyo case by the continuing strong growth of the
    central area, which has seen an increase of almost a million jobs in the past 25 years and is still the dominant employment centre.

    According to travel surveys
    commuting times in the Tokyo region [which has excellent mass transit] have been getting steadily longer, increasing
    from an average commute (one-way) of 61 minutes in 1975 to 64 minutes in 1985. [and further increased] to 80 minutes in 1990. Much of the increase in average commuting times seen over the last 25 years appears to be a result of the ever-increasing employment in the centre…."

    https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/2756/2/tokyosubcentres.pdf

    RH

    Emphasis mine.

  139. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I'm pretty disgusted with both extremes.

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

    Looks like you and me and EMR for the AntiPartisan party. Let's not let EMR become CFO.

    RH

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