Is “Cap and Trade” Finally Here?

Is a serious plan finally in the making to limit carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.?

It very well could be since a number of key Democrats in Congress, including Rick Boucher from the Virginia coalfields, have agreed to a number of closed-door compromises that might make it fly. The bill is being shepherded by Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat.
If passed, the bill could have huge implications for Virginia. For one reason, it would affect how much CO2 that Dominion, one of the largest coal-burning utilities in the country, can pump into the air. Ditto American Electric Power, the nation’s No. 1 coal-burner, and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, a Henrico County-based utility serving rural areas in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, that wants to build a monster $6 billion coal-burning plant in Surry County, not all that far from the tourist havens of Williamsburg and Jamestown.
As it now stands, the bill would set a limit on greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 17 percent by 2020 compared with 2005 emissions, and 83 percent by 2050. Unlike a policy favored by President Barack Obama, the right to emit greenhouse gases — making up 85 percent of the total — would be given away. Obama wanted them sold at auction.
Utilities would get 35 percent of the allowances and billions of dollars would be spent to help research new technologies that would capture CO2 at big generating plants and somehow send it deep in the earth into a kind of permanent storage. Doing so, would keep utilities using coal and thus help the Virginia coalfields. Boucher helped orchestrate the idea and it has support from such coalfield groups as the United Mine Workers of America.
Not everybody likes the effort. Eric Cantor, the Henrico Republican who is Minority Whip, told a luncheon at the World Affairs Council of Greater Richmond Monday that the bill “would do nothing but raise costs.” I was at the luncheon since I am a WAC member and later spoke to Cantor who said that the Waxman bill is much more restrictive than another proposal shot down last year that had been pushed by Senator Joe Lieberman and our own John Warner. I find Cantor’s position curious since his own party’s candidate for president last year backed some kind of cap and trade law.
The Waxman bill is drawing fire from the other side of the aisle, too. Greenpeace USA says that Waxman’s initially laudable effort has been undermined by lobbyists.
So, what to make of this? First off, something needs to be done about CO2 and global warming despite the head-in-the-sand naysayers, including (dare I say it) our very own and beloved Jim Bacon, founder of this blog. Secondly, giving away rather than selling allotments in “cap and trade” does favor utilities and that is reason for pause. Thirdly, finding a way to deep six CO2 in the earth sounds good but the technologies aren’t mature and it might further other bad aspects of coal, such as mountaintop removal. Clearing the way for more coal use (55 percent of electricity in the U.S. comes from coal) might only aggravate the serious damage mountaintop removal is doing to Central Appalachia.
True, the economy is still a mess, but what happens with Waxman’s bill will have huge long-term implications, such as whether large portions of the Eastern Shore and Virginia Beach face a waterlogged future.
Peter Galuszka

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33 responses to “Is “Cap and Trade” Finally Here?”

  1. John Kalitka Avatar
    John Kalitka

    Jim Bacon’s in good company. Only
    34 percent of Americans
    now say they believe “global warming” is primarily caused by human activity. Additionally, recent polls show that most Americans are against setting caps on climate pollutants. In response, the Obama Administration reportedly will attempt to redefine the terms of this debate. It has consulted a marketing firm that recommends dropping phrases like “global warming” for “deteriorating atmosphere,” and employing terms like “the dirty fuels of the past” in place of carbon dioxide. The strategy is equivalent to President’s ploy to obscure massive energy tax increases. This approach is reckless and dissuades true debate.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Let’s hope the Republicrats don’t water this down too much.

    Carbon neutral energy independence is an important goal.

  3. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    I don’t think any of this is going to go anywhere until we identify a process that permanently removes the C02 and converts it into a form that will not ultimately get back into the atmosphere.

    Pumping a lighter than air gas deep into the earth.. how do we keep it there? Do we ‘cork’ it?

    too many questions..not enough answers for us to be embarking on something that could conceivably quadruple the price of electricity, gasoline, etc.

  4. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Mr. Kalitka,
    Thanks for your response but a single poll is a single poll. Are you saying there’s no link between CO2 and global warming? There’s plenty of scientific expertise that says there is.

    Peter Galuszka

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    ” Only 34 percent of Americans now say they believe ….”

    It does not mattter what people believe or whether global warming is caused by human activity. for example, we could have ill-eefects from natural caused CO2 warming.

    The question then would be can we offset some of those effects by curtailing human activity resulting CO2 emmissions and would the benefits of reducing those ill effects be worth the cost.

    What have we got here here a government that sets policy based on what is best, or a religion that runs the government according to beliefs?

    this is not only a lousy argument on its face, it is a red herring. Besides that it is a Trojan Horse excuse to attack the Obabma administration with vague accusations of conspiracy.

    The first half of Kalitka’s argument would have been stronger if it stood alone. Combining it with the second half only undermines whatever (faulty) appeal it might have had.

    If we are to believe that “most Americans” are opposed to caps on atmospheric pollutants, are we to believe we think we can simply poison the atmosphere no mattter what? Amusingly, the corollary argument that is often presented with this one is the argument that CO2 is not a true pollutant, in the sense that SO2 is because it is part of a natural process.

    All I can say is put enough men in a submarine for long enough and don;t turn on the CO2 scrubbers and what what happens.

    I believe that Kalitka is probaly right in thinking that this is a)unnecessary, b)unlikely to work if it is necessary, and c) so expensive we would be better off doing something else, like planning for mass extinctions.

    Even so, his argument is not the way to make the point: it is weak and pointless.


  6. Anonymous Avatar

    “Carbon neutral energy independence is an important goal.”

    That sounds to me like three goals, and how would we know if it is important?

    We don’t have banana independence because it is cheaper to import bananas.

    If energy security is the goal,then we should continue to buy it from other people as long as possible, while still preparing to turn on the taps here if required.

    Carbon neutral energy is pretty much an oxymoron. After all we could have carbon neutral energy by burning sulfur, and no one thinks that is a good idea. Burning hydrogen yields H20 which is a greenhouse gas. There is no good way out of this that ivolves combustion.

    The only other option is thermonuclear, whether it is nukes, solar or wind or wave. It is all the same. The only difference is how much effort and expense you have to put into collecting and making it available. If that expense turns out to be more than what it takes to clean up after burning carbon, then carbon neutral energy wins.

    It isn’t like we can adjust the true, total costs. Globally they will be whatever they are, all we can do is choose the option that is least expensive, all things considered.

    The probelm we have now is that the estimates of what are least expensive vary all over the map. We have cost estimates that are primarily a function of “belief” which is a lousy way to do business.


  7. Anonymous Avatar

    “a process that permanently removes the C02 and converts it into a form that will not ultimately get back into the atmosphere.”

    Grow crops, ship them to the polar regions where they can stay frozen for a few hundred thousand years. Bury them if that is cheaper than shipping. Use wind ships to move the goods.

    I don;t actually think this is a very good idea. What is the difference between puttingour selves in charge of polar storage for a hundred thousand years or putting ourselves in charge of Yucca flats for the same period of time?

    Hubris, either way.


  8. Anonymous Avatar

    “…no link between CO2 and global warming? There’s plenty of scientific expertise that says there is.”

    Kalitka was talking about anthropogenic CO2 and global warming, which is a different topic. There may also be other cuases of global warming that we cannot control. If that is the case then our efforts to control anthropogenic CO2 may work or not, and if they work they may be cost effective or not.

    There was plenty of scientific expertise behind phlogiston, too.

    The question isn’t whether we have it or not, whether we caused it or not.

    The question is whether our available options will work and are are worth doing. And if not, then what?

    We spend millons preventing measles, and it is worthwhle because it prevents certain deaths and long term maladies. but if it costs hundred sof trillions, then we would probably just let people run the course with measls and lose some.


  9. Anonymous Avatar

    “that could conceivably quadruple the price of electricity, gasoline, etc.”

    Again, the estimates are all over the map, depending on what people “believe”

    The density of CO2 is 1.799 kg/ meter cubed. Air is 1.297.

    if we can;t get the price right,at least we can get the density right.


  10. Anonymous Avatar

    Carbon credit trading will be the next form of manipulation by the few at the expense of many. It’s just another attempt to create wealth from government regulation. Does anyone believe GE doesn’t have a plan to manipulate the process for profit? It’s like the landowners at Tysons, except for maybe West Group, that are trying to get their land upzoned and then flip it at a huge profit.

    Haven’t Americans learned anything from this big financial collapse. We need to make money by providing quality goods and services, not by lobbying Congress.


  11. Groveton Avatar

    It’s time for another Groveton Boo Hoo Hoo Award. While this article from Peter only skirts the issue – I’ve heard the complaint offered again and again: The residents of Northern Virginia use all the electricty and don’t generate it in their own neighborhood. Thereofore, they are exporting their pollution to the coal plants of Wise County, etc.

    It’s time to set the record straight.

    The Merant plant just north of Old Town in Alexandria has been generating electricity in Northern Virginia for as long as I’ve been alive. The first rockfish I ever caught in the Potomac was in the warm water that is continually pumped into the Potomac from the plant. And what does Merant burn for fuel? Peat moss? Chicken poop? Switch grass? No. It burns coal – just like the plants in SW Virginia. But that’s OK because it lights the houses in Northern Virginia – right? No. None of the electricity generated at Merant is sold in NoVA. It’s sold in DC and Maryland. Hundreds of thousands of homes are lit by the coal fired juice of Merant.

    Want another example? How about Possum Point Power Plant in Prince William County? It’s a Dominion Power plant that used to burn coal but has been converted to natural gas. At 650 acres I can only assume that it generates an appreciable amount of power.

    Finally, I seem to remember some serious nuclear capable at Lake Anna. Some of that must be used to provide electricity to NoVa – no?

    So, if you count Merant and Possum Point and the nuclear plants – is NoVa really “exporting” the pollution from its electricity use? Or, is it somewhere else in the Old Dominion? Someplace where a lot of people live and use electricity but little to no electricity is generated? There is no such place:

    And I wonder where the highest concentration of alternative fule power plants are located in Virginia? Man, unless I am mis-reading that map it’s … NoVa.

    So, I reiterate my Boo Hoo Hoo Award to those who whine about imaginary Virginians who use electricty without any being generated in their region. Even the chronic whiners of the PEC have apparently given up and allowed a natural gas plant to be built in Remington.

    So, one more time – tell me why the siting of a new plant in Wise or a new plant in Surry is so very, very unfair.

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    “The question then would be can we offset some of those effects by curtailing human activity resulting CO2 emmissions and would the benefits of reducing those ill effects be worth the cost.”

    Good point. Maybe everyone in favor of controlling human CO2 emissions in order to “save the planet” should all just hold their breath continually.

  13. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    “So, if you count Merant and Possum Point and the nuclear plants – is NoVa really “exporting” the pollution from its electricity use?”

    Groveton – WHERE do you think ALL of the power being generated is being used if not in the more populous areas?

    You mention two plants that are relatively minor percentages of the total used… AND they are trying to close both of them because they affect the air quality in the region – which – in turn – affects transportation projects.

    Fess up fella… what do you think all the hoopla over those new power lines is about?

    And.. where do you think the coal comes from for Mirant and Possum Point?

    Do you think it might comes from mountaintops in WVA by any chance?

    My view is this:

    Until we all are willing to accept the realities of how we get our electricity – we really are not going to do much about change.

    It’s really easy to believe that NoVa generates it’s own electricity and does not require massive plants and mountaintop removal to power it – but the reality is otherwise.

    Refusal to accept the reality just means that we’ll continue to build massive coal-burning plants and destroy more mountains.

    If you want to know the truth – go to:

    and put in zip code 22066

    or try the same on this one:

    my bigger point is that most of us don’t like the implications of our own use being responsible for destroying mountaintops and generating pollution and greenhouse gases and without accepting some level of responsibility, we are mostly content to blame the big bad companies that take down the mountaintops and burn the coal that comes from them.

    yes.. I know.. it is such a “buzz-killer” to actually make this connection.

  14. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Hey Groveton, I just put in my own zip code and got this:

    We were unable to find any connections to mountaintop removal for the zip code: 22553″

    could it be ..because I live 10 miles from a Nuke?

  15. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Read Bjorn Lomborg’s piece in the Wall Street Journal today. He warns of a “climate-industrial complex,” in which large corporations will manipulate climate policy to engineer a massive transfer of wealth — to their benefit, of course.

  16. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Bjorn Lomborg is clearly in the “anti” camp and his point seems to be that lots of corporations are (1) spending lots of money trying to shape the global warming debate and (2) looking for ways to make money doing so.

    Forgive me for being underwhelmed. Left out of his discussion is the need to do something about CO2, which is seems to dismiss in a brief phrase.

    Is global warming the next “military industrial complex?” Cute phrase, but seems a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?

    Peter Galuszka

  17. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    oh I think the guys that figure out how to convert Co2 to an inert substance will be rich beyond their wildest dreams.. and their families will benefit for generations….

    wake me up when the patents are filed.

  18. John Kalitka Avatar
    John Kalitka

    Peter, I don’t believe there is any consensus on whether “global warming” is anything other than the natural variations that make up climate, whether or or not CO2 and “global warming” are linked, and whether or not CO2 is properly considered a pollutant. You and I produce C02 through respiration, for example. That might be why “global warming” activists are interested in changing to the new marketing terminology noted in my comment. As the poll cited by the CSM notes, people are beginning to see through the claims that the science on all this is “settled.” And, while I applaud the effort to create a cleaner and healthier environment, I do not support the heavy-handed intrusion on our liberties and freedoms contemplated by “cap and trade” advocates.

  19. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    how did you feel with leaded gas liberty was taken away from you?

  20. Anonymous Avatar

    ” Maybe everyone in favor of controlling human CO2 emissions in order to “save the planet” should all just hold their breath continually.”

    I’d vote for that. Gatting rid of all the people who want to save the planet might be enough to do it.


  21. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    John Kalitka,
    With all due respect, I often feel like I’m dealing with a parallel universe when I deal with some BR bloggers and the rest of the world.

    You state:
    “I don’t believe there is any consensus on whether “global warming” is anything other than the natural variations that make up climate, whether or or not CO2 and “global warming” are linked, and whether or not CO2 is properly considered a pollutant.”

    No one is saying that CO2 is a “pollutant” in the category of nitrous oxides or sulfur dioxide or particulate emissions or whatever. But there is plenty of suspicion that it helps promote global warming. I can’t begin to think of where to direct you — the data is so obvious.

    Your problem is that you want to tailor science with some kind of libertarian political view.

    Peter Galuszka

  22. Anonymous Avatar

    “You state:
    “I don’t believe there is any consensus ….”

    Kalitka is free to believe whatever he likes, but he should not expect that to influence government policy.

    Otherwise, your distinction that CO2 is not a pollutant in the normal sense but still causes global wrming problems is accurate.

    Of course, if you think chemistry is a natual phenomenon then all pollutants are “natural”. You cannot get away from byproducts and waste in any process, and when you have enough waste, then you hae a problem.



  23. Groveton Avatar

    LarryG –

    I just want to make sure I understand how this all works. Coal is mined for my home. A miner goes into the mine with my address on a piece of paper and digs up some coal. Then, the coal is taken to a power plant and the the plant burns the coal because I switched on a light and need electricity. Then, there is a wire from the power plant to my house. That’s how you know that my zip code get electricity from coal while yours gets electricity from nuke. Interesting. I always thought the power went onto the grid and was fed from there.

    As for mountaintop removal – very interesting. More a function of incompetent government oversight than anything else but interesting. Have you ever heard of a uranium tailing pond? I have some friends in Australia who would be more than happy to take you to see one. But remember to take your personal geiger counter. Because you’re going to get lit up like the northern lights. But that’s OK – you live near a “clean” nuke plant. As a matter of fact, I live a lot closer to those nuke plants than the coal plants. I can’t believe that NoVa voted to bypass nuclear generated electricity and use only coal fired electricity. I need to get a re-vote on that one.

    As for Merant, the only thing I’ve ever read is that it provides electricity to “hundreds of thousands fo homes” – doesn’t sound so minor to me. Of course, none of the homes are in Virginia – Northern or Otherwise. So, I guess I should start a “we hate Merant” whining society. The people in Maryland and DC should live in the dark so we don’t have to keep a power plant in Alexandria.

    Wake up Larry! This is not feudal England. Town-based craftsmen do not produce all that is consumed in the town. There are coal fired power plants in NoVa whether that fits with your anti-NoVa fantasy or not. The soot from Merant settles on the cars and houses of the people who live nearby just like every other coal fired plant. The North Anna nukes are just part of the grid. They are not dedicated to the people who live nearby. And the power line debate is PEC Nimby-ism – pure and simple. They could care less how they power is generated. They just don’t want anything to spoil their view. Someday, you ought to ask the PEC – er – heads just how green a horse is. They have thousands fo horses so they can ride on trails, play polo, spoil their children, etc. How much energy does a horse require? There’s the feed, removing the manure, leveling thousands and thousands of acres of woodland for pasture. I’ll start worrying about new power lines just as soon as the PECerheads start shooting their horses and replanting trees in the pasture land. Because I seem to recall something about trees and CO2. Any chance you recall what that relationship might be?

  24. Anonymous Avatar

    Whew, tell us h9ow you really feel.

    For a minute I thought there was an echo in my head.

    Figure a horse takes from two to four bales of hay a week a week depending on outside temeprature, and each bale costs 0.25 gallons of fuel.

    I figure it takes over a million gallons of fuel to keep PEC country horses running, and that’s just to feed them( not counting grain). Then you have to put them in trailers behind huge trucks and haul them to all the events. Call it three million, easy.

    And don’t forget the runoff from the packed down and barren “dry paddocks”.

    One reason we have so much acant farm land now is because tractors mean that we don’t need to graze the draft animals.


  25. Anonymous Avatar

    “oh I think the guys that figure out how to convert Co2 to an inert substance will be rich beyond their wildest dreams.. and their families will benefit for generations….

    wake me up when the patents are filed.”

    It is already done. My company used to build CO2 “burners” (scrubbers really) to take CO2 out of the air for submarines.

    Naturally, they work better at high temeprature, so basically you take carbon and burn it to get energy, then you use the energy to capture the carbon. Except, you need more energy than you started with because of waste or losss in the system.

    There are otherw ways of course, but they are all energy intensive, one way or another. And then youneed a mine to put all that stuff in, and the leachates will no dowubt be bad for the water.


  26. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Groveton – I hope your travels are going well… I envy you.

    re: Mirant and horses and dams, etc, et al

    You have to keep in mind – scope and scale.

    ” The plant generates 482 megawatts — enough
    electricity to power nearly 482,000 homes.”

    So.. NoVa has how many homes?

    How many Mirants would you need in NoVa to generate your own regional power?

    But even then… if you burned coal – the end result would be the removal of mountaintops to provide you with coal for electricity.

    You say this is Government Incompetence.


    What would you have the Government do?

    Outlaw Mountaintop Mining in WVa?

    Hey… if that’s what you support.. you need to join the Sierra Club!

    Groveton, my man, – there is no way to wiggle out of this.. no matter how many horses are farting in PEC country.

    The bottom line is that when your air condition kicks on at 78 degrees – a power plant conveyor belt will begin moving coal from a huge pile to the boiler… and whether than plant in 20 miles or 40 miles from you on a “grid” – the reason that conveyor belt moves is because of you and your one million neighbors air conditioners coming on in unison.

    Once that power plant eats through it’s coal pile, another 100-car unit train will show up with coal just removed from a mountain-top in WVa to replenish the pile so that you and your neighbors air conditions can kick on the next day or.. run all night..depending on the weather.

    But look.. if you and enough of your neighbors support the efforts of the Sierra Club folks, you’ll actually not only be helping the environment.. you’ll be preserving some of the remaining beauty of WVa… includes the homes of the folks who are endangered by “valley fills” AND you’ll be responsible for many, many more jobs in WVA (so they won’t need as many earmarked FBI/govmint jobs) because deep mining requires a lot more people than mountaintop mining requires per ton of coal.

    re: uranium tailings…

    touche! but in terms of widespread destruction of terrain and landscape.. much of it is mined (in open pits in very arid desert-like parts of the world) that are not mountains and rivers …(though we are doing a study in SW Va on a potentially large uranium deposit).

    But Groveton – you know that you and your friends on Great Falls would no more have a Nuke Plant next door to them than they would have a Coal Plant next door to them… much less someone removing a mountain next door to them… all things being equal.. with Nimbyism and all.

    Heckfire.. if the same powerlines proposed for PEC-country were proposed for Great Falls, I strongly suspect the outcry would be even more powerful and widely heard – right?

    Talk about your location specific subsidies.

    Upscale homes using “clean” electricity while others homes in WVa are having their mountaintop vistas reduced to rubble which is then pushed into their creeks and rivers…. all so that NoVa can “hum” … and proclaim itself the economic engine of Virginia.

    tsk. tsk.

    Talk about your “feudal society”

    “Manorialism was characterised by the vesting of legal and economic power in a lord, supported economically from his own direct landholding and from the obligatory contributions of a legally subject part of the peasant population under his jurisdiction.”

    So .. your “incompetent” Federal Government is actually working in your behalf to provide you with cheap and plentiful “clean” electricity from it’s jurisdictional purview in WVa.


    Surely.. if you told your Federal Government to stop doing that in your behalf.. you know.. join up with the Sierra folks..they would do so cuz we don’t need no stinkin mountaintop removal to power our air conditioners…

  27. John Kalitka Avatar
    John Kalitka

    Is “global warming” happening? It’s unclear. Assuming it is, did mankind cause it? We don’t know. Is it bad; can we fix it? No one can show us with any clear evidence. Are government-imposed taxes, laws and regulations the best way to deal with it? No, because we’d be giving up far too much to our government on the mere speculation that it can address an unproven phenomenon and that it will use its authority competently, wisely and uniformly.

  28. Groveton Avatar

    awismLarryG – You are smarter than this.

    1. Some percentage of NoVa’s electricity is generated by the North Anna nuke plants, some comes from coal and gas plants in NoVa and some comes from elsewhere – especially Western Virginia.

    2. None of the 50 year old Mirant’s power is used in NoVa – it is all used in Maryland and DC. It fires up about 500,000 homes. At 4 people per home – that would be a fair portion of NoVa if any of that juice got to NoVa. But it doesn’t. So, we generate electricity for others while suffering the worst of the environmental damage in our neighborhoods. Sound familiar?

    3. There are plenty pf powerlines running through Great Falls and McLean and Vienna and just about everywhere else in NoVa. There is a major gas pipeline running straight through Great Falls. Why? Because people need energy and we need to put up with eyesores in order to facilitate the transport of that necessary energy. We are not PECerheads.

    4. The coal being fed into SW Virginia’s power plants is like the coal being fed into Merant. I know your neck of the woods doesn’t actually generate any coal fired electricity but the rest of the state does – so, no need for a lecture on how it happens. Everybody in the state uses electricity. Most people get it from a mix of sources – whether it’s going to a honkey tonk in RoVa or a quiche and white wine party in NoVa.

    4. They mine lots of coal in countries in Europe. I don’t see decapitated mountains there. Why? Because the government won’t let them mine that way. Will it make coal more expensive? Yeah, probably. Will that make electricity more expensive? Yeah probably. Lots of regulations make things more expensive. This is just one more example. Sunsidies to big farmers, for example, make food more expensive.

    5. The freshman delegate from Great Falls / McLean (Margi Vanderhye) has been trying to get a bill through the general assembly that would force Dominion to sell electricity generated from alternate fuel as an option to all dominion customers. She has also sponsored a bill that would all farmer to generate and sell waste based power without being regulated as a power company to make this alternative energy production easier. Finally, only one candidate for governor has refused to take donations from Dominion – NoVa’s own Terry McAuliffe.

    While RoVa talks, NoVa acts.

    5. Facts are stubborn things. I know the facts don’t fit your fantasy of Northern Virginia a) generating no power, b) being essentially the only user of power, c) being bereft of power lines and gas pipelines and d) being unconcerned about energy use. However, the provability of these stubborn facts keeps getting in the way of your fantasy. It’s like the mock turtle just not being able to communicate with Alice. The mock turtle isn’t making any sense because the mock turtle is living in a parallel reality where things are different. To wit: “‘Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,’ the Mock Turtle replied; ‘and then the different branches of arithmetic–Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.’”. LarryG’s arguments were clearly learned at the elbow of the mock turtle. Have you really been awarded an honorary degree in mock turtle arithmetic after you penned your thesis on, “Distraction and Derision with regard to NoVa facts and figure”?

  29. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: “Some percentage of NoVa’s electricity is generated by the North Anna nuke plants, some comes from coal and gas plants in NoVa and some comes from elsewhere – especially Western Virginia.

    2. None of the 50 year old Mirant’s power is used in NoVa – it is all used in Maryland and DC.”

    how do you know this Groveton?

    how do you know that power from one source is distributed across the grid and power from another source is not?

  30. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: “I know your neck of the woods doesn’t actually generate any coal fired electricity”

    oh you’d be so wrong Groveton.

    258 MW (Megawatts)

    now ..depending on who you ask.. that is enough power for more than 200,000 people and in all of the Fredericksburg Area – we have 300,000+…

    so. we have both a coal plant AND a NUKE plant….

    and our coal plant does receive ..every day a 100-car “unit” train from somewhere west of here…

    but here’s another little known fact.

    Why was that plant built here rather than in NoVa?

    Because the EPA/DEQ would not permit it in NoVa because of air quality.. so they moved it to just outside the air quality restriction zone…

  31. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: “The freshman delegate from Great Falls / McLean (Margi Vanderhye) has been trying to get a bill through the general assembly that would force Dominion to sell electricity generated from alternate fuel as an option”

    an “option”????

    how is that going to result in a ban on mountain-top mining in WVa.

    The same people who turn down this option (most ..a vast majority of those in NoVa) would jump on the Sierra Club with both feet for proposing such a “radical” idea…

    so you NoVa folks go on with your world… satisfied with badmouthing the big bad companies that mountain-top mine in WVa..

    as opposed to demanding that the practice be stopped… like some better-principled folks do…but they are said to be wild-eyed idiots who don’t understand “things”.

    I’m just tweaking here. I accept responsibility also.

    but the reality is.. it is US who cause the mining ..and it will only be us – who will force it to stop….

    These coal plants.. by the way are also responsible for mercury in our fish – where the health department posts warnings at many riverside locations to warn people..

    AND somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the nitrogen in the bay …also comes from these plants.

    .. and we haven’t even gotten to the green house gases and carbon dioxide…..

    it’s not sustainable… we all know that..but we can’t quite bring ourselves to actually doing something about it


    but I accept my role in it also…

  32. Anonymous Avatar

    “Buying Brand New $23,000 Cars For Commuters in Phoenix is Cheaper Than Light Rail for $1.4B

    The other day, Phoenix trumpeted that its daily light rail ridership had reached 37,000 boardings per weekday. Since most of those people have two boardings per day (one each direction) we can think of this as 18,500 people making a round trip each day.

    Well, if we bought each of these folks a brand new Prius III for $23,000 it would cost us just over $425 million. This is WAY less than the $1.4 billion we pay to move them by rail instead. We could have bought every regular rider a Prius and still have a billion dollars left over! And, having a Prius, they would be able to commute and get good gas mileage anywhere they wanted to go in Phoenix, rather than just a maximum of 20 miles on just one line.

    ~Coyote Blog “

    Cost benefit analysis is still alive and well.


  33. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    what about the cost of the infrastructure for the cars – roads, freeways, parking?

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