Offshore Myth Busting


V

irginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gave a somewhat disingenuous response when confronted with the facts that the massive oil rigs explosion and spill in the Gulf of Mexico make his plans for Virginia’s emergence as “the Energy Capital of the East Coast” highly questionable.

The governor said essentially that one doesn’t stop all airline flights because of one crash.
Other than the obvious lameness of that response, there are some things that McDonnell, his confederates in the oil and gas lobby and even President Barack Obama might need to think over.
Essentially, the point is this: technology and “leave it to the private sector” simply don’t always work in the world of complicated engineering and cut-to-the-bones private sector management styles that are really far more concerned with the bottom line and p/e ratios than with saving the environment no matter how many millions of dollars they pay to slick ad firms and image projectors to paint themselves green.
At the core are some very real contradictions between the approaches of people like McDonnell and reality. You can’t rely on for-profit companies, privatizations, law to non-existent government regulation, the wonders of high technology and so on to keep workers safe and biosystems clean.
Even so, a number of myths have been spun that raise serious and troubling questions about the quest for offshore drilling near Virginia’s coasts.
Myth One: High technology will save us. Not exactly. McDonnell may say that rigs used offshore Virginia will have such advanced engineering systems that a blow-out or up and spill are highly unlikely. It turns out that Deepwater Horizon, the operator of the rig that blew up and caused the Gulf spill did not have a seismic-based device that would automatically shut off oil flows at the ocean-floor level. Brazil and Norway, both big offshore operators have them and Norway has required them since 1993. Such a device might have prevented the gigantic Gulf spill.

Myth Two: For-profit companies always operate for the public good. Let’s take a peek at British Petroleum or BP which owned the platform that had the blast and leak. BP is no stranger to tragedy. Its complicity in a blast at a Texas City, Texas refinery that killed 15 workers in 2005 has been called into question. After the disaster, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, an independent federal agency, accused BP of cutting the costs of safety and maintenance for increased profits.

Myth Three: You always know who works for you. McDonnell loves privatizing and farming out public functions to for-profit companies. He even pushed two unsuccessful bills in this General Assembly session that would have given big money benefits to private contractors who do state road work while also cutting schools, health, the arts, and so on. But when you farm out all of those jobs, do you really know who is working for you? The BP rig was a contractor and sub-contractor jobs. And in the Texas City case, after the explosion, BP boss John Browne flew to Texas City where he met reporters and said he’d be investigating. He was disarmed by a reporter who noted that all of the dead were contract workers. In the end, BP did compensate their families.

Myth Four: If a company says it is green, believe it: BP wanted to turn itself around in 2005 and go against the ExxonMobil behemoth. As part of this goal, it spent millions with media firms, ad mavens and graphics artists who redid the BP logo in a sunburst scheme with the slogan “Beyond Petroleum (BP, get it?)” At the same time, to cut costs, BP was firing thousands of its experienced engineers and replacing them with hired hand contractors.

So, McDonnell and Obama should ask themselves, “What’s it going to be for Virginia?” Obama says there will be no new offshore drilling until a thorough study is made of Deepwater Horizon. That’s cold comfort.

As for McDonnell, he might want to knock off the idiotic “plane crash” excuse and consider that Big Oil with its Big Money would not be the only industry along Virginia’s coast that he’s sworn to protect. Consider the fishing, tourism and commercial shipping sectors, not to mention the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard which use offshore Virginia waters and pump in billions to the state’s economy. That’s right here, right now. Not sometime off in 2020.

Peter Galuszka

PS: All of my cites, curiously, come from the Wall Street Journal, which is editorially in tune with McDonnnell.

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98 responses to “Offshore Myth Busting”

  1. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Peter,

    Bottom line I don't care if they are "green" or not. Besides, who is the benefactor to define just what is "green" and what is not?

    Our energy problems are in fact an economic and national security problem today much more than they are an environmental problem. We need to invest in whatever energy technology that allows us to become free of the international terrorist organizations that fund much of their activities through middle eastern oil.

    This does not mean we totally give up on oil or any other resources. It does mean that we need to take prudent risks (and yes, this includes the risks of off-shore drilling) in order to free up our economy to expand with new energy resources.

    You accuse Gov. McDonnell of being disingenuous when it comes to his view of the risk/benefits of off-shore drilling. I submit that the "green business" and "green energy" pushers on the Left are far more disingenuous about the promise of "green energy" creating more jobs and better fueling our economy than traditional methods.

    Bottom line in all this, we need to 1. work with immediacy to stop this current leak, clean it up, and find out how it happened (BTW I would not put it past eco-terrorists to initiate such a disaster if it served their political purposes. Anyone know why the DHS "SWAT teams" are at these rigs now?), and 2. learn from this how to improve the technologies to avoid this in the future. As in all situations like this, if BP was negligent or at fault, they should pay a dear price. This is the better solution than reacting with chants of "No more drilling".

    Regardless of what we do, other countries will drill for oil in this region of the ocean even if we don't, so we need to get access to all of our resources and do it as safely as possible. Certainly we have more interest in doing this safely, than say the Chinese do.

  2. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " …
    this includes the risks of off-shore drilling) in order to free up our economy to expand with new energy resources."

    huh?

    say again?

    the economy is going to be "freed up" to do what (that we could not do anyhow)?

    what energy source will we use besides the 2% domestic sources we have?

    how does that free us up to do ….what?

  3. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Any chance that Dear Leader might put out the cigarette he's been smoking while reading his "heroic" health care bill and get to Louisiana?

    I knonw there is a White House correspondents dinner coming up. It would be a shame if had to miss that just because of some oily water.

    Heck of a job, Rahmy.

  4. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Larry,

    Cheap energy fuels growth my friend. The more energy we create, the lower the cost on industry. It makes us more competitive…

  5. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    let's talk about the Conservatives favorite subjects these days – less govt and more personal responsibility.

    I think we could do this without ascribing nefarious govt motives to Dear Leaders nicotine habit.

    so.. was this disaster due to overly strict govt regulation and scrupulous corporate responsibility just undone by an unfortunate accident?

    we should – just prepare ourselves for the gulf to be in a permanent state of marauding oil slicks that cannot be helped?

    I'm quite sure the lovely party of "no" will once again remind us that more govt regulation is evil and that corporate responsibility is alive and well and needs to be left alone to the business of making America prosperous.

    OR… do you think possibly that even some (certainly not all) Conservatives will express a mea culpa when it becomes more widely known that those nasty regulators in Norway and Brazil REQUIRED the very blowout preventer technology that BP sought an received an exemption from using?

    oh.. and the "accident"?

    " … Citing a Minerals Management Service report, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said there were 117 failures of blowout preventers during a two-year period in the late 1990s on the outer continental shelf of the United States."

    http://www.kansascity.com/2010/04/30/1914996/us-report-found-failure-of-offshore.html

    so the big question is – did McDonnell know this when he characterized this fiasco as just another inevitable occasional "accident" or is he playing the usual Conservative dumb-as-a-stump game: " how in the heck can we maintain our idealogical Neanderthal approach to government if you keep bring up these distractions"?

    I fully expect McDonnell to come up with another Proclamation that says " BP, Please Be more Careful"

  6. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " Cheap energy fuels growth my friend. The more energy we create, the lower the cost on industry. It makes us more competitive."

    so … we're competing against those who would also destroy their own coastlines – to ….be more competitive against us?

    that sounds pretty smart – that is ..if you are a conservative….

  7. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    the chronology of this from here on out is very predictable.

    we will be treated to the following revelations:

    that BP did things business irresponsibly on the cheap

    that they were warned about the short-cuts and failure to be diligent

    that they fired the malcontents who wrote the warnings.

    that their replacements then lied on their documentation that regulators saw

    that the regulators themselves were former employees of that industry that they regulate.

    BP will do some version of:

    "you want the truth? well you can't stand the truth"

    The Congress critters will strut about and postulate about the "outrage" seeking to outdo each other on whose sound bite gets the most play in the media that night.

    Republicans will join in….

    soon.. the "Safe and secure offshore drilling act of 2010/2011" will emerge.

    will be debated.

    the party of "no" will once again vote "no" saying that it "goes too far".

    the Dems will snag enough Republicans from the Gulf Coast states – and the new regulation will pass with the Gulf State Republicans touting the achievement to their constituents..

    and Groveton will continue blathering on .. about Dear Leader…and his cigarette habit while supporting the "small govt" approach of "keep your filthy regulating hands off our business" of the republicans.. small 'r' intended.

  8. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    1000 barrels a day = 42000 gallons
    times 90 days to stop it, 3.8 million gallons.

    Nasty, no record.

    5000 barrels a day = 210k gallons
    times 90 days 18.9 million gallons.

    Beats the Valdez for a new US record.

    News reports NOAA says that the leak is now:

    25000 barrels a day = 1 million gallons, times 90 days?

    And what do you get with this really great news? A new world record?

    No…

    Just another case of "Those who cannot remember (ignore, egotistically disregard) the past are condemned to repeat it."

    Ixtoc 1 Oil Spill – June 3, 1979 – March 23, 1980
    Location: Bay of Campeche off Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico
    Amount of Oil Spilled: 140 million gallons

    This oil spill didn't involve a tanker, but rather an offshore oil well. Pemex, a state-owned Mexican petroleum company was drilling an oil well when a blowout occurred. The oil ignited causing the drilling rig to collapse. Oil began gushing out of the well into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of 10,000 to 30,000 barrels a day for almost an entire year beforeworkers were finally able to cap the well and stop the leak.

  9. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Quit blaming other people (would not put it past eco-terrorists to have created this disaster????) and stop with the politics (put out the cigarette Obama). I've written letters to all the politicians I can think of to create a plan to cut oil dependency not by 20% but by 80%. WE CAN DO IT. We need leaders to put forth a plan and we all need to feel it's a national imperative–like the Space Race–then we can make the necessary changes in their lives to make it happen.

    This is not politics as usual. I am heartsick about this disaster, as I'm sure you are. We need to put the cynicism and bullshit aside for once.

  10. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: Darrell's reminder of past oil spills in the Gulf.

    As they say, location, location, location…

    the previous Mexico spill was located about 500+ miles from Louisiana…

    this one ..about 50 miles…

    with regard to Mimi's comment.

    yes.. we have I believe several hundred years of natural gas which, if you mate it to a hybrid.. would not only wean us off of oil but give us much cleaner air .. AND as an additional bonus.. help us reduce our greenhouse gases by more than 50%.

    It's not that we cannot do this but I note the enviro weenies don't like this idea either because it has "impacts".

    these would be the same enviro weenies who are also oppose to coal, nukes and wind power….

    but the reason we don't go to natural gas is money.

    We have huge companies who are so invested in oil that they are opposed to moving to natural gas because that would hurt their business.

    Mamie is right.

    If chain-smoking Dear Leader would tell us that we needed to move to a natural gas energy economy – there would be some traction… and of course more opposition from the party of "no" in concert with opposition from the enviro weenies.

    Our country is so badly fractured politically that we're like the proverbial couple in the throes of divorce willing to stand outside their burning house – and watch it burn – because in each of their minds.. it will deny the other.

    I doubt that Dear Leader can fix this but he's the best chance we got and a major step up from the previous idiot who masqueraded as a leader.

  11. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "I doubt that Dear Leader can fix this but he's the best chance we got and a major step up from the previous idiot who masqueraded as a leader.".

    I don't see much difference between this president and the last one. Ten days since the oil rig explosion and Dear Leader is still attending the White House Correspondents Dinner. Hopefully, he'll find some time to spend in Louisana over the next week or two just to get a feel for what's happening down there.

    This is Katrina II.

    Bushama? Obamush?

    Same thing. Different day.

    Mimi is right about cutting dependence on oil as the only real answer.

  12. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: Katrina II

    nice try but no dice.

    we don't have people dying and losing their homes on shore while FEMA fiddles with a grossly incompetent administrator appointed to replace the one before who was exceptionally competent.

    You say the two are comparable.

    not true.

    Mr. Bush and the idiots in his administration – FUNDAMENTALLY believed in deregulation and his administration likely granted BP a waiver from having to use the more reliable blow-out preventer technology that other countries REQUIRE.

    You can bet three things for sure here:

    1. – This President WILL seek to more strictly regulate especially with regard to blowout preventer technology

    2. – the Conservatives an the party of "no" will lobby and fight against it – under the radar as much as they can because they lack the moral courage and backbone to actually make their anti-regulation case to the American people.

    3. The Conservatives will then label this President as a anti-business socialist/Marxist trying to Nationalize these companies.

    I asked the question earlier and Groveton evaded it much as most conservatives will

    and the question is –

    "should the govt be involved in regulating activities like this and stand back out of the way an let the industry self-regulate?"

    I'll make it even simplier

    Should the US govt regulate blowout-prevention technology and other technology that is used to prevent massive oil spills?

    that's the question that I'd like to see Groveton needs to answer – without qualification.

    and if his answer is yes – then why hasn't it already been done and will Groveton support it now with this President?

    In other words, will Groveton support MORE REGULATION?

    yes or no – my man… answer up

  13. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    LarryG lives in a fantasy world where government regulation prevents problems. Oil leaks? They were solved after the Exxon Valdez wreak in 1989, right? The "government" has had 21 years to regulate oil spills out of existence since the Exxon Valdez. Only now the oil is spilling again. Guess that highly competent and effective government regulation just didn't do the trick. And didn't some chap named Clinton have 8 years to add regulations between the Exxon Valdez and today? If regulations solve problems LarryG why didn't the Exxon Valdez spill create regulations to prevent today's disaster?

    For about the 200th time …

    1. The government owns the offshore oil so it has the right to regulate the leases.

    2. In total, there is far too much governmental regulation. And, on balance, that regulation has failed miserably to prevent catastrophe after catastrophe.

    3. Excessively regulating everything and anything actually makes legitmate regulation less effective. That's where the superheroes of LarryG's mind (i.e. the national political elite) have us today. Reams and reams of regulation – all to no effect.

    It is disgraceful that Obama was cracking jokes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last night rather than being in Louisana. The spill started 10 days ago. One can only imagine a tuxedo clad Dear Leader sneaking out a side door to catch a smoke between wisecracks.

    I guess liberals like Dear Leader think of places like Louisana as "fly over country" not worth their time or effort.

    Heck of a job, Barry.

  14. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: " The government owns the offshore oil so it has the right to regulate the leases"

    once again, the man evades the essential question.

    do we need MORE GOVT REGULATION for oil drilling?

    yes or no… no weaseling..

    regulation does not PREVENT disasters Groveton, it reduces them for the areas that are regulated.

    in this particular case what is YOUR solution?

    was there not enough regulation to start with or is more regulation NOT WARRANTED because as you say "regulation does not stop disasters – as it should do".

    the fantasy world my friend is those who say one thing – no more regulation..it does not work.. and then won't be honest about whether they feel we need more or not..

    so I ask – more or not? (for oil drilling).

    I don't need a 1000-word tome of your overall positions – just a straight up answer on this one.

  15. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Groveton has mired himself in the oil slick.

    His usually lucid and sane comments have devolved to partisan foolishness.

    He did not answer gmr’s second inquiry in the "Cargosquid …" comments concerning sea ice.

    More important he completely avoided Prof Risse’s note on regulation, instead attacking Larry without answering his straight up question.

    You can do better Groveton.

    Perhaps Dr. Risse could re-ost his note from the earlier post.

    Observer

  16. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    yes.. we're talking about "dear leader", cigarette addictions, "good job Barry", socialism, and just about any distraction that Groveton can fumble with other than the essential question as to whether or not he believes that it is a legitimate function of government to regulate.

    that's the same tactic that the ideologues and the party of "no" are now engaged in and yes.. Groveton has apparently slipped from his usual lucid and incisive observance of politics and descended into the party of "no speak" disguised as blather/chatter.

  17. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    "do we need MORE GOVT REGULATION for oil drilling?"

    No.

    The government has gotten to the point where regulators spend all their time counting the amount of fly shit in a pepper shaker instead of ensuring basic things like blow out protectors, mine methane levels or cabling to prevent rock falls are proper.

    Yet when you look at government hiring, nearly every job requires a PhD, 10 years of experience, and multiple commercial certifications in fly shit inspection.

    Then the only thing those GS-13's do is manage contractors, who drop their resumes off at the company's front office before checking the pepper shakers.

    The guy who has been living with the real shit doesn't work for the government, because hard knocks is not an accredited degree.

  18. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse

    At Observers request: A re-post from the “Cargosquid Are You Awake?”

    This is a somewhat later version than the one originally posted and will be part of “Future Sketches.”

    Groveton stated:

    “The answer to oil spills has nothing to do with government regulation. There is plenty of government regulation. Accidents happen. Added regulation didn't prevent this spill and new regulation won't prevent the next one.”

    This is the first time EMR has noted Groveton completely off base.

    Larry made an excellent point re nuclear power generation – the need for insurance (e.g. the reaction of investors to a power company without insurance, much less the citizen response to uninsured nuclear reactors). These facts make Agency regulation, review, inspection and a huge Agency subsidy an absolute necessity.

    Same is true with airlines and every other major “private” initiative – canals, railroads, trucks and Autonomobiles, health care… Liability limits, capital guarantees, alternative section grants. Dig into ANY ‘innovation’ and look at the role of Agencies for good and evil.

    With airlines there remain huge obvious and hidden subsides. Euro NGOs have been hammering on some of the hidden ones for decades – high altitude atmospheric pollution for example.

    As to off-shore drilling there will be new regulations – sea floor auto shut-offs THAT WORK, permeant containment booms around every rig, system redundancy including standby rigs over every well, recycling tanks, crew training, etc.

    And there will be inspections and permits and, and – the cost of oil will go up – way up. That will be the case because many of the new resources (e.g. Brazil) that will extend the ‘tail’ of Peak Oil are in deep water. Every nation-state will have to comply because a major spill contaminates the Global Common. The market will react – See ‘Blood Diamonds.’

    The same factors will drive up the price of food, and coal, and…

    With satellites, private aircraft, instantaneous communication, cell phone cameras, etc. there is no longer any place to hide EXTERNALITIES.

    If Enterprise owned MainStream Media tries to bury the evidence to protect its bottom line, some Blogger will blow the whistle.

    Oiled birds…

    Dead cats and dogs…

    Spinach and tomatoes that make Granny sick…

    Cribs that collapse on Babies …

    Accelerators that stick…

    Even health care that does not work…

    All these things will be regulated and all will EVENTUALLY be more safe and all will be MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE or civilization as it is known will Collapse.

    Agency Services (e.g. paying to enforce the new Arizona Police Guidelines, for quality education that turns out competitive workers, for EVERY ‘public good’), Enterprise Services (see above) and Institutional Services will ALL cost more.

    Last week the IMF said that to achieve a Balanced economy following the Great Recession Meltdown, First World nation-states would have to tax MORE and citizens would have to work MORE. More hours in a day, more days in a year and more years in a lifetime.

    What IMF has yet to say but must soon is that all citizens and their Organizations will have to consume LESS and pay more for what they do consume.

    Citizens have been living off of Natural Capital and Natural Capital is running out – oil, top soil, aquifers, marine animals, etc… Cheap Natural Capital is already gone.

  19. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse

    PART II

    Later Groveton thought he drove a spear through the heart of functional governance advocates with:

    “Layer upon layer of redundancy in government is counter-productive. It drives up the cost of government. It slows down the pace of progress. It stifles innovation.”

    What Groveton really did is put a nail in his grandchildren’s coffin unless Groveton and those he admires grasp reality. Lets take a look at this one sentence at a time.

    “Layer upon layer of redundancy in government is counter-productive.”

    Of course it is. But who favors ‘redundancy’?

    Not those advocating Fundamental Transformation in governance structure. Recall: Level of Agency responsibility at level of impact. (See full discussion in TRILO-G concerning evolving shared responsibility where there is impact at multiple scales.

    Groveton understands this concerning some federal (aka, continental) and state (aka, MegaRegional and Regional) issues but he still pretends that a municipal government with a million citizens is functional.

    “It drives up the cost of government.”

    As noted above to do what the majority of citizens want Agencies to provide in Agency Services will result in more work for Agencies. But the cost can go DOWN IF THERE IS A RATIONAL ALLOCATION OF RESPONSIBILITY – aka, Fundamental Transformation.

    “It slows down the pace of progress. It stifles innovation.”

    Here is where the rubber meets the road. “Progress” and “Innovation” are already far ahead of the majority of citizens. Human capacity has not evolved to match the complexity of what ‘progress’ and ‘innovation’ have already provided. Do you NEED a smarter phone?

    Democracies with market economies cannot survive if systems outsmart citizens.

    What is also true is the ‘progress and innovation’ have so far driven more and more consumption.

    What the planet needs is LESS consumption, not more.

    And by the way the most important spectrum is not ‘liberal to conservative’ it is ‘true conservative to rabid comsuptive’ and most of the Elephant Clan support consumption, not conservation. The Tea Party is base on The Anger of Ignorance and the Myth that ‘Americans’ has a god given right to Mass OverConsume.

    More on this in Future Sketches, Forthcoming.

    OK Groveton, your turn.

    EMR

  20. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: " As to off-shore drilling there will be new regulations – sea floor auto shut-offs THAT WORK,"

    the point is that other countries already have these regulations an they are not "new" but old hat.

    In anti-regulation America, such regulations are heresy to the idea that when Republicans win.. their first step is to gut the regulatory agencies, replace the leadership with industry lobbyists and proceed to preach the futility of trying to regulate fly shit.

    and .. people like Darrell and Groveton buy this claptrap.

    so.. we end up with… oil drilling rigs that are not equipped with the currently available technology – already required in other countries because we have folks who equate this to inspecting fly shit and join the Party of "no" or it's evil twin the tea party idiots.

    just FYI – I'll be the first one to admit that we have more than a few pretty dumb regulations…

    but Darrell.. my friend.. are you opposed to Regulation ?

    to put it another way – are you in favor of Regulation but not the way they currently do it because there's too much fly shit regulation and not enough oil drilling regulation – or whatever?

    I'm trying to get to the heart of your philosophy.

    Do you believe that Govt should regulate or not?

    I already know that you think there is too much but does that automatically translate into no more regulation – period – even for offshore drilling rigs?

    somehow, I doubt it but I'll await your definitive response.

  21. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Darrell — C

    You are right about the fly specks.

    You are addressing the second point Dr. Risse raises, not the first.

    No sane person suggests that there is not a need for Fundamental Transformation of governance structure — except those in the governance business.

    Regulation at the level of impact by democratically elected Agencies will make the world much safer and have a much more equitably distributed costs.

    Those cost will be higher, but that is the price of a technologically advanced civilization.

    The New Bronze Age will be less expensive but there will be only simple and safe technology.

    Observer

  22. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "the fantasy world my friend is those who say one thing – no more regulation..".

    Ihave never said no more regulation of offshore oil drilling. Never. Not once. I have repeatedly written that the government should regulate offshore drilling.

    "so I ask – more or not? (for oil drilling).".

    You finally stumble into the truth. The question is not whether there should be any regulation of offshore oil drilling. The question is whether there should be more regulation of offshore oil drilling.

    I doubt it. I don't know all the regulation which currently exists and neither does LarryG. However, my guess is that Darrell has it right. There is plenty of ineffective regulation. This seems obvious in light of the oil still spilling into the ocean.

    However, the biggest thing that "government" can do to prevent future oil spills is to insist that BP pay the cost of cleaning up this one.

    Exxon appealed and appealed until the US Supreme Court essentially let it off the hook on punative damages. Then, they still didn't pay. The offered to "settle" for 75% of the US Supreme Court award. Now, another court has added interest to the settlement.

    For-profit companies only fear two things – seeing their executives do the "perp walk" and punative damages.

    The Exxon Valdez spill was 21 years ago and we're still fooling around with it.

    Government doesn't need more regulations, it needs more spine in using the regulations which are already on the books.

    Exxon has yet been made to pay for the cleanup in Alaska despite being ordered to do so all the way up to the US Supreme Court. Put a couple of their executives in jail and watch how fast the corporate checkbook comes out.

    This is now 201 times I have said the same thing.

  23. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    '“Layer upon layer of redundancy in government is counter-productive.”

    Of course it is. But who favors ‘redundancy’?'.

    Apparantly the people who think education needs to be regulated by the federal government, state government and municipalities. Thank God Virginia doesn't allow cities to be within counties or, I'd guess, we'd have a fourth layer.

    Redundancy is favored by the politicians and civil servants who benefit from that redundancy.

    So, when someone like LarryG (who loves regulation) asks if more is needed, I say "no". Maybe different regulation is needed. Maybe better regulation in needed. But the endless redundancy which exists across all levels of governmemnt needs to be reduced.

    Our personal income tax code is an absolute joke. A disgrace of special interest centric over regulation. In Germany a well paid German files a two page personal income tax return. And Germany probably has the most sound economy in the developed world right now.

    Virginia's level of regulation is absurd. Don't take it from me … read what Barnie Day had to say (and nobody thinks Barnie is an anti-government conservative Republican)…

    http://virginiatomorrow.com/2009/11/17/barnie-day-contemplating-suicide-and-cant-make-up-your-mind-unload-the-gun-before-reading-this/

    LarryG and EMR want to pile yet more regulations on to this steaming heap of manure.

    Government needs to be re-invented not expanded.

  24. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "Last week the IMF said that to achieve a Balanced economy following the Great Recession Meltdown, First World nation-states would have to tax MORE and citizens would have to work MORE. More hours in a day, more days in a year and more years in a lifetime.".

    Nothing should freighten Americans more than the IMF / UN / World Bank, etc. They are determined to implement a global wealth transfer among nations and will say and do anything in order to have that come about.

    The will lie about global warming in order to put carbon taxes on on countries with a good standard of living. They will make loans which they know will never be repaid to corrupt regimes in poor countries. They will deceive anybody who listens about the global economy in order to take money wout of Americans' pockets for redistribution elsewhere.

    If they are talking they are lying.

  25. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    the truth about regulation.

    1. Conservatives/Republicans don't like regulation

    2. When they get into office, they immediately fire the current professional management and replace it with industry lobbyists

    3. The new managers then hone in on the staff that is giving industry a fit and transfers them to the fly shit division and hires new folks to "support" industry by staying out of their business.

    4. – a disaster then ensures like a mine disaster…and big investigation takes place where the findings indicate that there WERE regulations but the regulators were all busy doing as directed with the fly shit study.

    5. – the industry says "mea culpa", the regulators never held our feet to the fire so we dragged them because we had no interest in wasting money on more regulations that do not work anyhow.

    In other words, Conservatives/Republicans sabotage regulations routinely an systematically as a basic philosophy.

    Groveton says he supports more effective regulation – more spine – but the folks he is allied with – the Conservatives and Republicans have a long history of doing what? making the regulations ineffective…"spineless" on purpose.

    that's the truth an you guys know it.

    If "dear leader" had proposed tighter offshore drilling regulations similar to other countries as part of the effort to loosen geographic restrictions guess who would have opposed them?

    that's right – the same folks who fired a very competent FEMA administrator and replaced him with "Brownie" whose previous "professiona" experience was as a Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association and since his "retirement" is now a talk radio host.

    This is how the Republicans purposely destroy people's faith in govt – by insuring that the agencies are not very effective and setting them up to fail – to prove to the gullible that govt is hopelessly incompetent an that regulation by govt is a failure.

    Why did BP not have the industry standard blowout prevention technology on this well when that technology is virtually standard in countries with EFFECTIVE regulation?

    Is the truth here that BP lobbied the previous Republican administration to not require this technology?

    Here Groveton – from none other than the Wall Street Journal:

    " The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills."

    " U.S. regulators don't mandate use of the remote-control device on offshore rigs…… regulators in two major oil-producing countries, Norway and Brazil, in effect require them. Norway has had acoustic triggers on almost every offshore rig since 1993.

    The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn't needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well."

    " Industry critics cite the lack of the remote control as a sign U.S. drilling policy has been too lax. "What we see, going back two decades, is an oil industry that has had way too much sway with federal regulations," said Dan McLaughlin, a spokesman for Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson. "We are seeing our worst nightmare coming true."

    So I ask those who oppose regulation one more time.

    Is it a failure of regulation because regulation is fundamentally a flawed govt exercise… or was it a failure to regulate effectively SPECIFICALLY with regard to this particular disaster?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704423504575212031417936798.html

  26. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Read it and weep, LarryG (from that conservative stronghold, The New York Times):

    "The Obama administration has publicly chastised BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher, yet a review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame for the unfolding environmental catastrophe on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP.

    The Department of Homeland Security waited until Thursday to declare that the incident was “a spill of national significance,” and then set up a second command center in Mobile, Ala. The actions came only after the estimate of the size of the spill was increased fivefold to 5,000 barrels a day.

    The delay meant that the Homeland Security Department waited until late this week to formally request a more robust response from the Department of Defense, with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano acknowledging even as late as Thursday afternoon that she did not know if the Defense Department even had equipment that might be helpful.".

    Heck uv a job Nappie!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/us/02gulf.html?ref=us

    Here is Dear Leader one month ago today saying that oil rigs generally don't cause oil spills, they are too technologically advanced.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/04/29/flashback_obama_says_oil_rigs_today_dont_generally_cause_spills.html

    So, let's review a few of LarryG's "ideas":

    1. The oil rig is spilling oil because Republicans and conservatives eliminated necessary regulation. The antidote to that absurdity? Obama's speech from April 2, 2010 saying that oil gigs generally don't cause oil spills. Is Obama now a conservative Republican? Or, would he have not increased regulation himself becuase he thought ths oil rigs are safe?

    2. Republicans push out the smart regulators hired by Democratic administrations and bring in hapless replacements in an effort to reduce regulation. The hapless regulators then bungle the work of the agency (witness FEMA under Bush). Antiodte to that absurdity – New York Times editorial documenting how federal inaction caused the damage from teh oil spill to be worse than it should have been. Highlight – Big Sis being surprised that the DoD would have equipment that would be useful in fighting an oil spill. One can only imagine Big Sis' inner thoughts, "Hmmm… Where can I find some ships and airplanes? Airplanes and ships? I know! I'll call the Department of Agriculture.".

    I understand that Dear Leader has finally arrived in Louisana. Unfortunately, he won't be able to say anything about the oil spill until his teleprompter arrives.

    LarryG – The US government is fundamentally broken no matter who is president. Excessive regulations only empower the inept.

  27. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Groveton – if the Govt response was slow – then what were those Coast Guard boats doing at the scene within hours of the blowout?

    and what exactly would you have the govt do at that stage?

    On the news programs this morning, it was stated that the Feds mobilize inside of 24 hours but they were told by the company that the leak was minor which is typical for these companies … in these circumstances.. lie… lie, lie.. then blame others…

    Why did BP "wait"? Why was the govt supposed to act when BP was telling everyone that it was not a major leak?

    what are you going to do with the wetlands …send the National Guard to wade through them with nets?

    you miss the entire point of this Groveton.

    this sounds JUST LIKE the Republicans version of how Wall Street crashed and burned.

    Yup.. it was all a Congressman in the minority party's fault… certainly the Republicans could not get Fannie/Freddie under Control as long as that lone Democratic Congressmen was blocking the President and both houses of Congress, eh?

    Regulations are to prevent this no-win situation…

    that's the problem with you and your Republican buddies.

    You don't want the regs that stop this type of thing but when things blow up you go hide and blame the "cleanup".

    Don't you think that is grossly irresponsible?

    What you are saying is that INSTEAD of a regulation, that it is NOW the responsibility of the govt to QUICKLY expend BILLIONS of dollars in a futile attempt to stop something that is going to be unstoppable no matter how much money is expended.

    That's your answer to regulation.

    don't do it.. gamble.. then suffer enormous damage and frantically expend billions of dollars in a futile effort to stop it.

    Talk about personal responsibility.

    this is the height of irresponsibility.

    gut the regs.. then blame the cleanup effort.

    same exact problem as Wall Street because it's the same exact players advocating the same exact approach – which does not work.

    no credibility here at all guy.

    you're demonstrating why Republicans are unfit to lead.

    I support some Republicans.. just to be clear – but the ones I support are no longer allowed in the party – they've been expunged.

  28. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Arghhh! If it's Tuesday, it must be another Sic Semper Idiocy for the Old Dominion. The Guv and AG have repeatedly demonstrated that they're morons. I'm sorry–I've tried to put a good face on this Administration, but this latest overreaction to a classical image with exposed breast has done me in. We have regressed with this clowns, about a century, give or take.

  29. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "On the news programs this morning, it was stated that the Feds mobilize inside of 24 hours but they were told by the company that the leak was minor which is typical for these companies … in these circumstances.. lie… lie, lie.. then blame others…

    Why did BP "wait"? Why was the govt supposed to act when BP was telling everyone that it was not a major leak?".

    Ah ha ha ha ha ha So…Dear Leader relied on the word of a big oil company instead of acting himself? Sounds like the kind of things you used to accuse Dubya of doing. Maybe they're not so different?

    "what are you going to do with the wetlands …send the National Guard to wade through them with nets?"…

    The Coast Guard should have been told to start using subsurface disbursement chemicals long ago. But Dear Leader was relying on the oil company to tell him what to do and Big Sis didn't know that the Coast Guard had ships which could be used to spread the compound and dillute the oil before it got to the wetlands.

    You and your ilk loved blaming Dubya for his Katrina response. But, now, the fumbling, bumbling administration of Dear Leader can't be held to account for the response to this oil spill because they didn't cause the oil spill. Did Dubya cause the hurricane?

    Whether it's Bush or Obama, whether it's Nixon or Carter, Whether it's Hoover or Roosevelt … relying on the government for much of anything is a mistake.

    I am still waiting for your defense of the hideous set of regulations known as the US income tax code. Is it another example of one of your sound, intelligent government regulations? The Germans collect more taxes (especially from the rich) with a two page return. Please explain to me how endless tax code regulation makes America a better place.

    I also await your refutation of Barnie Day's complaints about Virginia's absurd level of regulation. I guess you think Mr. Day must have become a conservative Republican as well since he thinks there is too much regulation on the books in Virginia.

    LarryG, you love affair with big government is both sad and unrequited.

  30. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: " subsurface disbursement chemicals"

    never been used.. questionable as to whether it will work and Groveton where are we supposed to have stockpiles of these?

    Shouldn't that be the responsibility of BP to have what would be needed – on hand – in the event of a failure?

    once again..you're taking the same approach as Republicans..

    you're excusing the company for it's actions and blaming the govt for believing the company even though you did not support regulation for the same company.

    it's a totally cynical and hypocritical approach.. but typical for the party of "no".

    I did not blame Dubya for Katrina…

    I blamed him for his totally idiotic response to …people dying… as a direct result of him naming an incompetent to lead a critically important agency who already had a competent professional in charge.

    It's not just Katrina – it was his approach to the govt involvement in regulation in general.. to deny that regulation was needed, to gut as much as he could – an to do nothing about the housing crisis even though he was warned about it repeatedly… and the at the end to stand there stupidly saying that we needed to do the bailout.

    Comparing Dubya to this guy is a joke.

    Dubya was an incompetent idiot who …did not learn…

    that's the biggest hit – he did not learn from the mistakes because he was blinded by his ideology… "deficits don't matter".

    how you can STILL support that idiot is beyond me.

    Even most Republicans say that he severely damaged the whole idea of Conservative, responsible government.

    Obama? He's made mistakes. But despite the accusations, he learns, and he changes and adapts.. instead of standing there stupidly saying he does not know how the housing market collapsed but his advisors are telling him we have to do the bailout… like he had no idea about what happened and was just doing what someone else told him to do…

    I think when you guys saw that you closed your eyes, stuck your fingers in your ears and whistled Dixie because to sit there and listen to any more of Bush "explaining" was just too painful for you so you just conveniently exited reality and proceeded on to your favorite alternate world where Republicans are still smart and know how to govern.

    sad….really sad….

  31. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Groveton –

    In essence, this is what you are saying … that INSTEAD of prudent regulations to minimize disasters.. that the govt..using our tax dollars should have available on hand the resources – whatever is "enough" in materials, people, equipment.. ready to deploy on short notice – instead of regulations.

    and since Bush was opposed to regulation and at the same time did not put together this capability – it's this Presidents fault that he did not correct this problem is 18 months.. an in the meantime if he had proposed regulation.. you would have called him a "socialist".

    sad…so sad…

  32. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Groveton – you have gone so far astray from REAL Conservative principles here that I'm going to take pity on you and give you a lifeline card.

    I knew you hit bottom when you opposed the Wall Street bailout and then favored a BP bailout.

    So.. this one time only.. I'm going to allow you to backtrack without saying "I told you so".

    Don't squander it.

  33. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Looking forward to "Future Sketches, Forthcoming", EMR.
    If there is less consumption, what fills the void? Please don't tell me we'll all be working 80 hour weeks so need to worry about it.

  34. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    It sounds as if Groveton has been offered a spot on a primary ballot if he can sing all three verses of the Elephant Clan’s party line in the key of consumption.

    Sorry, Groveton, we already have you on record making rational statements. The Tea Party folks will out you in a heartbeat.

    You did day:

    “Government needs to be re-invented not expanded.”

    If you would stop for a moment and read carefully that is exactly what Fundamental Transformation is all about.

    Minimizing the levels is not re-inventing.

    Mimi:

    That is just what I have been telling Dr. Risse but he has a lot on his plate right now.

    I have heard about parts of it and it will be worth waiting for.

    No 80 hour work weeks in The New Bronze Age.

    Observer.

  35. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Re: Subsurface disbursement.

    Per LarryG:

    "never been used.. questionable as to whether it will work and Groveton where are we supposed to have stockpiles of these?".

    Per the NY Times:

    "Overnight on Friday, crews dumped 3,000 gallons of sub-surface dispersant at a rate of nine gallons per minute. According to a Coast Guard statement, officials were still evaluating its success.".

    And LarryG wants to send me an "I told you so.".

    Per LarryG:

    "I knew you hit bottom when you opposed the Wall Street bailout and then favored a BP bailout.".

    From a post I worte hours before LarryG's response:

    "However, the biggest thing that "government" can do to prevent future oil spills is to insist that BP pay the cost of cleaning up this one.".

    Hmmm…making somebody pay for something is an odd kind of bailout.

  36. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "“Government needs to be re-invented not expanded.”

    If you would stop for a moment and read carefully that is exactly what Fundamental Transformation is all about.

    Minimizing the levels is not re-inventing.".

    I have always agreed with EMR on his view of distributed governance.

    What I don't agree with is LarryG's contention that we need to add more and more regulatory weight to the existing structure of government. The existing structure is badly broken. Giving that structure more power will only make things worse.

  37. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    if you believe that BP is responsible why do you think it is the govt who should stockpile underwater dispersant and apply it instead of BP?

    why did not BP begin the underwater dispersal right away instead of expecting the govt to do it?

    why is the govt the responsible party here instead of BP?

    isn't this the purpose of regulations – to insure that BP is accountable and responsible?

  38. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    so a Conservative who espouses small govt and personal responsibility is going to say that it's the govt that is responsible for this disaster and it's cleanup?

    go figure.

    Groveton – you have clearly and convincingly demonstrated the totally broken concepts currently in favor with those on the right.

    If their philosophy was self-consistent – then I'd respect even if I did not agree.

    But you have a philosophy of convenience of your avowed principles where it allows you to blame govt for being big and ineffective and simultaneously hold them accountable for the actions of what you say should be an unfettered but responsible private sector.

    there is not reasonable way to reconcile this.

    it basically boils down to an ideology that holds the govt as the guilty party no matter what private industry does.

    they're wrong if they regulate and they're wrong if they don't.

    there is no way to rationally govern with this philosophy.

    we're essentially advocating the election of people with a conservative philosophy to then do – as they see fit once they are in charge without any rhyme or reason.. just arbitrary decisions.

  39. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "if you believe that BP is responsible why do you think it is the govt who should stockpile underwater dispersant and apply it instead of BP?

    why did not BP begin the underwater dispersal right away instead of expecting the govt to do it?

    why is the govt the responsible party here instead of BP?

    isn't this the purpose of regulations – to insure that BP is accountable and responsible?"

    Why doesn't Phillip Morris operate cancer wards?

    Having every oil company maintain an oceangoing fleet would be a bit much.

    BP doesn't own the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, it doesn't even own the oil under the water. It has a lease to to extract the oil. It has no right to decide what to do about an oil spill that has spread over miles and miles of water. That's what Big Sis is supposed to do.

    Exxon has still not fully paid for the 21 year old Exxon Valdez incident despite having taken the matter to the US Supreme Court.

    How long do you think either of us would get away with ignoring a court ordered payment? What happened to Leona Helmsley? Martha Stewart?

    The government currently has all the authority it needs to make oil companies do the right thing. Yet, it has failed to enforce the actions against Exxon. Letting low level bureaucrats write yet more rules won't help. Forcing the companies to pay for their messes will help.

    Start with Exxon. Then …

    Add up the costs of the BP clean up and send them the bill (via a court). Let them have their day in court. Once the courts decide that BP must pay, make them pay. If they don't pay put their executives in handcuffs and take them to jail.

  40. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " Having every oil company maintain an oceangoing fleet would be a bit much."

    geeze Groveton.. have you every heard of ONE COMPANY that specializes in this and can and is hired per company that need that service?

    Your Exxon story just demonstrates what happens if you do not regulate first.. and try, after the fact, to recover damages.

    When you regulate first, if they don't meet the requirements, you shut them down before they can do damage.

    Again.. you are blaming govt no matter what they do….

    you say the govt has plenty of power… that's true

    but what should they do with that power when it comes to regulating or not… and becoming in essence the responsible party of last resort ?

    You hold the govt responsible for the cleanup when it should have been BP's direct fiduciary responsibility from the get go and if BP was not able to be responsible then why would you let them engage in activities that they could be responsible for in the first place?

    you and your friends on the right want regulation-lite … not adequately regulate these companies.. and then you want to blame the govt after inadequate regulation for not cleaning up what should have been the responsibility of the private company – which you said was why they should not be regulated in the first place.

    tis is not responsible governance.

    this is risking taxpayers money … essentially subsidizing private enterprise … by not requiring them to be responsible and letting them hand the mess over to the govt when they get in over their head.

    this is what happens when you fail to adequately regulate but this is exactly what our friends on the right believe we should be doing – smaller, less intrusive govt to stay out of the way of business and let them do their thing.

    the only problem is – this does not work.

    over and over, we know this but the folks who hold this philosophy don't learn.

    they keep blathering on about redundant rules.. and dumb rules…as the reason why we should not regulate.

    and then when something like this happens… guess what..they blame the govt for not cleaning up the mess caused by unregulated activities.

    you be wrong Mr. G and I think you know it.

    I cannot imagine a more irresponsible approach that the folks on the right advocate for governance and regulation.

    and this is supposed to be the party of personal responsibility.

  41. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Another long-term conservative henchman (i.e. Bill Maher) wonders why Obama isn't getting more s**t over his "oil rigs are safe" comments.

    http://bit.ly/aF2oLo

    The federal government is broken.

  42. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse

    Groveton said:

    “I have always agreed with EMR on his view of distributed governance.

    “What I don't agree with is LarryG's contention that we need to add more and more regulatory weight to the existing structure of government. The existing structure is badly broken. Giving that structure more power will only make things worse.”

    Groveton:

    That is good to get on the record.

    It was not at all clear from your earlier comments.

    Now the question is how can citizens and their Enterprises and Institutions make that happen?

    Antipartisanship?

    Peter:

    What is media’s role?

    EMR

  43. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: oil rigs are "safe"

    the man made a mistake – in an effort to find some middle ground on the energy issue.

    Here's what he won't do.

    He won't stand up at a Press Conference and look stupidly at the cameras and say "my people are telling me that we must do this".

    He'll realize that he did make a mistake and he'll be man enough to admit it and to adjust course accordingly.

    He will not stand firm on blind ideology as he did demonstrate by not listening to the left wing energy zealots.

    You can bet this will happen.

    He will propose stiffer regulations.

    The folks on the right will oppose.

    They'll try to obfuscate by running attack ADs on TV and get their PR people to gin up FAUX News and talk radio about Obama's "socialist attempts to 'nationalize' the offshore oil industry" and worse.

    In Congress the R's will get up and say "this is not what Americans want". It will kill jobs and run off investors and lead to $5 gasoline…

    and then they'll blame the D's for back room deals… 1000 page legislation… and bought votes…and those corrupt leaders Pelosi and Reid.

    eh?

    we know how this is going to turn out right now..right?

  44. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    The governor said essentially that one doesn't stop all airline flights because of one crash.

    Well, no, but one frequently gounds one model.

    However, airplanes crash, and they continue to find new ways to crash, and we continue to find new ways to prevent crashes. But the governor is correct: you don't stop all flights because of one event.

    It would not surprise me if public hysteria makes this the exception to the rule. The governor is actually lucky. Offshore drilling would never have met his promise to use the funds for transportation. Now he willhave to find a way that works.

    RH

    RH

  45. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    how does that free us up to do ….what?

    Umm, not freeze in the dark?

    Harvest crops at a cost of $100 an hour insead of $125?

    RH

  46. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    You could not pay me enough to be program manager in charge of stopping this leak.

    RH

  47. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “I have always agreed with EMR on his view of distributed governance."

    Great. Now we can have the conservativbe communist party.

    RH

  48. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    If we distribute far enough, we can have the conservative anarchist party.

    RH

  49. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    The federal government is broken.

    It was designed to be inefficient. It has succeeded beyond the founding fathers wildest imagination.

    RH

  50. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I've written letters to all the politicians I can think of to create a plan to cut oil dependency not by 20% but by 80%. WE CAN DO IT.

    I'm sorry, but I think youare out of your mind if you beleie this is possible.

    I burn a lot of diesel fuel, even though it is a tiny amount compared to big farms.

    If I cut my consumption by 80%, I cut my production by 100%, because it isn't any longer worth doing. I produce hundreds of tons of goods, and I cannot do it by hand: it takes lots of POWER and ther is no known subsitute for diesel tractors yet.

    Other industries face the same situation: printing presses take a lot of power.

    We can cut sonsuption 80% by reducing production. And maybe we can find some substitutes so we only have to cut production 30%.

    Such a result would have unimaginable consequences.

    RH

  51. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "if BP was not able to be responsible then why would you let them engage in activities that they could be responsible for in the first place?"

    You mean like the nuclear industry,the asbestos industry, the bhopal industry, the DDT industry, the PCB industry.

    RH

  52. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Instead of trying to be all things to all people and adopt new regulations, the government should concentrate on its basic functions and try to do those things well. But that doesn't amaze the media or help people raise campaign money and get them reelected.

    Look at the mess immigration is in. The federal government is incapable of policing the borders and look at the number of people on both sides of the issue who have been harmed.

    Locally, Fairfax County is so busy trying to keep the big Tysons landowners happy that they are being pressured to approve a plan that will require MWAA to dismantle and rebuild support facilities just now being constructed to bring the Silver Line into operation so that the Dulles Toll Road can be expanded.

    The SEC cannot successfully regulate anything more complex than Monopoly money.

    And some want to give these clowns more power; more authority. We have given the federal clowns broad authority over health care and some want them to regulate carbon dioxide.

    If a big sinkhole opened and metro Washington fell in and was never heard of again, the rest of the nation would be better off — liberals and conservatives; whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics; women and men.

    If they saw what posed a government, both John and Abigail Adams would petition Queen Elizabeth II to rejoin the U.K., not that those clowns are any better. Judge Dillon was too conservative in his distrust of local government.

    The feds, the Commonwealth and its subdivisions ought to go back to basics; cut the scope of their missions; and concentrate on doing small things well.

    TMT

  53. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " But the governor is correct: you don't stop all flights because of one event."

    no.. he or his administration would not – but the public will.

    if they lose confidence in the regulatory safety environment planes… then bad stuff is going to happen – economically.

    that was the big problem after 911.

    just do something to make the public lose trust – and bad stuff is the result.

    McDonnell is demonstrating a fundamental misconception in Governance… by Conservatives who think that by being elected they become the "decider" and will rule accordingly.

    The public has a thing or two to say about these things – as Mr. McDonnell has yet to learn apparently.

    I thought he might have learned with his idiotic Confederate blather but apparently not.

    A much smarter statement from him on this would have been – "We need to learn lessons from this and apply them to any future consideration of offshore in Virginia".

  54. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Really getting tired of the "federal government is broken" meme, just like I get tired of "public education is broken" meme. Getting tired of people tearing down public institutions, placing blame, driving wedges, sowing fears of doubt.

    That seems so much easier to do than to lead.

  55. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    not all regulation is a failure.

    we have relatively safe food, drugs, products, etc as a direct result of relatively successful regulation.

    EFFECTIVE regulation is why we do not have LEAD in gasoline or DDT-laced Eagles and less and less kids chewing lead paint.

    we still have kids dying from plastic bags and others dying from wrong dosage drugs – despite regulation.

    I would say this.

    If you took a poll right now and asked people if the failure to regulate oil drilling in the gulf is proof positive that the govt should cease all further attempts at regulating.. you'd get about 80% disagreement with that idea with the 20% agreement coming from the folks on the hard right.

    just my view.

  56. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    geeze Groveton.. have you every heard of ONE COMPANY that specializes in this and can and is hired per company that need that service?

    Well, yeah, but youwould need enough accidents to keep itin business, wouldn't you?

    We have a companies like that, but even they can't fix this in a week.

    RH

  57. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    To remain informed on the situation in the Gulf, go to http://www.epa.gov/bpspill. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is from New Orleans. She's good.

  58. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    not all regulation is a failure.

    Indeed, most regulation comes as a response to failure.

    Look at George Washington's bitter complaints toward contractors during the War.

    The FAR's started right after companies started cheating the government, and the people.

    If you thinke we have too much, just consider how we got this way.

    You have too much regulation when the regulation costs more than the damage it prevents.

    RH

  59. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Have you never heard of Hazardous Waste Cleanup companies?

    they don't have to work all the time.. only when they are needed and they charge accordingly – and the govt regs REQUIRE that those handling hazardous waste demonstrate the capability to have a spill cleaned up.

    It's known as a cost of doing business.

    It's like having to have a sprinkler system even if you never use it.

  60. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: " You have too much regulation when the regulation costs more than the damage it prevents."

    and how do you know when the reverse happens?

    did we have too much regulation in the gulf?

    how would we have known what too much would have been BEFORE the disaster ?

    how do you know ahead of time?

  61. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "“I have always agreed with EMR on his view of distributed governance."

    Great. Now we can have the conservativbe communist party.

    RH"

    That was funny RH and you're not known for your humor.

    In reality, the distribution of power which EMR disucsses is a distribution by layer. This happens to some extent today. Since my neighbors and I own our street we have to meet, adopt an annual budget, etc for resurfacing, snow removal, etc.

    Fairfax County has no role in this so there is no overlap. The Fairfax County police can't even come down our street unless they have been called.

    Guess what? Everybody's happy. There is one less road for VDOT to worry about. Our street is paved often enough to be reliable but not so often to be expensive. The snow is removed by a local man with a truck and a plough ahead of every other street. The cost / house is reasonable.

    The next two levels are missing. There should be a Great Falls level of government and a Greater Reston or Greater McLean level (not sure which would make more sense). These levels, properly constituted, would allieviate many of the concerns TMT expresses. We would need a much smaller county government under this arrangement and a smaller state government. However, I'd re-read the US Constitution and eliminate many federal agencies whcih have no basis in that document – The Department of Education, for example. Some of these powers would expand to the state. LarryG's beloved federal government would be smaller but more focused on things that matter at the federal level – like the military and ensuring the safe operations of our commercial airspace and … preventing the next oil leak.

    The world is full of organizations. All large organizations operate and manage in layers. That is distributed governance. Well run large organizations strike the proper balance between power at the top layer and power at the succeeding layers. The United States government does not strike this balance successfully. It is not a well run large organization. It is a poorly run large organization. Hence, it is presently unfit to be given any new powers.

  62. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: " LarryG's beloved federal government …"

    in the context of discussing a privately maintained road just illustrates how Groveton constructs his own view – not connect to the reality and the facts.

    Larry has advocated local responsibility for roads.

    He's also advocated that the folks inside a subdivision who do not want their road to be used by those who do not live there – be responsible for those roads via a HOA.

    I also support Service Districts for other locally-desired facilities and services as opposed to advocating for county-wide tax increases that would provide those facilities.

    I believe in toll roads for those that need the roads rather than taxing those who do not need those roads – a personal responsibility deal if you will.

    I would, in fact, NOT INCREASE the Federal nor the State gas tax but instead turn over roads to the localities and dedicate the current tax to maintaining important state roads and to not build new ones unless they can be built as viable toll roads.

    the question here is how do you do the above WITHOUT Govt?

    Govt must be part of the equation but just because it has to be part of the equation does not mean that I support a nanny state. My support is one of pragmatism that indeed there is a legitimate purpose for governance.

    and I support holding BP accountable for their activities, to take the proper safeguards and to be fully financially responsible for damages through adequate reserve funds and insurance – not subsidized by taxpayers.

    and unlike Groveton, I do not think taxpayers should pay to maintain a permanent govt response team to go around behind negligent companies and clean up their messes.

    and unlike Groveton, I do not think the US should provide insurance to any private enterprise including the NUKES unless in return they get to set the terms of the regulations – just as many insurance companies will do for private transactions.

    Groveton wants big govt.

    I'll bet he wants interstate highways, NOAA weather satellites and nutrition labels on food and black box warnings on drugs… and prisons to keep the bad guys sequestered even if they are the biggest employer in Virginia….

    How about you have to pay for Weather Services instead of govt satellites?

    how about your GPS – you pay for it like a cell phone instead of gratis GPS satellites?

    how about we let the airlines decide how to deal with terrorists and you then decide who you think provides the best security – no doubt at a premium price over the slackers.

    he just wants what he wants and wants to get rid of what he does not want – just like the others who hold an anti-govt view – except they don't really even agree among themselves as to what to keep and what to dump.

    If you REALLY believed the govt should get out of roads like interstates, for instance, you'd support selling them all to private enterprise, get rid of the gas tax an let the owners decide how much they need to charge to provide those roads.

    You'd not require drug and food companies to meet standards.. you'd let them operate the way they do in Somalia and Nambia.

  63. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    If you REALLY believed the govt should get out of roads like interstates, for instance, you'd support selling them all to private enterprise, get rid of the gas tax an let the owners decide how much they need to charge to provide those roads.

    We tried that before, and it was a failure.

    RH

  64. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " We tried that before, and it was a failure."

    failure?

    how is that?

    what failed?

    do we not have toll roads right now?

    Toll Roads did not fail.

    what failed was people who decided they did not want private enterprise to operate the roads and instead wanted to collect taxes – a nanny state.

    publically-funded roads is a "socialist" concept – right?

    Now tell me who called Eisenhower a "socialist"?

    any of the current gaggle of idiots complaining about socialism?

  65. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    In reality, the distribution of power which EMR disucsses is a distribution by layer. This happens to some extent today

    Thats works fine when people band together in favor of something they want. Not so hot whne they band against things they don't want.

    I'm all in favor of positive incentives. Negative incentives are dangerous. It is one thing to have a pigouvian tax which is designed to offset negative externalities, but that is a slippery slope that leads to sin taxes and social engineering.

    Reading the context of EMR's (11?) layers of government one sees that its true purpose is not to advance freedom and progress on a fair basis, but to throw up obstacles to achievement, in a thinly disguised attempt at conservation through frustration.

    Just this weekend I spoke to another farmer who was building a "workshop". He said he would never get it done if he had to contend with the county. He got around that by declaring it to be an agricultural structure. He basically said the count development administrators were insane, and he claimed that they had different standards for developers vs private homeowners.

    If that's true it is bad and if it is not true it still illustrates what I find to be a pretty common attitude towrds local government.

    I agree with Groveton in that I believe in a Republican form of tax payments: Pay ALL you tax to the closest government, then let the larger ones negotiate with them to divy it up.

    Leave me out of it and let me pay one bill, which I can hold one guy responsible for.

    But lets keep the necessary regulatory crap at a higher level where it is more likely to be applied uniformly and with at least some science behind it, as opposed to the vagaries of local fiefdoms.

    RH

  66. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    "how would we have known what too much would have been BEFORE the disaster ?"

    Go to the OPM jobs website, search for Interior Dept. Analyze the job offerings. Start a new government wide search for GS series 1800. Compare the results.

    Royalties trump regulation.

  67. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    " and to not build new ones unless they can be built as viable toll roads."

    Dumb way to collect road tax. Energy tax is better because it charges by mileage, weight, speed, and driving habits. Does everything tolls do and it works on every road, not just new ones. doesn't require a whole new infrastructure, yet, and it can go into play tomorrow.

    Why subsidize private industry by guaranteeing them a new captive audience?

  68. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    " We tried that before, and it was a failure."

    failure?

    how is that?

    what failed?

    Private toll roads failed, along with canals and railroads.

    Give it up. It is a lousy idea.

    RH

  69. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " Why subsidize private industry by guaranteeing them a new captive audience?"

    you mean what WalMart does is a subsidy to a captive audience?

    explain…

  70. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Toll Roads did not fail.

    Yes they did. They commonly went bankrupt and wer badly maintained.

    RH

  71. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    private railroads are a failure?

    what failed was not charging tolls but the canals lost to a more efficient mode… that in essence charges for transportation rather than provide a "free" transport service.

    works pretty good.. if you ask me.

  72. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    The New Bronze Age will be less expensive but there will be only simple and safe technology.

    Observer

    No it won't. It will be vastly more expensive. I can switch back to mules when the price of fuel gets too high, but AI will produce less product and the price will be higher.

    RH

  73. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: " Toll Roads did not fail.

    Yes they did. They commonly went bankrupt and wer badly maintained"

    then all those roads that charge tolls don't really exist?

    Are you familiar with the Dulles Toll Road?

    if that road REALLY failed wouldn't the tolls go away and the state take it over?

    The ICC is not a toll road?

    HOT Lanes are not being built?

  74. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "The next two levels are missing. There should be a Great Falls level of government and a Greater Reston or Greater McLean level (not sure which would make more sense). These levels, properly constituted, would alleviate many of the concerns TMT expresses."

    Groveton gets another "Amen"!

    Most people in McLean would opt to be an independent city, similar to Fairfax City, and provide certain services in conjunction with other new cities (Reston, Springfield, etc.). Becoming a city would give us control over land use, which would affect transportation and taxes. Where do we sign up?

    Notice that Til Hazel and his crowd are proposing more regional government for the opposite reason. It's much easier to manipulate government at higher levels and to do so in secret.

    Moreover, at the McLean level, I don't have the same fears over real estate developer control that I do at the Fairfax County level. Much less need for a Dillon Rule for protection.

    TMT

  75. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: forming local govt.

    I'm pretty sure you can do this.

    I'm also pretty sure you can form service districts.

    you just need a majority of voters to go along with you.

    you can also reconfigure your existing govt – especially so when the census requires reapportionment.

    I'm pretty sure that Fairfax has more autonomy than other jurisdictions in Va.

    For instance, they are one of very few that were allowed to tax income – as long as it went for roads.

    Now Groveton would complain about the "strings" instead of seeing it as an additional gained home rule ability.

    Fairfax is also free to raise taxes as high as it's citizens want – to pay for schools and roads.

    In reality, Fairfax has a quite wide array of options if they really want to self-tax for local benefit.

    Yes, the developers can still get their hands on it but harder than intercepting money coming back from the state to Fairfax.

    If the citizens of Fairfax can't, right now, get together to agree on how to not have their county give away money and development rights then how would Home Rule fix that?

    Groveton thinks Home Rule will free Fairfax up from Rova.

    TMT, on the other hand, is wary of that idea – with justification if right now, developers are running amok in the county.

  76. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Myth One: High technology will save us.

    Well, so much for wind and solar.

    RH

  77. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Are you familiar with the Dulles Toll Road?

    if that road REALLY failed wouldn't the tolls go away and the state take it over?

    The ICC is not a toll road?

    HOT Lanes are not being built?

    Historically, private toll roads have failed. Are any of those you mention truly private?

    It doesn't even matter if they "succeed", they are still a bad idea, compared to almost anything else. And they are inequitable since only users of new roads get hit with the new taxes.

    My farm "succeeds" if I count operations only. It is still a lousy idea and a waste of energy and resources.

    RH

  78. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Fairfax is also free to raise taxes as high as it's citizens want – to pay for schools and roads.

    As long as they continue to pay for everyone else's as well.

    RH

  79. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Becoming a city would give us control over [someone else's] land use, which would affect transportation and taxes [and that persons's personal welfare].

    RH

  80. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Becoming a city would give us [we would not have to buy] control over [someone else's] land use, which would affect transportation and taxes [and that persons's personal welfare].

    RH

  81. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    "and unlike Groveton, I do not think taxpayers should pay to maintain a permanent govt response team to go around behind negligent companies and clean up their messes.".

    Very Obama-esque.

    Obama is carping that BP didn't explain things clearly enough when asked about the spill. Funny, OJ didn't explain things very well when asked about Nicole and Ron.

    So, after causing a problem and then (according to Dear Leader) underplaying the problem LarryG would let the same company do whatever it thought necessary to fix the problem. Maybe they'd light the fuel, maybe not. Maybe they'd dump disbiursements in the water, maybe not. Maybe they'd worry about oil drifiting toward Mexico, maybe not.

    Never mind that the oil company doesn't own any of the Gulf of Mexico nor does it have any legal right to light oil spills on fire or dump thousands of pounds of dirbursement chemicals into the water.

    LarryG has been watching too many reruns of the old Thunderbirds TV show. In that show puppets were employees of a private disaster prevention company. They lived on a secret island and had flying submarines, flying cars, rocket ships, etc.

    Here is a video from the movie which was (mostly) based on the TV show:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YyTfxeJxvQ

    LarryBirds are GO!!

  82. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "what failed was not charging tolls but the canals lost to a more efficient mode… "

    Barges are more efficient than trains. Trains are faster, leading to faster turnaround on capital. this is the same reason trains cannot compete with trucks for certain markets and short hauls.

    The best canals were kept open by being taken over by government, same as the best toll roads.

    The railroads were built with huge concessions and government giveaways. Calling them private is lie thiking the high speed trains in Japan were built privately.
    —————————-

    Privately held toll roads failed in droves. They were a bad idea then and they are a bad idea now. The Greenway failed its original invetors and now works only because it was purchased at a fraction of what it cost.

    Nothing will change the superiority of an energy tax to support transportation and promote transportation efficiency.

    RH

  83. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    if they lose confidence in the regulatory safety environment planes… then bad stuff is going to happen – economically.

    Public hysteria leads to overregulation that is also harmful economically. We seldom learn about it because no one goes back and actually tries to measure.

    There is no feedback loop.

    In New England, the fishing quota rules result in boats going out in bad weather, because they are only allowed a certain number of days to fish. These rules came about over public hysteria over falling fish stocks. The underlying cause for the quoatas is real, the hysteria is not, and the result is sometimes tragic.

    In other places the quota is on fish caught, not days fished.

    It isn't that regulation isn't needed, we know that it is. What is not needed is regulation that causes more damage than it prevents. we cant know that until we agree to look.

    RH

  84. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "Before 1840 most surveys were made for short passenger lines which proved to be financially unprofitable. Because steam-powered railroads had stiff competition from canal companies, many partially completed lines were abandoned. It was not until the Boston and Lowell Railroad diverted traffic from the Middlesex Canal that the success of the new mode of transportation was assured. The industrial and commercial depression and the panic of 1837 slowed railroad construction. Interest was revived, however, with completion of the Western Railroad of Massachusetts in 1843. This line conclusively demonstrated the feasibility of transporting agricultural products and other commodities by rail for long distances at low cost.

    Early railroad surveys and construction were financed by private investors. Before the 1850 land grant to the Illinois Central Railroad, indirect federal subsidies were provided by the federal government in the form of route surveys made by army engineers. In the 1824 General Survey Bill to establish works of internal improvements, railroads were not specifically mentioned. Part of the appropriation under this act for the succeeding year, however, was used for "Examinations and surveys to ascertain the practicability of uniting the head-waters of the Kanawha with the James river and the Roanoke river, by Canals or Rail-Roads."5

    In his Congressional History of Railways, Louis H. Haney credits these surveys as being the first to receive federal aid."

    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/rrhtml/rrintro.html

  85. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    The Panic of 1893 was a serious economic depression in the United States that began in 1893.[1] Similar to the Panic of 1873, this panic was caused by railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing which set off a series of bank failures.

    The 1880s had been a period of remarkable economic expansion in the United States. In time, the expansion became driven by speculation, much like the tech bubble of the late 1990s and the housing bubble of the early 21st century, except that the associated industry was railroads.

    One of the first signs of trouble was the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, which had greatly over-extended itself, a series of bank failures followed, and the Northern Pacific Railway, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad failed. This was followed by the bankruptcy of many other companies; in total over 15,000 companies and 500 banks failed.

    The huge spike in unemployment, combined with the loss of life savings by failed banks, meant that a once-secure middle-class could not meet their mortgage obligations. As a result, many walked away from recently built homes. From this, the sight of the vacant Victorian (haunted) house entered the American mindset.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1893

    Some things we have to learn over and over. Looks like tolls ill be one of them.

  86. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Severe storms and flooding have claimed the lives of at least 15 people in the US states of Tennessee and Mississippi.

    The storms produced tornadoes and hail and brought record rainfall that caused rivers to overflow. Several people are still missing.

    With more storms forecast, emergency officials have called on the Tennessee National Guard for help in rescuing stranded residents.

    Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes.

    At least 11 people were killed in Tennessee.

    Disasters in perspective.

    What could we have done to save 11 people in Tennessee vs 11 people on the oil rig?

    What would be the cost and the probability of success?

    RH

  87. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " Funny, OJ didn't explain things very well when asked about Nicole and Ron."

    so…you're equating BP's ethics with O.J.s and you're blaming Obama for that….

    Groveton.. I fear that you have indeed gone over to the dark side.

    you sound more and more like the Tea Party folks.

    so sorry.

  88. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " There is no feedback loop."

    you don't call refusing to fly on an airplane a "feedback loop"?

  89. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Not worth responding to. We hae a common complaint that once a program gets started, it never ends. Reagan called it the nearest thing to immortality.

    The reason this happens is that there is no feedback loop, no QC mechanism in the sense that William Deming would prescribe.

    RH

  90. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "The EIA released new energy data last Friday showing that the U.S. had the most energy-efficient economy in history last year, based on the amount of energy consumed to produce each real dollar of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2009, it required only 7,290 BTUs of energy (petroleum, natural gas and other energy) to produce each real dollar of GDP, an all-time record low."

    When the price of oil goes up, it won't hurt us as much as others, who produce less goods for the same energy.

    RH

  91. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    huh? I thought you were the one that said efficiency would lead to more consumption?

    no?

  92. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    " I thought you were the one that said efficiency would lead to more consumption?"

    It has and it will. We are using less energy per GDP and because of the recession we are also making less GDP. consequently energy consumption is temporarily down.

    We are still burning more fuel than any time prior to 1997, and demand is rising as rail and container shipping is up. Trucking will be up shortly.

    I hate to think how much fuel is going to be burned trying to corral that oil spill. Shrimp boats make tractors look miserly on fuel.

    RH

  93. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Anyway, the point is that you can no longer claim the Europeans are more efficient than we are in using fuel.

    RH

  94. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    re: " the U.S. had the most energy-efficient economy in history last year"

    I read this – in IT's History not in the history of the world as you apparently do.

    how do we compare with other countries?

    you also are confusing the amount of energy we use as a nation of a growing population as opposed to a per capita or per capita GDP.

    finally, if you want to prove your point – why not post the energy use per GDP over time from say 1940 to present so that it was show each year the energy use per GDP goes up – as per your claim?

    I say it is the opposite.

    I say that efficiency is when you use LESS energy per GDP and that the world and the US gets more efficient as time goes by.

    In 1960 a heat pump used more BTUS per heat unit output than a modern way today uses.

    That's efficiency.

    that means that on average, owners of heat pumps use less energy heating their homes than they did with prior less efficient models.

  95. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I say it is the opposite.

    you are wrong, Larry. Give it up.

    America now uses less fuel per GDP produced than any other country.

    We still use a lot of fuel.

    We produce more GDP per person than other countries, partly because we use more fuel, even if we use it ata lower rate per GDP, we produce a lot more GDP per person, because we work more hours.

    And, because we can afford to consume more goods, we do, and thatmeans that even thogh the goods are produced efficiently, we use more energy per person than other countries.

    We use it to produce and we use it to consume.

    Even though our efficiency has increased enormously since the 1930's we use more energy over time.

    However, it is true that total energy use has gone down in the past several years, largely because of the economy and the flight of manufacturing. That negative trend will turn back up in the next two years.

    Increasing effiiency increses the "profit" you make from using it, and therefore increases the incentive to use more, even if you are using it at a lower rate.

    A supertanker uses less fuel per barrel of crude moved, but it stilluses more fuel than a normal tanker.

    You cannot deny measurable facts. this stuff is right out of EIA, not some oil company think tank.

    RH

  96. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    In 1960 a heat pump used more BTUS per heat unit output than a modern way today uses.

    That's efficiency.

    that means that on average, owners of heat pumps use less energy heating their homes than they did with prior less efficient models.

    But BECAUSE they are more efficient a lot more people buy heat pumps. People who used to have (an even more efficient) wood stove. Net result we use more energy for heat pumps than before.

    I understand your argument, Larry, but it is wrong. It simply does not work the way you think it does. This is what I got my Mater's in: Jevon's paradox is paradoxical, but it is also correct.

    Youa re arguing that the world is flat. Go right ahead.

    RH

  97. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    finally, if you want to prove your point – why not post the energy use per GDP over time from say 1940 to present so that it was show each year the energy use per GDP goes up – as per your claim?

    you can look this up as easy as I can, but you do not wish to believe the results.

    "2009: Most Energy-Efficient Economy in History "

    Google this to see a copy of the EIA data: Energy use per GDP and Total energy consumption.

    We are using energy better than ever and also more than ever. Efficiency is one leg on a tree legged stool, but it will not save us from energy collapse alone.

    Prices will do that for us.

  98. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    if you use less energy per person, then you are more efficient – which means even if you switched from other fuels like wood – you are still using LESS for each person making the switch.

    If EVERYONE used wood and then EVERYONE switched over to a HEAT PUMP, then not only when individual usage go down but so would the collective overall usage.

    You keep confusing population growth in this.

    Population growth is the reason that overall use goes up.

    If population stops growing – then total energy use would also go down as cars and heat pumps got more and more efficient.

    Ray – you are so blinded by what you so fervently want to believe that even common-sense evades your analyses.

    the only reason energy use is going up is because there are more people using energy – a lower levels that before because things like heat pumps are far more efficient.

    But the efficiency gains are not sufficient to overcome the additional energy needed by more people.

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