Unexpectedly–The Big Green Deal is a Scam

Remember that time you thought you were digging into a bowl of chocolate ice cream and you discovered with the first bite that you were eating rancid prunes instead? That’s the definition of unexpected. Conversely, if you are having a colonoscopy you know exactly what is happening to you. The procedure is a definition of “EXPECTED”. It is only the results that can be unexpected.

Which brings me to slow Joe Biden, Wall Street and the economy. I am thoroughly amused at the surprise among journalists that the New Green Deal and the Biden Economic plan are not turning up roses. Consider these recent headlines:

‘Massive failure’: Why are millions of people in Texas still without power?

Retail Sales Unexpectedly Crashed in December

US jobless claims unexpectedly rise to 861,000 amid chip shortage

Let’s start with the electricity debacle in Texas. You cannot blame this on Democrats. This floating turd was created with enthusiastic Republican help. Governors Rick Perry and Greg Abbot–eager to pander to the climate change crowd–presided over the closure of gas and coal fired power plants in Texas and replacing the so-called dirty energy sources with clean wind turbines that were supposed to usher in a utopia of green, pristine power.

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16 Responses to Unexpectedly–The Big Green Deal is a Scam

  1. Fred Fred says:

    Larry,

    “eager to pander to the climate change crowd”

    That’s not really correct. Perry was just starting as Governor back when G.W. Bush was elected President. Both Clinton and Bush were big on energy and telecom deregulation. The “climate change crowd” were affecting federal regulations, not the sole or even main driver of those changes, which drove most of the restructuring in the electric utility system nationwide. You will recall the California electricity crisis that politicians used to drive Grey Davis out of office and put Schwarzenegger in? (2003) financial incentives in the legislatively created marketplace created that mess. I think you’ll find market structure a big problem in this, too. The current regulatory structure puts the grid operators in charge. You can read all about it: http://www.ercot.com/mktrules

    There’s a lot that needs to be in the USA Today article – and isn’t – to understand what happened to cause the cascade of shutdowns and failures to get units online. Coal fired plants don’t start by turning a key like a small peaking unit might. Same with larger natural gas plants. I’d look at the regulatory incentives first, and the lack of heat trace on trubine blade and other equipment much later.

  2. Avatar J says:

    Larry,

    Look at how New Mexico is now paying for their votes for Biden/Harris with their state’s economy (fossil fuel oil production) now in the shitter thanks to Biden/Harris.

    From what I can see, it appears that Kamala is now running the show with Biden playing her face-man role.

  3. Avatar longarch says:

    It is technically possible to make a wind turbine that works in Antarctica. It can be cost-effective. But the engineers must be allowed to control the design.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2015/11/inside-literally-wind-turbines-meant-to-work-at-the-south-pole-and-mars/

    However, in Texas, the funding decisions were probably not made by engineers. Therefore the engineers were probably not in control of the design. Probably Texas bureaucrats assumed that Texas would never get very cold — and they saw that they could save a few pennies with a cheap design.

    • Fred Fred says:

      What is ‘cost-effective’ about a power generator in a region human beings can’t live in without massive government spending to begin with? There were non ‘pennies’ saved but tens of thousands of dollars per generator. That spending is not the solution to reliable base-load generation and distribution.

    • Avatar Ed Lindgren says:

      Here is a link to an insightful discussion on Judith Curry’s Climate Etc blog regarding this week’s failure of the electric power grid in Texas:

      https://judithcurry.com/2021/02/18/assigning-blame-for-the-blackouts-in-texas/

      • Fred Fred says:

        “they don’t ensure that the resources can deliver power under adverse conditions, they don’t require that generators have secured firm fuel supplies, and they don’t make sure the resources will be ready and available to operate.”

        No kidding. The government and the regulatory body don’t own the generating system. The “planning engineer” author of that piece sounds like an academic who hasn’t read PUHC, PURPA or the Federal Power Act. Not to mention all the other regulatory laws governing siting, construction and operation of electric power plants.

  4. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Larry,

    It appears that it is not only wind generation that went off-line but also coal, natgas and even a nuclear unit.

    https://news.yahoo.com/texas-power-grid-failed-mostly-065217364.html

    The state has a generating capacity of about 67,000 megawatts in the winter compared with a peak capacity of about 86,000 megawatts in the summer. The gap between the winter and summer supply reflects power plants going offline for maintenance during months when demand typically is less intense and there’s not as much energy coming from wind and solar sources.

    But planning for this winter didn’t imagine temperatures cold enough to freeze natural gas supply lines and stop wind turbines from spinning. By Wednesday, 46,000 megawatts of power were offline statewide — 28,000 from natural gas, coal and nuclear plants and 18,000 from wind and solar, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid.

    https://apnews.com/article/why-texas-power-grid-failed-2eaa659d2ac29ff87eb9220875f23b34

    IMO, the issue is lack of investment in infrastructure & maintenance. We see that across all infrastructure everywhere in the country. We’re happy to spend trillions on endless wars that bring no benefit to working Americans and also spend trillions bailing out Wall St speculative trading, but getting a dime authorized to upgrade our aging national infrastructure is a supreme challenge. When we do however, and the government doles out hundreds of billions, much of it is “scammed” in the revolving door that is our public governance. A civil engineer friend showed me some interesting comparisons. The cost in current dollars & elapsed time to construct the Golden Gate Bridge in the 30s vs the cost & elapsed time to build one span of the Bay Bridge to replace the span that collapsed in an earthquake. What do you think the delta is? What is amazing is that steel beams were shipped on barges from China in the Bay Bridge span reconstruction. Is it because we no longer can roll steel beams?

    There are however, some projects, that show what is possible in America even today. Perseverance made a safe landing on Mars today. Why can’t we get teams like that to modernize our national infrastructure?

    • Avatar Mark K Logan says:

      blue peacock,

      We can still make I-beams, just not as cheaply. Labor in China has been so low that it’s below what one could house and feed a slave in the US. Expect that to change over time as China seeks to be not so utterly dependent on exports for an economy (a strategic weakness) and their people begin to seek better conditions for themselves.
      It’s a flaw of capitalism, at least laissez-faire capitalism, to be forced to seek profit without regard to long term effects, and the inherent lack of motive to produce something like, say, the Grand Coulee dam. In Texas’ss case they decided not to winterize their energy systems, but both windfarms and natural gas refineries can and do function in extreme cold, if so prepared.

      https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/energy/539460-sweden-tells-texas-how-to-keep-turbines-spinning-in

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/gas-coal-offline-texas-cold-snap

      Perry may be the most honest of the lot. Instead of blaming liberals his remarks reflect an acceptance of responsibility for not winterizing Texan energy systems, albeit in a tangential way. Fact of the matter is that if 8 years ago someone had proposed to increase electrical rates, however much, to prepare for weeks of deep freeze in southern Texas that person would probably have been dragged away in a long-sleeved white jacket, politically speaking. Without some form of government mandating that it would place those producers who did so on their own at a competitive disadvantage, praying for a 1-in-a-100-year storm.

      • Avatar blue peacock says:

        Mark

        In the 50s & 60s I would say we had some of the finest infrastructure in the world.

        It changed in the 70s, when as Judith Stein writes in her book Pivotal Decade, “we traded factories for finance”. The growth of credit has taken off since. Just take a look at the historical chart of Total Credit Market Debt as a ratio to GDP.

    • Fred Fred says:

      Blue,

      “Why can’t we get teams like that to modernize our national infrastructure?”

      We can. Whose money are you going to use to pay them and who owns the end product infrastructure when they are done? Then what are you going to pay the people who can’t make an adequate financial return on the assets they currently own? AEP is spent years in court trying to get money for ‘stranded costs’ due to regulatory actions in Texas two dacades ago.
      https://www.psoklahoma.com/info/news/ViewRelease.aspx?releaseID=1736

      • Avatar blue peacock says:

        Fred

        There is public infrastructure and there is private. Since we happily print up trillions for endless wars and Wall St bailouts, why not the same for public infrastructure.

        Just like the national highway system & the postal service, we could also have a national backbone electricity grid and a national backbone communications network. Many municipalities also provide public infrastructure like water treatment and sewage systems. I could even see public infrastructure in the form of base load nuclear generation and a network of seaports.

        Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7 of the Constitution called for the postal service as a national infrastructure in the 18th century. So, it wouldn’t be out of place that we have national infrastructure for the 21st century.

        China’s growth also largely financed by credit has been due to a huge ratio of GDP growth driven by fixed asset investment. They have an extensive and modern infrastructure from airports to seaports; transit, highways & rail. OK, maybe they’ve gone overboard. However, at least they’ve got something to show for.

        What have we got for the $27 trillion federal government debt?

        • Avatar Deap says:

          What do we get for all that money? Public sector labor peace. Direct benefit. Or hybrid sector labor peace – those funded by public money contracts. These people now own us and we now have to keep feeding them. When they are unhappy, they now have the power to make all of us unhappy. That is what we get for $27 trillion dollars – more Democrat voters.

          The next question follows: so now what do we do? Pay attention to the small rebellion going on in California right now – will Newsom make sure insufficient recall signatures qualify since he and his friends verify the recall petition signatures. (Eg: they own us).

          Parents are also creating a mini-backlash due to closed schools. Will teachers who claim they really want to get back into their classrooms, finally opt out of the teachers unions who are holding them back? Or will they also prove the teachers unions now own us too?

          Did we really need to “treat” covid or treat the covid hysteria? Again, who benefited most. Those saved from covid (tiny percentage) or those who gained tremendously both in power and money after the hysteria was implanted.

    • Avatar scott s. says:

      So who did the EIS and historic inventory before Perseverance was approved? Is there a land use plan showing where on Mars we want rovers? Did we make sure to consult with historically disadvantaged groups prior to making decisions? If there are microbes on Mars, is there an endangered species plan in place for them?

  5. A koan for today:
    What is the sound of a tree falling in the forest if the media doesn’t report it?

  6. Avatar Keith Harbaugh says:

    A relevant observation:

    “]W]e couldn’t help but wonder
    why wind turbines in cold-weather states like New York can operate in the winter with seemingly little trouble
    when their counterparts in Texas can’t.

    The huge Maple Ridge Wind Farm, in fact, operates year-round in the Tug Hill north of Syracuse, an area famous for its bitter cold winters that often pile up 200 inches or more of snow.”

    https://www.syracuse.com/business/2021/02/why-wind-turbines-in-new-york-state-keep-working-in-bitter-cold-weather-unlike-the-ones-in-texas.html

  7. Avatar J says:

    Bill Gates wants you and I to eat fake beef (fungus from deep under Yellowstone).

    And World Economic Forum (WEF) founder Klaus Schaub wants to put computer chips in our heads to turn us into mindless druids. Tells Americans they will own nothing and be happy about it.

    Taking about Klaus Schaub:

    https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/02/investigative-reports/schwab-family-values/

    Is the real Klaus Schwab a kindly old uncle figure wishing to do good for humanity, or is he really the son of a Nazi collaborator who used slave labour and aided Nazi efforts to obtain the first atomic bomb? Johnny Vedmore investigates.

    https://summit.news/2021/02/16/you-must-eat-100-synthetic-beef-says-bill-gates/

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