Blog Entry

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

Posted on: March 13, 2009 10:22 am
 

 

A little research to share with you folks.

I am going to use my home state for this example - West Virginia. How 'bout them Mountaineers dusting off arch rival Pitt! Back to my research, I could have just as easily used Ohio or Pennsylvania or any number of mid-Atlantic or slightly midwestern states, by the way.

Tiny little West Virginia has approximately 1.7 million residents. But it has five of the top 50 power stations in terms of pollution. Of course this is because they burn coal there, lots of it. Millions of tons of it annually. Makes sense, that is where a large percentage of the nation's coal is and it does cost a lot of money to ship it by rail all around the country. So they burn it there. These five massive power stations:

Fort Martin Power Station, Monongalia Count,y owned by Allegheny Energy

Harrison Power Station, Harrison County, owned by Allegheny Energy

John E Amos, Putnam County, American Electric Power

Mitchell, Marshall County, American Electric Power

Mount Storm, Grant County, Dominion

produce power for West Virginia. But why does little old West Virginia have so many power stations for so few people? Don't they try to conserve power there? Should we conclude these are wasteful people? Don't they know they will be punished for their terrible pollution by the clean states? Surely the West Virginians are not so stupid as to think they can continue to be so wasteful and produce so much pollution. And get this, West Virginia is dumping that pollution all over Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania (oh and the District of Columbia). That is criminal! What an outrage! The good folks that live downwind of West Virginia should demand a change. Tax those stupid polluting hillbillies. Tax them big so they will stop wasting electricity. That will show them. I can't stand hillbillies but stupid hillbillies are far worse I'm sure you all agree. Let's get even!

Some of you are reading this thinking Smorgie has lost her mind. But a little look-see at the Obama Administration's proposed Cap and Trade System and you find it is just such a vehicle to teach those stupid hillbillies a lesson they will not soon forget. You see C&T puts limits on the carbon PER CAPITA a state can produce. States with large populations have the lowest output of carbon per capita. Therefore, they are allowed to sell their credits back to the government who can sell them for a profit to polluting states like West Virginia. Small population states have higher pollution per capita, sort of a duh calculation there. So the best ten include the coastal states of California, Oregon, Washington and Florida, and the New England states. The worst are Wyoming (least populous state), West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, et al. Small population states who mine and burn coal, refine oil, or are big manufacturing states. These states will be crushed by the Cap and Trade TAX. Let's be honest - that is what it is - a tax. They have two choices, reduce their pollution or raise their costs which they will pass on to the consumer. That is you by the way. Cap and Trade represents a revenue enhancement to the Federal government of a minimum of $100 billion per year or 4.2% of the federal income. Some say it is far higher, maybe $500B a year (21%). Either way that is a hefty tax.

What would you say if the President walked to the podium and told you he was going to raise your taxes by 4.2%? That is across the board mind you, 15% goes to 19.2%, 25% goes to 29.2% and so on. That is what Cap and Trade represents folks. A massive tax on your income.

Now I have to go back and correct an omission earlier in the article. I know West Virginians are not wasteful, at least not any more wasteful than other Americans. West Virginia sells it's surplus power to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Delaware. And even those fools in Washington DC get their power from West Virginia power stations. It was planned that way 50 years ago.

I suggest West Virginia might just want to shut off its power plants and leave these using states in the dark in order to conform to the Cap and Trade system. Maybe then they will get the attention of those stupid flatlanders.

Will Syracuse have fresh enough legs to be able to play West Virginia tonight? We shall see. Go Huggins!

Comments

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: March 17, 2009 8:56 am
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

 West Virginia is behind in a lot of ways.  When I was at WVU a few years ago, they didn't take recycling.  Do you know how many cans could have been used again? 

 

 

The state does recycle.  WVU is not alone in not recycling, many colleges still don't.  It is changing as younger generations are becoming more aware, but most 18-13 year olds are far more prone to through their beer cans in the trash.  When I went to PSC, now PSU (it was a while ago), the entire town was 100% self sufficient.  Own power, own waste disposal, complete recycling to the fullest of availability.  The college contracted a private waste disposal company.  The town refused to take their waste because of the large amounts of recyclable materials disposed of.  The towns waste went to an incinerator.  Glass, cans, plastics don't mix with the brick walls of incinerator plants very well.

 




Since: Jul 11, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2009 7:37 pm
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

West Virginia is behind in a lot of ways.  When I was at WVU a few years ago, they didn't take recycling.  Do you know how many cans could have been used again? 




Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2009 6:26 pm
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

 

 So the best ten include the coastal states of California, Oregon, Washington and Florida, and the New England states.

 


I guess I should be happy that my state will be getting money back, huh?  I'm sure our lovely Governor will find something to waste it on.  I'm glad the feds aren't going after hydro power (although the Clinton administration did try).  I actually do think we need to cut down/control pollution, but we can't do it unless there's a viable alternative.  I would think, the way the economy is, that the President and Congress would be mindful not to drive up energy costs.  




Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: March 13, 2009 5:40 pm
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

Amen Gastropod.  The John E Amos coal fire plant in WVa puts out 3000 Megawatts of power (rated) combined from its 3 dry bottom boiler generators while utilizing scrubbers on all three stacks, and it still pumps ou 1.7 million T of pollution.  Replace that power before you do something to destroy it an the economy.

Let's build some nuclear plants - how about 400 new reactors to go with the 104 we have in operation now.  Then we can build electric cars and stop using oil.  Crazy talk! Or is it?

I hope you all have a safe and prosperous, tax free weekend.




Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: March 13, 2009 3:43 pm
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

 

By no means is the Cap and Trade system perfect but at least it gets the ball rolling in the right direction and gives high polluting states reasons to look at alternative methods.

Besides like you said they've been burning coal for over 50 years, when was that going to stop anyways?

 

 

But what's the alternative?  Cannot build new nuclear.  No more rivers to dam.  Wind and solar don't cut it.  Sure not going to burn oil.  There are convertional steam pants, but you would need to build 10-20 for every coal plant you shut down.  60% of U.S. electricity (or so they say) comes from coal.  Before we assault the industry, and ultimately the American people with taxes, shouldn't we have a platform to switch to first?




Since: Mar 13, 2008
Posted on: March 13, 2009 3:33 pm
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

Smorgie,

If coal is going to have a future, it will have to involve clearner-burning technology. Unfortunately, while many people, including the president, talk about "clean coal" technology, it does not currently exist.

Nuclear energy is making a comeback in this country. Even some die-hard environmentalists are rethinking their positions on nuclear because greenhouse gas emissions are becoming a greater concern than the storage of spent nuclear fuel rods. Wind energy is popular, but it has limited application because it depends on a resource that cannot be controlled. So it can add to your supply, but you need controllable resources to balance the load needs when the wind isn't blowing. Wave energy is in its infancy, so while there could be some potential there, we don't yet know the impacts or the costs.

There are a lot of questions to answer. Still, sitting on the sidelines to maintain business as usual won't bring about the improvements needed to avoid bigger problems down the road. It's the old Fram commercial: "You can pay me now, or pay me later."




Since: Dec 31, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2009 3:28 pm
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

 

5'1?

Travel size! =P

 

By no means is the Cap and Trade system perfect but at least it gets the ball rolling in the right direction and gives high polluting states reasons to look at alternative methods.

Besides like you said they've been burning coal for over 50 years, when was that going to stop anyways?




Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: March 13, 2009 2:38 pm
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

 And now Pittsburgh has no steel mills - they are in China and India - polluting from that side of the globe. 

You are right NE2WA, the costs do get passed on.  But some states get to sell their credits (like California) for profit inspite of the fact they produce more tonnage than any other state.  Cali prospers, Iowa fails, Florida succeeds where Ohio succumbs to a financial death.  And then there is that little problem with the great job shuffle.  Manufacturing ceases in this country.  Tax base falls further.  But the rub is Obama's plan to keep some money for the Feds to spend on their pet projects.  Explain how all this lowers our pollution?  Are we going to add super, super-duper scrubbers to the coal stacks? Are we going to build more nukes? See last blog for that answer.  Nope.  This is about raising funds to pay for pet projects.

The economy is like a bag of jello.  Push it in over here and it bulges out over there.  Theories based on maintaining steady economic state are flawed.  There are a million textbooks.  The Indifference Principle will prevail assuming mobility of the asset.  I know I am mobile.  I will tend to leave a poor condition for a better one.

Eers burn the Orange! Tonight!!




Since: Mar 13, 2008
Posted on: March 13, 2009 1:29 pm
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

Smorgie,

 

I appreciate your insights, but there's a little more to this story than you've outlined. While West Virginia does produce a lot of power, it is not solely for the use of its residents. As you point out, there is a relatively small population to use up all the electricity being generated by those coal-fired plants. Where does it go? The utilities that own them sell that power to people in other states and do so at a profit.

A cap-and-trade system would put pressure on those power plants to reduce their carbon emissions by increasing the costs of polluting. That would not become a cost to the state. Rather it would become a cost to the ratepayers at the utilities where the majority of that power is sold because the operating costs would be passed on to the customers.

I grant you that sorting out who gets what share of the pollution credits is the most difficult aspect of a cap-and-trade system. If you dole them out based on current emissions levels, you're effectively subsidizing the worst polluters. Gee, there's an incentive for the utilities that have been doing the right thing on their own?

In any structure, someone's ox will be gored. But the bigger issue remains how our country will meet its energy needs without fouling the environment in such a manner that it hurts the quality of life for us all. In the past, this question centered on water pollution, smoky skies and acid rain. In the 1940s, Pittsburgh had to turn the streetlights on in the middle of the day because there was so much smoke from the steel mills that you couldn't see the sun.

We need to do better and these are big challenges to overcome. It won't be easy. 




Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: March 13, 2009 1:16 pm
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

 LOL, paint would be a great idea.  But honestly, I wasn't expecting you to be competitive, especially at 5'1", just looking for a way to get a personal AV in that would meet the new fascist requirements.  Although I don't fully understand the requirements.  I originally posted one of my self at a bass tournament and it was denied.  I then posted another one of myself at a different tournament and it was accepted?  Go figure.



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