Democrats in New York looking at Revising the Cost of Cow Poop

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2013

Week in Review

PETA doesn’t want you eating meat.  They say we should be vegetarians.  Because it is healthier for us.  And it will allow cows to live out their days naturally.  The way God meant them to do.  To graze, sleep and crap all over the land.  Instead of eating meat we can eat stuff that grows.  And dairy products from dairy cows.  For they have a pretty good life.  Food, shelter and a place to crap.  And someone to milk them.  Who could ask for anything more?  A pretty plush life on a small farm.  Not quite so nice on a large industrial farm.   Of course, there are some who are unhappy with the ethical treatment of so many cows.  Environmentalists.  Because of the crap (see Cuomo in Billion-Pound Manure Fight as New York Promotes Yogurt by Freeman Klopott posted 8/22/2013 on Bloomberg).

All that stands between dairy farmer Kerry Adams and expanding her herd of cows to tap New York’s booming yogurt industry is 1 billion pounds of manure.

Adams was planning to take advantage of a change Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed through this year that allows farmers to increase their herds to 299 from 199 before permits are required, which can add more than $150,000 to expansion costs. Then environmental groups sued to block the move, saying expanding dairy production will add 1 billion pounds (454 million kilograms) of unregulated cow dung annually, damaging waterways…

As in some other states, milk prices in New York are set by federal regulators. Even with increased demand from yogurt producers, prices aren’t rising, according to Novakovic and the New York Farm Bureau. To increase profits, farmers need to produce more milk, which means adding cows…

A permit requires farmers to handle the increased manure load. They must pay a certified planner as much as $15,000, obtain engineering designs for new systems that can cost $50,000 and execute them for about $100,000, the review said. That’s in addition to the $382,000 needed for cows, land and holding pens…

Adams and Travis Rea, whose family has owned a dairy farm north of Albany in Cambridge for 215 years, said they’re planning to mitigate their manure as they grow anyway. Both, though, are holding off on expanding until they know the outcome of the lawsuit.

“We don’t have much money day to day and we’re up against groups that do,” Rea said by phone. “The environmentalists, they kind of scare me.”

You would think that the most damaged drinking water would be from the wells under those herds these dairy farmers draw their water from.  Are they poisoning themselves?  If they are they must be a glutton for punishment.  Because they’re drinking the water their cows are pooping in.

Once the buffaloes roamed the Great Plains.  And the Native Americans followed these great herds.  Hunted them.  And drank the water all that buffalo poop eventually washed into.  With some estimates of those buffalo herds being as large as 30 million strong that must have been a lot of buffalo poop.  Yet the Native Americans didn’t bitch about it damaging the waterways.

The only thing that will truly please PETA and the environmentalists is if the human race just died out and became extinct.  But until we do they will make our lives as miserable as possible.  Such as interfering with free markets.  Raising the cost for anyone trying to do business.  And then bitch about all the cow poop we’re producing because some other anti-business law put a ceiling on milk prices.  Which made adding cows—and more manure—the only way to expand business.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if we pleased one of these leftist organizations.  Say PETA.  By freeing all captive farm animals.  Letting them live free in the wild.  Where they would all die from age.  Eating and pooping to their hearts content.  Which, of course, would draw the ire of that other leftist organization.  The environmentalists.  Because of all that poop entering our waterways.  For with no one killing cattle for their meat the cattle populations would grow like the buffalo populations once did.  So the environmentalists, of course, would call for the culling of those herds.  Killing animals to save the planet.  Wouldn’t those be interesting debates?  Between PETA and the environmentalists?  Two leftist groups attacking each other as if the other was a conservative.

Permit costs that can add $150,000 to a small family farm?  Fear of environmentalists?  What has this country come to?

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Environmentalists are Killing Birds with their Big Spinning Wind Turbine Killing Machines

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 29th, 2013

Week in Review

Wind turbines are bird killers.  As their large blades slice through the air.  Chopping anything that is unfortunate enough to get in the way of those large, heavy, rotating blades.  Birds die flying into these killing machines whether they’re part of a large wind farm.  Or just one solitary wind turbine providing green energy to save the planet (see Rare white-throated needletail bird dies after flying into wind turbine off coast of Scotland by Euan Stretch posted 6/28/2013 on the Mirror).

Hundreds of twitchers travelled the length of the country to see the “bird of the century” – only for it to fly into a wind turbine and die.

Bird-spotters were ecstatic about the first UK sighting of the rare white-throated needletail since 1991.

But their excitement soon turned to horror when it hit the 120ft structure’s rotating blades…

The bird’s body has since been handed over to local conservationists.

James, 38, was joined by fellow twitcher Mark Batten, 49, who said wind turbines were a serious danger for birds.

He added: “This wasn’t even a turbine on a huge wind farm, it was a solitary turbine to provide power to a small community.

“There is huge concern in Scotland about plans for big wind farms and the danger they would pose to big birds of prey like golden eagles and sea eagles…

Website Rarebirdalert.co.uk recorded the death today and said it was “widely dubbed the bird of the century”.

It’s rather ironic, really.  The environmentalists won’t let firefighters cut firebreaks in forests because it may disturb the forest habit of the spotted owl.  Or the kangaroo rat.  And farmers can’t irrigate their land in California’s Central Valley because delta smelt are getting sucked up into irrigation pumps.  So they shut the pumps down.  And interrupt our food supply.  So something else way down the food chain can eat and procreate.  For these are endangered species.  Protected by the federal government.  So forest habitats burn down.  Killing these forest dwellers wholesale.  Destroying homes.  As well as killing people.  Just so we don’t disturb their environment.

These same environmentalists are pushing to reduce greenhouse emissions to save the environment.  So their beloved creatures can frolic on a pristine planet.  Unspoiled by man.  So they push for more wind energy.  Things with moving parts that can and do kill birds.  While the coal-burning power plants sit there with no moving parts that are a hazard to flying birds.  It is even not that uncommon for a bird to enter a power plant through a broken window to build a nest out of the elements.  That’s how dangerous these plants are to the birds.

There is no manmade global warming.  At least none that we can’t explain away by other means.  The environmentalists have been predicting since the Nineties that if we don’t act right now it will be too late to save ourselves from manmade global warming.  That the dying would only be years away.  And here we are.  Some 3 decades away and still living strong.  Even going through a cooling period.  Thanks to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).  Warming and cooling cycles of the oceans (due to sunspot activity) redirecting the low-level jet stream.  Which real scientists have actually found the historical record supports.  Unlike those models that project doom and gloom if we don’t act right now.  Because 5 minutes from now will be just too late.

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Record Snow in Newfoundland a sign of the 1970 Earth Day Prediction of an Ice Age?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 25th, 2013

Week in Review

The glaciers may be retreating but May has been unusually snowy in Newfoundland.  And cold (see Central Newfoundland digs out from freak snowfall posted 5/20/2013 on CBC News)

In Gander, 58 centimetres [22.8 inches] of snow fell between Saturday morning and Sunday night, with peak snowfall on Saturday evening.

Environment Canada meteorologist Jody Boyd said the snowfall blew away the prior record.

“Our normal snowfall for the month of May is just 13 centimetres [5.1 inches], and the highest monthly total in the past was set in 1972,” Boyd said. “For the whole month, it was 49 centimetres [19.3 inches], so we beat that over the span of 36 hours.”

Other parts of the province suffered inclement weather, including rain, drizzle and fog in eastern Newfoundland as well as cold temperatures.

Sounds like Great Britain last year.  Cold and wet.  Where they didn’t have much of a summer.  And that unseasonably cool weather almost spoiled their Olympic Games.  And here it is May in Newfoundland.  Where the temperature on average is above freezing.  With a record snowfall.  And cold temperatures.  Funny how that global warming can be.

One snowfall does not define climate.  But if you listened to Al Gore back in the Nineties you’d be looking at the central United States, wondering why it’s not a large desert now.  And why it even snows in Newfoundland anymore.  Because manmade global warming was changing the climate.  For over two decades now.  Because we didn’t take immediate action in the Nineties to stop it.  Starting with the Kyoto Protocol that the U.S. didn’t sign.  And here we are.  With record snow in Newfoundland in May.  Even with China burning so much coal that they’re killing their people with a thick air pollution hanging over their cities.  Yet there’s record snow in Newfoundland in May.  And Britain barely had a summer last year.

Soon the environmentalists will be dusting off their original Earth Day predictions from the Seventies.  Where they said that the planet would cool to twice what it needs to be to put us in an ice age.  By the year 2000.  Perhaps that’s why it’s snowing in Newfoundland.  And why Britain barely had a summer last year.  Because of the ice age we must be in.  According to the 1970 Earth Day environmentalists.

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The West worries about Cow Flatulence while China’s Air Pollution causes Lung Cancer

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 10th, 2013

Week in Review

The environmentalists are trying to change our lives to prevent global warming.  They have launched a way against coal.  And the internal combustion engine.  But they haven’t stopped there.  They even want to change how our cows pass gas (see Sensors measure cow flatulence – for science by Julia Sklar posted 3/8/2013 on New Scientist).

Cows and other ruminants emit methane gas into the atmosphere, but the amount released has been hard to measure. Teagasc has estimated that livestock contribute one-fifth of global methane emissions.

By strapping these methane-measuring devices to dairy cows, Teagasc can catch their every fart, giving a more accurate measure. They also estimate emissions by examining the cows’ faeces. If the faeces contain archaeol – methane-producing microbes that cows use to digest food – it suggests the cow is a big emitter.

Other groups have created gas-sniffing submarines that lurk inside cows’ stomachs to track their methane emissions.

Important scientific research.  Sniffing cow gas.  For what in the world could harm more people than the toots of cows?  There is a theory that the dinosaurs killed themselves off with excessive pooting.  But can blowing the butt trumpet extinct a species?  Probably worth checking into.  For what greater threat is there to the human race than cutting the cheese?  Well, there’s this (see Air Pollution Shrouding China and People’s Health by Li Rulan posted 3/10/2013 on The Epoch Times).

Dr. Zhong Nanshan, president of the China Medical Association, warned that the smog problem in China is “scarier than SARS,” while speaking at a plenary session in Beijing on March 5…

Zhong cited a World Health Organization air quality report showing that the island city of Haiko, with the cleanest air in China, still ranks only 1530th of the 1,802 cities listed worldwide. Zhong added that the report shows China’s lung cancer incidence is among the highest in the world, with 76 per 100,000 among males and 48 per 100,000 for females affected…

Earlier, Zhong told Sohu.com that, while working with surgeons, he has seen the lungs of many Guangzhou residents over the age of 40 or 50 are black from air pollution. Although one of China’s largest cities, Guangzhou has relatively lower pollution levels. “Some may think I’m overstating the matter, but this is a fact,” Zhong said. “If Guangzhou is like this, Beijing must be much worse.”

While the Western World tries to regulate our lives to make our clean air cleaner China’s air pollution is so thick it’s causing lung cancer.  Which begs the question why are we, the people with clean air, continuously increasing costly regulations on our businesses to make our clean air cleaner?  When no matter how clean we make our air the amount of pollution China is putting into the atmosphere will cancel out anything we do to save the planet from global warming?

The environment in the Western World is about as clean as it can be without the human race following the dinosaurs into extinction.  If there are any warming emissions China must be producing them.  So it makes no sense for the Western World to sacrifice any more economic activity.  No.  Instead, the environmentalists should direct all of their energies to the Chinese.  Who will politely listen to their suggestions.  And ignore every last one of them.  As the Western World should.

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Britain’s Secret to reducing the Carbon from their Electric Power Generation is Frequent Power Outages

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 18th, 2012

Week in Review

It’s pretty sad when a nation’s green energy policies requires an energy bill to ‘keep the lights on’.  But that’s precisely what’s happening in Britain.  Because they agreed to give up good, reliable electric power generation for something that may not be able to keep the lights on (see Energy Bill: The Plan To Keep UK’s Lights On by Gerard Tubb posted 11/18/2012 on Sky News).

The energy and climate secretary, Ed Davey, has to balance the need to create new generating capacity with commitments to a low carbon future and more electricity from renewable sources.

Many power stations are coming to the end of their life and the Government estimates it will cost £110bn to replace and improve electricity infrastructure over the next decade…

Electricity use is increasing, with suggestions that demand could double by 2050…

The UK is signed up to providing 15% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and to reducing to zero the amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere from electricity generation.

Electricity use is on pace to double by 2050 and the UK is decommissioning power plants and spending a fortune on electric generation from renewable sources.  Going from reliable power generation to intermittent power generation.  Which is nothing more than a step backward to a time before Margaret Thatcher.  And a return to the British Disease (strikes, industrial unrest and frequent power outages).  Or worse.  For the environmentalists would have Britain go back to the time of Stonehenge if they had their way.  A time when there was no electricity.  Or man-made carbon in the atmosphere.  Or indoor plumbing, air conditioning, refrigerators, telephones, etc.  Now that would make the environmentalists happy.  Abject misery for the human race.

Life was pretty precarious back in the 3rd century BC.  We’re lucky the human race survived to make it here today.  A time where life is not so precarious.  Thanks to technology.  Especially electricity.  Which helps keep our food safe, our water safe, our homes warm in the winter and allows hospitals to save lives.  Just look to the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  And how the loss of electric power took away safe food, safe water, warm homes and life-saving hospitals from the victims of that storm.

Electric power saves lives.  And makes those lives safer.  We should not be compromising our electric power to ‘save the world’ from global warming.  At least not until man-made carbon moves the glaciers as far as Mother Nature did during the Ice Ages.

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Environmentalists shut down Cheap Electricity from Coal-Fired Power Plants and sends US Coal to China

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 23rd, 2012

Week in Review

Environmentalists don’t like energy.  Because it pollutes.  So they actively fight against energy.  To reduce pollution.  And to save the planet.  No matter the costs.  They don’t care how much they increase the cost of electricity for the American consumer.  Or how unreliable they make our electric supply (see Analysis: Coal fight looms, Keystone-like, over U.S. Northwest by Patrick Rucker, Reuters, posted 9/23/2012 on Yahoo! News).

Call it the Keystone of coal: a regulatory and public relations battle between environmentalists and U.S. coal miners akin to the one that has defined the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline.

Instead of blocking an import, however, this fight is over whether to allow a growing surplus of coal to be exported to Asia, a decision that would throw miners a lifeline by effectively offshoring carbon emissions and potentially give China access to cheaper coal.

The environmentalists stopped the Keystone pipeline.  Because they didn’t want that Canadian tar sands oil coming into the US.  Bringing down the price of gasoline.  Which would only encourage people to drive more.  They have encouraged shutting down our coal-fired power plants.  Perhaps our least costly and most reliable source of electric power.  Because we have an abundance of coal in America.  For unlike oil we are not dependent on any foreign sources for our coal.  Coal gives us true energy independence.  If it weren’t for the environmentalists, that is.

Tough new Environmental Protection Agency limits on power plant emissions are often blamed, along with low natural gas prices, for the drop in domestic coal use, but burning the black rock in Asia will have the same impact on the atmosphere…

With nearly 9 percent of U.S. coal furnaces set to go dark in the next four years and more utilities moving to natural gas, the 100 billion tons of coal still locked in the region need to reach new markets or face being frozen in the ground.

The environmentalists would rather that coal stay in the ground.  If they can’t have that they’d rather the Chinese get it for their energy needs than the Americans.  Even though according to the environmentalists it doesn’t matter who burns that coal.  For those emissions will make it into the atmosphere whoever burns that coal.  And if that’s true the US should burn that coal.  Not China.  We should not give up what energy independence we have.  Besides, we’re never going to please the environmentalists.

They don’t like coal.  They don’t like fracking that gives us cheap natural gas because it may pollute nearby water tables.  They don’t like nuclear power because of the chance of a nuclear accident (which has happened a couple of times in the 50-60 years we’ve used nuclear power to generate electricity).  They don’t like hydroelectric dams because they disrupt the ecosystem.  So what do they like?  They sort of like wind power.  If it doesn’t kill too many birds.  They do like solar power.  And some other renewable sources that provide a negligible amount of electric power today.  The things they like, though, will never be able to produce enough electric power to meet our energy needs.  Especially if everyone starts driving electric cars.

So while our energy costs rise and we endure more power blackouts as we shut down more reliable coal-fired power plants and replace them with windmills and solar panels China will be enjoying the power our coal will produce for them.  Is this fair?  It is if you’re an environmentalist apparently.

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The Australians raise Electric Bills to pay for Solar Panels and to Punish Carbon Sinners

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 16th, 2012

Week in Review

The ‘dangerous rise’ in global temperatures roughly corresponds to our actions to lower global temperatures.  In particular our attack on coal.  First we put scrubbers on our coal-fired power plants.  Then we turned to shutting them down in favor of renewable energy.  Which may have been a mistake.  For those coal-fired power plant emissions actually cooled the planet.  Thanks to the soot, ash and sulfur they threw into the atmosphere.  Like a bunch of tiny volcanoes.  Which have been blamed for some cooling spells that have led to famines.  Because all of that soot, ash and sulfur in the atmosphere kept the sun from heating the planet.  And shortened growing seasons.  But this knowledge hasn’t changed anything.  Because the attack on coal is good for government coffers (see Renewables blowout as wind, solar hit harder than tax by Sid Maher and Michael Owen posted 6/16/2012 on The Australian).

SUBSIDIES for rooftop solar panels will cost consumers about $2.3 billion over the next year as the combination of a federal government solar subsidy program and state government feed-in tariffs add about $140 a year to household power bills.

The figures emerged as the South Australian government’s electricity regulator yesterday announced an 18 per cent rise in electricity prices for the state’s households, with the cost of the state’s solar feed-in tariff scheme outstripping that of the carbon tax. State and federal governments are facing calls for reform of the schemes as they are driving electricity prices higher, in addition to the increases associated with the carbon tax.

That’s billion with a ‘b’.  That’s a lot of money to spend.  And governments just love spending money.  So what if it raises our electricity prices?  As far as they are concerned burning coal is as bad as smoking a cigarette.  And this is just a sin tax for everyone.  For the sin of being human.  And taking control of our environment to create the modern world.  Which the environmentalists disapprove of.  We belong in caves.  Hunting and gathering like our ancestors.  Well, gathering, at least.  For the environmentalists would rather we coexist with our fellow animals.  Share our pristine environment.  And not eat them.  Of course, that wouldn’t stop them from trying to eat us.  But that would be okay.  For they could take control of their environment.  As long as they don’t burn coal.  Or are overly flatulent.  Because too much methane released into the atmosphere could raise global temperatures, too.

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Carbon Tax coming to Western Australia but no one may have to Pay It

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 10th, 2012

Week in Review

They’re saving the planet in Western Australia.  With a new carbon tax.  Or so some would want you to believe (see Carbon tax adds $134 to annual power bill by Gareth Parker posted 6/9/2012 on The West Australian).

The average annual household electricity bill in Perth and the South West will rise by $134 from July 1 as a result of the Federal Government’s carbon tax…

The rise is in addition to the projected 3.5 per cent increase in electricity prices the State Government imposed in its Budget last month, which also applies from July 1.

Taken together, the average household’s annual power bill will rise by $183, or $3.52 a week, to $1598.13…

“The average WA household electricity bill will rise by around $2.50 a week – and the Federal Government is providing $10.10 a week on average to households in the form of tax cuts, higher family payments and increases in pensions and benefits,” he said. “This gives the lie to the misleading claims by Tony Abbott that electricity prices would rise by as much as 30 per cent due to the carbon price…”

Synergy is the only retailer of electricity to household customers in Perth and the South West.

Synergy chief Trevor James said it was announcing the rise now to give customers time to plan.

“Of course, the best way to keep electricity bills down is to use less energy and there are many opportunities to cut electricity use,” he said.

So they’re adding a carbon tax to encourage you to use less energy.  But they are giving households tax cuts and payments as well as increasing their pensions and benefits to help people pay this new tax.  I don’t really see how that will encourage anyone to use less energy.  If they are going to fully compensate these households for the added carbon tax.

They are adding a tax.  That they will pay for with more taxes.  Which means more money is coming out of the private sector.  For no net change.  Except, perhaps, buying votes in Perth and the South West.

This is government at its finest.  They’re adding a carbon tax to save the planet.  Pleasing the environmentalists who want this tax.  Whose taxes may be used to undermine the very goal of the carbon tax by letting the people escape this tax.  So they’re screwing the people by not saving the planet.  And they’re screwing the environmentalists.  All the while passing more money through government hands.  Brilliant.  And a bit devious.

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Drilling More will Lower Oil Prices and Lower the Price at the Pump but it won’t Win Votes on the Left

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 6th, 2012

Week in Review

Global warming alarmists and environmentalists have a friend in President Obama.  They represent a large swathe of the voting electorate.  Including some very high profile names in the entertainment industry.  Whose expertise in energy policy is nonexistent but persuasive nonetheless.  Because of an unwritten law in society.  If you sound and look good you are a de facto expert on the subject.  Which comes in very handy in making bad policy popular.  As demonstrated by the high price at the pump (see The 3 biggest benefits of producing more oil by Shawn Tully posted 5/3/2012 on Fortune CNNMoney).

President Obama argues that a campaign to substantially raise domestic crude oil production would provide miniscule benefits in lower prices and enhanced growth…

In fact, tapping the potential gusher within reach would enrich our future in three ways. First, despite the President’s declarations to the contrary, the extra output could be large enough to lower world prices by several dollars a barrel, chiefly through exploiting the enormous promise of shale oil. Second, adding to capacity would provide a sort of catastrophic insurance policy by cushioning shocks in supply that are especially damaging in the kind of tight, vulnerable market we’re experiencing today. And third, raising production means lowering our oil imports, and hence greatly improving our balance of trade. By pure GDP math, shrinking “net imports” would lift America’s growth trajectory…

Tight capacity means that almost all wells are pumping full tilt. To bring on more oil, producers that could react quickly may choose not to. A country like Saudi Arabia would need to spend lots of money uncapping old wells, and upgrading old fields, investments it’s now unwilling to make, in part from fears these high prices are temporary.

That leaves oil-hungry consumers to bid for the fixed number of barrels entering the market each day. In effect, someone commuting by car in London outbids a Chicago driver for scarce gasoline, and the Chicago driver saves by taking the train. That bidding is now driving the price far above the cost for the producer drilling the world’s most expensive oil, creating what’s called in economics a “scarcity premium.” And it’s why Exxon Mobil (XOM) and other oil giants are generating such huge profits.

How did the market reach this bind? From 2003 to 2008, demand for oil rose sharply, driven primarily by rapid industrialization in China and India. “The oil rich nations matched the rise in demand by producing more until around 2006,” says Lutz Kilian, professor of economics at the University of Michigan. “Then, production went flat, and even when demand started increasing again after the recovery began, production didn’t keep up…”

Well, there you have it.  Oil is expensive because demand is greater than supply.  So to reduce the cost of oil all we have to do is bring up supply to match or exceed demand.  And down goes the price of gasoline.  Elementary, really.  So why aren’t we doing this already? 

Because of the global warming alarmists and environmentalists who simply hate fossil fuels.  And the current president is appealing to these demographics for campaign funding.  And votes.  Neither of which he will win if he stops attacking Big Oil.  So he continues to attack Big Oil.  Buying campaign funding and votes.  All paid for by everyday Americans at the pump.  Who are cutting back everywhere in their lives to afford the high cost of gasoline the president is using as vehicle to reelection.

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The Private Sector is Investing in Natural Gas because there’s a Real Market for it unlike Solar and Wind

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 1st, 2012

Week in Review

The environmentalists have finally got something they wanted.  Private businesses choosing a cleaner fuel because they want to.  Not because they were forced to.  Or because they were bribed to.  But because these greedy little bastards can make more money by going green.  They hate the profit motive.  But at least these profits come with a cleaner environment.  You’d think they’d be happy.  But, of course, they’re not.  Because for this cleaner world they’d have to accept something they just hate too much (see Natural-Gas Vehicles Will Run Best Without Subsidies by the Editors posted 3/29/2012 on Bloomberg).

Few areas of American governance have been as incoherent in recent decades as energy policy, which is saying something. But lately, we keep seeing reasons for optimism.

Almost miraculously, the U.S. is both reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions and becoming increasingly energy independent. As Bloomberg News recently reported, the share of U.S. energy demand met by domestic sources increased to 81 percent through the first 10 months of 2011 — the highest level in 20 years — and emissions are expected to decline 12 percent by 2020.

A major factor in both trends is increased use of natural gas, a cleaner-burning fossil fuel now being extracted in abundance across the country. Hydraulic fracturing, a new production technology also known as fracking, has helped push prices for the fuel to a decade low, and has created plenty of jobs in the process…

Natural gas has many advantages — which is exactly why the industry doesn’t need more government help.

Proponents of federal aid argue that the costs of switching to natural gas on a large scale are prohibitive for trucking companies and consumers. But as Bloomberg News has reported, trucking companies are already buying more long-haul natural-gas trucks simply because the fuel is so cheap. Annual savings over diesel can add up to $20,000 for a single truck — so a company can recoup the extra cost of the new technology in about two years…

To meet increased demand, companies are building infrastructure on their own: Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which provides natural gas fuel for transportation, plans to build 70 liquefied natural-gas stations by the end of the year. General Electric Co. and Chesapeake Energy Corp. have formed an alliance to help make compressed natural gas available at more filling stations. Honda plans to install fueling stations at some of its dealerships. Fleets of taxis, trucks and buses across the country are using the fuel in growing numbers.

In other words, market forces are working. It’s not yet clear what will be the most efficient means to get natural gas to power vehicles — many options are on the table — but the private sector is the best place to experiment. Billions of dollars in government subsidies will only further distort the energy sector, threaten to create another industry reliant on Washington’s largesse and drive up prices by artificially boosting demand.

No trucking firms are buying any electric long-haul trucks and installing recharging stations across the country.  For that would be too costly.  And waste too much time.  But time is money for a trucker.  They don’t have time to wait for a battery to recharge every time they need to’re-fuel’.  That’s why they stick to fossil fuels.  Even the change to a cleaner and cheaper fuel is still a change to fossil fuel.  Because there’s no other fuel source outside of science fiction that can do what fossil fuels can do.

Because there is a market for natural gas-powered trucks the private sector is providing the infrastructure for it.  Without any ‘Solyndra’ subsidies or loan guarantees.  There’s money to make so private capital is flowing to where it needs to be to make this a reality.  Without any help from the government.  The way it should be in a free market economy.

This is everything the Obama administration could ask for.  Less fuel emissions.  Less dependence on foreign oil.  And they don’t have to use the power of government to make anyone adopt this technology.  There’s no downside.  Except, of course, the environmentalists.  Who hate hydraulic fracturing.  AKA fracking.  (And basically any fossil fuel in general.)  They say it contaminates the ground water.  So they don’t want it.  Just as they don’t want oil.  Or coal.  Or nuclear.  Or hydroelectric power.  Which basically leaves out every way to generate electricity except solar and wind.  Which can’t come close to producing the amount of electricity the other sources of electricity-generation can.  Which will be a big problem for the environmentalists.  Who want everyone to drive an emissions-free electric car.  Cars that will be very difficult to charge if the environmentalists don’t let us produce any electricity.  And the only things that’ll let us do this are the fossil fuels.  Or hydroelectric power.

There’s no pleasing some people.  Unless we all go back to the horse and buggy days.  Maybe that would make the environmentalists happy.  Having the air thick with horse manure.  With our streets covered in horse poop, pee and swarms of flies.  Maybe that would make them happy.  As it would all be natural.  Then again, this may be a problem with PETA.  Who would rather have the pollution if the alternative meant violating animal rights.  Which we would be violating if we enslaved horses to work for us.

You know who’s not having silly debates like this?  Brazil.  Russia.  India.  China.  And South Africa.  The BRICS emerging economies.  And the reason why they’re emerging and we’re wallowing in recession is that they don’t let their environmentalists sit at the big table with the grownups. 

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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