Sign up | Login with →

Comments by J Elliott Subscribe

On Will the Iranian Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty become a Threat to U.S. Energy Security?

 

Why are you so concerned with energy security when the U.S. and other countries have SPR’s to mitigate the impacts of oil shortages caused by whatever reason?  Won’t most people benefit more from continued declining prices for oil and reduced motor and heating fuels costs currently and in the future?

 

And, why do people believe that the U.S. or UN can’t stop or control Iran’s nuclear program.  President Obama seems to be just as enthusiastic and confident with this NPT deal as President Clinton was with the North Korea NPT deal 20 years ago.  Whoops, I almost forgot, North Korea did successfully develop a nuclear weapon didn’t they.

 

August 21, 2015    View Comment    

On Troubles With America's First Clean Coal Plant Put Mississippi Power 'on the Brink of Bankruptcy'

 

The problem with carbon capture and sequester is not due to the technical feasibility, but due to the fact that prematurely scaling up this technology is going to be costly even if it actually becomes economic someday.  Even though this Mississippi Power Plant with CCS has the advantage of being near oil production fields that could use the carbon dioxide in their production operations and minimize this project scope cost factor, the plant’s design & construction obviously ran into numerous costly modifications, scope omissions or equipment and material delays that caused the plants costs to escalate by many $Billions.  Hopefully they will be able to complete and startup the plant to provide a critical example and cost data for truly evaluating this technology and the actual economic feasibility of expanding this technology in other states power grids.  As part of the EPA’s assumed clean power policy compliance assumptions.

 

August 21, 2015    View Comment    

On Implicit Climate Subsidy Exceeds Profits at 20 Top Fossil Fuel Companies

 

There is one correlation this post obviously overlooks or ignores: “the social benefits of fossil fuels”.  Prior to man’s acquiring and developing fossil fuel energy based technologies (heating, lighting, transportation, farming, industrial and all electronic technologies that use electric power primarily generated from fossil fuels) the world’s population was limited to less than 1 billion people pre-1800’s.  Since developing fossil fuels energy sources and the technologies that enabled or produced the numerous goods and services consumed by most the world’s continuously growing populations, the world’s population level has increased by over 6 billion today.  The quality of lives including substantially increased standards of living and increased life-spans are some of the major benefits made possible by fossil fuel energy supplies since about 200 years ago when the population was less than 1 billion.  Based primarily on continued use of fossil fuels the world’s population is projected to increase by an additional 3 billion by the end of this century.  Do you really believe supporting current and future populations would be feasible by eliminating most fossil fuels in the foreseeable future?  Or, should we plan to constrain future population growth or levels in the name of climate change?  Also, did I mention that man’s population also was able to survive and grow by adapting to past climate changes, which have routinely occurred since the dawn of man and numerous centuries before fossil fuels were discovered?

 

August 17, 2015    View Comment    

On Hillary Clinton's Climate Change Plan Includes Massive Growth in Solar

 

Mr. Meinetz, your observations and comments relative to Mrs. Clinton’s presidential energy policy and campaign are very informative and accurate.  Mrs. Clinton does not take any position that could be controversial to her campaign.  This includes taking any specific positions that her family’s foundation and her presidential campaign financial supporters might take offense to.  This includes Wall Street, some Middle East OPEC countries and the Obama Administration’s legacy.  Supporting solar is a safe bet since the primary organizations that could be concerned are Big Power or large, centralized Utility Companies.

 

July 31, 2015    View Comment    

On Can U.S. Canadian Oil Sands Imports be Nearly Carbon Neutral?

 

It appears that you have completed a fairly detailed analysis of the Argonne Oil Sands Study and found their assumptions less than accurate.  This finding not only contradicts the Argonne National Lab. findings, but also the Peer reviews by a couple California Universities.  At this point why does it matter?  The likelihood of President Obama ever approving the Keystone XL pipeline is less than zero and the ability of Congress in overriding his veto power is nil.

 

July 28, 2015    View Comment    

On Regional Coordination and Markets: Key to a Renewable Energy Future

 

Why do you continue to make the U.S. Power Industry appear to be similar to 3rd world countries?  The U.S. is a world leader in power grid resiliency, reliability and efficiency.  Why else do we have among the lowest prices for electric power in the developed world?  Your views seem to overlook the fact that as variable renewable power sources, wind & solar, continue to increase the ability to reliably control power grids supply-demand loads becomes far more complex and an increasing major challenge to continuously operate efficiently and reliably.  Why do you continue to demonize the Power Industry and their outstanding performance and ability to reliably deliver uninterruptable power to all customers across the U.S.?

 

July 28, 2015    View Comment    

On Seeking Consensus on the Externalized Costs of Energy: Methodology

 

Isn’t discounting the cost of carbon for developing countries a form of ‘income redistribution’?  Many progressives have been advocating that developed countries should be discounting, subsidizing or directly providing renewable energy technologies and sources to most developing countries.  Such a strategy would hopefully discourage or prevent developing countries from continuing to increase their carbon emissions and toxic pollution at similar historic rates that most developed countries did in the past.

 

July 28, 2015    View Comment    

On Should Gas & Oil Methane Emissions Be the Next Obama Climate Policy Priority?

Your methane emission analysis appears to also indicate that those who have organic gardens and waste compost piles, are probably harming the environment.  The bacterial breakdown of vegetable stems, leaves, and other biomass wastes in order to produce topsoil natural additives needed to fertilize future organic crops also generates significant methane (anaerobic digestion byproduct).  With the EPA’s global warming potential of 25 that means that composting should be restricted to avoid the greenhouse gas impacts on the environment?  The only feasible alternative to avoid these significant methane GHG emissions would be to dry the vegetable wastes then burn them into carbon dioxide to eliminate the 25X impact of the methane emissions naturally produced.

 

July 1, 2015    View Comment    

On White House Wisely Rejects the 'Categorical Carbon Neutrality' of Biomass, But What Now?

 

Between the recent droughts and the massive invasion of bark beetles the U.S. has many 10’s of millions of acres of dead forests that have and will continue to burn uncontrollably in the near future.  Why hasn’t the Administration and the Federal Government Agencies done their job and managed/removed this source of biomass or biofuels rather than waiting until the next massive fires continue that put Fire Fighters and local Residents at considerable risk?  Harvesting the huge volume/mass of existing dead wood and converting it into fire wood & wood pellet fuels will have a much greater beneficial impact on the U.S. than arguing the politics of these recent Congress bills.  We should not continue to allow the USDA/FS to negligently continue to do nothing towards reasonably managing U.S. forests, and, to the real and potential benefits for the environment, Resident’s safety & health and potentially the climate.

 

July 1, 2015    View Comment    

On Can Obama's Proposal to Reduce Total GHG Emissions by 26% be Achieved?

 

Yes, the technology exists, but the time to install lower carbon and renewable energy technologies over the next 10 years in order to achieve President Obama’s 26% carbon reduction target is definitely not practical.  The President appears to lack any well defined plan or solutions to achieve his proposed U.S. carbon reduction commitment at the upcoming Paris COP21.  This leads one to possibly believe that this is just another ‘legacy’ action that will achieve nothing significant in reality, but put him in the history books for taking this action to prevent future climate change.

The real solution may involve some form of significant carbon taxes.  Not the ‘feebate’ programs that are just income redistribution plans in disguise, but a real tax for everyone that will discourage their consumption of fossil fuels and provide economic incentives for more aggressively developing renewables.   Since your analysis indicates that GDP and per capita energy efficiencies are not likely to offset the growth in the total U.S. GDP and population in the future, a carbon tax may be the only feasible solution.  The ten year schedule timeframe will still be a problem since implementing a carbon tax too aggressively could plunge the U.S. economy back into another great recession.

 

June 3, 2015    View Comment    

On Carbon Prices Around the World are Consistently Too Low

 

The reason why carbon prices have been and continue to be low is that they are not related to the actual ‘social costs of carbon’ or at sufficient levels to discourage fossil fuels consumption.  They are established primarily by fairly dysfunctional markets and political influences.  We could debate the actual social costs of carbon endlessly since the variables and probabilities of most estimates or assumed environmental and social negative impacts are extremely complex, and the accuracy is very uncertain.

The EU is a prime example of how or why $10 per MT range carbon prices are generally ineffective in actually increasing consumer incentives to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels or switch to non-fossil fuels.  For example, due to various existing fuel/energy taxes the cost of petroleum motor fuels and electric power in the EU averages over double U.S. market prices.  Even with this equivalent level of carbon taxes (approximately $300 per MT), the impact on EU petroleum gasoline & diesel consumption has been relatively insignificant in recent years; adjusted for the recent and current recessions.

 

June 3, 2015    View Comment    

On Why (Some) People Don't Believe in Climate Science

 

The question is not why people don’t believe in climate science, it’s why don’t they blindly believe in selective and less than absolutely accurate climate science.  Believable and sound science use to be based on the ‘scientific method’ , where a theory or hypothesis was developed, critically analyzed, peer reviewed (by true experts) and continuously updated and improved with time based on the most accurate and recent data available.  The recently and politically develop concepts of ‘scientific consensus’, the ‘debate is over’ and ‘all the projections are absolutely correct’ has nothing to do with the scientific method or reasonably sound and accurate science.  Those who apparently are either ignorant of the scientific method or choose to ignore real science development, most often have no idea of the extreme complexities and variability’s’ involved with the current climate models, or the accuracy of short, medium and long term projections.  It is primarily due to these political details why ‘global warming’ has transitioned since the 1980’s-90’s to ‘climate change’ today, and that political media/special interests (those who often benefit financially) have claimed all changes of weather patterns (real or not; statistically) are solely due to anthropological causes.  What is almost always missing in reasonably intelligent, scientific debate is: “What is the probability of constraining most, if not all, anthropological greenhouse gases on significantly changing future climate patterns?”.  In other words, after the world expends all its discretionary resources, what are the actual-most probable benefits?  I’ll give you a hint, it could be insignificant compared to dedicating those same resources towards actions that have successfully enable mankind to evolve from the Stone Age: ‘adaptation’.

 

February 14, 2015    View Comment