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The wind generators (my grandkids call them "world propellers") cluttering up the horizon south of me here in Flyover Alberta were not turning a week ago Thursday. 

There was no wind. 

And thank heavens for that, because it was 40 below F / -40C in the shade. 

A day or two later it was -30C and drifting a bit of snow so they were turning again. 

 

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No matter what, for the current times there needs to be the ability to generate using fossils or nuclear or whatever when there is no wind or solar capacity. That is just the way it is now. There is no question that using green energies helps to conserve the fossils for when we really need them.  All depends on good judgement and foresight. Financials are a factor but surely should not be the over riding factor.

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1 hour ago, Big Rick said:

Looks like you are wrong.

ERCOT board is appointed and reports to the Public Utility Commision with Legislative oversight 

Correct, I got the order wrong.   Gov Abbott Appoints the Public Utility Commissioners and they appoint ERCOT.  

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42 minutes ago, bigjim said:

No matter what, for the current times there needs to be the ability to generate using fossils or nuclear or whatever when there is no wind or solar capacity. That is just the way it is now. There is no question that using green energies helps to conserve the fossils for when we really need them.  All depends on good judgement and foresight. Financials are a factor but surely should not be the over riding factor.

And no one said that fossil fuels or nuclear would be done away with immediately!  But you would never know that from all of the histrionics going on. More and more alternatives will come along and we will use less and less fossil fuels.   I am just amazed that people don't understand that petroleum is a fuel-stock for pharmaceuticals, plastics, composites and all sort of things we don't even know about yet, which should lead us to keeping as much in the ground as possible since it is likely that we are on the downward part of the Hubbert Curve.

I have seen class action lawsuits are already starting to be filed in Texas, the cost of the cleanup to homes is going to negate the 'savings' the people were supposedly getting by the state being 'deregulated'.  The only deregulation was the amount of profits that could go into owners of companies, not consumers.   

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Part of the  recovery issues is insurance rates will surely go up.  So I see that because of the flexible rates some owners/shareholders will make astronomical profits. One article state Jerry Jones is going to make a ton.  I don't yet take these stories as factual but am leaning that way. Wow lots and lots of repercussions. Like fossils being wasted hauling debris to  landfills that may fill up and have to be maintained. I have got to stop thinking about all this. It is hurting my head.

Big Rick what legislative oversight? I see where one of our former governors said we would all be happy to put up with no water and power longer just to avoid regulations.  So as not to be political I won't name him but I do wonder about the power situation  at his house.

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24 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

And no one said that fossil fuels or nuclear would be done away with immediately!  But you would never know that from all of the histrionics going on. More and more alternatives will come along and we will use less and less fossil fuels.   I am just amazed that people don't understand that petroleum is a fuel-stock for pharmaceuticals, plastics, composites and all sort of things we don't even know about yet, which should lead us to keeping as much in the ground as possible since it is likely that we are on the downward part of the Hubbert Curve.

I have seen class action lawsuits are already starting to be filed in Texas, the cost of the cleanup to homes is going to negate the 'savings' the people were supposedly getting by the state being 'deregulated'.  The only deregulation was the amount of profits that could go into owners of companies, not consumers.   

Well when they say ICE vehicles would be banned after a certain number of years it sure seems the direction the Green movement is headed

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22 minutes ago, Big Rick said:

Well when they say ICE vehicles would be banned after a certain number of years it sure seems the direction the Green movement is headed

NUMBER OF YEARS.   That doesn't mean tomorrow, next month, or next year.  That's the goal and they will get there in steps.   Can't figure out how so many people think change can't happen.  Whether you want it or not, buggy whip manufacturers went out of business.   Tube televisions are no longer for sale and airplanes can fly all around the world!   Change is going to happen.  Either embrace it or be prepared to be left behind, that is your choice.   

My mother was born in a Soddy on the Montana plains in 1922.    She lived to be 97 and got to FLY to Hawaii,  Australia, New Zealand, FiJi, Norway, and Germany all after turned 75!    My grandfather had the first auto service center in Dotson, Montana - because he ran the livery stable!   Times change and what we think is impossible today becomes routine in the future.  

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22 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

Times change and what we think is impossible today becomes routine in the future.  

Remember how skeptical many were of Dick Tracy and his 2 way, wrist radio in the 50's?

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59 minutes ago, bigjim said:

Part of the  recovery issues is insurance rates will surely go up.  So I see that because of the flexible rates some owners/shareholders will make astronomical profits. One article state Jerry Jones is going to make a ton.  I don't yet take these stories as factual but am leaning that way. Wow lots and lots of repercussions. Like fossils being wasted hauling debris to  landfills that may fill up and have to be maintained. I have got to stop thinking about all this. It is hurting my head.

Big Rick what legislative oversight? I see where one of our former governors said we would all be happy to put up with no water and power longer just to avoid regulations.  So as not to be political I won't name him but I do wonder about the power situation  at his house.

Well I planned ahead and have a whole house standby generator. And yes I do not want the corruption of Washington telling us how to do things.

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My planned 750 sq ft home will be super insulated and should be able to heat it with radiant hot water. As long as I can get propane should not be a problem. Would be nice if NG was there but not. Think I will be able to cool with a single 12k mini split. Should not take much electricity for us. 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Remember how skeptical many were of Dick Tracy and his 2 way, wrist radio in the 50's?

Yes, it was just a comic book whim!   My daughter wears hers all of the time.

1 hour ago, Big Rick said:

I am ready for the fusion machine from Back to the future. What I am against is the government mandating the change. Let the market place decide what they want.

Yes, the market place will decide.  That's why the market place built the Interstate Highway System - right?   

The market place did decide in Texas.  They decided to make money and to hell with the customers that were caught because preventative maintenance and planning for change in environmental change  doesn't make money for investors.

Market place will decide on drug efficacy and safety.  We don't need FDA.   We don't need meat inspections, etc, market place will decide and if enough people die people won't shop there anymore.    Market place will decide when bridges should be replaced.   Rural electrification wasn't needed, the market place would have gotten around to those area in 100 years or so, maybe!

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41 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

Yes, the market place will decide.  That's why the market place built the Interstate Highway System - right?   

The market place did decide in Texas.  They decided to make money and to hell with the customers that were caught because preventative maintenance and planning for change in environmental change  doesn't make money for investors.

Market place will decide on drug efficacy and safety.  We don't need FDA.   We don't need meat inspections, etc, market place will decide and if enough people die people won't shop there anymore.    Market place will decide when bridges should be replaced.   Rural electrification wasn't needed, the market place would have gotten around to those area in 100 years or so, maybe!

I would offer that the marketplace does decide, in a sense, even in regards to the government programs that you've mentioned. Texas has always been a low-tax, low-government service type of state. The citizens have consistently voted for representatives that support that philosophy and it shows in many areas. 

However, Texans like highways, and have typically supported more state funding for their highways than many other states. But they haven't supported an increase in gas tax, which led us to toll roads. As toll roads became more controversial, more funding was dedicated from the General and Rainy Day funs for highway construction, still without a state increase in gas tax. Having driven in all 50 states, I have seen many states that are considered high-tax, high-service states with truly dreadful highway systems. But that reflects the differing priorities in those states. 

Having worked with the FHWA for 30+ years, I have serious reservations about federal oversight being the answer to most things, but perhaps I am drifting into political waters. Not that the constant drumbeat of regulation vs. deregulation hasn't already taken us there...

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5 hours ago, bigjim said:

No matter what, for the current times there needs to be the ability to generate using fossils or nuclear or whatever when there is no wind or solar capacity.

Jim, The fossil fuels failed as well! Not because there was no fuel, but because valves, pipelines, and generation plants succumbed to the weather as they were not made to cover extremes.

I try to explain the error many make in assuming there was no wind or sun. In a regional grid there is always wind and sun somewhere regionally. There was wind in Texas, but the props were frozen and destroyed. Just like the fossil fuel's hardware failures. The old 5 Ps - "Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance."

Like when I was a proponent of hydrogen at the turn of the century, then because of a lack of infrastructure and the predominant use of hydrogen from fossil fueled and fuels, my preferences went to electric vehicles and solar.

Before that I wanted to build an Earth Sheltered home. https://earthshelteredtechnology.com/

Storm proof, earthquake proof, and 99% soundproof. Sited properly it can use passive and active solar for heat and hot water year round. Cooling with a pipe structure that takes away the heat and cools it down to 55 degrees constant temp underground. In winter and summer it just needs to be heated up 20 degrees to 75 degrees for comfort. In summer you can just mix some ambient air in until comfortable. In winter passive solar can do the 20 degrees most days and at night with little energy input. We like to sleep in 63 degrees here winters. 70 degrees summers. (That's with grid connected NG furnace and central A/C.)

 

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1 hour ago, Barbaraok said:

Yes, the market place will decide.  That's why the market place built the Interstate Highway System - right?   

We need government to manage us and make decisions we're incapable of making for ourselves . I thought that's why they were there. I don't know why this is such an issue for some.

Is the gov't *always* right.  Of course not, but let's not throw out the baby with the bath.

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23 minutes ago, hemsteadc said:

Of course not, but let's not throw out the baby with the bath.

We adults are in many ways like young children. Parents regularly force their children to take medicines that children would not take because they need it. Parents also set rules about where their children can go or play, for their safety.  People have a long history of failing to do things that would have proven to be better for them over the long term. The real problem is that two few of us are actually involved in the processes of selecting our leaders and that is probably at least part of the reason that we have so little trust in our leaders today. 

Markets being the only regulatory force for our public utilities has long been proven to put profits ahead of reliability and responsibility. Even that is partly our fault since nearly all of us tend to by from the company that is least costly, over the one most responsible. 

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33 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

 People have a long history of failing to do things that would have proven to be better for them over the long term. 

Markets being the only regulatory force for our public utilities has long been proven to put profits ahead of reliability and responsibility. 

I see plenty of folks who haven't cared to go to the dentist for quite some time.  Now it's Mexico time.   I was living in Seattle when the Enron debacle took place.

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3 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

Yes, it was just a comic book whim!   My daughter wears hers all of the time.

Yes, the market place will decide.  That's why the market place built the Interstate Highway System - right?   

The market place did decide in Texas.  They decided to make money and to hell with the customers that were caught because preventative maintenance and planning for change in environmental change  doesn't make money for investors.

Market place will decide on drug efficacy and safety.  We don't need FDA.   We don't need meat inspections, etc, market place will decide and if enough people die people won't shop there anymore.    Market place will decide when bridges should be replaced.   Rural electrification wasn't needed, the market place would have gotten around to those area in 100 years or so, maybe!

Does the government mandate you drive on the Interstate?

if I wanted an electric vehicle I would buy one, but I do not.

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No one said you had to buy one.   But there will come a time when there won't be a new one for sale.    No one is mandated to drive on Interstates, but it took the Federal government to do it because the whole country needed to be able to move people and material to help with national defense.  President Eisenhower KNEW each state wouldn't do it without Federal Government pushing them.   

 

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Some if not many home owners in Texas were able to use the onboard generators in the new Ford 150 pickups to power a limited number of appliances such as lights, coffee, microwaves , etc. for warmth and hot food and internet, charging phones, tablets, etc.  The larger the engine then the more powerful the generators.

This will send the sales of new 150s into space orbit and I may switch from Rams to Fords next go.

All the insurance cost for the damage repair in Texas will also be passed onto the rest of us.

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