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Californication of America


luckydevil

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http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3028

Californication and the East Coast Blackout

by Alan Caruba (August 15, 2003)

Summary: There's a reason why California doesn't have enough power plants, nor any other State in this great republic of ours. It's called environmentalism.

[www.CapitalismMagazine.com]

There's a very fundamental reason for the latest blackout on the East Coast. The United States of America needs more power facilities. I'm not talking about ten thousand windmills on the coast of Massachusetts or seventy square miles of solar collectors in Vermont. I'm talking about burning coal and using natural gas. I'm talking about hydroelectric plants and, yes, nuclear-based plants. All of them gloriously producing electricity.

Reality pulled the plug from Ottawa to Detroit, from Toledo to Hartford, from Cleveland to New York City. Millions of New Yorkers had to walk across the bridges to the other Boroughs to get home. Major cities just flat out shut down. No electricity. No elevator service. No cell phones. No traffic lights. NO NOTHING!

We live in a technological society that is totally dependent on electricity and it isn't produced by putting forty hamsters on a treadmill. You have to burn coal. You have to use natural gas. You have to tap rolling water for hydroelectricity. You need to build clean, non-polluting nuclear plants.

Americans, in general, just can't imagine not having enough electricity for everything they need to do. The reason California experienced so many energy problems was that the stupid Californians would not allow power plants to be built and thought they could just keep buying electricity from Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and even Canada. It's a commodity and, when it gets scarce, the price goes up.

There's a reason why California doesn't have enough power plants, nor any other State in this great republic of ours. It's called environmentalism. It goes something like this; the Environmental Protection Agency is so busy levying huge fines on existing and older power plants that there is no incentive to build new ones. It goes like this; the stupid attorney generals of Eastern States sue Western ones, blaming them for the air quality and crying, 'We can't get in compliance with the EPA because you people want to heat your homes and stuff."

If that doesn't stop a power plant, there's the old reliable Endangered Species Act or there's wetlands regulations. Or the Greens will run around and say that building a power plant anywhere is unfair to the poor people who may live anywhere near it.

Listen up! There are over 280 million of us and all of us, except for those who live in cardboard boxes under a bridge, want to have our air conditioning work in the summer and our furnace work in the winter. We expect the food in our refrigerator to stay frozen. We expect to turn on our computers, our lights, and, God help us, our television sets.

The latest blackout was a warning that, so long as this nation continues to go along with idiotic and malevolent environmentalists and their lies about darned near everything, we are going to have more and worse blackouts.

Who needs terrorists? Our national security is entirely dependent on safe, reliable and abundant energy. Maybe 8-14-03 needs to be added to 9-11-01 as a reminder of that? Environmentalists have been attacking the economic and energy base of this nation for decades. Call it the Californication of America.

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Guest SkinsHokie Fan

From what I have read it doesn't take a genius to realize how much better nuclear power is now a days then back in the 1970s and how much power it can produce. That and hydroelectirc power.

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Seems to my (admittedly uninformed) opinion, this system should be designed to allow compartmentalization and failure.

If "the grid" goes down, then NYC should have the ability to disconnect from the grid, and simply run on it's own generators. If they don't have enough of their own generators, then they should be able to power as much as they can, perhaps in sections. (Say, power Manhatten for 30 minutes, then shut it down at a predictable time, then power Queens for 30 minutes, and continue. At least that way the folks who're stuck in elevators can get out, the subways can stop in a station, and things like that.)

One article I glanced at said the failure shut down nuclear power plants. Why isn't the plant designed to be completely self-sufficient? (I can understand if, say, the switchyard out back of the plant fails, then the plant can run, but the power can't get out.)

I assume somebody's thought of these kind of things, and there's some reason that I don't know about that requires this kind of interdependant wiring. But, I still think there's got to be a better way.

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I imagine the power and utility industry operates on the same principle as every other manmade entity....they ignore a potential problem until it rears its ugly head and bites them on the tail in a big way. With so many competing financial interests, I'm sure that renewal/updating/modernization of basic infrastructure is way down the list of priorities. If it turns out this wasn't just some freak event, and the system IS in need of major upgrading, this was probably the wake-up call required to get it done. I think this blackout differs from other major ones in the past because its now viewed through the filter of national security and we simply cannot afford the risk inherent in the kind of chaos we saw yesterday. I'm with you Larry, kind of ironic that a nuclear power plant requires an external source of electricity? But I'm no nuke engineer either....

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http://www.house.gov/farr/press/prenergy6-20.htm

June 20, 2001

REPUBLICANS DENY REP. FARR'S AMENDMENT FOR ELECTRIC POWER GRID LOANS

(Washington, DC) - Rep. Sam Farr tried to offer an amendment to an appropriations bill today that would provide funding for electric power grid improvements. The Republican-dominated Rules Committee refused to allow the amendment on the bill.

"One thing that's aggravated the energy crisis in California is the antiquated power grid infrastructure," Rep. Farr said. "Power gets generated in Southern California and squeezed up an 85-mile stretch of high-voltage wires in the Central Valley called Path 15. The demand for energy in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco far outstrips the capacity of Path 15, which is a dangerous bottleneck and needs to be overhauled."

Rep. Farr vowed to continue offering the amendment to other legislation this year.

The amendment authorizes $350 million to fund direct loans and loan guarantees to improve electric power transmission systems in the United States. Under the amendment, the loans and loan guarantees can only be made after the Secretary of Energy approves them; determines that other commercial financing is unavailable and that an emergency exists, and finds that the projects they fund would maintain or improve electricity transmission.

Borrowers would have up to 25 years to repay the loans.

"This loan program would benefit people of all political stripes," Rep. Farr said. "And the loans could be used by public or private-sector groups to improve an electrical grid that is clearly outdated and overburdened in California and elsewhere. That's why I'm disheartened that some Republicans continue to play politics while the energy crisis wreaks havoc on our lives."

Rep. Farr said that while many Republicans are gradually coming to see the wisdom of intervening in what is obviously a dysfunctional energy market in the West, the Republicans on the Rules Committee that rejected his amendment is out of touch with the damage caused by the California energy crisis. Families are facing soaring energy costs, businesses are fighting for survival and political leaders who continue to ignore their plight do so at their own peril, he added.

What's more, without timely intervention from the federal government, the crisis is likely to spread to other states.

"I believe that many Republicans are gradually coming to see the wisdom of intervening in what is obviously a dysfunctional energy market in the West," Rep. Farr said. "Governor Gray Davis is here in Washington today testifying before a Senate committee and meeting with Republicans and Democrats from California's Congressional Delegation. Californians of both parties were obviously heartened by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's decision to get more involved in regulating energy prices.

Earlier this month, the California Assembly passed a bill that provides $10 million for the Transmission Authority of Northern California to conduct environmental studies along Path 15, to prepare for a possible expansion.

"California is doing its part in terms of promoting improvements for its power grid," Rep. Farr said. "It's time for the federal government to pitch in."

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I'd wondered about something like this before, when there are regioonal power outages. My first thought is "Why don't we have some form of Electrical Interstate System?"

It could be used, not just in emergencies, but might allow electric consumers (local utilities) to buy power from (hypothetical) cheaper, interstate sources. I know they've got something kind of like that now, but I get the feeling it's more a case of my utility having deals with the next county, rather than with non-adjacent states.

This just looks to me like a problem for which a solution isn't that tough.

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There was a nuclear plant built in long island that never opened because of the enviormental movement. Billions wasted!

Also there is a protection device for the power grid that is like a huge surge protector,about the size of a railcar,really just a capicator.I would guess that the cost of these or regulatory rules kept them from being in place.

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Originally posted by Larry

are My first thought is "Why don't we have some form of Electrical Interstate System?"

It could be used, not just in emergencies, but might allow electric consumers (local utilities) to buy power from (hypothetical) cheaper, interstate sources. I know they've got something kind of like that now, but I get the feeling it's more a case of my utility having deals with the next county, rather than with non-adjacent states.

This just looks to me like a problem for which a solution isn't that tough.

Shudder to think that the US government is pushing for control over a system like this,which means it would not be complete in our lifetimes with all the haggling over enviromental issues

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Originally posted by Golgo-13

I'm totally in favor of going nuke carlsbadd. But you have all these hippie assholes who don't know what they are talking about who won't let it fly.

I agree , France gets 75% of it's power from nukes. It's funny how the people in CA are pushing for electric cars with no idea that you have to find a way to produce it.

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