Three days of rain the past week and temperatures in the low-50s the past couple of nights have really improved the general mood here in Eastern Iowa. If only the Hawkeye’s football opener could get here sooner.
On to the links…
CBO Sees no Financial Windfall in Expanded Drilling on Federal Lands—The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has release a report that states the expansion of oil and gas drilling to almost all federal lands would only lead to a modest increase in financial gain. This differs from what the oil and gas industry has been claiming. Surprised? Not really, since the oil and gas industry is notorious for lying about the impact of its projects.
Government Employment at Lowest Point Since 1968—Before you blame the deficit on government bloat and, thus, justifying the need to open more land to fossil fuel exploitation consider this:
Government employment as a per capita measure is the lowest it has been since LBJ was president. Kind of runs counter to the BS Mitt Romney has been peddling on the stump. Of course, he is a liar.
Defense Cuts Unlikely to Hurt Broader Economy—For all the hysterics about the looming defense cuts from sequestration, the Cato Institute has released a study showing that the impacts on the entire economy will be quite small because the defense industry is a small slice. Considering that even with the largest of planned cuts the U.S. will still spend more on defense than the next ten countries combined we can probably afford to take the hit.
Vast Renewable Power Potential in the American West—There is a huge amount of untapped power potential in the American West. Just suck on these numbers for a moment: $137 billion in investment, 209,000 direct jobs, and enough clean power for 7 million homes. Just saying.
Colorado Utility Gets 57% of Power from Wind—Don’t believe in the potential? On the night of April 15th, Xcel Energy got 57% of its power from wind generation. Granted, it was overnight when the wind blows hard and the demand is low. Consider it for a moment nonetheless, 57% of the power came from wind.
California got 20% of its Power from Renewables in First Half 2012—Still do not believe in the potential? California, the most populous state in the United States, got 20.6% of its power from wind, solar, geothermal, and other non-nuclear clean sources of power. This is not North Dakota getting 20% of its power for a small population base. This is the most populous state in the union.
Windpower Capacity Hits 50GW in US—Here’s another data point to make anyone a believer in the potential of renewables. The installed capacity of windpower in the U.S. is more than 50 gigawatts, which represents the equivalent of 44 coal plants. Only room to grow, daddy-o!
5GW of Renewables Fast Tracked by Obama Administration—Seven large scale projects totaling 5GW of capacity in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Wyoming have been fast tracked by the current presidential administration. The project in Wyoming is a 3GW wind farm in Carbon County. 3GW represents 6% of the current installed windpower capacity. In one project!
Old Coal Plant in Rochester, Minnesota to Close—This one is personal because I passed this plant probably a hundred times in my youth living in southeastern Minnesota. Along with the oil refinery on Highway 52 near Coates, this was one of those hellish places that you wondered how it could still be in operation. Well, not much longer.
Fairs, Like Crops, are Dropping with the Heat—It looks like corn and soybeans are not the only victims of this brutal July heat. I went to the Johnson County Fair in Iowa with my daughter and it was a shell of previous years. People just looked miserable, the animals were no better, and everyone just seemed to be waiting for the whole thing to end. Ugh!
The Ultimate Urban Workout—If you have spent any time in a large city and done any shopping you will understand the exertion required to schlep. Unlike Europe where collapsible carts are acceptable, in the U.S. you schlep. Bags hang precariously from hands, forearms, wherever in a manic dance to make it to the front door. But, how many calories did I burn?
Goats in Presidio Park—Just a nice slideshow of some “goat-scaping” in San Francisco’s Presidio Park. Goats rule!
Mongol Rally Photo Travelogue—Who would not want to drive 10,000 miles in a car with an engine displacement less than 1.2L? Okay, to give you an idea 1.2L is a smaller engine than what is in a Ford Fiesta or Chevy Spark. Now imagine driving across semi-developed roadways. You get the idea. It sounds awesome!
Possible New Egyptian Pyramids found on Google Earth—This is just a crazy story and it shows the potential of technology to transform fields of knowledge. Dig it!