Tag Archives: pipeline

Friday Linkage 7/21/2017

Can we just have someone organize a “touch a truck” event every week on the White House lawn so that our dear leader can have some fun:

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Can you imagine the crude jokes he is making with this bat in his hands:

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All hat, no cattle…never were truer words spoken:

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On to the links…

Bill Nye on the Terrifying Ascendancy of American ‘dingbatitude’—When did it become ok for people to basically act like an idiot, claim that they were an idiot as a defense for the behavior, and then go on their merry way to keep being an idiot?

The Best Way to Reduce your Personal Carbon Emissions: Don’t be Rich—Right wingers will never like to hear this, but the richest members of society are the ones who are causing the most damage to the environment:

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Scott Pruitt Desperately Wants to Be Loved—During the 2016 election we got to know alt-right terms like snowflake all too well.  It looks like the actual snowflakes are the people working for Donald Trump up to and including the dear leader himself.  These people have created an echo chamber of praise so that they do not have to deal with the reality that their only true defining characteristic is historic incompetence.

Callista Gingrich: Trump Wants US To Be Environmental Leader—The surrogates are getting more surreal as anyone with a pulse and hopes for a future in Washington D.C. head for cover.  Callista Gingrich saying that Trump wants to lead on the environment is laughable on so many levels.  Soak in the insanity.

Coal and Nuclear are Uneconomic — More Bombshells from Perry’s Draft Grid Study—Be careful what you wish for Rick Perry.

A Texas Company Wants to Spread Wind Power Across the U.S.—Wind energy is big business in Texas and big business usually wins in Texas.  What happens when renewable energy becomes big energy?  We are about to find out as established players with viable business models spread their wings.

States Can Recharge Rooftop Solar—Solar needs rules stability.  At the current prices rooftop solar can be competitive without heavy government incentives but a chaotic rules and regulations environment is hurting long term planning.

A Pipeline that Would Cut through the Iconic Appalachian Trail Sparks a Fight over Natural Gas Expansion—Pipelines are everywhere and the government is just a rubber stamp for industry regardless of who sits in the White House or controls Congress.

$2 Billion Energy Investment goes Bust in Rare Complete Failure of Private Equity Fund—This failure might not be an indictment of an entire sector or it may be a harbinger of hard times to come for fossil fuel investors.

Coal Baron Don Blankenship Jumping Straight From Jail To Senate Race?—First Kid Rock and now Don Blankenship…the right wing is going to be loving their candidates over the next couple of years as the Trump influence on the party metastasizes.

Flip-Flops: Fun in the Sun, but Tough on Feet—Can we just kill flip-flops for anything other than a quick jaunt to the beach or trip through the locker room?  The sound of cheap flip-flops dragging and slapping is the official sound that summer has begun.

Denver Startup To Install Flatscreens In Chairlift Safety Bars and Advertise—God help us.  Now Vail Resorts can advertise to us on the chairlift, which was one of the few screen free places left anywhere.

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Friday Linkage 5/22/2015

May has been wicked cold. This week the temperatures got down into the mid-30s, which is a record in some places, and people are running around to cover plants with blankets. I am just hoping all of my vegetable starts survived.

On to the links…

105,000 Gallons of Oil may have Spilled in Santa Barbara County—When oil companies talk about pipelines in your community, be it Bakken pipelines or Keystone XL or something else, the truth of the matter is that pipelines fail and foul the environment. Why? Because the companies are driven by profit over everything else including health and safety.

This Billionaire Tried To Get University Scientists Fired For Doing Their Job—Remember, if the truth is not on your side just use your filthy lucre to try and silence critics.

Did China’s CO2 Emissions Actually Just Fall?—I am hesitant to believe any news that comes out of China. However, this news comes from Greenpeace, surely no friend of China, and there are caveats about the short term nature of the numbers but if it held true the drop would represent the entirety of the U.K.’s CO2 emissions.

12,300 Megawatts of Coal Power will Shut Down in the US in 2015, Lots More to Come—The march of progress is on. Every coal plant that shuts down is another nail in the coffin of the dirty fuel. Soon, we will reach a point where the industry no longer has a critical mass to operate efficiently and will enter an inexorable death spiral.

Renewable Energy Land Requirements To Power US With Solar—As you listen to the people behind oil sands, mountaintop removal, and fracking talk about the land requirements for renewables show them this:

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Australia Could Reach 100% Renewables By 2040—Now that we know it is possible by 2040, what would it take to make it happen by 2030?

Puffy, Feathered Sticking Point of a $612 Billion House Bill—With control of both houses of Congress, Republicans have set their eyes on rolling back years of environmental progress. If you do not think the 2016 election is important you are not paying attention.

Tiny Plastic Microbeads Are Being Banned In States Across The Country For ‘Causing Mega-Problems’—Finally, the exfoliation of our faces will take a back seat to the quality of our water.

Whole Foods Calls the Shots for Startups—This article is supposed to be about Whole Foods, but I kept thinking that they were talking about WalMart. Seriously, the tactics sound eerily similar.

The Big Waste: Why Do We Throw Away So Much Food?—I think the answer is that food can be hard. In our own house we try and reduce food waste. It really forces you to look into the dark recesses of the refrigerator…okay, who am I kidding? These are total first world problems. Stop wasting so much god damned food.

Peat Moss, a Necessary Bane—Peat moss is a pretty amazing family of plants. Sure, the ecosystem is a little depressing to look at and the plants tend to take over the landscape when possible but look at the benefits.

The Decline of the British Front Garden—It’s a bloody shame that television “makeover” shows have led people to replace little front gardens with paved parking areas. Seriously, do we really need more parking for cars?

Friday Linkage 5/16/2014

So, every time you hear a proponent of Keystone XL talk about the safety of oil pipelines witness the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale. In the wee hours of Thursday morning a pipeline burst sending tens of thousands of crude into the city streets. Yep, great safety record for those pipelines.

On to the links…

America’s Oil And Gas Industry Averaged At Least 20 Spills Per Day In 2013—Think about that average for a moment. It is stunning. There is no such thing as truly safe oil and gas drilling and transportation. It is inherently susceptible to spills and accidents.

This Is Your Country With 10 Feet Of Sea Level Rise—It looks like I am safe in eastern Iowa, but large portions of very populous cities in the U.S. are not so lucky.

Slow Exit of the Midwest’s Winter Buries Gardens in a Deep Freeze—The past winter was brutal and as those of us in the Midwest take stock in the spring it is not any prettier. At the moment I am down two trees, three butterfly bushes, and a shrub. Plus, the plants that did survive are slow to leaf out and bloom.

The Toxic Brew in Our Yards—It is a spring and summer ritual where I live to see the chemical trucks spraying lawns and leaving little signs that might as well say, “Toxic waste dump. Stay off the grass!”

How Large-Scale Solar Power Can Reduce Pressure On Farm Land—Just some interesting ideas about how to marry large scale solar with other land use. Anything that moves solar PV forward is a good thing in my book.

Pakistan’s First Solar Project Is One Of The World’s Largest—Damn, this is a big solar project. When a country like Pakistan is getting on board with solar you know that things are happening for the technology.

Germany Sets New Record, Generating 74 Percent Of Power Needs From Renewable Energy—Hot damn that is impressive. Just take a moment and think about what that would mean if every country were as committed to large scale renewables. Pretty sight indeed.

A Whale And A Cruise Ship Collided In New York Harbor—I kind of wondered about this possibility the one time I took a cruise. These boats are massive and there is no way for these boats to avoid whales if they cross paths. Ugh.

Friday Linkage 8/16/2013

My oldest daughter starts kindergarten in a few days.  It is really hard to imagine that the little girl I brought home on a brutally cold morning in January is old enough to be going to school.

On to the links…

8 Awkward Things You Might Do If You’ve Truly Gone Green—How many of these are you guilty of?  I am on the hook for about five of the eight.  Great.

Amid Pipeline Debate, Two Costly Cleanups Forever Change Towns—If you think that anything about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is good, read this article and get back to me.  It’s a disaster.

The Massive Demand For Solar In Asia Shows Us Where The Industry Is Headed—Are we reaching the point when solar has achieved a critical mass of factors that allow it to be truly adopted worldwide in utility scale quantities?  I surely that this is the case.

Don’t For a Second Believe We’re Heading for an Era of Renewable Energy—Man, the folks over at Girst.org really know how to kill a guy’s buzz.  Yeah, fossil fuels are here to stay for a long time but that does not mean that I am giving up the hope that we can scratch and claw our way to a cleaner future.

Cut Emissions? Congress Itself Keeps Burning a Dirtier Fuel—Why is this plant still operating in this fashion?  Diesel fuel?  Really?

What’s in Crude Oil and How Do We Use It?—Crude oil is a strange thing.  Most people have little concept of what crude oil actually is and what products are the end result of the refining process.  Only a small percentage is turned into gasoline or diesel, while a host of other products are the benefits of “byproducts.”  It’s often these non-transportation fuel byproducts that make a refinery profitable.

In Pursuit of the Perfectly Passive—The idea of a small-ish passive solar cottage is so appealing when you see the photos of the house spoken about in the article.  It just seems very livable.

14 Year Old Debates GMOs with Condescending Host—Why do we even listen to the talking heads on television “news” programs?  Very few of them are remotely qualified to talk about any issues outside of celebrity sleaze, yet their pulpits give them some kind of personal authority.  It’s always good to see them get taken down a notch.  Especially by a kid.

Do Chicken Plant Chemicals Mask Salmonella?—Not only does industrial chicken come from poultry farms that are horrific and the processing plants are equally horrific, but something may be endemic in the system that hides the existence of pathogens.  Does it get any worse?

A Tennessee Clothing Factory Keeps Up the Old Ways—This story about L.C. King makes me glad that there are still companies maintaining a heritage of manufacturing.  Authenticity cannot be duplicated with crafty, artisanal labels.  It’s something that is created over decades of hard work and dedication to craft.

Photographer Captures Waves of Trash in Indonesia—Zak Noyle’s photographs of trash in the waters surrounding Indonesia are just awful.  How did we get here?

Friday Linkage 7/19/2013

The heat was just brutal this week.  Storms look to be on the horizon for Friday and the heat looks like it is going to “break” over the weekend.

On to the links…

The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus Infogaphic—Follow the money:

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Keystone XL would Raise Gas Prices—So, how many lies and falsehoods are people willing to accept when it comes to the story surrounding Keystone XL?  This pipeline is like the gift that keeps on giving in terms of underhanded and devious play on the part of its backers.

Ideas to Bolster Power Grid Run Up Against the System’s Many Owners—Our electricity grid is a shambles because it is fractured along so many lines with so many competing interests at play.  A truly modern grid, however, is probably a pipe dream because of that dynamic.

Next Generation Wind Turbines With Storage Are Cheap, Reliable And Brilliant—Well, if our grid is going to remain dumb and outdated at least the wind turbines that are connected to the grid can be smart.  Each advancement in renewable energy brings the day closer when we will wonder why we even bothered with coal in the first place.

Xcel Energy to Boost Wind Power in Upper Midwest by 33 Percent—Lost in the headline is the statement that the utility believes the introduction of more wind power generation will save consumers in excess of $180M over the lives of the projects.  So, it’s not just a “green” play anymore.  It’s the smart money play as well.

Is Solar Cheaper than Grid Electricity? Yes and No—Here’s the thing, getting down to what is the “true” price of any electricity, regardless of generation method, is damn near impossible because of subsidies and externalities.  At the end of the day, the moral of the story, is that solar is getting cheaper every day.

Wind At Parity With New Coal In India, Solar To Join By 2018—I remember listening to someone say that the price of solar and wind in the U.S. was almost irrelevant because it was the China or India price that mattered.  Guess what?  The renewables are already at the India price.

China Plans a Major Solar Buying Spree—Speaking of China.  It looks the Chinese government is going to try and erase the glut in solar panel supplies by massively expanding its capability to generate power from the sun.  Dig it.

In Los Angeles, Developer are Building Small Homes on Tiny Lots—I read this whole article thinking, “It’s called supply and demand.  Why are we surprised?”  People do not want to spend the better part of several hours in a car to get the simplest tasks done anymore.  Developers will have to accommodate that desire if they want to sell houses.  End of story.

Friday Linkage 7/12/2013

It is almost mind blowing how time just flies during the summer.  You spend the week doing a few things in the yard, attend a few teeball games, and suddenly it’s Friday afternoon. The weather has been beautiful and I am really looking forward to a lot of unstructured time this weekend to work on a few projects that have been lingering.  I promise that there will be some non-beer related posts in the near future.  Of course, there will also be some beer related posts as well.

On to the links…

What’s in the Water: Searching Midwest Streams for Crop Runoff—This is one of those problems that people do not ever really think about, but field runoff is a huge problem here in Iowa.  This is especially true when the fields have recently been treated with waste from hog CAFOs.  Yep, there is shit in the water.

How Can You Give A Community Better Health?—I have watched several presentations by Ron Finley and I have loved every one of them.  His line about people in poor neighborhoods being killed not by drive bys, but by drive throughs is priceless wordsmithing.

Scientists Work to Perfect Broccoli—I would argue that sans-genetic engineering broccoli was already pretty much perfect.  Sure, the heads of broccoli in the grocery store are often inedible bunches of bitter tasting green stuff.  But, a fresh head of broccoli during the cool season is a perfect treat.

Monsanto Is Losing the Press—Big Ag’s problems keep piling up because the problems are legion.  If it’s not genetically modified wheat showing up in Oregon, it’s scientific studies questioning the health impacts of GMO crops or citizens demanding that products be labeled in such a way to make it apparent that the food contains GMO ingredients.  It’s got to be like holding back the sea for these guys.

Republicans are Happy to Help Big Ag, but Feed the Hungry…Not so Much—I just do not understand the conservative furor over the food stamp or SNAP program.  Why is feeding people who are the most vulnerable something to cut from the federal budget when sacred cows like defense spending survive.  Gotta’ keep those defense contractor CEOs in the steak dinner!

Your Clothes Biggest Ecological Impact is not What You Think—Big surprise…it’s the lifecycle of an item that really measures its impact on this planet.  I try to get people to think about lifecycle costs and embedded energy all the time.  It rarely works.

Solar Costs and Grid Prices on a Collision Course—Every day the cost to deploy solar gets lower.  Considering that the fuel to keep a solar PV panel running is free for eternity—assuming energy companies don’t figure out a way to restrict our access to the sun—the lifecycle costs are going to be low.  Solar power is part of the energy solution.  People just need to deal with that reality.

The Coal Industry Knows That Enviros Are Winning—The game is over for coal in general because everyone realizes that it is the fuel of the past.  The real question becomes how do we unwind modern society from the coal hydra without causing massive disruption.

Bad Infrastructure Design Leads to Bad Bike Behavior—People are surprised by this idea?  Why?  When I am on my bicycle, particularly if I am commuting somewhere, I am more worried about staying alive and unharmed as opposed to being a good citizen.  Sorry, but arriving alive is the first order of the day.

Climate Change: Summer Bummer For Your Fourth Of July?—And if you needed any reminders about climate change, here is an infographic to totally bum you out:

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China’s Beaches Overwhelmed by Algae—But, if you think you’ve got it bad in the U.S. just check out what China’s beaches look like covered in a thick blanket of algae.  What does 20,000 tons of algae even look like?

Piling Up Keystone XL’s Petcoke—If you thought 20,000 tons of algae was a disturbing proposition just think about what the petcoke byproduct would be like from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline:

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