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(CNN)   Obama to nuke coal power plants   (cnn.com) divider line 42
    More: Interesting, Obama, coal power plant, climate change skeptics, coal-fired power plants, senior administration official  
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2412 clicks; posted to Politics » on 25 Jun 2013 at 1:17 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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Archived thread
2013-06-25 12:36:45 PM  
4 votes:
We need more solar and nuclear options.

Simple as that.

They are very clean. Solar is limitless energy and nuclear can power significant numbers.

Coal plants everywhere should be shut down
2013-06-25 12:35:26 PM  
4 votes:

jehovahs witness protection: Democrats are gonna lose a shiatload of voters in Pa.
Way to go Jobkillbama


tought shiat, they can fark off.

Hydro, Nuclear (Gen III+, Thorium), Wind, Solar, Geothermal, etc all faaaaaar better. For environmental AND economic reasons.
2013-06-25 02:19:11 PM  
3 votes:

Jim_Callahan: And again, this is just labor and capital investment versus return, I'm not even thinking about environmental impact here. The only reason coal is "cheap" in monetary terms is monopoly price-fixing and abuse of the labor force, plus monopoly obstruction of competing plants. If that's really what you're into, you could do that with a nuke plant too, and it would be preferable.


Also, because coal is essentially socialized risk and privatized profits.  The National Academy of Sciences concluded that coal plants pass on $62B annually to the  "people who breathe the air" demographic in the form of medical costs, damage to agriculture, etc.

Right now, the companies only pay for what happens within their walls.  They have to truck in the coal, burn it, haul away the ash, and bill the consumer by the Joule.  They don't pay for the cost of all the crap flying out of their smokestack.

This is why any of the "but, but free market!" people in this thread are ignorant or liars.  The free market only functions properly when externalities are priced in.  Coal is propped up by being allowed to pass hazards on to you and me, on top of the direct subsidies they already receive.
2013-06-25 01:56:18 PM  
3 votes:
Speaking as an engineer who has kept up with the practicalities of energy generation:

Good.  Coal has been by far the least cost-effective means of industrial-scale industry production we've had since the '50s.  Even wind power is cheaper in materials and overall labor investment, and that's terrible.  The fact that we're using mined coal in anything but steel production is a piece of goddamned idiocy on par with if we required every automobile to be furnished with a buggy whip and a set of reins at all times.

whidbey: netizencain: But the market isn't ready with a viable replacement.

Bullshiat. You mean the market isn't "ready" (lol) with a CHEAP replacement.


Even that... well, see above.  Nuclear, natgas, and hydro blow coal out of the water on basic cost-effectiveness really, really easily, and even wind (which is terribly inefficient) gives it a run for its money, and even SOLAR of all goddamned things is catching up.

And again, this is just labor and capital investment versus return, I'm not even thinking about environmental impact here.  The only reason coal is "cheap" in monetary terms is monopoly price-fixing and abuse of the labor force, plus monopoly obstruction of competing plants.  If that's really what you're into, you could do that with a nuke plant too, and it would be preferable.
2013-06-25 12:07:39 PM  
3 votes:
i38.tinypic.com
2013-06-25 03:06:21 PM  
2 votes:
I am aware we will need things like natural gas to bridge the gap. And that we are not turning off all nuclear plants and coal plants tomorrow.

But to pretend that because solar and wind is not going to solve all out problems 100% by tomorrow is a bullshiat argument. Nothing is going to solve all our energy needs by tomorrow. But solar and wind works as a great solution for most things today, and every year it gets CHEAPER. Nuclear gets more expensive every year and so does most other forms of energy. So why should we as a nation invest in the future with energy that will cost us more and pollute when we can invest in ones that will become cheaper and stay clean?
2013-06-25 02:52:18 PM  
2 votes:

Geotpf: chimp_ninja: Hollie Maea: I would gladly give up PA's electoral votes in exchange for an actual legitimate War on Coal.

Seconded.

Tommy Moo: We could just build some nuclear plants in PA to balance it out.

Also a good idea.  Handles base load nicely, reduces need for storage, goes in places that are suboptimal for wind.

My order: Solar > wind > geothermal > biomass >  hydro > fission > gas > oil > anything else > coal.  We're pretty much maxed out on hydro, but the top four are ramping up exponentially, especially in countries where the House of Representatives is not staffed by inbred mouth-breathers who think their electricity is breathed into their homes by Jesus.

The thing is, costs are something like this:

Gas < coal < nuclear (expanding additonal plants, with very limited availablity) < renewables < oil < nuclear (building new plants)

The last two don't happen in the continential United States due to the high costs.  AFAIK, there are zero commercial oil power plants in the continential United States, and there hasn't been a new nuclear power plant built in many decades.


Those costs are distorted by economies of scale and market inertia.  Coal is only cheap because we hide $62B/yr in our hospitals.  Fracking is only cheap if we pretend the water isn't impacted, and exempt them from regulations that every other industry has to comply with.  Neither prices in the climate impact.

Also, look at the cost of PV as a function of time:

blogs.scientificamerican.com

Think coal and gas are going to do that as we dig deeper and deeper for that next score?

What side of this curve do you want the United States on?

blogs.scientificamerican.com

All I'm hearing from the far right is to wait for the right half of that chart.  Except if we do that, we'll be importing all of our panels from countries with better foresight, and we'll be building our new grid while they're already profiting from their investment.

Or, you know, we can go the route of creating jobs and start pounding out panels right now.
2013-06-25 01:22:02 PM  
2 votes:
Why can't we do a Cash for Clunkers type thing, the government offers to invest in housing/commercial upgrades. Everyone that owns a home/building can have solar installed on their roofs, etc. and the government will pay the company for it.

It'd put a bunch of people to work and start changing over the economy to reduce energy consumption... (GOP does want to be "energy independent" right?)
2013-06-25 12:44:31 PM  
2 votes:

nekom: Still, a LOT of union miners who traditionally voted Democrat every single time were convinced that Obama was going to take their job, and Romney would be far better. Not sure who convinced them of that. OH did I mention that many of the executives at Consolidated Coal are Mormon? I'm sure that's just a coincidence.


I'm less likely to believe that the executives supported Romney because they're all Mormon than I am to believe that the executives supported Romney because they're all rich and he would help make them richer.
2013-06-25 12:10:33 PM  
2 votes:
Free market competition from natural gas is doing a nice job of that already.
2013-06-25 04:51:34 PM  
1 votes:
I read the plan and I give it a rating of "meh". Better than nothing, probably about as much as could be realistically expected, almost certainly short of what's necessary, but it's okay I guess.
2013-06-25 04:36:29 PM  
1 votes:

Hollie Maea: HeadLever: Sure you can get the power from Wyoming if you want, but your losses might be as high as 50% or greater.

Like usual you are completely full of shiat.  Example: we currently ship 3.1 goddamn gigawatts from The Dalles, Oregon to Los Angeles, California at nearly 80 percent efficiency.


And overall, Transmission and Distribution losses are only 6.1% nationwide.

http://www.nema.org/Products/Documents/TDEnergyEff.pdf

This might come as a shock to you, but we don't have to transmit at 120V like Edison used to do anymore.
2013-06-25 04:28:12 PM  
1 votes:

HeadLever: Sure you can get the power from Wyoming if you want, but your losses might be as high as 50% or greater.


Like usual you are completely full of shiat.  Example: we currently ship 3.1 goddamn gigawatts from The Dalles, Oregon to Los Angeles, California at nearly 80 percent efficiency.
2013-06-25 04:20:39 PM  
1 votes:

o5iiawah: whidbey: Granted, tougher standards might put a few coal plants out of business.

what are tens of thousands of people out of work when it serves the greater good!  besides, if each and every one of them quit their jobs and went on food stamps, it would stimulate the economy.


How many jobs are you willing to trade your family's health for?
2013-06-25 04:20:27 PM  
1 votes:

o5iiawah: whidbey: Granted, tougher standards might put a few coal plants out of business.

what are tens of thousands of people out of work when it serves the greater good!


Citation needed

and

Because jobs>health

got it.

besides, if each and every one of them quit their jobs and went on food stamps, it would stimulate the economy.

Yes we know you hate social services, especially those designed to make sure people have food to eat.

Did you actually have any real arguments to bring to the thread, or did you just feel especially petty and mean-spirited today?
2013-06-25 04:02:12 PM  
1 votes:

Corvus: runin800m: He said you couldn't power a city with solar today, not that your excess solar power doesn't go to the grid. He also happened to be absolutely right. It's not feasible to power a city with solar power right now, at least not primarily with solar power.

No he did not he said it can't go on a grid, in fact he just said it again.

netizencain: I read an article that intermittent power (solar and wind) do not play well with the national power grid.

Also even if it can't run everything on solar (which you could) why does that mean we shouldn't do more solar? It's a BS argument. Are you saying that if something isn't the 100% solution we should not help it? That's a stupid argument.


that always seems to be a 'conservative' argument-
Welfare cheaters? Slash those benefits!
Food stamps traded for drugs? Screw little Sally, let's get rid of 'em!
Cash for Clunkers? Why, don't you know Herbert's cousin's wife's son's girlfriend tried to do that, and they rejected her! Something about improper filling out of forms. Farking bureaucrats!
2013-06-25 03:20:41 PM  
1 votes:
GOOD. I have asthma and I have a strong suspicion it's partially coal related, based on where I live.

Yes it costs more to tamp down on pollution, however keep in mind -- all you guys on my big health insurance plan are helping to pay for my inhalers and Singulair. Also I'm turning into a fatty partially because I can't exercise well due to asthma. You'll pay for the consequences down the road.

coal -> fatty -> profit?
diabeetus profit
2013-06-25 03:18:53 PM  
1 votes:

Corvus: The SolarReserve power plant utilizes what is called thermal energy storage to store heat collected from the sun, which is then utilized by the power plant to boil water and produce steam. The steam then turns a steam turbine which generates electricity. This is a how a solar thermal power plant generally works, but keep in mind that there are different types of solar thermal power plants, some of which are not steam. ...  You might have guessed by now that this type of power plant is able to provide electricity at night, and all week, because it stores heat in the form of salt that is released in the evening so that the plant can continue to generate electricity when it is dark, cloudy, or stormy. "This solar technology is a genuine alternative to baseload coal, nuclear or natural gas burning electricity generation facilities," Kevin Smith, SolarReserve's chief executive, said in a statement.


Yup.  Flywheels, making hydrogen, pumping water uphill (fake hydro), and various chemical batteries all do this job well enough.  You're generally looking at ~60-80% efficiency if you have to 'bottle' the energy somewhere, compared to directly using it, but that's not a showstopper.

Making-then-using hydrogen has additional appeal in places that need to desalinate water for drinking.
2013-06-25 03:14:17 PM  
1 votes:

HeadLever: chimp_ninja: My order: Solar > wind > geothermal > biomass > hydro > fission > gas > oil > anything else > coal.

Not a bad list, but just recognize that your first two are not baseload and will need to have backup with items 3 though 8.


Power cells like bloom boxes, or heating up water to run generators can make them 24/7 power generation can solve much of that.

http://cleantechnica.com/2011/05/22/first-large-scale-247-solar-plan t- to-be-constructed-in-u-s/


The SolarReserve power plant utilizes what is called thermal energy storage to store heat collected from the sun, which is then utilized by the power plant to boil water and produce steam. The steam then turns a steam turbine which generates electricity. This is a how a solar thermal power plant generally works, but keep in mind that there are different types of solar thermal power plants, some of which are not steam.

...

You might have guessed by now that this type of power plant is able to provide electricity at night, and all week, because it stores heat in the form of salt that is released in the evening so that the plant can continue to generate electricity when it is dark, cloudy, or stormy. "This solar technology is a genuine alternative to baseload coal, nuclear or natural gas burning electricity generation facilities," Kevin Smith, SolarReserve's chief executive, said in a statement.
2013-06-25 03:13:59 PM  
1 votes:

Saiga410: They may end up cheaper than coal if you ignore solar's externalities


Such as?  I can power my whole house on about 20L of silicon, and the panels come with a 25-year or 30-year warranty.

I did some math on that yesterday.  1L of solar-grade GaAs = 20 L of solar-grade Si = 114 metric tons of coal.  I guess the silicon panels need some wires and glass, but I think we can handle that part since coal needs giant rail cars.

So yeah, you have to mine some silicon to make some panels.  And that gets treated with some chemicals that aren't especially pleasant.

But compared to 114 metric tons of coal, that's a very easy decision.  And it's not like processing and using coal doesn't involve a lot of ugly waste products.  The main difference, of course, is that the coal by-products tend to take the form of a heated, useless, valueless aerosol, partially injected into the atmosphere.  The PV by-products are liquids and solids that are generated in a centralized facility that has tremendous financial incentive to recycle them.
2013-06-25 03:05:36 PM  
1 votes:

HeadLever: chimp_ninja: My order: Solar > wind > geothermal > biomass > hydro > fission > gas > oil > anything else > coal.

Not a bad list, but just recognize that your first two are not baseload and will need to have backup with items 3 though 8.


To an extent, but energy use also tends to track the sun's location-- peaks during the middle of the day when most businesses are operating, and declines at night when most people are sleeping.  As long as you're drawing less than ~20-25% of your power from PV, you can basically use it to absorb that "bump" with minimal storage.

Wind's intermittency is less of an issue if it's all grid-connected and you're smart about it, because the intermittency isn't nearly as synchronized, especially with a grid area as large as the US.  Again, multiple countries get 20%+ capacity from wind right now.  The engineering has been worked out.

We already get ~10% from hydro.  Throw in waste-derived biomass and a reasonable number of fission plants, and there's little need to go to fossil fuels.

There are also a lot of needs that could be reworked to use intermittency.  For example, pumping water is incredibly energy-intensive, but if you designed your system to work with an intermittent source, it would work out.  You'd pump more on a windy day, but with sufficient storage it was average out.  Ditto if you're dumping energy into making hydrogen for use in mass transit, agricultural machinery, etc.  (Hydrogen is a logistics disaster for individual motor vehicles, but makes sense for either big centralized stations, or very remote areas where you make it on site.)  That isn't most energy use, but it's another example of what you could do to fold in another 5-10% of intermittent resources without having to build chemical battery arrays and the like.

We're nowhere near that problem.  Worry about it when we get towards 25%.
2013-06-25 02:55:01 PM  
1 votes:

simplicimus: Corvus: runin800m: I just said that we couldn't power a city off of solar, and went further to say that we couldn't even primarily power a city with solar power.

That's not true. You can why do you think you couldn't don't you understand electricity once it hits the grid (inverted) it it the same electric as electricity made by coal or nuclear.

You saying something is true doesn't make it true. Why could a city not be 100% solar power for their grid?

The only problem is energy storage for use when the sun isn't shining.


No that's not that big of a problem. Their are Bloom boxes and heating water to run generators, I have gone over this multiple times already.

But like I said it's a silly argument anyway no one is saying "We need to go 100% renewable now" it's a strawman argument.

Can I use this argument on other powers? Ok we can't go 100% X so lets never make a X plant!!! It's a bullshiat argument.
2013-06-25 02:49:29 PM  
1 votes:

runin800m: They're making some great progress with solar thermal plants with their advances in heat storage for steam generation at night, which I think is very important and should continue to be advanced, but it's still a little ways away from being efficient enough to reliably provide continuous power 24/7.


So them existing NOW is we don't have the technology yet to you?

http://phys.org/news/2011-07-gemasolar-solar-thermal-power-hours.htm l

The argument he is making is solar can't work as a commercial alternative. If that's not your argument then stop defending it.

Don't defend it and then say it's not your argument. If you have a different argument I don't care because that's not the point I am arguing.
2013-06-25 02:33:27 PM  
1 votes:

Hollie Maea: I would gladly give up PA's electoral votes in exchange for an actual legitimate War on Coal.


Seconded.

Tommy Moo: We could just build some nuclear plants in PA to balance it out.


Also a good idea.  Handles base load nicely, reduces need for storage, goes in places that are suboptimal for wind.

My order: Solar > wind > geothermal > biomass >  hydro > fission > gas > oil > anything else > coal.  We're pretty much maxed out on hydro, but the top four are ramping up exponentially, especially in countries where the House of Representatives is not staffed by inbred mouth-breathers who think their electricity is breathed into their homes by Jesus.
2013-06-25 02:26:00 PM  
1 votes:

netizencain: I read an article that intermittent power (solar and wind) do not play well with the national power grid. What you're talking about is a local issue.


Was it written on toilet paper by your elaborate wiping system?

Solar and wind are grid-connected all the time.  Denmark got 24% of its generation capacity from wind in 2008, and their plan is to hit 50% by 2020.  Spain gets more capacity from wind (20%) than it does from coal.  Germany's grid is already at 5% from PV, with a plan to go much higher, and they have shiatty weather.

Please expound upon the laws of physics and engineering that apply in Europe but not in the United States.  Is it the metric system?
2013-06-25 02:23:21 PM  
1 votes:

AliceBToklasLives: FlashHarry: [i38.tinypic.com image 600x300]

THIS. (Good Cat)

Now can we license a few dozens new nuclear plants?  Pretty please?


I'd like to see most of the Western World all invest heavily into a Manhattan style project to develop fusion reactors
2013-06-25 02:19:57 PM  
1 votes:

jehovahs witness protection: Democrats are gonna lose a shiatload of voters in Pa.


I would gladly give up PA's electoral votes in exchange for an actual legitimate War on Coal.
2013-06-25 02:04:47 PM  
1 votes:
This doesn't go far enough, IMHO.  With clean natural gas so cheap and plentiful in the US, I personally would be in favor of a complete ban on coal power plants, nationwide.  The number of people who get sick (some who die) from pollution from coal power plants from such is extremely large.
2013-06-25 02:01:30 PM  
1 votes:

netizencain: Corvus: netizencain: I have no problem with the government phasing out coal.  But the market isn't ready with a viable replacement.  And it's hard to force people to pay more for clean energy because it's not an apparent win for the consumer.  The understand seat belts, air bags and backup-cameras.  It's in their hand and they comprehend the cost.  Making them pay more for a non-coal solution seems like an intangible benefit to most Americans.

What are you talking about. I can get solar on my house nothing down and pay back payments for less than my electric bill to pay it of each month and when all is said and done after 20 years I pay half then what I would have on my electric bill. How in the fark is that not a viable replacement.

But you're not going to power a city with solar today.  Solar is fine for small solutions.  And it's great for off-setting some energy expenditures (solar water heating, etc)  But until it cant replace coal... there is still a need for a reliable energy source that can be transmitted over existing energy grid.  Solar and Wind just aren't there yet.


You have no idea what you are talking about the solar I make at my home DOES go on the grid. Really shut the fark up because you have no farking idea what you are talking about.
2013-06-25 02:01:13 PM  
1 votes:

netizencain: Corvus: netizencain: I have no problem with the government phasing out coal.  But the market isn't ready with a viable replacement.  And it's hard to force people to pay more for clean energy because it's not an apparent win for the consumer.  The understand seat belts, air bags and backup-cameras.  It's in their hand and they comprehend the cost.  Making them pay more for a non-coal solution seems like an intangible benefit to most Americans.

What are you talking about. I can get solar on my house nothing down and pay back payments for less than my electric bill to pay it of each month and when all is said and done after 20 years I pay half then what I would have on my electric bill. How in the fark is that not a viable replacement.

But you're not going to power a city with solar today.  Solar is fine for small solutions.  And it's great for off-setting some energy expenditures (solar water heating, etc)  But until it cant replace coal... there is still a need for a reliable energy source that can be transmitted over existing energy grid.  Solar and Wind just aren't there yet.


You have heard of natural gas, haven't you?
2013-06-25 02:00:12 PM  
1 votes:

netizencain: But the market isn't ready with a viable replacement. And it's hard to force people to pay more for clean energy because it's not an apparent win for the consumer.


Which is why the energy industry puts CAPS on how much home electricity can be made by home solar in a state?

Right people don't want it so much that the energy industry has to make caps to not allow people to buy it.
2013-06-25 02:00:08 PM  
1 votes:
So let me get this straight. Like a zombie crawling out of a graveyard, the US economy is sluggishly digging itself out of a major recession. Millions of men, women, and children are now living below the poverty line. The problem? There are no jobs.

So...

Obama has decided to hack a sector of the economy that produces energy, thereby causing a loss of jobs and higher energy costs that will surely increase what Americans pay in utility bills, consumer goods and services.

All of this driven by the tenuous global warming theory and fueled by dubious and costly 'Green' technology.

Well, smack my arugula and call me Solyndra.
2013-06-25 01:59:15 PM  
1 votes:

Fox doesn't even wait for Obama to finish before going to a climate change skeptic

- Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) June 25, 2013


Surprise.
2013-06-25 01:51:26 PM  
1 votes:

netizencain: I have no problem with the government phasing out coal.  But the market isn't ready with a viable replacement.  And it's hard to force people to pay more for clean energy because it's not an apparent win for the consumer.  The understand seat belts, air bags and backup-cameras.  It's in their hand and they comprehend the cost.  Making them pay more for a non-coal solution seems like an intangible benefit to most Americans.


What are you talking about. I can get solar on my house nothing down and pay back payments for less than my electric bill to pay it of each month and when all is said and done after 20 years I pay half then what I would have on my electric bill. How in the fark is that not a viable replacement.
2013-06-25 01:50:38 PM  
1 votes:
President speaking now. Link
2013-06-25 01:49:04 PM  
1 votes:

mrshowrules: The coal miner vote.  Think of all the kids leaving school today that are just devastated that they can't work in a coal mine.


Coal-mining is a wonderful thing father, but it's something you'll never understand. Just look at you!

i2.ytimg.com
2013-06-25 12:59:29 PM  
1 votes:

FlashHarry:


Yep. About damn time we stopped subsidizing them via pollution cleanup, health care costs, etc.
2013-06-25 12:46:59 PM  
1 votes:
mrshowrules:
The coal miner vote.  Think of all the kids leaving school today that are just devastated that they can't work in a coal mine.

Starting salary of around $52,000 a year (40hr week, overtime available) would look pretty tempting to a kid fresh out of high school with no other prospects.  I used to know a mine electrician who made 6 figures by the time he was 25.  I'm claustrophobic so it wasn't for me, plus it's dirty and loud and I went to college, but they pay very nice, especially the union mines.  It's not 1910 anymore.
2013-06-25 12:41:33 PM  
1 votes:

jehovahs witness protection: Democrats are gonna lose a shiatload of voters in Pa.
Way to go Jobkillbama


The coal miner vote.  Think of all the kids leaving school today that are just devastated that they can't work in a coal mine.
2013-06-25 12:26:31 PM  
1 votes:

jehovahs witness protection: Democrats are gonna lose a shiatload of voters in Pa.
Way to go Jobkillbama


Yeah, I bet he doesn't even carry PA in 2016!
2013-06-25 12:12:31 PM  
1 votes:

jehovahs witness protection: Democrats are gonna lose a shiatload of voters in Pa.
Way to go Jobkillbama


I thought they had all that Natural Gas production via fracking going on? Or are you just blowing smoke up my ass?
2013-06-25 11:54:12 AM  
1 votes:
Democrats are gonna lose a shiatload of voters in Pa.
Way to go Jobkillbama
 
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