Tag Archives: energy

Government: Hands Off!

Here is another article about New Jersey government interfering in private business.

It seems as though the perfect energy, solar, is going bust in The Garden State.

due to an overabundance of them flooding the market, the price of solar energy credits, or SRECs, have dwindled by nearly 92 percent in the past year and a half.

What’s the solution? More government intervention, of course!

Legislation that was passed in New Jersey’s Assembly and Senate requires energy companies to purchase more SRECs beginning in 2014, in order to solve the oversaturation problem. But there is a worry that the same issue could occur again if solar projects are not limited within the state.

Yup, force business to pick up the slack. But there is a safety net involved.

The law, known as Senate bill S1925 or the “solar rescue bill,” not only requires energy companies to purchase more SRECs each year, but it will also create a cost ceiling of $325 per certificate, so utility companies will not have to pass off extrordinary costs to their customers.

Of course, this is inefficient. But hey, that’s government for you!

The cost of installing a solar panel system has decreased in the past two years, due to overseas companies creating the materials needed at a discounted cost. This makes it an easier project for many organizations, governments or homeowners to embark on. But the more systems that go on the grid, the less each SREC is worth.

Of course, the Obama-failed plan on green energy is now selling our solar technology business to China at a discount. What a convoluted program.

Dear reader, politics are broken and so warped in our country, seeing a way out of this mess is nearly impossible.

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I’ve been coughing for days now. Apparently allergies have gotten me. They say after this cold winter of ours lots of folks are being affected. My throat is raw. Stopped off and picked up a water ice. The cold feels good . . . One cannot process photographs after 10:00 in Millville . . . Despite whatever one may feel about BP, Barton was correct originally: Obama did shake them down for $20 billion . . . I don’t think I am a Foursquare kind of guy. Too much like logging geocaches for me . . . Found a wild Where’s George bill in my change today. It’s been a while since one has crossed my path . . . Happiness is listening to your daughter act out Peter and the Wolf by humming each instrument . . . A close second is having the irrigation system working properly again. The lawn thanks us . . . Just ordered an Xshot . . . Stunning commentary from The Sarge: “The Minnesota Twins are a team that does not give up. They hustle throughout the game.” Name a team that does . . . Enjoying the World Cup thus far . . .

Who Owns Oil?

I have not been impressed with President Obama. There is little I can point to that I have found to be a positive since he has taken office. I suspect he will go down as an ineffective leader.

Having said that, I am not buying into the seeming campaign to paint him responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

President Obama is not responsible for the oil rig blowing up and 50 days of oil spewing into the gulf. Furthermore, I don’t expect him or the federal government to have in place “the fix” for such a catastrophe. It simply is not the responsibility for the feds to be able to fix this.

That leaves all the talk of whether Obama is displaying the right tone, is sufficiently moved, etc. He is in a no-win position. If he acts calmly, he is excoriated for not be passionate. If he shows passion, he is raked for being salty.

It’s all made up. It is not his Katrina. The federal government can deliver supplies, shelter, etc. after a natural disaster. Those are not needed with an oil spill. What do we really expect a president to do in such a situation?

Here Comes the Sun

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…

Geroge Harrison, Here Comes the Sun

Much is being made of the announcement that MX USA is opening up shop in town. MX USA is going to assemble solar panels on 2nd Street.

Officials say the facility will create more than 280 jobs, and help build the state’s green energy economy. “Usually the headlines that we’re hearing about the manufacturing jobs that are hemorrhaging, that are leaving the country, that are going somewhere else, the job losses that we’re experiencing,” said Congressman Frank LoBiondo, “and this reverses that.”

Kewl beans!

Whenever one of these announcements comes out, the politicians crawl out of the woodwork to claim credit. Jeanne Fox, someone who hangs out with Nick Asselta, spoke about this:

“We have more solar per square mile and more solar per capita than any other state,” said Jeanne Fox, President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, “second only to California in the number of solar installations. We’re known throughout the country for our leadership in this area.”

I note that Fox did not reiterate the claim she made last spring to me that “solar energy is dead.” She made that claim at a Stockton State College symposium I participated in that promoted wind energy examined New Jersey’s energy needs. She also spoke about the need for nuclear energy to be increased. I gather that was not stated today either.

I am all for manufacturing jobs coming to Millville, but I am not a particular proponent of solar energy. Solar energy is highly inefficient. It is also costly compared to other sources of energy. If others, however, want to squander their dollars, that’s their business. MX USA will certainly cash those checks.

My alert radar, however, is up with this move. Millville has extolled how it wants to be a green city. Mayor Shannon campaigned on this issue, despite recommending the city purchase a fleet of F-350s. I suspect with MX USA being in town, when Millville ramps up on this spending green initiative, we’ll hear how we have to have city government move to solar energy.

The green movement is a misnomer. What is a green job?

A new solar panel facility is helping grow green jobs here in the Garden State.

Is a secretary at a solar panel a green job? What about a worker who screws a sheet of glass to a frame? Is he a green worker? What are green jobs?

MX USA sounds a lot the T-Fal facility in town. T-Fal does not make the pots and pans here in Millville. It has the parts shipped in from overseas and workers assemble the pots and pans in the industrial park. Recently, the Millville City Commission approved another $200,000 grant to that company to keep it here.

Both the city and T-Fal have worked hard to keep one of Millville’s largest employers here, despite the loss of a production line and the faltering economy.

Where did the Commission receive the money that was given to T-Fal? How long will it be before MX USA receives a grant from the Commission?

Yeah for 280 jobs coming to town. Yeah for MX USA selecting Millville. I hope I do not read about tax dollars being used to lure the company. I hope I don’t read about how MX USA will not have to pay its taxes in lieu of setting up shop here. I hope I don’t read about grants being given to MX USA to keep it from re-locating. I hope I don’t read that Millville wants to go “green” and wants to purchase panels from MX USA. But yeah, good for 280 jobs.

I wonder if my critique means Carl Johnson is going to be looking for me.

anyone that would have anything bad to say about almost 300 new high-paying jobs in this economy can “suck my dick.”

Sorry guy, I don’t swing that way.

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This is scary; Arabs are arranging to price oil in a variety of currencies, none of which are dollars. This is just another step to dismantle USA’s strength . . . I don’t see buying this any time soon. The gadgets folks come up with is amazing though . . . NJ.com reported that Governor Corzine is the #1 contributor of cash to Democratic organizations in 20 of the 21 counties. Are you surprised? . . . Newspapers get the facts wrong. Biden’s appearance in June was not a “surprise” . . . Governor Corzine is touting New Jersey’s rate of solar installations. He thinks it’s grand. Yet when I attended a conference in the spring discussing New Jersey’s energy issues, NJBUP president Jeanne Fox announced solar is dead in the state . . . Spent some time in the International Spy Museum on Saturday participating in a live-action spy adventure. Very kewl! Can’t wait for the GPS spy adventure that is coming . . . Speaking of DC, had a great time in our nation’s capital . . . I have been mulling over a unique idea to render a clue for a game. I need to flesh it out and then decide which game it will best fit: shutterspot, geocaching, something else . . . Gourmet magazine is to be no more. I used to like that magazine, but I stopped reading it long ago when I stopped reading most mags. Today I subscribe to none . . .

Challenging Facts

Today’s editorial in The Daily Journal touts this is the time to spend money in “clean-energy” projects.

We must move forward on renewable energy now. The state and country can’t afford to wait until fossil fuel prices hit record highs again before we start moving down the green road toward energy independence in earnest. PSE&G says consumers initially will pay $1.28 extra a year to fund the project. That will increase to $4.08 by 2028. Still, that’s a small price to pay to help reduce pollution, lessen our country’s dependence on imported oil and do our part to reduce climate change.

In its justification, The Daily Journal states:

Wind and solar power have major roles to play in any solution to our energy problems. Potentially, windmills off the East Coast could generate the same amount of electricity as 3,000 coal-fired power plants, energy experts have said. That’s potential the state and country can’t wait to take advantage of.

Hogwash!

This is pure and utter nonsense.

If challenged, the editorial board will point to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Salazar is the author of this myth. He states that a wind farm off of New Jersey could produce one million megawatts of power. That is the current output of 3000 coal-fired power plants.

Despite Mr. Salazar’s claim the technology is available now, it isn’t. It would take hundreds of thousands of windmills to produce one million megawatts.

In May I participated in a panel at Stockton College that considered wind and nuclear energy for New Jersey. There we learned that the output for a windmill is about 4 megawatts. One million megawatts divided by four equals 250,000 windmills.

Step outside of the funny papers for a minute, dear reader. Are we going to be building a quarter million windmills off the coast? Of course not. Senator Kennedy won’t even permit 130 in Nantucket Sound a little to the north of us.

Folks toss around “facts” daily. It is good to not just accept them without scratching a little further. In our youth, we trusted our elected leaders and our media. Today, it is good, it would seem, to be skeptical of both. That a newspaper would sling this as justification for spending tax dollars is unbelievable. Its readers deserve better than this drivel.

Deliberative Poll: Nuclear & Wind Energy

09-05-02 Deliberative Polling: Nuclear & Wind Energy

A few weeks ago I received a telephone poll about nuclear and wind energy from Stockton College. I am agreeable to telephone polls if it is not an inconvenient time and folks are willing to identify from what organization they are from. At the end of the call, I was asked if I would be willing to come to Stockton for a deliberative poll. I agreed.

Deliberative Polling is a trademarked polling mechanism designed by Stanford university. The idea is to present balanced materials about a subject and then discuss the issues in depth with others. At the end of the session, participants are polled again to measure changes in perception.

The Problem
Citizens are often uninformed about key public issues. Conventional polls represent the public’s surface impressions of sound bites and headlines. The public, subject to what social scientists have called “rational ignorance,” has little reason to confront trade-offs or invest time and effort in acquiring information or coming to a considered judgment.

The Process
Deliberative Polling® is an attempt to use television and public opinion research in a new and constructive way. A random, representative sample is first polled on the targeted issues. After this baseline poll, members of the sample are invited to gather at a single place for a weekend in order to discuss the issues. Carefully balanced briefing materials are sent to the participants and are also made publicly available. The participants engage in dialogue with competing experts and political leaders based on questions they develop in small group discussions with trained moderators. Parts of the weekend events are broadcast on television, either live or in taped and edited form. After the deliberations, the sample is again asked the original questions. The resulting changes in opinion represent the conclusions the public would reach, if people had opportunity to become more informed and more engaged by the issues.

At registration, each participant was assigned to one of four groups. These groups of 10 met to discuss nuclear energy. Prior to arriving, we were given a packet about nuclear energy. A Stockton faculty member acted as a facilitator. Our group was pretty good. We introduced ourselves and then began discussing the waste issue. We noted that France and Japan are reusing spent fuel, which greatly reduces the amount of waste. all members were respectful. Each appeared to be receptive to increasing nuclear energy to meet our energy needs. We moved into some other issues when a new member was added to our group. The new member was Phil Warner, president of the Gloucester County NCAAP. No sooner had he taken his seat when he began telling people they were wrong and how folks espousing the conservative viewpoint. Several group members put Mr. Warner in his place about labeling. The older gentleman next to me told him that no one was more liberal than he and to stuff the name-calling.

As I researched Mr. Warner just now, it appears he lied to the group. He told us his son was deployed on a nuclear aircraft carrier. If Mr. Warner’s YouTube channel tells the story, it appears his son is commissioned on the USS Monterey, a non-nuclear carrier. Mr. Warner also had his group ask questions of the experts that discounted his claims.

Anyhow, the nuclear discussion turned greatly after Mr. Warner’s arrival. We developed three questions to ask during the full group discussion. That session had two Stockton College professors answering questions from us. Dr. Tait Chirenje and Dr. Patrick Hossay were knowledgeable and indulged all of our questions. It was evident, however, that no matter how much they tried to be fair, they ultimately were not endorsing nuclear energy. Why was only nuclear and wind energy on the agenda? It seemed to me that wind energy was going to be pitched as a viable alternative. Why not solar? Hydro? Bio? The fix was in.

We broke for lunch and then returned to our smaller groups. Mr. Warner toned down his rhetoric a bit, but still dominated the session. Gov. Corzine has pitched a wind farm 17 miles off of Atlantic City that will produce 3000 MW of energy by 2020. We learned about the five windmills the ACUA has. Apparently, that is leased land and the company that is running it has selected inefficient mills. The crux of our discussion was how much wind energy can add to the grid and whether the grid can handle the alternative energy that cannot be stored. It seemed to most of us that wind can only supplement the base energy supply; it will not be able to replace the core of our energy needs. That is because mills do not produce enough energy. The number of mills would in the thousands to dent the core supply. We just do not see that happening.

In the large group, Chirenje and Hossay answered our questions again. Hossay announced he has a mill at his house. It turns out he works in the wind energy field. We “learned” that nuclear energy is not as cheap to produce as our fair packets had stated. Wind should be cheaper. It was a ruse to present wind energy as a viable alternative. There is virtually nothing wrong with wind energy for off-shore farms. Just pick out a good place. With no moving parts touching the water, there is no environmental impact. The blades do not corrode and the gear boxes are encased so no salt damage can be had. Wind is certainly the panacea.

We broke out again to prepare questions for the policymakers. State senator Jeff “I Sponsor Every Bill” Van Drew and Jeanne Fox, president of the BPU were at our disposal. My interest was in knowing what role government had in the proposed off-shore wind farm. I cannot see how a governor can propose 3000 MW of power without having some control over it. Control comes with taxpayer money. There was also questions about upgrading our antiquated grid, regardless of the new farm. Back in we went.

Fox is on the ball. She absolutely knows her stuff. I saw immediately how she has risen politically. Rumor has it she will have a role in Obama’s Administration soon. At the same time, she is annoying. She comes off as a know it all. One thing she mentioned with with the upgrade of the grid was that it would so controlled the utility company would be able to shut down our air conditioners. Later she mentioned something about opting in to some program. Either way, I am extremely uncomfortable having the utilities to have that kind of control. The grid upgrades would permit bi-directional energy flow. This seems to be the opening for using our homes as energy generators so we can dump excess energy onto the grid. From what I can understand, this would be a minimal amount of energy. If so, why the infrastructure upgrade at massive cost to allow it?

Fox shared she thought new nuclear plants would be built in New Jersey but that it would be 2020 before approval and another decade to physically be built. It sounds as though one if not two new plants will be built at Salem and perhaps one other South Jersey location. Isn’t it interesting all the nuclear plants and prisons are down here? What Fox kept reiterating was that coal plants were on the way out. She kept muttering, “have to stop coal” over and over. Hmmm . . .

She also shared that by 2020 13% of New Jersey’s energy would be from wind and 2% from solar. To ensure this will happen, ratepayers will be footing the bill. Of course!

Fox also prattled on about how much stimulus money is available to New Jersey for wind and other alternative energies. She kept pimping NJCleanEnergy.com. She was asked about permitting, which BPU doesn’t do. She explained that BPU just spreads money around to get things going. Those are tax dollars, dear reader. BPU is where Nick Asselta hangs out these days.

According to Fox, New Jersey taxpayers will only spend $12 million on the wind farm; $4 million each to the three companies who will be building to foot the initial wind testing. Uh huh . . .

Van Drew added little to the session. All he kept talking about using a variety of sources of energy. He kept talking about he was initially against off-share wind energy because of lobbying fishermen. They came around and so did he. Sigh . . . In all that, however, was Van Drew’s plea to “incentivize” the process to stimulate green growth. That is a euphemism for taxing citizens. While there is a security issue with energy, we heard more than once today about the importance of citizens stepping up. I countered we are asked to step up with healthcare and education too. At some point we need to stop. Just words . . .

I videotaped Van Drew’s response to whether or not he has accepted lobbying money from nuclear or wind groups.

The day was extremely interesting. I learned a lot. Unfortunately, I am not certain Stockton did. The study should be tossed for today’s session there were no “competing experts and political leaders.” The bias of the experts was apparent. How can one measure a change in perceptions honestly if there was no competing expert heralding nuclear energy?

Anyhow, it was a productive Saturday.