energy and notable people who contributed to the rise of america

 Here are some Achievements that Made America Great. Much has been written lately on the “Rise of China”. I thought I would write a short history of the application of energy in America. This is a short history of America’s rise over the last 130 years and some of the pioneers that I wish to lift up as being major contributors to our high quality of life. Quality of life and energy use grew in direct proportion.


America remains a beacon for freedom and hope to many in the world. Being born and raised in America for me, was my greatest Blessing, perhaps equal to the Blessing of being raised by caring parents. Now as a retired senior citizen, I have time to read, study history and reflect on my good life and the advances that America accomplished in the last Century. 

The purpose of this document is to highlight some of the great inventions and achievements done by Americans during the last hundred and thirty years. I am hopeful that the next Generation of youth will read and contemplate these components of the Foundation of our Society. During these difficult times that our country is divided and the main stream Media, entertainment personalities and politicians seem to be more interested in cancelling history, I thought it is appropriate to highlight America’s progress as leader of the Free World. General Electric’s slogan of the 1960’s could be used to sum up what America showed the world, “We Bring Good Things to Life”.

Energy and Economic Prosperity is what I wish to discuss. However, there are, in my view, some important pre-requisites to the continued success of our nation:

Freedom, Basic Judeo-Christian values of the citizens, Law and Order, Protection of Private Property, Capitalism that rewards risk and innovation, a sound public education system including Colleges and Universities, a caring Philanthropic citizenry that with our Christian-Judeo heritage, care for others. You could say, this is a reminder of where we came from and some of the reasons why the U.S.A. became the world’s strongest and best country of the world.

My 50 entire year career involved energy use and electricity generation. As I reflect back on my life and my parents lives, I can not help relating the correlation of American ingenuity, creativity and the need to use energy to power the ever improving quality of life that we enjoy.

I should also add, over my life-time I have had the privilege and advantage of visiting dozens of countries around the world in both business and as a tourist. I have seen for myself, both Developed and Developing countries and the impact of available and reasonable cost energy. Reasonable cost, abundant energy makes a huge difference in the lives of any society. I have seen so myself.

Let’s review some notable inventions (and the need for energy to fuel them).

1859 Drake’s First Oil Well in Titusville, PA

Whale oil was used for illumination and hundreds of whales were slaughtered to provide fuel. The Drake oil well began a replacement source of energy. Oil refining to distill crude oil into different useful fractions of naphtha, gasoline, kerosene began after 1859. John D. Rockefeller founds Standard Oil Company in 1865 and ultimately becomes the world’s largest oil refiner.

Babcock & Wilcox the premier water tube, steam boiler manufacturer is founded in 1867 by the two Americans, Stephen Wilcox and George Babcock. B&W Boilers were widely applied to provide steam for Westinghouse and General Electric steam engines and steam turbines.

In the year 1900 kerosene lights were popular all across America, soon to be replaced. 

Edison begins the electrification of America at Pearl Street Station in NYC in 1882.

General Electric is founded in 1892. Production of Edison’s incandescent light bulb and the electricity distribution systems grew across the country.

Westinghouse Electric formed in 1886 and shortly thereafter invents the transformer which became critical for distributing Alternating Current electricity over long distances.

Although they were reliable, the early steam engines were huge, heavy devices that were not very efficient. Thus, nearly all companies in the electric equipment business seized the opportunity to develop the steam turbine as an alternative. In 1897, GE entered into an agreement with Charles Curtis, who directed turbine development work at GE until 1900, to exploit his patent (No. 566,969) for the Curtis steam turbine. In 1895, Westinghouse acquired rights to manufacture reaction turbines invented and patented in 1884 by the English inventor, Thomas Parsons. Allis-Chalmers also acquired rights to manufacture under Parsons` patents, so early machines of these two manufacturers were quite similar.

The Curtis and the Parsons turbine designs were based on different fundamental principles of fluid flow. The Curtis turbine was an impulse design, where the steam expands through nozzles so it reaches a high velocity. The high-velocity, low-pressure steam jet then impacts the blades of a spinning wheel. In a reaction turbine such as the Parsons design, the steam expands as it passes through both the fixed nozzles and the rotating blades. While the difference appears subtle, it affects the shape and size of the nozzles and blades. In most modern steam turbines the high-pressure stages are impulse blades. The steam pressure drops quickly through these stages, thus reducing the stress on the high pressure turbine casing. The many subsequent stages may be either impulse or reaction designs. 

The Internal Combustion Engine and Energy for Transportation

After 1900 the invention of the Internal Combustion Engine drove oil demand higher as more vehicles were manufactured.

This is the time when the inter-relationship of energy and economic prosperity becomes apparent.

At the turn of the Century, over 60% of Americans lived in Rural areas and worked on their farms. It took about 40% of the population to grow food for our nation1. Horses were the main motive power for farm power and transportation.

Willis Carrier7 invented air conditioning in 1902.  As a resident of South Carolina I often think of this marvelous invention and what it means for comfort during the summer heat and humidity.

Orville and Wilbur Wright begin the journey of American aviation industry 1903.

 Henry Ford invents the automotive Assembly Line about 1913. Tractors become a farm productivity factor about 1920. Henry Ford increases worker’s wages to $5.00 per day and begins the migration of rural families to the city.

Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse vigorously compete to electrify the nation. Serbian immigrant, Nickola Tesla invents the poly-phase motor and other inventions while working for Edison and Westinghouse.  Motors designed by Tesla and manufactured by Westinghouse power the manufacturing boom in America.

Low cost, abundant coal becomes the primary fuel for electric power generating plants across the U.S.A. 

Coal and native iron ore fuel the American Steel Industry. US Steel was founded in 1901. At the beginning of the 20th century, a number of businessmen were involved in the formation of United States Steel Corporation, including Andrew CarnegieElbert H. GaryCharles M. Schwab, and J.P. Morgan. Carnegie had founded Carnegie Steel Company.

The “Roaring ’20s” was a period of prosperity and expansiveness. The United States produced 40 percent of the world’s supply of iron and steel. 

In 1927 Juan Trippe, another American entrepreneur, forms Pan American Airways starting as mail service between Florida and Cuba. About 1931 Trippe and the Russian immigrant aeronautical engineer, Igor Sikorsky develop flying boats called the Pan Am Clipper’s to expand passenger travel across the Caribbean. Later, Trippe becomes a pioneer in purchasing commercial aircraft from Martin and Boeing. Pan American Airways expand to regular service all around the world.

During WWll, America enters and becomes the “Arsenal of Democracy” to defeat the Axis enemies. After WWII, America rebuilds Germany and Japan with the transfer of American expertise, trade secrets and manufacturing know how . Germany and Japan rise to become highly productive countries.

Hydraulic Fracturing is invented by Americans during the Civil War about 1862. Later developed about 1947 and combined with Directional Drilling by George Mitchell about 1999. Directional drilling combined with Fracking in 2017 propelled America to becoming the world’s number one producer of oil and natural gas.

Captain and eventually promoted to Admiral, Hyman G. Rickover invents a nuclear propulsion system for the US Navy. The first nuclear ship, the submarine USS Nautilus is launched in 1954, and traverses the North Pole under the ice in 1957. Later in the 1950’s, Rickover provides a gift of a means for economical and reliable nuclear power generation to all of mankind. President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative promotes peaceful uses of atomic energy worldwide. The American companies, Westinghouse, Babcock & Wilcox, General Electric, Allis Chalmers, General Atomics and more all contribute to the building of commercial nuclear power plants around the world. France’s highly successful nuclear power generation began with the gift of the Westinghouse Pressurized Water Nuclear Steam System. The commercial nuclear steam system was perfected by Admiral Rickover for the Navy and later applied to the first commercial nuclear power plant at Shippingport near Pittsburgh, PA. After Shippingport as the expression goes, it is all history and the old nuclear plants in the U.S.A. built in the 1970’s and 1980’s still generate about 20% of America’s electricity. Here is a time line of Rickover’s productive life:

  • 1900 Jan 27th Born in Maków Mazowiecki, Kingdom of Poland.
  • 1922 Received B.S. from the United States Naval Academy.
  • 1929 Received M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University
  • 1929 to 1933 Served on two submarines for the Navy.
  • 1939 to 1945 Worked in the Bureau of Engineering (consolidated into the Bureau of Ships in 1940) in Washington, D.C.
  • 1946 Traveled to Oak Ridge.
  • 1949 to 1982 Served as Director of Naval Reactors.
  • 1954 The USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, is commissioned.
  • 1958 Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the first full-scale, commercialized pressurized water reactor, is commissioned.
  • 1982 Forced to retire from the United States Navy. (age 82!)
  • 1986 Jul 8th Died in Arlington, Virginia

Thank you Admiral Rickover, your gift to mankind of peaceful uses of nuclear power changed the world!

Energy and Economic Prosperity are Linked

The chart below which uses data from the World Bank and the United Nations reminds us of the importance of energy to support favorable living standards. Note that over 50% of the world’s population lives on a small percentage of the energy used per capita in America.

China’s Rise Powered by Fossil Fuels, for Comparison

In other sections of this Blog, I have written about the rise of China and how China has built more coal power generation capacity in twenty years than America did since Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street Station first began. That is right, China has built far more electricity generation in twenty years than that accomplished by the U.S.A. in 130 years. Here is a graph of the world’s largest coal consumers and as you can see, China is far ahead of all other countries of the world.

In closing, let me say, I am very thankful to be an American and to enjoy our high quality of life.

The first part of this document was to remind us of some of the fine American inventors, business people and entrepreneurs that built the industries that make our good lives possible.

Wishing you a Blessed and Happy Easter,

Dick Storm

March 31, 2021


  1. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and Census Report:
  2. Henry Ford invents assembly line 1913:
  3. ASME Program to Honor Drake’s First Oil Well in the U.S.A. :
  4. History of Oil Refining:
  5. John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil Co. :
  6. History of Steel Making in U.S.A.
  7. Willis Carrier, inventor of Air Conditioning 1902:
  8. General Electric History:
  9. Westinghouse Electric History:
  10. Pan American Airways History:
  11. Babcock & Wilcox Boilers:
  12. Our World in Data Fossil Fuels consumption since Industrial Revolution:
  13. McKinnsey and Company Energy and GDP:
  14. World Energy Use and GDP relationship chart:
  15. NPR Economy and Energy explained:
  16. Why Fossil Fuels are so hard to Quit, Brookings Institute:
  17. Shippingport Nuclear Plant, first commercial nuclear power generation plant 1958 as part of President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative:
  18. Power Engineering Historical Report on Steam Turbines:
  19. Charles Parsons, 1884 Steam Turbine inventor:
  20. History of Hydraulic Fracturing:

Presidential Executive Order signed by Biden That will harm the U.S. Economy

March 2, 2021

Executive Order 13990 of January 20, 2021

Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis

Here is why I see this and other policy reversals by President Biden to be harmful to the best interests of America. The chart below is from the EIA website and it shows the total primary energy used during 2019. The total energy from traditional fuels is 89% which includes the 8% nuclear contribution. Economic prosperity and Energy parallel each other. That is, as improved economic activity progresses, so does energy consumption. Two cases in point are the USA energy and economy growth from 1900-2000 and also China’s astounding economic growth from 2000 to 2020. In both cases, energy and yes, mostly Fossil Fuels powered that economic growth.

So, when one looks at the EO below by President Biden to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline and other Fossil Fuel projects, what can he be thinking? Certainly not what is best for America? There are other EO’s which provide committees of Democrat political Hack’s to advise Biden on further attacks on American Industry and American Prosperity.

I will copy excerpts of the one Executive Order referring to the Keystone Pipeline below. This is a portion of the EO is copied from the Federal Register to make certain that I stated the exact language. Copied (a partial excerpt) below in Green Font:

“Sec. 5. Accounting for the Benefits of Reducing Climate Pollution.

(a) It is essential that all agencies capture the full costs of greenhouse gas emissionsas accurately as possible, including by taking global damages into account.

Doing so facilitates sound decision-making, recognizes the breadth of climatemte impacts, and supports the international leadership of the United States on climate issues. The ‘‘social cost of carbon’’ (SCC), ‘‘social cost of nitrous oxide’’ (SCN), and ‘‘social cost of methane’’ (SCM) are estimates of the monetized damages associated with incremental increases in greenhouse gas emissions. They are intended to include changes in net agricultural productivity, human health, property damage from increased flood risk,and the value of ecosystem services. An accurate social cost is essential for agencies to accurately determine the social benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions when conducting cost-benefit analyses of regulatory and other actions.

(b) There is hereby established an Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases (the ‘‘Working Group’’). The Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Director of OMB, and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall serve as Co-Chairs of the Working Group.

(i) Membership. The Working Group shall also include the following otherm officers, or their designees: the Secretary of the Treasury; the Secretarym of the Interior; the Secretary of Agriculture; the Secretary of Commerce; the Secretary of Health and Human Services; the Secretary of Transportation;mthe Secretary of Energy; the Chair of the Council on Environmentalm Quality; the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; the Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor; and the Assistantmto the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council.

(ii) Mission and Work. The Working Group shall, as appropriate andconsistent with applicable law:

(A) publish an interim SCC, SCN, and SCM within 30 days of thedate of this order, which agencies shall use when monetizing the value of changes in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from regulations andother relevant agency actions until final values are published;

(B) publish a final SCC, SCN, and SCM by no later than January 2022;

(C) provide recommendations to the President, by no later than September

1, 2021, regarding areas of decision-making, budgeting, and procurement by the Federal Government where the SCC, SCN, and SCM should be applied;

(D) provide recommendations, by no later than June 1, 2022, regardinga process for reviewing, and, as appropriate, updating, the SCC, SCN,and SCM to ensure that these costs are based on the best available economics and science; and

(E) provide recommendations, to be published with the final SCC, SCN,and SCM under subparagraph (A) if feasible, and in any event by no later than June 1, 2022, to revise methodologies for calculating the SCC, SCN, and SCM, to the extent that current methodologies do not adequately take account of climate risk, environmental justice, and intergenerational equity.

(iii) Methodology. In carrying out its activities, the Working Group shall and Medicine as reported in Valuing Climate Damages: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide (2017) and other pertinentscientific literature; solicit public comment; engage with the public andstakeholders; seek the advice of ethics experts; and ensure that the SCC, SCN, and SCM reflect the interests of future generations in avoiding threatsposed by climate change.

Pipeline, L.P. a Presidential permit (the ‘‘Permit’’) to construct, connect,

Sec. 6. Revoking the March 2019 Permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

(a) On March 29, 2019, the President granted to TransCanada Keystone operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the international border of theUnited States and Canada (the ‘‘Keystone XL pipeline’’), subject to expressconditions and potential revocation in the President’s sole discretion.ThePermit is hereby revoked in accordance with Article 1(1) of the Permit.

(b) In 2015, following an exhaustive review, the Department of Stateand the President determined that approving the proposed Keystone XLpipeline would not serve the U.S. national interest. That analysis, in addition to concluding that the significance of the proposed pipeline for ourenergy security and economy is limited, stressed that the United States must prioritize the development of a clean energy economy, which will in turn create good jobs. The analysis further concluded that approval of the proposedpipeline would undermine U.S. climate leadership by undercuttingthe credibility and influence of the United States in urging other countriesto take ambitious climate action.

(c) Climate change has had a growing effect on the U.S. economy, withclimate-related costs increasing over the last 4 years. Extreme weather eventsand other climate-related effects have harmed the health, safety, and securityof the American people and have increased the urgency for combattingclimate change and accelerating the transition toward a clean energy economy.The world must be put on a sustainable climate pathway to protectAmericans and the domestic economy from harmful climate impacts, and to create well-paying union jobs as part of the climate solution.

(d) The Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest. TheUnited States and the world face a climate crisis. That crisis must bemet with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the needto avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climatetrajectory. At home, we will combat the crisis with an ambitious planto build back better, designed to both reduce harmful emissions and creategood clean-energy jobs. Our domestic efforts must go hand in hand withU.S. diplomatic engagement. Because most greenhouse gas emissions originatebeyond our borders, such engagement is more necessary and urgentthan ever. The United States must be in a position to exercise vigorousclimate leadership in order to achieve a significant increase in global climateaction and put the world on a sustainable climate pathway. Leaving the

Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with myAdministration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

I have three main concerns:

  1. This will do nothing to change the climate and in fact, many well respected scientists believe the Climate Change that is occurring is mostly from natural causes, not Anthropogenic Greenhouse gases.
  2. America’s Economy is fueled by energy and of the approximately 100 Quadrillion Btu’s of energy we use each year, more than 85% is provided by traditional forms of energy including natural gas, oil, coal and nuclear.
  3. This EO plus others are anti-American in my viewpoint because they harm the best interests of America for fueling our economy as well as for National Security and Global Competitiveness.

Here are a few references of why I do not believe that manmade carbon emissions are the primary driver of Climate Change. The Greenhouse Gas Theory is correct but the 400-500 ppm of CO2 is less than 0.05% of the atmosphere. Nitrogen is 78%, Oxygen 20.9% and other gases about 1.1%. Scientific references of Climate Scientists do not agree with those political allies of the current President. Here are nine excellent references and web sites:

  1. Dr. Roy Spencer (NASA)  Blog on “Manmade vs. Natural Climate Change”:
  2. Spencer also:
  3. Dr. Judith Curry Blog (Retired GA Tech Professor)“Climate, etc”:
  4. Dr. John Christy (on Roy Spencer website)
  5. Dr. S. Fred Singer Book, “HOT TALK COLD SCIENCE”, “Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate”
  6. Donn Dears Blog on Temperature Records, Facts March 2, 2021:
  7. Tony Heller Presentation on Real Climate Science:  Interesting facts of unreported todasy, 1930’s winters
  8. Real Climate Science:
  9. From Dr. George Holliday’s Environmental Engineering Newsletter, Feb. 21, 2021 edition:


Posted on February 8, 2021 by curryja

by Judith Curry 

Spatial Requirements of Wind/Solar and Nuclear Energy and Their Respective Costs 

“In addition to the energy sector, the climate debate also needs a transition. From ideology and wishful thinking, to facts, figures and rationality.” 

An important document was published last week, a collaborative instigated by two members of the European Parliament – one from the Netherlands and the other from Czechoslovakia. One of the editors on the resulting report is Lucas Bergkamp, who has written several guest posts at Climate Etc. 

The study is now available for download on the website 

This document provides a critical reality check on the rush to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. 

Press Release 

Climate study advises EU to embark on a “Nuclear Renaissance” program 

A new study on EU climate policy finds that it is practically impossible to generate sufficient energy with wind and solar energy as there is not enough available land to cover all electricity demand. The study, titled ’Road to EU Climate Neutrality by 2050’ advises the EU to embark on a “Nuclear Renaissance” programme in trying to achieve its climate objectives. 

The EU has endorsed the ambitious objective of achieving climate neutrality (i.e. net zero greenhouse gas carbon emissions) by 2050. An energy transition away from fossil fuels is necessary to achieve this objective. The ECR and the Renew group of the European Parliament have commissioned an independent study into the spatial requirements of wind/solar versus nuclear energy and their respective costs. A team of experts came to the conclusion that it is practically impossible to provide enough energy with renewables. 

The study includes a case study done for two EU member states: The Netherlands, a country along the North Sea with abundant wind, and the Czech Republic, a landlocked country with no access to sea and a geographical more challenging landscape. In realistic scenarios, there is not enough land to meet all power demand if the Czech Republic and The Netherlands were to rely solely or predominantly on wind and solar power. 

The study, initiated by Dutch MEP Rob Roos and Czech MEP Ondřej Knotek and peer-reviewed in part by, among other respected scientists, Nobel Prize-winning economist William Nordhaus, finds that nuclear energy is also more cost-effective than renewables. Even if taken into account major efficiency improvements in solar and wind farms, nuclear energy will remain the cheaper option in 2050. In this comparison, the enormous costs for adapting the electricity grid, such as connecting wind turbines at sea or solar parks on land, are not even included. That price tag is also invariably lower for nuclear energy. 

“We found it remarkable that – in transitioning away from fossil fuels – the EU made a policy decision in favour of renewable energy without considering the relative pros and cons of all carbon-neutral technologies”, both MEPs stated. 

Mr Roos: “Nuclear energy is always available, cheaper and saves the landscape. Moreover, further research into, for example, the thorium molten salt reactor offers enormous opportunities for our export position. Let’s invest our tax money in that. ” 

At the moment, sun and wind energy are being pushed and nuclear energy is being held back. The study contains several policy recommendations for the European Commission to change its approach. 

Mr Knotek: “The EU is well invited to create a technology-neutral level playing field for decarbonized power generation technologies. To this end, the EU should adopt a ‘Nuclear Renaissance’ program that places nuclear energy on equal footing with renewable energy. The EU policies today are discriminative when it comes to nuclear energy. It’s time for all policy makers to live up to the EU principle of technological neutrality” 

The study also concluded that EU 2050 climate neutrality, if achieved, will likely cause only a very small decrease in the average global atmospheric temperature increase, estimated at between 0.05°C and 0.15°C in 2100, and no more than between 0.02°C and 0.06°C in 2050, assuming no carbon leakage occurs. Electricity-generating technologies therefore should be evaluated for the degree to which they constitute ‘no regrets’ solutions. 

Excerpts from Executive Summary 

This report presents a summary of the results of a study1 that examines three issues that are key to the EU climate neutrality’s ambition: 

i. The effect of EU climate neutrality on the average global atmospheric temperature by 2050 and 2100; 

ii. The spatial (land and sea) requirements for wind and solar energy versus nuclear energy in the Czech Republic and The Netherlands; and 

iii. The cost of wind/solar energy and of nuclear energy for these two countries. 

Of course, it would have been preferable had the European Commission itself done a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis of 

alternative policy options available to pursue the EU’s climate neutrality objective. The fact that no such analysis has been conducted, despite the European Commission’s ‘Better Regulation,’ highlights the 

strong political forces and sense of urgency behind EU climate policy-making.5 

In light of the spatial and economic consequences of renewable energy relative to nuclear energy, the EU is well advised to consider a “Nuclear Renaissance” program. Under this program, the EU would create a level playing field for all electricity generation technologies. 

Key Takeaways: 

The EU’s 2050 climate neutrality strategy involves a high risk of ineffectiveness. The anticipated energy transition, however, can hedge against this risk by deploying ‘no regrets’ solutions that are resistant to climate-related ineffectiveness. Nuclear power is such a solution. 

In addition, with respect to both spatial requirements (area of land required) and costs of electricity, nuclear power offers substantial advantages over renewable power (any combination of wind and solar). The cost advantage of nuclear power increases once system costs are added to the equation, and increases further with higher penetration rates of wind and solar. 

These advantages have been recognized in the Czech Republic, but not (yet) by policy makers at the EU level and in The Netherlands. 

I close with the strong opinion that the Politically Correct, “War on Carbon” is a product of the Washington DC Swamp and it will continue to create harm to America.

There has been an email circulating for the last eight years or so entitled something like, “535 vs. 330 million”. The point is, the House of Representatives (435) plus the Senate (100) is a small club like group that create policies that impact all 330 million Americans. Of course, rulings or policies of President Biden and the Supreme Court can also impact all of us. Then, in my opinion, these 545 individuals, including Biden and SCOTUS, must be living in a Bubble completely devoid of interest in doing what is best for the 330 million.

Dick Storm

March 2, 2021