Energy =Life, That is, Life as We Enjoy it

On a pro-rated basis, each American uses about 300 million Btus per year of primary energy. This has been steady for decades. 79% of the energy we depend on each day is from fossil fuels and another 8% from nuclear, thus if we include nuclear as conventional, then 87% of the energy we depend on is from Conventional fuels.

300 million Btu/year/Person

I have written before about the energy use per person for U.S. citizens being between 300 and 330 million Btus per year. The latest EIA Monthly Energy Report shows 293 million Btus per capita. I rounded up to 300 million Btus /Capita/year. When the recession is over, we will again exceed 300.

https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/mer.pdf

Most of this energy which we depend on for everything we do, is provided by conventional energy. The latest pie chart of primary energy sources from the EIA is shown below.

Many government officials contend that the best path to energy independence is through the use of renewable energy and in particular, they specify wind and solar. As has been reported before, wind and solar after many years of subsidies have produced less than 5% of America’s total primary energy. All energy use considered the per Capita use comes out to about 300 million Btus per person, per year. This is about 822,000 Btu’s per day, per person. Last spring I gave a presentation to our local Hilton Head Island Middle School students. One example I showed was how each of us in the room could use 822,000 Btu’s each day. I prepared the graphic below, which I attempted to make understandable for 8th Graders. Perhaps it is simple and easy to understand that even a Washington bureaucrat could understand? The folks making energy policy in Washington, in my opinion, do not understand how important conventional energy is to our way of life? Here below is my attempt to explain how using a million Btus/day is very reasonable for the average citizen.

Dick Storm Middle School Presentation on Energy & Electricity Generation, March 2022

For those of us middle class folks that have lived the American Dream to enjoy a very comfortable life, it is not hard to imagine using a million Btus each day with the various forms of energy depicted above. Energy used on our behalf goes beyond what we personally use. The pro-rated energy use per Capita (as recorded by the DOE) includes Industrial manufacturing, Military Defense, government, commercial, fertilizer production, food production and shipping transportation uses. Energy does in fact provide for our high quality of life. Perhaps it would be helpful to compare our energy use to the people of other countries. Here below is such a comparison.

Sources: Dick Storm Middle School Energy Presentation, BP, ExxonMobil, World Bank, Our World in Data
Dick Storm Middle School Presentation on Energy & Electricity, March 2022

Flows of Total U.S. Primary Energy

For anyone who has seen my posts before you will know that I am very enamored with the simple yet clear illustration of U.S. Energy Sources and flows provided by the Department of Energy’s LLNL. This chart shows all major sources of energy which includes renewables and illustrates the quantities of each produced and used by the thickness of the flow lines.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Energy Flows, 2021: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov

Conclusions

Yours very truly,

Dick Storm, August 21, 2022

Excellent references for further research and information:

  1. Donn Dears, The Politics of Energy, Part 1: https://bit.ly/3J5OnTc 
  2. Donn Dears, The Politics of Energy, Part 2: :  https://bit.ly/3QuEuRs
  3. IEA Energy and Food Production: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis
  4. Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as World’s largest oil supplier, June 20, 2022 Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-20/china-buys-7-5-billion-of-russian-energy-with-oil-at-record
  5. China-Russian Energy Deal, February 2022: https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/russia-china-may-sign-energy-other-deals-amid-moscow-tension-with-west-2022-02-03/
  6. International Energy Association, Energy Report, Exec. Summary 2021:  https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-outlook-2021/executive-summary
  7. NERC Warning of Blackout Risk: https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/north-american-electric-reliability-corp-warns-of-increased-risk-of-grid-blackouts-this-summer/
  8. NERC 2022 State of Reliability Report, July 6, 2022: https://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/PA/Performance%20Analysis%20DL/NERC_SOR_2022.pdf
  9. North American Electric Reliability Corporation December 2021 Report: https://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/NERC_LTRA_2021.pdf
  10. U.S. Grid Monitor, Real Time Bulk Power across U.S. : https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48
  11. WSJ June 18, 2022, West Risks Blackouts From Drought and loss of Hydroelectric Capacity: https://www.wsj.com/articles/west-risks-blackouts-as-hydroelectric-power-dries-up-11624008601?mod=article_inline
  12. Reuters, China Buying Russian Fuel: The Guardian (UK) China’s Premier Calls For More Coal Plants, June 24, 2022: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/24/chinese-premier-calls-for-more-coal-production-as-electricity-demand-soars 
  13. China buying Russian oil, gas and coal, Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/asian-buyers-russian-oil-gas-coal-2022-02-22/
  14. China Coal Consumption is higher than all the rest of the world together, NS Energy Feb. 2020: https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/features/electricity-consuming-countries/
  15. BP Statistical Review 2021 (Report released July 2022): https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/business-sites/en/global/corporate/pdfs/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2022-full-report.pdf
  16. The United Nations and Policies of Decarbonization are a higher priority than Feeding the World’s poor and World Peace: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2022/04/05/energy-world-peace/
  17. POWER Mag, Article on HELE Plants 2018: https://www.powermag.com/could-high-efficiency-low-emissions-hele-technology-revive-u-s-coal-power/
  18. World Nuclear Assoc. Small Modular Reactors: https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-power-reactors/small-nuclear-power-reactors.aspx
  19. Liberty Energy, Bettering Human Lives, ESG Report 2022: https://www.libertyenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Bettering-Human-Lives-Liberty-Energy-ESG-Report-2021-Spreads-Web-2.pdf
  20. World Coal Assoc. : https://www.worldcoal.org/clean-coal-technologies/clean-coal-2/ The next four articles are from Dr. George Holliday and son Bill Holliday’s Environmental Newsletter August 21, 2022:
  21. Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies Bjorn Lomborg August 2022: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162520304157?fbclid=IwAR1dowZRH8xZ8MRC_G7S1iw2diUkcsI2LCoqry2q-CP-BZqLPHHFnqMJKy
  22. Continental Resources Chairman and founder Harold Hamm detailed on Monday (Mayc2022) what he believes is behind the record prices Americans are facing at the pump, arguing that the Biden administration’s “failed policies on energy are not working. https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6306265270112#sp=show-clips
  23. Heating the Oceans: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)An issue with addressing how the earth cools is the mental concept of time. According to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, the earth is continuously emitting infrared energy depending on temperature. Some atmospheric gases, greenhouse gases, continuously interfere with the release of this energy to space in specific wavenumbers (number of wavelengths per centimeter, sometimes called frequency). In clear skies near the surface, most of the gases are well mixed except for water vapor, which varies significantly by region. : http://sepp.org/twtwfiles/2022/TWTW%208-6-2022.pdf
  24. The Modern World Can’t Exist Without These Four Ingredients,  They All Require Fossil Fuels, Vaclav Smil

https://time.com/6175734/reliance-on-fossil-fuels/

Energy Policy: It’s Not My Job

Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail: Congress

America has no energy policy. We only have a policy to decarbonize. Recently I had an opportunity to meet with my representative in Congress, I brought up the topic of the coming energy crisis and how foolish current energy policies are, etc. My Congresswoman basically responded with this comment: ” I can’t do anything about that until we have a majority in Congress” I could paraphrase her response as “It’s not my job” which was a term I hated to hear from people I worked with.

Congress Abdicates Responsibility

The EPA has 14,581 employees and a 9.6 Billion dollar budget. The Department of Energy another 10,000+ employees. The heads of these departments are basically political appointee’s with no required expertise in environmental science or energy. They are not formulating energy policy or working toward energy independence for the U.S. In fact, they are led by environmental extremists. I have written numerous posts regarding the importance of energy to everything we do and eat. America runs on energy and it takes 100 Quadrillion Btus each year to power our economy, our industrial production, food production, transportation, heating, cooling, refrigeration, cooking, comforts and conveniences.

Failure to Plan Electricity Generation Capacity

The environmental extremists believe that everything can be electrified and that the electricity will be provided by renewable wind and solar power. The EPA and other state and Federal agencies have thousands of employees writing regulations to favor wind and solar and to discourage or cancel the use of coal, oil and gas. The “War on Carbon” has been going on a long time and the extremists have been very successful. The chart below is from NERC, (the North American Electricity Reliability Council). Note that since 2011 the U.S. has lost 102,600 MW’s of electric generation capacity from coal and nuclear plants.

More plants are scheduled to be shut down in the next year or two and until they are shut down, maintenance work is minimized, thus forcing a death spiral to their longevity. However, to keep the power on this summer our country has depended on Dispatchable Fossil Fuels, nuclear and hydro for over 80% of the electricity generation. A typical week of generation by fuel is shown below from the U.S. Grid Monitor website. Total generation 664,749 MW of which, 83% was Dispatchable generation. The totals by fuels on June 14 were: Gas 41%, Coal 20%, Nuclear 14%, Wind 11%, Hydro 8%, Solar 6%.

A Reminder: These are the Fuels that We Depend On Now

Natural gas, coal and nuclear fuels are what produce the most reliable and affordable electricity. This summer, about 80+% of our electricity. Here below is a typical week from the U.S. Grid Monitor website.

Reserve generation was tight and coal power generation was 36.86% for MISO and 21% for PJM as can be seen from the two charts below. Although coal power has been important this summer and will likely be more important in the winter, over 12,600 MW of coal plants are scheduled to be shut down in the next year or two. Natural gas provided the largest generation this summer and will likely be needed in similar quantities at winter peaks. However, in the winter residential heating competes with power generation and supplies due to limited pipeline capacity will likely be an imbalance of supply & Demand.

Fossil Fuels Provide 79% of U.S. Total Energy

Electricity is essential. Just remember the last hurricane or extreme weather event that caused power to be off for a day or two. It has been rare for many Americans to experience loss of electricity but when we have lost it is when we appreciate it the most. However, electricity represents about 37% of America’s promary energy consumption. The rest is used for transportation, industrial production, feedstock for plastics and other materials, fertilizer production, food production, food processing and food distribution. Seventy nine percent is from fossil fuels. When nuclear is included as “Conventional Electricity Generation” then the total conventional electricity generation is over 87%.

The Total Primary Energy Needed by the U.S. is right at 100 Quadrillion Btus per year. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory keeps track of energy sources and use each year. A chart is published to show energy flows by fuel as a form of Sankey Diagram where the thickness of each line represents the portion of each source of energy or fuel.

Note the solar and wind production in 2021. Total of wind and solar as primary energy was less than 5% of America’s total primary energy supply. Fossil fuels plus nuclear are over 87%. Who believes that wind and solar after many years of subsidies and now only produces 5% can replace the 87%? For sure in the next 28 years it is not going to provide energy for jet aircraft propulsion, cement production, steel, ammonia fertilizer and feedstock for plastics. I repeat: There is no energy policy in the U.S.

A Rational Energy Policy

A rational energy policy would be to plan for the future power generation needs of our country and to plan for adequate fuels to be produced from within our borders by reducing Federal Regulations. Basically six goals:

  • Energy Independence: Coal, Oil, Gas and Nuclear Fuels
  • Adequate Electricity Generation Capacity with 80% Dispatchable
  • Minimum 15% Reserve generation during summer/winter Peak generation
  • Increased Production of coal, oil, gas and nuclear fuels to sustain our economy and high quality of life
  • Encourage new nuclear, Natural gas production increases and pipelines, clean coal with future CCS
  • Expand Oil & Natural Gas Production and Refining capacity to meet U.S. Demand

Conclusions

  • Congress has abdicated their responsibility and delegated too much authority to (out of control) Bureaucrats that are functioning to control Society without oversight. Example, EPA Clean Power Plan and now CSAPR to cause further pain and costs in operating coal plants
  • America depends on 87% conventional energy but the EPA and DOE are working to create regulations to tax or restrict its use.
  • The Bureaucrats have created rules and laws to restrict conventional energy production and use which will worsen the energy crisis
  • The EPA and DOE have top management Extremists that have little understanding or interest in doing what is best for our nation. We should watch what they do, not listen to what they claim. Also, do the math on energy requirements of our society for sustainable “American Dream” living
  • The EPA and Department of Energy are run by conventional fuel hating Ideologues
  • Congress will not act until the energy crisis becomes worse. Until then, the Ideoloques in the government will continue to harm our nation.

Respectfully,

Dick Storm, August 19, 2022

References and information for further reading & reasearch

  1. Biden Administration people. Robert Stilson Blog:  https://www.influencewatch.org/hub/biden-administration/
  2. 114th Congress, Majority Staff Report, Obama’s Carbon Mandate, August 2015: http://www.scientificintegrityinstitute.org/USSEWP080415.pdf
  3.  Washington Post, Earth First Eco Terrorist Group with leader (Tracy Stone-Manning) now part of Biden Administration, BLM Dept: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/07/14/did-bidens-pick-lead-bureau-land-management-support-eco-terrorism/
  4.  Island Pulse, Real Time Power by Fuel, Hawaii Electric. This is cited as an example of a state that is truly an energy island and dependent on self sufficiency. Attempted to be 100% green but because of intermittancy, uses large amounts of high cost Diesel fuel, thus, highest cost electricity in the U.S. : https://www.islandpulse.org
  5. Business Insider, Links of Russian Funds to NRDC Funding to fight Fracking: https://www.businessinsider.com/a-russian-linked-company-in-bermuda-is-funneling-millions-to-us-anti-fracking-groups-2015-1
  6. Big Green Radicals, 2014  : https://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/epa-report.pdf
  7. IEA Energy and Food Production: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis
  8. Michael Bloomberg Awards 174 million to Sierra Club Beyond Coal Program: https://www.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2020/09/bloomberg-philanthropies-and-sierra-clubs-beyond-coal-campaign-reaches
  9. Tom Steyer Starts Fund of 100 million to fight Climate Change, Philanthropy News Digest: https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/hedge-fund-billionaire-to-step-up-climate-change-advocacy-efforts
  10. Elitists, Not Engineers Plan Energy Policy:  https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2021/11/03/glasgow-cop-26-elitists-and-special-interests-promote-china-first-america-last-why-because-energy-savvy-engineers-were-not-successful-in-educating-the-public-and-politicians-on-the-true-facts/
  11. Joe Gothman Atty in EPA Revolving Door of well funded non-Profits and EPA: http://www.scientificintegrityinstitute.org/USSEWP080415.pdf
  12. Paul Driessen Federalist Papers on Global Warming News: https://thefederalist.com/category/science/global-warming/
  13.  Source Watch Brags on NRDC being responsible for forcing shutting down of Seven major coal plants in Texas in 2007: 

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Natural_Resources_Defense_Council#Support_for_coal_gasification

Environmental Defense Fund: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Defense_Fund

Influence Watch profile of EDF: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/environmental-defense-action-fund/

Mother Jones 2012, Sierra Club “War on Coal” update to kill 167 coal plants: https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/04/map-american-coal-plants/

AEP Newsletter to employees and Retirees on Turk Plant Settlement: https://aepretirees.com/2011/12/22/aep-resolves-all-legal-challenges-against-turk-plant-plant-on-track-to-begin-commercial-operation-in-2012/

NRDC About us and link to IRS 990 Form: https://www.nrdcactionfund.org/about/

Influence Watch, NRDC page: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/natural-resources-defense-council-nrdc/

Washington Examiner: Gina McCarthy CEO of NRDC: https://eelegal.org/washington-examiner-gina-mccarthy-and-nrdc-together-again/

Wrong Kind of Green, NRDC and Source Watch: https://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/the-group-of-ten/natural-resources-defense-council/

Bezos awards $100 million to NRDC : https://www.nrdc.org/media/2020/201116

Bezos plans to give Billions to Environmental Org’s: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/20/jeff-bezos-pledges-1-billion-to-conservation-through-bezos-earth-fund.html

Activist Facts,  Environmental Report (Follow the Money): https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/19-natural-resources-defense-council/

Washington Examiner 2013 EPA and Sue and Settle Lawsuits: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/epas-back-room-sue-and-settle-deals-require-reform

Activist Facts, Sierra Club, Beyond Coal, Beyond Gas, Nuclear :https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/194-sierra-club/

Gina McCarthy, Climate Czar, IRS 990 form when she worked at NRDC between Obama and Biden Administrations: Click to access nrdc-actionfund-990-2020.pdf