Category Archives: Politics & Management

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 Frackinghttps://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
  14. Environmental Defense Fund: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Defense_Fund
  15. Influence Watch profile of EDF: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/environmental-defense-action-fund/
  16. 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/
  17. 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/
  18. NRDC About us and link to IRS 990 Form: https://www.nrdcactionfund.org/about/
  19. Influence Watch, NRDC page: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/natural-resources-defense-council-nrdc/
  20. Washington Examiner: Gina McCarthy CEO of NRDC: https://eelegal.org/washington-examiner-gina-mccarthy-and-nrdc-together-again/
  21. Wrong Kind of Green, NRDC and Source Watch: https://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/the-group-of-ten/natural-resources-defense-council/
  22. Bezos awards $100 million to NRDC : https://www.nrdc.org/media/2020/201116
  23. 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
  24. Activist Facts,  Environmental Report (Follow the Money): https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/19-natural-resources-defense-council/
  25. Washington Examiner 2013 EPA and Sue and Settle Lawsuits: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/epas-back-room-sue-and-settle-deals-require-reform
  26. Activist Facts, Sierra Club, Beyond Coal, Beyond Gas, Nuclear :https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/194-sierra-club/
  27. 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

HISTORY of ENERGY & ELECTRICITY Part 4, China Goes All In for All Fuels are Important, 2000-2022

China entered the WTO in 2001. Since then it has increased in Manufacturing Might to become the World’s Largest Manufacturer and the World’s Largest Economy. To do so, it has built more electric power capacity in 20 years than the U.S. did in the preceding 150 years. China is a perfect example of how Energy and Economic Prosperity are inextricably related. First the U.S. showed the world how to use energy to replace muscle power by building our Industrialized economy using energy. This post, Part 4 shows how China has powered their manufacturing-based economy.

The relationship of energy and economic prosperity has always fascinated me. Parts 1-3 of this series focus on the America’s progress in energy development, electricity generation advances and rise in economic prosperity from 1850-2000. America during that 150 year period became the world’s largest Industrialized economy. Lifting millions of people from living in poverty to becoming the richest nation on earth. 

That to me is impressive, but if we want a more recent example of the inter-relationship of energy and economic prosperity, China provides such an example. China’s climb to lift millions out of living in poverty over a couple decades is an amazing accomplishment. China used an aggressive “All Fuels are Important” policy become the world’s wealthiest country on a PPP basis (Purchasing Power Parity). From last to first in about 20 years.

Like America’s rise a hundred years ago, the best interests of the people and the nation were put first, before restrictive regulations as we Americans (thanks to an out of control Bureaucracy) get hung up on. The following two charts show electricity growth and economic growth of China.

From Our World in Data, China’s Electricity Generation by Fuel Source

China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001 and immediately began ramping up manufacturing facilities for aluminum and steel production. In just fifteen years China went from insignificant steel and aluminum production to becoming the world’s leader and by 2016 was producing more than 50% of the world’s aluminum and steel.(3)

Dick Storm presentation to Delaware County Bar Association, July 2016
World Steel Production, S&P Global, 2022

Leadership in Energy & Manufacturing, Creates Wealth of a Nation

China has become the world’s largest manufacturer. This, unfortunately has been accomplished by many American businesses simply partnering or willingly yielding market share (along with 100 years of technological experience) to the Chinese. According to Statista:

From Statista 2022

China’s Electricity, Energy Sources and Plans for the Future

China has embarked on an aggressive path of “All Fuels are Important”. I have advocated this for many years for the U.S.A. As I covered in History of Energy and Electricity in Part 3, America invented, perfected and produced the first commercial nuclear power plants. We designed and built the best and cleanest coal plants. These U.S. plants were amongst the cleanest and most efficient coal plants in the history of power generation of all the world. Then, we quit. I would like to think “Paused” but with the Bureaucrats in Washington, Pausing means quitting. So, is it any wonder that China has passed us in manufacturing capacity? Worse yet, influence in the world. Getting back to China’s appproach to “All Sources of Energy are Important”.

I personally believe (along with many others(16) that most of Climate Change is from natural forces and that America’s energy security and reliability should be priority #1. Apparently on matters of Climate and Energy, China thinks like I do. Can’t think of much I agree with on China, but on “All Fuels are Important”, China and I do agree. For now, China is using enormous quantities of Fossil Fuels to power their Economy (and wealth, they own about 4% of American Treasury Bonds). Later, more nuclear and renewables will also be applied to their Grid. They already have the largest hydroelectric generation in the world. The Chinese have a good balance of Dispatchable generation and renewables.

Economist Magazine

China’s Coal Plants

Time Magazine’s August 2021 issue(5) states that China plans to build 43 new coal plants. These are planned to be clean and efficient, but in fact, coal fueled.

Not only are 43 coal plants planned to be built in China, but through their Belt and Roads Initiative, China is financing and building coal plants all over the world.(15) Reminescant of the way the U.S.AID did when I started my career in the 1960’s. Now, China is Financing, Manufacturing and Constructing power generation equipment and installing facilities all over the world.(7)

China is Building Coal Plants all over the World, not only in China

Nuclear Power

China does in fact have a forward path of matching electricity Demand with carbon-free nuclear power. Admiral Rickover and the U.S. Navy may have invented and perfected safe nuclear power generation but, China is the largest Benefactor from nuclear power generation. The new Westinghouse AP-1000 Units under construction by South Carolina Electric and Gas were stopped due to mismanagement and nine Billion USD in budget overruns. Southern Company’s Vogtle AP-1000 Units under Construction in Georgia are far over budget and behind schedule. Now planned for startup in 4th Quarter 2022(9)

China, on the other hand, plans 150 new nuclear plants and has already started up their Westinghouse AP-1000 Unit(10) Shandong Nuclear Power Co.’s Haiyang nuclear power plant is pioneering two significant aspects of nuclear diversification in China: district heating and desalination. Some of the other 150 nuclear plants are listed in the World Nuclear Association update of November 2021(11) China is on the way to leading the world in nuclear power generation.

Hydroelectric

China generates more electricity than any other country from hydroelectric power. The “Three Gorges Dam” at 22.5 GW capacity , is the largest power station in the world.(13) Suffice it to say, China, like America has taken advantage of available river flows to install dams and hydroelectric generation. Still, most of the Dispatchable electric power must come from coal, nuclear and gas plants. The chart below was done by the EIA about 2017 to show what the U.S. Dept. of Energy Forecasted for China electric power generation through 2040.

Solar and Wind Generation

Renewables in China are also huge. (6) China is also the world’s largest manufacturer of solar and wind turbine components. The chart below shows the world renewables generation. Keep in mind, renewables are not “Dispatchable”. The variations in Demand must be handled by Dispatchable power generation capacity such as those conventional systems mentioned above. Namely, coal, gas, nuclear, hydro and to a small extent, oil fueled generators. The two blue lines at the lower right of the chart are wind and solar and worldwide total about 10% of generation. The majority of the Bulk Power generated from renewables is from Hydroelectric power.(13) Hydroelectric power, by the way, is Dispatchable.

IEA Global Energy Review
IEA Global Ene rgy Review 2021

Conclusions

China has taken full advantage of All Sources of Energy and especially all forms of energy used to generate electricity. They have used their enormous wealth from exporting manufactured products to provide funding to build more manufacturing capabilities and to expand their influence to other countries of the world. China is a current example of how abundant and reliable energy can be used to accummulate wealth and influence in the world. Another metric of how the rapid build out of manufacturing capacity has increased wealth is to consider that four of the 10 largest banks in the world are Chinese owned.(14)

China understands the importance of “ALL Fuels are Important”. Meanwhile, the U.S. leadership is attempting to crush our major energy producing companies through excessive regulations and restrictions as well as foolish “Woke” social policies.(1) Then there is the foolish ESG Movement favored by the Democrat Party, the World Bank, Blackrock, major U.S. Banks and many U.S. manufacturing and Media corporations. The “Woke” ESG movement is weakening America and strengthening China, Russia, Iran and other countries not aligned with Freedom loving western nations.

It would be wise for our elected officials to wake up. We can only hope and pray that they do so before it is too late.

Dick Storm, Feb. 21, 2022

References:

  1. Daily Signal, Feb. 18, 2022: https://www.dailysignal.com/2022/02/18/biden-administration-adds-climate-roadblocks-to-future-pipelines-energy-projects/
  2. Global Steel Production, S&P Global: https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/topics/energy-price-crisis
  3. Dick Storm presentation on Energy in the U.S.A. to the Delaware County Bar Association, July 2016: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2016/07/25/energy-and-economic-prosperity-my-thoughts-dick-storm/
  4. China to Build 150 new Nuclear Reactors in next 15 years, Nov. 2021, CNET.com: https://www.cnet.com/news/why-the-us-should-learn-from-chinas-nuclear-power-expansion/
  5. China is Building 43 new coal plants, Time, August 2021: https://time.com/6090732/china-coal-power-plants-emissions/
  6. China, World Leader in Renewables Manufacturing, Center for Strategic & International Studies : https://www.csis.org/east-green-chinas-global-leadership-renewable-energy
  7. China’s Belt and Roads Initiative
  8. China’s Carbon Emissions, The Economist Magazine:
  9. Power Magazine update on Vogtle Nuclear Plant, Dec. 2022: https://www.powermag.com/oft-delayed-vogtle-expansion-on-track-for-2022-start/
  10. Power Magazine, December 2021, China starts up Westinghouse AP-1000 Nuclear Unit: https://www.powermag.com/how-an-ap1000-plant-is-changing-the-nuclear-power-paradigm-through-district-heating-desalination/
  11. World Nuclear Reactors Under Construction, Nov. 2021: https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide.aspx
  12. World’s largest Hydroelectric Generating Plants, Power Technology: https://www.power-technology.com/features/feature-the-10-biggest-hydroelectric-power-plants-in-the-world/
  13. Global Energy Review, IEA December 2021: https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/d0031107-401d-4a2f-a48b-9eed19457335/GlobalEnergyReview2021.pdf
  14. World’s Largest Banks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_banks
  15. China to build 150 GW of new coal plants by 2025: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/chinas-zhejiang-approves-new-11-bln-coal-fired-power-plant-2022-02-09/
  16. Donn Dears Book, “Net-Zero Carbon, The Climate Policy that is Destroying America” Order at Amazon.com

The War on Carbon, How it Came to be:

Climate Change has been going on since well before the Romans. Certainly well before coal was burned for power generation. Yet, the main stream news is fixated on Climate Change being the result of the Developed World’s use of Fossil Fuels over the last 100 years. The MSM has completely blown off the possibility that Climate Change is mostly Natural. I am a proponent for reasonable cost, abundant energy and the resultant improved quality of life. I am also interested in protecting the environment, and I love nature just as much as any environmentalist does. Reasonable cost Energy improves quality of life and is referred to by some as improving the “Human Developmet Index”. It concerns me that the most reasonable cost and proven sources of energy have become somewhat socially unacceptable. Such as coal, oil, gas and nuclear. Ironically, these four forms of energy are the one’s that provide about 90-96% of the Developed World’s energy. Many Financial Institutions are reluctant to loan money to Developers of mines, fossil fueled power stations or refineries. Even though there are still almost a Billion people on the planet that have limited or no access at all to electricity. Energy and Economic prosperity go together.

A slide from a recent course I presented. The data are from the UN, Our World in Data and ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy

So, this begs the question: Why would so many in the MSM, Entertainment, Politics, Education and the General Public be against the very things that make our high quality of lives possible? As I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that perhaps it would be helpful to remind folks of how we have arrived at this absurd place in history. Here are my thoughts and research of how the “War on Carbon” came to be. This is purely Politically Driven, not based on science or protection of the planet.

The UN Agenda 21

It was 1993 and Bill Clinton was President of the U.S.A. with Al Gore as Vice President. Executive Order #12858 was signed.(1) This is my understanding of the beginning of the “War on Coal”. The U.N. Agenda 21 began in a conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It brought together concerns for our environment, Socialism, Secular Humanism, and the world banking cartels. U.S.A involvement began in 1992, with then good intentions, by President George H.W. Bush. Bush #41 referred to Agenda 21 as encompassing “Sacred Principles”. Then the good intentions deteriorated into viscious, effective and well funded attacks on coal. The cost to Americans was blunted due to the near simulateous successes of the Shale Gas Revolution which greatly increased production of Domestic natural gas and drove natural gas prices downward. In the short term, the low natural gas prices actually hurt coal power more than the extremists and Democrat’s smear campaigns. However, the damage was permanent with no new coal plants being built in the U.S.A. since about 2012. Many older coal plants have been irreversibly decommissioned and hundreds demolished. Many of these plants could have been operating now had they been maintained. I hate to say the Environmental Extremists have won, but it looks like they have. But, who benefits from the Environmental Extremists apparent success? In my view, the only beneficiaries are China, Russia and other adversaries of the U.S.A.

Now, natural gas prices are escalating and even the Left Leaning MSM talk of expected high energy bills in winter and possible energy shortages. Therefore, given this scenario, I thought it was timely to review, from my vantage point, just how this madness came to be.

War on Coal 1993-2012

The Democrat’s have hated coal for many years. The only reason I can rationalize their hate, is because the well funded Environmental Groups usually support Democrat’s. Here below is an excerpt from Wikipedia on the “War on Coal”(6)

“A goal of the Sierra Club is to replace coal with other energy sources.[31] Through its “Beyond Coal” campaign, the Sierra Club has set a goal to close half of all coal plants in the U.S. by 2017. American business magnate and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $50 million to the Sierra Club’s anti-coal work in 2011, and announced another $30 million gift to Sierra’s Beyond Coal campaign in 2015.[32]The Beyond Coal campaign says 187 coal plants have been closed since 2010.[33] Other funders of the Sierra Club’s anti-coal campaign include the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.[34] The CEO of Chesapeake Energy, a natural gas company, donated $26 million to the Beyond Coal campaign between 2007 and 2010.[35]

The Sierra Club is also opposed to nuclear energy.[36][37] “

Then, piling on with the MSM and the environmental organizations comes the allying of the public schools and teaching (indoctrinating) extreme green policies to our teenagers many of which have now grown up to be adults.

In addition to demonizing of carbon in Public Schools the general public is bombarded with “Save the Planet” propaganda by entertainment personalities, and the  MSM.  Here is a short history of the War on Coal by Politico(7)https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002/ 

The Democrat’s hated coal and then that hate has morphed into hate of all Fossil Fuels. The (D’s) are supported by Environmental organizations (4,5) that mostly, also hate nuclear. So, the Democrat’s and Environmentally (Like Bush 41, they have good intentions) conscious citizens tend to oppose the one carbon-free form of power that is efficient, reliable, proven and capable of Dispatchable operation at high-capacity factor. The generation (it has been 28 years since Clinton signed EO) of youth that were indoctrinated to hate coal and nuclear are now voters.

This is my summary of “How the War on Carbon” has brought us to Congress working on a Stupid and anti-American Path to Net Zero Carbon. A path that only benefits adversaries of the U.S.A. The best word I can think of to describe these policies is “Stupid”.

A better path would be to continue energy independence using Hydraulic Fracturing and production of all of America’s oil and gas, including pipelines for safe transport of oil and gas. Build many more new nuclear plants to produce more nuclear power generation for both electricity generation and for hydrogen production. Also, build new highly efficient coal plants with the future capability for CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage) Called HELE (High Efficiency Low Emissions)

In closing, my view is that all forms of energy are important including; nuclear, coal, oil and gas. By the way, another reason that supports this is the fact that about 96% of America’s energy is provided by conventional energy as shown below. Disrupting the supply chain of Domestic energy will weaken America.

These views are my own and not those of any organization that I have been part of. I take full responsibility for these opinions and they are based on my personal experiences in the electric power industry over many decades.

Richard F. (Dick) Storm, PE

PS I just came across this post by the GWPF (Global Warming Policy Foundation) A reminder that all the meetings and hype are strictly Political, not about getting Results:

References:

  1. Living with Agenda 21, Surrendering Our Freedoms by Dr. H. Lawrence Zillmer, Copyright 2012
  2. U.N. Agenda 21 Info: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf
  3. U.N. Sustainable Development Report, 2021: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/UN-DESA_Back_Common_Future_En.pdf
  4. Capital Research Center, Report on Climate Dollars https://www.climatedollars.org/full-study/a-short-history-of-global-warming-fears/
  5. The NEW Leviathan, Crown Forum, NY 2012 Check Appendix X and summary of $9 Billion in Assets
  6. Wikipedia, “War on Coal” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_coal
  7. Politico, “War on Coal” https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002/
  8. War on Coal, Issues in Science and Technology: https://issues.org/real-numbers-president-obamas-war-on-coal/
  9. An Excellent video of some very smart Patriots, The Right Stuff Climate Team (Retired NASA Engineers): https://www.therightclimatestuff.com
  10. Donn Dears well written and practical articleshttps://ddears.com/donns-articles/
  11. Michael Shellenberger on John Shanahan Website. Solar Panels make more waste than nuclear: https://www.allaboutenergy.net/energy/238-energy/today/wind-and-solar/north-america/862-100-percent-renewable-energy-rested-on-a-lie-michael-shellenberger-environmental-progress-mark-jacobson-usa
  12. Armstrong Economics, Great article on CO2 and the politics of the “War on Carbon” aka, “Manmade Climate Change” https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/climate/3rd-attempt-to-publish-this-google-interferes/
  13. EPA New Source Review  Settlements Summaries: https://www.gem.wiki/EPA_Coal_Plant_Settlements
  14. EPA Settlements on NSR violations by WEPCO 2003: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/wisconsin-electric-power-company-wepco-clean-air-act-civil-settlement 
  15. Dissertation on the Sierra Club Success of Beyond Coal Campaign 2020: https://www.proquest.com/openview/b734be1b4fa402463fbb2ee03a7993e5/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y
  16. Inside the War on Coal Politico, The Agenda 2015: https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002/
  17.  NRDC China Office: https://chinadevelopmentbrief.org/ngos/natural-resources-defense-council-nrdc/  
  18.  Government Accountability Office Report on Environmental Protection Agency–Application of Publicity or Propaganda and Anti-Lobbying Provisions EPA Lobbying, 2015: https://www.gao.gov/products/b-326944
  19. NRDC About us and link to IRS 990 Form: https://www.nrdcactionfund.org/about/
  20. Influence Watch, NRDC page: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/natural-resources-defense-council-nrdc/
  21. Washington Examiner: Gina McCarthy CEO of NRDC: https://eelegal.org/washington-examiner-gina-mccarthy-and-nrdc-together-again/
  22. Wrong Kind of Green, NRDC and Source Watch: https://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/the-group-of-ten/natural-resources-defense-council/
  23. Bezos awards $100 million to NRDC : https://www.nrdc.org/media/2020/201116
  24. 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
  25. Activist Facts,  Environmental Report (Follow the Money): https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/19-natural-resources-defense-council/
  26. Washington Examiner 2013 EPA and Sue and Settle Lawsuits: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/epas-back-room-sue-and-settle-deals-require-reform
  27. Activist Facts, Sierra Club, Beyond Coal, Beyond Gas, Nuclear :https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/194-sierra-club/
  28. 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/
  29. 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/
  30. PowerEngineering Articles on Turk and Duke Coal plant closures, 2/01/2012: https://www.power-eng.com/renewables/aep-resolves-all-legal-challenges-against-turk-plant/#gref
  31. 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
  32. Environmental Defense Fund: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Defense_Fund
  33. Influence Watch profile of EDF: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/environmental-defense-action-fund/
  34. WUWT, Article, July 8, 2022, Green Communism, Eradicate the Energy Privilege of Rich Countries:  https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/07/08/green-communism-eradicate-the-energy-privilege-of-rich-countries/