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1 hour ago, turbguy said:

It appears Texas has a great chance of seeing rotating blackouts again this summer (and next, and next...)

Why?

Texas flares about $500M worth of natural gas a year . . . . not because they like doing it but because they have so much of it. 

The NG deficit during this freeze wasn't due to lack of gas, but the fact that 35 large gas facilities hadn't filled out the "critical infrastructure" paperwork and inadvertently had the electricity cut off to their compressors. Targa, Kinder-Morgan and Diamondback pipelines should have been running full but were, in fact, volume-starved. In the past, this would never have happened because natural gas at the site was used to power the movement of NG. At some dispositive point in time, somebody went whacko and decided it would be cleaner to power transmission with electricity. 

And they have repaired that. Not only that, but wind and solar are coming offline as high alternative energy contributors, while NG is being ramped up. Net/Net: I'd be surprised to see rolling blackouts this summer. Next winter? Well, there were some freeze-offs. Most of these were ice but some were hydrates. I think they'll identify monster wells with exceptionally high volume NG coming online in December and winterize them for capacity energy requirements. Even this year, with almost no winterization, there would have been a negligible problem had it not been for that capricious oversight. 

Appointed heads have rolled, one after another. But the TRRC people are not appointed; they're elected. They're also all three well connected to family interests in oil and gas and have embarrassed themselves. They will try hard to fix this. 

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(edited)

17 minutes ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

Why?

Texas flares about $500M worth of natural gas a year . . . . not because they like doing it but because they have so much of it. 

The NG deficit during this freeze wasn't due to lack of gas, but the fact that 35 large gas facilities hadn't filled out the "critical infrastructure" paperwork and inadvertently had the electricity cut off to their compressors. Targa, Kinder-Morgan and Diamondback pipelines should have been running full but were, in fact, volume-starved. In the past, this would never have happened because natural gas at the site was used to power the movement of NG. At some dispositive point in time, somebody went whacko and decided it would be cleaner to power transmission with electricity. 

And they have repaired that. Not only that, but wind and solar are coming offline as high alternative energy contributors, while NG is being ramped up. Net/Net: I'd be surprised to see rolling blackouts this summer. Next winter? Well, there were some freeze-offs. Most of these were ice but some were hydrates. I think they'll identify monster wells with exceptionally high volume NG coming online in December and winterize them for capacity energy requirements. Even this year, with almost no winterization, there would have been a negligible problem had it not been for that capricious oversight. 

Appointed heads have rolled, one after another. But the TRRC people are not appointed; they're elected. They're also all three well connected to family interests in oil and gas and have embarrassed themselves. They will try hard to fix this. 

We shall see.

IMO, ERCOT could EASILY have issues to deal with this summer. 

Hey, just go outside and enjoy the heat! Jump into a pool.  It ain't hard to adjust for a week or two (this comming from a guy in Laramie who feels when it is above 85 degrees with 7% humidity, it starts to feel hot).

At least it reliably drops into the low 50's at night here in the summer (both weeks).  Great sleeping with the windows open!  Now if the coyote's would just stop howling...

 

Edited by turbguy
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52 minutes ago, waltz said:

It took the Leaf a decade to reach half a million accumulative  in world wide sales, not sure that is something to brag about.

      waltz 

Why would I brag about the Leaf? Nissan basically quit trying and lost the initiative to Tesla. Tesla sold 500,000 cars in 2020 and will probably sell a million cars in 2021, and be at a production rate of 2 million/yr by the end of 2021 when the new plants in Texas and Germany are online. VW has delusions of catching Tesla by maybe 2025, but Tesla will have passed 5 million/yr by then.  All the others (Toyota, Ford, GM, etc.) are still floundering around.

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1 hour ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

Why would I brag about the Leaf? Nissan basically quit trying and lost the initiative to Tesla. Tesla sold 500,000 cars in 2020 and will probably sell a million cars in 2021, and be at a production rate of 2 million/yr by the end of 2021 when the new plants in Texas and Germany are online. VW has delusions of catching Tesla by maybe 2025, but Tesla will have passed 5 million/yr by then.  All the others (Toyota, Ford, GM, etc.) are still floundering around.

Could you please start a new thread on EV's?  Or post to an existing one?

These comments have value, but are off subject (IMO).

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6 minutes ago, turbguy said:

Could you please start a new thread on EV's?  Or post to an existing one?

These comments have value, but are off subject (IMO).

I suggested this long ago, but was overruled. I try to  restrict myself to responding to other people's posts on this thread, rather that starting new stuff, though. I would strongly prefer for this thread to be about the Texas rolling blackouts.

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(edited)

Turbguy, Patience my friend.  The NERC and FERC will have a study of the causes in about 6-8 months. That's how long they took in 2011.  Unlike in 2011, criminal charges will follow.  More serious now since Congress passed reliability legislation after the February 2011 disaster.   Wire fraud 18USC 1343 now applies to energy trades and quite possibly to ERCOT personnel for their role in not correcting billing errors.  18 USC 3 could apply to Gov. Abbott and AG Paxton if they continue to do nothing. 

"Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact." https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3

There are some NG suppliers who also have an excellent chance of joining the generator operators in extended stays in Hotel Leavenworth.  It took 9 months to put the 41 criminal cases out of the California market manipulation together and indict the crooks.   I figure with as many players as are in this one, we will have indictments by next year's primaries and convictions by Nov. elections.  All of the dirty laundry was aired in California and will in Texas also.  Just remember how long Enron took. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-imperial-valley-utility-settles-blackout-2014aug07-story.html

https://www.desertsun.com/story/tech/science/energy/2018/01/25/imperial-irrigation-district-iid-battery-energy-storage-blackout-ferc-zglobal-solar-grid-coachella/990472001/

http://energypolicyupdate.blogspot.com/2014/07/arizona-utility-fined-325-million-over-2011-blackout.html

https://elibrary.ferc.gov/eLibrary/idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=13884948 This is CA's version of ERCOT

Edited by nsdp
left out link.
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32 minutes ago, nsdp said:

Turbguy, Patience my friend.  The NERC and FERC will have a study of the causes in about 6-8 months. That's how long they took in 2011.  Unlike in 2011, criminal charges will follow.  More serious now since Congress passed reliability legislation after the February 2011 disaster.   Wire fraud 18USC 1343 now applies to energy trades and quite possibly to ERCOT personnel for their role in not correcting billing errors.  18 USC 3 could apply to Gov. Abbott and AG Paxton if they continue to do nothing. 

"Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact." https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3

There are some NG suppliers who also have an excellent chance of joining the generator operators in extended stays in Hotel Leavenworth.  It took 9 months to put the 41 criminal cases out of the California market manipulation together and indict the crooks.   I figure with as many players as are in this one, we will have indictments by next year's primaries and convictions by Nov. elections.  All of the dirty laundry was aired in California and will in Texas also.  Just remember how long Enron took. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-imperial-valley-utility-settles-blackout-2014aug07-story.html

https://www.desertsun.com/story/tech/science/energy/2018/01/25/imperial-irrigation-district-iid-battery-energy-storage-blackout-ferc-zglobal-solar-grid-coachella/990472001/

http://energypolicyupdate.blogspot.com/2014/07/arizona-utility-fined-325-million-over-2011-blackout.html

https://elibrary.ferc.gov/eLibrary/idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=13884948 This is CA's version of ERCOT

1.  The causes for every Texas plant trip are know.  They were known within 24 hours of each trip (if not within 5 minutes).  The current situation seems to be legalistic outmaneuvering to prevent those causes from coming to public light.  We shall see what investigators can dig up.  South Texas Unit One is a no-brainer, since they MUST report each such incident to the NRC to share with the rest of the industry.  A private fossil thermal generator?  We shall see how far they can press, obscure, or even erase "proprietary information".

2. There should be some "intent to harm" on some person's part to justify a penalty.  With ENRON, that was "easy" to determine.  In THIS situation?  Not so easy.  I realize that even the "easy" takes months to work it's way to the courts.

3. Wall Street giving up a windfall?  That's gonna be a surprise.  I do hope it occurs, otherwise every customer on ERCOT's grid will be on the hook or a market that Texas permitted to get FAR out of control.  This includes Texas nat gas network customers as well.

4. Fines. Yeah, those occur.  There could be some here. Prison time?  I doubt it. Just more heads rolling in private industry.

5. Political ramifications?  If someone can get away with HUGE, DAMAGING lies, and STILL avoid removal the top office in the USA, this should be a "piece of cake" for Texas.  Delay, delay, delay...until the next CAT5 hits the state.

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Well F*** ME! Left for a couple weeks and now this thread is 64 pages long! Gotta catch up!

 

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8 minutes ago, Wombat said:

Well F*** ME! Left for a couple weeks and now this thread is 64 pages long! Gotta catch up!

 

Just another day in the world of high finance of airplanes and automobiles..updated a smidge to wind turbines and generators. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

Just another day in the world of high finance of airplanes and automobiles..updated a smidge to wind turbines and generators. 

 

I have been busy on Twitter, talking to Generals and Commanders of the Indian armed forces in order to convince them not to buy the S-400 missile system from Russia. They are truly arrogant bastards, and think they are in the driving seat now. No offence to Turbguy, sure he is smarter than that :)

 

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6 hours ago, turbguy said:

1.  The causes for every Texas plant trip are know.  They were known within 24 hours of each trip (if not within 5 minutes).  The current situation seems to be legalistic outmaneuvering to prevent those causes from coming to public light.  We shall see what investigators can dig up.  South Texas Unit One is a no-brainer, since they MUST report each such incident to the NRC to share with the rest of the industry.  A private fossil thermal generator?  We shall see how far they can press, obscure, or even erase "proprietary information".

2. There should be some "intent to harm" on some person's part to justify a penalty.  With ENRON, that was "easy" to determine.  In THIS situation?  Not so easy.  I realize that even the "easy" takes months to work it's way to the courts.

3. Wall Street giving up a windfall?  That's gonna be a surprise.  I do hope it occurs, otherwise every customer on ERCOT's grid will be on the hook or a market that Texas permitted to get FAR out of control.  This includes Texas nat gas network customers as well.

4. Fines. Yeah, those occur.  There could be some here. Prison time?  I doubt it. Just more heads rolling in private industry.

5. Political ramifications?  If someone can get away with HUGE, DAMAGING lies, and STILL avoid removal the top office in the USA, this should be a "piece of cake" for Texas.  Delay, delay, delay...until the next CAT5 hits the state.

If one did not know better, your statement sounds more like a liberal mantra of the 60's. 

Yet it is apparent you have been quite well educated in the field of electrical generation. 

Rebel yell with a edumincation...lol scary combination...LMAO sorry Turb I just could not help that. As they Such Is Life!

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ERCOT & PUCT are all appointed and/or hand selected. And they're already gone. 

TRRC co-chairmen (3) are elected for six-year terms. They're connected and they know the job. I doubt they're going to be impeached. 

Jerry Jones was a substantial beneficiary: He bought Comstock for pennies on the dollar when no one else wanted it and sold inflated natural gas when the system failed due to a paperwork error. But the system in which he sold it has been going on since the thirties. 

This does not appear to be Enron. Even the wholesale buyers who got cold feet and opted out were doing so within the legal bounds of the system that was set up long ago. There are going to be plenty of lawsuits but I'd be very surprised to see anyone convicted of criminal wrongdoing. 

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15 minutes ago, Refman said:

Have not been keeping up with this thread recently, so apologize if this has already been posted.

How coal failed in the Texas deep freeze

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063727799

 

Other than vague mentions of "weather related" conditions and coal piles freezing, there isn't much meat to this story. 

Yes, frozen coal can be a big hindrance to continued operation.  Typically the operator derates the plant while coal piles are busted up with earthmovers.  BTW, coal "off the pile" is not as good a fuel as fresh stuff from the car dumper (IF you can get it out of the car).  

Then, if the coal plant is tripped because coal flow ceases, I bet they need NAT GAS (instead of fuel oil) for the igniters to restart the fire.   IF the coal is dry enough to flow to the pulveriser mills and then be blown into the burners (black mud doesn't blow out of the mill very well).  Another Catch 22.

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1 hour ago, turbguy said:

Other than vague mentions of "weather related" conditions and coal piles freezing, there isn't much meat to this story. 

Yes, frozen coal can be a big hindrance to continued operation.  Typically the operator derates the plant while coal piles are busted up with earthmovers.  BTW, coal "off the pile" is not as good a fuel as fresh stuff from the car dumper (IF you can get it out of the car).  

Then, if the coal plant is tripped because coal flow ceases, I bet they need NAT GAS (instead of fuel oil) for the igniters to restart the fire.   IF the coal is dry enough to flow to the pulveriser mills and then be blown into the burners (black mud doesn't blow out of the mill very well).  Another Catch 22.

Last I checked, Powder River coal sold for about half what other coals sold for, specifically because it is so wet. Don't remember the percentage off hand but it didn't make sense from a pure BTU content basis. For instance if 30% water, why not a 30-40% haircut? However, frozen piles of coal don't sound very pleasant so maybe that's the issue. Lots of places not named Texas experience freezing every winter, so this would be a constant headache for the operation. 

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(edited)

49 minutes ago, Ward Smith said:

Last I checked, Powder River coal sold for about half what other coals sold for, specifically because it is so wet. Don't remember the percentage off hand but it didn't make sense from a pure BTU content basis. For instance if 30% water, why not a 30-40% haircut? However, frozen piles of coal don't sound very pleasant so maybe that's the issue. Lots of places not named Texas experience freezing every winter, so this would be a constant headache for the operation. 

PRB coals were essentially worthless until 1970's environmental regs for SO2 emissions (A.K.A. "Acid Rain"), made it's relatively lower sulfur content economically worthy of switching fuels from eastern hard coals.  Otherwise plants had to put on a bigger "chemical muffler" to control SO2.

Wyoming (and Montana) made out like a bandit, because it's right below the "topsoil" and easy to scoop out.  No underground mining required!

Railroads made out like bandits, too.

Older plants (those used to consuming eastern coals) found out how difficult the stuff was to handle and use.  They needed to burn a lot more tons-per-hour to make nameplate.  And the dusty stuff caused lotsa fires OUTSIDE the boiler.  Then they found out about lower ash fusion temps, which coated boiler tubing with obsidian.    They eventually made mods, increased surveillance, and adjusted.  It took about 5 years.

Coal's a headache even when it's dry. 

Nat gas atomizes SO much better, there's a LOT less dust, and coal handling and ash handling just disappears (lower head count per MW).   There's no "coal pile runnoff" to treat.  No conveying systems to break down/maintain, less site real estate required.  And with an atmospheric (+/- several inches of water) furnace, you don't have to overcome a GT's compressor discharge pressure to shove the stuff in.

Edited by turbguy
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1 hour ago, turbguy said:

Wyoming (and Montana) made out like a bandit, because it's right below the "topsoil" and easy to scoop out.  No underground mining required!

Maybe you can answer a question that has been nagging at me for a long time. There is evidence that Wyoming was more or less covered by a very thick layer of ash at one time. Then, over the space of a few million years, the mountains were exhumed as the ash and other debris and dirt was eroded away--by wind, rain, snow, sleet, the usual things except more wind. 

Here's the question: How did the very narrow Laramie Gangplank survive? In other words, the very narrow gangplank that allowed the Union Pacific to beat out all others because it didn't have to "climb the mountains," but rather made the gentle upslope from Nebraska right up to the top level of the mountains by running on the only strip of land in all of Wyoming that remained un-eroded is, to me, a geological mystery. 

Do you know how and why it survived?

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3 hours ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

ERCOT & PUCT are all appointed and/or hand selected. And they're already gone. 

TRRC co-chairmen (3) are elected for six-year terms. They're connected and they know the job. I doubt they're going to be impeached. 

Jerry Jones was a substantial beneficiary: He bought Comstock for pennies on the dollar when no one else wanted it and sold inflated natural gas when the system failed due to a paperwork error. But the system in which he sold it has been going on since the thirties. 

This does not appear to be Enron. Even the wholesale buyers who got cold feet and opted out were doing so within the legal bounds of the system that was set up long ago. There are going to be plenty of lawsuits but I'd be very surprised to see anyone convicted of criminal wrongdoing. 

No this is easier than  Enron; DOJ no longer has to prove intent.  Congress changed the burden of proof in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  Actions are handled the same way DUI-Manslaughter is handled.  All they have to do is prove you made the trade just like they prove you drove the car under the influence of alcohol and hit and killed someone.  They don't have to prove you intended to hit or kill them and they don't have to prove you were negligent.   You can try to rebut the charge by waiving the 5th amendment and testifying but you waive the 5th for all purposes.  I worked contract for the US Bankruptcy Trustee in Enron because i had been certified as a dispatcher by IEEE/NERC in 1975 and was promoted to the Federal Public Defenders A Panel in 1995. There are about 15 or 20 retired dispatchers who are also Certified Fraud Examiners.   DOJ convicted 34 Enron Employees including John Forney(Beldenhttps://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2002-oct-18-fi-enron18-story.html and Richter had cooperation agreements), 5 Dynergy employees including the chairman of Dynergy's board and 2 VP's of RRI (now NRG). The ERCOT market monitor has already identified $5 billion in bogus trades. Map has already been made for DOJ. https://egbertowillies.com/2021/03/06/texas-puc-admits-ripping-off-texans-during-electric-grid-freeze-and-all-but-tells-them-to-suck-it-up/

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^

I get it, but while there were some giant oversights and mistakes, I doubt anyone was culpable of criminal duplicity. 

The ERCOT system is clearly not bulletproof. People like me have been criticizing the TRRC since it stopped regulating railroads and switched to pipelines, then oil and gas drilling. The whole thing smacks too much of Fanny Mae, with governmental regulation holding sway over a giant financial portfolio, though it is a state government rather that a federal. 

But, with all the grousing and disgruntlement, the way ERCOT interacts with PUCT and the governor's office on one side and the utility companies and gas facilities and wellhead operators on the other side, there is so much slack--a commercial sliding scale built for economic enterprise under scant governmental control--that I just don't see criminal activity. Even though I don't like it.

Maybe the future will prove me wrong but the oil and gas industry--all the way from drilling out the Spindletop while spilling a million barrels on the prairie--to refineries and LNG trains has always been a very loosely regulated business society. To an old guy like me it scares the dickens out of me when I write a check and receive a deed with a barcode on it--I still yearn for yesteryear, when you made a day of it, talked it over, had lunch at a good spot, maybe had a bourbon for courage, then signed and got slapped on the back at the abstract office and then the bar at The Mansion or the Petroleum Club. That doesn't exist but for all the biggest deals, and even they are mostly handshakes with a wink and a nod. 

Enron was a house of cards. Not only that but it violated interstate commerce. This was a circular firing squad limited to Texans. As such, it is more or less insulated from the feds. I understand that FERC made a trip to Dallas and were courteously shown the door. Again, I think there will be lawsuits galore, but in the Texas energy system you pay for a seat at the table and play the cards you draw. I expect several utility companies and gas facilities to go Ch. 11 and a lot of people to be fired and some others to get an ass-chewing but life will go on. 

 

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15 hours ago, nsdp said:

 

"Whoever, knowing that an offence against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact."

 

Sounds like if you know you are hosting terrorist communications you are legally required to stop it or you become guilty yourself. 

Fancy that...

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8 hours ago, Wombat said:

I have been busy on Twitter, talking to Generals and Commanders of the Indian armed forces in order to convince them not to buy the S-400 missile system from Russia. They are truly arrogant bastards, and think they are in the driving seat now. No offence to Turbguy, sure he is smarter than that :)

 

This guy is priceless! 

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2 hours ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

Maybe you can answer a question that has been nagging at me for a long time. There is evidence that Wyoming was more or less covered by a very thick layer of ash at one time. Then, over the space of a few million years, the mountains were exhumed as the ash and other debris and dirt was eroded away--by wind, rain, snow, sleet, the usual things except more wind. 

Here's the question: How did the very narrow Laramie Gangplank survive? In other words, the very narrow gangplank that allowed the Union Pacific to beat out all others because it didn't have to "climb the mountains," but rather made the gentle upslope from Nebraska right up to the top level of the mountains by running on the only strip of land in all of Wyoming that remained un-eroded is, to me, a geological mystery. 

Do you know how and why it survived?

Dumb luck, I guess.

The gangplank does have a drop on the west side of the gangplank, though.  That's the side I reside on.

This area was heavily used by native people in the summers, as revealed by the quantity of arrowhead points, chips, and other evidence that  I find by strolling the one mile trek to my mailbox each day.  The entire Laramie valley is classified as a wetland (even though it receives about 12" of moisture a year).  

Native "places of power" surround me.  Some are quite impressive. Example link below.

Summer life must have been REALLY fine here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/turbguy/50664887098/

 

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6 hours ago, Gerry Maddoux said:
8 hours ago, turbguy said:

Wyoming (and Montana) made out like a bandit, because it's right below the "topsoil" and easy to scoop out.  No underground mining required!

Maybe you can answer a question that has been nagging at me for a long time. There is evidence that Wyoming was more or less covered by a very thick layer of ash at one time. Then, over the space of a few million years, the mountains were exhumed as the ash and other debris and dirt was eroded away--by wind, rain, snow, sleet, the usual things except more wind. 

Here's the question: How did the very narrow Laramie Gangplank survive? In other words, the very narrow gangplank that allowed the Union Pacific to beat out all others because it didn't have to "climb the mountains," but rather made the gentle upslope from Nebraska right up to the top level of the mountains by running on the only strip of land in all of Wyoming that remained un-eroded is, to me, a geological mystery. 

Do you know how and why it survived?

Very good question.  The Mormons took same route to Utah on Laramie River valley?  There's still huge amounts of ash from the Yellow Stone blast 600 million years ago... all over eastern Wyoming.  Worked on lot's of miles pipeline there.  In 2001, supervisor (Colorado Interstate Gas) said "you are taking some FERC inspectors on the ROW".  Had 1995 Ford explorer at time. took couple FERC people on pipeline ROW. The fly ash was all over and never ever cleaned out of explorer while had it..  Nasty stuff.  Was fun ripping it up going thru 150 mile line in Wyoming with those FERC people...coal deposits in Powder River Basin have HUGE BTU content for electrical steam generation in state so isolated from huge cities.   Lines and pipelines all over the state.  Why shut down energy there when it is so important to our national defense?

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On 3/20/2021 at 3:23 PM, turbguy said:

True.

But I can guarantee that technology WILL change.  It is happening every day.

Carbon Capture is quite possible right now (if you don't mind using about 15-25% of a carbon-capturing thermal generator's output to support it).   I do hope technology can find a cheaper way.

 

I see no danger in CO2 but if it can be used and not just pumped into the ground that could make sense . 

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