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QUOTE (bmags @ Nov 29, 2016 -> 10:53 AM)
http://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/...dustry-michigan

 

Is the $3.33 cited from michigan.gov for coal here before or after any regulatory costs? If costs are removed is cost of coal closer in line to natural gas?

 

 

I don't see 3.33, I see $133/MWhr, and the referenced report explains where the number comes from:

 

The Commission’s temporary order implementing 2008 PA 295, Case Number

U-15800, directed the Staff to work with the providers to develop the required life cycle

cost of electricity generated by a new conventional coal-fired facility in terms of a

guidepost consisting of a levelized busbar rate, in $/MWh, of an advanced-supercritical

27

pulverized coal plant with a life cycle of 40 years. The Commission directed the Staff to

submit the number to the Commission by January 30, 2009. The Staff has diligently

worked with the providers to develop the guidepost rate and finds that the number is $133

per MWh.2

 

So based on a 2008 study but still believed to be accurate circa 2015. Removing regulations so that coal plants can spew more mercury and other heavy metals (including radioactive particles!) into the air would drop costs some, but since that Vox piece doesn't include the typical new MWhr cost of a natural gas plant, it's hard to say how much coal prices need to come down.

 

this is from a nuclear industry lobbying group, but it's at least a baseline for new generation costs

 

Nuclear energy facilities are more expensive than some other electricity options to build. Why undertake such a project?

 

In general, large baseload plants like nuclear and coal are more expensive to build but cheaper and more efficient to operate over the long-term than a conventional gas turbine. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) compared the total system levelized cost for a wide range of generating sources, factoring in the capital cost to build the facility, operating and maintenance costs, transmission investment and efficiency. EIA estimated the total system cost for an advanced nuclear energy facility to be $108 per megawatt-hour of electricity produced, compared with solar energy at $144 per MWh; and offshore wind at $221 per MWh. Onshore wind is less costly, at $86 per MWh, but it’s also less efficient. The estimated total system cost for natural gas plants varied widely, depending on the type, from a low of $65 per MWh to a high of $130. The variable costs for a natural gas plant are highly sensitive to fluctuations in fuel price, since fuel accounts for nearly 90 percent of its production cost. Fuel represents just 31 percent of a nuclear energy facility’s production cost, and the price is relatively stable.

 

given typical nuclear cost overruns, probably tack 50% on top of that estimate.

Edited by StrangeSox

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Somewhat related, Texas, Oklahoma Divided Over How To Handle Earthquakes Linked To Oil Drilling

 

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

 

There's been a rash of small earthquakes in Oklahoma and Texas in recent years. Scientists say many of these earthquakes are caused by oil and gas operators pumping their wastewater underground. In Texas, a new oil discovery could mean even more drilling wastewater to dispose of. The two states have very different views on how to deal with the quake problem. We're going to hear from two reporters now, one in each state, starting with Joe Wertz from StateImpact Oklahoma.

 

JOE WERTZ, BYLINE: The 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck northeastern Oklahoma in early September was the strongest ever recorded in the state. Scientists suspect this quake, like many others rattling Oklahoma, was caused by oil companies injecting toxic, salty wastewater into underground wells. Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission says, in the past, regulators have asked the industry to shut down wells and limit injection in quake-prone areas.

 

MATT SKINNER: Technically, it's been a voluntary response.

 

WERTZ: Things have changed. Authorities started by focusing on individual disposal wells. Now disposal well shutdowns and volume limits are more widespread and, since the September quake, mandatory.

 

SKINNER: What's happened is we've gone from a micro approach - which, while it did have some good results, they were limited in terms of the size of the area that they helped - to a macro approach.

 

WERTZ: Seismologists say the process of injecting that wastewater underground, often more than a billion barrels of it statewide annually, is disrupting faults and triggering quakes. For more than a year, officials have been asking companies to reduce wastewater injection in hundreds of wells over more than 10,000 square miles, and it's working. Here's Oklahoma State University professor and hydrogeologist Todd Halihan talking to lawmakers at a recent earthquake hearing at the state capitol.

 

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

 

TODD HALIHAN: And another piece of really distinct evidence is that in places where you've decreased injection rates, you have less earthquakes.

 

WERTZ: The first research linking the state's most important industry to the earthquake surge came out in 2013, though leaders like Governor Mary Fallin did not embrace the science until 2015. Earlier this year, Fallin signed legislation clarifying that state oil and gas regulators had the authority to act on earthquake concerns. But by and large, Oklahoma has chosen to respond to the quakes by using current oil and gas rules, not by enacting new regulations or laws. Officials say this is a more nimble approach that allows them to be flexible as new science comes out. Again, Matt Skinner with the corporation commission.

 

SKINNER: If you make a rule that turns out to be inadequate or maybe even misguided, you can't change it in a heartbeat. It may suddenly come back to bite you.

 

WERTZ: Many residents living with crumbling foundations and cracked sewer lines, as well as lawmakers from both parties, think the state could do more. They want Oklahoma to get tougher, to impose disposal well moratoriums or charge the industry fees to pay for quake-related damage. Scientists and officials were cautiously optimistic that an apparent slowdown in earthquake activity meant the regulations were having a lasting effect. But the state was recently rocked by a 5.0 magnitude quake that caused one minor injury, damaged dozens of buildings and caused a temporary shutdown at one of the country's largest crude oil storage terminals.

 

CORNISH: That's Joe Wertz with StateImpact Oklahoma. Now - the view from Texas.

 

JOHN BURNETT, BYLINE: I'm John Burnett in Austin. As a headline in The Dallas Morning News declares "Oklahoma Shakes, Texas Waits." The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas activities - not trains - has been much slower than Oklahoma authorities to acknowledge a clear link between earthquakes and disposal injection wells. The town of Azle northwest of Fort Worth was shaken repeatedly in the second half of 2013. Mayor Alan Brundrett remembers.

 

ALAN BRUNDRETT: And then I jumped up out of the chair, you know, and run out to the back window to see what happened. And then you stop for a second. You think about it, and you're like, oh, that was an earthquake.

 

BURNETT: Since 2008, North Texas has experienced more than 250 quakes of 2.5 magnitude or greater. Masonry has tumbled, and Sheetrock has cracked, though not much major damage like in Oklahoma. Texas does have natural earthquakes, but the U.S. Geological Survey concludes the recent North Texas temblors, at least those that have been studied by scientists, are the result of induced seismicity. That is, they're man-made.

 

Last year, scientists at Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Austin published a paper about a swarm of 27 earthquakes that happened near Azle. Heather DeShon, a geophysicist at SMU, is a co-author.

 

HEATHER DESHON: We concluded that there was most likely a link between the earthquakes occurring in Azle and two nearby wastewater injection wells.

 

BURNETT: The Barnett Shale, which underlies the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, was the site of the nation's first big fracking boom. By the time of the study, workers had injected 1.7 billion barrels of wastewater and brine from oil and gas wells into the earth. Researchers believe the underground pressure woke up a dormant fault. And before the oil and gas boom, DeShon points out...

 

DESHON: There's no record of historical felt earthquakes.

 

BURNETT: Despite widespread acceptance of the Azle study, the Texas Railroad Commission remains skeptical. Indeed, the commission's own staff seismologist declared there was, quote, "no substantial proof of man-made earthquakes in Texas," even though a new research paper documents how oil and gas operations have caused tremors in Texas since the 1920s. Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton says the Azle study is too narrow.

 

RYAN SITTON: All those pertain to was one set of earthquakes in one concentrated area and two disposal wells. That's it. That doesn't tell us anything about the other earthquakes going on in the state. So that's why we have to do so much more research.

 

BURNETT: In its quest for more science, the state has funded the deployment of 22 seismic sensors across Texas. The new earthquake-detection network is being managed by the respected Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas. Azle Mayor Alan Brundrett is impatient.

 

BRUNDRETT: I mean, I would like to just see the Railroad Commission say, it is the most likely reason that you had earthquakes in your area, and so we need to be more careful about where we put injection wells.

 

BURNETT: The Railroad Commission now requires additional information if operators want to put a disposal well in a quake zone. As a partial result, 12 out of 61 well permits have not gone through. Again, commissioner Ryan Sitton.

 

SITTON: And it is none of our interests to have oil and gas activities causing earthquakes. So if it is, we're going to take regulatory action to minimize those risks.

 

BURNETT: Exasperated residents say if you need any more proof, notice how North Texas earthquakes have all but gone away now that low oil and gas prices have slowed activity in the oil patch.

 

John Burnett, NPR News, Austin.

 

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QUOTE (caulfield12 @ Nov 30, 2016 -> 05:50 AM)
Emanuel shouldn't even be called a Democrat. He simply cares about himself and retaining power, period. A lot like Weiner.

And as Trump is to Republican, I assume?

 

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Nov 29, 2016 -> 09:04 AM)
I don't see 3.33, I see $133/MWhr, and the referenced report explains where the number comes from:

 

 

 

So based on a 2008 study but still believed to be accurate circa 2015. Removing regulations so that coal plants can spew more mercury and other heavy metals (including radioactive particles!) into the air would drop costs some, but since that Vox piece doesn't include the typical new MWhr cost of a natural gas plant, it's hard to say how much coal prices need to come down.

 

this is from a nuclear industry lobbying group, but it's at least a baseline for new generation costs

 

 

 

given typical nuclear cost overruns, probably tack 50% on top of that estimate.

I'm typically looking at costs on an incremental energy basis, and perhaps not an "all-in" cost which includes things like long-term maintenance, and perhaps other chemical costs, but those numbers for coal and gas both look very high to me.

 

Generally, at the moment in the west, reasonably modern gas resources are running around $13-20/mw and coal around $12-30, depending on where the coal is sourced, etc.

 

From my understanding, most western utilities are still looking at retiring coal units much earlier than the end of their anticipated lifespans, simply because it does not make financial sense to keep operating them.

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Is there really no Standing Rock/DAPL thread? Is it being talked about anywhere? I know it's "over" but thought I'd check. I'm in Bismarck tonight heading to the camps for the next couple days to help run supplies. It's really insane out here right now.

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QUOTE (Reddy @ Dec 6, 2016 -> 11:27 PM)
Is there really no Standing Rock/DAPL thread? Is it being talked about anywhere? I know it's "over" but thought I'd check. I'm in Bismarck tonight heading to the camps for the next couple days to help run supplies. It's really insane out here right now.

Mentioned it here when they broke out the water cannons in freezing temperatures and blew that one woman's arm off.

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QUOTE (iamshack @ Nov 30, 2016 -> 11:45 AM)
I'm typically looking at costs on an incremental energy basis, and perhaps not an "all-in" cost which includes things like long-term maintenance, and perhaps other chemical costs, but those numbers for coal and gas both look very high to me.

 

Generally, at the moment in the west, reasonably modern gas resources are running around $13-20/mw and coal around $12-30, depending on where the coal is sourced, etc.

 

From my understanding, most western utilities are still looking at retiring coal units much earlier than the end of their anticipated lifespans, simply because it does not make financial sense to keep operating them.

 

Damn those are low prices. Though I'm looking at longer term stuff than spot market, and honestly not sure how WECC or CAISO compare to MISO.

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Trump taps Oklahoma AG for head of EPA

 

https://www.edf.org/blog/2016/11/30/epa-can...ience-unsettled posted:

Pruitt, who met with President-elect Donald Trump in New York on Nov. 28, has used his current position to try to block some of the EPA’s most important air-quality rules.

 

On his own LinkedIn page, he boasts that he “led the charge with repeated notices and subsequent lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their [sic] leadership’s activist agenda.”

 

Since becoming Oklahoma’s top legal officer in 2011, Pruitt has sued the EPA to stop vital protections for public health – including standards for reducing soot and smog pollution that crosses interstate lines; protections against emissions of mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxic pollutants from power plants; and standards to improve air quality in national parks and wilderness areas. Each time he failed.

 

He claims, falsely, that the climate “debate is far from settled” and that “scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” A vast majority of scientists, of course, agree that climate change is happening, and that it’s due to human activities.

 

Pruitt has played a leading role in lawsuits challenging the Clean Power Plan, the most important step our nation has taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Before the plan was even finalized, he went before Congress to call on states to flout the law.

 

In Pruitt’s view, “no state should comply with the Clean Power Plan if it means surrendering decision-making authority to the EPA.”

 

[...]

 

Since 2002, he’s received more than $314,996 from fossil fuel industries. He was also caught sending letters to President Obama and federal agency heads that had been written by energy industry lawyers.

 

The New York Times uncovered an e-mail exchange between Pruitt and energy industry officials that “offers a hint of the unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt” and others created with some of America’s leading energy producers to attack EPA rules. The newspaper reported that the efforts included significant campaign contributions to various attorneys general.

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Dec 7, 2016 -> 08:03 PM)
Trump taps Oklahoma AG for head of EPA

 

Climate change denier, loves fossil fuels, hates the environment, repeatedly sues the EPA. Good pick to head the EPA.

 

Bonus points for wanting Bibles to be distributed to public school children, opposing SSM, and trying to sue Colorado because that weird marijuana smell was wafting into his state.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Dec 7, 2016 -> 12:33 AM)
Mentioned it here when they broke out the water cannons in freezing temperatures and blew that one woman's arm off.

 

Isn't it crazy that there's so much ridiculous going on in our country and world right now that we collectively don't even mind/notice/bother to discuss massive human rights abuses and violations happening on our own soil to our own citizens?

 

What is this world we live in?

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Trump transition wants names of Energy Department staff who worked on climate

 

Trump transition wants names of Energy Department staff who worked on climate

By DARIUS DIXON 12/09/16 11:19 AM EST

 

President-elect Donald Trump's Energy Department transition team has asked the agency for the names of employees and contractors who toiled on the Obama administration's big climate change efforts, according to a 74-point questionnaire obtained by POLITICO.

 

The questionnaire asks for a list of DOE workers who attended any United Nations climate change conferences in the last five years. It also requests the list of those who attended any of the interagency working groups that have crafted a "social cost of carbon," which several Obama administration agencies have used to help justify some regulations.

 

Besides specific names, the Trump team also asked: "Which programs within DOE are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama's Climate Action Plan?" It also asks for the agency to identify which office "owns" the work on international "Clean Energy Ministerials" and "Mission Innovation," a multinational effort to develop clean technology.

 

Bloomberg first reported about the questionnaire but did not release a copy of the document.

 

We can imagine who's getting purged first.

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Reading The Worst Hard Time, the book about the Dust Bowl that the Ken Burns documentary was based on, and this quote from the report of the Great Plains Drought Area Committee stand out

 

"This situation is so serious that the Nation, for its own sake, cannot afford to allow the farmer to fail. We endanger our democracy if we allow the Great Plains, or any other section of our country, to become an economic desert."

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Dec 9, 2016 -> 02:27 PM)
Trump transition wants names of Energy Department staff who worked on climate

 

 

 

We can imagine who's getting purged first.

I'm seeing people I know today realizing they need to scramble to have data that is currently available on US Government servers backed up by or transferred to databases held by universities to protect it from deletion by our government for political reasons.

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Energy Dept. rejects Trump’s request to name climate-change workers, who remain worried

 

Global warming — “it’s a hoax.”

 

Donald Trump has said that more than once.

 

So it’s understandable that the request by the president-elect’s transition team for the names of individual Energy Department employees and contractors who worked on the issue makes them worry that the trick could be on them.

 

“There is major concern amongst my members,” said Jeff Eagan, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter at the department’s headquarters building in Washington. He’s also a 17-year Energy employee but was speaking in his union capacity. “I have received lots of calls, emails, messages expressing shock and dismay.”

 

The scientists and their colleagues at Energy know global warming is real. What they don’t know is what Trump might do to those whose work has been in line with the science and the Obama administration, which has spoken about “the real and urgent threat of climate change.”

 

 

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California's been getting a ton of rain lately, and drought conditions in the state have drastically improved.

 

drought.png

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Feb 9, 2017 -> 11:56 AM)
California's been getting a ton of rain lately, and drought conditions in the state have drastically improved.

 

drought.png

Not just Cali either, this is also happening in AZ and NM at least. Not sure about other states.

 

That said, this needs to be sustained for a while for it to really get to a reset level.

 

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Ocean oxygen levels drop 2% in 50 years, Nature study finds

 

(CNN)Climate change is extending far beyond the threat of melting polar ice caps -- it's putting a dangerous stranglehold on life in oceans, too.

 

A new study published in the science journal Nature Wednesday found that the ocean's worldwide oxygen content declined by more than 2% between 1960 and 2010.

 

The ocean's oxygen depletion, the study shows, is mostly a result of climate change.

One driving factor, the authors found, is as simple as warming temperatures -- like a warm can of Coke that can't hold fizz, warm ocean water has difficulty holding oxygen. But this only accounts for 15% of the oxygen depletion.

What also causes oxygen depletion, again driven by climate change, is that the ocean is becoming more stratified. This is a result of changing temperature gradients in the Arctic, and the reduction of sea ice.

Oxygen enters the water at the surface, but as that surface layer gets warmer, it's less likely to sink to the oxygen-starved layers below.

 

"It's almost like the oceans are getting ready for a heart attack," said Baker. "You're essentially slowing the heartbeat of the ocean, and you're getting less oxygen to the ocean."

 

The study finds that the reduction of sea ice has led to more plankton growth -- and with more plankton growth comes more plankton decomposition. Decomposition decreases oxygen levels even further.

 

So-called "dead zones" -- low-oxygen areas in the ocean's shallow waters -- are also multiplying along the shore, the study finds.

 

Fish can't thrive there -- a dangerous threat to both the ecosystem and the economy -- but that's not the only problem. These areas are pumping out a harmful greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide -- "the evil counterpart to carbon dioxide," as Baker puts it.

 

in related news, Trump's top candidates for science advisor are both global warming denialists

 

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Posting this here since it seems like making new threads in this subforum is frowned upon, or at least it's an attempt to keep this place organized

 

 

TL;DW

 

Jordan Chariton vs Chris Berg (ND News Anchor) go back and forth on why the DAPL Pipeline is a bad thing.

News Anchor gets absolutely demolished, embarrassingly so.

 

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Carbon dioxide levels could reach their highest point in 50 million years by the end of the century

Continuing to burn fossil fuels at the current rate could bring atmospheric carbon dioxide to its highest concentration in 50 million years, jumping from about 400 parts per million now to more than 900 parts per million by the end of this century, a new study warns.

 

And if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated beyond that point, the climate could reach a warming state that hasn’t been seen in the past 420 million years.

 

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