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Trump prepares to order grid operators to prop up money losing coal, nuke plants

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K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
36,837
11,028
136
So it's the 2008-2009 auto bailout but for nuke plants? Seems like the precedent is already in place to misuse taxpayer dollars to prop up obsolete industries who can't survive on their own merits.
No because this ins't a loan. This is you simply paying more for power because companies didn't invest in changing their generation mix as their plants aged and became uneconomical as a result of market conditions.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,383
1,013
126
No because this ins't a loan. This is you simply paying more for power because companies didn't invest in changing their generation mix as their plants aged and became uneconomical as a result of market conditions.
So if it were a "loan" instead you'd be cool with throwing a lifeline to coal generating plants?
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
126
So it's the 2008-2009 auto bailout but for coal plants? Seems like the precedent is already in place to misuse taxpayer dollars to prop up obsolete industries who can't survive on their own merits.
Not really. Cars aren't obsolete.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
72,586
23,672
136
Not really. Cars aren't obsolete.
Also, conservatives said that the auto bailouts were a terrible idea even in the face of a worldwide economic catastrophe. Presumably they think bailing out an industry that's actually obsolete in a well functioning economy is several orders of magnitude worse.

I eagerly await their universal condemnation. lol.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,384
3,504
126
One way this makes sense is if he thinks Canada will reneg on Electricity agreements. Which makes me wonder if he has more Trade/Tariff shenanigans in the pipeline.
 
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crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,785
1,605
126
Is anyone here an expert on natural gas infrastructure? The last I paid attention to it was when the Aliso Canyon leak happened. Natural gas is a great fuel as far as hydrocarbons go, but storage is an issue.
 

brycejones

Lifer
Oct 18, 2005
20,762
12,637
136
Also, conservatives said that the auto bailouts were a terrible idea even in the face of a worldwide economic catastrophe. Presumably they think bailing out an industry that's actually obsolete in a well functioning economy is several orders of magnitude worse.

I eagerly await their universal condemnation. lol.
LMK if you're holding your breath. I'll go ahead and dial 911 now.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,383
1,013
126
Not really. Cars aren't obsolete.
Considering that Ford is basically moving away from selling traditional cars next year I'd not make that statement as confidently as you just did. And we'd go on just fine if Chrysler and their ilk went belly up as Toyota and other companies with better product and management would happily fill the gap if we had rightfully let GM and Chrysler reap the proper rewards of their incompetence. Bankruptcy and selling them off to more prudent owners and management is exactly what should have happened and what still will happen at some point unless you plan to keep bailing them out again in the future.

Also, conservatives said that the auto bailouts were a terrible idea even in the face of a worldwide economic catastrophe. Presumably they think bailing out an industry that's actually obsolete in a well functioning economy is several orders of magnitude worse.

I eagerly await their universal condemnation. lol.
Both are terrible ideas.
 

brycejones

Lifer
Oct 18, 2005
20,762
12,637
136
Is anyone here an expert on natural gas infrastructure? The last I paid attention to it was when the Aliso Canyon leak happened. Natural gas is a great fuel as far as hydrocarbons go, but storage is an issue.
If your goal is to be able to quickly address changes in demand gas is a much better solution than coal or nukes. Both of those take substantially longer to come online vs. gas. That is why this is such a stupid idea. The industry is saying it doesn't need this. This is just politics.
 
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K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
36,837
11,028
136
One way this makes sense is if he thinks Canada will reneg on Electricity agreements. Which makes me wonder if he has more Trade/Tariff shenanigans in the pipeline.
I doubt that's what is behind this but he has labeled Canada a national security threat, if you can wrap your mind around that one.
 
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crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,785
1,605
126
If your goal is to be able to quickly address changes in demand gas is a much better solution than coal or nukes. Both of those take substantially longer to come online vs. gas. That is why this is such a stupid idea. The industry is saying it doesn't need this. This is just politics.
Agree with first part, totally. Pumped storage is a good option, too, just really expensive to build. But I think the issue is more complicated than it seems. I read the article, but some key players did not comment.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,384
3,504
126
I doubt that's what is behind this but he has labeled Canada a national security threat, if you can wrap your mind around that one.
I can't, unless he expects more retaliation to moves he has planned. He seems hellbent on isolating the US from everyone.
 
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deathBOB

Senior member
Dec 2, 2007
547
204
116
So it's the 2008-2009 auto bailout but for coal plants? Seems like the precedent is already in place to misuse taxpayer dollars to prop up obsolete industries who can't survive on their own merits.
Bad comparison.

1. We aren’t in a recession
2. These plants employ a lot fewer people and are much smaller parts of our economy than the auto industry, and even then they’re just being replaced by other types of plants.
3. The auto industry was in no way obsolete in 2008-9.
4. The form of aide given to GM and Chrysler was bridge financing to allow them to go through the bankruptcy process. That money would have been available in the market during better economic times, and it’s better for everyone when a company gets to reorganize vs simply going bust. In a sense the government wasn’t picking winners and losers but stepping in during a crisis. That’s born out by the continued success of both companies.
5. Closing coal plants is good for all of us because NG is much cleaner.

I do think keeping nuclear plants online is good even when NG is cheaper because they are carbon neutral.
 
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K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
36,837
11,028
136
Agree with first part, totally. Pumped storage is a good option, too, just really expensive to build. But I think the issue is more complicated than it seems. I read the article, but some key players did not comment.
Utilities are increasingly opting for battery storage since it's far faster, more flexible, and can be sited more optimally. It's more expensive but it's also a lot more useful. I think it's been decades since a new pumped storage project has come online though some have been substantially upgraded to squeeze more capacity/efficiency out of them.
 
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Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,385
9,201
126
I'm glad you learned something today about how we keep the country from having energy shortages and famine.
Funny how just about anything can be rationalized using irrational fear, isn't it?
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
105,934
20,866
136
So it's the 2008-2009 auto bailout but for coal plants? Seems like the precedent is already in place to misuse taxpayer dollars to prop up obsolete industries who can't survive on their own merits.
The auto bailout was to prevent many, many sectors from collapsing in a rather serious and rather sudden cascade that expands well beyond the actual car makers--it was about insuring the parts-suppliers and everything else tied up in the big makers didn't implode. That was going to be the real problem, and there was no part of that sector that had been on life support for decades due to its own obsolesence and the market having long determined that it wasn't needed, which is exactly what is going on with coal.

Coal killed itself decades ago, and far better options are now abundant. This is in no way comparable to the auto bailout, which stood to see 100s of thousands of jobs gone in a matter of a couple of years. This a special interest attempt to prop up a dead sector that barely sees 10 thousand jobs or so because those were long gone anyway, well before your villain Obama came onto the scene, and is only going to vanish anyway.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,785
1,605
126
Utilities are increasingly opting for battery storage since it's far faster, more flexible, and can be sited more optimally. It's more expensive but it's also a lot more useful. I think it's been decades since a new pumped storage project has come online though some have been substantially upgraded to squeeze more capacity/efficiency out of them.
I thought batteries were going to stay as niche tech due to cost concerns? Energy storage is THE challenge facing renewables at this time, though. It's something that I find fascinating and hope there are some breakthroughs soon.

Guys, serious question, what do we really know about the natural gas infrastructure? From the numbers I can find, it looks like, depending on the time of year, we may have less than a month of storage available, which may or may not be enough, though it sounds a little low to be safe from disruptions in supply. Is this infrastructure any more or less vulnerable to acts of war or terrorism than other sources? The whole world is coming to rely on gas more heavily, these questions might be worth exploring in more detail. My searches have produced volumes of information, but little of it is directly relevant to these concerns.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
126
I thought batteries were going to stay as niche tech due to cost concerns? Energy storage is THE challenge facing renewables at this time, though. It's something that I find fascinating and hope there are some breakthroughs soon.

Guys, serious question, what do we really know about the natural gas infrastructure? From the numbers I can find, it looks like, depending on the time of year, we may have less than a month of storage available, which may or may not be enough, though it sounds a little low to be safe from disruptions in supply. Is this infrastructure any more or less vulnerable to acts of war or terrorism than other sources? The whole world is coming to rely on gas more heavily, these questions might be worth exploring in more detail. My searches have produced volumes of information, but little of it is directly relevant to these concerns.
Batteries are expensive but look at cost of production by various means

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_04.html
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
17,495
5,059
136
[QUOTE="K1052, post: 39444975, member: 117184"
Republicans who don't care if he does this should probably remember that there won't be a Republican in the White House for the rest of eternity. If he's allowed to abuse his powers in such ways there will be nothing stopping the next person who they might not ideologically align with.
This used to be the thought process that maintained norms in how the legislative and executive branches functioned. The GOP decided to throw it out in an 8 year long scorched earth campaign against the black Muslim Kenyan interloper and now we have an anything I can get away with mentality.

I don't see today's GOP thinking that far ahead.[/QUOTE]
As Boener said, there is no Republican party, there's a Trump party, the GOP went to sleep somewhere.
 
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UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
23,021
5,500
136
Remember when conservatives were all like, "we shouldn't allow the government to pick winners and losers, we should let the free market decide?"

I guess that only applies to solar, wind and hydro.
 
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