Representative Vic Gilliam:A hydrogen economy is the way

Representative Vic Gilliam is moving full-speed ahead with hydrogen as a powerful energy source.
By Rebecca Tweed
Taxpayer Association of Oregon Lawmaker Profile

Representative Vic Gilliam (R””Silverton) has introduced legislation that advances one of Oregon’s richest potential energy sources by empowering the Public Utilities Commission to recognize hydrogen hub technology. He hopes this bill will advance a viable renewable resource centered here in the Northwest. A hydrogen economy can reduce our foreign oil consumption, strengthen existing businesses, including agriculture, and cost very little in public funds. “It’s fiscally and environmentally responsible and entirely business-friendly. We have every reason to implement new green ideas,” says Representative Gilliam. “While my party is in the minority, we’re locked out of some of the bigger economic decisions for our state, but we still can succeed in the seemingly small things that will have a significant effect on our energy future.”

During his freshman term in 2007, Gilliam introduced HR 1 which passed through the House unanimously, recommending hydrogen become a top priority of any current or future renewable energy research, policy and programmatic initiatives by the State of Oregon.

This session, HB 2940 takes Oregon a step closer to making this exciting new technology a reality. The piece of hydrogen legislation that Vic Gilliam originally introduced this session almost didn’t make it due to a print error. Chris Edwards (D””West Eugene) who was sponsoring similar legislation, reached across the aisle and added key points to this bill. The House passed HB 2940, 59-1 and now it’s in the hands of the Senate- Vic Gilliam is expecting the bill to pass. “I can’t think of any logical reason that this will be seen as a political issue””who wouldn’t be interested in increased forms of generating electricity for our state? It’s smart, progressive and economically wise,” Representative Vic Gilliam said.

This bill specifically affects Vic Gilliam’s district because of hydrogen’s malleability within products frequently used in agricultural areas””fertilizer. If stored, hydrogen can be a fertilizer bi-product in place of fertilizer made with fossil fuels, thus reducing carbon emissions. The impact of more environmentally-farm-friendly products would be significant; given Oregon has an estimated 17.1 million acres of agricultural land.

“The beauty of hydrogen is its versatility in how it may be used. We’re still developing the possibilities, but we know for a fact that it can be combined with existing energy sources,” says Representative Vic Gilliam. “Hydrogen is clean, renewable, requires virtually no new infrastructure and is here in the Northwest- I think that is something we can all be excited about.”

Vic Gilliam Biography: Over 25 year career as a development executive with non-government organizations including Willamette University, OHSU foundation, International Youth Foundation and Mercy Corp. Legislative aide to US Senator Mark O. Hatfield. Appointed by Gov. Tom McCall, confirmed by the Oregon Senate, to a term on the Educational Coordinating Council.

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Posted by at 05:55 | Posted in Measure 37 | 37 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jessie

    How brave of this very smart man. Hydrogen is the key to our future. I heard you can get it free from water. If the oceans rise from global warming we can just take the extra water, turn it inot hydrogen, and get free energy.
    What could possibly be better.
    To finally end our dependence on oil, both foreign and domestic, will be the day we can all finally relax.

    • Todd

      Nothing is free. You can’t just magically take hydrogen out of water and then use it to power everything in the economy. I wish this was true but it is not.

      It takes a significant amount of energy to get hydrogen seperated from oxygen in water.

      Is hydrogen our energy future? Who knows? There are some promising possibilities (possible storage of energy produced from inconsistent power sources such as wind farms) but it is very far from any sort of commercial viability.

  • Provo

    There are hydrogen cars. Why dont people use them? Am I missing something?

  • Steve Plunk

    Natural gas is the energy of the future. The infrastructure is in place, it can be used for automobiles, it can produce electricity, it can heat homes, and most importantly, recent drilling and fracturing advances have increased supplies beyond what was previously imaginable.

    Lawmakers should quit hyping expensive alternatives and look to natural gas as our future.

  • eagle eye

    Is this article a joke or parody? Does this guy know nothing about chemistry, thermodynamics? Where does he think the energy to produce the hydrogen is going to come from? Does he have any idea of the problems of hydrogen storage and retrieval?

    For instance, does he not know that hydrogen is not a source of energy to generate electricity? Rather, it’s the other way around.

    This is idiocy of the highest order.

    • Anonymous

      Do You?

      • eagle eye

        Try again?

  • check your facts

    Hydrogen has a lot of potntial as an energy source, and probably always will have a lot of potential.

  • Zero

    So what is the problem. Every enegery form has a draw back. I prefer this to killing salmon or burning coal in our atmosphere.

    • check your facts

      As I understand it, hydrogen is not an energy source. It is a form of energy storage. You need to apply energy to create the storage, and the energy you apply can kill salmon and foul the air just as much as we currently experience.

      On the other hand, if we store wind and solar energy using hydrogen, that could work, if all the other challenges with hydrogen (i.e. it is very bulky to transport) could be overcome.

      Bottom line is we seem to have better options than hydrogen available to us.

  • jim karlock

    Hey Zero!
    Where will we get the hydrogen?
    You can’t just mine it or drill for it.

    • check your facts

      The Danes are producing hydrogen from sea water using their excess wind generated electricity on Lolland island. Their plan is to use the hydrogen for home heating. (They generate 50% more wind energy than they can use).

      Those idiot Euro-socialists! Don’t they know government can’t do this sort of thing?

  • Jessie

    I am going to make some hydrogen tonight in my kitchen and then sell it on Craigs list.
    It is the future!!

  • Bob Clark

    Hydrogen as a mainstream energy source has been thought of for decades but its cost remains prohibitive. This is typical Oregon politicians talking about doing something without considering the costs of doing it. How these guys/girls get elected is beyond me. But this is why Obama’s Hope-a-Dope works well with the Oregon electorate because this electorate for the most part has no financial sense or an appreciation of reality/history or otherwise.

    It is very simple, America. Drill or go nowhere for at least this generation and probably the next as well. More domestic oil production will improve the trade balance which will strengthen an otherwise fast depreciating dollar currency.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *Multiple Reply*

    _______________________________

    *Jessie:*

    How brave of this very smart man.

    *Bob T:*

    No, not very smart. Somewhat naive, in fact. See below.

    *Jessie:*

    Hydrogen is the key to our future. I heard you can get it free from water.

    *Bob T:*

    Well, not really. To get it from water you have to use energy to get it (electrolysis process), and you then get 30-40 percent of the energy used to obtain the hydrogen. Sounds wasteful. Of course, there’s less waste if you take the hydrogen from natural gas (methane), but why do that when you can just use the methane as is?

    *Jessie:*

    To finally end our dependence on oil, both foreign and domestic, will be the day we can all finally relax.

    *Bob T:*

    Again, it’s not that simple. It’s very difficult to compete with gasoline because of large amount of energy in that fuel. That’s why oil is used so much — not because of any conspiracy among automakers, or Standard Oil back when, but because of how great it is as an energy source.

    ======================================

    *Provo:*

    There are hydrogen cars. Why dont people use them? Am I missing something?

    *Bob T:*

    Yes, you’re missing something. Many things, in fact.

    A gallon of hydrogen has a little more than a fifth of the energy of a gallon of gasoline. Fill your ten-gallon tank with liquid hydrogen before a trip and you’ll be stopping to refuel before you know it. You could get a bigger tank to handle an equal weight of hydrogen, which is lighter, but then you might take up too much space on the road.

    Lighter cars would be able to go quite far using those ten gallons of hydrogen fuel, so stronger, lighter materials than what we’re using can make hydrogen a good option. Trick is to make a car very light (for efficient fuel usage) without inviting Ralph Nader’s followers to sue the auto-makers for making unsafe cars (if the government makes them, can you sue them?). But if the materials are strong, such as those composites now used to make current generation airliners, that could mean safe driving equivalent to the strong metals used in car frames all these years, but without the weight.

    ========================================

    *Check your facts:*

    Hydrogen has a lot of potential as an energy source

    *Bob T:*

    Hydrogen transports energy. It’s not a source of energy.

    =======================================

    *Check your facts:*

    The Danes are producing hydrogen from sea water using their excess wind generated electricity on Lolland island. Their plan is to use the hydrogen for home heating. (They generate 50% more wind energy than they can use).

    *Bob T:*

    Hmmm, why don’t they just use that “excess” wind-generated electricity for heating instead of using it to extract hydrogen equal to about 40 percent of that now wasted electricity? Does this make the Danes feel better about themselves? I’d rather be in a heated room than feel good in a cold room.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • check your facts

      I assume the Danes are using the excess wind energy, which can occur in summer months, to create the hydrogen cells for use in winter. I assume you would rather be in a heated room in winter, a cool room in summer, and I assume the Danes are no different.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Seems like an awful lot O’ assumin goin on round here.

        At this point we can assume “check your facts” did not check the facts on this one too closely.

        I think at this point we can also assume “check your fact” probably has a horse in the race with either wind energy or hydrogen. Therefore we might also assume “check your facts” is Dean. It would make no sense to turn excess electricity into hydrogen, with the resulting net loss of energy/power capacity, as opposed to simply selling the excess capacity.

    • Provo

      Thansk Bob T. I will look into what you have said.

  • Jessie

    I am wondering if I put a windmill on my car, could it go on and on for free?? This may be the answer. Can someone help me get a patent??

    • anonymous

      You can patent an actual invention. You can’t patent or copyright an idea. In your case, I doubt that will be a problem.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *check your facts:*

    I assume the Danes are using the excess wind energy, which can occur in summer months, to create the hydrogen cells for use in winter. I assume you would rather be in a heated room in winter, a cool room in summer, and I assume the Danes are no different.

    *Bob T:*

    But the point is that this excess energy is already stored up for winter, so why use it up trying to get half as much back as hydrogen fuel?
    Clearly, more people can heat their rooms in winter if they use the stored electricity instead of the half-sized hydrogen amount.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • check your facts

      I’m not sure what you mean by “this excess energy is already stored up for winter.” As I understand it, the method of storage is the hydrogen fuel cell, which they later tap into for winter heat. The details are beyond my technical capacity. I was simply reporting on what the Danes were doing in the way of using hydorgen fuel cells for heat. I don’t know how it pencils out, and from the little I have read about it they are treating this as experimental.

      For Rupert, you are correct on one point. I did not “check the facts” on the Danish project very closely. Just read a few articles about it. Whether it “makes sense” or not is something you have to take up with the Danes. Apparently it does make sense to them. Maybe they calculated it was more economical to use the electricity than to sell it when weighed against their other winter heating options, or maybe at the times of year when they have excess wind energy they don’t have places to sell it to. I plead ignorance on this and don’t care to know more about it.

      As for the rest, assume whatever floats your boat.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *check your facts:*

    I’m not sure what you mean by “this excess energy is already stored up for winter.” As I understand it, the method of storage is the hydrogen fuel cell…

    *Bob T:*

    You said they used excess electricity that had been generated by wind-power. That means it;s stored. It doesn’t just disappear like that. It’ll be around come wintertime. But using that electricity for the electrolysis process used to extract hydrogen from water molecules results in getting back about 35-40 percent of the energy used in this process. So for every two homes that can be heated with the windpower-generated excess power, only one house can be heated by the hydrogen power in the trade-off (and only most, not all, of the rooms).

    *check your facts:*

    I don’t know how it pencils out, and from the little I have read about it they are treating this as experimental.

    *Bob T:*

    Well, there’s nothing wrong with that sort of thing. A lot of things, however, never go anywhere because they don’t pencil out too well, and one result is that conspiracy theories form to explain what the bulk of the people fail to understand, as if they need to believe that “someone else” is squashing good ideas. For example, the auto companies, or oil companies, don’t have to conspire to keep electric cars from taking over. The nature of electric cars (so far) is doing that all by itself. Same with hydrogen cars.

    By the way, if you’re interested in experiments, or even examples that are somewhat beyond experimental, you might be interested in checking out the solar power plant on the outskirts of Seville, Spain.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • check your facts

      I’m just speculating on this. If the wind is generating say 1 million electrons, and the demand is for half that, those electrons are lost. They are not stored unless they are harnessed to some purpose, which can be charging batteries, separating hydrogen from water, and so forth. If they are to be lost, then making use of 35-40% of that energy is not wasteful. It is the opposite.

      One of the core critiques of wind power is that the energy can’t be stored. Well, the Danes are storing at least some if it it in hydrogen for later use. http://www.iet.aau.dk/education/face_projekter/6sem_07_57B.pdf

      I’ve heard of the Seville tower. I’ve also heard about a proposal to build a series of these in the Sahara. The world is changing fast.

  • Joe

    I think we can store energy in big blocks of ice underground for use in the summer. In the winter we can store heat underground. I am going to dig a big hole uner my house to store this energy.
    I am going to disconnect from the grid someday.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *check your facts:*

    I’m just speculating on this. If the wind is generating say 1 million electrons, and the demand is for half that, those electrons are lost. They are not stored unless they are harnessed to some purpose, which can be charging batteries, separating hydrogen from water, and so forth. If they are to be lost, then making use of 35-40% of that energy is not wasteful. It is the opposite.

    *Bob T:*

    Doesn’t sound like a good a good method of generating electricity os you can’t store any of it. That’s the point. And I’m not sure you are correct about that, either. You admitted in your reply that “charging batteries” can be done — that’s called “storing”.

    Sounds like it would be better to use the excess power (before it disappears) to create steam for a turbine to create electricity to be stored — maybe it’ll be more than the 35-40 percent obtained by the electrolysis process.

    *check your facts:*

    I’ve heard of the Seville tower. I’ve also heard about a proposal to build a series of these in the Sahara. The world is changing fast.

    *Bob T:*

    Well, not so fast. The Seville power plant produces electricity that “costs about 28 cents per kilowatt-hour [compared to] 10 cents from fossil fuels”, according to facts relayed by physicist Richard Muller. That’s not good enough. And take a look at images of the plant to see the acreage needed for this far less efficient method, and then
    determine if we’re really changing. How many places do you think we have for this? What about cloudier places? And so on?

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • check your facts

      Yes, batteries. I expect the Danes have heard of those. Again, you need to check in with them to see whay they are choosing what they are choosing.

      Solar arrays and wind farms take up land space. How much space do we have? A lot. The Europeans have calculated that solar arrays in the Sahara desert equal in size to say the Netherlands could power all of Europe and North Africa. The US has the desert southwest, and we have the entire Great Plains with far more than enough wind for our needs.

      Fossil fuels are only “cheaper” if you discount the planetary effects of burning them up. Also non fossil fuels are getting cheaper by the day while fossil fuels get more expensive. The world is changing fast with or without you Bob.

  • Bono

    I notice that the Governor of California drives a hydrogen Hummer. So hey if a Hummer has it, maybe the hydo-future is closer than we think.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *check your facts:*

    Yes, batteries. I expect the Danes have heard of those. Again, you need to check in with them to see whay they are choosing what they are choosing.

    *Bob T:*

    I don’t really need to check with them. Sounds like they simply need more turbines to be activated during the colder months so the power generated is used up instead of reduced by more than half to get hydrogen power stored up.

    Obviously they seem to be generating more in the spring and summer than they need, so the extra turbines would be more efficient than using the excess power from the warmer months in a process that yields perhaps a third to less than half amount of the power used in the electrolysis process.

    *Check the facts*

    Solar arrays and wind farms take up land space. How much space do we have? A lot. The Europeans have calculated that solar arrays in the Sahara desert equal in size to say the Netherlands could power all of Europe and North Africa.

    *Bob T:*

    Now there’s a good one. The Islamic people in that part of the world will see this as the westerners using someone else’s land to provide power for their wealthier lifestyles. Won’t take much at all for a handful of terrorists to wreck those plants so that they will always be in a state of repair.

    *check your facts:*

    The US has the desert southwest, and we have the entire Great Plains with far more than enough wind for our needs.

    *Bob T:*

    And why would the green-minded people want to see even unihabitable deserts in America be used for this when they want undeveloped land to remain so? Heck, they don’t even want to see a tiny fraction of that ANWR area in Alaska to be used for oil extraction even though only a handful of people will ever see the place (which is not scenic, by the way).

    *check your facts:*

    Fossil fuels are only “cheaper” if you discount the planetary effects of burning them up.

    *Bob T:*

    No, sorry, you don’t get to pull that one out of your hat. For one thing, cars made in the last couple of decades or so are almost perfectly clean compared to the older ones, and it’s that handful of older ones on the road that provide almost all of the car-related pollution. Coal is dirtier, of course, even with the filters I think are supposed to be used in the smoke stacks. But if coal is so bad, why did Al Gore approve if an increase in coal-plants when we could have been increasing the use of nuclear power plants which have zero emissions? But anyway, this thing about the “cost” of burning fossil fuels — put a price on it for me, and how we pay. Even with the cost of minimizing pollution, this still comes out way ahead of other sources save nuclear. That’s why it’s used. The auto (to name one key invention) didn’t lock in the use of oil — oil is simply so powerful an energy source that it guaranteed that the autos to dominate early on would be the gasoline-powered cars rather than the alcohol or steam powered ones (the latter of course burning something to provide the steam).

    *check your facts:*

    Also non fossil fuels are getting cheaper by the day while fossil fuels get more expensive. The world is changing fast with or without you

    *Bob T:*

    Yes, the more we work on things, the more ways we’ll find to be more efficient. But facts are still facts, and you can’t change the rules of physics bt government mandate. Whether I’m “with” the world as it changes, and whether you are also with it, won’t change any of these things.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • check your facts

      The Danish project I referenced is on an island, and it could be they have maxed out the space available for turbines. Or it could be the expense of building more turbines, which would generate even more excess energy in spring and summer, would not be justified. Or it could be that when they need the heat in winter they have less wind, so more turbines would not be of help. I don’t have the details, so we are debating speculation.

      The Islamic people in Morroco, which is where the big solar project is contemplated for, have been living at peace with Europeans for a number of centuries. I don’t imagine they would just give the land away free of charge in any case, just as other Islamic people, somewhat less peacefully inclined, currently sell the oil they have to Europeans and ourselves. And oil wells in Saudi Arabia are as available for sabatoge as solar arrays in Morroco. Maybe more so.

      But I do agree that if I were a European I would not put all my energy eggs in the Morrocan desert. I would spread the risk.

      Green minded people (I include myself in that broad group) may oppose solar arrays in our deserts, or they may not. The question is not whether someone opposes something, it is whether that opposition will be strong enough to stop a given project. Time will tell, but multiple solar projects are moving ahead in Arizona and Nevada on public lands, and to date the opposition has been less than fully mobilized.

      Opposition to ANWR has been based more on ecological impacts than on scenic ones. Personally I’m not opposed to drilling for oil in ANWR, given our increasingly limited energy options. If those advocating drilling would take a step back and view it as part of a larger national energy grand compromise that addressed multiple goals, I believe that drilling would gain a lot of support. Unfortunately pro drillers have merely postured over the issue and treated it in isolation.

      Modern cars do burn cleaner, thanks to Federal and California clean air standards, but I was referring to carbon pollution, which is not lessened by catalytic converters. Carbon has planetary impacts, or so our scientists have been trying to tell us.

      I don’t know about Al Gore approving coal plants. He has been out of office over 9 years in any case, and was only Vice President, not President. Nuclear power plants have zero emissions, like wind and solar, but they have other problems, not the least of which is that private industry no longer wants to build them due to the expense.

      I’m not arguing that oil is not an efficient way towards BTUs. I am arguing that the carbon pollution burning oil causes has not been accounted for, and in fact will be quite hard to account for since the negative impacts are indirect and global, not national. What is clear to many of us is we need to find ways to provide energy that does not create atmospheric carbon.

      “But facts are still facts, and you can’t change the rules of physics bt government mandate.”

      We fully agree on that point at least. I hope you will agree that this holds for global warming as well, which is confirmed by atmospheric physics, and this can’t be changed by government ignoring the problem.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *check your facts:*

    The Danish project I referenced is on an island, and it could be they have maxed out the space available for turbines.

    *Bob T:*

    That’s not the only place where they can put them.

    *check your facts:*

    Or it could be the expense of building more turbines, which would generate even more excess energy in spring and summer, would not be justified.

    *Bob T:*

    I said they could idle them in what passes for warmer months in Denmark, and besides, if this is the future then why quibble over the expense of additional turbines for use when people really need the power–when it’s very cold?

    *check your facts:*

    Or it could be that when they need the heat in winter they have less wind, so more turbines would not be of help. I don’t have the details, so we are debating speculation.

    *Bob T:*

    Hmmm, I doubt it’s not at least as windy in the fall and winter when it’s storm time, and most of Denmark is close to the sea where all those ocean breezes are.

    *check your facts:*

    The Islamic people in Morroco, which is where the big solar project is contemplated for, have been living at peace with Europeans for a number of centuries.

    *Bob T:*

    I’m not necessarily talking about Moroccans, because all it takes is for a few Islamonazis visiting Morocco, or going to school there, to do the dirty deed. Stuff like that can happen there — after all, some of them blew up a Jewish cemetery not long after 9/11, and I think it was in Morocco that a nun was murdered by an Islamonazi who was angry over free expression in the form or cartoons in a Danish newspaper, although the nun had absolutely zero to do with it. Or, some Saudi or Egyptian followers of bin-Laden could hijack a plane and belly-flop it onto a solar power complex there. State of repair again.

    *check your facts:*

    I don’t imagine they would just give the land away free of charge in any case, just as other Islamic people, somewhat less peacefully inclined, currently sell the oil they have to Europeans and ourselves. And oil wells in Saudi Arabia are as available for sabatoge as solar arrays in Morroco. Maybe more so.

    *Bob T:*

    But that’s just it — the nutz we’re talking about are indeed trying to topple the Saudi government or at least to damage the oil drilling infrastructure when they can. It may not be often, but the fact is that the Saudis have to put a lot of security resources into this effort. Morocco will be easier, at least for an undetermined time period. All it takes is a handful of nutz to do this. But there’s also the fact of such a solar power plant in Morocco to provide another thing that can be used to point to when the Al-Qaeda trainees are at school in the caves, or used on eight-year olds in Madrassas around the Mideast, or in mosque diatribes.

    *check your facts:*

    But I do agree that if I were a European I would not put all my energy eggs in the Morrocan desert. I would spread the risk.

    *Bob T:

    Well, at least you admit it’s a risk.

    *check your facts:*

    Green minded people (I include myself in that broad group) may oppose solar arrays in our deserts, or they may not. The question is not whether someone opposes something, it is whether that opposition will be strong enough to stop a given project.

    *Bob T:*

    They killed a wind power project off Cape Cod.

    *check your facts:*

    Opposition to ANWR has been based more on ecological impacts than on scenic ones.

    *Bob T:*

    Both reasons have been cited, the “scenic” one (based on, I guess, the image if unsightly oil rigs) perhaps the one based on emotion. Fact remains that any drilling footprint will be on a very tiny fraction of the huge area, thanks to modern methods of drilling. Besides, isn’t it ironic that the green movement seems to be saying, no, don’t do any ecological impacting on our pristine places, but let the other countries impact their own areas, and in more damaging ways.

    *check your facts:*

    Modern cars do burn cleaner, thanks to Federal and California clean air standards,

    *Bob T:*

    It’s inevitable that new technologies make things cleaner, with or without government. Nothing wrong with it — in a real free society pollution is considered trespass so lawsuits would have forced it had not government gotten in the way many years ago, allowing pollution for the “good of the whole” (ironic, isn’t it), but once that attitude kinda changed, property rights had been watered down so much that the power of the people to collectively bring such suits on polluters was severely limited (I can’t go into all of this in this thread, but that’s the bitter truth).

    *check your facts:*

    but I was referring to carbon pollution, which is not lessened by catalytic converters. Carbon has planetary impacts, or so our scientists have been trying to tell us.

    *Bob T:*

    I’m sure they do, but we may be getting far more of an impact by carbon dioxide coming off the oceans. My favorite carbon impact is when trees, grasslands, and crops breathe it and convert it into oxygen for the animals, and them in return we exhale again.

    *check your facts:*

    I don’t know about Al Gore approving coal plants. He has been out of office over 9 years in any case, and was only Vice President, not President.

    *Bob T:*

    He helped push this even when he was a senator. There was no choice. Nuclear power was not to be re-started (save for existing plants), and the only way lots of electricity could be generated was to use coal. So these were popping up all over, often out of sight, out of mind, like in Eastern Oregon where power is generated for light rail, the mode of transportation that greens think is “clean” because there’s no exhaust (because the exhaust is in Eastern Oregon, out of sight, out of mind!)

    *check your facts:*

    Nuclear power plants have zero emissions, like wind and solar, but they have other problems, not the least of which is that private industry no longer wants to build them due to the expense.

    *Bob T:*

    They are no more expensive to build than coal or natural gas plants, and actually cheaper I think. The problem is the lawsuits that will be filed by your friends. Tell them to stop, or to sue the other plants, and then we’ll talk.

    *check your facts:*
    (quoting Bob T)

    “But facts are still facts, and you can’t change the rules of physics bt government mandate.”

    We fully agree on that point at least. I hope you will agree that this holds for global warming as well, which is confirmed by atmospheric physics, and this can’t be changed by government ignoring the problem.

    *Bob T:*

    Actually, we don’t know all of that for sure. Fact is, there’s more power for government if it can convince people that there is a global warming problem than if there isn’t one. And that also assumes that an increase of a few degrees over many years is really a problem. Who are you or anyone else to decide that average temperatures must remain as they were in 1950 or we’re in trouble? Maybe it’s natural and nothing else. Ice used to cover western Europe and much of North America, and it disappeared long ago without a single car or factory starting up. Gee, how’d that happen?

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • check your facts again

      From the bottom up,

      Its not up to me or anyone else to decide that the global average temperature should remain what it was in the 1950s, and no one I know is proposing such a thing. What is being proposed is to reduce CO2 emissions to a point where the planet can process them naturally. If the planet then decides to warm or cool itself, so be it.

      You say “maybe it is nature or something else.” But climate scientists have considered that. This is where the physics comes in. Greenhouse gasses have a measurable effect on temperature. And if you add to them, you get added temperature. You can’t change the physics.

      Scientists have shown that the ice ages were caused by a periodic “wobble” in the earth’s tilt that cools the northern hemisphere. We can speculate all we want or we can trust the science on this.

      Nuclear plants are far far far more expensive to build than coal or natural gas plants. They are cheaper to operate once built, but the capital costs are so high that private utilities can’t get financing, which is why no new plants have been started in decades. It will take government subsidies to get more nukes started. That or a serious carbon tax.

      Blaming environmentalists and light rail for the Boardman coal plant is just silly and not worthy of a debate. It is environmentalists who are trying to get it shut down.

      Bob, your whole take on energy, carbon and global warming is dismissive. And it accurately reflects your party’s position, which helps explain why your electoral prospects have grown so dismal, especially with those under 30. You choose to play Russian roulette with the environment that sustains us, and cast ridiculous assertions in response to hard won scientific research. What you should be doing is acknowledging the problem and proposing solutions that are more effective and less reliant on government intrusion. Until you do that young voters, who are poised to become the dominant voting block nationally within a decade, are going to continue to support Democrats.

      Asserting that lawsuits (under what law absent a clean air act?) would have caused car companies, which resisted clean air technology for many years and had lots of money to pay for the best lawyers, would have cleaned the air is beyond naive. The new technologies needed to reduce air pollution from individual cars were only created because they had to be in response to new laws. They did not just magically materialize, and no car manufacturer had any incentive to put expensive devices on their cars while their competitors were free to use the air as a dumping space. You are trying to re-write history.

      You repeatedly refer to the “green movement” as if it is monolithic. It isn’t. Conservationists active in preventing oil drilling in a wildlife refuge in the United States can’t be held responsible for the actions of nations beyond our laws and ability to influence politically. When US and European oil companies and corrupt governments in Ecuador or Nigeria pollute those nations with oil spills, the responsibility lies with the polluters, not with American conservationists.

      As for the rest, I don’t know what an “Islamonazi” is, and I don’t know how one could build any energy project anywhere on the planet that would not be exposed to a few dedicated terrorists bent on disruption and willing to give their lives in the effort. It is not a reason to not build a solar facility in Morroco. It is a reason to spread out the risk and the targets, and to build redundancy into the system.

  • Jessie

    I am convinced that car makers could get 100 mpg if they just mixed some water in with the fuel at the point of injection.
    Why hasn’t someone done this??

  • Bob Tiernan

    *check your facts:*

    Its not up to me or anyone else to decide that the global average temperature should remain what it was in the 1950s, and no one I know is proposing such a thing.

    *Bob T:*

    That’s what I hear often — that if there are signs that the average temperature is either rising a bit, or lowering a bit, something must be “wrong”. That’s nonsense. Something _might_ be wrong (i.e. unnatural about it), but it’s foolish to think that stasis is great, and normal.

    *check your facts:*

    What is being proposed is to reduce CO2 emissions to a point where the planet can process them naturally. If the planet then decides to warm or cool itself, so be it.

    *Bob T:*

    Again, we don’t really know if CO2 emissions are enough to change much, or if we are actually contributing to this as much as nature is. The sun itself may have been causing the slight increase in warming that many (but not all) agree is taking place, and if that’s true then I guess you should be casually looking into disappearing coastlines as the wonderful world of nature.

    *check your facts:*

    You say “maybe it is nature or something else.” But climate scientists have considered that.

    *Bob T:*

    No, not all of them. The ones you cite may be correct, or maybe not, but the idea that there is a consensus is a lie, and best saved for another article anyway.

    *check your facts:*

    This is where the physics comes in. Greenhouse gasses have a measurable effect on temperature. And if you add to them, you get added temperature. You can’t change the physics.

    *Bob T*

    If it were that simple, and clear, then there truly would be consensus. But there’s not. And besides, consensus in itself may not be enough for reality is not defined by consensus. That’s politics, and that’s what’s wrong.

    *check your facts:*

    Scientists have shown that the ice ages were caused by a periodic “wobble” in the earth’s tilt that cools the northern hemisphere.

    *Bob T:*

    Oh, have they? That’s a heckuva “wobble” in that we’re not talking about a change of just a degree and half or something, which is all we’re talking about with the warming. It’s like help, help, the average temp is gonna go up two degrees! I find that hard to compare to an ice cover _disappearing_!

    *check your facts:*

    We can speculate all we want or we can trust the science on this.

    *Bob T:*

    Theories are fine, I guess. Where are the people who trusted the science that there’d be mass starvation on the Earth by now?

    *check your facts:*

    Nuclear plants are far far far more expensive to build than coal or natural gas plants.

    *Bob T:*

    Not necessarily.

    *check your facts:*

    They are cheaper to operate once built, but the capital costs are so high that private utilities can’t get financing, which is why no new plants have been started in decades.

    *Bob T:*

    No new plants have been built because the growth of nuclear power was stopped decades ago following emotion-based, not science-based, hysteria and garbage politics.

    There’s also the key issue of lawsuits that will stop such plants from getting off the drawing board, and endless tricks to delay any construction, such as “one more” two-year long environmental impact study, or this or that study, all done by the anti-nuclear power nuts. That costs many millions for starters. Is there anything fair about that? That’s not exactly an example of real costs. And there are other things that can and should be done to improve on this aspect, such as updating regulations and requirements for such plants so that safer and better plants, like the pebble bed reactors, can be constructed here. They don’t need or use emergency cooling systems for the core, so why mandate that they have one?

    You’d be singing a different tune of opponents of solar and wind power plants held them up with lawsuits and studies so often and for so long that they’d be too expensive.

    *check your facts:*

    It will take government subsidies to get more nukes started.

    *Bob T:*

    Let’s try updated requirements, and tell your friends to stop adding to the costs with their lawsuits, studies, and state laws against construction.

    *check your facts:*

    Blaming environmentalists and light rail for the Boardman coal plant is just silly and not worthy of a debate.

    *Bob T:*

    Never said light rail was to blame, but that people _think_ it’s clean (and that electric cars are clean) because there are no emissions where they used.

    *check your facts:*

    It is environmentalists who are trying to get it shut down.

    *Bob T:*

    Sure, many are now realizing this but these were the only real option when new nuclear power plants were put on hold several decades ago. I don’t know what Al Gore and his friends were thinking. Those plants also happen to put more radioactive particles in the air than any nuclear power plant could. Far more. But people have been swayed by fiction like “The China Syndrome”, and hysteria and misunderstanding the Three Mile Island Incident, not to mention Chernobyl.

    *check your facts:*

    Bob, your whole take on energy, carbon and global warming is dismissive.

    *Bob T:*

    No, it’s based on trying to avoid hysteria and politics.

    *check your facts:*

    And it accurately reflects your party’s position, which helps explain why your electoral prospects have grown so dismal

    *Bob T:*

    Don’t waste your time going there — you are confusing me with someone who shares with me a first and last name, but neither a middle name nor a political party. For that reason I’ve dumped the rest of this paragraph and will move on to the next one.

    *check your facts:*

    Asserting that lawsuits (under what law absent a clean air act?)

    *Bob T:*

    Ah, the modern American who thinks that nothing can be done without a law first existing. Keep reading, please.

    *check your facts:*

    would have caused car companies, which resisted clean air technology for many years and had lots of money to pay for the best lawyers, would have cleaned the air is beyond naive. The new technologies needed to reduce air pollution from individual cars were only created because they had to be in response to new laws. They did not just magically materialize, and no car manufacturer had any incentive to put expensive devices on their cars while their competitors were free to use the air as a dumping space. You are trying to re-write history.

    *Bob T:*

    No, the point here is that such lawsuits were once a tool people could use, and did use, against polluting industries (if not products as well) in the early days of the Industrial Revolution (trespass, or aggression, based on common law and private property rights with the built-in power or tools that come with it, or at least used to). You see, townspeople would bnand together and take a nearby smoke-spewing factory owner to court, claiming his factory was leaving soot and ash all over their crops, and causing illnesses to their livestock. This worked. But eventually there were lawyers and politicians who wanted to get around this, and over time they convinced enough judges (many of whom may have been former lawyers siding with the business owners) to start favoring the polluters using what the progressives later called the “good for the whole” rule. Yes, they said that the Industrial Revolution was good for the whole and that therefore the rights of the _individual_ had to be subordinated, and that also included watering down private property rights (which kept getting watered down, culminating in the recent Kelo decision–one of the worst gifts the progressives ever gave to us, even if they realized by then that they blew it). But to get back to this story, the “good for the whole” thing is one I never agreed with, but it was used to weaken the peoples ability to used this early form of class action lawsuit to force more realistic, practical, and rights-based solutions to be reached in dealing with issues the Industrial Revolution developed. The main result is that government has taken over on this, but being political they make political decisions. Contrary to what you may think, the government as agent in mandating cleaner cars is reasonable in that sense since they don’t let anyone else do it, but the flip side of this is that this same government actually allows companies to pollute rivers by selling permits. Each year or so there’s a report on the state of major rivers (and minor ones, I guess), and you’ll note that 99.9999% of the pollution in these rivers is traced to the legal dumping the government allows. For the “good of the whole”, I guess. No re-writing of history is needed — just knowing it is enough.

    *check your facts:*

    You repeatedly refer to the “green movement” as if it is monolithic.

    *Bob T:*

    If it sounds like that, it’s only because I’m referring to those who are in the way of reasonable progress and facts. I should point out that I don’t even like the idea that to be an “environmentalist”, one must be a progressive or some other opponent of free enterprise, or must agree with Ralph Nader on 20 key issues, and so on. When greens say free-market environmentalism is an oxymoron, they are proclaiming their ignorance and seeing this in monolithic terms.

    The problem is that good environmental movements from decades ago have been pretty much taken over by those (mostly lawyers) who have made tons of money without solving too many things. There’s a reason that the founder of Green Peace left the organization. He’s a very realistic and serious environmentalist — unlike the shyster lawyers and radicals who took over his and other groups and who dominate the ability to define what is environmentalism. Ever hear of those major cleanup sites, and the funds set aside to clean them up (there’s an official name for them, from the legislation passed, but I can’t recall it at present). Well, millions and millions and millions have been spent on them, but most of the money has gone into lawyers’ pockets rather than in cleanup. What a waste.

    *check your facts:*

    Conservationists active in preventing oil drilling in a wildlife refuge in the United States can’t be held responsible for the actions of nations beyond our laws and ability to influence politically.

    *Bob T:*

    Sure, I understand that. But that doesn’t mean that things like the Kyoto Treaty should be written so as to let big, massive polluters like China, India, and Russia get a pass on this while treating the cleanest nations (the US, western Europe, Canada) as the real villains. That’s green politics, and it’s crap.

    Talk about sticking one’s head in the sand. And because most Americans get only rhetoric for news, they probably though Kyoto was wonderful and that we are villains for not accepting it.

    There’s not a lot of honesty, or realistic politics, in much of our environmentalism.

    *check your facts:*

    As for the rest, I don’t know what an “Islamonazi” is

    *Bob T:*

    Actually, you do. But we need not go into it at present. But keep in mind that it takes only a few such people to wreck a multi-million dollar project. And they exist in friendly nations, too, because it’s easy for them to operate there and get out quickly. They aren’t interested in progress.

    *check your facts:*

    and I don’t know how one could build any energy project anywhere on the planet that would not be exposed to a few dedicated terrorists bent on disruption and willing to give their lives in the effort.

    *Bob T:*

    But they don’t think they are “giving their lives”. or sacrificing them in any way. They are going to get 72 virgins.

    *check your facts:*

    It is not a reason to not build a solar facility in Morroco.

    *Bob T:*

    Oh, go ahead and get it built I say. All I said was don’t be surprised if the Islamonazis (and even millions of propagandized others) see that as the west once again using Muslim land in order to get electricity for their extravigant lifestyles and decadence.

    *check your facts:*

    It is a reason to spread out the risk and the targets, and to build redundancy into the system.

    *Bob T:*

    Gee, that’s great — it needs redundency for safety from terrorists. Thtat’s an advantage nuclear power plants have — we don’t have to build one in Morocco, or Iran, or Syria, or Egypt, in order to get electricity for Europe.

    We’ve said about all that can be said for now and people are moving on. Reply if you wish, but I’m moving on as well.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • check your facts

      Fair enough. Sorry for the confusion over your name. Thanks for the respectful dialogue.

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