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The State Department dropped objections to the Keystone Pipeline….
Days later, the flaws are being drawn out.
“EnSys Energy has worked with ExxonMobil, BP and Koch Industries, which own oil sands production facilities and refineries in the Midwest that process heavy Canadian crude oil. Imperial Oil, one of Canada’s largest oil sands producers, a subsidiary of Exxon, was the firm responsible for the study.
Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Group – which TransCanada hired on behalf of the State Department to do the EIS. was paid an undisclosed amount under contract to TransCanada to write the statement, which is now an official government document,” “The statement estimates, and then dismisses, the pipeline’s massive carbon footprint and other environmental impacts, because, it asserts, the mining and burning of the tar sands is unstoppable.”
2012 is a record breaking year.. We guessed because the ice melt was the largest ever recorded, and broke the old record a month before the melting season ended. Right now, summer in the other half of the world, is breaking records in Australia. They even had to put a new color on the temperature chart to show temperatures over 50 degrees C…..
If you look at this global temperature list, and add 2012 to the top,(the authors have not already), you see a point I’ll drive home.
Out of the eleven hottest years ever recorded, ten have occurred since 2001…. Which means only one of the top ten hottest years, 1998, was not in the past decade…
Here is the scary part. A 3 degree rise, was deemed to be cataclysmic. The US rose 1 degree last year…. As the chart shows, up till now, rises were in the tenths of a degree.
2012 just blew everything right out of the water.
And as mentioned last summer a tongue of ice cold Labrador current penetrated the Gulf Stream, and almost turned it away from Europe; wow, that would really change things over there
And you know who is to blame? People in the Caesar Rodney Institute who said global warming was a hoax, and the Republican party of the United States of America, who prevented all proper actions that could have minimized the extent, from seeing the light of day…
So be nice. The next time someone says they are a Republican? Say: “Oh, gee thanks again for ruining the world.”
I’m sure it will make their day….
Here is what the EPA says….
Kinder Morgan Transmix Co. has agreed to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $600,000 to resolve numerous violations of federal air and hazardous waste regulations, including mixing hazardous waste with gasoline.
Keep in mind that any accident, even a tiny small one of a gallon or two, affects the entire Delaware Bay and its unique biodiverse shoreline.
Now Imagine a tanker taking a hole.
Outlined here are the violations Kinder Morgan got hit with…..
A. The illegal mixing of a RCRA hazardous waste with gasoline, and from failing to sample and test gasoline to ensure compliance with CAA emissions standards.
B. Kinder Morgan failed to comply with a number of sampling and testing requirements of the CAA and fuels regulations to ensure the environmental and quality standards of fuel they produced.
C. KMT failed to notify EPA or the State of Pennsylvania prior to storing the cyclohexane mixture, a hazardous waste, at its Indianola Transmix Facility.
D. KMT failed to perform or obtain a general waste analysis upon receiving its first shipment of the cyclohexane mixture as required
E. KMT accepted the hazardous waste cyclohexane mixture at its Indianola Transmix Facility without first obtaining a RCRA Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility Permit, and therefore violated the following federal and state hazardous waste requirement…
F. KMT produced gasoline at the Indianola Transmix Facility that was not “substantially similar” to any fuel utilized in the certification of any motor vehicle or engine sold in the United States,
G. KMT failed to collect and analyze representative samples of conventional gasoline that it produced at the Hartford Transmix Facility, in violation of the anti-dumping regulations…
H. KMT failed to collect and analyze representative samples of conventional gasoline that it produced at its Hartford Transmix Facility for the purpose of determining the sulfur content of these batches of gasoline..
Result of Kinder Morgan’s actions?
Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC (Marathon) reimbursed repair costs to owners of many vehicles that sustained damage. EPA understands that KMT reimbursed Marathon for the costs that it incurred in responding to these consumer complaints.
Obviously Kinder Morgan came up with the idea that they would rid themselves of an expensive waste product by burning it off in the cars that used its gas. It was cheap and untraceable. To accomplish this, they went dark on their self testing until the product had passed through their lines…. It would have worked, and they would have gotten away with their little scheme, except…. the fuel filters clogged with the waste product, and the traces began.
So, is this the epitome of ethics we want in Delaware? Of course ethics like this exists in Texas. That’s where they filmed Dallas. But do we need them here in Delaware?
No doubt, Alan Levin was not privy to this information. He is now.
J. C Penny refused to cow to the alleged boycott by the Million Moms, part of the American Dumbass Association, and stood up today, saying it is proud to stand behind Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson….
Unlike the Koman foundation, they can do math…..
At 50.8% that includes 158,288,693 women….
Out of which 1 Million Moms equals… 0.6% of one measly percent…..
To the American Family Blah, Blah, Blah Organization……
“Oh, … shut….. up.”
Briefly put, after yesterday’s debate, Mitt Romney is all but assured of being the Republican nominee…
Out of nineteen conservatives who started out in the race for President, the one who is the most liberal, is the one who seems best to represent that party….
What does that say about conservatism?
It says, that even conservatives think the liberal approach makes more sense than what Conservatives have been advocating over the past 30 years?
You all felt it on the East Coast, shaking windows and hanging lights; moving top floors a few inches in each direction….
The USGS provides some rather interesting data. Originally listed as being <.1 kilometer, that correlates to 316.8 ft. The data has sensed been revised to stand at this writing, at 6 km, or 3 miles and 1281.6 yds,,, Only once before did this area experience a quake.
A quick satellite look at the epicenter shows an area crisscrossed with drilling roads and well sites.
What is at stake is the natural gas buried under the Marcellus Shale. This shale is impermeable and trapped the methane gas decomposing underneath. Most old wells went down to the shale level and stopped. Since 2009, new technology uses wastewater and high pressure to fracture that shale layer. Once fractured, the gas can escape upwards…..
Now, imagine filling up an old bathtub with sand… then going to sleep on it…. It would be quite comfortable… Now suppose your significant other brings in a garden hose, turns it on and leaves it. At first the water goes into the sand. Eventually the water gets too much, that the sand/water mix can no longer hold up your weight, and you go splat, to the bottom of the tub.
That is what happens to whole layers of rock when this process is applied. All the layers of rock on top, suddenly drop several feet. Whoomp…
This whoomp covered the whole east coast….
Two years ago, a team fracking (fracturing the shale layer) in central WV, caused a tremor felt outside of Pittsburgh, PA… In the past year, West Virginia, a state that has never had seismic activity, is suddenly being shaken with 2.2 to 3.4 tremors…
This video gives you some insight into the problems that come with fracking. And this industry video shows the protections that are in place when frakking is involved. Take note of how the drill sites are set up.
Officials in WV, usually company operators themselves have dismissed any connection between the new technology being developed across their state, and all the new earthquakes that have come out of nowhere during the same time.
The same occurrence took place in Arkansas. Fracking and novel earthquakes. And not just on this continent, but a 3 mile deep well drilled near Basil, Switzerland caused a 3.4 earthquake in that geologically tame region, so the well was shut down. (Unlike WV, neither Switzerland or Arkansas receive 75% of their income from energy) Out of Memphis, Steve Horton, an earthquake specialist at the University of Memphis and hydrologic technician with the U.S. Geological Survey notes: “Ninety percent of these earthquakes that have happened since 2009 have been within 6 kilometers of these salt water disposal wells,”
Likewise, ever since the West Virginia Oil and Gas Commission forced the disposal companies to cut back on their injection rate and pressure, the professor said, the earthquakes there seem to have dissipated. (Recently WV put emergency rules in place that require operators to file water management plans when using saltwater for fracking. The emergency rules require operators to file water management plans when using more than 210,000 gallons, citing the source and anticipated volume of withdrawals, as well as measures to protect aquatic life. The companies also must list their “anticipated additives” and say how they plan to dispose of wastewater.
Arkansas went one step further. They place a moratorium on fracking to see if there was a correlation between the two. The data was implicating, but not totally conclusive. In ten days preceeding the moratorium, Arkansas experienced 100 quakes with it’s largest quake in 35 years at 4.7. In the following six months, 60 quakes occurred and only one was over a 3. Most were between 1.2 and 2.8. After shocks.
Just two Virginia counties away, permits to frack have already been sought in Rockingham County by a Carrizo Marcellus, LLC, a Texas company.
And as any driller in Central Virginia knows, there is a wide belt of phyllite bedrock that extends across central Virginia through eastern Albemarle and western Louisa counties. This is a very soft rock that does not have the ability to hold open fractures under the confining pressures that exist beneath the surface. As a result, groundwater is scarce, and successful wells are difficult to construct.
Compare this map with this satellite photo and see how the area of phyllite bedrock matches the area that is too poor a quality to farm and remains forested for that reason….
Courtesy of caggiotech.com
Below is a Google Map shot where the green arrow pinpoints the coordinates of the August 23rd epicenter, 5 miles south of Mineral, VA.
Next is a shot of the homestead on whose property the quake was centered (remember originally it was only 300 feet below the surface.)
Seeing some interesting uncharacteristic activity, here is the closeup of that picture above. Use the zoom function or your own computer to let you zoom in closer.
These structures are different from any other buildings in the area. There also are a lot of heavy equipment on the property.
And notice the surrounding soil is a different color.
Looking northeast of the green arrow on the top of the three images, one sees, across the expanse of forest, what looks like a new road, bright white the ends in a circle.
On that circle are several pieces of equipment. Remember the video that depicts the white covering of a well site, as well as berm appearing on the north side? It looks eerily similar.
At the end of the circle, one can see tracks continuing over the area, quite possibly to wildcat drill sites. And what is peculiar, is that the road shows up brilliantly on the satellite, but on the map version of Google Maps, it does not… (Maps are updated faster than the satellite photos.) Whereas the driveway into the previous owners property is mapped out,this one is not.
It’s all rather interesting, and needs further proof. To arrive whether it is definitely a possibility of having a man-made quake scare the crap out of the entire east coast, but as they say in a courtroom, there is the preponderance of evidence that it is so…..
Quakes happened across the world in stable areas far from faults, once fracking is done.
As soon as fracking is done with less pressure, or discontinued, the quakes stop. Despite the practice occurring in several different geographical and geological areas.
Satellite photos show drilling activity near the epicenter of the August 23rd quake.
Every driller knows that Louisa County, is permeated with a very soft shale that shatters extremely easily.
And unbeknown to most of you, another quake occurred almost simultaneously, in southern Colorado near the New Mexican Border, at very similar latitude in an area also crisscrossed by mining roads and drilling activity…. A 5.8 at 1:46 EDT… Ours was a 5.8 at 1:51….
Two articles crossed my path the same day. One, was Tommywonk’s version of this News Journal output: True Cost of Electricity….. The outer was courtesy of the National Geographic Society, titled “Can China Go Green”…
Photo Courtesy of Bloomberg
Some interesting facts I did not know.
1) China needs to maintain a rate of 8% growth, to keep it population happy, and protests at a minimum.
2) There are over 100,000 protests or demonstrations, put down by the Chinese government every year; most of them instigated and in reaction to major environmental catastrophes….
3) Most of America’s coal plants would be shut down as too dirty if they were operating in China. Their clean air standards are higher then ours.
4) Even though China leads the world in output from green energy methods, China still puts a new coal fired power plant on line, each and every week.
5) China is further ahead of the US when it comes to using new technology to develop green and renewable sources of energy.
6) Some cities already have 95% of their buildings fitted with solar water heaters. One company executive estimates that over 255 million Chinese get hot water from solar water heaters; that’s 81% of America’s population!…..
7) A Chinese sponsored economic report estimated for top officials, that China’s GDP lost nearly a quarter from environmental costs affiliated with it’s growth. The report says the Chinese economy is growing at 10% a year, but dealing with the air, water, and land pollution, and loss of land use, has cost roughly 2.5% of that lowering the GDP to 7.5%…
8. China burns 3 BILLION tons of coal a year, more than the US, Europe, and India combined.
9) As of today, China already tops the world by meeting 20% of their energy demand from renewable sources. Compare that to Delaware, our nation’s most ambitious, which hopes to achieve 25% renewable energy by 2025-2026….
10) Even thought China is scrubbing its exhaust for soot particles, carcinogens, nitrous and sulfurous elements, … it is still pumping tons of new Carbon Di-oxide every year. And can really do nothing about it…. until long after the Himalayan ice caps melt, halting the rivers flowing to the seas, the seas rise, and the heat across China intensifies…. It’s like telling your kids to diet, and then only buying them McDonald’s food for lunch and dinner… They have to eat!
Only sequestering the CO2, can save the world now… WE are locked too tight on the path that takes us past 2030, the year we see a 4 degree rise…
The Chinese say, only by making Carbon expensive on the world market, will it be able to afford the adjustments the world will need if it is to survive as we know it today.
This ties in directly to what Tommy was saying.
There are considerable costs to generating electricity that are not being paid for by our electric companies. Those miners, and manufacturers, and energy brokers, are getting a free pass, and we are passing the bill to our grandchildren.
It is ironic that those in Congress crying the loudest like babies over a silly arbitrary debt ceiling, are the very ones passing today’s costs of energy on to our children by stripping environmental reforms off the books…. Groups like the CRI need to come clean when they argue against any tampering with the carbon fuel economy.. So what if you do pay out of pocket a few cents more a month, especially if that tiny fee means you will never have to go to the doctors for treatment from coal pollution-caused emphysema ? A savings of $4,000?
Today before the General Assembly on the Senate side, a bill introduced yesterday in McDowell’s Energy Committee is being laid on the desk… In essence it changes a few words…
Here is the old…
Except as herein noted, no county or municipal building or plumbing code shall contain any provision which shall be materially at variance with the International Code Council (ICC), International Energy Conservation Code, 2000 Edition (IECC 2000) jointly prepared by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) and the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI). In effect, IECC 2000 shall be the referenced energy code for all new detached 1- and 2-story family dwellings and all other new residential buildings 3 stories or less in height. Energy standards for all other new buildings, to include high-rise residential, shall be established in accordance with the 2001 supplement to IECC 2000 that references the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers/Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (ASHRAE/IESNA) Standard 90.1 — 1999; provided, however, that the respective county or municipal government shall exclude agricultural structures from these provisions.
And here is the new…
Except as herein noted, no county or municipal building or plumbing code shall contain any provision which shall be materially at variance with most recent version of the International Code Council (ICC), International Energy Conservation Code, jointly prepared by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) and the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI). In effect, the highest available energy conservation code as determined by the Delaware Energy Office shall be the referenced energy code for all new detached 1 and 2-story family dwellings and all other new residential buildings 3 stories or less in height. Energy standards for all other new buildings, to include high-rise residential, shall be established to meet the latest available standard of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers/Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (ASHRAE/IESNA) as determined by the Delaware Energy Office; provided, however, the respective county or municipal government may exclude agricultural structures from these provisions.
That little change is designed with this purpose, also included in tonight’s Senate Bill 59…
The Delaware Energy Office, or its successor, shall establish programs to promote the construction of zero net energy capable homes. A zero net energy capable home is defined as a commercial building or residence that annually, through the use of energy efficient construction, lighting, appliances, and on site renewable energy generation uses no more energy than is produced on site (zero net energy consumption from the utility provider). As of December 31, 2025 all new residential building construction in the state of Delaware Shall be zero net energy capable. As of December 31, 2030 all new commercial building construction must also be zero net energy capable.
These small changes are allegedly required in order to receive stimulus funding being offered to revitalize the economy… The concept is grand that every house in Delaware will be energy self sufficient, producing as much or more energy than it consumes….
Although it seem like years away, it is the equivalent of a bill passed in 1993 affecting us now… It really wasn’t that long ago that Pearl Jam was popular…..
A bridge to the future, if collapsed, takes you no where… –kavips
This chapter looks at rebuilding our infrastructure. We have highway problems, energy problems, educational problems, as well as health problems, environmental problems, and social problems. Can rebuilding our infrastructure be a tool to begin the mending process?
Up to now very little has been spent on maintaining our highways. Most highway money was earmarked for new growth.. It was as if no one gave consideration of the fact that maintenance of what we already had up and running was a cost that needed budgeted in.. After all, what political points are ever given for repairing a road before it goes bad? (Damn it, why are they tearing up good highway, costing me twenty five minutes in each direction?) But with the August 1, 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35 Bridge in Minneapolis, we see what happens when highway infrastructure is ignored.
For example in the United States alone, 25% of our bridges are deficient. In Delaware, 15.4 % of our bridges are either functionally or structurally deficient, which is actually good when compared to our fellow small state Rhode Island with 52.9% of its bridges deficient. As one travels back and forth, one crosses an unknown number of tiny bridges; of these, one out of four is deficient. How would you like to be on the I 95 bridge across the Susquehanna… when its time came to fall?….. or perhaps driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge between Kent Island and Annapolis? Thinking “one out of four” may raise your apprehension rate the next time you find yourself traveling unknowingly across a potential deathtrap…
The need to improve our infrastructure is obviously there. So if we have the labor available, how will we pay for the construction and repairs with our treasury bottomed out?
That depends on whether bonds still had any worth, meaning whether or not anyone still had any interest in buying them… Normally bonds are sold at a low interest rate, and the money taken in is used for construction. The notes are paid back in regular payments. But if there is no demand for, or more money out there with which to buy the notes, who will fund the infrastructure investment?
Today the bottom line is that the money will have to come from the Treasury. Being broke, that also means the Treasury will no choice but to print more money in order to accommodate the economy’s need. As more money starts chasing fewer goods, inflation looks at us dead center down it’s barrel. Unfortunately we are in such dire straits, that we have no choice but risk the chance of inflation just to keep the next Great Depression at bay….
The same scenario applies to our efforts to revamp our educational system. Now estimated to require between 45 to 50 billion (how much was AIG’s bailout?) the infrastructure of our schools systems faces the same challenge of acquiring minimum funding, as does that of rebuilding our highway system.. Up until August of this year it could still have been done. Now due to insufficient funds, this accomplishment is unlikely. But if we choose to go forward, we will have to do so again funded by printed money with inflation drawing another bead upon the target on our own purchasing power..
Even today, there is enough work to employ every man, woman and child in America if we can find the resources to pay for them doing so… Work such as environmentally cleaning up Superfund Sites, energetically laying new transmission lines, socially integrating our square pegs into round holes, educationally teaching problem readers to become literate, or simply maintaining hospice care over those citizens who cannot survive long enough to see America turn its corner; yes, work can be found…
But the underlying question still remains as to how we will be able to fund the privilege of keeping America employed… and at whose expense? If we were unable to solve these problems during the past 8 years of plenty, how will we deal with them during a time of shortage?
Fortunately, we are not the first group of people in our lifetimes to rebuild our world around us… Three examples of what can be accomplished, are found in three post war states who after war’s end, found themselves under American influence. That would be Germany, Japan, and South Korea. These are the models we need to turn to. Someway and somehow they bounced back from complete devastation to becoming the the second, third, and fourteenth largest economies behind that of the United States…
At war’s end, there were very poor resources to spread around. Everything possible needed fixed at once. But with a small amount of seed money provided by the Marshall plan, a major currency adjustment, and a release from price controls, the German population pulled themselves up and today have roaring economies better than do any of our allies of that past conflict. (It doesn’t seem fair.)
History shows us that for two years after the war, while post war punitive policies were kept in place, all of the occupied countries’ economies decreased. The Soviet sector opted to maintain those policies and their economy continued to suffer accordingly until German Reunification in 1990. However in the western Allied sector, starting in 1948 with the abolition of price controls and most post war rationing, along with the devaluation of their currency designed to shrink the amount (by 93% contraction) of the money in circulation, their economy took off; lost days decreased by half, and industrial production climbed within six months by 50%. Both nations were blessed with the post war abundance of skilled cheap labor; therefore both nations were able to increase the flow of money into and around their country.
Rising to the challenge imposed upon them by history, all three countries had able leadership which was effective in communicating this to each countries’ populations: … that their time and effort were to be properly considered as an investment. Their rewards would not be reaped immediately, …but would someday be magnificent. Their leadership was also effective in communicating that timing was critical. If they did not begin immediately… their nation’s dreams would never materialize. It was their competent leadership that marshaled the populations of both WWII nations back to work “on the cheap” and that…. the bottom line, is how both counties bounced back. Not dictatorially, but economically. One should note that both of the two occupied economies fared much better than our Allies, who received far more Marshall Plan aid than did the conquered nations, and who did not have to pay for war repatriations as did both of the war-torn countries.
From here I pulled this little piece of history, showing the progressiveness that forced the German economy forward…..
Colonel:“How dare you relax our rationing system, when there is a widespread food shortage?”
Erhard:“But, Herr Oberst. I have not relaxed rationing; I have abolished it! Henceforth, the only rationing ticket the people will need will be the deutschemark. And they will work hard to get these deutschemarks, just wait and see.”
That they did.
Obviously sitting in our armchairs looking forward, we too understand that we will face the specter of inflation. It MUST come with the copious amounts of money we are currently and anticipated soon to be printing. However as does any nation in a war, our country does what is needed. Currently and just like it was after WWII, the US right now is the only global entity strong enough to expand its money supply fast enough to put most of its citizens back to work. As we begin earning extra spendable income, our demand increases; when that demand pushes up prices, more and more entrepreneurs race to fill in the vacuum of goods… bringing them back down. Greed is good.
As for actual rebuilding of infrastructure, postwar Japan offers a slightly different model. In Japan we meshed the government, banking system, and large industrial players to fund, construct, and grow their infrastructure during the sixties. The local banks, backed by the government of Japan, used a system of overloaning. This policy is one which the Bank of Japan guarantees all loans issued by city banks to their industrial conglomerates. Because there was a shortage of capital in Japan at the time, industrial conglomerates borrowed beyond their capacity to repay, often beyond their own net worth, thereby causing city banks in turn to over borrow from the Bank of Japan. This gave the national Bank of Japan complete control over all dependent local banks until the loans were repaid.
The primary difference between the Japan of then and America today, is that today, the money is still not being lent out by those banks receiving Federal assistance. Instead, today’s over loaning is being wasted on the buying up of other banks; today that mass infusion of capital is being used to consolidate the financial industry, instead of financing large projects that actually put citizens to work, and in turn funnel money back through the economy.
The question remains. Does rebuilding our infrastructure get us back on our feet?
Yes and no. The economic impact on the local level at the location where the federally funded project is being built, is huge. But it is a localized effect. For an economic turnaround to be effective, infrastructure building must occur simultaneously in almost every town or village across the United States. If funded solely by the federal government, that significant cost would appear prohibitive. But if instead of being funded solely by the Federal Government, it is done as did the Japanese during their infrastructural rebuild, (where all local banks simultaneously financed local projects close to their locations), much more capital becomes available. If we place our bets on the option that local banks WILL lend out the money, if we guarantee that they lose none of the amount lent out,…. then that outcome could start some infrastructure development in the very near future somewhere near every community’s small bank, no matter where it may be located.
So if as a nation, we choose this plan, and we attempt the Japanese-tried approach, the question next arises over which infrastructural improvements will return the largest investment? The consensus seems to be that Energy, Education, and Technological advancement lead the pack.
As we now all know, even during prosperous times our nation gives up a large percentage of its income to other overseas nations just for oil. By simply keeping that dollar amount in the United States we could provide our economy a substantial boost. Furthermore, manufacturing and exporting new technology which help frees the rest of the world from their dependence on oil, would certainly assist us in turning the trade balance back in our favor. Both of these lines of thought converge to point out this: the increase of our energy independency could become the primary viaduct which could bring America back into prominence.
As for increasing our energy independency, there are several options for doing so. One, is to create new sources. Here is one startling fact: there is enough potential wind power in North Dakota alone to cover 25% of America’s energy needs. The problem is getting it to where it needs to be used. Building transmission lines from America’s heartland out to its extremities, where its largest users are, should be a first priority. For one, it actually uses the free market plan and opens markets to a cheaper supplier of that required product. Two, transmission costs are a significant portion of the energy costs we pay for electrical energy today. Three, poorly outdated transmission grids eat up a lot of energy that could instead be used to power America.
Likewise building transmission lines from our local shores to major metropolitan areas, provides those city areas with cheaper electricity from off shore wind, thereby increasing the likelihood that more wind power generating companies will set up off-shore. The larger the wind farms are off shore, the better our economy will weather that upcoming Depression that appears to be looming off our horizon… And if hydrogen is one day destined to become our replacement fuel, then locating their manufacturing plants in close proximity to offshore wind farms, in order to capitalize on a wind farm’s free excess energy during non peak hours….. could certainly help build an industrial base to back up the tourist economies of rural shoreline counties.,.
Directly related to the new technology of wind power, would be the need to construct electrical storage facilities in areas that have no jobs. Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia would be ideal localities to build closed circuit water generators that use free excess wind power during non-peak times to pump water up a hill to reservoirs on top, from which water can then be released during peak times, flowing downhill turning a series of giant generators as it falls to the valley floor. These massive projects would put large numbers of Americans to work in those areas desperately needing new development.
But these three investment strategies are all dependent on the knowledge that wind driven energy will be a big player in the years to come. No one will make such an major investment in a climate of doubt. The Federal government over the next few years … has to make that clear.
For other hard hit areas, an investment in solar power out in America’s Southwest can do the same. A conglomerate of local banks issuing out loans, guaranteed by the Federal Banking System, should have sufficient resources necessary to begin the immediate construction of a series of large solar farms in that area. With such an investment to attract large numbers of employees to that area hardest hit by the housing crises, local banks could with the Federal bank’s support., begin paying workers who in turn would help out the local banks by buying back some of those foreclosed mortgages at market prices…
But unquestionably, the largest saving can be made by simply conserving more energy in our homes and businesses. Just re-insulating every home in America, can save the cost of its installation within a year. According to the Department of Energy, re-insulating a home can save between 5% and 22% of its energy costs per year. At their estimated energy cost of $1500 a year (seems low, doesn’t it), the range would be from $75 dollars to $300 dollars a year. So paying someone a bounty of $75 dollars for each house, just to infra-red, then re-caulk it’s leaky windows and insulate it’s doors, would see its return within one year on every dwelling visited. Paying someone to go through a city’s public housing could save that city government tremendous amounts of money which could be better spent putting its citizens back to work.
Educational infrastructure is likewise needed. Our nation’s schools for the most part, have not been updated on a grand scale since they were originally built for the influx of baby boomers … What is more important than structural additions to existing buildings, is a revamping of the educational process itself.
America needs to regain their technological prowess… Our educational system ranks behind most of Europe and civilized Asia. One Duke study concluded that 137,437 engineering graduated in the United States, compared to 112,000 for India and 351,537 for China. Of course the quality of those foreign engineers are open to debate. But still, with lopsided numbers like that, it is obvious that over time…. we lose the technological war. Today… whoever is driving the global need for technology… drives the global economy.
Putting additional parents or motivators inside of class rooms, increasing allocations for science supplies (simply dropping sodium into water turns most students on to science as well as instantly explains the clarity of the periodic table), and increasing the social status of the “geeks” in teenage classrooms, are just some of the ways we can rebuild our educational infrastructural needs, without large investments of cash… Where we most often complain that the educational system is broken and in dire need of fixing, at the core of the problem is broken down people. Whether it is administrators, teachers, school board members, parents, or the students themselves, what we have throughout our education system is a group of talented, but leaderless individuals. All are spinning their wheels independently in their effort of trying to find some type of traction in improving education. Often within the same schools, different partners are spinning in opposite ways.
What American education needs is a grand goal, one that is set nationally and bought into by all of its people. Once again, America needs to be challenged. At its forefront it needs a leader capable and willing to stake his reputation on meeting and achieving that goal.. And most importantly, that challenge needs to me made without any financial strings attached. You know: the usual “we need to invest $$$ in …….”. Instead, what is needed by our incoming leadership is to voice a measurable goal such as this one for example: that says by 2015 we will as a nation, turn out as many engineers as does China….. (Goal reaching against a competitor worked for reaching the moon). Perhaps to achieve it, some additional funding may be necessary. But what is more important, is that is sends a real signal to students that fun and games as they have been portrayed on children’s TV, can no longer be tolerated within our high schools. Every young person now has the survivalist duty to apply themselves to the best of their ability, for the honor of their country in whatever the direction their talents lead them… (With proper leadership, this can be done fairly cheaply: it takes just one big speech.)
The long term return on this cheap investment is that by 2020, our engineers should be in the field working at top notch organizations, benefit them and us from their training and expertise…. The longer we wait… the further behind China and India we find ourselves… We are already talking twelve years from now before we can get any return on both ours, and our student’s investment….
Likewise, tying in with improvement of our educational output, is our need to advance ourselves further along the road of technological innovation, ie. creating new patients. For which ever nation builds the most savvy technical gadgets, that is the country from whom all others will want to buy…
But in today’s economical climate one must realize that a risky investment on some new technological device, untested in the market place, will have difficulty finding financiers. Once again, the Federal government, if it is spending its resources elsewhere, has the option of only printing more money to pay for this investment, assuming that private lenders are too scared to lend. Therefore as mentioned above, as in the post-WWII-Japanese model where the small city banks overloan to businesses and corporations allowing them to invest in research and development, if these loans are themselves guaranteed by the national bank, private lending can fulfill the need.
A very strong incentive to promote new research and development by corporations, would be to allow all such expenses devoted to the creation of new products, to become tax deductible under the newer higher rates that will be forthcoming shortly. Every bit of money spent on research and development, is our nation’s best investment. Innovative new products lead to the quickest economic turnaround as those new developed ideas soon become commercially viable…
Other areas where infrastructure can also be propped up by an infusion of small loans made by city banks which are then guaranteed by the Federal Reserve, are in the areas of environmental protection, health care, social services. Western forest fire fighting companies, environmental detoxification companies, and tree reforestation companies, could begin putting people to work.
It could work like this. A company such as Guardian, on call for disaster, receives a payroll loan from a small bank guaranteed by the Federal Government to keep itself afloat until money comes in from charging an oil tanking firm for the mess they made… Most of that loan money is used to buy necessary additional equipment, which puts someone to work in the manufacturing plant where that piece of equipment came ….. As work eventually comes in, the Federally guaranteed loan is paid back to banks… In this and most cases, no direct Federal investment is required. They just stand behind the guarantee.
In the health care industry, private companies providing hospice care, watching over psychiatric patients, creating new MRI’s, handling billing requests and follow up from insurance claims, can now receive a private loan from a small bank guaranteed by the Federal Government to carry them over until their money returns. Needing new equipment keeps a job at the plant where that piece was manufactured…
Companies specializing in assisting the poor, handicapped, impoverished, hungry, homeless, can also stay afloat by these private loans over lent by their banks, but guaranteed by the Federal Government. When the money returns from their clients, the loans are paid off.
In each of these areas, existing goods and services are maintained. The businesses don’t fold. Here is a different way of looking at it. This Keynesian jolt of economic activity is metaphorically like starting a heart of a human being temporarily stopped in cardiac arrest. At that time, all the systems are in place to work…. the heart just needs pressed to get started….. Our economy is like that. Inattention to the core of our economic problem, which is money not flowing out of banks, will lead to the same result to us as it would to a patient who does not get his heart restarted….
So this chapter can be summed up this way. The Federal Reserve is given responsibility for making sure that all projects having a viable chance of success, receive funding from, and eventually pay back… the small local banks making those loans. The Fed just guarantees the loans won’t fail….
Those out going loans should be focused on projects giving us our biggest bang for our money. Those areas providing the best return on their investment, are in the areas of energy, education, and technological advancement……
Instead of direct investment, the use of Federal guarantees in these three areas, coupled with the Federal Reserve’s monitoring the effects of inflation, are one way our nation can capitalize on its current hardship, and pull itself out through our effort, grit, and tenacity….