Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Command and Control from California's Supreme Soviet - You know them as the CPUC

The CPUC, who knows better than the citizens of California, will force you to reduce your energy use because they still won't build power plants. Did you vote for these folks? Did they ask you what you want?

Short takes...

The California Public Utilities Commission approved an energy action plan that would require the state's investor-owned utilities to spend as much money on energy efficiency programs as they do on building new generation, starting next year. The investor-owned utilities also would be required to provide advanced electric meters to their small commercial and residential customers that would allow them to choose new rates that rise in the afternoon and fall at night or that are tied to the state's real-time market for power.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality plans to hold a hearing on policies affecting the California electricity market in September. Among the issues the subcommittee will review are a new power market design and Proposition 80, a re-regulation initiative that would prohibit any future restoration of retail direct access.

I take it back.

I know I was whining about August and nothing happening but I didn't want the tragedy of Katrina and the lives forever changed. Your prayers and dollars are important to help people get their lives back in order and deal with their losses.
If you are like me and without a clue about what to do and how to help, plug into some bloggers who do:
Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
for starters.
Find your way to help and give.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I hate August

Thank heaven that August is nearly over. It is not the weather I hate - in fact the August weather has been refreshing after the blowtorch of July. It is not that nothern Californians send their kids back to school in the middle of August in defiance of American tradition. It is not even the fact that radio stations up here don't even have enough power to cover you within the city limits.

What drives me crazy is that NOTHING is happening.

Congress is on vacation. And while they are off doing whatever they do when they arn't spending my money, we are surrounded by spin and speculation. Everybody has an opinion and everybody is certain that we are going to hell in a handbasket.
I am sick of people's opinions, their gloom and doom attitudes and their refusal to be a part of any solution. The only positive I can recall this month are the Michael Yon posts from Iraq. No wonder people go on vacation. I just hope I can make it through one more week.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Email to Hugh

Though it was only a brief mention on your show today, I was very happy to hear you put the blame for the energy shortage in California squarely on the legislature. I wish you would devote more time to the suffering and expense that Californians endure from this lunacy. If you notice, only the state controlled investor-owned utilities are subject to these blackouts (and the high energy costs from the deregulation fiasco). I am a veteran of more than 20 years in the municipal utility business and though you may legitimately question the management in a government organization, we are much more responsive to what the customers want than what gets through the regulatory filters of the state. Assuming you are an Edison customer, have you ever considered or would you even attempt taking an issue to the CPUC? In what fantasy would you imagine them to give a rip?
Contrast that to my current utility, SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District). We have had our ups and downs with our customer/owners but we asked for and got a 6% increase last spring to cover the increased costs of natural gas we use for power generation. At our 12 community meetings, nobody called us liars or accused us of bad management. They did ask us to consider issues about how the increase was being applied (which we did). The neighboring communities of Davis, Woodland and West Sacramento are so fed up with PG&E that they have petitioned us to serve them. If the LAFCO determines that everyone benefits, this will proceed to an election.
Why do we Californians not hold the Leglistature accountable for their failures starting with the deregulation fiasco and continuing today? I know it is not a national issue because no state has the lack of accountability that we have in California. And no state suffers the power shortages and rate abuse that we have here. Surely there is an example here to point out the many dimensions of the costs and danagers from Democrat control.

Maybe August would be a good time to do this since news is so short you are reduced to discussing the list of fattest states.


Ott Finds Presidential Response to Sheehan

Hitherto unreleased Presidential communication to Mrs. Sheehan.

This should give you hope.

New regulations from the EPA rquire 1,000,000 year regulation of emissions from the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository. This is either evidence of the lunacy of regulatory agencies or an inspiring confidence in the human race.

You pick.

What's New

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing that radiation releases from a DOE repository planned for Yucca Mountain, Nev. be regulated for 1-million years under a two-tiered standard that would limit acceptable doses to 15 millirem (mrem) a year the first 10,000 years and 350 mrem a year after that.

EPA developed the draft standard after a federal court remanded its 10,000-year, 15-mrem regulation last year. The court told EPA to extend the regulatory period to cover the peak radiation dose from a Yucca Mountain repository, as the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) had recommended, or seek congressional authorization to maintain the status quo.

The EPA standard is central to licensing the facility, which DOE wants to build deep within the mountain, and must be reflected in the NRC's repository licensing regulation. NRC spokeswoman Sue Gagner said the agency planned to soon begin work on its regulation. She declined to say how NRC would handle a 1-million regulatory period.

Jeffrey Holmstead, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation repeatedly said the proposed standard would set stringent radiation limits. A 15-mrem exposure is equivalent to what a person would receive from a chest X-ray, he said. A 350-mrem limit matched natural background near Yucca Mountain, putting the total annual dose from natural background and a repository at 700 mrem, same as the natural background level in Denver, he said.

Quote of the Week
No other U.S. regulation is in place now for 1-million years, Holmstead said. "It is an unprecedented scientific challenge to develop proposed standards today that will protect the next 25,000 generations of Americans," he said during a recent press briefing.

However, he added it is not yet known what, if any, additional work DOE might have to do to demonstrate the mountain could safely contain utility spent nuclear fuel and defense high-level waste for 1-million years. However the repository program is not schedule-driven. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman "is committed to driving the Yucca Mountain project based on process and not on schedule."

The proposed standard should have been published in the Federal Register by press time starting the clock for a 60-day public comment period. The draft regulation is posted on the EPA Web site at (http://www.epa.gov/radiation/yucca).

You won't find this kind of in-depth reporting in any other power industry newsletter.

Have a comment on our content, or a story you think would be of interest to your peers? Drop me a line at Robert_Peltier@Platts.com and I promise to reply. You're our customers, so we value your opinion. Reader feedback will be included in future issues of POWERnews.

Legislated Folly

Rolling Blackouts hit Southern California. Notice that only the state controlled utility Southern California Edison was short of power due to the political meddling of the legislature to limit power supply in California. Municipal utilities like LADWP, Glendale, Pasadena, Riverside, Anaheim, etc. ....... still take responsibility to supply the power their customers need. Ask your legislator why the state prefers to harrass their constituents rather than order the utilities to build power plants.
You pay either way.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I have noticed that I am getting hits from Technorati searches on Brugmansia - referring to my infrequent tropical plant updates. Now I don't imagine that they stick around to peruse my posts when they find precious little garden advice but still it is gratifying to get hits however they come.

So here goes an August tropical plant update. This marks the one year point for my babies since they left the ocean overcast of Palos Verdes. How have they survived a blast furnace August in the delightful Sacramento environs?

Plumeria - never came back from the winter. The trunks showed green but the growing tips were frosted dead and after pruning they never managed to sprout.

Cycads - My two Zamias got waterlogged last winter and rotted. I probably could have nursed them along by keeping them drier. My other one (I forget its name) was down to one leaf stalk and now has three - better than it did in PV.

Ficus Elastica - My huge one was doing fine until August when the leaves started to look like a blowtorch had hit them. I probably could have avoided that if I have more shade - but with a new house you don't get shade. I am sure that it will come back now that we are only in the 90's.

Cymbidiums - They survive and are even sending out new shoots but I have to find them more shade. Only one bloomed this year. I divided two pots hoping that the ones I left will manage to bloom next year.

Brugmansia - It grows nice but it hasn't rebloomed after an initial flush of three. I don't know whether it is heat, the wrong fertilizer or the fact that I ocasionally don't water daily and find a wilted plant.

Epidendrums- They are just barely coping. They havn't grown or shown any vigor. I was hoping they would like more warmth since they never went crazy near the coast but Sacramento probably overshoots the mark.

Begonia - I have a lovely dark leaved two foot begonia that is just hanging in here. I feel bad about it because I know it is unhappy but it is putting up a good effort and I am hoping for some recovery as the weather cools.

Impatiens - I have a large species plant from a cutting from Monterey which was quite happy in PV but just hanging in here. Same hopes as begonia.

Dr Seuss - the Freedom Fighter

I never knew that Dr. Seuss drew political cartoons. This one is just a sample. Nickie Goomba has more. Look out appeasers.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Carnival of Canada

Hot Abercrombie Chick notes a move back to allowing private medicine in Canada.

Noexistence, however, a Canadian, notes on a visit to the States that life isn't so bad there - and money goes farther.

A New Underground Railroad on the otherhand says Canadians ought to offer to marry US citizens fleeing from four more years of Bush.

And Proud to Be a Canadian says millions of Canadians would be happy to pay for premium health care.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

What Presbyterians and al-Quiada have in Common

James Lileks analyzes the new moralizing about the middle east from the Presbyterian Church in America. They will use their stockholdings to bring Israel down. Suicide bombers are obviously not enough to show Israel the moral high ground that Presbyterian elders claim.

Doolittle Bucks Arnold

... his constituents and his party. My congressman has lost my vote. We don't need Republicans who are only electable in safe districts.Read all about it. and let him know what you think.

Social Security

From Catallarchy a question. If the government were selling Social Security as a new program today, Would you buy it?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Jerry's Running

The Mayor of Oakland uses the dedication of a solar installation for FedEx at the Oakland Airport to bash Global Warming Sceptics. As Governor, he introduced California to conservation and the California Energy Commission that has blocked construction of power plants during its entire life. Getting that visibility up for a state office.

Oil a Bargain Compared to 1980

Outside the Beltway reminds us that current oil prices have not yet reached the level of past records. It is only nominal (before adjusting for inflation) dollars that are at a record. In 1980 oil was$40/barrel which would be $94.20/barrel today. We still have a way to go. Stop whining.

This is an outrage.

Republicans in the House cave on Arctic Oil Drilling
How much does oil need to cost for these RINOs to show a backbone?
This is how it was supposed to go down after Republicans on the Energy Bill Committee went wobbly.

The ACLU Knows a Terrorist When It Sees One!

Courtesy Little Green Footballs

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Palestinian credibility test

Blundapundit has a test to identify non-violent muslims.
The simple test is to look closely at the picture of two Middle East region maps in which Palestine is shown. Which map of Palestine do you recognize as legitimate?

Check the answer.

The tears of a clown?

George Voinovich, Senator from Ohio was overwhelmed with the responsibility of approving John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations. The very thought of Bolton asking for some accountability from this inept and corrupt organization drove him to tears. Show him that you feel his pain.

Canada is ahead of the curve again.

Gay Marriage
Canadians find it is great for straight guys too. Courtesy Craig DeLuz

Monday, August 08, 2005

Monday, August 01, 2005

Dear Militant Islamist

Have you ever felt like this?
Dear Militant Islamist:

I want to love you, but I can't. I resent you for wanting to determine my belief system and that of everybody around you. I abhor you for wanting to make my wife and daughter cover their faces and submit to whatever you or your religious leader might tell them. I detest you for wanting to kill anybody that doesn’t think like you do. I loathe you for acting upon that desire. But that doesn’t compare to the main reason why I have such negative feelings for you: you have made me change my thinking.

My Sandman has the rest.