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  1. #141  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    How long will coal be abundant if we start utilizing that as a major source of energy? Another issues would be transportation of such a bulky substance.
    mega train transport is already routine (dead opposed to slurry pipelines)

    I've heard 300 yrs for US reserves alone -- but I don't want us dependent on coal.

    (I want any new incremental supply to come from things like the roof solar voltaic arrays that pump direct into the grid.)

    and gasifying coal could be done near the fields themselves -- in areas that need jobs.

    But any new power plant would be infinitely more efficient and cleaner than the old pig stacks.

    So why did junior push a change in the EPA rules that encouraged the continued operation of the dirtiest least efficient plants ??
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  2. #142  
    Quote Originally Posted by KRamsauer
    A twenty year payout is miserable. Government should not subsidize anything because it is too expensive. If there are factors that dicate a "master planner" (such as in national defense), then I will entertain the notion of a intervention ("planetary" qualifies), but just because you think it makes sense doesn't mean that is true and I will fight to prevent you from convincing the government of as much. You cannot take away my rights nor my money. They can.
    As for your question, I don't know. But if it makes so much economic sense, why aren't people doing it already?
    peak power demand, supply costs the most for a utility

    Let me guess -- daytime in July -- do Houstonians sit on their porch sucking mint jollops, or are they inside with the AC pumping ice out the grill.

    When the demand is greatest, the roof mounted solar voltaic direct into the grid would be the perfect supplemental peak supply resource -- while lessening smog, and having a terrific rate of return after a very few years of use.

    why not subsidize their installation ???
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  3. #143  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    So why did junior push a change in the EPA rules that encouraged the continued operation of the dirtiest least efficient plants ??
    Well, I think for the same reasons people are talking about energy supplies now: high prices for other fuels, rolling blackouts, etc.
  4. #144  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    peak power demand, supply costs the most for a utility

    Let me guess -- daytime in July -- do Houstonians sit on their porch sucking mint jollops, or are they inside with the AC pumping ice out the grill.

    When the demand is greatest, the roof mounted solar voltaic direct into the grid would be the perfect supplemental peak supply resource -- while lessening smog, and having a terrific rate of return after a very few years of use.

    why not subsidize their installation ???
    Well, daytime in July we're working with the AC on. Very few mint jollops from what I remember. As for "why not subsidize their installation, look at the last sentence of your previous paragraph. If the returns are that great, we don't need to. I have a sneaking suspicion the picture ain't as rosy as you portray.
    FWIW, I turn off my AC when I leave my apartment and go to work. Of course, I came home to an 85 degree apartment at 10:45 at night.
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    #145  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    mega train transport is already routine (dead opposed to slurry pipelines)

    I've heard 300 yrs for US reserves alone -- but I don't want us dependent on coal.

    (I want any new incremental supply to come from things like the roof solar voltaic arrays that pump direct into the grid.)

    and gasifying coal could be done near the fields themselves -- in areas that need jobs.

    But any new power plant would be infinitely more efficient and cleaner than the old pig stacks.

    So why did junior push a change in the EPA rules that encouraged the continued operation of the dirtiest least efficient plants ??
    Building a new coal power plant, or a plant near the coal mines much less the actual mining of the coal will run into the same obstacles that building new oil refineries and wind mill farms run into. This will essentially put a grinding halt to coal as an alternative fuel.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  6. #146  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    How long will coal be abundant if we start utilizing that as a major source of energy? Another issues would be transportation of such a bulky substance.
    The transportation issue is bigger than you think. Look at what rail rates have been doing ever since nat gas prices spiked and utilities ramped up coal use...
  7. #147  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Building a new coal power plant, or a plant near the coal mines much less the actual mining of the coal will run into the same obstacles that building new oil refineries and wind mill farms run into. This will essentially put a grinding halt to coal as an alternative fuel.
    Interestingly, I don't think this is the case. Similar to ethanol facilities, coal plants will use locally produced fuel and thus support the local economy. An oil refinery doesn't buy anything locally (except labor) and windmills are the same. A coal plant may force local mines to reopen. An ethanol plant allows local farmers (the "My" in NIMBY) to sell their product and earn a living.

    Another fun case is the idea of "waste coal." Back in the day when people were mining coal out of the ground in Appalachia, a good chunk of it was not deemed suitable for use. So they just left it on the ground outside the mine. As you can imagine, this is both ugly and bad for the environment. New technology allowed companies to build plants right next to the piles to burn the waste coal and produce electricity. The benefits were multiple: reduction in waste coal piles, reclaimed land, cheap power and significant profits for the companies running the plants as the waste coal was often free (if not free, darned cheap). And now since coal has become even more the rage, I'm sure those plants are rolling in dough.
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    #148  
    Quote Originally Posted by KRamsauer
    Interestingly, I don't think this is the case. Similar to ethanol facilities, coal plants will use locally produced fuel and thus support the local economy. An oil refinery doesn't buy anything locally (except labor) and windmills are the same. A coal plant may force local mines to reopen. An ethanol plant allows local farmers (the "My" in NIMBY) to sell their product and earn a living.

    Another fun case is the idea of "waste coal." Back in the day when people were mining coal out of the ground in Appalachia, a good chunk of it was not deemed suitable for use. So they just left it on the ground outside the mine. As you can imagine, this is both ugly and bad for the environment. New technology allowed companies to build plants right next to the piles to burn the waste coal and produce electricity. The benefits were multiple: reduction in waste coal piles, reclaimed land, cheap power and significant profits for the companies running the plants as the waste coal was often free (if not free, darned cheap). And now since coal has become even more the rage, I'm sure those plants are rolling in dough.
    I don't think the protestors will be so much the NIMBY group as those who claim the coal mining destroys the environment, the emissions are still too high, and there will be some NIMBY because they do not need the revenue generated by the low paying, dangerous coal mines.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  9. #149  
    When push comes to shove the NIMBY's dont stand a chance. All it takes is a presidential order.

    Apparently the payback time for solar water heaters is 6-8 years, and will only get shorter as energy prices increase. For photo-voltaic its about 8-10 years, which is a bit long, and raises questions regarding more profitable investment of ones money.

    There are other issues besides payback which deter people e.g. aesthetics (which, as long as energy is cheap enough is a big turn-off factor), adding a complicated system when a normal immersion heater is simpler, and the inability to move such a system from one home to another.

    When people as individuals are rich enough not to have to worry about their energy usage (which is why cars and SUV's are popular) then decisions wont be based purely upon economics. This is despite such actions being in the best interest of the country.

    Surur
  10. #150  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    Lets not get side-tracked by contentious immigration issues. The topic is high fuel prices. A lot of this is due to oil being a scare resource, which therefore mandates we increase our options for providing energy.
    What makes you think one has nothing to do with the other?
  11. #151  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    Lets not get side-tracked by contentious immigration issues. The topic is high fuel prices.
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    What makes you think one has nothing to do with the other?
    Yeah, six Mexicans in the back of one pickup truck is terrible for gas mileage.
  12. #152  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    Yeah, six Mexicans in the back of one pickup truck is terrible for gas mileage.
    Multiply that times 2 million and you're on to something.

    By the way, don't respond to this.
  13. #153  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    Multiply that times 2 million and you're on to something.

    By the way, don't respond to this.
    My god thats disgusting.
  14. #154  
    If there were 2 million less people in America (296 million instead of 298 million, 0.7% less) then less than 0.7% less fuel would be used, and 0.7% more Americans would work in gardens and fast food diners. Sounds like a good deal.

    Surur
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    #155  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    If there were 2 million less people in America (296 million instead of 298 million, 0.7% less) then less than 0.7% less fuel would be used, and 0.7% more Americans would work in gardens and fast food diners. Sounds like a good deal.

    Surur
    he said multipy that by 2 million, so it would be 12 million
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  16.    #156  
    Im all for an immigration discussion....but let's move it to another thread instead of on the Gas thread. Thanks.
  17.    #157  
    I've been trying to dig around on the profit margins of the oil companies and have been surprised by some of the information I have dug up. I am pressed for time at the moment but will try to organize some of the info and post it by sometime tonight.
  18. #158  
    Exxon profits hit fresh US record

    Exxon Mobil is the world's largest listed oil company
    US oil giant Exxon Mobil has posted a quarterly profit of $9.9bn (£5.55bn), the largest in US corporate history, on the back of record oil and gas prices.
    Profit was up 75% and revenue rose 32% to more than $100bn.

    But the results were short of analyst forecasts due to production damage from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and lower profit at its chemicals division.

    Exxon's record earnings were revealed on the day Royal Dutch Shell said it made $9bn net profit in the quarter.

    The Texas-based firm is the world's biggest oil company....


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4383296.stm
  19.    #159  
    First of all I know this post will be long, so if you are not interested, skip it.

    One of the big unknown questions I had concerned the profit MARGINS of the oil companies. In other words after all investments, payroll, expenses, etc... are paid out the average profit for a business can easily be anywhere between 10%-20%.

    I was interested in two main things:

    1) How much profit are they getting per gallon

    2) After all of their expenses of drilling, refining, shipping, man power, etc... what is the return of their expenses, i.e the profit margin.

    I feel that these are two important numbers (though by far not the only indicators) to see if they are really trying to price gouge the market and consumers.

    Here are some interesting numbers I found:
    Since the 1990s, more than 2,600 mergers have been approved in the U.S. petroleum industry, resulting in just a few companies controlling a significant amount of America’s gasoline, squelching competition and leading consumers to pay more at the pump
    Last year, the top five U.S. oil refining companies controlled 56.3 percent of domestic oil refinery capacity.

    A decade ago, the 10 largest U.S. oil refining companies controlled 55.6 percent of refining capacity — which means that, due to mergers, the five largest oil refiners today control more capacity than the 10 largest did a decade ago. This consolidation makes it easier for oil companies to gouge consumers at the pumps,
    While in 1999, U.S. oil refiners earned 22.8 cents for every gallon of gasoline they refined, that profit margin increased 80 percent by 2004, to 40.8 cents per gallon. (some point to the mergers a big cause).
    At the API, they tell us that the oil and natural gas industry earned only 8.2 cents for every dollar of sales compared to an average of 6.88 cents for all U.S. industry in 2005.

    "Many industries," AEI points out "earned better returns in the third quarter than the oil and natural gas industry. For example, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology realized earnings of 18.5 cents on the dollar. Banks reached 18.0 cents.”
    But Public Citizen noted that oil companies downplay these record profits by calculating profits differently when they communicate with Wall Street and shareholders.

    When speaking to lawmakers and the general public, the oil industry highlights the small profit margins (typically around 8 to 10 percent) that measuring net income as a share of total revenues produces.

    But that's not the measurement ExxonMobil uses when talking to investors and Wall Street. For example, the company’s 2004 annual report reads: "ExxonMobil believes that return on average capital employed is the most relevant metric for measuring financial performance in a capital-intensive industry such as” petroleum [emphasis added]." In 2005, ExxonMobil enjoyed a 30 percent return on average capital employed, meaning the company’s profit margin can clearly sustain a windfall profits tax.
    One of the oil companies' main points is that despite high pump prices and strong overall profits, they make very little profit selling petrol in the UK.

    According to Esso - the UK brand of Exxon Mobil - a retailer makes only about 5p for each litre of unleaded petrol sold for, say, 84p, with the remainder accounted for by duty, VAT and the cost of production.

    Some 61p of each 84p litre sold goes straight to the government in taxes.

    The retailer's 5p has to cover the cost of transporting the product from refinery to distribution terminal, storage and processing and onward transportation to the retail outlets.

    After that, the retailer has costs including credit card charges, which alone work out at more than 1p a litre, according to Esso.

    Intense competition among retailers in the UK over several years has additionally squeezed profit margins so tightly that now they barely exist.

    Shell says it has not made a profit selling petrol in the UK for the past three years.
    An additional factor to bear in mind is that the oil companies have little influence on oil prices or markets.

    Companies such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Texaco and TotalFinaElf together account for less than 15% of world crude oil production.

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - effectively made up of state-owned outfits such as Saudi Aramco and National Iranian Oil Company - is a far bigger player, with about 40% of world output.
    Oil companies also claim, with some justification, that greater oil and gas revenue is not the only factor behind the record earnings.

    Very low oil prices in 1998 prompted a wave of consolidation and restructuring in the sector as corporations sought to cut costs in the face of tumbling revenue.

    About 10 of the world's biggest oil companies have now merged or are merging into five.
    I have heard numbers from interviews on MSNBC, Fox, CNN that the oil companies earn about 9 cents a gallon and only have an average profit margin of 6%-10%, well below the average business profit margin, in spite of the large sum of profits.

    But, as you can see above, this is thrown into question as they offer different profit margins to the basically the public vs what they report to investors. A range difference from anywhere from 6% - 30%.

    So, basically after all this....I still don't know, but now I am more troubled by the ambiguity of it all.

    I have heard talk of proposing a mandated break up of the oil companies to increase competition from 5 main oil companies to 15 or so. You know, like AT&T.

    Sources:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0...es_pubcit.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1167805.stm
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0...xxonmobil.html
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 04/28/2006 at 05:00 PM.
  20. #160  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    I'm all for an immigration discussion....but let's move it to another thread instead of on the Gas thread. Thanks.
    gosh hobbes -- that's a splendid idea !!

    what if I start one ??!!
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