Saturday, December 17, 2011

Indiana Wants Me



Wow the year is almost over and I am still alive. This is the miracle of working hard and not sleeping much. I have to say that I am happy that my life is good and that there is still oxygen to breath, water to drink, food to eat, and the department of entropy and their connected cronies to pick on. I have hammered AONE and Raser and no doubt the stock market now sees my wisdom. Amyris, KIOR, and Solazyme have also been show cased in my blog as being gangrene and not green. Their stocks are also trading near their lows and no doubt will head south in 2012.

Who am I to pick on today? Well not being shy, I take on a threesome of not so smart but massive and well-connected companies. These three are GE, Bechtel, and Duke Power. They must have listened to Alan The Green Spanner in the works of the Federal Spinning Reserve who opined several years ago that the US was running out of natural gas. So these three stooge companies got together to build a coal gasification combined cycle power generation station in Edwardsport Indiana. That station is almost ready to fire up so to speak. The project has a capacity of 630 megawatts and was budgeted to cost $1.9 billion or about $3 million per megawatt. The project is a billion dollars over budget. I guess Bechtel and GE took Duke for a bit of a ride but actually Duke is taking their customers for a major ride as Duke has asked the utilities commission to place the full $2.9 billion into the rate base that customers are charged for their electricity.

By my estimation this gleaming new power station will need to charge 15 cents per kilowatt hour that Duke sells to the grid in Indiana. Households will pay another 3 cents per kilowatt hour on top of this for transmission and distribution. Had Bechtel, GE and Duke built a natural gas combined cycle power station the power could have been dispatched to the grid for 6.2 cents per kilowatt hour for a savings of almost 60% on the cost of power generation. But wait normally our department of entropy and the companies who suckle at the teat of “green” handouts make claims of reduced carbon dioxide emissions. This Rube Goldberg cannot make such a claim. The Indiana coal gasification project will emit 4.2 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. Had Moe the General of Electricity, Larry the Bechtel who rebuilt Iraq, and Curly the Duke of Hazardous Power Generation constructed a combined cycle gas generation station the carbon dioxide emissions for same number of kilowatt hours a year dispatched to the grid would only have amounted to 1.9 million tons each year. Great the people of Indiana are saddled with overpriced electricity and the world will be burdened with 2.3 million extra tons a year of carbon dioxide. The 2.3 million tons a year of CO2 is equal to adding 400,000 cars to road.

Talking about Iraq, that war is finally over. Over 4,500 US service people lives were lost. Many more were injured. Only God knows how many Iraqis were killed. There is a great shame on us for the war and a greater shame on us for how it ended. Nothing got rebuilt, and the weapons of mass combustion that were found will end up going to China in the future. I suggest that GE, Bechtel, and Duke help the Chinese with their “high tech” coal power generation. The people of Indiana will be better served if they never were given this gasification treat. As for Immelt the CEO of GE, he is President Obama’s main man on “Job Creation”. He is just plain lucky that Jack Welch was born before him else GE would be Westinghouse. I remember a song from the sixties that had the lyrics “Indiana wants me, Lord I can’t go back there”. The song ends “this is the police, you are surrounded, give yourself up”. I suggest the men in blue surround the Edwardsport gasifier and demand that it “give up”.

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