Published: Thursday, June 12 2014 6:22 a.m. MDT
Re: "First Wind’s 306-megawatt wind farm helps power thousands of
homes in Millard and Beaver counties."First Wind's power is
sold to southern California. Yes, the physics of electricity means that wind
power is being used in Utah, but California is the beneficiary of its price
stability and elimination of carbon tax risk. Because Utah has so
few renewable energy projects and gets about 80 percent of its power from coal
(mostly owned and operated by Utah's main utility monopolies), under the
new EPA regulations, we as ratepayers will be subject to significant carbon
taxes/costs to comply.Utah's utility monopolies will be able to
simply pass those costs onto ratepayers whereas other states that have been
preparing for this looming EPA threat by rapidly investing into price-stable,
clean energy sources will be protected. But don't expect a
renewable energy boom in Utah. Rocky Mountain Power wants to put a $4.25/month
fee on its ratepayers who have purchased their own solar panels. Solar
threatens its coal-fired power. Charging more for those that make their own
clean power is a privilege of being a utility monopoly.
Burton Lumber? Dan, you've got to be kidding. While Utah continues to pump
filth into the air, intelligent projects in NV and AZ will be powering large
cities with thermosolar energy starting this year. Meanwhile Utah whines about
coal and "shale oil," a non-starter if there ever was one. No, Utah is
pathetically far behind other states, still spending our energy defending the
19th century. You should be spending your energy on this century, Dan.
Yikes, this editorial is so wildly inaccurate that I don't know where to
start!"application of new extraction techniques and technologies
that are unlocking heretofore inaccessible oceans of oil"U.S.
oil production reached a peak in 1970 of 9.6 million barrels per day, 2013
production was 7.5 million. Is this an "ocean" of oil? In
addition fracking is not a new technology, it was developed in 1947, and first
used commercially in 1949! It was not new technology that increased
oil production, but steady oil prices of $100 per barrell that made fracking
economically profitable.I think that Mr. Liljenquist was sipping the
petroleum industry Kocha Cola when he wrote this fluff piece.
We are having an energy revolution all right. We are having a revolution to
rapidly extract the remaining natural gas and oil reserves our country has and
sell much of it foreign nations. After that runs out, then what?
And that my friends, explain perfectly why Dan can never be elected to DC.
Dan - were you even at the Summit? Did you hear the keynote address by
Nordhaus? Did you watch Herbert's face as Nordhaus talked? Most of
the renewable work going on is in spite of the Governor, not because of him or
his 'Energy' Office. He and the Office are focused on the filthiest
fossil fuels. That includes gas via tracking - because there are very high
methane leakages, making Utah gas really no better for the greenhouse problem
than coal itself. And talk with the Ob-Gyn's in the Uintah Basin -
and the pulmonologists along the Wasatch Front. Which sandpile has your
head been in?
Fascinating that Dan's solution to the Great Recession is basically
"Drill, baby, drill." He does mention renewable energy briefly as point
number 4 (should be number 1), but stoking the economic engine with oil, natural
gas, and coal is not my idea of utopia. We need to get serious about both our
addiction to growth and our blindness to the coming environmental Armageddon.Dan, do us a favor and please don't run for office again. Keep
writing these editorials. We need a good laugh every week.
Dan: Excellent insights. It is good that the US is becoming more energy
independent, especially in clean alternative fuels. I like that Utah is making
great strides in clean energy production. I like your balanced approach. The
naysayers would have us effectively go back to pre-automobile days it seems, but
the goal, as you so clearly describe, must be one of balance. We do need to get
out of the fossil fuel energy business as much as possible, and that will
happen, gradually at first, but it will pick up speed, as new and creative ways
are found to produce and harness cleaner energy.Well written!
Utah is making improvements all the time. Those who refuse to see those
improvements have an ax to grind, and will never... EVER... acknowledge that
anything Utah does is good.Google UECC - UTAH ENERGY CONSERVATION
COALITION. Or "Utah Clean Energy" (to to "Success stsories"
section). Or "UCAIR". Or "State Building Energy Efficiency
Program". Or "Renewable Energy in Utah" (ACOR). If you look into
it... we're making improvements... we just need to make more.IMO Our air problem is not just because people want dirty air (and the dirtier
the better). It's because there are more people living here now. And that
means more industry, so those people have jobs, and so Utahns can get the
products/services they need to live.So even if we are doing
better... since there are so many of us... air quality would naturally
suffer.We need to do as much as we can. But obviously nothing Utah
would do would satisfy some of these people.
Hey Liberal Larry "It was not new technology that increased oil
production . . ."WRONG again. Sometimes "Conservatives"
show real consistency.Look up "Shale Gas" and get back to
me."Federal price controls on natural gas led to shortages in
the 1970s. Faced with declining natural gas production, the federal
government invested in many supply alternatives, including the Eastern Gas
Shales Project, which lasted from 1976 to 1992, and the annual FERC-approved
research budget of the Gas Research Institute, where the federal government
began extensive research funding in 1982, disseminating the results to
industry. The federal government also provided tax credits and rules
benefiting the industry in the 1980 Energy Act. The Department of Energy
later partnered with private gas companies to complete the first successful
air-drilled multi-fracture horizontal well in shale in 1986. The federal
government further incentivized drilling in shale via the Section 29 tax credit
for unconventional gas from 1980-2000." - WikipediaIn other
words, the Federal Government led research that developed a viable means of
extracting high volumes of gas from shale. That's why North Dakota is
booming now.I'm glad I could help.
Gosh, it's nice to have a federal government that actually works to help
the people of the United States (as long as anti-government Tea Party extremists
don't gum up the works).Read: A Retrospective Review of Shale
Gas Development in the United States"“The seed of the
shale gas boom was planted in the late 1970s when the US government decided to fund R&D programs and provide tax credits (and incentive
pricing) for developing unconventional natural gas in response to the
severe natural gas shortage at the time. These policies were justified on
the grounds that private firms did not have the incentive to make large and
risky R&D investments to develop technologies necessary for extracting
unconventional natural gas. “And now North Dakota has
more recoverable gas than Saudi Arabia.GEE, thank you United States
Government . . . And thank you Founding Fathers.And let's hope
anti-government nut jobs waving Don't-Tread-On-Me flags and Swastika
Banners don't take the majority in Congress . . . Or the time of sensible
governance will be a distant memory.
GaryO,You keep trying to give all the credit to the Federal Government,
and none to the corporations.Even if the Federal Government gave
some incentives... I'm pretty sure it was evil corporations that did the
work. And I'm pretty sure it is oil companies giving people jobs AND
paychecks in North Dakota (not the government). ===Some
facts on the North Dakota oil boom... (wikipedia)"The North
Dakota oil boom is an ongoing period of rapidly expanding oil extraction from
the Bakken formation in the state of North Dakota that followed the discovery of
Parshall Oil Field in 2006, and is continuing as of 2013.The oil
boom has resulted in enough jobs to give North Dakota the lowest unemployment
rate in the United States.The boom has given the state of North
Dakota a billion-dollar budget surplus".That's probably why
you fight AGAINST harvesting oil in Utah... don't want the jobs, or a
budget surplus...====The boom was creating 2,000
millionaires per year in North Dakota. The average income in Mountrail County
has more than doubled since the boom started.Something we would
NEVER want to happen in rural Utah...
“You keep trying to give all the credit to the Federal Government, and
none to the corporations.”I give credit where credit is due.
You should try it sometime.You're sure that corporations did
the work? Well yes, with taxpayer funding. That's the way
it's done. That's the way we built the space shuttle and moon rockets.
That's the way we built the transcontinental railway. (Ever heard of the
golden spike being driven way out west in a place called Utah?) That's
the way we build war materials. That's the way we built the interstate
Highway system . . . by outsourcing to private contractors . . . With taxpayer
money . . . and MASSIVE amounts of GOVERNMENT SPENDING. That's the way we
built dams and bridges and other infrastructure that set America up to be a
world power. With really BIG Government.Government should expand
when necessary to help this nation succeed. Mindlessly following a
small-government ideology is just silly.BTW, did you remember to
thank the Founding Fathers when you filled up your gas tank this morning? . . .
And when you took your car over BILLIONS of dollars worth of infrastructure to
get where you were going?
I appreciate the Federal Government and all they do for us. And I appreciate
the founding fathers for more than my ability to fill my car with gas. They
wanted to limit the Federal Government to their proper role (and so do I).
Interstate Transportation is part of the defined role of the Federal
Government.I know the government nudges companies to do what they
want them to do (with incentives and tax breaks). But be consistent...
I've heard you complain bitterly about any incentives or tax breaks for oil
companies or farmers... now you PRAISE it... as if nothing would happen if the
Government didn't give them incentives. I'm pretty sure oil
companies explore and find oil fields and bring that product to market for the
profits... not for government incentives.Government nudging is OK,
but let's not pretend that's the only reason oil companies drill for
2bits -"Government nudging?" No, it's government
LEADING the way toward a healthy and successful America.That's
also known as "good governance," a very illusive concept for
Republicans.I've complained about "tax breaks for oil
companies or farmers?" Oil companies yes, but I don't remember
complaining about farmers.I was a farm/ranch kid from Western South
Dakota. I don't have animosity toward farmers. But I dislike nonsense,
especially when it's instituted in government.Because of Rural
Electrification, bought and paid for by the US government, we and our neighbors
had electricity. Private firms would not have strung miles of power lines for
farms and ranches, because there would have been no profit in it. And yes, I
know, the Constitution says nothing about electricity, so the whole thing was
probably, in YOUR mind, unconstitutional.If "Conservative"
ideologues had their way, the USA would be a third world backwater nation right
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments