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COAL: Future is in clean energy, not coal

Letter by Owen Atkins, Tacoma on June 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm with 124 Comments »
June 15, 2012 2:30 pm

Re: “Reject plan for coal export terminals” (Your Voice, 6-12).

Pacific Lutheran University Professor Kevin O’Brien is on the right track in his opposition to coal export terminals in our state. As a longtime resident of Old Town, I am sickened by the idea of 18 to 20 new mile-long coal trains running day and night along the Ruston Way waterfront.

The health, safety and traffic issues are enormous, but so are the economic implications. Coal is a 19th-century energy source. We shouldn’t be a resource colony for this archaic and dangerous commodity. We can do better for our workers as well as for the kids who play down on the Ruston Way waterfront, Titlow and our other beautiful beaches.

The future is clean energy. At the same time we are phasing out the last coal plant in Washington, promoting coal export would be a giant step backward. We should be manufacturing and exporting solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and other clean technologies to Asia, not the other way around.

Keep the coal trains out of Tacoma.

Leave a comment Comments → 124
  1. concernedtacoma7 says:

    What about the present? Stop dreaming of flying cars powered by water and think to TODAY’s energy needs. Think of the jobs and profit in the US, not overseas.

    If we do not export coal someone else will.

    How many jobs are you willing to sacrifice? How much of the tax base? How much do you want the nation’s energy costs to increase? How can we manufacture the goods you list unless we have affordable energy?

  2. Juneaunative says:

    I agree, some people are more than willing to sacrifice other peoples jobs and freedom. Take thiers and they would screem. America is so devided and void of commen sence I dont know if we can recover.

  3. 3rd world countries export their raw materials and energy and import finished goods.
    Capitalist counties export finished goods made from their own raw materials and energy.

    why would we want to be a 3rd world country?

  4. Extractive economies are doomed to failure when the resource runs out. Concerned has no clue and does not care about future generations. He is in the here and now. Damn the environment, full speed ahead, is the cry for what conservatives want and it is sick.

  5. Excellent letter and Your Voice article. The facts are right there.

  6. alindasue says:

    The future is in alternative energies.

    Solar energy, despite companies like Solyndra, is a rapidly growing field. Right now, I know of several homegrown (USA) companies that build and sell the solar power systems, but they still have to buy the solar cells themselves from a manufacturer in China. If we don’t support the technologies and start-up companies now, we’ll continue to be dependent on China for our future energy needs.

    The same can be said for the rapidly growing wind power development.

  7. alindasue says:

    concernedtacoma7 said, “How selfish. Disgusting. Beyond ignorant, this author knows he is asking for something to damage the economy and families.”

    That’s probably the same thing they said when talking of closing down the ASARCO plant. That actually ended up creating lots of jobs… cleaning up the remaining Superfund site.

  8. sumyungboi says:

    letter writer’s topic: “Future is in clean energy, not coal”

    That couldn’t be more correct. However, note the word “future”. Until clean energy* becomes viable, we’re stuck with old school energy.

    * Hydroelectric is clean, but became what wind power is becoming. Bottom line, there’s nothing that the whacko left will approve of in the long run, outside of human extinction, so this is basically a circular argument.

  9. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Furthering the irony, the same wackos shutting down power plants are the same ones that prevent the US from being able to manufacture. Higher power costs, EPA and legal nightmares, all thanks to the left.

    Alindasue- that is money being used to create nothing. I agree with cleaning the environment, but that is not a jobs program.

  10. tommy98466 says:

    Alindasue… I can’t believe you write this stuff. Where are the solar panels being made here producing any kind of energy? The answer is no where. Giving money to Obama supporters through Solyndra and other companies is just a big Ponzi scheme to funnel money back to Obummer. I don’t believe you ever investigate anything on your own and get all of your info from Rachel Maddow and MSNBC. Pathetic.

  11. “there’s nothing that the whacko left will approve of in the long run, outside of human extinction”

    Hyperbole much?

  12. sumyungboi says:

    ct7, you couldn’t be more correct, and the driving powers behind the leftists, not the mooks on this thread who puppet the line, they know that conservatives don’t want dirty anything, it’s all politics. There’s nothing I love more than showing and telling my grandkids about the wonders of nature and to be respectful of the Earth. But the eco-nazis take it way too far, and it just amazes me how willing some people are to follow some pied-piper with a message of jealousy, rather than think to themselves, “how can I better my family’s life?”

  13. “Where are the solar panels being made here producing any kind of energy?”

    Everywhere they are installed?
    You’re really that thick are you?

  14. “ct7, you couldn’t be more correct”

    That would be a first!

  15. sumyungboi says:

    kluwer, seriously man, have you ever written anything of substance, or do you just respond to everyone with your “conservatives suck” line?

  16. “the same wackos shutting down power plants are the same ones that prevent the US from being able to manufacture. Higher power costs, EPA and legal nightmares, all thanks to the left.”

    It’s remarkable how if one whats the truth all one has to do is read little ct7 and turn it around 180 degrees!

  17. sumyungboi says:

    kluwer, how much would it cost to convert Tacoma City Light from their hydropower to solar power? And then, how many square miles of solar panels would it take take to totally replace Tacoma’s existing power sources? Please let me know.

  18. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Sum- it is not about results or productivity but ‘feeling’ good. Unfortunately, in order to feel good they are willing to destroy a blue collar industry and raise energy prices through the roof.

    Emotion vs reality.

  19. conjuntiondisfunction says:

    I wonder if the early humans who figured out that something round would assist them in moving objects were as narrow minded as some of these conservatives.

    Luckily for us, Edison was a progressive thinker.

  20. ErnestTBass says:

    When a solar panel gets a 747 off the ground then I’ll believe. When a wind mill gets a 747 off the ground, then I’ll believe. How about pond scum will that do the trick? How much money has obama spent on this dung? Solyndra comes to mind and other failed policies that should be embarrassing to him and his administration. I think he has his mind on other things, such as: http://www.youtube.comwatch?v=nqxmn1ZuMw4

  21. Earnest, there will not be 747s flying someday unless an alternative is found. Oil is a finite substance in case you have not heard.

  22. averageJoseph says:

    So… Owen, I love a good comedy. Grab a tub of popcorn and a Big Soda (well, not if you reside in New York) and enjoy the show.


  23. concernedtacoma7 says:

    No shortage of oil. Try again.

    Before you whine, prove a downward trend in recoverable oil. Thanks!!!

  24. charliebucket says:

    I am all for living in the moment and am no tree hugger….but the conservatives here are talking about sticking our heads in the sand and, ignoring science, all while screaming that liberals are evil so why do anything to address energy issues…..not much of an argument. as usual. being anti liberal and anti Obama is not a position or an argument and the continued chants if it make you guys sound like idiots

  25. conjuntiondisfunction says:

    Who is stupid enought to think that oil is a renewable resource?

  26. conjuntiondisfunction says:

    “Oil is a finite substance in case you have not heard.”

    “No shortage of oil.”

    When you read these two sentence you can quickly see why people find conservatives ignorant. Oil being finite has nothing to do with “shortage”.

    Someone wasn’t alive during the 70s.

  27. Read more of her posts, you will be shocked at how wrong ct7 and boi can be!

  28. cadana1961 says:

    Coal has no business in today’s society … If we continue to push it as a source of energy, we won’t a tomorrow for our children … Short term loss of “jobs” is really a long term solution to a clean environment … Fracking doesn’t belong, coal doesn’t belong and we need to support those who are trying to find a solid solution before its too late …

  29. kluwer said it so well:

    “3rd world countries export their raw materials and energy and import finished goods.”
    “Capitalist counties export finished goods made from their own raw materials and energy.”

    The so called Capitalists have forgotten the basics. They aren’t for American prosperity, only their own personal prosperity. Manufacturing jobs have all been outsourced due to the selfish greed of our so called capitalists.

    Selling our natural resources to other countries is a bit like an estate sale. Are we that bankrupt?

  30. concernedtacoma7 says:

    He said nothing well. We cannot use the coal here. Now you don’t want it exported. What a bunch of nuts.

    The idea that if we don’t use, or do not export it means china will not use coal is asinine. Just means we lost out on jobs and using out own cheap energy.

  31. sumyungboi says:

    conjuntiondisfunction: “When you read these two sentence you can quickly see why people find conservatives ignorant. Oil being finite has nothing to do with “shortage”.”

    Hyperbolic crap. You’ll be hard pressed to find a conservative who doesn’t acknowledge that clean energy is the future, what conservatives also acknowledge is that, while it’s fine to probe alternative sources of energy, those sources simply aren’t a viable alternative at the moment

  32. alindasue says:

    tommy98466 said, “…Where are the solar panels being made here producing any kind of energy?… I don’t believe you ever investigate anything on your own and get all of your info from Rachel Maddow and MSNBC.”

    To start off with, we don’t have TV reception at our house, so I don’t watch MSNBC. That’s a cable news station, isn’t it? Is Rachel Maddow a talk show host on that network or something? I have occasionally found articles on the MSNBC website, amongst many others, while using Google to research topics, but that’s the extent of my exposure to it.

    I do subscribe to two magazines (outside of church publications), Mother Earth News and Urban Farm, but you’ll find as many Libertarians and other conservatives among their pages as liberals. It kind of goes with the homesteading and sustainable living mentality.

    I can remember when solar energy (often referred to as “PV” or photo voltaic) was stuff of popular science magazines. Then magazines like Mother Earth News started running articles about people powering their “off the grid” farm houses with solar power. Now we are starting to see office buildings powered by solar cells. However, the biggest indicator that solar power is gradually moving from the fringe experimental stages and survivalist circles to the mainstream is that you can now go to just about any home show or fair and find at least one or two vendors selling solar power systems priced for regular home owners.

    So, where are solar panels producing any kind of energy? Here’s a list of “green power” producers in the state of Washington. “Green power” in this case includes PV, wind generated, landfill gas, and some forms of hydro power.

    ErnestTBass said, “When a solar panel gets a 747 off the ground then I’ll believe. When a wind mill gets a 747 off the ground, then I’ll believe.”

    Windmills are too heavy, I would think, but solar power is not infeasible. They already have solar cells as thin as roof shingles and batteries to store the generated power are being made smaller and more efficient every year.

    In fact, I did a search to see if research was being done on developing planes with the new technologies. I was quite surprised to find out that one had already been developed.

    In the article, they weren’t able to complete the planned 16 hour intercontinental flight in the article due to weather, but the plane had already been tested in shorter flights. While I can’t foresee solar technology being retrofitted onto the 40+ year old 747 technology, passenger planes the size of 767s in maybe 10 years or so is not beyond the realm of possibilities.

  33. alindasue says:

    concernedtacoma7 said, “Alindasue- that is money being used to create nothing. I agree with cleaning the environment, but that is not a jobs program.”

    The Superfund was never intended to be a “jobs program”. It is intended for cleaning up some areas of our country that have been left heavily polluted and nearly unusable by industries such as the old ASARCO plant. However, cleaning up the messes entails large amounts of manpower and the money to pay for it.

    Think of all the roads in Tacoma that could have been repaved for even a fraction of what the ASARCO cleanup has cost over the last couple decades. THAT is why we have to look beyond the right now into the long term affects of our technologies and resource use.

    I’m not saying that we are going to suddenly jump from using petroleum and coal to suddenly making everyone run their homes on solar and wind power. The transition is going to be gradual as it is with any newer technologies. Remember when unleaded gas was new? First a few stations carried it. Then all stations had regular and unleaded. Now unleaded IS “regular”.

    I expect to see a lot more transitional products over the next years. Hybrid card are one example. In another example, power companies continue to use “traditional” means to create electricity like coal or hydroelectric dams, but each year a larger percentage of their power comes from “alternative” means such as solar and wind.

    On a smaller more personal scale is MAX, a “constant experiment” car that I’ve been following for the last few years. It is an internal combustion car that reaches 100mpg at 55 miles per hour. That “gallon” in the miles per gallon can be gas, biodiesel, and/or used vegetable oil.

    I spoke with MAX’s creator at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup a couple weeks ago and asked him lots of questions. MAX’s engine is a normal gas engine (I forget the make and model). He keeps the vegetable oil from gumming up the engine by starting the car with a small amount of gas or to get the engine hot enough, then switches to the vegetable oil to run the car. Alternately, he just runs the car on biodiesel or, if it’s the only thing available, gas.

    The point of all this is that while we accept that petroleum and coal are still our main forms of energy use, they fortunately won’t always be. However, it is possible to take care of the power needs of the present economy and look to future energy development at the same time.

  34. concernedtacoma7 says:

    I agree with your last line. But shutting off tthe present sources does nothing to help progress. Broke people, states, or the nation cannot affor the huge costs related to new/developing alt energy methods. Wind is a total bust (google abandoned wind farms on Hawaii or what is happening in the northeast).

    We cannot bank on unproven, fiscally impossible technology today. Too much hope, not enough economics.

  35. The Canadians have exported coal cleanly with no pollution problems for some years now at Westshore Terminals (Google it) 32 kilometers south of downtown Vancouver. The Canadians have even stricter anti-pollution laws than we in the US. If they have done it cleanly for as long as they have with few if any complaints (and they have), all these anti-job and anti-economy protesters should do us all a favor and just go away. These export facilities will be located away from major population centers and will create jobs that pay good benefits and wages in places that have never had enough such jobs. After changing many power plants from being coal fired to fired with cleaner and as cheap natural gas, why should we deny the right to export this much in demand fuel worldwide to companies rich with coal but low on options on what to do with it here in this country??? If they want to export coal and they are willing to pay for all the needed infrastructure improvements and for the facilities themselves, why should we continue to let a bunch of know-nothing, protest everything NIMBY’s to even discuss the non-issue. This is the place and now is the time. Say YES to coal and other natural resource export facilities with decisions based on economics and science instead of idiotic emotions that cost us all jobs and money.

  36. sumyungboi says:

    alindasue: “40+ year old 747 technology ..”

    the technology has nothing to do with 747’s or anything else. Planes fly with jet engines which are upgraded all the time. Let’s debate the topic, but airplanes are a dumb analogy

  37. aislander says:

    This letter and many of the comments proves that progressives are hostile to REAL economic activity. Those in private-sector unions should run–not walk–away from the Democrats if they want to have jobs and not unemployment checks…

  38. alindasue says:

    concernedtacoma7 said, “I agree with your last line. But shutting off tthe present sources does nothing to help progress.”

    I agree. However, the letter wasn’t talking about shutting off the coal shipping in the area. Mr. Atkins was instead speaking against the significant expansion of coal shipping facilities in the area. While I can’t see shutting down the coal shipping facilities that we have yet, I can understand his concern about creating more of them.

    sumyungboi said, “the technology has nothing to do with 747′s or anything else. Planes fly with jet engines which are upgraded all the time. Let’s debate the topic, but airplanes are a dumb analogy”

    Go back and read the thread again please. Airplanes were not being used as an analogy here. They were the topic.

    ErnestTBass said, “When a solar panel gets a 747 off the ground then I’ll believe.”

    They already have a solar powered airplane, as I told Mr. Bass. When they expand that technology to passenger airplanes, it is not likely that they will retrofit the 747s. Aside from 747s being an old style that airlines are tending to stray away from using as much these days, they are also big and clunky. The goal will be not only energy production but likely energy savings too, so it’s more likely that the newer, more efficient styles will be fit with solar technology instead.

    Of course, that is only my own speculation. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see a solar powered 747 some day after all…

  39. aislander says:

    Efficiency of a transportation device is not measured in miles per gallon or gallons per hour. In fact, a Prius or Smart car could be less energy efficient than a Hummer H-1.

    That is particularly true of airplanes…

  40. Wow look at a*******r, she pops in with total nonsense that any 5th grader would laugh at!
    Typical bagger!

  41. averageJoseph says:

    klu, your posting habits closely resemble a former poster… M uckibr.

  42. sumyungboi says:

    I made an earlier point about kluwer, and he doesn’t disappoint. I think he’s one of those dime-a-post commentators that the TNT should think about removing. I’m all for free speech, I think it’s important to know what the other side is thinking, but kluwer’s comments are simply brainless crap.

  43. Could someone explain how 747s are going to fly fueled by coal?

  44. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Well, the Germans in WWII made diesel from coal. Wonder if that could fuel a plane. More likely then a solar panel.

  45. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Ai- there was a study done showing all the energy that goes into making a Prius. Due to the mining for rare earths and the other materials in a hybrid, making and using an Expidition uses less fossil fuels over a 10 year time span.

    Environmentalism is all about emotion, not reality.

    Also, who controls the rare earth market?

  46. aislander says:

    Good point, ct7, but it differs from mine. Energy efficiency isn’t about the vehicle, it is about the cargo and how much the total cost (fuel, initial cost, and ancillary costs) relate to the working life of the the vehicle and the weight of the cargo transported over distance. This is referred to a “ton-mileage,” and freight trains and 747s are champions at it.

    I’m not going to do the calculations, but I’m betting an H-1 Hummer pulling a 10,000 pound trailer in addition to carrying a full load of passengers and luggage would compare favorably to a Prius doing the same.

    Oh, wait: a Prius couldn’t do that.

    Anyway; you get the principle…

  47. sumyungboi says:

    ct7, “rare earth” refers to a category of minerals that are available worldwide, but since they’re recovered via strip mining operations, China controls the market.

  48. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Sum- I am tracking all this. Currently china dominates the market. A mine in the US and one in Australia are due to come on line soon.

    But mining materials to make the batteries is a cost today. To make the batteries and light weight materials they are destroying the environment. More then a hummer. Reminds me of the ethanol argument.

  49. LeePHill says:

    Diesel from coal? Sure. I can’t wait to see the oil companies let that happen.

    For all the talk about intelligence, this crowd has no common sense.

    Wait. You’ll get the government to make the oil companies let the coal people make diesel and be competitive, right?

  50. took14theteam says:

    AJ, I don’t think that kluwless is the former M U C K (what happened to RLangdon?).

    I believe she is the former S u m n e r 401/ 402.

    Since kluwless uses the feminine gender when refering to those she disagrees with, the same as S u m n e r 401/ 402 did, I would say she is the former S u m n e r 401/ 402.

  51. LIfe4Sale10Cents says:

    Here you go, girls.

    Only one thin dime.

    Quite a deal for those with no lives whatsoever

  52. LIfe4Sale10Cents says:

    if you all pooled your dimes you couldn’t buy a kluw

  53. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Took, best to just use the ignore function on that clown. Mbro was much more interesting, and quite knowledgable on religious matters. Klu and gang provide zero.

    Larry, let’s talk energy.

  54. Well the right has lost this argument as well, you can tell they lost when they do nothing but attack other posters….even posters that aren’t posters anymore!
    The hypocrisy in their attacks is breath taking to view though, I will give them that much.

  55. aislander –

    according to a new study by CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore., the Hummer H3, in terms of dust-to-dust energy costs, equates to $1.95 per mile—while the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid are almost $3.30 per mile.

    To produce these surprising claims, CNW went further than the traditional lifecycle study. The firm spent two years collecting more than 4,000 data points for all vehicles on the road—not just hybrids—studying energy costs for every single aspect of the vehicle’s creation, from research and development to final disposal. They even evaluated the relative energy cost of transporting workers from their homes to the auto plants in Japan, where workers are more likely to take public transportation, with the commuting costs for auto workers in the Midwest, who are likely to drive solo for 20-plus miles in inefficient vehicles. It’s not clear if CNW considered the relative diets of those workers (rice and vegetables versus Big Macs, and associated energy costs for growing, transporting, and processing those meals).
    When You Assume…

    Determining the 4,000 data points, obtaining the relevant data, and processing the data to produce a final dollar per mile cost for the vehicles, required—obviously—some assumptions. Perhaps the most critical one was the anticipated number of miles to be driven by each car. For example, CNW set the number of expected lifetime miles for a Prius at 100,000 miles, which, according to CNW President Art Spinella, was based on public statements from Toyota. In an interview with the podcast “The Watt,” Spinella admitted that, “If you can drive the Prius 200,000 miles, and do the same levels of costs and repairs, the cost per mile obviously comes down dramatically.”
    the Hummer H3 looks a whole lot better than the hybrids because it uses “crude old technology that has long ago been paid for,” according to Spinella. On the other hand, the hybrids are new and complex, and the cost of the R&D energy required to make the necessary transformation of our cars from oversized, high-emissions gas guzzlers to something new and better has not yet been amortized over any significant period of time.

    “It would be totally different in three years. The hybrids will look significantly better. The new hybrids they are developing now—the new ones that I’ve seen, Prius III and Prius IV—are so much more simplified. They’ll do what the current versions do, but with far less complexity, lighter motors, more recyclable parts, and longer lasting components. The current Prius, for all intents and purposes, will be the Model T.”


  56. sumyungboi says:

    beerboy: “.. to make the necessary transformation of our cars from oversized, high-emissions gas guzzlers to something new and better ..”

    That alone tells you everything you need to know about CNW Marketing Research, whoever the hell they are.

  57. In 50 years or so our children will look back and wonder why we hung on to our old polluting ways for so long. Hopefully coal and oil will be left in the ground and we will have harnessed the unlimited energy of the sun. Unfortunately the transformation from fossil fuel to clean energy will be gradual due to having to drag the naysayers kicking and screaming into the future. All it takes is an open mind. We’re Americans. We can do anything.

  58. Good morning, fellow inmates. How y’all doing this morning? I’m glad to see y’all followed the ward rules and checked your daily treatment box for changes to your medications and morning duties.

    Seriously, this discussion is stupid in one aspect – dumping coal and/or oil is suicide because no alternative can support itself economically. That means all the “other” choices (proven or not) require artificial life support. That’s called government subsidies.

    We don’t have the money AND we can no longer borrow/print the money to “jump start” new industries. Solyndra had a heaven-on-earth fiscal scenario yet lasted less than three years.

    As far as trains through Ruston, what on earth gives anybody the idea that any city/area should be immune from social and fiscal reality?

    Our country is broke. It started under Carter, took a short breather under Clinton, fired up again under Bush, and went full blown insanity under Jugears. The donkeys have had their chance since 2007 in Congress and a virtual dictatorship from 2009-2011.

    And they blew it. All. It’s time to stop pretending that anybody can prevent the pain penalty of over spending and stupidity and get serious immediately. The voters who pay the bills are going to through out the donkeys and elephants who spend like drunken students with Daddy’s credit card.

    Get with reality – it beats delusional thinking. Try being part of the solution instead of being part of the problem. Our recovery from the fiscal insanity is under our feet across this country, whether coal, oil, gas, or semiconductor rare earths. We have no business pretending that it’s a bad thing to dig it up and sell it. And screw anyone who has a problem with trains carrying products – without trains, two thirds of everything you buy would not be available where you live.

    I’m done now. Hey Trib – find someone who knows something to put on the letters page. Enough with these whining daydreamers.

  59. sumyungboi says:

    quote of the day: “We have no business pretending that it’s a bad thing to dig it up and sell it.”

  60. For some reason it keeps coming back to the almighty dollar, our artificial measure of wealth. Is wealth finite? Those of you who argue that it isn’t finite, why do you behave as though it is? If you believe that wealth is not finite then you will have to agree that we don’t have to sell off our natural resources to regain the wealth that we’ve squandered. We can go to work recreating our once wealthy nation by reinventing and modernizing our infrastructure and our manufacturing base. But you’ll have to understand that we can’t sit around on our thumbs waiting for the corporate dinosaurs find a way to make it profitable and then outsource it. The government (US) will have to make the monumental investment needed to transform what we have now into what the future holds. We can either lead, follow or get out of the way. I think that we can become the leader, again.

  61. LIfe4Sale10Cents says:

    You have to laugh at the faux outrage on Solyndra from the same people that defended $9 billion lost in Iraq.

    Get a life

  62. averageJoseph says:

    Could someone explain how 747s are going to fly fueled by … solar ?

  63. tellnolies says:

    “Get with reality – it beats delusional thinking.”

    Nice rant P. Interesting how easy it is to see other’s delusions while suffering from our own….

    Reality is rarely either/or….

  64. LIfe4Sale10Cents says:

    $4 billion a year in subsidies to oil companies and someone brings up Solyndra?


    I’m not “Larry”, but let’s talk. Of course you’ll have to use your head for something other than a place to put your toupe’

  65. sumyungboi says:

    bandito: “Is wealth finite?”

    Not as long as we don’t over-regulate what can be bought and sold.

  66. averageJoseph says:

    I suppose some people do not value democracy.

  67. sumyungboi says:

    L4: “$4 billion a year in subsidies to oil companies ..”

    That’s a lie, therefore, you’re a liar.

  68. LIfe4Sale10Cents says:

    If someone could explain how a 747 would be fueled by solor, the answer would be here.

    The problem with cons is that they don’t want to work towards anything. They think a sky fairy will magically make everything happen, just like oil.

    Reminds me of listening to my children

  69. LIfe4Sale10Cents says:

    “Obama’s Bid to End Oil Subsidies Revives Debate
    Published: January 31, 2011
    WASHINGTON — When he releases his new budget in two weeks, President Obama will propose doing away with roughly $4 billion a year in subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies, in his third effort to eliminate federal support for an industry that remains hugely profitable.”

    Therefore you are stupid

  70. LIfe4Sale10Cents says:

    Definitely reminds me of children. Speaking before you know anything

  71. sumyungboi says:

    L4: “Definitely reminds me of children. Speaking before you know anything”

    Kinda like the 4b in subsidies? :)

  72. pgroup – look at how much the Chinese subsidize their solar panels before pronouncing the death of the technology – no US company can offer the product at below cost like the Chinese companies so they cannot compete in the Market.

  73. That alone tells you everything you need to know about CNW Marketing Research, whoever the hell they are.

    Company Background

    Founded in 1984, CNW Marketing/Research began as Coastal NW Publishing Company. Through the years, clients and subscribers have spread from the Great Northwest to include every state of the union (except Alabama), Australia, Europe, Asia and Canada. Clients include major automobile manufacturers, banks and lending institutions, Wall Street brokerage firms and consultants. Besides publishing LTR/8+ (America’s most quoted source of leasing information), CNW publishes new and used vehicle industry reference guides and study summaries, a monthly Retail Automotive Summary of sales and trends, as well as our online research distribution center, CNW by WEB. CNW holds an annual conference in Los Angeles in connection with Time Inc. Mr. Spinella is available for Executive Sessions for a limited number of clients.

  74. LIfe4Sale10Cents says:

    someone can type with their hands over their eyes hollering lalalala

  75. Cracks me up – aislander paraphrases a study by CNW Marketing/REsearch so I look it up and demonstrate how they got their numbers and then yungmind dismisses them…..

  76. LIfe4Sale10Cents says:

    beerBoy, sorta like quoting a news story about $4 billion in annual subsidies for oil and then watching the child deny it

  77. sumyungboi says:

    Targeted tax breaks to an industry which already pays a much higher marginal rate than other industry does not equal “subsidy”. The lapdog media calls it a subsidy because Obama calls it a subsidy while politicking. And then you type it up feeling all smart and stuff. :)

  78. aislander says:

    beerBoy: I am impressed that you went to so much trouble to debunk a study I have never read by a company I have never heard of…

    I must be living rent-free in YOUR head, huh?

    I became interested in the ton-mile concept while leafing through old copies of “Road & Track” magazine in which it was one of their testing criteria, and was reminded of it by the freight-train company commercials in which they say they can–if I remember correctly–move a ton of freight 400 miles for a buck.

    And an H-3 ain’t an H-1. By a long shot…

    I would think that checking the figures would be the best way to debunk the study YOU cited, but that’s one reason I’m not a lefty…

  79. aislander says:

    ONLY one reason…

  80. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Pgroup, well said! We can discuss the future, but need to worry about today and tomorrow first.

    I am reminded of the popular science mags decades ago predicting flying cars, the end to fossil fuels, etc.

    Larry, a newer and more childish moniker. Good job. Still stuck on Iraq and accounting deductions. Where is your outrage at GM? 50bil in tax credits. That’s what he did when he held all the cards. Not raise taxes on the rich or change corporate accounting.

    What does that have to do with coal, you deflecting mess? Do you agree that coal can be made into diesel? You are welcome for that nugget.

  81. aislander says:

    concernedtacoma7: I’m not certain it IS Larry. The posts are, as you noted, childish. I think we have a reincarnation of the lamentable k****r.

    Has it been banned, as it so richly deserves to have been?

  82. aislander – bloody unlikely that the Hummer/Prius comparison just popped into your head and “coincidentally” a study was released in 2007. Much more likely that you have run across the claims in the past 5 years of rambling across the internet.

    But there are far less believable things that you put forward as the truth so…..it is less unbelievable than much of the other stuff you peddle.

  83. btw – because the guy who did the study said the numbers would change drastically in three years, I would think that they would be even better now.

  84. obsessedwithlarry says:

    targeted tax breaks and accounting deductions.

    There is a sucker born every minute

  85. obsessedwithlarry says:

    btw, Larry is enjoying the day with his family. He said to point my finger at you and LOL

  86. aislander says:

    So…beerBoy: you’re calling me a liar? Why the hell would I lie about THAT?

    I chose the Hummer because that is the vehicle most likely to irritate knee-jerk, emotionally-driven, authoritarian, kleptocratic, statist Utopians–as were Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Castro, Robespierre, and a host of other bloody-handed leftists before YOU.

    Kindly sod off…

  87. averageJoseph says:

    LMAO! kindly

  88. bobcat1a says:

    Clean coal, the ultimate oxymoron. Endlessly repeated by those who take their listeners for true morons.

  89. concernedtacoma7 says:

    True morons- those that think if we borrow more money from China to purchase Chinese solar panels we can stop using proven, reliable, efficient fossil fuel.

    True morons- those that think if we stop exporting coal, china will stop using it.

  90. concernedtacoma7 says:


    “Rapid commercial development and deployment of clean coal technologies, particularly carbon capture and storage, will help position the United States as a leader in the global clean energy race.”

    Hmmm…BC1, who was that talking about clean coal?

  91. sumyungboi says:

    If Washington says “no” to transporting coal, these things will happen:

    1) Miners will still mine coal

    2) Someone will sell and transport the coal

    3) Someone will buy and burn the coal

    4) Washington will realize no economic benefit of any of the above activity.

    But hey, we’ll feel all clean and superior, won’t we?

  92. joeintacoma says:

    Hypocrisy! Love your neighbor? Give me a break, Professor O’Brien! If it isn’t shipped here it will go to our neighbors in Canada. It will be mined, it will be bought (by China) and it will be shipping (by Canada.) Or, let China burn high sulfur coal they get elsewhere the result of which blow over here. US coal that they will buy is lower in sulfur and much cleaner. So, chose the lesser of two evils or keep dreaming the impossible Christian dream of ‘loving ones neighbor’. More of God is not necessarily a better thing. Just ask around throughout history.
    You want cheap energy? Walk, go to bed at dark and stop having news paper delivered … it eats up fuel and pollutes. Shut off the lights at PLU at dark. You want to love neighbors who needs you? Move to Hill Top. Or do you live there already? Do you even live in Parkland? Otherwise, keep it in your pews and classes of academic gymnastics. When you can give away your extra coats, feed the hungry and visit the prisoners.. daily, just like Jesus said, then maybe you have an experiential reference. In the mean, chose the lesser of two evils and stop trying to enforce what you consider the better ‘loving’ on the rest of us pragmatists.

  93. aislander – I didn’t say you were a liar. I think that it is unlikely that you came up with the Hummer/Prius comparison all by yourself – likely you heard/read about it over the past 5 years and forgot that you saw it – sod is grass, grass is soft and green and feels good between your toes – perhaps you need to kindly sod off as you seem a little tense.

  94. sumyungboi says:

    beerboy: “aislander – I didn’t say you were a liar.”

    Please.. We’re not in court, and we don’t have to ponder what “is” means. You told him he was a liar, and in typical lib fashion, you think you have a path to walk back when you get called out. Sorry, chum.

    As far as comparison goes, Hummer / Pious is an obvious choice. If I were asked to name a brand of soda pop, I’d say “Coke”, is that because I read some Coke study? You’re simply not credible, never were, and now you’re really stretching it.

  95. averageJoseph says:

    aislander said: “beerBoy: I am impressed that you went to so much trouble to debunk a study I have never read by a company I have never heard of…

    b said: “bloody unlikely that the Hummer/Prius comparison just popped into your head and “coincidentally”

    b doubled down with: “I think that it is unlikely that you came up with the Hummer/Prius comparison all by yourself”

    Sure looks like you called him a liar to me.

  96. LeePHill says:

    arguing over calling a liar a liar?

    I’m sure glad I missed all of this yesterday. I would have laughed so hard I would have fallen on the floor.

    Where were all of these “pro-American miner” types when TransAlta outsourced all the mining in their Centralia plant and started bring in their coal from Canada (there home country)? It put 600 workers out of work in Lewis County and not a complaint one from conservatives

  97. sumyungboi says:

    Ah yes, so “above the fray”, so much more grown up than the rest of us, no? But look below the surface, and you’ll see just another condescending prog. As the old saying goes, when you condescend, two things are possible. If you’re wrong, you’re simply an *******. If you’re right, you’re a condescending *******.

    And until American labor unions get a clue about world economics, they’ll continue to fade into the night.

  98. averageJoseph says:

    LOL… and all your alts… preston.

  99. PseudoNihilist says:

    The first issue is energy cost. Solar energy costs about $0.38 per kwh; coal energy costs about $0.006 per kwh.

    The second issue is space. Solar energy produces about 10.6 watts per square foot during peak hours. That means to produce enough energy to supply California we would need a solar field equal to 76,593.55 acres. Understandably California uses more energy than Washington. However, you can figure out how large a solar field would be needed to supply Washington’s needs. An acre is 43,560 square feet*10.6 watts per square foot.
    Coal produces over 1 million watts per ton. To match that we would need a solar field over 2 acres and this would only match during peak hours with no overcast sky. When the sun goes down coal keeps producing.



  100. aislander says:

    My explanation of how I came upon my comparison (see my post, http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2012/06/15/coal-trains-on-the-wrong-track/#comment-224645) is exactly what happened. The freight-train company whose commercials referred to hauling a ton of freight 400 miles for a buck is CSX. Check road test data from issues of Road & Track magazine from the ’50s and early ’60s for the ton-mile stat.

    I don’t think that libs such as beerBoy wish to allow credit to a conservative for arriving at such a comparison all by his lonesome, which says more about his own intelligence (or lack thereof) than mine…

  101. SwordofPerseus says:

    There is no escaping the reality that the letter writer points out. It is a regressive economic policy to sell our raw materials to our competition, regardless of the assumed short term financial gains. Simply put this is not a road to success of any kind.

    The future is tomorrow, not ten years from now. The short term myopic views of the so called conservatives is stunningly ignorant of the state of the art in alternative energy. We are cooking the planet with the continued use of fossil fuel, this is not a matter of debate anymore. The sooner we develop and implement all forms of alternatives to fossil fuel the better off we as a species will be.

    America used to be always on the cutting edge of research and new ways to improve life, Republicans in general seem to be lacking a spirit of moving forward and making a change for a better more free, happy society and a clean and verdant world. Coal is not the future.

  102. SwordofPerseus says:

    Slander are you howling at the moon again? Speaking of STUPID, we are not reinventing the wheel, just the materials with which it is made…I know you don’t think out side the box often, but I am growing tired of leading you by the hand.

  103. aislander says:

    HackerofJellyfish: You’re definitely not leading anybody with forty-year-old Carter-era ideas. Check what happened to the syn-fuels program…

  104. SwordofPerseus says:

    A striking report produced the the think tank ‘Club Of Rome’.

    “2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, by Jorgen Randers, launched by the Club of Rome on May 7, raises the possibility that humankind might not survive on the planet if it continues on its path of over-consumption and short-termism.

    In the Report author Jorgen Randers raises essential questions: How many people will the planet be able to support? Will the belief in endless growth crumble? Will runaway climate change take hold? Where will quality of life improve, and where will it decline? Using painstaking research, and drawing on contributions from more than 30 thinkers in the field, he concludes that:

    While the process of adapting humanity to the planet’s limitations has started, the human response could be too slow.
    The current dominant global economies, particularly the United States, will stagnate. Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and ten leading emerging economies (referred to as ‘BRISE’ in the Report) will progress.
    But there will still be 3 billion poor in 2052.
    China will be a success story, because of its ability to act.
    Global population will peak in 2042, because of falling fertility in urban areas
    Global GDP will grow much slower than expected, because of slower productivity growth in mature economies.
    CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will continue to grow and cause +2°C in 2052; temperatures will reach +2.8°C in 2080, which may well trigger self-reinforcing climate change”-

  105. aislander says:

    By the way, how many winners have been picked by the government in the nearly 236 years of the nation’s existence as compared to the private sector? Statists will cite NASA, but the technology itself was developed by the private sector and it certainly wasn’t the government that recognized the commercial potential in the technology.

    For an entity with as poor a record in that regard as the federal government’s to try to pick winning technologies would be hilarious if it didn’t cost us so much money.

    And finally to be accused of having limited imagination by someone who would use such a hackneyed term as “thinking outside the box” is self-parody by ole SoP…

  106. SwordofPerseus says:

    ‘slander-yes I have, all green energy ideas not directly profiting the oil industry or which threaten the oil industries choke hold on the world economy have been killed by big oil and rubes such as yourself who believe there is no other way to do anything but the way we do it now.

    That is self defeating and simplistic thinking on your part. Synthetic fuel is not what I am talking about. There are a number of alternatives to an OIL(and COAL) that was produced millions of years ago, that is sequestering trillions of tons of carbon safely from the atmosphere.

    Like I said tired of leading you by the hand. Look up alternative energy on the google there ai.

  107. averageJoseph says:


  108. SwordofPerseus says:

    Hey revisionist history alert!! Wa WA Wa! Right ‘slander poor technology like Jet propulsion pioneered by the USAFF(later USAF), Space flight pioneered by the USN and USAFF(later NASA) both government entities not private enterprise. Private enterprise sat on the sidelines until the government paid for R & D to promote and develop jet and rocket propulsion and both success stories, two examples I pulled from my hat to show your lack of knowledge of even the simplest of ideas of how much we have to gain from government funded programs. You are truly a clown for the right wing, what a great yes-man company store kinda guy you are.

    I prefer a government which controls corporations not the other way around.

  109. aislander says:

    Admit it, HoJ, you would prefer NO economic activity whatsoever. You’ll feel better about yourself and you can then stop calling people names. I don’t believe, though you’ll be able to stop condescending. Perhaps electroshock therapy…

    …generated by solar panels.

  110. SwordofPerseus says:

    US Government programs that are a success by any measure;

    1. Regulation of the Business Cycle

    2. Public Health Programs

    3. The Interstate Highway System/Railway Land Grant

    4. Federal Deposit Insurance

    5. Social Security and Medicare

    6. GI Bill

  111. aislander says:

    If you’re so hot on Googling, perhaps you should look up Robert Goddard, Werner Von Braun, and the aeolipile. No government involved in the basic research unless you count the Nazis in the case of Von Braun…

    And the government had no role in bringing the tech to market…

  112. aislander says:

    I never said there is no need for government–it is vital for the civil society. I just said the government is lousy at picking winners in the market. I stand by that.

  113. Hurry and go fire-up the “Algae-Mobile”, I have a Doctor’s Appointment and I’ll need a ride ’cause I don’t want to pollute the air or endanger the “Little Fishies”, the Roy Pocket Gopher, The Spotted Owl, Blue Heron, a White Person, or any other “Endangered Species” you Selfish Idiot !!!

  114. aislander says:

    Oh, c’mon, moderator! Reinventing the wheel and making energy more expensive and less useful ISN’T…er…fatuous?

    (and the word I chose isn’t the most insulting thing ever posted here. Is it?)

  115. SwordofPerseus says:

    Yes you’re right ‘slander, just everyone in a coma…no such thing as gradients to you is there? Actually I would prefer some brain activity from your side instead of the fact-less feces you fling.

    I believe we should be working to achieve a sustainable economy in place of the unsustainable economy under which we currently toil…Like I said, “‘explaining the rings of Saturn to an ant.'”


    1. thrifty management; frugality in the expenditure or consumption of money, materials, etc.
    2. an act or means of thrifty saving; a saving: He achieved a small economy by walking to work instead of taking a bus.
    3. the management of the resources of a community, country, etc., especially with a view to its productivity.

  116. SwordofPerseus says:

    jintz-maybe you should walk, because you should not drive in your condition.

  117. SwordofPerseus says:

    ‘slander I was a model rocketeer myself long ago, made my own solid propellant as well. I am fully aware of the pioneering developments of Goddard and Von Braun, (Peenemunde the V-2 were made possible by the NAZI Government), however Von Braun’s major developments in reliability and performance came at the Government facilities at Huntsville AL. which I am sure you know led to the development of the most powerful rocket ever made the Saturn V. You think we could not do something similar with solar power now? Why not?

  118. aislander says:

    Nice cherry-picking of definitions, HoJ!


    4. the prosperity or earnings of a place: Further inflation would endanger the national economy seriously.

    OR: continued rule by the left will render us a hunting and gathering economy…except the left will then outlaw hunting and gathering!

  119. SwordofPerseus says:

    You would propose that I chose examples which do not support my argument? I will leave such moves to you and your “right wing compatriots”.

  120. aislander says:

    Solar power and Saturn V rockets are apples and hand grenades. When there is vibrant market for large, powerful, liquid-fueled rockets, you MIGHT have a point.

    The market for solar panels will probably develop at about the same time as that for Saturn Vs…

  121. aislander says:

    Omitting the meaning of the word as it is being discussed just makes you look…weak.

  122. LeePHill says:

    AverageLarry is talking about alts.


  123. averageJoseph says:

    Just an observation sybil.

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