Another New Plant

How about some good news, especially for Americans, but also for those who like freedom, and who might even like cheap energy. President Trump spoke last week at the new Royal Dutch Shell’s Pennsylvania Petrochemical Complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania. If I understand what is going on here, Shell will buy (pretty cheap) ethane from the oil fields in the area (mostly fracked fields). And then they turn it into polyethylene which is the base for many of the plastics we use for so much. Shell says this about it…

“From the phone in your pocket to the pillow you sleep on, the essentials of everyday life depend on the raw chemicals that go to make them. As global population and incomes rise, one giant chemicals plant has found ways to step up production to meet growing demand for these items.”

And that’s an American plant – in Beaver County Pennsylvania – which has been depressed ever since the steel mills closed, is now roaring back. It’s about time, and while the plan preceded the Trump administration, the confidence, and the regulatory red tape cutting, without causing environmental damage, to bring it online is down to the Trump administration.

Master Resource did a good job of excerpting the speech, here’s part of that.

  • And when the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference, does it? Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds. Someday, the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that.
  • And then, all of a sudden, it stops; the wind and the televisions go off. And your wives and husbands say, “Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight.” “But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch. There’s no electricity in the house, darling.” No, we love natural gas and we love a lot of other things, too….

Or the wind blows too hard, as the United Kingdom found out last week when a steam plant went offline without warning and the grid could not maintain frequency control, and tripped off, leaving much of England in the dark. At least, this time, it was in the summer, might be more significant when it happens in the winter, and it will. To continue:

  • With your help, we’re not only unleashing American energy, we’re restoring the glory of American manufacturing, and we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders again. A nation of builders.
  • When completed, this facility will transform abundant natural gas — and we have a lot of it — fracked from Pennsylvania wells, which they never would have allowed you to take if I weren’t President. If my opponent won … I guess you would have stopped long ago….
  • But I was talking to Gretchen [Watkins of Shell North America]. They would have never gotten the approvals to do what’s needed to fuel these plants. That wouldn’t have been good. So, probably, they wouldn’t have started. But if they would have started, it would have stopped.
  • But they put it into plastic through a process known as “cracking.” That raw material will then be shipped all over the country and all over the world to be fashioned into more products stamped with that very beautiful phrase: “Made in the USA.” … Beautiful. […]
  • Pennsylvania miners. Do we love our miners? (Applause.) They lit up our towns and powered our industries. And Pennsylvania factory workers made the American brand into the universal symbol of excellence all around the world — all over. [,,,]
  • With your help, we’re not only unleashing American energy, we’re restoring the glory of American manufacturing, and we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders again. A nation of builders. […]
  • And other radical plans to wipe out our coal. That’s what they want. They want to wipe out our oil. They want to wipe out our natural gas industries, while allowing other countries to steal our jobs.
  • Virtually every leading Democrat has vowed to eliminate fossil fuels, obliterating millions of American jobs, devastating communities, and bankrupting factories, families, and senior citizens all across this region.
  • And, by the way, this is only fuel that has the power for plants. When you have to steam up and you have to fuel up on these giant plants, these giant generators, these giant electrical factories, you need what you’re doing. You need this. It’s got the power. The other doesn’t have the power; certainly not yet. Probably never will. […]
  • And that’s why we’re pursuing a future not only of energy independence — but not just words. You know, you’ve been hearing “energy independence” for years and years, and you’d hear it. We have real independence. But what we want now is not independence; we want American energy dominance. Dominance

There’s quite a bit more, even in excerpts at the linked article. But the story is one we have said before, America is back, Jack, and again it’s wearing its seven league steel-toed boots.

Great for us and its good for the world too, as should be obvious to all

Here is the video of the speech.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

27 Responses to Another New Plant

  1. Scoop says:

    The global impact of ‘wind power’ and ‘solar power’ is far more than fossil fuels; see the following insightful facts that the left doesn’t want us to know: https://www.wsj.com/articles/if-you-want-renewable-energy-get-ready-to-dig-11565045328?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1

    Of course, this Royal Shell deal (I think that they are signers of the Paris Accord, aren’t they?) seems to bolster our energy production and manufacturing but they also are making more waste than they want to admit. But then, it only makes sense that we will find ways to produce plastics etc. that will be biodegradable and whole industries to recycle or clean the oceans and landfills in the future. We somehow find solutions to problems long after the cries that the sky is falling. I think this too will work its way out in the future when the time and the price is ripe for such things. It isn’t the end of the world though the greenies pick and choose the pollution they advocate agains the pollution that we are more familiar with and are actively working to overcome. Someday, but not now, we will find a solution to the plastic disposal as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scoop says:

      BTW: for those who do not want to SIGN IN to the Wall Street Journal to read the above linked article, here is an abbreviated transcript that you can read:

      If You Want ‘Renewable Energy,’ Get Ready to Dig
      Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of plastic.
      By
      Mark P. Mills
      Aug. 5, 2019 6:48 pm ET
      Wind turbines in Palm Springs, Calif., July 13, 2017. PHOTO: PAUL BUCK/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
      Democrats dream of powering society entirely with wind and solar farms combined with massive batteries. Realizing this dream would require the biggest expansion in mining the world has seen and would produce huge quantities of waste.
      “Renewable energy” is a misnomer. Wind and solar machines and batteries are built from nonrenewable materials. And they wear out. Old equipment must be decommissioned, generating millions of tons of waste. The International Renewable Energy Agency calculates that solar goals for 2050 consistent with the Paris Accords will result in old-panel disposal constituting more than double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste. Consider some other sobering numbers:
      A single electric-car battery weighs about 1,000 pounds. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving and processing more than 500,000 pounds of raw materials somewhere on the planet. The alternative? Use gasoline and extract one-tenth as much total tonnage to deliver the same number of vehicle-miles over the battery’s seven-year life.
      When electricity comes from wind or solar machines, every unit of energy produced, or mile traveled, requires far more materials and land than fossil fuels. That physical reality is literally visible: A wind or solar farm stretching to the horizon can be replaced by a handful of gas-fired turbines, each no bigger than a tractor-trailer.
      Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic. Solar power requires even more cement, steel and glass—not to mention other metals. Global silver and indium mining will jump 250% and 1,200% respectively over the next couple of decades to provide the materials necessary to build the number of solar panels, the International Energy Agency forecasts. World demand for rare-earth elements—which aren’t rare but are rarely mined in America—will rise 300% to 1,000% by 2050 to meet the Paris green goals. If electric vehicles replace conventional cars, demand for cobalt and lithium, will rise more than 20-fold. That doesn’t count batteries to back up wind and solar grids.
      Last year a Dutch government-sponsored study concluded that the Netherlands’ green ambitions alone would consume a major share of global minerals. “Exponential growth in [global] renewable energy production capacity is not possible with present-day technologies and annual metal production,” it concluded.
      The demand for minerals likely won’t be met by mines in Europe or the U.S. Instead, much of the mining will take place in nations with oppressive labor practices. The Democratic Republic of the Congo produces 70% of the world’s raw cobalt, and China controls 90% of cobalt refining. The Sydney-based Institute for a Sustainable Future cautions that a global “gold” rush for minerals could take miners into “some remote wilderness areas [that] have maintained high biodiversity because they haven’t yet been disturbed.”
      What’s more, mining and fabrication require the consumption of hydrocarbons. Building enough wind turbines to supply half the world’s electricity would require nearly two billion tons of coal to produce the concrete and steel, along with two billion barrels of oil to make the composite blades. More than 90% of the world’s solar panels are built in Asia on coal-heavy electric grids.
      Engineers joke about discovering “unobtanium,” a magical energy-producing element that appears out of nowhere, requires no land, weighs nothing, and emits nothing. Absent the realization of that impossible dream, hydrocarbons remain a far better alternative than today’s green dreams.
      Mr. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a partner in Cottonwood Venture Partners, an energy-tech venture fund, and author of the recent report, “The ‘New Energy Economy’: An Exercise in Magical Thinking.”
      Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
      Appeared in the August 6, 2019, print edition.

      Liked by 3 people

    • NEO says:

      When it becomes economic to solve the problem (if problem it be) the problem will be solved. We solved the problem of knee deep horse dung in the NY streets, and we will solve this one too.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Nicholas says:

    God bless America.

    This post takes me back to my secondary school science lessons. I remember observing at the time they taught me about wind turbines that you don’t get something for nothing. All the energy and resources you put into making and maintaining the thing – you’d better be damned certain it gives you that back. By all accounts, it doesn’t.

    As for cracking, alkanes and alkenes spring to mind. Good old chemistry (of course you gentlemen know if I were to do chemistry for fun now, I’d probably get bogged down in the food related parts…esters for making that artificial banana flavour I like in those sweets you get at the movies, yum yum…).

    Seriously though, I wish you guys all the best and hope that we can forge some real business links between our two countries that will give each of us prosperity and forge bonds of friendship once again. Trump in 2020!

    Liked by 2 people

    • NEO says:

      No reason we can’t, unless Boris decides not to. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Scoop says:

      Yeah, some people seem to think that wind and solar are perpetual motion machines that give us something for nothing. Geo-thermal is about as close as you can get and it still requires, pumps, pipes, regulators etc. and cannot be used very far from its source. Some of these folks even forget how much energy is required to make the transmission lines for electricity itself; not to mention all the mining that is required to get the copper and iron needed to transport this commodity to the communities and businesses at large. They are utopians that never seem to think things through or simply want to conveniently forget the obvious.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nicholas says:

        Utopianism is killing us. It is the enemy of true Christian faith. Mark Levin’s book, “Ameritopia” discusses the danger of utopianism. There’s also a book called “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”, which I hear is good.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          It really comes down to common sense if people will just think the issue through to its practical limitations. Its easier to have a dream but there is much more involved in making a dream come true and dealing with new problems. Plastic was supposed to be a step forward and they have polluted the planet and now they are all upset about it. Its property of not being able to be broken down for countless decades (once its positive trait) has now become its liability when it comes to pollution and getting into the food chain. So what do we do now? God back to standard materials like glass that turned back into sand over time and paper which is renewable? Sometimes the old stuff is just better . . . and fossil fuel is the best we got at the moment. When the time is right we will find the next best answer to these problems but I wouldn’t invest in wind or solar anytime soon. They might be useful in single home applications but it’s worse than what we already have for public utilities. In fact I think the next worldwide technology will more than likely turn out to be something we haven’t even considered at the moment.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          Indeed, I used to think something would be done by means of light one day. There is speculation about some of the inventor Tesla’s ideas, but some of that looks like Ancient Aliens territory, which is best avoided.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          Indeed . . . and atomic energy which has a lot going for it still gives us waste that is lethal for thousands of years and Chernobyl showed us what a serious accident can cause. It just goes to show that there is no free lunch though we keep looking for that unicorn year after year; or should I say politician after politician?

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          Indeed. If we were to return to a less impactful way of life, we would not be able to support the numbers of people alive today. Millions would die if we returned to a pre-industrial lifestyle.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          Again, we have to keep faith. God gave us the intellect to solve problems (through logic and trial and error) and must have figured that we would gain an appreciation for the self-contained, on-going terrarium type of home he gave us as a model. We will never be able to imitate His creation but we will be able to sustain ourselves and still participate in His Creative Spirit . . . while gaining more and more respect for His perfection . . . and our efforts will at least see us through until He comes again in Glory if we simply use the intellect that He gave us.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          Amen – though I rather suspect that goal will be achieved in the Millennium and not in this saeculum.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          Most likely, but we should be awe with what God Created as our home away from our Eternal Home. If we regain that and regain a sense of humility then we will once again regain that sense of awe, mystery and thanksgiving. He didn’t create this so that we would or could destroy it before it has served God’s purpose. Sadly, in our age, as you say, we seem to think that we are in total charge and can mimic God perfectly and get that perpetual motion machine without Him. We’ll see that in Heaven and won’t be by our making but it will be a gift that is better than His first Creation which is only out of whack due to sin and yet is still magnificence beyond our wildest imaginings.

          Liked by 2 people

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