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.

Children’s Crusade and Fascist Idiots

From the Colonel:

You look at the Democratic debaters and you despair. It’s a hackneyed collection of motley mediocrities that includes, among other things, an unrepentant crusty commie, an ersatz squaw, a golddigging narc, a handsy grandpa, a furry, and a New Age weirdo who unironically channels Oddball from Kelly’s Heroes.

To quote the gender fluidity pioneers of Twisted Sister, America, if that’s your best, your best won’t do.

Now, we’re supposed to ignore their undeniable lousiness because we’re in a crisis. The crisis appears to be that our elite has been denied total power via the defeat of Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit, but that’s not how they sell it. It’s a crisis of rampant bigotry. It’s a crisis of foreigners not being subsidized by Americans. It’s a crisis of the weather maybe being different in a century. But these crises share one thing in common: only the liberal elite can save us.

Well, there is a crisis, but not the one they are pushing. The looming existential challenge we face is not the failure to appease some angry climate goddess but, rather, the frivolous priorities of these bored beneficiaries of the bounty of Western civilization. They got handed a world of peace and prosperity unparalleled in human history and instead of appreciating and protecting it they want to toss it all away. Why? Precisely because they got handed it. The dummies who make up our elite don’t value the society they inherited because think this is the natural state of man – that all this just sort of happened and that it will go on just sort of happening forever no matter how much they undermine its foundations.

But it won’t.

Let’s start with the most basic problem, which is that the undistinguished members of our ruling caste hate the people they presume to rule over. It’s not a matter of simply regarding the proles as uncouth and vulgar and not our sort of people. It’s hate. Bitter, clingy hate. And our elite feels no obligation to the people who make their cushy lives possible. A functioning ruling class at least tries to rule; ours finds that too much work and instead focuses on Chardonnay and condescension.

You look back in history and the upper class at least showed up for the hard stuff. The Roman elite was out there on the battlefield with the peasants (that was after they allowed the mob into the army – for a long time only the patricians were allowed to fight). The British upper class was out there on the battlefield too. The elite used to acknowledge obligations to their lessers, and when they stopped doing that, things went sideways. When Flavius and the gang decided to let the barbarians handle the strenuous work of defending the Empire and chilled in the local vomitorium instead of hoofing it to battle the Parthians, Rome started falling. The British upper class doesn’t do anything harder today than ring up the local bobbies to demand the arrest of Twitter yobs who say mean things.

The American ruling class is garbage too. Did any of those 671 Democrats up on that stage ever seem to side with their own society?

Keep reading, he is, as usual spot on. Personally, I don’t care if you buy his books or not, but his diagnosis is correct.

And now they think we should join a children’s crusade led by a brain-damaged 16-year old whose own parents can’t be bothered to tell her to STFU and get back in school where you belong.

From The Federalist:

The heroine of the environmental movement is on her way. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish celebrity protester, has finally figured out a way to bring her extremist message to the New World.

Thunberg, who has been the focus of adulatory coverage throughout Europe and in mainstream American outlets such as CNN, the New York Times, and a cover story in Time magazine, is a teenage sensation leading a movement of angry European children. Thunberg and her fans are demanding that their country’s governments act to stop global warming. What’s more, they are denouncing as sellouts even those who agree with their goal but are reluctant to adopt the extremist measures such as those Thunberg’s ally Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) put forward in the Green New Deal.

To promote her cause, Thunberg skipped school every Friday for the last year (she’ll be taking the 2019-20 school year off) and held a weekly vigil outside the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. Reportedly, tens of thousands of fellow students have been following her lead to play hooky.

Given what a mess the left has made of schools, missing 20% may or may not be a big deal, but they surely could learn something somewhere.

Thunberg and her movement operate with some clear advantages. Since they are a children’s crusade, they are credited with the best possible motives and not asked to fully or coherently explain their goals or how they might be achieved without doing more harm than good. Their impatience with the business of democracy in which one must persuade people rather than merely issuing diktats is similarly depicted as evidence of their high ideals rather than ignorance or anti-democratic sentiments.

As for journalists who point out the flaws in these young people’s arguments, the inconsistency in their behavior, or ponder whether children should be skipping school to pursue a political agenda, progressives denounce them as bullies picking on nice kids. Politicians who have the temerity to push back even mildly against the lack of respect and common courtesy that Thunberg and her followers consistently demonstrate must expect a tidal wave of criticism for their so-called insensitivity.

Yeah, well, they can stick their nonsense and their totalitarian tendencies whee the sun don’t shine. This old world has rocked on pretty well without them for thousands of years, and I bet it will for a few more. If their countries are stupid enough to fall for this nonsense – well that’s their problem. Personally, I like to eat, jeep warm and cool, and ride in cars, and yes, even fly on occasion. If Momma Earth can’t handle that, well what’s the point anyway?

Yeah, I’ve had enough, somebody give the whole bunch a great big cup of STFU and turn the bloody children’s crusade back where they came from. I’m beginning to understand the Pied Piper better every day.

Memorial Day Weekend

I’m going to be out most of the day, supervising a job, so entertain yourselves, and I’ll catch up later.

Well, we’ve made it to the traditional start of an American summer, Memorial Day. We’ll be talking about various aspects of that throughout the weekend. But for today, let’s just relax.

If I were asked to provide a synonym for America it would be movement. We’re a restless, impatient people with itchy feet. That’s why our ancestors became Americans, why the initials GTT were once famous in Tennessee, why we went westering until the Pacific got in the way. And still today, a wise man said, “To the British 200 miles is a long distance where to the American 200 years is a long time”. If we have a motto other the E Pluribus Unum, it has to be “real quick”. de Tocqueville noted it in us all those years ago, and it’s still a major part of us.

A lot of that depends on cheap energy, back in the day, we walked from St Joe to Oregon and California. Our Clipper ships were amongst the finest (and fastest) in the world. And gave the world such songs of loneliness as Shenandoah.

But that movement had a price, and you can hear it in that song. Those folks westering, and the ones they left behind, knew that if they were lucky, they would receive a few letters from their friends and family in the rest of their life. And thus the American quest for faster movement, and freedom of movement.

First, the steam train, with its promise of going almost anywhere, and it’s successor the airplane. But the real mark of America is the privately owned motorcar, epitomizing two important strains in our wanderlust. The ability to go where we want, when we want.

And faster, always faster. That’s why the Greatest Spectacle in Sports is American and will be this weekend, in Indianapolis, as always. By the way, did you know that the first winner, Ray Harroun, invented the rear view mirror? Like old Satchel Paige said, “Don’t look over your shoulder, someone might be gaining on you!” Like all of us expatriate Hoosiers, you can sing along with Jim Nabors and the Purdue All-American Marching Band.

And don’t forget to culturally appropriate a few bratwursts and beers, either! 🙂

What’s that got to do with a proper view of Memorial Day? As far back as the Civil War itself, foreign observers were marveling at the speed and fluidity of American Armies, they still do, especially combined with the awesome firepower we have always sought.

But a lot of it has to do with cheap (or affordable) energy, Our malaise in large part dates to that day back in 1973 that  OPEC shut off the oil spigot. We’ve never been quite ourselves since. Well, that malaise seems to be in remission.

Get happy. Summer beckons. Not only bike and hike but also drive, bus, train, and fly to a better environment–your self-selected environment.

The automobile is environmentalism-on-wheels. The open road is freedom to escape the concrete for the great beyond. Mountains, rivers, hills, forests, even beautiful green golf courses–it is all a drive away. (And if it makes you happy CAP, those ‘huge profits’ of “Big Oil’ are a few years absent.)

Everyone else: forget the spin and go for a spin!

Each year, MasterResource celebrates the beginning of the peak-driving season knowing that our free-market philosophy is about energy abundance and affordability and reliability. And there is little to apologize for. When is the last time you got a bad tank of gasoline, anyway?

Oil, gas, and coal have been and continue to be technologically transformed into super-clean energy resources. Carbon-based energies are growing more abundant, not less. And energy/climate alarmism is losing steam on all fronts (except the shouting).

The real energy sustainability problem is statism, not free consumer choice. As Matt Ridley concluded: “There is little doubt that the damage being done by climate-change policies currently exceeds the damage being done by climate change.” As Alex Epstein is telling each one of us to tell our neighbors: I Love Fossil Fuels.

From: Celebrate the Open Road

But, for now: Sad to realize we’ve lost both Jim Nabors and Dinah Shore in the last year. Price of getting old, I reckon, but one that I regret.

Go on, get out there, our soldiers didn’t risk and sometimes lose their lives in all those wars so you could sit around and mope about all that’s wrong with the world. Go, and have fun, the world’s problems will still be here for you, and you’ll be better for it.

Green New Dream and Brexit: the Musical

Well, I think we’ll do a few more videos today.

The Clear Energy Alliance has a series of videos up explaining just how incredibly stupid Occasional Cortex’s (or AOC, if you insist) Green New Deal is.

I’ll post a couple of the series, but more at the link.

and

They are completely right, of course. This whole plan is substandard for college freshmen over a football weekend. But that is fairly standard for Congress.

Or Parliament for that matter, Brexit the Musical is available. It’s not quite up to the standard of Hamilton, but if the F bomb in a posh British accent doesn’t overly bother you, it’s pretty good. But perhaps a bit NSFW

Hat tip to PowerLine for both.

SOTU 2019, and The Old Dominion blows up

The President gave an outstanding SOTU the other night, If you missed it, here it is. I know the feeling, I finally found enough time last night.

One of the things that is very rare is that he is very good with a set piece speech like this, while also being very good with the off the cuff ones, like his rallies. Very unusual for anyone to be good at both. PowerLine and others report that CBS and CNN snap polls found 76% approval.

He’s got a good message, a quite traditional pro-America message when he can get it through the media, who does their best to stifle it. The shutdown delay, and associated hype, probably helped him, as well.

One of the losers of the night was the Dems and their Mean Girl Caucus. It’s not a good look when Congresscritters (who are unpopular, all on their own) remind all and sundry of both the cool kids in junior high and the KKK. You know, like this.

And that is how they came off to me, and probably a lot of others. Sitting there stone-faced at the receipt of much good news about America, only cheering for themselves. As usual.

Then there is the mess the Dims have made in Virginia. Melanie Phillips explains it well.

But now Democrats have revealed a brutalised contempt for life itself.

In the Virginia assembly, Democrat delegate Kathy Tran proposed a law loosening restrictions on abortion in the final stages of pregnancy. She later confirmed that this would permit the termination of a pregnancy up to the very moment of delivery, in other words after labour had started.

The capacity to keep premature babies alive at an ever earlier stage in pregnancy has produced a fraught debate about the need to reduce the abortion time limit. But if a baby is in the process of being born, it is by definition capable of life. It is not longer a foetus; it is indisputably a baby on its way into the world. The suggestion that it might be killed at the very moment of its birth is grotesque – and it’s hard to understand how in practice this could be done without committing infanticide.

The Tran bill failed to pass, but not before it was defended by Virginia’s Democrat governor Ralph Northam, who is himself a paediatric neurologist. He told a WTOP radio show that Tran’s comments were “blown out of proportion” and said third-trimester abortions were rare.

These were done, he said, “in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s not viable. If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen.The infant would be delivered. The infant would be comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother. So I think this was really blown out of proportion”.

Northam was immediately accused of promoting infanticide, an accusation he vehemently denied. His spokeswoman said he had been “talking about prognosis and medical treatment, not ending the life of a delivered baby”; his words were being taken out of context by Republicans, she said, and the notion that he would approve of killing infants was “disgusting.”

But what else would any such resuscitation “discussion” be about? Moreover, Tran’s proposed measure wasn’t about non-viable foetuses or catastrophic deformities or allowing terribly sick newborns to die. It was instead about third-trimester abortion, the deliberate extinction of any viable infant life, in circumstances where continuing with the pregnancy was deemed to threaten the mother’s life or her physical or mental health.

You already know my views, I could be persuaded that anyone espousing such views should be aborted themselves before they can hurt more kids. YMMV, but I’d be surprised.

In any case, the world blew up for Dims in Virginia, Melanie again.

So either Northam was being disingenuous, or he didn’t understand what Tran’s proposals actually were.

What then happened, however, graphically demonstrated how the Democrats are now being sucked into a woke vortex of their own making. It was revealed that in 1984 Northam had featured, on his medical-school yearbook page, a photograph of a man in blackface and a man in a KuKluxKlan hood. Northam immediately apologised for appearing in the picture; then said that neither person in the photograph was him; then he said he had put on blackface decades ago to look like Michael Jackson for a dance contest.

All hell then broke loose and Northam’s future as Virginia’s governor – an office he won after accusing his opponents of racism – is now in jeopardy.

But Virginia’s Democrats then descended into yet another circle of politically correct hell. Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, admitted that he also had worn blackface in the 1980s. And Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who was poised to succeed Northam if he was hounded out of office, was suddenly accused by a fellow Democrat of sexual assault.

It gets better. The Atlantic reports:

“Fairfax has emphatically denied any wrongdoing and says he had a consensual sexual encounter with his accuser, Vanessa Tyson, a professor of politics at Scripps College. (He has also accusedLevar Stoney, a rival Democrat who is mayor of Richmond, of spreading the story. Stoney denies doing so.) This week, Tyson hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her in high school. Fairfax has also refused to resign.”

So now Virginia’s top three Democrat officials are simultaneously accused of advocating infanticide, displaying racial bigotry and committing sexual assault. […]

What’s happened in Virginia is that the cultural firebombs that the left repeatedly throws at its opponents over race, sexual violence and abortion have suddenly blown back at them and are setting their hair alight. As Rich Lowry writes, in the coming primary season no Democrat will be safe.

“Any lapses will be interpreted through the most hostile lens, made all the more brutal by the competition of a large field of candidates vying for the approval of a radicalized base. The Democrat nomination battle might as well be fought on the campus of Oberlin College and officiated by the director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion”.

You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

Meanwhile, over a sickening culture of institutionalised dehumanisation no liberal progressive turns a hair. Why should they? They created it.

In other words, conservatives are fighting back, using the tools the Dims developed and have been using forever. It’s time and way past time.

The Democratic Party is brutalised and degraded, perhaps irrevocably. And millions of decent Americans are watching this political and cultural death spiral, and drawing their own horrified conclusions.

As that old Progressive Democrat Harry S Truman said, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Thank God.

A Boondoggle in Hoosierland

From James Taylor at American Spectator.

Under a renewable energy proposal from Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Indiana consumers would face a 12 percent electricity rate hike, which will cost the average household more than $100 per year in additional electricity costs. NIPSCO is justifying its renewable power rate hike by asserting renewable power saves consumers money, but there’s absolutely no truth to these claims.

Indiana ranks seventh in the nation in coal production and generates 68 percent of its power from coal. Together, affordable coal and natural gas generate 95 percent of Indiana’s electricity. As a result, Indiana electricity prices are substantially lower than the national average. National electricity prices are 10 percent higher than in Indiana.

Unfortunately, NIPSCO wants to put an end to these low prices. It is proposing to shut down two perfectly functioning coal power plants that provide much of NIPSCO’s low-cost electricity. In their place, NIPSCO wants to build expensive wind and solar power equipment and battery storage for when the wind isn’t blowing or the Sun isn’t shining. NIPSCO claims transitioning from affordable coal power to wind and solar will save consumers money, but at the same time that it makes these unfounded claims, NIPSCO is proposing to hike electricity rates 12 percent to pay for the renewable energy “savings.”

NIPSCO is a government-protected monopoly utility, with Indiana state government guaranteeing NIPSCO a profit of approximately 10 percent for every dollar it spends. Accordingly, NIPSCO has a financial self-interest to engage in costly business practices. Building expensive new power facilities, even when existing facilities are working perfectly well, is one of the most effective ways for NIPSCO to ramp up its spending and guaranteed profits, and it does so at the expense of consumers, many of whom will have no knowledge that their electricity bills are about to rise substantially.

In return for NIPSCO receiving guaranteed profits on its expenditures, the Indiana Utility Regulation Commission (IURC) must approve any NIPSCO major investment proposals. In its filing with the IURC, NIPSCO claims its proposal to shut down its coal power plants will save consumers more than $4 billion.

More at the above link.

Which it won’t, not least because windpower installations rarely last beyond 20 years, solar I don’t know, but doubt they are any more durable, and with current technology, batteries won’t last a decade.

It’s pie in the sky bullshit, dreamed up to placate the left, which many of the executives of these companies are of anyway.

But a blast from the past for me. NIPSCO was part of my growing up. As I’ve said, my dad ran a Rural Electric Coop, one of those local associations formed when companies like NIPSCO wouldn’t extend their lines out into the country (mostly farms in those days). Those coops had a love/hate relationship with the privately owned companies. Bought power from them, sometimes even shared poles, but fought like brother and sisters about everything, especially the price of power. In the field, we cooperated fine, which is normal.

So as it happened, dad knew the guy that built NIPSCO from a pretty small municipal water company to the electric and gas utility for most of northern Indiana. Knew him and respected him, and it was returned. They often opposed each other, but each knew the other would fight reasonably fairly.

When I was in my early teens I came by dad’s office one day (most days, really), his secretary waved me off, he had a visitor, not uncommon. I went and amused myself in the shop. A half hour or so later here came dad with a guy in the nicest suit I’d ever seen through our pretty neat but not sparkling shop. He was the CEO of NIPSCO, and the three of us spent a couple hours sitting on shop stools, shooting the breeze. He was a pretty interesting guy to talk to, much more of an office guy than dad was. Learned quite a bit that afternoon. Never forgot how nice he was to me, and how complimentary to dad, either.

Doesn’t happen much like that anymore, that respect for the opposition, the world has changed, and not for the better. Hard men, but fair, now we have soft men (boys really, more than I was at 13) but completely willing to employ any means to win, fair or not. And mostly, that’s what is running our government and our companies, even our unions these days. Running it all, right into the ground.

This deal? Par for the course. Good deal perhaps for the shareholders, certainly for the management, crap for the customer.

No better, no worse than any other alternative energy scheme, really. It’s all the same.

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