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Comment Re: It's pretty simple (Score 1) 234

General Welfare is nebulous at best. It is used to describe just about anything someone wants, from Energy Star to just about every social welfare program that has become an Entitlement. Not sure how "Promote" becomes "Entitled" in perpetuity.

The odd thing is, we can't even begin to end programs that have long since served their purposes. Energy Star was great idea, but no longer has any meaning. As I pointed out, it has done nothing to curtail the greater energy sucking Vampires (LED clocks) that are plugged into every outlet of my house. Because my toaster needs a clock.

Comment yet more peanut panic and profiteering (Score 2) 144

Sigh... It's sad to watch the "peanut panic" crowd -- the people who claim all sorts of wild stats about allergy deaths unsupported by evidence -- and the companies that make money by giving them a soapbox. This US/UK-centered phenomenon is a cultural and economic situation, not a medical one. According to the Centers for Disease Control/CDC researchers and American Medical Association/AMA's actual reputable scientists (not med mfr salespeople), the verified death rate from the relevant allergens has been consistent for 50+ years, as long as they've been keeping statistics. No significant rise.

What *has* happened is the massive thousand-fold rise in the number of people *diagnosed* with *some* anaphalactic reaction to peanuts and a zillion other irritants. When more people get *informed* there is a risk, the risk gets wildly exaggerated because of medical liability to any medical provider that does not address the completely-consistent-not-rising remote possibility of fatal reaction. And that translates into sales of expensive epi-pens from the company that conveniently funded the first and oft-cited major study into peanut allergy. And keeps funding other shoddy whitepapers on the topic. And keeps raising prices.

These guys are thieves. Those people are fools. Nothing new under the sun.

Comment Re:Another outrage article (Score 1) 234

Except that this program actually got companies "in line"

Got "in line" with what? It is just another label people ignore.

The thing of it is, that energy efficiency doesn't matter once you bought the thing that has its "Energy Star " sticker on it. Nobody calculates that the Fridge you bought 20 years ago is actually costing you money, because its energy usage is twice as much as what is available now. The new "Energy Star" stickered Fridge is twice as efficient as your "Energy Star" stickered Fridge in your kitchen. Most people think they are the same sticker, meaning the same thing "energy efficient" and relative efficiency is nothing but "fancy math stuff"

And "Energy Star" has done nothing to reduce the vampire energy loss due to everything having a damn clock in it, and the blue LED lightbulb, slowly sucking power unknown and unseen because, like the waste in federal spending, it is so small as to simply be an "rounding error".

So, I reject the idea that it is "in line" with anything actually useful, like forcing people to get rid of their 2nd (3rd) Fridge sitting in the Garage, from 30 years ago, which still has the "This unit costs $20 year to operate" Energy Star Sticker still on it. Even though it is more like $20 / month now, 30 years later.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple (Score 1) 234

I would feel fine, if you could specified exactly what you want to cut. But unlike what you're protesting (you are) isn't actually something defined constitutionally as a function of Federal Government, Defense spending actually is one of the items specifically mentioned ...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity ...

Not that it matters to people anymore.

Comment Re:Another outrage article (Score 0, Troll) 234

The Energy Star program costs almost nothing. There are zero government employees actually testing products.

Then, almost by definition, it is worthless. Does nothing, cost nothing and yet people are whining about it disappearing. Do you see the problem yet? Do you even begin to realize that the whole thing is a sham / scam feel good "But the evil _______ are cutting this valuable program!" anytime someone wants to remove it?

And there are thousands such programs with little more than nothing useful, but we can't cut them without some bleeding heart trotting out some anecdotal case.

Comment Re:Storage? (Score 2) 368

For coal, this doesn't really matter - it still loses. To pick up where renewables leave off, you want natural gas (or even petroleum) turbines that can quickly be brought on and off line. Coal and nuclear are not really suited to this.

The power industry makes the distinction between "base load" and "peak load" generation sources. Coal and nuclear are best for base load, running 100% capacity as much as possible. Combined-cycle turbines are best for peak load since they can be economically throttled.

The issue is both peak and base load demands are increasing. Turbines make great peak load sources but are poor for base load. TVA -- my former employer -- took coal plants offline due to Obama-era regulations making them impossible or unprofitable to operate (or both). They made up for the lost generating capacity by running their turbines as if they were base load generators. The result? Huge increases in turbine maintenance costs, more frequent maintenance outages, and more unplanned outages.

If the goal is to kill coal you have to replace it with something. Nuclear is a non-starter for most people because of their hysterical, irrational fear of it. Natural gas is cheap but, as stated above, it's not the best candidate for peak load generation. Nothing in the solar or wind column can come close to substituting for any current base load generation technology.

Comment Re:Define Absolutely Necessary (Score 1) 234

Please define absolutely necessary.

Those proposing regulations should be able to explain what is "absolutely necessary" about their regulations, and let people decide for themselves. What we don't need are self important people telling us what is absolutely necessary just to regulate something.

I am really sure that most regulations and such start out with the best of intentions. But what I do know is that every time an edge case comes along, those regulations get expanded, to the point of ridiculousness. After all, we have to shut down that kids lemonade stand because it violates some health code somewhere.

Comment Re:Total regulatory impact 2-3 percent (Score 2) 368

Coal has been made disproportionately more expensive over the last several years by government fiat, not market forces. Burdensome regulation and carbon taxes have made it so. Until recently I worked for TVA (mostly nuclear plants but some coal, hydro, and combined-cycle turbines). Several coal plants were shut down well ahead of schedule simply because Obama-era regulations made them unprofitable to run. Remember, candidate-Obama promised to destroy coal. He certainly worked hard enough at it.

If coal is allowed to float without government interference it will be quite a bit cheaper than renewables and much more abundant. Windmills only spin when the wind is blowing. Solar only works when the sun is out and your panels aren't covered in snow. Coal runs 24x7, rain or shine, windy or calm, hot or cold.

Comment Re:Total regulatory impact 2-3 percent (Score 1) 368

Adapt. Fossil fuels are over. They're too expensive.

Says the guy whose lights and computer are very likely lit by electricity generated from fossil fuels. Who, if he has a car, is likely powered by fossil fuels or has a battery charged by fossil fuels. Or, if he uses mass transit, it's either fueled by fossil fuels or powered by electricity derived from fossil fuels. Whose synthetic plastic materials around him are made from fossil fuels. Who, if he's ever flown anywhere, was in a plane powered by fossil fuels. Who, if he stopped to consider it, would be utterly unable to function today in any useful capacity without power, products, or motive force made possible in whole or in part by fossil fuels.

But hey doesn't it sound all trendy and shit to say "fossil fuels are over"?

Comment Coal won't cut it? (Score 3, Informative) 368

From the DoE:

Major energy sources and percent shares of U.S. electricity generation at utility-scale facilities in 2016:

Natural gas = 33.8%
Coal = 30.4%
Nuclear = 19.7%
Renewables (total) = 14.9%
Hydropower = 6.5%
Wind = 5.6%
Biomass = 1.5%
Solar = 0.9%
Geothermal = 0.4%
Petroleum = 0.6%
Other gases = 0.3%
Other nonrenewable sources = 0.3%
Pumped storage hydroelectricity = -0.2%

So, wind + solar = 6.5%
Coal + natural gas + nuclear = 83.9%

Winner = not renewables

If coal's been on the decline it's only because the Obama administration demonized it and because we had a happy accident of finding an abundance of natural gas. Wind and solar would be nowhere without massive government subsidies.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting on those fusion reactors.

Comment Re:Most States have these Occupation Codes (Score 1) 664

I'm more inclined that PE certification, like so many professional certifications, is mostly about eliminating competition and running a kind of cartel,

I can assure you that the PE certification process/requirements was started with a good intention of preventing disasters. However, the ONLY thing that prevents disaster are people who can actually do the work properly, and that the certification process/requirements are incapable of making sure that critical calculations are done correctly. We only can certify that they should be done correctly, and the person doing them should be able to complete those calculations correctly. Not that they actually can or will.

The REAL test is, if a government requires certification, and is in charge of certifications, then the liability for any failure by a certified "engineer" should rest with the certifying authority, or the certification is meaningless. And now, you know where the real problem is. It isn't the certification or the process, it is there is no liability on/for people making the requirements up.

Comment Re:I hope he wins his suit (Score 1) 664

No, but if you tell people that the Omega 3 Fatty acids in Walnuts has benefits for heart disease (Provably), you would be turning walnuts into drugs, and only the FDA can declare something a drug. And Telling people that Vitamin C will cure scurvy is the same thing. You need a prescription for vitamin C in order to cure scurvy, eating a lime (where the term Limey comes from) is something only a doctor can do.

Regulations ultimately end in idiocy.

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