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Comment Cost to operate (Score 1) 343

That's helpful, but you've failed to include fixed operations and maintenance (O&M), fuel, variable O&M, and, most important perhaps for nuclear, ongoing capital expenditures (capex) necessary to keep the thing running. We're seeing nuclear units retiring in America right now because the $30/MWh they make on the energy market isn't enough to cover their per-unit-energy ongoing costs. When you include the ongoing costs to keep them running, it's far less obvious that new nuclear power plants will be money makers. Even less obvious is that they will make more money than a combined cycle gas plant, a wind farm, or a solar farm.

Comment Who's average? (Score 1) 115

Where do you think the power for that electric car comes from? 75% of that power on average comes from burning coal.

Who's average? The percentage of electricity generation fueled by coal in 2015 was 38%. (EIA source, with trend) Even regionally, electricity generation from coal sources exceeded 50% in only one region in 2015 -- the Northern Plans, which represent an area defined in the north by North Dakota to Wisconsin, by the south from Kansas to Illinois (excluding Chicago Land), and less than 10% of total generation in tUSA. And even in the Northern Plains, it was less than 75%. Please show up with data and facts, not horse apples.

Comment Re:Really? Why? (Score 1) 867

lobbyists that prevent Tesla from selling in Michigan without going through dealerships

Lobbyists have no such power. Legislators have that power. Lobbyists advocate positions on areas of public policy, legislators write the laws and the governor (in the case of state government) signs or vetoes. Also, Schoolhouse Rocks.

lobbyists caused a town to lose it's working gigibit fibre internet

Again, lobbyists have no such power. legislators write laws, departments with heads appointed by the executive branch draft and execute regulations, and judicial or quasi-judicial agencies determine adherence. See: Rocks, Schoolhouse.

note that the democrats put up a billboard of Trump kissing Cruz

Nope. That billboard was put up by, "a global nonprofit organization founded for the purpose of spreading peace in a hurting world." They may have ideas that align with the Democratic Party, and members and donors may be Democrats, but the billboard was decidedly not "put up [by] democrats[sic]."

note that the democrats put up... naked statues of Trump in several cities

Did you read your article? From TFA, "The work is signed Indecline, the name of an anonymous anarchist street art collective" By definition, anarchists are not Democrats. If, as you say, you "really want to know," I suggest you learn a little bit about American civics and read the articles you post. Or, maybe, just maybe, you're really just a shitposter yourself.

Comment Re:What is the turnover/new hire rate? (Score 1) 200

Are you suggesting that the headcount at Facebook has been static? Facebook has grown from 4k to 12k employees in the past 3 years. In your example, if Facebook had hired 50% females in 2013 and 2014, and nobody ever left, it would have gone from 33% to 44% over those two years without putting a thumb on the scale at all. I'm not arguing that this is what Facebook should have done. I am arguing that your example, while perhaps applicable to other companies, absolutely does not apply to a company with the tremendous headcount growth that Facebook has had.

Comment Dude, you're messed up. (Score 3, Interesting) 364

I salute your honesty, but in a situation where the outcomes are known in advance, you'd prefer breaking somebody else's leg to a total loss on the car?

Even if the leg heals up fully, the pain could be tremendous. The inconvenience massive -- perhaps the victim lives on the 3rd floor? How about work -- lots of people require mobility for their job (think: waitress). Oh, yeah, and the financial cost to repair the leg could easily outpace the cost of replacing the car.

You'd rather break someone else's bones than total a car where everyone escapes injury free? That's messed up.

Comment no registration or no public info? (Score 1) 95

The government has a whole bunch of info that it collects but doesn't make public. Drivers license info. Social security info. Information about minors. Tax information. Are you arguing that "anyone who actually cares" is against the Federal Government collecting information on gun ownership or on making that information public? Because if its the former, does "anyone who actually cares" also oppose all government collection of information?

Comment Taxes aren't tied to democracy (Score 1) 760

He did, via taxes. Thats the rub.. he gets to complain. Those that are a drain on the system don't.

By virtue of living in America, you get to complain. That's the 1st amendment.
By virtue of being a US citizen, 18+, and not subject to restrictions due to felony status, you get to vote. That's Article I, Section II, Clause I, as well as the 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 24th, and 26th amendments.
The amount of taxes you pay has nothing to do with the rights of Americans to complain or to vote. Your comments are, frankly, un-American (except for your exercising your right to make an un-American comment... that is distinctly American).

Comment I'll bet two, in fact (Score 5, Funny) 132

There was a girl in my class at school that had, STILL HAS, tits bigger than my mother when she was the age of 14. Several of them actually.

I'm going to go out on a limb and bet that this girl had exactly two tits, and that you have a really, really small mother.

Comment Probably not (Score 4, Informative) 300

How will small businesses that are just making ends meet cope with this mandate?

How do small businesses cope with mandates of elevators and wheelchair accessibility and sprinkler heads and exit signs and the thousands(!) of other code requirements?

[Buildings over 10 floors] seem to be the most ideal candidates.

Probably not. For one thing, tall buildings tend to be located near other tall buildings. Unlike low-rise buildings which are often approximately the same height, the height difference of skyscrapers can be 100s of feet. Shading becomes more of a challenge. But probably more importantly, the roof space of tall buildings is essentially too valuable -- it's needed for communication and mechanical units. Finally, skyscrapers make up a remarkably tiny percentage of roof space in San Francisco, so their inclusion or exclusion has a trivial impact on achieving the goals of the legislation.

Comment Self-driving buses will be far more efficient (Score 1) 192

if they communicate their positions to self-driving cars. Then, those autos get the heck out of the way of the bus. Consider:
  • A bus lane that reverts to a non-bus lane when the bus isn't nearby;
  • A bus that doesn't have to wait for your illegal parking/standing/stopping car to get the heck out of the way because the self-drive doesn't allow the car to be (illegally) in the way in the first place;
  • A bus that has an easier time making it through intersections because self-driving cars organize themselves to provide enough room in the queue to turn right, to not stop ahead of the stop bar thereby preventing the bus from a wide turn, or by inching up and/or over to allow the bus to clear the intersection;

Self-driving cars can essentially be "more polite" to the bus than the best drivers, and a hell of a lot "more polite" to the bus than most drivers. This could have a very minor or a more significant impact on trip time and/or on trip time consistency depending on a variety of factors. Note, too, that some of these items could help with streetcars, trolleys, or other rail-based at-grade transit too.

Comment A dollar here, a dollar there (Score 5, Insightful) 297

There are energy efficiency standards on all kinds of devices, including:
  • Residential furnaces and boilers
  • Mobile home furnaces
  • Small furnaces
  • Residential water heaters
  • Direct heating equipment
  • Pool heaters
  • Distribution transformers, MV dry-type and liquid immersed
  • Electric motors (1200 hp)
  • Incandescent reflector lamps
  • Fluorescent lamps
  • Incandescent general service lamps
  • Fluorescent lamp ballasts
  • Residential dishwashers
  • Ranges and ovens (gas and electric) and microwave ovens
  • Residential clothes dryers
  • Room air conditioners
  • Packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps
  • Residential central air conditioners and heat pumps
  • Ceiling fan light kits (other than those with standards prescribed by EPACT 2005)
  • Residential dehumidifiers
  • Commercial clothes washers
  • Refrigerated bottle or canned beverage vending machines
  • Ice cream freezers; self-contained commercial refrigerators, freezers, and refrigerator-freezers without doors; and remote-condensing commercial refrigerators, freezers and refrigerator-freezers

(source)(pdf). Sure, the wall wart is small potatoes. Lots of these items are small bits individually, and they all have to pass a cost/benefit test (the cost of the incremental improvement must be less than the financial savings). When you add up all the bits and bobs, the cumulative impact is significant. It's not like DOE started with wall warts. It focused initially on the biggest opportunities, and works its way down the list. It's only because /.ers have lots more wall warts than the common man that it's even newsworthy for us.

Comment Totally Revolutionize is a remarkable overstatemen (Score 5, Informative) 460

You're overstating. Let's look at the 2014 governor's race -- chosen because turnout is lower then a presidential election, thereby magnifying the impact of the Free State Project on voting.

Democratic Maggie Hassan, the incumbent, won 254,666 votes (52.49%) Republican Walt Havenstein, the challenger, won 229,610 votes (47.32%) Other/blank won 907 votes (0.1%)

New Hampshire has 1.327 million people (2014), 20.1% of which are under 18 (2014). That leaves 1.06 million adults. Not all are eligible, data is tough to put together, let's call it an even 1 million. Now, lets replace 20,000 adults at random with the Free Staters. 48.4% didn't vote, 25.5% voted for the Dem incumbent, 23.0% voted for the GOP challenger. 0.1% voted for another candidate or blanked it. Net change: Hassan loses 5100 voters, Havenstein loses 4592 voters, "other" loses 18 voters, and "free state" gains 20000. Even if all 20,000 free staters voted for the losing candidate (Havenstein), their candidate would still only get 49.5% to Hassan's 50.4%.

Is it possible that, if all 20,000 actually move to New Hampshire and all actually vote in a local election that they'll win some state house seats? You bet. No question. Thing is, the NH state house is so remarkably unstable that it would amount to just a bit more noise (% Dems in NH House of Rep at the end of the last four sessions (today is "end" for the purpose of this study): 55.4%, 26.4%, 55.2%, 40.1%.

Is it possible that their mere presence will result in Republican candidates leaning more libertarian? Sure, but within the state they're still only 4 percent of the electorate, and dispersed throughout the state. Certainly not enough to have a systematic effect on the NH GOP. But what if they all go Libertarian or some other third party candidate? Have at it, but good luck actually winning any representation in a First Past the Post system.

New Hampshire already does have a libertarian streak, as loads of Massholes emigrate to NH to escape taxes but retain their liberal social values. Even if all 20k Free Staters show up (and come on, not a chance), it would be a small nudge to NH politics, at best.

Comment No, no it isn't. (Score 4, Informative) 176

It is election time.

No it isn't, at least not generally. There are six senators that signed on:

  • * Bernie Sanders -- running for President now; up for reelection to the US Senate in November 2018.
  • * Ron Wyden -- up for reelection to the US Senate in November 2016.
  • * Jeff Merkley -- up for reelection to the US Senate in November 2020.
  • * Liz Warren -- up for reelection to the US Senate in November 2018.
  • * Ed Markey -- up for reelection to the US Senate in November 2020.
  • * Al Franken -- up for reelection to the US Senate in November 2020.

Giving Bernie a "0 months until election" that is still an average of three years until these six are up for reelection. It's not election time.

I get that you just don't trust the US elected politicians to do the work of the people. Fine. Feel that way. But don't spew factually inaccurate nonsense because you're either too ignorant of federal elections or too lazy to look it up. Perhaps a bit more civic engagement on your part might help prevent the old business overlords, hm?

Comment That's exactly right (Score 5, Insightful) 645

mdsolar's point isn't that we should build no new nuclear, at least not in this thread. His point is that nuclear can't, in and of itself, decarbonize the electric sector. We simply don't have the capacity to build that many nuclear power plants simultaneously, nor do we have the fuel, nor do we have the money.

The first one might be overcome. After all, if world leaders were able to simultaneously lay out this plan and get political support for it, part of the plan would include training more engineers, trades, and other jobs necessary. We might not be able to build 100 per year in 2016 (or even 2020), but we could ramp up.

The second one might be overcome. After all, with pressure for more fuel, we might go out and find more fuel, develop new techniques to find, recover, and process more fuel, etc. I doubt we could overcome it, but generally speaking if we went "long" on nuclear, at least some more fuel would turn up.

The third one is the toughest. Nuclear power, today, is more expensive than wind and in some places, more expensive than solar. Given that wind and solar don't have the political opposition, don't have 10-15 year lags from "let's build it" to "let's turn it on", and can be built in more places at far smaller increments, it's really tough to argue that we should spend the money on nuclear when there are cheaper options. But -- that could change. Improving the regulatory climate could help lower construction costs, as could improvements in design. Wind and solar $/kW will continue to fall for a while, but perhaps their supply inputs will become scarce and, at least for wind, the locations for the best wind become scarce. At some point in the future it's possible that the $/kWh for nuclear will become cheap enough, but it's not there now.

My view: don't put any option off the table, but let's spend our money to get the most decarbonization per buck. Right now, that means going long on energy efficiency, retiring the old coal units, building wind and solar where we can, and keeping (most) nuclear units already built up and running, so long as their safety is secure. Simultaneously, we should price carbon appropriately, eliminate subsidies on oil, coal, and gas, and be working to lower the cost of all no-carbon generating options using both technology and regulatory approaches. All of those things, together, will result in a steady least cost decarbonization of our electric sector, and if/when/where nuclear can beat out wind and solar, so be it.

Comment FSPers pale in comparison to ex-Massholes (Score 1) 388

The number of FSPers who have moved to New Hampshire pales in comparison to the number of moderately conservative white middle class suburban folks emigrating from Massachusetts. That voting bloc -- and yes, they do vote -- tend to lean law and order and are anti broad social spending, but are definitely not anti-government or libertarian. They're not after some government philosophy; they just want lower taxes for their single family home and 2 SUVs.

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