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Old Trader is a 63 year old private investor, managing a retirement portfolio constructed to a) generate a high current yield, b) preserve capital, and c) increase capital. His methodology involves taking a "top down" macro view to identify favorable trends, and then engage in... More
  • Administration's Green Initiative Wilts 15 comments
    Dec 19, 2009 3:41 PM

     

    The current administration’s initiative to press forward in transforming our economy via green technology, while ignoring carbon-based energy, hit a speed bump when a geothermal project in California was shut down by the company involved, according to the New York Times.

     

    AltaRock Energy, headquartered in Seattle, was the firm running the project, with funding from the DOE, as well as some $30 million in venture capital. Located about 100 miles north of San Francisco, at a site known as the Geysers, the project was shut down, and the drilling rig was removed, apparently because of earthquake fears, as well as unforeseen problems with the drilling progress.

     

    A similar project in Basel, Switzerland, was permanently shut down on December 10th, after a series of earthquakes in 2006 and 2007 caused millions of dollars in property damage, although fortunately, with no loss of life, or serious injury.

     

    Yet a third such project, in Landau In Der Pflalz, Germany, is “under study”, after a 2.7 magnitude tremor was experienced back in August, shaking both nerves, as well as buildings. In this case, a panel has been appointed to study the causes of the quake, which the company involved in the project, denies was caused by the plant. This point of view is contested by seismologists, who attribute the quake directly to the drilling involved in the project.

     

    Geothermal energy is the third leg of the three legged stool of alternate energy; the other two “legs” being, of course, solar and wind. Probably the most attractive feature of geothermal energy generation lays in the fact that, unlike solar or wind, its not “intermittent”. By drilling deep into the earth to tap either steam pockets, and/or extremely hot rock, such an energy source would be available 24/7/365.

     

    What I find most disturbing about this entire affair, is not that the administration is pursuing alternative energy, but rather that it seems to be doing so while excluding arguably “lower hanging fruit”, such as expanded use of NG, for an example, in their quest to lower pollution and increase our energy independence. Without getting into any sort of debate about climate change, etc., I think it can be generally agreed that, when it comes to pollution, “less” is better than “more”.

     

    Perhaps it’s the result of the efforts of the ultra green backers of Obama’s coalition, but the argument seems to be framed as a match between “evil” big oil, big utilities, etc., vs. “good”  green technology.


    Souce: NYT


    Disclosure: No positions
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  • OldSusanna
    , contributor
    Comments (126) | Send Message
     
    Wouldn't it be great if even just the commercial transport industry could be refitted for NG? Studies show the impact would be very significant. ...There are literally hundreds of other "lower-fruit" examples. While there are but a few solutions that aren't costly--it seems the money will be spent one way or another; so I'm with you (except I WILL stoop just a little bit :D) --clean air and water and ample energy are essential, and if that's the point, clean air and water and ample energy, what's the hold-up! The problem is, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view) agendas are cumbersome and can rarely get out of their own way.
    21 Dec 2009, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • Old Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (5726) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » At least, there's a trend among fleets to move to NG. If only TPTB would get behind it, and give a bit of "help", *s*.

     

    I know that UPS has such vehicles in their fleet (actually, they're looking at a variety of green technologies), and here, in Chicago, some of the municipal vehicles are NG powered, as well. (Note: long UPS).

     

    On Dec 21 10:14 AM OldSusanna wrote:

     

    > Wouldn't it be great if even just the commercial transport industry
    > could be refitted for NG? Studies show the impact would be very significant.
    > ...There are literally hundreds of other "lower-fruit" examples.
    > While there are but a few solutions that aren't costly--it seems
    > the money will be spent one way or another; so I'm with you (except
    > I WILL stoop just a little bit :D) --clean air and water and ample
    > energy are essential, and if that's the point, clean air and water
    > and ample energy, what's the hold-up! The problem is, unfortunately
    > (or fortunately, depending on your view) agendas are cumbersome and
    > can rarely get out of their own way.
    21 Dec 2009, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • OldSusanna
    , contributor
    Comments (126) | Send Message
     
    I wonder if UPS, in the development and installation of their NG fueling stations, has considered (or more specifically, planned) that these might become the initial nationwide infrastructure for supplying other commercial fleets, too? There's an interesting company here in Bend that is devoted to Hydrogen. Now there's a science with a lot of promise--but common use is out there a ways...
    21 Dec 2009, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • Old Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (5726) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Whenever I hear "hydrogen", used in the context of transportation, I always see that image of the Hindenburg in my mind's eye.

     

    So you're up in Bend, Ore.?

     

    On Dec 21 11:08 AM OldSusanna wrote:

     

    > I wonder if UPS, in the development and installation of their NG
    > fueling stations, has considered (or more specifically, planned)
    > that these might become the initial nationwide infrastructure for
    > supplying other commercial fleets, too? There's an interesting company
    > here in Bend that is devoted to Hydrogen. Now there's a science with
    > a lot of promise--but common use is out there a ways...
    21 Dec 2009, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • OldSusanna
    , contributor
    Comments (126) | Send Message
     
    Well let's hope they work those old bugs out--don't want any more tragedies like that one... I DO live in Bend, OR --and actually, I'm proud to say I'm one of the few remaining natives (in my age group). It's changed a lot over the years; I can still remember when most of the roads were plain ol' dirt or, if you were lucky, gravel! Occasionally, I'll be in just the right spot to somehow manage a whiff that captures the quintessential old town Bend aroma: a heady mix of pine, juniper, sage, smoke, sawdust, dirt and weathered oil... When I do, it always makes me think of my Grandparents--which is a very good thing!
    21 Dec 2009, 10:45 PM Reply Like
  • Old Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (5726) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Re: Hydrogen...are you referring to hydrogen fuel cells? I know that some people are afraid of/against CNG vehicles, comparing them with driving around with a case of nitro in the trunk.

     

    Re: UPS and NG...they (UPS) are admirably focused on their core business, so would, in all likelihood, view getting into fueling depots a "distraction".

     

    Have never made it up to the Pacific NW, unfortunately....I've heard its lovely.
    21 Dec 2009, 11:19 PM Reply Like
  • Old Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (5726) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » " a heady mix of pine, juniper, sage, smoke, sawdust, dirt and weathered oil..."

     

    I think Ralph Lauren marketed a similar men's fragrance, a few years back...
    21 Dec 2009, 11:22 PM Reply Like
  • OldSusanna
    , contributor
    Comments (126) | Send Message
     
    ...I wondered how I could snag that wiff in downtown Portland! :D And yes; hydrogen fuel cells, of numerous types... Although their current product line extends only to providing various emergency back-up power-sources (especially for critical services) --they are serious about their R&D... Check them out: Idatech. With our great climate and high quality recreation, we attract an amazing array of businesses: IT; Chemical & Bio Engineering; Environmental; Breweries and Distilleries; etc... etc...
    22 Dec 2009, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • Old Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (5726) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I've heard there was a big migration north, from Ca., a number of years back. Did you say "breweries and distilleries"?....*VBG*. Btw, are you in the RE business? I see by your profile your interests are RE and REITS. If you are, how's the RE market up in that neck of the woods?

     

    I'll make it a point to look Idatech...thank you for the hint.
    22 Dec 2009, 07:24 PM Reply Like
  • OldSusanna
    , contributor
    Comments (126) | Send Message
     
    We have: one really great distillery (Bendistillery) who crafts vodka (crater lake vodka, yummy), flavored vodka (the cofia hazelnut espresso vodka is super yum w/ coffee and cream) and gin (overwhelmingly fresh juniper taste--too much for me). I'm not sure the exact number of breweries--but it's probably up around 8 or 9! My favorites are: Deschutes Brewery (the oldest) who has, also, a great pub (my fave brew: mirror pond pale ale and jubelale @ holiday season); Bend Brewing Co., who also has a great little pub; and Cascade Lakes Brewing Co (blonde bombshell, yum!).
    I'm only in RE by association... I'm a Designer (commercial and residential); so--the health of the economy-at-large with emphasis on RE and lending/banking are issues I follow... Sluggish lending for large projects and resorts has hurt my business. Ouch!
    22 Dec 2009, 10:49 PM Reply Like
  • Old Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (5726) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » "ouch" is right!!!! A couple of years ago, I got out of designing/fabricating custom metal furniture (mostly residential, although I did a few small jobs for bars, clubs, restaurants). I still stay in touch with folks in the biz, and EVERYBODY'S hurting.

     

    When it comes to vodka, I'm pretty much an "Absolut" guy....and not the flavored varieties, LOL. In the beer department, German/Czech pilsners and lagers float my particular boat.

     

    Btw, I just finished printing out IdaTech's 2007 and 2008 annual reports...interesting....

     

    On Dec 22 10:49 PM OldSusanna wrote:

     

    > We have: one really great distillery (Bendistillery) who crafts vodka
    > (crater lake vodka, yummy), flavored vodka (the cofia hazelnut espresso
    > vodka is super yum w/ coffee and cream) and gin (overwhelmingly fresh
    > juniper taste--too much for me). I'm not sure the exact number of
    > breweries--but it's probably up around 8 or 9! My favorites are:
    > Deschutes Brewery (the oldest) who has, also, a great pub (my fave
    > brew: mirror pond pale ale and jubelale @ holiday season); Bend Brewing
    > Co., who also has a great little pub; and Cascade Lakes Brewing Co
    > (blonde bombshell, yum!).
    > I'm only in RE by association... I'm a Designer (commercial and residential);
    > so--the health of the economy-at-large with emphasis on RE and lending/banking
    > are issues I follow... Sluggish lending for large projects and resorts
    > has hurt my business. Ouch!
    22 Dec 2009, 11:12 PM Reply Like
  • OldSusanna
    , contributor
    Comments (126) | Send Message
     
    Awesome! Did you work primarily in forged or sheet? Not that I make a habit of categorizing people--but I have to say, all my metal-working buds have fallen distinctly into one of 2 personality styles: very spirited and abstract (almost ethereal, really) or; very logical and linear with a noticably dry sense of humor-- Of course, these could be entirely coincidental...
    23 Dec 2009, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • Old Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (5726) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I worked primarily with structural materials (tubing of various types, angles, channels, etc.). Think in terms of Bauhaus, Mies, Wright, and Macintosh. At the risk of "self judgment", I suspect most would stick me in the linear, logical bin, LOL.

     

    From time to time, I'd do a bit with "found objects", but found that, as a rule, people weren't willing to pay "up" for the uniqueness factor. I suspect that at least a part of it is/was due to the conservative nature of Midwesterners, even in a big city like Chicago.

     

    On Dec 23 01:13 PM OldSusanna wrote:

     

    > Awesome! Did you work primarily in forged or sheet? Not that I make
    > a habit of categorizing people--but I have to say, all my metal-working
    > buds have fallen distinctly into one of 2 personality styles: very
    > spirited and abstract (almost ethereal, really) or; very logical
    > and linear with a noticably dry sense of humor-- Of course, these
    > could be entirely coincidental...
    23 Dec 2009, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • OldSusanna
    , contributor
    Comments (126) | Send Message
     
    Nice! I do love that more architectural look, but have used those type of pieces more frequently as the unexpected element amid the more organic or traditional... Merry Christmas (and a joyful, prosperous 2010)!
    24 Dec 2009, 11:12 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Old, Susana, Old, Trader: Greetings. Problems with the "Carbon/nuke free." green energy that the green agenda folks want to employ are many and varied. Just putting their out put on the grid is a major impediment as the infrastructure is inadequate. T, Boone, Pickens has stated that wind farms are not viable unless oil is at $140 a gallon. Biofuels are the closest to being competitive but are not supported by the administration. This is because they are not carbon free and the green movement does not differentiate between sequestered and free carbon.
    8 Jul 2010, 02:54 PM Reply Like
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