Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Focus Mr. President. Focus. Or resign.

Did anyone besides me notice that oil inched nearer to $120 today? And did anyone notice that Bush continued to ignore the problem? Look, Mr. President. NAFTA may be important, but you are rapidly falling into the tank by your evident lack of interest.

Now it may be that you have your troops working like crazy on the problem, but you are showing nothing. The last time you did this was during Katrina and all it cost the country was a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

Frankly Mr. President, if you aren't interested you can always resign.

And remember. I voted for you. Twice. If I'm getting pissed, imagine how Joe Six Pack feels. The Repubs may be busy taping the "affairs of Hussein," but the Demos are taping $3.50 (or more) gas for our ssummer vacations and a stumbling economy.

And pocketbook trumps societal concerns every time.

And please. No BS about how the Left kept us from drilling..... It is absolutely true, but no one gives a flip about how they got here. What they want is for the Party In Power to get them out. That would be:

1. Drive a "drill now" bill through Congress.

2. Cease purchasing oil for the strategic reserve.

3. Start taking oil out of the strategic reserve.

4. Declare a moratorium on the Federal gas and disel tax.

5. Start jawboning OPEC like crazy. Maybe have the Navy "accidentally" sink a Iranian gunboat or some other attention getting act.

Time is short. UAL lost 25% of its value in the market today and all the airlines are talking about 15%-20% price increases. That will cause a huge slump in the travel industry. And in our service driven economy that is a disaster.

The Dark Avenger has roared out

of wherever Dark Avengers roar out of to make some comments about the wonders of concentrated solar power, aka CSP.

Before I copy his comments, let me assure one and all that I love solar power. In fact, I adore solar power. In fact, I want solar power.

But my comments have been this. Gasoline is now at a national average of $3.51. Diesel is $4.24. The economy is shaking.... CSP is not going to fix that in the near, or mid future. And that is what desperately needs fixing.

My comments have also included a healthy disbelieve in the various cost basis being tossed around, and I have noted several times that there is a difference between "cost" and "sell" prices as most people who have been in business know.

Now, here's DA:

CPSA isn't 'new technology', as it's been used in CA since the mid-80s', and in Spain since last year.

My comment was to the claim that cost would go down as new technology becomes available, noting that a claim is a claim. Perhaps it will. As I quoted earlier:

Ausra has said with new CSP technologies they expect to reach $0.08/kWh, and some within the company have said that with economies of scale and implementation of developing technologies the cost could be as low as $0.05/kWh. When you make these charts it is important to use expected costs rather than historical costs. The current costs of CSP is already only in the $0.14 range in the newest CSP facilities

Note two things. 1. The above is their figures. 2. They are "costs" not sell. Thus 8cents become 16 cents, or more if you assume a 100% gross margin, which is not unreasonable.

DA continues:

The company's system, which is now testing in Australia, can operate at 10 cents per kilowatt hour for plants between 100 and 200 megawatts. For plants between 100 and 500 megawatts, the cost goes down to 8 cents per kilowatt hour, said Morgan.

That means they can compete with existing natural gas plants, which operate at 12 cents per kilowatt hour, he said.

Again we see "can" rather than "is." And again, that is "cost" and doesn't include any mark up.

DA snarks on.

So they have it already below the cost of power generated by a natural gas plant, but you're worried about the rate payers paying more when the production cost is cheaper for this 'unproven technology'.

When they have a couple of plants delivering commercial power let me know. Until then see my comments re "new technology."

That is quite risible, by the way.

I had written "As for "follow the investors," we should remember what happened to many start up telecom technology and telecom services companies. They tanked."

Power generation can be hardly compared to the telecom industry, but then you make all sorts of nonsense allegations when you have neither facts or common sense in your reasoning.

What's risible is your demonstration of what a lack of knowledge coupled with an ego that is overblown with self importance can do.

The promise of new technologies that did not emerge in time shot many CLEC's down because their business plans assumed a cost effective solution to the "last mile" problem for high speed data and video. Simply put, the over capacity of the inter exchange carriers destroyed them while the under demand from the over leveraged CLEC's zapped them. It was a perfect storm.

This is what's happening here in the Golden State in re: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/21/ED8Q107P18.DTL&hw=solar+power&sn=001&sc=1000Solar.

Indeed, in the debate on SB1, the solar industry asked that ratepayer-funded incentives decline over time as costs came down, eventually zeroing out as the market matures and the cost of solar electricity becomes competitive with utility power. The declining incentives pressure manufacturers and installers to reduce the costs of solar systems, and protect ratepayers from subsidizing an industry that can operate without support. What other industry has agreed up-front to sunset governmental support?

To date, the initiative has demonstrated impressive results. The commercial solar market in California is two years ahead of the program goals, and the residential market is in line with the initiative plan. Even the utilities are responding - in late March, Southern California Edison announced a plan to install 250 megawatts of solar panels on just a fraction of the millions of square feet of sunny commercial rooftops in Southern California. The utility projects declining solar costs over time.

Sorry to confuse you with the facts, in any case.

And what happens when the sun goes down and all those solar panels quit producing?
The existing commercial grid must step in and provide the power.

It is a complex problem and I hope we continue to work on it. But I won't become excited until I see business people willing to put their money on the line. And a subsidy, no matter how it is projected to decline still means they do not have confidence.

Tax Refund Fraud

Just got this email.....I wonder how many dummies will respond??

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
United States Department of the Treasury

Dear Taxpayer,

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal
activity we have determined that you are eligible
to receive a tax refund of $184.80.

Please submit the tax refund request and allow us
6-9 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons.
For example submitting invalid records or applying
after the deadline.

To access the form for your tax refund, use the following personalized link:


Internal Revenue Service