Day by Day

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Linky Love

Via The Smallest Minority, I found this post at Mostly Cajun, which details the problems hitting the natural gas industry thanks to the insane regulations put in place by the EPA.

One of the things I learned was that when these engines were designed, the EPA was some sort of bad dream only found in the diseased minds of abusers of heavy drugs. That was then. This is now. Students of engine operations know there is a certain proportion of fuel to air that produces maximum power. We can’t run many of our engines there. Why? Because we’re not interested in maximum power any more. We’re interested in minimum pollution, and that ‘maximum power’ thing give a higher level of oxides of nitrogen.

That’s okay, though. We learned how to operate there, and we tested our engines regularly to see that they met the goal, and if one was acting up and emissions went up, we dutifully took it off line and fixed it. Life loped along. So they changed the rules. Where we could hit a “twenty” on the spotted owl-killing scale, they dropped the number to five. Okay, you guys on the pipeline, tighten up your acts. So the engineers twiddled and tightened things even more. And goals were met. But the baby seals were still crying from their big, soulful eyes, so the number was changed again.

You know, it’s getting VERY hard to meet the numbers. And our people tell the rulemakers. And the rulemakers say “Meet the numbers or face fines.” And our people say, “We can’t meet these numbers. We’ll have to shut down horsepower.” And the rulemakers say “Meet the numbers.” And that’s where we’re heading.

The policy-makers apparently think that we’ll keep lights on and homes heated by means of windmills and unicorn farts. I’m telling you that we folk who work in a real world have real and immutable laws to work with, things like Ohm’s Law and Boyles’ Law, and these laws and others like them say that you can’t move gas from the well to the end user without horsepower. ”’there are other laws too, and those laws, despite the attitude of the current administration, say that when it gets to the point that it costs more to do a thing, then you stop doing it, and that’s where a lot of industries, mine included, are headed.

I heat my home with Natural Gas. I'm thinking about putting in a wood stove down in the basement as a secondary furnace. And Mostly Cajun is going on the blogroll.

The other link I found was via Say Uncle. It's a PDF file from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University that ranks the states by how free they are. I'm proud to say my home state of Idaho is Number 4. Unfortunately, the state I currently live in, Wisconsin, is Number 37. Go take a peek.

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