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Author Topic: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa  (Read 205848 times)

LesPalenik

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10900 on: June 15, 2021, 08:53:46 pm »

Based on the current mess in Texas and Elon Musk's short fuse, it's only a question of time when he gets fed up with the power supply situation in Texas and he will start a new power plant company.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10901 on: June 15, 2021, 09:57:38 pm »

Based on the current mess in Texas and Elon Musk's short fuse, it's only a question of time when he gets fed up with the power supply situation in Texas and he will start a new power plant company.

It may be enough to drive those new Texans back to California.  :)

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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10902 on: June 15, 2021, 09:58:09 pm »

Here is comedian and writer Blaire Erskine as the "ERCOT spokesperson on the situation in Texas" describing the current "hot tight little grid" and asking the question most pertinent to a majority of Texas state legislatorsówho are the primary source of Texas electricity reliability problems... "Would you rather have AC or would you rather have AOC?"

https://www.youtube.com/ERCOT spokesperson on the situation in Texas

* Just a minute long video that pretty well sums it up.

She should run for office.  ;)
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Robert

TechTalk

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10903 on: June 16, 2021, 04:53:00 am »

It may be enough to drive those new Texans back to California.  :)

The myth of a massive exodus from California is a fantasy which dovetails nicely with the fiction that the state is broke. It's a narrative that serves as a soothing balm for certain ideologies.

The population of Texas has grown faster than California's over the past decade (15.3% vs 6.1% population growth), but California is still, by far, the more populous state and with a much larger economy. Here is the latest U.S.Census Bureau comparison between California and Texas for population, growth, economy, health, housing, poverty, etc.

Texas is the place to be if you want to be without health insurance. Texas has 20.8% uninsured, under age 65 vs 8.9% for California.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 10:22:37 am by TechTalk »
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LesPalenik

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10904 on: June 16, 2021, 08:28:01 am »

Texas is the place to be if you want to be without health insurance. Texas has 20.8% uninsured, under age 65 vs 8.9% for California.

As George Strait sang:
Texas is a place I'd dearly love to be, but all my exes live in Texas, and that's why I hang my hat in Tennessee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzZ3AO69M2E
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 08:31:03 am by LesPalenik »
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10905 on: June 16, 2021, 09:44:35 am »

... Texas is the place to be if you want to be without health insurance. Texas has 20.8% uninsured, under age 65 vs 8.9% for California.

That's just an incredible statistic. One fifth of the population doesn't have health coverage!  Is it a poverty thing, do you think, or is health coverage unusually expensive there, or what?

I mentioned in a post some time ago and have done more digging because it sounded like an exaggeration, but I've seen the number quoted in many places that 1 in 3 GoFundMe campaigns the US are to cover health costs. How can you see that stat and not think that something is broken?
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TechTalk

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10906 on: June 16, 2021, 10:11:03 am »

So effective!  Such great service!  And inexpensive, too.
Must be one of Alan's "free markets" at work.

Texas has long ignored warnings regarding under capacity of reserves for electricity generation. A 2013 letter from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) warns: "As identified in the assessment, one area of concern requiring immediate attention is the projected Planning Reserve Margin levels in the ERCOT assessment area. Capacity resources in ERCOT have drifted to a level below the Planning Reserve Margin target and are projected to further diminish through the ten-year period covered in the assessment. It is clear to me that these levels imply higher reliability risks especially the potential for firm load shed, and ERCOT will need more resources as early as summer 2013 in order to maintain a sufficient reserve margin."

There's an excellent interview with University of Houston energy economist Ed Hirs in Yale Insights (Yale School of Management) regarding the Texas energy only economic model. It's very readable and not overly long.

Why the Texas Power Market Failed

Ed Hirs [Yale Class of] í81, an energy economist and a University of Houston Energy Fellow, is a longtime observer of the Texas power sector as a researcher, entrepreneur, and public commentator. He says the February 2021 energy crisis exposed longstanding, fatal flaws in the stateís energy market design and oversight., an energy economist and a University of Houston Energy Fellow, is a longtime observer of the Texas power sector as a researcher, entrepreneur, and public commentator. He says the February 2021 energy crisis exposed longstanding, fatal flaws in the stateís energy market design and oversight.

Excerpts:

Q: Youíve described the grid as antiquated and the generation capacity as needing upgrading, but you point to the Texas power market itself as the true cause of the crisis?

Yes. Fundamentally, the difference between the Texas market and other energy markets across the U.S. is that itís an electricity-only market. There is no capacity market paying generators to ensure there will be enough power to meet peak demand. The generators only make money when theyíre delivering electrons into the grid.

With this model, the generators donít add investment because they canít get paid for it. In fact, if they added generation units, all they would be doing is ensuring that the price would stay low. Thereís been no incentive to add generation, even though demand in the state has continued to grow through inbound population and inbound industry.

Given an electricity-only market with an average wholesale price less than the average total cost to produce the power, a lack of reinvestment, and the fact that nobody winterized their plants because they expect temperate winters in Texas, this disaster was inevitable.

In 2011, a polar vortex got into North Texas and caused numerous blackouts. ERCOTís blackout of the Dallas Medical Center tragically led to the death of a number of patients, though the blackout people remember is Arlington Stadium before the Super Bowl.

Before that, in 1989, Houston had several days of single-digit temperatures, which broke the grid and other infrastructure. These are not one-in-a-hundred-years storms. These are more like one-in-ten-years storms. The recommendations made post-2011 grid failure to winterize the plants had no teeth because ERCOT has no enforcement ability.
...

Q: So how do you fix it?

The short answer is, spend some money, and itís going to be money that either the consumer or the taxpayer is going to have to come up with. We need to provide a financial incentive or the financial wherewithal for generators to harden the grid and make it resilient, not just for winter events but for the normal, run-of-the-mill hurricanes and heat waves.

The legislature is going to have to pass some laws. The idea of further government intervention is of course causing heads to spin in Austin, if not absolutely explode. Itís a little early to see how itís going to shake out, but even the governor said that weíre going to make sure that these plants are paid to winterize.

Free market true believers have taken over the Texas legislature and the executive mansion now for three administrations over 20-plus years. In my view, the mantra of free markets has become a cop-out to avoid doing critical analysis. Their thinking is something along the lines of, ďI donít have to do the work to figure this out; the free market will do it for me.Ē Itís feckless to dodge understanding the market and the systems these legislators and executives are responsible for.
...

During hearings, in front of the legislature, it was disclosed that the grid was four minutes away from complete shutdown. To reenergize an electric grid from complete shutdown is called a black start. Itís likely Texas would need weeks or months to restore power from a black start.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 10:25:31 am by TechTalk »
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TechTalk

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10907 on: June 16, 2021, 10:45:17 am »

That's just an incredible statistic. One fifth of the population doesn't have health coverage!  Is it a poverty thing, do you think, or is health coverage unusually expensive there, or what?

Over a number of recent decades, traditional small-government conservatism has been gradually replaced by a radical antigovernment libertarianism that cares more about narrow ideology than real human beings. Now, that is evolving into an authoritarian Trumpinista cult of personality based on fantasies and conspiracy theories, which is even more frightening!
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MattBurt

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10908 on: June 16, 2021, 11:47:04 am »

Over a number of recent decades, traditional small-government conservatism has been gradually replaced by a radical antigovernment libertarianism that cares more about narrow ideology than real human beings. Now, that is evolving into an authoritarian Trumpinista cult of personality based on fantasies and conspiracy theories, which is even more frightening!

I think the people without health care are just lazy according to those Trumpinistas.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10909 on: June 16, 2021, 01:37:02 pm »

Over a number of recent decades, traditional small-government conservatism has been gradually replaced by a radical antigovernment libertarianism that cares more about narrow ideology than real human beings. Now, that is evolving into an authoritarian Trumpinista cult of personality based on fantasies and conspiracy theories, which is even more frightening!

Markets work well in areas where they work well, and they don't work well where they don't. Bizarre that this is controversial.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10910 on: June 16, 2021, 11:37:12 pm »

Late Stage Capitalism.
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Bryan Conner

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10911 on: June 17, 2021, 06:35:36 am »

That's just an incredible statistic. One fifth of the population doesn't have health coverage!  Is it a poverty thing, do you think, or is health coverage unusually expensive there, or what?

I mentioned in a post some time ago and have done more digging because it sounded like an exaggeration, but I've seen the number quoted in many places that 1 in 3 GoFundMe campaigns the US are to cover health costs. How can you see that stat and not think that something is broken?

The healthcare system in America is most definitely broken and many Americans are completely oblivious.  I say this as a former American.  I was born American and lived my first 44 years as an American in America.  I moved to Germany in 2010 and became a German citizen in 2018.  The healthcare system here is much better overall than in America...especially when cost is concerned.  And, I have never had to wait for an appointment to see a doctor, dentist or any other health related issue.  Prescription medicine is one of the extreme differences in cost. 

I feel like I get better healthcare here in Germany than I did in America (with health insurance) and I don't have to worry about not being able to pay my bills, buy groceries etc because of healthcare costs.  It should not be possible to force a person to choose between getting the healthcare they need, be it medicine or treatment, and food to eat or a place to live.  Sadly, that is the case with many Americans.

Even with my middle of the road Blue Cross/Blue Shield policy, I could have quickly got into money trouble with a catastrophic health event.  Enough money trouble to have made me lose my home, which in turn could lead to literal homelessness and unemployment.  That isn't possible in the German health system just as it isn't possible in the rest of the first world countries of the world.  So in that respect, America definitely isn't a first world country in my opinion.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10912 on: June 17, 2021, 01:57:06 pm »

Michael Lewis has written a book, Premonition, about people involved at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Here's an interview with him about the book and some other things. He had some uncomplimentary things to say about the current CDC and about pandemic management in general.

https://atrpodcast.com/episodes/live-interview-51921-michael-lewis-and-geraldine-s1!b5171

 
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James Clark

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10915 on: June 18, 2021, 02:34:35 pm »

It may be enough to drive those new Texans back to California.  :)

I just got back from 3 days in Napa/Sonoma/San Francisco, and it just confirmed what I've thought for years now - it's so much better there than it is in Texas I can't believe anyone is silly enough to argue otherwise.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10916 on: June 18, 2021, 03:23:01 pm »

I just got back from 3 days in Napa/Sonoma/San Francisco, and it just confirmed what I've thought for years now - it's so much better there than it is in Texas I can't believe anyone is silly enough to argue otherwise.

Agreed.  For starters, nearly all of Texas is dead flat.
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PeterAit

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10917 on: June 18, 2021, 04:07:44 pm »

Agreed.  For starters, nearly all of Texas is dead flat.

What happened to Texas's plan to secede?
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10918 on: June 18, 2021, 09:11:10 pm »

What happened to Texas's plan to secede?

They had a hurricane, a flood and two power grid emergencies, requiring the feds to supply truckloads of cash.
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digitaldog

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Re: Bear Pit: now the sole domicile of politics at LuLa
« Reply #10919 on: June 20, 2021, 10:37:25 am »

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-18/four-huge-power-plant-upsets-pushed-texas-to-brink-of-blackouts

Four Huge Power-Plant Upsets Pushed Texas to Brink of Blackouts
All told, generators across the second-largest U.S. state were either down for repairs or running at reduced capacity when triple-digit heat was baking Texas, according to data compiled by Wood Mackenzie Ltd.ís Genscape unit. But the biggest impacts came from just a handful of facilities: a Vistra Corp.-owned 1.15-gigawatt nuclear reactor, and three other giant facilities owned by Talen Energy Corp. and NRG Energy Inc.


The brink; it ain't over yet.
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