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View Diary: Sunday Train: The Rumored Death of Peak Oil Was Greatly Exaggerated (81 comments)

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  •  I think I can see peak carbon coming (7+ / 0-)

    Oil is getting harder to extract, and costs too much for electricity generation. We are well started on electric and hybrid cars, and can think about replacing diesel in trucks and trains, and jet fuel for air transport, with carbon-neutral biofuels. Much further R&D is required, but it is getting funding.

    Fracking has greatly reduced the price of natural gas, but only temporarily.

    Goldman-Sachs is advising against investments in thermal coal for electricity production, and in coal export terminals. Coal for making steel is still important, but the emissions from the steel-making process have been sharply cut back, and will continue to be cut further. You want the carbon to go into solution in the iron to make the steel alloy, and then stay there, and not to escape to the atmosphere.

    China is trying to ramp up wind and other renewables to the point where it can stop building coal-fired plants, and reverse its horrendous pollution problems. The biggest coal company in India has installed renewable power at some of its mines, because it costs less than conventional electricity there.

    Renewables cost less than carbon fuels in a number of countries, and in growing parts of the US, a condition known as Grid Parity. Removing carbon subsidies would greatly extend that area. Any sort of cost offsetting carbon externalities , whether real cap-and-trade or a carbon tax, would go much further. Even in the US, EPA has begun to issue rules to cut back on fossil carbon fuels, and is considering more.

    Many fights continue. KXL is the best known. I have some knowledge of Indiana's Rockport and Edwardsport Coal Gasification Boondoggles. There are many others like them, where increasingly environmental forces are winning more and more, but obviously not everywhere.

    Several million children of the Angry White Guys on the Right fall away from the old hatreds and denials every year, making it harder and harder for them to keep their coalition together as the crazy becomes more concentrated. The factions on the Right are now in open warfare on each other as well as on all of the rest of us, and are in various ways starting to energize Democrats against them.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:38:08 PM PST

    •  Sadly, though, ... (6+ / 0-)

      ... it is the cheap natural gas that is responsible for the shaky financial position of coal power plants, and we has sufficient petroleum and natural gas reserves to ride the road to ruin even if we completely stopped using coal tomorrow.

      Among the big polluting countries, the hardest fight is not in China, its in the US, which is still a substantial oil producer, with all of the political influence that that entails. China is expanding its renewable energy production near as fast as it can, since so many Chinese are choking and dying on the pollution from coal power and heat, but the US is dragging its feet.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:50:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not only gas is undercutting coal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happyshadow, divineorder

        Wind, too. Certainly where I am in Indiana.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:08:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You may have noticed this week that Alaska Sen (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, BruceMcF

        Murkowski has started calling for the repeal of a statute which forbids certain sorts of fuel produced in the USA, probably that on public lands, you know the ones which the Rs insisted and demanded be leased to Big Energy, no matter what the environmental effect or the character of the land involved,  from being exported. Apparently, the law now states that if it was mined or produced here at least produced in certain places, , not coal of course, it has to stay here,

        Since the point of doing the gutting of national parks and wild lands for big energy was US self sufficiency and since even the oil companies are now promoting on TV that the US gets most of its fuel at home now, it is interesting that she on behalf of her state and its various deals with various big energy companies, wants to gut the protection of the US obtained by abusing national lands and uneconomic deals and leases favoriing the private producers, so private entities can profit abroad.

        I'm sure the reason is not simply that gasoline for cars are now in the cheap winter gas formulation stage, and not in the stage which will hit again in April or May as it does ever year wherein the gas is reformulated for summer use and the related  per gallon price goes through the roof ,and pols complain about who other than them is responsible for it - an opportunity not to be missed in a non Presidential election year.

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