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Texas Tells Cape Wind "You're Not First Yet"

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the y'all-come dept.

Earth 374

longacre writes "Cape Wind is making headlines for being the first offshore wind farm to earn federal approval, but it still has plenty of legal hoops to jump through before groundbreaking. Texas, on the other hand, requires no review — state, federal, or otherwise — to build wind farms off its shore. Texas energy expert and Popular Mechanics senior editor Jennifer Bogo talks to Texan energy leaders who are confident they will beat Cape Wind to the punch for the distinction of having the first functional US offshore wind farm. 'I was about to write a press release to congratulate Cape Wind for getting their approval,' says Jim Suydam, press secretary of the Texas General Land Office, 'and let them know when they're done jumping through hoops up there they can come build off the Texas Coast.' Despite its reputation as an oil-addicted, non-environmentally-friendly, conservative state, Texas's existing land-based wind farms actually produce four times more electricity than California's."

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374 comments

Whoever... (4, Insightful)

alfredos (1694270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082722)

I'm not American but it's good to see public administrations (a) competing, and (b) trying to beat one another to be in the first line of renewables.

and at least... (0, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082782)

...if it breaks, only breeze will get to the coasts.

I thing teh US of A are getting sloppy with work, that's why they spend their time collecting people's pensions and sending their sons to war, instead of making more people work for real...

Re:Whoever... (2, Informative)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083534)

The problem comes when the goal of 'economic' becomes secondary to the goal of 'being first'.

You have to be careful with 'green' or 'renewable', because there's a certain amount of FUD out there.

Recycling programs that don't actually recycle. Recycling programs that create more pollution than they prevent. Lost a bit of my innocence when I found that out.

Same deal with carbon credits, not ALL 'green' power sources are actually green, especially when you look at some of the specific implimentations out there.

Read the Popular Mechanics article (2, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082786)

There is a picture of a mechanical engineer working on renewables which will cause some Slashdot readers suddenly to want a career change.

Re:Read the Popular Mechanics article (2, Informative)

burni2 (1643061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082844)

Perhaps there are many mech. engineers on /.

Beeing a mech. eng. in the wind power industry is not bad at all, you have to do much of your work with a computer and Excel/VBA ;)

ps.
I for myself am one off them :)

Re:Read the Popular Mechanics article (1, Offtopic)

burni2 (1643061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082856)

But such a nice female (mech. eng.) I have only seen in the "construction" department :D

Re:Read the Popular Mechanics article (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083000)

Beeing a mech. eng. in the wind power industry is not bad at all, you have to do much of your work with a computer and Excel/VBA ;)

I think at least three quarters of the office population do much of our work with excel, word and a mail client.

Re:Read the Popular Mechanics article (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083056)

Beeing a mech. eng. in the wind power industry is not bad at all, you have to do much of your work with a computer and Excel/VBA ;)

ps.
I for myself am one off them :)

Spellcheck in Excel: F7 :)

Re:Read the Popular Mechanics article (3, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083358)

What, you've never been Beeing before? You are missing out, my friend.

Texas blows 4x more hot air than California? (-1, Flamebait)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082804)

Okay, I'll believe that.

Re:Texas blows 4x more hot air than California? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32082836)

Yeah, Mexico will probably blow more "wind" than every other Country, with all their Chilli con carne...

Smart move (5, Interesting)

Mabbo (1337229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082820)

Texas understands a simple principle: oil isn't forever. They have the money now, and can invest in wind, and other alternatives, so that when it runs out, they have another source of income, and a backup energy supply. Dubai is trying for a similar move, building what they hope is the Middle East's Singapore, but may have overdone it a tad.

Living in the UK for the last year, I've seen a lots of investment in wind here. On the horizon here in Edinburgh, there's a pretty substantial wind farm. Flying back home I noticed there's another large one in the waters between Ireland and Wales.

Re:Smart move (4, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082874)

Wind farms have another endearing quality:

They don't explode. burn, and piss hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the ocean.

The NIMBY folks who snivel about wind turbines are welcome to a deep draught of "Deepwater Horizon" (or Exxon Valdez, or to go way back, Torrey Canyon) to go with their oily fish dinner.

Re:Smart move (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32082956)

they do however kill sheep, the noise keeps them awake until they die. the sound may or may not have an effect on fish and dolphins, we don't know yet. also fossil fuel is forever, check out a work called "deep, hot, biosphere"

Re:Smart move (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083008)

they do however kill sheep, the noise keeps them awake until they die. the sound may or may not have an effect on fish and dolphins, we don't know yet. also fossil fuel is forever, check out a work called "deep, hot, biosphere"

Considering the article is specifically talking about offshore windfarms, I don't think that we need to be too concerned about any sheep who happen to be close enough to hear them.

And I'd like to see some sort of citation to back up your claim. I realize that sheep are dumb (very, very dumb), but I grew up (and live) in a rural state which has a good bit of sheep farming. I've never heard of the ranchers having any problems with sheep dying due to lack of sleep even on ranches which are right next to major highways which produce a much higher level of noise even at night. In addition, we have several wind farms around the state, and there are some which actually exist ON sheep ranches, with no effects.
So wherever you got your information, it was either flat out wrong, or there was something else bothering the sheep.

THAT'S HOW THE SHEEP DIE!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083416)

THAT'S HOW THE SHEEP DIE!!! They walk out into the ocean to look at the windmills and drown! It's so obvious!

Re:Smart move (1)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083044)

[wind farms] do however kill sheep, the noise keeps them awake until they die
Care to give a citation for that? Sounds pretty odd to me. One sees sheep near railways, major roads, the sea etc, all of which make noise 24 hours of the day, with varying degrees of intermittency.

Re:Smart move (2, Funny)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083210)

they do ... kill sheep, the noise keeps them awake until they die.

That is not true. It is true, however, that you can not let sheep stay out in the rain, as they will stare up into the sky and drown when the water fills their open mouths.

Re:Smart move (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083290)

I'm pretty sure that was chickens, not sheep. And it's not as common as people think even in chickens.

Re:Smart move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083494)

Actually, this myth is about turkeys. Farmers say turkeys are so dumb that they will drown when looking up at the rain. In reality, the turkeys are quite sensitive to cold, wet weather, that is why they die if left out in the rain.

Re:Smart move (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083610)

I thought they shrink in the rain. All the wool you know.

Re:Smart move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083362)

Won't somebody think of the dolphins?!

Re:Smart move (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083552)

Sheep are domestic, less valuable than power, can be moved, and can be bred to not react to noise (or rendered deaf, if necessary).

Re:Smart move (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083536)

Pah, never heard of a wind spill?

Re:Smart move (1)

brufleth (534234) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082914)

Not really. Texas, like MA, just happens to have a situations that allows wind farm companies to get land, buy and build turbines, and then sell their power at rates unhinged from the market. The Cape Wind project isn't going to do much besides cost the public a lot of money and make Cape Wind very wealthy.

Re:Smart move (2, Interesting)

twisteddk (201366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082944)

Knowing how windmills (and in particular windfarms) work, I wonder how Texans have solved the issue of overproduction ? I mean any sucker can buy a few hundred windmills from Vestas. But this type of energy is not "on demand" capable, like nuclear, coal og oil based electrical production is. Even hydropower can be scaled and "stored" up to a point.
When you get a huge terrawatt windfarm, you NEED to be able to harness (and use) all of that energy, even at night, and that means either inefficient storage, or you have to close down on other production facilities. And that costs money too.

Yes, by NOT burning oil for electricity we're keeping a green carbon footprint, but the plants producing the power still needs manning, and shutdown/startup isn't exactly easy (or cheap) in many cases. In my own home I can hook up a couple of batteries, but I suspect it's a lot more difficult on this large a scale. Anyone have a clue ? Or is this just another political move ?

Re:Smart move (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082998)

almost no one burns oil for electricity anymore, they burn coal. i don't know why all the fucktards above are talking about oil spills. it's not related.

Re:Smart move (2, Informative)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083390)

It's related because electricity is the number-one competitor to gasoline for powering automobiles. Can't even think what the number-two competitor might be. Maybe horses?

Seth

Re:Smart move (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083422)

Diesel is probably the number one competitor to gasoline. But that isn't what you meant.

LNG also works pretty well, but still probably isn't what you meant.

Re:Smart move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083468)

Which is why we see wind turbines on tops of electric cars!

Your logic is retarded, go back to sleep.

Electricity #1 competitor? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083608)

As maxume noted, you have both diesel and LNG. According to the DOE, 'Alternative Fuel' vehicles are approximately 60% LPG(Propane), 5% ethanol, ~2% electric, 20% Natural Gas.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/issues_trends/fig5.html [doe.gov]

So I'll add ethanol, bio-diesel, and hydrogen*.

*Though the best generation method would use electricity; it's better to burn the NG in the engine than to crack it into hydrogen for that purpose.

Re:Smart move (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083394)

almost no one burns oil for electricity anymore, they burn coal. i don't know why all the fucktards above are talking about oil spills. it's not related.

The more renewable electricity energy available then the cheaper it will be to charge an electric car. Less gasoline cars = less oil used. Lower oil requirements translates to lower possibilities of oil spills. At least, that's how I interpret their optimism. I certainly hope they are right.

I makes me sick to think that only accidents and toxic spills are motivating factors to business and governments, but let's make the most out of this if it can benefit "mother earth" in the long run.

Re:Smart move (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083118)

Pumped-storage [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Smart move (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083328)

Considering the energy will be "wasted" otherwise, the fact that your storage is inefficient really doesn't matter.

Re:Smart move (2, Informative)

Temkin (112574) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083592)

Texas has a fully deregulated electric grid. Not unlike what California tried to do, but with safeguards against the kind of shenanigans Enron pulled. Add to this, it's almost completely isolated from the rest of the country. Last I heard there were three interconnects. They're building a fourth superconducting DC interconnect up near Amarillo, specifically to export panhandle wind energy to NM and the western US grid.

All this wind power has had some interesting side effects. A couple months ago I was looking at switching providers, and I could have purchased a 6mo contract of 100% renewable wind energy for 9.8 cents/kwh. I'm still kicking myself. However, the wind forecasting and spinning reserve backup issue is very real. Texas very narrowly averted rolling blackouts a couple years ago when wind generation dropped off quite unexpectedly. They have emergency plans in place for large industrial users to shed load. It almost wasn't enough.

You can't just shutdown those other production facilities. Some of them need to be fired up in spinning reserve, ready to shoulder the load while additional plants are brought online. Wind can disappear in 5 minutes. It takes hours if not days to start a coal plant from a cold state. Natgas turbines 15 to 20 minutes.

Re:Smart move (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083598)

Windfarms produce during day and night. While they may have more power at certain times than others windfarms across the country networked together could meet our total production needs. While yes, they would be producing more energy than necessary, there is nothing dangerous about disconnecting a group of windfarms if we are producing too much power. Or you could use the extra energy to produce hydrogen for use in various fuelcell applications.

Re:Smart move (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082978)

As well in MA the spot where a lot of "rich family" democrats live. In essence the people who give democrats a bad name. They are opposed to these windmill as it is effecting their views of the cape. They are ok with alternative energy just as long as it is in poor peoples areas. The Texians have more of a independant personality. If you do it on your land it is your issue. If I can see your land then I am too close to you.

Re:Smart move (2, Informative)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083076)

I noticed there's another large one in the waters between Ireland and Wales
That would be North Hoyle [wikipedia.org] and Rhyl flats. The UK has an advantage when it comes to building these things: the seas around it are shallow. Texas may have a similar advantage actually, I'm not sure how deep the Gulf is. California is less lucky: the Pacific gets quite deep quite quickly as you head away from the shore.

Re:Smart move (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083314)

Texas may have a similar advantage actually, I'm not sure how deep the Gulf is.

Along the Texas and much of the Louisiana shoreline, the water is about 50' deep as far as 60 miles offshore.

Seth

Re:Smart move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083280)

Texas understands a simple principle: oil isn't forever.

What Texas understands is that ridiculous regulations and nightmarish bureaucracy, strangely enough, don't get things done.

What the entrepreneurs understand is that there is money to be made in alternative energy, and that Texas's lower regulatory burden is advantageous to making money.

Yeeeeeehaw! (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082886)

In Texas, because we don't care about the environment, we're actually able to do things that are good for the environment [..] It's the most ironic, preposterous situation. If you want to build a wind farm, you just build it.

You know, it's easy to mock Texans (from a safe distance) but there's a fully fledged bastard of a good point here. Regulation doesn't produce things. Government doesn't make anything. By and large, government just means worthless expense, and pointless obstruction.

Given the choice between trusting The People, or trusting that small subset of The People who live by taxing the rest of us and telling us what's good for us, I think I'm going to have to call it for The People.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1, Flamebait)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082896)

In Texas, because we don't care about the environment, we're actually able to do things that are good for the environment [..] It's the most ironic, preposterous situation. If you want to build a wind farm, you just build it.

You know, it's easy to mock Texans (from a safe distance) but there's a fully fledged bastard of a good point here. Regulation doesn't produce things. Government doesn't make anything. By and large, government just means worthless expense, and pointless obstruction.

Given the choice between trusting The People, or trusting that small subset of The People who live by taxing the rest of us and telling us what's good for us, I think I'm going to have to call it for The People.

Okay lets put the next wind farm beside your house.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082938)

That wouldn't happen because of zoning [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082950)

That wouldn't happen because of zoning [wikipedia.org] .

But GGP says If you want to build a wind farm, you just build it. Doesn't say anything about zoning.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (2, Informative)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083310)

No, that is just common sense that any given state in the US has zoning laws for urban & suburban areas.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083412)

Which would be regulation. You know, "evil" regulation derided upthread.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (4, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082980)

That wouldn't happen because of zoning.

Nope, zoning can't be useful, as it's done by "that small subset of The People who live by taxing the rest of us and telling us what's good for us".

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083142)

But zoning *is* regulation.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

Restil (31903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083400)

Exactly.. an example of regulation that actually DOES work, as opposed to many examples of regulation that do not.

What needs to be done... anywhere... is to define the specific zones in which wind farms would be acceptable, and be sure enough of those zones exist to make the operation feasible. Obviously, nobody is going to put a windfarm in a residential area, but there is a lot of farmland and empty space out there which would be perfectly acceptable and won't really bother anyone.

Where we run into the problems is we've got an area zoned as acceptable for wind farms, and then someone steps in and says we can't build them there because of (pick your environmental crisis).
Texas tends to have fewer of those problems... and a heck of a lot of free space. As far as building them off shore, we are already used to seeing oil wells off shore, so why would we care if we saw windmills? At least they wouldn't leave tar on the beaches (although that's not a problem I've seen for a couple decades now).

-Restil

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083446)

Two differences in Texas are that A> what's left undeveloped is mostly desert or its close equivalent and B> Texans don't give a shit about endangered animals. If you bring 'em up in conversation you're likely to be told "Stop Talking Californian". My lady and I both have [separate] experience with this particular phenomenon. Persistence is likely to be met with the old three-people-in-a-balloon joke, except it's three people in the bar, and the Texan shoots the Mexican and the Californian. In California you have to fill out an Environmental Impact Report before you can do anything. Admittedly, this has gone a bit far, but in Texas, they wipe their arses with EIRs.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083024)

> Okay lets put the next wind farm beside your house.

I heard the same thing when wind power came here about 10-15 years ago, and I still say: I'd rather have a wind farm next to my house than a nuclear power plant, an oil power plant or a coal power plant.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (0)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083028)

yes because that's what's being proposed - a wind farm in a suburban setting.

if i was you i wouldn't start an argument based on the good judgement of government officals.....

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083072)

Okay lets put the next wind farm beside your house.

Sure, why not? It needs to go somewhere. Where do I sign up?

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083138)

Okay lets put the next wind farm beside your house.

Sure. Go right ahead. Wouldn't bother me at all.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083626)

"Okay lets put the next wind farm beside your house."

FUCK him, put it next to MY house! :)

Throw in a cell phone tower too, preferably ON my land with the usual lease. Set up the construction compound nearby (we need the jobs and have a decent workforce). Our community college can do workforce training (WIA 4 teh win!) to support any business. I'll get with the local development board, the mayor, and anyone else who might be useful. I shit you not, bring it on.

Self and county would be tickled as a pedo at Scout camp.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (5, Insightful)

dnwq (910646) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082900)

Regulation means that those alternatives to wind farms with large, hidden costs borne actually pay those costs. So your clean wind farm actually turns a profit.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083542)

Regulation [...] pay[s] those costs. So your clean wind farm actually turns a profit.

You must work for GM.
Taxpayer dollars keeping a company "in the black" should not count as "profit".

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32082926)

Yea because letting corporations do as they please without regulation and oversight can't possibly go wrong.

Texas is betting on a quick PR buck at the expense of whatever the corporations will inevitably screw up in their greed.

Your choice between trusting the "The People" or the government is a red herring. It's not "The People" but only a few corporations that want to make money with no regards to consequences.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (0, Flamebait)

BlackBloq (702158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32082966)

I'd like to see your monkey ass trying to fight off a group of opposing monkeys in the feral waste that is the lack of government. You would, without government either be throwing shit from that tree you sit so high in be eaten and raped or raped and eaten by all those other monkeys who want what you got. Because without government, we are just a bunch of fucking monkeys. Hey you can go move into the woods (try like deep rain forest) and don't come back! No doctor or clear water for you! Man you people who hate the govenment piss me of , acting like victims! What a load of shit! You don't like living in a governed state... THEN GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE COUNTRY! Start you own shit throwing monkey squad and have fun in the woods with yer sticks and finding food all day! No TV NO Wallmart no Nascar! At least you wont be fat any more! Hey you can always bring chess!

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (0)

MLease (652529) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083174)

Aw, c'mon, don't hold back! Tell us how you really feel!

-Mike

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (5, Interesting)

quokkaZ (1780340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083034)

Talk about jumping to wild conclusions based on next to no evidence, but firmly ensconced in ideological clap trap.

There are innumerable examples of governments "making things". As we are talking about electricity generation I will point out the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme in Australia, built by the Australian government and operated to this day by a wholly government owned corporation. It is the largest engineering project ever undertaken in Australia and frequently cited as an example of civil engineering excellence.

In scope and difficulty, putting up some wind turbines is just not in the same league.

So what is it you were saying about governments?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowy_Mountains_Scheme#cite_note-ASCE-6 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083240)

When (some) Americans complain that governments can't do anything, what they actually mean is that governments run by American conservative ideologues can't do anything, because those individuals are dedicated to the proposition that government spending on anything but blowing up wogs is a terrible atrocity.

And, yes, the next 100 years, when we enter a period of decline unknown, will be a pretty amusing/depressing time in America's history.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083588)

Any endeavor can, usually by the luck of having a good team of people who try to solve the right problem at the right time, be wildly successful.

The fact that most fail has nothing to do with ideology, but the simple fact that you have to have so many things go right.

If a private enterprise fails, it typically goes bankrupt and a small group of investors lose their money. Everyone goes back to the drawing board and tries again.

If a government enterprise fails, it can continue to be funded by money appropriated by taxpayers for years. It can only be shut down when there is enough pressure from voters, a diffuse interest, that it becomes an embarrassment.

Sure, there are exceptions. Sometimes a large corporation will keep running, but even then it's often been "bailed out" by the government. And stringent regulations frequently prevent smaller competitors from becoming big enough to put them out of business.

And, yes, the next 100 years, when we enter a period of decline unknown, will be a pretty amusing/depressing time in America's history.

It may even be so interesting that you'll actually read some of it!

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (2, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083162)

Regulation doesn't produce things. Government doesn't make anything. By and large, government just means worthless expense, and pointless obstruction.

Ah yes . the myth of the "Free Market is best" argument. Simplistic, naive and dangerous.

A totally free and unregulated market gives you the Thalidomide, the Ford Pinto, lead paint in children's toys, contaminated pet food and (the latest one) contaminated Chinese dry wall. Why should the government regulate things, as after all the market will sort things out eventually.

Who cares about the damage done to the consumer between the the time a company enters a market and the time people realise that something bad is happening.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1, Flamebait)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083254)

And government gives you Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, and if you're so inclined, Bush.

Government with evil intentions makes private enterprise look downright saintly.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083302)

And government gives you Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, and if you're so inclined, Bush.

Government with evil intentions makes private enterprise look downright saintly.

Yep .. people with no regulation can be complete bastards

However in the case of governments, the regulation process is called "elections"

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (2, Insightful)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083194)

You know, it's easy to mock Texans (from a safe distance)

ooh, texans are so tough! you have to stand far away to make fun of them! they're all cowboys and have true grit(tm) and eat raw meat and grab bulls by the ballsack just for fun.

jesus, i love texans and their 'tough guy' facade.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083218)

By and large, government just means worthless expense, and pointless obstruction.

So how's that broadband market going for you? How about health care?

(and that's just off the top of my head.)

this post written from Europe.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083558)

So how's that broadband market going for you? How about health care?

In general, mine are both fine, even though I'm still paying bills for my cancer treatments.

And both are heavily regulated at State and/or Local levels. Your point was?

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (5, Insightful)

Chryana (708485) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083238)

Regulation may not produce things, but it helps prevent The People as you like to call them from getting Ripped Off, such as during the California electricity crisis [wikipedia.org] . Your point about "worthless expense and pointless obstruction" caused by regulations sounds particularly stupid in the light of the current events going on in the Gulf of Mexico. I think I'd rather trust people who are accountable to the population than some faceless multinational to look for my interests, thank you very much.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083286)

Government can do two thing with regulation and taxes

    They can discourage people from doing things that are bad but would be profitable to do

    They can encourage people to do things that are good but are not profitable (in the short term) to do

Unfortunately they often add so much bureaucracy that it discourages people anyway ....and the people who can afford to pay people to work around the bureaucracy are the ones who need stopping from going for the bad short term gain ....

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083288)

Government doesn't make things? Hmm, lets ask the Army Corp of Engineers about that. You know, the people who built the irrigation projects that made large numbers of people living in the Western United States possible? Or let's ask a small organization called ARPA about this project they had called computer networking? Or let's ask the municipal water treatment plants in those cities lucky enough to still have public utilities./ I went to high school and college in building built by this government organization called the Works Projects Administration, which, admittedly isn't around any more, but built an awful lot of infrastructure in its time. Many companies have Governments as their sole customers, e.g. aerospace weapons firms. If they're signing the checks and paying for it all to be produced with guaranteed profit (cost-plus), can we really say they're not producing them? What about if they paid for the R&D, (which they did)? And the testing facilities? In Austin, Texas of all places, the publicly-owned city electrical utility produces power that is both cheaper and cleaner than all of the deregulated power firms in the rest of the state. And then there's public schools and public universities, which produce graduates, scientific research, art, music and literature. There's the Federally-Funded Jet Propulsion Laboratory which built the robots currently roving around on Mars. You might want to check your facts.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083292)

Government doesn't make anything. By and large, government just means worthless expense, and pointless obstruction.

What about schools, universities, roads, police, fire departments and public libraries, just to name a few?

What about regulations that keep companies from dumping toxic waste into rivers, abusing monopolies, and otherwise engaging in unacceptable behavior?

What about laws that others from taking away your rights, instituting poll taxes or flat-out denying you the right to vote based on gender or color or creed, and so on?

If you think governments are worthless, is the constitution just a worthless piece of paper, too? If not, who actually makes sure it's worth more than the paper it's written on? Do you think that Somalia is a utopia?

Also, did you get the memo that said that the "small subset of The People" that gets to run the show is actually elected by the rest? The memo that said that you're free to vote for someone else, or noone at all, or that you're free to run yourself and get others to vote for YOU so you can run things YOUR way?

Did you consider all that?

Or are you just unhappy because you don't like the status quo, because the majority doesn't agree with your views, and because you cannot accept that in a democracy, inalienable rights and non-interference in personal matters aside, the majority gets to decide, while the minority doesn't? Or maybe you're unhappy because you've got an income in the five- to six-digit range and because the ebil gub'mint is forcing you to pay taxes and support all these things? (If yes, go on, vote for Ron Paul. Or read another book by Ayn Rand.)

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083364)

Given the choice between trusting The People, or trusting that small subset of The People who live by taxing the rest of us and telling us what's good for us, I think I'm going to have to call it for The People.

Have you *met* "the people"? Sure, you may not have to go through any regulatory hoops, but the locals reserve the right to call you a faggot for building a wind farm.

Oh, and that giant clusterfuck of oil off the Texas / Louisiana coast? Every other civilized country in the WORLD requires a shutoff valve that would have prevented the spill. Thanks to the "drill baby drill" crowd, the United States doesn't. But you're right - regulation doesn't "produce" anything; it does, however, stop Exxon from producing a gigantic environmental disaster.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (4, Insightful)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083466)

Blatantly ripping this off from other people on the Internet:

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory. I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to send via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on freerepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.

Re:Yeeeeeehaw! (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083546)

Given the choice between trusting The People, or trusting that small subset of The People who live by taxing the rest of us and telling us what's good for us, I think I'm going to have to call it for The People.

And by "The People" you mean large corporations with substantial amounts of cash.

Dang... we have fallen a tad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32082954)

We were ranked fourth - if considered a country (which we already do ourselves...)

Texas wind farms are actually restricted to produce only 10% of the State's energy.

Real time data is available from the following:
    http://www.ercot.com/

  And again, we have our own Grid. There is the East, the West and Texas.

Wind = Danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32082972)

I still wonder that the technology-oriented /. crowd doesn't understand a major problem with almost all energy sources. The source of wind power (wind energy) is NOT "safe" energy. Removing energy from the wind affects climate, migration, pollination, seeding, and probably other factors I haven't considered.

Pulling out small amounts of wind energy may be harmless; pulling out gigawatts will affect the environment. Why would anybody think that it would have no impact?

Only solar energy has a chance at being "safe". All solar energy is eventually returned to heat energy, so capture it or use it, we still get heat. There are issues with building the cells and boilers, but considering only the power itself shows that the safest energy source is solar.

Wind may be a nice complement, but our efforts should be directed at solar energy for the major source of our power.

Re:Wind = Danger (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083088)

Removing energy from the wind affects climate, migration, pollination, seeding, and probably other factors I haven't considered.

Worldwide, forests dissipate orders of magnitude more wind energy than wind farms would if we provided all of humanities power requirements using them.

Even solar energy isn't "safe" by your definition, because widespread use of solar cells would alter the Earth's albedo.

Re:Wind = Danger (1, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083190)

I still wonder that the technology-oriented /. crowd doesn't understand a major problem with almost all energy sources. The source of wind power (wind energy) is NOT "safe" energy. Removing energy from the wind affects climate, migration, pollination, seeding, and probably other factors I haven't considered.

...

Only solar energy has a chance at being "safe".

You do realise that Wind energy is solar energy? So it doesn't matter how you pull the energy out of the system, you are still pulling it out.

Isn't Oil? (3, Insightful)

chapstercni (238462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083258)

If wind is solar power, then so is oil.
Oil is energy from the sun converted via photosynthesis and has been stored all these years.

Re:Isn't Oil? (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083432)

Technically, every energy source besides nuclear is solar power.

Re:Isn't Oil? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083528)

Technically, every energy source besides nuclear is solar power.

I dunno, you could even make a claim that nuclear is a form of solar, as the heavy elements are a by product of the star process.

Re:Wind = Danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083338)

The question is, does it matter if we pull out the solar energy before it turns to wind energy or will the lack of wind energy be harmful. It's one thing to take energy from wind that's already blowing around but different than taking it before it blows.

Re:Wind = Danger (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083392)

The question is, does it matter if we pull out the solar energy before it turns to wind energy or will the lack of wind energy be harmful. It's one thing to take energy from wind that's already blowing around but different than taking it before it blows.

Have you ever compared the amount of solar energy falling on the planet with human energy usage? I don't know the exact figures but its a tad biased towards the solar energy side of numbers.

Re:Wind = Danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083506)

mean solar power intercepted by Earth (~~ 2x10^17 W ) = 200PW
in 2004 the entire world was only using 15TW

Uh, how do you take wind power before it's wind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083576)

Uh, how do you take wind power before it's wind? Really, I'd like to know.

Now how much trouble has the US city caused in reducing wind power? How much trouble has removing forests so you can plant miles of corn caused in increased winds?

Now how much of the energy of the wind is taken by windmills?

How much would the wind slow down to make the kinetic energy loss equal US consumption?

Hint: that last one is of the order of 10-4m/s. Do you notice 0.1mm/sec change in the wind speed???

Re:Wind = Danger (1)

KillaBeave (1037250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083486)

You do realise that Wind energy is solar energy? So it doesn't matter how you pull the energy out of the system, you are still pulling it out.

You do realize that petroleum IS solar energy? It just happens to be conveniently stored in a thick liquid form that's easy to burn and turn into mechanical energy.

It all goes back to solar. My Jeep has been technically solar powered for years now :)

Fighting states (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083166)

Hopefully their fight about who's first should blow over soon.

Ouch (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083196)

That could really take the wind out of their sails.

Try the fish.

Everything's Bigger In Texas (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083212)

Subject says it all.
 
The coast is going to be a strange place in 80 years with wind farms a mile deep around our coast. The ultimate naval great wall?

Mainly (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083228)

Mainly, because the only scenic vistas off the Texas coastline are of oil slicks and passed-out coeds from South Padre Island.

Re:Mainly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32083484)

Combined, they make for a pretty fun time.

Conservativism doesn't exclude wind power (0, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083452)

Conservativism excludes suddenly building 50,000 nuclear plants today because we just discovered a new reactor design, replacing our coal power with solar, and putting up tons of wind farms; just to find out that nuclear plants have some unexpected flaws even in the new design that we don't know how to handle, solar power is about 3.2 times as expensive as we thought since the panels last 20 years but after 3 years they're at 30% of their original operating efficiency, and wind farms draw their energy from weather patterns and thus have drastic impacts on the global climate.

Everyone seems to want to implement their brand new idea today, now, and replace all this old junk that's worked for years but has known serious flaws. Every time someone decides they should replace the power grid, or cars, or our economy (regulatory laws) with something much better they designed this morning over coffee, their computer speakers should emit some sort of penis-shaped sound wave and plunge it repeatedly into their skull until they achieve enlightenment. Replacing our dirty coal and oil plants with something entirely different might be a good idea; the stopgap of upgrading the equipment to be clean-running is an immediately good idea, though, and much better than pulling the plug on the mass scale and putting something new and trendy but only vaguely understood in place.

Forward-thinking is completely useless and even dangerous without forethought; forward-thinking should only be done in a controlled, thought-driven manner that encourages constant thought and constant review of prior ideas until we've refined them enough to drop them in on a small scale. Once things go smoothly on the small scale, we can start cautiously implementing them on a larger scale, going back and fixing things as we discover issues and rolling the changes into continued deployment. Yes, it takes 50 years instead of 5; if this matters, you did something extremely wrong.

Texas, on the other hand, requires no review... (2, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083510)

OMG! People doing things without permission! Unregulated activity!

Oh. Wait. It's "Green". That makes it ok. Only climate denialists ever oppose anything Green. But does Texas subsidize these wind farms? If not they are still evil. It's Texas,after all. We have to find something evil in everything they do.

I know. I bet Texas wind farms kill birds (California ones don't, of course: they are properly regulated).

Wind energy actually pollutes? (1)

doug141 (863552) | more than 4 years ago | (#32083550)

I'm interested to see what slashdotters have to say about this report [consumerenergyreport.com] , which says wind energy makes coal plants have to run intermittently rather than at steady state, which causes more pollution than just getting all the power from coal in the first place.
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