Monday, February 22, 2021

From Calves to Kilowatts



There is Darkness all Around Us Now

Where are they … Someone!

By Stephen L. Wilmeth

             The week has been a continuation of uncertainty.

            The Blue Norther’ of eastern New Mexico and Texas set aside our plans to sell calves midweek. The back story was not just the blistering cold leading up to the sale date. It was what was happening further east. Word was received that a major catastrophe was in progress on wheat pasture. The losses were stemming from wheat locked under ice and snow cover, the inability to keep water to vulnerable calves, and no hay supplies to supplement what little wheat they could reach.

            Calves (were) dying left and right.

            The worry became too few buyers and their unwillingness to put more calves at unacceptable risk. Pasture wheat wasn’t the only issue, though.

            Starting a week ago kill plants were cancelling schedules due to the curtailment of natural gas supplies. Boilers, flakers, and driers used in various facilities were shut down in anticipation of meteoric domestic use increases and expected interruptions (even Bennie Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Forum got this portion the chronicles of the rolling blackouts wrong. In his power outage schematic publicized during the week he noted the Panhandle had no curtailment of power and it most certainly did).

            By midweek, deliveries were starting to be reconsidered, but the disruption in the supply chain associated with the immense Texas finished beef trade will eventually play out. A week of hamburger curtailment alone leaves a monstrous vacuum on the supply side of protein.


            At one point, the news services were suggesting 4.2 million Texas residents were without electricity. By firsthand accounts in the Ft. Worth area, it wasn’t just electricity that was curtailed because natural gas and water supplies were also unavailable (the latter as a function of frozen pipes).

            Texas, the self-proclaimed King Kong of Energy, was telling folks to put on their long-stored union suits because they couldn’t perform their obligatory function of delivering the energy goods. Fully half of their trendy wind farm turbines were frozen solid to their jesus nuts. That little hiccup represented a curtailment of 12% of the state’s total generation capacity to send hot current into the distribution system.

            The solar farms fared even worse. Those players were sitting on the far end of the bench. Their subsidized 2-3% of the electrical power base in the state failed to get out of the starting blocks because if the sun ain’t shining, pard, those panels, they, don’t farr’.

            Yessiree, the highly touted renewables were largely missing in action. They may work on picnic or presidential town hall days, but when the chips are down and the conditions marginal, they are proving to be sorry, subsidized emissaries to the real world. In combination, their contribution to the cause was less than half of their purported share of the market.

            Meanwhile, every BTU of fluid mineral production crammed into that obviously undersized delivery system … fired on command.

Natural gas contributions in electrical generation started the month averaging about 33% of the contributions and increased it relative share to 67% of generation sourcing in a backdrop that increased overall power demand by at least 50%. Measured against the initial share to the point peak demand it increased its contribution by some 250%.

Hands down, it was the energy heroine of the storm event.

            Where are they … Someone!

            While Governor Abbott seems to be getting serious about delving to the bottom of why his high-powered grid came to within minutes of full collapse and saved by that grand and truly iconic American standard, petroleum, rest uneasily there is nobody at the helm of one of the darkest holes that, for all intents and purposes, is off any discussion agenda.

            That, of course, is where the 1.8 million recent election ghost voters reside in our country. Those ghosts are the registered persona that exceeded the eligible voters in 353 counties of the 29 states where such data can be analyzed.

It gets worse from there.

            Three states (which includes California) and the District of Columbia do not post adequate data to come to any conclusions of ghosts. Eleven more states including Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin post no online voter verification at all.

            In eight states, total registrations exceeded eligible voters in every county.

            Only six states had counties that didn’t exceed the magical 100% eligibility level. One of those states, Pennsylvania, had three counties that came in just under the wire with 96-97% of eligibilities.

            Taken collectively, that leaves us with only one conclusion. The ghost voters in these United States of America far exceed the 1.8 million that can be determined with available data.

            Talk about a successful communist get out to vote campaign!

            There is Darkness all Around Us Now

            Texas better start worrying mightily who and why they are so adamant in inviting the world to come live amidst their expanding sing along nightspots.

            A place to start might be the concept of appointing governance of the state only to those folks who know the original spelling of Texans was Texians. The case in point is the membership of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). This board is given the responsibility of managing 90% of the electric load in the state. That means 26 million Texans are managed by a 15-member board of which fully a third are not even Texans. One of the foreigners is from Maine. One is from Illinois. One is from Michigan. One is from California, and one has an address whose GPS is decidedly Canadian.

            Delegating oversight away to a world body is destroying us.

As for the collective body of ghost voters in the nation, specter looms even darker. There is no help in Washington. The chat collectors of that urban wilderness read in revised history that Rio Grande in Spanish means Welcome Democrats! 

            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Remember the Alamo!”



Anonymous said...

So, cowpoke, how's that unregulated energy market working out for the folks in Texas?

SLW said...

Well, la Anonima ... how does non regulation dovetail with renewable legislative mandates? And, while the matter is at hand, I’m reminded I have capitalized ten solar pumping units. I really like them when the sky is clear, too, but, back to the point. How about you? Have you actually invested in a productive use for them, or ... do you just regurgitate a progressive punch line emesis?

Anonymous said...

ERCOT controls the Texas Grid. It allows nodular bidding every 15 minutes to gain access to the transmission grid that they control. The Solar and Wind generators are subsidized by the government and they can under bid the coal fired generators. Prior to the proliferation of solar and wind Texas used to have about 15 % more generating capacity versus transmission capability. Since the subsidized bidders can under bid the coal fired generators we have lost 8 to 10 major coal fired generators. And we no longer have a surplus of generation capacity. Then we get a major cold wave that puts snow on the solar panels and ice on the wind turbines and the result is rolling black outs. In summary Texas has too much reliance on unreliable "green" energy. If there are too many clouds the solar does not work. If the wind does not blow the wind turbines do not work. In the summers of 2018 and 2019 there were some shortage problems due to the wind not blowing.
So in response to the Anonymous commenter above the root of the problem is due to some legislation by the Texas Legislature that mandated that a certain percent of Texas power had to be from renewables coupled with ERCOT's allowing the subsidized green energy to make coal fired generators go out of business. The problem is not due to unregulated energy. It is due to government mandated "green" energy.