Featured The Lie Begins to Unravel (R.I.P Cloud Peak Energy)

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by kenmce, May 18, 2019.

  1. kenmce

    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    Cloud Peak Energy, a Wyoming-based coal mining corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 10. Some interesting documents are leaking out from the fallen giant. They basically took the example of the tobacco companies, who successfully fought off reality for years, and applied it to climate change. FUD for hire.

    Bankrupt Coal Company Funded Climate Change Denialism
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    wow, cannot wait for the fallout!
     
  3. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    It's interesting when you have some family that actually lives in Gillette. Driving around there will my Blue Magnetism Prime, especially when back on the dirt roads, sure provides an acute awareness of how much certain areas of the country fight to retain the status quo. You see signs there proudly supporting that industry... which is extra poignant during the holiday, when you see one reminding you that coal in your stocking is the ultimate gift.

    There's opportunity to embrace change. The potential is obvious. Just imagine how such unfarmable land that's always windy could take advantage of turbines. Generating lots of electricity to supply other areas of the country seems like something they'd seek out, knowing that coal is doomed. Perhaps this bankruptcy file will serve as a wake-up call. It certainly has revealed that some have been well aware of the problem. At some point, they need to finally address it.

    Soon would be nice. So many resources have been wasted on the denial. Evidence of how it impact climate is obvious. Solutions to that are too. It's so reminiscent of tobacco. There fight to prevent the inevitable was remarkable.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    also sounds a lot like what tesla is going through
     
  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    But wait, how can the coal company go bankrup-t when making coal reform hydrogen is not only the cheapest method to obtain hydrogen, it's also so darn green .... what with sequestration and all ....
    no?

    .
     
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  6. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    clean rhymes with green, so there is the obvious connection.
     
  7. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Something I'm curious about. Let's extend this to the extreme...at some point in the future every available space has windmills or solar panels. Where is the point where wind energy being sapped to produce electricity starts affecting wind patterns? How many square miles of solar panels will eventually change how the earth is heated by the sun? Nothing is free and nothing is without side effects..good and bad.
     
  8. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    You're assuming some massive coverage area of windmills. I don't see that happening. Solar is close enough to the ground to not affect wind patterns in any significant way. And both systems can be built on the same property to offset supply, if needed.

    Solar is getting more efficient by the week. Newer standard residential panels are up to 425 watts from 300 just a couple years ago. They're very expensive ATM, but give them another 2 years to ramp that up to reduce prices. Commercial panel underside generation can gain another 8-10% efficiency from sunlight bouncing up off the ground. Tested, but not in widespread production just yet. Perovskite coating tech are gaining traction to further increase efficiencies eventually.

    It is estimated that an area 200x200 square miles of solar-ony generation can provide all the electrical power required for the US; this without any wind, water turbine, or other green production. Of course, getting that power to the rest of the country is an issue, but it is an interesting figure in itself. No, one site would never be considered, but spreading that out, region by region is highly doable, as it is now.

    There's enough scrub land almost everywhere to adopt solar. Farmers can rent out sections of land, as they do with windmills, to power companies adopting solar as part of their ever-lower cost production portfolio. Additionally, there's no reason wildflowers and beehives can't thrive just under and around commercial solar operations. This is a win-win-win for everyone.

    Something else, if we as a people don't do anything more to curb temperatures by avoiding continued reliance on coal, gas and nuclear energy, I'd guess that wind pattern changes via global warming and other real bad consequences will be upon us all, and already are. Pick the battle - replace the current aging belching power plants with proven and cheaper green power, or put up with the annoyances from the windmills and solar farms. I know which I'd choose to support.
     
    #8 DavidA, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    There is already more than that amount of land covered with impervious surface construction, as roofs and pavement. The solar side affects are already here.

    Granted, a significant numbers of those existing impervious surfaces are not in the best solar producing climate zones. But topping essentially all building with solar PV would provide a very large portion of that needed solarized land area. And if we use a mixture of energy sources, not just solar, we might not needed any otherwise uncovered lands.
     
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  10. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    How does rural or rooftop solar affect imperviousness (not a word)? Water runoff from panels installed on land goes directly into the soil. If they're on a roof, the runoff is the same as shingles. I'm not getting your connection.
     
  11. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    My point is that installing solar PV atop existing construction shouldn't increase the disruption issue to natural heating of the planet's surface that TMR-JWAP is asking about. Those artificial roofs and paved surfaces are already causing some level of disruption, even without solar modules. May as well solarize these first for no additional impact, before desecrating natural or undeveloped areas.

    'Impervious' here is a government term common in land use and stormwater control topics, and is usually a reasonably good proxy for separating human-built artificial surfaces from (quasi-)natural biological surfaces.

    It appears in stormwater control discussions because, absent intentional efforts to the contrary, rain tends to flow off human-made structures and into streams far more quickly than from those biological surfaces. During storms, this leads to more rapid rises in stream and river flows, exacerbating flooding issues downstream.

    Putting solar panels on top of existing buildings will have no additional impact on this. But disturbing natural biological surfaces for solar, even farm fields on a large scale, will have impact.

    But I am using it as a surface area estimate of existing human structures.
     
    #11 fuzzy1, May 19, 2019
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  12. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    I will agree to disagree.
     
  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I'm not understanding. Would you rather install these solar panels out over farm fields and so-called (but mislabeled) 'scrub' natural lands first, skipping the already unnatural roofs and other human-covered surfaces?

    I see less potential environmental impact from multi-using the already human-covered surfaces first, reducing the amount of disturbance to remaining natural surfaces.
     
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  14. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Making H2 from coal is a clean use of coal as far as minimizing many of the problem with coal combustion.
    But making H2 from coal is very very expensive, so nat gas (or oil) is the way to go for H2 from fossil fuels.
    If we want to go to very expensive energy options (nuclear, off-shore wind etc) then there are a number of things can be done including cleaner coal use. I believe if we made H2 from nat gas, there may be an excellent opportunity to sequester the CO2. Of course, we would then need a use for H2, can you say FCV? Oops I have sinned.
     
  15. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Try spreading the word that some FCV mules include a plug, using the hydrogen as a secondary energy source... just like Prime does with gas.

    The narrative that FCV can only be fueled by hydrogen is a misconception that's easy to spread.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    oh? what else can you fuel it with?(n)
     
  17. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Because the units are often large, there have been successes with building units running electric & their waste heat via hydrogen fuel cells. Very expensive (& not to get into their CO2 releasing Fuel stock in most instances) , but workable.
    .
     
  18. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    Consensus is not science. Words like, "suggest" in the final paragraph of the online article are far too oblique to support the thesis that this coal concern funded climate change denial. No one with any level of thinking power would deny climate change. Climate has been changing since the world was created. All think tanks are "FUD for hire."
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it's the 'man made' that fossil fuelers deny
     
  20. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    Chapter 11 is a reorganization, not a closure. Companies of all stripes, including solar and wind farm concerns, go bankrupt all the time as the economic and regulatory climate changes. In all likelihood, a stronger and more efficient coal mining company will emerge.

    There is nothing wrong with clean coal electrical generation. After all, without coal, electric cars would never be viable.
     
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