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Category — Peltier, Robert

‘Blowing Smoke’ at Obama CO2 Policy: POWER’s Peltier Retires in High Style

“Obama’s sloppy use of science was carefully crafted to gain public support for ‘carbon pollution’ as the source of climate change. Using the term 20 times in his speech, he again conflated carbon dioxide, which is essential to plant life on this planet, with anthropogenic emissions (particularly from coal-fired power plants) as the principal cause of climate change. This rhetorical trick should now be obvious to all who were listening closely (or reading the transcript, as I did).”

Robert Peltier, Dr. Peltier, has been many things in his life: professor, marine, policeman, electric utility manager, and scholar/writer. He is honest and a realist, which led him to the free-market side of the energy debate.

Peltier has written a number of posts for MasterResource over the years (see Appendix A). We hope to hear from him in the future if his retirement priorities allow.

Here is Peltier’s final editorial from the August issue of POWER. Enjoy–and let’s hope Robert adds his weight to the coming free-market correction of errant state and federal energy policies premised on energy and climate alarmism. [Read more →]

September 27, 2013   1 Comment

America’s Growth Corridors (walking away from CO2 regulation)

“Your right to vote is guaranteed. However, it seems voting with your feet is often more effective.”

The familiar Red State–Blue State map is a symbolic means of quickly communicating political preferences. The maps aren’t meant to be predictive of job, economic, or population trends, yet a recent think tank’s report suggests the metaphor may have broader significance.

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research released in February America’s Growth Corridors: The Key to National Revival, which describes the future growth of our economy in terms of “growth corridors.”

The economic and population trends reported look remarkably like the iconic election night map with Blue States (my analogy, not the authors’) defined as strips along the Pacific and Northeast Atlantic coasts and along the shores of the Great Lakes. The Red States are those located along the “Third Coast” bordering the Caribbean, the Intermountain West, the Great Plains, and the Southeast Manufacturing Belt.

The report calls these four regions “America’s Growth Corridors,” representing 45% of the nation’s land mass and 30% of its population.

Diverging Directions

Conventional wisdom tells us businesses prefer regions with a sufficient labor pool, real estate, reasonable cost of living, relatively low taxes, and a regulatory climate conducive to business. Availability of low-cost energy has also jumped near the top of that list. It’s no surprise that recent data suggest employers uniformly favor the Red States over the Blue States when locating new businesses. However, that trend is indicative of a major economic shift now under way with the country, particularly with job creation and manufacturing of goods.

The energy industry has led the nation in job creation over the past decade. Oil and gas extraction jobs alone, predominately located in the Red States, have increased over 27% since early 2008, producing the highest number of jobs in that industry since late 1987. Moody’s Analytics reports that the oil and gas extraction industry created more than one million jobs since 2002, out of the 2.7 million jobs created across the entire country over the same period! [Read more →]

April 17, 2013   5 Comments

POWER’s Peltier: Show Your CO2 Hand or Fold, Windpower

“Forgotten by many proponents is the justification for the PTC in the first place: to reduce CO2 emissions…. [Yet] … many utilities with large amounts of wind generation steadfastly refuse to release operating data for analysis. I suspect to do so would mean the release of empirical data to build the opposition’s case for insignificant CO2 reduction and poor operating economics. I was unable to find one study of existing wind energy installations that found the CO2 reductions predicted by AWEA.”

Robert Peltier, editor-in-chief of POWER magazine, is an honest broker. He understands the technical side of electrical generation as a professional engineer. He knows power generation in practice from his years of industry experience on the regulated and the nonregulated sides. He has taught the subject as a tenured professor. And with years of experience in the U.S. Navy and in law enforcement, he has just about seen it all. (See full bio below.)

In his current position, Peltier oversees staff and industry writing on the latest power technology relating to plants using oil, gas, coal, nuclear, water, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. Battery technology is regularly updated too.

His most recent Speaking of Power editorial,Under Seize(December 2012), contains numerous insights that friend and foe of modern windpower should heed. The longtime head of the American Wind Energy Association (and critic of Honest Bob), Denise Bode, is riding into the sunset. But she leaves behind a very subpar, dishonest technology that sans government support will be revealed as the Enron of energy sources. (And, thinking ahead, who will pay for wind-turbine removal?)

His seminal editorial follows: [Read more →]

December 18, 2012   19 Comments

“Battle of the Bulb” (Peltier finds CFL mercury emissions equal to that of power plants)

[Ed. note: Robert Peltier, editor of POWER magazine, has insightful commentary in his 'Speaking of Power' op-ed series. MasterResource reprints his op-ed below with permission.]

“What happens to the millions of used CFLs that are tossed out in the trash each year? Chances are a large percentage are broken by users at home or are broken when compressed in the trash truck or compacted in a landfill. Regardless, the mercury contained in the bulbs is released to the environment.”

“My research found, much to my surprise, that both emissions—from [power plant] stack gas or broken compact fluorescent lighbulbs (CFL)—produce about the same magnitude of mercury release.”

- Robert Peltier, “Battle of the Bulb,” POWER, February 2012, p. 6.

President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 with the words: “New technologies will help usher in a better quality of life for our citizens.”

One stipulation of that law required an increase in the efficiency of newly manufactured lightbulbs, starting with 100-watt incandescent bulbs in 2012. Additional requirements affect 75-watt incandescent bulbs in 2013 and 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs in 2014.

The law did not ban the use of incandescent lights, as commonly believed, but it did prohibit the production or importation of bulbs that fail to meet the new efficiency standards after the cut-off date.

That law became effective January 1; however, the budget bill passed by Congress late last year does not allow the Department of Energy to enforce the lightbulb provision until September 30. The legislation that won overwhelming approval in 2007 has evolved into a cause célèbre this election year.

The real problem with this law, and the focus of the public’s ire, concerns the disposal cost of these new bulbs, not so much the efficiency standard per se. It is an environmental problem, in other words. [Read more →]

March 7, 2012   10 Comments

Peltier: Political Solar’s ‘Epic Fail’–With More to Come

” The Solyndra technology was far from innovative, much less game-changing. The DOE … failed to quantify the elasticity of production costs in a highly competitive market where solar panels are a commodity.”

“Given the many other companies with shaky financials that have received loan guarantees, I expect we’ll see more and larger epic fails like Solyndra in the coming years.”

- Robert Peltier, “Epic Fail, POWER, October 2011, p. 6.

The seasoned warnings against politically correct, market incorrect technologies for electric generation by POWER magazine editor-in-chief Robert Peltier are now being vindicated. Peltier did not anticipate the unseemly crony capitalism involved in such cases as Solyndra, but he knew that there was trouble ahead because of the technological problems of converting very dilute, intermittent energy into affordable, dispatchable power flows.

The special insight of Peltier on political solar is worth studying (full article here): [Read more →]

November 1, 2011   3 Comments

Peltier: ‘Chart a New Course’ (POWER magazine editor rejects windgas for gas)

“The cost for wind’s little or no environmental benefit is high.”

- Robert Peltier, “Chart a New Course.” POWER, September 2011, p. 6.

POWER magazine’s editor-in-chief, Dr. Robert Peltier, is in the energy reality business. An honest broker, the professional engineer and former Stanford University professor assesses rival technologies as he sees them. And so at times, he is at odds with groups such as the American Wind Energy Association that peddle uneconomic technologies.

Peltier’s lead editorial in the September 2011 issue of POWER magazine is notwworthy for its arguments and for its import in the history of energy thought.

Future scholars will look back on our present debate and assess who had the best arguments, and who was willing to take risks to advance them–and who were the for-hire millers using half-truths and PR hits to evade the implications of consumer choice, technological reality, and sound science (and yes, climate science is hardly settled in favor of alarmism but just the opposite).

Peltier’s article, excerpted below, is italicized in places for emphasis by the present writer. Links have been added as well. [Read more →]

October 5, 2011   8 Comments