Troubled Coal Policies

Guest essay by David Archibald

The last remaining credible mainstream media organisation is the Wall Street Journal.

But when an article in the WSJ begins by calling carbon dioxide “a dangerous greenhouse gas”, alarm bells go off because you know the writer is trying to conjure up a fantasy world for some nefarious purpose. What the article is about is the Kemper power plant in Mississippi owned by Southern Company

Kemper was conceived during the time of clean coal thought. So it designed to capture two thirds of the carbon dioxide produced and sell that gas to oil companies for tertiary recovery on oil fields. The carbon dioxide dissolves in the oil and lowers its viscosity. The viscosity contrast between the oil and the connate water is then reduced and more oil is recovered.

Any power station could do this. It would just take a lot of money and one third of the power station’s electrical output. And then finding some place to inject the gas which is probably the hardest bit of all. Instead of being simple and expensive, the Kemper plant was designed to be convoluted and expensive. The process at Kemper starts with lignite being burnt in pure oxygen in a gasifier to produce a mixture of mainly carbon monoxide, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and water. The syngas so produced is then cooled to allow removal of the carbon dioxide. Then it is put through a gas turbine to produce power. There are a lot of thermal inefficiencies in the process and power is consumed to make the liquid oxygen needed for the gasifier.

The Kemper plant was supposed to cost $2.9 billion. It ended up costing $6.9 billion and is two years behind schedule. The best thing to do with the Kemper plant would be to shut the front end gasifiers and run the turbines on natural gas. That way something would be salvaged from the mass of pipework that has been erected.

The Southern Company chose poorly in building a plant as a temple for global warming believers and should not escape the consequences of their moral hazard. The WSJ article is an attempt to obtain more tax credits for selling carbon dioxide to the oil industry. There will be a time for using carbon dioxide stripped from syngas to enhance oil recovery; it is not yet.

Federal interference in market forces in the gasification of coal has a bad history. To put that into context, let’s go back to the beginning. Before electrification took off, there were thousands of gasifiers around the country producing a low heating value gas which was reticulated to households, which used it for cooking. Thus the popularity of suiciding by sticking your head in an oven – the carbon monoxide was quick and painless.

The first piece of bad Federal legislation on natural gas was the Natural Gas Act of 1938 on the pricing of interstate trade in gas. The effect of that act was that the intra-state gas price in Texas, for example, was a lot higher than the price it could be sold at across the state’s border. Oilmen didn’t go looking for gas and it was thought there was a shortage of it.

As a consequence, when the Second Oil Shock came along in 1980, the first synfuels plant was dedicated to making synthetic natural gas instead of diesel and jet fuel. This is the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in Beulah, North Dakota that was completed in 1984. It is now known as Dakota Gasification Company. At the time it was completed, natural gas sold at the heating value equivalent of No. 2 fuel oil and most consumers could switch between the two. Then the shale gale came along last decade and the price of natural gas fell to a fraction of the oil price. The energy equivalent of a barrel of oil is 6,000 cubic feet of gas. So the current Henry Hub price of $3.54 per mcf equates to $21.24 per bbl of oil in energy equivalent terms. This is a bargain and that is causing trouble for our coal mining friends. So the Beulah plant has been reconfigured to make nitrogenous fertiliser from its syngas stream. The capital cost of making urea from coal is twice that of making it from natural gas, as you would expect.

The gasification process used at Beulah is the rotating grate gasifier developed by Lurgi in the 1930s. This technology was the basis of the South African synfuels industry developed during apartheid. The Kemper plant uses KBR’s Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG) process which is a circulating fluidised bed technology. The best technology for lignite gasificiation is likely to be Thyssen-Krupp’s High Temperature Winkler (HTW) process, also a circulating fluidised bed technology.

So the last two big gasification plants in the United States were badly configured due misconceptions at the Federal level. Despite that bad start, there is a role for the Federal Government in liquid fuels but it is in getting nuclear technology right first. To put that into context, let’s start by describing what is going to happen from here.

The US will run out of oil before it runs out of coal. The cheapest way to make liquid hydrocarbon fuels will then be to convert coal by a gasification process. We will then start running out of coal twice as fast as we are now. The 200 years of coal reserves that are said to exist will become 100 years of coal reserves. Some being born today will see the end of coal and the end of coal is never a good thing.

As the oil price continues to rise, less of the energy in the coal will be used in the conversion process. At the moment, coal is burnt in pure oxygen to provide the energy for the whole process and generate syngas. The syngas doesn’t have the optimum ratio of carbon monoxide to hydrogen for the next stage of the process so some of it is burnt in the water shift reaction to increase the hydrogen content. With energy at right price from nuclear power, this will be displaced by hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water. Three cents per kWh for power should produce hydrogen at $60 per barrel in energy equivalent terms. At some point, in the combination of oil price and process yield, it will be more efficient to dispense with the gasification stage and instead directly liquefy coal in the presence of high temperature/high pressure hydrogen. This is the Bergius process which forces hydrogen atoms into the coal molecules.

The Canadian tar sands industry would be a good candidate for the application of nuclear power to extend humanity’s resource endowment. Production of a barrel of bitumen requires the energy from burning natural gas equivalent to one fifth of a barrel of oil. At that rate, production of the 180 billion barrels of the Canadian tar sands reserves will use the energy equivalent of 36 billion barrels of oil. Nuclear power could provide steam and hydrogen for that process and save that natural gas for other purposes. Applying nuclear power to the Canadian tar sands industry would effectively create 36 billion barrels of fossil fuels.

And there is another 34 billion barrels of oil to be had. For each ten barrels of synthetic fuels produced from coal, enough carbon dioxide is generated to recover one barrel of oil from depleted oil fields by enhanced oil recovery.

It follows that if we are going to need coal for conversion to liquid fuels then the more we leave for that purpose, the better. The motto is “Conserve to convert”. This does not involve interfering with the market’s price signals. Simply commercialise the thorium molten salt reactor as soon as possible and let nature take its course.

When the coal is all gone, we will scrape up carbon wherever we can find it and combine it with hydrogen produced from electrolysis of water with nuclear energy as the power source. The molecule we will most likely produce as the energy carrier will be dimethyl ether (DME) which will handle like propane and have a similar energy density.

Right at this moment, giving Southern Company the tax breaks they seek would send the wrong signal with respect to moral hazard. Don’t do it.

David Archibald’s next book is American Gripen: The Solution To The F-35 Nightmare.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tom Halla
December 22, 2016 11:03 pm

Interesting post. It depends on just how much the Trump administration is willing to bail out companies that bet on the policies of his predecessors.
Personally, I think if the subsides and mandated purchase requirements on “renewables” are revoked, this project should suffer the same fate. It is a damn pity Trump endorsed biofuels, as they should go too.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 24, 2016 1:49 pm

“It is a damn pity Trump endorsed biofuels, as they should go too.”
The first hurdle is not Trump, it’s Congress.The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program was actually created by Congress as the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. That’s right, under George W. Bush! (Here, may I help you stand back up again?) Ponder how many Republican senators from Big Corn states would have to vote against their cash cow in order to kill it.

Greg Turpin
Reply to  brians356
December 26, 2016 8:58 am

Brian, are you saying that corn grown for biofuel cannot be used as a cereal crop? In other words can you still eat the stuff, or is it some special type?

December 22, 2016 11:09 pm

There will be no end of coal, just like there was no end to whale oil.
Solar will become so cheap that we’ll put as much as we want on rooftops. That energy will replace most coal energy production. Cosl may still be used for some industrial energy production.

Reply to  Greg
December 22, 2016 11:38 pm

What technology do you envision that we will use to store the acquired solar energy to power our homes and factories through the hours when the sun is not high in the sky?

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
December 26, 2016 4:33 am

There is a supercapacitor only about ten years away. It’s been ten years away for some time now so let’s allow some flexibility and factor it in, in say about never. Or those containers full of Li-Ion batteries, or those hi-tech flywheels, or pumped storage because we can afford to lose a lot of land everywhere.
Maybe we could come up with an energy source that is also its own storage device that simply responds to demand. Now what could we use . . . hmmmm?

Reply to  Keitho
December 26, 2016 5:23 am

But…but….but…but…hydrogen fuel cells! and…and…and…algae! and…and…and…and…biomass!
A wonderful world of fantasy solutions is just past yonder horizon!
So plug your oil wells. Fill your coal mines. Seal your nuclear reactors.
A bright future awaits–hop on a unicorn and ride to Never-Never Land, Utopia, Narnia, Nirvana, Middle-Earth–where power comes from rainbows and good intentions!

Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 12:23 am

The numbers and good sense say that solar will never be competitive with fossil fuels. It’s not only diffuse, but sporadic, going to zero at night. It also requires high capital investment. I’m wondering what school you went to, what degree(s) you have to make that prediction.

Don K
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 2:50 am

jorgefkazar: Never is a long time. Solar will probably get cheaper and fossil fuels will likely become more expensive as the easily recovered resources are depleted. And batteries may even become cost effective storage in 3 or 5 or 25 decades. But for the present and near term future you would seem to be correct.
BTW, I would expect solar to actually become cost competitive first on remote tropical islands thousands of kilometers from a source of hydrocarbons. So maybe watch the situation in Hawaii. FWIW, the cost of residential electricity in Hawaii is currently around 35 cents(US) a kw/h (almost as high as Germany) — about half of which is the cost of fuel. So when solar with storage can manage about a realistic 17 cents/kwh it can possibly become the preferred source …. on a remote tropical island.

M Courtney
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 3:27 am

Geothermal will be profitable in Hawaii before solar is.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 3:43 am

Don K December 23, 2016 at 2:50 am
… I would expect solar to actually become cost competitive first on remote tropical islands thousands of kilometers from a source of hydrocarbons.

Yes. Back in the 1970s I engineered a solar PV system for a remote site where the only way to bring in fuel was to sling it in with a helicopter. The PV system didn’t replace the conventional system but merely reduced the amount of fuel consumed. We were also able to save a lot of energy by putting some equipment on a timer. Because we were able to reduce the number of helicopter trips the system payed for itself in months. We should also note that maintenance trips were necessary so it was pointless to try to engineer a system that would reduce the helicopter trips to zero. That one factor made the system much much cheaper and simpler.
Solar makes sense in some circumstances. It can be better than any of the alternatives.

Don K
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 6:48 am

M Courtney. “Geothermal will be profitable in Hawaii before solar is.” On the big Island, that’s likely true. There is in fact a 40MW geothermal unit in place at Puna. But it’s not clear that geothermal is feasible on the older and presumably colder islands where magma isn’t slopping over folks back yards. It also isn’t clear that undersea power cables from Hawaii to the rest of the archipeligo are affordable. The bottom in the channel between Hawaii and Maui is awfully deep compared to places where undersea power cables are usually run.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 7:30 am

Marxist sociology?

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 12:12 pm

“Don K December 23, 2016 at 2:50 am
BTW, I would expect solar to actually become cost competitive first on remote tropical islands thousands of kilometers from a source of hydrocarbons.”
Ivanpah uses 10 square miles. How many tropical islands can afford to waste so much land?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 7:10 pm

It does not take a degree or any schooling to know that the sun sets every #$@&% day. The real question to ask Greg is what is he smoking, and where can I get some?

Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 1:01 am

Greg, can I have some of the drugs you’re using ?

Reply to  Hivemind
December 23, 2016 5:55 am

Reality, Dude! 😉

Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 1:30 am

Even if the panels are free, solar PV isn’t competitive because it is not dispatchable. The same applies to wind. Currently, nuclear doesn’t ramp up and down really fast and is somewhat dispatchable.
IMHO, the long term solution is some kind of nuclear. Lots of people think it will be fluid bed thorium but there are other opinions. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for fusion. If people have been working hard on something for a long time, you know that all the low hanging fruit has been picked.
As it stands, fossil fuel is so cheap that any other technology can’t compete.

Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2016 1:40 am

Remember the hydrogen economy? The idea was that the electricity from wind, solar, and hydro was going to be used to electrolyse water and produce hydrogen which would in turn power everything. Its proponents were very persuasive. When I hear renewable energy experts trying to persuade me that wind and solar are viable, I remember the similar experts trying to persuade me that the hydrogen economy was the future.

Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2016 12:05 pm

The perception that “nuclear doesn’t ramp up and down really fast ” is false and based on designs which don’t. The problem is stress from temperature gradients in thick walls. The answer is to design for power change without temperature change (change the nuclear output at the same % rate as the electric power output). Easily done as demonstrated in submarines and surface ships.

Curious George
Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2016 5:54 pm

Dan, today’s nuclear ramps up fast. Not down. Read about xenon poisoning.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 2:36 am

Me thinks you are confusing yourself, Greg. If it wasn’t for oil, whales may well have become extinct by now if not before! Fossil fuels saved the whales from being hunted to extinction for their oil!

Reply to  Alan the Brit
December 23, 2016 10:27 am

fossil fuel also saved the forests!

Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 3:28 am

Will we, living at high latitudes, such as 51° N (where I am) also depend upon the sun during winter? If so, what will we do with 15 times excess electricity during summer? Because electricity demand in deep winter is ~ 1.5 × summer, but solar output can easily be only 10% of summer output. Even with some revolutionary, cheap way to generate electricity from the sun (which we don’t yet have), solar will still be too expensive where I am due the high cost of storing energy for nighttime and the massive overbuild required to make it work in winter. Solar installers tell me that only 33% of the cost of solar comes down to the price of panels. That implies over 50% is labour. Overbuilding it ten times will make solar labour productivity pitiful. Even in USA, with no overbuild, solar labour productivity is still far worse than fossil fuel.

Reply to  mark4asp
December 23, 2016 10:29 am

high latitudes, such as 51° N
try living in the Pacific Northwest, where we might as well be above the arctic circle, we see so little sunlight for 6 months of the year due to clouds and rain.

Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 4:23 am

We’ll have a lot of technically feasible energy options this century, some mind blowing to predict today. The cost is in the competition.
Seabed methane is huge and already pressurized, maybe we’ll harvest it efficiently. Maybe sources off earth. It is impossible to predict progress 50 or 100 years out, as long as we are or remain competent players.

Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 6:25 am

What’s your latitude ?

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Bob Armstrong
December 23, 2016 10:21 am

47° N. Thanks for asking.

Snarling Dolphin
Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 6:44 am

We’re gonna need a lot more rooftops.

Don K
Reply to  Snarling Dolphin
December 23, 2016 7:24 am

We’re gonna need a lot more rooftops.

And not all rooftops are all that usable. The folks at Solar City seem to have installed panels on the North facing roof slope of a house down the street from us. Not only does it not get any sun at all for maybe ten weeks of the year, but when I checked yesterday, it was not only in shade, but also plated with several inches of ice and snow.

george e. smith
Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 7:14 am

At one hundred watt per square foot, solar will never be cheap.
Land costs drive building heights up. Tall buildings get smaller at the top, not larger. Ergo most buildings cannot capture enough solar energy to power the building.

UK Sceptic
Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 7:24 am

Last time I looked solar doesn’t work too well when there’s a foot of snow on the roof.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 8:02 am

Cost doesn’t matter. Solar PV is a net energy sink, not a source. The more we deploy, the worse off we will be. Physics trumps economics every time.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 23, 2016 12:11 pm

I would argue that instead, physics and economics work in harmony, if allowed to. Any business needing a subsidy does not produce enough value to survive, and therefore, should not.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 23, 2016 12:15 pm

Unfortunately, POLITICS trump both physics (to a point) and economics. The vast majority of government interventions into the economy are boondoggles of one sort or anther. These punish the successful to perpetuate failures that otherwise would not exist. Solyndra, anyone? Not that despite a half billion$ subsidy, they went bankrupt anyway.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 23, 2016 12:19 pm

Yup, solar is worse than wind and wind turbines are an energy loser
The fallacy of wind turbines is revealed with simple arithmetic.
5 mW wind turbine, avg output 1/3 nameplate, 20 yr life, electricity @ wholesale 3 cents per kwh produces $8.8E6.
Installed cost @ $1.7E6/mW = $8.5E6. Add the cost of standby CCGT for low wind periods. Add the cost of land lease, maintenance, administration.
Solar voltaic and solar thermal are even worse.
The dollar relation is a proxy for energy relation. Bottom line, the energy consumed to design, manufacture, install, maintain and administer renewables appears to exceed the energy they produce in their lifetime.
Without the energy provided by other sources these renewables could not exist.

Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 8:15 am

Greg, do a back of the envelope calculation on how much solar panel area you would need to capture the total energy consumption per capita per day of every citizen in your country (in Canada, it’s about 230 kWh). Don’t forget to allow for the fact that you’re probably not at the equator, you’d be lucky to convert 15% of the energy reaching your panels, and you’d also need some pretty hefty storage for those rainy days and for nighttime use. It’s not a question of cost, its a question of energy density and intermittency.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 3:01 pm

Great lets remove the subsidies and all go to the beach.
Everything is fixed and energy/electric prices will continue their drift down, this process has been stalled by a bunch of neo marxists.
No Greg every centrally planned future picture is a way to poverty, not for the ruling class, but the poor. Have a close look at what actually happened in the USSR.

Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2016 4:06 pm

Written as if the components to make solar panels are “sustainable” too. Hmm…

Reply to  Macha
December 23, 2016 4:16 pm

My comment was for Greg, way back at 1109am 22nd.

Science or Fiction
December 22, 2016 11:39 pm

“But when an article in the WSJ begins by calling carbon dioxide “a dangerous greenhouse gas”, alarm bells go off because you know the writer is trying to conjure up a fantasy world for some nefarious purpose.”
The use of words that way seem to be very common among alarmists. In my view, it is unethical behaviour by a journalist to use phrases like that.
“Literal and Emotive Meaning
Even single words or short phrases can exhibit the distinction between purely informative and partially expressive uses of language. Many of the most common words and phrases of any language have both a literal or descriptive meaning that refers to the way things are and an emotive meaning that expresses some (positive or negative) feeling about them. Thus, the choice of which word to use in making a statement can be used in hopes of evoking a particular emotional response.
This is a natural function of ordinary language, of course. We often do wish to convey some portion of our feelings along with information. There is a good deal of poetry in everyday communication, and poetry without emotive meaning is pretty dull. But when we are primarily interested in establishing the truth—as we are when assessing the logical merits of an argument—the use of words laden with emotive meaning can easily distract us from our purpose.”

Reply to  Science or Fiction
December 23, 2016 4:32 am

Science or Fiction, agree, but the similar literary distinction also applies to numerics.
For most, 400 parts of CO2 per 1,000,000 parts of atmosphere conveys far more emotive feeling (and melodrama) than only 1 part for every 2,500 parts of the atmosphere. Identical sums.

Reply to  GeeJam
December 23, 2016 6:28 am

I continue to like “4 molecules per 10k of air” .

Reply to  GeeJam
December 23, 2016 4:16 pm

Remember, please.
CO2 is currently – to the nearest one tenth of one percent of the atmosphere – zero.
Repetitive, yes.
But also correct.

Reply to  GeeJam
December 23, 2016 9:54 pm

Auto, I know.
But it’s not easy trying to explain to a sophist that “only about 4% of ZERO CO2 is man-made and 96% of ZERO CO2 is naturally occurring.” I rest my case.

December 23, 2016 12:26 am

If the coal isn’t sold out from under us to China, it will last a lot longer than 100 years.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 7:15 pm

Sell it to China. Let them poison the air in their cities. Use plentiful and cheap natural gas.

Robert from oz
December 23, 2016 12:26 am

Kinda makes you think , yes coal at the moment is the best and cheapest form of energy generation but the new thorium reactors are the way to go unless some new technology is invented or god forbid someone comes up with a battery solution for grid power that’s economical and works .
Personally I don’t care where my electrons come from but they must be there when I want them couldn’t give a continental if they burned penguins or turds as long as it’s reliable .

Reply to  Robert from oz
December 23, 2016 8:17 am

You must be from South Australia.

Robert from oz
Reply to  Robert from oz
December 23, 2016 12:24 pm

Most people would take that as an insult ! I think it’s an old joke “are you from south Australia” nice place to visit but wouldn’t want to live there .

December 23, 2016 12:32 am

The best thing to do with the Kemper plant is to load it full of dynamite and push the plunger…
As a reminder to Leftist stupidity, on top of the ruins, a large sign could be erected with the words, “Hell is the absence of rational thought.”
BTW, the WSJ has been a Leftist bastion of cronyism and progressivism for decades… it’s really not a “conservative” publication.

Reply to  SAMURAI
December 23, 2016 5:40 am

“BTW, the WSJ has been a Leftist bastion of cronyism and progressivism for decades… it’s really not a “conservative” publication.”
Good point. It’s a little more complicated, though.
The NEWS side of the WSJ has a typical PC-Progressive legacy media point of view. They keep their beliefs more hidden, though, than their comrades at NY Times, Wash. Post, NPR, CBSABCNBCPBSCNNMSNBC. Those beliefs do emerge and are visible, if you watch carefully. The article under discussion is an excellent example.
The EDITORIAL group owns the editorial and op-ed pages. They are 100% neoconservative–all-war-all-the-time. They were in the vanguard of the fake “conservative” push called “Never-Trump.” Their main interest is to maintain chaotic wars running forever in the Middle East. Their lesser interests include prodding Russia into a world war, and general fomentation of unrest around the globe, globalization, eradication of borders, open immigration, and other neocon delights.

Rod Everson
Reply to  kentclizbe
December 23, 2016 9:13 am

Your description of the news side of the WSJ is reasonably accurate, in that the reporting tends to lean left, although the key word here is “lean.” It’s not blatantly leftist reporting like the NYTimes, for example, and I doubt reporters lacking journalistic ethics would last long at the WSJ.
Your characterization of the editorial side is more indicative of your own philosophy, I suspect, than of the WSJ editors’. I’ve read them for going on forty years now and have found the editorial page writers to be generally free-market oriented. They would agree with the point of the article above, of that I’m reasonably certain, and they strongly support individual liberty vs. state control. As far as international affairs, I’ve found the editorial page to consistently argue for a militarily strong America, but from the perspective that such strength is the path to a peaceful world, admittedly a state we’ll never achieve. Granted, they do regard America as a world peacekeeper, rather than hanging back in an isolationist mode and letting the chips fall where they may internationally. The world is a messy place. Sadaam did invade Kuwait, after all, and North Korea did go nuclear. Actions like that require a response from a civilized world, for the despots will just continue until someone calls a halt.

Reply to  kentclizbe
December 23, 2016 12:54 pm

I am in somewhat agreement with Rod Everson and I subscribed for 25 years and often purchased the daily paper out of newspaper boxes before then.
There are occasional leftist extreme articles in the WSJ. Checking below in the comments usually reveal a trail of disappointed readers who call the article out for false representation.
Just as the WSJ article on the coal plant has a number of readers calling the WSJ and the author out for false representation.
I just spent a couple of hours rebutting the usual group of WSJ trolls who appear to be paid to spend all day trolling articles. Much like the notorious windy and numerically challenged Barrie Harrop.
The trolls were focused on insulting Republicans, conservatives and blaming the coal mine on Trump.
From the NYT:

“The plant was not only a central piece of the Obama administration’s climate plan”

Pork barrel alleged green projects desperately seeking fresh money to follow the bad.
The WSJ has not been a hot bed of the anti-Trump Never-Trumpers.
Some of the column writers are the best sources of true facts outside of CEI and the GWPF. Their portrayals of HRC and Obama are not pretty making for enraged readers; but what can be done when a number of corrupted agencies not only are blind to illegalities, but actively engage with the perpetrators.
WSJ’s portrayal of Trump have been fairly neutral with occasional extreme left articles sneaking in with the news.
I suspect WSJ is buying articles to fill space, not choosing partisan of ideological sides.
One author actually respond to my complaint about terrible journalism when writing an attack article against Trump without mentioning HRC’s much more numerous identical faults and lies.
I responded back with a list of HRC transgressions that were much worse than their accusations against Trump, and I asked when they were going to write about Hillary’s irregularities, questionable foundation, Quid Pro Quo favors and her complete ignorance of her own State Department.
No response, they were not honestly reporting on Presidential candidates, just partisan attacks.

“The EDITORIAL group owns the editorial and op-ed pages. They are 100% neoconservative–all-war-all-the-time. They were in the vanguard of the fake “conservative” push called “Never-Trump.” Their main interest is to maintain chaotic wars running forever in the Middle East. Their lesser interests include prodding Russia into a world war, and general fomentation of unrest around the globe, globalization, eradication of borders, open immigration, and other neocon delights.”

As near as I read that screed, it is nonsense. Telling the true facts about many situations is the purpose of a free press.
If there isn’t any front page stories to read first, I turn to Noonan, Strassel and James Taranto on the Op Ed page.
Taranto had the finest accounting of the real facts regarding the entire election candidacy process along with an enormous amount of other interesting tidbits.
Strassel tracked and defined every step of the IRS debacle right up to the election; along with side tracks; e.g. where is the DOJ in the whole morass. Strassel also points out that virtually nothing is changed regarding IRS targeting, i.e. it is still being performed.
Whether those facts are about Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Israel, Pakistan, India or Pakistan does not blur reality. Facts should be reported Who, when and how they occur.

Reply to  ATheoK
December 24, 2016 6:32 pm

“As near as I read that screed, it is nonsense. Telling the true facts about many situations is the purpose of a free press.”
Huh? You must have been reading the WSJ with rose-colored glasses on during the campaign–both the primaries and the general. The WSJ op-ed/editorial page was filled with the blathering of the GOP establishment, neocons, and Never-Trumpers. They attacked him and his voters every change they could–which was daily.
They’ve changed their tune now, but that’s because they’re trying to worm into Trump’s good graces.
I cancelled my subscription during the primaries, because of their massive anti-Trump bias.
As Trump ran the greatest campaign in modern history–reaching out to, and connecting with the forgotten flown-over Americans, the WSJ, along with their neocon buddies at the National Review, and their natural allies at the NYTimes and WashPost, constantly smeared, sneered and mocked Tump and his deplorables. Not sure what you were reading, but the WSJ was as anti-Trump as any other establishment media. Just a few examples below:
“Wonder Land Columnist Dan Henninger on why powerful, far-left senators will drive policy under a Hillary Clinton administration.” [Just like every other neocon and PC-Prog, the WSJ had already coronated Hillary 2 weeks before the election!]
“Hillary’s One-Term Presidency”
“The lead editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal is headlined “The Libertarian Alternative: An option for the many Never Trump, Never Clinton voters.”
“Despite the media desire to call him unstoppable, Mr. Trump is the weakest Republican front-runner since Gerald Ford in 1976.””
“Apart from his racist implications, Mr. Trump is also indulging in the left’s habit of attributing the motivations of everyone and everything to race, class, gender and sexual orientation,” said the Journal. ”
“WSJ: Evangelical Women Turning Against Trump”
“Wall Street Journal to Trump: ‘Better Be Careful'”
“Wall Street Journal to Donald Trump: Fix Your Campaign or Face Reality”
“Republican Donald Trump should fix his stumbling White House campaign by Labor Day or step down, The Wall Street Journal said on Monday in a sharply worded warning from a leading conservative voice.
“Mr. Trump has alienated his party and he isn’t running a competent campaign,” the newspaper said in an editorial.
The paper’s editorial board, which generally favors Republicans, has been critical of Trump but its warning on Monday was its strongest attack yet and echoed growing anxiety among many Republicans over the state of Trump’s campaign.”
“But the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board is getting tired of the Republican nominee’s anti-media tirades, saying that Trump has no one to blame for his flailing presidential bid but himself.
“Mr. Trump prefers to watch the cable shows rather than read a briefing paper,” the Journal said in a scathing editorial published online Sunday night. “He thinks the same shoot-from-the-lip style that won over a plurality of GOP primary voters can persuade other Republicans and independents who worry if he has the temperament to be Commander in Chief.”
The editorial is striking because the Journal has a reliably conservative opinion section. However, the newspaper has taken pointed barbs at Trump in the past.
“He also thinks the crowds at his campaign rallies are a substitute for the lack of a field organization and digital turnout strategy,” the Journal continued. “And he thinks that Twitter and social media can make up for being outspent $100 million to zero in battleground states.”

Reply to  kentclizbe
December 24, 2016 9:24 pm

Your quote is incorrect. Instead that is a common quote across the internet and likely qualifies as “fake news”.
i.e. what is actually the truth, is not what all the leftist and false news outlets portrayed the article:

A member of The Wall Street Journal’s traditionally conservative editorial board has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, calling her “eminently sane” and bashing Republican nominee Donald Trump as the candidate of “white supremacists and swastika devotees.”

One member of the board, stated his personal opinions. Not as an editorial. Even employees of the WSJ and their various boards are allowed to have and state personal opinions.
Whatever the reasons for your in-subscribing, it was not from reading all of the articles; only some that bothered you.
As I stated before; James Taranto, Strassel, Noonan and quite a few others kept the truth in print. There is even a very recent Mea Culpa from one author about how disenfranchised he is from the election, Americans and what actually makes America great.
In the article he admits to earning a living as a wordsmith leftist elite.
Not that he ever admits to being wrong, just confused about how wrong he predicted the election.
The comments take him quite to task for his foolishness; both past and future.

Reply to  SAMURAI
December 23, 2016 8:25 am

Well the biggest lobbyist for Southern and a major proponent of the Kemper plant was Haley Barbour, who when he became governor of Mississippi continued to actively promote it. After his two terms as governor he went back to lobbying for the company. So when the whole project was pushed by a Republican governor (who also spent time as chairman of the RNC I don’t think it’s ‘a reminder to Leftist stupidity’.

Reply to  SAMURAI
December 23, 2016 9:16 am

10fo Sam. The Wall Street Journal’s credibility ended with Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of the publication; his job being to scour and rid the world of the last vestiges of independent-thinking publications, editors, and reporters with a blank check from The City’s international banking cartel headquartered in the middle of London. The NYT and all other major media outlets (MSM’s) were rudely exposed en masse for what they are during the election past — propaganda outlets for the financial oligarchs orchestrating the world’s current giganticus raticus farcicus. The press, from which critical information is supposed to be disseminated to publics so informed decisions can be made, abdicated that responsibility years ago, dressed up their fake news as a silk purse, and have been walking the streets for Oz ever since. You have to give them credit, though. They’re very smooth and straight-faced, and good at what they do; whether TV or print.
The ‘Net and Social has replaced them for now, though wrought with their own share of spin, disinformation, lies, and outright propaganda as well. The good news is the truth’s still out there.

Reply to  Wrusssr
December 23, 2016 6:50 pm

Wrusssr, there is only one credible and balanced newspaper in Australia – ‘The Australian’; it is owned by Murdoch.

December 23, 2016 12:43 am

Peak oil/coal/whatever was last month, and always will be.

Dodgy Geezer
December 23, 2016 12:44 am

Do you really mean ‘reticulated’ (para 7)?
Perhaps ‘recirculated’ was the intended word..?

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
December 23, 2016 2:15 am

“…there were thousands of gasifiers around the country producing a low heating value gas
which was reticulated to households…

* * * *
verb (used with object), reticulated, reticulating. form into a network.
5. to cover or mark with a network.
* * * *
Seems like an appropriate choice of word, Dodgy. What exactly was your problem with it?

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  Khwarizmi
December 23, 2016 2:58 am

Because the primary meaning is ‘patterned like a network’.
And, in any case, it’s not a network. Gas and water pipelines are essentially linear…

Martin A
Reply to  Khwarizmi
December 23, 2016 3:13 am
Tom Harley
Reply to  Khwarizmi
December 24, 2016 2:14 am

Reticulated, in the plant world, species name reticulata, is the best method of distributing energy along a leaf. Good description.

December 23, 2016 1:00 am

DME does have some problems. It’s a vapor at room temperature and will require pressurized tanks. It has roughly half the energy density of gasoline and will also need more ullage, so the tanks will have to be 30 to 40 gallon capacity. It has little lubricity, which means higher pump wear, and it also tends to leak more than gasoline. It also attacks rubber and other polymeric seals, gaskets, etc., more than gasoline. There are potential problems with impurities, but those will depend on systems development and other unknown factors.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 3:45 am

Agreed with all that but it also depends on how much energy is used in the making. Diesel is the best fluid if you weren’t concerned about process yield and byproducts.

December 23, 2016 1:20 am

In a half-hearted defense of WSJ, they – like everyone else on the planet – have been lectured at ad nauseam for decades by every single major institution and every politician and the oh so rock-solid 97% consensus of scientists that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is indeed Satan’s breath which will shortly result in the total destruction of the World via. Thermageddon. I find it then a little difficult to accuse them of malfeasance when they refer to carbon dioxide as “a dangerous greenhouse gas”. The brainwashing operation has been so intense and so complete that it is going to take a very long time to deprogram people.

December 23, 2016 2:20 am

“…when an article in the WSJ begins by calling carbon dioxide “a dangerous greenhouse gas”, alarm bells go off…”
How do you account for the failure of your numerous 2006-08 predictions of widespread cooling in the mid latitudes, if not for greenhouse gases?
For instance here:
“2008 is the tenth anniversary of the recent peak on global temperature in 1998. The world has been cooling at 0.06 degrees per annum since then. My prediction is that this rate of cooling will accelerate to 0.2 degrees per annum following the month of solar minimum sometime in 2009.”
[Archbald, 2008, pg.29:
The predicted cooling was attributed to the impending reduction in solar activity. The reduced solar activity duly arrived, but not the forecast cooling. Indeed, the exact opposite of what you predicted has occurred. There has been a statistically significant warming trend since 2008 in the 3 main surface data sets and a clear ‘best estimate’ warming trend in the satellite lower troposphere data.
What physical event/s has/have occurred that prevented the predicted warming, assuming you still believe it is attributable to something other than the enhanced greenhouse effect?
Thank you.

Reply to  DWR54
December 23, 2016 2:48 am

That should be “…prevented the predicted cooling….”, not “warming”. Sorry.

M Courtney
Reply to  DWR54
December 23, 2016 2:48 am

From an outside perspective there are two obvious answers:
1) Predicting a chaotic system is hard in the short term. 10 years is not long enough to show a trend.
2) Take out the El Nino spike and there wouldn’t be a statistically significant warming trend since 2008 in the 3 main surface data sets and a clear ‘best estimate’ warming trend in the satellite lower troposphere data. That’s an observed physical event that fits the evidence better than a slow accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. The temeperature spiked.

Reply to  M Courtney
December 23, 2016 5:08 am

M Courtney
Thank you for the response. I note that since 2008 heat has continued to accumulate in both the atmosphere and the oceans:comment image
It’s a bit of a mystery how that happened if the ocean was supposedly warming the atmosphere during that period. Surely a net gain of heat energy in one system should come at the expense of a net loss in the other? Yet observations show that both systems continued to see net gains in heat.
Also, the rapid global cooling predicted by David Archibald in 2006 – 2008 was based on his assessment of solar activity, and how the reduction in sunspot numbers and total solar irradiance (TSI) would heavily outweigh all other climate forcings. If it can be forestalled by something as simple as normal ENSO activity, then one might question exactly how strong a forcing the slight fall in TSI actually is.

M Courtney
Reply to  M Courtney
December 23, 2016 6:25 am

I just pointed out that the trend you are looking for couldn’t be detected in the short time period you are looking at. And it isn’t.
I also pointed out that the trend you obseerved was caused by El Nino not a gradual rise. And it is not a gradual rise.
Yes, Levitus et al think the heat has been hiding in the oceans. But that is hardly proven. The measurements are far too sparse to say whether the heat was really there or not. It’s been assumed because AGW theory says it must be somewhere.
WUWT did a humourous takedown of that paper a few years back. Here’s a quote for the flavour

In 55 years, only 5% of the 1° X 1° gridcells have three observations or more for January at 1500 metre … and they are calculating averages?

Reply to  DWR54
December 23, 2016 5:24 am

DWR, there was no good reason to expect cooling. Even assuming that our CO2 emissions have a significant effect on global temperature, the fact remains that the atmospheric CO2 concentration has changed but little from one decade ago, and therefore could have caused only little change of global temperature. So the simple conclusion is that David’s predictions were false.

M Courtney
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 23, 2016 6:27 am

I agree with that. He was probably wrong.
But I also don’t think he can be proven wrong, yet.
Everyone is asking for too much certainty in a chaotic system over a mere few decades.

Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 23, 2016 10:42 am

It seems to me that 46KWh/m2 could explain a lot of the heating London has seen. Now expand this to other cites, add in homogenization of temperature records, and voila you have global warming due to urbanization and energy use, not CO2. But since CO2 is highly correlated with energy use, it is hard to separate the chicken from the egg.

Curious George
Reply to  Michael Palmer
December 23, 2016 6:03 pm

Ferd, perhaps they mean KW/m2. Or maybe W/m2. 46 W/m2 is a lot of heating.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  DWR54
December 23, 2016 7:45 am

You may not be aware that, tired of having to argue over the embarrassing Pause in temperatur rise, which lasted longer than the warming stint that caused the whole CAGW hysteria, NOAA brazenly jacked up SST temperatures to erase the Pause altogether in June 2015. It was done by Tom Karl weeks before he took retirement! Indeed, the incident and subsequent fiddling of the data are popularly referred to as “Karlization of temperatures”

Reply to  DWR54
December 23, 2016 12:57 pm

DWR54 wrote: “For instance here:
2008 is the tenth anniversary of the recent peak on global temperature in 1998. The world has been cooling at 0.06 degrees per annum since then. My prediction is that this rate of cooling will accelerate to 0.2 degrees per annum following the month of solar minimum sometime in 2009.”
0.06 degrees to 0.2 degrees. In other words, these figures are within the margin of error.
DWR54: “The predicted cooling was attributed to the impending reduction in solar activity. The reduced solar activity duly arrived, but not the forecast cooling. Indeed, the exact opposite of what you predicted has occurred. There has been a statistically significant warming trend since 2008 in the 3 main surface data sets”
DWR54: “and a clear ‘best estimate’ warming trend in the satellite lower troposphere data.”
Best estimate = within the margin of error.
The fact is you don’t have any idea which way the temperature is going to go, or where it’s been, except for “within the margin of error”. This is an argument about how many angels are on the head of a pin.

Reply to  TA
December 24, 2016 2:02 am

“0.06 degrees to 0.2 degrees. In other words, these figures are within the margin of error.”
The trend in all 3 main global surface temperature data sets since 2008 averages +0.44 C per decade warming with an average 95% confidence level value of +/- 0.32 C per decade. That means that even at the 95% confidence level there has been a minimum of +0.11 C per decade warming since 2008. The fact that a warming trend remains even after deduction of the 95% error margin is what makes the trend ‘statistically significant’.
David Archibald predicted cooling of -0.2 C per decade starting in 2009 and did not state any error margins in the paper linked to above. Therefore he was wrong by at least -0.3 C per dec and probably more like -0.6 C per decade, compared to surface observations over the forecast period.
“Best estimate = within the margin of error.”
Obviously a ‘best estimate’ is at the exact centre of the margin of error. As I’ve already mentioned above, even if you deduct the margin of error from the surface data sets you still end up with a warming trend since 2008. So, far from an argument about angels dancing on pinheads, this makes the trend statistically robust. There *has* been statistically significant warming since 2008 according to all the surface data sets. That’s just a fact.
Whether or not this trend will continue is unknown and I agree with M Courtney above that 10 years is too short a period over which to determine the size and direction of a long term trend; however, that particular 10 year period spans most of solar cycle 24, which has already peaked. Recall that it was low sunspot numbers during solar cycle 24 that David Archibald claimed would drive his predicted -0.2 C per decade cooling, starting in 2009.
It hasn’t happened. Instead it has warmed in a statistically significant way. Why is that? That’s the question we should all be asking him.

December 23, 2016 2:27 am

“But when an article in the WSJ begins by calling carbon dioxide ‘a dangerous greenhouse gas’, alarm bells go off”
A comparison can be made with our Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson:

Rex Tillerson Oct 2016: “At ExxonMobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious. Addressing these risks requires broad-based, practical solutions around the world. Importantly, as a result of the Paris agreement, both developed and developing countries are now working together to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.”
Rex Tillerson, Carbon-Tax-Backing Climate Change Believer:

It seems, just because many of us want to revere everything Trump and he is a Trump nominee, that we are giving Tillerson a pass on this issue that is so important us.
Some say “but he’s the head of an oil company” as that compensates for Tillerson’s dreadful leftism on AGW. At best it just means Tillerson is a politically correct corporate softie, and at worst Tillerson is not being insincere with us and actually believes the AGW garbage, and worst still the argument could be made that oil companies benefits from climate change legislation because it kills coal.
Make a protest of it. Don’t let this one slide.
There’s tons of potential nominees that aren’t leftists on climate change. I mean even all the Republican warmists like Christie and Kasich are against the Paris Accord. Not Tillerson. Carbon Tax Tillerson embraces the Paris Accord. Only a Democrat would do that. Please, someone ask Tillerson if he’s a Democrat. Tillerson has been called “non-ideological.” I think in this case “non-ideological” means Democrat.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 23, 2016 3:50 am

Eric, There are plenty of red flags about Tillerson, not only on the issue of climate. At best he is an unprincipled opportunist and that is what we are hoping for at the moment.

Curious George
Reply to  archibaldperth
December 23, 2016 6:10 pm

Donald J Trump is a successful businessman. Don’t expect him to be a Robin Hood.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 23, 2016 10:49 am

A tax on carbon is GOOD for Exon, because it makes coal noncompetitive, giving oil and gas a practical monopoly on future energy production.
So of course Tillerson “believes”. It is good business.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 23, 2016 1:12 pm

“It seems, just because many of us want to revere everything Trump and he is a Trump nominee, that we are giving Tillerson a pass on this issue that is so important us.”
Trump is the leader. Tillerson will be carrying out Trump’s wishes not his own. The only thing we have to worry about is where exactly Trump stands on the issue, not where anyone else stands.
All Trump’s other appointees are hardcore skeptics.
But I have no problem with people lobbying Trump about Tillerson. Let your opinions be known.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
December 24, 2016 3:26 pm

Exxon, Chevron opt out of European Big Oil’s climate huddle
The biggest U.S. oil producers have dismissed the prospect of joining their European peers in forging a common stance on climate change, with Exxon Mobil’s CEO saying he doesn’t intend to “fake it.”
Exxon Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson was more blunt in remarks to reporters after his company’s annual meeting in Dallas on Wednesday. A shareholder who’d praised the European companies for at least paying “lip service” to environmental concerns drew this response:
“No, thank you, that would not be us,” Tillerson said. “We’re not going to be disingenuous about it. We’re not going to fake it. We’re going to express a view that we have been very thoughtful about. We’re going to express solutions and policy ideas that we think have merit.
“Speaking out to be speaking out about it doesn’t seem particularly helpful to me,” he said.
Climate models that seek to predict the outcome of rising temperatures “just aren’t that good,” Tillerson said, reiterating a position he has publicly advocated at least since his promotion to CEO in 2006. The company is wary of making efforts to reduce emissions that may not work or that will be deemed unnecessary if the modeling is flawed, Tillerson said.
ExxonMobil CEO mocks renewable energy in shareholder speech
The CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies downplayed the effects of climate change at his company’s annual meeting Wednesday, telling shareholders his firm hadn’t invested in renewable energy because “We choose not to lose money on purpose.”
“Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity,” ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson told the meeting, pointing to technologies that can combat inclement weather “that may or may not be induced by climate change.”

December 23, 2016 2:37 am

It is called Canadian oil sands not tar sands.

Reply to  garymount
December 23, 2016 10:32 am

Agreed. “Tar sands” is the pejorative used by the Green Blob. There is no tar in the oil sands.

Reply to  PaulH
December 23, 2016 8:46 pm

Correct, it is not Tar.

December 23, 2016 4:05 am

The WSJ ceased serious journalism and lost its credibility quite some time ago.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  techgm
December 23, 2016 6:02 am

Then, there is IBD.

December 23, 2016 5:02 am

WSJ calling carbon dioxide “a dangerous greenhouse gas”
The WSJ is really two different newspapers in one package. The “news” sections are unashamedly (but not too stridently) left-wing and the editorial section is (unabashedly) right-wing. I always read the opinion pages first.

December 23, 2016 5:54 am

Methane hydrates will last 1000’s of yrs. No need to gasify coal.

December 23, 2016 6:04 am

Our actions on eventualities hundreds of years off is insanity.
We don’t use 19th century steampunk electrical generation. 23rd century people aren’t going to use ours.

Reply to  Gamecock
December 23, 2016 10:53 am

absolutely agree. the cost of money alone makes it pointless to try and solve problems 100 years in the future. can you imagine people in 1916, in the middle of WWI worrying about the problems they are solving in 2016?
it is the height of arrogance to assume your actions today will save the world 100 years hence. due to the nature of chaos, the most innocent of actions today might be what destroys the world 100 years in the future.

December 23, 2016 7:03 am

Telling us how much commodities will cost in 100 or 200 years is a dreadful waste of time. Technology always improves. We will find more oil, more coal, more natural gas, the afore-mentioned methane hydrates, cheaper solar, better batteries, etc..
Please just stop.

December 23, 2016 7:05 am

Thanks David, I very much appreciate your posting. You refer to Kemper as being convoluted and expensive. No disagreement there – but do yourself see that as a characteristic of IGCC in general with today’s technology, or did The Kemper plan take it to another level?
In the 90s it was hard to justify gas combined cycle plants because of fears that capital investment may be wasted if/when natural gas became too expensive. We got past those hurdles in the high gas cost scenarios by converting the CC units to IGCC plants using lignite. That was the hedge that mitigated the risk. I don’t remember/have handy the projected costs used for IGCC but suspect they were lower than warranted. As history played out the moderate CC investment proved to be a good one despite the dubious assumptions about IGCC. But making huge capital investments on uncertain projections is fraught with risk.

Reply to  aplanningengineer
December 23, 2016 8:29 am

Aplanning, seems obvious to me (as a former coal-plant engineer) that the IGCC will never compete with simple or CC gas plants. Fluidized-bed coal plants w/limestone injection are now working pretty well (and remove almost everything other than CO2), but that won’t satisfy the anti-coal position of the current EPA.

Reply to  beng135
December 23, 2016 10:56 am

Fluidized-bed coal plants w/limestone injection
It shows how long technology takes to catch up to reality. Scientific American had an article singing the praises of this technology back in the 1970’s.

Jim G1
December 23, 2016 8:13 am

“200 years coal reserves”. World or US? At what rate of use? Determined how? I have been told we have 300 years of coal reserves (US) just here in WY. Determined how, I don’t know but based upon known WY reserves and US estimated US power plant use. And that number was before the EPA attempts to kill coal and the big switch to gas power plants, which is going slowly so far and should be affected by any potential change in Trump EPA policies as well as the cyclicality of coal and gas prices over time. Point being, any such estimates can be of by a factor of 2 or 3 or more. And yes I am involved with the coal industry here.

Reply to  Jim G1
December 23, 2016 2:51 pm
‘Based on U.S. coal production in 2014 of about 1 billion short tons, the U.S. estimated recoverable coal reserves would last about 256 years.’

December 23, 2016 8:40 am

Apparently this chap missed how the ‘great and good” were humiliated by their foolish support for “peak oil” and is now projecting the end of gas and coal a century hence. This type of extravagantly luddite stupidity is uncharacteristic of this great site.

Farmer Steve
December 23, 2016 8:58 am

I happen to know a little about the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in North Dakota.
Purchased from the Department of Energy by Basin Electric Power Cooperative
in 1988. First of all it has not been a failure by any measure. It has always produced
nitrogen fertilizer Anhydrous Ammonia, NH3 Gas. The current project at the plant is to add the
production of Urea Nitrogen fertilizer which is a pelletized dry product.
Yes the economics stink today and it is not profitable but we the people who own it are
innovative and productive and will continue to be in spite of the abuse and burdens heaped
upon us.

Reply to  Farmer Steve
December 23, 2016 12:53 pm

Steve, It is a great plant and I hope to visit one day. It is good that it was built. It just happened to make the wrong product. Making urea now is a good thing because some day all of our nitrogenous fertilisers will be made from coal, before that is phased out. I was aware that it made all those other products (I bought a copy of the book on the plant’s building – The Synfuel Pioneers) but mentioning them would break the flow of the article. The Chinese have examined that plant in detail and are making many copies in China which will burn through 400 million tonnes of bituminous coal per year to make SNG. The article wasn’t written to slight your plant of which you are justifiably proud. At the time it was built, there were going to be another 30 like it built in North Dakota. Their time will come.

December 23, 2016 9:21 am

Trump needs to send a message that over-priced and over-complicated power plants are out of favor. The parent company that built Kemper is also accelerating investment into utility scale solar PV . My prediction is that someday people will learn how to read.
See figure 1 and 2 in the Lazard investor study and know that the cost declines in utility scale solar will drop another 20 percent in two years.
Thin film solar PV will bury you, and without subsidy.

December 23, 2016 9:36 am

So why does no one mention either polywell fusion or Lockheed Martin’s fusion technology. They appear much closer to fruition than a new new fission reactor.

Leo Smith
December 23, 2016 10:10 am

I talked to an engineering guy who said there is a technique for burning coal that promises very high burning temperatures, complete combustion and pure CO2 and no NOx….essentially you take iron (or another metal) oxide, combine it with the coal dust, and then blast it into a furnace.
What comes out is pure very hot CO2, and molten metal.
You then blow air through the molten metal which gets very very hot and oxidises, stripping the O2 out of the air.
All that gets mixed with fresh coal dust and blown back into the furnace.
What you get out, is a smaller quantity of very hot CO2, which can go into a heat engine directly. Or be used to react with other things for synfuel applications.

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 24, 2016 9:31 pm

What happens to the hydrogen in the coal?

John F. Hultquist
December 23, 2016 10:34 am

I do not find the word “dangerous” in the story (Updated Dec. 21, 2016 10:47 a.m. ET) now on the WSJ web site. The 2nd paragraph is:
Buoyed by Mr. Trump’s enthusiasm for the U.S. coal industry, several congressional proposals seek to boost tax breaks for facilities that can capture carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is a byproduct of fossil-fuel combustion.
This is also the single use of the word “greenhouse” in the article.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 23, 2016 1:14 pm

John, thankyou for pointing that out. The WSJ is more nefarious than I thought – approaching NYT levels. My copy of the article has the word “dangerous” in it. The online version, now freely available, does not. But if you go down into the comments, there are complaints straight away about the use of dangerous. The first is from Michael Shults who says:
“…carbon dioxide, a dangerous greenhouse gas that is a byproduct of fossil-fuel combustion”: REALLY? And do you also call WATER a dangerous greenhouse gas and byproduct of fossil fuel combustion? While I think we should scrap the tax code and do away with such endless government manipulations as the subsidies described herein, such brainwashed references to carbon dioxide (a gas beneficial to life in fact, frequently pumped into actual greenhouses to stimulate plant growth) make me wonder if we’re getting the straight story even on the tax implications.
He is followed by Deborah Castleman who says:
Shults My thoughts precisely! Note that your comment (as well as Preston Moore’s and numerous others’ comments as well) apparently did the trick: the online edition has now deleted the word “dangerous.”
The time stamp on the article says:
Updated Dec. 21, 2016 10:47 a.m. ET
As my original copy does. So the WSJ took out the word dangerous and did not update the time stamp. Sad!

December 23, 2016 11:28 am

David Archibald wrote: “But when an article in the WSJ begins by calling carbon dioxide “a dangerous greenhouse gas”, alarm bells go off because you know the writer is trying to conjure up a fantasy world for some nefarious purpose.”
As best I can tell from a text search of the article using my web browser, the word “dangerous” does not appear anywhere. The word “greenhouse” appears only once – without any suggestion of danger.
The current low price of natural gas (which is artificially low in the US because it can’t be exported) and the current low price of oil (likely temporary) is making all other forms of electricity generation (including nuclear) appear to be uncompetitive at the moment. However, investments in electricity generation are have a time horizon of a quarter-century or more. Newer technology (especially nuclear) can require a decade of full-scale operation and integration before we know its true potential.

December 23, 2016 11:52 am

A little OT:
David Archibald, this is an excellent article you wrote at the Daily Caller about U.S. fighter jet status. I hope you are in contact with the Trump transition team, they need your input.
I note that Trump was criticizing the F-35 program for its cost overruns, and Trump suggested that we should perhaps look into an uprated F-18 to bring some competition into the market. So Trump might be in the market for a Gripen.
“Saab’s partner in the U.S. is Boeing, which will be without a fighter offering of its own once the F-18 Super Hornet production line in St Louis closes. It would be surprising if the two companies haven’t discussed bringing the Gripen to America. That would be good news for U.S. power projection in the Western Pacific, and for the families of U.S. airmen.”
end excerpt
Very good article.

G. Karst
Reply to  TA
December 23, 2016 7:38 pm

Most excellent thx GK

December 23, 2016 1:25 pm

Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou TA. I have a few points of contact with the Trump transition team. It was Myron Ebell, heading up the EPA transition team, who invited me to give a lecture on climate in a Senate hearing room back in 2011. Because having the right fighter aircraft is so important, I have written a book about it. It is expected to go to print next week. It has the same title as the article: American Gripen: The Solution To The F-35 Nightmare.

December 23, 2016 1:56 pm

If you liked the Gripen article, this is an article of mine on cancer that was very well received:

Brett Keane
December 23, 2016 3:31 pm

@ Dan Pangburn
December 23, 2016 at 12:05 pm: Dan, I wonder if the nuke could produce and cycle steam at near full power, and divert same to turbines on call, in seconds? The fuel cost may not matter, especially if of peak cooling were used to raise input water temperature, perhaps even stored in tanks.

December 23, 2016 9:06 pm

“Kemper County, one of the US flagship CCS projects has been beset with delays and cost-increases. Currently the price tag is now at $6.66 billion. The plant was originally estimated to cost $2.2 billion in 2004, but costs began increasing almost immediately, especially once construction began in 2010 and the company discovered that many of the original designs needed major changes. One of these design flaws included miscalculating pipe thickness, length, quantity and metallurgy. After these changes to the pipes were made, additional changes needed to be done to the support structures. The company has previously said that each month of delay costs around $25 million to $35 million. The project is now nearly three years behind schedule. Because the ratepayer share of the plant is capped at $2.88 billion, the repeated overages are coming out of the company’s pocket.”
” One of these design flaws included miscalculating pipe thickness, length, quantity and metallurgy. After these changes to the pipes were made, additional changes needed to be done to the support structures.”
These design flaws are well established technology in the industry, not “new technology”
One has to wonder how such engineering errors could occur and suspect a large part of the problem including delays and cost over run has to do with the competence of the contractor.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Catcracking
December 24, 2016 10:03 am

Errors of this type have a purpose, typically to collect all the cost+ available for ‘variations’ away from the approved spec. Another is to accumulate tax credits. All of these expenses are deductible. There is also the element of ‘too big to fail’ as greenie boondoggles are wont to be.
Expect that at the end the true cost to the taxpayer and consumer of the power will be 100% of the overrun. Plus finance costs.

Crispin in Waterloo
December 24, 2016 9:59 am

The fundamental wisdom of these gasification processes is when process heat is used to energise the water gas shift reaction. Instead of being wasted it turns water into hydrogen. What more wonderful extender can we get? Brains beats brawn.

December 28, 2016 1:42 pm

David and to all other readers,
There now exits a profitable, non subsidized, free market solution to capturing CO2 to be sold for crude oil extraction and movement, removes many valuable chemicals such as those to make solvents and epoxy, and increases the BTU output of coal by 33% when burned in the electric generating plant. This process will Revolutionize the coal industry and open vast amounts of US and world coal reserves to use generating electric power and do so cleanly. Clean Energy Technology Association (CETA) changes everything anyone ever thought about how coal can be used to help mankind.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights