To paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel

VanPastorMan

Hall of Famer
Mar 21, 2002
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Central Pennsylvania Via Washington Indiana
Hold the phone there chief. You were the one who brought personal implications into this when you made the absurd call that people who use evidence are weak-minded.

And that’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard on here (adjusting out @IU_Hickory and @VanPastorMan) posts.
Hey, my posts are insightful and bring energy and hope to the AOTF masses. IU Hickory's are not as good as mine but they are good.....they are good.
 

cosmickid

All-American
Oct 23, 2009
8,743
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Really, I know you won't read anything from but for others:

A federal report after the 2011 outages urged hardening electric generators against extreme cold, but neither the commission nor Ercot required plant owners to do anything more than file the weatherization plans. There are no standards for what must be in those plans.​
Ercot staffers conduct spot checks at a small portion of power plants every year to, among other things, check on their progress at protecting equipment. But, Bill Magness, Ercot’s president, said: “These are not inspections.” There is no regulatory authority to issue fines or penalties.​

NO ability to issue fines or penalties. Hmmmmm. I wonder, why would you not have ANY ability to issue fines or penalties to electrical utilities? How many other states follow that? In anti-government Texas, catastrophic storms prompt calls for regulation | Texas | The Guardian

If you don't like that, here is a site touting Texas' deregulation:

The main benefit to an energy deregulated market is that the rates for electricity lower (over time). While the years following 2002 saw an increase for residential customer electricity rates, the years between 2010 and 2015 have seen a significant decrease. Texas rates during this time fell well below the national average.​
Introducing competition to the electricity market is also a significant benefit to Texans. Naturally, when you have more companies with similar products to choose from, those companies need to ensure that their products (and rates) are the best in the business. If a customer is not satisfied with their rates with one REP for example, they can switch to another REP with relative ease. Overall, energy deregulation prevents companies from turning into monopolies that have complete control over the cost of electricity.​

Read their link, The Ultimate Guide to Texas Electricity Deregulation – Electric Choice . See how often "reliability" is mentioned. Interesting that they never make the claim that deregulated energy is more reliable, isn't it? And as to that decrease in rates from 2010-15, I wonder if we carry that out to 2021 how that works. A single bill of $7000 for a homeowner would probably offset all the savings of the rest of the period.

There aren't claims I have seen that deregulated energy is more reliable, greener, more colorful with better flavor. It is cheaper. That is the claim for having it, cheaper. Simple logic that Texas deregulated simply for cost and that's it.

I hesitate to post a supporting link since obviously, my posting style has drawn vitriol from some in this thread. I will submit that my preponderance towards linking is based on my personal view that without a link a statement (esp regarding what someone may or may not have said) is basically an opinion shrouded as fact that the poster expects us to take at face value.

I don't expect people to take my personal opinion as fact unless I provide evidence of something actually being said or something actually occurring, so I am reluctant to view unsubstantiated claims by others the same way. That's just me and that is WHY I personally usually provide some link corroborating WHAT I POSTED, but not necessarily whether it qualifies as a fact or not...

Anyway... I think it's accurate to regard the failure of the GOP controlled Legislature in Texas to act to winterize the grid (despite the conclusions of a report THEY requested) as an example of the greater divergence between what I would characterize as the "Libertarian bent" of certain elements of Texas GOP politics vs the view of the "other side" on the ROLE of Govt. That's why I found Castro's statement about Texas Government being controlled by "people who don't believe in Government" particularly astute...

An illustration of (imho) that very phenomenon is this (watch out!!) link to what Lt Gov Dan Patrick said regarding the huge electric bills some citizens of Texas received due to being enrolled in "variable plans"...Now I could mimic others and simply claim that Patrick said the following. But I prefer to link to an article that prints the transcript, and which could be sued if they altered his actual comments. I would define that as a factual link. For example...

"I saw the story about the high bills," Patrick said. "Let me explain that. We have in Texas - you can choose your energy plan, and most people have a fixed rate. If they had a fixed rate per kilowatt hour, their rates aren't going up."

He added: "But the people who are getting those big bills are people who gambled on a very, very low rate. But I've told those folks: Do not panic. We are going to figure that out.


"But going forward, people need to read the fine print in those kinds of bills, and we may even end that type of variable plan because people were surprised."


Now is this a factual link or not? Does it quote Patrick accurately, and is their reason to surmise it accurately reflects what he personally believes? I think both conditions are true, which is why I would regard it as a "factual link".

The question then becomes does it support what I've asserted, which may involve both an objective as well as subjective analysis? And also do you agree with him or not, which is purely subjective. Does it paint Patrick in a negative or positive viewpoint, in your subjective opinion?

Now in my OPINION, the statement (particularly what I've bolded in RED) paints Patrick in a negative light and he exemplifies the type of politician Castro is referencing. He is blaming his fellow citizens for not reading the fine print on Legislation he supported and in fact advocated for.

In fact, I would argue that it was his duty as an elected representative to make sure his constituents understood the ramifications of the bill he supported. But I would submit that again we're talking about a divergence of opinion on what he and I may respectively believe the ROLE of Govt encompasses.

I would argue that in his Libertarian zeal to limit regulation of the industry and save consumers a negligible amount on their energy bills, he actually exposed them to catastrophic harm by not helping to make them aware of the dangers involved with variable-rate structures.

IMO, he compounds that initial failure by trying to pass the buck by claiming that the average customer should have understood the dangers that I'm not sure he and other Legislators who supported de-regulation even comprehended themselves. And that's before we even get into an analysis of who led and profited from the lobbying efforts on behalf of the Legislation in question...

All this while as de facto leader of the State Legislature he KNEW that there had been no movement on the basic recommendations of the State's Public Utility Commission to at the very least winterize the grid...
 
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Spartans9312

Senior
Nov 11, 2004
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It may be 15 years ago, I was in the locker room at HPER after playing ball and I heard a professor talking about keeping systems operational. He was saying how, as an example, if a projector in a classroom has a bulb with a 1000 hour mean time to failure, it should be tracked and replaced around 750 hours. There is no excuse that someone should turn on a projector and have a bulb fail. I made up the numbers, I don't recall his specifically. He then went on to whomever he was talking to say that is how power companies work. Power cannot work almost all the time. Loss of power = loss of life and tremendous economic damage.

Now I might disagree with him on bulbs, they don't cause loss of life. But let's ask spartan what his failure rate is allowed to be. How many prescriptions would he not properly fill if he filled with a 99.9% accuracy?

Texas new from 2011 this easily could happen, it did. They had a blackout from a winter storm. You ignore that in every comment to focus on windmills. I am curious, I will state flatly that Texas was far less dependent on turbines in 2011 and I know you will not try to prove me wrong because that would require sourcing. In fact, there is no doubt Texas had no windmills in 2011 (it makes argumentation easy if you don't have to back it up). So how did the 2011 blackout happen.

We know in 1930 Texas dropped to 5 degrees, in 1989 it dropped to 7. (look it up on Google). That shows this wasn't possible.

If you didn't read the links, in cold weather sprayers shoot a fine mist of hot water onto the gears of a turbine. It uses energy, but less than what the turbine produces. So a turbine can provide net positive energy in very cold weather.

You hate wind power, I get that. You are the mirror image of people who say they are a panacea and I don't think your disdain is any better than their fawning. It isn't a perfect solution, it isn't demon-spawn. Did a windmill hit your miniature golf ball one time?

A side story on that professor, he was a retired Marine general. One of my best buddies was a coworker and part of the lunchtime basketball group and was a Marine, though 12 years or so from active service. His reaction to a Marine general in the locker room was interesting, it was all that he could do not to jump up and go to attention when the guy came in.

I like Gates' ideas, solar and wind, and other items combined with nuclear. We have successfully tested a solar panel in space. Pentagon's space-based energy beam could one day power entire cities | Metro News
1. Accurate
2. Efficient
3. Approachable
Everything else is gravy
 

CO. Hoosier

Hall of Famer
Aug 29, 2001
36,900
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I hesitate to post a supporting link since obviously, my posting style has drawn vitriol from some in this thread. I will submit that my preponderance towards linking is based on my personal view that without a link a statement (esp regarding what someone may or may not have said) is basically an opinion shrouded as fact that the poster expects us to take at face value.

I don't expect people to take my personal opinion as fact unless I provide evidence of something actually being said or something actually occurring, so I am reluctant to view unsubstantiated claims by others the same way. That's just me and that is WHY I personally usually provide some link corroborating WHAT I POSTED, but not necessarily whether it qualifies as a fact or not...

Anyway... I think it's accurate to regard the failure of the GOP controlled Legislature in Texas to act to winterize the grid (despite the conclusions of a report THEY requested) as an example of the greater divergence between what I would characterize as the "Libertarian bent" of certain elements of Texas GOP politics vs the view of the "other side" on the ROLE of Govt. That's why I found Castro's statement about Texas Government being controlled by "people who don't believe in Government" particularly astute...

An illustration of (imho) that very phenomenon is this (watch out!!) link to what Lt Gov Dan Patrick said regarding the huge electric bills some citizens of Texas received due to being enrolled in "variable plans"...Now I could mimic others and simply claim that Patrick said the following. But I prefer to link to an article that prints the transcript, and which could be sued if they altered his actual comments. I would define that as a factual link. For example...

"I saw the story about the high bills," Patrick said. "Let me explain that. We have in Texas - you can choose your energy plan, and most people have a fixed rate. If they had a fixed rate per kilowatt hour, their rates aren't going up."

He added: "But the people who are getting those big bills are people who gambled on a very, very low rate. But I've told those folks: Do not panic. We are going to figure that out.


"But going forward, people need to read the fine print in those kinds of bills, and we may even end that type of variable plan because people were surprised."


Now is this a factual link or not? Does it quote Patrick accurately, and is their reason to surmise it accurately reflects what he personally believes? I think both conditions are true, which is why I would regard it as a "factual link".

The question then becomes does it support what I've asserted, which may involve both an objective as well as subjective analysis? And also do you agree with him or not, which is purely subjective. Does it paint Patrick in a negative or positive viewpoint, in your subjective opinion?

Now in my OPINION, the statement (particularly what I've bolded in RED) paints Patrick in a negative light and he exemplifies the type of politician Castro is referencing. He is blaming his fellow citizens for not reading the fine print on Legislation he supported and in fact advocated for.

In fact, I would argue that it was his duty as an elected representative to make sure his constituents understood the ramifications of the bill he supported. But I would submit that again we're talking about a divergence of opinion on what he and I may respectively believe the ROLE of Govt encompasses.

I would argue that in his Libertarian zeal to limit regulation of the industry and save consumers a negligible amount on their energy bills, he actually exposed them to catastrophic harm by not helping to make them aware of the dangers involved with variable-rate structures.

IMO, he compounds that initial failure by trying to pass the buck by claiming that the average customer should have understood the dangers that I'm not sure he and other Legislators who supported de-regulation even comprehended themselves. And that's before we even get into an analysis of who led and profited from the lobbying efforts on behalf of the Legislation in question...

All this while as de facto leader of the State Legislature he KNEW that there had been no movement on the basic recommendations of the State's Public Utility Commission to at the very least winterize the grid...

Let’s take your argument about choices and the role of government forward. We have a few state governments who have made their own spending choices over the years that have landed those governments in untenable fiscal situations. The Pandemic intensified their predicaments. Now, the Democrats in Congress and Biden want to use the federal borrowing power to relieve those few states from those self-imposed burdens. Is this any different than a Texas electric consumer being helped out of the consequences of its decision? Decisions have consequences. If we hold people and governments harmless from their bad decisions, we will have more bad decisions. I’m not willing to accept your point that people were unaware. I think they willingly assumed known risks. The surprise here was the size of the rate increase. IMO, no advance warning would have predicted that.

Texas has been declared a disaster area. That carries with it financial relief for some losses. The size of the rate increase was due to the emergency. I wouldn’t be opposed to partial benefits on that basis to be covered as any loss.

Sorry, no links to the Covid bail-out bill. No red letters either. ;)
 

iuwclurker

All-American
Jul 6, 2015
6,106
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See, this is the problem we've had for more than a year. I make a comment and you throw it back as an overstatement. If you have a point with that, let me know.

Texas I believe is the only state that allows competition for rates and providers in the way it does. I made this point many posts back and pointed out that this method of rate setting combined with having to compete with heavily subsidized wind rates, deprived Texas utilities of an ability to raise a lot of capital for needed infrastructure investments. The upside of course is cheap energy, which isn't a bad thing and is part of the reason Texas had a vibrant economy.

As I also said many posts back, you were correct in pointing out that Texas had a reserve capacity of only 10% of 2020 maximum (See, that was linked information which was important and I used) which was obviously less than 10% in 2021 and probably disappeared entirely with the unprecedented and historically high demand on the system.

Once again, Texas could probably have muddled through with much less damage if the pipeline infrastructure hadn't froze. I'm not sure there is a fix for that since gas pipelines in cold climes, like North Dakota, are expected to freeze anyway.
This is Counter-Exhibit A. Here you clearly have every intention to communicate. Communication is a two-way street. It’s me take responsibility for your understanding and you taking responsibility for mine. I’m not talking about chitchat. Far from it. I’m talking about the bare structure of human message sharing.

When Marvin asks for some information and you ignore that, communication has for all intents and purposes ceased. The give-and-take has gone from communication to speaking past one another. That’s what I’m talking about. I am in no way suggesting that you’re communicating badly. I’m saying that on occasion you come across as not being willing to take responsibility for the other side of the give-and-take. That may be fine in a court of law, but this is a collegial setting. We are here for each other.

i’m all for the Socratic method and provocative, soul-searching, deep thinking, conversation. That doesn’t really occur in moments the cooperative nature of communication is absent.
 

iuwclurker

All-American
Jul 6, 2015
6,106
2,293
113
See, this is the problem we've had for more than a year. I make a comment and you throw it back as an overstatement. If you have a point with that, let me know.

Texas I believe is the only state that allows competition for rates and providers in the way it does. I made this point many posts back and pointed out that this method of rate setting combined with having to compete with heavily subsidized wind rates, deprived Texas utilities of an ability to raise a lot of capital for needed infrastructure investments. The upside of course is cheap energy, which isn't a bad thing and is part of the reason Texas had a vibrant economy.

As I also said many posts back, you were correct in pointing out that Texas had a reserve capacity of only 10% of 2020 maximum (See, that was linked information which was important and I used) which was obviously less than 10% in 2021 and probably disappeared entirely with the unprecedented and historically high demand on the system.

Once again, Texas could probably have muddled through with much less damage if the pipeline infrastructure hadn't froze. I'm not sure there is a fix for that since gas pipelines in cold climes, like North Dakota, are expected to freeze anyway.
As to this post per se, I really like it. It not only has interesting thoughts but it also shows your attempt to try to forward your dialogue with the other person. In other words to try to come to an understanding.