Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Electric lines…..Underwater?

[ Laying line in San Francisco for the Trans Bay Cable project, which submerged 33 miles of cable. ]

What will they think of next?

Generating 20 percent of America’s electricity with wind, as recent studies proposed, would require building up to 22,000 miles of new high-voltage transmission lines. But the huge towers and unsightly tree-cutting that these projects require have provoked intense public opposition.

Recently, though, some companies are finding a remarkably simple answer to that political problem. They are putting power lines under water, in a string of projects that has so far provoked only token opposition from environmentalists and virtually no reaction from the larger public.

“The fish don’t vote,” said Edward M. Stern, president of PowerBridge, a company that built a 65-mile offshore cable from New Jersey to Long Island and is working on two more.

The projects have even drawn cautious enthusiasm from some environmental groups that say the new power lines serve their goal of getting the United States to use more renewable power.

“Environmentalists need to be open-minded to technology improvements, and looking at the big picture,” said Phillip Musegaas, program director for Riverkeeper, a New York environmental group focused on the Hudson River.

Mr. Musegaas’s open-mindedness will soon be put to the test, because Transmission Developers, a Toronto company, is proposing to use the Hudson for the most ambitious underwater transmission project yet. Beginning north of the Canadian border, a 370-mile line would run along the bottom of Lake Champlain, down the bed of the Hudson all the way to New York City. It would continue under Long Island Sound to Connecticut.

The project sponsors have only recently begun seeking the numerous permits they need, but if built, it would be one of the longest submarine power cables in the world. It would bring hydroelectricity to the power-thirsty New York City market. It would also break a stalemate; New York has not had a major new overhead power line in 20 years.

If Transmission Developers succeeds with such an ambitious project, other transmission developers are likely to study the underwater strategy to figure out just how far they can take it. Would power lines crossing the Great Lakes make sense? Could underwater cables be used to move renewable power from the windy Great Plains to cities like Chicago?

The cost of putting a cable under water can be lower than burying cables on land, because workers can lay the cables from giant reels, allowing stretches of more than a mile with no splices. The strategy is limited, of course, by the availability of rivers and lakes — they do not go everywhere power developers would like to run new lines. In fact, many of the country’s rivers run north or south, whereas much of the country’s power must move east or west.

And underwater lines are still more expensive than lines on transmission towers. Mr. Stern’s 65-mile cable cost about $600 million, and a 53-mile cable under San Francisco Bay cost about $505 million. Much of the cost in each case is to transform the electricity to direct current, a form that is easier to use in buried cables. Standard lines hung on towers run from $1 million to $4 million a mile, depending on terrain and other factors. If more underwater lines are built, the higher costs would have a small impact on electric bills.

Still, the underwater approach solves some intractable problems. In San Francisco, for example, old power plants that burn natural gas are about to be retired because a new transmission company has succeeded in running a line 33 miles across the San Francisco Bay.

More…….

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Ecology, Government, Media, Other Things, The Economy, Travel, Updates | , | Leave a comment

Al Sharpton joins the team…..goes inside the White House…..

[SharptonJmp1]

[ The Rev. Al Sharpton was known for his activist, racially polarizing views. Recently, he has become a key ally for President Obama, pictured in an Oval Office meeting last year.]

You knew he was going to end up there…..the first black President….The White House…….the media……

Al Sharpton could never resist this…..nor should he…..

I’ll tell you a secret……

The Dog likes Rev. Al……

Sharpton_A1

The guy is a genius…..he never met a camera he didn’t like….and the media simply LOVES the man!

But that not the reason I like him…..

If you ever get a chance…..sit down and listen to him…..no bullshit….the guy is smart…and most of the time he’s dead on…….oh he can BS with the rest of them….but a good amount of the time he’s informed, smart and tells like it is….and he’s good on his feet……

Anyways….

President Obama has turned to Sharpton to help him with the ‘brothers’…who want more from him…….

President Barack Obama has turned to Mr. Sharpton in recent weeks to answer increasingly public criticism in the black community over his economic policy. Some black leaders are charging that the nation’s first African-American president has failed to help black communities hit hard by the downturn, leaving party strategists worried that black Democrats will become dispirited and skip November’s congressional elections.

Mr. Sharpton has emerged as an important part of the White House response. On his national radio program, he is directly rebutting the president’s critics, arguing that Mr. Obama is right to craft policies aimed at lifting all Americans rather than specifically targeting blacks. One recent on-air fight with Tavis Smiley, a prominent talk show host and Obama critic, grew so heated that it has created a small sensation among black leaders.

“The president does not need to get out there and do what we should be doing,” Mr. Sharpton told Mr. Smiley during the testy exchange. He argued that expecting Mr. Obama to become a “black exponent of black views” was “just stupid,” because it would create fodder for conservatives looking to defeat legislation that could ultimately help blacks.

In an interview, Mr. Sharpton added that it was a “double standard” for Mr. Smiley and other critics to expect more from a black president than they would demand of a white Democratic president.

Mr. Sharpton is an unlikely White House partner, given his racially polarizing history and efforts by Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign team to steer clear of the civil-rights leader.

But Mr. Sharpton could help ensure that blacks remain energized for November’s elections—an important task in a year that finds the Democratic base to be less enthusiastic about voting than are Republicans.

Mr. Obama remains immensely popular with African-Americans, about 86% of whom approve of his job performance, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. But party strategists worry that, without Mr. Obama’s name on the ballot, his personal appeal won’t be enough to motivate black voters who may feel that the government is failing them. The new poll shows a steep decline from the near 90% black voter interest in the 2008 campaign, with fewer than half now saying they are very interested in the November elections.

Sharpton has become an inside man….and it should suit him fine after all the bricks he’s thrown at various people in the White House….he now enters it to talk to the nation’s Presdient…what raified air he now breaths…..

Mr. Sharpton has been to the White House five times since Mr. Obama took office, most recently this month as part of a small group meeting with economics advisor Lawrence Summers. Mr. Sharpton’s radio program, which airs in 27 markets, has become a friendly platform for administration officials to address black listeners, allowing Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, for example, to take credit for a recent $1.25 billion settlement with black farmers who had sued the government for discrimination.

Now there are signs that Mr. Sharpton will play a role in this fall’s midterm elections. Democratic National Committee Chairman Timothy Kaine conferred with Mr. Sharpton this month on sending him to black churches and neighborhoods in politically important states to register and mobilize black voters.

He has arrived…….

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Religion, Updates | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Washington and Media power games begin on the 'surge' decision…….

I did a long post yesterday on the process pieces that came out in all the major media outlets on late Saturday…there must have been an off the record briefing …because right after all these people posted their stories……now the garbage part is playing out…..

Anyone who is tuned into this stuff (I am, because I write this blog) immediately picks up on the trail laid in this morning…..that is the President Obama ….the Commander-in-Chief gave General Stanley McCrystal essentially what he asked for in the summer for as his tolls to do the job in Afghanistan……

SO WHAT?

The General has been doing what he does for decades…he IS the expert.….

As I write in my post…all the heavies told him not to ask for troops….he did

The heavies….. Once  they knew he wasn’t going to back off backed up and let him walk the tight rope by himself…..

Obama sent for the General when he was in England during the summer and had a face to face sit down aboard Air Force One…..the heavies where not there

McCrystal is a warrior…not a big time politician…although, by getting to be general you do have top play politics….

In the end…Obama really had no choice….McChrystal was just showing his boss the right path once President Obama decided wasn’t going to be the guy to lose Afghanistan without a fight…

Really people….everyday bosses all over the plant get great idea’s from the people working below them……

And the President is the Commander-in-Chief.….Only he can sign off on the moves…..

For Obama to have somehow pulled this strategy out from under a rock is preposterous……

Give both of theses men credit for not letting their ego’s get the way of solving a problem….there are too many lives involved to do it any other way……

December 7, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Men, Military, Politics, Updates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Washington and Media power games begin on the ‘surge’ decision…….

I did a long post yesterday on the process pieces that came out in all the major media outlets on late Saturday…there must have been an off the record briefing …because right after all these people posted their stories……now the garbage part is playing out…..

Anyone who is tuned into this stuff (I am, because I write this blog) immediately picks up on the trail laid in this morning…..that is the President Obama ….the Commander-in-Chief gave General Stanley McCrystal essentially what he asked for in the summer for as his tolls to do the job in Afghanistan……

SO WHAT?

The General has been doing what he does for decades…he IS the expert.….

As I write in my post…all the heavies told him not to ask for troops….he did

The heavies….. Once  they knew he wasn’t going to back off backed up and let him walk the tight rope by himself…..

Obama sent for the General when he was in England during the summer and had a face to face sit down aboard Air Force One…..the heavies where not there

McCrystal is a warrior…not a big time politician…although, by getting to be general you do have top play politics….

In the end…Obama really had no choice….McChrystal was just showing his boss the right path once President Obama decided wasn’t going to be the guy to lose Afghanistan without a fight…

Really people….everyday bosses all over the plant get great idea’s from the people working below them……

And the President is the Commander-in-Chief.….Only he can sign off on the moves…..

For Obama to have somehow pulled this strategy out from under a rock is preposterous……

Give both of theses men credit for not letting their ego’s get the way of solving a problem….there are too many lives involved to do it any other way……

December 7, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Men, Military, Politics, Updates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment