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US Firms Race Fiscal Cliff To Install Wind Turbines

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the last-chance dept.

Government 98

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that U.S. energy companies are racing to install wind turbines before a federal tax credit expires at the end of this year which could be lost as Congress struggles with new legislation to avoid the 'fiscal cliff.' 'There's a lot of rushing right now to get projects completed by the end of the year,' says Rob Gramlich, senior vice president at the American Wind Energy Association. 'There's a good chance we could get this extension, it is very hard to predict, but the industry is not making bets on the Congress getting it done,' Even if there is an extension there is likely to be a significant curtailment of wind installations in 2013. From 1999 to 2004, Congress allowed the wind energy production tax credit to expire three times, each time retroactively extending it several months after the expiration deadline had passed, but wind energy companies say they need longer time frames to negotiate deals to sell the power they generate. 'Even if the tax credit is extended, our new construction plans likely will be ramped back substantially in 2013 compared with the last few years,' says Paul Copleman. 'So much time has passed without certainty that a normal one-year extension would not be a game-changer for our 2013 build plans.'"

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Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432931)

Or is it !!


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42433325)

Mod the parent rag-head lover down; all support to the push-starts!!

hot air (4, Funny)

Moblaster (521614) | about a year ago | (#42432939)

All this hot wind about tax credits... I think it will break soon. And this whole thing will blow over.

Re:hot air (3, Funny)

ThaumaTechnician (2701261) | about a year ago | (#42433107)

Cliffs generally are places where a lot of wind gets blown about. They probably are good places to install wind turbines. Bonus..we could use the electricity they generate to electrocute politicians.

Re:hot air (5, Funny)

WWJohnBrowningDo (2792397) | about a year ago | (#42433389)

Since our founding fathers are all spinning in their graves right now, might as well hook them up to generators and harvest the free energy [smbc-comics.com].

Re:hot air (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42434213)

LOL Just what we need, more tax payer subsidized, clean energy start-ups to fail while paying out huge year-end c-class bonuses.

Where the hell is my parachute???

Try learning economics, kid. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42437059)

These renewables are cheaper than nuclear and require far less subsidy.

I don't hear you whining and whinging about the entrenched systems trillion dollar windfall.

Because you're an ignorant arsehole with an axe to grind because, frankly, you have nothing else to do.

Re:hot air (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42434253)

Mandatory Spinal Tap "Break like the wind" link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MlOxcTETRg

By the end of the year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42432953)

Not sure how long it takes to install wind turbines, but I am pretty sure it takes longer than 13 hours and 5 minutes just for one...

Re:By the end of the year? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#42433979)

IIRC, to qualify for the credit the blades need to make 1 full rotation before the end of year. So you might invest in some overtime, focus on getting those near completion done, skip the cosmetics like paint or hooking it up to the grid until next year.

Rent seeking (3, Insightful)

jamesl (106902) | about a year ago | (#42433049)

Rent seeking, meet regulatory capture.

Re:Rent seeking (3, Interesting)

Brickwall (985910) | about a year ago | (#42433275)

Absolutely! Here in Ontario, our moronic provincial gov't guaranteed 20 year contracts to the wind and solar companies at $0.80/kWh. Meanwhile, our nuclear reactors are generating power at $.03/kWh. And because they guaranteed to buy all the wind power that's produced, they end up having to sell it at a big loss. Brilliant! What's worse is the wind turbines, perhaps because Ontario is in the centre of the continent, generate most of their power during the shoulder periods of power demand. At least solar has the benefit of producing the most power on hot sunny days, when air conditioning demand is high. What's the old saying? "First, God created idiots. That was for practice. Then he created politicians."

Re:Rent seeking (5, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | about a year ago | (#42433611)

What's worse is the wind turbines, perhaps because Ontario is in the centre of the continent, generate most of their power during the shoulder periods of power demand.

That doesn't matter, so long as the wind generation capacity you have is less than your fossil fuel capacity. As long as that's true, you can think of it almost like having a super-efficient storage method for the wind power your generate: you "store" it as unburned fossil fuel.

Only *after* your wind generating capability exceeds your non-renewable energy sources,does the wind power you can't sell "goes to waste". But then it was going to waste anyhow. You're still thinking of renewable energy sources like non-renewable ones. It doesn't matter if you don't capture and use every bit of a renewable energy source, because there's always more of it coming. What matters is can you make the dollars and cents work. It's quite possible for a 10% efficient solar array to be successful yet a 50% efficient one to be a financial failure. It depends on the cost of producing, siting, installing and maintaining the array vs. the value of the electricity it produces. The 90% of energy you waste with the inefficient cells doesn't matter; 100% was going to waste before you installed them.

It may well be that your government set up a bad deal, but that's just lack of financial acumen, not a problem with the technology.

Re:Rent seeking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42433841)

The problem is that the base load in Ontario is provided by things like nuclear that can't rapidly be turned off just because the wind happens to be blowing. The wind usually blows hardest at night, when demand is lowest, so it frequently occurs that the wind generated power cannot be used in ontario, and has to be sold to neighbouring jurisdictions, at cut-rate prices, because they don't really need it very badly either. It's both a financial and technical issue - but primarily technical, since no one would have considered setting up wind power production without these ridiculously favourable deals, because they could never have made money at it.

Re:Rent seeking (4, Informative)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#42434583)

It has nothing to do with nuclear.
Ontario's nuke capacity is about 11GW max but the lowest demand for any hour going back over 10 years is 13GW so the balance is made up by hydro, gas, wind and coal.
The coal usage has been cut back significantly in the last 5-7 yrs and the max wind output has only recently exceeded 1GW.

From what I understand, the issue is the wind farms were given "must-take" status for their power which is stupid during low-demand hours but that's policy and fixable.

Re:Rent seeking (2)

Brickwall (985910) | about a year ago | (#42435213)

Your figures are close, but according to Ontario's ISEO, lowest hourly demand was just over 11MWh in November. Since our hydro capacity is about 1/3 of our nukes, that gives us about 15 MW of capacity before we get into fossils vs renewables.. You're right about coal - it's down to about 2%. But natural gas is cheap; its price right now is about 10% of what it was in 2007. It burns cleaner than coal or oil, and we have oceans of it in Western Canada. So of course the Liberals cancelled two gas plants just before the election to save their sorry hides. That's what I can't stand about McGuinty; he makes grandstanding gestures that will cost all Ontarians billions. He has run our debt up to about $240 billion; California, with three times as many people, has a debt of $620 billion, and many people think it's a basket case. We're proportionately worse off, and we're going to pay for it with higher taxes and poorer services over the two decades. Wasting billions on this foolish renewable scheme was just irresponsible.

Re:Rent seeking (1)

celle (906675) | about a year ago | (#42436713)

" We're proportionately worse off, and we're going to pay for it with higher taxes and poorer services over the two decades. Wasting billions on this foolish renewable scheme was just irresponsible."

    Maybe you should think about how much longer your non-renewables will last with those turbines producing power to offset their use. Not all costs and rewards are monetary. If you're worried about energy loss from unstable generation cycles install an energy storage system to balance the output. The added flexibility of multiple sources also adds some reward. You're being so short-sighted and self-serving, stop.

"...than coal or oil, and we have oceans of it in Western Canada."

      Just think of how much those oceans will be worth when everyone else's has run out. That and the future generations that won't be freezing to death due to lack of energy.

Re:Rent seeking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42433897)

As a resident of Ontario, last year the power company had to sell power to the states at a lost and the cost showed up on everyone's power bill. He wasn't complaining about a hypothetical situation. If tax credits and rebates are what make wind profitable. I question if the generators actually produce enough power to cover the manufacturing costs(energy wise).

Re:Rent seeking (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#42434017)

If tax credits and rebates are what make wind profitable.

Lots of industries start with various forms of government subsidy. The mistake made in ontario was thinking that the price of wind turbines was going to remain as high as it was for a lot longer.

The government was trying to convince the public that wind generators weren't going to destroy property values, deafen children etc. They were willing to take a loss on this up front in the hopes that by the time generation came down in price people wouldn't put up a huge protest about it. Unfortunately for the government, the price came down far faster than anyone anticipated, which is good for basically everyone else.

Had they stayed hugely expensive the government would be basically subsidizing half a dozen wind turbines here and there to show off, which, on the scale of things costs basically nothing, and if it made it easier to convince people to install a few thousand of them 20 years from now so much the better. But the price came down much faster than they anticipated.

Re:Rent seeking (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#42434357)

It may well be that your government set up a bad deal
And of course, because they are Canadians, it is impossible that there is any corruption involved such as the politicians or their donors benefiting personally from the deal, Solyndra style. Yep, I guess they were just slightly stupid, it can happen to anyone. No harm done though, so there is no need too look for any accountability whatsoever or, God forbid, fire anyone. The taxpayers children will just have to eat a little bit less and everything will be just fine.

Re:Rent seeking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42435193)

Unlike many areas, Ontario is not reliant to any extent on fossil fuels for its power. Hydroelectric power and nuclear provide the base, combustion processes -- coal, oil and gas are minor players. The management strategy has been to run the nukes flat out, spill water through the power dams and build lots of small gas turbine installations to run online to backfill for wind fluctuations. In doing so more emissions are being produced than in the days when hydro and nuclear provided the power. But there are statutory requirements for the grid to buy the power from wind and solar, so Ontario has a huge power surplus which is being dumped at fire sale prices. Last year the grid paid producers 1.7billion for the power they produced and sold it for 400million. The difference gets passed onto ratepayers as some of the highest power costs in North America and still rising. And added to the growing debt. This place is turning into Greece without the relaxed lifestyles. And because the things are being deployed in rural residential areas and have statutorialy capped values -- property values are going down and municipalities are being short changed. I am sure that the right people are making money on this but everyone else is being impoverished. And large businesses are moving out. Waste, greed, arrogance... this place acts like a 3rd world kleptocracy.

Re:Rent seeking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42437265)

That doesn't matter, so long as the wind generation capacity you have is less than your fossil fuel capacity. As long as that's true, you can think of it almost like having a super-efficient storage method for the wind power your generate: you "store" it as unburned fossil fuel.

Only the Germans have fast load following fossil fuel plants, that are suitable for the application you mentioned and that is a relaitively new technology.

Re:Rent seeking (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42433819)

seems like you don't really understand the purpose of subsidies. they are to encourage a fledgling industry and keep it up until it can stand on its own. there is considerable first-mover advantage in the energy business and even the hoops for connecting to the grid for a energy provider are high walls to new technology.

fit contract rates are different for wind and solar, and have been decreasing over time as a result of the evaluation of the cost changes over time. microFit was 0.80 per kw*hr for solar less than 10 kw, wind was 11 cents a kw*hr. these numbers are even less now, with solar at 40-60 cents, depending on the installation location (roof or ground mounted).

the majority of contracts were for wind, because there are locations in ontario that have significant wind resources (along the great lakes and in some northern communities).

Re:Rent seeking (4, Informative)

amorsen (7485) | about a year ago | (#42433917)

Citation needed for $0.80/kWh for wind. Even ridiculously overpriced wind farms elsewhere are at $0.20/kWh. Anholt Sea Wind Farm, widely criticized for having its proposal structured in such a way that there could only be a single bidder and therefore monopoly pricing, is at 1.05DKK/kWh or 0.19USD/kWh for the first 20TWh. 20TWh should be reached in approximately 13 years.

$0.03/kWh is only possible for nuclear reactors which have paid off their capital investment already and are only paying for maintenance. Wind power under the same conditions can produce at lower cost than that.

Re:Rent seeking (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about a year ago | (#42435067)

$0.03/kWh is only possible for nuclear reactors which have paid off their capital investment already and are only paying for maintenance. Wind power under the same conditions can produce at lower cost than that.

Don't forget insurance costs. It's the main reason why the building of new reactors has been slow even before Fukushima. Because of this, I doubt new reactors with new insurance plans will ever reach $0.03/kWh... They might be safer by design, but I doubt the insurance companies will cut their prices a lot because of this. They're more likely to adapt a "wait and see" attitude.

Re:Rent seeking (1)

amorsen (7485) | about a year ago | (#42440381)

Insurance depends on how much the government requires. AFAIK no nuclear power plant has a commercial insurance policy which would cover a Fukushima-size accident; they all rely on the government. Tepco was covered for third party liability for only $1.5 billion. Just to add to the fun, the coverage did not extend to accidents caused by natural disasters... Tepco estimates that the cost of cleaning up and paying compensation is 10 trillion yen, $125 billion. I am not sure the entire insurance industry is up for handling a $125 billion policy, and who can guarantee that $125 billion will be enough another time? In that way, you could say that the cost of insurance is infinite.

Then again, if we go with $125 billion and estimate a Fukushima-size disaster somewhere in the world every 30 years, it only adds $0.002/kWh to the cost of nuclear power. I am doubting my math here, 2558 TWh produced per year (from 2009), 125 * 10^9 USD/disaster / (2558 * 10^9 kWh/year) / (30 years/disaster). If the math is right and the assumptions are correct, then government backing nuclear insurance is a good idea.

Re:Rent seeking (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about a year ago | (#42470739)

Interesting... this would mean that my sources arguing that rising insurance costs are an acute problem for the nuclear industry are dead wrong. And on closer inspection, it looks like they are too. Yet again, never trust anything you read on the internets, folks.

BTW, the 0.03$/kWh figure with which this discussion started is dead wrong as well:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_new_nuclear_power_plants#Cost_per_kW.C2.B7h [wikipedia.org]
http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=nuclear-power-could-cost-trillions-2009-06-19 [scientificamerican.com]

Re:Rent seeking (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42434295)

Maybe they were factoring in the actual cost of nuclear, after all the subsidies and insurance the government provides. You could also look at it as an investment, like building a particle accelerator that may not necessarily generate big profits directly but will let you develop technology that does. Wind is already a big industry, and if you want in on the ground floor you better hurry.

Just Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42433077)

The US Congress is just pathetic. The only way they feel better about themselves is if they can oppose the other party and prevent them from anything that may seem even remotely like a victory.

These clowns couldn't decide on what to have for lunch at a buffet. We.are.doomed.

Re:Just Pathetic (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#42433177)

The US Congress is just pathetic.

A perfect reflection of the people that voted for them. What's to complain about?

Re:Just Pathetic (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#42433295)

A perfect reflection of the people that voted for them.

Actually, it demonstrably isn't. Some reasons why:
1. Gerrymandering. For example, the party that got the most votes won't hold the most seats in Congress come the next term.
2. This is a lame duck session. So it's actually a reflection of the electorate from 2 years ago, not the current electorate.
3. The "money primary", where candidates must impress potential donors to even have a chance of impressing the electorate, ensures that proposals that might hurt large donors are never even considered.

There are many opinions widely held by the American public that are nowhere near actually getting through Congress. For instance, a majority of Americans would approve the federal legalization of marijuana, but such a proposal has never even come close to getting a floor vote in Congress.

Marijuana legalization? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42433779)

I'm in favor of it, but given that outright legalization failed in California, your idea that the nation as a whole would approve it seems misplaced.

Re:Marijuana legalization? Really? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#42434173)

Outright legalization failed in CA because it wouldn't have changed the federal situation while simultaneously making it illegal to make a profit growing or selling pot in CA.

The only legal form of pot growing operation under the new law would certainly have drawn the DEA. Hence it made all growing impractical if staying out of federal prison was on your todo list.

Re:Just Pathetic (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about a year ago | (#42433781)

Let's not forget that Democrats gerrymander too [tnr.com]. Maryland is the Texas of the Mid-Atlantic when it comes to gerrymandering and quashing dissenting viewpoints.

Re:Just Pathetic (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#42434371)

That doesn't invalidate my first point in any way whatsoever.

Pretend there is a country with 2 political parties, one called the Snoods and the other called the Whelks, who are being elected to fill a 435-seat Congress. In the last election, 50.3% of the public voted for Snoods, and 49.7% voted for Whelks. If the representation had matched the popular vote, that would have meant that there would be 219 Snoods and 216 Whelks. But in fact, thanks to gerrymandering, there are 201 Snoods and 234 Whelks, meaning that there's an 18-seat discrepancy between the voter's desires and who is actually seated in our Congress. And that makes Congress not representative, because it means that Congress will be trying to implement Whelk policy rather than Snood policy, even though the voters stated a slight preference for Snood policy.

And that argument holds true no matter whether "Snoods" actually means "Democrats" or "Republicans".

Re:Just Pathetic (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about a year ago | (#42434659)

I'm not trying to invalidate your point -- I'm pointing out that gerrymandering is gleefully done by both parties and without apology, not just the side who happens to have the most seats in Congress right now. It is important to note that BOTH parties gerrymander because since they do so, neither has any moral "high ground" to complain about it (and most of the bellyaching I hear about gerrymandering is from Democrats bitching about Texas). Guess what? It is a bipartisan problem. You called the Republicans to task in your example, and rightfully so. As a counter example, Annapolis couldn't get rid of Roscoe Bartlett -- a dissenting viewpoint for years -- and had to resort to gerrymandering (again) to do so -- for the second time. And so, to your point, 87.5% of our Congressman are now Democrats (much higher than the overall percentage of registered Democrats even in MD), and urban DC suburbs are shamefully lumped in with extremely rural Western Maryland. Obviously, because we have a democratic republic versus a true democracy, the actual representation will never exactly match the voter distribution. In politics today, one's "side" only complains when the chips don't fall their way. I can assure you that MD politicians are keeping a very low profile these days regarding gerrymandering, because they're as guilty of it as those in the most red parts of Texas.

Re:Just Pathetic (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#42435349)

For what it's worth, I'm neither a Democrat or Republican - I have no dog in that fight. In my view, the correct way to handle redistricting is something along the lines of shortest-splitline [rangevoting.org] or University of Illinois' mathematical districts [uillinois.edu].

Re:Just Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438383)

My solution is even better.

No districts. Proportional representation is the way to go.

Re:Just Pathetic (1)

sl149q (1537343) | about a year ago | (#42437075)

It can also mean that the support for the Snoods is very high in the 201 places where they where voted in and very low elsewhere so their (for sake of argument > 51% there and 49% respectively). The Whelks on the other hand had exactly 49.7 in all seats.

Of course this is exactly why the Whelks want to gerrymander. Get the Snoods all bunched up in a small number of seats so that you can then (with your overall support) carry a larger number of seats.

The moral of the story is that the party with the broadest support will carry more seats. You don't want to have very large numbers in one race if that means you have (proportionally to your opponent) less in other seats.

Re:Just Pathetic (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#42434619)

You reasons are why the voters are so pathetic that they depend on everything being spoon fed to them by mass media instead of seeking out a better person for the job. If they want congress to represent a different opinion, they have to vote for people that will do that and vote out those who don't. They have to learn to ignore the bling. It's pretty straightforward.

Re:Just Pathetic (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about a year ago | (#42435131)

I'm as concerned as the next guy about the effects of the "money primary" destroying the country, but you'll have to explain how legalization of marijuana would go against the interest of "big money". Next, I'd ask what you are smoking, but I think I have a hunch.

Re:Just Pathetic (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#42435251)

...you'll have to explain how legalization of marijuana would go against the interest of "big money".

Heh, prohibition has always been big business. All sorts of industries sprang up around it, private prisons being one of the bigger ones, and the smugglers themselves make enormous profits from it. They sure as hell don't want legalized weed. Then there's the alcohol and to a smaller extent the pharmaceutical industries. They would lose a lot of business. And the stuff makes pretty good bio-fuel. Don't want to step on big oil's toes. Paper and logging? Don't you dare!

We will know an "energy source" is worth a damn (1)

Scareduck (177470) | about a year ago | (#42433113)

when politicians seek to tax them.

Re:We will know an "energy source" is worth a damn (2)

hey! (33014) | about a year ago | (#42433501)

Wind power is and will be taxed like any other income. They're getting a break up front on capital expenses because policymakers have reasons other than private profitability to have secure domestic sources of energy.

The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

stox (131684) | about a year ago | (#42433127)

has become the US Congress. Never have I seen so many get paid so much to do so little. They better wake up soon, otherwise a torch bearing mob may did it for them.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#42433161)

Worry not for them, there's already FBI+DHS+police+banksters infiltrating that torch bearing mob.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (3, Insightful)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | about a year ago | (#42433347)

With their own torches that they'll use to set fire to stuff, so they'll have an excuse to arrest the lot.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42433321)

has become the US Congress. Never have I seen so many get paid so much to do so little. They better wake up soon, otherwise a torch bearing mob may did it for them.

As a foreign having lived in USA for a some time now, I see a lot of bitching and moaning about the government. On Facebook (yeah, I'm on FB so shoot me. Makes it easier to keep in touch with family sometimes) I see some many propaganda posts that seems to "yell" a lot against the government. But yet, when I suggest the poster to do something instead of spread FUD, it always seem it ends there. And yeah, the one "torch bearing mob" not long ago against the banks surely had much affect, didn't it? And I doubt it ever will, even with "the second amendment" as your backup. And you can say "but you should had voted this or that person in instead." Doubt that will help either, since power is power and they are all humans like you and I. So when they get voted in the carrots presented are just that much better tasting than what they campaigned about.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year ago | (#42433467)

Welcome to America, where our government has taken out our will by giving us the internet and constantly attacking our Constitution. The few of us willing to stand up against them are being systematically weakened as the number of lost souls increase and people are becoming more concerned with safety than their rights. The power of the people has become the power of who's got the most money these days.

The second amendment is currently under fire thanks to the Newtown shooting and the Christmas Eve firefighter death. The NRA, while firm in their beliefs, are just barely able to hold out. While they stock up on guns, they eventually will give them up because they are law-abiding citizens. Even Texas, who firmly believe in the Constitution have lost their will to actually pull off a secession.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (4, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#42433895)

If the "torch-bearing mob" you're referring to was Occupy Wall Street, they didn't have any torches or pitchforks, they had signs and chants and meetings which clearly presented no physical threat to the banks. The New York police responded to them by:
- pepper-spraying them for the heinous crime of walking down a sidewalk
- beating them with batons
- In one case, running a guy over with a motorcycle, arresting him for being in the way, and then denying medical treatment of his broken leg
- Pushing them into the street and then arresting them for jaywalking
- In policing a planned march over the Brooklyn bridge, waited until as many as possible were on the bridge, then blocked both exits and arresting everyone in between
- Put an end to the protest by barging in at 3 AM to a public park, beating and kicking the sleeping people who didn't move fast enough, and destroying all the personal property that they could get their hands on
- In the aftermath, some of the people known to have been protesting were fired from their jobs

So that's why people avoid protest movements in the US: If it has a chance of changing something, it will be violently suppressed. In one of the related protests in other cities, the police repeatedly pepper-sprayed an 82-year-old woman who hadn't gotten out of the way fast enough, and ended up killing an Iraq War veteran (probably accidentally, but still).

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42434319)

Yeah, why I had "torch bearing mob" in quotes, since it really wasn't and yet still got met with the force it did.

And this is also why the 2nd amendment will do Americans no good. The military will just takes orders from someone at the top, and they seems to be a lot better equipped than the common man. Even tho in the news I did see rocket launchers were turned in in LA :) Still limited arsenal

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#42434627)

were you at OWS? I was there a number of times, While the cops went voerboard in some areas, in others they didnt do enough.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42435281)

Not trolling, but I'm wondering whether in the areas where "they didn't do enough", the problems were caused by police and people friendly to the police pretending to be part of OWS, stir up a ton of crap, and get the entire movement in that area in trouble. This has been proven to have occured, I'm not bothering to google it for you though.

So maybe those provocateurs were just ones that were unwilling to be manhandled by the police for their services, and the police had to just let them finish their thing as part of the agreement.


Spain G4 Summit and Indymedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42437179)

These are the google keywords that will show you that the above poster's recollection is correct.

Short version: photos of violent protestors were taken by people protesting the G4 summit because these people throwing rocks etc were undercover policemen starting riots so the uniforms can come in and close it all down. The Spanish police demanded the photos be removed because they could put police officers at risk WHILST ALSO maintaining that these were not police officers.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

readin (838620) | about a year ago | (#42434363)

We had a group that was concerned and willing to hit the streets to demonstrate. But they weren't a "torch bearing mob" they were responsible citizens. However they were largely conservative in their outlook - wanting a reduction in spending and a reduction in taxes - so they had to be stopped! The pen is mightier than the sword and lies are far more effective than fire-hoses, so the Tea Party was immediately mis-portrayed as a bunch of racists. Now the name has generally become toxic, only mentioned for the purpose discrediting them and the responsible government they stood for.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

- The Hollow Men

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (2)

kybred (795293) | about a year ago | (#42433339)

has become the US Congress. Never have I seen so many get paid so much to do so little. They better wake up soon, otherwise a torch bearing mob may did it for them.

We need to push them off the physical cliff!

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (0)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#42433517)

No, the enemy is the Republican majority in the House and their filibuster-abusing minority in the Senate.

The Dems have their problems (and they are legion) but they're nothing like the GOP.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

JWW (79176) | about a year ago | (#42433633)

I can agree with you about the Republican Majority in the house being a problem, but the problem in the Senate is Harry Reid and the Senate leadership. There is no excuse for the Senate not passing budgets anymore, that blame falls at Harry's feet.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (2)

Binestar (28861) | about a year ago | (#42433739)

Senate can't vote on a budget until the house gives them one. If they don't like what the house delivers is doesn't pass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Section_7 [wikipedia.org]

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42434217)

Why is this modded up?

Yes, the Senate cannot legally originate a budget. But they can at the very least vote on the ones coming from the House, and they sure as hell can work with the House in coming up with a budget.

But as this fiscal cliff nonsense shows, Democrats are incapable of seriously negotiating with Republicans, and therefore refuse to work with Republicans in getting a useful budget passed that would reduce some of the ridiculous entitlement spending we're saddled with.

So, yes, the Senate can't create a budget. But it sure as hell can act on the budgets it's being given.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year ago | (#42434463)

Didn't it show that republicans can't even seriously negotiate with other republicans? The democrats at least haven't (as far as I know) rejected proposals from their own side.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#42434653)

no it does not show that in fact. If reid allowed a vote on the bills passed by the house, and they still didnt get it then you would be correct

what HAS happpened however is that reid had a vote on the presidents plan for a budget, it did not get a single vote in the senate. So while you may not know of the democrats rejecting proposals, they are in fact the only ones being rejected from within their own party.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (2)

celle (906675) | about a year ago | (#42437253)

"Democrats are incapable of seriously negotiating with Republicans,"

      That because for the last several terms the republicans haven't been negotiating, just dictating. The only bills that have passed the house have been political bills written to kiss ass to their base electorate(or strategic attempts to embarrass the president) knowing full well that the democrats won't touch them. Fact is the democrats are fed up with their bullshit and have the last election to support their view. Until the republicans are willing to negotiate in good faith(not my way or the hi-way) very little is going to get done.

      The republicans declared war on Obama before he was even in office. They barely acknowledged he was elected. And have systematically been compromising the government trying to get rid of him ever since. The republicans job was to run the country until the next election cycle. Instead they've spent most of their energy trying to embarrass the president. What do you call trying to unseat a legally elected and legally operating president during his term in office? /observation and a conclusion that already been done once with Bill Clinton.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

readin (838620) | about a year ago | (#42434257)

The Ryan budget passed the House in March. The Senate refused to vote on it for 2 months. Then when they saw in an off-cycle election that part of the plan (reforming medicare) could be successfully attacked, they decided to vote on it just so the could use it to attack the Republicans. The Democrat controlled Senate also voted down the Obama plan (97-0). The Democrats also voted down a budget offered by Toomey and passed by the House.
http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/219093-paul-ryan-budget-passes-house-with-ten-republican-defections [thehill.com]
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/163307-senate-votes-down-ryan-budget-medicare- [thehill.com]
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55721.html [politico.com]

If it were simply a matter of not liking the bills being offered, they could simply hold the vote and go on record as rejecting them. But they have refused to vote on budgets because they didn't want to be on record.

The Constitution, as you point, puts the power of the purse in the House (part of the deal that set up the bicameral legislature). It's not unlike the Senate having to approve Presidential appointments. And just like with Presidential appointments, the Senate is really just supposed to filter out the total crap - not try to micromanage the final product.

The last time the Senate passed a budget was April 2009. Even before the Republicans controlled the House the Democrats couldn't pass a budget. They were supposed to pass a budget before the 111th congress ended in 2010 but failed despite controlling the House, Senate, and Presidency.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#42434637)

true, however the house has passed bill after bill after bill that the leaders in congress(reid - democrat) wont even bring it up for a vote.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (2)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#42437293)

Because the Ryan budget is a joke. It's a thumb in the eye that won't even solve the budget shortfalls.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#42445675)

not the point, if its a joke, vote on it, at least the house TRIED and PASSED a bill, the senate (democrats) wont even vote, THAT is what is a joke

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#42446843)

There's no point even voting on it, since it won't pass. That's called a "waste of time", much like the House voting to pass it thirty-odd times when they knew every time that it wouldn't pass the Senate or the White House. It's a joke, and it's on us.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#42447723)

the joke is on americans that we can agree on, i blame the senate who wont allow a vote on a budget however

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#42433791)

I think I'd rather pay them more to do even less. Seems like most of the problems come from when they do just about anything.

Re:The biggest enemy to our economy (1)

readin (838620) | about a year ago | (#42434069)

I think Congress has to share that title with the President. On the rare occasion that Congress begins to do something useful the President threatens to veto it.

There is no cliff (2)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about a year ago | (#42433335)

It's just another made-up name to mislead and / or scare the bejeezus out of people. Just like PATRIOT Act (patriot == good, cliff == bad). The world will still be here tomorrow no matter what happens.

Re:There is no cliff (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#42433453)

Yes, I agree. Sequestration is the more accurate term that was used when the idea was first proposed.

However: the 24 hour media engine needs it's narrative, both major parties need something that "went wrong" that can conveniently be blamed on the other, and the wealthy really want to keep their excessively low effective tax rates(not that we're fixing capital gains). This stupid "emergency" is a natural consequence of a bunch of people with something to gain.

That is not to say the particulars of the "debate" are all completely OK. For example, those in congress who wish block the debt ceiling again can indeed crash the bond market, if they push it too far.

Re:There is no cliff (1)

na1led (1030470) | about a year ago | (#42433571)

Yea, what's funny is the way they use the term. We go off the fiscal cliff Jan. 1, but it maybe temporary if lawmakers can intervene. So what, we fall off the cliff, but we levitate only partway down?

Re:There is no cliff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42433665)

We allegedly survived the Mayan Apocalypse on 12/21.

This whole cliff thing is starting to seem like another bust.

Will Paul Ryan toss even one granny off some fiscal cliff? Nope.

It seems like such a letdown.

Re:There is no cliff (1)

celle (906675) | about a year ago | (#42437483)

"It's just another made-up name to mislead and / or scare the bejeezus out of people. "

      All the cliff is is the resumption of normal tax rates before 2002 that the reductions of same were supposed to be very temporary to alleviate problems at the time, not go on for decades and the damage that it has caused. The spending cuts are just to make up for the overspending for two unwanted wars and contractor corruption running parallel to them without raising taxes to pay for it. Never mind that conditions have changed in the world and we don't need to spend so much anymore except to line the pockets of congressman and/or their parties.

Re:There is no cliff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439561)

...two unwanted wars...
While you're right about Iraq, most Americans were in favor of the Afghan invasion. It wasn't until the public realized we'd have to clean up the mess we made that they turned against it. Smashing everything and then leaving would have made no strategic difference in the long-run.

Are UK and US wind turbines the same? (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about a year ago | (#42434075)

Could be a problem........

From The Telegraph:

"Wind farm turbines wear sooner than expected, says study

The analysis of almost 3,000 onshore wind turbines — the biggest study of its kind —warns that they will continue to generate electricity effectively for just 12 to 15 years.
The wind energy industry and the Government base all their calculations on turbines enjoying a lifespan of 20 to 25 years.
The study estimates that routine wear and tear will more than double the cost of electricity being produced by wind farms in the next decade."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9770837/Wind-farm-turbines-wear-sooner-than-expected-says-study.html [telegraph.co.uk]

Re:Are UK and US wind turbines the same? (3, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | about a year ago | (#42434231)

http://www.ewea.org/blog/2012/12/study-on-turbine-lifespan-just-more-anti-wind-propaganda/ [ewea.org]

The report (link to report proper is in the page linked above) was put together by "The Global Warming Policy Foundation" - a known organization of AGW denialists. It speaks volumes that the only sites that reference the report as an authoritative source are other AGW-denying blogs and websites. Combined with the fact that the report you cite flies contrary to dozens of other reports and technical analyses, you should be really quite suspicious about an ulterior agenda.

Re:Are UK and US wind turbines the same? (1)

budgenator (254554) | about a year ago | (#42437449)

Oh yes it's obvious because we all know that wind turbines are really were so great they don't need all of that corporate welfare to operate profitably; oh wait they do, realy businessmen won't even build them without a government bribery.

Re:Are UK and US wind turbines the same? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438521)

Businesses won't drill for oil or mine coal either, unless the government is cozy with them too.

Just ask the petrol companies how much the US military operations in the Persian Gulf cost.

John Deere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42434301)

Problem is these large MW turbines just don't work nice in real life. Think it was John Deere Renewables who installed a site in the Midwest then removed the site because of environmental concerns downwind.

Congress Struggles? HA! (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#42434327)

They are not struggling over anything. It's just a big Dick waving contest. With the largest Penis, Mister Speaker of the house, Boner him self, causing most of the problems.

I'd rather deal with fiscal cliff (0)

sageres (561626) | about a year ago | (#42434737)

than see Obama administration blow the money into the air in order to pay-off their political base by diverting the United States investment on the failed bankrupted green-energy companies such as Solyndra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra) and many others. If the energy source is non-viable economically and market can not support it -- let it die.

Re:I'd rather deal with fiscal cliff (1)

celle (906675) | about a year ago | (#42437665)

" failed bankrupted green-energy companies such as Solyndra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra) and many others. If the energy source is non-viable economically and market can not support it"

      You do know Solyndra and many of the other failed companies were started under Bush right? Executive corruption and Chinese dumping on our markets sunk them more than any mistakes by the Obama administration. Economic viability means very little in a monopolistic market where small players get crushed by massive heavily subsidized government manipulating monopolistic jugernauts that had their start when there was barely any competition or market to speak of. Until we actually have a "free market" start-ups will have to be subsidized heavily just to even have a chance. That means there will be failures, nature of the beast.

      I remember when President Carter tried to get synthetic fuel research and production off the ground. The oil companies and various others gave it lip service than sank it at the first opportunity.

Re:I'd rather deal with fiscal cliff (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#42438737)

People like to make a big deal of of Soklyndra but the failure rate of these government supported green companies is actually quite small: http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/22/news/economy/obama-energy-bankruptcies/index.html [cnn.com]

Also, the reason Solyndra went belly-up is because China started their own initiative and dumped $4 billion into solar panel development, which they then dumped on the market for dirt cheap. And by dirt cheap, they went from $400/kg to $40/kg in three years time.

In short, we're not just competing with companies in other countries; we're competing with the countries themselves. How many markets are you will to surrender to China?

most of the good spots have been taken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42436555)

Industrial 1+ MW wind turbines have been available in America since 2000. All of the good wind sites near population centers are logically the first to get wind turbines. Farther away locations, offshore, and less windy places will come later. There are only so many good windy sites to go around. Denmark, which is in a very windy location, gets ~20% of its electricity from wind. Germany gets ~8 percent. I wouldn't be surprised to see America stop to 2-3%.

I would like to thank California, Denmark, and later Germany, for financing the early development of 1+ MW industrial wind turbines.

Windmills not worth it is what this means. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42437267)

For the love of God, let it expire and don't give it again. so much wasted money just so we pay more for energy. Have to add in the cost per watt, then add in the cost of less taxes gathered, then add in the interest we are paying on that debt. All because scientists think we are causing global warming, but can't prove it.

Wind Power Fiscal Cliff Race Over for Time Being (1)

Jerome from Layton (1930180) | about a year ago | (#42448007)

The House passed the "Fiscal Cliff" bill that included, among other things, an extension on Wind and Solar Power support. So, they've got another year to pick my pockets. By the way, on a local level, wind power can work. However, the best application may not be electrical generation. Those windmills can power air compressors and compressed air can be stored indefinitely. They also produce distilled water as a byproduct. The neat thing is that it is scalable. As finances permit, tanks and windmills can be added to the system.
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