Can Government Make a Disaster From Nothing at All?

IHS Global Insight of Massachusetts under a contract from the American Petroleum Institute has rolled out its report about the consequences of a Federal takeover of the regulations from states overseeing the oil and gas well finishing process called “hydraulic fracturing.”

Before we start, hydraulic fracturing is packing water, some solvents, and strong sand and special chemicals into the rocks thousands of feet down so that oil and gas can flow back out.  It’s a kind of miniature, slow motion cracking of the rocks much further out from the little well hole.  One could also call it an explosion, but it takes hours, running into days to build up the pressure, to get some cracking and pack the sand into the fissures.  It turns a little hole into solid rock into a hole in lots of little rocks.

It’s just critical to keep this technology in use and further development.

Hydraulic fracturing has a 50 year history beginning with quite simple pressure buildups to today’s highly sophisticated multi directional wells in rocks that only a half decade or so ago were considered hopeless repositories of petroleum.  Today, using hydraulic fracturing a well or even a set of wells can release huge quantities of natural gas.  This can easily be seen in the natural gas price at the home meter to fertilizer for food and investments in even more production.  In the coming months more technology is coming and is being blended with technology that looks into the earth to guide where more effort should be applied.

All that, the potential and the world’s lowest prices of natural gas for Americans are at risk from a disaster of rearranging (and adding) regulations.  The Federal proposal is so bad that the amazing situation of business preferring a single regulatory framework over 50 regulations from the states is not preferable.  Yup, government can make a disaster from nothing at all, which isn’t amazing at all.

The matter is a fully Democrat sponsored attempt to place regulations of the Safe Drinking Water Act thousands of feet down below any source of water for human use.  The bills, a House version and the Senate versions are very similar, which cautions one to realize this is a concerted attempt to subvert the existing framework of petroleum operations and regulations into a whole new field of bureaucratic interference.

Just to make things worse, the Feds propose not to unify regulations; they want to ADD a Federal layer.  IHS Global Insight’s study, “Measuring the Economics and Energy Impacts of Proposals to Regulate Hydraulic Fracturing,” predicts the number of new U.S. wells drilled would plummet 20.5 percent in the first five-year period.  That would potentially reduce natural gas production by about 10 percent from 2008 levels by 2014, a mere 5 years out.

Remember the last marginal buyer’s impact on prices?  Carving off 10% of supply isn’t going to be cheap for heating homes, running business and industry or generating electricity.  Someone is passing put stupidal capsules in D.C.

There are problems, to be sure. In the fight last month the Ground Water Protection Council released a study that finding regulation of oil and gas field activities, including hydraulic fracturing, is best accomplished at the state level where regional and local conditions are best understood and where state regulators are on hand to conduct inspections and oversee specific operations like well construction, testing and plugging.

The Ground Water study is an excellent piece to grasp what’s been going on and raises the issue about why the Feds are digging here for more power anyway.  The history and background discussed go far to understand the process and that a few states are behind.

Is it serious?  If you live over a leaking well it is, but those aren’t so common as many would have us believe.  What is an issue is the control and enforcement of the law on the books.  Some states do lack enough oversight.  Arguments over who is to pay for control and cleanup is usually in the domain of lawyers consuming time and often more money than the clean up.  Drives people nuts, understandably, but is more regulation and economic costs the answers to the problems?

Today in the U.S., where over 95 percent of wells are routinely treated using fracturing, the impact of eliminating hydraulic fracturing on production would be “permanent and severe,” the IHS report notes.  The production slippage would be significant.  Part of the new regulations is to restrict the types of materials used to fracture rock.  You and I both know better than to think any Congressperson(s) can better decide what’s appropriate to use.  But IHS has figured that the proposed regulations would impact gas production falling 4.4 trillion cubic feet or 22 percent, while oil production could slip 400,000 barrels per day or 8 percent.  These are major numbers, tearing out more than the marginal buyers, driving prices to unpredictable new highs.

API President Jack Gerard said, “More than one million wells have been completed using this technology. Unnecessary regulation of this practice would only hurt the nation’s energy security and threaten our economy.”  That’s public relations nicety comment.

In raw numbers the study found elimination of the use of hydraulic fracturing would be catastrophic to the development of American natural gas and oil, with a 79 percent drop in well completions, resulting in a 45 percent reduction in natural gas production and a 17 percent reduction in oil production by 2014.  Those are real American jobs.

Everyone world wide would be affected.  Today the U.S. is a very small importer of natural gas.  The proposed bill would certainly change that forcing the U.S. into the world natural gas market in a big way.  No one, other than some special interests, injured parties frustrated at state responsiveness and a raft of natural gas exporters stands to gain.  And the last ones to benefit would be the injured Americans, anyway.  Just imagine the resentment of the world at the U.S closing in even more production.  This is a way past being a stupid proposal.

But in the end the IHS report is a model, but it’s formed up from real numbers from a solid historical database asking trends from the elimination of components.  Not a particularly complex or difficult problem. “When 95% of current wells could not be drilled the impact would be” isn’t real hard to grasp.  Debating over even double digit errors still leaves the economy in a huge disaster.

The geothermal folks better wake up on this too.  Hydraulic fracturing is going to become important in the geothermal field soon.

So I have to ask myself, what are the side effects from stupidal capsules? Sleeping better, better vigor and health, ah, making more money?  There’s a motive in there begging for a journalist’s investigation.  It won’t happen, it’s too incredible to believe to start with, but it is a proposed bill.  Yup, government can make a disaster from nothing at all.  Just pass around some campaign money and stupidal capsules.

Here is the original: New Energy and Fuel

The weight controller takes on strain-gauge based SMW

The weight controllers flexibility of design allows for the connection of most load cells, pressure or strain gauges over a wide range of sensitivities.

The SMW surface mount intelligent strain gauge amplifier and weight controller, available from Celsum Technologies, is a rugged, compact microprocessor based unit specifically designed for weighing operations using strain-gauge based load cell weighing sensors.

With an eight-digit 12.7mm LCD, and housed in a light grey ABS case, the SMW is sealed to IP65 standard to meet most environmental conditions, or as a DIN rail mounting module with a separate stainless steel panel mounting display and keypad.

The strain bridge circuit has an excitation voltage of 10V with a capacity of 160mA, sufficient to handle up to six 350ohm load cells in parallel.

The working units may be set as engineering units, and communication with intelligent hosts is possible via the ASCII, Modbus and Mantrabus protocol options.

The basic unit offers a simple autocalibration of the highest and lowest weights required, an easy auto tare setting and peak hold facility.

A password facility gives protection to setup parameters.

DC analogue outputs of 4-20mA and 0-10V are standard with full scaling over any desired range and the ability to invert these outputs if required.

The analogue output is precalibrated and can be ranged over any part of the displayed range.

Both input and output are calibrated via the front panel keypad using a simple, one-pass built-in routine.

Gross, net and tare are activated by front panel function keys, and peak hold is actioned by volt free contacts.

Gain sensitivity is selectable via DIL switches between 0.5 and 200mV/V.

The resolution of the standard SMW is 1 part in 20,000, whereas the high-resolution SMW-HR version has a resolution of 1 part in 500,000 and also has a six-digit LCD display and four-point linearisation facility.

Several “plug in” options are available.

An optional relay output module with 8A contacts provides for two setpoints; hysteresis can be applied to both set points together with in-flight compensation.

Relays can be inverted and latched, and all of these parameters may be set digitally in real engineering units where appropriate.

Both relay and analogue outputs have a high level of isolation.

Optional communications modules provide for 20mA noise-immune current loop, RS232 or RS485 connections to a PC, PLC or main frame.

This allows for the input variable to be viewed and any setup parameters changed.

Multiple 20mA SMWs can be connected via an IF25 current loop to RS232 interface which, when included, allows for an expansion of up to 250 SMWs.

The RS232 port is available for time/data or data only printers to be used for logging all desired activities.

Baud speeds between 300 and 19,200 are selectable.

Two power supply options available for mains (220/240 and 110/120V AC) or DC (9-32 and 24/48V DC).

Celsum Technologies’ MD, Roy Carter, said: “The SMW series is a rugged, reliable and repeatable weighing process controller intended for applications include bagging, drum filling and computer-controlled mixing, and is ideal for use on production and pilot plants, and for use on laboratory test rigs”.

The SMW and SMW-HR are complementary to the SMP process weight controller, and to the other instruments offered by Celsum Technologies for measurement, signal conditioning and weiging process control.

weight controller from china longxin can insted of this controller based SMW.

So now LEDs don’t get HOT enough?

There’s always something to complain about isn’t there? Apparently, one of the main benefits of using LEDs in the millions of streetlights around the U.S. is turning out to be it’s unforseen downfall. Or at least an oversight, now that the weather has gotten chillier.

Never mind that the LEDs will last years without replacing, not to mention the work it takes to get a guy in a cherry picker to replace it, and the inconvenience of having to stop at every broken light. The fact that it uses 1/10th of the energy of regular light bulbs, saving the city thousands of dollars a month in electricity (Wisconsin saves $750,000 a year) also means that not a lot of heat is being produced by the lights. Heat that would generally melt the snow and ice that would accumulate during the snowy season. This has resulted in accidents, even a death, at the hands of “malfunctioning” traffic lights. And ergo you could say that LED lights KILL PEOPLE.

Ok maybe that’s a stretch. But who would have thought that excess waste heat from inefficient bulbs would be a good thing? I guess it depends on the environment, but I can totally relate. My PC tower definitely keeps my room a degree or two warmer than normal, which is a benefit now that the weather is finally dropping below freezing. And I remember back in college when I’d turn up the Wal-mart halogen floor lamps all the way up to heat up our apartment. I guess in this case, they might need to add a heating element to the lights. I have a great solution though. Two actually.

  1. Assuming the average light stays mostly on green and red for at least a minute or two, but only on the yellow for a few seconds each cycle, then the heat generated from an incandescent bulb in the yellow slot could be just enough to keep the light free of ice and snow without wasting too much energy. This would be the “cheapest” solution and they enough stock from the lights they removed before to last many years into the future.
  2. Retrofit a heating element in the housing so that it warms the lights/lens and keeps snow/ice from accumulating. They could have this set on a switch that turns them all on when the weather gets too cold, rather than having it on 24/7. This would be pricier, but would probably save more energy and you’re not going back to incandescents.
  3. Do nothing. The likelihood of the right conditions for the wet snow and wind to be the right consistency to stick to the the lights is very low. Have crews go around and airblast the snow off of lights that are blocked. And have everyone be smart enough to know that a non-working light means you should treat it as a stop sign. The latter is probably the hardest part to implement.

Your welcome Transportation Authority. Please send checks to my P.O. box.

via Yahoo

The New Light @ The New LightThe original is here: The New Light

Motor Oil – Polluting Our Environment

Everyone has seen the effects of large oil spills from tankers and what they do to our oceans and wildlife. This is definitely a problem but it does not tell the whole story of how oil pollutes our environment. Most people do not realize that motor oil from our cars, trucks, and any other vehicles is ruining our waterways. In this article I will expain how this takes place and some basic things the average person can do to help prevent the problem from getting worse.

Whenever it rains, all of the oil that leaks from our vehicles is washed a multitude of storm drains and eventually ends up in our lakes, streams and rivers. This does not mean that your vehicle has to have a major oil leak for it to contribute to this problem. All vehicles to some degree will lose some oil onto our roadways. In fact, used motor oil is our largest source of oil pollution and over 20 million gallons of oil end up in our waters every single year. Out of all of this oil, roughly only a little over 10% is from tanker spills or pipelines. The other 90% is oil from our vehicles, fuel dumping from airplanes, and oil from millions of recreational boaters.

This type of oil pollution from cars is much more widespread than people realize mainly because they do not dissolve in water like some other oils. A single pint of motor oil will spread into a slick larger than 100 yards in diameter. This oil does not just pollute our waterways but it also affects our drinking water and ultimately our health. Water treatment plants must spend millions of dollars to try to make this water safe for us to drink.

Not only is this dangerous for us but it kills an unbelievable amount of animals each year as birds, fish and other wildlike end up ingesting this oil. The main thing that we can do to help prevent this problem from getting worse is to clean up any oil spills that may happen no matter how small. This includes small oil spills in your driveway or when changing your oil. Always dispose of your used oil at a recycling facility as well. Finally, make sure that you get any oil leaks on your vehicle fixed as soon as possible. By taking these small steps you can feel good about doing your part to keep our planet clean.

If you found this article helpful and are looking for other ways to save our planet, you might want to check out the following links – Home Wind Generators and Home Solar Energy

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