In the Pipeline: 7/8/13

A fitting and ironic end. Unfortunately, the damage done by the peak oil disciples will not be unwound quite so abruptly. The Oil Drum (7/3/13) reports: “A few weeks ago the ISEOF board (The Institute for Energy and Our Future that facilitates The Oil Drum), Euan, Super G, JoulesBurn, and Myself, met to discuss the future of The Oil Drum. A discussion we have had several times in the last year, due to scarcity of new content caused by a dwindling number of contributors. Despite our best efforts to fill this gap we have not been able to significantly improve the flow of high quality articles. Because of this and the high expense of running the site, the board has unanimously decided that the best course of action is to convert the site to a static archive of previously published material as of 31st July 2013.”

I mean, what could go wrong? Investors Business Daily (7/5/13) reports: “In a seemingly innocuous revision of its Energy Star efficiency requirements announced June 27, the Environmental Protection Agency included an ‘optional’ requirement for a ‘smart-grid’ connection for customers to electronically connect their refrigerators or freezers with a utility provider. The feature lets the utility provider regulate the appliances’ power consumption, ‘including curtailing operations during more expensive peak-demand times.’ So far, manufacturers are not required to include the feature, only ‘encouraged,’ and consumers must still give permission to turn it on. But with the Obama administration’s renewed focus on fighting mythical climate change, we expect it to become mandatory to save the planet from the perils of keeping your beer too cold.”

We knew the folks across the pond had issues 237 years ago, but they still haven’t figured things out yet. Bloomberg (6/27/13) reports: “The U.K. will pay offshore wind developers triple the market price for electricity they generate under a subsidy program to boost renewable energy that by 2020 will cost consumers 7.6 billion pounds ($11.6 billion) a year. The Department of Energy also detailed rates paid for solar, hydropower, biomass conversion and onshore wind farms as well as boosting to 3.8 billion pounds the capitalization of its Green Investment Bank. The Treasury will guarantee debts for building a new nuclear station. The measures are part of an effort by Prime Minister David Cameron to lure 110 billion pounds for new power plants by the end of the decade. Offshore wind and nuclear reactors are at the heart of the plan to replace aging power plants and cut pollution from fossil fuels. The nation’s biggest utilities have yet to pledge enough funding to reduce the risk of blackouts.”

The $2.3 million grant from taxpayers couldn’t save them from them from the realities of the market. The Missoulian (7/4/13) reports: “Hoku Corp., the parent company of a polysilicon manufacturing plant in eastern Idaho, has filed for bankruptcy in Pocatello federal court, reporting debt at nearly $1 billion. Hoku, which owns Hoku Materials, made the Chapter 7 filing Tuesday, the Idaho State Journal reported. Hoku Materials started building the $700 million plant five years ago as interest in solar energy grew and polysilicon prices rose. The company said it would to bring hundreds of higher paying jobs to Pocatello. But then polysilicon prices began to plummet. The company’s financial woes came to light about a year ago, when it announced $14.4 million in cash and assets, and $278.8 million in liabilities, and it laid off 100 employees. Honolulu-based Hoku announced it was delisting its stock from Nasdaq last year.”

We’re no opponents of wealth but with a $7 million yacht, a $4 million estate in Pennsylvania, a $7 million Beacon Hill townhome, a $9 million beachside Nantucket home, a $5 million ski house in Idaho, and a $5 million home in Georgetown, Sec. Kerry should see to the log in his eye before telling us to “undergo mandatory lifestyle cutbacks to prevent CO2-induced bad weather” US News (7/5/13) reports: “Secretary of State John Kerry was aboard his 76-foot yacht for the 4th of July amid the on-going political tumult in Egypt, a spokeswoman for the State Department confirmed Friday, reversing a previous statement she had made. Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for the state department, had saidWednesday ‘any report or tweet that [Kerry] was on a boat is completely inaccurate,’ in response to a claim by a CBS News producer that Kerry was in Nantucket on his boat ‘Isabel.’ Kerry, a long-time Massachusetts senator and husband to billionairess Teresa Heinz Kerry, received criticism during his 2004 presidential campaign for living a seemingly out-of-touch lifestyle.”

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