Want you do the Illinois residents a favor? Talk to Mr. Zilkha.
Watching this FutureGen 2.0 drama playout is just too painful. FutureGen1.0 death was painful enough. So many people do not want to see "clean" coal succeed. I'm just tired of hearing about it with the politics at the state and federal. It's a slow playing drama and it's going nowhere. Skelly, we know you are well aware about FutureGen 2.0. How about pitching FutureGen 3.0 to Michael Zilkhs?
So here's what I propose. Michael Zilkha buys the old Ameren power plant in Meredosia, Illinois. Heck, Ameren is paying Dynegy to take their remaining Illinois coal plants. Zilkha could probably have the Meredosia plant for free, or be paid to to take it.
This FutureGen 2.0 isn't progressing to rapidly as a "clean" coal operation. By now, people are probably searching for an exit strategy for the FuterGen 2.0 plant is on the Illinois River.
Why not Zilkha buy the plant on the cheap and instead of "clean" coal, run the plant on Zilkha Biomass black pellets and oxygen? Show the world how Zilkha Biomass black pellets can run a plant efficiently and competitively. Zilkha's managerial abilities can turn this project around. Sending barges of black pellets around and up the Mississippi River should be fairly cost effective. Transportation costs should be heck of a lot cheaper than sending black pellets to Maine, Hawaii, of Europe.
Scrap the pipeline idea and pumping the CO2 into the ground. No one really wants to live near that potential contamination.
Future 1.0 was too expensive and the artistic vision of a "clean" coal plant was a bit George Jetson futuristic.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Well this is an interesting piece of propaganda ca-ca wiping material from the Sioux City Journal.
How many Wind Energy projects are planning to be built in O’Brien County Iowa? According to the “author”, there is going to be so much economic development in O’Brien County there will be a housing shortage. Economic development will abound throughout the county.
Lets do the math here.
1 . MidAmerica Energy is putting up 218 turbines on 70,000 acres plus the MISO MVP projects in Northern Iowa. RICL wants to put a powerline into O’Brien County with the implication of more wind farms in O’Brien. No plan has been made how this HVDC powerline will be fed.
2. Eurus Energy allegedly is planning more wind farms.
3. Invenergy is working on a wind project in O’Brien.
4. Duke ATC wants to put in a HVDC powerline into O’Brien County.
The “author” actually states in bold block print;
“THOUSANDS OF WORKERS MAY BE NEEDED.”
That’s the exact quote from the article. This article is written like a bad movie script. Promises of economic development. Promises of jobs. Promises of changing a dying community. O’Brien County will become a Promised Land of wind energy jobs. How many of these promises are empty and hollow? Was the “author” of this article coached by a public relations firm? It just reads like rosy propaganda from a company attempting to sell a community on a corporate project.
The big thing the “author” of this article or any assistance given to the “author” misses is that as Illinois residents, we do not want Iowa surplus wind energy shoved down our throats. There is no demand for this wind energy. So there is a supply of wind blowing in Northwestern Iowa. There is no demand for it, and that’s what makes these empty promises sound as hollow as an empty shell company. In Illinois, there is a surplus of energy, regardless of form. Illinois doesn’t need this energy. It doesn’t matter if energy is delivered from the Rock Island Clean Line or the proposed Duke ATC high voltage direct current project from Northwestern Iowa, this energy is not needed or wanted.
That’s what makes these propaganda promises phony. Wind energy plus transmission from Iowa is not cheaper than existing generation in Illinois. There is a wind farm in Illinois going bankrupt. It’s not because the wind blows less here. It’s because wind energy companies are struggling to make a profit with so much supply and demand not increasing. Coal generation is losing money. Nuclear generation is considering closing two stations in Illinois. Illinois could lose 1,600 jobs and over 20 million dollars in tax revenue. Why would we want to buy wind energy at a higher price for higher price from O’Brien County Iowa? With projects “planned” by companies, how many are willing to execute their plans under current economic conditions?
That’s not going to happen. When supporters of the Rock Island Clean Line fail to answer is a simple question. How much will this wind energy from Iowa cost?
If wind transmission supporter refuse to answer this simple question, how safe of an investment is this for O’Brien County residents?
One more quote from the Souix City Journal was found interesting.
A smaller vocal group of landowners is opposed to the Rock Island Clean Line. Critics fear Iowa's eminent domain law for utilities would allow Clean Line to force a sale and easement even if the landowners aren’t willing to sell.”
“A smaller vocal group of landowners”? Where exactly does the “author” of this article get his information? How much smaller than who or what are we referring to here? Does the “author” have any guess how “small” an organization might be? Is this being measured by acreage or individuals? If the “author” of this article would take the time, I am willing to guess a membership size could be found through the Illinois Commerce Commission filings for the Rock Island Clean Line. Here’s a suggestion for the “author” of this article. Maybe contact the opposition group and find out just how the Rock Island Clean Line is fairing in their Illinois application.
By the way, why is it no one can post comments to this Sioux City Journal article online? Seriously. Several people have tried and all have failed. Maybe it’s an “internet malfunction”. Coincidence? Strange no attempt was made to contact those who oppose the transmission Rock Island Clean Line project from O’Brien to Illinois. Multiple contacts can be found favoring the Iowa Wind Energy Association and the Rock Island Clean Line, but the “author” couldn’t find one reference for the Other Side of Clean Line Energy? Biased Journalism? Can you even call this journalism?
To a Midwesterner, this is probably one of the most bizarre stories about Clean Line Energy Investor. Like most good billionaires, Michael Zilkha has a philanthropic side. He supports the Turtle Conservancy. Actually Michael Zilkha is on the board of the Turtle Conservancy. Surely the Turtle Conservancy does some good deeds as an advocate of all turtles great and small. Without a question turtles, like many bird or bat species, need protection. Like eagles, turtles can be rare and exotic. This is not a knock on turtles or their advocacy.
What makes this story odd is the sociology of the .1% of society and the media that covers such socialites. It appears Michael Zilkha is a co-host of the Turtle Ball, a New York City hotel fund raiser for the Turtle Conservancy. Last week was the second annual Turtle Ball. Last year was the inaugural ball. Vanity Fair covered last week’s ball. A British tabloid also covered the Turtle Ball. For those who might have missed it, here’s some pics of the Turtle Ball. As one looks at these pictures more and more, one gets the sense New York City socialites live in a strange fairy tale land. Perhaps, Zilkha and the other organizers of the Turtle Ball have a knack for exploiting this part of society for fund raising.
Looking at the pictures and the Facebook pages. It is quite the party. Zilkha deserves some credit. He knows how to throw a good party with New York City social elites, B List “stars” and artists. How many of these people are actually passionate about turtle or how many are here because it’s a good time and potentially good for a struggling career?
Here’s a quote from the Vanity Fair article.
“I’ve seen sea turtles in the wild. I went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef,” she said, although her closest encounter with turtles was much closer to home. “I owned two from Chinatown, who lived far longer than they were supposed to. Up until tonight, that was my part in turtle conservancy,” XXXXX said, laughing. “They are very old now, a lot bigger. They live with a family friend; when I went off to college, I had to leave them,” she said. “I bought them in Chinatown in L.A., for five dollars.”
Another guest was quoted as saying,
“I was in a movie called The Big Blue years ago, and my payment (that I asked for) was to go to where they were shooting the dolphins, and be able to swim with them,” said XXXXXX XXXXXX. “And then I got there, and the trainer wouldn’t let me swim with the dolphins, he was, like, a total dick. And so I snuck into the dolphin cage late at night, and they got out, and I just swam with them, on my own.”
After thinking about the shallowness of the guests to the Turtle Ball, consider the conservation practices of those who live in rural America. This last week a friend in Kansas posted pictures on Facebook. They had a newborn calf and because of the cold weather and other difficulties the calf was brought into the house.
Learning animal husbandry at the age of 4 on the kitchen floor trumps a Turtle Ball any day. I saw those pictures and yes, it reminded me of my childhood. There are few childhood memories that can be stronger as when Dad brought the calf inside. Just seeing someone else’s pictures and remembering my own experiences make me wonder just how common that is for a child growing up on a farm. I suspect a dad carrying the calf or lamb into the house in artic temperatures is more common childhood memory.
Just google “Calf in Kitchen” and look at the images. This is common. What does this have to do with Clean Line Energy? This is the lifestyle some of us are fighting to protect, the life style of rural America, the lifestyle we chose to live.
The Turtle Conservancy is also having an art auction as a fundraiser with online bidding. Michael Zilkha was interviewed about the art sale at Paddle8.com. Zilkha gives the basic advice about not buying art that doesn’t move or inspire the buyer. He also talks about some of his favorite first edition books in his collection. Zilkha might have learned about art from New York City, London,
and Paris, but he doesn’t know about Midwest Art.
A one owner IH 1066 with 725 hours, now that’s a piece of art. A 1972 John Deere 4020 with one owner 4180 hours sold for $30,000. That is something to appreciate. I remember watching an adjustable wide front John Deere 530 sell. It was one of the last 2 cylinders sold before the 10 Series. It was in beautiful condition and sold for over $5,500 twenty years ago. That was something a person could appreciate watching it sell at an auction. This is art and what some desire to preserve.
That reminds me, The Sublette Toy Tractor Show is coming up March 14th to the 16th. If you’re not It’s an art show like you’ve never seen before. The New York definition of “culture” and “art” is vastly different than ours. Their definition of “conservancy” is vastly different also. We are opposing Clean Line Energy for conservancy and maintaining our Midwestern sociology.doing anything, come on up to Lee County, Michael.
For a moment, lets talk in NYC environmental terms. How do you think the Rock Island Express, Grain Belt, and Plains & Eastern affects turtle conservancy Through the Midwest? Wet lands, swamps, and marshes, versus construction, stray current and voltage, how do turtles stand against these obstacles of progress for "clean" energy?
Thursday, February 27, 2014
I’ve been thinking. Maybe I have this all wrong. Maybe I need some imaginary friends too. Look how well it works for Clean Line Energy Partners.
I spent some time talking about this with Uncle Clep today. For an old out of date dinosaur, he had some good advice. Imaginary friends offer many benefits. Uncle Clep is old fashion, and sometimes doesn’t think thing through to the fullest but he explained imaginary friends can be a real resume builder. They offer legitimacy, especially if you’re looking to venture out into a new career you know nothing about.
Uncle Clep and I sat and ate some of his roasted grouse. We almost an Andy Griffith & Mayberry moment. Uncle Clep explained imaginary friends can however be complicated. First they have to be incorporated. This gives an imaginary friend legal rights, just like a living breathing person. Once your imaginary friend is incorporated, he needs a charitable side. Make the imaginary friend a 501(c)(4).
Maybe I haven’t thought this imaginary friend thing through all the way. As we ate his turtle soup, I told Uncle Clep this sounds complicated and expensive. He said it is both complicated and expensive, but if you want legitimacy and respect from the media, spending money on an imaginary friend is important.
About this time his old friends Boris Ricl and Jimmy Gbe-felty (the “G” is silent) came over. Back in the day, Uncle Clep, Boris Ricl, and Jimmy Gbe-felty (the “G” is silent) had this shell company scheme to develop a chain of fried prairie chicken restaurants across the Midwest. Their speculation project never did get past the business plan stage. They had hoped to sell their fried prairie chicken project to a real restaurant franchise with actual restaurants and for real customers, but that never happened.
Together, Uncle Clep, Ricl, and Gbe-felty (the “G” is silent) had some great ideas on creating a successful imaginary friend. A complete social media package is key. Web site, Facebook page, and Twitter account are important. Boris Ricl said the combination is what gives the imaginary friend legitimacy. The complete social media package gives an imaginary friend a heart, soul, and just enough illusion of a brain.
It took a while to understand, but Jimmy Gbe-felty (the “G” is silent) explained it best. The complete social media package provides the imaginary friend enough of a background and cross reference material to make people believe the friend is for real. I asked what about a blog. Jimmy Gbe-felty discouraged the blog as unnecessary substance. You don’t want to give your imaginary friend too much of an opinion.
When asked about just buying one of those existing imaginary-friend-for-hire, Boris Ricl said those really get expensive. They keep coming back and wanting more money, but never really become the imaginary friend you want them to be. It’s better to just find a good public relations firm who works extensively with politician and pay them to create your custom made imaginary friend with a complete social media package.
Boris Ricl went on to explain if your hair looks like it was combed with an egg beater and you spit when you talk, a person can still score a good job if you let your imaginary friend speak for you. Once you get the job, ditch the imaginary friend. Pretend he never existed.
Perhaps Uncle Clep, Boris Ricl, and Jimmy Gbe-felty are old, move at the speed of dinosaurs, and one of them has a tendency to spit when he talks. They do know a thing about developing an imaginary friend to create a successful shell company with someone else’s money.