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March 09, 2021, 03:11:55 AM

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  What are the economic and political ramifications of the fracking boom?
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Author Topic: What are the economic and political ramifications of the fracking boom?  (Read 2496 times)
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snowguy716
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« on: August 09, 2013, 06:29:08 PM »

U.S. weekly oil production from 1992-Jan 2013


Actual and projected oil and natural gas production in the U.S. until 2012 and projected to 2014


Our biggest oil imports are from Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.  Mexico recently slipped into 4th place.  But even as such, imports from all countries are falling and reached a 17 year low in February.

I can't see how this is anything but great news for the U.S.  With continued efficiency improvements that are keeping fuel use growth very low or even negative, our fossil fuel production is surging unlike any time since the 1960s... the last time we had serious quality of life increases for most Americans.

Climate doom and gloomism aside, we're headed in the right direction.
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Link
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 06:50:23 PM »

Climate doom and gloomism aside, we're headed in the right direction.

Well natural gas is a bright spot because unless I'm wrong we aren't really exporting  that the way we are exporting refined gasoline so despite the wishes of big oil we may actually be able to keep the price of natural gas low.

Refined gasoline won't fall in price until we have exported enough to drop prices on the global market.  I am not an expert but I don't see that happening any time soon.  In fact we are the low cost producer of refined gasoline and export it to Mexico!  So yeah Michelle Bachmann's lunacy about $2 gas is plain idiocy.
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Clarko95
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 07:00:54 PM »

It will create jobs that actually pay pretty well, and generate billions in profit for energy companies. Communities(SP? I'm having problems today) based around them will be boom towns for the period of time the oil/gas flows, see a spike in population and crime due to transient workers, states will see increased revenues across the board.

It may not reduce gasoline prices at the pump so much as simply keep them stable, as this new supply just exceeds demand(someone check that).

Since this in concentrated in the Dakotas, Montana, Pennsylvania, Texas, etc. all Republican controlled states, lower unemployment and higher revenues will be used as evidence that pro-energy policies work and the GOP will be rewarded handsomely.

However, the Democrats will make their case with the environment as air and water pollution will most likely increase. Taking a completely anti-energy stance would get them killed at the polls, but  tepidly embracing it while pushing worker/enviro protections would help them.

Economically a boon for locals, workers, energy companies, and associated industries and politically for Republicans.
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Link
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 07:13:51 PM »

It may not reduce gasoline prices at the pump so much as simply keep them stable, as this new supply just exceeds demand(someone check that).

It won't.  Gasoline is easily sold on the global market and if it can be sold at a more expensive price in Mexico it will go there.    It really doesn't matter where the oil comes from.
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(CT) The Free North
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 07:21:43 PM »

I cant see how anything negative comes from this. It will help spur growth in many states that had seen little of it the past decade or so. Furthermore, it will weaken OPEC's monopoly on the global market, and will help us develop closer relations with Canada and Mexico.



I'm a firm believer that science and technology can solve so many of our problems, its just a matter of money and time.
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Joe Republic
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 07:31:45 PM »

I cant see how anything negative comes from this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LBjSXWQRV8
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Link
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 07:55:52 PM »

I cant see how anything negative comes from this.

I personally have never seen any complicated widely implemented technology that didn't have some negative aspects.  The internet?  Problems too numerous to name.  Cell phones?  Distracted driving.  Pouring Olympic pool size volumes of a witch's brew of chemicals at high pressure into the environment?  Yeah, it's conceivable that there may be one or too issues.

Quote
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http://www.nbcnews.com/science/fracking-energy-exploration-connected-earthquakes-say-studies-6C10604071

Doesn't mean it should be banned but saying there are no negative consequences sounds a little naive.
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snowguy716
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2013, 07:58:29 PM »



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Joe Republic
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2013, 08:07:49 PM »

What's your point?
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Link
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2013, 08:09:40 PM »


Maybe that it uses a lot of water?  That's what I got from that.
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snowguy716
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2013, 08:41:50 PM »

The point is that while we scream and yell and debate about shoulda coulda wouldas regarding fracking which takes place mostly in unpopulated areas of the plains...

The Southwest is literally drawing down their reservoirs as part of normal water usage now.  That is... the great drawdown has already begun

The reservoirs were put there to control the water and provide a buffer during droughts.  But the explosive growth this taming of the Colorado has afforded has come to an end.  The Southwest now uses more water than drains into the Colorado river.  So even in average precipitation years, lake levels at Lake Powell and Mead are dropping.

Regardless of manmade global warming, the Pacific ocean is in a phase that steers storms away from the SW and northern Mexico, instead shunting them up towards Alaska, BC, and the Pac NW.

The problem is the desert SW still wants to grow.  But it literally can't now.  You have hit peak water... and so now you have a fixed amount of water that needs to be divied up between more and more people as people move there.

A couple more dry winters like the last two... and it will reach crisis proportions.

And fracking will continue providing energy independence for America, despite a few people in PA being able to light their water on fire.
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snowguy716
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2013, 08:43:42 PM »
« Edited: August 09, 2013, 08:47:22 PM by Snowguy716 »

So my broad point was:  Worry about your own backyard first.

And actually the best point I can make is this:

People living in NV, AZ, or SoCal (or NM or west Texas or Colorado or Utah) should be supporting fracking heavily.

Because what is causing the drawdown of the reservoirs isn't actually water usage.  It's being drawn down to meet electricity demands.

If this continues for only a few more years, the amount of electricity will become limited by the limited water left in the reservoirs.  The flow of the Colorado might still be enough to quench the thirst of residents in the region... but you'll be increasingly relying on electricity powered by natural gas... which comes from, you guessed it... fracking.
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Indy Texas
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 09:16:34 PM »

Climate doom and gloomism aside, we're headed in the right direction.

Well natural gas is a bright spot because unless I'm wrong we aren't really exporting  that the way we are exporting refined gasoline so despite the wishes of big oil we may actually be able to keep the price of natural gas low.

Refined gasoline won't fall in price until we have exported enough to drop prices on the global market.  I am not an expert but I don't see that happening any time soon.  In fact we are the low cost producer of refined gasoline and export it to Mexico!  So yeah Michelle Bachmann's lunacy about $2 gas is plain idiocy.

We're never going to impact global supply enough to do that, even with current production levels. There's certainly nothing stopping Saudi Arabia or Venezuela from cutting back output to boost prices.

As for natural gas, you have the infrastructure problem when it comes to exporting the stuff. Sure, you can ship it out in liquid form, but that costs money. Ultimately, the Russians are going to have the advantage of being connected to Asia, Europe and Africa by overland pipelines. I don't think allowing export of our supply is going to prohibitively raise domestic prices for that reason - we'll only be exporting so much.

As for the virtues of cheap natural gas, there are negative consequences to that too. You're killing the already weak Appalachian economy, not to mention the railroads that don't have carloads of coal to ship anymore.
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snowguy716
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2013, 09:54:04 PM »

Climate doom and gloomism aside, we're headed in the right direction.

Well natural gas is a bright spot because unless I'm wrong we aren't really exporting  that the way we are exporting refined gasoline so despite the wishes of big oil we may actually be able to keep the price of natural gas low.

Refined gasoline won't fall in price until we have exported enough to drop prices on the global market.  I am not an expert but I don't see that happening any time soon.  In fact we are the low cost producer of refined gasoline and export it to Mexico!  So yeah Michelle Bachmann's lunacy about $2 gas is plain idiocy.

We're never going to impact global supply enough to do that, even with current production levels. There's certainly nothing stopping Saudi Arabia or Venezuela from cutting back output to boost prices.

As for natural gas, you have the infrastructure problem when it comes to exporting the stuff. Sure, you can ship it out in liquid form, but that costs money. Ultimately, the Russians are going to have the advantage of being connected to Asia, Europe and Africa by overland pipelines. I don't think allowing export of our supply is going to prohibitively raise domestic prices for that reason - we'll only be exporting so much.

As for the virtues of cheap natural gas, there are negative consequences to that too. You're killing the already weak Appalachian economy, not to mention the railroads that don't have carloads of coal to ship anymore.
Oh you bet your bottom dollar you do!  They're shipping oil now because of opposition to pipeline construction.

And is coal production falling all that much?

From what I've seen it seems we're just shipping our coal to Asia and Europe now.  Germany, with their absolutely retarded energy policy.. shot itself in the foot by shuttering nuclear plants... and are now burning American coal to make up the loss.

Meanwhile, Britain is converting coal plants to wood pellet burning plants... where are those wood pellets coming from?  Not from deforested Europe... but from American forests.  Europe's shortsighted "green" energy policy is deforesting America now.  Not long after they helped deforest the Amazon to grow soybeans for their eco-friendly vegan BS food.

The green energy movement is such a colossal joke in Europe.  Germany will never produce enough energy from wind and solar at a cost that doesn't cripple their economy.  And their kneejerk reactionary greens forced the removal of a low emissions, safe, clean source of energy (nuclear).

At the same time, the windmills are cranking out power on the high plains... to the tune that 17.5% of Minnesota's electricity comes from wind now.  (The rest comes from natural gas, coal, and nuclear)
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shua
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2013, 11:04:52 PM »


Meanwhile, Britain is converting coal plants to wood pellet burning plants... where are those wood pellets coming from?  Not from deforested Europe... but from American forests.  Europe's shortsighted "green" energy policy is deforesting America now.  Not long after they helped deforest the Amazon to grow soybeans for their eco-friendly vegan BS food.


2/3 of the world's soybeans are used in animal feed. another 1/5 is converted to oil, much of it  used in processed and fast food frying up those soybean-fed animals. Grains and beans for human consumption are generally less resource intense per calorie than when converted through animal feed so you can't blame vegans for deforestation.  Ethanol however...
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Link
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2013, 11:07:33 PM »
« Edited: August 09, 2013, 11:10:33 PM by Link »

Climate doom and gloomism aside, we're headed in the right direction.

Well natural gas is a bright spot because unless I'm wrong we aren't really exporting  that the way we are exporting refined gasoline so despite the wishes of big oil we may actually be able to keep the price of natural gas low.

Refined gasoline won't fall in price until we have exported enough to drop prices on the global market.  I am not an expert but I don't see that happening any time soon.  In fact we are the low cost producer of refined gasoline and export it to Mexico!  So yeah Michelle Bachmann's lunacy about $2 gas is plain idiocy.

We're never going to impact global supply enough to do that, even with current production levels.

That was my point.  Everyone screaming at Obama because of gas prices needs to look at the every increasing EXPORTS of domestically distilled gasoline.  We already produce more than we can use so producing more isn't going to bring the price down at the pump.  That's why the idea we can "drill" our way to lower prices is insane.


As for natural gas, you have the infrastructure problem when it comes to exporting the stuff. Sure, you can ship it out in liquid form, but that costs money.

Again that's my point.  Natural gas isn't going to be exported as easily so it's lower domestic price makes sense and can be seen as sustainable... unless domestic demand really picks up.

I don't think allowing export of our supply is going to prohibitively raise domestic prices for that reason - we'll only be exporting so much.

I wasn't aware there was any legal restriction on exporting it.  The only restriction I see is financial.

As for the virtues of cheap natural gas, there are negative consequences to that too. You're killing the already weak Appalachian economy, not to mention the railroads that don't have carloads of coal to ship anymore.

All changes cause disruptions.  I think the government should help smooth out these disruptions.  Natural gas should be taxed and the money should be used for education and job training for coal and railroad workers.  That really is what government is there for.   And the Natural gas tax should expire within a set number of years so it doesn't become an indefinite tax that no longer serves it's intended purpose.
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2013, 11:22:44 PM »

Meanwhile, Britain is converting coal plants to wood pellet burning plants... where are those wood pellets coming from?  Not from deforested Europe... but from American forests.  Europe's shortsighted "green" energy policy is deforesting America now.  Not long after they helped deforest the Amazon to grow soybeans for their eco-friendly vegan BS food.

Oh, I see.  This was meant to be a troll thread.  The United States is by no stretch of the imagination "deforested" or even close.  And the United States is the biggest consumer of wood in the world not Britain.  You should travel over there sometime.  Do you think they would think it is normal to build a house out of wood?  Get a grip man.  Only in America do people build entire houses out of wood.  From an ecological point of view British people would never do something that irresponsible.
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Sbane
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2013, 11:35:02 PM »


Meanwhile, Britain is converting coal plants to wood pellet burning plants... where are those wood pellets coming from?  Not from deforested Europe... but from American forests.  Europe's shortsighted "green" energy policy is deforesting America now.  Not long after they helped deforest the Amazon to grow soybeans for their eco-friendly vegan BS food.


2/3 of the world's soybeans are used in animal feed. another 1/5 is converted to oil, much of it  used in processed and fast food frying up those soybean-fed animals. Grains and beans for human consumption are generally less resource intense per calorie than when converted through animal feed so you can't blame vegans for deforestation.  Ethanol however...

Indeed. Eating animals is going to be less eco-friendly as a whole no matter the winners and losers. It's just basic biology.
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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2013, 01:12:26 AM »

It's clear that there are significant environmental impacts from fracking. Of course moderate hero Obama is trying to cover it up.

http://grist.org/news/leaked-epa-document-raises-questions-about-fracking-pollution/
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snowguy716
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2013, 01:28:32 AM »

Meanwhile, Britain is converting coal plants to wood pellet burning plants... where are those wood pellets coming from?  Not from deforested Europe... but from American forests.  Europe's shortsighted "green" energy policy is deforesting America now.  Not long after they helped deforest the Amazon to grow soybeans for their eco-friendly vegan BS food.

Oh, I see.  This was meant to be a troll thread.  The United States is by no stretch of the imagination "deforested" or even close.  And the United States is the biggest consumer of wood in the world not Britain.  You should travel over there sometime.  Do you think they would think it is normal to build a house out of wood?  Get a grip man.  Only in America do people build entire houses out of wood.  From an ecological point of view British people would never do something that irresponsible.
What the hell are you even talking about?

Actually I have been to the UK and lived for a year in Salzburg, Austria where there still are forests (because they're protected and managed).

I don't think you understand how forestry works.  Trees are renewable.  And the beauty of building houses out of trees... you aren't burning the wood so the carbon stays locked in place for however long that house stands.

But that's not the point here.  The point here is that forests are being felled to turn the wood into pellets and ship it to the UK to burn in THEIR plants as an alternative to coal because they're trying to prevent like 0.0004C of warming by doing so.  It's batf**king insane.

If other Euro nations start doing this same thing, it's quickly going to tip the balance in America and we'll probably end up putting a stop to it.

So your cute criticism of me not understanding JUST HOW IRRESPONSIBLE IT WOULD BE FOR BRITS TO MAKE HOUSES OUT OF WOOD is actually your lack of knowledge (they don't have forests to fell to build their houses out of wood because they are using the land for growing grain crops)... and building their homes out of imported wood *might* still actually be more eco friendly even if you have to ship the wood in from elsewhere than building homes out of concrete, steel, or even bricks (which themselves require great carbon inputs).

A well maintained woodframe home will last just as long as one made out of carbon intensive, non-renewable materials you seem to advocate (from an eco point of view, of course Roll Eyes)

If they can ship American trees to Britain to burn in power plants that literally sit on top of coal beds.. I'm sure they could import American lumber to build homes.
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« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2013, 02:08:46 AM »

I know this aspect isn't what was envisioned by the thread, but I hear it a lot from friends back home.  It's about the housing shortage in some places where the boom is taking place.  In my home state, there is a huge housing shortage that's effecting both new oil company employees arriving and long-time residents.  For various reasons, oil company employees are still often uneasy about buying real estate in North Dakota, and because of previous oil busts that left lots of towns in debt in previous decades, developers and lenders are reluctant to put up new housing.  As a result, rental costs in North Dakota have reached levels I'd never dreamed of when I was a kid.  The idea of a one-bedroom apartment in Williston, population 30,000, going for more then $2,000 a month is just insane to me--the same apartments would probably have gone for $300-$400 a month before that.  The elevated prices are keeping potential renters out, with oil company employees living in rather sordid "man-camps" in the countryside close to their rigs, and pushing some present renters out who can't afford the rising rates.  The fact that a lot of small North Dakota towns have apartment buildings that are owned and operated by only one or two real estate companies doesn't help.  And even retail services are quite scarce in such small towns where there is now far greater demand.  The shortage and price problems have been around, I think, for a few years already and nobody knows yet when it will change.  On the upside, if you have a bunch of money and don't need loans to put up housing, North Dakota is definitely waiting for you...

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0630/Oil-may-be-booming-in-North-Dakota-but-real-estate-is-slow-to-follow
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snowguy716
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2013, 02:17:08 AM »

Yeah here in northern MN the oil boom is having a noticeable impact... namely that lots of people are going out there to work on 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off rotations.  A friend from high school recently bought a new house here but works out in Williston.  A lot of people are doing this in the western and northern parts of MN... they want to live here and the nature of the work there allows them to work it out.

But it's great because the money he earns is being spent here... where prices aren't outrageous.. so it's really adding to the community.  Then he slogs it out working 16 hour days and sleeping in a camper for 2 weeks before coming home to his brand new house.

A friend's brother does road construction in the summer and has been in North Dakota pretty much all summer long for the past few years because the demand is so high.  He stays in a camper out there and comes home to his house here on the weekends.

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« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2013, 10:19:48 AM »

Actually most coal power stations here are used to burn... coal. Which is now often imported, which (of course) is absurd.
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« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2013, 10:48:32 AM »

Meanwhile, Britain is converting coal plants to wood pellet burning plants... where are those wood pellets coming from?  Not from deforested Europe... but from American forests.  Europe's shortsighted "green" energy policy is deforesting America now.  Not long after they helped deforest the Amazon to grow soybeans for their eco-friendly vegan BS food.

The green energy movement is such a colossal joke in Europe.  Germany will never produce enough energy from wind and solar at a cost that doesn't cripple their economy.  And their kneejerk reactionary greens forced the removal of a low emissions, safe, clean source of energy (nuclear).

At the same time, the windmills are cranking out power on the high plains... to the tune that 17.5% of Minnesota's electricity comes from wind now.  (The rest comes from natural gas, coal, and nuclear)

Guys I know Snowguy tends to get a little over excited about this topic so let me just insert some facts in this thread.  Here is the energy mix of the UK...



This caricature of the UK shutting down all their coal plants and opening brand new shiny wood pellet plants is a delusion.  Wood pellet planets make up such a tiny portion of the overall UK energy mix they aren't even broken out.  There are forestry problems in the US but they aren't caused by a miniscule number of wood pellet plants in the UK.  Get a grip Snowy.

You have to look at a countries entire energy mix.  You can't just cherry pick a couple of plants and then slander an entire country.  Let's look at that nuclear portion of the pie which dwarfs a handful of wood pellet plants.  Let me ask you this Snowy which country do you think has a history of recycling their nuclear waste in reprocessing plants and there for reduced the need for mining of new uranium?

The green energy movement is such a colossal joke in Europe.

I suppose you could say that about the UK because in relation to fossil fuels it is tiny.

A well maintained woodframe home will last just as long as one made out of carbon intensive, non-renewable materials you seem to advocate (from an eco point of view, of course Roll Eyes)

Well that's the real key isn't it?  You still have to maintain your house once it is built.  Instead of cherrypicking dubious facts I like to take an all encompassing look at real facts.  The concrete homes built in the US have R-values that crush stick and paper homes.  There are people in various parts of the US that have electric bills that are over $800 a month.  Now that is not every month but you consider living in a house 30-40 years and that is a lot of "maintenance".  Toss in structural maintenance and the numbers look even worse.  Rodents and pests?  Wood and paper again is even worse.  Then toss in weather disasters and the numbers are beyond appalling.  Let me ask you a question.  All these houses were completely demolished by Hurricane Katrina except for one.  What do you think it was made out of, concrete or stick and paper?  What were all the house that are now going to populate an ecologically responsible landfill made out of?  Which country do you think takes more regular direct hits from hurricanes?



The fact you don't want to touch is the United States is the largest consumer of wood.  The other fact you don't want to touch is one of the main causes of our forestry problems is wide spread illegal logging.  Sitting here as an American and blaming a couple of LEGAL wood pellet plants in the UK for our own irresponsible behavior is why so many people despise us all over the planet.  Your slander of the UK is ugly American on steroids.

By the way that doesn't mean I think every single energy policy in the UK or any country for that matter is going to be a bright idea in the long run.  I think there should be experimentation on a small scale.  And I hardly think 6.6% is reckless or something to slander a foreign country over.  Let's be reasonable.
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« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2013, 11:00:42 AM »

Something like this, I hope:

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