2011 04 19 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/opinion/19tue1.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha211

2009 02 15  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/business/15coal.html?_r=1&th&emc=th


2005 August 10

Members, Environmental Committee

Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

The following   | Title   heads a 7 page document authored by Tom FitzGerald, copied and presented to Committee members at the 2005 July meeting.  I offered to provide an "executive summary".  Please obtain FitzGerald's original document at http://www.KyRC.org.  Understanding his articulation, while never satisfied with mine, i am paraphrasing, and adding discussion on lungs and partisanship;  beginning with my title Energy ManagementThank you for your feedback.


|  In the Matter of:

KRC appreciates the invitation of the Public Service Commission to participate in this  Technical Conference on Case No. 2005-00090. KRC appreciates also the recognition by the Governor Fletcher in Executive Order 2005-121 that a

comprehensive statewide assessment of Kentucky’s infrastructure – generation, transmission and distribution – which includes reasonable projections of future electricity requirements,”

is essential to the intelligent crafting of a “strategic blueprint” for investment and policy-setting.


Energy Management

Generation, Transmission, Management, and Costing



                        Power          N-O   Hg  AirToxics

                                                   C-O  S-O

            O-O  O-O                     O-C-O    H2O


Coal   C-C-C-C  Hg S                     waste

__________________________________________Fig. 1

inverted  U   > iU  > Energy University > educated U >  eU.

Since the inverted U is not a common character, we refer to it by the term eU, indicating educated ability to look (infinitely) both ways.  While we prefer the symbol O for energy, indicating recycling/renewable, fossil fuels have a beginning and end, represented as an inverted U.  The beginning of fossil fuel can be traced to the origin of our Universe, BIG BANG, leading to the life process forming complex carbon chains, becoming aggregated after death below the surface of Earth. 

Starting low on the left hand leg of the inverted U, eU, we dig coal from the bowels of Earth, raise it, move it, and combine it with O-O from our Air (burn).  As it burns we yield, for our beneficiaries, Power.  But there are no beneficiaries for many of the byproducts of this burn:  CO, SO2, NO3, Hg, air toxics, for example.  What remains in the furnace after the burn is waste; for which recycling options exist, to continue the line.

So, our accurate and complete accounting must include not just the cost to get and burn coal and the benefit of power;  we must include the consequential costs of byproducts generated and waste disposition.  Fitzgerald uses the phrase "triple bottom line" without clearly enumerating the 3 categories, here inferred:

1. fuel, delivered, power generation and waste management

2. ecology

3. health

Of course, each of these terms may be infinitely elaborated, and, in the broadest view, health is a subset of ecology. 

Assessment of Energy, like Ecology, occurs over regional geography, not contained by civil bounds.  This makes it difficult to deal with Energy/Ecology from a parochial perspective.  We seek a global, or at least regional, understanding of consequences to power generation.  (Geo-oriented Integrative Service)  GIS generally helps.

First consider the goals of  Energy/Ecology management, then find assumptions  and core values on which we concur.  Assumption 1:  PSC is an effective regulatory agency.  The PSC has heretofore served Citizens well.  But increasingly Citizens demand more, not less:  information and participation in protecting property on increasingly fragile Earth.  Let the PSC be enabled to manage the multi-dimensional process of energy delivery for the optimum outcome, for All.

Fitzgerald, with 25 years observing, litigating, and mitigating consequences of  eU, is well prepared to contribute to PSC regulation -- management of eU meU.

Goals:  multi-factorial, multi-layered (GIS) consideration; full-cost accounting; cost-effective, long-term, sustainable, power generation; and non-wasteful utilization.

Seeking minimum required regulatory compliance is NOT the goal.  Federal Floor is our Ceiling?

We cannot “balance” energy development with environmental protection, just like we cannot accept a Bengals record of 8 - 8.

Getting fossil fuel is rape of Earth.  It disfigures Her. Policy must clearly facilitate:  minimizing damage, thorough cleanup, and repair; assuring for every deed, MotherEarth and her inhabitants are better.

Burning Her damages our Lungs, our interface to Life.  Poison air doesn't bother you?  Consider.

We look back in time, or overseas, to be offended by commode flushes to street gutters -- being so close to the filth!  But alas, you can not get any closer to the filth than you do in your lung, your Life Receptor, your input Acceptor for Oxygen, O2, or O-O.

Without O-O we die in minutes.  Our common source is Air, our most Public resource.

Every molecule of O-O is the fuel cell of energy for all that i do.  My tiny-donut (red blood cells) RBCs carry the precious O-O to waiting colonies of busy cells (me) as we continue on Earth.

We have coal.  It's cheap.  It works.  But 10, or 30 years later,  we are in pain,

losing our lung capacity to Fine PARTICULATE Matter  PM --  micro carbon brillo pads scouring and plastered to the tiny, final, tubal walls leading, from Air, to the grand atrium of the lung, lined by fragile alveolus cells --  where it happens  --  exchange across the membranes of alveolus, capillary, and RBC --  O-C-O out / O-O in.

Only O-O is welcome in past the alveoli guard who calls the RBC cab company for the first available cell with empty seats, after unloading O-C-O.  The RBC cab carries the O-O to the call of LIFE, enabling this pen to move. 

But, exposed to combustion products, every carbon monoxide molecule C-O, coming in with the O-O, is unrestrained through the alveoli guard and flows freely in through the cab door membrane of the RBC -- to preemptively latch onto the RBC O-O receptor (occupy the seat), for the 90-day life of the RBC, during which time, this RBC carries 1 less O-O.  Tired?

Balance?  To recover from consequences -- of the combustive, Lemming joy ride --  Climatic Consequences:  Global Warming.

We burned coal.

We burn coal; negligent of our NEIGHBORs' HEALTH.

We even continue to subsidize fossil fuel EXTRACTION - EarthRape

While our abundance of coal has heretofore served us well (focusing only on generation cost), let us see the looming trends with implications on our future investment strategy.  We clearly have riled our neighbors, and they is more than us! 

1.  Combustion results are increasingly studied by increasingly effective people and technology.  2 examples:  In just the past 5 years, revelations of the harm by Air Toxics has resulted in a burst of new programs.  We find more, not less, about the effects of Mercury as it both disperses into the environment and also becomes collected and concentrated into, for example, fish we want to eat -- like a boomerang, coming back to smack us back-side the head as we walk blithely past our coal combustion.

2.  Already well established and growing are mandates from federal and regional levels bearing on terms of carbon-combustion; such that it may become increasingly costly to burn coal, compared to other methods of electricity generation.  Managing eU internal to our Commonwealth may be far easier but less important than managing our generation in the context of increasing penalty, or carbon restrictions, imputed by non-Kentuckians  and non-beneficiaries of the energy production that poisons them.

3.  Kentucky coal is dirty coal, compared to cleaner, western coal, such as from Wyoming.  Dirty means increased length of carbon chains C-C-C-..., and admixture with Sulfur, Mercury, and other contaminants.  Kentucky coal market share is therefore in decline.  [note: The cleanest carbon fuel has just one carbon:  CH4, methane, "natural gas".  But increasingly, deregulated natural gas is impure, contaminated with higher-chain carbon molecules, even C6 benzene, a known carcinogen.]

4.  Other generation possibilities are just under the cost wire, once we consider and apply all of the costs of EarthRapeEarthBurn.  Fitzgerald cites 3 new hydroElectric plants, each capable of 240MW, all designed and ready to build, licensed by FERC, just waiting till the price to build and operate compares more favorably to the fully-costed price of coal-based generation.

Nevertheless, we have it, we burn it; so what are the alternatives?

Hydro, wind, solar, geo, ... but also conservation.  As the price of energy is made accountable to necessary mitigation of its byproducts, rate payers see higher bills and think more about the value of conservation, and even mechanisms for generation.

As energy providers look ahead, the picture, in the short term, is uncertain.  But a longer-term, clear read advises Kentuckians to manage the reduction of carbon combustion, as we continue our current rescission of tobacco, and ignorance.

A power plant is like a Supreme Court Justice.  The term may be 50 years!  Let us not build today what is not cogent for the next generation.  Today we are trampled by the global grab for the last carbon and the ensuing saturation of our global atmosphere, our common, most Public, most intimate source of O-O.  Let us see ahead the increasing costs of coal and increasingly viable alternative technologies moving closer from eU to O.

As a practical matter, PSC must well define a partition, a separation between two core eggs in this universe:  Energy Provision v Health.  PSC must evolve, enabled by appropriate budgetary reform, embracing GIS and regionally-aware, full-cost accounting.

Some partitions are good.

But what is wrong on Earth? 

What is wrong between us,

is partisanship;  the silly principles:

1)  The next election is the primary focus.

2)  There are only 2 choices.  (The number is infinite!)

3)  Loyalty and premature submission to consensus trumps conscientious public service.

4)  Avoid responsibility for negative byproducts and consequences of deeds and mis-deeds.

5)  Intolerance for gray matter(s) and indeterminacy.

Demo v Repu

West v Arab

or, diligent, collaborative management of increasingly complex systems, ensuring fair and continuing opportunity for LIFE.


john r. schmidt, M.S.


NCAD Corporation  http://www.ncad.net


Earth Model Do