Wednesday, February 13, 2013
  Slight spark of sanity

Interesting juxtaposition. NPR's national desk ran a story on Sane Brazil's magnificent hydro dam project. Brazil is building 50 new dams. None are in the worldwide top 10 for size, but they're much more densely 'electrified' than typical dams.



Bravo Brazil!

Immediately after that story, the local affiliate gave a brief state news update. Amazingly, our representative has pushed a small but important hydroelectric law through the Lower Nuthouse. McMorris managed to get unanimous approval, which is highly unusual for a law that does something besides naming a post office. The bill would cut Federal red tape for licensing new small hydro dams, and would make it easier to add generators to existing dams.
The National Hydropower Association estimates expedited licensing would charge some of the nation’s nearly 80,000 non-powered dams, adding about 60,000 megawatts of hydropower by 2025.

Currently, obtaining federal permission usually takes hydropower developers more than five years, [according to] Kevin Frank, chief executive with Voith Hydro. That length of time has sapped investor interest for capital-intensive hydropower projects, he said. “The shorter process brings more certainty and gets rid of the inefficiencies. It’s a big, big barrier to entry right now.”

Bravo McMorris!

I assume the Senate will quietly kill the bill, because that's how DC works. One nuthouse passes something halfway sensible for symbolic purposes, then the other nuthouse destroys it. A well-designed immune system to guard against any action that might conceivably cause national survival. But we can always hope for a double miracle.

= = = = =

Bit later: Even Australia is getting into the act. The opposition party has a grand plan to build 100 new dams primarily for irrigation, but also for hydropower. Presumably Satan alias Gillard will terminate this idea with extreme prejudice, then kill and eat the opposition leader, but it's nice to see one more symbolic indication of sanity in a lost country.

Might call it a triple Valentine for dam-loving Polistra.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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