What A Difference Two Weeks Makes

February 2: James River Power Station is now ‘officially decommissioned,’ City Utilities says

A fossil-fuel power plant that helped drive Springfield’s 20th-century growth is now “officially decommissioned,” after a draw-down process spanning several years.

In a board meeting update last week, City Utilities officials noted that the last two remaining generator units at James River Power Station were recently retired.

Five turbines at the station generated energy from both natural gas and coal for CU customers beginning in 1957, CU said. In 2017, the CU board voted unanimously to shut down three of the units, which hadn’t been in service since the mid-2010s, the News-Leader reported.

Yay! Fossil fuels are bad! Shut down the fossil fuel plants!

February 16: SW Missouri saw more rolling blackouts Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know.

Not that excess capacity in fossil fuel burning power plants is good. Nah, bro. Here are tips for living like it’s the nineteenth century because it makes you feel better about the environment when you’re not examining cause and effect.

And are you making these wrongthink inferences like I am? Don’t worry: The twentynagers in the media will help correct your thinking: Texas blackouts fuel false claims about renewable energy:

Conservative commentators on Tuesday shared a false narrative that wind turbines and solar energy were primarily to blame for power outages across Texas as the power grid buckled.

In all, between 2 and 3 million customers in Texas still had no power nearly two full days after historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge in demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state’s power grid and causing widespread blackouts.

A variety of misleading claims spread on social media, with the Green New Deal and wind turbines getting much of the attention. But the Texas state power agency said that gas, coal and nuclear plants actually caused nearly twice as many outages as wind and solar power.

This does not actually refute that more capacity from fossil fuel plants would have alleviated this situation. All it points out is that some fossil fuel plants had trouble, too. Which is a logical fallacy called tu quoque. Not that they teach logic in j-schools. Or anywhere for that matter.

You know, my editor Jerry Pournelle used to point out a lot that cheap, reliable energy brought a lot of benefits. But renewable, green energy is neither cheap nor reliable, and the only benefits it confers are government subsidies and cotton-headed up twinkles for people who support it. Which is not to say that it cannot get there, but it surely hasn’t yet, and government subsidies and up twinkles are not the way to make them more efficient, cheap, or reliable.

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