Trade policy stories
by Dan Crawford
Stormy asks in an e-mail: At one time, I thought America was supposed to lead the way in green technology, providing jobs for Americans…and sends this quote from the Washington Post.
The last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month…
What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.
The resulting savings in energy and greenhouse-gas emissions are expected to be immense. But the move also had unintended consequences.
Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.
Well, let’s see. The article seems to imply a whole story- Environmental concerns pushed closings and lost American jobs, which was not forseen, and those awful Chinese somehow wound up with the manufacturing.
The IBEW notice adds a bit to the story:
The news stunned Lexington Local 1627 Business Manager David Butcher, who represents 114 workers at the plant. “I knew there was trouble but that was the last thing I expected to hear,” he said.
That local had recently negotiated an agreement with the company to help reduce costs by agreeing to a wage freeze and flexible overtime regulations, hoping to buy more time so GE could update its facilities to be more competitive.
And then this article points to our responses on trade. It describes the next generation after flourescent technology of lighting using LED technology.
The Federal government either has no role to play in trade policy to benefit its own citizens according to free trade enthusiasts, or possibly is only part of a short term ‘stimulus’ package for green technology. Bottom line decisions on how and where to do business are global in nature without regard to your role as a citizen. Admired from afar it all looks good, but how do you voice a concern for where you belong.
As indicated in the article the role of suggesting incentives has been traditionally a function of municiple and state governments, leaving individual trade agreements with countries to the federal government.
Pay special attention to the notion that the national government of China is offering help to locate a manufacturing site in Mexico with the help of the national Mexican government. And that the current employees to manufacture new light bulbs are drawn from former government employees (NASA).
The national narrative on trade bears little resemblance to the reality of doing business from this point of view. When listening to speeches it is best to keep this in mind.
When your economy is one set up to make money from money, then making light bulbs in the “homeland” has no importance.
Many have asked “So what?” regarding the green revolution. So we develope the product, is there anything in place that assures it’s made here? No, there is not.
you don’t say who owns the plant in china. could be GE just using the excuse to off shore.
as for the fluorescents themselves… this looks to me like the klutzy hand of government. i don’t like the fluorescent light or the disposal hazard they represent. but the way we do things in the usa is to get on the bandwagon and damn the torpedoes.
being a cheap sort (Darkness was cheap and Scrooge liked it.) I solved the problem by using low wattage lights for general not-fumbling-around-in-the dark illumination, and brighter “task lighting” where and when i needed it. of course i was raised in a time when we turned out the lights we weren’t using. frankly, i don’t think the fluorescents will save any money or electricity… people will just leave them on in the daylight.
Green issues cost jobs, which lowers the overall standard of living, which cost lives. All but one of the Tea Party members running for either of the Houses is against Cap & Trade, do not believe in CAGW, and if elected may be able to save/repair some of the damage done by the over zealous implementation of this movement.
Stormy (and Robert W), I provide the enclosed link as you may not get a feel for what underscores the Tea Party movement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVAhr4hZDJE
Green jobs are big business and job creators elsewhere.
there is no way i can express what i think about the tea party or the anti global warming propaganda without hurting your feelings.
but i would agree with you that the government can get ham handed and needs to be checked by someone who understands the real world. and cap and trade is a boondoggle. a straight carbon tax would do the same job more honestly.
no lives will be lost by learning to use less energy. the biggest way to do that the soonest would be to drive smaller cars less far. electric cars for the city would knock carbon use by 10% overall in a year. wouldn’t cost anyone a job. would save you money.
“drive smaller cars less far”
Cars have little effect on Carbon Output, and Fossil Fuel Usage. It is Industry and Big Tranport that plays the major role in these factors, and the Technology does not exist to change these functions. You know this, and that is why, your merely displaying a political ideology here, and not a reasonable solution……but you don’t care because the Ends always Justfies the Means on the left…isn’t that right Coberly?
“no lives will be lost by learning to use less energy”
That’s Fine, but why not take our time, and get it right with the least amount of economic pain to the American people? Get Real…We aren’t getting away from Oil for Fifty years at best.
I just built a new multimedia computer and use my 52 inch sony LCD TV as a computer monitor. The LCD screen uses 300 watts and when the computer is just idling along doing web surfing it gobbles less than 100 watts. I’ve found out this lights the living area well enough in the evening. It also helps heat the place in the winter. In the summer I leave the AC set to 90, and find that this plus ginkgo thins the blood and lessens the shock of playing golf and tennis when it’s above 100 outdoors.
So far my electric bill went down a little.
But years ago I did already change over to energy efficient bulbs. They don’t wear out, at least after 4 years, so I think they are a net improvement. I paid $2.75 for mine but have noticed they are at the 99 cent store now.
I think we still have an R&D edge in the new LCD lighting so far. If they can get those to work for street lighting, that would be great. But as usual, no matter who holds the 15 year patents, there is no guarantee that the factory gets built here.
You might want to check the DOA and EPA sites on where our energy use goes before citing “facts”.
Germany, China, to name two. You know, the growing economies.
CR, brain fade???? Dead On Arrival DOA???? :)) You did mean DOE, yes?
I do wish the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption idealogues would at least do the math. There is no way cutting man’s creation of CO2, even 100% will make a statistically discernable difference in global average temps.
Facts just fly in the face of the belief that man is evil, sorry that’s eevviill, and the cause of all things bad for nature. Just a handful of intreresting facts in the past couple of months: 1) The General Circulation Models (GCMs) have been shown to be 2 to 4 times too high in estimating future temps. 2) We have just gone through the shortest Arctic ice melt season on record. 3) Clouds have been shown to have a negative influence on temps versus a positive as the GCMs say.
The list could go on well into double digits, but we are driving this article off point.
Petroleum products and their relative share of total U.S. petroleum consumption in 2008:
Gasoline 46% Diesel Fuel1 18% Jet Fuel (Kerosene) 8% Propane/Propylene 6%NGL & LRG2 5% Still Gas 3% Residual/Heavy Fuel Oil 3% Petrochemical Feedstocks 3% Heating Oil3 3% Petroleum Coke 2% Asphalt and Road Oil 2% Lubricants 1% Miscellaneous Products 0.3% Special Naphthas 0.2% Aviation Gasoline 0.1% Kerosene 0.1% Waxes 0.05%
Yes I did, and you might notice that Gasoline is less than half of Industry and Big Transport. So where is the statement incorrect? The DOE notes that highest Carbon Output is from Power, not Cars, and also notes that BioFuels, and the ability to to transfer to nuclear power is either not economical or not realistic to meet the time frames listed in any current legislatived changes being discussed.
Was there a certain set of “Cedric” facts that I was not allowed to deviate from?
For every Barrel of Crude we can make:
20 gallons of Gasoline
10 Gallons of Diesel
4 Gallons of Jet Fuel
the spanish found that every green job they created caused the loss of 2.25 others.
why should we be surprised by the same thing happening here?
Ok, you got me. Freudian slip. Meant DOE.
I’m hoping the global warming people are wrong, because I studied the energy side of things, and changing a whole lot there could send us back to the Dark Ages. It’s just that my training is in engineering, not climatology, so I’m squeemish about just stating they are wrong without doing way, way, way more study than I’m willing to do..
But we still have a problem with energy supply….
Good job, those are roughly the numbers I remember went I went thru the exercise years ago, and since then I have become too talked out on energy to go thru digging up the data again.
Lets start with your first statement I read.
“Cars have little effect on Carbon Output, and Fossil Fuel Usage. It is Industry and Big Tranport that plays the major role in these factors”
The data says 46% gasoline. That would be 54% for everything else. I guess 54% is technically “major”, but I disagree that 46% is “little.”
But we can agree to disagree.
And yes, Power, meaning coal power plants, are our single largest CO2 source.
And yes, changing much of anything is problematic.
BTW, 3rd Gen nukes seem to be cost effective in Japan, even France and of course in China. But not in the US from the cost estimates on our first three projects that started. I haven’t figured that one out yet.
What should be asked is what types of jobs will be created in the USA related to the so-called green revolution other than construction, installation, and sales of such goods and services.
Obviously, the Administration and Congress were flawed in their previous thinking that the USA could produce such goods competitively thereby not only providing domestic employment, but leading the world in green technology goods.
The train left the station. How did they miss that?
Just another example of incomplete thinking with regard to U.S. trade policy and its implications.
does it help you see in the dark?
i suspect that if the warming deniers and general anti environmental crowd has their way, we’ll be buying all our advanced technology from china in twenty years.
here’s a great job creation idea…
lets force old people to keep working until they are 75.
its okay to believe what you want to believe.
but, please not in public.
i may not remember this right, but by counting backwards it goes something like this… electric cars are twice as carbon efficient as gas cars… for the same service. a small elelcric in city driving is even more efficient than that compared to gas. electric cars in city service would save 10% of carbon usage over the whole economy. because city driving is about 40% of all driving. and all driving is about 40% of all carbon use. check: half of 40% of 40% … yep, checks close enough for that kind of an estimate.
i won’t look it up again just for you. but you might want to check your sources for honesty.
we have a bit of a problem with the dark ages too. NOT reducing our energy consumption is what is going to put us in the dark ages. driving an electric car in the city is not going to put you in the dark ages. living in a reasonably engineered house will not put you in the dark ages. giving up high mass consumption of throw away plastic toys is not going to put you in the dark ages.
given what we know today, we could have a very high, and much more rewarding standard of living by cutting our energy use in half… and sharing that with the developing world. but if your idea of Not the Dark Ages is driving a Hummer back and forth to work fifty miles and belching, then we’re not going to make it.
you should have studied psychology. most of what Americans “consume” is trash. doesn’t even make them happy, but the “got to have it.”
well, eliminate 50% of carbon burning and you are there. what is with this all or nothing thinking?
jimi does not understand comparing quantities of any kind. it’s all a question of “sooo big!” to him.
are you referring to your example?
it doesn’t surprise me that the government is ham handed. it does surprise me that entrepreurs are blind. but we have to remember that we are not ruled by entrepreneurs but by ex entrepreneurs grown old and calcified in their thinking and determined not to face competition from any new ideas.
First of all, telling an engineer he can’t make carbon is like telling Harry Potter he can’t make magic anymore. But after I got over my initial panic that CO2 could be considered a pollutant, I started digging into it a bit more.
I’m not thinking all or nothing. I thought this thru once with lots of EPA and DOE data in front of me and here’s my dim recollection. CAFE will increase mileage 30%, and assuming CO2 goes down proportionate to mileage and miles driven stays the same, then CO2 from oil goes down by 15%.
Fortunately our aircraft carriers are nukes already, so maybe we just need electric tanks and Humvees.
The EPA had a nice pie chart that split up man made CO2 by oil, coal, NG and maybe a few other insignificant things. Coal was almost 50%. I forgot what percentage they gave oil, but we would need that to properly figure the amount saved overall from better cars.
So coal is the big problem except we have lots of it and also 600 expensive coal power plants which aren’t paid for yet and it takes 6-8 years to build any kind of new power plant. (from start of design and permitting thru going on line)
So CO2 sequestering is necessary to reduce emissions on existing plants. We need a place to put the CO2, but MIT determined it is possible to do, at least in many cases, but it is expensive and would probably cause utilities to go bankrupt under the existing rate structure. Underground caverns is one way, chemical plant conversion is another way being tested in pilot production, and Norway captures it, compresses it to liquid and ships it out to the North Sea and pumps it into depleted off shore wells where the pressures and low temps keep it liquid and in place. They have been doing that for 10 years.
If we want new NG plants, they have 60% less CO2 than coal plants. They are quicker and cheaper to build than coal too, and did make electricity at the same as coal when NG was $2.50.
So there you have it. All this sounds not too bad if we assume money is no problem, but it sounds like it is. Otherwise it would make a great FDR public works program, and gov guaranteed loans don’t cost the government anything, but saves the utility a surprising amount of money in interest expense.
Once again you prove that you are an enemy of Freedom. You know what best for everybody else dontcha? You belong in 1950 USSR!
Also, back when I was a Sasol stockholder pre global warming, they operate CTL (coal-to-liquid) plants in S. Africa and make synthetic clean diesel. Their big plant happens to be the largest point source of CO2 in the world, but some initial cost studies for a USA plant indicated they would be competitve in the US with CO2 sequestering (if we had such a place) at $100 bbl oil.
There is only two Options.
1.) You have been sold a rotten bill of goods that the core of your Ideology rests on, which makes it difficult for you to face reality, and that difficulty comes from being emotionally invested.
2.) You could care less about reasonable solutions to these issues, and are just another run of the mill Leftists, hell bent on the control of behavior thru Social Engineering and America’s big shift away from a Free Market Capitalist System.
Either way……it doesn’t leave you in good light.
The answer is farther down the page.
Also, the US military was interest too in CTL, because you can make both diesel and jet fuel that way. They do have a program qualifying the jet fuel. No plant tho. We may still need the electric M1s and Humvees. Better make sure there’s somewhere to charge them in the Middle East.
islm should get right on it.
you cannot make carbon. but i suspect that was just a slip of the tongue.
i was an unwashed engineer they gave the job because the guys with stamps couldn’t solve the problem. your analysis is… not the only possible analysis. and i’ll leave it there.
i hate to leave Angry Bear in the hands of the likes of little jimi, but it takes someone younger than me to baby sit them before they are diaper trained.
As far as I know, that’s not what it’s for.
If we have yuan, maybe.
I think we still have an R&D edge in the new LCD lighting so far. If they can get those to work for street lighting, that would be great
Damn dude you know nothing, Why opine?
You want to take the HID bulb out of a street light and replace it with a liquid crystal display? Presumably you mean a Light emitting diode (led) Patents don’t hinder led’s nor protect HID bulbs in street lights. Led bulbs large enough to be meaningful are prohibitavely expensive. and even still cannot come anywhere near the amount of lummen per kilowatt as the high pressure sodium bulbs currently in street lighting. Sodium bulbs might suck at coler rendering and studies show that a different Kelvin might make night driving safer, but they work better in street lights then monitors do.
I do know the difference between an LCD display and an LED. That was a typo. I do that too. But really smart dudes usually point out my typos and things that get past, or changed by,the spell checker.
And yes dude, I know the difference between a watt and a kilowatt. But my origonal comment was:
“If they can get those to work for street lighting, that would be great.”
And smart dudes everywhere know how the new technology advances.
Just inserting my answers here so you can insert your comments in between.
Your links are bogus.
Try googling LED Street Lamps. Lots of links, dude.
Fifty years ago GE invented LED’s. Currently there are more LED manufacturers in China then any where in the world, yet there are still no or very few LED streetlights in China.
There are always moron’s blithely unaware of the “inverse square law” which states that the strength of light is inverslely proportional to the square of the distance from the light source, and think that by pairing up a bunch of low wattage LED’s bulbs they will have the same effect as one big LED.
Base ball great Ted Williams once said. “If you don’t think too good. Don’t think too much. Thats good advice
Cut and paste Jimi? BTW, coberly is a curmudgeon at times. I don’t thing he is a run of the mill.
If it’s true why not repeat it?