News From Above The Cloud: With Questions


"Above the Clouds, Looking down on Pennsylvania." Image credit:Flickr, katrha

The Charlotte News-Observer reports that "Duke Energy has spent $5 million over the past two years to fix corrosion in pollution-catching devices at its power plants, which are among dozens nationwide plagued by the problem." The sulfur dioxide from coal burning, captured by wet "scrubbers," forms sulfuric acid. This acid corrodes pollution control equipment from the inside. For a price, there are technical fixes available. My question is this: with the Republican-proposed end to enforcement of most EPA air regs affecting coal plants, what happens to people and fish exposed to these emission gases when scrubbing stops?

There's more...There are multiple news reports today that Barclays Bank has inked a deal to buy oil at $104.97/barrel from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. With Brent Crude oil spot price listed today at $117.28/barrel, we have to wonder, what does Barclay's know about the futures market? And, why is a bank is buying the oil?

Peak copper came and went; but meth addiction is still on the upswing.
Steel-core, copper clad grounding wire is catching on with wind turbine installers. Here's the promo from one such product called GroundSmart:

Copper clad steel provides a safe, highly reliable alternative to the use of solid and stranded copper for grounding applications. Copper clad steel is specifically designed to disperse fault currents and lightning strikes at a lower total cost of ownership compared to pure copper. It is an electrical conductor that has an outer sleeve of copper metallurgically bonded to a solid steel core. With theft of copper on the rise, the lower copper content in GroundSmart also reduces the attractiveness of the product to thieves.

Shariah Law makes it OK to pay the electric bills late.
The State Bank of Pakistan is on record saying that Islamic Banking Institutions (IBIs) can take payment for utility bills after the due date "with Karahiat (displeasure), according to Shariah Scholars." Might that have something to do with the daily blackouts common throughout Pakistan? The displeasure being mutual.

It was inevitable.
Visible Energy, Inc., creator of connected home energy conservation and management products, today announced its EnergyUFO+ iPad application that allows Pacific Gas & Electric customers in California to access electrical usage data from an iPad. I suppose this is beneficial if you charge your iPAD on a circuit you aren't paying for the use of.

Just wondering.
If at some future date we are all big into cloud computing services and there is a lengthy power outage - thinking about what happens after a big tornado or a hurricane or wild fire - are we then out of luck as far as personal data access goes?

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