Category Archives: Domestic Energy

The 5 Most Common Plastics And Their Everyday Uses


I think the forecasts that tell us that wind and solar will put fossil fuels out of business by 2050 are pipedreams. Plastics are typically made from oil and natural gas liquids.  Although there have been attempts to use biomass as substitutes for fossil fuels in the making of plastics, they show little promise. So, fossil fuels making plastics will be around for a long time.

To give the reader an overview at how pervasive plastic are, here is a posting by Cutplasticsheeting.com-uk:

The 5 Most Common Plastics & Their Everyday Uses

Despite being all but unheard of until the 1920’s, plastic materials have effectively permeated every aspect of modern day life, from the microchips in your computer to the bags you carry your shopping in. The reason why it seems like plastic can be used just about everywhere is that it is not actually just one material, but a group of materials. There are so many different types of plastic material, and a lot of them, like polyethylene , PVC, acrylic, etc., have incredibly useful and versatile properties.

You would be amazed by just how many types of plastic there are, and how some, like Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK), are quickly taking the place of metals in a wide range of applications. Having said that, plastics with these characteristics are still being developed, and though they’re useful they are not used widely just yet due to their generally higher costs. There are a great many plastics however that don’t have this problem, and though they may not seem quite as impressive now at one time they were practically revolutionary.

The following are the 5 most common plastics along with some of their everyday uses. Just think how much different life was and would be without them, and what inferior materials we would have to use in their place…

1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

One of the plastics you are most likely to come into physical contact with on a daily basis, depending on how it is made PET can be completely rigid or flexible, and because of its molecular construction it is impact, chemical and weather resistant and a terrific water and gas barrier.

Common uses of PET: Soft drink, water, cooking oil bottles, packaging trays, frozen ready-meal trays, First-aid blankets, polar fleece.

2: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Incredibly strong considering its density, HDPE is a solid material that can tolerate high temperatures and strong chemicals. One of the reasons that HDPE is used so regularly is that it can be recycled in many different ways and therefore converted into many different things.

Common uses of HDPE: Cleaning solution and soap containers, Food and drink storage, shopping bags, freezer bags, pipes, insulation, bottle caps, vehicle fuel tanks, protective helmets, faux-wood planks, recycled wood-plastic composites.

3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Cost effective to produce and highly resilient to chemical and biological damage, PVC is easy to work with and mould into shapes; making it an extremely practical material. In terms of properties, PVC is one of the most versatile. It can be used to create rigid, lightweight sheets, like Foamex, but it can also be used to make faux-leather materials like leatherette and pleather.

Common uses of PVC: Signage, furniture, clothing, medical containers, tubing, water and sewage pipes, flooring, cladding, vinyl records, cables, cleaning solution containers, water bottles.

4: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

At general living temperatures LDPE is a highly non-reactive material, which explains why it has become one of the most common plastics in use at the moment. It can withstand temperatures approaching 100°C, and though it is not as strong as HDPE (its high density counterpart), it is certainly more resilient.

Common uses of LDPE: Trays, containers, work surfaces, machine parts, lids, ‘6-ring’ drink holders, drink cartons, protective shells, computer hardware casings, playground fixtures (slides and the like), bin-bags, laundry bags.

5: Polypropylene (PP)

Strong and flexible, polypropylene is a very hard wearing plastic that, when melted, is one of the most effective materials for injection moulding. Having said that, it has quite a high tolerance to high temperatures, relative to other plastics, and is considered to be a food safe material.

Common uses of Polypropylene: Clothing, surgery tools and supplies, hobbyist model, bottle caps, food containers, straws, crisp bags, kettles, lunch boxes, packing tape.

Next we will look a little deeper into fossil fuel use in plastics.

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How Energy And The Paris Agreement Fit In President Trump’s Plans To Make The US Economically Strong Again


A posting by sundance titled “Angela Merkel Reflects Fear And Loathing Amid EU Elites…”.  I believe provides an important perspective on the President Trump’s America First Strategy.  I have focused on Energy and the Paris

Agreement, but Trump’s strategy, as laid out by the author, sundance, is more that those two items.  It really is a plan to make the US economically strong again.

President Trump has put a jaw-dropping U.S. energy platform solidly into place.  You can learn more about them HERE and HERE.  The announcements last week are tectonic in consequence though seemingly lost amid the chafe of media reporting over twitter spats.

Everything President Trump’s team does is connected to a bigger, much bigger, picture than most people are paying attention to.  However, those who control the levers of multinational power are paying very close attention.

At it’s core and central elements ‘America-First’ is about prosperity and national security through the utilization of leveraged economic power.   For four decades, as he built out his empire of holdings, every-single-day at every-single-opportunity, Donald Trump voiced vociferous frustration that politicians were allowing the U.S. to be controlled, lessened, weakened and robbed by multinational economic interests.

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Why Did ExxonMobil Lobby To Stay In The Paris Agreement?


ExxonMobil lobbied President Trump to stay in the Paris Agreement. Can you figure out why that company would wish to do so?

Here are some pickings from the most recent ExxonMobil global energy forecast:

·         Total energy demand by 2040 will be 25% higher than in 2015.

·         Global energy supply in 2040 will be 55% from oil and natural gas. Wind, solar and biofuels will supply only 4% in 2040.

·         Coal use will decline but will still be the third largest supplier of global energy.

·         Global electrical energy demand for transportation will only be 2% of the total global energy demand in 2040.

·         Wind and solar electricity supplies will approach 15% of total electrical energy supply by 2040

·         Although utilization improves over time, intermittency limits worldwide wind and solar capacity utilization to 30% and 20% respectively.

·         By 2040 US and Europe combined CO2 emissions will be about 8 billion tonnes.  The total global emissions in 2040 will be about 36 billion tonnes,

·         Electric cars are a very high-cost option, at about $700/tonne of CO2 avoided.

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Media Not Providing The Real Facts About Wind And Solar Energy


It is likely that a great many people in the US have been led to believe that solar and wind play significant roles in supplying domestic energy.  Further and even more incredibly they are led to believe that solar  and wind will replace fossil fuels in the not too distant future.  The Paris agreement demands that no fossil fuels  be used after 2050

I am too old to make it to 2050,  so I will not be around to see if no fossil fuels are being used at that time.  If you make it to 2050, I will bet that fossil fuel will still be used.

The Energy Information Administration’s(EIA)**, chart on the primary energy sources for the year 2015 is shown below.

Petroleum, natural gas, coal, renewable energy, and nuclear electric power are primary sources of energy. Electricity is a secondary energy source that is generated from primary sources of energy.

 

Note that renewable energy is only 10% of total energy produced in the US.  And of that 10%, solar is 6% and wind is 19%.   Putting the solar and wind as a percent of the total energy consumed in the US has solar at 0.6% and wind at 1.9%.  So, in  2015 only 2.5% of the US energy came from those two sources. Is this compatible with what you are learning from the media?   And those two are the ones that the greenies are banking on to replace coal, natural gas and petroleum.  And though it is counterintuitive, the warmers want to shut down the nuclear plants as well.

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Drain The EPA Swamp-Part 4—Friendly Law Suits (AKA Sue And Settle)


 

The Trump administration has formed a team charged with making recommendations for changes to the EPA. This action is needed because gone are the days when the EPA followed the legislation written by Congress.  Good things were accomplished by the EPA.  But now the EPA has over stepped it authority. The EPA task is to administer the law, not make it. For example, it has developed criteria to justify their own efforts, often invites “friendly lawsuits to expand their activities, and uses “secret science” to justify their regulations:

The following are some of the areas that the team need to address, in my opinion:

  • Social Cost of Carbon
  • Secret Science
  • Peer Reviewed Studies
  • Friendly Law Suits
  • The Endangerment Finding
  • Research Grants
  • Last Minute Regulations

I posted about the EPA’s bad habit of using friendly law suits (also known as Sue and Settle) to get favorable court rulings which they wanted.   That posting follows:

Have you heard of the Sue and Settle scam often used by the EPA? Generally the idea is for the EPA to ask some non-government , big green organization to sue Cartoon - EPA & Energythem regarding some piece of  legislation. The suit is settled by a consent decree where the EPA and the big environmental group achieved their shared goals. The court sets a deadline for comments from other interested parties that is so brief that no one can make meaningful comments in time to prevent legislation from becoming law.

In 2013, the US Chamber of Commerce (C of C) looked into the Sue and Settle issue posting “Sue and Settle—Regulating Behind Closed Doors”. One of the cases the posting examined is discussed in the following:

Regional Haze Implementation Rules

“EPA’s regional haze program, established decades ago by the Clean Air Act, seeks to remedy visibility impairment at federal national parks and wilderness areas. Because regional haze is an aesthetic requirement, and not a health standard, Congress emphasized that states—and not EPA—should decide which measures are most appropriate to address haze within their borders. Instead, EPA has relied on settlements in cases brought by environmental advocacy groups to usurp state authority and federally impose a strict new set of emissions controls costing 10 to 20 times more that the technology chosen by the states. Beginning in 2009, advocacy groups filed lawsuits against EPA alleging that the agency had failed to perform its nondiscretionary duty to act on state regional haze plans. In five separate consent decrees negotiated with the groups and, importantly, without notice to the states that would be affected, EPA agreed to commit itself to specific deadlines to act on the states’ plans. Next, on the eve of the deadlines it had agreed to, EPA determined that each of the state haze plans was in some way procedurally deficient. Because the deadlines did not give the states time to resubmit revised plans, EPA argued that it had no choice but to impose its preferred controls federally. EPA used sue and settle to reach into the state haze decision-making process and supplant the states as decision makers—despite the protections of state primacy built into the regional haze program by Congress.

As of 2012, the federal takeover of the states’ regional haze programs is projected to cost eight states an estimated $2.16 billion over and above what they had been prepared to spend on visibility improvements.”

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Drain The EPA Swamp—Part 3- Endangerment Finding


cartoon-co2

The Trump administration has formed a team charged with making recommendations for changes to the EPA. This action is needed because gone are the days when the EPA followed the legislation written by Congress.  Good things were accomplished by the EPA.  But now the EPA has over stepped it authority. The EPA task is to administer the law, not make it. For example, it has developed criteria to justify their own efforts, often invites “friendly lawsuits to expand their activities, and uses “secret science” to justify their regulations:

The following are some of the areas that the team need to address, in my opinion:

  • Social Cost of Carbon
  • Secret Science
  • Peer Reviewed Studies
  • Friendly Law Suits
  • The Endangerment Finding
  • Research Grants
  • Last Minute Regulation

Of all the items listed above the most significant is the Endangerment Finding.  The Endangerment Finding was prepared by the EPA at the request of the US Supreme Court.  The EPA was being sued by the State of Massachusetts who alleged that the CO2 should be regulated as part of the Clean Air Act passed years before by Congress.   Documentation showed that the Congress had considered regulation of CO2, but had rejected inclusion of CO2 in the Clean Air Act.  In 2007, The Supreme Court ruled, even though CO2 regulation was rejected by Congress, that if the EPA could show CO2 was endangering the people and Earth, then the Court would rule that it could be regulated. The EPA clobbered together IPCC data and announced, to no one’s surprise, that it was endangering everything.   The Clean Air Act had given the EPA nearly free reign to regulate designated pollutants.  Making CO2 part of that Act, now gave them power to regulate CO2 emissions.

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Drain The EPA Swamp—Part 2- Secret Science


 

The Trump administration has formed a team charged with making recommendations for changes to the EPA. This action is needed because gone are the days when the EPA followed the legislation written by Congress.  Good things were accomplished by the EPA.  But now the EPA has over stepped it authority. The EPA task is to administer the law, not make it. For example, it has developed criteria to justify their own efforts, often invites “friendly lawsuits to expand their activities, and uses “secret science” to justify their regulations:

The following are some of the areas that the team need to address, in my opinion:

  • Social Cost of Carbon
  • Secret Science
  • Peer Reviewed Studies
  • Friendly Law Suits
  • The Endangerment Finding
  • Research Grants
  • Last Minute Regulations

I will keep this intro in all the Drain The EPA Swamp postings.

The Clean Power regulations by the EPA essentially shuts down coal based generated electrical power.  The regulations have been stayed by the courts.  The question the courts are asking is regarding the damage to the coal industry and the people dependent on that industry.   The “science” used by the EPA to justify these regulations are primarily predicated on the effect of mercury and 2.5 micro particles emitted by these plants. The courts however have no intentions of tackling the science.  This is unfortunate because both the mercury and 2.5 micron particles are bad science.

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