Oconomowoc supports high-speed commuter rail

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


An article by By Scott Williams of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Elected leaders here have thrown their support behind a proposed network of high-speed commuter trains linking Milwaukee and Madison.

The Oconomowoc Common Council voted Tuesday to support the Midwest Regional Rail System, which would pass through Oconomowoc.

Gov. Jim Doyle and other proponents of the system envision it as part of a 3,000-mile network linking Milwaukee and Chicago to many other Midwestern cities.

The mayor of Winona, Minn., has been soliciting support from communities along the route between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

In addition to Oconomowoc, those communities include Milwaukee, Watertown and Wisconsin Dells.

5 comments:

Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D. said...

Rail is a good thing, but eventually is will all collapse. Preparing for the end of oil seems like a good idea.

http://www.peakoilassociates.com/POAnalysis.html
http://survivingpeakoil.blogspot.com/

Ed Blume said...

Trains, trucks, and cars don't have to run on pretroleum products, so we in the Madison Peak Oil Group assume that electric-powered rail will be important for moving people and goods in the post-peak world.

Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D. said...

Hi Ed,

Global crude oil production peaked in 2008.

Global crude oil production had been rising briskly until 2004, then plateaued for four years. Because oil producers were extracting at maximum effort to profit from high oil prices, this plateau is a clear indication of Peak Oil.

Then in August and September of 2008 while oil prices were still very high, global crude oil production fell nearly one million barrels per day, clear evidence of Peak Oil (See Rembrandt Koppelaar, Editor of "Oil Watch Monthly," December 2008, page 1) http://www.peakoil.nl/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/2008_december_oilwatch_monthly.pdf.

Peak Oil is now.

Credit for accurate Peak Oil predictions (within a few years) goes to the following (projected year for peak given in parentheses):

* Association for the Study of Peak Oil (2007)

* Rembrandt Koppelaar, Editor of “Oil Watch Monthly” (2008)

* Tony Eriksen, Oil stock analyst; Samuel Foucher, oil analyst; and Stuart Staniford, Physicist [Wikipedia Oil Megaprojects] (2008)

* Matthew Simmons, Energy investment banker, (2007)

* T. Boone Pickens, Oil and gas investor (2007)

* U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2005)

* Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Princeton professor and retired shell geologist (2005)

* Sam Sam Bakhtiari, Retired Iranian National Oil Company geologist (2005)

* Chris Skrebowski, Editor of “Petroleum Review” (2010)

* Sadad Al Husseini, former head of production and exploration, Saudi Aramco (2008)

* Energy Watch Group in Germany (2006)

* Fredrik Robelius, Oil analyst and author of "Giant Oil Fields" (2008 to 2018)

Oil production will now begin to decline terminally.

Within a year or two, it is likely that oil prices will skyrocket as supply falls below demand. OPEC cuts could exacerbate the gap between supply and demand and drive prices even higher.

Independent studies indicate that global crude oil production will now decline from 74 million barrels per day to 60 million barrels per day by 2015. During the same time, demand will increase. Oil supplies will be even tighter for the U.S. As oil producing nations consume more and more oil domestically they will export less and less. Because demand is high in China, India, the Middle East, and other oil producing nations, once global oil production begins to decline, demand will always be higher than supply. And since the U.S. represents one fourth of global oil demand, whatever oil we conserve will be consumed elsewhere. Thus, conservation in the U.S. will not slow oil depletion rates significantly.

Alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. There is no plan, little capital, and little time to develop an electric economy. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment. The independent scientists of the Energy Watch Group conclude in a 2007 report titled: “Peak Oil Could Trigger Meltdown of Society:”

"By 2020, and even more by 2030, global oil supply will be dramatically lower. This will create a supply gap which can hardly be closed by growing contributions from other fossil, nuclear or alternative energy sources in this time frame."

With increasing costs for gasoline and diesel, along with declining taxes and declining gasoline tax revenues, states and local governments will eventually have to cut staff and curtail highway maintenance. Eventually, gasoline stations will close, and state and local highway workers won’t be able to get to work. We are facing the collapse of the highways that depend on diesel and gasoline powered trucks for bridge maintenance, culvert cleaning to avoid road washouts, snow plowing, and roadbed and surface repair.

When the highways fail, so will the power grid, as highways carry the parts, large transformers, steel for pylons, and high tension cables from great distances. With the highways out, there will be no food coming from far away, and without the power grid virtually nothing modern works, including home heating, pumping of gasoline and diesel, airports, communications, and automated building systems.

The power grid for most of North American will fail due to a lack of spare parts and maintenance for the 257,000 kilometers of electric power transmission lines, hundreds of thousands of pylons (which are transported on the highways), and hundreds of power generating plants and substations, as well as from shortages in the supply of coal, natural gas, or oil used in generating electric power.

Power failures could also result from the residential use of electric stoves and space heaters when there are shortages of oil and natural gas for home heating. This would overload the power grid, causing its failure.

The nation depends on electric power for: industry; manufacturing; auto, truck, rail, and air transportation (electric motors pump diesel fuel, gasoline, and jet fuel); oil and natural gas heating systems; lighting; elevators; computers; broadcasting stations; radios; TVs; automated building systems; electric doors; telephone and cell phone services; water purification; water distribution; waste water treatment systems; government offices; hospitals; airports; and police and fire services, etc.

Phillip Schewe, author of “The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World,” writes that the nation’s power infrastructure is “the most complex machine ever made.” In “Lights Out: The Electricity Crisis, the Global Economy, and What It Means To You,” author Jason Makansi emphasizes that “very few people on this planet truly appreciate how difficult it is to control the flow of electricity.”

A 2007 report of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) concluded that peak power demand in the U.S. would increase 18% over the next decade and that planned new power supply sources would not meet that demand. NERC also noted concerns with natural gas disruptions and supplies, insufficient capacity for peak power demand during hot summers (due to air conditioning), incapacity in the transmission infrastructure, and a 40% loss of engineers and supervisors in 2009 due to retirements.

According to Railton Frith and Paul H. Gilbert (National Research Council scientist testifying before Congress), power failures currently have the potential of paralyzing the nation for weeks or months.

In an era of multiple crises and resource constraints, power failures will last longer and then become permanent.

When power failures occur in winter, millions of people in the U.S. and Canada will die of exposure.

There are not enough shelters for entire populations, and shelters will lack heat, adequate food and water, and sanitation.

Water purification and water distribution systems will fail, leaving millions of metropolitan residents without water.

Waste water treatment systems will fail, resulting in untreated sewage that will contaminate the drinking water for millions of residents who consume river water downstream.

After the Last Power Blackout, most people will be left with no transportation, no food, no central heating, polluted water, no way to cut and move wood.

After the last power black out, the people living in rural areas will find that surviving will become increasing difficult without all of the goods from the “outside” (food, canning jars, fencing, roofing, hay, straw, seed, animal feed, plastic tarps, fertilizer, clothes, fabric, medicine, hardware, saws, wood stoves, etc.). The survivors will be the very few who live in areas with good rain and soil and who prepared intelligently for a life without oil.

The National Academy of Sciences concluded in 1977 that a transition away from oil would require the development of breeder reactors, coal to liquids plant development, massive conservation, and the development of batteries that can store much energy.

We have made almost no progress on any of these areas. A heavy battery powered truck can go 40 MPH on a level surface for 60 miles and then needs a 5 hour recharge. With hills this distance reduced considerably. Large electric tractors/combines can go one hour and then need a 5 hour recharge. Currently they run for 12 to 24 hours per day. The capital for an electric economy would take trillions of dollars and then without oil it will not work. Everything, including natural gas extraction and coal mining depends on oil.

It is time to focus on planning for where there is no oil.

There is more here:
http://www.peakoilassociates.com/POAnalysis.html
http://survivingpeakoil.blogspot.com/

Best regards,

Cliff Wirth
603-668-4207
clifford dot wirth at yahoo dot com

Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D. said...

i Ed,

Global crude oil production peaked in 2008.

Global crude oil production had been rising briskly until 2004, then plateaued for four years. Because oil producers were extracting at maximum effort to profit from high oil prices, this plateau is a clear indication of Peak Oil.

Then in August and September of 2008 while oil prices were still very high, global crude oil production fell nearly one million barrels per day, clear evidence of Peak Oil (See Rembrandt Koppelaar, Editor of "Oil Watch Monthly," December 2008, page 1) http://www.peakoil.nl/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/2008_december_oilwatch_monthly.pdf.

Peak Oil is now.

Credit for accurate Peak Oil predictions (within a few years) goes to the following (projected year for peak given in parentheses):

* Association for the Study of Peak Oil (2007)

* Rembrandt Koppelaar, Editor of “Oil Watch Monthly” (2008)

* Tony Eriksen, Oil stock analyst; Samuel Foucher, oil analyst; and Stuart Staniford, Physicist [Wikipedia Oil Megaprojects] (2008)

* Matthew Simmons, Energy investment banker, (2007)

* T. Boone Pickens, Oil and gas investor (2007)

* U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2005)

* Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Princeton professor and retired shell geologist (2005)

* Sam Sam Bakhtiari, Retired Iranian National Oil Company geologist (2005)

* Chris Skrebowski, Editor of “Petroleum Review” (2010)

* Sadad Al Husseini, former head of production and exploration, Saudi Aramco (2008)

* Energy Watch Group in Germany (2006)

* Fredrik Robelius, Oil analyst and author of "Giant Oil Fields" (2008 to 2018)

Oil production will now begin to decline terminally.

Within a year or two, it is likely that oil prices will skyrocket as supply falls below demand. OPEC cuts could exacerbate the gap between supply and demand and drive prices even higher.

Independent studies indicate that global crude oil production will now decline from 74 million barrels per day to 60 million barrels per day by 2015. During the same time, demand will increase. Oil supplies will be even tighter for the U.S. As oil producing nations consume more and more oil domestically they will export less and less. Because demand is high in China, India, the Middle East, and other oil producing nations, once global oil production begins to decline, demand will always be higher than supply. And since the U.S. represents one fourth of global oil demand, whatever oil we conserve will be consumed elsewhere. Thus, conservation in the U.S. will not slow oil depletion rates significantly.

Alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. There is no plan, little capital, and little time to develop an electric economy. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment. The independent scientists of the Energy Watch Group conclude in a 2007 report titled: “Peak Oil Could Trigger Meltdown of Society:”

"By 2020, and even more by 2030, global oil supply will be dramatically lower. This will create a supply gap which can hardly be closed by growing contributions from other fossil, nuclear or alternative energy sources in this time frame."

With increasing costs for gasoline and diesel, along with declining taxes and declining gasoline tax revenues, states and local governments will eventually have to cut staff and curtail highway maintenance. Eventually, gasoline stations will close, and state and local highway workers won’t be able to get to work. We are facing the collapse of the highways that depend on diesel and gasoline powered trucks for bridge maintenance, culvert cleaning to avoid road washouts, snow plowing, and roadbed and surface repair.

When the highways fail, so will the power grid, as highways carry the parts, large transformers, steel for pylons, and high tension cables from great distances. With the highways out, there will be no food coming from far away, and without the power grid virtually nothing modern works, including home heating, pumping of gasoline and diesel, airports, communications, and automated building systems.

The power grid for most of North American will fail due to a lack of spare parts and maintenance for the 257,000 kilometers of electric power transmission lines, hundreds of thousands of pylons (which are transported on the highways), and hundreds of power generating plants and substations, as well as from shortages in the supply of coal, natural gas, or oil used in generating electric power.

Power failures could also result from the residential use of electric stoves and space heaters when there are shortages of oil and natural gas for home heating. This would overload the power grid, causing its failure.

The nation depends on electric power for: industry; manufacturing; auto, truck, rail, and air transportation (electric motors pump diesel fuel, gasoline, and jet fuel); oil and natural gas heating systems; lighting; elevators; computers; broadcasting stations; radios; TVs; automated building systems; electric doors; telephone and cell phone services; water purification; water distribution; waste water treatment systems; government offices; hospitals; airports; and police and fire services, etc.

Phillip Schewe, author of “The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World,” writes that the nation’s power infrastructure is “the most complex machine ever made.” In “Lights Out: The Electricity Crisis, the Global Economy, and What It Means To You,” author Jason Makansi emphasizes that “very few people on this planet truly appreciate how difficult it is to control the flow of electricity.”

A 2007 report of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) concluded that peak power demand in the U.S. would increase 18% over the next decade and that planned new power supply sources would not meet that demand. NERC also noted concerns with natural gas disruptions and supplies, insufficient capacity for peak power demand during hot summers (due to air conditioning), incapacity in the transmission infrastructure, and a 40% loss of engineers and supervisors in 2009 due to retirements.

According to Railton Frith and Paul H. Gilbert (National Research Council scientist testifying before Congress), power failures currently have the potential of paralyzing the nation for weeks or months.

In an era of multiple crises and resource constraints, power failures will last longer and then become permanent.

When power failures occur in winter, millions of people in the U.S. and Canada will die of exposure.

There are not enough shelters for entire populations, and shelters will lack heat, adequate food and water, and sanitation.

Water purification and water distribution systems will fail, leaving millions of metropolitan residents without water.

Waste water treatment systems will fail, resulting in untreated sewage that will contaminate the drinking water for millions of residents who consume river water downstream.

After the Last Power Blackout, most people will be left with no transportation, no food, no central heating, polluted water, no way to cut and move wood.

After the last power black out, the people living in rural areas will find that surviving will become increasing difficult without all of the goods from the “outside” (food, canning jars, fencing, roofing, hay, straw, seed, animal feed, plastic tarps, fertilizer, clothes, fabric, medicine, hardware, saws, wood stoves, etc.). The survivors will be the very few who live in areas with good rain and soil and who prepared intelligently for a life without oil.

The National Academy of Sciences concluded in 1977 that a transition away from oil would require the development of breeder reactors, coal to liquids plant development, massive conservation, and the development of batteries that can store much energy.

We have made almost no progress on any of these areas. A heavy battery powered truck can go 40 MPH on a level surface for 60 miles and then needs a 5 hour recharge. With hills this distance reduced considerably. Large electric tractors/combines can go one hour and then need a 5 hour recharge. Currently they run for 12 to 24 hours per day. The capital for an electric economy would take trillions of dollars and then without oil it will not work. Everything, including natural gas extraction and coal mining depends on oil.

It is time to focus on planning for where there is no oil.

There is more here:
http://www.peakoilassociates.com/POAnalysis.html
http://survivingpeakoil.blogspot.com/

Best regards,

Cliff Wirth
clifford dot wirth at yahoo
Telephone 603 six six eight four two zero seven

Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D. said...

P.S. Ed,

There are 5.8 million miles of paved highway and only 180,000 miles of rail (much located in the Northeast), so rail offers little coverage.

I don't hear much about the nation renovating the old rail system that had much coverage.

Unfortunately, we are out of capital and time to develop much in the rail and solar/wind area, and now with higher cost for oil, the cost of infrastructure development will be 10X and then 100X more expensive as time goes on.

Peak Oil is now.