One Million COVID-19 Deaths in the US

Back when this pandemic started, in March 2020, I was trying to get a grip on want was going on. There was lots of noise and conflicting information. I remember talking to a neighbor and telling him my estimate was one million dead before this is all over. I didn’t mean this as an exact tally, but an engineering estimate. It was going to be more than a few thousand, more than a hundred thousand, but less than many millions. He seemed skeptical, but I still remember the hard look he gave me. I decided to document my concerns (Weighing in on COVID-19). It didn’t happen quite the way I expected, but here we are at a place that was unthinkable to most people. I also believe this is a very low estimate. It will take time to see what part of excess deaths get assigned to covid.

ERCOT urges Texans to cut back on power usage over weekend

The Texas power grid seems to have trouble with both cold and hot weather. It also can’t seem to get electricity from where it is made to where it is needed. Finally, it won’t buy power from neighboring states. All of this means electricity prices will go up, way up. I expect rolling blackouts as we hit records across multiple days here, and it’s only May. Anyone out there still remember Enron? That was the last time the Texas energy boys figured out how to make vast amounts of money while delivering less of their product (electricity). Could even be the same people.

ERCOT urges Texans to cut back on power usage over weekend

Oil Profits and Inflation

I see inflation stories at the top of the news every day. Even the local news. Oil continues at $100 bbl for no particular reason, and big oil companies like BP, Shell and Exxon dial in record or near-record profits. How much of inflation is caused by, let’s call it what it is, oil company profiteering? I can’t seem to find any data making the link. Hers the latest Big Oil news.

Saudi Aramco overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable company

More Texas Electric Grid Ripoffs

Texas refuses to buy power from other states, even given the recent stunning shortfalls of the Texas power grid. This seems to be simply to avoid Federal regulation, and allow overcharging to Texas consumers. It turns out it is even worse than that. There is extremely cheap power in places right in Texas that can’t find it’s way to where it is needed. So people are paying very, very high prices when there is very, very cheap power right nearby. It is almost as if the Texas power companies don’t want to save customers money. From Shelby Webb on Twitter:

This is wild. Wholesale power prices have spiked in the Houston region, north of $317 per megawatt hour. But less than three hours away in Calhoun County (where there’s a lot of wind power), prices are NEGATIVE $883