Reg and Syd: Oh Frack!

coal-fired power plant“Hawai‘i Island in the summertime! A brilliant idea for a cruise, if I may say so, Reg!”

“Thank you, Syd, though if I may say so, it does seem rather obvious. Come during the season when most of the madding crowd is elsewhere, and when it’s actually cooler than what most of the mainland United States is. Less extreme weather, too.”

“I’m sure it made your heart glad, watching Darlene cavort with the dolphins in that string bikini.”

“Indeed. And without those pesky ‘keep your 500-foot distance‘ regulations. Folk back home in the Pacific Northwest are learning, but there are still enough scientists and other clueless do-gooders running around to get in the way of your enjoyment of the animals. Speaking of which, I confess I’ll enjoy Darlene more when she’s wearing even less.”

“Heh heh. You are being particularly extravagant these days, my dear fellow.”

“And why shouldn’t I be? All the energy investments are coming up trumps, just as I’ve always said they would.”

“Even your coal holdings?”

“But of course. Did you not see how companies even in America are firing up old coal-burning power plants?”

“No, I missed it. Let’s see … in upstate New York!?!

“In upstate New York. Right next to that holier-than-thou greenie college they’ve got up there. Half of American universities are going under in the next decade or so, if Clay‘s prediction comes true, and that place will be one of them if the dolts running it don’t smarten up.”

“But aren’t they supposed to be in the vanguard of conservation and energy alternatives?”

“Of which exactly how many are online and are worth more than their press releases? Meanwhile, the population is increasing, and so is its need for power. Record demand this past winter, and I’ll bet Darlene’s bikini – nay, I’ll bet Darlene – that not one of those do-gooders who had a choice in the matter risked freezing in the name of conservation or alternative energy. And now we’re coming up on summer. Four straight days of high temperatures in the 90s Fahrenheit, and dewpoints in the 70s, and they’ll all be hollering for power for their A/C. At any price. Mark my words.”

“And do I read correctly that these same greenies got fracking for oil and gas banned in New York State?”

“You do, Syd, you do. In the process putting a sphincter on the state’s energy supply, without managing a corresponding cut in demand, thereby all but guaranteeing that the coal plants would come back online. Profitably, no less. And if they somehow manage to prevent those plants from starting up, and Joe Citizen swelters because the utilities have to impose brownouts and blackouts in the midst of a heat wave, guess who will get blamed for the discomfort, the loss of productivity, possibly even the loss of life? Isn’t it delicious?

“You’re making me thirsty, Reg. How much of that world-renowned cellar did you manage to get aboard this dinghy of yours?”

“Enough to ensure satisfaction of even your discerning palate, Syd. Shall we repair to poolside?”

“Lead on, sir, lead on. And, ah, did Darlene happen to bring a companion?”

“Half a dozen, my friend. Take your pick.”

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