16 May 2011

Pipe Nightmare

Here's the plan: Build a 93-mile long pipeline, on an Island that is roughly 110 miles long (East-West) by 40 (North-South) miles wide*, that has a population density of over 1,080 persons per square mile, crossing several environmentally sensitive areas ranging from wetlands and aquifers to delicate karst and forest lands, to carry natural gas that you have to import 100% of and sell the whole freaking boondoggle as a "Green Path."

Orwell, you never knew how prescient you were, did you?

Then add the crap-for-cerebrum hypocrisy of having opposed a smaller project, a 42.4 mile pipeline, because it was "disruptive and an abuse of power" in order to shove a bigger pipe project at Us, topped by the shit-for-brains corruption of assigning a large key multi-million dollar contract to a childhood friend who has never built a pipeline in his fucking life, without having the contract go through the proper bidding process.

Welcome to Puerto Rico! Island of Enchantment, as in "Maybe I can fog your brain and make MILLIONS off of your confusion!" The lead witch: Luis "The Larva" Fortuño.

Yes, I called it a witch. And an it. Deal.

Now the corrupt blood-suckers pushing this nightmare are claiming the project is necessary because energy costs in Puerto Rico are too high, usually citing a 21 cents per kilowatt cost versus 10 cents "average" in the States. Wrong. They are comparing the peak rate We pay with the base rate in the States, like comparing the filet mignon you eat every once in a while with the combo you snarf every other day. 'Taint the same thing.

But on another front, why do We pay a higher rate? Well, plenty of companies here get subsidized electrical rates, as do some 21% of Our population (largely on welfare), living large with a capped electrical bill no matter how many AC units and plasma screens their lazy little hearts can keep running all day. Tack on the large number of people and businesses that "steal" electricity through illegal connections (and judicious bribery) and you have a huge amount of electricity that is off the books and on Our paying customer heads.

Our huge cost, like that of other nations, is oil and transportation. We import 100% of Our oil, but can't really negotiate a price on Our own. Uncle Sam has to lord over Us on that, too. Not that We could go out and negotiate a fabulous rate just because We're boricuas, but We could leverage Ourselves into a position where We could get a huge discount from an OPEC country willing to jam a thumb in Uncle Sam's eye. Like Venezuela did and would do again in a heartbeat. So what if that pisses off the U.S. of part of A.? What are they going to do, send a Seal Team? Like you care what Uncle Sam thinks so long as your electric bill is 40% lower...

The enormous lie in all this pipe nightmare is that by importing natural gas, We are going to adequately and cheaply replace oil as the primary fuel for Our power stations. Replacing one import with another import in another market you cannot leverage is like replacing cocaine with heroin: you'll just wither away with a different set of symptoms. The pipeline, laughingly budgeted at $450 million and more likely--if ever built to Our ever-lasting shame--would come out closer to $1.5 billion, just like the leaky, creaky Urban Train to Nowhere. Tack on costs for retrofitting Our power stations and the inevitable corruption and We won't see savings...ever. Because the government controls the power company. And they aren't building this pipeline to save Us money: they're building it to make money for themselves while they can.

The pattern is merely a repeat of past corrupt administrations, but taken to another level. Is it a coincidence that the leading law firm in mortgage processing now happens to be the one that The Larva's wife is associated with? Is it a coincidence that The Larva's chief of staff bullied his way into La Fortaleza and set off a flurry of "big government projects," code for "Let the raping begin!"? Is it a coincidence that the highly-touted "rapes," nicknamed Public-Private Alliances, are stuck because they lack coherent (even by government standards) plans, aside from "Get it in cash"? And is it a coincidence that the largest pipeline boondoggle goes to the inexperienced Larval butt-buddy?

(Am I being offensive enough? I was aiming for "totally disrespectful." I hope I didn't fall short...Yeah, I'm nicer now.)

No, it isn't a coincidence. The "Green Way" is a crock of shit, whether you look at it as "an energy solution," a "political plan" or an "economic strategy." It solves nothing, creates a plan for chaos and corruption and as for strategy, it makes Custer look like Rommel.

Now if only We could wipe these thieves out like Custer...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

* We have gotten used to describing Ourselves as "Cien por treinticinco," one hundred by thirty five. We aren't. We're roughly 110 by 40, which doesn't roll off the tongue as easily, but is more accurate. And don't worry, We're roughly three times bigger than Rhode Island.


Ms. Conciencia said...

You're making me more incredibly skeptic towards the Green Long Shit...errr, the Green Way Pipe. From the announces and news about problems with gas pipes even in Mexico, to economical problems thanks to the same shit in Spain, to now, when you're telling the statistics about the project...well, I can't be amazed about the politicians in here. It just makes me so sick I just wanna puke...

GCSchmidt said...

Ms. Conciencia, stay skeptical: the worst is yet to come. Here's a prediction: the environmental impact statements for the project will be found to have been generated (a) illegally and (b) by companies that don't qualify fully for the task. And unless We get really pissy about it, the pipe will give Us the shaft.

Unknown said...

If they really were interested in using gas as an alternative they should just build a big plant in the south, maybe rescue some of CORCO's terrains. It may even be great politically since it will bring jobs to an area full of voters for the current government.
Moving high tension lines to the metro area is less costly in $$$ and environmental problems.
The whole Via Verde thing is stupid.
Oh, another relatively cheap, fast retrofit they could do too the electrical plants serving the metro area is putting boilers over existing turbines/motors. The heat they produce can heat water in the boilers to produce 20% more electricity for the same amount of fuel.

GCSchmidt said...

Gabo, you are right on all counts. There are cheaper, better and more faster solutions than building a 93-mile hollow dildo to screw Us in several ways. This natural gas idiocy has to be blown up now, or We'll be paying for it for decades while the hyenas cackle in mindless comfort.