Toasting our nukes

Turning nuclear winter into petro-summer before we even get to March


Not to distress anyone, but Pantex, the primary nuclear weapons plant in the nation, was evacuated yesterday because of an uncontrolled, fossil-fueled brushfire sweeping through the scorchingly hot Texas panhandle.

According to spokesman Steve Meyers, Pantex has deployed “thoughts and prayers,” so the situation is now well under control. Other than the now-500,000-acre wildfire being zero percent contained.

The region is also home to a growing number of bitcoin mines, consuming ever greater amounts of electricity to turn the universe into paperclips. The U.S. District Court of West Texas’s lunatic Trump-appointed Alan Albright has just issued a restraining order against the Department of Energy to prevent it from surveying the energy use of bitcoin miners.

We’re getting an extra day of February, so there’s still time for more Chi-town tornadoes, Nebraska golfcourse fires, Kentucky golfball hail, and other summer-size fun before we hit March. Thanks to the fires, it’s a hazy shade of petro-winter on the east coast again.

National Bureau of Economic Research economists still love carbon taxes, because their toy economic models love carbon taxes.

Congratulations to Aparan Mukherjee, the new executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

At 10 am, the Senate Energy Committee chaired by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) discussed developing geologic hydrogen in the United States with the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) director Evelyn Wang, U.S. Geological Survey petroleum geologist Dr. Geoffrey Ellis, and hydrogen mining company Koloma CEO Pete Johnson (no relation). Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) smartly raised the question of the greenhouse impact of hydrogen leakage. Johnson, the only non-scientist on the panel, waved away concerns, confidently claiming that hydrogen leakage is only around 1 percent.

Also at 10 am, the Environment and Public Works Committee interviewed Army Corps of Engineers officials on their priorities for the Water Resources Development Act, and the Commerce Committee interviewed Federal Maritime Commissioners Daniel Maffei and Rebecca Dye, both of whom have been renominated to serve a further term.

At 2:30 pm, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will participate in a rare Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, the first of the year.

Hearings on the Hill:

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