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Yet another alarm klaxon, klaxoning

An intriguing look at the Texas disaster, from the inside.

How would your family, and a hundred thousand other families, like to be stuck in your cars for days at minus 16 degrees?

The death toll would be huge.  It almost happened in New England in 1989.

And in Texas this week.

I was part of the 1989 Freeze and have some hopefully interesting insights.

In 1989, the weather just before Christmas was terrible.  Cold temperature records were set from Texas to New England.

That year, I was responsible for a midcontinent gas gathering system that normally produced about 500 million cubic feet (MMCFD) of natural gas a day.  That could supply up to 2 million New England homes.  During the 1989 Freeze, we produced 30 MMCFD, roughly a 95% decline.  Similar results were happening throughout the Oil Patch.  Supply cratered.

Meanwhile, demand for natural gas was exploding, almost literally (more on that below).  While the midcontinent temperatures were low enough to freeze gas wells, New England had dangerous arctic temperatures of minus 16 degrees.  This created huge natural gas demand for home heating in a major New England town.

The city ultimately weathered that crisis through luck.

Now that we’ve established this guy’s credentials, on to the juicy stuff.

Your city gas company takes gas from high-pressure interstate and intrastate gas pipelines. The gas then moves to customers through its lower-pressured gas distribution pipes. The gas pressure decrease as it as moves to the customers. Normally the utilities’ inlet gas pressure is more than enough for them to supply gas safely.

With 1989 gas production down dramatically and demand exploding, the high-pressure gas system could not supply enough gas to meet demand. This resulted in decreasing line pressures in the high-pressure supply system, lowering the gas utilities’ inlet gas pressure.

The utility’s inlet pressures were so low, and dropping, that soon the distribution system pressures would be below atmospheric pressure. Air could then flow into the gas pipelines. Typically, back-flow valves stop that. Since many of the furnaces were old and converted from prior fuels (oil, coal), proper valving was a big problem.

Oxygen in natural pipelines is incredibly dangerous. Whole city blocks could be destroyed in an air/gas explosion.

To maintain safe gas pressures, the operators wanted to shed load with localized gas shutoffs. Since all non-critical gas loads had already been shutoff, only critical loads were left. This included houses and hospitals. To save the gas grid, the operators had to cutoff gas to a very large number of customers.

Whose gas to shut off?

Scary stuff, this is, and absolutely essential reading. Don’t worry, though; now that Pretend pResident Bai-Ding has given complete access to all aspects of the decrepit and barely-functional US power infrastructure to his CCP handlers and officially made it a wholly-owned subsidiary of ChiCom Inc just like he personally is, I’ll sure our new overlords will be able staighten out this mess for us straightaway.

67 thoughts on “Yet another alarm klaxon, klaxoning

  1. Whose gas to shut off?

    In my area, the PTB decided critical infrastructure had the highest priority for electricity, followed by the highest income areas. They had no outages. The low income areas had 20 minutes of power spread over 48 hours. In the middle were rolling blackouts with 2 hours off and 30 on, for those with 2000 SF houses.

    1. Details, please. I don’t want to cast aspersions, especially on a commenter whose handle I don’t recognize, but your claim sounds an awful lot like claims I’ve heard dozens of times just in the past few years, with the “less privileged” totally at the mercy of an uncaring or even sadistic (white, male) power structure. These claims either are so vague as to be meaningless or turn out to be true once fact checked. In my experience they are uttered solely as a means of staking out the moral high ground.

      Still, you could be correct. Details, please.

      1. He’s a newly-registered commenter and, according to his IP at any rate, is physically located where his comment implied he was. Still could be blowing smoke, natch, but it sounds credible enough to me, especially in light of all the appalling things that have been revealed about our former country of late. Welcome aboard, Mudboy, and good luck.

        1. Thanks, and I really wasn’t (or was trying not to) cast aspersions regarding veracity.

          Buuuut I work in a company full of SJWs and communists. SJWs who have at best a casual acquaintance with the truth. (Redundancy alert, I know.) As noted above, I endlessly hear the claims about deliberate government and corporate discrimination against the poor out of nothing but malice. “The poor”, of course, means blacks and hispanics; no mention of the US having more poor white people than poor black people, though when it suits their purposes the SJWs are quick to yell about more whites than blacks getting government assistance. Much the same goes for writing, in which every editor I’ve communicated with is a lefty and every online writing forum I’m familiar with is utterly infested with lefties who won’t stop bringing politics into discussions and don’t trouble themselves with facts or plausibility.

          Anyway, I endlessly hear woeful tales of some woman screwed over by the system for no reason than racism and sexism, and on the rare occasions that I can get details it turns out not to have happened or at least to be missing some important details, like “she was evicted because she shot at her landlord”.

          Even more false are group or statistical claims about groups of “the disadvantaged” or “the poor”. In my experience, that is. Not to go on and on, the upside is I’ve been conditioned to treat with skepticism any claim about “the poor” being left to fend for themselves in any kind of difficulty.

          1. I don’t know quite where Mudboy is located, but there was certainly very different treatment of different areas around me. I did not see any evidence it was RAYCISSS!!!! evil white Trump supporters causing it, though. The different treatment looked more like triage based on critical services and numbers of people. My area lost power repeatedly, but rarely for all that long; this is a pleasant working class/lower middle class area with a lot of apartment complexes and mid-sized houses. The area to my north never lost power; it includes a major children’s hospital and two other big medical facilities. A friend of mine’s area lost power for over 48 hours; it is a very upscale neighborhood with massive houses, very well off people. (I am sure it normally uses a ton of power, too.)

            So the people choosing who to cut off or ‘rotate’ the blackouts through did not just target all the poor, minority folks. A bunch of VERY well off areas got hit hard, while key locations like hospitals got priority. Which is about as good as can be done, once the situation reached the massively screwed up condition it did. Heads should roll (or some nooses get used) for ever allowing it to reach that point in the first place.

            1. “or some nooses get used”

              We could contact NASCAR for this. I hear they have garage door pulls that can be re-purposed.

              1. Yeah, Noose-car probably has some spare ones around somewhere. 🙂

                I was thinking more along the lines of Texas’ famous ‘hanging judge’ Roy Bean. Judge Bean would have known how to deal with the idiots.

            2. I did not see the different treatments as racist, I see it as corruption. It was local politicians operating as they usually do. The board of the local power company is selected by prior members of the board and the mayor. They are not going to make their own lives or the lives of their political allies uncomfortable, as it would affect their lucrative positions. The unaffected neighborhoods were their own. They simply made rationing decisions based on self interest.

            3. Heads should roll (or some nooses get used) for ever allowing it to reach that point in the first place.

              My Celtic side ancestry reliably informs me that if you coat the severed heads with clay and woad, then you can play a rousing game of football with them.

              It’s a deterrent and a sport! Two! Two great tastes in one!

          2. Anyway, I endlessly hear woeful tales of some woman screwed over by the system for no reason than racism and sexism…

            That’s just not right. You should only discriminate against women because they’re women, not because of sexism.

      2. He’s a newly-registered commenter and, according to his IP at any rate, is physically located where his comment implied he was. Still could be blowing smoke, natch, but it sounds credible enough to me, especially in light of all the appalling things that have been revealed about our former country of late.

        1. I take this as the answer to where – San Antonio area, yes?
          I think the charge that wealthy area’s kept power while the less wealthy area’s (we don’t actually have any “poor”) lost power is at best bogus, and at worse caused by other factors such as critical facility locations.
          And tweets are proof of damn near nothing.

      3. These claims … turn out to be true once fact checked.

        Bah. Turn out to be untrue.

        I blame the error on global warming. Which is real! And we’re all gonna die! Though, in a plot twist, it appears that global warming is going to kill us by freezing.

  2. Barry, There is no critical infrastructure within 5 miles of those areas other than senior management housing. Some of the areas that lost no power were 15 miles distant. You would do well to look at maps before commenting. Saying twitter not being proof is calling us liars for documenting what we saw with our own eyes. Up Yers for your attempt at revision of history.

    1. Hey mudbath, fuck you. You provide no evidence for anything you say, and no, twitter ain’t it.
      Is Texas corrupt? Of course. Have I ever been to Texas? Countless number of times. Did the officials responsible for deciding what area’s to short make those based on where they live? I have no clue and you have provided no evidence of such a thing.

      Maybe before you make allegations you should do some research.

          1. 69 downvotes? Really? Are you 10 years old?

            It actually lends credibility to the skepticism directed at your claims. Just sayin’

            1. The straight line was too irresistible to resist. The joke is still getting upvotes. I am 60 and still have a sense of humor, unlike several of the people greeting me here. Bad things actually happen, and you refuse to see it because you think everyone one who is calling wolf is an SJW liar. You will get eaten by having a closed mind.

              1. Repeatedly no one said you were lying. You may truly believe what you wrote and it may be actually true.

                As SteveF said, it’s not the first.time Leftists come to a site like this, make outrageous claims that are probably not true and then call everyone crazy names. It won’t be the last.

                So stop getting all insulted and tell us some more details so we can see what the truth is.

                I don’t get myself all agitated about anonymous comments on the internet otherwise. Too many people are out there just looking to get us all screaming about INJUSTICE and getting a running start to slam that football that Lucy is holding. Then they pull the football away.

                I’m not going to go running around because Mudboy says so. Give us something besides an anonymous internet comment.

      1. “I see your documented proof of corruption and deny its validity. My opinion outweighs your facts.” We have seen this type of illogical rhetoric before, and it is still despicable.

          1. Not nearly as much of one as you are. You are truly cucked to deny this is corruption and everyone here is lying about what happened. Investigations have started.
            By the way, congratulations. Reposting your comments has tuned you into a meme for being an idiot. Barry might become as famous as Karen.

            1. Nowhere have I denied that corruption exists or that decisions in Texas are not corrupt. Since among your few talents, reading comprehension is not included I will repeat it for you:

              “Is Texas corrupt? Of course.”

              “Follow the money…


              As for your charges, you have not even told us what area you are in much less provided evidence. And so I’ll say it again – “I think the charge that wealthy area’s kept power while the less wealthy area’s (we don’t actually have any “poor”) lost power is at best bogus, and at worse caused by other factors such as critical facility locations.” Note that I used a qualifier “I think” because I don’t know, only that past history is replete with unfounded accusations from dumbasses that prove to be false.

              Since you’ve now proven, repeatedly, that you are a fucking moron, all I’ll do from here on out is point and laugh.

              1. In this case it is not unfounded. I will not dox myself, thank you. The only thing that makes me seem stupid is trading insults with bots on the internet that have obviously lost touch with reality. I do have better things to do like picking up dog turds on my back acre. They will be better company than you even if the brains are identical.

                1. Is this where you stamp your feet and declare that you’re now “Leaving For-EVER!!!”?

                  Asking for a friend.

                  1. Not forever. Just this conversation. Since you read this far, I hope you were entertained.

                  1. Incredible. Mike welcomes Mudboy into the fold and Barry and his allies shit all over him because he doesn’t provide the forensic proof that they DEMAND. What a scurvy bunch.

                    1. And we could all figure the faux canadian in spain would side with a mudboy, the one that makes assertions while not even identifying the area of the country his assertions are for.

                      I asked a simple question: Where?
                      SteveF asked for some details.
                      What we got was henryKaren bullshit. Figures.

                    2. 69 downvotes? Right up your alley there Spanky Juvenilia from Spain. Are you going to accuse us of giving him cooties? Are you going to tell the Teacher we’re being mean to him?

                      All Barry asked for was some back up to his claim. I have no idea if he’s blowing smoke or telling the truth, but as SteveF said, we’ve seen enough BS Accusers over the years to have our doubts about Mudboy.

                    3. There is also the fact that paid leftwing agent provocateurs, seem to show up on websites like CF to steer the conversation from the truth to something else. I have a high suspicion that is mudbaby.

    1. You are full of shit you pussy. I asked nicely what area. When he made his assertion I made a comment without any nastiness to the effect that tweets are not exactly proof.

      For this, I got from mudboy the following: “Up Yers for your attempt at revision of history.”

      That was the first bit of nastiness and I respond in kind. But you, henryKaren are too fucking stupid to even recognize exactly who started the nastiness. Did I mention you’re too fucking stupid?

      Oh and this is a bit more than wondering you maladjusted turd – “Not to go on and on, the upside is I’ve been conditioned to treat with skepticism any claim about “the poor” being left to fend for themselves in any kind of difficulty.”

      1. Excuse my bad manners. I forgot to ask you how y’all doin’ Sparky Buttplug.

      2. No nastiness? Bullshit. Your post that the tweets were not proof was the equivalent of saying I was lying about my previous post, which is highly offensive. I don’t care what your “conditioning” is, calling people liars to their face when given multiple account of the same thing is just wrong. Those were normal people tweeting, not SJWs or liberals. You seriously need to examine your ability to separate reality from your “condition”.

        1. BTW being disabled retired military on a fixed income is not the same as being poor. The people tweeting were not poor either. I was an electronics engineer before I grew too old and decrepit. Being retired military is why I hate liars and detest having my word questioned. Grow up

          1. Oh fuck yourself you poor ignorant creature. Telling you that tweets are poor evidence of anything you said is just being honest. If you wish to get all bent out of shape over it and decide you’ve been insulted that’s your problem.

            I thought you were leaving. You can’t even do that part right.

            1. No, unfortunately for you I am not leaving. This site needs more real conservatives who can think, in order to offset hysterical idiots like you. BTW my yard is clean and your downvote meme is going viral.

              1. It’s pretty laughable that you think “real conservatives” are anything other than people getting their asses handed to them by the damn marxists. You know, like having your power cut off by the bumbling fools that are supposedly conservative, afraid to ramp up the power because the EPA said no, and couldn’t plan their way out of a wet paper bag.

                So no, I’m not a real conservative.

                You talk like a typical lefty. No one called you a liar but your offended anyway. You blame some commissioner because you didn’t have power – somewhere – where we have no clue because when asked your area you claim we’re trying to dox you. Of course no one asked you for your damn address. You decide to escalate the conversation to one of insults by saying “Up yers” then followed by “for your attempt at revision of history.”. What history are we trying to revise?

                Texas, if that is where you are located, had a bad damn cold spell, magnified by poor decisions by your Texas government and the Federal government. The results are what one would expect and you have made accusations that you can’t back up. They may be true, no one has said they are not. We would just like a bit more information so we can decide.

                But you’re simply not very bright.

                1. The question was asked “Whose gas to shut off?” I provided my experience and those of others near me. You called me a liar because it does not fit your paranoid condition. I called you an asshole, since I don’t lie. All of your comments only reinforced my opinion of you.
                  As I said before, the only thing that makes me not seem very bright is talking to people like you. You sound like a card carrying member of your local doomsday militia, where everyone outside of your clique is either an undercover FBI agent or SJW provocateur. Your paranoia has rotted your mind to the point you lost your objectivity. I had an E2 that was like that. He got a section 8 for wearing diapers to the field because he was too scared to piss behind a tree on patrol. Is your nickname Biff?

                  1. Anyone can send a tweet. Do you know any of those people tweeting? It’s typical of Leftists to bomb a site with tweets to create a Narrative. They did it to Trump all the time. Stick around Mr. Thin Skin, you’re great entertainment. For a guy from TX you sure get in a tither easily. Are you really from Portland?

                  2. Geez, you are True Entertainment. You’re a walking cliche. We already know lots of people lost power and because of the power outage gas was for many people of no value. And I’m quite sure gas supply’s were shut as a result of low pressures. None of this has anything to do with your assertion, that commissioners (PTB) chose to shut off the power/gas in lower income area’s. You provide no proof of this, none, nada, zero. Telling you that a tweet is no proof is not the same as calling you a liar. You came here to troll for insults and you’re getting them. Tough shit.

                  3. “You sound like a card carrying member of your local doomsday militia, where everyone outside of your clique is either an undercover FBI agent or SJW provocateur. Your paranoia has rotted your mind to the point you lost your objectivity. I had an E2 that was like that. He got a section 8 for wearing diapers to the field because he was too scared to piss behind a tree on patrol. Is your nickname Biff?”

                    You’re in an institution for the insane, right? Do you know henryKaren?

                    1. Sounds like a typical Leftists definition of a “conservative” actually.

                      Trolling, Trolling the Internet
                      All the live long day.
                      Merrily, Merrily Merrily
                      If we now ignore him will he go away?

  3. Mudboy, a few things you should realize about Barry:

    1) He thinks he’s the smartest person around.

    2) Question that premise and the insults spew out of his spittle-flecked lips.

    3) He is a commenting junkie.

    4) He always has to get in the last word.

    5) He is a keyboard warrior waiting for true Patriots to spring into action so he can cheer from the sidelines.

    And Kenny has his nose so far up Barry’s butt that they have become one and the same organism.

    1. You and mudboy make quite the pair, henryKaren. Your collective IQ is short of 100.

      Once again for your sake henryKaren, you are the asshole that insulted my family without even knowing them, because we disagreed on the seriousness of a virus and the downstream effects of lockdowns. Only first rate assholes do this and you’ve proven over and over to be at the top of the asshole class.

      And you were 100% wrong about the virus. You wanted anyone speaking the truth to shut up, but we would not. So fuck off asshole. You are a dumbass.

      Entertainment. You and mudboy make quite an exhibition.

            1. Probably not 🙂

              While I find no discernible relationship between value and the dollar, I cannot for the life of me understand bitcoin. I’ve read how it works, mining, all the details, and I’ll be damned if understand it as anything other than a new “stock” based on nothing.

              1. It was created out of thin air by somebody.

                Which means they can create as much as they want to create no matter how much mumbo jumbo they give you about “algorithms” or “mathematical models that run on code that can’t be touched”.

                Whomever created the code knows how it works. How would anyone know if they created one bitcoin per day and “sold” it.

                I think it’s a Ponzi Scheme and someday it will all come crashing down like every Ponzi Scheme ever.

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