2023 New Year’s Weekend Open Thread

“Courage is only an accumulation of small steps.”

–George Konrad

44 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    I’m surprised I’ve not read about the new problem that President Joe Biden is causing … [only a minor amount of snark … maybe it is the Colorado Democrats and their anti-oil agenda]

    Suncor has shut down Colorado’s only refinery. That’s raising concerns about air quality and higher gas prices

    The shutdown will disrupt local gas and diesel resources. Grier Bailey, the executive director of the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association, said Suncor supplies between 35 to 40 percent of all gasoline sold in Colorado. A company website notes the facility is also a primary source of asphalt and produces about a third of the jet fuel for Denver International Airport.

    “I think you’ll see drastic wholesale price increases in the next few weeks. And then depending on how other suppliers in the market can compensate, you’re going to see abnormally high gasoline and diesel prices,” Bailey said. 


    • MichaelBowman says:

      Our #PickledPfruit isn’t going to be happy. How’s he going to pin this one on POTUS?!?

    • Suncor's refinery was recently cited by the Feds as routinely exceeding emmissions limits, with Colorado's environmental enforcement lacking. Not sure if that has anything to do with the actual shutdown, but the refinery is a plague on the metro's air quality.

    • Sounds like "mechanical" issues have shut it down. Cold weather and two fires – extensive damage.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      The surrounding communities of color have been paying the price in health and property values for years (but whatcha gonna as long as Pfruit demands cheap diesel fuel?)

      Coloradans Say Suncor Is Making Them Sick. Cultivando Intends to Prove It

      • kwtree says:

        My grandkids have been sick with one respiratory ailment or another since they moved to Commerce City.  Cultivando is doing good work.

        • MichaelBowman says:

          The refinery is one of our dirty little secrets. When I was a member of the green team working on making the '08 DNC Convention more sustainable and trying to figure out how to inch the event into 'carbon neutral' territory we discovered the emissions from SucCor, largely because they use Canadian tar sands oil for their feedstock, gave the City an unusually large carbon footprint.  DIA has an emission profile (at least then) that exceeded Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson because the jet fuel is tar sands-derived (Hartsfield is #1 DIA #5 in passenger travel)

          It's complicated, but one thing you can be sure of is these facilities are almost always a component of poor communities.  There's a reason the three most recent coal plants in Colorado were built in Pueblo and not Cherry Hills. 

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            My reading has said that the refinery was there before there were people living nearby.

            • JohnInDenver says:

              Suncor apparently started up in 1931.

              Riverside Cemetery is up there, basically across the street from the refinery  … and my recollection is it started operations around the time that Colorado became a state.  There were homes, schools, and churches not far away.

              I took a quick look at History Colorado's site and searched for Swansea.   "Immigrant communities have long made Globeville their home. Eastern Europeans came in the late 1800s to work in the smelting and meatpacking industries that thrived along the South Platte River."


          • notaskinnycook says:

            I remember when it blew up back in ’78. We lived in the old, northwest part of Aurora, just across the tracks from Montbello. The explosion knocked everyone out of bed that morning. 

            • Pam Bennett says:

              When it blew I lived in Westminster near Stanley Lake.  It shock wave hit us, the foothills and it was rocking.  A friend was on his way to work at the company across the highway and his car was bounced all over the road.

    • coloradosane says:

      Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, Texas will supply all the hydrocarbons needed most supplied via pipelines to lower cost and distribution.  Plus they will poison their own RED states citizens.  Win Win 

  2. davebarnes says:

    I am sure I will notice the higher petrol prices as I drive my VW ID.4 past dinosaur pee fueling stations.

    Major snark.

    • harrydoby says:

      My wife's ICE vehicle was running on fumes Wednesday, so I volunteered to fill it up for her.  The first cheap gas station I went to in Commerce City had most of their pumps wrapped in yellow bags.  So rather than wait for an occupied pump to free up, I drove about a mile away where regular was just $2.539 a gallon ($43 for the 17 gallon fill-up), and slaked her SUV's thirst.  She's only put 6,000 miles on her car in the last 2 1/2 years because we almost always take my EV with its filling station in my garage.  The cost is 10 cents a kilowatt ($7.50 from 0 to 100%).  Both have equivalent range with full tanks.

      I'm hoping she'll go Hybrid or full EV someday.  Neither of us are Elon fans anymore, so it likely won't be another Tesla.


      • davebarnes says:

        How are you only paying 10¢/kWh ?
        Xcel is charging us 16¢. No time of day pricing.

        • harrydoby says:

          Yes, I’m on TOD metering.  My rate is 10 cents per kw from 7pm to 1pm weekdays and all weekend or holidays.  19 cents from 1pm to 3pm, and 29 cents from 3pm to 7pm Monday-Friday.

          We do laundry and dishes either in the morning, after dinner or on weekends. I usually only need to charge my car about once a week, and then only overnight. A standard (adding 50%) charge only takes about 3 hours on a dedicated 60amp circuit.

        • ParkHill says:

          TOD Pricing is a great way to stimulate behavior change. Another angle on using tax incentives to make renewables cheaper and carbon fuels more expensive. You have winners and losers, but you have a choice as to which one you want to be!

          I put on solar panels a couple years ago, but I'm not sure how to calculate what my EV charging cost would be. I think TOD metering still applies. Meantime, I sneer in the face of inflation on the price of natural gas, as it hastens my paypack period on the panels.

          I'm looking forward to a heat pump, but it's hard to justify the capital expense until the furnace craps out.


          • harrydoby says:

            I'm lucky that my newer home is pretty efficient, making solar panels a marginal improvement.  When I can afford to go with a battery storage system to complement it, I'll probably give it a go.  I looked at a 4kw solar solution.  My Tesla pulls 11kw when charging in my garage, so I'd need to draw from the battery to make up the difference if avoiding the grid.  But my gas heating cost over $100 this month — double the highest I've ever had to pay for natural gas in even the worst month previously.  If I converted the home to all electric, adding solar and a heat pump (the newest ones can handle minus 24 degrees), would be a no brainer.

            • notaskinnycook says:

              I was under the impression that heat pumps aren't terribly practical here as there is so little soil to draw heat from. We can easily dig to bedrock.


              • harrydoby says:

                Here's an article from Consumer Reports about modern air-source heat pumps that handle -29 degrees in Minnesota winter.

                When properly installed, plenty of today’s air-source heat pumps (simply “heat pumps,” for the rest of this article) can keep your home toasty even amid bone-chilling cold, using far less energy than other types of heating systems. Many homeowners will save money with a heat pump, too. While Consumer Reports hasn’t tested any whole-house heating and cooling equipment, including heat pumps, studies and real-world testimonials paint a clear picture that heat pumps can work. According to Dave Lis, director of technology and market solutions at Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), air-source heat pumps can work as a home’s main heating system in almost any climate. 

                Derek Traxler, a computer repair technician from Minneapolis, told us that after his steam boiler broke, he installed a heat pump that has kept his home warm for the past four winters, including during extreme cold snaps, when temperatures dropped as low as minus 29° F. He posted a video to YouTube, captured with a thermal imaging camera, demonstrating exactly that. “The performance has been great,” Traxler says.

                The Denver Post also had an article a few weeks ago about the Colorado incentives for heat pumps. 

              • ParkHill says:

                Oh. You're thinking of something else.  A geothermal heat pump. They do work pretty well.

                Geothermal are more expensive than air heat pumps, which are merely air conditioners that can operate both ways.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Looking forward to delivery of my Ford Lightning.  It's in a snowdrift in a Detroit shipping yard right now awaiting a train ride to Denver! 

        • harrydoby says:

          Great truck!  I love the cavernous Frunk — best in the market!

          If you watch YouTube, I highly recommend Kyle Connor's Out of Spec reviews.  He's done a ton of range, towing, charging, road tripping, etc. tests on the Lightning as well as other EVs.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            Thank you!  Ford (with all of his warts) was a visionary. He had manufactured a hemp-plastic car that ran on hemp ethanol and was going to showcase it in the 40’s – then the War came among, he died and had no one to pick up the ball. We veered rightward into a hydrocarbons era and the rest is history.  

            This truck is a testament to Yankee ingenuity. 

        • Voyageur says:

          What are uou doing with old truck?  Wod love a truck but price is astronomical

        • coloradosane says:

          Nice!  Let us know how that drives and works in deep snow/ice.  I am really interested in one and since we are on San Isabel electric CO-OP TOD I can charge it at 6.2 cents KWH. 

          • harrydoby says:

            Check out this article and short video explainer about the owner's Lightning and snow and ice.

            50/50 weight distribution, All-Wheel-Drive, Locking rear differential.  Just needs better tires that are at least All-Season rated.

            I don't know if they make a truck tire like my snow-rated All-Weather Michelin CrossClimate2's.  They aren't dedicated snow tires but have made all the world's difference on my Tesla this winter.  And I don't have to swap them out once winter is over.



  3. davebarnes says:


    Millennials are shattering the oldest rule in politics 

    Western conservatives are at risk from generations of voters who are no longer moving to the right as they age

  4. notaskinnycook says:

    I'm not at all surprised. The older Millenials were born into Reagan/Bush's America, which they heard their parents talk about. By the time they were old enough to be paying attention themselves, we were in Newt Gingrich's Congress. "Compassionate conservatism" was a cruel myth. What they saw was poor and struggling people abandoned by the government that their teachers taught them was supposed to "provide for the common welfare". To them, it just looked mean. Their take-away? Republicans are mean and mean people suck. 

    • Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

      I can't help but think that the Republican contempt for environmental remediation and protection plays a big role in their move to the left. After all, when we are all dead and buried, they will still be alive and dealing with the shithole of a mess in which we left this planet.

  5. ParkHill says:

    Water War Brewing… Best Article I've seen yet. Abrahm Lustgarten at TPM

    I came to this place because the Colorado River system is in a state of collapse. It is a collapse hastened by climate change but also a crisis of management. In 1922, the seven states in the river basin signed a compact splitting the Colorado equally between its upper and lower halves; later, they promised additional water to Mexico, too. Near the middle, they put Lake Powell, a reserve for the northern states, and Lake Mead, a storage node for the south. Over time, as an overheating environment has collided with overuse, the lower half — primarily Arizona and California — has taken its water as if everything were normal, straining both the logic and the legal interpretations of the compact. They have also drawn extra releases from Lake Powell, effectively borrowing straight out of whatever meager reserves the Upper Basin has managed to save there.

    This much has become a matter of great, vitriolic dispute.


  6. davebarnes says:

    Not Colorado news: very happy advertisers for some American football game that ended in the new year.

  7. MichaelBowman says:

    Hell yeah!!  

    [B]oebert explained how she came up with the restaurant's name.

    She said: "I consulted with my Christian friends and everyone said 'Shooters' sounded like a bar or a strip joint.

    "But I thought, this is Rifle — it was founded around guns and the Old West. We called it Shooters and started throwing guns and Jesus all over the place."

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