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Despite California Statehouse Mandates for “green energy” production, LA County is going after folks living off the grid in Antelope Valley. Is this a “Blazing Saddles” land grab? Municipal power and water monopoly? Or just plain heavy handed version of “We don’t want your kind here!”
Since when do SWAT Teams deliver *alleged* code violations?
Read the original story in its entirety HERE
Exclusive “Off the Grid” Report
Prepping Possum Holler
Part Two: Bio-gas Generator Systems
by Rick Osmon THEI.us Web Master/Writer
In the event of a total societal and industrial breakdown, the local gas station has about 6 hours of stock. After that, you’ll either be burning stored gasoline or making your own fuel. Most people would be clueless where to start on the latter. I sure was, and then I spent time and money to get educated on it. So now I have a clue, but I haven’t yet solved the case.
Bio-gas is one form of fuel that your stationary small engines (like generators) can be adapted to use. Burning it is actually easy, but manufacturing it and storing it are not so much. Almost any vegetable matter, including manure, can be turned into biogas and solid byproducts (fertilizer), but, as you may imagine, it can be a dirty and dangerous business.
Another source of gas is lake water, well sort of. The bubbles that come up through a lake are methane and quite combustible.
So, I’m working on a system to collect that gas and run it into a generator. On my scale, it will require at least a quarter acre to an acre of heavy plastic sheeting, a bunch of plastic pipe, some metal pipe, valves, some weights, a couple thousand zip ties, a thousand feet of heavy buried electrical cable, a small generator house, and will require a decent size jon boat and a few hundred feet of rope for the installation process. In order to maintain the gas pressure I will need to run the engine(s), the highest point of the collector will have to be at least 17 feet beneath the lake surface.
I have several advantages in this scheme: (1) I own the lake and it’s of appropriate form and size, (2) I already own a generator capable of powering the all electric farmstead, (3) it’s rural, so the noise, code, and zoning restrictions are not insurmountable, (4) there are several interested private parties willing to help with construction and installation.
There are also some disadvantages: (1) I have no way of actually measuring the amount of methane this lake produces, so I can’t know for sure the production is adequate for this plan; (2) The plastic sheeting could be subject to damage during certain recreational activities and fishing in this lake could end up being a primary source of protein in a true SHTF scenario; (3) One level or another of government is going to figure out a way to tax it.
There are also some modifications required to make the generator run on biogas. I’ll be using the research already done by others as a starting point, but I still need to get it right the first time if I don’t want to buy expensive replacement parts. Some of the best work has been done by B. T. Nijaguna
If I get everything right, I should be able to produce 6.375 kW continuously – on free fuel – using a generator I already own, generally available materials, and comparatively easy construction.
That would generally be more electrical power than this place would consume and, in theory, I would be able to sell some back to the grid. But right now, my home State of Indiana is entertaining a move to allow the grid operators (DUKE) to only pay wholesale AND to charge fees for hooking up as a seller. This will kill most wannabe small producers’ plans. I’ll forego the net metering and lose the revenue from sales in exchange for not paying their exorbitant rates.
Stuck out in the sticks as our place is, should a real disaster happen, we are on our own with regard to utilities. While it is possible to live completely off the grid and even somewhat rewarding and gratifying to do so, it’s also a real pain in the ass. But there will come a day (or a week or an eternity) when there is no other choice.
Yes, we have generators and a few used photo-voltaic panels (which are near the far end of the useless scale by the time somebody gets rid of them), but we also need something that will generate enough heat to melt steel without eating all our every day living energy. So, we found a couple “free to a good home” rear projection TV’s that don’t work right or don’t use the digital signal or for some reason don’t suit the persons parting with said TV’s. Well, rather than expend many hours making a documentary video about how to use a rear projection TV as a steel mill, here’s one already made by Grant Thompson “The King of Random”. I think maybe he’s also the King of Life Hacks
View from the Rocky Mountains near Cody, WY, image: Wikimedia Commons
Why is the EPA altering state boundaries in Wyoming – and reversing over 100 years of established law? Well, apparently the city of Riverton now falls under the jurisdiction of the Wind River Indian Reservation. This, obviously, isn’t sitting well with the governor’s office – which is urging the EPA to reconsider its ruling and respect the rule of law.
Reacting to the decision to reduce the size of Wyoming by about a million acres, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead warned of the dangers to all Americans of this type of unilateral land redistribution by the EPA:
– See MORE (from CNSNEWS)
But, there may be much more to this story behind the scenes. Riverton is also home to scientific instrument maker Brunton, Inc., makers of the Brunton Pocket Transit. This instrument is a favorite of professionals from geology to artillery to surveying to archaeology. It’s not cheap at MSRP $820.00, but it is about the most compact instrument available combining all the same capabilities and accuracy.
The debate to this point is not whether, but how to fight the EPA decree.
One alternative has yet to surface in the press: A legally limited partnership including the city of Riverton, each of the tribes, Brunton, perhaps other local employers, and the State of Wyoming. It would enjoy governmental oversight by multiple sovereign entities under the 10th Amendment, would represent all the ostensibly interested parties and it may negate the perception of “us versus them” among the parties.
Why would Brunton be interested in partnering with the tribes? If the agreement included employment among tribe members, it would qualify for several Federal tax breaks/credits and training programs, even through advanced degrees. And the indigenous population of Wyoming has at least 5,000 years of experience in direction finding.
Is there some nefarious reason the EPA would make such a decree? Well, maybe, maybe not, but the action could have significant ripple effects throughout the scientific, navigation, military, and engineering fields.
Brunton also produces solar powered and dense battery power for remote crews, like surveyors, archaeologists, zoologists, botanists, oceanographers, geologists, nautical pilots and navigators, forward, detached, or bivouacked military, or anybody else who has to – or chooses to – live off the grid. At the very least, forcing Brunton to move its entire operation would be a significant cost added to an already premium brand of instrumentation and support gear. This is especially poignant in light of cut rate Chinese imports or even more expensive, but no more capable European varieties.
True, few people carry a pocket transit or even a simple compass in their everyday life, unless it’s built into their cell phone or vehicle. Others use it as one of the core tools for making a living.
Wyoming will almost certainly challenge the legality of the EPA ruling – and it should, simply on the basis of checks and balances. Would Wyoming play the 10th Amendment card? Would they win on that basis? Those questions are nearly impossible to predict. Whatever the outcome, this is sure to be a precedent-setting case that could potentially affect every US citizen and set a new direction for what is and is not sovereign among the various States.