Book 3 Chapter 33
The South Carolina fundraiser was a barn burner. People were pumped up ready for something different than the doom and gloom that the media was pushing because of the volcano. I gave it to them with promises that the energy crunch would soon be ending. Progress was being made getting the Midwest and South West wind turbines back into operation with the ash being removed faster than was anticipated.
Early reports on the North West solar panels were disappointing, many were simply going to have to be replaced. Another thing that happened the big battery farms that were to store all the wind and solar generated power to last for days, didn’t. When they were discharged below the minimum voltage for extended periods they shorted out and started fires that were impossible to put out.
One thing that saved many regions was that the utilities saved those gas, oil and coal power plants placing them on stand- by reserve for emergencies. Some areas wanted the publicity of destroying the plants and were now begging to get the electric power those plants were producing.
Many utilities, counties and states were expecting hundreds of billions in handouts. That was not going to happen. I remembered what they had done with all the COVID, monkey pox, bat-fever and homeless fever monies of the past. It was used for everything else. Estimates of damage and needs were horribly inflated. I was sure they had insurance on all that equipment anyhow.
Several nuclear power plants that were slated to close had been given new life after all the rolling blackouts in the west. That new life was a twenty – year extension to their operating license. The anti- nuke people quickly changed their minds after a few weeks of rolling blackouts hit their area with the weather near freezing and high winds.
New nuclear plants were suddenly on the drawing boards and permits applications were in the process for the first time in decades.
Of course, it took some arm twisting at the Nuclear Regulatory commission and the Department of Energy. I was getting really good at twisting arms of long- term bureaucrats. Taking away their agency slush funds and audits by the new Executive investigative Agency ‘EIA’ were beginning to have an effect.
They quickly decided they didn’t want to be in that hot seat. My investigative group made that seat too hot for many to sit in. Especially after several agency heads found out handcuffs did fit their wrist easily for not responding to the subpoenas they were sent.
Several lower courts had ruled that subpoenas were indeed valid. My agency handled things differently than congress. One of the things that happened with the guidance of Curtis Warren was a judge assigned to the executive branch.
The system of prosecutors I had chosen was modeled after the one congress had implemented during the Biden Administration. The speaker of the house and Senate thought they needed prosecutors and a judge. If the congress thought they needed that set up so did the executive branch I reasoned. It didn’t sit too well with congress but they were unwilling to give up theirs so opposition slowly disappeared.
Congress just made news print when someone didn’t show. The EIA sent someone with handcuffs to bring them before the investigators. No agency attorneys were allowed.
Congress asked childish questions as not to offend anyone and get good media. My people asked questions that went to the root of the inquiry to hell with the politics and the media.
We had two more days left on our vacation and we spent both of them on the beach and swimming with the kids. It was on Friday that Lorrie took a call from the Stryker airport sales division. I knew Lorrie had been in several big meetings with them. For a while there had been on – going discussions about having our own crash/ fire trucks at Morton airfield. All large airports had their own fire department.
We had always been confident that the fire truck that the agency had at their hanger was sufficient for our need, that and the closeness of the two local town that both had volunteer fire departments.
But there were delays with the local fire departments under the best conditions it could be ten minutes. With all the growth at Morton in the last three years there were doubts and ten minutes was no longer acceptable. There were too many flights in and out of Morton field with big aircraft with thousands of gallons of fuel.
Then the insurance company started asking questions and that had settled the issue. My mates decided it was time for a Morton field fire and rescue department. I was heavily involved in the task force at the time and let them handle it. That was over a year ago.
‘’ That was our sales man from Oshkosh the maker of Stryker fire and rescue equipment we ordered. Our fire trucks are on the assembly line and should be completed in six months or sooner,’ Lorrie said.
‘’The hangar for the fire equipment will be started in a few weeks and be completed by the time they are finished. It’s going to be 6 six bays. Bob’s Construction is going to finish out the interior building a kitchen, bunk and rec rooms,’’ Lorrie Said.
‘’What trucks did you finally end up ordering? I knew there were several different ones you were looking at,’ I said.
‘’After looking at what several other airports had I decided on getting two Stryker 8X8 Airport fire trucks and two regular run of the mill Pierce fire trucks.’’ Lorrie Said.
‘’ Marcy had the truck salesman from dealer in on the conversations. The 8X8 has dual steering front axles and dual rear axles with aggressive size tires to handle the weight. It’s on a heavy- duty crane chassis,’’ Lorrie Said.
‘’The big tires and four axles will allow it to go in the fields at the ends of the runway if a plane over shoots the runways and crashes even if it is wet,’’ Lorrie Said.
‘’The 8X8 carries 4500 gallons of water– the same as the local fire department tankers carry but also carry six hundred and fifty gallons of the concentrate to make foam. It has a boom with a spear for puncturing the fuselage or containers, it can pump water or foam through the spear,’’ Lorrie Said.
‘’ It takes just two to operate with center drive and everything else to operate the truck is push button from that position. There are three different nozzles he can control all with water or foam the view from the cab seat is amazing. The wraparound doors are part of the windshield, like 254-degree visibility from the seat,’’ Lorrie Said.
‘’I elected to get the high – pressure version (1200 psi) so the water nozzles would be able to sweep the entire length of a C5 or the 747 without moving from a mid- position. It will go from 0 to 50 miles per hour in 25 seconds. That’s quick got an 80,000-pound truck,’’ Lorrie Said.
‘’ I want to take one for a test drive when they come in,’ I said.
‘’They were expensive 8 million apiece but should last us forever. The other two trucks were a million apiece. We seem to think we need six full time men a shift 24/7 to put the two Strykers and one other truck at the scene. There are enough volunteer firemen working at Morton that have volunteered to man the other fire truck if needed,’’ Marcy said.
Sunday morning was spent packing and by noon time we were landing at Morton. I was spending the night at home and then going back to the white house on Monday. All the repairs were complete to the security gates and the now historic tunnel had been added to the list of historic places.
There was a big job ahead for the park service, the Secret Service and the FBI to decide how to handle it as a visitor’s attraction. All the agencies were wanting to just place a photograph display the Smithsonian and seal the tunnel permanently, I was pushing for that outcome.
Even though I enjoyed the vacation in the sun I was ready to get back to the White House. My mates wanted all those extra people out of the basement and I did too. All but a couple packed up their offices and moved back to Washington on Friday.
Marine one landed on the White House lawn at 0700. Monday was going to be filled with updates about everything dealing with Hawaii and none of it was going to be good news.
I spent an hour looking over the weekend national security briefs. At 0800 I was sitting in the first meeting- the hot topic was Hawaii. The volcano had started erupting again sometime during the storm. The storm had moved northwest and away from Hawaii.
The navy fleet of heavy carriers and assault landing ships was ordered back to the former assigned reporting area to begin a new survey of Hawaii and the Pearl Harbor military bases. They were to begin to remove all the nuclear weapons that were in the secure storage bunkers. It would be three days before all the ships were in position.
I went over my schedule for the next month with Troy and my staff. In two -weeks President Orbatch was coming for a state visit this time and to cut the final fuel tank of one of our classes of missiles.
The treaty was moving ahead towards completion. The disassembly of the reactor sections of the Russian submarines in storage was done. The nuclear fuel rods had been removed from the reactors and was in the storage depot in Texas. The reactors themselves were encased in a thousand tons of concrete in steel containers and carried to the Atlantic trench. They were the lowered to the bottom of the trench some fifteen thousand feet deep.
The rest of the submarines were melted down to eventually make replacement disc blades for John Deere, Ford and International farm discs and plow mold boards as part of the import export agreements.
The following week there was a four- day meeting with emir Bello of Nigeria. This meeting was to review the progress of the infrastructure work our aid package was paying for and to talk about adding more to the plans that they were going to pay for.
JBG was now owner of both of the refineries with the second one in overhaul that should be complete soon. The one refinery was producing all the fuel needed with the excess being exported. Two hundred and fifty thousand barrels of jet a and low sulfur diesel had been shipped to the storage tanks at Pig Iron Point in the last few months in lieu of cash payment for the management agreement.
When the second refinery came on line, after the completion of the overhaul, exports would double there by increasing the number of infrastructure projects next year. Emir Bello and staff were happy.
As in all things with progress there were problem and complications for JBG especially with the companies Marcy was in the process of buying.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
I don’t thing you know how much it means to us to receive this latest chapter..
Just remember your health & your better 1/2 must come 1st.
I don’t thing you know how much it means to us to receive this latest chapter..
Just remember your health & your better 1/2 must come 1st…
Glad to see you up and about again!!! While I missed updates on things in this world, your health and family has to come first.
Thanks for the note, Things are going to be slow getting back to normal.