Snow Day!!

If anybody wants to call Control's offices in Itasca today, feel free, but no one is going to answer. The snow and ice storm that came down overnight has forced us to close the office and work from home. I know. Life is hard for we journalists. But, we're mushing through the snow, both literal and figurative, to keep you abreast of news, views and other goodies. 

This article appeared in this morning's London Times. Now whether you think global warming is the biggest hoax since Charles Ponzi was in short pants or THE global crisis of the 21st century, the technology talked about--putting CO2 back in the ground instead of blowing it into the air--is interesting. Here's the money quote from a process automation point of view:

And why should the oil industry not seize this opportunity to develop existing technology? True, pumping waste into long-term storage is not what we veteran frontier explorers are used to, with our techno-gambler culture of high risk and high reward. This would be a future service industry, with a price per tonne for all the carbon safely stored. The dull psalm of duty would appear to replace the trill of pleasure - but that is to set the technical challenges too low. The geology and engineering involved are interesting enough to quicken the blood of skilled young people. The task could be tackled properly between now and 2050, with every prospect of technical and commercial opportunity for the UK.

I would add that the opportunities aren't just available in the UK. Just something to think about on a snowy Friday morning. 

And Another Thing

A little context on yesterday's announcement from Emerson about its purchase of Bay-Tec Engineering. (See my post of yesterday.) Bay-Tec is part of the larger Automation Alliance Group, the brainchild of the late Nels Tyring. It's a joint venture of seven or eight systems integrators, who have joined forces to leverage their skills to compete with the integration divisions of the big automation vendors. Yesterday we asked Jerry Moon, p.r. director at Emerson, what the acquisition meant for Bay-Tec's affiliation with AAG. He said in an email, "Bay-Tec continues as a partner in the AAG. This participation is, of course, supported by Emerson Process Management."Okay. But that raises the question of what happens when Bay-Tec--or one of the other AAG affiliates for that matter--wants to bid on a contract to install a big system from one of other big process automation vendors. How's that going to work? And is Bay-Tec going to be in competition with Emerson's own integration team? Just asking.

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