Kind of makes a pot smoking, environmentalist a contradiction.
Prediction: Pete Holmes will come out against Inslee's Cap and Trade Plan because the it would dramatically increase the price of legal pot.
Someone needs to invent LED grow lights.

@ 1, they could try to get solar and wind power in the meantime.
If only you could grow pot outside under that big glowing orb...
@ 4, in the PNW?

Which gets me to thinking... Do tomato growing greenhouses use that kind of energy too?
Of course the answer is the power source that dare not say its name.
@3 my 11 band LED works great.
@4, That won't work to get the quality they want in a state where we tell the change of season by temperature of the mist. Hot grey mist, its Summer. Cold grey mist, its Fall. Lukewarm grey mist is ambiguous. You don't know if is Spring or Fall.
Like the data centers, most of those grow operations are in Eastern Washington and running on clean, cheap hydro power.

@5: I don't think the return on investment from growing tomatoes would justify indoor tomato grows (different than greenhouses, which still rely on sunlight).
The current VC-25s (modified passenger 747-200Bs) were built in the 80s, it shouldn't be surprising to see an update especially when you take into account that you're jumping two generations here.

@3 Or you could trade your coal shit for modern nukes when local capacity for wind/solar is exhausted.
Are biofuels a bad idea?
Well yes, IF you're making them from corn or otherwise devoting arable land explicitly to them. The sensible approach is to make biofuels from cellulose rather than sugars/starches. There's been promising research into making fuel from silage and genetically modifying weeds like switchgrass, which are capable of growing in marginal areas that can't support food crops, to produce biofuel precursors. We're still doing things the stupid way (corn ethanol), though, thanks to the efforts of the corn lobby.
They already have LED grow lights. I don't think they save very much power in the long run. I don't know for sure.

How bout letting us grow OUTSIDE and farm like regular crops!? Might not eliminate all indoor growing but we could at least put a dent in it.
What venomlash said. Corn biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel) are flat-out evil, but the lobbyists keep them coming, and also keep research money out of better alternatives.
Since a vast majority of our electricity is hydro, doesn't that make the carbon footprint of Pac NW indoor grows pretty damn close to ZERO? In fact, I think that's a strong case for the Pac NW being the ideal place to have these operations.
@11/13 - There's also some very promising research into algae-based biofuel. The biggest problem there is keeping the massive artificial swamps from becoming weed-clogged, apparently.
@11/12 are correct. Plus LED grow lights save $ spent. And some optimal biofuels are: switchgrass and chicken poo. No, seriously.
@15 in non-drought areas.
@5: The secret is to grow it in a place with decent sunlight and specialize for the seasons. The Tri-Cities would be a great place for a greenhouse in the winter. There are other places that are good for growing in the summer. Market forces will eventually force this to happen, but it is disappointing that high power ops are still economical. When other States get into this business and if a cross-State trade can be established, these high power ops will be as absurd as they would be for wheat.
@14: No. Electricity is fungible. Unless you are disconnected from the grid, the power you use could be exchanged to reduce the power of a coal or natural gas plant somewhere else.
@14: And this reminds me of an issue with the marijuana law. In order to have the market have the biggest effect in reducing energy costs, the regulation of production should be done by sales points, not the farms. When you do it at the farm level with a constant demand, the farms can simply design for the current price (which will hardly change due to a constant demand), and you can be profitable. When you do it from the stores, they get to pick where they want to buy it from. If one farm can produce large amounts very cheaply with greenhouses and fields and undercut the idiots with light bulbs, then they will run the less economical farms out of business.
@15: One of the gnarliest proposals I've seen in that regard is a "bioreactor" hooked up to power plant exhaust (electrostatically scrubbed first, naturally). Thermotolerant cyanobacteria bathed in diffused sunlight (they don't need a whole lot of light) and draped over a series of racks and baffles thrive in the high-CO2 flue gas, producing biomass suitable for fuels while simultaneously reducing power plant emissions.…
#19, while it is true that AC travels over distance better than DC, it isn't like Seattle can just send power to New York. LA, sure. But distance is a factor. It isn't a magical 1:1 exchange.
@22: Washington does export power to California. But it could just as easily export power to other States on the grid, Including Montana, Idaho, Utah, etc. So while there are line losses, it is still tradable with other power sources that burn carbon. If you reduce your energy usage in Seattle (which you get with line losses primarily from dams hundreds of miles from Seattle), then that power can be sold against carbon burning sources. There are also coal and natural gas plants in Washington that you could offset.
SPOG is scaring me. They sound like a gang of thugs who think their version of something is the one true version and disagreement will be met with ridicule, humiliation or intimidation. They enjoy their considerable powers and privileges thanks to the tax-paying citizens they often denigrate. They need reformation . . . or dissolution.

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