Energy Policy

Will Bitcoin Destroy the World?

Featured image I have to admit that I don’t understand bitcoin. Go ahead: read the Wikipedia entry for how bitcoins are “mined” and see if you can understand it. The price of it is soaring again on the market today, to over $15,000 now $18,000 now $19,000 (this movement happening as I write this item!) in what looks like a classic bubble. I think I’ll stick with my hypothesis that bitcoin, and its »

Latest from the Electric Slide

Featured image China has built its first all-electric cargo ship: A Chinese company has built a 2,000 metric-ton (2,204 tons) all-electric cargo ship, which was launched from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in mid-November, according to state-run newspaper People’s Daily. The 70-meter long (229 feet) and 14-meter wide (45 feet) ship is equipped with over 1,000 lithium batteries, with a total capacity of 2,400 kilowatt-hours. By comparison, Tesla’s Model X is »

A Visual Lesson in Energy Density

Featured image I normally try to stay away from posting complicated charts and graphs, for the simple reason that they are hard to decode. But the chart below, from Max Roser, the project director of the terrific “Our World in Data” site housed at Oxford University, is just too brilliant not to pass along. It shows in two panels how pathetic is the energy contribution of wind and solar power, and why »

Shocker: Al Franken doesn’t know what he’s talking about

Featured image You would think that a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources would understand the economics underlying federal oil and gas leasing. Or that if he didn’t, he would bone up before orating about the subject. And you would certainly think that the member would understand the economics of leasing and drilling before proposing an amendment to legislation regarding the matter. In Al Franken’s case, you would »

Who Pays For “Green” Energy?

Featured image These days, there is considerable obfuscation about the true costs of “green” energy–basically, wind and solar. Politicians, regulators and sometimes utilities assert that wind and solar are efficient–that they actually are price-competitive with reliable energy sources like coal and natural gas. If you know anything about energy, you know this is an absurd claim. If it were true, we could do away with all subsidies for wind and solar, but »

Today in Energy

Featured image The good people at the Daily Shot, the Wall Street Journal‘s digest of interesting charts and graphs on all things economic, has some nice snapshots today of the energy sector in the U.S. and for the world. Some interesting things to note here. First, U.S. oil production has just reached an all-time high. Lesson: who turned out to be right about America’s energy potential—Sarah Palin and “drill, baby, drill,” or »

Green Weenie of the Year: Mark Jacobson

Featured image It is tempting to award Mark Jacobson of Stanford University the All-Time Green Weenie Award. Jacobson is the charlatan who says that the United States can supply 100 percent of its energy needs by the year 2050 with wind and solar power, along with some pumped hydro storage (as if environmentalists will sign off on the hundreds of dams and pipelines such a system would require). “No natural gas, biofuels, »

“Green” Energy Fails Every Test

Featured image Liberals will tell you that Minnesota is one of the nation’s leaders in “green” energy, so its experience represents a good test: can green energy fulfill the extravagant promises made by its backers? The answer is a resounding No, according to a blockbuster paper by our own Steve Hayward and Center of the American Experiment’s Peter Nelson. The paper, titled “Energy Policy in Minnesota: the High Cost of Failure,” can »

Minnesota Mischief

Featured image To offer a benign variation on one of Scott’s themes, this morning two “Minnesota men” and a California man released a new study showing what total bosh Minnesota’s state energy policy is. The “Minnesota men” were John and his colleague Peter Nelson, and I was the “California man.” The study, “Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure,” now up on the Center of the American Experiment’s website. Minnesota, »

Ban Gas-Powered Cars? California Is Thinking About It

Featured image It isn’t enough for California to contemplate its own state-run single payer health care system that would require, at a minimum, tripling the state budget. Now a lawmaker wants to have the state ban gasoline-powered cars by the year 2040. I certainly hope California follows through and tries this. If nothing else, it will provide wonderful black market opportunities. Think of all the meth labs that will convert to mini-refineries, »

Energiefehler in Deutschland

Featured image No matter how often we pile on the fraud that is Germany’s energiewende (for “energy transition”), it never gets old pointing out that it should really be called energiefehler—”energy failure.” Today the New York Times acknowledges it as such: Germany’s Shift to Green Power Stalls, Despite Huge Investments A de facto class system has emerged, saddling a group of have-nots with higher electricity bills that help subsidize the installation of »

“Negawatts” Turn Out to Be Nugatory

Featured image One of the favorite energy ideas of the thermageddonites is that we can meet a large portion of our energy needs through energy conservation, sometimes called “negawatts.” You don’t need to supply energy you don’t consume! In California, the shutdown of our last nuclear power plant in five years, which currently supplies more electricity than all of the solar panels in the state, will supposedly be replaced by new renewable »

The Future of Energy Is Still . . . Coal

Featured image Renewable energy, along with unicorn flop sweat, Al Gore’s organic gasses, and moonbeams always get the ink for the “future of energy.” And don’t forget how Tom Friedman and others like to remind us that China is going to overtake the U.S. as a “clean energy leader” because Trump dumped the Paris Climate Accord (thereby causing Hurricane Harvey in the process). Turns out if you look close you find out »

Frack This

Featured image I do hope that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo runs for president in 2020, and further that he is the Democratic nominee. He appears determined to make upstate New York into  the East Germany of America by his intransigent refusal to allow fracking to produce natural gas, thus keeping shale gas-rich upstate New York from enjoying the same kind of prosperity as western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Cuomo’s anti-gas bias extends »

The Problem with Legal Weed: Its Carbon Footprint! [with comment by Paul]

Featured image There are lots of reasons to be skeptical of our headlong rush to legalize recreational use of marijuana, especially the increased potency of marijuana products in recent years (this is not your hippie father’s weed!), to new research that it has serious effects on cognitive functions, and possible real psychological harm. But what’s the real reason people are having second thoughts about marijuana legalization? It’s not compatible with energy efficiency! »

Time To Think About Nukes Again?

Featured image Even if you are a sensible person and think climate change is a lot of trumped-up Gore (heh—chew on that mixed metaphor for a while; green heads might explode), the idea of a revival of nuclear power still seems like a good idea in the abstract. But the nuclear revival hasn’t been going well. Toshiba is in bankruptcy from the cost overruns of the one big new nuclear plant we’re building »

Electric Car Talk

Featured image My post on the problem of subsidies for electric cars here the other day prompted a vigorous discussion in the comment thread, much of it about things I didn’t say.* Let me step back and reset the discussion with a few broad propositions about the subject before introducing something new. 1. Electrification of our overall energy use is a trend that has been under way for some time, and will »