Energy Policy

Uranium mining and states rights

Featured image Four decades ago a massive uranium deposit was discovered in southern Virginia. This gave rise to one of my first assignments as a lawyer in private practice. Various interests wanted badly to have the uranium mined, but environmentalists were dead set against it. Cissy Spacek, star of the film “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” attended a public hearing at which opposition was vehemently expressed. My job was two-fold. First, help identify a »

“Green” Energy, an Environmental Disaster

Featured image One of the worst features of both wind and solar energy is that they are terrible for the environment. Land-based wind turbines are bad enough, but offshore installations are a fiasco waiting to happen. Steve Goreham writes at Watts Up With That? Several eastern US states are planning major investments in offshore wind. Wind turbines are touted as clean, green, and economically sound. But experience from around the world shows »

If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Do They Make Electricity So Expensive?

Featured image We are constantly hearing about the declining cost of wind and solar energy. Yet electric rates keep rising, especially in areas that have invested heavily in these “green” technologies. How can that be? Michael Shellenberger answers that question in a guest post at Watts Up With That? Over the last year, the media have published story after story after story about the declining price of solar panels and wind turbines. »

The Wind Energy Fiasco, Writ Large

Featured image Until such time as electricity can be stored at scale, wind energy is a terrible idea. Across the U.S., wind turbines produce electricity approximately 40% of the time. That means they are unreliable. Since we expect the lights to go on 100% of the time, we need enough reliable energy sources–coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric–to meet peak load. Which means that wind energy is inevitably an expensive sideshow. Why do »

California’s Suicide Attempt, Part 6: Let’s Make Housing More Expensive!

Featured image Not sure whether this item deserves to be filed under “California’s Suicide” or our “Green Weenie” category.  Apparently California’s governing class thinks the cost of housing isn’t high enough, because the state government has just mandated that all new housing starting in 2020 must come with rooftop solar power. You have to be rolfing roofies to think mandated rooftop solar makes any sense. MIT’s Technology Review notes: “The new rule »

Pop Culture Tidings

Featured image I don’t think I will be venturing into spoiler territory if I point out that the galactic villain of The Avengers: Infinity Wars, whose name is Thanos (close to or perhaps derived from the ancient Greek word thanatos, for rule of death), is a Paul Ehrlich-style Malthusian. In the movie Thanos expresses his ruthless determination to reduce the population of the entire universe dramatically because of “scarce resources.” What a »

An Omnibus Climate and Energy Roundup

Featured image At some point it gets embarrassing to keep up with the daily failure of the climatistas. Exhibit 1 today is Japan, one of the most energy-efficient industrial economies in the world, but which is now in the process of building a whole bunch of new coal-fired power plants. Sciencemagazine reports: Bucking global trends, Japan again embraces coal power Most of the world is turning its back on burning coal to »

Today in Green Energy Fail

Featured image This story is so pathetic that it doesn’t even rise to the level of being a Green Weenie Award contender: South Korea’s most-destructive quake probably triggered by geothermal plant A magnitude-5.4 earthquake that struck the South Korean city of Pohang on 15 November 2017 was probably triggered by an experimental geothermal power plant injecting water a few kilometres underground, a research team reports. A second independent analysis also finds the »

Is Wind Energy a Good Idea?

Featured image You can produce electricity with a wind turbine, but is it good policy to do so? The reality is that wind energy exists solely because of government subsidies. (Don’t take my word for it, just ask Warren Buffett: “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”) Given that wind energy »

Putin Funds America’s Environmental Movement

Featured image With all the attention being paid to Russian “collusion” these days, it is remarkable that there has been so much focus on Facebook ads while far more serious meddling by Vladimir Putin goes mostly unremarked. In particular, Russia’s subsidizing of U.S. environmental groups, specifically those who oppose development of U.S. energy resources by blocking fracking and pipelines, has long been known but is too often forgotten. That’s why this video »

Which Energy Sources Are Actually Sustainable

Featured image Liberals tout wind and solar energy as “sustainable,” but is that really true? The Science and Environmental Policy Project offers a different interpretation of sustainability: The electrical grid is an energized system serving all those on it, producers and consumers alike. It can be likened to a nervous system, serving all organs in the human body. Failure, for whatever reason, such as South Australia Black Event or the US Northeast »

Energy Roundup

Featured image Been a while since we checked in with the world of energy. So how’s that whole energiewende (“energy revolution”) going over in Deutschland? Yup—it’s still phony. From Politico: Germany’s green energy shift is more fizzle than sizzle By Kalina Oroschakoff Germany’s enormously expensive Energiewende green energy transformation is sputtering. The numbers tell the story. Despite spending about €150 billion and years of political effort to scrap nuclear and fossil fuels and switch to »

How Russia Tried to Block US Energy Production

Featured image Russia’s supposed “meddling” in the 2016 election has been an endless topic of news coverage, but for some reason our press has shown little interest in other instances of Russian meddling–the nuclear freeze movement of the 1980s, for example, or more recently, Russia’s effort to discredit fracking and rouse popular opposition to pipeline construction. Last Thursday, the Majority Staff of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, »

The World’s Energy Superpower: Us

Featured image This Wall Street Journal article is heartwarming: The U.S. will overtake Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2023, accounting for most of the global growth in petroleum supplies, a top industry monitor said Monday. U.S. crude production is expected to reach a record of 12.1 million barrels a day in 2023, up about 2 million barrels a day from this year, said the International Energy Agency, which »

Shocker: Many nations are breaking Paris accord promises

Featured image My views on climate change deviate somewhat from those of John and Steve who, to be fair, know more about the subject than I do. So I might have favored remaining in the Paris Accord if I thought the rest of the world would comply with the promises made therein. However, I had no such confidence. It seemed to me that only a fool would. Now we learn that in »

The Devil is in the Diablo

Featured image Canyon, that is. Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission ratified the plan to shut down California’s last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, even though, as one of the last nuclear power plants built, it could easily be re-licensed for another 20 years. As reported here previously, right now Diablo Canyon produces twice a much electricity as all of California’s solar panels, and PG & E is closing Diablo Canyon »

“Drive Fast—Freeze a Yankee,” the Sequel

Featured image Apparently I am not the only one who recalls the great Texas taunt from the 1970s, “Drive Fast, Freeze a Yankee!” A sharp-eyed reader who hails from San Antonio directs me to a contemporary tune from the time, “Freeze a Yankee,” recorded by The Folkel Minority, which sounds like a band name straight from the imagination of Christopher Guest in A Mighty Wind. The video is below, but here’s a »