Energy Policy

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 »

A Russia collusion story worth pursuing

Featured image The mainstream media may be looking for evidence of Russian collusion in all the wrong places. So far, despite its epic search, the media has uncovered no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election. There is evidence, though, that Russia has colluded with U.S. environmental groups. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science Committee, tells James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal: If you »

What’s the Economic Return On Energy Investment?

Featured image If you don’t subscribe to The Week That Was by the Science and Environmental Policy Project, you should. It is a one-stop shop for news and commentary on the environment, with all sane perspectives represented. This week’s edition includes these observations on the economic return on energy investment, an important but usually overlooked metric: Writing for the Global Warming Policy Forum, Economics Professor Michael Kelly brings up an important concept »

How Green Is My Subsidy?

Featured image Lately I’ve been thinking that the Koch brothers ought to come out big for wind and solar power, just to watch lefty heads explode. Better still, they could take a substantial position in publicly-traded Tesla, though the stock is likely overvalued (down over 10 percent in recent weeks I think). Still, it would almost be worth it for the heartburn it would cause the anointed. (For one thing, we could »

Europe Moves to Ban Internal Combustion

Featured image The Independent reports that France will ban gasoline-powered vehicles by 2040. The Independent is foolish enough to think that this is good news: France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, the country’s new environment minister has announced. Nicolas Hulot made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make the country carbon neutral by 2050. »

The Future of Energy: Looks Like It’s Still Coal

Featured image One of the refrains of anguish following Trump’s sagacious decision to ditch the Kellogg-Briand Pact Paris Climate Accord was that the United States would be “ceding world leadership” in promoting “clean energy,” along with some fancy-sounding statistics about how renewable energy is soaring in China.  Well, about that: As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants By Hiroko Tabuchi When China halted plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power »

Why the U.S. Chemical Industry Is About to Boom

Featured image Cheap energy is a rising tide that lifts all other industries with it. From the Science and Environmental Policy Project’s The Week That Was: In his blog, Master Resource, Robert Bradley, Jr. recognizes that energy is the lifeblood of the modern economy, and that it significantly affects the production and use of other resources. The energy industry should be viewed differently from other industries by politicians and analysts. Mr Hilton »

Talk About Low Energy!

Featured image The U.S. Department of Education employs 4,400 people and has a current budget of $70 billion. How many children does the department actually educate? I am sure the round number approaches zero. I’ve had a few opportunities to ask liberal audiences aghast at Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos and alarmed at proposed budget cuts for the department to name one single thing a past secretary of education or the department »

Our Low Energy Media at Work

Featured image One of my favorite Milton Friedman stories concerns the time he was driving along in postwar West Germany in the late 1940s, on his way I think to the first Mont Pelerin Society meeting, when he spotted a large number of workers shoveling out a building site. Milton asked his German host, “Why don’t you get a tractor and some mechanized equipment for that?” “Ah, but Prof. Friedman, you don’t »

Post-Brexit Britain Will Drop Renewable Energy Commitments

Featured image The Telegraph reports that post-Brexit, Britain’s government intends to shelve renewable energy commitments that will dramatically increase energy costs to British consumers: Britain is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets which will add more than £100 to the average energy bill as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit. The UK is currently committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as »

How to Make Energy Star Go Supernova

Featured image The greenies have their hemp knickers in a twist because Trump’s proposed budget will zero-out the Department of Energy and EPA “Energy Star” program, which, like elementary school teachers passing out gold stars to well-behaved pupils, awards “Energy Star” certification to businesses that build inferior washing machines, dishwashers, glum light bulbs, etc. So here’s a piece of brilliant news that may well make the greenies change their mind: Koch Industries »

Energy Aces

Featured image Everything is coming up aces for energy today. President Trump is using Obama’s pen and phone to put the brakes on the crazy (and ineffectual) climate change schemes of the EPA, and over at the Wall Street Journal Mark Mills writes today about how the inexorable progress of American technology is slowly destroying OPEC: Oil prices started to collapse in 2014 because American shale businesses oversupplied markets. The Saudis responded by »

Trump to Deep-Six Clean Power Plan

Featured image This is an excellent example of why it is important to have the presidency in sane hands: EPA chief: Trump to undo Obama plan to curb global warming. President Donald Trump in the coming days will sign a new executive order that unravels his predecessor’s sweeping plan to curb global warming, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Sunday. EPA chief Scott Pruitt said the executive order to be »

Why OPEC Is Finished—and Russia Too

Featured image Tracy Alloway (@TracyAlloway) of Bloomberg News points us to this chart from a recent Goldman Sachs presentation on oil production costs, which is being called the “OPEC’s Nightmare” chart, as it shows how the falling production costs of domestic shale oil production costs mean our oil industry is capable of plenty of short-cycle production that will blunt any attempt by the cartel to boost prices by playing with supply: Observations: »

Oh Trudeau!

Featured image Sooner or later most everyone is going to realize that Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a hopeless lightweight trading entirely on his father’s prestige, which was itself built largely on media image-crafting that would humble Donald Trump. Perhaps the left will turn on him first, because yesterday Trudeau came out in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, but also in favor of the continued development of Canada’s oil sands—both »