Energy Policy

Memo to the Gas Industry: You’re Next

Featured image Lenin said capitalists would sell the rope with which they’d be hanged, which intersects Churchill’s famous definition that  “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” Both of these came to mind a couple years back when the news leaked out that Chesapeake Energy had secretly given $26 million to the Sierra Club to boost the Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign that was compelling many »

Today’s Energy Unicorn: The Scent of Musk

Featured image What is it about Elon Musk? People must think his name is “Steve Jobs” in some obscure Slavic language. Sure, I think the Tesla is cool, and think they might lead to something useful some day, but right now they’re a boutique toy for affluent people. (A friend who drives a Tesla in a Midwestern state has a custom bumper sticker: “How do you like my coal-powered car?”) And I »

This Week’s Energy Unicorn

Featured image The belief that we can power the world with unicorn flop sweat, Obama’s incandescent speeches, refined banana peels, etc runs deep. I call it “energy romanticism,” and like all other kinds of romanticism it is hard to shake, even with things called facts, which are always inconvenient to the dreams of world-saving liberals. Typical is the story last year about how we could put solar panels on roads, a really »

Tom Friedman Beclowns Himself Again [With Update By John]

Featured image The New York Times makes it very difficult to settle on who is their worst op-ed columnist, and it is hard to break the tie between the obnoxiousness of Paul Krugman and the know-it-all smugness of Tom Friedman. Elsewhere Niall Ferguson has a nice beat down of Krugman today at the Puffington Host (Niall makes the case that Krugman is the biggest loser of the British election last week), so »

A Note on Coal

Featured image A commenter on the India story posted up this morning wonders why anyone should be “pro-coal,” because “By any standard, coal is horrible for the environment. New Delhi’s air is the most polluted in the WORLD. More coal won’t help. Coal releases mercury in the environment, creates acid rain, etc. Climate change aside, coal is awful and should not be celebrated…” First, it is not about being “pro-coal” or any »

The Asia Bank Freakout

Featured image Lost amidst the news of the Iran deal is a simmering controversy—actually more like a total Establishment freakout—over China’s initiative to start the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which China would dominate. It appears to be an attempt by China to set up a regional international finance structure to rival the U.S.-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The U.S. opposes this initiative, because it supposedly threatens to upset the »

The Obama Administration’s Attack on the Constitution: Part 2, Environmental Protection Agency

Featured image The Environmental Protection Agency has long been in the forefront of Obama administration lawlessness. Don’t forget: before Hillary Clinton’s secret email server came to light, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was conducting government business off the books as “Richard Windsor,” which, she explained when caught, was the name of her dog. The EPA’s current usurpation, an effort to remake America’s power supply system, is much more serious. The EPA has proposed »

Taking the Wrong Lessons from the Gipper on Climate

Featured image I love George Shultz, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state and one of the heroes of the endgame of the Cold War. He began every meeting with a Soviet official with a specific human rights complaint about a dissident the Soviets had locked up, just to get under their skin and keep the pressure on.  He was magnificent in his meetings with the Soviets after the shootdown of KAL 007, and »

Jay Leno Hates Ethanol

Featured image And so should you.  From Jay’s column in Autoweek: CAN’T WE JUST GET RID OF ETHANOL? There have been a lot of old-car fires lately. I went through the ’70s, the ’80s and most of the ’90s without ever having read much about car fires. Suddenly, they are happening all over the place. Here’s one reason: The ethanol in modern gasoline—about 10 percent in many states—is so corrosive, it eats through »

Energy Sense from an Unlikely Source

Featured image In preparing for this week’s session of my graduate course on energy policy, I happened to stumble across a very sound discussion of why the energy romanticism of the Climate Haters (I think I’m going to retire “climatistas” and go with the more accurate Climate Haters instead, because settled science!) makes no sense. It is in a series called “Getting to Zero” (as in zero carbon emissions), written by a »

The High Cost of Energy Illiteracy

Featured image “Energy romanticism” is perhaps the single greatest intellectual failing of environmentalists—the dreamy view that we can generate 95 quads of energy with puppy dog treadmills, unicorn flopsweat, and of course their beloved wind and solar. (Of course, most enviros say “What’s a ‘quad’?” when I ask for even a cursory inventory of energy sources that would supply America’s annual energy use.) At the base of this is near total illiteracy »

Will Canada Declare War Over Keystone?

Featured image Canada, America’s largest trading partner and largest foreign supplier of oil, has been amazingly patient over Obama’s clearly insincere dithering over approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Back when I was still in Washington at AEI, Ken Green and I would occasionally put together panel discussions that included Keystone issues, and not only would the Canadian embassy decline to send anyone to participate, they didn’t even want to register for »

Return to Yucca Mountain

Featured image In my opinion, the Obama administration’s decision to block the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain is a major and under-reported scandal. It represents the triumph of raw politics over the public good. As the Washington Post’s editors explain, our nuclear power plants generate large amounts of radioactive fuel that needs to be stored. For decades, the plan was to store this material in a permanent geologically isolated facility »

Civil War on the Left, Part 16

Featured image Now this is my kind of story, from the Los Angeles Times today: Minority Groups Fight Solar Power By Evan Halper When Florida officials pulled the plug on a significant incentive for rooftop solar systems, the move came at the urging of big power companies with a heavy reliance on fossil fuels—and of the state chapter of the NAACP. The Florida chapter is one of a number of minority organizations »

Did John Podesta commit a serious ethics violation?

Featured image Richard Pollock of the Daily Caller reports that John Podesta, a key adviser to President Obama, may have violated ethical rules by helping to formulate a new White House policy that seeks to end any future drilling for oil on Alaska’s Artic National Wildlife Refuge. The ethical issue arises because just before he came to the White House, John Podesta was paid $87,000 by a foreign billionaire devoted to preventing »

Whatever Happened to Peak Oil?

Featured image So we’re not hearing much about “peak oil” these days.  Probably because IT WAS WRONG.  But shouldn’t gloat.  Instead, let me direct your attention to another snappy five-minute video just out from the Pacific Research Institute’s “History’s Hysteria” series that was taped well before the current oil glut got into full swing.  You’ll recognize a familiar face. »

Greek Socialists to Send Lump of Coal to the EU?

Featured image Greece has elected a far-left socialist government that plans to dump austerity (and perhaps the Euro currency with it) into the dustbin of history. The socialist government is also likely to harsh some mellows among enviro-socialists who think socialism is the path for saving the planet. The Guardian reports the reality: Syriza’s election victory has kindled hopes of an environmental champion pushing for greater climate ambition on the European stage, »