Energy Policy

Has Renewable Energy Peaked?

Featured image For quite a few years, pundits claimed that fossil fuel production had peaked, or was about to peak. Renewables were widely seen as the future of energy. That was then, and this is now. Fossil fuel production has exploded, especially in the U.S., and investment in renewable technologies, solar and wind, is in decline. In the U.S., cronyism keeps some dollars flowing toward well-connected “green” tycoons, like billionaire Tom Steyer, »

Keystone: Environmentalists Suddenly Rediscover Property Rights

Featured image In George Will’s fine column this morning that makes a nice shout out to Power Line, he mentions the lefty billionaire Tom Steyer’s plans to spend heavily not only to block the Keystone pipeline, but to push climate measures generally.  I’ve been wondering whether Steyer might go so far as to buy land in on the pipeline route and then attempt to resist the eminent domain proceedings that will be »

The Key to Keystone

Featured image While we’re talking about Keystone, there’s an interesting little detail in the State Department environmental impact report–the one that said the pipeline would have no impact on greenhouse gas emissions–that I haven’t seen anyone notice.  Now, perhaps this is because no one, certainly no reporter, has bothered to read the document.  And to be sure, no sensible human being ever reads these interminably long EIRs.  But I am not a »

Another Reason to Love Montana

Featured image So I was stuck most of the day in the airport in Bozeman, Montana, which had some strong snow squalls blowing through as well as the usual struggles of the modern airline industry.  But I love Montana anyway, for things like the photo below.  Of all the energy boodoggles–wind, solar, pixie dust, steamed banana skins, etc.–the one that annoys me most is ethanol.  The correct way to consume ethanol is »

Bright Lights, Dim Idea

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has a devastating article today about the Ivanpah solar power project in the eastern Mojave desert of California not far from Las Vegas.  The headline tells the story crisply (so to speak): “The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project.” A giant solar-power project officially opening this week in the California desert is the first of its kind, and may be among the last, in part because of »

Have Environmentalists Blundered on Keystone?

Featured image I think it is at least 50-50 that Obama will eventually approve the Keystone pipeline, in part for intrinsic reasons—and especially if he can fool Republicans into making a bad bargain over it—but also to demonstrate that he can stand up to parts of his own base. Think of it as his own Green Sob-Sister Souljah moment.  This outcome will expose the environmental hysterics as paper tigers. My pals Ted »

Obama’s Chu Toy Strikes Again

Featured image Everyone cooed with delight back in 2009 when Obama chose Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu to be secretary of energy. No doubt this appointment was part of Obama’s aura of coolness about respecting “science.” But while Chu may be brilliant at physical science, he was not terribly savvy at political science. He kept talking about global warming when chief of staff Rahm “Rahmbo” Emanuel wanted him to shut up about »

Obama: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

Featured image Scott wrote here about the canard that women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, a claim that Barack Obama repeated in his State of the Union speech. As Scott explained, this statistic has been demonstrated to be false many times. Yesterday at InstaPundit Glenn Reynolds wrote: I GUESS HE FIGURES WOMEN ARE LOUSY AT MATH: Obama Must Know That 77-cent Figure Is Bogus, So Why Does He »

The Keys to Keystone

Featured image The Keystone pipeline fight offers a wonderful opportunity to split the left, if Republicans are clever about it.  Obama is going to be under immense pressure to block the pipeline, but it will be so obvious that he is catering to unpopular green extremists that a vote to overrule him in Congress will be something that even Harry Reid will have trouble blocking forever. Check out Jonathan Chait, as reliably »

Keystone Cops?

Featured image As noted in posts nearby, Republicans seem determined to play the Keystone Cops on immigration,* when they should be playing Keystone pipeline layers 24/7 right now.  John directs us in my post from earlier today to our friends at IER who think the positive State Department assessment means nothing.  Perhaps they are right. But it is just as possible that Obama will play politics with Keystone.  The NBC News report on »

Keystone Tea Leaves Today? (Updated)

Featured image Lots of “folks” (as Obama quaintly calls his fellow citizens) have puzzled over the language of Obama’s State of the Union speech—especially its omissions—to try to get a clue about what he may be thinking about the Keystone pipeline.  Canada is increasingly public in its fury about the delay in the decision, and when soft-spoken Canadians are publicly complaining, you know they’re really really angry. Ben Geman, a solid environmental »

Energy Book of the Year

Featured image I’ve mentioned a lot of good books on energy and energy policy (especially from my energy rabbi Robert Bryce, who has a new book coming out in May), but right now I’m reading one that is absolutely bowling me over: U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure, by Peter Z. Grossman (published by Cambridge University Press).  Grossman is a professor of economics at Butler University, and on this book »

Energy: One Lump or Two?

Featured image Groundhog Day is just a few weeks off, which means it’s time for another post about . . . energy. What did environmentalists get in their Christmas stockings from Santa?  A big lump of coal.  More than one lump in fact.  If the world’s energy mix were analogized to getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks, we’d see everyone getting two lumps in their latte. There’s no doubt that the »

The Cleantech Crash on 60 Minutes

Featured image “60 Minutes,” not exactly a fan of Power Line’s way of thought (heh), did a belated public service last night with a segment on “The Cleantech Crash,” noting that taxpayers had shelled out billions for stupid “green” energy boondoggles.  Silicon Valley legend Vinod Khosla comes in for especially heavy weather, along with a bureaucratic wunderkind who said “Who-me?” Stahl: Part of this was supposed to be creating new jobs. Everything »

This Is Why You Build Pipelines, Kids

Featured image A former State Department official who told me not long ago that Canadians are baffled—and exasperated—with President Obama’s opaque stance on the proposed Keystone pipeline.  This seems rather simple to me: Obama is in the clutch of the environmentalists, and the Canadians simply don’t understand that Obama is heedless of U.S.-Canadian trade relations.  Keystone has made blockheads out of the administration, which is why I think we should be calling »

Plasma Time

Featured image George Will’s column over the weekend was about the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, which fits George since he is a Princeton alum.  He comes to the main policy point at the end: Because the fusion energy program lacks such immediacy, transparency and glamour, it poses a much more difficult test for the political process. Because of its large scale and long time horizon, the fusion project is a perfect example »

Green Weenie of the Year: The Wind-Talkers

Featured image Connoisseurs of environmental lore may recall the time Fred Hartley, the then-chairman of Union Oil, was skewered for his comment to a Senate committee in the aftermath of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill that “I’m amazed at the publicity for the loss of a few birds.”  He was widely skewered for his insensitivity to nature, at a time when Americans were shocked and outraged at the front-page photos of »