Energy Policy

Gaseous Anomalies, Or What Would We Do Without Expert Forecasts?

Featured image In retrospect the entire Alan Greenspan era at the Federal Reserve doesn’t look so good, though I attribute his bad judgment to his decision to marry Andrea Mitchell of NBC.  In any case, Matt Ridley dredges up for us Greenspan’s assessment of the natural gas market in the U.S. ten years ago: “Today’s tight natural gas markets have been a long time in coming, and distant futures prices suggest that »

Even a Stopped Clock . . .

Featured image As the old saying goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but it behooves us to take note of the rare occasions when the Obama Administration gets something right.  I’m sure it is an accident or an oversight, or occurred when someone unaccountably blundered while O-bambi was out on the Back Nine, but still. . . First, props to the Pentagon for flying B-52s the other day »

Enviros Suffering Nuclear Meltdown

Featured image I’ve written before here about the documentary film Pandora’s Promise, in which prominent environmentalists have changed their mind about nuclear power.  Then a couple weeks ago several prominent climate alarmists, headed by the egregious James Hansen, put out an article advocating a return to nuclear power.  Naturally this has upset the retrograde/reactionary environmentalists who are stuck in 1979 and can’t get over Three Mile Island. Last Thursday CNN decided to »

Windmills, 600,000; Bats, 0

Featured image Let’s face it: wind power is bat—- crazy.  As we’ve noted here before, windmills are the Cuisinarts of the sky, with an avian mortality rate that would shut down any other industry.  (Quick question: which kills more birds: wind power, or offshore oil spills?  Wind power takes the prize by orders of magnitude.) A new report says that windmills in the U.S. killed an estimated 600,000 bats last year.  I »

No Reason, Just Hate: That’s a Modern Liberal

Featured image The Left’s hatred for conservatives has become so obsessive that it is hard to engage a liberal in rational discussion of any public policy issue. Take the Keystone XL pipeline: I think it is obviously a good idea, but if a liberal wants to argue to the contrary, fine. But instead of trying to advance a rational argument, what do liberals do? They can’t talk about the pipeline except by »

It Always Comes Back to Nukes

Featured image A few months back I had a conversation with an important left-leaning philanthropist (his foundation’s annual grants total more than nine figures before the decimal point) who said that the single greatest error of his long career was opposing nuclear power back in the 1970s and 1980s. I have slightly heterodox views on the subject of nuclear power.  I’m not against it of course, but I also think the typical »

The Return of the King (Coal, That Is)

Featured image As a sequel to yesterday’s note about the Obama administration’s war on coal (“Coal in the Balance”), it is worth noting that the rest of the world is not following our peculiar mania.  Despite all of the bold talk of reducing carbon emissions by all the brave declaration-signers at the annual UN climate jamborees, the long-range projections by the International Energy Agency and other sober-minded analysis show that coal is »

Coal in the Balance

Featured image The government shutdown may be having an effect on the EPA’s drive to finalize a new regulation aimed at shutting down coal-fired power in the United States, but maybe not.  After all, given that the EPA essentially farms out much of its regulatory design to environmental groups, the Sierra Club and NRDC may be prepared to hand the finished regulation over when the shutdown ends.  Nothing like having private-sector adjuncts »

Carbon Capers

Featured image When you set up a trading scheme for hot air, this is exactly what you should expect: Britain charges 6 people over multimillion dollar pollution credit fraud LONDON (AP) –  British prosecutors say six men have been charged over a massive pollution credit fraud scheme that cost the British government many millions of pounds (dollars.) The Crown Prosecution Service says that four of the men created a string of dummy »

Why Only I Can Solve Global Warming

Featured image Well, this is fun.  Our pals at the center-left Breakthrough Institute, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, suggest today that if global warming is truly a catastrophic problem the only people who could solve it are . . . conservatives.  And there’s my happy mug on their web page display today, next to Dr. Evil the Koch brothers (and my sometimes debate partner Robert Bryce): This fits with what I’ve been »

Mercedes Binz Headed for the Used-Pol Lot?

Featured image The Hill newspaper is reporting that Obama’s FERC nominee Ronald Binz—“Mercedes Binz” as I call him—is in deep trouble and may have to withdraw: The White House nomination of Ron Binz to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission appears to be collapsing. Binz has faced strong opposition from Republicans, and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) also opposes his nomination, endangering his path to confirmation. On Thursday, a Democratic spokesman on »

Renewable Confusion

Featured image One resource that is definitely renewable ad infinitum is the confusion about renewable energy.  Today’s Journal Report section of the Wall Street Journal perpetuates the confusion with a howler they offer in the service of supposedly debunking “myths” about renewable energy: One of the most persistent criticisms of renewables is that they account for a fraction of the U.S. electricity system—despite years of federal subsidies and breakneck growth. When looking »

Ansel Adams on Nuclear Power (Updated)

Featured image From a long-forgotten Playboy magazine interview with Ansel Adams, whose iconic photographs have been central to many a Sierra Club calendar (hat tip: Michael Shellenberger): Playboy: You are against nuclear weapons but favor nuclear power, which separates you from many of the environmental groups that are staunchly no-nuke. Adams: That’s an apparent dichotomy and it disturbs a lot of people, but the danger of nuclear power is conjectural and the »

Obama’s War on Energy

Featured image Well, at least Obama’s plans to attack domestic energy are going better than his plans for attacking Syria.  The EPA is about to release a new draft rule effectively prohibiting new coal-fired power plants.  The rule will undoubtedly face a stiff legal challenge, but that takes time, and in the meantime coal mines and utilities facing the regulatory uncertainty will get squeezed in the marketplace. Meanwhile, Scott has written here »

A 1959 Lincoln Continental . . . Hybrid?

Featured image This is one of those irresistible stories: Neil Young’s hybrid-electric car broke down the other day while he was driving to  . . . an environmental jamboree.  Heh.  Double-heh.  But what’s this? His car is a 1959 Lincoln Continental?  That cost him $1 million to trick out? Neil Young, a high-profile proponent of cars powered by alternative fuels, was recently stranded on the highway when his own $1 million biomass-powered »

Australia’s U-Turn: Is Germany Next?

Featured image Tony Abbott’s smashing election victory in Australia the other day was due in large part to his opposition to Australia’s hated carbon tax (ahem–is Greg Mankiw paying attention?), but over here the climate campaign’s reaction to this news is to tune in the cricket symphony.  Could this be a harbinger of a change in direction here? Looking abroad, could Germany be next to defect from the climate crusade?  The high »

Russia Handles Greenpeace

Featured image This is how you take care of Greenpeace: A Greenpeace icebreaker that entered Russia’s Arctic without permission to protest offshore energy exploration is leaving after being threatened with gunfire by that country’s coast guard. “It was repeated several times in open conversation that they were threatening that if we didn’t leave the Northern Sea Route that they would fire on our ship,” Christy Ferguson, a Canadian crew member on the »