Energy Policy

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 »

Bootleggers and Baptists Get Gas

Featured image “Bootleggers and Baptists” is the popular explanation of the public choice theory of “rent-seeking” first offered up by economist Bruce Yandle, in which bootleggers support teetotaling Baptist politicians who keep alcohol illegal, thus preserving the huge profit margins of the bootleggers.  For a current example, marijuana growers are unenthusiastic about the moves toward legalization in Colorado and elsewhere because it will cut into profits. There’s another great example of it »

If This is Recovery, God Save Us from a Slowdown

Featured image Is the economy heading for another recession?  Heck if I know. What we can tell, however, is how weak the current “recovery” is.  Investors Business Daily runs down the dismal numbers in “Obama’s Economy–Help, We’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up“: Household incomes are still down 4.4% since the recession ended four years ago. Meanwhile, the unemployment picture may be even worse than we think. The Obama “recovery” continues to impress. According »

U.S. Energy Security: Getting Better

Featured image One of Hayward’s Laws—I’m not sure which number this is—is that there is an inverse relationship between the frequency of a cliché and its lack of substance.  In other words, the more often you hear a term used, the less substantive or meaningful the term is in the real world.  The prime offender of Hayward’s Second Law is “sustainability.” More on sustainability some other time.  Hard on the heels of »

Energy Roundup and Other Miscellaneous Notes

Featured image Lots of fun little stories on the energy scene the last few days. Item: MIT’s Technology Review wonders whether widespread adoption of electric cars could destabilize the grid, most of which may not be able to handle spikes in demand when everyone plugs in their cars at night to recharge (and when the sun goes down on all the solar panels): Plugging in an electric vehicle is, in some cases, »

Anonymous Money on the Left

Featured image Middle Eastern potentates have been acknowledging their nervousness over the hydrocarbon revolution that has seen American domestic oil production increase by 2 million barrels a day over the last two years, with much more to come as cutting edge American technology spreads around the world.  OPEC’s days as the drivers of the global oil market may be in eclipse, especially if global demand for oil peaks, as has been forecast »

Green Weenie of the Week: Germany

Featured image Well why shouldn’t an entire nation be eligible for one of our coveted Green Weenie Awards?  After all the country actually has a Green Party that has been included in past cabinets, and is often held up as an example of how a nation should embrace green energy technologies. Except that the whole expensive scheme is falling apart.  Despites hundreds of billions of Euros in subsidies and direct investment, German »

The Renewable Fuels Scam, Explained

Featured image America’s renewable fuels policy is a fiasco that drives up the cost of both fuel and groceries, to no purpose. Well, there is a purpose: lots of people are making money off the renewable scam. But probably not you. This short video from Smarter Fuel Future is a good, short introduction to the topic: »

Energy Notes

Featured image Reporting on the rolling epic fail of renewable/alternative energy schemes has taken on a Groundhog Day feel: what, another story of subsidy cuts and common sense backlash against hamster-wheel energy systems?  Still, we do it here at Power Line so you don’t have to. German power plants may shut down because government policy deliberately makes them unprofitable to run (memo to Obama: we know this is what you intend to »

World Bank to Developing Nations: Drop Dead

Featured image With every major energy forecast, including from the U.S. government, acknowledging that coal is going to play a significant role in the world’s energy mix (especially in poorer developing nations) for decades to come, take note of the fact that the World Bank voted yesterday to cease funding coal-fired power plants in developing nations.  Developing nations had successfully fought this move at the World Bank for some time now, but »

Another Obama Red Flag Appointment

Featured image Scott wrote yesterday about the problematic appointment of Ron Binz to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  He’s not the only one.  Obama’s new secretary of energy, Ernest Moniz of MIT, has chosen as his chief of staff Kevin Knobloch, who up to now has been the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).  The UCS leans far to the left, and long ago became a partisan adjunct of the »

Enter Ron Binz

Featured image I’ve been writing this week about Obama’s war on America, the war that Obama has his heart in. If you’re going to fight a war, you need troops, and Obama has staffed his administration and supposedly independent regulatory agencies with loyalists. Enter Ron Binz. This week Obama nominated Ron Binz, the former Chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CoPUC), to be the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. »

Greatest. Headline. Ever.

Featured image “Rare bird last seen in Britain 22 years ago reappears – only to be killed by wind turbine in front of a horrified crowd of birdwatchers.” A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia. But instead of being treated to a wildlife spectacle they were left with a horror show »