Energy Policy

Green Weenie of the Week: Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship

Featured image I was remiss last week in not bringing to everyone’s attention Robert Bryce’s splendid Wall Street Journal article about how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to allow wind energy producers to kill up to 4,200 bald eagles a year. It includes such gems as this: A 2013 study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin estimated that wind turbines killed about 888,000 bats and 573,000 birds (including 83,000 raptors) in 2012 »

Epic Solar Power Fail Gets Even More Epic-er

Featured image Last we checked in on the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar power facility out in the California desert, it was in danger of being shut down because it was failing to produce the promised amount of electricity, despite all that free desert sunshine. (Before that we reported on how it was merely incinerating birds by the hundreds.) Well it gets better. Yesterday Ivanpah managed the feat of setting itself on fire: »

Fracking Nonsense, Debunked

Featured image Environmentalists who once praised natural gas as a “bridge fuel” predictably turned against hydraulic fracturing because it made gas cheap, abundant, and profitable—the three cardinal sins of green energy. (The first principle of “green energy” is that it isn’t acceptable unless it requires buckets of taxpayer cash to keep afloat, which thereby limits its abundance over time. And generates lots of the other kind of “green” for Al Gore and »

Three Cheers for Fracking

Featured image Yesterday the Department of Energy released a brief report showing that the fracking boom has cut the average household’s energy costs by about $750 a year: Since June 2014, decreases in crude oil and natural gas prices have reduced household energy costs. According to initial figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the chained consumer price index for urban consumers (C-CPI-U) decreased by 1.2% from June 2014 to February 2016. »

How the Greens Are Killing “Green” Energy

Featured image Every day you read about how “green” energy, especially solar and wind power, are growing by leaps and bounds. And yet as a share of total electricity generation, green energy’s share is declining. (See the paired charts below.) One reason for this is that natural gas-fired electricity is growing faster, which somehow the news media forgets to mention. Another reason, though, is that many emission-free nuclear power plants are being »

The Clinton context

Featured image Hillary Clinton bragged six weeks ago in the course of the CNN infomercial in Columbus, Ohio: “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” (video below). To adapt the famous Ring Lardner quote, we’re going to destroy you, she explained. Yesterday in West Virginia, however, Clinton had a different “explanation.” She didn’t mean it. She had taken herself out of context: “I don’t »

Live from Omaha, it’s Warren and Charlie

Featured image Nebraska attorney Dave Begley follows up on his report on the appearance of James Hansen to support his proposal at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting. Dave reports: The climate change resolution put forth by Dr. James Hansen was defeated but it gathered slightly more than ten percent of the vote. In other business, Warren Buffett discussed the $3.6 billion capital investment MidAmerican Energy is making in windmills. His business »

Oh Goody—Another Energy Bill!

Featured image News out of Washington is that the Senate yesterday passed an energy bill—the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016! Hooray! We’re saved at last! (Assuming, that is, it passes the House, too.) I’m sure it will do at least as much as the energy bills of 2005 and 2007—you remember those, don’t you? It was the Energy Policy Act of 2005—1,725 pages long—that promised to deliver us “clean coal” and »

The New Republic: The Unserious Bernie Sanders

Featured image I suppose I could file this and the previous item under our “Civil War on the Left” series. It’s not just the Washington Post; it’s also The New Republic (which I didn’t know still existed) attacking Bernie for his anti-nuclear power stance: There’s one issue on which Sanders has been hyperconsistently wrong. One yuuuuge-ly important, planet-saving, tiny little thing. It’s his irrational, evidence-free opposition to nuclear energy. Sanders—along with much »

Cheesy Energy Stories of the Week

Featured image I’m old enough to remember when surplus government cheese was given away to poor people. But now the geniuses of greenery over in the UK have come up with a new use: Gas made from cheese to heat hundreds of homes Hundreds of homes in Cumbria will be heated using cheese from next month, as a new government-backed green energy plant starts producing gas from cheddar manufacturing waste. The anaerobic digestion plant »

Unhinged Leftist of the Week

Featured image Outgoing California Senator Barbara “Call Me Senator” Boxer deserves a Power Line Green Weenie Lifetime Achievement Award for her performance this week in a hearing about energy and climate policy that featured Alex Epstein, author of the cheeky book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, and Father Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute. Here’s a five-minute highlight reel of Boxer losing ground to Epstein and Sirico: And as a special »

California’s Ongoing Suicide Watch

Featured image Even Jerry Brown admits that California’s newly mandated $15 an hour minimum wage is economically unsound, but we’re doing it anyway, Because Justice! Or something. But it may not matter much, because California businesses may not have enough . . . electricity. Two headlines from the past week tell the story. First, you may have heard about a massive natural gas leak out near Newhall over the past few months. »

Dept of Energy to Greenies: Sod Off!

Featured image The grasping rent-seekers of subsidies and mandates for wind and solar power have been sniping at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) for supposedly overestimating the costs of wind and solar power compared to coal- and gas-fired power, and underestimating the growth of wind and solar. EIA does a terrific job of data gathering and analysis, even if some of their work requires great care, such as »

Another Epic Greenfail

Featured image The number of people in the world who can be said in “energy poverty,” that is, with little or no modern energy available, is around 3 billion. About 1.5 billion people, according to some estimates, have no electricity at all, and most of the three billion rely on extremely low-tech or non-tech sources of energy for basic needs of cooking and warmth, meaning they burn, wood, straw, or dried animal »

Gas to Overtake Coal This Year

Featured image Coal has been the leading source of electric power generation by a huge margin for at least the last 65 years (and probably before, but that’s how far back the Dept. of Energy data series goes). But today the Energy Information Administration announced that it appears natural gas will overtake coal this year as the leading source of electric power generation> Here’s what the DoE chart looks like: Now, the »

Obama to Energy Producers: Drop Dead

Featured image Oh, well, if Hillary kills off what’s left of the coal industry, at least we still have a booming natural gas industry, creating lots of good-paying jobs and with a potential for significant exports to help with our miserable trade balance. Wait, what’s that? U.S. Rejects Multi-Billion Dollar Jordan Cove Gas Export Plan U.S. regulators rejected Veresen Inc.’s multibillion-dollar proposal to build a terminal in Oregon that would export as »

Sympathy for the miner

Featured image During the Clinton hour of the Democrats’ town hall infomercial on CNN last night, Hillary Clinton actually said this: “I’m the only candidate which [sic] has a policy about how bring economic opportunity using clean, renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re gonna put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” (video below). What is to be said? Madam Hillary, thank you for »