Energy Policy

Keystone, the Magic Pipeline

Featured image Oh goody—dueling studies about the Keystone pipeline!  Wonk heaven. First comes a study that says failing to build the Keystone pipeline will result in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions for the simple reason that if Canadian oil isn’t transported by pipeline, it will be shipped by rail (and by tanker if shipped overseas to other eager customers), which will produce higher greenhouse gas emissions than a pipeline. But another »

Steyer Launches Dishonest Attack on Keystone

Featured image Politico reports that Tom Steyer, the Democrat billionaire who is doing all he can to stop the Keystone Pipeline, has paid for a report that says terrorists could blow up Keystone: The proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline is vulnerable to a terrorist attack that could trigger a spill of more than 7 million gallons of oil, a former Navy SEAL said in report released Wednesday. The 14-page “threat assessment,” which »

Obama to Coal States: Drop Dead

Featured image Gerald Ford never said “drop dead” to New York City when it pleaded with Washington for a bailout at the nadir of its profligate liberalism back in the mid-1970s, but that didn’t stop the NY Daily News from running the famous headline.  (Ford was of course quite correct in resisting a bailout.)  I wonder if any newspaper or media organization will take the same poetic license with Obama’s new greenhouse »

Cow Farts: The Next Alternative Fuel?

Featured image Surely you’d think this story is from The Onion, but no–some people really think we need to equip cows with gas-collecting backpacks, which we’d use in turn to power cars and such: Researchers put plastic backpacks on cows, then inserted tubes into their rumens (their biggest digestive tract). They extracted the methane–about 300 liters a day. That’s enough to run a car, or a fridge for 24 hours. »

The Daily Show in German?

Featured image Apparently there is a German version of The Daily Show.  And in this six-minute clip (with subtitles), they beat down on Germany’s green energy madness: Over at, James Delingpole offers more background: What I like about it – apart from its sweary joke about kilowatts – is its palpable and honest outrage about Germany’s disastrous state-enforced transition to renewable energy, the so-called Energiewende. Hitherto one’s instinct towards Germany’s post-Fukushima »

Microwaves of the Desert; Cuisinarts of the Sky

Featured image Conservatives used to like to joke that spotted owls taste great slow roasted over a campfire, but who knew that environmentalists would eventually have to own this joke? Los Angeles PBS station KCET reports: A report just made public by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service documents a disturbing amount of bird injuries at three large California desert solar power plants, and says that there are no easy fixes to »

The Epic Hypocrisy of Tom Steyer

Featured image Billionaire hedge fund operator and “green” energy magnate Tom Steyer has pledged $100 million in the 2014 election cycle to help Democratic candidates who oppose the Keystone pipeline and who favor “green” energy over fossil fuels. Steyer claims to be a man of principle who has no financial interest in the causes he supports, but acts only for the public good. That is a ridiculous claim: Steyer is the ultimate »

Charts of the Week: Sex, Skies, and Videotape

Featured image Well, I’m not sure just how I’ll work “skies” into this story, but I couldn’t get the headline out of my head, so, dear Power Line readers, I’ll think of something. The chart of the week—and maybe the month—comes to us courtesy of the Department of Energy.  For all of the talk over the last couple of decades about “energy independence,” we’re actually on course toward that somewhat dubious goal »

Redistributing daylight

Featured image Daylight saving time is mistakenly credited to Benjamin Franklin, but it may still be a good idea even if it wasn’t inspired by Franklin. Nevertheless, I find the commencement of daylight saving time today annoying. As a morning person, I am not the least bit pleased by the extension of dawn by an hour so early in the year. By the same token, do we really need to move sunset »

Energy Security in the Age of Putin

Featured image The idea of “energy security,” a more meaningful concept that “energy independence,” has taken on a fresh urgency with events unfolding in the Ukraine.  Energy security is a bit like the cliché about the weather: everyone in Washington talks about it, but no one ever does anything about it.  Or at least not anything sensible.  I always cringe whenever I hear people like John Kerry—but sometimes dumb Republicans, too—say that »

Warren Buffett, Climate Skeptic?

Featured image A couple days ago Apple’s Tim Cook said climate skeptics shouldn’t own Apple stock (though note that he didn’t keep going and say climate skeptics shouldn’t buy Apple products, too), but this morning Warren Buffett appeared on CNBC and not only endorsed the Keystone pipeline, but also aligned himself with climate skeptics.  (Good thing he doesn’t own any Apple stock, or his now-mandatory sale of his position might crash the »

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 »