Energy Policy

Energy Flotsam and Jetsam

Featured image Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal story about the production difficulties of the Arizona supplier that Apple selected to make sapphire screens for the iPhone 6 was fascinating in its own right, but there was one little detail in the story that zipped by too quickly: Mr. Squiller, the GT operations chief, told the bankruptcy court that GT lost three months of production to power outages and delays building the facility. Whoa, »

If You Like Your Utility Rates, You Can Keep Your Utility Rates

Featured image When the EPA announced in June its proposed climate change regulations that it admitted would do nothing about climate change, it also claimed that its aggressive restructuring of the American electric power sector would see cost reductions for consumers. You almost expected EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to say, “If you like your utility rates, you can keep your utility rates.” No one over the age of six, or not a »

Liberals Still Not Giving Up on Keystone

Featured image Gail Collins has a column on the Keystone Pipeline in today’s New York Times. It illustrates why so many consider the Times to be the last redoubt of the ignorant. Collins begins by complaining that Republicans, victorious in last week’s election, keep mentioning approval of Keystone as something the new Congress will do. Which is bad because…well, she never says. Republicans talk about Keystone because it is low-hanging fruit, something »

“Our Friends,” the Saudis

Featured image While we gear up for a long day and evening tracking election returns, we should update our story from three weeks ago entitled “What Are the Saudis Up To?” There I wondered about the Saudi decision to maintain current production levels in the face of falling oil prices: But could there be a more sinister reason? If oil prices keep falling, it will not only hurt some of the Saudis’ »

The German Disease: Coming Soon to a Country Near You?

Featured image The cover of this week’s edition of The Economist, nearby, combines a lot into a little. Above all, it has a Monty Python reference. You can never go wrong with a Monty Python reference. Overseas the macro news is bad. Germany’s sluggish economy may take the rest of the Eurozone down with it. Japan, which has been unsuccessfully fighting deflation for two decades now, has just issued bonds with negative »

Fusion at Last? Not So Fast

Featured image One of the easiest scams to pull off in the energy world these days is to get a breathless story planted in the media about a laboratory “breakthrough” on energy from some advanced or unconventional source, like banana peels (when you aren’t smoking them) or unicorn flop sweat. Often these technologies are real, but the “journalists” never think to ask two basic questions: how much does it cost compared to »

Tom Friedman Gets One Right

Featured image Maybe this needs to be filed under the “even a stopped clock is right twice a day” department, but Tom Friedman actually wrote an interesting and probative column a couple days ago about what’s going on with the falling price of oil, and I’m still picking myself up off the floor in amazement. Here are the three key paragraphs: Is it just my imagination or is there a global oil »

Brightsource But Bad Idea?

Featured image We’ve reported before about the Ivanpah Brightsource solar power facility in the California desert near Las Vegas that is frying birds wholesale and blinding pilots.  A Power Line informant passes along this notice to pilots from the airline pilots association: Blinded by the Light? Report It to the FAA! Have you seen a flash of bright light from the ground while flying near Las Vegas—in the daytime? If so, the »

Environmentalism Kills Poor People

Featured image Are you in favor of banning fossil fuel consumption, or making it more expensive? Probably not, but pretty much every Democrat is. To insist on “green” energy sources rather than fossil fuels is to doom millions of people to poverty, disease and premature death. This video, by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, doesn’t try to cover the whole global warming waterfront, but it does a great job of making one »

Oil: What Are the Saudis Up To?

Featured image The biggest energy story of the last decade obviously has been the U.S. oil boom, which defied everyone’s predictions—including the oil companies themselves. You simply can’t find a single forecast from 10 years ago that called for the kind of increase in domestic oil production that we’ve seen in just the last four years. When the price of oil started rising more than a decade ago—topping $60 a barrel at »

Canadian Oil: Not So Bad After All

Featured image As mentioned before in our ongoing coverage of the Keystone pipeline mania, the State Department’s finding of no significant environmental impact from the pipeline is based on the common sense understanding that Canada’s oil is going to come out of the ground and go somewhere, and if it doesn’t go to us by pipeline, it will go to China and Europe by tanker. The climatistas labor under the childish fantasy »

Bobby Jindal looks like a solid 2016 contender to me

Featured image It has long been clear that you need to get up very early in the morning to beat Scott Johnson to a story. Now it appears that you need to get up even earlier to scoop Scott’s daughter Eliana. Today, Bobby Jindal delivered an address on energy policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. I attended not as much to hear about energy policy as to figure out what »

Why Renewable Energy Is Hopeless

Featured image At Watts Up With That?, Ed Hoskins spotlights the intractable problem with solar and wind power: much of the time, the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. This means that in practice, solar and wind facilities can produce only a small fraction of their nominal capacities. This chart requires a bit of study; for three countries, the U.S., Germany and the U.K., it contrasts the nominal (“nameplate”) capacity »

A Lump of Coal for the Climatistas

Featured image Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported (“Germany’s Expensive Gamble on Renewable Energy”) on the high cost of the climate-related energy fanaticism of Germany’s green shirts (why not?), which is now starting to take a tangible toll on the country’s economic competitiveness: Average electricity prices for companies have jumped 60% over the past five years because of costs passed along as part of government subsidies of renewable energy producers. Prices are »

Breaking: Nuclear Sabotage in Europe?

Featured image Here’s a curious story out of Belgium that is receiving no media attention (outside a few mentions in the specialized press) in the US: Belgian Doel-4 Nuclear Reactor Closed Till Year-End PARIS, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Belgian energy company Electrabel said its Doel 4 nuclear reactor would stay offline at least until the end of this year after major damage to its turbine, with the cause confirmed as sabotage. . »

Wind Power Requires 700 Times as Much Land as Fracking

Featured image One of the weirder facts of contemporary life is that “environmentalists” generally prefer wind power to fracking. Unless you suffer from an anti-carbon fetish, there is no comparison, as the Telegraph reports: A wind farm requires 700 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a fracking site, according to analysis by the energy department’s recently-departed chief scientific advisor. … Prof MacKay said that a shale gas »

Help Me Stay Rich, Colorado!

Featured image A grass roots group is running some terrific pro-fracking ads in Colorado. They feature a Middle Eastern sheik and a Russian oligarch pleading with Coloradans to help them stay rich by suppressing the production of American energy. They are funny and true, and therefore highly effective. Here is the sheik: And the oligarch: Best of all, the ads are accompanied by street art. We have written before about the fact »