Energy Policy

The Devil is in the Diablo

Featured image Canyon, that is. Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission ratified the plan to shut down California’s last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, even though, as one of the last nuclear power plants built, it could easily be re-licensed for another 20 years. As reported here previously, right now Diablo Canyon produces twice a much electricity as all of California’s solar panels, and PG & E is closing Diablo Canyon »

“Drive Fast—Freeze a Yankee,” the Sequel

Featured image Apparently I am not the only one who recalls the great Texas taunt from the 1970s, “Drive Fast, Freeze a Yankee!” A sharp-eyed reader who hails from San Antonio directs me to a contemporary tune from the time, “Freeze a Yankee,” recorded by The Folkel Minority, which sounds like a band name straight from the imagination of Christopher Guest in A Mighty Wind. The video is below, but here’s a »

German Energy Policy on the Rocks

Featured image It’s been a tedious chore to track the slow motion train wreck of Germany’s energiewende, or “energy revolution.” Climatistas here have long touted Germany as the model we should follow. Think of it a renewable energy uber alles. Well there’s a problem, and you don’t even need to know German to get this headline from two days ago: Fortunately we have Benny Peiser (a German native) at the Global Warming »

“Drive Fast, Freeze a Yankee!”

Featured image It is now well understood that the “energy crisis” of the 1970s was entirely the product of bad government policy. If you need a primer on this point, see Peter Grossman’s fine book from Cambridge University Press, U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure. Federal price and allocation controls meant that disruptions in the oil market by OPEC were magnified here at home, with the result being artificial shortages. Everyone »

Associated Press: Global Cooling Requires More Government Money

Featured image Much of the U.S. is in the deep freeze. Where I live, the temperature isn’t expected to get above -5 this weekend. So, what else is new? It’s Winter. But the Associated Press is sounding the alarm: “Rising energy costs eyed amid brutal cold snap gripping US.” I know, it’s a trite observation, but: where is global warming when you need it? Plunging temperatures across half the country on Thursday »

Will Bitcoin Destroy the World?

Featured image I have to admit that I don’t understand bitcoin. Go ahead: read the Wikipedia entry for how bitcoins are “mined” and see if you can understand it. The price of it is soaring again on the market today, to over $15,000 now $18,000 now $19,000 (this movement happening as I write this item!) in what looks like a classic bubble. I think I’ll stick with my hypothesis that bitcoin, and its »

Latest from the Electric Slide

Featured image China has built its first all-electric cargo ship: A Chinese company has built a 2,000 metric-ton (2,204 tons) all-electric cargo ship, which was launched from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in mid-November, according to state-run newspaper People’s Daily. The 70-meter long (229 feet) and 14-meter wide (45 feet) ship is equipped with over 1,000 lithium batteries, with a total capacity of 2,400 kilowatt-hours. By comparison, Tesla’s Model X is »

A Visual Lesson in Energy Density

Featured image I normally try to stay away from posting complicated charts and graphs, for the simple reason that they are hard to decode. But the chart below, from Max Roser, the project director of the terrific “Our World in Data” site housed at Oxford University, is just too brilliant not to pass along. It shows in two panels how pathetic is the energy contribution of wind and solar power, and why »

Shocker: Al Franken doesn’t know what he’s talking about

Featured image You would think that a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources would understand the economics underlying federal oil and gas leasing. Or that if he didn’t, he would bone up before orating about the subject. And you would certainly think that the member would understand the economics of leasing and drilling before proposing an amendment to legislation regarding the matter. In Al Franken’s case, you would »

Who Pays For “Green” Energy?

Featured image These days, there is considerable obfuscation about the true costs of “green” energy–basically, wind and solar. Politicians, regulators and sometimes utilities assert that wind and solar are efficient–that they actually are price-competitive with reliable energy sources like coal and natural gas. If you know anything about energy, you know this is an absurd claim. If it were true, we could do away with all subsidies for wind and solar, but »

Today in Energy

Featured image The good people at the Daily Shot, the Wall Street Journal‘s digest of interesting charts and graphs on all things economic, has some nice snapshots today of the energy sector in the U.S. and for the world. Some interesting things to note here. First, U.S. oil production has just reached an all-time high. Lesson: who turned out to be right about America’s energy potential—Sarah Palin and “drill, baby, drill,” or »

Green Weenie of the Year: Mark Jacobson

Featured image It is tempting to award Mark Jacobson of Stanford University the All-Time Green Weenie Award. Jacobson is the charlatan who says that the United States can supply 100 percent of its energy needs by the year 2050 with wind and solar power, along with some pumped hydro storage (as if environmentalists will sign off on the hundreds of dams and pipelines such a system would require). “No natural gas, biofuels, »

“Green” Energy Fails Every Test

Featured image Liberals will tell you that Minnesota is one of the nation’s leaders in “green” energy, so its experience represents a good test: can green energy fulfill the extravagant promises made by its backers? The answer is a resounding No, according to a blockbuster paper by our own Steve Hayward and Center of the American Experiment’s Peter Nelson. The paper, titled “Energy Policy in Minnesota: the High Cost of Failure,” can »

Minnesota Mischief

Featured image To offer a benign variation on one of Scott’s themes, this morning two “Minnesota men” and a California man released a new study showing what total bosh Minnesota’s state energy policy is. The “Minnesota men” were John and his colleague Peter Nelson, and I was the “California man.” The study, “Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure,” now up on the Center of the American Experiment’s website. Minnesota, »

Ban Gas-Powered Cars? California Is Thinking About It

Featured image It isn’t enough for California to contemplate its own state-run single payer health care system that would require, at a minimum, tripling the state budget. Now a lawmaker wants to have the state ban gasoline-powered cars by the year 2040. I certainly hope California follows through and tries this. If nothing else, it will provide wonderful black market opportunities. Think of all the meth labs that will convert to mini-refineries, »

Energiefehler in Deutschland

Featured image No matter how often we pile on the fraud that is Germany’s energiewende (for “energy transition”), it never gets old pointing out that it should really be called energiefehler—”energy failure.” Today the New York Times acknowledges it as such: Germany’s Shift to Green Power Stalls, Despite Huge Investments A de facto class system has emerged, saddling a group of have-nots with higher electricity bills that help subsidize the installation of »

“Negawatts” Turn Out to Be Nugatory

Featured image One of the favorite energy ideas of the thermageddonites is that we can meet a large portion of our energy needs through energy conservation, sometimes called “negawatts.” You don’t need to supply energy you don’t consume! In California, the shutdown of our last nuclear power plant in five years, which currently supplies more electricity than all of the solar panels in the state, will supposedly be replaced by new renewable »