Energy Policy

“Green” Energy Is Sinister

Featured image We conservatives tend to argue that “green” energy (wind and solar) is unreliable, inefficient, expensive, and virtually useless, even if we accept the climate change gospel*. But the truth is worse than that. Far from being well-intentioned, as most assume, “green” energy is the great corporate scam of our age. And green energy is not kind to the Earth as school children are taught. Rather, wind and solar are terrible »

Climate Solution? Trees

Featured image CO2 is plant food, which is why the Earth is getting greener as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases. This is a negative feedback, since the more plant life, the more CO2 gets absorbed. Planting more trees has long been offered as a potential solution to CO2-induced global warming, and the Clear Energy Alliance notes a new study that argues planting large numbers of trees can neutralize man-made »

The Most Influential Research of 2019

Featured image I have written a couple of times about a paper titled “Doubling Down on Failure” which was published by Center of the American Experiment, the policy organization that I run, in March. The paper exposes the real costs of “green” energy and is, I think, enormously important. First, though, a Power Line note: “Doubling Down on Failure” builds on an earlier American Experiment paper, “Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High »

Wind Energy Collapsing In Germany

Featured image Steve has written a number of times about Germany’s experience with wind power, which illustrates the futility of thinking that renewables can ever replace reliable energy sources like coal, nuclear and natural gas. The latest news from Germany offers an original twist: The expansion of wind power in the first half of this year collapsed to its lowest level since the introduction of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) in 2000. »

Why Wind and Solar Will Never Work

Featured image This paper by Mark Mills of the the Manhattan Institute and Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, titled “The ‘New Energy Economy’: An Exercise in Magical Thinking,” does an excellent job of explaining why wind and solar energy will never replace fossil fuels or nuclear energy as a primary energy source. The problem is fundamental: the laws of physics. And, no, better batteries are not a solution. »

Conservative Justices divide in case upholding Virginia’s ban on uranium mining

Featured image Last year, I wrote about the case of Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren, which the Supreme Court had just agreed to hear. The issue was whether the Atomic Energy Act preempts a state law (a ban on uranium mining) that on its face regulates an activity within its jurisdiction (uranium mining), but has the purpose and effect of regulating the radiological safety hazards of activities entrusted to the Nuclear Regulatory »

Have Liberals Ever Been Right About Anything?

Featured image Cast your mind back to about 2008 or 2009, when Democrats and the media mocked Sarah Palin for leading the chant “drill, baby, drill” as a remedy for our dependence on foreign oil. All the smartest people—like Obama and John Kerry!—told us that it was impossible for us to “drill our way out” of out oil and natural gas dependency: the U.S. simply didn’t have enough produceable oil and gas »

Economic Nationalism: Two Can Play That Game!

Featured image President Trump’s “America First” policy applies to the economy as well as to foreign policy. He has stood up for American companies, has fought back against unfair practices by China and other competitors, and has browbeaten American companies into creating jobs at home. To some, these policies are reminiscent of the good old “industrial policy” that liberals championed decades ago. The Democrats are starting to catch on. As many have »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 127: Rob Bradley, the Robert Caro of Energy History

Featured image I thought about calling this week’s episode “Everything You Know about the Enron Story Is Wrong,” but that isn’t completely accurate, nor just to my guest and the breadth and depth of his insight into this subject. This week’s guest is Robert L. Bradley Jr., who deserves to be known as the Robert Caro of energy history. Rob is the founder of the Institute for Energy Research, one of the best »

Transformative Technology Needed?

Featured image The United States, and much of the Western world, has gone badly off the rails on the subject of energy. Obsessed with CO2 emissions, a minor factor in the Earth’s climate, Western policymakers have turned to archaic technologies like wind energy as though they were futuristic. The Science and Environmental Policy Project comments: Energy expert Mark Mills has produced five parts of a series in Real Clear Energy discussing the »

Battling Over Batteries

Featured image “Green” advocates aspire to power the entire U.S. electrical system with wind and solar energy. How are they going to do that, given that wind turbines produce electricity only around 40% of the time, and solar panels produce electricity, in most areas, less than 25% of the time? The truthful answer is that whenever utilities build (or contract with) a wind farm or a solar installation, they also build a »

“Green” Energy Policies Hurt the Environment, Another Case Study

Featured image Britain has a fracking industry–or could have one, anyway, if it weren’t for the Greens’ political clout. It finally became too much for Natascha Engel, Britain’s “fracking czar,” who quit with a blistering letter of resignation: Natascha Engel’s decision to walk away from such a high-profile role is driven, she says, by her dismay that Ministers are jeopardising Britain’s energy security because they would rather appease noisy green campaigners than »

A Green New Deal Smackdown Omnibus

Featured image It is long past time to revisit the Green Nude Eel, or whatever fantasy the climatistas have in mind. My pal Ben Zycher has a comprehensive analysis of it out this week from AEI, The Green New Deal: Economics and Policy Analytics. Ben is a superb quantitative analyst of these matters, to which he adds a refreshing and blunt directness in his conclusions: The GND’s central premise is that such »

Green Madness In Minnesota

Featured image A couple of weeks ago, my think tank released a comprehensive report on the costs and benefits of adopting a 50% “green” power mandate in Minnesota, in place of the current 25% mandate. The costs would be staggering–$80 billion, a 40% increase in the price of electricity, $1,200 additional cost every year for each Minnesota family, a $3 billion annual decline in the state’s GDP, and destruction of 21,000 permanent »

“Clean” Energy? What’s That?

Featured image Shills for wind- and solar-derived energy refer to such sources as “green” or “clean.” But are they really? In what sense? And compared to what? This video by the Clear Energy Alliance makes the case that wind and solar energy are not notably cleaner than fossil fuels, pollution from which has declined rapidly. Actually, the video is understated. It could have been more hard-hitting, I think, with a sharper focus »

Green New Deal: Collateral Damage

Featured image The latest in the Clear Energy Alliance’s series on the Green New Deal is titled “Collateral Damage.” It itemizes some (by no means all) of the adverse effects that would follow if anyone actually tried to implement the pipe dream that goes by the name of the Green New Deal. For a comprehensive analysis of the disaster that would result from a far more moderate “green” energy program, check out »

The Folly of “Green” Energy, Part MCVII

Featured image It is remarkable how alleged environmentalism can gather an almost infinite number of bad policies under a single umbrella. I wrote here about the folly of “biomass,” a fancy term for Europeans burning low-quality American trees. Why do they do it? Because of legal requirements to obtain a specified percentage of energy from “renewable” sources, while only politically favored energy sources–like American wood–count as renewable. “Green” energy policies couldn’t be »