Energy Policy

There Has Never Been An Energy Transition

Featured image It is widely believed, I think, that we are in the midst of an energy transition from fossil fuels to “green” energy sources. But, for better or worse–I think it’s just fine–that isn’t the case. At Watts Up With That? David Middleton offers charts that indicate no such transition is in progress. This one shows worldwide energy consumption in million tons oil equivalent. As you can see, the contributions of »

Dumb Energy

Featured image It is easy to tell when an energy source is “dumb”–i.e. inefficient, unreliable and expensive. Smart energy sources like coal, nuclear, hydroelectric and natural gas, exist because they satisfy a permanent demand for cheap and reliable energy. Dumb energy sources, on the other hand, exist because government has put its thumb on the scale in the form of subsidies and mandates. The most valuable employees of companies that sell dumb »

On the Environment, Europeans Should Follow U.S. Lead

Featured image There was much gnashing of teeth over the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. That turned out to be nothing but the usual virtue signaling, as the agreement has since fallen apart, having turned out to be nothing but a stickup of rich nations by poor nations. Shockingly, the Western democracies weren’t actually interested in paying up. Meanwhile–one might ask–what has been happening in the physical world with »

The Trouble With Solar Energy

Featured image Mark Mathis of Clear Energy Alliance explains what is wrong with solar energy: Do you know what it feels like to work with someone who arrives late, does work that others could easily do, harms others’ productivity, and then skips out when they’re most needed? It’s frustrating isn’t it? Welcome to the Solar Value Eclipse. Instead of adding value and efficiency to the electric grid, having too much solar harms »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 76: Killer Tomatoes and Power Grids

Featured image I spent the better part of the previous week at a conference composed mostly of very smart liberals—okay, I know, “smart liberals” sounds like an oxymoron or the smallest club this side of Real Housewives of the Vatican, but believe me, these folks are skeptical if not hostile to a lot of leftist orthodoxy these days. And the result of this is perhaps the most gonzo episode ever of the »

Trump Administration May Support Coal and Nuclear Power

Featured image Like most news stories these days, it is based on a leak, in this case of a memorandum that you can read here. NPR’s report is typical: “President Trump Orders Help For Coal And Nuclear Plants.” President Trump has ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take immediate steps to help financially troubled coal and nuclear power plants. A draft plan marked “confidential” is being circulated around Washington. No one from »

Uranium mining and states rights

Featured image Four decades ago a massive uranium deposit was discovered in southern Virginia. This gave rise to one of my first assignments as a lawyer in private practice. Various interests wanted badly to have the uranium mined, but environmentalists were dead set against it. Cissy Spacek, star of the film “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” attended a public hearing at which opposition was vehemently expressed. My job was two-fold. First, help identify a »

“Green” Energy, an Environmental Disaster

Featured image One of the worst features of both wind and solar energy is that they are terrible for the environment. Land-based wind turbines are bad enough, but offshore installations are a fiasco waiting to happen. Steve Goreham writes at Watts Up With That? Several eastern US states are planning major investments in offshore wind. Wind turbines are touted as clean, green, and economically sound. But experience from around the world shows »

If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Do They Make Electricity So Expensive?

Featured image We are constantly hearing about the declining cost of wind and solar energy. Yet electric rates keep rising, especially in areas that have invested heavily in these “green” technologies. How can that be? Michael Shellenberger answers that question in a guest post at Watts Up With That? Over the last year, the media have published story after story after story about the declining price of solar panels and wind turbines. »

The Wind Energy Fiasco, Writ Large

Featured image Until such time as electricity can be stored at scale, wind energy is a terrible idea. Across the U.S., wind turbines produce electricity approximately 40% of the time. That means they are unreliable. Since we expect the lights to go on 100% of the time, we need enough reliable energy sources–coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric–to meet peak load. Which means that wind energy is inevitably an expensive sideshow. Why do »

California’s Suicide Attempt, Part 6: Let’s Make Housing More Expensive!

Featured image Not sure whether this item deserves to be filed under “California’s Suicide” or our “Green Weenie” category.  Apparently California’s governing class thinks the cost of housing isn’t high enough, because the state government has just mandated that all new housing starting in 2020 must come with rooftop solar power. You have to be rolfing roofies to think mandated rooftop solar makes any sense. MIT’s Technology Review notes: “The new rule »

Pop Culture Tidings

Featured image I don’t think I will be venturing into spoiler territory if I point out that the galactic villain of The Avengers: Infinity Wars, whose name is Thanos (close to or perhaps derived from the ancient Greek word thanatos, for rule of death), is a Paul Ehrlich-style Malthusian. In the movie Thanos expresses his ruthless determination to reduce the population of the entire universe dramatically because of “scarce resources.” What a »

An Omnibus Climate and Energy Roundup

Featured image At some point it gets embarrassing to keep up with the daily failure of the climatistas. Exhibit 1 today is Japan, one of the most energy-efficient industrial economies in the world, but which is now in the process of building a whole bunch of new coal-fired power plants. Sciencemagazine reports: Bucking global trends, Japan again embraces coal power Most of the world is turning its back on burning coal to »

Today in Green Energy Fail

Featured image This story is so pathetic that it doesn’t even rise to the level of being a Green Weenie Award contender: South Korea’s most-destructive quake probably triggered by geothermal plant A magnitude-5.4 earthquake that struck the South Korean city of Pohang on 15 November 2017 was probably triggered by an experimental geothermal power plant injecting water a few kilometres underground, a research team reports. A second independent analysis also finds the »

Is Wind Energy a Good Idea?

Featured image You can produce electricity with a wind turbine, but is it good policy to do so? The reality is that wind energy exists solely because of government subsidies. (Don’t take my word for it, just ask Warren Buffett: “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”) Given that wind energy »

Putin Funds America’s Environmental Movement

Featured image With all the attention being paid to Russian “collusion” these days, it is remarkable that there has been so much focus on Facebook ads while far more serious meddling by Vladimir Putin goes mostly unremarked. In particular, Russia’s subsidizing of U.S. environmental groups, specifically those who oppose development of U.S. energy resources by blocking fracking and pipelines, has long been known but is too often forgotten. That’s why this video »

Which Energy Sources Are Actually Sustainable

Featured image Liberals tout wind and solar energy as “sustainable,” but is that really true? The Science and Environmental Policy Project offers a different interpretation of sustainability: The electrical grid is an energized system serving all those on it, producers and consumers alike. It can be likened to a nervous system, serving all organs in the human body. Failure, for whatever reason, such as South Australia Black Event or the US Northeast »