Energy Policy

The Renewable Portfolio Scam

Featured image Twenty-nine states have adopted renewable portfolio standards that require utilities to get a specified percentage of power from wind and solar sources. (I believe some enlightened jurisdictions include hydro power; I am not sure whether any include nuclear, as they obviously should. But there is no money to be had there.) This video from the Clear Energy Alliance explains why such standards are extraordinarily expensive and do zero good. But »

Climate Sense and Nonsense

Featured image Since today is Climatepalooza at the UN and in the streets of DC (aside: how many Nobel Peace Prize nominations will Greta Thunberg receive this year?), it might be worth checking in on a couple of serious questions. Like climate modeling on the science side, and decarbonization on the policy side. In conjunction with the climate hijinks, The Economist put out a special climate change issue, and much to my »

What Next in the Persian Gulf?

Featured image Assuming Iran is indeed behind the attack on Saudi Arabia’s major oil refining facility, it represents a step-increase in Iranian-backed aggression in the region. The Wall Street Journal‘s Spencer Jakab says this attack is “the big one“: Saturday’s attack on a critical Saudi oil facility will almost certainly rock the world energy market in the short term, but it also carries disturbing long-term implications. Ever since the dual 1970s oil »

Showdown In Houston

Featured image The Democratic presidential contenders will square off in Houston tonight. Meanwhile, things are already heating up there. President Trump has a giant anti-socialism banner circling the city: Is there any possible way the Democrats can get through the evening without talking about the banner, and explaining why their “socialism” won’t destroy the economy? I doubt it. Another confrontation is also underway. Greenpeace thugs have shut down the Houston Ship Channel »

Dem contenders rally around a carbon tax, may soon regret it

Featured image I believe that all of the leading Democratic candidates for president have endorsed a carbon tax. Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren did so during CNN’s town hall on climate change last week. Down a tier or two, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg endorsed it, as well. Bernie Sanders has endorsed a carbon tax in the past. The carbon tax was a bridge too far for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 »

The Environmental Fiasco of Wind Energy

Featured image Wind turbines only last for around 20 years, so many of them are now wearing out. That raises serious questions about disposal of defunct wind turbine parts. The turbines’ giant blades are not recyclable, so they must be dumped in landfills. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports on one South Dakota landfill that is saying no mas to wind turbine blades: [T]he Argus Leader reports that more than 100 wind »

Batteries: A Forlorn Hope

Featured image The most efficient wind turbines produce electricity around 40% of the time, solar panels far less often in most climates. So how do “green” energy advocates propose to produce electricity the 60% of the time when the wind isn’t blowing, or the 85% of the time (in some areas) when solar panels are ineffective? They build natural gas plants that ramp up and down depending on the weather. In other »

The Most Influential Research of 2019

Featured image I wrote here about the fact that a paper produced by my organization, Center of the American Experiment, is one of three finalists for the Bob Williams Award for the Most Influential Research of the last 12 months, awarded by the State Policy Network. The paper is “Doubling Down on Failure”. It exposes the real costs of “green” energy and is, I think, enormously important. The Williams Award will be »

“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 »