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March 31, 2014
National Review Online

Some of America’s biggest and most influential environmental groups are not only out of touch with reality, they are actively promoting an agenda that would harm the security of the U.S. and its allies in Western Europe.

March 19, 2014
National Review Online

Last week, during the climate-change talkathon held by Senate Democrats, Al Franken of Minnesota said, “I rise to suggest that we in this body talk more about climate change so that we can agree on taking action to address it.” Franken’s fellow Democrats offered similar pleas. Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal described climate change as “implacable, relentless,” and said that “only we can stop it.” Hawaii’s BrianSchatz said, “Climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and it is solvable.”

March 12, 2014
robertbryce.com

The complaints about the South by Southwest Interactive conference have become as reliable as the blooming of the redbud trees that line Austin’s Lady Bird Lake.

Every spring, there are articles declaring that the event is, choose one of the following:  “over,” “not a tech conference anymore,” suffering from “growing pains,” that it has “has lost its compass,” and that, well, it’s just too big. As a long-time Austin resident (nearly 30 years) I can verify that the last item on that list is true. Last year, more than 30,000 people attended SXSW Interactive. (Another 30,000 are in town for this year’s event.) The swarm of “digital creatives” who swarm the city during the five-day conference, along with the hordes who come for the SX film, music, and .edu events, choke the city. They snarl traffic, overwhelm the restaurants, crowd downtown sidewalks, and convert big swaths of the city into no-go zones.

March 7, 2014
National Review Online

For the U.S., Western Europe, and Ukraine, the best weapons in the ongoing power struggle with Russia won’t be bullets and tanks. They will be natural-gas wells and gas pipelines.

Indeed, amidst all the hand-wringing and speculation about how the U.S. and its European allies should respond to Russia’s invasion of Crimea, the best non-military maneuver is obvious: They should launch a natural-gas-drilling campaign in Western Europe and Ukraine. And they should start immediately.

Written Remarks for a Hearing of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, Dirksen Senate Office Building, February 25, 2014. 

Good afternoon.

The focus of this hearing is on the economic benefits of ecosystems and wildlife and how they “are valuable to a wide range of industries,” including tourism. The purpose is also to examine “how the Administration is preparing to protect” ecosystems “in a changing climate.”

February 26 2014
Washington Examiner

When it comes to energy policy, the European Union -- and Germany in particular -- have provided the perfect model. Indeed, if U.S. policymakers want to dramatically increase energy prices, destroy jobs and impose hardship on industry, then they should follow the EU's lead.

January 28, 2014
e21

What was notable about the last night’s State of the Union address with regard to energy was not what the president said, it was what he did not say. 

We heard the usual tired bromides. It only took four paragraphs before the inevitable mention of the evils of “foreign oil.” It was only a bit longer before President Obama uttered the execrable phrase that has been a prerequisite for every US president since Richard Nixon: “energy independence.” 

Will the latest oil-train fire make people rethink anything? :: Manhattan Institute Scholar Robert Bryce on the future of the Keystone Pipeline.

Will the latest oil-train fire make people rethink anything?

Marketplace December 31, 2013

Manhattan Institute Scholar Robert Bryce on the future of the Keystone Pipeline.

December 30, 2013
National Review Online

Just when it seemed the hype over biofuels was finally dying down, the New York Times gave biofuel producers a Christmas present.

On Christmas Day, on the front page of the newspaper’s business section, the Times published a piece titled “Jet Fuel by the Acre.” Written by Todd Woody, the article touted SGB, a San Diego–based company that has, it says, “succeeded in domesticating jatropha.” The subhead claims, “A start-up cracks the code to turn a bush into fuel.”

December 19, 2013
National Review Online

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 — one of the most pork-filled bits of federal energy legislation ever passed by Congress — continues to haunt us.

December 9, 2013
National Review Online

We have to kill eagles in order to save them.

That’s now the official policy of the U.S. Interior Department. On Friday, the agency announced that it would grant some wind-energy companies permits that will allow them to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty.

December 2, 2013
Energy Tribune

Michael J. Economides, an international authority on petroleum engineering, died late Saturday evening while onboard a jetliner bound for Santiago, Chile. He was 64.

November 28, 2013
Wall Street Journal

The Justice Department announced late last week that a subsidiary of Duke Energy has agreed to pay $1 million for killing golden eagles and other federally protected birds at two of the company's wind projects in Wyoming. The guilty plea was a long-overdue victory for the rule of law and a sign that green energy might be going out of vogue.

November 26, 2013
National Review Online

For years, the wind-energy sector and renewable-energy advocates have repeatedly claimed that wind turbines are essential to the fight against carbon dioxide emissions and catastrophic climate change. Here’s the reality: Wind turbines are nothing more than climate-change scarecrows.

November 14, 2013
National Review Online

Forty years have passed since the OPEC oil embargo of 1973. In that time span, the United States has increased its population by about half, nearly tripled its economic output, and nearly doubled its per capita GDP. While doing so, the U.S. has increased its oil consumption by just 7 percent.

October 10, 2013
Wall Street Journal

For some environmentalists, the threat of climate change is so great that we must allow wind turbines to kill bald and golden eagles. The argument I've heard is that renewables, including wind energy, will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Less carbon dioxide reduces the threat posed by climate change, which benefits eagles and other wildlife.

October 10, 2013
Bloomberg

Forty years ago this month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an embargo on oil exports to the U.S. as retaliation for its support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War. It would last only five months, but it haunts U.S. energy policy to this day.

September 23, 2013
National Review Online

On Friday, the EPA finally unveiled its long-awaited rules for new coal-fired power plants. The agency’s administrator, Gina McCarthy, has claimed that the new rules “will provide certainty for the future of new coal.”

September 20, 2013
Bloomberg

This month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will begin releasing its fifth assessment report. Like earlier reports, it will undoubtedly lead to more calls to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide worldwide.

September 12, 2013
National Review Online

No president in modern American history has bashed the oil and gas industry more than Barack Obama. And none has benefited from that industry more.

Proving that last sentence is easy. It requires only that we imagine what world oil prices — and the U.S. economy — would look like in the absence of the shale gale, the multi-state surge in domestic oil and gas production of the past few years, as drillers have figured out how to produce vast quantities of methane and liquids from shale deposits.

August 8, 2013
National Review Online

Keep the poor in the dark: That’s the aim of some of the world’s biggest and most influential environmental groups. And last month, both the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the World Bank helped advance it. Out of concern for climate change, they announced, they would restrict financing for coal-fired power plants.

July 8, 2013
National Review Online

Africans can burn coal. Americans can’t.

That’s the conclusion to be drawn from the Obama administration’s most recent forays into energy policy.

June 24, 2013
National Review Online

The gulf between the hard realities of the global energy market and the Obama administration’s energy policies grows wider by the day.

On Wednesday, Heather Zichal, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change, told a group of reporters that Obama, knowing that climate change is “a legacy issue,” will soon issue new rules to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from electricity-generation plants. “After all that we’ve done, after all that historic progress in the first four years, we are well poised to take meaningful action for the second term,” Zichal said.

June 11, 2013
National Review Online

The Goliath of the wind-energy business is suing David. The defendant is Esther Wrightman, an activist and mother of two from the tiny town of Kerwood, Ontario, which sits roughly halfway between Detroit and Toronto.

Wrightman, 32, has angered the Florida-based NextEra Energy (market capitalization: $32 billion) by starting a couple of bare-bones websites, ontariowindresistance.org and mlwindaction.org, as well as a YouTube channel, which she uses to lampoon the company. In its lawsuit, filed on May 1, NextEra claims that Wrightman has misused its logo and libeled the company by calling it “NexTerror” and “NextError.” And while the company doesn’t specify the amount of damages it seeks from Wrightman, it says that it will donate any proceeds from the litigation to United Way.

Amid the myriad tragedies and heartache caused by the Second Iraq War, the death of Col. Westhusing is among the saddest and most senseless. I have been asked by a number of people who knew Col. Westhusing for some of the documents that I obtained from the Defense Department via the Freedom of Information Act over the course of my year-long inquiry into his suicide. Rather than distribute paper copies, it makes sense to make them available in electronic form.

If you are interested in my writings on Westhusing from '07 and '08, see here and here

Herewith, a batch of the key documents, in PDF:
1. Anonymous letter sent to Col. Westhusing in May 2005 regarding alleged misconduct by contractors working for the U.S. military in Iraq.
2. June 17, 2005 interview of Westhusing's widow, Michelle, by Army investigators.
3. Sworn statements from people who knew Col. Westhusing.
4. Bulk of the report done by the Army's Inspector General.
5. Bulk of the report done Army Criminal Investigation Command.

May 17, 2013
Counterpunch

The U.S. military’s expensive experiments with biofuels – along with the rationale for entire biofuels business -- has been gunned down in a fusillade of friendly fire.

You may recall that over the past few years, the Pentagon has been funding a number of efforts to develop biofuels. On Earth Day 2010, the Navy flew an F-18 using a mixture of conventional jet fuel and biofuel derived from camellina, a plant in the mustard family. After the flight, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus declared that the Navy and Marine Corps were committed to “reducing dependence on foreign oil as well safeguarding our environment.”Since then, Mabus and the Navy have continued to hype the potential of biofuels and its effort to create a “Great Green Fleet” of ships. And in March, the Navy insisted its alt-fuel program won’t get hit by the sequester.

May 16, 2013
National Review Online

The wording of the Eagle Protection Act could not be any clearer. It “prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior,” from “taking” bald or golden eagles. The law defines “take” as “pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb.”

April 2, 2013
Manhattan Institute
Energy Policy & The Environment Report

In 2012, U.S. oil production rose by 790,000 barrels per day, the biggest annual increase since U.S. oil production began in 1859. In 2013, the Energy Information Administration expects production to rise yet again, by 815,000 barrels per day, which would set another record. Domestic natural gas production is also at record levels.

What has allowed such dramatic production increases? Innovation in the drilling sector. The convergence of a myriad of technologies—ranging from better drill bits and seismic data to robotic rigs and high-performance pumps—is allowing the oil and gas sector to produce staggering quantities of energy from locations that were once thought to be inaccessible or bereft of hydrocarbons.

(View or save the full report by clicking on the image below)

April 1, 2013
Investors Business Daily

These are lousy times to be in the peak oil cult.

In December, U.S. oil exports hit a record of 3.6 million barrels per day, thanks in part to soaring domestic petroleum production.

March 11, 2013
National Review Online

Among the Mount Everest of inanities ever uttered on the subject of energy, the blue-ribbon winner must be this: “the tyranny of oil.”

Both Barack Obama and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have used the line. Obama claimed it for his own back in 2007 when he declared his run for the White House. Standing on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Obamasaid, “Let’s be the generation that finally frees America from the tyranny of oil.”

March 8, 2013
City Journal

In theory, the March 11, 2011, disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant should have bolstered environmentalists’ opposition to new nuclear-energy projects. But in the wake of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, some of the world’s leading Greens have done just the opposite: they have come out in favor of nuclear power. Perhaps the most prominent convert is British activist and journalist George Monbiot, who even cites the disaster as one reason for his change of heart. Just ten days after Fukushima, in a column for the Guardian, Monbiot called the use of solar energy in the United Kingdom “a spectacular waste of scarce resources” and declared that wind energy was “hopelessly inefficient” and “largely worthless.” Moreover, he wrote, “on every measure (climate change, mining impact, local pollution, industrial injury and death, even radioactive discharges) coal is 100 times worse than nuclear power.” He concluded: “Atomic energy has just been subjected to one of the harshest of possible tests, and the impact on people and the planet has been small. The crisis at Fukushima has converted me to the cause of nuclear power.”

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