May 8, 2011
National Review

The television-news business has a great phrase: “happy talk.” On some occasions, TV producers ask their newsreaders to engage in some friendly banter — happy talk — to fill the airtime between news segments.

May 3, 2011
National Review

California leads the nation in a number of ignominious categories. Its budget deficit of $26 billion is nearly twice as large as that of the next state (Texas).

It ranks second in unemployment at 12 percent, behind only Nevada. Unemployment is so pervasive that six of the 14 metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the highest rates of unemployment are in California.

April 29, 2011
Energy Tribune

President Barack Obama's policies toward energy in general, and oil in particular, are inconsistent and incoherent. And that approach is costing US consumers dearly.

The president’s confused approach to energy was laid bare last month, when the president sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking them to “eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, and to use those dollars to invest in clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

April 12, 2011
National Review

Last month, the Department of Energy launched a competition called “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator.” According to Energy Secretary Steve Chu, the effort will “unleash America’s innovation machine and win the global race for the clean energy jobs of the future.”

April 5, 2011
Manhattan Institute

In less than five years, the natural gas business has gone from shortage to surfeit. Technological breakthroughs have unlocked massive quantities of natural gas from shale deposits that were previously thought to be uneconomic. The result: the United States no longer needs to import huge quantities of natural gas. Domestic gas resources should easily last many decades.

April 1, 2011

President Barack Obama, during his speech at Georgetown University on Wednesday, condemned politicians for using what he called “slogans and gimmicks” on energy policy. Unfortunately, Obama succeeded only in adding yet more murk to his administration’s own confused energy policies.

March 20, 2011
New York Daily News

First, there was Three Mile Island, then Chernobyl and now, Fukushima. The devastating tsunami and earthquake which caused the nuclear accident in Japan is once again raising serious questions about the safety of nuclear energy, particularly when it is produced by older reactors.

March 15, 2011
The Daily Beast

President Barack Obama told a crowd in Prague two years ago that “we must harness the power of nuclear energy on behalf of our efforts to combat climate change.” In January, in his State of the Union address, and again in last month’s proposed budget for 2012, he backed up his rhetoric with some $36 billion in federal loan guarantees for a spate of new reactors.

March 14, 2011
Energy Tribune

In an extended Q&A, John Hanger, Former Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection, Discusses Natural Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing, While Blasting the New York Times and Gasland

February 26, 2011
Wall Street Journal

Of all the times for the U.S. to be discouraging domestic production of oil and natural gas, right now might be the worst. Libya's descent into chaos is fueling a rapid rise in oil prices, and unrest in other oil-producing countries in the Middle East and North Africa has led some analysts to predict unprecedented oil-price spikes may be looming.

February 25, 2011

When the chairman of the world’s largest food company says that using food crops to make biofuels is “absolute madness,” sensible people should take heed.

February 16, 2011
Washington Times

Last month, Peter Brabeck, the chairman of the Swiss food giant Nestle, declared that using food crops to make biofuels was “absolute madness.” The epicenter of that madness is the U.S. corn-ethanol sector. This year, it will consume 40 percent of all U.S. corn - that’s about 15 percent of global corn production or 5 percent of all global grain - in order to produce a volume of motor fuel with the energy equivalent of about 0.6 percent of global oil needs.

February 2, 2011
Economist Debates

In his rebuttal, Steve Sawyer claims, incredibly, that while he cannot say "precisely when the governments of the world" will slap a price on carbon emissions, they "surely will". I can tell him when his hoped-for global tax will happen: never.

January 28, 2011
Economist Debates

Note: This is the first rebuttal in the debate. The second will be posted on Feb 2.
Implicit in the arguments put forward by Steve Sawyer are assumptions that governments have infinite supplies of money and land. They do not.

January 25, 2011
Economist Debates

Note: This essay was published in support of the motion. For all of the debates, see:

When it comes to cutting carbon emissions, renewables simply cannot compete with natural gas on three key issues: local opposition, cost and scale.

January 17, 2011
National Review Online

Texas governor Rick Perry’s high-profile battle with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) couldn’t have come at a better time. The fight may not be over in time for the 2012 presidential elections, and he very well may lose, but no matter what happens, he can count it as a political victory. Given that Perry is angling for a shot at the White House in 2012 — and given the fiscal problems his state faces — that’s just what he’s hoping for.

January 12, 2011
Washington Examiner

Back on November 3, fresh from a mid-term shellacking that added 63 new Republicans to the House of Representatives, President Obama uttered two words that have been missing from nearly every energy-related discussion he's had since he began running for president: "natural gas." His specific words--"we've got terrific natural gas resources in this country"--should not be noteworthy. But throughout his years as an elected official, Obama has been almost completely silent about natural gas's critical role in the U.S. energy mix.

December 31, 2010

Debunking the tsunami of hype about biofuels doesn’t require much. A standard calculator will do. Alas, Thomas Friedman can’t be bothered to do the handful of simple calculations that prove the futility of the biofuels madness. In a recent piece, the New York Times columnist and best-selling author praised the Navy and Marines for, as he put it “building a strategy for ‘out-greening’ Al Qaeda, ‘out-greening’ the Taliban and ‘out-greening’ the world’s petro-dictators.”

December 22, 2010
Wall Street Journal

After 30 months, countless TV appearances, and $80 million spent on an extravagant PR campaign, T. Boone Pickens has finally admitted the obvious: The wind energy business isn't a very good one. The Dallas-based entrepreneur, who has relentlessly promoted his "Pickens Plan" since July 4, 2008, announced earlier this month that he's abandoning the wind business to focus on natural gas.

December 13, 2010
National Review Online

Ethanol is the Frankenfuel of the energy business, a subsidy-devouring monster that cannot be killed, no matter how great the political opposition. Farm-state senators have apparently succeeded in adding an extension of the ethanol tax credit, which is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, to the tax bill now working its way through Congress.

December 8, 2010
Washington Examiner

Early next year, the Ensco 8503, a massive new drilling rig designed to work in water depths of up to 10,000 feet, will be towed out of the Gulf of Mexico to a drilling site off the coast of French Guinea. That departure will provide yet more evidence of the yawning gap between the Obama administration’s rhetoric about energy and the hard realities of energy in America today.

December 1, 2010
The Daily Beast

Last week, Al Gore finally admitted the obvious. The former vice president (and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize) who promoted ethanol in his Oscar-winning film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” said that corn ethanol was a “mistake.” He went further, saying that he supported ethanol production because the first presidential primary is in Iowa, which produces more ethanol than any other state: “I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president," he said.

December 1, 2010
Investors Business Daily

"Cancun" doesn't rhyme with "Copenhagen." But the results of the meeting on global carbon dioxide emissions in the Mexican resort town that runs through Dec. 10 will undoubtedly look and sound the same as the results of the meetings held in Denmark a year ago.

November 11, 2010

Imagine an American president who, during a press conference, extols the importance of cars made by Mercedes Benz or BMW. The reaction, particularly on Fox News, is easily envisioned: outraged cries of “elitist” and “out of touch” would persist for days or even months afterward.

November 6, 2010
The Daily Beast

Majority Leader Harry Reid beat GOP challenger Sharron Angle on Tuesday, helping assure Democratic control of the Senate for the next two years. Unfortunately for U.S. taxpayers, Reid’s victory comes with a $40 billion bill – all of it related to his dogged opposition to storing nuclear waste in Nevada.

September 30, 2010
Energy Tribune

About four years ago, we launched Energy Tribune. The goal was to be a news aggregator as well as a publisher of original reporting on the global energy sector. Given that this is my last day as the managing editor of ET, here are a few thoughts about what has happened over the past quadrennium:

October 25, 2010
National Review Online

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on October 13 that it had approved an increase in the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline from 10 percent to as much as 15 percent. Apparently, the Obama administration’s plan is to forget about ethanol’s negative impact on consumers and their gasoline-powered equipment, ignore the facts when it comes to air quality, and instead pander to the farm lobby.

October 29, 2010

During her trip to China this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will talk to Chinese officials about the world’s hottest commodities: rare earth elements.

October 12, 2010
Washington Examiner

Since the 1970s, the U.S. Congress has showered the corn ethanol industry with ever-increasing mandates and subsidies. Congress has justified those subsidies by citing the industry's oft-repeated claim that increased domestic production of ethanol will cut U.S. oil imports and therefore increase America's energy security.

That claim has no basis in fact.

October 5, 2010
Manhattan Institute

In the next few weeks, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to rule on a proposal to increase from 10 percent to 15 percent the amount of ethanol that may be blended into gasoline. If the EPA approves the move, the U.S. motor-fuel market would yet again become the victim of misguided federal intervention.

September 29, 2010
Energy Tribune

On January 25, I got an email from Charlie Porter, a Missouri-based horse trainer. The issue: noise from wind turbines. His emails said that in 2007, a phalanx of wind turbines had been around his family’s farm near King City and that “The overwhelming noise, sleep deprivation, constant headaches, anxiety, etc., etc., etc., forced us to abandon our home/horse farm of 15 years. We had to buy a house in town, away from the turbines and move!”

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