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
Counterpunch

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: http://economist.com/debate/archive

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.

Counterpunch
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
Counterpunch

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
RealClearScience

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!”

September 24, 2010
Energy Tribune

This week, the Manhattan Institute (disclosure: I’m a senior fellow at MI) released a pair of reports that look at the obstacles to building and financing a nationwide electricity grid. The benefits of having a national electricity grid have been known for years. With these two papers, Manhattan Institute exposes the key policy obstacles to getting a national electricity grid built and shows how the US can get the needed transmission capacity built by tapping private, not public, money.

August 16, 2010
Energy Tribune

In the wake of the Macondo well blowout, we are hearing renewed claims that we must quit using oil, that we must win “the oil end game.” In addition, there are the continuing calls for drastic reductions in carbon-based fuel consumption, and those calls are being amplified thanks to the drought and record-setting heat that has affected parts of the globe in recent weeks.

September 14, 2010
Energy Tribune

My August 24 article in the Wall Street Journal has apparently caused some discomfort among various advocates of wind energy.(1)

Given that discomfort, it’s worth revisiting the thesis of my Journal piece. As a reminder, here’s the thesis statement: several studies have concluded that “wind-generated electricity likely won’t result in any reduction in carbon emissions –- or that they’ll be so small as to be almost meaningless.”

August 27, 2010
Energy Tribune

Over the last few years, the wind industry has achieved remarkable growth largely due to the industry’s claim that using more wind energy will result in major reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. There’s just one problem with that claim: it’s not true. (This an extended version of the August 24 piece I published in the Wall Street Journal.)

August 24, 2010
Wall Street Journal

The wind industry has achieved remarkable growth largely due to the claim that it will provide major reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. There's just one problem: It's not true. A slew of recent studies show that wind-generated electricity likely won't result in any reduction in carbon emissions—or that they'll be so small as to be almost meaningless.

August 23, 2010
Energy Tribune

About two and a half years ago, I published my third book, Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of “Energy Independence,” which provided multiple arguments as to why the US cannot, and should not even attempt to, be independent of the world’s single biggest and most important marketplace: the global energy market.

August 16, 2010
Slate

They like everything big in Texas, and wind energy is no exception. Texas has more wind generation capacity than any other state, about 9,700 megawatts. (That's nearly as much installed wind capacity as India.) Texas residential ratepayers are now paying about $4 more per month on their electric bills in order to fund some 2,300 miles of new transmission lines to carry wind-generated electricity from rural areas to the state's urban centers.

August 9, 2010
Energy Tribune

Over the past few years, whether the discussion was peak oil or peak natural gas, Matthew Simmons was almost always involved. No longer. Simmons, 67, died suddenly Sunday in Maine. A local paper, the Kennebec Journal, is reporting that Simmons died last night of an apparent heart attack while in a hot tub at his home.

August 5, 2010
Energy Tribune

Imagine this scenario: Politicians at the state and federal levels begin handing out billions of dollars is subsidies so that over the next decade America’s wealthiest people – those with household incomes of $200,000 or more – will be encouraged to buy more vacation homes. Oh, and those homes should be concentrated in the areas around Los Angeles and San Diego.

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