July 30, 2010
The Daily Beast

Electric cars are all the rage. Last Sunday’s New York Times contained a long profile of Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind Tesla Motors, the startup that has produced about 1,000 electric sports cars. On Tuesday, the news was dominated by the announcement of the sticker price ($41,000) of the new Chevrolet Volt. And late Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced a scaled-back energy bill that promises some $400 million in new subsidies for the electric-car business.

June 29, 2010
Energy Tribune

We live in the age of video. As a writer, particularly one who writes books, that fact is rather painful. But the reality is that television, and increasingly, video on the Internet – think YouTube, Hulu, etc. – is the dominant medium of our time.

July 29, 2010
Energy Tribune

For months, the corn ethanol industry has been pushing the Obama administration for permission to increase the amount of ethanol that can be blended into the US gasoline supply.

July 15, 2010
Energy Tribune

(Note: This article shares a byline with Harry Wertheimer)
An increase in the amount of ethanol in your gasoline won’t hurt your lawnmower…if it’s a push-reel. Otherwise be prepared for big repair bills.

July 14, 2010
Energy Tribune

Today’s announcement that engineering and construction giant Bechtel will join forces with Babcock & Wilcox to build modular nuclear reactors is a big deal.

On its own, B&W had plenty of advantages in the emerging modular reactor sector. For decades, it has been building boilers and other power plant components. It also has decades of experience in building small reactors for the US Navy. But now that it has teamed with Bechtel, B&W has the potential to access Bechtel’s many clients in global power generation market. Bechtel currently has some 3,000 people employed on nuclear-related projects and it has engineering or construction operations in some 50 countries.

June 25, 2010
The Daily Beast

Tony Hayward’s lips were moving but all I could hear was Ken Lay.

Indeed, the specter of the late Enron CEO was apparent last week during Hayward’s testimony in front of Congress whenever he said something to the effect of “it wasn’t my job” or “I wasn’t directly involved” in the decisions that preceded the blowout of the Macondo well.

June 24, 2010
Energy Tribune

With each passing day, as more news reports explain what happened aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the hours before the accident, it becomes ever clearer that BP’s mismanagement of the Macondo well was responsible for the disastrous blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

June 18, 2010
Energy Tribune

Back in 2006, George W. Bush declared that the US is “addicted to oil.” Since then, that phrase has been repeated ad nauseum by politicos on both the Left and the Right. But on Tuesday night, President Obama took the addiction meme to an entirely new level of inanity by saying “For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels.”

June 15, 2010
Energy Tribune

Richard Nixon had an enemies list. And now, so, too, do the corn ethanol scammers.

June 10, 2010
Energy Tribune

The oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico provides a near-perfect onshore platform for political demagoguery.

June 10, 2010
Slate

The most disgusting aspect of the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico isn’t the video images of oil-soaked birds or the incessant blather from pundits about what BP or the Obama administration should be doing to stem the flow of oil. Instead, it’s the ugly spectacle of the corn ethanol scammers doing all they can to capitalize on the disaster so that they can justify an expansion of the longest-running robbery of taxpayers in U.S. history.

June 4, 2010

New Deal 2.0


Nothing. That’s the single most important step that can be taken right now to combat climate change. Yes, that’s a heretical position, but stay with me for a moment and consider these numbers:

– About 1.6 billion people on the planet do not have electricity in their homes.

– India alone has 400 million people who live without electricity.

– The entire continent of Africa, a region with a population of about 1 billion people, about 14% of the world’s population, uses just 3% of the world’s electric power.

June 3, 2010
Energy Tribune (Note: This piece was co-authored with Xina Xie and Michael J. Economides)

China, which has struggled in recent years to keep up with booming domestic demand for oil products, may soon have a major excess in refining capacity.

May 27, 2010
Energy Tribune

BP and many other people watching the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico are desperately hoping that the company’s current effort to kill the well by pumping heavy mud into it will finally stanch the flow of oil.

May 26, 2010
Washington Examiner

The Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is providing barrels of new ammunition to pundits on both the Right and the Left who contend we have to end our "addiction" to oil.

May 13, 2010
New York Times

On Wednesday, John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman introduced their long-awaited Senate energy bill, which includes incentives of $2 billion per year for carbon capture and sequestration, the technology that removes carbon dioxide from the smokestack at power plants and forces it into underground storage. This significant allocation would come on top of the $2.4 billion for carbon capture projects that appeared in last year’s stimulus package.

May 11, 2010
Forbes.com

The growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has, predictably, resulted in a new chorus of voices calling for increased use of renewable energy sources. But over the past five decades renewables have actually been losing market share.

May 10, 2010
The Daily Beast

We’ve seen taxpayer bailouts of Chrysler, GM and the big Wall Street banks. Now, thanks in part to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s virtually certain that the Obama administration will bail out the ethanol industry by increasing the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline. That means that U.S. consumers will be compelled to buy a new blend of gasoline called E15 (containing up to 15% ethanol) that is inferior to conventional fuel. And here’s the real insult: that new fuel blend may well damage your car, boat, or lawnmower.

April 30, 2010
Energy Tribune

As the first oil from the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico starts reaching the Louisiana coast, here are a few thoughts on the spill and what it will mean over the coming months:

April 25, 2010
Washington Post

Americans are being inundated with claims about renewable and alternative energy. Advocates for these technologies say that if we jettison fossil fuels, we'll breathe easier, stop global warming and revolutionize our economy. Yes, "green" energy has great emotional and political appeal. But before we wrap all our hopes -- and subsidies -- in it, let's take a hard look at some common misconceptions about what "green" means.

April 12, 2010
Energy Tribune

Back in 1999, Peter Huber and Mark Mills wrote a piece for Forbes titled “Dig more coal – the PCs are coming.” That article, and subsequent pieces written by Huber and Mills, made clear their belief that increased use of electronic equipment, from personal computers to cell phones, was going to mean dramatic increases in electricity demand.

April 24, 2010
Wall Street Journal

Oil, and foreign oil in particular, has been a favorite whipping boy for American politicians since the 1970s. They say that we are "addicted" to oil, that oil fosters terrorism and that we can "win the oil endgame." While those claims are effective at rousing the masses, here's the reality: The world isn't using too much oil. It's not using enough.

April 23, 2010
Energy Tribune

Offshore drilling, particularly in deep water, makes the action available at Las Vegas casinos look almost tame.

March 25, 2010
Energy Tribune

The wind energy lobbyists love to claim that installing new wind turbines is the cheapest form of new electricity generation capacity. In fact, I heard that very claim while at a party here in Austin a few weeks ago. But as usual, there’s the hype and there’s the reality.

March 23, 2010
Energy Tribune

Last week, Gallup released the findings of a survey which found that just 28% of Americans worry “a great deal” about global warming. In fact, global warming ranked eighth among environmental concerns, behind other worries like drinking water pollution, pollution of rivers and lakes, toxic waste, air pollution, and loss of tropical rain forests.

March 16, 2010
Energy Tribune

Today, the Governor’s Wind Energy Coalition, a group that represents governors from 29 states, will send a report to Congress and the White House urging the federal government to increase use of wind energy and to require utilities to derive 10% or more of their electricity from renewable sources no later than 2012.

March 12, 2010
Energy Tribune

(This article was co-authored with Michael Economides and Xina Xie)
China and Russia have reached an initial agreement on pricing of natural gas from Russia. According to a recent statement by Zhang Guobao, the deputy director of China’s powerful National Reform and Development Commission, Russia will supply China about 2.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas per year, starting in 2015. Although there was no mention of the actual price, Zhang said that the agreement “symbolized that the pricing negotiation had gone through the most difficult step.”

March 5, 2010
Energy Tribune

Oh the irony. This morning, the Des Moines Register is reporting on the death of a piece of legislation known as SF 2359. The bill would have required that all gasoline sold in Iowa contain at least 10% ethanol. But Iowa legislators couldn’t garner enough political support for the bill.

March 2, 2010
Wall Street Journal

Imagine this scenario: The oil and gas industry launches an aggressive global drilling program with a new type of well. Thousands of these new wells, once operational, emit a noxious odor so offensive that many of the people living within a mile of them are kept awake at night. Some are even forced to move out of their homes. It's easy to predict the reaction: denunciations of the industry, countless lawsuits, and congressional investigations.

March 1, 2010
Energy Tribune

I used to adore the opinion page of The New York Times. Whatever was printed there had to be the closest thing to the gospel truth handed down since Paul got knocked on his arse while heading to Damascus. I assumed only the smartest people were allowed to preach from the media world’s most hallowed pulpit.

February 23, 2010
Energy Tribune

Modular nuclear reactors are gaining momentum. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Babcock & Wilcox, a division of Houston-based McDermott International, had signed agreements with a trio of companies that could help Babcock & Wilcox get federal approval for its proposed modular reactor, a unit that would generate up to 140 megawatts.

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