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.

February 18, 2010
Energy Tribune

What a difference 12 months makes. Almost exactly one year ago, the popular, newly minted president, Barack Obama, was telling Congress that he wanted “legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.”

February 16, 2010

When it comes to energy issues, Thomas Friedman simply doesn’t care about the facts.

February 12, 2010
Energy Tribune
(Note: This story co-written with Xina Xie)

The 1997 UN meetings in Japan about climate issues did more than give birth to the term “Kyoto Protocol” they also created the concept of “carbon capital.” And over the past few years, no other country has capitalized on that concept more than China, which is collecting major subsidies from the international community for its energy projects.

February 10, 2010
Energy Tribune

Some headlines are so telling, that you don’t really need to write the story to go with them. So I’ll keep this story short and focus primarily on the facts that were revealed by the Earth Policy Institute last month. The think tank reports that in 2009, US ethanol distilleries consumed 107 million tons of grain.

February 8, 2010

Okay. I’ve learned my lesson. I will not make any more price predictions.

Back in August 2008, I made a bold prediction. I wrote “for the next 5 to 8 years, diesel fuel will sell at a significant premium over gasoline. And by significant, I mean in the range of 15 to 30 percent.”

February 5, 2010
Energy Tribune

It’s hard to believe, but the Obama administration’s energy policies just keep getting further and further removed from reality. On Wednesday, the administration’s fantasies centered on corn and coal, with the EPA taking the lead on corn while the White House led the way on coal.

January 29, 2010
Energy Tribune

Never underestimate a politician’s willingness to pander.

That’s the obvious lesson to be had from Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Wednesday night. The speech was so predictable that it wasn’t even the most important news story of the day. That spot was claimed by Steve Jobs and Apple’s new iPad.

January 27, 2010
Energy Tribune

A couple weeks ago, after I published yet another story on corn ethanol “Yet More Outrages of the Corn Ethanol Scam,” Chris Thorne, the director of public affairs for Growth Energy sent us an email objecting to the story.

January 21, 2010
Energy Tribune

T. Boone Pickens is a pleasant guy. But the hard truth is this: he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. In fact, he doesn’t even know the most basic facts about the Pickens Plan.

January 15, 2010
Energy Tribune

In early November, during the Texas Book Festival, I ran into Mark Weston. Upon hearing he’d written a book on Saudi Arabia, I was immediately intrigued. I became more intrigued when I heard his slant on the country. Rather than following the well-worn path of trashing the kingdom for its backwardness and its support for fundamentalist Islam, Weston had a nuanced view of the Saudis and their role in the modern world.

January 11, 2010
Energy Tribune

Imagine driving into a service station. At one pump, conventional gasoline costs $3.25. Right next to it stands a pump with ethanol-blended fuel selling for $5.20. And since you are a savvy fuel buyer you are aware of the fact that numerous studies have shown that the fuel costing $5.20 is worse for the environment -- in terms of water quality, water availability, and carbon dioxide emissions -- than the fuel costing $3.25.

January 7, 2010
Energy Tribune

When talking about energy, facts should matter. Alas, when it comes to promoting the myth of “energy independence” politicians and political operatives on both the Left and the Right are not interested in facts or reality. Their only interest is in playing to the crowd and in trying to stir emotional responses.

January 5, 2009
Energy Tribune (Byline is Xina Xie and Robert Bryce)

China’s biomass-to-electricity industry is booming. Thanks to favorable government tax policies, subsidized energy prices and fat giveaways from the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Chinese government has approved more than 70 biomass-to-electricity plants. More than 30 of the plants are now operating, with a total capacity of about 3,000 megawatts, or 0.37% of China’s total power capacity.

December 24, 2009
Energy Tribune

As my family and I hunker down for a few days of relaxation over the holidays, I began thinking about the many things for which I’m thankful. There’s a long list of personal items that fit that description, but an essay that Geoffrey Styles published last month called “Counting Our Energy Blessings” compelled me to compile a very short list of energy-related items that make me thankful. Perhaps your list will be different. Here’s mine.

December 18, 2009
Energy Tribune

Now that big climate confab in Copenhagen is ending, it’s time to refocus our attention on the issues that matter most when it comes to energy and carbon dioxide: physics, math, and money.

December 17, 2009
US News & World Report

Promoters of "green" energy love Denmark.
On Earth Day, President Barack Obama pointed out that the northern European country now "produces almost 20 percent" of its electricity with wind turbines. Last year, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman visited Copenhagen, where he marveled at the Danes, declaring, "Oh, if only we could be as energy smart as Denmark!" Given that world leaders are now meeting in Copenhagen to discuss drastic cuts in global carbon dioxide emissions, it's worth separating the hype about Denmark from the reality.

December 9, 2009
Energy Tribune

Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg has made famous the phrase “Copenhagen Consensus” which posits that money aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions would be better spent addressing other health and welfare challenges, like preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS.

November 30, 2009
Energy Tribune

The Los Angeles Times may be wrong about energy policy, but it is consistent. On Saturday, the paper published an unsigned editorial titled “No new nukes – plants, that is.” The piece declares that nuclear energy “is not a reasonable solution because plants take too long to build and cost far too much.”

July 23, 2009
Energy Tribune

Kirk R. Smith is among the world’s leading authorities on the problem of indoor air pollution. In 2007, the World Health Organization found that indoor air pollution was killing about 500,000 people in India every year, most of them women and children. The agency found that pollution levels in some kitchens in rural India were some 30 times higher than recommended and that the air pollution was six times as bad as that found in New Delhi.

November 20, 2009
Energy Tribune

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger spent most of their careers working for environmental groups as political strategists. Frustrated by the movement’s focus on pollution regulations rather than public investment in technology, they broke from the pack by writing a manifesto in 2004 called “The Death of Environmentalism: Global Warming Politics in a Post-Environmental World.”

November 13, 2009
Energy Tribune

On Tuesday, shortly after the International Energy Agency released its World Energy Outlook for 2009, the mainstream media went into overdrive with stories about the agency’s outlook for oil demand and oil prices. Lots of attention was paid to the claims by an unnamed source within the IEA who told the Guardian that the agency was downplaying the risk of declining oil supplies and that, in the words of the Guardian, the “world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit.”

November 11, 2009
Energy Tribune

It’s time for a quick fact check. Amid the ongoing maelstrom of rhetoric about how the US should quit using hydrocarbons and immediately move to renewable sources like wind and solar, there’s a widespread tendency to forget the enormous scale of America’s hydrocarbon production, consumption, and reserves.

November 6, 2009
Energy Tribune

On Monday, Pavel Molchanov, a Houston-based analyst with Raymond James & Associates issued a report that should be required reading for every member of Congress. The first few lines of Molchanov’s report, “Corn Ethanol’s Slow-Motion Train Wreck: What Will Follow In Its Wake?” are classic examples of both sharp thinking and razor-sharp writing: “Finito. Kaputt. Sayonara. However you say it, we think there is no denying the fact that America’s corn ethanol industry is finished…

November 3, 2009
Energy Tribune

Last Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Pakistan telling the Pakistanis to burn more coal. Today, President Barack Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House to assure her that the US will stand with the European Union on cutting emissions of carbon dioxide.

October 29, 2009
Energy Tribune

Facts don’t matter. That’s the only conclusion that can be made by looking at two of President Barack Obama’s recent speeches on energy.

It’s not just that Obama continues to repeat the fictions about biofuels. When Obama was a senator, and when he was running for the White House, he was a leading booster of corn ethanol. Now, he’s switched his rhetoric to promote what he is calling “sustainably grown biofuels” – whatever that is.

October 26, 2009
National Defense University, Institute for National Strategic Studies

(In late September, I was invited to speak at a conference at National Defense University called "Energy Security: A Global Challenge." This paper was published by NDU as part of that event.)

The phrases “energy security” and “energy independence” have become so hackneyed as to be almost useless.

October 23, 2009
Energy Tribune

A few months ago, Wesley Clark was hawking corn ethanol. Now it’s electric cars. Take your pick – ethanol or electricity. Both of them are worse for the environment than conventional gasoline.

October 8, 2009

Should the U.S. join OPEC? After all, the U.S., home of the never-ending calls for “energy independence,” is an oil exporter. A big one.

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