Category — Bryce, Robert
Robert Bryce of Austin, Texas, as he himself will tell you, is a reformed Leftie/greenie. The solar array he installed on his roof was a bust, and he followed the logic of energy density to conclude that wind, solar, water, crops, plants, and wood would not allow energy to be mankind’s master resource.
And as did Julian Simon in his day, Bryce looks at the data and science before he makes up his mind. And like Simon, he changed his mind away from neo-Malthusian notions of resource depletion and climate pessimism.
Bryce’s views took shape on the oil/transportation side with Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of “Energy Independence” (2008) and on electricity with Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future (2010). His encapsulated worldview about energy and energy policy can be read in his Washington Post op-ed, “Five Myths About Green Energy.”
MasterResource has profiled Bryce’s message under the title, Energy Density: Robert Bryce’s Powerful Energy Message. His is a very powerful message, beginning and ending with basic physics. It all gets back to W. S. Jevons, and it continues with Vaclav Smil, Robert Bryce, and others.
Bryce is also a reformed populist, having seen too much business in government and government in business. His book on Enron, Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, chronicled a political company in action, although he did not then quite have the developed worldview to see how political capitalism, not market capitalism, was to blame.
Then came his second book, Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America’s Superstate (2004), where he stated on the opening page: “I’m all for business, I’m all for government. I just don’t want them to be the same thing.”
Today, Robert Bryce is the most erudite and influential energy journalist in America, with opinion-page editorials in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the Huffington Post. Morphing into a bona fide energy scholar, Bryce has respect on both sides of the political aisle and is a reason why politically correct renewable energy is now encountering a hard relook by grass-root environmentalists and open-minded Leftists. And he has the Hard Left mad! [Read more →]
November 21, 2011 3 Comments
Editor note: Del Torkelson of The American Oil & Gas Reporter covered Robert Bryce’s address talk to the Permian Basin Petroleum Association at its annual meeting in Midland last October. Torkelson’s summary is reprinted with permission.]
“One of the reasons I wrote Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future (Public Affairs: 2010) is that our discussions are fundamentally wrong-headed,” author and journalist Robert Bryce told the Permian Basin Petroleum Association.
“Politicians generally do not understand the issues of energy and power, and in particular, the issues of scale.”
Bryce expounded on a number of key themes, including density, the distinction between energy and power, and the future of natural gas and nuclear generation. He also pointed to signals that suggested ordinary citizens were losing patience with green energy sources.
Bryce’s comments touched on topics covered in both Power Hungry and an earlier book, Gusher of Lies. The writer riffed on a number of subjects pertinent to oil and gas producers:
- On his insistence that the density of traditional fuels made them more environmentally friendly than so-called green energy sources, Bryce calculated, “A well producing 60 Mcf a day–by definition a stripper well–has a power density of about 28 watts a square meter, 23 times the power density of a wind turbine. If you start with a source that has low power density, you have to counteract the lower power density with other inputs such as steel, transmission lines, concrete, land and manpower.”
- Regarding the suggestion that natural gas is a bridge fuel, Bryce countered that it was more. “A bridge to what?” he asked. “It is clean, it is domestic, it is relatively cheap. This is the fuel we have been looking for.” [Read more →]
January 14, 2011 6 Comments