A Free-Market Energy Blog

Ayn Rand, Energy, and Enron: Five Questions

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 3, 2020

This post reproduces a short q&a with The Atlas Society on how the worldview of Ayn Rand and Objectivism influenced me personally and as a scholar interested in energy, history, political economy, and public policy. [For more information, see “The Fall of Ken Lay: An Interview with Former Enron Insider Robert Bradley Jr.” (April 1, 2006) and “Political Capitalism: Warnings and Reality” (February 4, 2013)

Tell us who you are? What’s the couple of sentence summary of what you do and what you’ve done?

I am a classical-liberal intellectual, or at least a student of classical liberalism.

I specialize in energy history and public policy. That has led me to business/government cronyism. And that had led to trying to understand contra-capitalism as it applies to organizational failure.

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Remembering Enron (Bankruptcy & layoffs 19-years ago today)

By John Jennrich -- December 2, 2020

Note: On this day in 2001, the politically correct, all-things-to-all-people Enron entered the workweek in bankruptcy. Monday December 2nd was my last day at the company after a 16-year career there, as it was for several thousand other employees.

Enron, a unique story of corporate strategy and governance gone wrong, has been misinterpreted by the Progressive mainstream. The company represented the failure of political capitalism, not market capitalism. Its lessons extend to image environmentalism and renewable energy hyperbole, as I document in my book series on the company, as well as in shorter articles.

Reprinted below for the historical record is an email from John Jennrich, founding editor of Natural Gas Week, to Enron author John Emshwiller and myself. Jennrich discusses Enron’s role in the development of the modern natural gas market.

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Who do you Trust? (Michael Mann and Climategate)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 1, 2020

“One of the lessons of Climategate is that scientists are all too human…. The next few chapters … expose how some climate scientists bent the rules of scientific engagement in ways that blurred the distinction between doing good science and preserving their own reputations.” – Fred Pierce, The Climate Files, p. 79.

When reputable scientists have different views of the same subject–such as climate sensitivity to anthropogenic forcing–the players need to be assessed. Who is less emotional and less bombastic? What is the track record of the players? And in an unsettled, still young area such as climate science, who expresses humility in the face of unknowns.

This leads to the central character of the Climategate scandal, revisited at MasterResource last week, Michael Mann, who has remained as unapologetic and strident as ever in the last decade.

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Climategate Revised: Quotations from the Major Players

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 30, 2020
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Climategate: Another Anniversary (never forget ….)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 27, 2020
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Giving Thanks … for Human Ingenuity

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 25, 2020
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Yergin’s ‘The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations’ (some quotations)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 23, 2020
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COP 26 Climate Conference Report (November 9–19, 2020)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 19, 2020
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‘Is it time for the political fall of renewable energy?’ [Peacock in the Houston Chronicle]

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 18, 2020
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Bradley–Rob, not Ray–Gets Attention on Twitter

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 17, 2020
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