A Free-Market Energy Blog

Back to Gerald Ford? (Thomas Friedman on energy policy in 2007)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 26, 2021

The mainstream energy intelligentsia (MEI) has had it wrong for many decades. Today, it is climate change and the inevitable transition away from fossil fuels (really dense mineral energies). A half century ago (1971 would begin the problems with natural gas shortages and Nixon’s price control order that included petroleum), it was the same under a different rationale.

“Ford called for zero oil imports by 1985. Instead, we imported five million barrels a day then. In 2006, imports will average almost 14 million barrels a day. Had we achieved everything Ford proposed, the price of oil today would be $20 a barrel, not $60, the polar ice caps might not be melting, the polar bear might still have a chance, and our children would have a future.”

– Dr. Phillip Verleger (2007).

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The Fundamental Weakness of Renewable Energy Sources

By Jon Boone -- January 25, 2021

“Wind does not belong in any modern energy supply portfolio. Grids do substantial work to integrate wind volatility … Retrofitting modern technology to meet the needs of ancient wind flutter is monumentally backwards, a sure sign that pundits and politicians, not scientists, are now in charge.”

Except for hydro, renewable energy sources are inimical to any rational idea of maintaining access to energy with highly secure power capacity. Restated, wind and solar cannot produce modern power without being wholly entangled with modern power producers.

This article will focus on wind power, but similar problems affect solar.

Any chemist should know enough to understand the implications of the formula governing the way wind energy must be converted into electricity: w=1/2 rAv3, where w is power; r, air density; A, rotor density; and v is wind speed.

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Wind Power’s PTC: Chapter 14 (13th extension)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 21, 2021

“The PTC is the single most expensive energy subsidy in the federal tax code and is estimated to cost taxpayers about $40 billion from 2018 to 2027.” (IER, January 5, 2021)

“Special government favor to business–crony capitalism–can turn losers into winners. And the loser lobby can claim progress and even inevitability as if they really won. This is the postmodernism of energy policy today in regard to the two politically correct renewables: wind and (on-grid) solar.”

It does not end. What is not competitive and government dependent just continues that way. This is not only because the market picks winners and leaves the losers for politics. It is also because the market-driven, non-subsidized technology improves over time.

Recently, wind power federal Production Tax Credit received its 13th extension. [1] Reported IER:

The U.S.

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Trump Administration Accomplishments (Part II: ‘Massive Deregulation’)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 20, 2021
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Trump Administration Accomplishments (Part I: ‘American Energy Independence’)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 19, 2021
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MLK Day: The Wisdom of Thomas Sowell

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 18, 2021
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COVID P&D: The Visible Hand of Oil and Gas

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 14, 2021
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Trump’s Energy/Climate Policies in Review (Part II)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 13, 2021
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Trump on Energy, Environment, and Regulation (Part I)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 12, 2021
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Encountering–and Overcoming–Libertarian Critics

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 11, 2021
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