A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from September 2010

International Cap-and-Trade Taxation: U.S. Beware!

By Matthew Sinclair -- September 30, 2010

The American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454, aka the Waxman-Markey climate bill) and the American Power Act (aka Kerry-Lieberman climate bill) both contained explicit provisions to create not just a U.S.-side cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide (CO2) but also a single, transatlantic emissions trading scheme.

The problem is that even if cap-and-trade is dead in the U.S. Senate, its advocates remain committed and have options for international action. The more this can be understood, the more the electorate can reject U.S.-side help for a futile, costly international scheme to regulate CO2 in the name of “stabilizing” climate.

A clear warning that supranational cap and trade was planned beyond the EU’s borders came in a speech last May by the European Commission official Jos Delbeke, Deputy Director General DG Environment.

Is Windpower the Ethanol of Electricity? (Part II: Environmental Issues)

By Ben Lieberman -- September 29, 2010

Part I examined the true costs of ethanol and windpower to find that both were highly uneconomic compared to their alternatives. Both government-dependent fuels are also inferior products, making a straight comparative cost comparison misleading.

The environmental characteristics of both ethanol and windpower are also problematic compared to their more energy-dense, consumer-preferred alternatives.

Is Ethanol Green?

Given the high cost of the ethanol mandate, the putative benefits – energy independence, green jobs creation, environmental improvement – come at a steep price. But costs aside, there are other reasons to doubt whether these benefits are real. The gulf between hype and reality is perhaps greatest when it comes to environmental performance.

The negative environmental externalities associated with petroleum-derived fuels – particularly oil spills, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions – have long been a major focus of the environmental movement and federal regulators.

Is Windpower the Ethanol of Electricity? (Part I: Economics)

By Ben Lieberman -- September 28, 2010

Repeating past mistakes is an unfortunate but common part of federal policy, and perhaps no more so than with  energy. Indeed, much of the Obama administration’s “clean energy economy” and “energy independence” agenda is a virtual repeat of the follies from the 1970s – failed attempts by Washington to pick winners and losers amongst alternative energy sources and energy-using technologies, as well as taxes and regulations that exacerbated the very concerns they were supposed to address.

One of the Reagan Administration’s lesser-remembered successes was the repeal of much of this government meddling beginning soon after taking office in 1981. Reagan’s turn away from energy central planning and towards free markets brought down energy costs and helped launch a long period of economic growth.

Of course, this decades-old lesson may be lost on younger politicians, bureaucrats, and activists who seem unaware that their energy policy ideas are proven failures from the age of disco.

Windpower: Not as Free As You Think

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- September 27, 2010

Energy and the Dodd-Frank Act: More Bad from the Party in Power (more employment for lawyers and consultants)

By Sam Van Vactor -- September 24, 2010

“Why They Go Green” (WSJ editorial says much in few words)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 23, 2010

What’s New About Windpower? Erich Zimmermann in 1933

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#r_donway">Roger Donway</a> -- September 22, 2010

Rethinking Climate Sensitivity: Roy Spencer Speaks

By Chip Knappenberger -- September 21, 2010

Fifteen Bad Things with Windpower–and Three Reasons Why

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- September 20, 2010

Subsoil Privatization: The Ultimate Post-BP Spill Reform

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 17, 2010