A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from February 2011

The Case Against Section 1603 Grants ($5 billion easy pieces)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- February 28, 2011

Congress is rightfully concerned about closing the huge, systemic budget deficit. In this climate, eliminating Section 1603 grants for politically correct renewable energy should be considered an easy target.

By way of background, this particular subsidy came about due to persistent pressure from lobbying groups like American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Their main argument is that these grants will promote jobs and economic benefits. Of course, as lobbyists this is what they are paid to say. But in these times of more focused financial prudence, we need to critically look at such expenditures in a more objective light — especially since we are talking about some five billion dollars.

The 1603 Grants should be cancelled entirely. In my view the best way to see how ineffective these expenditures are is to consider what the alternatives are for this same money.

The False Promise of Green Energy (new Cato book packs a punch)

By administrator -- February 25, 2011
By Andrew P. Morriss, William T. Bogart, Roger E. Meiners, Andrew D. Dorchak

“This new work [289 pages] offers an outstanding, nearly unprecedented evaluation of claims by green energy and green jobs proponents that we can improve the economy and the environment, almost risk free, by spending billions of dollars on what are ultimately false promises.”

Energy affects everything we do. The late Julian Simon coined the term “the master resource” to describe energy’s crucial role in our economy. Nearly half of energy we use is used indirectly in the production of food, medicines, and consumer goods.

This is important because anything that increases the price of energy will also increase the prices of goods that use energy indirectly. Thus, if energy costs were to increase because of forced use of more expensive renewable energy, not only would the price of electricity rise, but so would the price of food, medicines, and consumer goods, such as cotton t-shirts.

Unconventional Gas Riles and Refigures the World Energy Market: The Oil Market (Part III)

By Donald Hertzmark -- February 24, 2011

Author’s note: No, I have not been in a cave for the past two weeks.  The impacts of unconventional gas on energy markets will be measured in months and years, not in days and weeks.  There is essentially nothing that current unconventional gas production can do to moderate crisis-driven escalation of oil prices and oil-linked LNG prices in the next few weeks.

In Part I and Part II of this series, the impacts of unconventional gas discoveries in the U.S., Australia, Canada and elsewhere were explored.  Gas-to-gas competition was seen as a powerful force for price moderation.

U.S. shale gas discoveries and production from coal bed methane (CBM) have already provided great benefits for energy consumers in the Atlantic Basin.  Gas-to-gas competition – shale v. LNG – has led to interesting market outcomes and investments. 

Conflict Resolution in Climate Science: Should the IPCC Be Disbanded? (Some thoughts from an outsider)

By Ross McKitrick -- February 23, 2011

California Climate Rethink? CARB's AB 32 Implementation Plan Under Fire

By Tom Tanton -- February 22, 2011

Subsoil Privatization for Energy Sustainability (Is Middle Eastern unrest the first step?)

By Guillermo Yeatts -- February 21, 2011

'Losing the Future' via Government Jobs: FDR's New Deal; Obama's New New Deal

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 18, 2011

Unconventional Gas Riles and Refigures the World Energy Market: The Pacific and Asia (Part II)

By Donald Hertzmark -- February 17, 2011

Unconventional Gas Riles and Refigures the World Energy Market: North America (Part I)

By Donald Hertzmark -- February 16, 2011

Four Regulatory Fronts Against Coal Power (after the defeat of cap-and-trade)

By Robert Peltier -- February 15, 2011