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Posts from September 2011

"Edison to Enron: Energy Markets and Political Strategies" (Book 2 of trilogy on political capitalism published)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 30, 2011

“This scholarly work fills in much missing history about two of America’s most important industries, electricity and natural gas.”

   – Joseph A. Pratt, NEH-Cullen Professor of History and Business, University of Houston

“An engaging look back at the market and political development of the U.S. energy industry. Industry and policymakers will benefit from reading this book.”

   – Dr. Robert Peltier, PE, Editor-in-Chief, POWER magazine

Edison to Enron is the second book in my trilogy on political capitalism inspired by the rise and fall of Enron (order information: Amazon, Scrivener Publishing, John Wiley & Sons).

Book 1, Capitalism at Work: Business, Government, and Energy, provided a worldview of market-based versus political business, as well as an interpretation of energy sustainability. The present volume (Book 2) examines the individuals and companies that are related to Enron’s prehistory.

"Green Job" Fallacies (Part II: What is a 'Green' Job?)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#robertmichaels">Robert Michaels</a> -- September 29, 2011

Even if there were a usable model to analyze job creation, we are left with the problem of identifying which jobs are actually “green.”  A renewable project can result in the employment of technical personnel trained to specialize in operating or maintaining its technology (whom we presume are green), as well as additional bartenders who will help the workers to enjoy their evenings (harder to classify as green).

The matter is important because any type of governmental or private spending might open up slots for bartenders.  Renewable technologies, however, have been viewed as the foundation for a massive increase in skilled workers whose human capital will provide them with higher lifelong earnings.

Two recent studies point up that the choice of definitions can affect estimates of the green workforce, and show that an extremely small fraction of jobs defined as green are in renewables.

"Green Job" Fallacies (Part I: First Principles)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#robertmichaels">Robert Michaels</a> -- September 28, 2011

[Ed. note: The following is excerpted from Dr. Michaels’s recent testimony before the Subcommittee on Water and Power. Part II tomorrow will examine how green jobs are defined by their proponents.]

It is rapidly becoming apparent that renewable energy is failing to produce the promise of painless prosperity embodied in “green jobs” that will simultaneously decrease unemployment rates and reduce pollution.  Begin with some principles:

1.  The proper goal of energy policy is to support the efficient provision of energy. 

The lower the cost of energy to the economy, all else equal, the higher will be job creation and economic growth outside of the energy sector.  Raising energy costs by forcing the use of uneconomic technologies that create more job slots will have exactly the opposite effect.  Put simply, more workers in energy reduce the production of non-energy goods and services.

Lindzen on Kerry Emanuel's Climate Alarmism, Non-Sequitur

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 27, 2011

Wind Energy and Radar: A National Security Issue

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- September 26, 2011

Go Industrial, Not 'Green' (Part II)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#aepstein">Alex Epstein</a> -- September 24, 2011

Go Industrial, Not 'Green' (Part I)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#aepstein">Alex Epstein</a> -- September 23, 2011

Unlearned Cap-and-Trade Lessons: EPA's Problematic Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

By Roger Calazza -- September 22, 2011

Biomass vs. Fossil Fuels: Thinking of CO2 Emissions in Terms of Nature’s “Battery”

By Indur Goklany -- September 21, 2011

Solar circa 1994: What Has Really Changed? (Remembering Enron's hoodwink in the age of Solyndra)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 20, 2011