A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from October 2011

Perry's Energy Speech: Part I (Real Energy, Real Jobs–but what about the governor's windpower baggage?

By Vance Ginn -- October 17, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is swimming upstream in his quest for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, primarily from his weak performances during several debates. To improve his odds, last Friday he gave his first policy speech, titled Energizing American Jobs and Security.

Energy is that important. And it is a breath of fresh air that Perry’s analysis and prescription is 180 degrees from President Obama’s government-knows-best approach to energy and energy/environment.

Four Objectives

The Governor’s plan focused on four objectives that promise economic growth and numerous jobs in America. In Perry’s words:

  • “First, we will open several American oil and gas fields for exploration that are currently off limits because of political considerations.”
  • “It is equally important that we take a second step: eliminate activist regulations already on the books and under consideration by the Obama Administration.”
  • “The third part of my plan is to reform the bureaucracy, in particular the EPA, so that it focuses on regional and cross-state issues, providing scientific research, as well as environmental analysis and cost-comparison studies to support state environmental organizations.

Government as Referee: Who Regulates the Regulators?

By David Hutzelman -- October 14, 2011

A recent opinion-page editorial by a Ray Hankamer Jr. in the Houston Chronicle, Government as Referee for Society, espoused big government to promote basic protection in a modern society. 

Such is the romantic view of government; the Good Government and We the People view of democracy where the body politic is all of us (not us versus them). But the real world is different from this all-to-common textbook view.

Romantic Government

Hankamer begins:

“Leave the market alone and it will self-regulate just fine.” “Stop taxing the people and let them spend their own money instead of letting the government take it and waste it on ‘meddlesome bureaucrats and business-stifling regulators.'” This is the viewpoint of the tea party and many Republicans. But wait a minute: How would such a philosophy really work if implemented?

Beyond Solyndra: Solar Energy's On-Grid Torment

By Gary Hunt -- October 13, 2011

In Solar Energy Tough Love, I described the perverse impacts of government industrial policy on the solar energy sector in its vainglorious attempt to choose winners and losers.  That policy is failing, Solyndra aside. 

The market gods hate to be trifled with, and they respond with thunderbolts and torment.  Solar’s pain will continue until grid parity is reached. In the meantime, the solar energy sector must purge itself of government subsidies and address its weak financial performance.

So when I read the story in the trade press about SunPower’s wider Q2 losses I decided to get beyond the numbers to look at some of the market factors tormenting the solar business and holding back its true potential.

One key fact is that solar energy demand is up, but so are input costs for solar panels. 

Solar Power Cost: Don't Forget Intermittency (energy economics 101)

By David Bergeron -- October 12, 2011

Rapid Loss of Arctic Ice: But Where is the Warming?

By Chip Knappenberger -- October 11, 2011

The EPA's Benefit/Cost Jihad on U.S. Electric Utilities

By Garrett Vaughn -- October 10, 2011

"Energy and Society" Course: Professor Desrochers's Model for the Academy

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 7, 2011

Behind the 'Green Jobs' Curtain: Economic Fallacies and Counterfacts

By Nick Sibilla and Todd Wynn -- October 6, 2011

Peltier: 'Chart a New Course' (POWER magazine editor rejects windgas for gas)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 5, 2011

'Price Gouging' Law: Why Waste State and Consumer Resources during Emergencies?

By Michael Giberson -- October 4, 2011