A Free-Market Energy Blog

Archive

Posts from December 2011

Anatomy of a Debate: Rejecting Renewable Energy at THE ECONOMIST (Part II)

By Jon Boone -- December 14, 2011

“This house believes that subsidizing renewable energy is a good way to wean the world off fossil fuels.”

– ECONOMIST magazine, Online debate, November 8–18, 2011

Yesterday we reviewed the surprising rebuke of renewable energy–and the underlying premise that fossil fuels were inherently unsustainable–by an international voting audience.

Today we revisit the essential question: Can renewable energy really help ‘wean the world off fossil fuels’?

Although the affirmative’s Matthias Fripp, moderator James Astill, and their colleagues evaded this fundamental question, here is a sampling of oft-heard rationales, most if not all of which were implicit in Astill’s comments and final announcement. Windpower (providing more than 75% of any politically correct renewable portfolio), we are told, helps to:

(a) Reduce reliance on foreign oil;

(b) Substitute for coal;

(c) Complement the fuels used in our electricity generation portfolios;

(d) Provide a fair return to wind investors while making them feel good about helping save the world;

(e) Spawn discretionary revenues to help bootstrap our economic doldrums;

f) Create new jobs;

(g) Establish leadership credentials to encourage the rest of the world to follow our example; and

(h) Serve as a bridge to newer, better technologies in some more enlightened future.

Anatomy of a Debate: Rejecting Renewable Energy at ECONOMIST Magazine (Part I)

By Jon Boone -- December 13, 2011

“Arguments have no chance against petrified training; they wear it as little as the waves wear a cliff.”

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Last month, The Economist magazine conducted a two-week Oxford style online debate over the proposition “that subsidizing renewable energy is a good way to wean the world off fossil fuels.”

“Renewable” in the case is really politically correct renewables: basically wind power, with some solar and a bit of of biofuel/geothermal thrown in.

Matthias Fripp, a research fellow for the Environmental Change Institute and Oxford’s Exeter College, defended the motion, while Robert L. Bradley Jr., founder and CEO of the Institute for Energy Research, argued against. Three comments by Jeremy Carl , Travis Bradford , and Ben Goldsmith each played to the premise that government energy policy had to displace fossil fuels.

"THIS AGREEMENT WILL BE GOOD FOR ENRON STOCK!!" (Enron's infamous Kyoto memo 14 years ago)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 12, 2011

It is perhaps the most revealing ‘crony capitalism’ memo in American history–at least that is in the public domain. (I ask others to submit nominations for this (dis)honor to see if this memo does not take the prize.)

It was written from Kyoto, Japan in the afterglow of the Kyoto Protocol agreement by Enron lobbyist John Palmisano. The global green planners were euphoric that, somehow, the world had embarked on an irreversible course of climate control (and thus industrial and land-use control). Palmisano’s memo reflects that as well as the specific benefits for first-mover ‘green’ Enron.

Parenthetically, I was lucky to have received this memo back at Enron to share it with posterity. Palmisano had me in the “To” list but but purposefully did not email it to me (we were foes on ‘green’ energy issues).

The Perils of the Mixed Economy: Rejecting 'Starter Regulation'

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 9, 2011

U.S. Rejection of CO2 Emission Cuts: Just Do the Math (16% and falling ….)

By Chip Knappenberger -- December 8, 2011

North America's Incredibly Expanding Resources (New study puts 'peak' oil, gas, and coal in some future century)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 7, 2011

T. M. L. Wigley (NCAR): 'Personality Failure' to 'Intellectual Failure'?

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 6, 2011

Section 1603 Grant Extension: Just Say No (Good money after bad–is the end near?)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- December 5, 2011

Remembering 'Green' Enron (Part II: Corporate Social Responsibility)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 2, 2011

Remembering 'Green' Enron (Part I: The Kyoto Moment)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 1, 2011