A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from February 2012

Windpower Case Study in Ontario (Part 1: Coal-fired generation not displaced)

By William Palmer -- February 29, 2012

[Editor Note: This case study of Ontario, Canada (one of the least emissions-producing electricity systems in the world) by a veteran energy engineer uses available data to shed light on unfounded claims about industrial wind turbines. Some aspects of the Ontario situation are unique, but many considerations are applicable to all countries/states/provinces. Part II concludes this case study tomorrow.]

“Even while wind was at peak operation, the coal generators served as backup (at low load) to be able to respond rapidly to the anticipated, and actual, drop in wind output that occurred just hours later.”

It has been claimed that industrial wind turbines allow Ontario to shut down coal-fired electrical generating stations. But the facts reveal this to be a myth.

The following graph shows how Ontario has generated its electricity from 1988 to 2011.…

U.S. Oil Exports: Open Letter to Bill O'Reilly from Economist Donald Boudreaux (Keystone XL a-okay)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 28, 2012

“[T]here is a second main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day. This is the persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences.”

– Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson. quoted here.

At Cafe Hayek, economist Donald Boudreaux, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, wrote an open letter to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s opposition to exporting U.S. oil to other countries. O”Reilly has a populist streak, and he is prone to seeing the seen and not the unseen when it comes to economics, a sin indeed to economics as a science.…

UT Study on Frac Water Contamination: "No Evidence" (Anti-drilling false alarm cut down to size)

By Steve Everley -- February 27, 2012

A recent study from the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute found “no evidence” of groundwater contamination resulting from hydraulic fracturing. Concluded lead author Charles Groat: “We found no direct evidence that hydraulic fracturing itself – the practice of fracturing the rocks – had contaminated shallow groundwater.”

Here is the list of the UT Energy Institute’s overview of findings:

  • Researchers found no evidence of aquifer contamination from hydraulic fracturing chemicals in the subsurface by fracturing operations, and observed no leakage from hydraulic fracturing at depth.
  • Many reports of groundwater contamination occur in conventional oil and gas operations (e.g., failure of well-bore casing and cementing) and are not unique to hydraulic fracturing.
  • Methane found in water wells within some shale gas areas (e.g., Marcellus) can most likely be traced to natural sources, and likely was present before the onset of shale gas operations.

Wind Spin: Misdirection and Fluff by a Taxpayer-enabled Industry

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- February 24, 2012

Overcoming the Climate: The Case of Malaria

By Chip Knappenberger -- February 23, 2012

The Collapsing Case for 'Green' Energy (Berkeley's Borenstein on an intellectual wrong turn )

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 22, 2012

More Bad Neo-Malthusian Behavior (Pacific Institute's Peter Gleick joins the Climategate Gang, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, etc.)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 21, 2012

Sen. Alexander: Statement on Production Tax Credit ($27 billion over 10 years is enough!)

By Thomas Marks -- February 20, 2012

Petroleum Development in the Ecuadorian Amazon: Setting the Record Straight (Part III: Did International Oil Firms Despoil Eastern Ecuador's Environment?)

By Douglas Southgate -- February 17, 2012

Petroleum Development in the Ecuadorian Amazon: Setting the Record Straight (Part II: Oil wealth & socioeconomic progress in Ecuador)

By Douglas Southgate -- February 16, 2012