A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from March 2018

On Energy Cost Trends (applying caution to the big talk of energy transformation)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#m_lynch">Michael Lynch</a> -- March 29, 2018

“Comparing straight costs for disparate products or where there are intangibles involved (convenience of a gasoline engine versus low maintenance on an electric vehicle) can be tricky and allow for wild differences in estimated consumer demand for a product, even without disagreements over future cost trends.”

“Although costs have been dropping for the Cleantech products such as solar, wind power, and lithium-ion batteries, costs for a number of other long-advocated energies such as cellulosic ethanol have not…. The ultimate lesson is an old one:  skepticism should always be applied, especially to the more optimistic predictions.”

Any number of analytical and advocacy groups have pointed to plummeting costs for wind, solar and lithium-ion batteries to predict massive changes in the future energy industry, some more aggressive than others.  The UK-based think tank RethinkX, for example, expects a huge shift from private vehicle ownership to the use of Transportation As A Service, provided mostly by battery-powered autonomous (self-driving) vehicles.

Climate Tutorial: Happer, Koonin, Lindzen (climate alarmism on trial)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 28, 2018

“… the historical and geological record suggests recent changes in the climate over the past century are within the bounds of natural variability.”  (p. 8)

“Projections of future climate and weather events rely on models demonstrably unfit for the purpose. As a result, rising levels of CO2 do not obviously pose an immediate, let alone imminent, threat to the earth’s climate.” (p. 8)

The CO2 Coalition has posted the amicus curiae brief of Dr. William Happer, President of the CO2 Coalition; Dr. Richard Lindzen, a Coalition Director; and Dr. Steven Koonin concerning lawsuits filed by Oakland, San Francisco, et al. against certain large oil companies. The plaintiffs want to recover costs associated with climate adaptation.

This brief is in response to U.S. District Judge William Alsup’s request for a tutorial on climate change and climate science. 

Contra-Capitalism as a Business Syndrome

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 27, 2018

“Beyond rent-seeking, a corporation can engage in other behaviors long decried by classical liberals, behaviors that might be characterized as contra-capitalism.”

Cronyism … Rent-seeking … Regulatory capture … Special-interest politics … Strategic uses of government intervention … Many terms have described business lobbying within the up-for-grabs socioeconomic system of political capitalism where the political means replaces the economic means[1] It results in what classical-liberal entrepreneur Charles Koch calls bad profit[2]

But beyond rent-seeking, a corporation can engage in other behaviors long decried by classical liberals, behaviors that might be characterized as contra-capitalism. Importantly, the corporation might not recognize these behaviors as an explicit strategy (Enron did not; Tesla does not). These separable behaviors are complementary.  And now, with a term, what was implicit can become explicit for the public policy and corporate-governance debate.

Political Capitalism as a Distinct Economic System

By Randall Holcombe -- March 26, 2018

Twenty-One Bad Things About Wind Energy — and Three Reasons Why

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- March 22, 2018

Chennai, India’s Cold Winter vs. Global Warming Hype

By Vijay Jayaraj -- March 21, 2018

Kathleen Harnett White: ‘Social Justice’ Energy for the Masses (Part III)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 20, 2018

Kathleen Hartnett White: Energy and Climate Insight (Part II)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 19, 2018

R Street on Wind Power (2014)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 15, 2018

ALEC on Climate Science: Where’s the Beef?

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 14, 2018