Vogtle 5? Big Nuclear Looks to Big Government

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 15, 2024 3 Comments

“Absolutely I think they should build another [nuclear plant], because I think they’ll get better at it, It’s the cleanest energy you can possibly have out there, and we’re gonna need a tremendous increase in energy production.” [Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.), quoted in Politico. June 27, 2024]

Nuclear power is a government-created and government-enabled industry. It was born of government largesse and regulatory favor, led by these five policies:

  • Federal research & development by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC, founded 1946)
  • The Price-Anderson Act of 1957 limit on accident liability
  • Five years of ‘free’ enriched uranium from AEC
  • Federal jawboning to parties to construct plants
  • State utility commissioners granting rate-base status for new plants

Nuclear’s history of cost overruns, construction delays, and in-progress cancellations speaks for itself. Suffice it to say that the free market would have never allowed this industry to jump from military applications to civilian ones.…

Continue Reading

The Cult of Darkness

By Edward Hudgins -- December 22, 2023 No Comments

“Energy is not for conserving; it is for unleashing to serve us, to make our lives better, to allow us to realize our dreams and to reach for the stars, those bright lights that pierce the darkness of the night.”

Since early men ignited the first fires in caves, the unleashing of energy for light, heat, cooking, and every human need has been the essence and symbol of what it is to be human. The Greeks saw Prometheus vanquishing the darkness with the gift of fire to men. The Romans kept an eternal flame burning in the Temple of Vesta. Our deepest thoughts and insights are described as sparks of fire in our minds. A symbol of death is a fading flame; Poet Dylan Thomas urged us to “rage, rage against the dying of the light.”…

Continue Reading

Ayn Rand on Energy Disruption (Arab Embargo Turns 50)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 18, 2023 No Comments

The Arab oil embargo was not the cause of the energy crisis in this country: it was merely the straw that showed that the camel’s back was broken. There is no “natural” or geological crisis; there is an enormous political one. It is in the nature of a mixed economy that its policies are rationally inexplicable.

– Ayn Rand, The Energy Crisis, Part I and Part II (November 1973) [1]

Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, known to the world as Ayn Rand, (1905–1982) was a philosopher attuned to the workings of the mind, the economy, and politics. Best known as a novelist, she wrote fiction based on fact and wrote on contemporary issues later in life. She is the inspiration of “free minds and free markets” through her philosophy of Objectivism.

When asked by a Random House salesman to summarize her philosophy “while standing on one foot,” she answered:


Continue Reading

Southeast Ratebase Debacles: Tony Bartelme Revisited (nuclear, CO2 capture)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 6, 2023 1 Comment

“Flush with your cash, utilities tried to build plants with unproven technology; they launched projects with unfinished designs and unrealistic budgets; they misled regulators and the public with schedules that promised bogus completion dates; they hid damning reports from investors and the public; they tried to silence critics and whistleblowers.”

“In the mid-2000s, power companies across the South, including SCANA, NextEra, Duke Energy and Southern Company, had their robust lobbying machines running at full throttle. An energy gold rush had begun…. (- Tony Bartelme, below)

Tony Bartelme, senior projects reporter for the Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier wrote an interesting exposé that should be revisited for its relevancy to the problem of utility ratebase economics: “Power Failure: How utilities across the U.S. changed the rules to make big bets with your money” (December 10, 2017; updated December 28, 2022).…

Continue Reading

California vs. Affordable Gasoline (Senate Bill No. 2, March 28, 2023)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 3, 2023 No Comments Continue Reading

The Cult of Darkness

By Edward Hudgins -- December 20, 2022 No Comments Continue Reading

Shell’s “Rational Middle” Campaign: Petroganda plus Futile Appeasement

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 14, 2022 1 Comment Continue Reading

Atlas Shrugged in California: “Green” Electricity vs. Human Comfort and Welfare

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 7, 2022 7 Comments Continue Reading

ExxonMobil Joins Left’s Climate/Energy Agenda (H.R. 5376)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 10, 2022 1 Comment Continue Reading

Energy and Environmental Review: May 23, 2022

By -- May 23, 2022 No Comments Continue Reading