A Free-Market Energy Blog

Special Note to Our Readers (a record number of you)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 9, 2009

This has been the busiest period in the short life of MasterResource (we are less than five months old). Our viewership this week has exceeded ten thousand, and cross posts on mega-blogs across the political spectrum have introduced us to new audiences. MasterResource, an energy scholars’ blog (but one that is accessible to the general reader), is on the map!

Two issues have driven our recent traffic. One is the temperature analysis of the Waxman-Markey climate bill by environmental scientist Chip Knappenberger. His straightforward analysis (but don’t ask me to use the MAGICC model!) reflects Chip’s usual careful scholarship. I expect that it will not need to be substantially revised (no complaints so far at RealClimate). But if errors are found, Chip will be the first to thank the reviewer and make the changes.

I know Chip personally, and I have worked with him for more than a decade. In our camp, he has a reputation for telling it like it is in regard to climate science and climate observations to “skeptics” and “alarmists.” Knappenberger’s beginning post in a series questioning “ultra-skepticism,” for example, has attracted critical attention (and maybe even made him some enemies in such a contentious debate). Expect more interesting posts from Chip in his effort to identify the middle way between “skepticism” and “alarmism.”

The second issue driving our record views involved Joseph Romm of the mega-blog Climate Progress. I am extremely disappointed that Joe has chosen to try to discredit me by citing my former Enron employment. (After 16 years at the company, I was part of the mass layoff on December 3, 2001.) For people who do not know my history, Joe’s insinuation is highly misleading. For as he well knows, I fought both the company and him on renewable energy and climate policy. I believe that his ad hominem crusade (he has attacked four times so far) has backfired, and I am fully prepared to defend myself with more of Joe’s own (fawning) prose written to Enron. Stay tuned. I will also be making public many more of the ties and communications between leading environmentalists and Enron. Indeed, Enron is Exhibit A against climate alarmism, political capitalism in the energy sector, and the current cap-and-trade bill. The world needs to be educated to that fact.

Now to more general issues.

MasterResource is not intended to be a mega-blog with newsy, for-the-moment posts. It is more like an open-ended book, with the posts serving as short chapters on a variety of energy and climate topics. Reflecting this, the quality of our readership is very high, whatever the number of views. Our topic index (”Categories”) is up to one hundred entries and counting. What unites our discussion of these subjects is just that they are written from a pro-consumer, pro-property rights, pro-master-resource perspective.

Lastly, all the contributors to MasterResource are volunteers. We come from a variety of organizations, but no organization controls MasterResource.  The blog is my idea, and I have thus far persuaded others (more than 20 to date) to blog with us as either principals or guests. Some contributors work in government; some are academics. Some are consultants; some are between jobs; some are retired. Administrative decisions are made jointly by the principal bloggers (listed in the “About” section).  But we are united in two guiding beliefs:

1) Energy is the master resource; and

2) Government activism, not consumer choice in a free society, is the major threat to energy sustainability.

We also believe that businesses, big or small, should not seek special favors from government but create private wealth via the economic means rather than the political means. (I am a student of the concept of principled entrepreneurship tm in this regard.)

We (unlike Al Gore) believe that the planetary emergency is not about the 5 billion people who are consuming oil, natural gas, and coal. It is about the 1.5 billion who do not have access to modern forms of energy and live in abject poverty.

Let the analysis and debate continue–and assume the best of intentions and civil discourse from all of us at MasterResource.


  1. A Conservative Teacher  

    For the record, the reason that I link to your blog is that I liked how you were willing to stay true to your principles- you attacked Republicans for their bad energy plans (Alaska and Texas) as well as Obama and the Democrats for theirs. Keep up the good work!


  2. Rick  

    In response to a commenter on a previous post (Feb 9), you mentioned that you’d authored a report for Enron that contradicted their public stance on global warming. (That report was referenced in this Cato article: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3388)

    Can you provide more background on this? Is the report online? I think it’s an interesting counterpoint to the recent NYT article claiming that the fossil fuels industry ignored their own research http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html?_r=1&emc=eta1



  3. rbradley  

    I have been digging and have found some of the old memos that I sent to Ken Lay and others arguing that the human influence on climate was not that much and favorably distributed.

    I worked with about 10-15 scientists on all this, and none more than Gerald North of Texas A&M, whose estimate of 2C for a doubling of atmospheric GHG concentrations in equilibrium was and is at the bottom of the sacrosant IPCC range (2-4.5C).


  4. Rick  

    Thanks. It would be interesting to see the content of those memos contrasted with Enron’s public pronouncements at the time.


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