A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

End All Energy Subsidies Now! (Ronald Reagan remembered)

By Greg Rehmke -- June 13, 2024

“We have long discovered that nothing lasts longer than a temporary government program.” (- Ronald Reagan)

In the 1970s – fifty years ago now – The Energy Crisis jolted the U.S. economy, causing shortages and long lines at gas stations. In response, various federal energy policies and programs were passed. And as the decades passed, layer-upon-layer of new federal energy programs and regulations were added, then extended and expanded.

The energy crisis is decades past, and technology advances in oil and natural gas drilling have yielded booming supplies, allowing the U.S. to become a major oil and natural gas exporter. So maybe it is time (or past time) to “push the button” to end the dense and expensive thicket of federal energy market interventions (including subsidies and mandates for wind, solar, ethanol, electric vehicles, plus fuel economy standards).…

Julian Simon: High School Debaters Hear His Message

By Greg Rehmke -- June 16, 2020

“I began publishing Julian Simon’s upbeat analytical articles on the benefits of population growth…. [O]ur ‘Econ Update’ newsletter was mailed to every high school with a debate program. Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource thus joined the battle of ideas against ‘Growth DAs’ in debate classes, clubs, and tournaments across the country.”

When I worked at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in New York in the mid-1980s, Julian Simon used to call from time to time. Sometime he would send a letter with just a leaf inside.

High school debate was my connection to Julian Simon. 

Discovering Julian Simon

I learned about The Ultimate Resource (1981) from Andrea Rich’s Laissez-Faire Books catalog. A few years earlier, Economics in Argumentation had outsourced a debate resource guide to a former debater for the national high school debate topic.…

Environmental Accounting and Green Subsidies: The Biofuels Mistake

By Greg Rehmke -- December 4, 2018

Full-cost accounting turns out to be complicated. Ethanol from corn was a popular idea in corn-growing U.S. states like Iowa, as well as with those who wished to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Environmental groups joined farm lobbies to enact ethanol mandates and subsidies. But new research and mounting environmental costs have turned most environmental groups against ethanol.”

At tournaments around the world each year, high school and college students debate public policy resolutions and motions. One popular format, World Schools Debate, has teams of three debating announced motions after preparing to argue for and against. [1]

On December 14–16, some 90 teams from around the globe will compete in Zagreb, Croatia, in The Winter Holidays Open, where final motion will be (THW: “This House Would”):

WHO 2018 FINAL MOTION: THW oblige companies to price in environmental burden in the cost of their products.

For the Poor, How Much Energy Is Enough?

By Greg Rehmke -- October 2, 2018

The Energy Race Is On (improving fossil fuels vs. political favorites)

By Greg Rehmke -- August 28, 2018

Solar in Seattle? Not So Fast (clouds, clouds, my Dear Watson)

By Greg Rehmke -- July 13, 2017

To Live and Breath in Beijing

By Greg Rehmke -- June 5, 2017

Ford’s Electric Cars in China: Good News or Bad?

By Greg Rehmke -- April 13, 2017

For Still-Poor China, Coal Pollution from Home Heating

By Greg Rehmke -- February 14, 2017

Does U.S. Policy Promote China’s Costly Solar and Wind Power?

By Greg Rehmke -- July 5, 2016