A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

Texas Windpower: Will Negative Pricing Blow Out the Lights? (PTC vs. reliable new capacity)

By Josiah Neeley -- February 17, 2021

Ed. note: This post, originally published at MasterResource in November 2012, is reposted verbatim for its relevancy now that wind power has two seasons of questionable output: freezing winter as well as stagnant summer. (Two updates are provided in brackets at the end of the article.) The ‘seen’ today is the frozen wind turbine; the ‘unseen’ is the gist of the post below: phantom fossil-fired generation capacity given the ruined economics from unfair competition.

“It is well known that Texas is undergoing a major challenge in maintaining resource adequacy due to improper price signals; less well known is that a significant portion of the problem can be laid directly on the doorstep of subsidies for wind generation.”

The federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), which currently provides a $0.022/kWh subsidy to qualifying renewables, is set to expire at year-end.…

Michigan v. EPA: Pyrrhic Victory or A Sign of More to Come?

By Josiah Neeley -- July 8, 2015

“If fine particulates are killing one out of eight Americans, then any regulation that even slightly lowers particulate emissions is going to be hugely beneficial. And by including these co-benefits, EPA can justify virtually any regulation it wishes.”

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency hit a roadblock in its quest to enact new standards for mercury emissions from U.S. power plants. In Michigan v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that EPA had improperly refused to consider costs when it decided to regulate the mercury emissions from electric utilities under its Utility MACT (Maximum Achievable Technology Control) rule.

Coming on the heels of several Supreme Court decisions that were disappointing to conservatives, it’s not surprising that the Michigan case has been seized on as a hopeful sign in the ongoing battle between liberty and the regulatory state.…

Texas Moves to Abolish Renewable Energy Mandates (but much damage has been done)

By Josiah Neeley -- April 29, 2015

“With Texas wind power capacity at more than double the state’s RPS minimum, repeal is unlikely to do much to change the profile of renewable energy in Texas. But repeal is still important, because it sends a clear signal that markets, not politics, should decide what kinds of energy Texans use.”

Texas has always been big on energy. The state’s long history of oil and gas production is well known. And on the electric generation side, Texas ranks first in the nation nuclear power and has the most installed wind capacity of any state.

While the willingness to develop our energy potential is unrivaled, the means has not always been the best. Like in other states, and the U.S. as a whole, Texas has periodically tried to prop up or hold back different forms of energy via special protections, subsidies, or mandates, rather than letting markets and the price system decide the best energy mix.…

Cheap Oil Gets Rid of Subsidized Oil in Developing Nations

By Josiah Neeley -- March 6, 2015

Beautiful Progress (Book review, ‘Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper’)

By Josiah Neeley -- May 19, 2014

Right on Green: In Search of Authentic Free-market Environmentalism (Book review, ‘Responsibility & Resilience: What the Environment Means to Conservatives’)

By Josiah Neeley -- April 4, 2014

Texas Windpower: Will Negative Pricing Blow Out the Lights? (PTC vs. reliable new capacity)

By Josiah Neeley -- November 27, 2012

Environmentalism's Sword: Protectionism

By Josiah Neeley -- August 30, 2012

'Revenue-Neutral' Carbon Tax: Merely Implausible or Mathematically Impossible?

By Josiah Neeley -- August 16, 2012

The Conundrum – by David Owen (Jevons' "rebound effect" enters the New Yorker mainstream)

By Josiah Neeley -- May 2, 2012