A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

“Not Cheap, Not ‘Green’” at the California Energy Commission

By Tom Tanton -- August 26, 2022

“In my period at Cato (1990–present), “Renewable Energy: Not Cheap, Not ‘Green’“, is probably our most important Policy Analysis in the energy/environment area. Bradley’s thorough review and analysis (60 pages, 325 footnotes) was a real pushback against the viability of ‘green’ energy in theory and practice.”

– Jerry Taylor, Senior Fellow and Director, Natural Resource Studies, Cato Institute, 2012

On the fifteenth [25th] anniversary of “Renewable Energy: Not Cheap, Not ‘Green’” (yesterday’s post), I recall, with pride, a lot of hard work that went into supplying the author with information about California’s wind and solar experience.

At the time I was working in the belly of the beast, the California Energy Commission (CEC) in Sacramento. The Commission was a major proponent of all things renewable, almost to the point of fanaticism.…

Living without Electricity: A Personal Report (natural gas, anyone?)

By Tom Tanton -- November 7, 2019

“Nevertheless, you’d think the Governor and others would be actively trying to make things better, rather than just pointing fingers. Well … they are making it worse by taking away the one alternative to electricity that can provide cooking and hot water and space heat and does so much more efficiently–natural gas.”

I sit here at my computer this morning after suffering through the latest “PSPS” (public safety power shutoff), which left me without electricity a total of ten full days in October.  Kind of ironic given my 45+ years in energy policy–and frustrating too since this is less an Act of God than an Act of Man–or Government.

I understand the need to reduce fire risk in California’s hot dry climate where utilities (such as PG&E) need to de-energize power lines lest they spark when blown down or branches fall on them. …

California’s Wrong Debate (Models cannot mask LCFS’s failure in-the-making)

By Tom Tanton -- July 2, 2013

“We should not be using models to ‘validate’ policy and regulations. We should be using the models to better inform policy debates and avoid picking technological winners and (more frequently) losers.”

California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) put the state on a track rejected by the nation as a whole: a regulatory limit on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This policy, which I have criticized as elitist climate policy postmodernism [1], is an all pain, no gain policy with high implementation costs.

The result of AB 32, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), has been debated for six-plus years, including the release of rival studies estimating regulatory impacts. Studies do not debate the climate-change impacts because the answer is … nil.

LCFS requires fuel producers to lower the average carbon content of their products 10 percent by 2020.

Market Investment Outpace/Outperform Federal ‘Clean Energy’ Investment (GHG reductions without social cost)

By Tom Tanton -- March 20, 2013

Wind Energy Cost: Think Again ($0.15/kWh wholesale prohibitively expensive)

By Tom Tanton -- January 8, 2013

California: Climate Policy Postmodernism (all-pain, no-gain for feel-good elitism)

By Tom Tanton -- October 4, 2012

“Not Cheap, Not ‘Green'” at the California Energy Commission

By Tom Tanton -- August 28, 2012

California Cap-and-Trade: Making Ourselves Poorer and 'Dirtier' (Part 2)

By Tom Tanton -- April 5, 2012

Misdirected Innovation: Environmentalist Taylor on Cap-and-Trade (Part I)

By Tom Tanton -- April 4, 2012

Environmentalists vs. Cap-and-Trade: Washington Yesterday, California Today

By Tom Tanton -- August 3, 2011