A Legacy of T. Boone Pickens: Political Capitalist

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 24, 2019 1 Comment

“Mr. Pickens was an early exponent of the peak oil theory, which held that the world would soon run out of oil to pump. The rise of fracking, which made hard-to-reach oil accessible, upended the theory.” (Washington Post, below)

“’It’s been valuable to have Boone as part of the team,’ said Carl Pope, who was executive director of the Sierra Club at the time, in response to the oilman’s backing of alternative energy sources. Former Vice President Al Gore also backed Mr. Pickens’s alternative energy campaign.” (New York Times, below)

Business leaders can help or hurt the capitalist system with their actions and rhetoric. Swashbuckling T. Boone Pickens (1928–2019) gained a reputation as a disrupter, shaking up a stodgy oil major (Gulf Oil, now part of Chevron), among others.

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James E. Rogers (1947-2018): Political Capitalist

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 18, 2019 5 Comments

At 41, [James Rogers] was named CEO of PSI Energy Inc., a small, financially troubled Indiana utility. Breaking ranks with others in the electric-power industry, he supported legislation putting caps on sulfur-dioxide emissions. “Some of my guys thought I was drinking the environmental Kool-Aid,” he said later. “But I said, ‘Let’s shape this, let’s make some money.’”

– James Hagerty, “Jim Rogers, Head of a Coal-Burning Utility, Crusaded Against Global Warming.” Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2018.

“I made money on sulfur [dioxide], and I’ll make money on carbon [dioxide].”

– James Rogers. Quoted in Eric Pooley, “The Smooth-Talking King of Coal–and Climate Change.” Bloomberg Businessweek, June 3, 2010.

James Eugene “Jim” Rogers Jr. (1947–2018) was a notable political capitalist (rent seeker) of the late 20th/early 21st century electricity market.

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“Energy and Society” Course (Part III: Electricity from Hydro, Nuclear, Renewables, Biomass)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 2, 2019 No Comments

This continues a series on the syllabus of Pierre Desrochers’ course at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Energy and Society, which gets my vote as the single best course on its subject in North America if not the world.

Part I explored the course description as well as the videos and readings from the first two weeks of the class; Part II covered carbon-based energy.

Electrification.” Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century. National Academy of Engineering. 2000. 

Bradley, Robert L and Richard W. Fulmer. Energy: The Master Resource, Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2004, Chapter 2: Using Energy, pp. 19-20, 25-29, 30-31, 45-48.

Environmental Literacy Council Website.
Electric Current and Power Transmission.”
Electric Power Grids and Blackouts.”

Lomborg, Bjørn.

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“Gore’s Greenness Fades” (remembering a 2000 WP article in light of this week’s Global Climate Summit)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 11, 2018 1 Comment

“Gore the Policy Apostle can utter statements that most colleagues would regard as wildly impolitic: calling for elimination of the internal combustion engine by 2020 or denouncing excessive consumerism in Western nations as evidence of a ‘dysfunctional civilization.’ Gore the Politician, say some of these people, is prone to brooding over the electoral risks of his beliefs.”

“… environmentalists note that the [Clinton/Gore] administration since [the Kyoto Protocol of 1997] has done little to build support for the treaty’s passage or to reduce U.S. emissions.”

 – John F. Harris and Ellen Nakashima, “Gore’s Greenness Fades,” Washington Post, February 28, 2000.

A niche of MasterResource is remembering the past to inform the present in energy/environmental policy debates. With a strong worldview and historical perspective, this emphasis is a rich vein to mine.

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Corporate Cover for the Environmental Left in the 1990s (“Enron Ascending”)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 6, 2018 5 Comments Continue Reading

Environmentalism vs. the Environment (from the UK to small-town America)

By Tom Shepstone -- August 23, 2018 3 Comments Continue Reading

Contra-Capitalism as a Business Syndrome

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 27, 2018 5 Comments Continue Reading

T. Boone Pickens: Contra-Capitalist (a ‘man of system’ sought more fame and fortune)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 31, 2018 7 Comments Continue Reading

ExxonMobil’s Tillerson on Wind and Solar Subsidies (an argument to remember)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 21, 2017 6 Comments Continue Reading

Why We Fight (Part I: AEA Is “Big Liberty,” Not “Big Oil”)

By -- June 20, 2017 No Comments Continue Reading