Kerry–Lieberman: A “Simple” 987-page Bill? (Enron postmodernism in a Senator’s voice)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 19, 2010 6 Comments

“We’re trying to minimize the package,” [Sen. John] Kerry said yesterday of the 987-page bill. “We’re trying to keep it simple. We’re trying to keep it transparent and open and understandable for why something took place.”

– Darren Samuelsohn, “Kerry-Lieberman Bill Uses ‘Fewer Buckets’ in Giving Out Highly Prized Allowances,” E&E News, May 14, 2010.

“One often speaks without seeing, without knowing, without meaning what one says.”

– Jacques Derrida, quoted in Mitchell Stephens, “Deconstructing Jacques Derrida; The Most Reviled Professor in the World Defends His Diabolically Difficult Theory,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 21, 1991.

The late postmodern philosopher,  Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) would find intellectual kinship in the political debates about climate and energy coming from the party in power. If alive today, Derrida would nod approvingly at Senator John Kerry’s above I-say-it, it-is-true inversion of reality.…

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BP Fools the “Socially Responsible” Investors (‘Green’ Enron did too)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 20, 2010 3 Comments

“The BP incident highlights big differences in how socially responsible funds prioritize various causes. Some of these managers considered BP’s stance on climate change a strong positive. ‘BP was the first to break the logjam on climate change policy’ and had been a leader on alternative energy, says Mark Regier, director of stewardship investing for MMA Praxis.”

– Quoted in Eleanor Laise, “Oops: ‘Socially Responsible’ Funds Hold Big Stakes of BP,” Wall Street Journal, July 17–18, 2010.

The greenwashing strategy of BP and Enron has been the subject of three recent posts at MasterResource:

They Loved BP and Enron: Climate Alarmism as the Great Environmental Distraction (Part I: Worldwatch Institute quotations)

BP’s ‘Beyond Petroleum’: Climate Alarmism as the Great Environmental Distraction (Part II: Why the ‘greenwashing’?)

Harvard Business Review Article: BP as Environmental Role Model (Part III on global warming as the great environmental distraction)

Don’t believe that “Beyond Petroleum” BP fooled the politically correct after Enron and even all the way up to the Deepwater  Horizon explosion/Gulf spill of April 2010?…

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Atlas Shrugged: Its Philosophy and Energy Implications (Part V: Energy Crises)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 25, 2011 4 Comments

“The Arab oil embargo was not the cause of the energy crisis in this country: it was merely the straw that showed the camel’s back was broken.” (1)

“There is no ‘natural’ geological crisis; there is an enormous political one.” (2)

– Ayn Rand, “The Energy Crisis,” November 5, 1973.

The highly regulated society depicted by Atlas Shrugged includes many things energy. Her 1957 novel and now movie (Part I out;  Part II and Part III to come) has had relevance for U.S. energy policy ever since.

Atlas Shrugged describes oil shortages (342–44, 475), gasoline shortages (pp. 272–73), and electricity blackouts (pp. 669, 671). When the 1970s energy crisis hit, Rand commented:

Many readers have been asking whether I intended to write about the energy crisis. I would be tempted to answer: “I already have” – but they anticipate me by adding that things are “just as in Atlas Shrugged.”

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Remembering the Birth of Conservationism (Part I: President Nixon's price controls, not Arab OPEC, produced energy crisis, demand-side politicization)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 2, 2011 3 Comments

[Editor note: Part II on energy conservationism tomorrow examines the energy conservation faddism of Amory Lovins.]

Richard Nixon (1913–94) got on the wrong side of economic law three years before his Watergate-related resignation from the U.S. presidency. In August 1971, in a surprise decision, Nixon imposed the first peacetime wage-and-price controls in American history.

Businessmen reined in their surprise to pragmatically offer support. John Kenneth Galbraith and Paul Samuelson offered quick congratulations. There was public approval of the ‘temporary’ action that was intended to just quell inflationary expectations (as if the problem was psychological and not the inherent consequence of expansionary money). The inflation rate was then running at about 4 percent per year.

Free-market economist Milton Friedman, knowing that shortages lay ahead, lambasted the move. So did Ayn Rand in the Ayn Rand Letter.…

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Remembering the Birth of Conservationism (Part II: Amory Lovins's "Soft Energy Path")

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 3, 2011 7 Comments Continue Reading

Energy for a Free Society: The 'American Energy Act' (Part II: Real World Reform)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 1, 2011 6 Comments Continue Reading

Jimmy Carter's Energy Speech of April 1977 (Is President Obama going Carter's way?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 13, 2011 5 Comments Continue Reading

Enron Romm: History Should Not Forget

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 19, 2011 11 Comments Continue Reading

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

By Josiah Neeley -- May 2, 2012 9 Comments Continue Reading

Economic Efficiency, Not 'Energy Efficiency' (Economist Cordato parses a sacred cow)

By -- July 6, 2012 18 Comments Continue Reading