Energy Books: Some Observations

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 17, 2021 No Comments

“Classical liberalism does not have a long resume in the history of energy thought. Prior to the 1970s energy crises, it was a backwater for free-market intellectuals, although the opportunity was there for both scholarship and political advocacy.”

I recently constructed a new home with a two-story library, ladders and all. On one side are my energy-related books; on the other, economics. Several thousand volumes are, for the first time, organized in one place. Better late than never as I am in my 66th year.

The energy books, many unearthed from storage, bring back a lot of memories. Some observations follow.

Classical liberalism (or the political term, libertarianism) does not have a long resume in the history of energy thought. Prior to the 1970s energy crises, it was a backwater for the free market intellectuals, although the opportunity was there for both scholarship and political advocacy.…

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Gas Furnaces vs. DOE’s EERE (Trump trumps Obama, but Biden is Next)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 11, 2021 1 Comment

“Bad economics required the DOE furnace mandate in the first place: replacing gas furnaces are much cheaper than a new electric heating refit even with a longer-term, back-end savings. Why? Because consumers, given the choice, chose gas.”

The mandatory energy efficiency movement (conservationism vs. market conservation) arose alongside oil and natural gas shortages in the 1970s. It began prior to the Arab Embargo as President Nixon’s price control order of August 1971 was having its predictable, undesirable effect.

In March 1973, wholesale oil shortages and dire resource predictions led Congress to hold a full-fledged energy conservation hearing. The first fuel conservation hearing in decades, a new movement was begun not seen since World War II’s fuel rationing program.

What began with the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973 continued apace in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 and with the creation of the U.S.…

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Energy Efficiency Policy Under Trump (Part III: Litigation)

By -- December 10, 2020 1 Comment

“The end-result [from ignoring one properly identified modelling “error”], unwittingly or otherwise, massively skewed EERE’s economic ‘determinations’ in favor of stricter standards for commercial packaged boilers. This ‘error’ also exists in other proposed rulemakings. In other words, EERE likely ignored this correction request to avoid embarrassment by exposing deep analytical biases within EERE, its Labs and contractors.”

This post concludes a three-part series on the highs and lows of the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology during the Trump window of opportunity. Part I was an overview, and Part II examined EERE’s process rule and overhaul efforts to date.

Historically, Final Rules become that when published in the Federal Register. Prior, such rules have been subject to change pursuant to the “error correction” procedure codified at 10 C.F.R. § 430.5 (etc.).…

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Energy Efficiency Policy Under Trump (Part II: EERE’s Process Rule & Overhaul)

By -- December 9, 2020 3 Comments

“In the past, economic justification could be attained by simply providing, on average, cumulative energy savings that barely exceeded the additional costs of energy improvements over the life of the appliance. The “career professionals” within EERE–its National Labs and subcontractors–have become very adept at gaming (skewing) the determinations in favor of more regulations. Unfortunately for consumers, this trend continues virtually unabated.”

In 1996, EERE published a Process Rule for developing and issuing new or revised appliance efficiency standards and test procedures. The generally useful initiative is embodied in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 10 CFR Appendix A to Subpart C of Part 430.

The Process Rule has been treated by EERE as a guide (think Barbossa and the Pirate code). Among its original and retained objectives was (ostensible) regulatory transparency.…

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Energy Efficiency Policy Under Trump (Part I: A Mixed Bag in the Swamp)

By -- December 8, 2020 3 Comments Continue Reading

Gas Industry to DOE: Don’t Ban Non-condensing Gas Appliances

By -- November 16, 2020 1 Comment Continue Reading

Houston Chronicle vs. Petroleum: The Latest

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 6, 2020 5 Comments Continue Reading

Energy Efficiency Mandates: No Free Lunch

By Kenneth Costello -- March 26, 2019 No Comments Continue Reading

Dear EERE: Past Time to Debate “Deep Decarbonization” (Obama program inconsistent with America First energy policy)

By Mark Krebs and Tom Tanton -- February 14, 2019 4 Comments Continue Reading

Energy, Economic Upheaval to Address “Climate Change” (626-group letter exposes much)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 4, 2019 6 Comments Continue Reading