1Q–2012 Activity Report: MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 13, 2012 2 Comments

One thousand in-depth posts, 135 different contributors, and 1.2 million views to date–MasterResource has stature as a free-market movement-wide energy blog.

With 415 categories in our index, MasterResource is a lasting research tool, not only a day-to-day contribution to energy scholarship and current political debates. And we have achieved critical mass; ‘Google’ an energy-policy-related term along with MasterResource, and there we usually are!

Our content promises to stand the test of time. Our headlines do not have Stunner or Stunning as does a rival blog selling energy/climate alarmism. Our contributors are wed to reality, not to think-it-and-make-it-is-real and wish-it-and-it-can-happen postmodernism.

Wind Power Niche

One particular niche at MasterResource has been giving voice to the growing, articulate grassroot opposition to industrial wind parks. Such turbines generate a heavy environmental footprint, not only small, unreliable bursts of electricity.…

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Anatomy of a Debate: Rejecting Renewable Energy at THE ECONOMIST (Part II)

By Jon Boone -- December 14, 2011 5 Comments

“This house believes that subsidizing renewable energy is a good way to wean the world off fossil fuels.”

– ECONOMIST magazine, Online debate, November 8–18, 2011

Yesterday we reviewed the surprising rebuke of renewable energy–and the underlying premise that fossil fuels were inherently unsustainable–by an international voting audience.

Today we revisit the essential question: Can renewable energy really help ‘wean the world off fossil fuels’?

Although the affirmative’s Matthias Fripp, moderator James Astill, and their colleagues evaded this fundamental question, here is a sampling of oft-heard rationales, most if not all of which were implicit in Astill’s comments and final announcement. Windpower (providing more than 75% of any politically correct renewable portfolio), we are told, helps to:

(a) Reduce reliance on foreign oil;

(b) Substitute for coal;

(c) Complement the fuels used in our electricity generation portfolios;

(d) Provide a fair return to wind investors while making them feel good about helping save the world;

(e) Spawn discretionary revenues to help bootstrap our economic doldrums;

f) Create new jobs;

(g) Establish leadership credentials to encourage the rest of the world to follow our example; and

(h) Serve as a bridge to newer, better technologies in some more enlightened future.

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The Calculator: Fossil Fuel Consumption, CO2 Emissions, and Costs with Wind (Part I)

By Kent Hawkins -- November 29, 2010 25 Comments

[Editor note: Kent Hawkins has been at the forefront of devising a model (the Calculator) to estimate the lost wind-related emission reductions due to the fact that backup fossil-fuel generation (to firm wind) must operate less efficiently. This two-part series (today and tomorrow) provides Mr. Hawkins’ latest thinking. While technical, the Calculator is a very important line of analysis that will continue to be revised by its open-minded author. So critical comments are especially welcome.]

There is no convincing proof of the ability of utility-scale wind electricity generation to provide any of the incredible benefits claimed for it. In light of the massive costs (hundreds of $billions) of the extensive implementations projected by some governments, and equally large changes to electricity grids required to support wind’s ineffectiveness, it seems reasonable to expect that such claims be properly substantiated beforehand.…

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Bingaman’s Renewable Energy Standard: Another Proposed Energy Tax

By Daren Bakst -- October 13, 2010 10 Comments

Congress seems intent on imposing energy taxes on the American public. First, there was the proposed cap-and-trade legislation; now there’s a renewable energy standard.

While cap-and-trade legislation appears to be dead for now, the same can’t be said for a renewable energy standard. On September 21, 2010, Senator Bingaman (D-NM) introduced the Renewable Electricity Promotion Act of 2010 (S. 3813). A bipartisan group of 32 cosponsors gives this bill a legitimate chance of passage this year. At a minimum, it’s a bill that warrants significant attention.


The legislation would create what is referred to as a renewable energy standard (RES). The RES is a combination of two discreet policy programs. The first is a renewable energy mandate and the second is an energy efficiency mandate.

Electric utilities would be required to meet a 15 percent RES and would have to generate at least 11 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources.…

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“Why They Go Green” (WSJ editorial says much in few words)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 23, 2010 10 Comments Continue Reading

OVERBLOWN: Where’s the Empirical Proof? (Part IV)

By Jon Boone -- September 16, 2010 5 Comments Continue Reading

OVERBLOWN: Further Analyses (Part III)

By Jon Boone -- September 15, 2010 15 Comments Continue Reading

OVERBLOWN: Windpower on the Firing Line (Part I)

By Jon Boone -- September 13, 2010 19 Comments Continue Reading

Open Letter to Senator Brownback on His Support for a Federal Renewable Energy Standard

By Thomas Stacy II -- August 1, 2010 5 Comments Continue Reading

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

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