A Free-Market Energy Blog

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

By -- December 9, 2020

“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

“DOE acknowledged that if non-condensing gas appliances were eliminated, there would likely be extensive problems (e.g., economics and safety); especially in the case of existing buildings whose venting systems are not designed for lower vent temperatures associated with condensing furnaces and water heaters.”

“… an undersurface administrative state has steadily entrenched its ‘virtuous cycle’ for energy efficiency that limits consumer choice and costs them dearly.”

While hopes were high for the Trump Administration to provide common-sense, market-based regulatory reform at all levels of the Federal government, the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) fell short. There have been some relatively bright spots, and maybe more to come in the next weeks. But the performance of Trump’s appointees to EERE was meh.

The underwhelming performance can be attributed in part to a very late start getting new appointments.

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Gas Ban Economics 101

By Kenneth Costello -- December 7, 2020

“Strange bedfellows (akin to Baptists and Bootleggers) support government-promoted electrification: electric utilities and environmentalists.”

“Because a gas ban has virtually no effect on global climate and is likely to increase energy costs for consumers, one would have to look far to find a governmental action that is so intrusive, imbalanced and detrimental to society’s welfare.”

Political attempts to curtail gas supply and demand have met with limited success. Methane rules, drilling restrictions on public land, and opposition to new pipelines have incrementally slowed the growth of natural gas in the United States. But the radical anti-fossil-fuel lobby and their government allies want much more: moratoriums on new gas service and bans on natural gas usage and appliances.

Bans by municipal jurisdictions with (presumably) the legal authority to do so are in the news.

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Ayn Rand, Energy, and Enron: Five Questions

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 3, 2020
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Remembering Enron (Bankruptcy & layoffs 19-years ago today)

By John Jennrich -- December 2, 2020
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Who do you Trust? (Michael Mann and Climategate)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 1, 2020
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Climategate Revised: Quotations from the Major Players

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 30, 2020
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Climategate: Another Anniversary (never forget ….)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 27, 2020
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Giving Thanks … for Human Ingenuity

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 25, 2020
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Yergin’s ‘The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations’ (some quotations)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 23, 2020
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