“It’s no wonder there’s increasing debate over expanding California’s grid into a regional system. Meanwhile, the economic viability of traditional generators will continue to suffer unless they, like their renewable energy counterparts, can derive benefit from above-market power contracts. Ultimately, it will be California ratepayers that pay the steep price for this impossible dream.”
As California considers a 100% renewable-energy mandate, the state’s legislators should be asking what happens to California’s energy profile when the sun doesn’t shine and the winds don’t blow.
This month, the national press hyped how California renewables met a record-breaking 67% of the state’s electricity generation. It happened during the 3 pm hour on a Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day. We checked the numbers, and sure enough wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewables had a combined output of 14,215 megawatts out of a total generation of 21,390 megawatts in that hour.…
“Beginning with the Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer, Americans will spend their hard-earned dollars traveling to visit family, friends, and the great outdoors. Meanwhile, Big Oil will be making huge profits off of these travel expenditures on fuel, while at the same time fighting for decreased public health and climate-change protections.”
The American Automobile Association predicts that 39.3 million Americans will hit the open road this Memorial Day weekend, a million more this year than last. Affordable, reliable, widely available gasoline and diesel is a big reason. And maybe Americans feel energy-liberated by the current Administration.
While we wait for the anti-energy, glass-emptying Center for American Progress (not Prosperity) to psychologically retool, the rest of us can be optimistic.
“The  ‘Broad Based Energy Tax,’ or Btu tax, proposed in 1993 would have imposed a tax ranging from $0.257 to $0.599 per million Btu on coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, and electricity from hydropower. The tax would not have been imposed on non-hydro renewable energy sources.”
Tributes to the late Glenn R. Schleede this week (here and here) are joined by a piece published in Regulation magazine, published in 2000 by the Cato Institute. “The Backdoor Btu Tax” can apply to a variety of government interventions in the energy economy.
“Political ideas never die, however, they just come back in different forms,” Schleede reminds us. And so hold on to your wallets whenever reading about and analyzing the latest about mandates and rationing schemes with oil, gas, coal, or electricity.…