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  • Commentary posted October 28, 2013 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Feds' energy 'micro' management goes too far

    Have you ever gone to the kitchen in the middle of the night without turning on the lights, looked at your microwave’s digital clock and said, “Man, that is bright! How much energy does that thing use anyway?” If so, you were either hung over or an employee of the Department of Energy. In reality, that clock uses hardly any energy at all — an average of 4.5 watts on the…

  • Commentary posted October 28, 2013 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. America is leaving itself out in the Arctic cold

    It’s the grand prize in a globalized world — owning the shortest trade route between Asia, Europe and North America. In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out to grab that prize. Determined to map the Northwest Passage, he organized the best outfitted expedition in the history of polar exploration. Hulls were reinforced with iron planks for icebreaking. Each ship had…

  • Commentary posted June 27, 2013 by Nicolas Loris Four Problems with Obama's Push for Energy Efficiency

    Stories covering President Obama’s climate-change speech will focus on his vow to reduce (via unilateral executive-branch action) the greenhouse-gas emissions of power plants. And that’s where the coverage should focus. After all, if ramped up successfully, his war on coal will increase energy prices and produce debilitating ripple effects throughout the economy. But…

  • Commentary posted June 6, 2013 by Nicolas Loris No More Energy Protectionism

    At current consumption rates, the United States has more than a century’s worth of natural gas beneath its soil, and new drilling methods are making it much easier to extract. The shale-gas boom has created jobs, generated economic growth, and produced consistently low prices in a historically volatile market. In fact, the current price of natural gas may be too low to…

  • Commentary posted April 24, 2013 by Nicolas Loris Expanding Opportunities for Renewable Energy

    It’s always tough to get a new business off the ground. It has proved extraordinarily tough for renewable energy companies, despite all the subsidies. Congress could help. It could allow renewable energy companies to organize as Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs). Of course, that would require liberalizing current legal requirements and qualifications for MLPs. MLPs…

  • Commentary posted March 27, 2013 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. The Experts: How the U.S. Oil Boom Will Change the Markets and Geopolitics

    This would be great, as dependence on Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil is creating geopolitical liabilities and commitments which may be more difficult to manage, particularly when Congress is unwisely cutting military budgets. The U.S. may become a net Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) exporter before it becomes a crude exporter. However, while red-white-and-blue crude exports…

  • Commentary posted January 30, 2013 by Nicolas Loris No 'Following the Leader' on Climate Change

    In his second inaugural address, President Obama pledged that the United States “will respond to the threat of climate change” and will take the lead for other countries to follow suit. This commitment is a willful rejection of reality. Congress has been unwilling to address climate change unilaterally through legislation. Multilateral attempts become more futile each…

  • Commentary posted January 16, 2013 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Grimm's Carbon Tax

    Maybe the wolf should have skipped the granny disguise and just scarfed down Little Red Riding Hood in the woods. It couldn’t have worked out any worse for him. That appears to be the logic of carbon-tax cabal in Washington. The latest triad of bills — Lieberman-Warner, Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer — all died once their “cap-and-trade” costumes were pulled off to reveal…

  • Commentary posted November 27, 2012 by Robert Gordon Red Flag: Coal Export Facilities, Plus Cargo, Under Scrutiny

    The battle over coal has spread from where it is mined or burned to generate electricity to the possible points from which it could be exported. Last April, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber sent a letter to the Secretary of the Army “to request that a federal agency prepare a programmatic and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)… to look at the unprecedented…

  • Commentary posted October 17, 2012 by Robert Gordon Meet the Meshweaver: The Spider that Brought San Antonio to a Screeching Stop

    Just outside San Antonio, at the intersection of Look 1604 and Highway 151, the discovery of a single, dime-sized, translucent, subterranean spider has brought a $15 million traffic reduction project to a dead stop. Unfortunately for area motorists, the Bracken Cave meshweaver is one of over 1,400 species regulated under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). …

  • Commentary posted August 29, 2012 by Nicolas Loris Crushing Coal Under the Regulatory Steamroller

    The Environmental Protection Agency received another well-warranted slap on the hand last week. In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the EPA had overstepped its authority in its latest attempt to regulate emissions that cross state lines. As one of the judges succinctly put it, “[W]e conclude that the EPA has transgressed statutory boundaries.” This is…

  • Commentary posted June 27, 2012 by Nicolas Loris, Brandon Stewart In North Dakota: An Economic Boom

    The flight from Minneapolis to Minot, N.D., was full of excitement and chatter. What fueled the passengers’ effervescent enthusiasm? Jobs. North Dakota’s oil and natural gas boom continues to create employment opportunities, drawing all kinds of jobseekers from all parts of the country. Occupying the five seats around us on the 747 were an oilfield worker…

  • Commentary posted June 5, 2012 by Nicolas Loris How to lower gas prices

    As families gear up for summer vacations, the good news is that oil prices are falling. Gasoline prices have dipped below $4 a gallon. The bad news? They're still higher than they have to be. Both Congress and the administration have failed to remove obstacles that would allow the market to respond more effectively to high oil prices. Here are 10 actions Congress…

  • Commentary posted May 10, 2012 by Jack Spencer Uncle Sam, Derelict Nuclear-Waste Disposer

    Solyndra was back in the news recently. The big story: It had left some buckets and barrels of toxic waste at one of its shuttered facilities. Big whoop. The federal government has abandoned 65,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel at plants across the country — even though it's legally required to remove it all. The Obama administration has often been…

  • Commentary posted March 30, 2012 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. The Countless Shades of Green Jobs

    Green jobs - or, as our president calls them, the "jobs of the future" - have been notoriously tough to define and count. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics recently did it, though, and now it's the result that's notorious. Facing an admittedly difficult project, the BLS created a definition that is so broad as to make it a meaningless measure of the green…