Quotes on Energy Freedom

"Green jobs estimates promise greatly expanded (and pleasant and well-paid) employment. This promise is false. The green jobs model is built on promoting inefficient use of labor. The studies favor technologies that employ large numbers of people rather than those technologies that use labor efficiently. In a competitive market, the factors of production, including labor, are paid for their productivity. By focusing on low productivity jobs, the green jobs literature dooms employees to low wages in a shrinking economy. The studies also generally ignore the millions of jobs that will be destroyed by the restrictions imposed by governments on disfavored products and technologies."

Roger E. Meiners
Andrew Dorchak
Andrew P. Morriss
William T. Bogart
University of Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper and Case Western Reserve University Research Paper Series, No. LE09-007 and No. 09-14
March 11, 2009
Library Topic
Library Topic: Green Jobs

"Our economic plan will create new job opportunities and new business opportunities, protecting our natural environment. The reductions in the interest rates which we have seen already will free up tens of billions of dollars for responsible investments in this year alone.

The jobs package I have asked the Congress to pass contains—this has hardly been noticed, but it actually contains green jobs from waste water treatment to energy efficiency, to the restoration of our national parks, to investments in new technologies designed to create the means by which we can solve the problems of the future and create more jobs for Americans. Our long-term strategy invests more in pollution prevention, energy efficiency, in solar energy, in renewable energy, and environmental restoration, and water treatment, all of which can be found in the 5-year budget that we have presented to the Congress."

President William J. Clinton
The American Presidency Project
April 21, 1993
Library Topic
Library Topic: Green Jobs

"You should be aware of the following facts:

Solyndra’s revenues grew from $6 million in 2008 to $100 million in 2009 to $140 million in 2010. For 2011, revenues are projected to nearly double again. ...

Solyndra is an example of a U.S. company using American innovation and ingenuity to compete in the global solar market – exporting more than 50 percent of our products into a competitive global marketplace that includes the products of Chinese and other companies which have the benefit of less restrictive business environments and significant government subsidies and incentives to support all aspects of their business."

Brian Harrison
Solyndra LLC
July 13, 2011
Library Topic
Library Topic: Green Jobs

"Government can help lay the groundwork on which the private sector can better generate jobs, growth, and innovation. After all, small business tax relief is not a substitute for ingenuity and industriousness by our entrepreneurs -- but it can help those with good ideas to grow and expand. Incentives to promote energy efficiency and clean energy manufacturing don't automatically create jobs or lower carbon emissions -- but these steps provide a framework in which companies can compete and innovate to create those jobs and reduce energy consumption. And while modernizing the physical and virtual networks that connect us will create private-sector jobs, they'll do so while making it possible for companies to more easily and effectively move their products across this country and around the world, and that will create more jobs."

President Barack Obama
December 8, 2009
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Library Topic: Green Jobs

"Solyndra’s executives are scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Despite earlier pledges to testify, these executives have recently announced that they will exercise their right to remain silent at Friday's hearing.

But regardless of the potential legal impropriety, there is no question that the fundamental laws of economics have been violated. The company’s rise and fall illustrates the folly of empowering government to pick winners and losers in our economy.

The president’s stimulus was premised on the faulty idea that 'Washington knows best,' and that bureaucracies can make better decisions than taxpayers, entrepreneurs, and businesses can. With respect to energy, this translated into tens of billions in new government subsidies for politically favored interests: $6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy investments, $2 billion for energy efficient battery manufacturing, and $17 billion for the Department of Energy’s energy efficiency programs.

Solyndra was the very first recipient of the Department of Energy’s stimulus-backed loan-guarantee program, and it has become a fitting public symbol of the administration’s new green-energy agenda."

Representative Paul Ryan
U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Budget
September 22, 2011
Library Topic
Library Topic: Green Jobs

"By picking winners and losers in the energy sector, the government-as-investor model distorts markets, weakens the rule of law, and fails to spur sustainable job creation. Instead of helping the economy, the story ends with taxpayers losing billions of dollars, successful companies losing their competitive advantage, and workers losing their jobs – in Solyndra’s case, 1,100 of them.

This is the ugly end of government’s adventures in crony capitalism."

Representative Paul Ryan
U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Budget
September 22, 2011
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Library Topic: Green Jobs

"The Recovery Act and the growth of the renewable energy sector and green jobs are mutually exclusive. The $787 billion stimulus package signed into law on February 17, 2009, ended up costing $862 billion as reported by the Congressional Budget Office in January. It is important to understand that government spending of this magnitude cannot stimulate our economy. Every dollar the government spends attempting to force the market toward a specific sector is subject to taxation and must first be borrowed out of the economy. The result is a redistribution of existing purchasing power rather than the creation of new purchasing power. This spending unintentionally creates less economic activity than if the money had been left with capable private sector investors. Rather than using the hand of the government to tilt the playing field by forcing public investment in alternative energy projects, the removal of barriers to private investment would allow for more profitable and sustainable natural investment into these fields."

Brian M. Johnson MPA
The Clean Energy Recovery: Creating Jobs, Building New Industries and Saving Money
Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming Committee on Energy and Commerce, United States House of Representatives
March 9, 2010
Library Topic
Library Topic: Green Jobs

"A diverse national energy portfolio is crucial to economic health and stability. Such diversity, if economically sound, will occur naturally in the market without federal subsidies. Efforts by the government to pick winners and losers in the energy market almost always end up distorting the market. Green jobs will not reduce unemployment if they require significant government assistance. For example, wind and solar generated electricity currently enjoys subsidies almost 50 times higher per unit of energy output than traditional coal, and 100 times higher than natural gas. These subsidies take resources and jobs from other sectors of the economy."

Brian M. Johnson MPA
The Clean Energy Recovery: Creating Jobs, Building New Industries and Saving Money
Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming Committee on Energy and Commerce, United States House of Representatives
March 9, 2010
Library Topic
Library Topic: Green Jobs

"Research and experimentation in the field of nuclear chain reaction have attained the stage at which the release of atomic energy on a large scale is practical. The significance of, the atomic bomb for military purposes is evident. The effect of the use of atomic energy for civilian purposes upon the social, economic, and political structures of today cannot now be determined. It is a field in which unknown factors are involved. Therefore, any legislation will necessarily be subject to revision from time to time. It is reasonable to anticipate, however, that tapping this new source of energy will cause profound changes in our present way of life. Accordingly, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the people of the United States that, subject at all times to the paramount objective of assuring the common defense and security, the development and utilization of atomic energy shall, so far as practicable, be directed toward improving the public welfare, increasing the standard of living, strengthening free competition in private enterprise, and promoting world peace."

79th United States Congress
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"Only 3 years ago plans were announced for the first private nuclear powerplant that would be competitive without any Government assistance. Since then, there have been more than 20 such installations announced by public and private utility companies. Orders have been placed for power reactors with a combined capacity of more than 15 million kilowatts--more than enough electric power for the homes of all the people of Idaho and seven other Western States.

By 1980, nuclear power units will have a capacity of more than 100 million kilowatts of electrical power--one-fifth of our national capacity at that time.

This energy is to propel the machines of progress; to light our cities and our towns; to fire our factories; to provide new sources of fresh water; and to really help us solve the mysteries of outer space as it brightens our life on this planet.

We have moved far to tame for peaceful uses the mighty forces unloosed when the atom was split. And we have only just begun. What happened here merely raised the curtain on a very promising drama in our long journey for a better life."

President Lyndon B. Johnson
The American Presidency Project
August 26, 1966
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"The Nation's nuclear fuel supply is in a state of transition. Military needs are now relatively small but civilian needs are growing rapidly and will be our dominant need for nuclear fuel in the future. With the exception of uranium enrichment, the nuclear energy industry is now in private hands.

I expect that private enterprise will eventually assume the responsibility for uranium enrichment as well, but in the meantime the Government must carry out its responsibility to ensure that our enrichment capacity expands at a rate consistent with expected demands.

There is currently no shortage of enriched uranium or enriching capacity. In fact, the Atomic Energy Commission has substantial stocks of enriched uranium which have already been produced for later use. However, plant expansions are required so that we can meet the growing demands for nuclear fuel in the late 1970s--both in the United States and in other nations for which this country is now the principal supplier."

President Richard M. Nixon
The American Presidency Project
June 4, 1971
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"One of the best potential sources of new electrical energy supplies in the coming decades is nuclear power. The United States has developed a strong technological base in the production of electricity from nuclear energy. Unfortunately, the Federal Government has created a regulatory environment that is forcing many utilities to rule out nuclear power as a source of new generating capacity, even when their consumers may face unnecessarily high electric rates as a result. Nuclear power has become entangled in a morass of regulations that do not enhance safety but that do cause extensive licensing delays and economic uncertainty. Government has also failed in meeting its responsibility to work with industry to develop an acceptable system for commercial waste disposal, which has further hampered nuclear power development."

President Ronald Reagan
The American Presidency Project
October 8, 1981
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"We believe many new nuclear construction projects will have difficulty accessing the capital markets during construction and initial operation without the support of a federal government loan guarantee. Lenders and investors in the fixed income markets will be acutely concerned about a number of political, regulatory and litigation-related risks that are unique to nuclear power, including the possibility of delays in commercial operation of a completed plant or 'another Shoreham'. We believe these risks, combined with the higher capital costs and longer construction schedules of nuclear plants as compared to other generation facilities, will make lenders unwilling at present to extend long-term credit to such projects in a form that would be commercially viable.

We also believe that the standby support 'insurance' (provided by Section 638 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005) is inadequate to address these risks and that a number of the conditions in DOE’s Proposed Rule for the loan guarantee program, if carried forward into the final regulations, would make that program unworkable for purposes of financing new nuclear power projects."

Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley
July 2, 2007
Library Topic

"To avoid serious and lasting distortion of the U.S. energy marketplace and an economically inefficient decarbonization effort, nuclear loan guarantees should be limited to the lead units of new nuclear plant designs, not previously deployed in the United States or in similar markets abroad with comparable regulatory requirements."

Library Topic

"In short, whether the nuclear industry survives is best left to the free market to decide. Only a full repeal of the Price-Anderson Act will allow for the internalization of all costs. The sophistic view that the act protects the public must end. That the act's function is to protect the nuclear industry is beyond question. The public, though, is best protected by a free-market energy policy that guarantees that each resource is placed in its highest-valued use."

Barry P. Brownstein
Cato Policy Analysis, 36
Cato Institute
April 17, 1984
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"One of the reasons why the public turned against nuclear power last time round is that it found itself bailing the industry out. It would be wrong, not just for taxpayers but also for the industry, to set up another lot of cosy deals with governments. The nuclear industry needs to persuade people that it is clean, cheap and safe enough to rely on without a government crutch. If it can't, it doesn't deserve a second chance."

The Economist
September 6, 2007
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"Sure, nuclear power generates lots of electricity while producing virtually no carbon dioxide. But it still faces the same problems that have stymied the development of new nuclear plants for the past 20 years -- exorbitant costs, the risks of an accident or terrorist attack, the threat of proliferation and the challenge of disposing of nuclear waste.

The cost issue alone will mean that few if any new nuclear power stations will get built in the next few years, at least in the U.S., and any that do will require expensive taxpayer subsidies. Instead of subsidizing the development of new plants that have all these other problems, the U.S. would be better off investing in other ways to meet growing energy demands and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions.

In fact, the sheer number of nuclear plants needed to make a major dent in greenhouse emissions means the industry hasn't a prayer of turning nuclear power into the solution to global warming."

Michael Totty
The Wall Street Journal
June 30, 2008
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"Nuclear energy could transform how the nation produces energy. But one of the big problems with the success of nuclear power in the United States is not that it lacks subsidies but that the regulatory environment for nuclear power does not promote growth, innovation, or competition.

Assuming the permitting process works perfectly, it takes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission four years to permit a new reactor. That is too long. Furthermore, the commission is prepared to permit only one type of reactor, essentially limiting competition to a handful of companies and one technology.

Another regulatory obstacle is the nation's dysfunctional nuclear waste management strategy. The federal government has taken responsibility of nuclear waste (or used fuel) management, allowing nuclear power producers to largely ignore waste production--a critical element of the nuclear fuel cycle--when developing their business models. Because each nuclear technology produces a unique waste stream that has its own characteristics, some reactor types would be more attractive than others depending on how the waste was being managed. But so long as nuclear operators do not have to consider waste management, reactors with attractive waste characteristics can be ignored."

Jack Spencer
The Heritage Foundation
April 20, 2010
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"In the early 1950s, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Lewis Strauss trumpeted the prospect of nuclear electricity 'too cheap to meter.' An international competition to develop commercial reactors, orchestrated under President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace Program, ensued between the U.S., Russia, India, Japan, and much of Western Europe. Several reactors and nuclear fuel plants were designed and built, endless amounts of technology declassified and shared worldwide with thousands of technicians, and numerous research reactors exported in the 1950s. Yet, ultimately, the relative cheapness and abundance of oil and coal assured that only a handful of large nuclear power plants were actually built.

The next drive for nuclear power came in the late 1960s, just before the energy 'crisis' of the early 1970s. President Richard Nixon, in announcing his Project Independence, insisted that expanding commercial nuclear energy was crucial to reducing U.S. and allied dependence on Middle Eastern oil. France, Japan, and Germany, meanwhile, expanded their nuclear power construction programs in a similar push to establish energy independence. The U.S., Russia, Germany, and France also promoted nuclear power exports at the same time. Four thousand nuclear power plants were to be brought on line worldwide by the year 2000.

But, market forces — coupled with adverse nuclear power plant operating experience — pushed back. As nuclear power plant operations went awry (e.g., fuel cladding failures, cracking pipes, fires, and ultimately Three Mile Island), spiraling nuclear construction costs and delays, as well as the disastrous accident at Chernobyl, killed the dream. More than half the nuclear plant orders in the U.S. and almost 90 percent of the projected plants globally were canceled — including a surprisingly large number of proposed projects in the Middle East."

Henry Sokolski
Policy Review, No. 162
Hoover Institution
August 1, 2010
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"Certainly, if nuclear power were ever truly too cheap to meter, could assure energy security, or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions economically, private investors would be clamoring to bid on nuclear power projects without governmental financial incentives. So far, though, private investors have shied from putting any of their own capital at risk. Why? They fear nuclear energy’s future will rhyme with its past. In the 1970s and 1980s, new nuclear power projects ran so far behind schedule and over budget that most of the ordered plants had to be cancelled. Even those that reached completion were financial losers for their original utility and outside investors, and the banking sector became wary."

Henry Sokolski
Policy Review, No. 162
Hoover Institution
August 1, 2010
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"This history of strong government involvement has made the new government financial incentives to promote the construction of additional nuclear power and fuel-making plants seem normal. Yet, pushing such government support of energy commercialization projects, both nuclear and nonnuclear, actually flies in the face of what market forces would otherwise recommend. More important, it hides the full costs and risks associated with each energy option."

Henry Sokolski
Policy Review, No. 162
Hoover Institution
August 1, 2010
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"Still uncompetitive despite 60 years of handouts, nuclear developers clamor for ever greater subsidies. The White House, Senate, and House all propose expanded federal loan guarantees ($36 billion was the White House figure); developers demand at least $100 billion. The Clean Energy Deployment Administration endorsed by both houses of Congress could issue unlimited loan guarantees without congressional oversight. It would probably fund nuclear and renewable energy like the recipe for elephant-and-rabbit stew—one elephant, one rabbit.

Bureaucrats, not credit markets, would evaluate risks and pick winners. Taxpayers would become America’s main energy financiers and almost exclusive nuclear risk-takers. America’s once market-based electricity investments would work like China’s, Russia’s, and France’s nuclear command economies. This is bipartisan folly."

Amory B. Lovins
The Weekly Standard, Vol. 16, No. 6
October 25, 2010
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"The nuclear industry is only able to portray itself as a low-cost power supplier today because of past government subsidies and write-offs. First, the industry received massive subsidies at its inception, reducing both the capital costs it needed to recover from ratepayers (the 'legacy' subsidies that underwrote reactor construction through the 1980s) and its operating costs (through ongoing subsidies to inputs, waste management, and accident risks). Second, the industry wrote down tens of billions of dollars in capital costs after its first generation of reactors experienced large cost overruns, cancellations, and plant abandonments, further reducing the industry’s capital-recovery requirements. Finally, when industry restructuring revealed that nuclear power costs were still too high to be competitive, so-called stranded costs were shifted to utility ratepayers, allowing the reactors to continue operating.

These legacy subsidies are estimated to exceed seven cents per kilowatt-hour (¢/kWh)—an amount equal to about 140 percent of the average wholesale price of power from 1960 to 2008, making the subsidies more valuable than the power produced by nuclear plants over that period. Without these subsidies, the industry would have faced a very different market reality—one in which many reactors would never have been built, and utilities that did build reactors would have been forced to charge consumers even higher rates."

Doug Koplow
Union of Concerned Scientists
February 2011
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"The cost of coal has become unbearably high. It places a great burden on our industrial and domestic life. The public welfare requires a reduction in the price of fuel. With the enormous deposits in existence, failure of supply ought not to be tolerated. Those responsible for the conditions in this industry should undertake its reform and free it from any charge of profiteering.

The report of the Coal Commission will be before the Congress. It comprises all the facts. It represents the mature deliberations and conclusions of the best talent and experience that ever made a national survey of the production and distribution of fuel. I do not favor Government ownership or operation of coal mines. The need is for action under private ownership that will secure greater continuity of production and greater public protection. The Federal Government probably has no peacetime authority to regulate wages, prices, or profits in coal at the mines or among dealers, but by ascertaining and publishing facts it can exercise great influence."

President Calvin Coolidge
The American Presidency Project
December 6, 1923
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"There are a variety of circumstances in which government intervention in energy markets may improve market outcomes. Generally, government intervention has the potential to improve market outcomes when there are likely to be market failures. Externalities represent one of the most important market failures in energy’s production and consumption. Market failures in energy markets also arise from principal-agent problems and information failures. Concerns regarding national security are used to rationalize intervention in energy markets as well."

Molly F. Sherlock
Margot L. Crandall-Hollick
Congressional Research Service
April 14, 2011
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"Canada is on the edge of an historic choice: to diversify our energy markets away from our traditional trading partner in the United States or to continue with the status quo.

Virtually all our energy exports go to the US. As a country, we must seek new markets for our products and services and the booming Asia-Pacific economies have shown great interest in our oil, gas, metals and minerals. ...

Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade. Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydro-electric dams."

Library Topic

"Numerous costly regulations have been proposed or implemented to address various environmental goals, from water quality to global warming. However, past experience-such as with the morass of gasoline regulations that push up the price at the pump and the requirements that have stopped construction of any new coal-fired power plants for the past 15 years-shows that mandates can be expensive and economically harmful while making only marginal progress toward environmental goals. The full cost of current and proposed regulations and mandates, including the economic and security impact, should be evaluated and compared with the likely environmental gain."

Stuart Butler Ph.D.
Kim R. Holmes Ph.D.
Backgrounder, #2046
The Heritage Foundation
June 26, 2007
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"When oil prices hit record levels, many people look for a scapegoat, and hugely profitable oil companies are an easy target. Even so, the typical political 'solutions' overlook the crucial role that market prices play in resource allocation, both among competing uses in different areas of the world today and among competing uses in different time periods (i.e. today versus the future). Contrary to popular belief, it is private sector professionals who will ensure an adequate supply of oil and other commodities for our descendants. It is the politicians—not the speculators—who are notoriously shortsighted and threaten to cripple our energy supply."

Robert P. Murphy
The Library of Economics and Liberty
April 7, 2008
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"The competitive private sector is best able to improve fuel efficiency and develop the next generation of fuels. There are many guesses as to what the 'new oil' might be, but no one knows for certain-least of all the federal government. We do know, however, that finding and commercializing these new fuels is crucially important to our economic future. The best way to secure abundant energy sources in the future is to encourage entrepreneurs to discover them, not for agencies and congressional committees to try to pick winners with directed research, regulations, mandates, and subsidies. Entrepreneurs need a regulatory, trade, and tax system that creates the best climate for private-sector innovation."

Stuart Butler Ph.D.
Kim R. Holmes Ph.D.
Backgrounder, #2046
The Heritage Foundation
June 26, 2007
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"The regulation of natural gas dates back to the very beginnings of the industry. In the early days of the industry (mid-1800s) natural gas was predominantly manufactured from coal, to be delivered locally, generally within the same municipality in which it was produced. Local governments, seeing the natural monopoly characteristics of the natural gas market at the time, deemed natural gas distribution a business that affected the public interest to a sufficient extent to merit regulation. Because of the distribution network that was needed to deliver natural gas to customers, it was decided that one company with a single distribution network could deliver natural gas more cheaply than two companies with overlying distribution networks and markets. However, economic theory dictates that a company in a monopoly position, with total control over its market and the absence of any competition will typically take advantage of its position, and has incentives to charge overly-high prices. The solution, from the point of view of the local governments, was to regulate the rates these natural monopolies charged, and set down regulations that prevented them from abusing their market power."

Library Topic

"Energy consumption per real dollar of gross domestic product has dropped dramatically over the past 60 years and will continue to do so if we allow business to innovate rather than stranglehold them with regulations and mandates. Motives of cost reduction and increased profits go hand in hand with becoming more energy efficient. If a company can find a way to reduce its energy use, it can lower costs and thus the price to consumers. Consumers will respond by buying better products and services. Forced reduction in energy use, on the other hand, can cause forced reduction, which reduces product performance, features, reliability, and longevity.

More importantly, government subsidies are not needed to purchase more energy-efficient products. A government survey of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star labeling program, which identifies energy efficient products, found that 62 percent of households were either 'very likely' or 'somewhat likely' to buy the product without the government handout. In effect, this means 38 percent felt the energy savings were not worth the additional cost of the product.

It should be the consumer’s choice, and the government shouldn’t try to dictate that choice by using our taxpayer dollars to subsidize a portion of the cost."

Nicolas Loris
The Foundry
The Heritage Foundation
March 2, 2011
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"In the short-term, the economic impacts of incorporating the social costs of energy sources into the prices individuals and firms pay would be significant. Utility bills and the price paid at the pump would increase, making our current quality of life more expensive and adding costs to energy-intensive industries. On the other hand, current and future Americans would be getting something back in the exchange. Indeed, the benefits to health, safety, and other economic and environmental factors that contribute to our quality of life are vast. Climate change endangers human health and safety and the environment, although there is some uncertainty as to the degree of damage that would occur. By reducing those risks, policy-makers hold the key to generating tremendous benefits through longer and healthier lives, an environment that poses fewer risks, and strengthened national security.

To create the most value for society, policy-makers could implement a new set of rules to help make sure that we pursue those energy policies for which the benefits to users and society as a whole exceed their true costs. These policies would all move us toward an approach to energy policy that no longer tilts the rules of the road in favor of energy sources that only appear cheap because their costs to our health, the climate, and national security are obscured or indirect. The result would be a system in which we leverage market forces to decide the best outcome based on full and accurate comparisons."

Michael Greenstone
Adam Looney
Strategy Paper
The Hamilton Project and The Brookings Institution
May 2011
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"The Voluntary Oil Import Program has demonstrated to me the willingness of the great majority of the industry to cooperate with the Government in restricting imports to a level that does not threaten to impair security. I commend them, and to me it is indeed a cause for regret that the actions of some in refusing to comply with the request of the Government require me to make our present voluntary system mandatory. ...

During the past few years, a surplus of world producing capacity has tended to disrupt free world markets, and, unquestionably, severe disruption would have occurred in the United States and elsewhere except for cutbacks in United States production under the conservation programs of the various state regulatory bodies.

The voluntary controls have been and the mandatory controls will be flexibly administered with the twin aims of sharing our large and growing market on an equitable basis with other producing areas and avoiding disruption of normal patterns of international trade."

Library Topic

"The most effective action we can take to encourage both conservation and production here at home is to stop rewarding those who import foreign oil and to stop encouraging waste by holding the price of American oil down far below its replacement or its true value.

This is a painful step, and I'll give it to you straight: Each of us will have to use less oil and pay more for it. But this is a necessary step, and I want you to understand it fully.

Excessive Federal Government controls must end. Phased decontrol will gradually increase the price of petroleum products. In the short run, it will add a small amount to our rate of inflation, but that is the cost we must pay to reduce our dependence on the foreign oil cartel.

In the longer run, the actions I'm announcing tonight will help us to fight inflation. Other nations will join and support us as we cut down our use of oil and increase our own production of energy. The foreign oil cartel will then find it harder to raise their prices. The dollar will grow stronger, and the prices we pay for many imported goods will be less. This will strengthen our economy and reduce inflation in future years."

President Jimmy Carter
The American Presidency Project
April 5, 1979
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"For more than 9 years, restrictive price controls have held U.S. oil production below its potential, artificially boosted energy consumption, aggravated our balance of payments problems, and stifled technological breakthroughs. Price controls have also made us more energy-dependent on the OPEC nations, a development that has jeopardized our economic security and undermined price stability at home.

Fears that the planned phaseout of controls would not be carried out, for political reasons, have also hampered production. Ending these controls now will erase this uncertainty.

This step will also stimulate energy conservation. At the same time, the elimination of price controls will end the entitlements system, which has been in reality a subsidy for the importation of foreign oil."

Library Topic

"Very shortly after taking office, I totally removed remaining regulations on the price, production, and distribution of crude oil and petroleum products. I did this in the sure confidence that the American people, acting through the market system, would move toward optimal means of production and consumption, and I have not been disappointed. Oil production has begun to increase after years of decline. Our efficiency of use of all energy, and especially oil, has increased significantly. In the first half of 1982, we produced more goods and services than in the first half of 1978, but used almost 20 percent less oil. Our imports of foreign oil have fallen by almost 2 million bbl/day since 1980, bringing our dependence on foreign oil to less than 30 percent."

President Ronald Reagan
The American Presidency Project
August 3, 1982
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"Given the global nature of oil markets and the increasing globalization of natural gas markets, willingness to pay market prices will secure all the energy a nation could possibly wish for during peacetime. Worries about producer blackmail are only a bit less far-fetched than worries about alien invasion. Simply put, reliance on oil and natural gas--imported or otherwise--is not the Achilles heel of the Western industrialized world."

Jerry Taylor
Peter Van Doren
The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 6, No. 2
Cato Institute
Summer 2008
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"Unless there’s an economic cataclysm that sends the United States back to the 19th century, we’re probably going to be a net importer of energy for the foreseeable future. The largest share of our 'foreign oil' comes from those perfidious Canadians, not from the perfidious Arabs. Our dependence on imported oil is no more dangerous than our dependence on imported steel, sneakers, taxi drivers, microchips, capital (thanks, Beijing!), or cheap T-shirts from Vietnam. Capital is fungible, and that’s a good thing, though I confess I would enjoy a Republican campaign against 'our dangerous dependence on foreign bond investors' to finance congressional borrowing, with the serious goal of a balanced budget replacing the fraudulent goal of 'energy independence.'

'Foreign oil' alarmism is one of the dumbest themes in American politics, a yardstick of stupidity. Our relationship with the petro-emirates is a bigger problem for them than it is for us: There are lots of market players who want to sell us oil, but no other player in the market is positioned to replace American demand. If Americans stop buying as much oil, the Saudis are in a world of hurt. If the Saudis stop selling us oil, the Kuwaitis or the Norwegians or the Mexicans will be thrilled to take up the slack. And oil touches terrorism only tangentially: Box-cutters and underpants-bombing misfits are not expensive. The ritual denunciations of 'foreign oil' are a cynical appeal to public stupidity."

Kevin D. Williamson
The National Review
January 7, 2010
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"The president apparently decided that the potential environmental risks are worth taking because of the benefits of energy independence--a nonsensical goal that would never be pursued by anyone who understands economics. We will never get energy policy right if our leaders continue to traffic in such silly misconceptions. Nobody ever talks about independence for other products. We don't care about automobile independence, or bottled water independence, or underwear independence. We avoid asserting that those would be worthy goals, for a good reason: Free trade enhances our welfare by allowing us to import products from those who have a comparative advantage producing them."

Kevin A. Hassett
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
April 5, 2010
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"Accordingly, subsidizing wind, solar, and nuclear power will do little to improve national security because those energy sources do not compete with crude oil and would not displace crude oil.  Until plug-in cars are both available and economically attractive to consumers, building 100 new wind, solar, and nuclear power plants won’t reduce oil consumption by very much at all."

Jerry Taylor
Powering America: On the Road to Real Energy Solutions
Ripon Society
June 12, 2007
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"Wind generates only when it is blowing, and it blows least when power is most valuable. At peak demand hours in 2006, wind plants in both California and Texas produced below 3% of their potential. To maintain reliability will require continued investment in full-scale backup generation. Wind generation is itself expensive even at today's fuel prices, it requires a massive federal tax credit to survive. A national policy that creates jobs in renewables destroys them elsewhere. Forcing people and businesses to buy expensive power leaves them less to spend on other goods and investments in future productivity."

Robert J. Michaels
USA Today
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"If biofuels are to succeed as a competitive fuel source, congressional legislation should not be necessary to mandate its production. Moreover, Congress should not force specific technologies on Americans, especially if they are unproven technologies. Instead, Congress should unleash the power of free enterprise, letting researchers and the markets discover the best new viable alternatives."

Nicolas Loris
Alison Acosta Fraser
Webmemo, #1750
The Heritage Foundation
December 17, 2007
Library Topic

"Cap-and-trade schemes for reducing pollutants have a lot going for them. First, many businesses favor them. Second, we already have an American example of a similar market that works. Third, carbon markets are accepted under international treaties and already exist abroad. Fourth, most environmental groups like cap-and-trade systems because they set firm limits on actual emissions. And, fifth, in theory at least, the flexibility of carbon markets enables businesses to figure out the least expensive way to reduce overall emissions... The other option is to tax all kinds of carbon at the wholesale stage, as far upstream as possible. Utilities and refiners who take raw coal and oil as inputs would pay a tax on these fuels. The extra cost would get passed downstream to all subsequent consumers. Like prices for permits set in carbon markets, carbon taxes would encourage conservation and innovation. Since the tax is levied on how much carbon a fuel contains, it would make fuels like coal less attractive compared with low-carbon fuels like natural gas or even renewable energy like solar and wind power."

Ronald Bailey
Reason Magazine
May 24, 2007
Library Topic
Library Topic: Cap & Trade

"The path to prosperity and environmental protection is not to be found in green utopian planning, throwing taxpayer dollars at green-tech peddlers or piling on green regulations. It’s not to be found in a mentality of 'use less energy, have less goods, buy less things, live in smaller spaces, be less, live less, do less.'

Instead, prosperity and environmental protection are created by accepting and facilitating people’s natural desire to live larger lives: lives of greater prosperity, harnessing greater amounts of energy, enabling people to buy more houses, goods, education, clothing, food, entertainment and more.

What’s needed to get the economy back on its feet is less wasteful government spending, less government tinkering with the energy economy, limiting regulations to the mitigation of clear and present dangers, minimizing the costs of regulatory compliance and unshackling the free-enterprise energy economy that drove the American economy to heights other countries could only envy.

Markets, not mandates, are the path to a more prosperous, environmentally protected future."

Kenneth P. Green
Roll Call
American Enterprise Institute
November 10, 2011
Library Topic

"It’s not uncommon to hear free market/small government advocates criticize seemingly failed attempts at creating a viable solar power industry in the US and point to the need for a free market as the reason. But in reality, these American solar companies are often losing out to Chinese solar power companies who are more, not less subsidized by their own government. ...

In other words, China is spending MORE in R&D than we are (not just as a percentage of their GDP, but more in total). So the idea that government subsidies somehow distort market signals and the free market is the correct vehicle for this up and coming industry is refuted by the very examples these proponents like to cite."

Library Topic

"But our best opportunities to enhance our energy security can be found in our own backyard -- because we boast one critical, renewable resource that the rest of the world can’t match: American ingenuity. American ingenuity, American know-how.

To make ourselves more secure, to control our energy future, we’re going to have to harness all of that ingenuity. It’s a task we won’t be finished with by the end of my presidency, or even by the end of the next presidency. But if we continue the work that we’ve already begun over the last two years, we won’t just spark new jobs, industries and innovations -- we will leave your generation and future generations with a country that is safer, that is healthier, and that’s more prosperous."

President Barack Obama
The White House
March 30, 2011
Library Topic

"Changes in the wake of the tragic Deepwater Horizon accident have resulted in new regulations to improve safety and to require industry to demonstrate its response and containment capabilities, as well as a new regulatory organization. However, the magnitude of the slowdown indicates the need for regulatory capacity and responsiveness commensurate with the level of investment that companies are prepared to commit to oil and gas exploration and production operations in the post-moratorium environment."

Library Topic

"According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s study of subsidies to the energy industry completed last July, the federal government in 2010 gave out $37 billion of taxpayer monies, more than double the amount given away in 2007. Biofuels received $6.6 billion, wind received $5 billion, solar and biomass each received $1.1 billion, coal received $1.3 billion while oil and gas received subsidies of $2.8 billion. The balance went to conservation projects and low income housing upgrades.

The efficiencies (or lack thereof) of these subsidies were measured by Phil Kerpen who noted that subsidies per kilowatt hour produced were

$0.63 for natural gas

$0.64 for coal

$52.00 for wind and

$968 for solar.

Kerpen was clear: 'It’s not just renewables. Subsidies for fossil fuels are also wrong…because central economic planning is always wrong. Technologies should succeed or fail on their merits in a free market that empowers consumers to make decisions, not politicians and bureaucrats who think they know better. Washington’s attempts to interfere in the market almost always fail.'"

Bob Adelmann
The New American
March 14, 2012
Library Topic

"How do bets about the future price of oil affect current oil prices? They can do so if and only if those bets increase or decrease oil supply in the here-and-now through changes in inventory or production.

If the price for crude oil tomorrow — thanks to the speculators — is higher than the cost of crude oil today plus the cost of storage, then everyone (investors, refineries, your Uncle Phil) could make money by buying crude in the spot market, storing it somewhere, and guaranteeing its higher selling price through the purchase of a futures contract. This would reduce current supply and increase current price while increasing future supply and decreasing future price.

If this is going on we would expect to see some sort of inventory buildup. While crude inventories in the U.S. are increasing, they always increase at this time of year, and this year's increase is well within the normal range. More important, gasoline inventories are decreasing and decreasing much more rapidly than normal. Hence, there's no evidence that speculators are reducing the supply of crude or gasoline through increased storage."

Jerry Taylor
Peter Van Doren
Cato Institute
April 19, 2011
Library Topic

"The ethanol subsidy and import tariff are set to expire at the end of the month, but there are representatives in Congress that want to extend them even though CBO findings indicate that taxpayers pay $1.78 to reduce gasoline consumption by one gallon from ethanol made from corn and $3.00 for cellulosic ethanol made from energy crops such as switch grass, poplars, corn stover, and woodchips. The analogous cost for biodiesel is $2.55, but its subsidy ran out the end of 2009.

The cost to taxpayers for providing tax credits to biofuels to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is enormous: $754 per metric ton for corn-based ethanol, about $275 per metric ton for cellulosic ethanol, and $306 per metric for biodiesel. To put these numbers in perspective, it currently costs less than $15 a ton to purchase a certified carbon dioxide allowance traded on the European Climate Exchange."

Institute for Energy Research
December 8, 2010
Library Topic
Library Topic

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"A half mile below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, above the vast oil field that helped trigger construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a drill rig has tapped what researchers think could be the next big energy source."

"Rather than expand government, public policy should end preferential subsidies for politically favored energies and privatize such assets as public-land resources and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Multibillion-dollar energy programs at the U.S. Department of Energy should be eliminated. Such policy reform can simultaneously increase energy supply, improve energy security, reduce energy...

"Shale gas is natural gas stored deep underground in fine-grained sedimentary rocks. It can be extracted using a process known as hydraulic fracturing – or 'fracking' – which involves drilling long horizontal wells in shale rocks more than a kilometre below the surface. Massive quantities of water, sand and chemicals are pumped into the wells at high pressure. This opens up fissures in the...

The California-based solar panel manufacturer was the poster child of the Obama administration's much-ballyhooed green jobs campaign and was the recipient of a staggering half billion dollars worth of taxpayer guaranteed loans.

"New revelations continue to surface about the Obama administration's handling of half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees to the now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra.

On Monday, Democrats released a memo that showed some voices inside the White House argued against President Obama's visit to Solyndra in May 2010.

But Solyndra was just one of the clean energy projects and...

"A half mile below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, above the vast oil field that helped trigger construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a drill rig has tapped what might one day be the next big energy source."

"There are few technologies today quite so popularly disliked today as fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, the practice of pumping high-pressure water into natural gas reserves deep underground to break up the rock and make the gas easier to mine. Fracking has been harshly criticized all around the world as dangerous, and has even been banned in a number of countries. There are charges...

"Senator Jim DeMint ... introduced the Energy Freedom & Economic Prosperity Act (EFEPA) in February and then offered his bill as an amendment to the Transportation Bill last week. Had it passed it would have eliminated all energy tax credits not only for wind, solar, biomass and biofuels but for coal, oil and natural gas as well."

"Americans endorse increased government efforts to encourage energy production from alternative sources of energy, but at the same time do not believe the government should reduce its financial support for the production of energy from traditional sources. Only 30% think the government should decrease the monetary support and incentives it provides to producers of energy from oil and gas......

"Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and...

"Natural gas may not have much impact on the senses, but as a source of heat and power it is transforming energy markets. Around 100AD Plutarch, a Graeco-Roman poet, noted the 'eternal fires' in what is now Iraq. They were probably methane gas seeping out of the ground, ignited by lightning. Those eternal fires are now proliferating. An unexpected boom in shale gas that has taken off in...

"A California solar energy company that was unable to meet a deadline for an Energy Department loan guarantee last year has sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

'Solar Trust of America LLC…holds the development rights for the world's largest solar power project,' Reuters reports, 'which last April won $2.1 billion of conditional loan guarantees from the U.S....

"On December 7, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commision (FERC) granted a 30-year license to Jordan Cove LNG (...

"After months of financial turmoil, an Energy Department-backed lithium ion battery company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company, Ener1, received a $118 million grant from DOE in 2010 as part of the president's stimulus package. The money, which went to Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel, aimed to promote renewable energy storage battery technology for electrical grid use...

"With gasoline selling at around $4 per gallon, the political hunt is on to track down the ne're-do-wells responsible. The primary suspects seem to be Wall Street speculators who, we're told, are gaming the crude oil futures market to create price increases out of thin air. It is a tale, however, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying ignorance.

The only way to...

With new technology, streamlined regulations, and greater technical expertise is a new age of nuclear power here? This Economist article asks that question. It explains why nuclear power was "too expensive to matter" for most of the previous years. But as plants have matured and technology has improved, some existing nuclear power plants are making wind fall profits. This has lead to increased...

"Australia has decided to pursue a policy that does not depend on energy independence, but on an interconnected globalised energy market. They believe that, "pursuing self-sufficiency in energy resources such as liquid fuels can impose unnecessary higher costs on consumers without necessarily providing a material economic or strategic benefit."

"Oil companies and their allies in the Bush administration are using high gas prices as an excuse to push for more drilling, but that's not the solution for America's energy crisis.

Despoiling nature to get at the tiny trickle of oil we have left won't make any significant difference in what we pay at the pump -- not now and not ever. And it won't make our country any less dependent on...


"Turns out biodiesel is profitable with a federal tax subsidy of up to a dollar a gallon, and with the anticipation of restrictions on greenhouse gases. So a guy who’s normally 'very skeptical of the government’s role' supports subsidies in this case because there’s 'no other way to do it.' But that’s the whole point of markets and prices–to tell us what economic endeavors make sense. If...

"California gasoline prices have dropped by an average of 24.4 cents a gallon since hitting a record for the state on Oct. 9. But the decline hardly amounts to the relief from high prices that most motorists would love to see. Even with the drop in prices, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline in California is still a whopping 56.5 cents a gallon higher than the old record for Oct. 22, which was set last year, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report."

"The 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch, under construction in eastern San Luis Obispo County, will generate clean, reliable solar power for transmission over PG&E's utility grid. This will help California achieve the 33% renewable energy by 2020 goal."

"What's the lesson learned from California's recent spike in gasoline prices, which is costing consumers millions of dollars and prompting calls for an investigation?"

"Legislative efforts to implement a supposedly 'environmentally friendly' conversion of the U.S. economy by means of carbon credits may be on hold for the moment, but that does not mean that a shift toward solar and wind power is not underway. The motivation for the trend is supposedly profit, not ideology."

"If you want to understand how the United States is suddenly eating everyone's lunch when it comes to energy, see the chart below, from the Financial Times. No wonder Europe is getting off its duff and trying to move forward with plans to expand its own shale natural gas potential."

"Environmentalists and the energy industry appear to be edging towards a consensus that would permit a big expansion in hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in exchange for stricter rules on engineering procedures such as well casing and cementing."

"The only financially valid way to compare the costs of different sources of energy production is to calculate the per kilowatt-hour (kWh) cost. This methodology controls for variable factors such as capacity factor and useful life."

"A privately held start-up that makes solar panels announced today that they would be filing for bankruptcy. The company, Solyndra Inc., received a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy in September 2009. This follows two other bankruptcy announcements by solar start-ups this month. The explanation for these closures has been that world prices for solar products have...

In her national radio address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues the strategy of bait and switch on energy.

"Gov. Ed Rendell's recent proposal to increase the mandate for the proportion of electricity in Pennsylvania that must be generated from solar power -- from 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent by the year 2021 -- is the best illustration of that aphorism I have seen in a long time.

The governor is right to want clean 'green' power. I wish solar power was the answer. But today other technologies...

But are so-called green energy jobs really right when consumers continually chose oil, gas, and coal? This issue is a separate one, but its answer cements the case against government picking energy winners and losers in a free society.

"Wind and biomass dominate projected increases in U.S. renewable electricity generation, excluding hydropower, in EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012) Early Release Reference case. Increased generation from non-hydro renewable energy resources in the electric power sector accounts for 33 percent of the overall growth in electricity generation from 2010 to 2035. The non-hydro renewable...

"For America to thrive, we need energy policy that favors the development of abundant and affordable energy, not one focused on scarce and expensive wind and solar energy or unaffordable electric cars. The Obama administration should be working to strip out all of the market-distorting subsidies in the energy arena and striving for regulatory streamlining to let energy markets work more...

"Most of the energy consumed in America today is produced from the combustion of fossil fuels, primarily oil, coal, and natural gas. ...

In a free market, cost dictates energy choices. Fossil fuels, for example, are economically attractive for many applications because the energy available from fossil fuels is highly concentrated, easily transportable, and cheaply extracted. Renewable...

"SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB), sponsor of the 250-megawatt (AC) California Valley Solar Ranch power plant, announced today the project has been offered support via a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee of up to $1.187 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). California Valley Solar Ranch is expected to create 350 jobs during construction, will power...

"One of the current debates taking place in Congress (and has been for some time) is how to solve our energy crisis (both in relation to climate change, as well as our dependence on foreign suppliers, many of whom support terrorist organizations–which means we end up being de facto subsidizers of said organizations). Because a market for alternative energies doesn’t really exist, this leaves...

"The proper role for government is to recognize private property rights to all the vital resources in the economy and to protect these rights by providing a proper judicial forum whereby individual owners can sue transgressors and polluters for damages. The marketplace itself, however, must determine the proper paths for energy development because entrepreneurs properly compare the relative...

"A massive, countrywide power failure like the one in India on Tuesday is 'extremely unlikely' in the United States, energy experts say."

"The Obama Administration has been implementing an anti-energy agenda since coming to Washington. From day one, Obama and his 'dream 'green' team' have worked to increase the cost of traditional energy to reduce usage and try to make uneconomic consumer-rejected energy (wind, solar, ethanol, electric vehicles) more economic.

The effects of these policies are now playing out in front of...

"The lofty goal of energy independence gets a lot of publicity from politicians in both parties, but the concept makes no economic sense. It would do us good to approach the problem more rationally."

"Market prices allow consumers to inform producers, and one another, how much they value different energy uses, and allow producers to inform consumers how much it costs to provide different types of energy. In response consumers will decrease their energy use in ways that minimize their inconvenience when that inconvenience is less than the value of the energy saved. And producers will expand...

"In general terms, Bastiat observed that when government goes beyond referring free-enterprise to actively interfering with it, the consequences fall into two categories: what is seen, and what is not seen.

Thus, when government favors technology A over technology B, what is seen are the profits from sales of technology A. What is not seen are lost profits from lower sales of technology...

"Federal environment officials investigating drinking water contamination near the ranching town of Pavillion, Wyo., have found that at least three water wells contain a chemical used in the natural gas drilling process of hydraulic fracturing. Scientists also found traces of other contaminants, including oil, gas or metals, in 11 of 39 wells tested there since March."

"The United Nations Climate Conference in Bali, Indonesia, wrapped up on December 14. During the conference, debate intensified over whether to include in any climate change agreement greenhouse gas emission targets for developed countries. While most alternative sources of energy are not economically viable at this point, environmentalists and policymakers are hopeful for technological...

"The wonders of US shale gas continue to amaze."

"Opposition to a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing has slowed the development of natural gas in Europe, creating export opportunities for U.S. producers hurt by low prices and a glut of gas at home.

Fracking, as the practice is known, was temporarily suspended in the United Kingdom after it was linked to a series of earthquakes. Bulgaria and France -- home of the...

"Evergreen Energy Inc. (EVEI), a developer of alternative fuel products, filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it was impossible to maintain operations with a lack of financing.

The company listed assets of about $240 million and debt of $25 million in Chapter 7 documents filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Chapter 7 proceedings let companies liquidate...

"Like generalissimo Francisco Franco, Evergreen Solar spent a long time on its death bed. Deval Patrick’s favorite energy company finally succumbed to Chapter 11 this week. Creditors include the state of Massachusetts, owed $1.5 million in back rent. But it’s likely that as much as $40 million in state subsidies will be lost as well.

Every one of the firm’s death throes has been an...

"America will halve its reliance on Middle East oil by the end of this decade and could end it completely by 2035 due to declining demand and the rapid growth of new petroleum sources in the Western Hemisphere, energy analysts now anticipate.

The shift, a result of technological advances that are unlocking new sources of oil in shale-rock formations, oil sands and deep beneath the ocean...

"The facts show, and President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney agree, that U.S. production of oil and gas has increased over the past four years."

"Hydraulic fracturing, or 'hydro-fracking,' is a form of natural gas extraction in which a pressurized mix of water and other substances is injected into shale rock formations or coal beds to release trapped natural gas. A fluid mixture of water and chemicals is injected under high pressure deep underground, creating or widening fissures in the rock. Then, sand or another solid, often ceramic...

"First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSLR) today announced completion of the sale of one of the world's largest photovoltaic (PV) solar power projects — the 550-megawatt (AC) Desert Sunlight Solar Farm near Desert Center, Calif.

First Solar — which will continue to build and subsequently operate and maintain the project under separate agreements — has sold the project to affiliates of NextEra...

"Energy policy, especially targets for lower carbon dioxide emissions, has emerged as a priority for Congress and the Obama Administration. Unfortunately, nuclear energy seems to have been forgotten by leadership in both the legislative and executive branches of government.

First, the President's budget had almost nothing related to advancing nuclear energy. Then Henry Waxman (D-CA) and...

"The price differential for a million btu is blowing out once again, between Global oil and North American natural gas. The extraordinary discount has persisted for some years. But today, with West Texas Intermediate (WTIC) oil above $100 and Brent oil above $110, the spread has reached new highs. The energy content of natural gas is trading at an 83% discount to WTIC Oil, and at an 85%...

It appears more are admitting that renewable energy sources are not yet economically viable, while fossil fuel companies continue in their productivity and growth.

"Bulgaria's Cabinet decided on January 17 to amend the licence awarded to US oil firm Chevron, explicitly banning the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology in the exploration of potential shale gas reserves in the country's northeast.

The Cabinet awarded the exploration permit for the Novi Pazar area in June 2010, but did not specify at that time what technology the company...

"Opponents of a controversial method of natural gas extraction staged a last-ditch effort on Monday, November 14 to stop an interstate regulator from giving the go-ahead for gas production in the Delaware River Basin.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), consisting of the governors of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, plus Army Corps of Engineers which represents...

"While Pennsylvania, northwestern Louisiana and gas-rich areas around the Gulf of Mexico are losing jobs and revenue as the fracking industry shrinks after a price collapse, oil-rich North Dakota and Texas are in the midst of a boom."

"The Pennsylvania homes of Karl Wasner and Arline LaTourette both sit atop the Marcellus Shale, a geologic formation that stretches from Tennessee to New York and holds vast deposits of natural gas. They also sit on opposite sides of a national debate over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking."

"French senators voted to outlaw hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, making France the first country to pass a law banning the technique for extracting natural gas and oil.

'We are at the end of a legislative marathon that stirred emotion from lawmakers and the public,' French Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said late yesterday before the vote....

"Just as Friedrich Hayek taught, no central planner can know or foresee enough to produce the beneficial results regularly produced by competition in free markets regulated in accordance with the rule of law. And no central planner can accurately predict the course of innovation that can be achieved in decentralized markets. That's something you might want to keep in mind when someone tells...

"By spurring development of the politically favored alternative fuel of the moment, devotees of federal energy subsidies say that we can stop sending dollars overseas. Details of the Solyndra scandal continue to unfold, but what we know so far should teach the Obama administration a valuable lesson: The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.


"For nearly two decades, Santosh Arya has pumped some of the San Diego area's cheapest gas at his three Homeland Petroleum stations. But his streak ended early this month, when wholesale prices started rising sharply, then shot up 40 cents a gallon overnight. To break even, Arya calculated he would have to sell a gallon of regular at $5.10 -- almost a buck higher than at nearby Shell and 76 stations. Instead, he shut down and waited for prices to drop."

"Previous gas price spikes in 2006 and 2008 brought blame on 'Big Oil' (meaning firms like Exxon-Mobil, BP, Royal Dutch/Shell, et al., which really are just mid-sized oil — but whatever), the Bush administration and Republicans, environmentalists, and the federal government. But 2011 offers a new leader in the blame game: speculators. From Capitol Hill lawmakers, to...

"The watchword in today's global energy markets is change. This change in part includes the advance of solar and other renewable energy technologies – advances that can boost economic growth, improve energy security, and help address global warming. However, reaping these benefits, and particularly the jobs that go with these global industries, requires a strategic approach to clean technology...

"Natural gas is poised to enter a golden age, but this future hinges critically on the successful development of the world's vast unconventional gas resources. North American experience shows unconventional gas - notably shale gas - can be exploited economically. Many countries are lining up to emulate this success.

But some governments are hesitant, or even actively opposed. They are...

"Expanding their renewable energy portfolios, three global companies – Google and subsidiaries of ITOCHU Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation (TYO-8053) – have joined GE (NYSE: GE) unit GE Energy Financial Services and developer and managing member Caithness Energy as owners of the world’s largest wind farm, the 845-megawatt Shepherds Flat wind project under construction near Arlington, Oregon...

"Utah's mountainous valleys present ideal conditions to harness the power of water already flowing downhill and turn it into environmentally friendly energy.

But one city's experience of trying to install a simple energy enhancement may leave others avoiding it altogether, according to a George Mason University-based research center that on Tuesday published a working paper using Logan...

Back in 2005, the authors reflected on why gas prices had risen to two dollars a gallon. Part of the reason, they believe, is that, "Gasoline markets today are increasingly global rather than regional in nature. For example, European governments tax diesel fuels less than gasoline and European motorists have responded by using diesel. Accordingly, European refineries make more gasoline than...

It is understandable that renewable-energy interests support a law that requires utilities to buy escalating amounts of power from them regardless of price. The mystery is why anyone else thinks it's a good idea.

"Freedom, opportunity, prosperity and a civil society have made America exceptional. But without energy — secure and affordable energy — many of our great accomplishments would not have been possible.

Unfortunately, our already tenuous energy security is being threatened and diminished by policies emanating from Washington. That need not be the case, and conservatives can meet the...

"This price surge is not a freak phenomenon or the result of a convergence of refinery problems, as the oil industry has argued. It's happened before (only the $5 level is new) and will happen again and again because California oil companies can make more money by making less gasoline."

"Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well."

"The new wave in oil and gas exploration in the last ten years has certainly been the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of rock layers deep beneath the earth’s surface for the purpose of releasing natural gas. This is a process whereby huge quantities of ‘slickwater’ are injected into a well at pressures so high that the water fractures the shale rock layers at several places along the...

"Since Stanolind Oil introduced hydraulic fracturing in 1949, close to 2.5 million fracture treatments have been performed worldwide. Some believe that approximately 60% of all wells drilled today are fractured. Fracture stimulation not only increases the production rate, but it is credited with adding to reserves—9 billion bbl of oil and more than 700 Tscf of gas added since 1949 to US...

"A substantive philosophical debate undergirds the proclamations of officialdom and the debate is certainly something worth paying attention to now and in the future. I contend that the energy debate is really about the nature of energy as a good. Is energy a private good? A public good? Or a marketable public good?"

"Members of Congress, gas companies, news organization, drilling opponents: They've all made bold claims about hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the U.S. supply of underground natural gas. We take on 10 controversial quotes about natural gas and set the record straight."

"On April 18, 1977, President Jimmy Carter went on television and declared that we were running out of domestic natural gas.

But he was wrong. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Energy was conducting the Eastern Gas Shales Project. It had two goals: evaluate the gas potential of Devonian and Mississippian shale basins and develop new drilling, stimulation, and recovery...

"First of all, the mining tar sands for oil is incredibly destructive. It can and must be stopped. I felt that standing against it, shoulder to shoulder with climate justice activists and fracktivists was a moral imperative."

"Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman has another good column in the NY Times today, 'Here Comes the Sun.' He makes three key points. First, solar is rapidly coming down the cost curve — I’ve sprinkled a couple of the Climate Progress charts on this throughout this post. Second, fracking is over-hyped. Third, the only thing that can stop the solar revolution in this country is fossil-...

"In his State of the Union address, President Obama invoked the 30-year history of federal support for new shale gas drilling technologies to defend his present day investments in green energy. Obama stressed the value of shale gas—which will create thousands of jobs and billions in profits—as part of his 'all of the above' approach to energy, and defended the critical role government...

"The federal government has done much to boost the U.S. ethanol industry and is largely responsible for the growing use of this costly fuel additive. Now, Congress should do something for America's drivers by ending tariffs that limit imports of cheaper ethanol that could help lower pump prices. Even by the standards of special-interest-driven Washington, the ethanol industry gets an unusually...

"The public and decision makers are left with the erroneous impression that fracking will create vast numbers of new jobs."

"John has already noted what ought to have been above-the-fold news in every newspaper last week—the testimony of the GAO's head of natural resources that the U.S. has recoverable oil shale 'about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.'  It wasn't front-page news, however, because it doesn't fit the liberal narrative and favorite talking point that the U.S. only has '2...

This piece describes how San Francisco's energy-saving, low-flush toilets actually created extra costs and unforeseen problems. Loris also touches on the ill-effects of several other energy efficient products and concludes by recommending that governmental subsidies are unnecessary in promoting these types of consumer goods.

"The conservative case for government intervention in energy markets is just as flimsy as the liberal case for government intervention in any other sector of the economy. Energy markets may not work as perfectly as in a textbook model, but they work — and government works even less perfectly."

"What’s needed to get the economy back on its feet is less wasteful government spending, less government tinkering with the energy economy, limiting regulations to the mitigation of clear and present dangers, minimizing the costs of regulatory compliance and unshackling the free-enterprise energy economy that drove the American economy to heights other countries could only envy.


"The world's governments are beginning to come to grips with the reality that crude oil is a finite resource."

"A group of the nation’s leading experts on energy and the environment are at Duke this week attending a workshop to try to ferret out the facts (and tamp down the hype) around shale gas and fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural gas trapped in shale deposits. With yesterday’s sessions held as a public forum and today’s held in private, the two-day workshop aims to find...

"Electricity rates are not rising because of the competition brought about in those states that restructured electricity. Many of the states that introduced retail competition incorporated rate freezes that kept rates unchanged for a period of years even as the input costs for generating electricity increased dramatically. These artificial price freezes are not sustainable in the face of these...

"Natural gas plays a key role in our nation's clean energy future. The U.S. has vast reserves of natural gas that are commercially viable as a result of advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies enabling greater access to gas in shale formations. Responsible development of America's shale gas resources offers important economic, energy security, and environmental...

"Natural gas is a plentiful domestic resource with tremendous potential to increase the U.S. energy supply. Tapping this resource will create jobs and boost an ailing economy. More affordable energy will support additional business formation and growth. The role of the government is to regulate—not over-regulate and hamper—natural gas production. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking)—which has never...

"The bipartisan New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NATGAS) Act provides preferential tax treatment to subsidize the production, use, and purchase of natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Supporters argue that it promotes transportation fuel competition and reduces foreign oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions.

In reality, the NATGAS Act simply transfers a portion...

"No one could have predicted that oil prices would rise to today's levels. Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, says that they are irrationally high, pointing out that world demand is lower than the available supply and that Saudi oil inventories around the world are largely untapped."

"Natural gas is a vital component of the world's supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources. Despite its importance, however, there are many misconceptions about natural gas. For instance, the word 'gas' itself has a variety of different uses, and meanings. When we fuel our car, we put 'gas' in it. However, the gasoline that goes into your...

"According to many experts, the United States stands to be the Saudi Arabia of natural gas production. Last month, the New York Times reported otherwise, questioning the economics of shale gas extraction and overstating the amount of gas available in the vast formation in the United States."

According to Robert Michaels, "Natural gas is the commercial name for methane, a hydrocarbon produced by the same geological processes that produce oil. Relatively abundant in North America, its production and combustion have fewer adverse environmental effects than those of coal or oil." Michaels goes on to trace the history of Natural Gas usage in the U.S. from its earliest subjection to...

"The 'golden age of gas' could be cleaner than greens think."

"The technological revolution allowing for the cheap extraction of natural gas from shale occurred thanks to more than three decades of government subsidies for research, demonstration, and production, a new Breakthrough Institute investigation finds.

Both directly and indirectly, the government was behind the critical moments and tools in the shale gas revolution - massive hydraulic...

"Despite a challenging economic outlook, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the American economy – including $396 billion in wages – over the next four years (2009-2013), according to a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton. The study also determined that green construction spending currently supports more than 2...

"Are Americans energy dependent? Yes—dependent on government energy subsidies. In 2007, American taxpayers subsidized government-preferred energy sources to the tune of nearly $17 billion. Increasingly, it is politicians in Washington who decide how Americans produce and consume energy. But subsidies for special interests stifle competition, raise energy prices, and decrease economic...

"The Nonconventional Fuels (Section 29) Tax Credit went into effect in 1980, following energy shortages and deep concern about American dependence on imported oil. Congress sought to encourage production of oil and natural gas from 'nonconventional' sources, such as Devonian shale, tight formations, and coalbeds. These deposits are unusually expensive to produce."

"The continuing boom in North Dakota seemingly has no end. Last June oil production from the Bakken Formation exceeded 11 million barrels a month. In February it reached 16 million with estimates that by late spring North Dakota could be producing more oil than either California or Alaska. That’s more than double what the state produced just two years ago."

Nuclear power may be back according to the Economist. They list multiple reasons that are encouraging this nuclear comeback; safer and more efficient designs, the fuel being located in geopolitically stable locations instead of the tumultuous middle-east, and potential climate-change costs associated with traditional fossil fuels. But the Economist warns that many industry insiders and...

"Given Americans’ increasing anxiety over made-in-Washington socialism, it’s a wonder that the nuclear power industry has escaped scrutiny for so long. The federal government socializes the risk of investing in nuclear power while privatizing profits. This same formula drove the frenzied speculation that cratered the housing and financial markets. What might it cause with nuclear power?"

"President Barack Obama on Friday released an executive order that will coordinate the administration's activities on natural gas and perhaps answer criticism that the White House is trying to end hydraulic fracturing. ...

It comes on the heels of complaints by GOP leaders — including Mitt Romney — and the gas industry that too many departments are working on hydraulic fracturing...

"President Barack Obama pushed drilling for gas in shale rock and support for cleaner energy sources to boost the economy in his final State of the Union address before facing U.S. voters in November.

Hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to free gas trapped in rock, could create more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, Obama said...

"Indeed, recent advances in the technologies used for oil and gas exploration are saving the U.S. economy hundreds of millions of dollars per day, creating lots of high-paying jobs, decreasing the need for foreign oil, and spurring manufacturing growth, which is leading to billions of dollars of new investment (and even more jobs). Yet, the Obama administration is using its fiscal year 2013...

"The Energy Information Administration recently released its Annual Energy Review 2011. The Annual Energy Review is a report of historical annual energy statistics, with many of the series dating back to 1949."

"A recent report on the November 2009 U.S. trade deficit found that rising oil imports widened our deficit, increasing the gap between our imports and exports. This is but one example that our economic recovery and long-term growth is inexorably linked to our reliance on foreign oil. The United States is spending approximately $1 billion a day overseas on oil instead of investing the funds at...

"When oil prices hit record levels, many people look for a scapegoat, and hugely profitable oil companies are an easy target. Even so, the typical political 'solutions' overlook the crucial role that market prices play in resource allocation, both among competing uses in different areas of the world today and among competing uses in different time periods (i.e. today versus the future)....

"Are futures markets a friend or foe of consumers? To hear the political class tell it during this season of soaring gasoline prices, they are clearly an enemy of nearly all mankind, a playpen for wild speculative orgies where nothing is produced — except higher fuel prices — and no services are rendered except to those who profit from the resulting price volatility.

Economists, however...

"Gas prices are high and Americans want the villains responsible held accountable. Congress doesn't want to be blamed, though it certainly deserves a portion for refusing policy changes that would make a difference even in the long run. So, to deflect attention Congress has joined in the finger-pointing, and the easiest targets are 'speculators.'"

"Like the close of most years recently, the end of 2011 marked the sunset of several important programs and subsidies for alternative fuels. The difference now, however, is that these short-term incentives have not been renewed. Since renewable fuels do not enjoy the longer-term subsidies and programs of oil, we are back asking Congress and the administration for some stability. As we enter...

"The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 2360, the Providing for Our Workforce and Energy Resources (POWER) Act, which according to its sponsor, Representative Jeff Landry (R–LA), would 'close a loophole in existing law that allows offshore renewable energy resources to be installed and serviced by foreign workers.' ... This would supposedly result in more American jobs, reduced...

"America has an energy addiction - and it’s not an addiction to oil, as many politicians would have you think. It’s an addiction to government subsidies. The addicts, you see, are energy producers, not the consumers.

Their growing dependence on federal handouts is the real cause of America’s energy crisis. Energy subsidies have needlessly wasted taxpayer dollars, retarded...

This piece discusses the age old problem of price controls. As an example, Rockoff uses the gasoline price controls of the 1970s to demonstrate the economic loss this type of policy brings to individuals and society.

"America needs lots of clean, low-cost, secure electricity. Unfortunately, renewable sources don't fill the bill, and a national requirement wouldn't change things.

Renewables (excluding hydroelectric dams) produce less than 3% of U.S. electricity, much of which is hardly clean. About two-thirds comes from burning scrap vegetation ('biomass') and garbage, which produce the same...

"A few months ago my editors asked me to look into the potential danger for manmade earthquakes triggered during the hydraulic fracturing process.

The basic story I found at the time was pretty simple: Yes, when wastewater used during the fracking process ...

"President Obama spoke from the White House's South Lawn this morning, urging Congress to end the $4 billion in tax subsidies oil and natural gas companies receive from the government every year. Obama noted that 'Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour' last year, and simply doesn't need taxpayer subsidies on top of companies' massive profits."

"According to data from the EIA, more natural gas was produced in October - 2,330,551 million cubic feet - than in any previous month in U.S. history (see chart above). I couldn't find this reported elsewhere, so I'm claiming this as a 'Carpe Diem exclusive'!

As John Tierney reported recently in the New York Times:

'The really good news is the discovery of vast quantities of...

"People should worry less about fracking, and more about carbon."

"America's shale-gas industry has since drilled 20,000 wells, created hundreds of thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly, and provided lots of cheap gas. This is a huge advantage to American industry and a relief to those who fret about American energy security."

"In May 1990, Pennsylvania’s Otto Cupler Torpedo Company 'shot' its last oil well using liquid nitroglycerin – abandoning nitro but continuing to pursue a fundamental oilfield technology.

Although President Rick Tallini remains in the business of improving oil wells’ production, today’s fracturing systems are much advanced from Lt. Col. Edward A. L. Roberts’ original 1865-1866 patents...

"The bankruptcy filing by solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, which received $535 million in loan guarantees from the federal government, is grist for many controversies. While some of them are narrowly political, others involve legitimate policy questions that deserve a full airing. It's fair to ask, for example, why the government is subsidizing alternate energy sources in the first place....

"At one time, natural gas was seen as little more than a superfluous byproduct of the oil extraction process. But once the potential of natural gas as an energy source became clear, a new era in energy production was soon off and running. Today, natural gas accounts for 23 percent of the world’s total energy consumption, and the International Energy Agency is projecting that by 2035, natural...

"Last month First Solar (FSLR) achieved a milestone in the solar industry with its announcement of $1 per Watt reducing its production cost for solar modules to 98 cents per watt, thereby braking the $1 per watt price barrier. While the achievement is great news for the solar industry some studies suggest more work is needed. An article in Popular Mechanics $1 per Watt talks of university...

"Solar grid parity is considered the tipping point for solar power, when installing solar power will cost less than buying electricity from the grid. It's also a tipping point in the electricity system, when millions of Americans can choose energy production and self-reliance over dependence on their electric utility.

But this simple concept conceals a great deal of complexity. And...

"The atavistic fear of gas lives on in public anxiety over fracking."

"Guy Benson’s recent report about a lifelong New Jersey Democrat who already is so fed up with Obama-Pelosi-Reid shenanigans that she pulled the lever for Chris Christie is one pebble in the avalanche of opinion holding that Republicans are due for a big year in 2010. Maybe the Republican optimists are right: I’m no good at electoral prognosticating, so I’ll defer here to the psephological...

"When the government decides to favor a technology with subsidies, it’s a good bet that subsidy 'winner' is a loser in the marketplace. Political decisions to provide subsidies distort the marketplace at the expense of economic growth and prosperity. That’s exactly what has happened--and what continues to happen--with America’s energy tax policy. Reversing this practice will benefit American...

If things continue as they are in Spain, the world’s poster child for renewable fuel, wind and solar energy may not save us after all—or renew the capitalist economy.

"Is nuclear power the answer for a warming planet? Or is it too expensive and dangerous to satisfy future energy needs?

Interest in nuclear power is heating up, as the hunt intensifies for 'green' alternatives to fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Even some environmentalists have come on board, citing the severity of the global-warming threat to explain their embrace of the once-...

"Some households just can’t afford to save energy. When the upfront costs of new light bulbs exceed the savings from using less electricity, people will stick with the old ones." This piece goes on to describe how the Department of Energy has difficulty practicing what they preach in terms of energy efficient resources.

"The U.S. is in the midst of an energy revolution, and we don't mean solar panels or wind turbines. A new gusher of natural gas from shale has the potential to transform U.S. energy production—that is, unless politicians, greens and the industry mess it up.

Only a decade ago Texas oil engineers hit upon the idea of combining two established technologies to release natural gas trapped in...

"Even if we could find evidence that green energy is more labor intensive than its brown counterpart, that's an argument against green energy."

"There's a wealth of natural gas trapped underground—but what depths do we have to plumb to extract it? More and more, oil and gas companies are opting for fracking, or hydraulic fracturing: injecting a mixture of sand, water and chemicals into dense rock layers and shale, creating cracks that allow natural gas trapped inside to flow to the earth's surface. Once an also-ran in fossil-fuel...

"Most every politician and pundit says 'energy independence' is a great idea. Presidents have promised it for 35 years. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were self-sufficient, protected from high prices, supply disruptions and political machinations?

The hitch is that even if the United States were energy independent, it would be protected from none of those things. To think otherwise is...

"Adding to a long list of energy-efficiency legislation, two Members of Congress—David B. McKinley (R–WV) and Peter Welch (D–VT)—recently proposed a federal energy-efficiency bill that gives tax rebates to homeowners who make energy-saving improvements to their homes. This bill and its predecessors reward consumers for saving money.

Let’s propose a simpler, more direct, and more...

"A majority of the populations in the developed world or strategically critical countries (India, Pakistan, China, etc.) will be traumatized by the ongoing destruction of financial wealth, as well as water resources necessary for agriculture and household consumption (and, ironically, industry as well). Many of these locations can be considered 'central hubs' of our global network civilization...

"Much like other important industries in the Commonwealth—coal, iron, steel, timber, and railroading—the production of oil in northwestern Pennsylvania was fraught with danger. Among the perils petroleum speculators and drillers faced were fires, explosions, and fatal jams while shipping crude oil to market on waterways.

One of the most dangerous tasks in extruding oil from the earth...

"Natural gas from shale is a game-changer for the United States.

It offers us greater control over our energy destiny, more jobs and government revenues, energy affordability, and reduced environmental impacts. Unfortunately, there are myths associated with this resource and its method of extraction, which is why I would like to provide a simple explanation of how the process actually...

The bottom line is that more nuclear power would mean less coal, less natural gas, less hydroelectric power, and less wind energy. But more nuclear won’t mean less oil.

"In his State of the Union address on January 31, 2006, President Bush called for more research on alternative energy technologies to help wean the country from its oil dependence. The proposal was not surprising: After all, R&D investment has long been a staple of government efforts to deal with national challenges.

Yet despite its prominent role in the national debate, R&D has...

"I have come to believe that extracting natural gas from shale using the newish technique called hydrofracking is the environmental issue of our time. And I think you should, too.

Saying so represents two points of departure for me. One: I primarily study toxic chemicals, not energy issues. I have, heretofore, ceded that topic to others, such as Bill McKibben, with whom I share this...

"New subsidies, like the NAT GAS act, should be off the table. It’s time to stop picking winners and losers, cut back on unnecessary regulations and let the free market unleash America’s energy resources based on consumer demand — not political whim."

"Energy consumption is arguably the largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions and is at the center of much of the blame for climate change. To better understand how we use this carbon-creating energy, this is a look at which states use the most."

"The government spends billions of dollars to support the energy industry, which allows it to make energy cheaper than it should cost on the open market. These subsidies—either in the form of tax breaks or direct funding—favor some types of energy over others, giving our country a skewed sense of what each gallon of gas or wind-powered electron costs. This is a look at where the government...

"Americans are growing increasingly concerned about energy. Their demand for energy is increasing faster than secure supplies. Much of the world's sup­ply of oil is delivered in a restrictive market dominated by unstable or hostile nations, some of which are using energy as a tool to frustrate U.S. national secu­rity and foreign policy objectives.

Meanwhile, many Americans harbor...

"The biofuels revolution that promised to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil is fizzling out."

"Energy purchases made by the U.S. Department of Defense do not influence world oil prices, making cutting fuel use the only effective choice to reduce what the Pentagon spends on petroleum fuels, according to new reports issued today by the RAND Corporation."

"President Barack Obama pledged in the State of the Union address last week that the government would develop a road map for responsible natural gas production and roll out new rules to ensure drillers protect the environment.

Companies would be required to disclose the 'complete chemical makeup of all materials used' in fracking fluids under the Interior Department's draft rules, a...

"The history behind the shale gas boom remained relatively unknown until late 2011, when researchers at the Breakthrough Institute conducted an extensive investigation revealing the role that federal agencies like the Department of Energy and the National Laboratories played in supporting gas industry experimentation with shale fracking.

Featured in the ...

This piece comments on the Standard Oil Trust case. According to Epstein, history shows that during Rockefeller's time in the oil industry, prices dropped dramatically, suggesting that Rockefeller's drive and ability to do exceptional business helped rather than hurt the American people.

"The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.

Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the...

"The flood of salty wastewater that's washing into Ohio from a growing number of natural-gas wells in Pennsylvania is spreading west.

Mansfield city officials said this week that Austin, Texas-based Preferred Fluids Management wants to drill two, 5,000-foot disposal wells on the north side of town."

"There are two prominent justifications for biofuel subsidies—to reduce gasoline consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. But how much does it cost to achieve these goals? According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) ..., subsidies for biofuels are costly to consumers and have high abatement costs for mitigating carbon dioxide emissions."

"The government has given the go-ahead to the controversial technique known as 'fracking'."

"The recent press about the potential of shale gas would have you believe that America is now sitting on a 100-year supply of natural gas. It's a 'game-changer.' A 'golden age of gas' awaits, one in which the United States will be energy independent, even exporting gas to the rest of the world, upending our current energy-importing situation.

The data, however, tell a very different...

"The safe, tightly-regulated development of America's clean-burning natural gas resources continues to provide broad benefits, ranging from job creation, strengthened energy security, and a cleaner environment."

"A few days ago Alex Planes published an extraordinary article on The Motley Fool titled the "Real Costs of Alternative Energy" that summarized direct US subsidies for our principal energy sources, restated annual energy consumption from each of those sources using equivalent barrels of oil...

"On 11 March last year, Japan was hit by massive earthquake and tsunami, resulting in thousands of tragic deaths, as well as a nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima.

While global attention has long since shifted elsewhere, the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima is far from over. This is the nature of nuclear accidents: they leave a long-lasting radioactive legacy.

One year on, the...

The U.S. could meet its Kyoto target by replacing 59 percent of coal energy with between 214,000 and 236,000 wind turbines?

Despite its alleged success abroad, NRDC believes that Americans still need to fork over millions of dollars for alternative energy technologies like windmills—taxpayer money that has not made the industry any more viable.

"Malodorous brown smoke from a power plant enveloped this logging town on April 29, 2010, and several hundred residents fled until it passed.

Six months later, the plant got $5.4 million from a federal program to promote environmentally preferable alternatives to fossil fuel.

The plant, Blue Lake Power LLC, burns biomass, which is organic material that can range from construction...

"On the mountainous Wind River Indian Reservation in western Wyoming, cattle grazing in a valley share space with more than a hundred gas wells.

Pumps puff and click, like alarm clocks for long-time farmers and ranchers who wait for their Thursday deliveries from the Big Horn water truck.

The driver stacks up pyramids of five-gallon bottles at 19 stops. Encana Corporation, an...

"As concerns grow in the U.S. about the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' to extract natural gas from shale, companies have set their sights on Europe and its abundant reserves of this 'unconventional' gas. But from Britain to Poland, critics warn of the potentially high environmental cost of this looming energy boom."

"When the Department of Energy panel on hydraulic fracturing released its 90-day report on shale gas production, I mentioned a few areas of concern.

But one finding from the report where we can agree is the importance of disclosing the composition of fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

'Fracking' fluid is pumped down the well under controlled...

Chart or Graph

"The Alternative Energy Pricing chart was base on research from Solarbuzz which is one of the leading research firms in solar energy."

"Electricity from biomass plants is rising; a breakdown of sources in the U.S."

Created by the U.S. Department of Energy, this chart shows how much American consumers spend per energy source.

"The CBO calculated the costs to taxpayers of using ethanol to reduce gasoline consumption by one gallon to be $1.78 for ethanol made from corn and $3.00 for cellulosic ethanol."

"Abundant crude, combined with a huge refining base and waning demand at home turned the U.S. into a net exporter of refined products last year; the EIA expects that situation to continue beyond 2020."

"In the wake of the credit crisis and a sharp economic downturn, the federal government launched several new energy-specific direct expenditure programs that are largely directed at renewables and energy conservation."

"Because the company had not properly cemented its boreholes, gas migrated up along the outside of the well, between the rock and steel casing, into aquifers. The problem can be corrected by using stronger cement and processing casings to create a better bond, ensuring an impermeable seal."

The cost of utility-scale wind power has come down dramatically in the last two decades due to technological and design advancements in turbine production and installation.

"The following table condenses and reorders the data from the lowest to the highest direct Federal subsidy per unit of useful energy consumed."

"As Table 1 demonstrates, production of natural gas liquids increased almost 20 percent from 2009 to 2010 on the east coast of the United States, which includes the Pennsylvania Marcellus."

"The map below, produced by the Tribune-Review, best portrays who stands to gain from the North American fracking boom happening in every crevice of the United States. 'Boosting the local economy'? As can be seen quite clearly, this is merely a pipe dream."

"Exhibit 36 provides a summary of the additives, their main compounds, the reason the additive is used in a hydraulic fracturing fluid, and some of the other common uses for these compounds."

This graph demonstrates that nuclear power costs are rising. Despite advances in technology, nuclear power is not becoming cheaper. Mark Cooper argues this fact should lead us to invest in other alternative energy sources.

"Approvals [are] taking longer. Exploration and development plan approvals are down by more than 85 percent from previous levels; approvals of drill permits covered by those exploration and development plans show a decline from previous levels of nearly 65 percent (see Figure ES-2)."

Charting the oil and gas, nuclear, biofuel, and renewable energy industries, this chart "shows the average annual subsidies to each sector over their lifetimes."

Chart shows future natural gas supply estimates.

On an absolute dollar basis, renewables receive over twice the level of subsidies compared with conventional energy sources.

"Hydraulic fracturing often called fracking or hydrofracking is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations."

A key question, therefore, is whether the real gain in consumer surplus shown in Figure 1 can ever be greater than the cost of the subsidy. In other words, can a subsidy increase the overall economic value of a market? The answer is no.

"[T]he historical data suggest that today's renewables subsidies are having just about the same level of success in promoting growth as earlier U.S. subsidies did, even with less support."

"Table 1 also summarizes the INTEK shale report's assessment of technically recoverable shale oil resources, which amount to 23.9 billion barrels in the onshore Lower 48 States."

"The estimates of technically recoverable shale gas resources for the 32 countries outside of the United States represents a moderately conservative ‘risked’ resource for the basins reviewed."

"[O]il provided an energy return on energy invested (EROEI) of about 100:1 in 1930, but it is now less than 20:1 for imported oil and 10:1 for domestic (>85% of our crude oil is imported). No other alternative energy source (except hydroelectric) even comes close to these ERsOEI, and some, such as biodiesel, are probably net energy losers."

"According to data from the EIA, more natural gas was produced in October - 2,330,551 million cubic feet - than in any previous month in U.S. history (see chart above)."

"Created by the U.S. Department of Energy, this chart shows America's natural gas imports and exports since 1950."

Compare U.S. natural gas prices against other countries.

"The increase in natural gas production from 2010 to 2035 in the AEO2012 Reference case results primarily from the continued development of shale gas resources (Figure 107)."

"Major natural gas production in conventional fields in the continental US reported by amount of gas produced."

Indeed, as Figure ES-1 ... shows, subsidies to the nuclear fuel cycle have often exceeded the value of the power produced. This means that buying power on the open market and giving it away for free would have been less costly than subsidizing the construction and operation of nuclear power plants. Subsidies to new reactors are on a similar path.

"[M]ajor oil companies.... have ploughed hundreds of billions of their profits into further investment, in order to expand production capacity in the future. Indeed, from the early 1990s through 2006, new investments have tracked (and usually exceeded...) earnings (see Chart 1)."

"Energy consumption is arguably the largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions and is at the center of much of the blame for climate change."

"Wind and biomass dominate projected increases in U.S. renewable electricity generation, excluding hydropower, in EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012) Early Release Reference case."

"Americans endorse increased government efforts to encourage energy production from alternative sources of energy, but at the same time do not believe the government should reduce its financial support for the production of energy from traditional sources."

"It appears the public clearly recognizes the need to develop alternative energy sources and the benefits of doing so, but may also think it is too soon to do away with the current way of doing things."

"A key factor in the increased support for conservation programs, end-use technologies and renewables was the passage of several pieces of legislation responding to the recent financial crisis and subsequent economic downturn...."

Much of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was dedicated to stimulated the "green economy."

This chart reports how many billion cubic feet of natural gas were produced per day in select states.

"Global reserves have been steadily increasing for at least 30 years. According to a report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published last year, world production has grown significantly too, rising by two-fifths between 1990 and 2009, twice as fast as that of oil."

In 2009, renewable energy made for 8 percent of the United States' total energy consumption. This chart breaks those 8 percent into categories such as wood, biofuels, and wind.

"Filling the borehole with water provided Roberts his 'fluid tamping' to concentrate concussion and more efficiently fracture surrounding oil strata. The technique had an immediate impact — production from some wells increased 1,200 percent within a week of being shot – and the Roberts Petroleum Torpedo Company flourished."

"Here are the countries that are spending the most on renewable energy, along with how much of it they currently produce, and what percent of their energy output that represents."

Much of the report focuses on the costs associated with various renewable energy mandates at the state and regional level.

Location of Shale Basins and Devonian/Mississippian Shale in the United States and Canada.

"The Energy Information Administration estimates the U.S. has 2552 trillion cubic feet of potential natural gas resources."

According to this chart, the cost of solar energy has dramatically decreased over the last 30 years.

"Western Hemisphere nations provide about half of our imported petroleum."

"The government spends billions of dollars to support the energy industry, which allows it to make energy cheaper than it should cost on the open market."

"Hydroelectric is the most cost effective at $0.03 per kWh."

"The government spends billions of dollars to support the energy industry, which allows it to make energy cheaper than it should cost on the open market."

"This chart shows the common ingredients in hydraulic fracturing fluids, as well as how they’re used in everyday life – in everything from detergents to cosmetics to food."

"Natural gas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. While natural gas is formed primarily of methane, it can also include ethane, propane, butane and pentane. The composition of natural gas can vary widely, but below is a chart outlining the typical makeup of natural gas before it is refined."

"Although U.S. government investments in ERD&D have increased somewhat in recent years, they remain far below the levels of the late 1970s, when the economy was far smaller (see Figure 1.)"

"More than 85 percent of the growth in U.S. energy demand since 1980 has been met with electricity."

"There is no doubt that the federal government should help guarantee the development of alternative energy for the nation. You can see in this DOE chart that America is losing the race to produce solar energy products, particularly to China and Taiwan."

Comparison recoverable oil from shale estimates done by Arthur Berman and the well operators.

A sustained slowdown in the Gulf of Mexico is already having a negative impact on job creation and domestic oil production, and will do so even more in 2012. The potential opportunities associated with a proactive approach by regulators to successfully restart the Gulf of Mexico 'engine' are significant.

"Exhibit 35 demonstrates the volumetric percentages of additives that were used for a nine-stage hydraulic fracturing treatment of a Fayetteville Shale horizontal well.... Evaluating the relative volumes of the components of a fracturing fluid reveals the relatively small volume of additives that are present."

"This map, produced by BP’s Statistical Review division, shows countries based on known crude oil reserves."

"This map divides the world into five solar performance regions based on yearly averages of daily hours of sunlight and ambient temperature. Each specific site will, of course, be different. Also, local weather conditions and seasonal changes can significantly affect the amount of sunlight available."

Analysis Report White Paper

"A group of studies, rapidly gaining popularity, promise that a massive program of government mandates, subsidies, and forced technological interventions will reward the nation with an economy brimming with 'green jobs.'"

"Large-scale federal intervention into America’s energy markets began in the 1930s and continued through the 1970s. A series of major laws and executive actions sought to control energy prices, regulate electric and gas utilities, and limit imports. Competition was stifled and domestic investment was suppressed."

"There is little connection between used-fuel management programs and the needs of the nuclear industry. Any successful plan must grow out of the private sector. The time has come for the federal government to step aside and allow utilities, nuclear technology companies, and consumers to manage used nuclear fuel."

"This system masks the social costs arising from those energy choices, including shorter lives, higher health care expenses, a changing climate, and weakened national security. As a result, we pay unnecessarily high costs for energy. New 'rules of the road' are needed to improve our living standards."

"Any energy policy that tightens supplies and raises prices will hurt everyone—but especially the lower and middle income—and needlessly prolong the economic misery. It is vitally important to thwart policy initiatives that raise energy prices, make American manufacturing uncompetitive, and send American jobs abroad."

The most important day of the year for the many energy companies that receive federal financial support isn’t the day the president releases his proposed budget, or the day appropriations bills get passed, or even the day when government checks get sent out. It’s tax day. Why?

The projections in the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012) focus on the factors that shape the U.S. energy system over the long term.

This analysis is quite lengthy, but Koplow essentially concludes, "The picture that emerges from our analysis on biofuels markets illustrates not only that subsidies to ethanol and biodiesel are pervasive and large, but that they are not a particularly efficient means to achieve many of the policy objectives for which they have been justified."

"Market forces have propelled the progressive electrification of factories, offices, and homes for over a century. Electric motors and associated systems that convey and control the electricity they need, powered by onboard diesel generators, have likewise displaced mechanical alternatives in locomotives and monster trucks."

"A favorite approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions among Washington bureaucrats is the 'market-oriented' cap-and-trade program, which under a global warming bill proposed by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA), would establish."

Policymakers and businesses are now trying to figure out the best way to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, which is produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

Future historians of efforts to address climate change will almost certainly look back on 2010 as the end of one era and the beginning of another.

This report acknowledges that the growing ethanol market has broad policy failures. It states that "without appropriate information, incentives, and rules, the biofuels industry is likely to expand production in environmentally harmful ways." This report proposes an index to track the environmental effects of biofuels.

"The arguments advanced against increasing gasoline taxes are applicable to the broader discussion about America's reliance on oil generally. The case for policies designed to discourage oil consumption is nearly as threadbare as the case for increasing the gasoline tax—and for largely the same reasons."

"Proponents of intervention contend that gasoline markets are not competitive (with some accusing producers of price collusion), that fat profit margins induce little more supply than might otherwise be induced by healthy but 'reasonable' profit margins, and that the gasoline profits are largely unanticipated and unearned."

"Competition in electricity markets – as with competitive market structures for other commodities – creates incentives for efficiency and innovation while providing the most affordable prices consistent with long-term investments."

"Our energy crisis today is all about misguided government rules, regulations, and taxes that have endangered consumers, businesses of every size and type, U.S. competitiveness, and the economy."

"By liberalising energy markets, EU countries have started to introduce policies aimed at encouraging new operators to enter the market and compete to offer gas and electricity to customers at the best price."

"But affordable energy is under assault. Many politicians and ideological special-interest groups are working to place onerous restrictions on the energy we use and on how we use it."

The energy industry has been heavily regulated and subsidized by the federal government for decades. The Department of Energy's array of subsidy programs grew out of atomic research efforts of the 1950s, responses to the energy crisis of the 1970s, and concerns about conservation and global warming in recent decades.

"This publication reviews the history of U.S. ethanol policy, explains the economics of ethanol production in today's market environment, and outlines some policy alternatives that could be considered for the future."

"Cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions to comply with the Kyoto Protocol would provide economic help for renewable energy technologies, but such initiatives would result in only a 7 percent market share for renewable energy and a 43 percent increase in electricity prices in return for benefits that are still very uncertain."

"Budget deficits drove the conversation in Washington in 2011 with the daily news dominated by government shutdown threats, the 'super committee,' continuing resolutions, and arcane budgeting practices. Unfortunately, this left Americans convinced that government investments in the future are off the table because of large federal budget deficits that need to be reduced.

The authors explain that before undertaking efforts to restructure and possibly impoverish our society, careful analysis and informed public debate about these assumptions and prescriptions are necessary.

"In this environment, some have seized upon the 'Green Economy' as a cure for both the nation’s current economic ills, and as a way to address the issues of global warming and energy security."

The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) mandates that California reduce its greenhouse (GHG)emissions to 1990 levels – 427 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – by 2020. Although the electricity sector contributes about 25% to California’s GHG emissions, it is expected to provide well over a third of statewide emissions reductions.

Lesser discusses some of the most egregious examples of "green jobs" and the economics behind their failure.

"Abstract: H.R. 1280—a new bill currently before the House of Representatives—is intended to ensure that America’s commercial nuclear exports do not lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons."

"The wealth effects of energy production increase during peak oil shocks that help energy-producing states hedge against peak oil shocks. I test this hypothesis using consumption and gross state product data for US states for the period 1963-2007."

Exploiting the world’s vast resources of unconventional natural gas holds the key to a golden age of gas, but for that to happen governments, industry and other stakeholders must work together to address legitimate public concerns about the associated environmental and social impacts.

"The Federal government provides a range of subsidies, tax incentives, and regulatory mandates to promote the use of ethanol and other renewable fuels into the national gasoline pool. ..."

Contrary to popular opinion of John D. Rockefeller, this article declares that his chief goal was to provide oil for the poor at a decent price. Folsom goes on to describe Rockefeller's strong work ethic and philanthropic spirit, while also describing his sharp and successful career in the oil business.

"This paper discusses the lessons learned from electricity sector liberalization over the last 20 years. The attributes of reform models that have exhibited good performance attributes are identified, drawing on empirical analysis of market structure, behavior and performance in many countries."

In 2004 Logan, Utah, saw the opportunity to place a turbine within the city’s culinary water system. The turbine would reduce excess water pressure and would generate clean, low-cost electricity for the city’s residents. Federal funding was available, and the city qualified for a grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The United States has allowed multiple large, vertically integrated oil companies to merge over the last five years, placing control of the market in too few hands. The result: uncompetitive domestic gasoline markets."

"This paper analyzes the effect of energy price shocks on business cycle fluctuations in a model with monetary policy and a tax code that includes a tax on realized nominal capital gains."

"We believe that the contention that energy markets are riddled with market failures, however, is a myth. While energy markets don’t work with textbook efficiency (in fact, few do), energy markets do not exhibit special problems that require government attention."

"This winter's unprecedented natural gas price rise--as much as 60 percent in some cases--demonstrates dramatically that the Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA) fails to protect the consumer."

"This section will outline the major historical regulatory events related to the natural gas industry, and show how the current structure of the industry in the U.S. is the product of a long regulatory evolution."

"Despite the subsequent collapse in commodity prices with the onset of the financial crisis, this criticism of speculation has not disappeared. Indeed, it has led to specific regulatory and legislative proposals."

"This report catalogues in one place and for the first time the full range of subsidies that benefit the nuclear power sector. The findings are striking: since its inception more than 50 years ago, the nuclear power industry has benefited—and continues to benefit—from a vast array of preferential government subsidies."

This piece describes the economics of nuclear energy.

"One of the central questions in recent macroeconomic history is to what extent monetary policy, as opposed to oil price shocks, contributed to the stagflation of the 1970s."

Currently, the NRDC believes nuclear energy cannot compete without significant subsidies. They suggest cutting subsides and allowing the free-market to select the best alternative energies.

"With gasoline and electricity prices skyrocketing, politicos on both the Left and Right agree that the government must do something to promote alternative energy sources. The debate is not whether to intervene, but how. Which fuels should we promote? How aggressively should we subsidize those fuels?"

"This report presents the findings of the first stage of a longer research program that IHS CERA and IHS Global Insight are conducting to evaluate the pace of plan and permit approval in the post-moratorium environment in the Gulf of Mexico."

The deregulation of oil and gas prices made it unnecessary for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to continue to review the determinations previously called for under the Natural Gas Policy Act. The NGPA standards, however, were linked to tax credit eligibility under Section 29.

"The Center for American Progress has long championed efforts to create jobs through building a clean-energy economy."

"The measurements, trends, and discussions offered here provide an encouraging but also challenging assessment of the ongoing development of the clean economy in the United States and its regions. In many respects, the analysis warrants excitement."

"The Reagan Administration is proceeding with its plan to dismantle much of the Federal solar energy program as it existed under the Carter Administration. The objective is to reduce Federal expenditures and bureaucracy and to limit Federal involvement in program areas where the private sector can take over."

An examination of Europe’s green jobs experience reveals these policies to be terribly economically counterproductive.

"To be able to compare historical and alternative hypothesized responses of monetary policy to economic disturbances, one needs to select some interesting set of macroeconomic shocks to which policy is likely to respond."

The incoming Obama administration and the 111th Congress face enormous challenges and opportunities in tackling the pressing security, economic, and environmental problems posed by the energy sector in the United States and worldwide.

"Many politicians and pundits are panicked over the existing state of the oil and gasoline markets. Disregarding past experience, these parties advocate massive intervention in those markets, which would only serve to repeat and extend previous errors. These interventionists propose solutions to nonexistent problems."

"Many politicians and pundits are panicked over the existing state of the oil and gasoline markets. Disregarding past experience, these parties advocate massive intervention in those markets, which would only serve to repeat and extend previous errors. These interventionists propose solutions to nonexistent problems."

"Public- and private-sector leaders are working hard to create a brighter economic future for our country, one in which new industries create well-paying, enduring jobs for Americans and spark growth from coast to coast."

This paper summarizes various estimates of the costs of mitigation of adverse impact of the climate change via cap-and-trade.

This paper claims that despite supporters hopes and dreams, the nuclear renaissance is simply cost inefficient. Examining historical data, current cost projections, relative cost of other alternatives, and finally other factors such as environmental or safety concerns, Mr. Cooper claims that costs in the future are increasing for nuclear power.

"Among the most fashionable preoccupations in foreign policy circles is 'energy security.' Although it is unclear what exactly energy security means, foreign policy elites have long been concerned about reliance on foreign energy."

This paper argues that changes in the energy industry lead to proliferation concerns.

"Since the early 1950s, every major government in the Western Hemisphere, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe has been drawn to atomic power’s allure only to have market realities prevent most of their nuclear investment plans from being fully realized."

"No one likes paying more for gasoline (except maybe folks who have always resented America’s relatively cheap gasoline, its SUVs, and other signs of bourgeois opulence), but government-imposed price restrictions would only make matters worse."

"With $2.3 billion in Recovery Act tax credits allocated for green manufacturers, President Barack Obama and other Democratic politicians have high hopes for green technology. But their expectations clash with both economic theory and practical experience in Europe."

"Although there were several credible candidates for the title, fifteen years ago natural gas was probably America's most misregulated industry."

For this study, we conducted a survey of producers to estimate drilling activity, spending levels, and production rates. The survey results clearly show a significant increase in activity, with total spending increasing from $3.2 billion during 2008, to nearly $5.3 billion during 2009.

Barry Brownstein argues that the Price-Anderson Act funneled resources into an industry (nuclear power) that probably would not exist without this subsidy, harming the general welfare.

Wynn and Lowe argue that renewable energy mandates will be difficult to implement, will raise costs for energy consumers, and may even negatively affect the environment.

The gloomy, almost crisis-like outlook for the future of domestic natural gas in the late 1970’s set in motion a set of national-level energy initiatives for adding new gas supplies.

This piece goes on to present a positive history of John D. Rockefeller and his commitment to capitalism and strong business principles.

"Although energy subsidies can and do serve many policy purposes, the most basic relate to furthering the development and commercialization of technologies deemed to be in the public interest."

"Among the great misconceptions of the free economy is the widely-held belief that 'laissez faire' embodies a natural tendency toward monopoly concentration."

The energy world faces unprecedented uncertainty. The global economic crisis of 2008-2009 threw energy markets around the world into turmoil and the pace at which the global economy recovers holds the key to energy prospects for the next several years.


"Certainly natural gas is a great and clean fuel. But government should not use our money to tell us which fuels to use; the free market is the best way we can decide for ourselves."

In this podcast, Andrew Morriss explains some of the problems with renewable energy products. According to Morriss, renewables such as wind or solar are less efficient because they actually rely on a good deal of "brown" energy to make them effective.

"Prof. Steve Horwitz addresses the common belief that the world is running out of natural resources. Instead, there are economic reasons why we will never run out of many resources. In a free market system, prices signal scarcity. So as a resource becomes more scarce, it becomes more expensive, which incentivizes people to use less of it and develop new alternatives, or to find new reserves of...

"Economics professor Antony Davies answers the question of whether increased spending by the US government increases gross domestic product (GDP) in the short term. Using data relating government spending to economic growth, he concludes that government expenditures have a slightly negative effect on growth. Far from being a solution to economic downturns, increasing spending might exacerbate...

"$18.6 billion worth of direct financial subsidies were provided by the federal government to energy companies and organizations in 2009 – with the promise that such support would reduce America’s reliance on foreign energy sources, push technological breakthroughs, and ensure that Americans had access to reliable and affordable energy sources. Unfortunately, this approach has failed miserably...

A brief explanation of the process of fracking.

"The Moritz Federalist Society is proud to host Author Tim Carney as he debates Professor Peter Swire on the topic of 'Are Government Regulations or Free Markets the Better Solution to America's Energy and Environmental Problems?' as part of the John Templeton Foundation's The Rule of Law and Wealth Creation debate series."


"FBN's Liz MacDonald on what the bankruptcy of Beacon Power Corp. means for your wallet."

"Dr. Robert Murphy explains the relationship between the Federal Reserve and Energy Markets in front the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform."

The bottom line: If green jobs are a good idea, they will just happen. The give and take of free market competition will provide them.

"On July 31st, 2011, a group of Democrat and Republican community leaders boarded a bus to travel an hour north to see, hear, and feel the negative effects of gas drilling.

This is the tour the gas companies don't want you to see.

Sure, there are a few millionaires made from gas drilling, but for every millionaire, there are countless other who are lied to, have their rights...

In this news clip, energy policy analyst, Nick Loris, discusses the issue of Solyndra and green energy.

In this brief news clip, Patrick Michaels explains the extreme inefficiency of renewable energy such as wind and solar power. According to Michaels, government spending on energy sources such as these is wasteful.

"Congressman Mike Pompeo (KS-04) and Congressman Raúl R. Labrador (ID-01) joined with Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist and Heritage Action's Michael Needham at a press conference where they voiced their opposition to all government energy subsidies. The two Congressmen utilized the occasion to unveil House Resolution 267."

"As Congress debates extending biofuel tax credits and the ethanol import tariff, questions are being raised about the broader policy mix that includes subsidies, tariffs, mandates, and sustainability standards. As a recent CBO report revealed, some of these policies — the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) in particular — are quite expensive. Although biofuels were once hailed as a...

"President Obama spoke from the White House's South Lawn this morning, urging Congress to end the $4 billion in tax subsidies oil and natural gas companies receive from the government every year. Obama noted that 'Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour' last year, and simply doesn't need taxpayer subsidies on top of companies' massive profits.

The president added, 'It's like...

Cato Senior Fellow Jerry Taylor delivers a harsh critique of green energy advocates. What's more, he explains why government subsidies on behalf of renewable energy are currently a waste of taxpayer money.

"Many petroleum experts predict that world oil production will peak by the end of the decade. Will the United States soon be entering a period of worsening energy shortages and soaring energy costs? And, if so, what should the government to do about it? Or will the ever-improving technological efficiencies of the free market provide access to virtually endless sources of new energy? Peter...

A dedicated, unabashed, free market capitalist, T. J. Rodgers takes a businessman's and engineer's view of global warming.

"America’s experiment with laissez-faire capitalism in the 1800s was a disaster, historians tell us, because businessmen used anticompetitive tactics to form giant, invincible monopolies. The textbook example of these evils of Big Business is John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust. In an era before government regulations and antitrust laws, the story goes, Rockefeller wielded market power to...

"Residents and business people of Mansfield, Pennsylvania discuss the central role that the natural gas industry has played in creating jobs and boosting the local economy. Mansfield, PA can continue to see these economic benefits through continued exploration of the Marcellus Shale. "

"There are lot of different perspectives on how to solve America's oil dependency problem. Some would argue that government needs to make gas more expensive while subsidizing renewable energy. Others would argue that government needs to step out of the way and let American ingenuity take over. Learn more with this video and make up your own mind."

"On the mountainous Wind River Indian Reservation in western Wyoming, cattle grazing in a valley share space with more than a hundred gas wells.

Pumps puff and click, like alarm clocks for long-time farmers and ranchers who wait for their Thursday deliveries from the Big Horn water truck.

The driver stacks up pyramids of five-gallon bottles at 19 stops. Encana Corporation, an...

"The Heritage Foundation and the Institute for Energy Research traveled to Harvey, LA, to film Leslie Bertucci, owner of R and D Enterprises, for this oil spill anniversary video. Bertucci welcomed us to her warehouse with a weary smile, handed us hard hats and cheerfully guided us through her equipment yard, even as she explained the difficulties she's endured since the spill -- most...

Primary Document

"The purpose of the 1603 payment is to reimburse eligible applicants for a portion of the cost of installing specified energy property used in a trade or business or for the production of income. A 1603 payment is made after the energy property is placed in service; a 1603 payment is not made prior to or during construction of the energy property."

"Many Americans understandably are upset with the sharp spike in gas prices since Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast in August, and are concerned by reports of oil company profits. But we must understand that high oil prices are not the result of an unregulated free market. On the contrary, the oil industry is among the most regulated and most subsidized of U.S. industries. Perhaps we need...

"Canada is on the edge of an historic choice: to diversify our energy markets away from our traditional trading partner in the United States or to continue with the status quo.

Virtually all our energy exports go to the US. As a country, we must seek new markets for our products and services and the booming Asia-Pacific economies have shown great interest in our oil, gas, metals and...

"A report of historical annual energy statistics. For many series, data begin with the year 1949. Included are data on total energy production, consumption, and trade; overviews of petroleum, natural gas, coal, electricity, nuclear energy, renewable energy, international energy, as well as financial and environmental indicators; and data unit conversion tables."

After the successful militarization of nuclear power, Congress passed this legislation to promote peaceful nuclear power. This Act created the Atomic Energy Commission. It also established that the government controlled nuclear materials. However, the goal was to have private companies run nuclear power plants. As a result, all nuclear materials -- until the 1960's -- were on loan to private...

Produced by the Australian government, this document describes the nation's determination to seek energy security through market forces rather than government intervention. According to the document, "energy market and policy framework reforms have been central to improving our energy security and efficiency. Energy outcomes are increasingly a product of market forces rather than government...

If there is one commitment that defines our people, it is our devotion to the rich and expansive land we have inherited.

The issue of coal-derived energy was one of the many topics discussed by Coolidge in his first annual message. Coolidge declared that "[t]he supply of coal must be constant. In case of its prospective interruption, the President should have authority to appoint a commission empowered to deal with whatever emergency situation might arise, to aid conciliation and voluntary arbitration, to adjust...

Approved by President Roosevelt in 1933, this code attempted "[t]o meet the emergency in the petroleum industry; to increase employment, establish fair and adequate wages, enlarge the purchasing power of persons related to this industry and improve standards of labor; to conserve the Nation’s petroleum resources and to prevent physical and economic wastes which demoralize the national market...

"This report responds to a November 2010 request to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) from U.S. Representatives Roscoe G. Bartlett, Marsha Blackburn, and Jason Chaffetz for an update to a 2008 report prepared by EIA that provided a snapshot of direct federal financial interventions and subsidies in energy markets in fiscal year (FY) 2007, focusing on subsidies to electricity...

"I HAVE today issued a Proclamation adjusting and regulating imports of crude oil and its principal products into the United States.

The Voluntary Oil Import Program has demonstrated to me the willingness of the great majority of the industry to cooperate with the Government in restricting imports to a level that does not threaten to impair security. I commend them, and to me it is...

"I AM TODAY further modifying Proclamation 3279, March 10, 1959, which established a mandatory oil import control program within the Department of the Interior.

The purpose of this amendment is to permit, effective April 1, 1961, the orderly entrance of new importers, who do not currently qualify as importers, into the residual fuel oil markets of the East Coast. These new importers...

"A Bill To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to terminate certain energy tax subsidies and lower the corporate income tax rate."

To move the United States toward greater energy independence and security....

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, "The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) established a number of energy management goals for Federal facilities and fleets. It also amended portions of the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA)."

"Energy tax policy involves the use of one of the government’s main fiscal instruments, taxes (both as an incentive and as a disincentive) to alter the allocation or configuration of energy resources and their use. In theory, energy taxes and subsidies, like tax policy instruments in general, are intended either to correct a problem or distortion in the energy markets or to achieve some...

"Welcome to Part II of our hearings on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mining Policies and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on Appalachian Jobs.

The Appalachian region is being subjected to un-equal treatment under the law by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the arbitrary reason that it produces a domestic source of energy.

The United States...

"We've already made progress toward reducing that energy vulnerability. We've diversified our suppliers so that we are not unduly reliant on any single source. What's more, through the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, we've vastly improved our ability to respond flexibly to supply interruptions. And we have already begun moving on the path toward improved energy efficiency.

But we are, I...

"The bill recognizes that America is the world's leader in technology and that we've got to use technology to be the world's leader in energy conservation. The bill includes incentives for consumers to be better conservers of energy. If you own a home, you can receive new tax credits to install energy-efficient windows and appliances. If you're in the market for a car, this bill will help you...

When the savings of new, more energy efficient technologies exceed the costs of adopting those technologies, markets have the incentive to adopt them. Indeed the difference between the savings and the costs is the measure of the increased value the economy generates.

"Resolved, That the House of Representatives should--

(1) provide no new energy subsidies by refusing any legislative proposal that includes new energy subsidy programs of any kind;

(2) prohibit the expansion or extension of existing energy subsidies;

(3) eliminate existing energy subsidies; and

(4) begin tax simplification and reform by eliminating energy tax...

"The United States relied on net imports (imports minus exports) for about 45% of the petroleum (crude oil and petroleum products) that we consumed in 2011. Just over half of these imports came from the Western Hemisphere. Our dependence on foreign petroleum has declined since peaking in 2005."

Dated a couple of months before Solyndra declared bankruptcy, this letter from Solyndra CEO, Brian Harrison updates the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the company's progress.

"Summarized below are the consensus views of the six banks named above regarding the minimum conditions necessary for a workable loan guarantee program as authorized by Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that can achieve the twin goals of supporting the financing of new nuclear plants in the United States while adequately protecting the U.S. taxpayer."

"For the first time, it will allow private ownership in the United States of special nuclear materials--the materials used as fuels for nuclear plants.

We have made the most substantial progress in this Nation since 1954 in developing peaceful application of atomic energy particularly in the generation of electric power with nuclear reactors.

The new law recognizes that great...

This document relates President Johnson's comments on nuclear energy. According to Johnson, much progress had been made in 1966 toward harnessing nuclear energy for purposes other than weaponry. Johnson concludes by exclaiming over "what a great force nuclear energy can be for peace."

Here the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must develop automobile carbon dioxide (C02) emissions standards because the relationships of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses to global warming pose "a risk..."

"Natural gas production from hydrocarbon rich shale formations, known as 'shale gas,' is one of the most rapidly expanding trends in onshore domestic oil and gas exploration and production today. In some areas, this has included bringing drilling and production to regions of the country that have seen little or no activity in the past. New oil and gas developments bring change to the...

"Natural gas plays a key role in our nation's clean energy future."

"Due to the growth in natural gas production, primarily from shale gas, the United States is benefiting from some of the lowest prices for natural gas in the world and faces the question of how to best use this resource."

"To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to encourage alternative energy investments and job creation."

The implications of this cap-and-trade are devastating for the American people and for the American refining and petrochemical industries.

"As we sit here today there are approximately 440 commercial nuclear reactors operating around the world. One hundred and four of them are operating in this country alone. With the exception of a few highly publicized and, I might add, mostly misunderstood, accidents, these reactors have operated safely, cleanly, and to the benefit of society for most of their lifetimes.

This is not to...

"This study assesses the commercial viability of advanced nuclear technology as a means of meeting future demand for electricity by comparing the costs of producing electricity from different sources under varying circumstances. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the cost of producing electricity using a new generation of nuclear reactors and other base-load technologies under a...

In a speech at Georgetown University, President Obama outlined his energy policy for the nation. While past presidents have continually argued for the need to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, President Obama urged reduction on all oil dependency. Furthermore, the President condemned the idea that increased domestic oil drilling will solve the energy problems the nation faces.

Discussing plans for the Recovery Act, President Obama particularly emphasizes government support of jobs in the energy sector as a method for reviving the economy.

"The use of horizontal drilling in conjunction with hydraulic fracturing has greatly expanded the ability of producers to profitably recover natural gas and oil from low-permeability geologic plays—particularly, shale plays. Application of fracturing techniques to stimulate oil and gas production began to grow rapidly in the 1950s, although experimentation dates back to the 19th century....

In this speech, President Nixon outlined some of his energy policies. Nixon stated that "A sufficient supply of clean energy is essential if we are to sustain healthy economic growth and improve the quality of our national life." Among other things, Nixon suggested that the U.S. "[b]egin work to modernize and expand our uranium enrichment capacity."

In a speech accepting his party's nomination to run for the presidency, Ronald Reagan described Jimmy Carter's approach to energy policy as "weak" and "based on the sharing of scarcity." Reagan went on to encourage innovation and less regulation in the American energy sector.

"A more abundant, affordable, and secure energy future for all Americans is a critical element of this administration's economic recovery program. While homeowners and business firms have shown remarkable ingenuity and resourcefulness in meeting their energy needs at lower cost through conservation, it is evident that sustained economic growth over the decades ahead will require additional...

In Executive Order 12287, President Reagan overturned price controls on domestic oil production. This statement describes President Reagan's reasons for this move, one of them being the fact that "[p]rice controls have ... made us more energy-dependent on the...

"Restoring America's energy security has been a top priority since I assumed office. We have changed regulations and laws, held discussions with our neighbors concerning a North American accord, and increased cooperation with our friends and allies to enhance our energy security. The United States has made dramatic gains in augmenting production and enhancing efficient consumption of energy....

Consider Solyndra, the now-bankrupt California solar panel company, which was once the poster child of the administration’s 'green jobs' initiative. Solyndra is proving to be Exhibit A in the case for why the president’s economic policies have failed.

"The question of green job creation is simply a variant on the general question of whether or not government can create jobs. That question has been debated since at least the 1850s, when Frédéric Bastiat, a French journalist and politician wrote 'What is Seen, and What is Not Seen,' an essay that should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in public policy."

The NRDC's testimony deals with nuclear subsidies, spent fuel reprocessing, and nuclear waste. They argue loans should only be available to radically new nuclear power plants. This is to offset first-mover costs. They claim the current loan system amounts to subsidizing a mature industry. Secondly, they argue that reprocessing is not currently feasible and the government should table this...

"Energy markets work best when free market forces drive decisions on how oil and gas are produced, transported, and purchased. This is normally the case for private firms and can even be the case for state-owned oil and gas companies. But governments can and should play a facilitating role. Governments should put in place the right business climate to attract investment and should work with...

I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the Select Committee to discuss the effects of the Recovery Act on our economy with respect to non-traditional green job creation.

Oil entrepreneur, Mr. T. Boone Pickens, participates in a U.S. Senate hearing to examine the challenges and solutions to developing energy security from domestic resources. Pickens emphasizes that imported oil is the main cause behind domestic energy woes.

"Despite growing political and public support for nuclear power, progress toward actually building any new plants has been a struggle. While the blame for this stagnation often goes to inefficient government subsidy programs, the real problem lies in why those subsidies are necessary to begin with. Chief among these structural problems is the nation’s incoherent nuclear waste policy....

"Meeting the energy, environment, and climate demands of the 21st century will require creating new solutions and reimagining older but still crucial technologies. Civil nuclear technology combines elements of both approaches. And while large reactors that produce in excess of 1,000 megawatts of electricity are the most common, they are not the only possible designs for power stations. Small...

Part 1 of the Energy Security Act of 1980, Pennsylvania State University declares that this act "[e]stablished the Synthetic Fuels Corporation (which only existed until 1985) for the purpose of partnering with industry for the creation of a market for domestically-produced synthetic liquid fuels; moved research and...

In the 2007 State of the Union address, President George Bush asked Congress and America to "join him in pursuing the goal of reducing U.S. gasoline usage by 20 percent in the next ten years - twenty in ten."

"I am pleased to be here today to participate in your hearing on the challenges and opportunities related to the potential development of unconventional oil and natural gas resources. As you know, fossil fuels are important to both the global and U.S. economies, and among other things, we rely on oil to fuel our transportation vehicles and on natural gas to a significant extent to heat and...

"Currently (as of July 2012), there are 104 commercial nuclear reactors in the United States."

"The use of horizontal drilling in conjunction with hydraulic fracturing has greatly expanded the ability of producers to profitably produce natural gas from low permeability geologic formations, particularly shale formations. Application of fracturing techniques to stimulate oil and gas production began to grow rapidly in the 1950s, although experimentation dates back to the 19th century....



This FAQ examines the primary types of renewable energy available to us today, some instances of both failed and successful renewable energy companies, and what the future might have in store for this sector of America's energy industry.

This FAQ looks at how fracking works, its history, and the debate surrounding it which has become a primary political issue in many states across the country.

Solar energy has been at the forefront of the alternative energy discussion for decades. At times, solar power has shown more potential than any other renewable energy source. In other instances, the technology has failed miserably. The most fundamental obstacle is finding a way to lower its cost. Currently, solar power is simply not able to provide our homes with affordable energy. Government...