Posts Tagged ‘Energy Policy’

Remember All That “Peak Oil” Bunk?

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Remember those predictions of “peak oil” certain economists/ environmentalists were pushing last decade? The idea that oil production would soon peak, supplies would soon dwindle, and gas prices would rise into the stratosphere? (And, not so incidentally, this was the reason we had to hand out billions of dollars in green subsidies for renewable energy to companies that just happened to be connected to Democratic Party bigshots.)

Back in 2008, I remember a senior New York editor telling me that science fiction convention attendance would continue dwindling because “gas prices will never go down again.” Peak oil was treated as an ironclad inevitability second only to global warming.

Yeah. Not so much.

“They’ve been talking about a peak in the global production of oil for the last two decades now and it still hasn’t happened, and I think the reality is that they are going to remain wrong going forward.”

In fact, thanks to improved technology, fracking, shale oil, and declining demand, quite the opposite has occurred, as a worldwide glut has oil down near $30 a barrel.

Once again the market has proven much better at adaptation than erroneous neo-Malthusian thinking. Anyone telling you they know exactly how things will unfold should be treated with severe skepticism.

The future’s not ours to see…

Texas vs. California Update for February 19, 2015

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • U.S. bankruptcy judge presiding over the Stockton case says pensions are not sacred and can be cut in bankruptcy. “CalPERS has bullied its way about in this case with an iron fist insisting that it and the municipal pensions it services are inviolable. The bully may have an iron fist, but it also turns out to have a glass jaw.”
  • Public employee pensions: Stealing from the young and poor to give to the old and rich. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s entrepreneurs still think the business climate sucks. “In the 2014 survey, 63.5 percent called the small business climate poor, with just 10 saying it’s good. This year 60 percent still consider the business climate poor with 16.5 percent finding it good.”
  • By contrast, low oil prices won’t torpedo Texas’ economy. “Texas’ economy today is more resilient to oil price fluctuations thanks to industrial diversification and pro-growth policies.”
  • California’s combined capital gains tax rate is the third highest. Not third highest in the U.S., third highest in the world, lower only than Denmark and France.
  • How environmentalists made California’s drought worse.
  • Two unions are on different sides of a proposed sale of six struggling Catholic hospitals to a private company.
  • Defense contractor “Advantage SCI, LLC announced today that the company will relocate its headquarters to Alexandria, Virginia (Fairfax County in Old Town Alexandria) from El Segundo, California, after recognizing the high costs related to worker’s compensation, liability, and taxes that plague businesses in California.”
  • Coffee roaster Farmers Brothers is leaving California for either Oklahoma or Texas.
  • More on the Farmer Brothers relocation. “After surviving depressions, recessions, earthquakes and wars, Farmer Brothers is leaving California, finally driven out by high taxes and oppressive regulations.”
  • California Democrats file bills to force the state to get 50% of its energy from renewable energy by 2030. They’re basically putting up yet another big red sign to manufacturers: “We’ll make it impossibly expensive for you to do business here.”
  • Why health care in California is less affordable than elsewhere.
  • The mess that is California’s homeowner earthquake insurance.
  • California property owners aren’t wild about being forced to sell their land for the high speed rail boondoggle.
  • Arlene Wohlgemuth on why Texas should avoid the siren song of Medicare expansion. (Also, best wishes to her for a speedy recovery from her motorcycle accident.)
  • California’s top lifeguard pulls in a cool $236,859 in total compensation. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “Lewd yoga dentist filed for bankruptcy.” A San Diego dentist, which is my pretext for including it here, but really, how could I not link a headline like that?
  • LinkSwarm for March 21, 2014

    Friday, March 21st, 2014

    Enjoy your complimentary Friday LinkSwarm, and be sure to tip your waitress!

  • Fourteen different ways you can you can avoid the ObamaCare tax.
  • Joaquin Castro to boycott Buc-ees? He should have almost as much luck in Texas boycotting air conditioning and football. Hey, when Castro can offer outstanding fudge and the largest, cleanest restrooms in the state, let me know…
  • Democratic Senators decide they’d like to avoid committing political suicide by voting for Obama’s gun-grabbing Surgeon general nominee.
  • Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall proves once again that taxes are for the little people.
  • Democrats recruit the perfect candidate for congress: an 86-year old ex-felon.
  • Rich liberal environmentalist Tom Steyer is 100% opposed to Keystone pipeline. Well, except when endangered Democratic Senators are involved.
  • What liberals are leaving out of their hagiography of Cesar Chavez: he opposed illegal aliens and would have hated amnesty.
  • Liberals hate the Koch brothers so much they freak out even when they’re donating money to a hospital.
  • How dare some racist Americans call some Muslims pedophiles just because they want to marry 8-year olds?
  • America could hurt Russia by lifting natural gas export restrictions.
  • Swell story of resurrecting a badly damaged B-2. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • It’s gotten to the point I can no longer tell liberal ranting from parody of same.
  • More Yelp hilarity for the Backstreet Pub and Grill owner who went out of his way to insult gun owners.
  • Supporting Neil Young and Scarlet Johansson against the Israel haters.
  • “Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue….” Yeah, that’s pretty much where I stopped reading.
  • Solider adopts dog. Dusty room ensues.

  • LinkSwarm for March 14, 2013

    Thursday, March 14th, 2013

    This week we’ll do it Thursday rather than Friday:

  • Obama is trying to work the same magic on America’s economy that a half century of Democratic rule has worked in Detroit. More details here.
  • And Detroit’s former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is going to prison.
  • Since 2002, total federal spending has increased 89% while median household income has dropped 5%.
  • In Iran, 5 of top 10 porn search terms are for gay porn (no nudity, but NSFW-ish terms, and the usual warning that it’s (ick) Gawker).
  • Thanks to ObamaCare, your veterinarian bills are going up as well as your medical bills.
  • Thomas Friedman hates the Keystone pipeline because the oil is dirty, but love China, where industry is a thousand time dirtier than here in the U.S. And where will that oil go if the pipeline isn’t built? China. Maybe Friedman just wants all the jobs to be in China. That, or actual checks from the Chinese government or their business subsidiaries, would explain an awful lot of Friedman’s writing over the last few years…
  • “Most developed nations are fundamentally broke.”

    The degrees of broke-ness varies: from completely and utterly broke, like Greece or Italy; to wobbly, like the U.K., France, the U.S., or Japan; to getting poorer like Germany. But all of them are going to have to raise the percentage of gross domestic product they collect in tax — and many of them very significantly.

    The U.S. deficit is more than 7% of GDP. The U.K.’s deficit is just as high. There is very little sign that spending cuts to close gaps of that magnitude are on the cards, nor is there any sign that growth will be sufficiently strong to make up the difference — certainly not in countries like the U.K. or Japan.

    Huge sums of additional revenue will have to be raised.

    Willie Sutton once famously remarked that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”

    In the same way, governments will look to raise more tax from companies because that’s where the money is.

    Or they could, you know, actually cut spending…

  • I’ve not been following the Prenda Law case closely. Fortunately, Ken over at Popehat has. Exceptionally brief background: Scumbag copyright troll lawyers operate shakedown operation, filing dubious (at best) copyright infringement lawsuits. Then they compounded the problem by suing bloggers and lawyers in an attempt to silence them. As you might expect, that strategy isn’t working out very well for them… (Hat tip: Dwight)
  • Florida Democrats want mandatory anger management classes for people buying ammo.
  • From Popcap Games, the makers of Plants vs. Zombies, comes Trees vs. Rockets. Wait, did I say Popcap Games? I meant the Israeli Defense Forces.
  • White House journalists as Ring-Wraiths.
  • Third round of Climategate documents released?
  • Michael Totten says that Lebanon is ready to explode from the spillover effect of the Syrian Civil War.
  • News of the horrific 5-year old terrorist who brandished her fearsome Hello Kitty assault bubble gun (link fixed).
  • LinkSwarm for 1/11/13

    Friday, January 11th, 2013

    Between work and the TPPF Policy Orientation, it’s going to be a busy day, so here’s a quick Friday LinkSwarm:

  • How bad did you think 2012’s economy was? Guess what? It was even worse than you thought.
  • Profile of Jim DeMint’s replacement, new South Carolina Senator Tim Scott: “One of the most threatening places to be in politics is a black conservative…there are so many liberals who want to continue to reinforce a stereotype that doesn’t exist about America. That somehow, some way, if you’re a Republican you’re a racist and if you’re black, there’s no chance for you in society.”
  • Phil Gramm on how wind subsidies screw up the economy.
  • Obama played Ed Koch for a schmuck.
  • George Will on why Republicans should push for a balanced budget amendment. “No politically conceivable or economically feasible middle-class tax rate can fund the entitlement state.”
  • Obama doesn’t think he has a spending problem, just like Lindsay Lohan doesn’t think she has a drinking problem.
  • A story of fake job shenanigans from a government employment center. “We were used by a bogus company to rake in funding by the state. It’s like a full blown industry here to pass around jobless people and keep them from getting real jobs.”
  • 35 years ago, the Chicago Sun-Times exposed the city’s corruption in the Mirage tavern series. Does anyone think Chicago is any less corrupt today? Why don’t they have the balls to do something like that now? (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • I think Bloomberg just hates people.
  • Washington is booming on your money.
  • The homeless are responsible for 35% of downtown Austin’s violent crime.
  • First New Nuclear Reactors Since 1978 Approved

    Friday, February 10th, 2012

    This is good news: “A consortium of utilities in the South won government approval Thursday to construct two new atomic energy reactors at an estimated cost of $14 billion, the strongest signal yet that the three-decade hiatus of nuclear plant construction is finally ending.” The new reactors are going in at reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. Or its good news except for “massive federal loan guarantee and other incentives.” The only incentive they should get is shielding from the inevitable frivolous lawsuit from those segments of the green community who oppose the only practical zero-emission power generating technology available.

    Though not in that story, the two reactors appear to be using Westinghouse AP1000 duel-loop pressurized water reactors, which is a significant improvement over current working American reactors (and the Fukishama reactors). Personally I would have liked to see a move to a more inherently safe reactor technology like pebble bed (it’s too early to expect commercialization of the molten salt design), but this is certainly a step in the right direction.

    LinkSwarm for January 12, 2012

    Thursday, January 12th, 2012

    I had a maid service come clean my house in advance of a family event I’m hosting this weekend. It’s amazing the difference between “Bachelor Clean” and “Clean Clean.” It’s almost as big as the difference between “Obama Smart” and “Actually Smart”…

  • Micheal Totten could use your help. He does good work, and I still need to review The Road to Fatima Gate. I donated, and so has insta.
  • Rick Perry tears into “Big Government Conservatism.”
  • Comptroller Susan Combs denies a wind farm subsidy. Personally I’d end all “green subsidies.” Let the market pick energy winners and losers, not government.
  • Free Pepper Spray for women being handed out in Austin. (Hat tip: Stuff From Hsoi)
  • Why it’s uneconomical to manufacture anything in the UK:

    If we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all. This means that it’s really, really tax inefficient for an electronics company to do its manufacturing in Britain, and it’s one of the reasons that so much of our manufacturing goes overseas. Right now, the way things stand means that a company doing its manufacturing abroad, depriving the UK economy, gets a tax break. It’s an absolutely mad way for the Inland Revenue to be running things.

    (Hat tip: Slashdot)

  • The difference between Obama’s vision of America and Republicans’.
  • After blowing over half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds, Obama’s green energy crony capitalism favorites are asking the bankruptcy judge to let them pay bonuses to remaining employees. And that’s on top of the hefty bonuses they paid executives right before declaring bankruptcy. Your tax dollars at work…

  • Obama is not so popular in Florida.
  • The New York Times, in its infinite genius, sends a vegetarian to review steakhouses and BBQ joints in Kansas City. That’s some mighty fine reporting there, Lou. (Hat tip: Dwight)
  • Federal Judge Stays EPA Cross-Border Rules

    Monday, January 2nd, 2012

    In all the pre-New Year’s Eve excitement, I missed Friday’s news that D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined the EPA from implementing its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) until the court completed its review of the legal challenges against the rule.

    This is good news, especially if the rules is invalidated, since that would prevent Texans from dying, as might well happen should older power plants that can’t meet the new rules be unavailable to provide power during peak summer days. (And remember that a 2003 heatwave killed more than 14,000 people in France.

    Thanks to the Texas Public Policy Foundation (which has been following the story closely) for the heads-up.

    LinkSwarm for November 17, 2011

    Thursday, November 17th, 2011

    A random collection of links presented instead of actual content:

  • It turns out that Jabba the Hutt didn’t bang Princess Leia, but he did try to get her to bang Chris Dodd. Being a Democrat means getting away with things that would force a Republican to resign. If bloggers hadn’t forced the MSM to cover the story, they would have covered up for Anthony Weiner, too. The Washington press knew for decades that Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd were utter sleazebags, and yet they still carried water for them. The question is: What Democratic scandals do MSM reporters know about right now that they’re refusing to cover?
  • The United State Air Force would like you to say hello to their little friend: “Aerospace giant Boeing Co. has delivered the first batch of 30,000-pound [Massive Ordnance Penetrator] bombs, each nearly five tons heavier than anything else in the military’s arsenal…The weapon’s explosive power is 10 times greater than its bunker-buster predecessor, the BLU-109. And it is nearly five tons heavier than the 22,600-pound GBU-43 MOAB surface bomb, sometimes called the ‘mother of all bombs.'”
  • Rich liberals want other taxpayers to subsidize their decision to live in New York. “[It] might as well be called the Bicoastal Elite Tax Relief Act.”
  • Trouble at Gulf Coast Planned Parenthood.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at the very heart of the housing bubble collapse. And yet, I’m not aware of a single office holder from the Democratic Party who has even suggested closing or privatizing Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This isn’t closing the barn door after the cow escaped, this is getting a whole new barn, a new cow, and a new oil lantern, and putting the oil lantern in the exact same place the previous cow knocked it over when it burned down the previous barn.
  • Cheap solar? Ain’t happening.
  • You know how Formula 1 racing was coming to Austin with the help of taxpayer subsidies? Yeah, not so much. According to Comptroller Susan Combs: “We have not paid out any money for the Formula 1 event. The only dollars that can be spent on the United States Grand Prix are tax revenues attributable to the successful running of a race. The state of Texas will not be paying any funds in advance of the event.” I’m still not a fan of the Major Events Trust Fund, as tax kickbacks for sporting events are not a proper function of government, but at least they’re not providing blank checks the way some taxpayer subsidies of professional sports do.
  • Iowahawk occupies Alan Sherman.
  • Correction: The Obama Administration Still Wants To Kill Texans

    Monday, September 5th, 2011

    It appears that my celebration was premature. I previously reported that the Obama Administration’s shelving of new, economically-destructive smog regulations meant Texas was off the hook. It now appears that isn’t the case, and we can still expect rolling blackouts (and likely additional heat-related fatalities) thanks to the completely different “cross-state pollution rules:”

    The controversial “cross-state pollution” rule, which aims at tightening emissions from power plants in Texas and 26 other states, remains scheduled for implementation in January. The cross-state rule targets nitrogen oxides, an ozone precursor, as well as sulfur dioxide, which is not an ozone precursor but can also cause lung damage.

    “The cross state air pollution rule is final,” Betsaida Alcantara, press secretary for the Environmental Protection Agency, which crafted the rule, said in an email.


    The cross-state rule requires Texas power plants to lower sulfur dioxide emissions by 46 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 7 percent compared with 2009 levels, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the state’s environmental agency.

    But the cross-state rule has stirred huge opposition from Texas officials, who say it is onerous and takes effect too quickly. In a statement Friday, the TCEQ said that it hoped the ozone rule pullback “signals that the EPA is beginning to consider science and common sense in their decisions, and we would hope that they would apply this to other regulations such as the proposed cross-state air pollution rule.”

    Last week the Texas electric grid operator reported that the cross-state rule could curtail the operations of some coal plants so severely that it could lead to rolling blackouts — an issue that carries heightened visibility as Texas comes off a scorching summer that badly stretched power supplies.

    “At least two” rotating outages would have occurred this summer had the pollution rule been in place, said Warren Lasher, an official with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the grid operator.

    So it appears that I was wrong when stating the EPA had come to its senses. In fact, he Obama Administration does still want to kill Texans in the name of radical environmentalism.

    BattleSwarmBlog regrets the error.