In the Pipeline: 8/21/12

Preach on, Brother Bradley. Forbes (8/20/12) reports: “Ethanol as government energy policy has been an economic and environmental bust. There’s little debate: it inflates motor fuel prices, while compromising the environment. And that was before this summer’s drought reduced corn and wheat supply. President Obama is under pressure from all sides to waive the ethanol requirement for less expensive fuel and food.”


When the government takes away your beer and hands you a shot, the end of the story is pretty predictable. Apply that same logic here. WSJ (8/20/12) reports: “Mandated increases in energy efficiency—popular almost everywhere on the ideological spectrum—have been implemented around the world. Laws like the European Union’s new requirement for 15% energy savings, or the U.S. Senate’s proposed Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, appear like clear winners for almost everyone. If the costs of new technologies are within reason, they promise consumers lower energy bills and producers more profit while mitigating the environmental costs of energy development and consumption… There is just one problem: Basic economics says that the best way to promote some activity is to reduce its price. That often means efficiency requirements end up having the opposite effect than the one intended.”

Hey!  Somebody at AEI must read the Pipeline; for that we are truly grateful.  Now if we could get some kind of public commitment to stop playing footsie with those who favor a carbon tax. AEI (8/18/12) reports: “The hardest hit sectors of the U.S. economy from a carbon tax would be energy-intensive industries, particularly chemicals, automobile manufacturing, iron and steel, aluminum, cement, and mining and oil refining… These large industries would be at a serious disadvantage in the world marketplace, and many companies would move production to countries without such a tax.”

“We want to make it safe for Republicans to debate climate change.”  That is almost exactly what Bob Inglis said when he launched his effort.  I wonder who is paying for these efforts.  I’m betting it is somebody like Bob Grady or Boyden Gray or Jim Connaughton.  I also wonder whether Senator Graham really wants to talk much about climate change.  I bet he doesn’t. National Journal (8/20/12) reports: “In a campaign season where energy and climate change have become partisan lightning rods, a small but growing group of Republicans are pushing back against their party’s orthodoxy on both issues.”

Do you think Salazar cares that his Department is consciously trying to impoverish Native Americans, rural Americans, and just generally all Americans?  I bet he is more worried about how legit he looks in that cowboy hat and bolo. Alaska Business Monthly(August 2012) reports: “As of yet, oil and gas has not been commercially produced from the NPR-A. This lack of production can be attributed to an onerous and sometimes convoluted federal process, where interactions within the Department of Interior and between other federal agencies is often confusing, leading to actions of one agency being cancelled by the actions of another. This bureaucracy often leads to a stalemate within agencies that can take years to sort out, leaving outside parties with no means of moving projects forward.”

This is a bit old (3 days now), but the message is too solid not to share.  The only scarce resource is wisdom; we have plenty of everything else. Washington Post (8/17/12) reports: “Sometimes the news is that something was not newsworthy. The United Nations’ Rio+20 conference — 50,000 participants from 188 nations — occurred in June without consequences. A generation has passed since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, which begat other conferences and protocols (e.g., Kyoto). And, by now, apocalypse fatigue — boredom from being repeatedly told the end is nigh.”


Nobody’s perfect, but we doubt the Sierra Club will be starting up a “Beyond Wind” campaign anytime soon. Hawaii News Now (8/3/12) reports: “This was the third fire related incident at the Kahuku wind farm since it opened in March 2011.  The battery energy storage system was hailed as breakthrough technology but clearly there are flaws.”



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