When is a hockey stick graph not a hockey stick graph?
High gas prices are bad for the economy, bad for business, bad for consumers and very, very bad for politicians. (Daily Bayonet)
Pull your weight, America
You consume a quarter of the world’s oil production. It’s time you started producing it, too.
by Thompson Ayodele
Rising global demand for oil, coupled with continuing turmoil in the Middle East, is again causing US energy prices to spike. Regular gasoline has topped $4 a gallon in many states, and experts predict it could hit $5 per gallon this summer. Thousands of former oil patch workers remain unemployed, while the Obama Administration and Congress refuse to issue leases or drilling permits and, instead, make more and more oil and gas prospects off limits to exploration.
Meanwhile, the world is feted to the usual hand-wringing over how the United States can possibly feed its oil addiction in the years ahead, to keep its vehicle fleet moving and its struggling economy making progress. Cover more land with inefficient, unreliable wind turbines and solar panels? Convert more food crops into biofuels? Mine and burn more coal? Build more nuclear plants in the wake of Fukushima?
At best, these “solutions” are decades in the future. Thus, the debate quickly comes back to America’s own domestic oil production. To drill or not to drill? (SPPI)
Obama signals to greens for 2012
By Darren Samuelsohn
President Barack Obama is offering his beleaguered green base some titillating morsels for what he hopes to deliver on energy policy if he wins a second term.
Don’t get Obama wrong; these are not campaign promises – yet.
But over the past month, the president has made it clear in West Wing meetings and fundraisers that he wants to rally environmentally minded voters who, thanks in large part to last year’s big global warming legislative failure, still feel like his second pick for the prom.
“We’ve had some setbacks, and some things haven’t happened as fast as people wanted them to happen,” Obama said at a recent New York fundraiser. “I know. I know the conversations you guys have. ‘Oh, you didn’t get the public option – and, gosh, I wish that energy bill had passed.’ I understand the frustrations. I feel them too.” (PoliticoPro via EPW Press Blog)
The Senate may vote on bills this month to promote clean energy and small nuclear reactors, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday.
Congress and the White House are under pressure to fight soaring fuel costs, which are cutting into consumer spending and threatening an economic recovery.
Reid acknowledged the Senate was “way behind” in dealing with energy issues and said he wants to bring up for a vote by the end of May one or several bills from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, headed by Senator Jeff Bingaman.
Bingaman hopes to move several energy bills out of his committee this month that Reid said could be brought to the Senate floor by the Memorial Day recess. (Reuters)
by Robert Bradley Jr.
May 3, 2011
[Editor note: Part I on energy conservationism examined Richard Nixon's price control order of August 1971 as the birth of peacetime conservationism , with shortages leading to mandatory allocation law.]
A tract for the energy-shortage times was a 1976 essay in Foreign Affairsby Amory Lovins, the 29-year-old energy representative of the U.K. environmental group, Friends of the Earth. In “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?” Lovins coined the term soft energy paths to differentiate energy conservation and decentralized renewable technology from the “hard” path of central-station power plants fueled by oil, gas, coal, or uranium.
Neo-Malthusians such as Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren sang his praises, and the article became the most reprinted piece in the history ofForeign Affairs. Lovins was soon testifying before the U.S. Congress and advising President Carter on the proposition that the least-cost energy option was not to produce energy, but to save it.
Unlike S. David Freeman of the Ford Foundation Energy Project (see post yesterday), Lovins, an Oxford don, specialized in the technical minutiae of energy and wrote, footnoted, and argued his opponents into despair, never mind how hypothesized and obscure his engineering-grounded pontifications were from demonstrated market preferences. Lovins becamethe most talked about energy guru in the world during the crisis period, with a deceptively simple message that less was more. To critics, however, Lovins was “selling a dream without presenting the bill.” (MasterResource)