Alternate Energy

MSNBC Host Attacks Capitalism. No! Wait! Climate Change. He Meant To Say Climate Change.

By on 4.22.14 | 2:15PM

Remember that time when the world's population exceeded its food production capacity, countless thousands of people dropped dead of starvation, and those of us who survived were reduced to eking out a subsistence level existence? No? That's because those late-18th century predictions of English cleric and economist Thomas Malthus never came to pass. Malthus failed to account for such factors as technologically improved means of production and declining birthrate. To any thinking person, a Malthusian prediction should be dismissed with laughter.

Food Prices Rose ‘Only’ 15% From Oct. to Jan.

By on 4.7.11 | 9:03AM

That's after I relayed yesterday that the U.S. burns "only" 25 percent of its corn as biofuels, which Associated Press insinuated was no big deal. Now this from the New York Times:

Each year, an ever larger portion of the world's crops - cassava and corn, sugar and palm oil - is being diverted for biofuels as developed countries pass laws mandating greater use of nonfossil fuels and as emerging powerhouses like China seek new sources of energy to keep their cars and industries running....

But with food prices rising sharply in recent months, many experts are calling on countries to scale back their headlong rush into green fuel development, arguing that the combination of ambitious biofuel targets and mediocre harvests of some crucial crops is contributing to high prices, hunger and political instability.

‘Only’ a Quarter of Our Corn is Burned

By on 4.6.11 | 9:05AM

Associated Press reports we should not hold farmers or the ethanol industry responsible for rising food prices. There are other contributing factors, such as inflation and fuel costs, but we certainly can also include those heavily subsidized ag-fuelers in the blame game, even though AP downplays it:

Ethanol producers acknowledge they've increased demand for corn but say it's not enough to affect food prices.

Matt Hartwig, a spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Association, said the ethanol industry only uses about 25 percent of the nation's corn supply.

Only 25 percent? So we're setting aside one-quarter of the core good we produce, which goes into so much of the food the world consumes (meat, dairy, eggs, Corn Chex), to instead burn it for no good reason. Blame also the lawmakers who think in their infinite wisdom that they are good at creating "markets."

Suing Colorado Over Renewables Mandates

By on 4.4.11 | 3:52PM

More about this later in the week, but today the American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit against Colorado that claims the state's Renewable Energy Standard -- which requires major utilities to get 30 percent of their power generation from renewables by the year 2020 -- is unconstitutional. Because electricity is distributed to a grid that crosses state lines, the constraints put on power sales by the law affect several issues under the interstate Commerce Clause, which reserves those regulatory powers for the federal government, not states. You can read about our claims in the complaint we filed this morning.

Wind Energy Deal Blows Away

By on 1.25.11 | 1:27PM

Scrutinize the realities of costly and inefficient wind energy projects (and most alternative energy projects, for that matter) in public spheres where tough questions can be asked -- like in court -- and it's amazing what you will learn. Such was the case with California utility PG&E, which had a $900 million deal in place to purchase a wind farm from Iberdrola, until an administrative law judge wanted it nixed. From the court decision:

Re: Has Upton Seen the Light?

By on 12.7.10 | 3:01PM

It's more than just his 180º on the incandescent light bulb. The representative from Michigan's 6th District really wants the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship. Just look at what's posted on his Congressional web page:

POLITICO: Fortifying Our Energy Security
December 6, 2010
On 50th Anniversary of ANWR, Upton Urges President to Open Vast Reserves
December 6, 2010
THE DAILY CALLER: Rep. Upton urges President Obama to open ANWR
December 6, 2010
THE DAILY CALLER: Now is the time to slash subsidies (for renewables)
December 3, 2010
THE HILL: Upton probes Interior's offshore oil permitting, warns against delays
December 3, 2010
Upton Calls On EPA for Greater Transparency Over Potentially Devastating Cooling Water Regulations
December 3, 2010
DES MOINES REGISTER: Possible House energy chief slams subsidies
Dec 3, 2010

Baucus’s Lame-Duck Renewables Ploy

By on 12.6.10 | 9:20AM

Cap-and-trade is said to be dead, and the general belief I'm hearing out of D.C. is that a national Renewable Electricity Standard (introduced in a bill co-sponsored by Democrat Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas -- who is also the state's Governor-elect) isn't going to happen during a lame-duck session either.

But according to the Washington Times, Montana Democrat Sen. Max Baucus plans a last-gasp effort to get through a few more stimulus dollars for alternative energy schemers before the Senate makeup changes for the worse:

Time to Start Renewables Repeals

By on 11.23.10 | 11:27AM

In last months of his successful campaign, Gov.-elect John Kasich -- in a statement that almost all politicians would deem risky due to fear of inflaming the Big Green lobby -- told the Dayton Daily News that he would seriously consider a repeal of Ohio's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. These mandates for utilities to generate minimum percentages of their power generation from expensive renewable sources drive up electricity rates for everyone.

Kasich, in an interview also attended by (defeated incumbent Gov. Ted) Strickland last week in Dayton, said he disagreed with the mandate "if it drives up costs to consumers. It will drive up utility bills because we don't have it ready and have to buy it somewhere else. I don't like that and you can't mandate invention."

Asked whether he'd seek to roll back the mandate as governor, Kasich said: "If I were to determine that it was unrealistic and would drive up prices."

Kasich May Seek Renewables Repeal

By on 9.30.10 | 2:42PM

Earlier this week I wrote in the Washington Times about the introduction of a national Renewable Electricity Mandate bill by New Mexico Democrat Sen. Jeff Bingaman and Kansas Republican Sen. Sam Brownback. About 30 states already have them in one form or another, which require public utilities to generate a minimum percentage of their power from alternative energy sources (wind, solar, burning food). The theme of my piece was public fatigue over government mandating they buy things (health insurance, compact fluorescent light bulbs, windmill power, etc.).

So I was pleasantly surprised to read Tim Carney's column in the Washington Examiner today, where he reported that GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich said he might seek to end Ohio's renewable portfolio standard: