Last year, when Republicans gained a decisive edge in both houses of Congress, I made predictions as to the six energy-policy changes we could expect—as the two parties have very different views on energy issues.
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For 2016, Congress will need to stay on top of Obama’s rules, regulations, and executive orders aimed at burnishing his legacy on climate change. It should also rein in the EPA, reform the ESA, and work to reduce the amount of land owned by the federal government.
The decades-old legislation that prevented American producers from exporting oil is officially overturned—despite previous presidential threats to veto a bill to lift the oil export ban. That’s good policy. However, to get the support of “reluctant Democrats,” The Economist reports: “an additional five years of tax credits for wind and solar power” was part of the package. That’s bad energy policy.
Nevada’s casinos and the state’s largest electricity supplier are locked in an escalating conflict, but the Nevada Legislature can turn the impasse into a victory for both parties if it will merely restore economic freedom to electricity markets.
Giant technology companies who deliver much of their services via “cloud” computing – such as Apple, Google, and Facebook – have claimed for years that they generate the massive amounts of electricity they need from renewable sources, despite their obvious dependence on fossil fuels.
President Barack Obama recently made headlines in Nevada by promoting the “progress” his administration has made in promoting solar power and fighting climate change. Most media outlets conveniently forgot to mention one crucial fact: Without government mandates, subsidies, and sweetheart deals, the sun would quickly set on Obama’s solar empire.
Congress has taken action that actually advances free markets and limits government intrusion. I was in the room when, on September 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee—with bipartisan support—advanced legislation to lift the 1970s-era ban on crude-oil exports. HR 702, “To adapt to changing crude oil market conditions,” is expected to receive a full floor vote within a matter of weeks.
Abengoa, a Spanish renewable energy company, is on the brink of failure. Few in the United States might care except for the fact the Obama administration showered Abengoa with more than $2.9 billion in federal grants and loan guarantees: If Abengoa goes belly up, taxpayers will be on the hook for a bankruptcy that makes Solyndra’s look small by comparison.
Germany and the United States are embarking on two drastically different energy policies, and these countries are reaping dramatically different results. In Germany, the government devised a top-down plan called Energiewende, a term meaning “turn” or “revolution,” intended to make Germany the renewable-energy center of the world. The United States has experienced its own energy revolution thanks to hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” which has transformed our nation into the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world in spite of, not because of, the federal government.
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Who besides the GOP would resurrect government money for ridiculous “green” “energy” – which is neither green nor energy? To the tune of tens (if not hundreds) of billions of dollars more down the juice-less rat hole.
The wheels of reform move slowly, but on July 15, the first international investors put their toes in the shallow water of Mexico’s oil prize—which could be “as big as the proven reserves of Kuwait.” The Financial Times (FT) calls Mexico’s potential 107.5 billion barrels of oil: “quite a feast.” FT adds: “The country is viewed as one of the dwindling number of opportunities to add substantial reserves to portfolios after several years when the oil majors have struggled to make big discoveries.”
When you read a headline such as one from CNBC touting “Solar power’s stunning growth,” realize that it’s thanks to you—even if you’ve never even thought of putting solar panels on your roof or live in an apartment where you couldn’t install them if you wanted to. If you live in the United States, vote, pay taxes, and get your electricity from a utility company, you’ve helped the solar power industry. You support the solar industry through a variety of tax and regulatory policies—voted in by politicians you elected—that favor it over other lower-cost forms of electricity generation.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Isaac Orr, research fellow for energy speaks with Wally Drangmeister. Drangmeister, from the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, joins Orr to talk about oil and gas production in New Mexico.
If you live in the United States, vote, pay taxes, and get your electricity from a utility company, you’ve helped the solar power industry. You support the solar industry through a variety of tax and regulatory policies—voted in by politicians you elected—that favor it over other lower-cost forms of electricity generation.
Imagine you’re hiking through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in rural Pennsylvania. The Sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and more than a mile below the ground you stand on is a network of natural gas wells producing vast quantities of natural gas. At the surface, you’d never know it. This is the advantage advances in horizontal drilling technology have brought to the table, dramatically increasing natural gas production in the United States while greatly reducing the surface footprint of drilling operations.
Green zealots believe that we can and should run modern societies exclusively on “Green” energies, and they have embarked on a war on hydrocarbons. They need to be told that their green energy favourites are just stealing from the biosphere – they are not as green as they claim.