Early in the new millennium, oil prices began to rise and natural gas prices shot up. Doomsayers lacking an understanding of history and economics popped up, as they always do, to proclaim the end of cheap oil was nigh. “Peak oil” pundits ruled the airwaves and editorial pages.
Modern industrial society commenced with the use of coal and oil to power factories, trains, ships and agriculture and to generate electricity. With abundant energy, prosperity increased, and people could save enough to support leisure, education, culture and environmental concerns.
Even though national gas prices have only been under $3 per gallon for less than five months, governments across the country have already started to propose major energy tax increases in an effort to find an easy way to alleviate budget shortfalls.
“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is not just the name of Steve Martin and John Candy’s 1987 everything-goes-wrong comedy film. It’s also the prospective casualty list of the foundation-led anti-fossil-fuel campaign called the Divest-Invest movement.
We all expect to pay a price for missing deadlines—fail to pay a ticket on time, and you may find a warrant out for your arrest. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can apparently miss deadlines with impunity.
On Monday, the City Council’s Committee on Finance voted to approve an ordinance mandating gas stations sell gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, also called E15. Chicago gas stations already sell E10—gasoline with a composition that’s 10 percent ethanol. Should the City Council and the mayor approve the committee’s recommendation, Chicago would be the first major city to enforce such a requirement.
On Nov. 2, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its “2014 Summary for Policymakers.” This report has been described as the starkest warning yet about the need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions or face “the chaos of runaway climate change,” despite the scientific fact there has been no significant increase in the average global temperature since 1998.
Despite a slight contraction during the first quarter of this year, the American economy has been expanding slowly but steadily since the end of the “Great Recession.” And America’s newfound[…]
In our world of laptops, iPads, flat-screen TVs, microwaves, and jet-skis, it is easy to forget that 1.3 billion people on this planet, nearly one in five overall, do not have access to electricity. Even fewer people have access to clean cooking areas, as 2.6 billion people (38 percent of the world’s population) use traditional biomass—such as wood and animal dung—or coal indoors to cook their meals. As a result, indoor air pollution prematurely claims 3.5 million lives every year, more than double the lives claimed by either malaria or HIV/AIDS. These people are victims of energy poverty.
Is wood the best fuel to generate electricity? Despite wood’s low energy density and high cost, utilities in the US and abroad are switching from coal to wood to produce electrical power. The switch to wood is driven by regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other international organizations. These regulations are based on the false assumption that burning wood reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency acts as if every new burdensome demand makes a huge difference for the health and wellbeing of humans, in addition to claims that its costly, excessive regulations upon private business are actual net job creators.
Last week, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and other lawmakers introduced legislation in the House of Representatives calling for major changes in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS is the reason[…]