Results for: “the need for a real domestic alternative energy policy in the usa”
Forty years ago Americans got a wake up call on energy security. As Robert Rapier explains, the energy policy decisions that were made in response to the crisis have a lasting impact today.
Will Rogers breaks down the rationale behind the military’s energy programs and investments in biofuels.
Rising Gas Prices Prompt Calls For Release of Oil From SPR Rising gas prices are back in the news again. Oil has gone back above $100 a barrel, and gasoline prices are about to push through the $4 a gallon price. This has led to President Obama sparring with Republican Congressional leaders and his potential opponents. It has also led to Congressional Democrats asking for a release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in an effort to dodge this issue any way they can. Fellow columnist, Robert Rapier, has often criticized the usage of the SPR as a political tool in an effort to lower gas prices. Don’t count me as one who thinks that, if only we allowed drilling anywhere,… Continue»
Two Sides of a Coin In a recent video blog about energy politics, I stated that in my opinion each of the major political parties in the U.S. only gets half of the energy picture. Democrats tend to demonize oil usage, with many believing that we can shift to renewables for our energy needs. To be clear, we can — but not in the way they imagine. They simply underestimate the role oil plays in our lives, and therefore overestimate the ease of a transition. As a result, they feel they have little use for oil companies, and so they are perpetually at war with the oil industry. Of course renewables certainly have a role, and must be the long-term… Continue»
The following is a guest post from Andrew Smolski of OilPrice.com. ———————————– Alternative energy (or renewable energy) is a new manufacturing industry paradigm that is in its infancy. However, the discussion is not new, and it looks as if the United States has positioned itself to be behind history on what can be a very promising industry for a stumbling economy. After the oil shortages in the 70′s, government officials began discussing energy policy as a matter of national security, but this misses the point of a globally competitive economic world. It was too early then to begin thinking that China could out-invest the United States in order to produce an alternative energy manufacturing industry. Yet, now we must come… Continue»
Just over a year ago, I wrote an article called Is Camelina the Next Jatropha? If you recall, a few years ago jatropha was all the rage. It could grow in marginal soil, didn’t need much water, and could provide fuel that didn’t compete with food. Farmers in developing countries were encouraged to forgo cash crops like cotton to grow jatropha, which wouldn’t be ready for harvest for at least three years after planting. Then reality began to set in. People learned that while jatropha is drought tolerant, it needs ample rainfall to flourish. There were many firsthand reports from farmers that growing and harvesting jatropha was very labor intensive, and the oil yields were much lower than advertised. India… Continue»
An Energy Epiphany I have often thought that if all domestic oil production and refining ceased in this country for a month, we would see an energy epiphany in the U.S. the likes of which we have never seen. Such an event would really drive home our dependence on petroleum products. In fact, this essay started as an introduction to a book review I am writing on Amanda Little’s book Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair with Energy. The book described Little as an award winning columnist on green politics. Prior to writing Power Trip, her views on the energy industry were typical of those of most liberal environmentalists. But her eyes were opened wide during the major… Continue»
It is no secret that consumers are suffering from very high gasoline prices. And as a result of these high prices, ExxonMobil just reported a first-quarter profit of $10.7 billion — 69 percent higher than a year ago. The national level of disgust and anger is approaching record levels as we watch the loss of our hard-earned dollars become Big Oil’s gain. The question is, what are we going to do about it? Before discussing how to deal with this, we should first discuss what it is that we are actually trying to do. I believe the very simplistic view is that by going after the oil companies, they are going to relent and lower gas prices. Thus, their profits… Continue»
In my recent post Thoughts on an Ethanol Pipeline, I described what I feel would be a more rational approach to ethanol policy than some of the policies that have been pursued over the years. This gist is that the Midwest currently produces about 95% of the ethanol in the U.S. (12.5 billion gallons), but they export 70% of that ethanol out of the Midwest. At the same time, they import gasoline that is the energy equivalent of 37 billion gallons per year of ethanol. It would seem to be a more sensible energy policy to utilize ethanol production closer to the source of production — especially given that the motor fuel demand in the Midwest is far greater than… Continue»
I have been asked to submit a video question on ethanol policy that will be potentially answered in a video blog by someone who is very well-known in the energy business. I will keep the details quiet for now, including the question I did submit. (I thought I would be able to record my question with stunning Hawaiian scenery in the background, but alas it has been raining for two days). I really had to brainstorm on exactly which question I would ask. I made a short list, and finally honed it down to one that I think is fair, but tough. But I had a number that I decided not to ask, either because I already knew how it… Continue»