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The Obama Energy Plan: A Progress Report Critique

This is an overview of the Obama Energy Plan released in March 2011 as a Blue Print for a Secure Energy Future.  A year later, the White House released a progress report highlighting their accomplishments. My commentary is designed to compare and contrast President Obama’s stated energy strategy with the Romney Energy Plan. The Obama Energy Plan begins with a practical statement of the energy problem most Americans face from rising gasoline prices at the pump that ripple through the economy …Continue Reading »

What’s Missing in the Romney Energy Plan?

“An affordable, reliable supply of energy is crucial to America’s economic future. I have a vision for an America that is an energy superpower, rapidly increasing our own production and partnering with our allies Canada and Mexico to achieve energy independence on this continent. If I am elected president, that vision will become a reality by the end of my second term.” ----Mitt Romney There is something that sounds noble, seductive and patriotic about calling for energy independence.  We have …Continue Reading »

Setting Limits on Federal Rulemaking

A Federal Appeals Court for the District of Columbia threw out the US EPA Cross State Air pollution Rule (CSAPR) also commonly referred to as the Transport Rule telling the agency that it cannot create new law through the regulatory process but must live with the law the way Congress wrote it or go back to Congress to get them to change it. What a concept! Since the defeat of the Cap and Trade legislation in Congress, the Obama Administration has attempted to create by regulatory fiat the …Continue Reading »

Ethanol from Corn is a Dumb Idea!

There is a lot of hot air blowing in Iowa and across the US Midwestern states---and I am not just talking about politics or wind energy production.  The combination of an extended drought plus the ethanol mandate plus the weak economy plus the 2012 Presidential election cycle has combined into a ferocious debate over all of these issues. On August 10, 2012 The US Department of Agriculture released a specialized crop forecast sure to send corn prices higher than their already record setting $8 …Continue Reading »

Don't Mess with Texas, US EPA!

Don’t Mess with Texas!  That was the bottom line in a 23-page opinion by Circuit Judge E. Grady Jolly who headed a three judge panel from the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans reviewing the appeal by the State of Texas of the US EPA action denying approval of a state requested Flexible Permit Program under the Clean Air Act.  The court said US EPA’s action was “arbitrary and capricious” and that its delay in deciding the matter was unreasonable. The Appeals Court remanded …Continue Reading »

Wait a Fracking Minute!

Pennsylvania Act 13 rules superseding local zoning rules were overturned in a lower court decision.  Act 13 was adopted by the Pennsylvania Legislature five months ago and signed into law by Governor Corbett.  It was designed to create a common set of rules to govern drilling and hydraulic fracturing across the Commonwealth and avoid the patchwork quick of township by township rules.  Drillers interested in developing the oil and gas potential in the Marcellus shale lobbied hard for the law and …Continue Reading »

The Duke Mess

Do you remember when you were a kid and got into trouble with your siblings?  At my house, at least, my Dad would line us up and say ‘I don’t know which one of you caused this mess, but if I use my belt on each of your backsides I’ll know I got the guilty party and the other two will know not to do the same thing your brother did.’ This kind of rough justice swiftly applied worked in my house---and there were no appeals from my Dad’s decision.  You messed up, your behind faced justice. The mess …Continue Reading »

Death by a Thousand Fracking Rules: An Update

On June 26, 2012 the US Department of the Interior extended the comment period on its proposed rules of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands for sixty days to September 10, 2012 at the request of the Governor of Wyoming and others who said they needed more time to study the implications of the proposed rules.  Governor Matt Mead had asked for ninety days.  Advocates for the rules also wanted more time in order to stiffen the proposed requirements to include forced disclosure of the chemicals …Continue Reading »

Will California Hit the Cap and Trade Megamillions Jackpot?

And you thought the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) was all about limiting greenhouse gas emissions, didn’t you?  Think again. There is a brewing fight in Sacramento over how to spend the gold expected to start pouring in when the Golden State starts its carbon cap and trade program.  The original intent of AB32 was to use the proceeds from the carbon permit auctions to invest in technologies and programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Makes sense, right? But the law was …Continue Reading »

The Good News and Bad with California's Energy Efficiency Code Updates

California adopted an energy efficiency code in 1978 the first time Jerry Brown was Governor, and now it has updated that code to reflect advanced in technology.  I have not been a big fan of many of California’s crazy regulatory demands, but the Energy Efficiency Code was a good idea in 1978 and it is still a good idea. The proof is in the data. California today has an energy intensity fully 50% than the national average, and it is a good thing since our utility rates are among the highest in …Continue Reading »