Energy

FAQ

Our Energy & Environment Truth File Q&A contains answers to a broad range of questions about energy issues.

 

CFACT Reports

Justice through Affordable Energy for Wisconsin

CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen’s Justice through Affordable Energy for Wisconsin analyzse why affordable energy is crucial to promoting justice and advancing civil rights, using Wisconsin as a case study. Driessen argues:

“Energy is the Master Resource – the foundation for everything we eat, make, ship and do. With abundant, reliable, affordable energy, almost anything is possible, and we can improve, enrich and safeguard countless lives. Without it, jobs, living standards, basic rights and modern civilization are imperiled.”

Driessen also notes that laws and policies that restrict access to America’s abundant energy resources “block the door to opportunity, creating unnecessary and unacceptable obstacles to the natural, justifiable desire of poor and minority Americans to share in the American Dream. They tarnish the golden years of senior citizens, forcing too many to choose between heating and eating.”

He also examines the oft-ignored risks of climate change policies, reveals the devastating economic effects of a cap-tax-and-trade system, and exposes popular renewable energy myths.

A Scientific Critique of the EPA’s Mercury Rule

Willie Soon, PhD, wrote “A Scientific Critique of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants [NESHAP] from Coal- and Oil-fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units’ Proposed Rule (March 16, 2011) – Focusing on the Mercury Emission Issues.”

This detailed 85-page report explains how the EPA failed to describe the scientific reality of natural processes and multi-factorial controls that govern the cycling of mercury (Hg) and the ultimate biomethylation and bioaccumulation processes for methylmercury (MeHg). Soon concludes that “EPA’s proposed NESHAP provides no detectable beneficial outcomes in the control of mercury emissions (even accepting EPA’s own risk-benefit analysis without a challenge). The new rules will result in a major economic impact, harm American public health by creating exaggerated and unfounded fears about eating fish that are beneficial in everyone’s diet, and further degrade the essential role of science in informing public policy.”

 

Recent Articles

Energy
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/solarpanels-213x120.jpg

    The sun and the wind are free, but …

    CFACT contributor Marita Noon points out that wind and solar power are free, but converting them to usable energy typically requires fossil fuel backup systems because neither wind nor solar is 24/7n reliable. Pointing out these facts — and the higher energy costs for the poorest among us — typically is met with ugly rhetoric, character assassination and such like, because wind and solar companies and the die-hard supporters of renewable energy cannot refute the facts.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/yucca-mountain-facility-213x120.jpg

    The $15 Billion Failure to Store Nuclear Waste

    Thanks to President Obama, we have lost another six years on the Yucca Mountain project. That fits with his refusal to permit the Keystone XL pipeline. No energy project that might actually benefit America will ever see his signature.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/solarrooftop-213x120.jpg

    Solar panel companies deceive homeowners

    Fueled by subsidies and mandates, the new rooftop solar-leasing market industry has engaged in “deceptive marketing strategies” to sucker unsuspecting homeowners into misleading zero-money-down teaser loan deals. Many customers are unaware they must include these units in their homeowners insurance policies, the units may stop working long before the 20- to 30-year lease expires (and they are liable for maintenance and replacement of defective parts), and the solar companies may place a lien on the entire property, not just the solar equipment, making it more difficult to transfer ownership via sale. There are numerous other pitfalls, including a serious fire hazard from defective units.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/roof-with-solar-panels-213x120.jpg

    Solar power propaganda vs. the real world

    If the U.S. continues on its current path, electricity rates are going to skyrocket (as President Obama promised) and there will be massive power outages because of the shutdown of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. Energy poverty is America’s future — and we know this based on the German experience. There, because of the nation’s high renewables requirements, electricity prices have already more than doubled — and Germans are building new coal-fired power plants to address the intermittency of solar energy (which is often nonexistent in winter).

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Saudi-refinery-213x120.jpg

    What’s up with the prices at the pump?

    Oil prices at the pump fell hard, then began creeping back up — even though crude oil prices have not rebounded. One reason is an explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in California that has bumped that state’s price by 20 cents a gallon, but if the steelworkers union strike expands the impacts could grow . Meanwhile, the Saudis, who concocted the scheme that saw the dramatic drop in prices, are happy to see the rise in the price at the pump.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/refinery-213x120.jpg

    Naming enemies of U.S. fossil fuel development

    The enemies of fracking, the Keystone pipeline, and other fossil fuel related activities start with wild-eyed “Deep Green Resistance” types who oppose the entirety of Western civilization (even agriculture), include those with vested interests in alternative energy sources, and even include foreign governments (like Putin’s Russia), who recognize that cheaper oil and gas prices will hurt their economies and weaken their grip on nearby dependent countries. Naming enemies empowers those who want to defeat them.

Coal
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/hotair-213x120.jpg

    Clean Power Plan justification is hot air

    The climate change crusades are heating up, thanks to an irascible President Obama, who sneers at polls showing Americans no longer believe in the hobgoblin view of carbon dioxide spread by politicians who arrogated science as a tool to be manipulated rather than a guide to rational behavior. CFACT advisor Larry Bell notes that the EPA’s regulatory war on coal rampage will impose major utility cost hikes, with disproportionate burdens falling upon economically disadvantaged residents of colder northern states. But who will pay the political price for this skullduggery?

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Chinese-dragon-213x120.jpg

    China’s rise

    China and the other so-called “BRIC” nations are more than happy to step up as the developed world steps down.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/roof-with-solar-panels-213x120.jpg

    Solar power propaganda vs. the real world

    If the U.S. continues on its current path, electricity rates are going to skyrocket (as President Obama promised) and there will be massive power outages because of the shutdown of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. Energy poverty is America’s future — and we know this based on the German experience. There, because of the nation’s high renewables requirements, electricity prices have already more than doubled — and Germans are building new coal-fired power plants to address the intermittency of solar energy (which is often nonexistent in winter).

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/divestment-213x120.jpg

    Divesting people of better living standards

    The radical Green push for colleges and universities to divest themselves from investment in fossil fuel companies is misguided, immoral, lethal, and, yes, racist. While Western civilization has seen an 11-fold increase in wealth, a doubling of lifespans, and health and prosperity unprecedented in human history, nearly 1.5 billion still live without the benefits of modern technology. While China (which will ignore the bigots) has linked nearly its entire population to the power grid, over 300 million in India and more than twice that number in sub-Saharan Africa lack even the simplest of modern amenities that electric power and motorized transportation afford. CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen asks, “What right do divestment activists and climate change alarmists have to deny Earth’s most destitute people access to electricity and motor fuels, jobs, and better lives?”

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/coalmineindiana-213x120.jpg

    EPA uses junk science to wage war on coal

    The Obama Administration, through the corrupted Environmental Protection Agency, promised to kill the U.S. coal industry and they are already far along toward their goal. Along with it, they are wreaking havoc on the U.S. economy and threatening power outages of mammoth proportions. To justify this, they cite so-called scientific studies that are kept secret so that their findings cannot be easily challenged. But there’s more — other job-killing regulations also not backed by sound, peer reviewable science — that will take the U.S. further away from long-term prosperity. Can this onslaught be stopped or even slowed down?

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    Vetoing bipartisan energy, job, and economic growth

    CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen says that the Obama Administration is continuing, even revving up, its campaign against domestic energy production with new EPA regulations on the horizon that would shutter much of the nation’s coal industry and do great harm to oil and gas production; he also promised to veto any legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Moreover, the Obama progressive mentality is so pervaseive that international lending and donor agencies (the UN, OPIC, etc.) are holding poor, developing countries hostage to wind, solar, and biofuel projects that cannot lift them out of poverty — and thus these elites are damning the world’s poorest people to eternal poverty when true prosperity through fossil fuels is staring them in the face.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/coalshutdown-213x120.jpg

    The EPA’s man-made cooling crisis

    The United States is likely to see brownouts and blackouts thanks to the shuttering of coal-fired power plants (and who knows, maybe even gas-fired plants) that are part of an Obama Administration effort to depower the nation to satisfy environmental extremists and to satisfy his own desire to diminish the role of the United States in world affairs. The EPA is his tool of choice (along with other federal agencies whose policies rarely are blocked by either elected officials or the courts). And as the supply of electricity dwindles, the price of power will rise dramatically, with the greatest negative impacts on the poor, the elderly, and the disabled.

Hydraulic Fracturing
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/oilrefinery3-213x120.jpg

    Time to repeal America’s crude petroleum export ban

    Paul Driessen lays out the case for ending the ban on overseas shipment of crude petroleum, and in the process notes how shipping crude and refined petroleum overseas would be a boon to the U.S. economy and might also prod European nations to rethink their own policies towards energy production.

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    Defusing the explosive conversation on fracking

    The myths about hydraulic fracturing (fracking) are myriad and cynical — spread by haters of fossil fuels and by those who want to see the United States crippled as a result of shutting down the bulk of the traditional energy sector in favor of heavily subsidized “renewables” and forcing a massive shrinkage of living standards for most Americans (but not the elites). The truth is that fracking has evolved into a virtually benign operation that relies heavily on brackish water that is processed and often reused.

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    U.S. fast inflating supply of natural gas

    For decades, policymakers have been concerned about America’s over-reliance on fossil fuel imports from other parts of the world. But thanks to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, many of these concerns are now being alleviated.

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    Drillers gassed up over large U.S. shale reserves

    Finding affordable and abundant sources of domestic energy has become a big priority in recent years. And while many options are being looked at, one that has taken the nation by storm is the development of shale gas.

Natural Gas
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/hotair-213x120.jpg

    Clean Power Plan justification is hot air

    The climate change crusades are heating up, thanks to an irascible President Obama, who sneers at polls showing Americans no longer believe in the hobgoblin view of carbon dioxide spread by politicians who arrogated science as a tool to be manipulated rather than a guide to rational behavior. CFACT advisor Larry Bell notes that the EPA’s regulatory war on coal rampage will impose major utility cost hikes, with disproportionate burdens falling upon economically disadvantaged residents of colder northern states. But who will pay the political price for this skullduggery?

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Saudi-refinery-213x120.jpg

    What’s up with the prices at the pump?

    Oil prices at the pump fell hard, then began creeping back up — even though crude oil prices have not rebounded. One reason is an explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in California that has bumped that state’s price by 20 cents a gallon, but if the steelworkers union strike expands the impacts could grow . Meanwhile, the Saudis, who concocted the scheme that saw the dramatic drop in prices, are happy to see the rise in the price at the pump.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/refinery-213x120.jpg

    Naming enemies of U.S. fossil fuel development

    The enemies of fracking, the Keystone pipeline, and other fossil fuel related activities start with wild-eyed “Deep Green Resistance” types who oppose the entirety of Western civilization (even agriculture), include those with vested interests in alternative energy sources, and even include foreign governments (like Putin’s Russia), who recognize that cheaper oil and gas prices will hurt their economies and weaken their grip on nearby dependent countries. Naming enemies empowers those who want to defeat them.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Pipeline-213x120.jpg

    What’s next for the Keystone pipeline?

    President Obama will soon have to decide whether to please big labor or Big Green — and his risk is that if he chooses Big Green over big labor and then the labor unions push Democrats who depend on their votes to vote to override his veto of the Keystone Pipeline authorization, he loses big time. The clock is ticking — and the stakes are high. Meanwhile, President-in-waiting Hillary Clinton is silent … perhaps fearing the same Hobson’s choice. The huge drop in the oil price — which some now claim is a further reason to ignore Keystone — is on the verge of a quick rebound thanks to Obama’s feckless foreign “policy.” Stay tuned!

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Obama-Putin-213x120.jpg

    Will President Obama’s new drilling policy give the Arctic over to Russian domination?

    Is it merely a coincidence that millions of dollars of Russian money have been laundered and forwarded to anti-fossil fuel radical environmentalists to fight exploration and development by the United States of Alaska’s vast oil and gas and minerals reserves? While Russia plans to seize the entire Arctic for its own use, the United States shuts down all future development over nearly 20 million acres of land and sea — for absolutely zero environmental benefit, especially since Russia will likely be able to exploit much of that same territory anyway. Just as bac, Obama did this despite universal opposition from Alaska’s elected officials — robbing the state of much-needed jobs and revenues. Hopefully, this theft and giveaway to Russia can be reversed.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/divestment-213x120.jpg

    Divesting people of better living standards

    The radical Green push for colleges and universities to divest themselves from investment in fossil fuel companies is misguided, immoral, lethal, and, yes, racist. While Western civilization has seen an 11-fold increase in wealth, a doubling of lifespans, and health and prosperity unprecedented in human history, nearly 1.5 billion still live without the benefits of modern technology. While China (which will ignore the bigots) has linked nearly its entire population to the power grid, over 300 million in India and more than twice that number in sub-Saharan Africa lack even the simplest of modern amenities that electric power and motorized transportation afford. CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen asks, “What right do divestment activists and climate change alarmists have to deny Earth’s most destitute people access to electricity and motor fuels, jobs, and better lives?”

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/arcticmap-circle-213x120.gif

    America is falling behind in the new cold war over Arctic oil and gas

    CFACT policy analyst Marita Noon reports that President Obama’s made dash to prevent U.S. oil and gas activities in the very profitable Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) may stem more from Russian money funneled to U.S.-based environmental nonprofits — and the desire of the President to please such groups — than from any intelligent rationale for declaring these rich lands off limits to the minimal development needed for resource extraction. Russia, meanwhile, is conducting military-scale operations in a possible effort to take physical control of the entire Arctic region.

Nuclear Power
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Simpsons-guide-to-radiation-213x120.jpg

    True facts about ocean radiation and the Fukushima disaster

    The Fukushima disaster has “led to some wild speculation on the widespread dangers of Fukushima radiation on the internet… I’m here to tell you that these posts are just plain garbage. While there are terrible things that happened around the Fukushima Power Plant in Japan; Alaska, Hawaii and the West Coast aren’t in any danger. These posts were meant to scare people (and possibly written by terrified authors). They did just that, but there is a severe lack of facts in these posts. Which is why I am here to give you the facts, and nothing but the facts.”

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Fukushima-Plant-2-213x120.jpg

    Physicist: There was no Fukushima nuclear disaster

    Anti-nuclear activists do not want the public to know the truth. Fukushima showed that a nuclear plant can take the maximum punch of nature’s brutality. Yet the media and the anti-nukes enjoy stoking the fear.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/nightheat-213x120.jpg

    Will cooling temperatures calm the European windstorm?

    After Denmark (Europe’s star wind energy performer), Germany boasts (sic!) the highest power costs in Europe — Danes and Germans alike pay about 300% more than Americans for electric power that is increasingly unreliable. The Australians, who had charted a similar course, threw out their Green government. But what will Americans do?

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/jtflogo.jpg

    Report indicates no major health effects from Fukushima

    When the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, Japan was damaged by a major earthquake, many expected long-term radiation problems. But scientists recently brought together by a UN scientific committee found Japan’s general public and the vast majority of workers at Fukushima are unlikely to suffer any future health effects linked to small radiation leaks.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Windmills-Ineffizient-Genug-213x120.jpg

    German media’s veer from green energy

    A few years ago, Germany was “fully committed” to the EU’s goal of ending fossil fuel use. It was building lots of wind turbines, and even some solar farms despite its often-cloudy skies. After the tsunami, Prime Minister Angela Merckel announced Germany would phase out its nuclear plants quickly, implying more power from renewables.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/jtflogo.jpg

    Fukushima fallout spurs safer nuclear design

    Like a phoenix rising from ashes, nuclear power has seen a renaissance in recent years after decades of bad publicity. And while the accident at Fukushima cast an ominous shadow over its future, experts are now applying some important lessons to new designs.

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    Dr. Kelvin Kemm on Kenyan TV

    Dr. Kelvin Kemm, a South African nuclear physicist and CFACT advisor, explains on Kenyan TV that Africans need to greatly increase the availability of affordable electricity and do not need Europeans telling them “No.”

Solar Power
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/hotair-213x120.jpg

    Clean Power Plan justification is hot air

    The climate change crusades are heating up, thanks to an irascible President Obama, who sneers at polls showing Americans no longer believe in the hobgoblin view of carbon dioxide spread by politicians who arrogated science as a tool to be manipulated rather than a guide to rational behavior. CFACT advisor Larry Bell notes that the EPA’s regulatory war on coal rampage will impose major utility cost hikes, with disproportionate burdens falling upon economically disadvantaged residents of colder northern states. But who will pay the political price for this skullduggery?

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/solarpanels-213x120.jpg

    The sun and the wind are free, but …

    CFACT contributor Marita Noon points out that wind and solar power are free, but converting them to usable energy typically requires fossil fuel backup systems because neither wind nor solar is 24/7n reliable. Pointing out these facts — and the higher energy costs for the poorest among us — typically is met with ugly rhetoric, character assassination and such like, because wind and solar companies and the die-hard supporters of renewable energy cannot refute the facts.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/solarrooftop-213x120.jpg

    Solar panel companies deceive homeowners

    Fueled by subsidies and mandates, the new rooftop solar-leasing market industry has engaged in “deceptive marketing strategies” to sucker unsuspecting homeowners into misleading zero-money-down teaser loan deals. Many customers are unaware they must include these units in their homeowners insurance policies, the units may stop working long before the 20- to 30-year lease expires (and they are liable for maintenance and replacement of defective parts), and the solar companies may place a lien on the entire property, not just the solar equipment, making it more difficult to transfer ownership via sale. There are numerous other pitfalls, including a serious fire hazard from defective units.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/roof-with-solar-panels-213x120.jpg

    Solar power propaganda vs. the real world

    If the U.S. continues on its current path, electricity rates are going to skyrocket (as President Obama promised) and there will be massive power outages because of the shutdown of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. Energy poverty is America’s future — and we know this based on the German experience. There, because of the nation’s high renewables requirements, electricity prices have already more than doubled — and Germans are building new coal-fired power plants to address the intermittency of solar energy (which is often nonexistent in winter).

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Ivanpah-213x120.jpg

    Shady circumstances cloud huge solar energy plant bailout

    The giant Ivanpah solar array in California was financed with a $1.6 billion construction loan from the U.S. Treasury, but the plant has been so unproductive that its owners have successfully begged for loan repayment delays and now want a $539 million federal grant so they can make their first — already late — three payments on the initial loan. But prospects for long-term viability of Ivanpah remain poor, given that the plant’s poor performance and the fact that it is killing birds at an alarming rate. As Reason’s Julian Morris, says, “They’re already paying less than the market rate. Now demanding or asking for a subsidy in the form of a grant directly paying off the loan is an egregious abuse.”

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/biofuels-213x120.png

    2007: a great year for growing bad legislation like the ethanol mandate

    Back in 2007, states passed renewable portfolio standards at the same time the George W. Bush Administration was patting itself on the back for enacting the renewable fuels standard — aka the ethanol mandate. Seven years later, most people see the flaws in this energy strategy, but the EPA continues unabated in its quest to push more ethanol into America’s automobiles.

Wind Power
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/hotair-213x120.jpg

    Clean Power Plan justification is hot air

    The climate change crusades are heating up, thanks to an irascible President Obama, who sneers at polls showing Americans no longer believe in the hobgoblin view of carbon dioxide spread by politicians who arrogated science as a tool to be manipulated rather than a guide to rational behavior. CFACT advisor Larry Bell notes that the EPA’s regulatory war on coal rampage will impose major utility cost hikes, with disproportionate burdens falling upon economically disadvantaged residents of colder northern states. But who will pay the political price for this skullduggery?

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/solarpanels-213x120.jpg

    The sun and the wind are free, but …

    CFACT contributor Marita Noon points out that wind and solar power are free, but converting them to usable energy typically requires fossil fuel backup systems because neither wind nor solar is 24/7n reliable. Pointing out these facts — and the higher energy costs for the poorest among us — typically is met with ugly rhetoric, character assassination and such like, because wind and solar companies and the die-hard supporters of renewable energy cannot refute the facts.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Capewind-213x120.jpg

    Wind energy’s bluster peters out

    The uncertainty of the future of the wind energy production tax credit is but one reason that wind turbine projects are falling apart. Cape Wind, the huge Massachusetts project opposed by the Kennedy clan, now looks dead after two power companies filed to withdraw their contracts because the investors missed deadlines. Minnesota’s Minwind project is now bankrupt because the investors cannot even afford the maintenance costs.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/windmill-213x120.jpg

    Time for tough love on tax credits for the mature wind industry

    A year after the Congress allowed the wind power production tax credit to expire, the American Wind Energy Association is making a last-ditch effort to renew the PTC, which apparently is necessary for its survival. Moreover, the conditions that fostered the creation of this tax credit — fears of dependence on foreign oil — have long since passed, thanks to the fracking revolution. As CFACT analyst Marita Noon says, it is time for the wind industry to grow up.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/biofuels-213x120.png

    2007: a great year for growing bad legislation like the ethanol mandate

    Back in 2007, states passed renewable portfolio standards at the same time the George W. Bush Administration was patting itself on the back for enacting the renewable fuels standard — aka the ethanol mandate. Seven years later, most people see the flaws in this energy strategy, but the EPA continues unabated in its quest to push more ethanol into America’s automobiles.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/CAlifornawind-213x120.png

    Parasitic power: Dollars blowing in the wind

    Governments have gambled massively on wind energy claiming it emits less carbon dioxide and that this will help prevent dangerous global warming. Incredibly, this claim is not supported by cost-benefit analysis.