Policy by Illusion and Myth

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George Schultz, former Secretary of Treasury, Labor, and State, and Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx, recently published a Wall Street Journal opinion piece—Making the Most of the U.S. Energy Boom—in which they argue that the US should establish a national goal of oil displacement. They assert that forty years after the first oil embargo, “de-linking […]
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The Presumption of Knowledge

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Over the past few weeks attention has been focused on the roll out debacle of the Affordable Care Act—aka ObamaCare.  This is a case that is the opposite of too big to fail– too big to succeed.  While it might seem that there is no connection between ObamaCare and alternative energy policies and biofuels mandates, […]
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Handouts are not Helping Hands

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The Center for American Progress (CAP) and similar liberal organizations contend that government must help change the US energy mix.  Although past efforts over the past 40 years make clear that as former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told President Obama, “the government is a crappy venture capitalist.”  The verdict is in: industrial policy doesn’t work! […]
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Approaching the Grand Bargain: The Reality and Myths of Energy Tax Credits

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While Washington, DC is in the midst of a government shutdown and looming under the specter of the debt ceiling, discussions on Capitol Hill have turned to a grand bargain as a potential exit strategy.  Grand bargains are complex and probably involve too many elements to get quick agreement. The quickest way to ensure that […]

The Difference Between Wishing and Doing

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The Obama Administration has a strong commitment to promoting electric vehicles and has made billions of tax payer dollars to achieve its policy objective.  And yet, electric vehicles remain mainly niche vehicles for the well to do who want to demonstrate their environmental values. Although GM, Fiat, Nissan, Volkswagen, and the overhyped Tesla are pushing […]
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Popular Delusions and the Madness of Government

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In 1841 Charles MacKay wrote Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.  It is often cited as one of the best books ever written about market psychology.  One recent reviewer commented “historic episodes confirm that greed and fear have always been driving forces of financial markets …and being sensible and clever is no defense […]
Categories: General

Keystone XL—A Prisoner of the Worst in Politics

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The Obama Administration has been reviewing the permit application to build the Keystone pipeline for over 5 years.  There is now a report that the President is unlikely to make a decision until 2014. The State Department issued its draft findings in March and had been expected to complete its review by mid-summer.  It did […]
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The Next IPCC Report: Leaks, Spin, and Efforts Not be Embarrassed

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The most recent drafts of the IPCC’s Assessment Report and Summary for Policy Makers are going through final review before release near the end of September.  These drafts have been leaked and the final versions, which very well could be different than the drafts, will be as controversial as the Fourth Assessment Report.  The debate […]
Categories: General

The Resurgence of American Exports: Manufacturing and Natural Gas

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The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has just released a report, “Behind the American Export Surge,” which explores the recent resurgence in US manufacturing.  While BCG goes into some detail in explaining the reversal in the decline of domestic manufacturing, it has been driven by two basic causes, a more attractive investment climate and the widespread […]

Yucca Mountain and the Rule of Law

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In 1982, Congress passed and the President signed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act that directed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to approve or disapprove DOE’s application to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.  Although Yucca Mountain was extensively studied for over a decade, confirming it the best site for nuclear waste, nothing was done until […]
Categories: General