Capitolizing on Energy

Views on D.C. energy and politics with William O’Keefe

Driving, Demographics and Policy

For the past 60 years or so, owning a car, and the mobility it provides, has been one of America’s most idealized priorities.  The automobile has been canonized countless times across the silver screen, and for generations getting one’s drivers’ license has been a rite of passage.  But just as industry met the increased demand […]  More »

Energy Innovation Driven by Experience

Over the past 40 or so years, our society has evolved from accepting accidents as events that occur in spite of best efforts to a point where they are viewed as unacceptable and when they occur someone has to be punished. That state of mind is dangerous because it leads to excessive risk aversion and […]  More »

Reviewing the Case for Electric Cars

In 2010, my paper “Electric Cars: Not Ready for Prime Time” examined the case being made for electric cars and the technical and economic hurdles to be overcome to enable them to have more than niche role in the market. Recently representatives of the organization Secure America’s Energy Future (SAFE) visited Washington to promote the […]  More »

From GSA to EPA, Bureaucrats Gone Wild

It almost as if the British comedy Men Behaving Badly has become the behavior model for government bureaucrats. First, we have Jeff Neely, former GSA official, being filmed in a Las Vegas bathtub with two glasses of wine behind him. Now, we have Al Armendariz, Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator. In a video of a […]  More »

What’s Really Behind The Anti-Oil Movement?

Bob Lutz, former GM Vice Chairman and senior executive at Ford and Chrysler, is one of the founder’s of a group named SAFE, which states its purpose to be “securing America’s energy future.” The organization’s mission is built on the premise that reducing our reliance on oil will reduce putting young men and women in harm’s […]  More »

Onions Undercut Obama’s Oil Speculation Claims

President Obama yesterday announced a crackdown on speculators who he suggests are responsible for driving up the price of oil futures on the New York Mercantile and other exchanges. To that end, he’s pushing Congress to approve an additional $52 million for the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) to upgrade its equipment and calling for […]  More »

Congress, The President, and The Myth of Gas Price Control

The outlet This Week features an article by former White House reporter Paul Brandus (“Why You’re Wrong About Gas Prices And Politics”) that addresses some popularly held myths. Two deserve comment because they create myths about myths. The first myth deals with one about how much power presidents have over gas prices. Brandus rightly makes […]  More »

Implications of EPA Court Ruling on Regulatory Reform

For decades, Administrations and Congresses have periodically raised the issue of regulatory reform. For the most part, however, reform efforts have been piecemeal and incomplete. Practically every President since Eisenhower has issued Executive Orders designed to make regulations more efficient, cost-effective, and based on a sound factual foundation. And in 1996, Congress even passed the […]  More »

Senate Fails to Target 90 More Profitable US Industries For Tax Hike Aimed At Oil

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has once again introduced legislation to increase taxes on oil and gas companies. This same measure was rejected in the upper house last May, but has been a key campaign talking point for President Obama as he looks to deflect the fury of angry drivers faced with rising gas prices. […]  More »

Gas Price History Lesson: Drop in U.S. Drilling & Rising Energy Costs

An AP “Fact Check” released earlier this month claimed that domestic drilling doesn’t drop gas prices, stating: A statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation –adjusted, gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production by the Associated Press shows no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at […]  More »

Energy Engineers: Uncle Sam Wants You

If one were selecting a college major based on employment outlook and future income, the choice would be a no-brainer. While nearly half of all recent college grads are “malemployed” or unemployed, those with engineering training are guaranteed job placement with good pay. Employers are falling over themselves to hire new grads that have the […]  More »

Lies, Damn Lies, and Obama’s Energy Statistics

American writer Darrell Huff intended his bestselling 1954 book to serve as a “primer in ways to use statistics to deceive.” He justified its purpose, explaining “the crooks already know these tricks; honest men must learn them in self-defense.” Nearly 60 years later, the term “crooks” could well be interchangeable with “politicians.” And the most […]  More »

Environmental Group Backs State Regulation of Fracking

Charged with ensuring that hydraulic fracturing done within their borders is safe for the environment, states across the nation have shown America they are up to the task. For example, Texas recently instituted strong disclosure laws for operators. New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has spent over three years preparing a comprehensive plan to ensure […]  More »

Carter Administration’s Role in Natural Gas Boom

In his State of the Union address, President Obama cited federal support of shale gas technologies to defend his spending on green energy. Around the same time, an organization called the Breakthrough Institute published a study claiming that the federal government, not private industry, should get credit for the shale boom. These combined announcements provoked […]  More »

What the Heartland Response Reveals About Climate Activists

A reporter for a national newspaper covering the reaction to the stolen Heartland Institute documents asked me: Why does the question of climate change science matter so much to conservatives? Why do they fight these battles with liberals and scientists so fiercely, when no one on the national level is suggesting nationwide limits on greenhouse […]  More »