Capitolizing on Energy

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

Don’t Let Panic Dictate Climate Policy

Early on in the Obama Administration, former chief of staff and now mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, asserted, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”  Well, it is now clear that climate alarmists took his counsel to heart.  A prolonged heat spell, some extreme weather, and a new report from a well-respected […]  More »

Renewable Fuels and the Helping Hand

Last week, President Obama appeared to denigrate successful business people by claiming that they had “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.”  According to, National Review’s Rich Lowry,  “The Obama theory of entrepreneurship, which seems to be the theory of the democrat leadership as well, is that behind every successful businessman, […]  More »

Energy, Politics and Insanity

Every four years, debates on the presidential campaign trail inevitably turn to energy policy.  Some of what is said makes sense – some of the time.  But, when the elections are over, energy policy actions always seem to go down two tracks.  One is supposed to move us toward energy independence, the march of folly.  […]  More »

Bad Law Begets More Bad Law

In 2007, The Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases were a pollutant under Section 2 of the Clean Air Act and therefore EPA had the authority to regulate them, especially carbon dioxide.  In time, this Court decision will go down as one of the worst.  In reaching its decision, the Court liberally interpreted the Clean […]  More »

The Slowly Sinking Clean Energy Policy

The Obama Administration’s clean energy program is reminiscent of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.  It is taking on water, the crew has no idea of what to do, and the band plays on. Germany and other EU clean energy advocates are facing up to the reality that they can’t right their economies while […]  More »

The Vanishing Peak

One of the most enduring myths about oil is the Peak Oil theory.  The theory, first articulated by a geologist, M. King Hubbert, in 1949, hold that since petroleum is a finite resource, production will lead to exhaustion .  From then until his death in 1989, he routinely predicted that the end of the oil […]  More »

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 »