Energy

Restricting Reliable Energy Sources Is Expensive and Dangerous

Pipelines work, while solar and wind energy often leave people in the dark.

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Government officials fail to serve citizens when their policies deliberately limit access to affordable, reliable energy sources like gasoline, natural gas, nuclear, or propane. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's campaign to close the Line 5 pipeline is one of the more pressing examples of this failure.

Unfortunately, this reality is hindering a growing number of American lives, as no reasonable alternatives exist for transportation fuels like gasoline or jet fuel, or for heating and cooking fuels like propane for rural households. The Line 5 pipeline, which crosses through the Great Lakes at the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas, supplies 55 percent of the statewide demand for propane. It also supplies jet fuels for the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and several other airports throughout the region and crude oil that is refined into gasoline and other fuels at refineries in Michigan, Ohio, Ontario, and Quebec. 

While "shut it down" advocates often claim Line 5 is a Canadian pipeline that doesn't benefit the United States, a recent report by the Consumer Energy Alliance estimated that, if enforced, Whitmer's closure mandate will cost Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania $20.8 billion in economic activity, $2.4 billion in salaries and wages, and almost 34,000 jobs. Many American and Canadian government officials (from both sides of the political aisle), business interests, and labor union representatives have come out in favor of keeping the pipeline operating. They have also described their support for protecting the Great Lakes and retaining energy infrastructure by removing the pipeline from the water and moving it 100 feet below the lakebed to a cement-lined tunnel.

But with her attempts to shutter energy infrastructure and her executive actions requiring Michigan to go carbon neutral by 2050, Whitmer appears to have fallen for two myths. First, the notion that human use of reliable energy is necessarily destructive and must be stopped. Second, the idea that diffuse, unreliable, overly expensive, and often not-yet-even-available energy sources can somehow replace traditional energy sources.

Others have made the same error.

Texas has spent tens of billions over the past decade shutting down reliable energy and trying to replace it with "reliably unreliable" wind. Generous federal subsidies and a laser focus on the lowest prices, rather than valuing a reliable service, skewed electricity markets and ensured new wind was prioritized over constructing and maintaining reliable, properly weatherized power generation equipment. The consequences of this were seen in February when an unusual, but not unprecedented, bout of extreme cold led to a systemwide failure of Texas' increasingly fragile grid, leaving millions of Texans in the cold and dark.

In California, green priorities have led the state to build solar panels rather than complete essential maintenance on transmission lines. Strong winds during the 2019 summer heat wave caused aging transmission infrastructure to fail, sparking massive wildfires. Similarly, California's 100 percent clean energy target was at the root of the summer 2020 rolling blackouts when increased energy use during a heat wave ran headlong into what an official report called solar's inability to "meet demand in the early evening hours."

The California Public Utilities Commission's nonsensical commitment to closing the state's primary sources of reliable, emissions-free electricity (the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear plants) has only added to their problem. And Gov. Gavin Newsom's ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 will force the state's already struggling grid to take on the stress of charging millions of electric vehicles each night.

In Washington state, green politicians and activists routinely advocate for breaching large hydroelectric dams, claiming (wrongly, it would seem) that doing so is essential to maintaining salmon populations. But relying on non-hydro renewables would leave citizens exposed to situations like November 2019, when the state's wind resources went to essentially zero for an entire week.

At the federal level, President Joe Biden has reentered the Paris climate agreement and canceled the construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Strangely, however, he appeared willing to overlook climate concerns when he bucked bipartisan congressional opposition and waived sanctions against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which he had previously called a "bad deal for Europe."

Yet while the president bans American energy and gives his tacit blessing to Russian energy production, numbers from the Energy Information Administration, published in late March, indicate that U.S. gasoline prices had increased for 17 consecutive weeks. Crude oil prices have risen from $43 per barrel in November last year to $67 in March this year, roughly a 2.4-cent-per-gallon increase.

On the heels of those price increases, an attack committed by a Russian cybercrime gang forced the closure of the Colonial Pipeline, one of the nation's largest pipelines and the source of much of the gasoline used on the East Coast. Media reports indicated that fuel shortages and panicked buying drove average national gas prices to a seven-year high.

Despite the increasing prices, rolling blackouts, fuel shortages, and the repeated failure of renewable energy sources just when they are most needed, Michigan's governor and many other government officials cling to their anti-reliable-energy policies and their nationwide campaigns to shutter or stop pipelines. Pursuing policies that impose "reliably unreliable" energy on citizens and ratepayers is a dangerous recipe for failure.

NEXT: China Is Paying Less Than 8 Percent of Tariff Costs. Americans Are Paying the Rest.

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  1. Curious does Whitless even have the authority to shut down a pipeline?

    1. Will that stop them from ordering it shut down?

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    2. She didn’t have the authority to force people to wear masks, not travel to secondary houses, close businesses and yet She did. Constitutional limits on government (state or federal) mean nothing anymore.

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  2. >>Michigan’s governor and many other government officials cling to their anti-reliable-energy policies

    reliable if viewed through lens of government keeping people dependent.

    1. Yes but restricting reliable energy sources hurts working class whites by eliminating job opportunities.

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    3. I think this is a question of “never attribute to malice what is adequately explained by stupidity”; The politicians pushing for ‘renewable energy’ are heavily supported by voters who believe in this particular Easter Bunny. Such people are both their base and the majority of their support staff, and the mythology of ‘renewable energy’ is anti-technical. The supporters, and therefore the politicians, firmly believe (on no basis whatsoever) that all arguments against renewables are fallacious because they come from the energy industry…as if that disqualifies them without the need to engage the facts.

      Is this idiotic? Certainly. I doubt, however, that there is a secret cabal behind it intent on using intermittent energy supplies to subjugate the populace.

      Mind you, the Progressive Left firmly believes (as has every Social Elite before them) that they were placed upon Earth by Providence to tell the rest of us what to do, but in THIS CASE I don’t think that is in their (largely empty) heads; they are simply chasing a chimera of their own imagination.

  3. Yes but restricting reliable energy sources hurts working class whites by eliminating job opportunities.

    1. Restricting reliable energy sources is likely to hurt the urban poor a damn sight more.

      The thing is, the believers in ‘Renewable Energy’ seriously believe that the energy grid can be maintained with 100% renewable sources. A belief that has no more basis than a belief that The Rapture will occur next Tuesday. Somewhat less, in fact.

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  5. Even if you have renewable (wind/solar) for 100% of demand it is intermittent. A baseline source is needed for the times renewables are unavailable. Hydro and geothermal are geography limited. That leaves natural gas and overly expensive nuclear.

    1. Nuclear isn’t expensive, it’s the regulations that drive up the cost too high

      1. Exactly, and the new generation of nuclear reactors is inherently safe.

        1. No source of electricity is inherently safe. OTOH, if you want to kill millions, make the grid unreliable. Sadly the people driving the ‘renewables’ idiocy will not believe this. They simply won’t do the math. Most of them can’t.

          1. They’ve done the math. They think the cost of renewable energy is zero because the wind is free and the sun is free. Irrefutable logic, right?

        2. Nothing designed by humans, maintained by humans, and used by humans is inherently *anything* except prone to surprising and spectacular failure.

          3 Mile Island? Human error.
          Chernobyl? Human error.
          Fukashima? Human error.
          Any and every oil spill from a pipline or a tanker? Human error.

          1. Fukashima? A force of nature that could not have been predicted or planned for. The earthquake that precipitated the mess moved Japan more than two meters closer to North America.

            The others you named? Yup, human error.

            1. “A force of nature that could not have been predicted or planned for.” Was that sarcasm? Japan is on one of the most geologically active areas on Earth. They’ve been plagued by earthquakes and tsunamis forever. The one that hit Fukashima may have been a once in several centuries event, but it was going to happen sooner or later.

    2. FOSSIL fuels are still the answer until green energy gets its shit together. Nuclear is fine if they can dispose of the waste safely.

      1. Nuclear power is actually the only energy source with waste that can be containerized and isolated from the rest of the environment. Also, breeder reactors produce less waste than older models of reactors.

    3. This is just a lack of imagination.
      1) Pumped hydro’s geographical limitations aren’t that severe considering all you need is a freaking *hill*. Those aren’t in short supply across most of the US. This is essentially a battery, btw.
      2) A wind farm isn’t always experiencing wind but across a network of them, wind is far less intermittent–especially out on the ocean.
      3) You neglected to mention batteries. The giant Tesla battery in Australia gets all the attention, but there are many other technologies in use for grid-scale storage already. Look ’em up.
      4) Geothermal isn’t as geographically limited as you might think, but even so, it’s a baseline producer in the areas of the country with a few hot rocks underground.

      What a lot of people don’t see to get their minds around is that we don’t have to replace one technology–fossil fuel–with a single alternative. We can create a mix of sources that make sense for the area they’re built in. That mix will likely have room for nuclear and other technologies that aren’t ready for prime time yet, but are already soaking up venture capital and proving their worth. This is where electrification makes the most sense–we build evertything to run on electricity and then the source of that electricity can vary as needed and all our toys still work not caring whether natural gas or fairy farts are powering them forward.

      1. The problems with batteries are huge.

        1) they have severely limited capacity.

        2) the materials that go into them are extremely toxic to mine, and to dispose of, and they wear out so disposal is crucial.

        3) the ores that go into making them are rare and in short supply. There isn’t enough known supply to convert the automobiles in Britain to battery power, much less any larger projects.

  6. So what? Reason writers care about mean tweets. Anything else is secondary to Reason. That’s part of how we got here.

    1. The only thing I really miss about our former commander in chief is the mean tweeks.

      Speaking of mean, have you seen some of the clips of Biden going off on people? That guy is a short tempered dick. If he did his own tweets they would be way meaner.

      1. Which has been known to everyone for decades.

        Yet this is what Reason objectively chose based upon their actions over the past few years.

        1. Biden has a short temper, but Trump erupts in spittle-flecked bouts of rage. It’s known.

          1. Credible.

            Well, no not really, you are more like what Reason calls ‘credible.’

      2. Here you go. From the Desk of Donald Trump, No longer tweets maybe “Mean Twumps” will do,

      3. That guy is a short tempered dick.

        Sociopathically so. He’s malicious and so old and so reliant on personal defense that he doesn’t realize the absurdity of his anger. But we’re more ‘civilized’ now and he can talk about unleashing the air force on American civilians all he wants.

        1. He was a bully when he was younger—ask Tara Reade, or the USSS employees who bitched about him groping their friends and relatives when he was VP—and his worsening dementia has exacerbated his shitty behavior.

          1. This is the kind of shallow personality-based criticism that animates the decisions of Reason writers.

            1. Biden wanted to block Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court over similar accusations – except that the accusations against Kavanaugh were either easily proven false, or so lacking in details as to make checking them impossible, while Biden’s creepy touching has even been caught on camera.

  7. This is why we need a smart grid. People can opt out from using non renewable energy and when renewables are at capacity out they are the first who lose power.

    1. Except people never want to sacrifice their own power. They want other people to sacrifice.

      Also, let’s be frank, the people advocating it think that power generation is more or less like a video game. Build one turbine for +1 power, just like in Sim City. If it’s intermittent, build a battery to even it out. What do you mean those don’t exist on that scale?

      Activists don’t generally comprehend the size of the system or the amount of power required for individual factories much less cities.

      1. Sounds like a fuck ton of public money is gonna have to be spent.

        You people talk about the obstacles of transitioning to green energy like we have a choice in the matter.

        The longer you supply “arguments” for why we can’t stop relying on dirty energy, the more of your money we’re going to have to spend to fix the problem you caused.

        1. Get back to me when you have come up with the following;

          • A method for safely dealing with the materials left when a wind turbine, solar panel, or electric car battery is decommissioned. Many of those materials are difficult or (at present) impossible to recycle, and highly toxic.

          • Studies that look seriously at the environmental disruption caused by the enormous footprint necessary for wind and solar.

          • Studies into the environmental effects of removing energy from the environment via wind and solar and sending it elsewhere. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL!); there MUST be an effect, and so far as I can discover nobody is looking for it.

          1. Meanwhile a coal plant is spewing cancer into your back yard.

            What limp excuses these are. We can’t recycle all the battery parts? Oh dear, I guest we have no choice but to destroy the habitable environment of the planet.

            1. Coal’s problems are known. Big, but known. The toxicity of the materials going into wind turbines, solar panels, and the latest generation of batteries is known, but gets glossed over by ‘environmentalists’, who should bloody well know better. The huge footprint of wind and solar is being ignored…for now. My personal expectation is that if enough of either to actually power our culture is actually put into the -panning stage, many of the people currently demanding that we move to ‘renewable energy’ will scream bloody murder.

              And, so far as I can determine very little thought has been taken about the possible environmental effects of removing energy from the environment via wind or solar. There HAS to be one. Maybe it’s benign, but we don’t know.

              The only studies I’ve seen that even touch on the subject note that both solar and wind farms create heat islands.

              I must respectfully decline to believe that we can pull anything like the energy budget of the West from the environment without some cost…and nobody seems to be looking at it. As I said before; there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Before I sign up, I’d like some idea what the cost is going to be.

              1. Some cost? You’re talking like we have a choice.

                Yes, to some degree, we will be taking on nonzero risk by transitioning away from fossil fuels. It cannot possibly be risker than staying on fossil fuels.

                The sun keeps shining dude. Dinosaurs don’t keep getting turned into goo.

              2. And, so far as I can determine very little thought has been taken about the possible environmental effects of removing energy from the environment via wind or solar. There HAS to be one. Maybe it’s benign, but we don’t know.

                Also, sorry but what the fuck? I am almost embarrassed to even call attention to this, and I majored in fucking English.

                So, uh, CSP, where do you think the energy goes when we use it?

                1. It goes into the environment where it is used, NOT back where it was taken. Want to talk about climate change? What will pulling energy from one place and transporting it elsewhere do?

                  1. You mean like pulling it out of the ground in the form of hydrocarbons, burning it, and transporting the waste products into the atmosphere? Something bad like that?

                    Have you ever wondered why, if the earth is constantly in the path of energy radiating from the sun, it doesn’t keep heating up infinitely?

                    If you think about it carefully you’ll realize that a stable earth temperature can only happen if an equal amount of energy is absorbed as is radiated to space. The surface absorbs while the atmosphere reflects, roughly speaking, and all of life on earth is made possible by exploiting this gradient, not because the energy is put in and turned into something and never leaves. The 2nd law remains intact this way.

                    So what do you think happens when the atmosphere is changed so that it reflects less energy into space? Say, by increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in its composition?

                    1. The atmosphere of the earth has been a good deal higher in CO2 while supporting life. The cult of Global Warming is largely bushwa. The people pushing the idea have made so many bad predictions and been caught altering data so often that they are no longer entitled to be taken seriously.

                      If using wind and solar instead of fossil fuels had no downside, I would be cautiously in favor. It has many. Intermittency, vast footprint, toxic materials (FAR worse then coal) which are in short supply, and lack of study regarding long term environmental effects of the basic process are enough to convince me that the people pushing for it are knaves or fools.

      2. For something that doesn’t exist, it’s getting a lot of attention over in Australia as it does exactly what you say it possibly cannot…

    2. Why don’t we just call the regular-old ‘dumb grid’, that powered us through the space age, the nuclear age, and the information age, a ‘smart grid’ and sell people on that?

      1. I remember when California spent a bunch of green stimulus money on smart grid technology all they got for it was remote meter reading. Literally just made it cheaper for PG&E on the public dime with no real improvement.

        1. Eliminating meter reading on foot made a huge improvement. Just in workman’s compensation claims alone, the plan likely paid for itself in a short period of time.

  8. In other news water is wet, the sky is blue, and liberals think the opposite.

  9. The woman on the far right must have thought she was invited to a masquerade party.

    1. Or she didn’t want to be identifiable in the press photo, so she used the most convenient way to hide her features.

      1. She’s the only one not wearing a mask to cover her pie hole. That alone will get the Karen’s of the world the impetus to hunt her down and shame and name her. I think burka girl may have motives other than environmentalism to shut down that pipeline.

      2. hide her features.

        NEEDZ MOAR MASK!

  10. In California people will drive for hours to a protest outside a refinery.

    1. That level of hypocritical stupidity qualifies them for an editor position at Reason.

  11. At the gasoline pump, the retail cost does not include hidden costs like asthma, lung cancer, acid rain, environmental cleanup costs. For example: during the pandemic our air got cleaner in our largest cities and reduced many of these hidden costs.

    If we are going down this road, we also have to reveal that consumers at the pump aren’t paying all of the costs accumulated by this product. 100% of these costs are still paid by consumers and taxpayers but hidden from the retail cost of that product. If we have free market competition, the retail price should include all costs.

    1. The same can be said for electric cars when 80-90% of our power grid is “dirty”

      1. Not to mention mining and refining the metals and materials for batteries is extremely dirty and polluting.

      2. This is a weak argument. An electric car can take its energy from any source, clean or dirty. A car can only consume energy in the form of a liquid, fossil fuel. As the local grid cleans up–and in states like California, that’s happening rapidly–the installed base of electric cars automatically get cleaner but the gasoline cars do not.

    2. Your post needs more ☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭.
      Gas consumers are not part of the 100%? Other consumers don’t benefit from gas? Tax payers don’t benefit from gas? Get yourself a little red wagon and haul your own shit.

    3. At the gasoline pump, the retail cost does not include hidden costs like asthma, lung cancer, acid rain, environmental cleanup costs.

      The retail costs also do not include the hidden benefits of cheap, fast transportation, which are massive and dwarf anything from pollution.

      And acid rain? Environmental cleanup costs? Are you stuck in the last century?

      1. Yeah acid rain was mainly a coal problem solved by sulfur scrubbers. In fact, there is so little sulfur now in rain that farmers are now having to fertilize with sulfur, when they didn’t have to just a few decades ago.

      2. which are massive and dwarf anything from pollution.

        More centrally, they compound, unlike the cost of ‘externalities’ which decay exponentially (because of the profitable compounding). The abundance of power allows buildings to be torn down and rebuilt on a scale that increasingly renders acid rain moot, enables therapies that treat all forms of lung cancer, including those originating from sources prior to the burning of fossil fuels to a larger degree than it induces them. Otherwise, the technology would only subsist or marginally exist and would’ve been more readily replaced. If the acid rain or cancer were so terrible that it killed half the people who were exposed to it in a matter of days or weeks, we wouldn’t have burned coal in the first place.

      3. Magical thinking where prices serve no other purpose than as pretty numbers for retailers to put on the price tags they use to decorate their goods.

    4. If we are going down this road, we also have to reveal that consumers at the pump aren’t paying all of the costs accumulated by this product. 100% of these costs are still paid by consumers and taxpayers but hidden from the retail cost of that product. If we have free market competition, the retail price should include all costs.

      Yeah, this level of economic illiteracy would’ve passed for reasonable 20 yrs. ago, in comments on YouTube. If the free market doesn’t include all the costs, where do those costs go? Outer space?

      1. ” If the free market doesn’t include all the costs, where do those costs go? ”

        They are paid for with all the money “that is not in use.”

        It’s not turtles, it’s economically illiterate morons all the way down.

        At least when it comes to lefty commenters and writers here at Reason.

      2. Don’t know. It’s paid for in Obama-money from his stash. /sarc

      3. Since he distinguishes between retail costs and the rest of the costs of the product, generalizing to “the free market” seems to take his point out of context in order to ridicule it. But essentially, he’s right.

        You have about $640B of direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuels on an annual basis in the US. That reduces the retail cost of the product and skews the market.

        There are externalities associated with the fuel as well (and while climate change is one of them, let’s just pretend for the moment that it isn’t for the sake of the argument.) Among those externalities are higher medical bills (living downwind from coal plants), oil spills (ecological damage that also impacts fisheries, tourism, and other industries), fires, abandoned wells, destruction of fresh water sources due to shale fracking, etc. These costs are part of the deal but they aren’t paid by customers at the pump or on their energy bills. Which means they aren’t seeing the full cost of the product and able to make fully informed, rational choices among their options in the free market.

        Likewise there are externalities associated with mining for solar panels and such, but these companies seem to do a better job of incorporating those costs into the price of the product. Subsidies, such as they are for renewables, are advertized boldly as part of the incentive and, as such, aren’t hidden from the consumer like fossil fuel subsidies are.

    5. At the moment neither Solar, Wind, nor Electric Cars are required to put aside money to deal with the environmental nightmares that producing and disposing of the high tech (and highly toxic) materials they require will produce.

      Furthermore, examination of the environmental effects of Wind and Solar is nearly nonexistent. Even the simple environmental cost of the vast footprints involved is seldom mentioned.

      As a teenager, in the 1970’s, I reached the conclusion that the real meaning of ‘Alternative Energy’ was “any form of electrical generation that is in no danger of becoming practical”. Nothing that has happened since has caused me to rethink that.

      1. ‘Alternative Energy’ was “any form of electrical generation that is in no danger of becoming practical”

        lol… A++++

    6. How the Hell do consumers and taxpayers pay a cost if the costs are not embedded inthe retail cost? What are you yammering about?

    7. ^^Paraphrased — If I make up a pretend cost how is my pretend cost paid for? lol… Um….. I dunno — Pretend money?

  12. That day the federal government used it’s gov-guns to create a monopoly in the energy industry……
    That day the federal government used it’s gov-guns to create a monopoly in the housing industry……
    That day the federal government used it’s gov-guns to create a monopoly in the healthcare industry……
    That day the federal government used it’s gov-guns to create a monopoly in the food industry……
    That day the federal government used it’s gov-guns to create a monopoly in the transportation industry……

    Democrat, “Please Mr. Federal Government God; Stop those evil people making profit by producing things we all MUST have so we can complain endlessly about not getting “livable wage” worth of produce we MUST have…

    Ya… They really are that stupid.

    1. One apostrophe faux pas is a mistake. Five means you don’t respect yourself.

  13. My personal $2500 Wind and Solar equipment (Self-Installed)………
    Produces $0.10/day of commercial electricity..

    It’s so freak-en awesome; I can turn on my PC and TV at the same time during a Tropical Storm with no commercial electricity while it lasts anyways.

    And if they keep running at 100% and not a single itty-bitty thing goes wrong in 70-years it will actually balance itself to be equivalent to buying commercial electricity minus all the installation and maintenance time and costs.

    It’s magic… It’s the future… You should buy one today; Heck, we’ll even go rob your neighbor for half the bill!!!! Democrats really are that ‘smart’???

    1. ….What do you mean robbing 1/2 the bill from the neighbor STILL doesn’t make it economically smart.

      FINE! We’ll just start using Gov-Guns to shut down all commercial power until the price of commercial electricity is HIGH enough for it to make sense (i.e. CA the 3rd highest electric rate in the USA)…

      Signed,
      Your loving, caring, criminalistic Democratic Party.
      The party of Slavery.
      The only party that supports Nazism (def; National Socialism)
      …. It’s cause we care 🙂

      1. California doesn’t have a single rate across the entire state. It doesn’t even have a single utility providing the power. In fact, our energy market here has been de-regulated since the 1990s.

        Not that anyone would confuse you with a serious person.

  14. Another day, another incoherent “argument” for why only fuel sources that make Charles Koch money are useful.

    1. Ironically, the only way “incoherent arguments” these days makes money is by making excuses for robbery at the tip of a Gov-Gun.

      The rest (whatever is left) just follows the no-B.S. natural laws of supply and demand.

      1. Want to talk about nature? The most efficient users of energy on the planet are known as plants. They get it straight from the source. Everything else is mother nature’s foppery, like Giraffes and people.

        If you claim we can’t meet our needs with solar power, the sun being where literally all the energy comes from, then you need to sit down and think about why you lack such imagination.

        The only thing preventing the human species from going to clean energy is political will.

        One day you may understand just what damage the Koch brother has done to humanity, based on his own stupid sense of entitlement and God knows what other random psychological tics.

        1. How many plants have you seen driving 50 tons of freight down the Interstate? How many ivy vines have you seen serving as power lines?

          1. We already figured out power lines. We already figured out solar and wind too.

            The only reason we’re still burning fossil fuels is because the billionaires who subsidize this very magazine have politicians in their pocket.

            1. Good grief; Here we go again — The gas companies are NOT subsidized. Of course you know that — but you like your LIES more than truth…

              Ya… Tony really is that stupid.

              1. Conservative estimates have subsidies to fossil fuels, including methane, at $20 billion per year. They also don’t have to pay for the estimated $5 trillion in global externalities. Ninety percent of the DOE R&D budget goes to fossil fuels.

                It’s the most subsidized industry in the history of the planet.

                1. lmfao… Global Externalities??? WTF Tony; You don’t get to put “Green Energy” subsidizing in with ‘fossil fuel’ subsidies just because you really are that stupid.

                  Otherwise; Show me the Bill!!! (I’ve already stomped this B.S. left-wing LYING theory out a year ago)…

                  Conservatives like myself want to stomp out the UN-Constitutional DOE and it’s entire “budget”. Trump de-funded a lot of it. You’re either for abiding by the U.S. Constitution or against it. Which is it?

                2. Global Externalities =
                  “The only reason we’re still making solar and wind energy is because the billionaires who subsidize Nazi (National Socialist) theory have politicians in their pocket.”

                  It’s called crony socialism – and is a large part of the Nazi nation the left is trying to create in place-of (take-over) the USA.

                  1. You’re a very confused little person.

    2. And if it makes money for the Suunni Sheikhs of Islamofascist Saudi Arabia and Shia Ayatollahs in Islamofascist Iran, it’s just peachy?

  15. Restricting reliable energy is expensive and dangerous
    Pipes are effective, and solar and wind energy often plunge people into darkness
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    1. If your dresshut doesn’t include dresses made via nuke power, GTFO!

  16. I think this is more beneficial then its bad impacts but experts knows better about them i can be wrong but it is what it is.

  17. It is nuts that we are moving away from nuclear power when the “green” alternatives simply can’t provide reliable 24/7/365 power. Nuclear power scare stories and a few cases of mismanagement/planning, that have lead to less loss/reduction in lifespan by far than things like coal burning, have led the public to think that nuclear power is very dangerous or produces insane amounts of waste that can’t be managed. Neither is true. So the best short/nedium term answer to providing power while dealing with anthropogenic climate change is treated as the worst. Even some green groups have come to understand that nuclear power is likely necessary to bridge the gap until reliable renewable energy storage and transmission is available.

    1. Nuclear power scare stories that people witnessed in person, watched on TV, or can easily research online? When 3 Mile Island was the biggest disaster on record, scoffing at the anti-nuclear crowd was easy but after Chernobyl and Fukashima, where entire cities remain ghost towns, it’s harder to wave away the risks. Nuclear plants are also darned expensive, use up valuable real estate, and, despite what you claim here, produce huge volumes of radioactive waste, some of it physically too hot to handle. It’s piling up in retention ponds all over the US and in some dry storage locations that are not rated to secure it for hundreds of years even though it’s going to be a potential problem for thousands more.

      And yes, “green alternatives” most certainly can provide 24/7/365 power, just not using the “one size fits all” paradigm our current power generation networks rely on.

      Nuclear may have a role to play, but not the plants we’ve got now.

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  19. Course pipelines have the ongoing cost of creating permanent impositions on others in order to keep the supply chain of fuel intact. Which is precisely why government gets involved in coercing them into accepting those costs in the siting of that pipeline.

    How do free-market voluntaryist pipelines work in Somalia?

    1. “Permanent imposition” is a funny way to say say “continuous financial compensation.”

      But, if that’s the way you see things then it certainly helps explain why you are a committed leftist.

      1. Cool. So are you saying that in Somalia the pipelines go home at night? Where is home? Are there roads that get them from where they stand around moving fuel during the day to where they go raid the fridge for a PBJ sandwich?

        1. Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

          You are clever, erudite, and have a profound ability in reading comprehension.

    2. Nothing works in Somalia. Nothing has worked in Somalia for most of recorded history.

      1. They’ve probably got that eminent domain down pat. Pipelines aren’t that much of a stretch. Somalian pipelines are to transport water though, rather than fossil fuels, as god intended.

    3. Somalia is ruled by Islamofascist Warlords, so it’s not a libertarian ideal. So start again. Tighten up. Do better.

      1. “so it’s not a libertarian ideal”

        Neither is eminent domain, at least until recently.

      2. Whereas in Libertopia, all the warlords will be secular and moderate.

  20. Petroleum refineries in the United States produce about 19 to 20 gallons of motor gasoline and 11 to 12 gallons of ultra-low sulfur distillate fuel oil (most of which is sold as diesel fuel and in several states as heating oil) from one 42-gallon barrel of crude oil. So, an increase in crude oil price from $42 to $67 per barrel, would lead to a $0.75 increase per gallon of liquid motor fuel, not a $0.024 increase.

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  22. “Crude oil prices have risen from $43 per barrel in November last year to $67 in March this year, roughly a 2.4-cent-per-gallon increase.” Is this the NEW math or something? It doesn’t take a 4 year degree to look at this sentence and say, WTF?? Someone must have redefined the word “roughly” while I was sleeping…

  23. Do the people in this picture think that everything runs off of Yaz-Gurl-Slay-Qweenz-Unicorn-Fart-Majick?

  24. FOSSIL fuels are still the answer until green energy gets its shit together. Nuclear is fine if they can dispose of the waste safely.

  25. I had to stop reading after the whole California bit. I’d encountered so much misinformation by that point I didn’t see a need to subject myself to more FOX-quality partisan B.S.

    The phrase “reliable engery” is being substituted (largely) for fossil fuels. Why the slogan rather than the more plain language? That’s the first key indicator that what follows is a load of hooey.

    The next indicator was the lack of mentioning coal despite trying to prove your argument with a poorly written article you link to that mentions coal up front. Why might an author obsfucate on coal here? Because the LCOE of solar plus battery as gotten cheap enough to compete not just brand new coal plants but existing, running plants with book value left in them. Utilities are shutting down these existing plants because solar plus battery is cheaper than the sunk costs of a running coal plant.

    Why might people want to shut down a pipline from a company with a history leaks in an industry with a long and dirty history of not cleaning up after themselves? Ask Wyoming why it used COVID relief funds to cap abandoned oil wells rather than having companies that own them pay for that as part of their business.

    He brings up subsidies for renewable energy but doesn’t mention the gargantuan subsidies enjoyed by the mature fossil fuel industry. The US spends over $645 Billion a year on direct and indirect subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The author seems to pretend otherwise in order to preserve his point on how renewables get a subsidy which, he says, skews the market. Solar and wind subsidies don’t even total 10% of what the fossil fuel industries get.

    And then there’s this whopper: “In California, green priorities have led the state to build solar panels rather than complete essential maintenance on transmission lines.”

    Well, no. PG&E charged its rate payers a maintenance fee and then apparently dumped it into bonuses for execs. California’s “green priorities” still needed those functioning lines, you see, because solar, wind, and hydro power all have to travel on the same network of wires. And the line maintenance that PG&E neglected to complete (it’s a private company, btw) was keeping the trees away from the high power lines. Storms and drought, made worse by climate change, pushed those trees into the power lines and ignited fires that killed people and wiped entire towns off the map. Believe it or not, but massive corporations like PG&E are more than capable of installing solar farms and trimming trees at the same time, especially when they’re well-compensated for it.

    If the rest of the article was as poorly researched and considered as the first half… well… who am I kidding? This is “Reason” and article of this caliber are their bread and butter. Ideology first, facts… who needs em?!

    1. I’m still annoyed by the use of “natural gas” to refer to methane. Such blatant euphemistic propaganda.

  26. This is what you get when you have people with law degrees making decisions that require understanding of engineering and physics. Most of these people think electricity miraculously appears at the outlet. Anyone making any energy policy should be required to take high school physics and freshman thermodynamics.

    1. Name one working physicist who thinks burning fossil fuels unchecked is a good thing for life on earth.

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