The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Climate Change

Help Solve Climate Change through Deregulation

Well-intentioned regulation often constrains the development and deployment of clean technologies.


Stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions will require a dramatic expansion of renewable and other clean energy technologies and associated transmission capacity. The recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill authorizes funding for some such projects, but such funding only matters if the projects can get built. Unfortunately, government regulation -- including much environmental regulation -- can get in the way, delaying and discouraging the deployment and installation of cleaner technologies and associated infrastructure.

Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute highlights multiple examples in the Wall Street Journal:

In Nevada's Black Rock Desert, local environmentalists and devotees of the Burning Man festival are using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to oppose a geothermal energy plant. Further south, the Sierra Club has joined with all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts to stop development of what would be the nation's largest solar farm, which it says threatens endangered tortoises. Along the Atlantic seaboard, plans for major offshore wind farms have been hogtied by provisions of the Jones Act, an obscure law that requires maritime cargo to be transported exclusively by U.S.-flagged ships when it is shipped between domestic ports. It is an obstacle that may ultimately prove beside the point because proposals to develop wind energy in American coastal regions have also faced a constant barrage of NEPA and Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuits designed to stop them.

The problem isn't limited to renewable energy. In California, environmentalists have used a state law designed to protect fish eggs as a pretext to close the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, the state's largest source of clean energy, while the California Environmental Quality Act has hobbled efforts to build both high-speed rail and high-voltage transmission lines that the state is counting on to meet its climate commitments. In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission peremptorily rejected last month the application of the first advanced nuclear reactor developer to seek a license before the commission, to cheers from leading environmental groups.

Across the country, foundational laws established in the 1960s and 70s to protect the environment are today a major obstacle to efforts to build the infrastructure and energy systems that we need to safeguard public health and save the climate. Though the Biden administration and Democrats currently propose to spend close to a trillion dollars on low-carbon infrastructure and technology, there is little reason to believe the U.S. is capable of building any of it in a timely or cost-effective way.

There is nothing in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed Congress nor in the "Build Back Better" proposals that would meaningfully address this problem. There is a tremendous appetite to fund clean technologies and energy sources, but little willingness to tackle the regulatory barriers that stand in the way of rapid deployment and construction. Worse, there are efforts to roll back the modest Trump Administration reforms to the NEPA review process that could have helped accelerate at least some clean projects.

Turning out the lights is not an option. We will power our moden economy one way or the other, and if it is too difficult or costly to deploy clean energy sources and to construct the infrastructure upon which it relies, we will stick with dirtier and more carbon-intensive energy sources. Thus a decision not to accelerate and ease clean energy development is a choice to stick with dirtier sources. Unfortunately, it seems at least some environmental activists are willing to make that choice.

NEXT: No Copyright in AI-Created Works, Says Copyright Office

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Sounds great, if man made climate change was actually a thing.

    1. If it were, if there really was less than a decade to the tipping point, the believers would be pushing nuclear power like nobody's business, they wouldn't be jetting around the world in private jets, and they wouldn't be buying $14.5M mansions at sea level.

      There is no reason to believe their lying talk when their walk belies it.

      1. You shall know them by their fruits.

    2. All the environmental groups are interested in is getting money (80%) and maintaining the status quo, or less (20%).

      1. And implementing green socialism 100%.

  2. Denmark & Germany have some of the highest renewable penetration in the world
    At the same time, Denmark and Germany have some of the highest electrical costs in the world.

    Wind and solar have the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE), at least as computed by the advocates. If the levelized cost of energy was a real meaningful number, the Denmark and Germany should have some of the lowest costs for energy instead of the highest.

    1. It's not "real" for multiple reasons.

      One of which is, the "renewable" energy generated is too variable.

      People want electricity when they want it, not necessarily just when it's available. They want to heat their house when it's nighttime and cold in the winter...not when the sun is out (and solar power is being generated).

      Because of that, areas with high % renewables need "backup generators" that go when the renewables aren't around. Those are expensive, and lead to the high energy costs

      1. I believe they also calculate that levelized cost on rated capacity, not taking into account what percentage of that capacity it actually generates. At any rate, if the claimed levelized costs were accurate, they wouldn't need continued subsidies. It's funny how they complain on the one hand that capitalists are too greedy to be allowed to survive, yet on the other hand, capitalists are too damned stupid to see the profit right in front of their faces.

        It's remarkably similar to the claims that the science is settled, yet they need more and more expensive research.

        1. There are typically 4 major omissions in the calculation of LCOE for renewables
          1) rated capacity vs actual capacity/usage
          2) additional costs associated with transmission
          3) Exaggerated life span of equipment and understated maintanence, and costs of maintaining grid frequency stability due to large fluctuations in power generation and
          4) cost of back up power, needing virtually 100% back up power.

          No doubt at the micro level, the costs are extremely low, but the costs mentioned above need to be included in order to do a proper LCOE analysis

      2. A standby generator simply isn't factored into their vainglorious electrical power costs....

        It's just rude of people to want reliable electricity, and to have demands that are not met by these boondoggles.

    2. There should be a halt to all subsidized renewable power until the energy storage problem is fixed.

      There are no technically feasible methods of grid scale storage now. And distributed Tesla style powerwall, are neither sustainable or scalable, and extremely dangerous (If you doubt that check out news of 'The Felicity Ace', a cargo ship full of EV's abandoned and burning in the Atlantic. Or GM's recall of the Bolt where they advise not parking a Bolt within 40' of another car).

  3. Do a little research Johnathan. It was NEVER about the environment, it was about the destruction of US energy producers. This goes back to the Cold War. Ever wonder why the Soviet Navy was primarily submarines? The objective was to get the US reliant on foreign oil. That way in the event of a war, the Soviet Navy could threaten the tanker traffic from the Middle East and or prevent US forces from providing assistance to Europe.

    1. Global warming is a Soviet Plot. Good one.

      Do fluoride next!

      1. So much for the low hanging fruit which no one defends. Now do the high hanging fruit.

        1. Much easier to strawman someone.

          It's really no different than China's deliberate attempt (with success thus far) to foster foreign dependence on its products.

          1. Don't need to strawman someone who blithely declares man made climate change is not actually a thing.

            No point in engaging with someone who is more interested in polishing their ideological commitment to their party line than anything else.

    2. How did that actually work out?

      US energy producers lead the world in production, plus they have the flexibility to gear up when prices are high, and back off when prices are low.

      The US is the biggest LNG exporter by a hair over Qatar and Australia taking advantage of natural gas prices in Europe that are more than 3x the price they are in the US.

  4. The purpose of government is corruption, to get in the way to get paid to get out of the way. Good-sounding regulations are to give cover for corruptions in government to do what they do worldwide, throughout human history, by getting useful idiots on your side so you can get elected, and thus secure your primary purpose of corruption.

    My revelation was not that corruption was an unfortunate side effect of the wielding of power. It was the purpose of power all along. Any benefit is the unexpected side effect, often dragged, kicking and screaming and chained to corruption.

    Worldwide, you go into politics to be corrupt, to make a better life for yourself and your family. Around 1990 there were massive college protests in India because the government had reserved something like 50% of new government jobs for the low castes.

    Why would students protest against it? "Because going into government for corruption is how you earned a nice lifestyle. If you got to be the approver of new buildings in a region, you had it made. The standard 'fee' was 10% of the cost of a new building."

    Boy, I was glad I lived in the US where this stuff didn't happe.....

    1. These were some I dian colleagues explaining the behavior of the college students to me, as I was puzzled. In the US, they would have protested in favor of something like that, not against it.

    2. The purpose of government is corruption, to get in the way to get paid to get out of the way

      You love to say this. Congrats on burnishing your ideological bona fides, but anything that extreme is always going to be nonsense. The world is not a purely ideological place.

      Politicians generally start out pretty rich. I was on the Hill - a bunch of them are there for glory, not money. Maybe not better, but a different pathology than corruption.

      1. "I was on the Hill"

        And the Pentagon and currently a Federal agency and you talk to a lot of college kids and know a lot of happy professors.

        All experiences available to make your points. Nice.

        1. Thanks for calling me a liar.

          Kindly fuck off.

          1. Thanks for calling me a liar.

            Given how far you constantly go out of your way to prove yourself one, it would be rude not to acknowledge it.

      2. Now you admit that only the rich get into politics?

        Next step: they don't get into politics to get poorer.

        1. Does seem odd that people who aren't in it for the money make incredible amounts of money while in office for a job whose salary does not approach a level to generate such incredible sums of money.

        2. Yeah, it's a largely rich person's game.

          It sucks. We need reforms.

          Doesn't mean the alternative of leaving it to the markets, which is even more the playpen of the rich, is better.

      3. "a bunch of them are there for glory, not money. Maybe not better, but a different pathology than corruption."

        That's just a different type of corruption.

        1. Not by any definition of corruption I'm aware of.

          Yeah, statesmen are thin on the ground these days. That's bad. But lets not get melodramatic about it.

          1. Not by any definition of corruption I'm aware of.

            So you're so simple-minded that the only sort of personal gain you can conceive of is money.

    3. " The purpose of government is corruption, "

      Disaffected, politically irrelevant, bigoted right-wingers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

      Their inconsequential seething about all of this damned progress, and how much they hate modern America, is part of the soundtrack of the continuing national progress being shaped by our liberal-libertarian mainstream against conservatives' stale thinking and ugly conduct.

      Carry on, clingers . . . your betters will let you know just how far and how long.

  5. "Stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions will require"

    ...stopping Chinese carbon emissions.

    Since 1990, Chinese Carbon emissions has spiked from 2500 to 10500 megatons of CO2. More than the total of US and Europe's carbon emissions combined.

    There's an elephant in the room. If it's not addressed, then everything else is meaningless.

    1. The Greens help by imposing more costs here and in Europe so US and European productive industry has higher costs and loses out in competition with Chinese competitors. More Chinese industry, more coal burned. Thank the Greens.

  6. Good article on the Texas Feb 2021 electric grid fiasco

    What is overlooked by the green advocates in their zeal to only blame fossil fuel for the fiasco is Wind did not blow for nearly 9 days across Texas during the fiasco , but had very little wind across the entire north american continent for at least 4 of those days.

    As bad as the loss of 35-40% electric generation from fossil fuels for 2days, imagine the loss of 70-90%+ electric generation for 4-9 days.

    1. link to the realtime operating grid for the various grids in the US

      you can pick any time period , any grid

  7. Nuclear is definitely the technology that offers the biggest bang for the buck. The only problem is that the waste is the dirtiest waste material of any energy source including fracking and coal (neither of which you would ever want to touch you, let alone get into your body/water supply).

    So what is the solution? How do energy companies gain the trust of consumers when it is a two second Google search to find examples of companies that contaminate the environment with waste products due to their own irresponsibility and dishonesty?

    Because that"s the real problem. Nuclear is the solution to green energy, but history has shown that the providers can't be trusted to behave responsibly.

    Is it a shared responsibility throughout the industry (if one bad actor irradiates a neighborhood, the entire industry is on the hook for cleanup and restitution)? Is it regulations that require multiple redundant systems for waste storage that makes the chance of pollution the closest thing to zero that engineering can achieve? Is it personal financial and legal responsibulity for any individual who skimps even the tiniest bit on safely (or knows and does nothing)?

    What is the solution? Because nuclear is the best method available to creating energy independence for America, with the added benefit of being able to be a completely domestic supply.

    Also, as an aside, does anyone know if there is any research into ways to make the waste non-radioactive?

    1. "Also, as an aside, does anyone know if there is any research into ways to make the waste non-radioactive?"


      Briefly, let's talk about half-lives of various radioactive elements. You can have something with a very short half life (minutes). It is "very" radioactive, but degrades quickly. You can have something with a very long half life (millions of years) like Uranium. It's radioactive...but not "super" bad. There are low levels of uranium in the soil in many places. Because it degrades so slowly, it can be dealt with. And then you have those items with a half life in the years to decades area (Strontium-90, Cesium-137). These can be more problematic, because they don't degrade super quickly, but they also degrade fast enough to release substantial levels of radiation.

      With this in mind, very broadly speaking, you go into the nuclear reactor with radioactive material (Uranium), and you come out with radioactive material (Uranium), mixed with several other items, including most notably strontium-90 and cesium-137. For the sake of argument, let's call those those "bad actors". In theory, you could separate those out and expose them to more nuclear radiation in order to try to speed the degradation process. In theory. In practice, it would be horribly expensive, and may just spread out the radioactive elements more, causing potentially more problems.

      So, it's difficult. And in practice, it's easier to wait for them to naturally degrade. Even it it takes decades or centuries.

      1. Good explanation. The point is there are no easy ways to get quickly from very dangerous to acceptable.

    2. Solving that problem is only a matter of time...

      While true, I'll answer that seriously: Nuclear "waste", conveniently, tends to fall into two groups of isotopes: Highly radioactive, short lived isotopes, which really need to be isolated from people while they're cooking off, but burn out in a relatively short time, and mildly radioactive isotopes that will be radioactive for geological periods, but which really are more dangerous chemically, (Heavy metal poisoning!) than from their radiation.

      The latter, conveniently, are useful for fuel. The only reason we call them 'waste" is because the Greens managed to get reprocessing the fuel banned.

      So, 90% of the problem can be solved with fuel reprocessing.

      And THAT said, there are reactor designs intended to burn the wastes in place. The Greens have blocked those, too.

      It's all rather stupid, if you don't realize they've been pursuing a conscious policy of trying to kill nuclear power by outlawing every possible way of dealing with the wastes.

      1. As I note above, it's the stuff in between the short lived isotopes and the long lived isotopes that's particularly problematic. Those items with a half life in the years to decades area.

        For that, there's not an easy answer.

        1. I guess that depends on your definition of "short lived"; If you're talking fission products of U235, you've got fission products of under 100 years half-life, and fission products of over about 210 thousand years, and nothing in between. So the waste could be separated into a component that only has to be secured for a feasible period of time, and a component that's so inactive it can be treated as a heavy metal, not radioactive, waste.

          And a large part of the 'waste' is actually fissile or fertile, and could be burned up in place in a properly designed reactor.

          1. Plus there are some clever tech stuff you can do to reduce the amount of waste.

            It's amazing how much you can increase the benefits of nuclear power just by introducing modern design and materials.

            Nuclear alone isn't the silver bullet, but it belongs in our arsenal.

            1. "Nuclear alone isn't the silver bullet, but it belongs in our arsenal."

              If the problem is CO2 emissions from grid scale electric generation, nuclear may not be a silver bullet, but it's the only bullet we've got.

              1. Plenty of renewables around as well. Plus carbon sequestration.

                1. "Plenty of renewables around "

                  In this analogy, wind and solar are BBs, not bullets. And carbon sequestration is a blank.

                  1. Taking a position that there can and will be no technological progress is a bold move. It's one a lot of Greens would agree with you on.

                    On the upside, I think you're setting yourself up to be pleasantly surprised, though obviously I don't know where when and how.

                    1. It's not at all a position no technological progress is possible.

                      No amount of technological progress will make wind and/or solar 24/7 reliable.

                    2. Taking a position that there can and will be no technological progress is a bold move.

                      It's also not even remotely the position he took.

                      Weren't you just whining about being called a liar?

            2. In the nuclear industry, increased benefits have always been especially amazing prospectively.

          2. How many times could you reprocess the same waste? And is there a diminishing return for the process? For example, could you run it 4 more times, but lose 25% of the output each time? Is there a point where the cost-to-output would fail to be worth it?

            Regardless, increasing the trust factor in the companies that would build and operate the plants would be a huge boost. They have a long way to go, but it is a long-term problem so the timescale should allow an ethical company to build trust in both consumers and the communities they want to build in.

            Of course, upgrading the electrical grid would be the same as a new power plant or two. The efficiency of our power grid sucks.

      2. Bellmore, the sad fact is that truth pollution long ago replaced waste pollution as the nuclear industry's limiting problem. If there was information they could not suppress, they just lied to everyone, all the time, about everything. The industry's credibility is gone, at least until tens of millions of people who got lied to die. Maybe then there would be a chance to start over. Until then, forget it. Get behind renewables. If that turns out more expensive than you want it to be, blame the nuclear industry, for lying so much.

        1. “If that turns out more expensive than you want it to be, blame the nuclear industry”.

          Are we also to blame the nuclear industry for renewables inherent unreliability?

          Anybody who wants to be carbon free and dismisses nukes as part of the solution is not a serious person.

          1. bevis, nobody is dismissing nukes as part of the solution. Everyone is dismissing nuke advocates, as managers of the solution. Why? Because nuke advocates have indelibly branded themselves as liars—consistent, long-running, consequential liars. From a public standpoint, it is as if nuclear power generation has one stand-out feature the public can reliably count on, and that is lying by its advocates and managers.

            I would like to be carbon free. If I had any authority I thought I could trust, to tell me how that could be accomplished technically, I would favor that technology. But I have a problem. Not far from me is a shuttered nuclear power plant, permanently closed. On the grounds of that plant are giant casks of high-level nuclear waste, packed in rows, adjacent to a trivial chain link perimeter fence, which fronts a lightly-used roadway.

            To me, in my ignorance, that seems insecure. It seems about as wise as putting one of those casks down in the middle of DuPont Circle would be. Nobody would suggest doing that. Everybody understands that promises were made that insecurities of that sort would never be tolerated. But there they are, at plant after plant, all across the nation.

            You want my trust for a nuclear solution? Fix the political process, and build safe permanent storage for those casks. Until that can happen, I understand that I cannot trust nuclear, because I cannot trust nuclear managers, and I cannot trust nuclear politics. Their failures to deliver on their promises are ongoing, right up to today.

            This nation might indeed be capable of building safe, reliable nuclear generating capacity. It is demonstrably incapable of safe political management of that technology.

            That is the problem nuclear advocates have to fix. It looks so hopeless to me that I suggest you give up, and back something else instead. For sure, you will not get far touting the engineering, but leaving the political failures unaddressed.

        2. "If that turns out more expensive than you want it to be, blame the nuclear industry, for lying so much."

          Or more likely, people eventually give up on renewables as infeasible and go back to fossil fuels.

        3. If anyone knows about lacking credibility, it would be you.

  8. Nelson
    February.22.2022 at 2:30 pm
    Flag Comment Mute User
    "The only problem is that the waste is the dirtiest waste material of any energy source including fracking and coal (neither of which you would ever want to touch you, let alone get into your body/water supply)."

    fwiw - fracking fluid is extremely benign compared to the salt water in the formations. (maybe only .01% as nasty as the salt water).

    1. Damn. That's pretty scary.

  9. "Turning out the lights is not an option."

    Try telling Greens that. Turning out the lights is actually their goal.

    1. Is the Green New Deal just some kinda hoax?

      Not saying those folks are full of realism, but no need to infer their ends to be some sort of luddite agrarian farming.

      1. Yes it is. Anyone capable of basic arithmetic can see that. Any adult who refuses to admit that is either so incapacitated as to need a guardian, or a politician with a different agenda.

        1. Blind idealists are everywhere, but you're only angry at these ones.

          They're dumb on their own, but also unrealistic idealists have managed to get some pretty badass stuff done throughout history. I think they're wrong, but I would never call them simple.

          1. I think they're wrong, but I would never call them simple.

            For instance, the Representative from NY who has a degree in Economics and uttered the following gem (among many, many others)...

            "Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family."

   clearly an intellectual giant.

  10. Here's the progression

    1) Man made Co2 equals climate crisis therefore must have:
    2) Renewables (that is ONLY wind and solar) therefore must
    3) Have energy storage , imaginary lithium ion grid level batteries (that are very toxic)

    The first step is the wrong one. Low CO2 does not exclusively mean solar and wind which are intermittent.

    They even go so far as to close Diablo Canyon which could easily operate another 40 years. Just because I guess?

    Nuclear waste is a red herring. We already have the storage solution.

    1. "...imaginary lithium ion grid level batteries (that are very toxic)"

      Not only toxic, but very incendiary, like the Lion batteries (and 4000 cars) burning on that auto carrier off the coast of The Azores or the huge Lion grid storage battery fire in Australia recently.

      1. Also the fires at California's Moss Landing facility last week and last September. It's kind of amazing that their fire suppression systems caused more fires.

  11. We could solve so -called "climate change" by simply ending all the misinformation of this Big Lie. Perhaps Facebook and all those tech companies should also start censoring all this gibberish.

    1. Skeptical science - the "climate non science advocacy website " regularly has posted discussing reasons to Ban the publishing of "misinformation"

      1. Cancelling dissent is a great authoritarian method of getting everyone to agree something either doesn't exist or is not a problem. Now contrary to historical and other evidence people believe election fraud never happens and when it does it was some old Grandmother who voted twice for Trump.

        1. That's because every piece of evidence shows there isn't (and never has been) widespread fraud, while every allegation that there is has been shown to be unfounded.

          There are usually about 10k illegal votes, the majority of which are inadvertent (usually people who have lost the right to vote or who haven't regained the right voted). With tens of millions of votes cast, it is literally less than a drop in the bucket. And most are usually caught on election day.

          1. How do you explain all the Democrats that are supposed elected each year? No one is actually voting for those people....

            1. Turn around and look behind you. That faint line in the distance? That's reality. Go back while you still can.

          2. Now contrary to historical and other evidence people believe election fraud never happens

            Contrast that with your response:

            That's because every piece of evidence shows there isn't (and never has been) widespread fraud

            I wonder why you altered "fraud never happens" and made it "there isn't widespread fraud".

  12. "government regulation -- including much environmental regulation -- can get in the way"

    LOL God works in mysterious ways.

  13. if you ignore "climate change" it will go away.

    1. Usually changes about every 3 months or so

  14. If for no other reason, we need to push to create the renewable technologies that are the future to dominate the market. Coal is going the way ofnthe buggy whip and oil leaves too many vulnerabilities (both in supply and in the financial markets). Natural gas (especially LNG) could be a good bridge technology, but the holy grailnis definitely battery technology. Elon Musk is already way ahead and most people are fooled into thinking he has a car company thatbuses batteries instead of what he actually has: a battery company with a profit-making testing and proof-of-concept fleet.

  15. We need to remove all the non scientists/engineers who are involved in this insanity. Liberal art majors and lawyers never see a "problem" that can't be solved with more govt (and obviously also enriches themselves by providing the "needed" services of the legislation signed which doesn't work and only creates unintended consequences. I'd also stop listening to the scientists who are getting grants by delivering what the politicians want. Oh this doesn't occur? I was a research scientist (plasma physics) back in the 80s and the "hot" funding program was SDI. Every department lead at the university/govt research facility I worked at suddenly had research tied to SDI. Scientists are just like everyone else..they often whore themselves out for funding.

  16. Los Angeles Democrats already did their part:

    "To Fight Climate Change, Los Angeles Bans Restaurants From Giving Out Unsolicited Ketchup Packets"

    If environmentalists wanted to be taken seriously, they could try acting more like serious people.

    1. Tying it to climate change is dumb, but those packets are awful.

      1. Punishing innocent people because of your petty whims is awful. Tying it to climate change is just everyday Democrat dishonesty.

  17. Turning out the lights is not an option. We will power our modern economy one way or the other, and if it is too difficult or costly to deploy clean energy sources and to construct the infrastructure upon which it relies, we will stick with dirtier and more carbon-intensive energy sources.

    Nice little planet you got there—shame if anything should happen to it.

    Actually, turning out a lot of the lights is an option, and it would be a wise option to get started with. For instance, the nation is replete with upscale neighborhoods where security is not an issue—with outdoor security lighting blazing away all night on practically every lot. Same for parking lots, many of which are, paradoxically, both closed and lighted at night.

    Americans are literally scared of the dark, largely because many of them see darkness so seldom they freak out about it. 0.That has made for great business for the security lighting industry, and for utility companies, but much of that business supplies pure waste.

    Wasted interior lighting is another obvious issue—obvious because you can see it from outside, all night long. Our famous big city nighttime skylines make a bold statement—that we are a people too poorly organized to do anything about gratuitous waste.

    I get that I am saying this to an audience ideologically opposed to organization, no matter what the stakes. My argument is, consider the stakes.

    Of course, reducing that waste would be tough, in part because utility rate setting processes are industry captives in so many places. My electricity supplier, probably like yours, has so effectively lobbied utility regulators that a large and irreducible part of my bill goes to overpay for infrastructure. Infrastructure which the regulators have been permitting the company to degrade steadily, by postponing maintenance.

    Because I am habitually frugal about electricity use—but my home would be costly to optimize for electrical efficiency, and I do not want to take the out-of-pocket hit to get it done—I could cut my day-to-day consumption in half—and never see a commensurate percentage decline in what I pay—even though my kilowatt hour rate is among the highest in the nation.

    Dilemmas like that are the norm throughout the nation, and owe their ongoing existence to regulatory failures. Which are in turn symptoms of political failures. Adler advocates for continued political failure, and the consequences be damned.

    1. So your take on regulatory failure is that the solution is more regulations?

      And you decide that people who promote the benefits of mass spontaneous organization to be "opposed to organization"?

  18. You can't solve "climate change". Earth's climate has been changing ever since the planet developed an atmosphere.

    Yes, we know what you mean...but I despise that sort of dishonest euphemism. Was "global warming" too honest? Oh, and ditto the pants-on-head stupidity of "climate denial"...because apparently denying the existence of climate is a thing.

Please to post comments