Tag: Energy

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Has Fusion Energy Finally Arrived?


Lockheed Martin has claimed that their famed Skunk Works division made a major breakthrough in developing a nuclear fusion reactor. Their plan is to create several 100-megawatt reactors small enough to fit on the backs of trucks.

As a former submarine reactor operator, I wondered if I would ever see economical nuclear fusion in my lifetime. Fusion has long been a holy grail to nuclear engineers, with research institutions pouring billions into models that produced little energy at exorbitant cost. Many charlatans and cranks have latched onto fusion as a sort of perpetual motion machine, sullying the field for real scientists.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. California Solar Plant Kills 30 Birds an Hour


The workers call them “streamers.” Hapless birds that fly over a massive California solar array, only to be immolated in midair, leaving a brief plume of smoke and a medium-well carcass.

BrightSource Energy’s state-of-the-art plant in the Mojave Desert is the largest solar thermal power plant on earth — and the deadliest.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Colorado Anti-Fracking Initiatives Anger Ranchers, Democrats


colorado-frackingOn the north slope of the Grand Mesa in Colorado, a cattle ranch sits in the Plateau Valley that has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations. They raise hay and pasture on about 1,500 acres of irrigated ground, both owned and leased, grow alfalfa and grass hay, and set a few acres aside for small grains. During the summer, they run their cattle on National Forest land — 60,000 acres that they share with 10 other ranchers. What many people might not realize about ranches like these is that the energy industry is a big part of their lives.

Carlyle Currier’s great grandfather bought his first farm in 1891, and the current ranch in 1906. “The legacy of such long-term ownership,” said Currier “gives you a real sense of the importance of caring for the land. You certainly can’t profitably farm the same ground for more than a century without taking good care of the resources.” With a son currently studying agriculture business at CSU, Currier is not only taking care of the legacy left to him, but securing that legacy for the fifth generation of ranchers and beyond. Gas drilling is an important part of this legacy, and has been for decades.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Trick the Bumpkin: Democrats and the EPA


Today’s EPA decision to limit the emissions of coal-fired power plants was expected as part of the legacy stage of Obama’s presidency. Our side immediately rushed to declare that middle-class families will be hit with higher electric bills, that we face reduced economic growth, and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

However, today’s most important lesson isn’t that Obama is willing to wreck a sector of the economy in order to build the Tom Steyer Wing of the Obama Presidential Library. It’s that the liberal apparatus in the press, the vast constellation of left-wing advocacy groups, and the Democratic donor class are perfectly comfortable with lying to win, and that the rules they insist everyone else play by are tissue-thin political screens.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. War on Coal = War on Freedom — D.C. McAllister


In 2008, President Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle, “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

Obama’s Climate Action Plan clearly states his opposition to coal: “Going forward, we will promote fuel-switching from coal to gas for electricity production.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Abundance Revolution — Rob Long


James Pinkerton is one of our side’s most original thinkers. I’ve known Jim since the George H. W. Bush Administration, and he’s never failed to make me think, and think hard, about America’s future.

Here he is at Breitbart.com looking back at America from a (mythical, possible) 2064. He ties some things together —North Dakota’s natural gas boom, the feckless Obama Administration’s foot-dragging on the Keystone XL pipeline, federal land grabs, anti-progress environmentalists, Chinese competition, and American entrepreneurship — and delivers a pretty optimistic summation of what he calls the great Abundance Revolution. It starts in Nevada, on the ranch of Cliven Bundy.  From Breitbart.com:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Is the US Counting Too Much on the Shale Boom to Fix the Economy? — James Pethokoukis


Calling the shale gas and oil boom an “energy revolution” is no overstatement. Between 2005 and 2013, US production of natural gas increased by 33% and liquid fuel 52% thanks to advanced drilling technology. But I get the impression that some people — particularly on the right — see fracking as a sort of magic bullet for America’s economic stagnation. Well, that and the repeal of Obamacare.

But I urge caution in equating an America energy revolution with an American economic revolution. It’s a big economy, after all. And it’s tough for any one thing to make a dramatic, overwhelming impact. For instance: the McKinsey Global Institute has projected that so-called unconventional energy production could support 1.7 million jobs by 2020. IHS Global Insight takes its forecast out to 2035 and sees a gain of 2.4 million jobs. Those are big numbers, of course, but they seem less impressive when you consider that total US employment by then might be 160-170 million jobs.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Energy From the Sea


Why, again, are we not doing this? From Japanese business publication Asahi Shimbum:

Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co. plans to explore and extract methane hydrate, a potential source of domestic fuel for energy-poor Japan, in waters around the archipelago.