Energy Bullet Points: House Democratic Party Priorities Exclude AGW, Recognizing the Beneficence of Our Oil Puppet Masters, and Much More
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi this week unveiled the Democratic Party’s priorities for the first session of the 114th Congress. Notably absent from her to-do list was the mitigation of climate change, the awfulest, most dire, apocalyptic threat ever.
- Gasoline prices are below $2 at 40 percent of U.S. stations, reads a CNN headline. Which raises an important policy question: If greedy oil speculators control the oil market, as is maintained by many prominent progressives, then don’t we owe them our gratitude? I think so.
- This week EnergyWire ($) made waves with an analysis showing that Oklahoma led the country in earthquakes last year; the increased seismic activity (there were only 100 quakes in the Sooner State in 2013, and more than 500 last year) is widely thought to be associated with the disposal of wastewater in the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process. For perspective, please consider: This weekend, the Seattle Seahawks will host the Carolina Penthers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, and there is a very good chance that the home crowd’s rambunctiousness will trigger an earthquake.
- The 1 percent scored a huge victory today when two power companies terminated contracts to buy wind from the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, thereby seriously jeopardizing the wind farm’s future. The Kennedy family famously fought the green energy project, because it ruined the view from their compound. [Updated 6:48 AM EST 1.8.2015: I should note that the other 99 percent did well, too, as Cape Wind’s electricity was contracted at an astronomical rate. High energy prices are regressive–that is, they impact the poorest the most.]
- California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday attended the groundbreaking of the first phase of a much ballyhooed high speed rail project in the Golden State’s hinterlands. “This is important,” announced Governor Brown, in what is plainly an understatement: When completed, Phase 1 will service with a 220 mph train the 29 miles between Madera and Fresno, which is surely one of California’s most pressing infrastructure congestion trouble spots. Snark aside, the ultimate plan of the rail project is to link San Francisco and Los Angeles, but subsequent phases enjoy neither funding nor land titles to the route, according to the L.A Times. If California high speed rail was a stock, I’d go short (as aggressively as I could).