A Few Energy Links

by Brian McGraw on May 31, 2011

in Blog

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1. Everything you’ve heard about fossil fuels may be wrong, Michael Lind (Salon):

The arguments for converting the U.S. economy to wind, solar and biomass energy have collapsed. The date of depletion of fossil fuels has been pushed back into the future by centuries — or millennia. The abundance and geographic diversity of fossil fuels made possible by technology in time will reduce the dependence of the U.S. on particular foreign energy exporters, eliminating the national security argument for renewable energy. And if the worst-case scenarios for climate change were plausible, then the most effective way to avert catastrophic global warming would be the rapid expansion of nuclear power, not over-complicated schemes worthy of Rube Goldberg or Wile E. Coyote to carpet the world’s deserts and prairies with solar panels and wind farms that would provide only intermittent energy from weak and diffuse sources.

A healthy, optimistic look at future energy supplies.

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Richard Morrison, Jeremy Lott, and Jerry Brito bring you Episode 90 of the LibertyWeek podcast. This week we take a look at Robert Bryce’s work on the myths of green energy. Segment starts approximately 10:25 in.

The Wyoming House and Senate have passed the nation’s first tax on wind energy and sent the bill to Governor Dave Freudenthal.  The Democratic Governor proposed the new tax to the Republican-dominated legislature last month and so is almost certain to sign the bill into law.

The new excise tax of one dollar per megawatt hour will begin in 2012 and will apply  to windmills that have been generating electricity for three years or more.  Revenues are to be split 60-40 between counties and the State.

Amusingly, Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, complained about the proposed tax on the grounds that it would discourage wind power production:  “It is very disturbing to hear that one of the great States for resources wants to tax the industry and discourage the development of jobs in their State.”  She did not mention that Wyoming already taxes oil, natural gas, and coal production, which is why it doesn’t levy a personal income tax.  Nor did she mention that wind power receives huge subsidies from federal taxpayers.  The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency estimated in 2008 that wind receives $23.37 in federal subsidies per megawatt hour.  So Wyoming has quite a ways to go before it captures the entire federal subsidy.

It will be interesting to watch how quickly other States follow Wyoming’s example.