Archive | Energy

DOLLAR: CPAC to Obama – Declare Love, Not War, on Fossil Fuels

Washington, DC – March 5, 2014 – If you’re wondering who the hundreds of young people wearing bright green at the upcoming CPAC are, look carefully at the front of their shirts—they don’t say “Greenpeace,” they say “I Love Fossil Fuels.”

“I Love Fossil Fuels” is a project of the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), a for-profit think-tank seeking to bring about a new industrial revolution. Alex Epstein, President of CIP, will be participating in the “Can America Survive Obama’s War on Fossil Fuel?” on Friday, March 7 at 3:30 pm.

Epstein, author of the forthcoming The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (Portfolio/Penguin), is known for debating all comers—from Greenpeace to Sierra Club to 350.org—on the big-picture benefits of fossil fuels. His unique moral and environmental arguments have created thousands of impassioned fossil fuel “champions”—and he aims to create a few thousand more at CPAC.

In a recent Forbes column on CPAC, Epstein wrote of fossil fuels:

“No other fuel has been able to match them in producing cheap, reliable energy for billions around the world”; “Overall life expectancy is up 7 years largely thanks to fossil-fuel-powered industrial progress”; “their industry is fundamentally good for human life—including for a healthier, safer environment.”

Before and after the panel, CIP invites you to its suite, “The Power Lounge,” to come learn more about fossil fuels—and enjoy the fruits of fossil fuels, including free food and drink (which we would not be able to afford if we had to depend on sunlight and wind gusts!). Whether you want a signed copy of Epstein’s Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet, a free CIP “Power Pack” of energy wisdom, a free “I Love Fossil Fuels” t-shirt, or some espresso to power you through the afternoon, come join us between 2 pm and 7 pm on March 7.

For more info about the event, including media inquiries, contact Lyda Loudon at lyda.loudon@gmail.com or 314-540-1191.

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Tesla Model S: A Fossil Fuel Car

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Writes Alex Epstein at Forbes:

[…] It is commonplace to contrast gas-powered cars with “electric cars,” but the electricity in an “electric car” must come from somewhere–and that somewhere is usually fossil fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas, which produce a combined 67% of electricity around the globe, because they are so cheap, plentiful, and reliable. And the role of fossil fuels is increasing, not decreasing; in the developing world, 80% of new power plants use low-cost coal.

To his credit, the salesperson at Tesla knew that the electricity had to come from somewhere–but not to his credit, he didn’t want to acknowledge how often that means fossil fuels. He awkwardly responded that, well, theoretically the Tesla can run on fossil fuels, but actually it’s designed to run on “something else”–namely, solar and wind. Here, he is repeating the gospel of Tesla founder Elon Musk, a vocal supporter of fossil fuels restrictions who says the Tesla will ”help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy.”

Unlikely. How much of the world’s electricity do solar and wind produce? After decades of subsidies, less than 1%. The reasons for this have been well understood for decades. Because sunlight and wind are low-density energy, they require vast land and material resources to capture. And worse, because sunlight and wind are unreliable energy, they always need a backup, which is almost always fossil fuels.

If Teslas take over the world, they will do so as mostly coal cars–or natural gas cars. And not just because of the energy it takes to run them, but because of the massive amount of energy it takes to manufacture them. The Tesla’s state-of-the-art materials, particularly that $30,000 battery, take a massive amount of energy to build–and that energy comes from fossil fuels, particularly coal. In fact, some studies argue that the Tesla battery takes so much fossil fuel energy to make that the car over its lifetime emits more CO2 than a gasoline-powered car.

Does that mean the Tesla is no good? Absolutely not. The fact that the Tesla uses a lot of fossil fuel electricity should not be used to damn the Tesla–it should be used to celebrate fossil fuel electricity.

Read the rest at With The Tesla Model S, Elon Musk Has Created A Nice Fossil Fuel Car.

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Alex Epstein Launches the Center for Industrial Progress

From Alex Epstein’s newsletter:

Last month I left my position as the Ayn Rand Institute’s Fellow on energy issues to start a new energy startup called the Center for Industrial Progress. Before I say anything about the new project, I just want to thank the Institute for all the support, intellectual and financial, that it has given me over the last decade–and that includes support for my decision to strike out on my own, which has always been a dream of mine.

The basic concept behind the Center for Industrial Progress is that our culture desperately needs to re-embrace industrial progress as a cultural ideal. America’s industrial progress has been declining, and with it, our economy–in large part thanks to the influence of the “green” movemenet, which has opposed industrial progress in the name of minimizing man’s impact on nature. At CIP, we celebrate man’s impact on nature, just as our ancestors celebrated Americans’ ability to “tame a continent.” We celebrate the never-ending project of the industrial revolution: to harness more and more energy to feed machines that do more and more work to make our lives better and better. This project is the key both to taking the American standard of living to the next level and to improving conditions for the desperately poor–the industrially poor–around the world.

We reject the false dichotomy between industrial progress and environmental progress; historically, industrialization has brought with it a radical improvement of the human environment. Indeed, industrial progress is the improvement of the human environment, from sanitation systems to sturdier buildings to less onerous job conditions to the production of creature comforts to having healthy, fresh food at one’s disposal year round, to the luxury of being able to preserve and travel to the most beautiful parts of nature. And so long as we embrace policies that protect property rights, including air and water rights, we protect industrial development and protect individuals from pollution. What “green” policies do is not improve the human environment, but sacrifice it to the non-human environment–just ask anyone trying to build an industrial project today.

For too long, Americans have taken industrial progress for granted, and carelessly embraced “going green” as an ideal–expecting that the unprecedented standard of living we had would automatically continue, even though we permitted environmentalists to oppose new energy production and new development at every turn. Today, we are paying the price, with an economy whose productive fundamentals are less and less sound. This needs to change–but not just to stave off the current problems. At CIP, our goal is not simply to stop bad policies and preserve the status quo. It is to champion great policies, policies that fully respect property rights and fully allow free markets, such that the brilliantly talented individuals of this great country can lead us to the next industrial renaissance.

At CIP, we believe that the potential for industrial progress is unlimited. Human beings, if left free,  have unlimited potential to produce more energy, create more wealth, create more productivity, raise living standards for every hard-working person, increase leisure time, transport things more quickly, conduct more complex scientific experiments, build sturdier, more comfortable places to live, travel farther and faster, experience more, and generally make life better and better. We can do this as a nation if we make industrial progress a cultural ideal, a goal to strive for. That is the goal of the Center for Industrial Progress. Or, to use one of our slogans, our goal is to convince Americans to stop “Going Green” and start “Going Industrial.”

As for how we’re going to do that, including what collaborators will be involved, stay tuned. And keep up with our various websites:

http://www.alexepstein.com

http://www.youtube.com/industrialprogress

http://powerhour.alexepstein.com

Also, note that I will be doing a lot more public speaking this coming Fall and Winter, so if you want to hear an illuminating, entertaining talk on today’s most important energy/industrial/environmental issues, go www.alexepstein.com and click on “Book Me” for my all new lineup, including “The Green Blackout,” “In Defense of Fracking,” and “Why America Needs to Stop Going Green and Start Going Industrial.”

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What Happened To All That Oil That Spilled in the Gulf?

From “Gulf oil spill was abated by bacteria that feed on hydrocarbons, report says” (Washington Post):

No, but the vast majority of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is already gone, according to a final government report released last month. That report, along with several experts contacted by the Lantern, provides a detailed picture of the oil spill and its aftermath.

Trying to remove all oil from the gulf would be a Sisyphean task. Every year, oil tankers, drilling platforms and boats spill more than 310,000 gallons of oil into the gulf. But even if we halted human activity in the gulf, natural seeps from the sea floor would still send 42 million gallons of oil into gulf waters each year.

These seeps actually prevented the BP spill from being an even worse disaster. The gulf has more natural seeps than any other body of water in or around North America. Because of this constant supply of hydrocarbons, there is always a healthy population of bacteria floating around the gulf looking for more food. When BP’s well blew out, these tiny creatures went into a feeding frenzy. (The lack of natural seeps, and oil-eating bacteria, is one of the reasons that Alaska’s Prince William Sound has been slow to bounce back from the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989.)

Related:

BP Oil Spill: Private Property is the Solution
How a Capitalist Government Would Handle the BP Oil Spill

Environmentalists Kill and Maim Dozens in Texas: How Environmental Regulations Reduce Safety and Productivity in the Energy Industry
A steadily-declining number of refineries, coupled with an ever-growing demand for the products of refineries, means companies must push their plants to the limit; many today operate at 95% of capacity, well above the norm for industry in general. That leaves little time for the maintenance, repair or upgrade of existing plants. This necessarily leads, in turn, to less-safe equipment and less-safe operations. Obviously, more regulation and more fines cannot possibly solve this problem.

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Six Myths and Realities About Oil

Over at Fox News Alex EPSTEIN writes about “The 6 Myths About Oil”:

Every American consumes an average of three gallons of oil a day. Republicans and Democrats call this reliance on oil an “addiction”—an irrational, self-destructive habit that must be broken as soon as possible. This year’s BP oil spill disaster is only making the chorus to “end our addiction to oil” louder. But if we examine the most common arguments for this idea, we see that they are myths. Oil is a vital, viable, and desirable part of our energy future.

He goes on to list 6 myths (and their corresponding realities):

  • Myth #1: America’s reliance on oil is an “addiction”—an irrational, self-destructive habit. Reality: America’s use of oil brings indispensible value to our lives.
  • Myth #2: There are “green” technologies that are just as good, or better, than oil. Reality: There is zero evidence that any “renewable” can replace oil in any foreseeable future.
  • Myth #3: Because oil is finite, it will inevitably run out. Reality: There’s a lot more oil than you think—and if we have a free market in energy we will ensure that we find superior substitutes long before we run out.
  • Myth #4: Because oil is mostly in other countries, they can cut us off at will and create an economic catastrophe. Reality: International trade makes our energy supply more secure—and far more affordable.
  • Myth #5: Because oil money funds hostile dictatorships (Iran, Saudi Arabia) by using less oil we can make them poorer and make ourselves more secure. Reality: Direct threats to America must be fought through direct and decisive military action—not through multi-decade, sacrificial schemes to lower oil prices.
  • Myth #6: Because the burning of oil produces CO2, oil is a deadly pollutant that must be severely capped. Reality: Carbon-caps, not carbon emissions, are the real deadly threat to human life.

Read the whole discussion here…

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