Get weekly updates from Reason.
Today's Top Topics
Recent Research and Commentary
The Department of Energy’s Stimulus Loans Went to “Junk” Grade Investments and Firms That Spent the Most Lobbying
Study details the role political connections and lobbying played in securing loansDecember 3, 2013
A new Reason Foundation study finds 22 out of 26 projects were rated as “junk” grade investments before they were awarded taxpayer-backed loans as part of the Department of Energy’s Section 1705 loan program, which was part of the 2009 stimulus bill that focused on renewable energy, electric power transmission, and biofuels projects.
The report also highlights taxpayer-backed loans given to companies with ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Vice President Al Gore, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and a company founded by former Maine Gov. Angus Reid, who is now a U.S. Senator. According to the Reason Foundation study, the companies that spent the most on lobbying received the biggest Section 1705 loans.
“These projects were rated by credit rating agencies as junk investments with a high likelihood of failure, but the Department of Energy didn’t seem to care because it was giving loans to the firms that were well connected or were spending the most on lobbying,” said Julian Morris, vice president of Reason Foundation and co-author of the report.
The Reason Foundation report also questions why 83 percent of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Section 1705 loans went to solar energy projects, with wind receiving 11 percent of the funds.
Divestiture would lower deficit, benefit taxpayersOctober 8, 2013
In 1987, the federal government divested itself of Conrail, a freight railroad based largely in the Northeast and Midwest. Just as that divestiture was nearing completion, President Reagan is reported to have asked: "Okay, when do we sell the TVA?" While Reagan wasn’t able to achieve the sale during his presidency, fortunately the current administration is revisiting the issue today. Buried in the Obama administration’s FY 2014 budget is a commitment to undertake a “strategic review of options for addressing the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) financial situation, including the possible divestiture of TVA, in part or as a whole.”
Wind turbines have a significant impact on this nation’s birdsAugust 1, 2013
In his recent climate change speech, President Barack Obama once again pushed for more wind energy. "The plan I'm announcing today will help us double again our energy from wind and sun," the president said. "Today, I'm directing the Interior Department to green-light enough private renewable energy capacity on public plans to power more than 6 million homes by 2020." The latest wind power plan is likely to cost taxpayers a lot of money and cost a lot of birds their lives.
Would the Obama administration let oil or coal companies kill endangered species?August 1, 2013
From Solyndra, the failed solar company that cost taxpayers over $500 million, to Fisker, the car maker that could cost taxpayers $170 million, the federal government is spending billions of taxpayers' dollars on failing green energy projects. And now a planned wind farm near Tehachapi is shining a light on the environmental costs of such subsidies.
In May, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service gave San Diego wind power company Terra-Gen an exemption from prosecution if a turbine on its proposed wind farm 100 miles north of Los Angeles accidentally kills a California condor, one of the rarest species in America.
First, the environmentalists wanted to get rid of paper grocery bags because they were the result of destroying too many trees. Then the market developed a lighter, stronger alternative in the form of plastic bags. Now the environmentalists want to get rid of these, too, and force everyone to bring their own reusable bags when they go to the store.
Reason's Len Gilroy Talks TVA Privatization, Annual Privatization Report on Heartland Institute PodcastMay 23, 2013, 3:54pm
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the Heartland Institute's Steve Stanek for an episode of their Heartland Daily Podcast, where we discussed President Obama's recent budget proposal to study a potential privatization of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
View Resources by Type
- America on Way to Energy Independence Despite Fed Gov't, Obama Policies
November 18th, 2013
- Climate Change "Alarmists" For Nuclear Power
November 5th, 2013
- Poll: Majority of Brits Want Rail, Energy Companies Nationalized
November 4th, 2013
- Fracking Boosts Household Incomes by $1,200, So Expect Even More Protests!
September 10th, 2013
- The Top 5 Lies About Fracking
July 5th, 2013
- Obama's Climate Five-Year Plan
June 28th, 2013
- Democrats Are Holding Energy—and Prosperity—Captive
May 9th, 2013
- Why We'll Never Run Out of Energy: Q&A with Science Writer Charles Mann
May 3rd, 2013
- How Free Markets and Human Ingenuity Can Save the Planet
April 12th, 2013
- Why Anti-Fracking Environmentalists Are Holding Back the U.S.
March 13th, 2013
- Want Cheaper Food? End the Ethanol Mandate
February 27th, 2013
- 3 Reasons to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline
February 17th, 2013
- 3 Reasons to Build the Keyston XL Pipeline
February 17th, 2013
- Fracking Amazing: US Carbon Emissions in 2012 Will be Lower than in 2007 Due to Fracking
January 7th, 2013
- Will Congress Let the Wind Power Tax Credit Die?
December 6th, 2012
- Blue Science and Red Science
November 22nd, 2012
- Natural Gas Industry Cozies Up to Washington
Veronique de Rugy
November 6th, 2012
- Friday Funnies
October 19th, 2012
- On Oil and Gas Both Romney and Obama Were Economical with the Truth
October 17th, 2012
- Obama Plagiarizes Own Debate Promises From 2008
October 4th, 2012
- Another John DoE Surfaces in Solyndra
September 12th, 2012
- A Cheaper, Safer Sort of Nuclear Power
September 11th, 2012
- Gas Prices and Political Mythology
September 6th, 2012
- Central Planning Euphemism Watch
September 5th, 2012
- The Republican Party's Science and Technology Policy Platform
September 4th, 2012
- The Department of Energy’s Stimulus Loans Went to “Junk” Grade Investments and Firms That Spent the Most Lobbying (12/3)
- Obama and Reagan Agree: Divest the Tennessee Valley Authority (10/8)
- Obama Administration's Wind Energy Subsidies Have Birds Very Frightened (8/1)
- Cronyism Threatens California Condors (8/1)
- L.A. Becomes Latest to Pass Nanny-State Plastic Bag Ban (7/10)
- Ronald Bailey
- Shikha Dalmia
- Adrian Moore
Vice President, Policy
- Julian Morris
Vice President, Research
Media ContactChris Mitchell
Director of Communications
Your tax-deductible gift can help us promote individual liberty, choice, and free minds and free markets.