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California needs a reasonable balance of cheap, safe oil pipelines and flexible oil trainsMay 12, 2014
Some politicians in California, and people like me who live near railroad tracks, are waking up to the fact that four times as much oil was shipped to California by train over the last year than the previous year. Most of it was heading to refineries here in Southern California. As the oil trains have increased, so have complaints and environmental concerns about them. Rather than responding to calls to restrict these trains and further raise our gasoline prices, however, state officials need to address the need for oil pipelines connecting California with the Midwest.
Ownership of TVA should be transferred to the states it servesApril 17, 2014
Kudos to the Obama Administration and its proposed fiscal year 2015 budget for continuing “to believe that reducing or eliminating the federal government’s role in programs such as TVA [the Tennessee Valley Authority], which have achieved their original objectives, can help mitigate risk to taxpayers.” The TVA remains a government-sponsored enterprise, despite being the largest power generator in the United States—hardly a core government function given the robust private marketplace in electricity.
It's time for policy makers to revisit TVA’s existence as a federal agencyJanuary 9, 2014
TVA is a federally owned power company yet it pays its executives at the private sector level. If retaining an executive to head a federal agency requires this high level of compensation (as TVA asserts), it is time for policy makers to revisit TVA’s existence as a federal agency and make the entire entity, not just its pay scales, comparable to private firms to which its executives’ compensation packages are compared.
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.
Why the Department of Energy should stop guaranteeing loans for green energy projectsDecember 3, 2013
Why did the Department of Energy (DOE) systematically make loan guarantees to companies that are financially unsound? This study shows that many recipients had close ties to those in charge of approving the loan guarantees. Moroever, the DOE appears to have allocated funds broadly in proportion to applicants’ lobbying expenditures. In other words, it is likely that loan guarantees were allocated not on the merits of the projects but, rather, according to the degree to which the applicants were able to use political connections. Worse still, by encouraging private investment in unduly risky projects, the DOE's diverted money away from more sustainable projects that might actually result in environmental improvements.
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.”
View Resources by Type
- Tax Carbon or Innovate to Save the Climate?
June 23rd, 2014
- Vice President’s Son Joins Board of Directors of Ukrainian Gas Company
May 13th, 2014
- Keystone XL Pipeline Likely Done for the Year
May 13th, 2014
- 61 Percent Favor Building Keystone Pipeline
April 18th, 2014
- 62 Percent Oppose Govt Subsidies to Oil but 58 Percent Favor Subsidies to Wind and Solar Companies
April 17th, 2014
- How to Become an Independent and Solve the Future of Energy Production!
April 15th, 2014
- Let’s Frack Our Way to a Freer World
March 4th, 2014
- 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
- Oil Trains Run Because Pipelines Don't (5/12)
- Obama on TVA: Time to Transfer to Help Mitigate Risk to Taxpayer (4/17)
- The Highest Paid Federal Employee Is Not the President (1/9)
- The Department of Energy’s Stimulus Loans Went to “Junk” Grade Investments and Firms That Spent the Most Lobbying (12/3)
- Lobbying, Cronyism and Section 1705 Loan Guarantees (12/3)
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Vice President, Research
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