Rick Perry’s Order to FERC Is Fraudulent

Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s ukase to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week—undo over 20 years of federal policy on national electric markets to aid coal and nuclear generation—is a joke. It is an entirely political screed devoid of intellectual content. That pretty much describes Perry. Rick Perry In an administration that bills itself […]

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How Drones Are Helping the Energy Sector

The toy everyone had on their Christmas wish list has become a technological phenomenon being used across a range of industrial sectors. That toy is the unmanned aerial vehicle—more commonly known as a drone. As the drone’s number of uses grows, so does users’ knowledge thanks to the highly sensitive detection methods they employ. One […]

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Is DOE’s Advanced Reactor Program a Bust?

Despite spending more than $2 billion over the past 18 years, the Department of Energy’s advanced nuclear research and development program (NE) is a bust, according to an article in Environmental Research Letters and reported at Phys.Org, the website of the Institute of Physics.  According to lead researcher Ahmed Abdulla of University of California San […]

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A Fascinating Early Wind Power Generation System

Sleek wind machines both on land and in the ocean intrigue many people. The units provide clean energy and contribute nothing to climate change. However, the early history of wind power in the U.S. included some interesting trials that bear no resemblance to the majority of today’s modern turbines. Many wind enthusiasts are aware of the […]

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Former Sen. Pete Domenici, Key Energy Legislator, Dies at 85

Former New Mexico Republican Sen. Pete Domenici died last week in Albuquerque from complications following abdominal surgery. He was 85.   Domenici was a tireless and bipartisan legislator over his career as the longest-serving senator in New Mexico history, from 1973 to 2009. He was also a thoroughly decent man who viewed political compromise as […]

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Blackout: A Coming Dystopia?

Dystopian novels are not my normal literary cup of tea (1984 excepted). But I just finished reading Marc Elsberg’s Blackout, originally published in Germany in 2012 and translated into English this year. It’s a bone-chilling thriller about an international Luddite group attempting to destroy modern civilization by bringing down first the European and then the […]

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DOE Grid Study: Will it Make a Difference?

The highly-touted Department of Energy’s grid study is anodyne and irrelevant but worthwhile nonetheless. Commissioned by new energy secretary Rick Perry in April, the order for the study charged the Department of Energy staff to examine whether current policy was responsible for base load coal and nuclear plant retirements that jeopardize the reliability of the […]

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FERC: Back in Business

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is back in business, with three commissioners constituting a quorum. The agency has a scheduled monthly public meeting for Sept. 20. By then it may have a full slate of five commissioners. But getting FERC rolling again involved some peculiar political musical chairs on the part of the White House. […]

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Paris Accord: Fact or Fiction?

Is the highly-touted 2015 Paris climate accord substantive or merely international slight-of-hand? In a new paper in the British journal Nature, a group of six international scholars, led by David G. Victor of the University of California, San Diego, suggest that the agreement is proving to be a sham. Titled “Prove Paris was more than […]

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Trump Energy Nominees Not Very Controversial

While the Trump administration has been glacially slow in filling second-tier jobs at federal energy agencies, his nominees to date ring few warning bells among those who have followed appointments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy. At FERC, which is far more important to the on-the-ground, day-to-day operations of […]

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