Stimulus or political business as normal?

By Kennedy Maize “Stimulus” has become the universal political solvent in Washington since the advent of the Obama administration. No matter what narrow special interest, no matter what piece of local pork or advocacy policy preference, it all gets dissolved and incorporated into the administration’s stimulus package. You call it “stimulus.” I call it “earmarks.” […]

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Schleede: Buy bulbs, not wind, for stimulus

By Kennedy Maize   Congress will make a big mistake if it provides money for accelerated wind power development as part of the Obama administration’s new economic stimulus program, according to veteran energy analyst Glenn Schleede. Instead, he says in a recent privately-published paper, “Investment in energy efficient light bulbs would save more than five […]

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Former Entergy exec Packer may get NRC post

By Kennedy Maize A retired Entergy Co. executive, who has loads of hands-on operating experience at nuclear power plants, is a major contender for an open seat on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Daniel F. Packer Jr., 61, who was the first African-American to manage a U.S. nuclear power plant (Entergy’s Waterford plant), confirmed to […]

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Electric car vaporware

By Kennedy Maize Spare me the hype about electric cars. Allegedly “green” technology was a theme at the latest Detroit auto show, as chronicled by the New York Times last Sunday. Sorry, I don’t buy it. Been there, done that, didn’t work. In the early 1980s, electric cars were going to be the way to […]

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New congressman defines ‘poser’ and ‘poseur’

By Kennedy Maize Can you spell “poser?” Here’s my offering: “Eric Massa (D-N.Y.)” Massa, newly elected Congressman from New York’s 29th district (that’s Corning, the glass folks), showed up in Washington earlier this week to be sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives in the 111th Congress, having arrived in the city […]

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It all began with Enron

By Kennedy Maize At a pleasant Christmas dinner with friends last week, a smart diner posed a question: when should the government or the market have known that the U.S. (and the world’s, as it turns out) financial system was in life-threatening peril? After pausing to scratch my head, I proffered an idea: it all […]

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Obama, Cabinet government, and John Holdren

By Kennedy Maize Some of my friends on the left have been lamenting the Cabinet choices of president-elect Barack Obama. One of them wrote in an email recently, “As the new government was put together, brick by brick, a disturbing pattern emerged. Time and again, those who had braved the perils of the Clinton… threat […]

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Another downside to wind power

By Kennedy Maize Here’s an interesting new wrinkle on wind power, from a researcher at the University of Illinois. According to Somnath Baidya Roy, turbulence from large wind farms can harm growth of crops in the local countryside. Baidya Roy notes that in recent years, wind power has moved from small, isolated turbines to large […]

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Obama to make energy and environment picks

By Kennedy Maize The Obama administration has picked Steven Chu, currently the director of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to be secretary of energy. The selection was quite a surprise, as Chu’s name had not surfaced in any of the rumors circulating in Washington. Indeed, he’s not well know in Washington political […]

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It’s the name game at DOE

By Kennedy Maize It’s time for the latest round of the name game, this time focusing on who President Elect Obama will pick to head the Department of Energy. Clearly, the the DOE pick is a second-level decision, after economics and national security. In fact, DOE really doesn’t have much to do with energy. Around […]

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