RealClearEnergy Articles

America’s Energy Future Depends on Pennsylvania

John Yudichak - December 1, 2021

For decades, many of us in northeastern Pennsylvania have talked about knocking the rust off our regional economy and creating not only new jobs but also new industries. Diversifying the economic portfolio of northeastern Pennsylvania means creating an ecosystem for entrepreneurs that helps small businesses prosper in our downtowns through partnerships with the region’s great institutions of higher education – partnerships like the Invent Penn State launchbox at Penn State Hazleton and the Idea Hub at the Wilkes-Barre Innovation Center. Creating a strong regional economy also...

How to End Political Gridlock and Cut Carbon

Graham Noyes - November 30, 2021

To slow the accelerating pace of climate change, America needs a comprehensive low carbon transportation energy policy at the national level. Perhaps the greatest roadblock to building a cleaner fleet of cars, trucks, aircraft, and ships is Congress’ tendency to try to predict the future by choosing certain technologies as winners and dismissing others as losers. This “winner take all” approach pits carbon reducing strategies (electric vehicles vs. biofuels vs. gasoline vs. more efficient cars and trucks) and their lobbyists and supportive lawmakers against each other on...

India’s Net Zero Pledge: What Does It Really Mean?

Tilak K. Doshi - November 29, 2021

As the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) came to an end last week, India became something of a whipping boy in the mass media, accused of being the “last-minute spoiler” by forcing the summit communique to water down language on “phasing out” coal to merely “phasing down.” It also earned notoriety by demanding $1 trillion of public cash for itself before the end of the decade, to be put up by the wealthy countries if they want India to steeply cut emissions in order to avoid the...

The Consumer Price Index Continues to Rise – How Does This Impact Your Truck Financing?

John Rickette - November 24, 2021

Recent increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) are having a noticeable effect on costs of certain truck financing structures – but not all. Understanding these specific nuances can mean the difference of millions of dollars lost or preserved toward the bottom line of a fleet with hundreds of trucks. The CPI measures the price of many goods and services, including groceries, clothes, restaurant meals, recreation and vehicles – light vehicles as well as commercial. According to a recent CPI report price pressures remained elevated year-over-year. In fact, the government’s...


Building a Circular Economy Requires Bold Action From Industry, Environmental Groups, and U.S. Policymakers

Katherine Lugar & Keefe Harrison & Ron Gonen - November 23, 2021

When our three organizations formed a new partnership in 2019, we set out with a common goal in mind: advance solutions that will help build a circular economy for plastic bottles. The non-alcoholic beverage industry led by American Beverage pledged to reduce its plastic footprint, and The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners leveraged their experience working with communities to modernize recycling infrastructure and solve the circularity challenges of today. Our collective efforts are working.  Hundreds of thousands of pounds of additional plastic are now being collected at...

Is Jennifer Granholm Even Qualified to Be U.S. Secretary of Energy?

Daniel Turner - November 23, 2021

Bluntly put, Jennifer Granholm is unqualified to be Energy Secretary.  That is not a criticism of her accomplishments or intelligence. She’s a smart woman and a savvy politician who not only won the governor’s mansion in Michigan twice but also convinced the Biden team to make her a cabinet secretary. But Energy Secretary is a serious job as energy is a serious issue. Everything needs energy. Think about it: the very first thing you did this day after you woke up needed energy: turn off the alarm, turn on the light, start the coffee, take a hot shower. And the very last...

Build Back Better Must Unlock Energy Storage Potential to Reduce Emissions

Bob Dean - November 23, 2021

As Congress debates the Build Back Better Act, one key provision designed to encourage rapid adoption of large-scale battery storage will, perversely, have the opposite effect. As currently drafted, it is not financially feasible for regulated utilities to install these modern, efficient batteries that are essential to ensure renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, can meet the reliability standards needed to maintain adequate supply of electricity for their customers.  The issue is an expansion of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to help build many more energy storage (batteries)...

Regressive Energy Taxes Hit Poor and Lower-Income Families, Creates More Inflation

Derrick Hollie - November 22, 2021

It’s hard to believe that the U.S. economy doesn’t have enough money, when the simplest definition of inflation – now at a 30-year high – is too much money chasing too few goods. President Biden has convinced himself that the way to increase the number of goods is to inject even more money into the economy. But if we could spend our way out of our inflationary problem, we would not be in one to begin with. According to budget expert Brian Riedl, over the past two years Washington has added $6 trillion in new deficit spending to combat Covid-19 and...


Test Your Climate Knowledge

Geoffrey Pohanka - November 22, 2021

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP26, has just concluded in Glasgow, Scotland. Nations agreed on a climate pact which states that carbon emissions will have to fall by 45% by 2030 to keep alive the 1.5C goal. This includes a phasing down of coal power, trading carbon credits across borders, and a call to return in 2022 with “new, more ambitious targets to curb emissions.” President Biden has called for the reduction of 50% of U.S. CO2 emissions also by 2030. U.S. Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, has warned of the...

“Hot Talk, Cold Science” and The Dangers of Centralized Planning in the Name of Climate Change

Kevin Mooney - November 21, 2021

When former President Barack Obama says “We are nowhere near where we need to be” in terms of climate change, he’s not  talking about reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The stated goals of the U.N. Paris Agreement that Obama, and other world leaders, embrace are properly viewed as a proxy for a larger agenda aimed at dismantling American independence and freedom. After all, the U.S. already leads the world in reducing Co2 emissions thanks in large part to hydraulic fracturing that accelerated during Donald Trump’s presidency. Forbes reports on the emissions...

Joe Biden’s War Against Alaska Benefits Russia

Duggan Flanakin - November 21, 2021

Joe Biden’s war on fossil fuels has taken perhaps its heaviest toll on the 49th State. Oil and gas account for roughly half of Alaska’s economy and a quarter of its jobs. There would be lots more oil and gas jobs in Alaska but for Joe Biden, who unilaterally suspended all oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that President Trump had earlier approved. Now that action is being challenged in court. The ANWR suspensions came on the heels of the weak defense of ConocoPhillips’ Willow Master Development Plan. In October, the Biden Justice...

East Coast’s Remaining Refineries’ Daunting Domestic Threat

Gordon Tomb - November 18, 2021

The modernization of the Trainer Refinery south of Philadelphia is initially obscured by aged brick buildings and hulking equipment. With closer examination, however, emerge brightly painted pipes, scores of gleaming white tanks and towering construction cranes that hint of ongoing upgrades. With a growing post-pandemic economy and strong energy prices, prospects are bright save for threats of a controversial carbon tax scheme by the governor and federal regulations. Federal rules have contributed to the closure of seven independent refineries on the East Coast since 2009, leaving...


COP26’s UK Hosts Peddle Climate Misinformation

Vijay Jayaraj - November 17, 2021

As hosts of the Glasgow COP26 climate conference, UK leaders were models for the meeting’s steady stream of misinformation and fearmongering that came from the likes of Barack Obama and Greta Thunberg. “The clock on the doomsday device is still ticking, but we’ve got a bomb disposal team on site,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “They’re starting to snip the wires – I hope some of the right ones.” If the specter of catastrophic global warming is not sufficiently scary, how about the image of an explosion? As for misinformation,...

Stop Methane Emissions Now to Power the Regenerative Future

Chris Romer - November 17, 2021

Here’s a simple truth: the world uses natural gas for heat and electricity at home and work every day. Demand will grow by 31.6% until 2035, when it’s expected to plateau as the energy transition matures. Renewable energy sources and battery storage technology have made incredible advances in a short time. However, natural gas will underpin the world’s energy demand as they rely on it for dense energy. This is the reality we’re living in. The energy transition is just that - a transition. There is no binary switch to flip. Building a net-zero energy mix requires...

Government Officials Should Prioritize Climate Solutions, Not Climate Lawsuits

Jeffrey Kupfer - November 16, 2021

As COP26 concluded last week in Glasgow, the verdict is still out as to whether the two-week climate summit will ultimately be considered a success.  On the one hand, there were plenty of pledges, high level political, corporate, and celebrity attendees, and media attention. On the other hand, none of that activity automatically translates into concrete results. The real measure of success will be what happens next. Will countries implement their pledges? Will there be transparency and accurate reporting? Will there be technological breakthroughs to accelerate the transformation to a...

Nuclear Shines Bright at COP26

Dan Byers - November 15, 2021

For the past two weeks, the eyes of the world were focused on COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. UN climate gatherings are a unique blend of quiet international negotiations and a whirlwind of public announcements and programming from governments, businesses, and environmental stakeholders alike.  As an official accredited observer, the Chamber has been in the middle of it all, highlighting the work of the business community in driving climate solutions.    Walking the halls of COP26, one can’t go far without bumping into young activists in bright blue shirts...


Real-World Data Demonstrates FCC Should Rethink 6 GHz Decision

Craig Gilley - November 15, 2021

Could satisfying our voracious addiction to cheap wireless devices destroy our ability to protect the electric grid? Recent actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) make that possibility all too real. It’s not too late to change direction. When people think about national energy policy, the FCC, our nation’s top telecommunications regulator, typically doesn’t come to mind. But the FCC has inserted itself at the center of how we safeguard our electric grid, myopically choosing to promote new WiFi devices over grid safety at all costs. In its zeal to create as...

After Glasgow, 1.5 Is Dead – Get Over It

Rupert Darwall - November 14, 2021

The Glasgow climate conference represents a strategic defeat for the West, and for Britain in particular. Boris Johnson unleashed everything he could muster. The royal family hosted receptions for multibillionaires. The Foreign Office sent climate envoys around the world. Glasgow would show the world that Britain could outdo France’s performance six years ago at the Paris climate conference. Wrong. Whereas the French knew what they were doing in Paris, the British were at sea in Glasgow. The result was a display of the rank amateurishness of the British state. If Boris Johnson and his...

Engage Big Oil for Lower Emissions

Paul Steidler - November 12, 2021

These are heady days for bashing U.S. and European multinational oil corporations while also begging OPEC to increase oil production. Talk about mixed and bizarre messages. A better course is to embrace Big Oil in the push for lower emissions and challenge it to keep its word on bold public pledges. BP, for example, has promised to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050 and is using large-scale data analytics to get there. This includes more quickly identifying problem oil wells where immediate shutdowns should occur. At an October 28 hearing of the U.S. House of...

Pitfalls of Energy Transition on Full Display in Europe

Matthew Kandrach - November 11, 2021

Regardless of whether the coming winter proves to be mild or severe, Americans are going to be paying a lot more just to stay warm. In the midst of a global energy crisis, energy-driven inflation is here and most Americans are deeply concerned. Unfortunately, energy policy now under consideration could make the situation far worse, rather than better.   From gasoline to heating oil and natural gas, energy prices have jumped over the past year and they are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration is projecting that heating costs...