A couple of notable things today that I won’t be able to give the time they deserve:
- Brad at the Wonk Room notes that the self-styled Senate "centrists" who carved
$100 billion600,000 jobs out of the stimulus bill — under the guise of "cutting the fat" — managed to protect a $50 billion boondoggle for nuclear power, water down loan guarantees for renewable energy and grid projects, and boost subsidies to dirty energy. Nice work, "centrists."
- Amory Lovins has a guest post on the NYT’s Freakonomics blog, making his familiar case that small and smart beats big and powerful when it comes to electricity generation. The comments reflect all the usual misunderstandings Lovins encounters, including the comical demand that he supply statistics to back his case. Whatever Lovins’ faults, lack of statistics isn’t one of them. He’s even quantified the number of hidden economic benefits of micropower: there are exactly 207!
- Huzzah to Keith Johnson at the WSJ’s energy blog for making a point that is too-little understood by the broader body politic: dirty power is "cheaper" than clean power because dirty power doesn’t pay for its full costs. This seems incredibly basic and obvious to people who have been studying and writing about energy for a while, but it still hasn’t really penetrated the public conversation. Witness the outbreak of dumbassery in the WSJ comments.
- David Sirota makes a good point: if you tax energy companies to fund good things, you make those good things dependent on energy companies — perversely, you strengthen the political hand energy companies can play. Careful how you use tax revenue.
And that was just from today!