How to expose the true nature of pro-solar policies

In this issue:

  • How to expose the true nature of pro-solar policies
  • What are your favorite energy stories?
  • Talking points for today’s most vital issues
  • Best of Power HourBest of Power Hour: Mukul Sharma on Fracking 101

How to expose the true nature of pro-solar policies

During a recent speech to members of the fossil fuel industry I was asked, “​How do you answer someone who says, ‘We ought to be using more wind and solar: even if they’re inferior energy sources today, shouldn’t we aim to have a clean, efficient source of energy in the not too distant future?'” Here’s a (lightly edited) transcript of my answer:

One of the biggest deterrents to good conversations is that people are not clear on the choice that is being discussed. Every good discussion centers around a certain choice or decision that’s at issue. 

If I were discussing with somebody the question you raised, I would want to be clear on whether we’re talking about an investment decision, or, more likely, a policy decision. 

Usually the policy question on the table is whether we should radically restrict fossil fuels and replace them with wind and solar. It’s important to focus on the pros and cons of that policy, because otherwise what they can do is just act like they love technology rather than admit that what they advocate is anti-fossil fuel policies.

So the way I would handle someone who said they want a future where we used wind and solar would be to ask them: what should we do about it? Have a market where wind and solar compete on the same footing as everyone else? Give them special privileges? Double the price of fossil fuels?

Once they commit to something specific, then we can discuss the pros and cons of that versus alternative policies. But if you don’t start out by framing the issue the right way, then you’ll just come across as if you’re irrationally biased against wind and solar.

I love technology, I would love if wind and solar did an amazing job, but I don’t want to be forced to pay for them and I certainly don’t want to be prevented from using the best form of energy.

What are your favorite energy stories?

Thanks to everyone who has sent in energy-related stories, whether about how energy policy impacts people’s lives or personal stories about energy and energy policy. 

Here’s one last reminder that if you submit a story for either of those topics you’ll be eligible to win an I Love Fossil Fuels t-shirt. 

The story can be something you’ve read, something you’ve lived, or something you’ve seen.

Some sample topics:

  • A story about newly available energy in a developing country.
  • A story about how “green” energy is leading to increasing electricity disconnects.
  • How a bad energy policy destroyed the livelihood of a productive individual and their family.
  • How an individual is affected by high heating and electricity costs.
  • How an individual in the underdeveloped world is empowered by low-cost, reliable, clean heating and cooking.
  • How an individual (maybe an individual child) is harmed by a lawless green energy project.
  • How an individual is affected by a blackout.
  • How an individual benefits from having electricity for the first time.
  • How hard an individual works to produce low-cost energy in a safe and responsible way.

The more of these stories I can collect and share, the more powerfully we can make the case for energy abundance and energy freedom. 

Talking points for today’s most vital issues

As I mentioned last week, I’d like to start sharing effective energy talking points in this newsletter to counter all of the distortions we hear in the news. 

Thanks to everyone who has sent in suggested topics. If you haven’t, I’d like to hear from you: what issues or questions would you most like talking points for? It could be general questions (e.g., about climate or wind and solar), or it could be more specific issues like how to respond to particular news stories. 

Send in your requests and I’ll start sharing my answers in future editions of the newsletter.

Best of Power Hour: Mukul Sharma on Fracking 101

On this week’s Power Hour “best of” episode, I talk to one of the world’s leading experts on fracking, Dr. Mukul Sharma. Dr. Sharma has written numerous publications and conference proceedings, including pieces like “Hydraulic Fracturing: Facts and Myths”. Here are some of the questions that will be answered:

  • What is fracking?
  • What exactly is horizontal drilling?
  • What chemicals are used in the process?
  • How does fracking impact our environment?
  • And much more