In this issue:
- Quick comment on the debate
- New speech to pro-freedom activists
- Rigged Against Reliables: How Electricity Pseudo Markets Punish Reliability and Drive Up Costs
- Quick Updates
Quick comment on the debate
Like many people, I found last night’s debate excruciating to watch for myriad reasons.
But I want to focus on energy, as that’s my specialty. President Trump, with whom I disagree on many, many things, has had probably the best energy and environmental policies of any president in the last 60 years.
Yet in last night’s debate he did virtually nothing to explain and defend the virtues of his policies. And he had no coherent answer to the climate questions that were guaranteed to come up.
When the President of the United States cannot champion and defend his own good energy policies it makes those policies as such look disreputable.
If anyone on this list is close to the administration, I implore you to share EnergyTalkingPoints.com with them. I and others have tried so far, obviously without success. But sometimes a disappointing debate performance is a wake-up call to prepare differently—and better.
New speech to pro-freedom activists
This past Saturday I was in the Washington, DC area speaking to college leaders at Young America’s Foundation (YAF), a highly influential pro-freedom group. YAF is known for putting on great live campus events so I was eager to share my message with their leaders.
You can watch the presentation here. One thing I did a little differently this presentation was stress more from the outset the difference between being on a human flourishing standard of value and being on an unchanged nature standard of value.
Here’s a note I got from one of the students, Wyatt Eichholz from the University of Alabama.
I heard your presentation at YAF’s 2020 Road to Freedom seminar. I thoroughly enjoyed the way you made a clear argument that was explicitly pro-fossil fuels, an argument supported by relevant facts but ultimately rooted in the philosophical value of human flourishing.
Often, the counterarguments that are given in response to the Green New Deal and climate change extremists are merely that: a defensive response. They usually rely on poking holes in progressive arguments, and while such counter-arguments are valid, they don’t speak to the underlying moral argument that progressives make. Yet it is exactly at the moral level that hearts are won and minds are changed. (Hence, why the GND continues to gain support even as its central tenets are routinely debunked.)
That’s why your talk stood out to me. The high-school debater inside of me was thrilled to see that you started your presentation by emphasizing a clear moral value with which all sides of the debate agree (or should agree). All of your arguments logically flowed directly from that value. In this context, even the commonly-cited arguments in defense of fossil fuels were given a deeper impact.
Your presentation should be the model for how arguments ought to be constructed in modern discourse, especially on the energy issue. More broadly, anyone hoping to change minds on an issue of public policy should follow the formula you lay out and connect hard-hitting analysis to issues of morality and values.
Thanks for speaking at the Road to Freedom seminar!
As you can tell, he really got my message!
Rigged Against Reliables: How Electricity Pseudo Markets Punish Reliability and Drive Up Costs
It’s common for us to hear that solar and wind are cheaper than coal or gas. Specifically we’ll hear that solar and wind are “bidding” at lower prices than coal or gas. All of this sounds very competitive, like they’re winning on a free market.
And yet at the same time, something is clearly very wrong. Electricity costs tend to go up the more “cheaper” solar and wind you add. Intuitively we know that it’s wrong to not factor in reliability when you’re comparing prices.
In recent months I have been corresponding about electricity markets with Tom Stacy, an electricity consultant and author of this ground-breaking study on true electricity costs for the Institute for Energy Research.
Tom has been able to explain better than anyone else how electricity markets are “rigged against reliables,” so I brought him on this week’s Power Hour to break down the issue.
Bottom line: the value of reliability is not priced into today’s electricity “markets”—and it needs to be.
- The PragerU mini-doc, Religion of Green, in which I am featured prominently, has 600,000 views so far.
- I did an interview for Alpha News podcast, a popular Minnesota-based organization, to talk about EnergyTalkingPoints.com.
- While I’ve been doing some live speeches, I’m doing many more virtual speeches. If you’d like to set up a virtual event reply to this email and let me know the details.
- Joe Sinnott, an executive coach for energy industry leaders, shared some insights he got from The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels in a recent episode of The Energy Detox podcast. The relevant section starts at around the 19:50 mark in the episode.
- I haven’t mentioned this in awhile, but I’ve been releasing new episodes of The Human Flourishing Project every two weeks. Recent topics include how to avoid overwhelm, how to learn from masters, and “strategic discipline.” Sign up for updates on new episodes at HumanFlourishingProject.com.
- Despite the fact that the news media are focused on everything but energy, I continue to get more interest and positive reactions from candidates and political leaders on EnergyTalkingPoints.com. Please keep sharing this resource. I’m hoping energy comes up in the presidential debates to draw far more attention to the issues.
Thanks for reading this week’s newsletter.
Thanks as always to the Accelerators who help support the talking points project, the new Moral Case book, and other projects that help us spread pro-human energy thinking.
To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,