Archive for the ‘Steven Milloy’ Category

Beyond zero-sum games: Instead of mandating "green power" and greater efficiency, why not mandate MORE COMPETITION in power markets?

October 11th, 2009 No comments

To my disappointment, it turns out that Joe Romm, who  maintains the Center for American Progress` Climate Progress blog, didn`t let through my prior comment about how our discussions about green/efficiency mandates ignore the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, namely, inefficiency stemming from the lack of competition in consumer electricity markets.

But I`m not so easily discouraged; on the heels of Google`s roll-out of software and a monitoring device specifically to enable consumers to more efficiently use electricity, I tried again (toned down so he would not have to see how guys like Steven Milloy mirror him).  Here`s the comment I submitted:

Joe, on the issuie of mandates, both you and Henderson fail to consider WHY our power system isn`t MUCH more efficient and doesn`t provide greater consumer choice – namely, grants by local governments of power monopolies and related regulatory balkanization.

Let`s not forget that the “ethical” argument for interfering with the market for electrical products is based on the fact that local governments have prevented competition in local markets for power generation and distribution.

That there are huge efficiency gains to be made in improving consumer electricity markets is precisely why Google is focussed on providing consumers with greater information about their electricity consumption.

Thus we see one of the continuing problems presented by the fight for control over the wheel of government: those who want to steer it their way are so sure they`re right – and convinced that the others are stupid or evil – that they can`t be bothered to try to notice or try to achieve shared objectives.

Statism & clear partisan blindness: Joe Romm, Steven Milloy and ethical certainty over problems stemming from lack of competition in power markets

October 5th, 2009 No comments

Joe Romm of Climate Progress has a new post up that lambasts a recent WaPo op-ed by “environmental ethicist” David Henderson. Romm provides useful information on the relative efficacy of government technology forcing efforts, but comes down like a ton of bricks on Henderson, all while ignoring the 800 lb. gorilla in the room – consumer frustration over, and energy inefficiency resulting from, the lack of competition in local power markets.

In this, Romm mirrors anti-enviro Steven Milloy, who has been raking GE over the coals for its actions to support “green mandates” for subsidies that benefit GE by stimulating markets for GE`s energy-efficient smart meters and smart water heaters

I left the following note at Joe`s that draws attention to the parallels:

Joe, you marginalize yourself and do the debate a disservice by continuing to mirror partisans like Steven Milloy, who`s so busy demonizing those who want more green power and greater efficiency that he forgets to examine WHY our power system isn`t MUCH more efficient and doesn`t provide greater consumer choice – namely, grants by local governments of power monopolies and related regulatory balkanization

Let`s not forget that the environmentalists` “ethical” argument for interfering with the market for electrical products is [based on the fact] that local governments have prevented competition in local markets for power generation and distribution.

[To comment, please visit this post at my main blog at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.]

Categories: Joe Romm, monopoly, power, Steven Milloy Tags:

Steve Milloy criticizes GE’s "smart-meter profiteering" via green mandates, but ignores state grants of "public utility" monopolies

October 2nd, 2009 No comments

Anti-enviro gadfly Steven Milloy has a new blog post up that rightly skewers the green mandates that are providing a taxpayer-funded stream of business and profits to GE.  Notes Milloy:

GE announced today that utility giant American Electric Power (AEP)
will purchase 110,000 smart meters from GE. And just how is AEP
managing to buy all these smart meters? President Obama and Congress
are making us pay for them.

On Sep. 1, AEP applied to the Department of Energy for $75 million in federal stimulus money for the smart meter purchase.

It’s a good thing that GE’s Immelt sits on Barack Obama’s Economic
Recovery Advisory Board — how else would the Department of Energy know
to direct smart meter purchases to GE?

Of course, AEP isn’t the only conduit for sending federal stimulus
money to GE. So far about 50 utilities have applied to DOE for a piece
of the almost $4 billion in stimulus money earmarked for smart meter

From an Austrian perspective, what`s wrong with this post? The simple fact that Milloy isn`t interested in problem-solving, but in bashing greens, Dems and GE. If he were a problem-solver, he would be a little less partisan and would devote a little more effort to throw light on some of the underlying factors that fuel green concerns and utility mandates, such a the little problem that states have prevented the development of free power markets by granting “public utility” monopoly status to local power providers, as I have noted in a number of posts.

A problem-solver might also devote some time to examining the entanglement of the state with other rent-seeking corporations, such as the coal producers; but those trapped in partisan, rent-seeking games are often good only at seeing the flaws of those whom they criticize, while ignoring the way that they themselves are co-opted by other rent-seekers.

I left Steven the following comment:

Steven I think your criticism of GE is fair, but it`s clearly lacking in context.

Where`s your post criticizing the states for their continuing grant
of monopoly status to “public utilities”, which is the chief reason why
there is no free market in providing power to consumers? With a free
markets, we`d have seen smart meters like GE`s years ago, and there
would be no basis for all of these “green power” mandates.

Steven Milloy – yet another thoughtful green-hater – on RFK, Jr. and "coal criminal" Don Blankenship

March 3rd, 2009 No comments

Anti-enviro Steven Milloy,adjunct scholar at CEI, author and co-founder of a gadfly free-enterprise fund, has a post up on his Green Hell Blog about some interesting recent remarks by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.   Apparently RFK Jr., at the “Capitol Climate Action” rally held on March 2, said that 

“Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship “should be in jail… for all of eternity,”  and that coal companies Massey Energy, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal are “criminal enterprises.”

It seems clear from the context that RFK Jr. is referring to these firm’s destructive “mountaintop removal” mining practices and the legal and political strong-arming (all the way up to bribing W.Va. supreme court justices) in which the leaders of these politically powerful firm engage, which I have commented on several times.

I’m a bit disappointed that Milloy does not favor his readers with an explanation for why RFK Jr. is wrong, and Milloy closes with these puzzling remarks:

“But if Kennedy wants to oppose coal while honoring his father, perhaps
he ought to adopt RFK’s pro-nuclear stance. According to a March 21,
1967 New York Times article, RFK proposed that the New York
State Power Authority be permitted to develop nuclear power pants and
that private investment in nuclear power be encouraged.”

Milloy’s apparently favorable reference to nuclear power and his faiure to address the real social costs of coal stirred me to make a few comments, which I copy below:

Steve, just a few quick questions:

– are you seriously pushing nuclear power, or just cynically
flogging Kennedy for a technology that energy experts like Cato’s Jerry
Taylor have concluded just aren’t economical without life-support from

– do you disagree that coal is dirty, and imposes serious impacts on
health and property rights, both when mined and burned? The American
Lung Assn said in 2004 that power plant pollution causes 24,000
premature deaths each year (at least 50% more than annual homicides),
as well as over 550,000 asthma attacks and 38,000 heart attacks

– States like North Carolina are still suing – and winning – in
federal court to force power producers (like the big, government-owned,
polluting dinosaur TVA bureacracy) to be cleaner:

Do you love the TVA, and hate North Carolina?

Inquiring minds want your help in figuring out whom to hate, and why.

More on Pickens: FOX offers soapbox for Pickens mouthpiece; Milloy responds

September 26th, 2008 No comments

FOX offers soapbox for Pickens mouthpiece Warren Mitchell (former chairman of Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric, and director and head of the compensation committee of Pickens’ owned Clean Energy Fuels); Steven Milloy responds.

Keep up the good work, Steve!

Some of my own thoughts on Pickens’ actions are here and here.