The American Enterprise

Junk vs. quality energy.(Senate and the House passed energy bills, energy economics)

Both the Senate and the House passed energy bills this summer, which they hope to reconcile early this fall. All energy bills are basically shopping lists, and notwithstanding the dismal talk of disappearing supplies, the list of possible energy sources grows ever longer. The debate comes down to which hydrocarbon, carbohydrate, fissile element, photovoltaic semiconductor, or 100-foot windmill blade belongs higher on the list.

But while energy sources readily substitute for each other, they are not the same. Even the wise Nan Greenspan misframed this in a major energy speech last April. Energy, he stated, ought to have one price. While different fuels supply heat at different prices today, things will eventually flatten out. …

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