December 18, 2008
Brian Kennedy (202) 346-8826
Chris Tucker (202) 346-8825

IER CEO: Obama Energy Plan Resurrects Malthusian ‘Limits to Growth,’ Enron ‘Green’ Energy Plays

HOUSTON – History warns against the energy plan proposed by President-elect Barack Obama, according to a new book written by the CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research.

“The heavy political push for ‘sustainable’ energy—wind power, solar power, and efficiency mandates—is akin to the failed 1970s Carter energy plan and Enron’s illusory ‘green’ energy strategy,” said Robert L. Bradley Jr., author of Capitalism at Work: Business, Government, and Energy. “All this reflects energy alarmism and climate alarmism, yet the alarmists have misfired time and again with their scares about famines, mineral-resource exhaustion, global cooling, and now global warming.”

Capitalism at Work reviews the dismal record of alarmism, including the 1972 work by the Club of Rome, Limits to Growth. The Carter Administration embraced limits on growth and distorted energy markets and the whole economy—and was electorally vanquished by Ronald Reagan. Reagan explained his rejection of energy planning—Obama take note—in his inaugural address of January 1981 (quoted on p. 285):

In this present [energy] crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?

Capitalism at Work also recounts how the late Enron persuaded then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to sign into law the nation’s strictest renewable-energy mandate to aid struggling Enron Wind Corporation. What Bush did to Texas in 1999, Obama is about to propose for the entire nation.

Bradley, who worked at Enron for 16 years, details Enron’s climate alarmism and “green” energy initiatives at

Capitalism at Work is available from M & M Scrivener Press and

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


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