All posts by Allan Hoffman

Trump Administration Needs To Be Watched

The ECOreport reposts an OP-ED by a former senior analyst from the DOE, the Trump administration needs to be watched

Originally Published in the Fairfax Times

By Dr. Allan Hoffman

I voted for Hillary Clinton to become our next President because I thought she was a better choice than Donald Trump in temperament, experience, and policy. I also thought it was time to have a female president. I did this despite two serious misgivings about Clinton, her handling of the health insurance issue in the early days of her husband’s first term as President, and her failure to respond adequately to the seriousness of her decision to use a private email server while serving as Secretary of State. As a former government official I understand how frustrating dealing with the security systems in government can be, but poor judgements were made by Clinton and her staff, all of whom should have known better. Nevertheless, I was strongly offended by many of Trump’s statements during the Republican primary race and the general election, and saw no way to vote for a man I considered an uninformed and arrogant demagogue.

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Clinton Vs Trump On Energy Policies

The ECOreport reposts an OP-ED for the upcoming U.S. Presidential  election, Clinton vs Trump on energy policies

Originally Published on Thoughts of a Lapsed Physicist

By Allan Hoffman

When I was born Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was President of the United States. Since then I have lived through many presidential elections, but none as strange as the one currently underway in the United States. It is truly one for the history books, and many articles, books, and PhD theses will be written about it in years to come. It has been a nasty campaign so far, and is likely to get even nastier as we approach November 8th, Election Day. As a result, it is often hard to focus on policy issues that differentiate the two principal candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The level of invective is high, and issues of temperament and trustworthiness are often grabbing most of the attention. Nevertheless, energy policy is important and has had and will have a major impact on the U.S. economy, its environment, and its national security. Therefore, there has been increasing attention recently to the energy policies of the candidates – e.g., the search of their websites in July by an analyst for the American Council on Renewable Energy to measure their interest in renewable energy. As reported by Forbes in August: “The search produced 55 results on Hillary Clinton’s website – it jumped to 92 as she published more detailed plans – and only one on Donald Trump’s site.” In this blog post I will add to this effort by identifying and and comparing the energy policies of the two candidates based on their published positions and their public statements. The reader can draw his or her own conclusions.

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A Presidential Campaign Speech from 2052

Fiction can be an excellent guide to future events. Dr Allan Hoffman shares his perspective of how the energy sector will develop through a Presidential Campaign Speech from 2052.

Originally Published on Thoughts of a Lapsed Physicist

By Dr. Allan Hoffman

My fellow Americans, I am pleased to announce today my candidacy for President of the United State. We have just turned the corner on the first half of the 21st century, a time of significant change for our country and many other countries. In 2052 it is time to consolidate and reaffirm those changes that are beneficial, and plan for the coming decades. The 21st century has been an American century, but not exclusively – other parts of the world have demonstrated global leadership both economically and politically in these past 50 years – and it is encumbent on a new set of U.S. leaders to continue the American century in peaceful and meaningful cooperation with our global partners. Before discussing my plans for the future I would like to review what I see as the history and the accomplishments of the century’s first fifty years.

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Obama’s recent decision to deny Trans Canada

Originally Published on Thoughts of a Lapsed Physicist

By Allan Hoffman

President Obama’s recent decision to deny Trans Canada’s application for permission to build the national boundary-crossing Keystone XL pipeline raises several questions about my earlier recommendation to the President to approve the pipeline (see my July 6, 2013 blog post ‘Keystone XL Pipeline: A Memorandum to the President’). My first question to myself is what has changed since July 2013 to justify such a decision, at least in the President’s mind?

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The Coal Conundrum

 The Coal Conundrum: coal is a relatively low cost energy resource that causes global warming and climate change effects. So what are the alternatives? 

Originally Published Thoughts of a Lapsed Physicist

By Allan Hoffman

A long article in the October 16th Washington Post, ‘U.S. exports emissions – as coal’ by Joby Warrick, points out the conundrum posed by the U.S.’s abundant coal resources. These coal reserves provide a relatively low cost energy resource that can be burned to produce steam and electricity and improve human welfare in both the U.S. and other countries. However, it’s combustion produces large amounts of carbon dioxide that when added to the atmosphere causes global warming and associated global climate change. The conundrum arises from a clear conflict of values – the need to provide energy services to people around the world, in particular people in developing countries whose per capita consumption of electricity is well below that of developed countries, and the need to address climate change with its many adverse consequences, identified by many as the most serious problem facing the globe. No easy answer exists to satisfy those on both sides of this conundrum.

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Political Confrontation And No-nothingness

The ECOreport reposts an essay on some of the ugly periods in American history:  confrontation and no-nothingness 

By Allan Hoffman

American history is filled with ugly periods of political confrontation and no-nothingness and recent years are no exception.

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The Need for A Coherent National Energy Policy

The ECOreport reposts an essay on the need for a coherent National Energy Policy

Originally Published on Energypost &  Thoughts of a Lapsed Physicist

By Allan Hoffman

There are two fundamental ‘things’ needed to sustain human life, water and energy. Water is the more precious of the two as reflected in the Arab saying “Water is life.” Without water life as we know it would not exist, and there are no substitutes for water – without it we die.

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Reflections on Short-term vs. Long-term Thinking on Energy Policy

Originally Published on Thoughts of a Lapsed Physicist

By Allan Hoffman

In this post U.S.-election period there are many articles on what to expect from the U.S. Congress now that Republicans will control both Houses of Congress for at least two years after January 20, 2015. After reading quite a few of them, and authoring one in a recent blog post (‘What Might the 2014 Elections Mean for U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy’), my thoughts turned to the conflict between short-term and long-term thinking in the formulation of energy policy. In particular, I am reminded of the observation by Kevin Phillips, former Republican strategist and then registered Independent, in his 2006 book ‘American Theocracy’, as paraphrased in one of several reviews of his book: “His objective historical notes about previously fallen Empires involved several historical facts that have occurred to other great powers in the past: global usurpation, religious intransigence, debt, and dependency on resources that are *outside* of the nation…..it’s a truthful observation based on statistical facts, not necessarily just opinion. And, it’s a concept that happens to ALL empires over the course of world history.”

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