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Energy 101 with Isaac Orr on The Power Hungry Podcast - Excerpt



“They've had the electricity come on every time they've hit the switch for the last 40 years. So why would they worry about tomorrow the light not coming on?”

Isaac Orr, Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment


You can watch the full interview from July 12here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSY79RqsAeY


The Power Hungry podcast spotlights energy, power, innovation, and politics. Author and journalist Robert Bryce talks with top thinkers, writers, and influencers — as well as regular citizens. Subscribe at https://robertbryce.com/power-hungry-podcast/ and follow Robert’s work https://twitter.com/pwrhungry.


Isaac Orr is a policy fellow at the Center of the American Experiment, where he writes about environmental issues, mining, and electricity. In his second appearance on the podcast (his first was on August 10, 2021), Orr talks about the importance of the Supreme Court’s West Virginia v. EPA ruling, why utilities are keeping their coal plants open this summer, how renewables are undermining the integrity of the electric grid, and the looming shortfalls of generation capacity in the Midwest. You can follow Issac’s work at: https://twitter.com/TheFrackingGuy.



Transcript

Energy 101 definition of energy is energy is the ability to do work.

And when you make energy more difficult to get or make it more expensive, you're making it more difficult to do work or more expensive to do work, whether that's heating your house, plowing a field, growing your food.


So when we enact all these energy policies that intentionally make energy more scarce or more expensive, it ripples through every aspect of the economy.


In some ways you can write it off as rational ignorance.


They've had the electricity come on every time they've hit the switch for the last 40 years. So why would they worry about tomorrow the light not coming on?


It's the milk comes from the store philosophy, right?


I think it boils down to some sort of afluenza.


I really like the concept of thinking about energy, food, production, mining in terms of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.


You've got your basic needs, which is food, water, then you want security and safety and then you've got your self actualization triangle at the top.


We've had the bottom rungs of our needs satisfied for so long that we can only focus on the self-actualization tip of the triangle.


And we've been undermining the base of the pyramid, in order to attain these tertiary goals.

And that's exactly what's happening with the grid.


For energy, you need a secure supply. Russia showed us that that needs to be the base of the pyramid.


Then you need reliability, then you need affordability.


And then at the very tip, you can have carbon free.


You need to find a way to satisfy security, reliability, affordability, and being carbon free. That's gotta be the fourth and final consideration on your energy hierarchy of needs, because if you try to invert that pyramid like Germany did, we're seeing that it has really disastrous consequences.