Archive for the 'energy' Category

Just the Fracking Facts: Hydraulic Fracturing Debate

Posted by on Mar 17 2014 | energy, Events

Just a reminder of our fracking debate coming up this Thursday at the Denver Post building.

Here’s the Facebook event page.


To RSVP online, go here. Or you can call Mary MacFarlane at 303-279-6536, ext. 102.

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Debate inside the mysterious Denver Post building

Posted by on Mar 14 2014 | energy, Events

Ever been inside the Denver Post building? Well, I have, and it’s frightening. Framed pictures of Karl Marx on the walls, everyone wearing those little gray Mao uniforms, and a soup line in the lunch room. Filing into the building, workers must pass 10-foot-tall reprints of the Post’s endorsements of Amendment 23, Fastracks, Ref C and D, last year’s Amendment 66, and scores of other tax and debt increases.

It’s like Cuba, except with a Starbucks.

Well, here’s your big opportunity to see it for yourself! We are hosting a debate on hydraulic fracturing in Colorado. And we’re doing it in the Post’s swanky auditorium this Thursday, March 20, at 5:00 pm. It’s going to be a conversation with both sides of the issue. We’re glad to have the Left-leaning Alliance for Sustainability partnering with us, and the always dapper Eric Sonderman serving as moderator. Tickets are free, but required, to get in.


Get info and reserve a seat before they’re all gone on our events page here.

And I hope you know I was just kidding around about the inside of the Post building. There’s no Starbucks.

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Anti-Fracking Fools and Food Police on Devil’s Advocate Tonight

Posted by on Dec 21 2012 | energy, Idiot Box (TV Show), nanny state

Is tonight the magical third date with that certain someone special? You know what that means, right? Finally time to watch the Independence Institute’s public affairs television show Devil’s Advocate together. First, Independence Institute Energy Policy Center director Amy Oliver sits down with host Jon Caldara to discuss the increasingly threatening and aggressive behavior of anti-fracking protestors in Colorado. Then local author Karen Kataline swings by to discuss her new book, “Fatlash!: Food Police and the Fear of Thin.”

That’s tonight at 8:30 on Colorado Public Television 12, right after Colorado Inside Out at 8:00 featuring Independence Institute research director Dave Kopel.

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Newsflash: Denver Post Reports News

Posted by on Oct 23 2012 | energy, Media, PPC

After months of frustration with the Denver Post refusing to cover the explosive Abound Solar debacle, last week we put up these billboards around the Denver Post:

Yesterday the Denver Post’s front page, top-of-the-fold story was on the failures of the new energy industry, writing, “The Weld County district attorney’s office is investigating the failure of Colorado solar-panel manufacturer Abound Solar, and congressional Republicans are asking tough questions about Abound’s federal loan guarantees.” Full story here:

Thanks to the Post for reporting the story.

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The Denver Post Needs an Intervention

Posted by on Oct 19 2012 | Economics, Economy, energy, Environment, Media, obama, PPC, Taxes

Why is this Billboard now across the street from the Denver Post building?

I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, so let me explain. I really miss the days of Denver being a two newspaper town. The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News for a century had a competition which gave Coloradans superior news coverage of state and local issues. Those days are gone. The Rocky went under a few years ago and sadly, the Post is a frail shadow of what it once was.

Much of this demise is not the fault of the Post. Younger people don’t buy papers, they get their news for free online. Online classified ads like Craigslist took away the paper’s largest steady income source. The Post is also straddled with crippling debt.

But the Denver Post is still the paper of record for Colorado. And it needs to act like it.

I want to see the Post survive and thrive. The state needs a trusted news source. But just like when a friend needs an intervention, the Post needs to hear the truth no matter how painful.

To the good and extremely overworked people at the Post, we have to tell you that you are failing to cover news. My guess is you know this. We understand your staff has been slashed to a fraction of what it was and how this economy has hurt your industry. But we rely on you for actual reporting, and you are failing to do that job. Rerunning Associated Press stories and writing about gardening tips and Bronco games are fine. However, you have a responsibility to report the news.

When Denver Public Schools changed their evaluation for teachers, judging them on how well they got our children to get involved in “social justice,” there was no news coverage from the Post. 9News did the story. When DPS reversed this politically-driven policy, there was again no coverage. You could read about it in the Washington Times, however.

When it was found that the co-chair of President Obama’s reelection committee, Denver’s former mayor Federico Pena, was a venture capitalist just like Mitt Romney, laying off a thousand workers and closing three domestic factories, there was no coverage. Rush Limbaugh did a better job informing Coloradans about this story than the Post did.

But hiding from the Abound Solar story is beyond excusable.

In our own backyard is Solyndra on steroids, and not a peep from the Denver Post. A politically-connected solar company gets a $400 million guarantee of government loans. And we learn of the Pat Stryker connection from Complete Colorado.

When the firm went belly-up the company execs told a Congressional committee it was because of cheap Chinese competition. But when whistle blowers show that the product was so faulty it would catch fire, it was the Daily Caller that told the story As one worker said – it was a fine product, so long as you didn’t put it in the sun.

When documents were found suggesting Abound falsified its books to secure funding, there was no story in the Post. You had to go to Fox News

When the District Attorney of Weld County opened a full investigation into Abound, you could find the story on Channel 7 but not in the Post.

When the US House Energy and Commerce Committee announced a further investigation into Abound, – now the story made it to Reuters, but not the Post.

We put a billboard across the street from the Denver Post to remind them that they are STILL the paper of record in Colorado. And it’s time they stopped turning a blind eye to news that matters. We want the Post to succeed.

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The Denver Post’s Cry for Help

Posted by on Oct 18 2012 | energy, Media

Billboard: Post Hides from Abound Solar Investigations

Ad Near Post Building Highlights Failure to Cover Prominent Local Stories

DENVER, Colo — A new Independence Institute billboard sends a message directly to Colorado’s largest newspaper, taking it to task for failing to cover prominent local stories.

Placed right across from the Denver Post building at Court Place and 15th Street, the billboard highlights a recent major story ignored by the daily publication: “Solar Panels Fry. Abound Solar Lies. Jobs Died. The Denver Post Hides.” The message also has been placed near Lincoln Street and 18th Avenue.

Abound Solar, touted by President Obama and bankrolled by federal stimulus dollars, now faces both a Congressional inquiry and local criminal investigation. Stories have revealed the Colorado-based renewable energy company’s product consistently fell short of commercial expectations and occasionally caught fire, causing many of their installations to suffer catastrophic failure rates.

“Our solar modules worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun,” an ex-Abound employee told the Daily Caller. Whistleblowers also have alleged substantial use of accounting fraud to secure both private and federal loan guarantees.

“We’re calling for an intervention,” said Independence Institute president Jon Caldara. “We’re trying to help stop the state’s only major newspaper from speeding off a cliff.”

The Abound Solar scandal represents one in a series of major local stories with significant political and cultural impact that the Post‘s news coverage has neglected, which also includes:

  • Former Denver mayor and Obama campaign co-chair Federico Pena’s venture capitalist role, after the President made Gov. Romney’s work at Bain Capital a central campaign issue
  • Controversial language in Denver Public Schools’ evaluation system, rewarding teachers for encouraging students to “challenge the dominant culture” and participate in social activism
  • Congressman Jared Polis’ potential conflict of interest, taking a financial stake in a medical tourism company while voting to pass ObamaCare
  • Each of these stories was brought to light by local TV or alternative online media.

    “Competition from the Internet and sites like Craigslist has definitely made it challenging for newspapers to adapt,” Caldara said. “But the Post could help itself by giving some print to major stories in its backyard.”

    More information on the Abound Solar story is available at Complete Colorado.

    Listen to Caldara and investigative reporter Todd Shepherd on this morning’s Peter Boyles Show (630 KHOW).

    The Independence Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Denver, Colo.


    *** PS – Billboards will be unveiled tomorrow ***

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    The Economy Won’t Give You Groceries or Gas, But We Will!

    Posted by on Oct 16 2012 | Economy, energy, Events, PPC

    Bad economy got you down? Feeling like you can use a break from the “economy tax?” Well, the Independence Institute is here to provide relief! Come party with us this Friday, October 19th, 5-8 pm at the Freedom Embassy (727 E. 16th Avenue, Denver, Colorado)

    We will be providing relief in the form of hot dogs, chips and lemonade (for the first 200 people), and FUN! FUN! FUN! (yes, we’re going to have a big bouncy house). We will have a drawing for gift certificates for BOTH groceries and gas! After all, the economy won’t give you groceries or gas…. but we will! RSVP for FREE with Mary MacFarlane at 303-279-6536, ext. 102 or

    For more information, visit our “Groceries or Gas” Facebook page.

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    AUDIO: Women Debate Minivans vs. Smart Cars

    Posted by on Oct 15 2012 | energy, Environment, Events, PPC, Regulation

    Last week our Energy Policy Center put on the third in a series of women-only energy debates. This one focused on vehicle regulations (like CAFE standards) and was titled, “Minivans vs. Smart Cars.” As always, it was a great output of high powered intellectual forces, with both sides making excellent points and engaging in an entertaining style. If you’re like me and unable to attend these debates because of your testosterone, then don’t worry. Here is the audio file from the debate. ENJOY!

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    Smart Cars vs. Minivans: Women Debate Energy Policy

    Posted by on Oct 09 2012 | Economics, energy, Events, PPC, Regulation

    LADIES! Please join us tomorrow, Wednesday the 10th, for our 3rd women’s energy debate!

    TOPIC: Smart Cars vs. Minivans

    Ladies debate CAFE standards, smart cars, hybrids and government subsidies. Are higher CAFE standards good for families? Are kids safe in a smart car? Can these products thrive in a free market.

    Panelists include:

    Marita Noon, author of Energy Freedom and Director of Energy Makes American Great.

    Linda Gorman, economist and Director of the Independence Institute’s Health Care Policy Center.

    Susan Perkins, Principal at Perkins Energy Law,

    Angie Layton, attorney and alternative energy advocate,

    Attendance is FREE!

    Lunch and On-Site Child Care is also provided for FREE!

    Event starts at 11:30am, here at the Independence Institute Freedom Embassy in Uptown Denver.

    RSVP to or call 303-279-6537 x118.

    This is only for women. NO MEN ALLOWED! An audio podcast of the debate will be available on this Facebook page after the event for anyone to listen to.

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    Monday Links

    Posted by on Oct 01 2012 | education, energy, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Op-eds, PPC, U.S. Constitution

    It’s Monday. Booooooo. No one likes Mondays. But allow me to help you cope with today.

    If you happen to be male and reading this, then I’m certain you did not attend our women-only renewable energy debate we had this past Wednesday. I snuck in to watch for a few minutes here and there and let me tell you, it was fantastic. (It was even better than I thought after I listened to the full debate audio). We had an all-star panel for the debate, highlighted by none other than Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center and Reason Magazine. If you were unable to attend the debate either because of your gender or your day job, check out the full debate audio here.

    Secondly, I’d like to point you towards a couple of articles from I.I. authors that deserve a look. First, Ben DeGrow of the Education Policy Center saw a sneak preview of Hollywood’s take on the school choice/reform movement called “Won’t Back Down.” Ben admits in his review for Ed New Colorado that even though Won’t Back Down is no Citizen Kane, it still gets across a vital message: School reform will not wait!

    Finally, frequent I.I. guest author Ari Armstrong published an op-ed in yesterday’s Denver Post arguing against Amendment 65, which appears on this November’s ballot and would demand that Colorado legislators get on board with more onerous and restrictive campaign finance reform. In other words, to be FOR Amendment 65, one must be against free speech. Ari is fervently pro-First Amendment rights however, and thus, makes a good case against Amendment 65. You might recall that our Research Director Dave Kopel is also a big fan of free speech rights and recently appeared on KNUS to debate Ken Gordon on the issue. You can hear that debate audio here.

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