Home of The Word Merchant 2017-10-03T22:35:48+00:00



Clean energy and energy production are at the forefront of Steve’s attention.



Communication connectivity ties it together with “The Internet of Things



Steve tackles relevant environmental issues like fracking and climate change.

Always precise, never pedantic.

In a highly divided and partisan world, it is my intent to provide an even handed view of the rapidly converging worlds of energy, technology and broadband.

The Weekly Word

More Interviews with The Crude Life Media Network


It is with great honor and enthusiasm that I recommend Stephen Heins as a hard working researcher and gifted writer. While I have known Stephen for only about six months, I’ve read many of his works and have been engaged in numerous great discussions with him on matters involving energy, the environment and the internet.  Read More

David C Egelson

I am pleased to recommend Stephen Heins as a researcher and writer.  As a former commissioner on the Maryland Public Service Commission and current senior administrative law judge with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, I am most familiar with Mr. Heins’ work in the energy field. Read More

Larry Brenner

I’ve known Steve Heins for at least 5 years and can say without a doubt that he a gentleman of the first order: always professional and always respectful, even if he disagrees with your perspective. Read More

Ken Silverstein, Editor - Environmental Leader; Writer - Forbes

Heins believes he has the answer to most questions, but even when he does not, he is never in doubt and expresses his position with clarity and humor.  He attracts his audience with an attention getting device, engages it with thoughtful comments and examples… Read More

Wayne H. Rusch, Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe

Featured Articles

Did EPA pay Harvard to fix study supporting Clean Power Plan?

  Originally posted in Fortnightly's SPARK  29 Sept 2015 | By Stephen Heins, The Word Merchant Let’s have full disclosure on Harvard’s new health study (And why it so closely defends the EPA that helped to fund it.) As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. That’s the lesson one might well draw from the remarkable but yet [...]

By | September 30th, 2015|Categories: Energy, Original Heins|Tags: |0 Comments

State Utility Commissioners at Ground Zero

13 Jun 2015 | by Stephen Heins State utility commissioners in all 50 states are under a lot of stress. First, they must formulate and plan for the future of their states’ electrical grids and at the same time, keep their eyes on the developments in Washington and on the EPA whose Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the elephant in [...]

By | June 13th, 2015|Categories: Energy, Original Heins|Tags: |5 Comments

With The Clean Power Plan, EPA Has Given Up On Cooperative Federalism

Originally posted in Forbes/Opinion 4 Mar 2015 | By Stephen Heins The idea of “cooperative federalism” began with the New Deal in the 1930s when it came to include a division of responsibilities among the states and the federal government agencies of electric power and distribution. By the passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970, the EPA set the minimum standards for [...]

By | March 4th, 2015|Categories: Energy, Environment, Original Heins|Tags: , |0 Comments

Practical Environmentalism In The Noisy World Of Energy

Originally posted in Forbes/Opinion 23 Dec 2014 | By Stephen Heins The world of energy (oil, pipelines, OPEC, fracking, gasoline prices, peak oil, tar sands and natural gas, to mention the most overly discussed) has entered a new phase, while reasserting its place in the world headlines. In the meantime, another very important American energy story—electricity for the present and future of America [...]

By | December 23rd, 2014|Categories: Environment, Original Heins|Tags: |0 Comments

State Moves Into Top 10 in Energy Efficiency

Embed from Getty Images 14 Oct 2008 | by Stephen Heins In an October report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the state of Wisconsin moved into the top 10 on the "2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard." In addition, Wisconsin should further improve its ranking now that the Citizens Utility Board and Wisconsin Public Service Corp., a [...]

By | October 14th, 2008|Categories: Energy, Original Heins|Tags: |0 Comments

Energy Efficiency and Emission Trading Schemes (2008 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency at Asilomar)

26 May 2008 | by Steve Heins, Orion Energy Systems ABSTRACT  Properly designing a greenhouse gas commodity market to trade allowances or offsets presents a serious challenge to policy makers, commodity brokers and sectors that are affected by the cost and profit potential that a market brings. In order for any commodity market to be successful, the market must have [...]

By | May 26th, 2008|Categories: Energy, Original Heins|Tags: |0 Comments
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Thought Pieces

Politicized Sustainability Threatens Planet and People

Thought Piece Remaining sustainable, no matter one’s efforts, involves the unforeseeable future along with technology risk, including the disruption of further innovation in [...]

Academic freedom lecturer takes on claims of climate change deniers

Thought Piece Clearly, Penn State University’s Professor Michael Mann has no sense of humor, nor does he have a sense of irony. Speaking [...]

The Secret Donors Behind the Center for American Progress and Other Think Tanks

Thought Piece This is a piece written by friend Ken Silverstein in 2013. Needless to say, none of the major media picked it [...]

The U.S. Is Breaking Clean Energy Records Even As Trump Doubles Down On Fossil Fuels

Thought Piece NEW SHOREHAM, RI - SEPTEMBER 22: The GE-Alstom Block Island Wind Farm stands 3 miles off of Block Island on [...]

Yahoo now thinks all 3B accounts were impacted by 2013 breach, not 1B as thought

Thought Piece SUNNYVALE, CA - MAY 23: A sign is posted in front of the Yahoo! headquarters on May 23, 2014 in [...]

You can now become a ‘prosumer’ with blockchain in energy

Thought Piece Thanks to this meaningful posting. I gave a speech on the “Virtual Power Plant” over a decade ago. The basic idea [...]

North Dakota Supreme Court Reverses and Remands Wilkinson v. Board of University and School Lands Decision

Thought Piece Here is an interesting case regarding mineral rights and governmental “takings.” It is not clear what legal effect it will have [...]

How Opera Inspired Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’

Thought Piece Walt contained “multitudes” with great magnanimity. Even in his time as the first "male nurse" during the Civil War, he provided [...]