Coal-Powered Jets

Lynne Kiesling From Technology Review today, news of new research from Penn State on liquid fuel from coal: Schobert and his colleagues make the fuel using refined coal oil, which is a byproduct of coke manufacture; the byproduct is mixed at an oil refinery with a product of crude oil called light cycle oil. This … More Coal-Powered JetsMore Coal-Powered Jets

That Felt Good!

Lynne Kiesling Phew, it felt good to write a post like that last one. You’ve probably noticed some self-censoring going on here at KP over the past couple of months. The reason for that is that I was doing some expert testimony analysis on a retail competition issue, and felt the need to hold back … More That Felt Good!More That Felt Good!

Evaluating Electricity “Deregulation” in a Period of Rising Fuel Costs

Lynne Kiesling Periods of rising costs make it hard to be a market process supporter. Nowhere is this more true than in electric power, where a century of regulator-regulated co-dependency has created a culture of price control. Right now Maryland is the center of this debate, triggered by economic and political motives, including rising natural … More Evaluating Electricity “Deregulation” in a Period of Rising Fuel CostsMore Evaluating Electricity “Deregulation” in a Period of Rising Fuel Costs

Posner, Kling Cynical About Government Reorganizations

Michael Giberson At EconLog, Arnold Kling challenges James Pinkerton’s push for reorganization of the federal government into five super-departments. Kling cites a former colleague of his as saying, “When they don’t know what to do, they re-org.” Kling writes: A re-organization like the [proposed] plan would create all sorts of uncertainty about where people fit … More Posner, Kling Cynical About Government ReorganizationsMore Posner, Kling Cynical About Government Reorganizations

George Mason University’s Other Stars

Michael Giberson The Washington Post‘s business section, no doubt eager to jump into the Mason Mania that has permeated the rest of the newspaper, ran a story today about the other star team on campus: the economics department. It’s a fairly lightweight story — after all it ain’t basketball — but they spelled all the … More George Mason University’s Other StarsMore George Mason University’s Other Stars

The Wooly Concept of Sustainability: Gore and Blood in the Wsj

Lynne Kiesling Today’s Wall Street Journal has a commentary from Al Gore and David Blood that asks the question: when will we start accounting for environmental costs? Gore and Blood begin by invoking the concept of sustainability, and the relationship between capitalism and sustainability. Sadly, they do not bother to define what they mean by … More The Wooly Concept of Sustainability: Gore and Blood in the WsjMore The Wooly Concept of Sustainability: Gore and Blood in the Wsj

Bacon is Now a Health Food

Lynne Kiesling Researchers have used a nematode to clone pigs that produce meat that is high in omega-3 fatty acids (see articles from Wired and the International Herald Tribune, for example). Yay, bacon as a health food! The Wired article notes how consumer tastes are driving this research: Hoping to create healthier, cheaper and tastier … More Bacon is Now a Health FoodMore Bacon is Now a Health Food

Markets Vs. The Wisdom of Crowds in Picking Ncaa Basketball Winners

Michael Giberson Once again this year, like millions of folks around the country, I filled out a NCAA basketball tournament bracket. Once again, my bracket is far from perfect. Once again, this year, I have been searching for an edge. (Preferably, the kind of edge that will enable me to out-pick my sports-minded, math-teacher wife.) … More Markets Vs. The Wisdom of Crowds in Picking Ncaa Basketball WinnersMore Markets Vs. The Wisdom of Crowds in Picking Ncaa Basketball Winners

Innovation and Its Discontents: Jaffe and Lerner in Wsj

Lynne Kiesling We’ve seen lots of discussion of how dysfunctional the US patent system is at the moment; from business process patents to laws of nature patents to the recent Research in Motion (Blackberry) lawsuit, we see the pernicious entry barriers that too broad a patent policy can erect. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Adam … More Innovation and Its Discontents: Jaffe and Lerner in WsjMore Innovation and Its Discontents: Jaffe and Lerner in Wsj

Ben Stein on High Oil and Gas Prices

Michael Giberson So, the mob goes after someone to lynch, even if that person is innocent. After all, as the immortal Bob Dylan sang long ago, “A lot of people have knives and forks, and they don’t have nothing on their plates, and they have to cut something.” This comes to mind because of the … More Ben Stein on High Oil and Gas PricesMore Ben Stein on High Oil and Gas Prices