California’s Dedication to Efficiency and Conservation

Michael Giberson On the Washington Monthly site, Kevin Drum took the occasion of a New York Times story on California’s new greenhouse gases law to praise California for its dedication to energy efficiency and conservation. Drum reported a decline in per capita energy use in the state since 1970, which happened, he said, “largely because … More California’s Dedication to Efficiency and ConservationMore California’s Dedication to Efficiency and Conservation

So Long, Woxy

Lynne Kiesling WOXY and I started up in Oxford, Ohio at the same time, 1983. Without WOXY my college life would have been miserable (OK, a little hyperbole, but just go with it); with WOXY, it was independent, fun, challenging, intense, at least in terms of the music I listened to. WOXY was the glue … More So Long, WoxyMore So Long, Woxy

Tea Bags: Consumer Marketing and Product Innovation

Lynne Kiesling A follow-up to my recent musings on the health benefits of tea, one of my favorite beverages and daily rituals: innovation is occurring in the bagged tea market. This NYT article on new tea bag designs is very interesting, whether you are a tea drinker or not. Most people are familiar with the … More Tea Bags: Consumer Marketing and Product InnovationMore Tea Bags: Consumer Marketing and Product Innovation

Econbrowser on Falling Gasoline Prices

Jim Hamilton has a a great post on the fundamentals underlying his correct prediction of falling gasoline prices. Lots of great information about the connection between spot and forward prices, and what you can infer from forward prices about expectations. He also discusses the reasons for this relatively precipitous decline in retail gasoline prices. So … More Econbrowser on Falling Gasoline PricesMore Econbrowser on Falling Gasoline Prices

Maryland Court Says Legislature Overstepped Authority in Regulatory Battle

Michael Giberson Maryland’s highest court has ruled that the state’s legislature overstepped its authority when it passed a law firing the five members of the Public Service Commission and directing the Governor to appoint replacements from a legislature-selected list of candidates. All is not yet sweetness and light in Maryland, however, as one prominent gubernatorial … More Maryland Court Says Legislature Overstepped Authority in Regulatory BattleMore Maryland Court Says Legislature Overstepped Authority in Regulatory Battle

Fuel and Complementary Technologies

Lynne Kiesling Mike’s post about ethanol and fuel economy raises an important general point: fuels and the technologies for burning them are strong complements. Engines are not one-size-fits-all fits with different fuels, but are highly customized. We see this in history, too. The move from the use of whale oil for lighting to kerosene for … More Fuel and Complementary TechnologiesMore Fuel and Complementary Technologies

Consumer Reports on Ethanol

Michael Giberson Consumer Reports magazine put a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe flexible-fuel vehicle running on E85 (an 85 percent ethanol/15 percent gasoline mix) through a battery of tests, and concludes it will cost consumers more than a gasoline burner. A chief limitation comes from ethanol’s lower energy content, which means that vehicles running on ethanol will … More Consumer Reports on EthanolMore Consumer Reports on Ethanol

Travel Toiletry Entrepreneurship: I Knew It Would Happen

Lynne Kiesling Hate the thought of checking your bag just for some shampoo, toothpaste and moisturizer? Enter My Wet Stuff, a new company devoted to delivering travel-size toiletries to your hotel. As we ramp up a brand-new company for a brand-new market need, deliveries will begin on September 29, 2006. After that, only 3 days … More Travel Toiletry Entrepreneurship: I Knew It Would HappenMore Travel Toiletry Entrepreneurship: I Knew It Would Happen

Expectations and Markets: A Case Study in Oil

Lynne Kiesling I was just saying to a couple of colleagues yesterday that one of the things we take almost as axiomatic in economics-that prices are a function of expectations of future supply and demand-is little understood by laypeople. Oil markets recently have provided a good example of that interaction. Take, for example, this Bloomberg … More Expectations and Markets: A Case Study in OilMore Expectations and Markets: A Case Study in Oil

Judge Posner on Incentives and the Clean Air Act

Michael Giberson What makes an old power plant new again? It is a complicated question, possibly deeply philosophic and suggestive of a zen koan. Perhaps the answer is that there is no answer. Unfortunately, that answer isn’t good enough for public policy. The Clean Air Act requires new generators to get permits, and even old … More Judge Posner on Incentives and the Clean Air ActMore Judge Posner on Incentives and the Clean Air Act