“Farmer Johnson, Plant More Corn”

Michael Giberson If you haven’t had your fill of ethanol-and-the-high-price-of-food-everywhere stories, today the Washington Post takes a look from the point of view of an Iowa farmer. Johnson is a one-person summary of how high corn prices are washing through the world of agriculture and climate change. Normally, he plants half of his 900 acres … More “Farmer Johnson, Plant More Corn”More “Farmer Johnson, Plant More Corn”

Piling on the Criticism of a Summer Gas Tax Holiday

Lynne Kiesling By now you all have probably heard that Hillary Clinton and John McCain are proposing gasoline tax holidays this summer to take some budget pressure off of voters who drive a lot (c’mon, let’s be honest about the true audience of these proposals). Barack Obama does not support such a proposal. Criticizing this … More Piling on the Criticism of a Summer Gas Tax HolidayMore Piling on the Criticism of a Summer Gas Tax Holiday

Thrills! Chills! High Oil Prices! A Roller-coaster Ride of Excitement!

Michael Giberson Wow, this article on international oil supply and demand from the New York Times is fascinating, and not in a good way. Did they fire the editors? It is like a bad action movie – fast-paced, a few colorful characters, far too many plot twists, and if you stop to think you spoil … More Thrills! Chills! High Oil Prices! A Roller-coaster Ride of Excitement!More Thrills! Chills! High Oil Prices! A Roller-coaster Ride of Excitement!

“There’s No Such Thing As a Free Carbon Cap”

Lynne Kiesling I’m taking a little time this morning to catch up on the reading I’ve missed over the past month, while I’ve been focused elsewhere. One worthwhile observation, with which I agree, comes from Virginia Postrel’s note about carbon policy positions of Presidential candidates, among other things: It’s infuriating how all three presidential candidates … More “There’s No Such Thing As a Free Carbon Cap”More “There’s No Such Thing As a Free Carbon Cap”

No Gouging or Other Manipulation Found in Study of Washington State Gasoline Prices

Michael Giberson According to a year-long study of gasoline prices in the state of Washington, variations in prices across the state “are due to the cost of obtaining and transporting fuel to stations and local competition – not illegal price manipulation.” The state’s Attorney General commissioned the study, which was conducted by University of Washington … More No Gouging or Other Manipulation Found in Study of Washington State Gasoline Prices

A Longer View of the Retail Gasoline Experience in Vermont

Michael Giberson Free Press columnist Ed Shamy offers “a stroll through The Burlington Free Press archives about gasoline prices,” beginning January 16, 1974, continuing to today: Jan. 16, 1974: Gasoline in short supply in Vermont. Entire communities without a single open filling station. And gasoline is obscenely expensive, an average of 48.7 cents per gallon … More A Longer View of the Retail Gasoline Experience in VermontMore A Longer View of the Retail Gasoline Experience in Vermont

More on Ethanol Policy and Food Prices

Michael Giberson In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Lester Brown and Jonathan Lewis seem overly generous in their interpretation of the motivations for the now-obvious-failure of ethanol policy in the United States: Food-to-fuel mandates were created for the right reasons. The hope of using American-grown crops to fuel our cars seemed like a win-win-win … More More on Ethanol Policy and Food PricesMore More on Ethanol Policy and Food Prices

The Crescendo of the Biofuels/Food Interaction

Lynne Kiesling We’ve been talking about the interaction of biofuels subsidies and food markets here at KP for at least the past year. The interaction is reaching a crescendo, as seen in the increased media coverage of the increased food prices, riots in poor communities, and impending increased hunger and starvation. See, for example, the … More The Crescendo of the Biofuels/Food InteractionMore The Crescendo of the Biofuels/Food Interaction

Who Would You Back: the Market Consensus or Book-writing Pundits?

Michael Giberson Tyler Cowen picks the market consensus over book-writing pundits: Either the current market estimate of inflation is the best estimate available, or you know that it is wrong and you will be a very rich man. I find the former scenario more plausible. Cowen is commenting on the Kevin Phillips book, Bad Money, … More Who Would You Back: the Market Consensus or Book-writing Pundits?More Who Would You Back: the Market Consensus or Book-writing Pundits?

“Decade of Deregulation Felt in Climbing Bills”: Costs by Category

Michael Giberson As I mentioned yesterday, I thought the Washington Post‘s story (“Decade of deregulation felt in climbing bills“) on various costs embedded in electric power bills was reasonably good. But the article covers several aspects of the overall picture without always being clear about the role played by the charges. From the economics point … More “Decade of Deregulation Felt in Climbing Bills”: Costs by CategoryMore “Decade of Deregulation Felt in Climbing Bills”: Costs by Category