Crude oil prices in 2008: Was the spike a bubble?

Michael Giberson In the physical world, spikes and bubbles are quite different things that don’t generally get mistaken for one another.  Curiously, in economic metaphor, the same phenomena can be called a spike and a bubble.  Argument among economists continues on the issue of whether the oil price spike in 2008 was or wasn’t a … More Crude oil prices in 2008: Was the spike a bubble?

God and mammon both teach fairness

Michael Giberson In a study encompassing several distinct populations, Joseph Henrich and collaborators conclude that both participation in markets and belief in a world religion promote fairness norms that facilitate emergence of large-scale societies.  The study was described in a recent issue of The Economist: For the evolutionarily minded, the existence of fairness is a … More God and mammon both teach fairness

High bills lead couple to file smart meter lawsuit against Oncor

Michael Giberson Elizabeth Souder, the Dallas Morning News, reports on a lawsuit filed against Dallas-based wires utility Oncor claiming fraud and negligence associated with the company’s installation of smart meters.  The lawsuit can be viewed at the newly established website http://www.oncorlawsuit.com.  The suit seeks class action status on behalf “all consumers in Oncor’s service area … More High bills lead couple to file smart meter lawsuit against Oncor

Georgia bill would add useful flexibility to price gouging law

Michael Giberson A bill passed by the Georgia state senate would add some helpful flexibility to the state’s anti-price gouging law.  The primary purpose of the bill would be to allow the state to limit the range of items for which the price gouging rules will be enforced based upon the nature of the emergency.  … More Georgia bill would add useful flexibility to price gouging law

Incentives for efficient use of storage in electric power systems

Michael Giberson In the most recent Energy Journal, Ramteem Sioshonsi has an article examining the welfare effects of the incentives to use energy storage in electric power systems. (“Welfare Impacts of Electricity Storage and the Implications of Ownership Structure,” See volume 31:2 here.) He considers the incentives faced by consumers, generators, and merchant energy storage … More Incentives for efficient use of storage in electric power systems

Power exchange regimes in Europe

Michael Giberson At the EU Energy Policy Blog, Leonardo Meeus discusses the current organization of power exchanges in Europe. Meeus describes both private merchant exchanges and state regulated exchanges and notes the differing incentives of the two types, focusing on the effects on efficient cross-border exchange. Meeus’s post draws from his recent working paper, “Why … More Power exchange regimes in Europe

Ohio cities to end natural gas purchasing initiative

Michael Giberson Via Tim Haab at Environmental Economics, a news story from The Columbus Dispatch reporting that five Columbus suburbs were ending a program in which the communities bought gas on behalf of residents that didn’t opt for another supplier. “There’s really not a need for government to be in it,” said Dana McDaniel, Dublin’s … More Ohio cities to end natural gas purchasing initiative

More on Smart Meter Texas

Michael Giberson From the Houston Chronicle, “Smart meter power usage data isn’t so current“: A Web site touted this week as providing near real-time power use information to electricity customers with new smart meters actually delays the information by up to two days, CenterPoint Energy has acknowledged. … The company said Monday the site would … More More on Smart Meter Texas

Allocating property rights to wind and solar resources

Michael Giberson Troy Rule, a law professor at the University of Missouri, has a pair of articles applying Calabresi and Melamed’s “Cathedral Model” to rights in wind resources and solar resources.  As Rule notes, the law remains unsettled on these resource issues, but the potential for conflict increases as these resources become more frequently exploited.  … More Allocating property rights to wind and solar resources

Responding to consumer concerns over smart meters

Michael Giberson Smart meters have run into a bit of consumer resistance.  Some of us – no doubt crazed by the energy-econ-techno-lust possibilities – imagined that smart meters would be greeted by consumers with smiles and good cheer, and just maybe a tear or two of gratitude trickling down the consumers’ cheeks as they thank … More Responding to consumer concerns over smart meters