Risks and regulation

Lynne Kiesling I’ve just returned from a conference on regulation in Bulgaria organized by the Istituto Bruno Leoni, a classical liberal think tank in Italy that does a lot of extremely good work developing and applying classical liberal principles and ideas to public policy issues in Italy and Europe. The topics included financial markets regulation, … More Risks and regulation

Scottish wind power plants paid not to produce

Michael Giberson The Telegraph has reported “six Scottish wind farms were asked to stop producing electricity on a particularly windy night last month as the National Grid was overloaded.” The operators were paid a total of £900,000 to take the night off, likely earning more from not operating than they would have earned from selling power that … More Scottish wind power plants paid not to produce

Role of independent producers in the early development of California’s oil and gas industry

Michael Giberson The Summer 2010 issue of Business History Review included an interesting article on the role of independent producers in the development of the oil and gas industry in California. In the article, Michael Adamson makes the case that official statistics on oil production overstate the role played by large, vertically integrated oil companies … More Role of independent producers in the early development of California’s oil and gas industry

Oil markets appear unfazed by announced release of oil from strategic reserves

Michael Giberson On June 23 the International Energy Agency announced the release of 60 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves held by member governments. Oil prices dipped for a day or two, then recovered more or less to pre-June 23 levels. Overall, it seems, the release merited a collective yawn from the markets. The … More Oil markets appear unfazed by announced release of oil from strategic reserves

Walmart Express, market definition, and local politics

Lynne Kiesling Recently Walmart announced that they would begin operating small-format stores called Walmart Express, the first two of which opened in June in Arkansas. If you look at the portfolio of earlier Walmart stores, they range in size from the 185,000 square foot Supercenter (the big kahuna) to the 42,000 square foot Market (with … More Walmart Express, market definition, and local politics

Richard Epstein on a “declining United States”

Lynne Kiesling The Independence Day holiday is a good day to reflect on the values and principles that animated the American Revolution and the origins of the United States. Given the continuing erosion of our civil liberties, including economic liberties, this year that reflection is more important than ever; as I’ve done before I’ll invoke … More Richard Epstein on a “declining United States”

New York regulators take steps toward allowing fracking for natural gas production

Michael Giberson Today the New York Department of Environmental Conservation took a few steps toward permitting fracking of natural gas wells, a process necessary to produce natural gas from underground shale formations. Regulatory processes being as they are, it likely means fracking will remain off-limits in the state for some time. News reports include favorable … More New York regulators take steps toward allowing fracking for natural gas production

Antitrust as the enemy of innovation, and therefore the enemy of consumers

Michael Giberson Antitrust regulators at the FTC have taken adverse interest in Google’s activities. At Regulation2point0, Robert Hahn and Peter Passel comment (links in original, highlighting added): … perhaps the FTC probe may prove to be just another minor bump on the road to riches. But there are reasons to believe that it will prove to … More Antitrust as the enemy of innovation, and therefore the enemy of consumers