ProPublica gets the establishment view on the Arizona-SoCal blackout, the establishment says it needs more money and authority

Michael Giberson At ProPublica, Ariel Wittenburg assesses the meaning of the early September blackout affecting parts of Arizona, Southern California, and Northern Mexico. The proximate cause was substation maintenance in Yuma, Arizona and an apparent fault in protective systems that should have kept surrounding lines running during maintenance. As these systems failed, the disturbance reached … More ProPublica gets the establishment view on the Arizona-SoCal blackout, the establishment says it needs more money and authority

Economist’s Babbage column on network reliability

Lynne Kiesling The usually-reliable Babbage columnist at the Economist has written a misguided commentary on last week’s power outage in San Diego and its broader implications (and, unfortunately, Glenn has picked it up on Instapundit, which will magnify the effects of its misguidedness). He starts by summarizing what’s known about the fault that led to … More Economist’s Babbage column on network reliability

Yergin on oil, II

Michael Giberson I second Lynne’s recommendation of Yergin’s column in the Saturday Wall Street Journal. On the topic of Hubbert’s peak and peak oil generally, I particularly recommend these two paragraphs: Hubbert insisted that price didn’t matter. Economics—the forces of supply and demand—were, he maintained, irrelevant to the finite physical cache of oil in the … More Yergin on oil, II

Yergin on oil

Lynne Kiesling In Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, Daniel Yergin has a thorough, thoughtful essay on oil: There Will Be Oil. It’s largely a reflection on “peak oil” ideas, and how innovation and technological change have reduced the cost of identifying and accessing more oil reserves: This is actually the fifth time in modern history that … More Yergin on oil

More oil available in North America than previously thought

Michael Giberson To Julian Simon-inspired resource optimists, this is news of the most ho-hum sort. Oh, so we think more resources now are available than previously expected because of improvements in technology? Nothing new under the sun. Humanity’s many-centuries-long trend of energy resources becoming cheaper continues into the indefinite future. If you believed that world … More More oil available in North America than previously thought

Interstate commerce in electric power – Arizona policymaker’s two-faced view

Michael Giberson Yesterday the staff of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az) conducted a “Solar Summit” in Washington, D.C. You can watch all three hours of the program here, or maybe you’d rather read the overview provided by Phil Riske at the Rose Law Group Blog, “Mayes, Spitzer bemoan congressional Republicans ‘retrenching’ against renewable energy funding and … More Interstate commerce in electric power – Arizona policymaker’s two-faced view

Authoritarian hypocrisy and “anything for security”

Lynne Kiesling Does President Obama realize his hypocrisy when he says (as he did in his weekend radio address) that “as Americans, we refuse to live in fear”, while simultaneously having large armed law enforcement teams storm airplanes that have landed, remove passengers, strip search them, and detain them without probable cause or a warrant? … More Authoritarian hypocrisy and “anything for security”

Stimulus failure: A costly lesson on Keynes and Say’s Law?

Lynne Kiesling Macroeconomics and I have never gotten along, and for years I couldn’t figure out why — I’ve just never understood much of the underlying logic, why the analyses start where they do and make the assumptions they do (the only exception to this is my undergrad class with William Hart at Miami when … More Stimulus failure: A costly lesson on Keynes and Say’s Law?