Examining the “Masters Hypothesis” about the role of index funds in the 2007-2008 price spike

Michael Giberson From the most recent (January 2012) edition of Energy Economics: “Testing the Masters Hypothesis in commodity futures markets” by Scott Irwin and Dwight Sander. The “Masters Hypothesis” refers to claims by investment manager Michael Masters (in testimony before a Senate committee -included in this collection– and on the TV program 60 minutes, among … More Examining the “Masters Hypothesis” about the role of index funds in the 2007-2008 price spike

WSJ says EIA says natural gas prices could jump 54 percent with exports

Michael Giberson Yesterday the Energy Information Administration released the results of its analysis of possible price effects from increased natural gas exports, and the Wall Street Journal finds the drama (“Gas Prices Could Rise With Exports”): Increased exports of U.S. natural gas could drive up domestic gas prices as much as 54% in 2018, federal officials … More WSJ says EIA says natural gas prices could jump 54 percent with exports

SOPA/PIPA protests and the economics of content market power

Lynne Kiesling I found some things striking in yesterday’s SOPA/PIPA protests. One was Jim Harper’s clear and cogent statement that the Internet is not a thing, it’s a set of protocols stipulating how computers communicate with each other. That set of protocols is a platform, and those protocols are not the government’s to regulate. Jim’s … More SOPA/PIPA protests and the economics of content market power

Regional transmission efforts good for re-routing information flows to regulators

Michael Giberson Peter Behr, at ClimateWire, describes the U.S. Department of Energy’s efforts to rework its electric transmission study processes, created in the 2005 Energy Policy Act but stalled by adverse court decisions and political missteps. I’m not so sure that the new approaches will be any better received than the old, but I noticed … More Regional transmission efforts good for re-routing information flows to regulators

Michael Graetz’s “The End of Energy” surveys 40 years of energy policy making. It isn’t pretty.

Michael Giberson Michael Graetz’s The End of Energy is a fascinating run through 40 years of U.S. energy policy making. Engaging and at times even entertaining if you are at all interested in energy issues. In Graetz’s telling it is mostly a story of 40 years of failure, though he notes a few successes along … More Michael Graetz’s “The End of Energy” surveys 40 years of energy policy making. It isn’t pretty.

Bad news for the natural gas suppliers, but good news for natural gas consumers

Michael Giberson I’ve been meaning to remark on natural gas prices for several days, especially since a regular reader pointed out that natural gas prices have reached their lowest levels in a decade. But now, in what may be a first, I’ll just outsource the discussion by favorably linking to a post on the Climate … More Bad news for the natural gas suppliers, but good news for natural gas consumers

EPA fines companies for not doing the impossible

Michael Giberson If you read Jonathan Adler’s post at the Volokh Conspiracy (and reposted at PERC’s Percolator blog), it makes the EPA seem a little silly for insisting on fining companies when it would be impossible for companies to comply with the law. But don’t blame the EPA, which is just implementing a law that Congress passed and … More EPA fines companies for not doing the impossible

Giberson calls for one-year moratorium on hospital admissions pending analysis of risks associated with nosocomial infection

Michael Giberson I read recently that as many as 99,000 deaths per year in the United States are linked to nosocomial infection (also known as hospital-acquired infection). I’m outraged, obviously, and relying on the precautionary principle I am calling for a minimum one-year moratorium on hospital admissions so the healthcare industry can bring an end to nosocomial-linked … More Giberson calls for one-year moratorium on hospital admissions pending analysis of risks associated with nosocomial infection

Loss of ethanol subsidy boosts gasoline prices a little, E85 prices a lot

Michael Giberson The basic math is pretty simple: most gasoline in the U.S. has about 10 percent ethanol, so the the 45 cents/gallon VEETC subsidy reduced the price of gasoline about 4.5 cents. The subsidy expired at the end of 2011, so one reason gasoline prices have gone up a few cents since New Year’s … More Loss of ethanol subsidy boosts gasoline prices a little, E85 prices a lot