Refiners are getting squeezed by high crude oil prices and faltering U.S. demand, so let’s increase their costs!

Michael Giberson The Houston Chronicle reports on the difficult financial position of many U.S. refineries. Crude oil prices are up for refineries relying on international markets, but U.S. consumers are moderating their gasoline consumption at higher prices and so refiners find their margins to be getting squeezed. A good article, but right at the end … More Refiners are getting squeezed by high crude oil prices and faltering U.S. demand, so let’s increase their costs!

Hamilton on the main reason oil prices are high

Michael Giberson Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said¬† there was “no rational reason” for current high oil prices, since there were enough supplies and all consumers were getting oil. James Hamilton rises to object, “if oil prices were lower, the world would want to consume more than is currently being produced.”¬†Hamilton examines what the quantity … More Hamilton on the main reason oil prices are high

Hamilton: Why do gasoline prices differ across U.S. states?

Michael Giberson James Hamilton, at Econbrowser, examines the question,”Why do gasoline prices differ across U.S. states?” The short answer is: state gasoline taxes (clearly), regional fuel requirements (probably), and access to relatively inexpensive crude oil supplies. Any remaining price differences are probably just general state differences in the cost of doing business. But go read … More Hamilton: Why do gasoline prices differ across U.S. states?

Nutrition experience, research, and orthodoxy, with some economics parallels

Lynne Kiesling Last week was our spring break, and I finally took some time to read Gary Taubes’ 2008 book Good Calories, Bad Calories. Taubes is an investigative science journalist who has been writing for years about the science of nutrition and epidemiology, and the book focuses on a long, careful, detailed narrative about how … More Nutrition experience, research, and orthodoxy, with some economics parallels

Tedious peak oil claims from the EU Energy Policy Blog

Michael Giberson Not all peak oil analysis comes across as sloppy, misleading, and a bit tedious, but this one does: “Peak Oil Driving The Global Gas Shift.” Of course sloppy analysis abounds on the internet, and the best approach is usually to ignore it, but this example appears on the somewhat respectable site of the … More Tedious peak oil claims from the EU Energy Policy Blog

Learn Liberty video: should government regulate monopolies?

Lynne Kiesling I am happy to say that Learn Liberty has published another video that we did together. This one is a short one in which I talk about government regulation of monopolies, essentially laying out Schumpeter’s argument that when entry costs are low, monopolies do not persist because monopoly profit serves as a lure … More Learn Liberty video: should government regulate monopolies?

Innovative retail competition: is it finally starting … and in Chicago?

Lynne Kiesling This may be the beginning of what I’ve been arguing for over the past decade plus … today in Smart Grid News, Jesse Berst reports that Constellation Energy has teamed up with Best Buy to enable customers to come into the store, switch their retail provider, and buy home energy management devices (see … More Innovative retail competition: is it finally starting … and in Chicago?

Students: apply now for IHS summer seminars!

Lynne Kiesling Over the weekend Mike praised the Institute for Humane Studies teaching workshop he attended last summer. I’ll add to that an IHS recommendation for students: attend as many IHS summer seminars as you can while you’re a student! More than ten week-long seminars sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies apply classical liberal … More Students: apply now for IHS summer seminars!