CO2 emission reductions: fracking, recession, renewables?

Lynne Kiesling Several people have pointed out the remarkable fact that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion have fallen almost to 1995 levels. As the Institute for Energy Research noted, The Energy information Administration reports that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States are 2.4 percent less in 2011 than they were in … More CO2 emission reductions: fracking, recession, renewables?

Smart shopping for electric power just got easier in Houston

Michael Giberson CenterPoint Energy, the Houston-area electric distribution company, has launched MyTrueCost.com to help area retail electric customers shop for electric power. Help may be needed: currently 43 companies offer a total of 239 different service options in the CenterPoint service territory according to data from Powertochoose.org, the Texas PUC’s retail power website. The basic … More Smart shopping for electric power just got easier in Houston

Prices, property rights, profits … and ice?

Lynne Kiesling The history of the commercialization of the ice market is a multi-layered case study in market processes. Who knew? This Freeman article from David Hebert, an economics graduate student at George Mason University, tells the economic history of the origins of the long-distance ice industry in the U.S. in the early 19th century: … More Prices, property rights, profits … and ice?

Bottom-up emergent order in financial markets?

Lynne Kiesling Matt Ridley helpfully points out something that’s grossly underappreciated in the sturm und drang over financial market competition and regulation in the past five years — the lessons of evolutionary biology apply to human-designed systems too, including financial market institutions and regulatory institutions: What is the cure? A change of personnel will not … More Bottom-up emergent order in financial markets?

No, the federal solar power subsidy does not pay for itself

In effect, US PREF analyzes subsidies as if the companies, workers, and investors have no alternative prospects for income and would consume less electric power in the absence of subsidies for solar PV projects. In addition, US PREF ignores conventional analytical tools for investment analysis (net present value, for instance) even as it tries to claim that the solar investment tax credit is a good investment. I’d rate the report a FAILED policy analysis. … More No, the federal solar power subsidy does not pay for itself

Tyler Cowen on morality and the free market

Lynne Kiesling Big Think and the John Templeton Foundation have collaborated on a series of short videos about free markets and their consequences and implications. I found Tyler Cowen’s video contribution to the series particularly valuable and pretty much right about the morality of voluntary exchange, how exchange embodies cooperation, globalization, etc. I intend to … More Tyler Cowen on morality and the free market

PBS story on smart meter protests in California

Lynne Kiesling Friday night’s PBS Newshour had a feature story on the protests in California over the installation of digital electricity meters in the PG&E distribution monopoly service territory. These protests focus on two separate issues: one is a claim that the wireless communications from the meters create electromagnetic fields that harm health, and the … More PBS story on smart meter protests in California

Bloomberg’s bureaucratic “Big Gulp” rule, more unintended costs

Lynne Kiesling Seth Goldman is one of the entrepreneurial founders of the beverage company Honest Tea, which makes fresh-brewed, organic, low-sugar teas and sells them in a global industry standard bottle: 500ml, or 16.9 ounces. You’d think that such an entrepreneurial activity and such a beverage would be attractive even to Nanny Mayor Michael Bloomberg. … More Bloomberg’s bureaucratic “Big Gulp” rule, more unintended costs