Lynne Kiesling For the past year and a half the Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the potential anti-competitive effects of Google’s search-based business model. The European Union has also been pursuing antitrust complaints against Google. The main accusation is Google search bias — Google’s algorithm prioritizes links both to paid advertisers (which are shaded … More Antitrust and Google search bias
Lynne Kiesling You may have seen the article in Sunday’s New York Times on how “wasteful” data centers are — they use large amounts of electricity to enable the level of redundancy required to achieve the degree of reliability and uptime that consumers expect from their Internet activities. I put the word “waste” in quotes … More Just how “wasteful” are data centers?
Lynne Kiesling Economist Ed Dolan makes a thorough argument for using the upcoming expiration of the wind production tax credit as an opportunity to rethink energy policy seriously. In particular, his combined focus on energy policy and tax policy, and whether such tax credits are good examples of either (guess what? No), makes for an … More Dolan on the WPTC and energy policy
Lynne Kiesling Rob Bradley has an Econlib essay on Enron, and it’s a good one. He focuses on Enron’s particular form of crony corporatism, its ability to take advantage of regulatory complexity, and the lessons that we should carry forward from the experience: Enron was essentially a political company, not a free-market one. Ken Lay’s creation … More Enron and crony corporatism
Lynne Kiesling After a long and contentious series of battles over the past three decades, two of the original coal-fired steam turbine power plants in Chicago powered down at the end of August. The Fisk plant and the Crawford plant were the last two coal-fired power plants in operation within a major U.S. city, and … More A proposal for Fisk power plant: museum of history and industry
Michael Giberson In an article titled “4 Reasons All Americans Should Be Worried About Wind Layoffs,” you’d think there would be at least one reason that people should be worried about wind industry layoffs. Sadly, no. Instead the author tells the reader: (1) wind power installations are largely in GOP-held congressional districts, (2) the U.S. … More Any reason to be worried about wind power industry layoffs?
Michael Giberson As noted here at KP in August, a group of electric power economists (including me) filed an amicus brief on FERC’s demand response pricing rule. At the Master Resource blog, Travis Fisher examines the issue with some detail. Here is a bit: In Order No. 745, FERC reasoned that, “when a demand response … More ‘Demand Response’ in Electricity: Economists vs. FERC on (Over)Pricing
Lynne Kiesling The title of this month’s Cato Unbound, “The Empirics of Austrian Economics”, makes it sound more like inside baseball than it really is. The valuable discussion does have some elements of insider talk, but most of the exchange is externally focused, and as such is well worth reading if you are interested in … More Cato Unbound’s “Empirics of Austrian Economics”
Michael Giberson Midwest Energy News: “Can airports be green? With solar farm, Chicago argues they can.” Aviation is a carbon intensive industry, with air travel and transport contributing two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But airports around the world are making significant efforts to reduce their carbon … More Can airports be green? With a little greenwashing they can!
Lynne Kiesling This year’s Economic Freedom of the World report is released today, and the US has dropped to #18, its lowest ranking ever. From the press release: The United States, long considered a champion of economic freedom among large industrial nations, dropped to its lowest position ever in to the Fraser Institute’s annual Economic … More Economic Freedom of the World: We’re #18!