Better red than dead, but not red yet (on solar power)

In her New York Times Economix column Nancy Folbre recently said (“The Red Faces of the Solar Skeptics,” March 10, 2014): If the faces of renewable energy critics are not red yet, they soon will be. For years, these critics — of solar photovoltaics in particular — have called renewable energy a boutique fantasy. A recent Wall … More Better red than dead, but not red yet (on solar power)

ICLE letter to Gov. Christie opposing direct vehicle distribution ban: Over 70 economists and law professors

Geoff Manne of the International Center for Law and Economics has spearheaded a detailed, thorough, analytical letter to New Jersey Governor Christie examining the state’s ban on direct vehicle distribution and why it is bad for consumers. Geoff summarizes the argument in a post today at Truth on the Market: Earlier this month New Jersey … More ICLE letter to Gov. Christie opposing direct vehicle distribution ban: Over 70 economists and law professors

Someone please explain the American Wind Energy Association’s funky electricity price arithmetic

About a month ago the American Wind Energy Association blogged: “Fact Check: New Evidence Rebuts Heartland’s Bogus RPS Claims.” I’m scratching my head a bit trying to understand their so-called facts. The big claim from AWEA: The eleven states that produce more than seven percent of their electricity from wind energy have seen their electricity prices … More Someone please explain the American Wind Energy Association’s funky electricity price arithmetic

Discrimination in West Virginia price gouging case?

Are West Virginia “outsiders” more likely to be accused of price gouging? From the March 8, 2014, Charleston Gazette, “Morrisey accused of discrimination in price gouging response“: CHARLESTON, W.Va. –A Putnam County storeowner accused of price gouging bottled water during the water crisis says Attorney General Patrick Morrisey discriminated against him because he is Lebanese, … More Discrimination in West Virginia price gouging case?

No net metering without grid connection, no net metering controversy where wires and energy products are unbundled

Around the country lobbyists for utilities and solar power companies are fighting over public policy, mostly for and against reform of net metering policies.* Today, The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) trumpeted in a press release recent victories in the states of Utah and Washington over net metering reforms urged by utilities. TASC highlighted the … More No net metering without grid connection, no net metering controversy where wires and energy products are unbundled

Rent-seeking diary: It’s only Tennessee whiskey if it’s Jack Daniel’s

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article, Jack Daniel’s Faces a Whiskey Rebellion, that highlights how politically powerful industries can use industry-protecting regulation to raise their rivals’ costs: At the company’s urging, Tennessee passed legislation last year requiring anything labeled “Tennessee Whiskey” not just to be made in the state, but also to be made … More Rent-seeking diary: It’s only Tennessee whiskey if it’s Jack Daniel’s

Rent-seeking diary: State dealer franchise laws and Tesla

By now you’ve probably heard that last week the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission passed a rule stipulating that automobile sales in the state cannot be direct-to-consumer, and must instead take place via dealer franchises. Tesla Motors was the clear target of this regulation, with its innovative electric vehicles and direct-to-consumer sales model. New Jersey … More Rent-seeking diary: State dealer franchise laws and Tesla

Permissionless innovation in electricity: the benefits of experimentation

Last Monday I was scheduled to participate in the Utility Industry of the Future Symposium at the NYU Law School. Risk aversion about getting back for Tuesday classes in the face of a forecast 7″ snowfall in New York kept me from attending (and the snow never materialized, which makes the cost even more bitter!), … More Permissionless innovation in electricity: the benefits of experimentation