Richard Rhodes, “Energy: A Human History”

Richard Rhodes has written an amazing book. He aspired to tell the tales of energy transitions over the past 400 years. His Energy: A Human History accomplishes that task. The book is daunting in size for non-required reading. It is filled with brief stories of this or that device or discovery or development, and almost overwhelming … More Richard Rhodes, “Energy: A Human History”

Should your electricity distributor also be your electricity retailer?

Maximilian Auffhammer explored the question, “How Local Should Your Energy Retailer Be?” at the Energy Institute at Haas blog. He said the issue had come up over lunch in the office. The distribution utility of the future is going to buy electrons in this reordered market (mostly renewables and some fossils) and sell them to its … More Should your electricity distributor also be your electricity retailer?

The politicized world of public lands as revealed in hearings of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources

The Natural Resources committee of the U.S. House of Representatives recently held three hearings addressing oil and gas resources on federal lands and waters. On June 6 the committee considered several proposed drafts revising various aspects of the onshore oil and gas leasing and permitting processes. The second hearing, on June 14, concerned the proposed … More The politicized world of public lands as revealed in hearings of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources

Is an anonymous energy company actually a front for a conservation group? I hope so!

An article on federal oil and gas auctions by Natasha Geiling at ThinkProgress caught my eye. The ThinkProgress story mostly is concerned that quasi-anonymous companies can secure oil and gas leasing rights on federal land, and anonymity might make it harder to enforce regulatory protections and lead to environmental problems. The object of her concern is … More Is an anonymous energy company actually a front for a conservation group? I hope so!

Barry Smitherman: How Texas used a free market to reduce electricity prices and pollution

Barry Smitherman has an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, “How Texas used a free market to reduce electricity prices and pollution.” Smitherman is former chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission and before that of the Texas Public Utilities Commission. He highlights price reductions available to consumers as compared to prices immediately before the retail … More Barry Smitherman: How Texas used a free market to reduce electricity prices and pollution

Help a grad student out by taking this survey on political messaging

A team of researchers from Stony Brook University have asked us to help them study the role that emotion plays in politics. I have completed the survey myself, and it only took me a few minutes to finish. The survey is completely anonymous. Click the link below to begin the survey: https://stonybrookuniversity.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bDvaFRlp0rmqYBf

Texas’s power market performance

“The Lone Star State approaches electricity policy—among other things—a bit differently,” wrote the R Street Institute’s Devin Hartman in “Testing Texas power.” That “differently” is one benefit of the quasi-independent status of the ERCOT grid. While there are benefits to harmonization of rules across regions, there are also benefits to exploring alternatives to whatever currently … More Texas’s power market performance