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

Epistemology and synthetic market design: Examples from ecosystem services

Some of the most illuminating work in market design lately has been in payment for ecosystem services (PES). These projects provide examples of the continuing relevance of institutions to economic and policy outcomes, and the importance of Elinor Ostrom’s work on the diversity of governance institutions in common-pool resources; despite criticisms leveled at synthetic markets, … More Epistemology and synthetic market design: Examples from ecosystem services

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

EDF on Grid Modernization

Last week the Environmental Defense Fund released a new report on grid modernization, Grid Modernization: The Foundation for Climate Change Progress (pdf). This short report provides a clear overview of how grid modernization enables a cleaner energy future, examining six areas where investment and regulatory policy should focus to make that happen. The focus of this … More EDF on Grid Modernization

Early reactions to the DOE grid reliability study

The much anticipated, objected to, lobbyied about, editorialized on US Department of Energy study on electric grid reliability, markets, and policy has finally been released. Finally us commenters will actually know what we are talking about. Maybe. You can find the report on the DOE website along with Secretary Perry’s cover letter. I may comment … More Early reactions to the DOE grid reliability study

BLM rejects environmentalist offer to buy and hold federal oil and gas leases

In February 2016, Utah environmentalist and author Terry Tempest Williams offered to purchase two federal oil and gas leases on property near her home in Southern Utah. Her intention, as stated in a column later appearing in the New York Times, was to keep the resources in the ground “until science finds a way to … More BLM rejects environmentalist offer to buy and hold federal oil and gas leases

What energy policies ought conservatives favor–a good example of bad policy analysis

An opinion piece at MarketWatch makes a bundle of analytical mistakes as it tries to build the case that persons with conservative political views should prefer the energy policy views of Hillary Clinton over those of Donald Trump. In this case I read the “Clinton” and “Trump” names as a kind of stand-in or representative for … More What energy policies ought conservatives favor–a good example of bad policy analysis

Trump and Clinton on energy policy during the second presidential debate

From the transcript posted by PolitiFact, the exchange on energy issues from the October 9 debate between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton: COOPER: We have one more question from Ken Bone about energy policy. Ken? QUESTION: What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining … More Trump and Clinton on energy policy during the second presidential debate

On Trump’s energy policy: Big players are bad news for energy policy

My commentary, “Trump’s policy may undermine pro-growth intentions,” appears in the October 2016 issue of Nature Energy. Here is one of my favorite parts: Trump’s emphasis on energy independence, in North Dakota and elsewhere, has been common among both Republicans and Democrats. President Richard Nixon declared energy independence a priority in an effort to blame the Organization … More On Trump’s energy policy: Big players are bad news for energy policy

Smart meters help consumers avoid wasting money on energy efficiency

Analysis of a randomised-controlled trial on a sample of almost 2500 Irish households revealed one surprising result: compared to the control group, households provided with a smart meter, detailed feedback on usage, and time-of-use pricing reduced investment in energy efficiency projects. While this unexpected development appears treated by the researchers as an embarrassment to be overcome, the result should … More Smart meters help consumers avoid wasting money on energy efficiency