Texas terminates agreement with oil industry-backed lizard conservation group

A few years ago the state of Texas helped fight calls to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered by supporting an oil industry-backed foundation to oversee lizard habitat and promote habitat conservation efforts. Conservation groups were loudly skeptical of the Texas Habitat Conservation Foundation (THCF) due to its close ties to the oil industry. … More Texas terminates agreement with oil industry-backed lizard conservation group

Social costs of oil and gas leasing on federal lands, carefully considered

OVERVIEW: A report filed with the US Department of the Interior recommended that terms governing the leasing of federal land for oil and gas development be updated to reflect social costs associated with such development. While such costs may be policy relevant, I suggest social costs are smaller than the report indicates and the recommended policy … More Social costs of oil and gas leasing on federal lands, carefully considered

Government failure and the California drought

Yesterday the New York Times had a story about California’s four-year drought, complete with apocalyptic imagery and despair over whether conservation would succeed. Alex Tabarrok used that article as a springboard for a very informative and link-filled post at Marginal Revolution digging into the ongoing California drought, including some useful data and comment participation from … More Government failure and the California drought

The “utility death spiral”: The utility as a regulatory creation

Unless you follow the electricity industry you may not be aware of the past year’s discussion of the impending “utility death spiral”, ably summarized in this Clean Energy Group post: There have been several reports out recently predicting that solar + storage systems will soon reach cost parity with grid-purchased electricity, thus presenting the first … More The “utility death spiral”: The utility as a regulatory creation

Building, and commercializing, a better nuclear reactor

A couple of years ago, I was transfixed by the research from Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie highlighted in their TedX video on the future of nuclear power.   A recent IEEE Spectrum article highlights what Dewan and Massie have been up to since then, which is founding a startup called Transatomic Power in partnership … More Building, and commercializing, a better nuclear reactor

The spin on wind, or, an example of bullshit in the field of energy policy

The Wall Street Journal recently opined against President Obama’s nominee for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman, Norman Bay, and in the process took a modest swipe at subsidies for wind energy. The context here is Bay’s action while leading FERC’s enforcement division, and in particular his prosecution of electric power market participants who manage to run afoul … More The spin on wind, or, an example of bullshit in the field of energy policy