Severin Borenstein asks whether growth of distributed energy is mostly an uneconomic response to regulatory dysfunction, and raises the question of whether uneconomic responses might lead to regulatory improvements. He doesn’t quite frame the issues quite like that, his post is somewhat exploratory in form, but I think this is the question he is aiming at. … More Does bad regulatory policy sow the seeds of better regulatory policy?
When the cameras built in to everyday phones have smart thermal imaging capability, then – finally – the dreams of energy efficiency experts will come true. Consumers will have easy access to pictures showing hot spots and cold spots around windows and doors and on walls and ceilings. People will spend more to replace windows and … More Widespread access to thermal imagery will boost home energy efficiency
I think we could use some good news this week. According to an article in the Baltimore Sun, the current blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay is one-third larger than it was at the same time in 2015: There are more than 550 million blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay, an increase of more … More Good environmental news from the Chesapeake
The EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation think trucking companies in the United States are not smart enough to understand that fuel expenses are worth managing carefully. Despite industry analysis identifying fuel costs ranging from 30 to 40 percent of variable costs per mile, so it is no secret in the trucking business, the federal … More The federal government wants to help trucking companies save money
Institutional persistence creates some of the thorniest problems in public policy, including electricity policy. Institutions change more slowly than technology and markets, because of both design and status quo bias, which means that dynamic processes of economic and technological change can make regulatory institutions outdated. This mismatch is showing up right now in the electricity … More My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering
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
Cass Sunstein begins: With respect to the past and future of regulation, there are two truly indispensable ideas. Unfortunately, they are in serious tension with one another. Potential solutions lie in three reforms, all connected with democracy itself – but perhaps not quite in the way that most people think. The first indispensable idea is … More Cass Sunstein on regulatory analysis and the knowledge problem