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

Apple’s jack and incumbent vertical market power

  Apple’s controversial decision to remove the universal 3.5mm audio jack from its just-released iPhone 7 has several economic dimensions. All of them are a consequence of Apple’s proprietary architecture (colloquially known as “Steve’s walled garden”) and the extent to which Apple is trying to/able to exercise incumbent vertical market power. How much market power … More Apple’s jack and incumbent vertical market power

House Energy and Power Subcommittee takes a look at the Federal Power Act; one small suggestion for reform

As had been announced in June of this year, the Energy and Power subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives is devoting some time to a deep look into the Federal Power Act (FPA). At the time of the June announcement the committee sent a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) saying: As you know, the … More House Energy and Power Subcommittee takes a look at the Federal Power Act; one small suggestion for reform

Pharmaceuticals and multi-layered government-granted monopoly

Mylan’s price increase of the EpiPen in late August has caused consternation and a lot of debate about the reasons why Mylan has been able to increase the EpiPen price so dramatically above its production cost. Don’t forget that production cost includes the time and resources that comprise FDA compliance costs, even for generics like … More Pharmaceuticals and multi-layered government-granted monopoly

Planet Money buys oil, loses about $800 on the deal, and makes some great podcast journalism

The NPR economics podcast Planet Money offers a great five-part introduction to the oil business and the place it plays in our economy. Along the way they offer insights into prices and market processes, innovation and industry change, and the many uses of fossil energy. The five part series does not go deep, but the reporters do cover the … More Planet Money buys oil, loses about $800 on the deal, and makes some great podcast journalism