Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Wyden’s Proposal for taxing oil and gas speculators

Ron Wyden, Democratic Senator from Oregon who serves on the Senate Finance Committee and the Energy Committee, is generally considered a liberal, though with a mixed bag of positions that hardly qualify on all grounds. He is against the estate tax and favors lowering rates of capital gains taxes, neither of which makes sense, from […]

Cap and Trade and Non-Tradeable Emissions

Tom Bozzo thinks the path of Chinese energy and climate policies is interesting but the prospect of international trade creating a game of carbon whack-a-mole is not a great argument for the ex ante unworkability of a U.S. cap-and-trade program. Take a look at the sectoral distribution of U.S. emissions, via the EIA: The industrial […]

The Republican Leadership Declines ‘Pigou Club’ Membership

Tom Bozzo John “Don’t Say” Boehner makes (or should make) Greg Mankiw cry: Mr. Boehner likewise criticized Mr. Obama’s cap-and-trade emissions permits proposal, saying, “Cap-and-trade is code for increasing taxes and killing American jobs, and that’s the last thing we need to do during these troubled economic times.” As the NYT reports, the Obama budget […]

Deep Thought

by Tom Bozzo Transforming the electricity sector by building a few hundred thousand megawatts of green generation capacity seems neither excessively expensive nor excessively risky this evening.

On Cornucopian Views of Oil Supplies

Meeting projected (latent) demands for oil and other liquid hydrocarbon fuels over the next couple of decades — taking global production and consumption to the vicinity of 113 million barrels/day in 2030, from the current ~85-86 million b/d — will require bringing online the equivalent of a new Persian Gulf’s worth of new oil production, […]

Annals of Republican Obstructionism

Last week, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on S.3335, a measure which among other things would extend the production tax credits for solar and wind energy, plug the Highway Trust Fund deficit, and keep the Alternative Minimum Tax at bay for elements of the lower-upper-middle-classes for another year. The vote was 51-43, with a […]

Elevating the Discourse at the Atlantic.com

Shorter McMegan: I once heard these terms of art from the electricity industry. No quizzes! P.S., Al Gore is fat. —————— Update: Hoisted from comments… Kolohe: A quick point for the negative team – the required* additions to the power grid, (i.e. new hv power lines, speficially 765 kV ones) will not really get started, […]

Pandering to (Some) Economists: Trade in Ethanol

by Tom Bozzo Another major energy proposal in the McCain economic plan is ending subsidies for corn ethanol and eliminating the tariff that effectively bars to importation of sugar cane ethanol. Greg Mankiw scored these on behalf of the economics profession as points for McCain over Obama in the NYT over the weekend. I agree […]

Reaction to the McCain Economic "Plan" — Energy Issues

by Tom Bozzo I was working on a much more detailed post when The Onion, Priceless National Treasure it is, gave a portion of the subject the treatment it arguably deserves. Somewhat more seriously, though, the McCain briefing document is heavy with what would be long-term solutions to an array of more-or-less urgent short-term problems. […]

Hoisted From Comments: Fuel Efficiency and Fuel Substitution

In comments to PGL’s post, Michael McKinlay writes: We need a immediate and massive effort to produce plug in hybrid and electric cars while upgrading our electrical grid. I agree, with the proviso that the incremental electricity generation should be relatively net-carbon-free. Which leads to El Presidente’s response: Electric cars are not a solution; they […]