A Free-Market Energy Blog

‘Greenhouse Policy without Regrets’ (Adler’s 2000 analysis still rings true today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 26, 2017

“Rather than adopt costly regulatory measures that serve to suppress energy use and economic growth, policy makers should seek to eliminate government interventions in the marketplace that obstruct emission reductions and discourage the adoption of lower emission technologies. Such an approach is a ‘no regrets’ strategy….”

A true ‘no regrets’ approach to climate change is not greater government controls on economic activity, but fewer. Economic growth, market institutions, and technological advance are often the most effective forms of insurance that a civilization can have.”

–  Jonathan Adler, “Greenhouse Policy Without Regrets: A Free Market Approach to the Uncertain Risks of Climate Change,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, July 14, 2000.

MasterResource from time to time reprints free-market-oriented energy/climate analysis that was bold for its time and still resonates today. Unlike the neo-Malthusians, our side’s work has held up well.

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AWEA Transmission Study: The Rest of the Story

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 22, 2017

The much touted benefits of wind come with a fatal caveat: industrial wind turbines–suffering from intermittency, low average-usage factors, remote siting, relatively high (and all-up-front) costs–are uneconomic. So the fact that the Wind industry creates jobs and can piggyback on consumer-chosen, taxpayer-neutral, baseload power is no consolation.

The starting point of economics is that wants exceed resources. Market prices are therefore needed to allocate resources. Out of a wide range of technical possibilities (including wind-produced electricity), only a small subset is economic desirable as well. Think of a bullet train from Los Angeles to New York City–technically possible but uneconomic when compared to air travel. Only freely acting consumers in a government-neutral marketplace can decide the difference.

The new study cosponsored by the American Wind Energy AssociationElectricity Markets, Reliability, and the Evolving U.S.

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Why We Fight (Part II: “A Free-Market Energy Vision”)

By -- June 21, 2017

“Markets are not perfect, inspiring some to devise and champion government intervention. But political solutions must contend with analytic failure, implementation problems, and public-sector (taxpayer) costs. Imperfect markets, in other words, may well be better than “perfect” regulation in the real world. The burden of proof, therefore, should be on government intervention, rather than on voluntary transactions premised on private property and governed by the rule of law.”

[Editor’s Note: Ad Hominem attacks on free-market organizations espousing industry positions are a regular occurrence, even though the same organizations oppose the same companies when they seek special government favors. Part I yesterday, reposted from April 2012, explains the philosophy behind the Institute for Energy Research.]

“In the U.S. energy sector, market reliance has produced economic coordination, fostered economic growth, and democratized wealth.

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Why We Fight (Part I: AEA Is “Big Liberty,” Not “Big Oil”)

By -- June 20, 2017
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Wind News Update: Catastrophic Failures Jump; Maryland Gets Serious (June 19, 2017)

By -- June 19, 2017
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Utility Regulation: The Rate Case (opportunities to game)

By Jim Clarkson -- June 16, 2017
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Bad Entrepreneurship (Harvard Business Review article on ‘rent-seeking’)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 15, 2017
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“5 Shades of Climate Denial” (Inside Climate News gets it wrong)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 14, 2017
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Nixon Price Controls and Exiting Paris: A Bad Analogy (enslaved vs. freed energy)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 13, 2017
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Energy & Environmental Newsletter: June 12, 2017

By -- June 12, 2017
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