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Posts from July 2017

Milton Friedman on Mineral Resource Theory (remembering a giant of social thought)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 31, 2017

“I think [Julian Simon] probably should have been considered for a Nobel Prize.  He took a very independent position with little backing, dug deep and provided very good evidence for his predictions and expectations.”

“I do not believe there is a natural resource economics.  I believe there is good economics and bad economics.”

  • Milton Friedman (below)

Editor note: Milton Friedman would be 105 this day. Born July 31, 1912, in New York City, he died on November 16, 2006, in San Francisco, age 94.

Reprinted below is an exchange between Robert Bradley Jr. and the Milton Friedman when the Nobel Laureate was 91 years old–a testament to the patience, scholarship, and longevity of one of the greatest social thinkers of modern time.

Friedman had not met Bradley but was in the habit of actively communicating with scholars until his final illness.

EV Subsidies vs. Results: Reality Check in Norway

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#a_brooks">Allen Brooks</a> -- July 27, 2017

“The China study highlights that the government’s push to promote EVs may actually create a greater hurdle for it achieving its goal of restricting CO2 growth.”

Yesterday’s post noted That Tesla’s federal tax subsidies, which apply to the first 200,000 vehicles produced, could be reached and exceeded next year. In such an event, what happens to Tesla’s Model 3 backlog when price-sensitive EV buyers, who have ordered the car, realize it may be delivered without the tax subsidy?

The answer might be seen in the EU, where EV tax subsidies have been cut, leading to a sharp fall in sales. This recently occurred in Hong Kong, as I described last week. But other countries have put EV subsidies, and thus EV sales, on the bubble.

Norway’s EV Effort–But Oil Rises

Critics of EV studies such as that of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF) point to the recent history of oil consumption in Norway, one of the leading EV success stories.

Tesla Stumbles: Bad EV Economics or Something Else?

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#a_brooks">Allen Brooks</a> -- July 26, 2017

“Given Tesla’s multiple business lines – leading edge EVs, auto financing, solar roof tiles, battery storage projects, and tunnel boring – more investors lump the company in with technology companies, meaning investors focus on the ‘dream’ rather than the results.”

“In 2016, the global motor vehicle population of cars and trucks was estimated at 1.4 billion, but just 2 million of them are EVs, or a 0.0014% market share.”

After spending three months as the world’s most valuable auto manufacturer, Tesla Inc.’s (TSLA-Nasdaq) share price has fallen due to perceived problems with its business model. Tesla reported its second quarter shipments at the end of June, results that were not as robust as many investors had hoped (being at the low end of management’s guidance).

As the quarter ended, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted details about the timing of production and delivery for the new Model 3 units, the company’s electric vehicle (EV) targeting the mass market.

California Needs a “Spec” Water Market, Not Contrived Markets

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#w_lusvardi">Wayne Lusvardi</a> -- July 25, 2017

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: July 24, 2017

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- July 24, 2017

Wind News Update: Falmouth Says Enough—But at a High Price!

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- July 20, 2017

FERC’s ‘Workable Competition’ Standard: A 1992 Note for Today

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 19, 2017

Rethinking Energy Efficiency: Reason Foundation Comments to DOE

By Julian Morris -- July 18, 2017

WSJ Blows It on Australia’s Power Crisis (intermittent resources, not fossil fuels, at fault)

By Donn Dears -- July 17, 2017

Solar in Seattle? Not So Fast (clouds, clouds, my Dear Watson)

By Greg Rehmke -- July 13, 2017