A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from April 2018

Water Power: A Fickle Renewable

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 30, 2018

“When an abundant natural fall of water is at hand, nothing can be cheaper or better than water power. But everything depends upon local circumstances. The occasional mountain torrent is simply destructive. Many streams and rivers only contain sufficient water half the year round and costly reservoirs alone could keep up the summer supply.”

-W. S. Jevons (1865)

Serious students of energy policy should read the blogs at the Institute for Energy Research (IER), not only those at this site. The current blog at IER, “Renewables Generated 103 Percent of Portugal’s Electricity Consumption in March [2018],” explains that country’s unique situation of being hydro-dependent and wind-tied. And so it is that abnormally high rainfall has blessed Portugal this year–quite the opposite from a year ago.

Enter the wisdom of the ages, which in this case gets to W.…

Four Reasons Alarmists Are Wrong on Climate Change

By Vijay Jayaraj -- April 26, 2018

The alarmists’ attitude towards climate change will prove more harmful than beneficial in the long run.

Earth Day this year focused officially on the need to reduce plastic litter, a worthy and achievable goal. Nonetheless, much Earth Day activity concentrated on the alleged need to save the planet from climate change.

Climate-change alarmists have long called the current warming period “unprecedented” and “dangerous.” But is it?

Ironically, this Earth Day fell in the midst of one of the coldest Aprils in North American history. The severe winter of 2017–2018 has raised debates from two contrasting ends.

While some uninformed people claim it disproves global warming, climate alarmists claim it is just another evidence for global warming.

Deniers, Alarmists and Skeptics

Actual climate-change deniers—and they are very few—categorically deny the warming trend.…

The Craziest Regulatory Episode in US History: The 1970s Oil Reselling Boom

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 25, 2018

“When President Reagan decontrolled prices in January 1981, the regulatory arbitrage was over…. The strangest regulatory episode in US history was done.”

Economist Robert Murphy has summarized what I believe is the most unique, confounding, consequential regulatory episode in American history in his piece: “The Crazy Crude Oil Price Controls of the 1970s.” [1]

Yes, it happened some decades ago. But if you want to know why no economist in recent history has espoused price controls for crude oil and petroleum products, this experience rings loud today.

Basically, a large group of opportunistic middlemen seized profits that federal price and allocation regulation kept from the rightful industry parties (wellhead producers, in particular). It is the story of the unintended consequences of government intervention. Or entrepreneurial gaming in the face of regulatory constraints (with positive social outcomes in this case)–what Israel Kirzner called superfluous entrepreneurship.

Unstoppable Change, Stasis, and Climatism

By Charles Battig -- April 24, 2018

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: April 23, 2018

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- April 23, 2018

Exchange with a Climate Alarmist at R Street: Part II

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 19, 2018

Exchange with a Climate Alarmist at R-Street: Part I

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 18, 2018

Josiah Neeley Rejects a Carbon-Dioxide Tax and Wind Power

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 17, 2018

Predicting New Oil Field Discoveries: Institutional Realism over Simple Extrapolation

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#m_lynch">Michael Lynch</a> -- April 16, 2018

Attack on Tom Stacy: “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” (anti-wind effort smeared by crony environmentalist)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 11, 2018