A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

Gas Ban Economics 101

By Kenneth Costello -- December 7, 2020

“Strange bedfellows (akin to Baptists and Bootleggers) support government-promoted electrification: electric utilities and environmentalists.”

“Because a gas ban has virtually no effect on global climate and is likely to increase energy costs for consumers, one would have to look far to find a governmental action that is so intrusive, imbalanced and detrimental to society’s welfare.”

Political attempts to curtail gas supply and demand have met with limited success. Methane rules, drilling restrictions on public land, and opposition to new pipelines have incrementally slowed the growth of natural gas in the United States. But the radical anti-fossil-fuel lobby and their government allies want much more: moratoriums on new gas service and bans on natural gas usage and appliances.

Bans by municipal jurisdictions with (presumably) the legal authority to do so are in the news.…

U.S. Energy Policy: We Don’t Need One

By Kenneth Costello -- June 27, 2019

“Probably more than anything, the legacy of past energy policies is advancing special interests – the energy industry, climate activists and environmentalists, governmental activists, and others – rather than the general public.”  

“Why then do we even need an energy policy? After all, we don’t have a computer policy, a clothes policy, or a food policy. Experience has shown that the country would be better off without one.”

The Green New Deal is just the latest in the long line of despicable energy policies proposed or implemented in the U.S. One has to go back to the 1970s (when I first entered the energy-policy debate) to find energy thinking this far off the track.

Why the demand for aggressive governmental intervention given its counterproductive promise and results (supply/demand distortions from mispricing; subsidies; unintended consequences).…

Natural Gas Is Good, but Opposition Escalates

By Kenneth Costello -- May 15, 2019

By making federal certification more politicized, interstate natural-gas pipelines have had to spend additional money to defend their position, courts have become more burdened, and environmentalists have spent large sums of money…. These costs would seem to overwhelm any benefits: Demanding that FERC considers climate change is destined for failure.

The U.S. natural gas industry has enjoyed a great run over the past decades, continuing its stellar history upon the end of wellhead price controls several decades ago. The transition of interstate gas transmission to mandatory open access was also successful, freeing the commodity from public-utility regulation to introduce real-time scarcity pricing.

The natural gas sector has contributed greatly to the U.S. economy by creating quality jobs and reducing household and business energy bills on the order of hundreds of billions of dollars.…

Energy Efficiency Mandates: No Free Lunch

By Kenneth Costello -- March 26, 2019

Rent-Seeking under Public Utility Regulation: Who Protects Ratepayers?

By Kenneth Costello -- February 28, 2019