Consider the preconceptions that surface in your mind when you read the name “Enron”. Chances are that they are negative, and not particularly nuanced — fraudulent business activity, tarnishing the idea of free markets by trying to manipulate them using the political process, and so on.
If that’s true for you, then you are probably in a pretty similar mental space to mine when I started reading Rob Bradley’s Edison to Enron: Energy Markets and Political Strategies. Rob’s detailed and thoroughly researched book is a well-told analysis of the valuable and interesting regulatory and business history that formed the backdrop of Enron’s spectacular failure.
Samuel Insull, Father of Modern Electricity
The name of the book is somewhat misleading, because the first third of the book focuses not on Thomas Edison but on Samuel Insull.…
[Editor note: This excerpt from Bradley’s next book, Edison to Enron: Energy Markets and Political Strategies, is part of a five-chapter history of Samuel Insull, the father of the modern power industry.]
President Obama just returned from Copenhagen empty handed. His hometown will not get the 2016 Olympics, or as a representative of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Chicago operation advertised it, the “Blue Green Olympics.”
Given the science, economics, and politics of the global warming, aka climate change, it can be hoped that Obama–and the heads of all governments around the world–come away ’empty handed’ in Copenhagen in December. No town, city, province, or country should be burdened with energy rationing when consumer-driven, conventional energy has become more sustainable, not less.
The real global issue is economic recovery and growth, which means expanded private property and enhanced market institutions to promote sustainable growth in place of abject poverty and economic underperformance.…
The wisdom of the ages applies to energy. The smartest-guys-in-the-room approach to energy transformation by DOE secretary Stephen Chu, based on a false premise of the unsustainability of hydrocarbon energy, should note such history. The silver bullets that he is looking for have a long, failed history for good reason.
Take for example the electric car,…