Author Archives: James Bushnell

Breaking News! California Electricity Prices are High

In case you missed it, a recent investigative piece in the LA Times unearthed the shocking fact that California retail electricity prices are high,  about 50% higher than the national average. The article’s main focus is on the fact that California has … Continue reading

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Does Anyone Really Know How Much Electricity Goes into Cars?

There are lots of government policies that economists like to roll their collective eyes about and use as examples of bad incentives in economics textbooks. In many cases these policies are well intentioned, and may even be the best option … Continue reading

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Looking for Environmental Certainty in All the Wrong Places

What will be the fate of California’s cap and trade system for GHG? This is an issue that has been flying under the radar nationally, given the hullabaloo about carbon taxes in Washington State, the potential addition of Ontario to the California … Continue reading

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Is US Climate Policy Killing Nuclear Power?

These are strange times for competitive power markets in the United States.  Baseload power plants, many of them nuclear, are reportedly struggling to stay out of the red. About 10 years ago, plants like these were thriving with high wholesale prices set … Continue reading

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Economists are from Mars, Electric Cars are from Venus

I work at UC Davis, a University with at least two (that I know about) centers devoted to research “aimed at developing a sustainable market for plug-in vehicles.” I run into a lot of researchers and environmental advocates who are … Continue reading

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How Can Zero (net energy) be a Hero?

I am frequently asked why people seem to dislike economists so much. It’s a complicated question to answer. There are lots of reasons, many represented in the comments section of this blog. One could be economists’ stubborn insistence on evidence-based … Continue reading

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Can California Ignore its Neighbors?

Today’s post is coauthored by Benjamin Hobbs from Johns Hopkins University The U.S., almost alone among developed economies, has operated its power system as a collection of balkanized fiefdoms. Evidence from around the country, from work by Mansur and White , and ongoing … Continue reading

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How (and who) will pay for our energy infrastructure?

You may have heard that the Federal highway trust fund is running out of money because, darn it, people aren’t using enough gasoline. The transformation of our energy system is rapidly accelerating the need to confront a long-standing problem with … Continue reading

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Remember back when everybody hated electricity deregulation?

Today we take a break from our regularly scheduled blogging about environmental topics to provide a brief message concerning electricity restructuring.  Severin Borenstein and I are finishing up a draft paper for the Annual Review of Economics (available as a … Continue reading

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Cap-and-Trade’s Moment of Truth

With the looming expansion of its cap-and-trade program to transportation fuels like gasoline, California is fast approaching a significant moment of truth for its climate policy. This has some people nervous, and there are growing rumblings of proposals to delay, perhaps … Continue reading

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