Author Archives: Lucas Davis

About Lucas Davis

Lucas Davis is an Associate Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on energy and environmental markets, and in particular, on electricity and natural gas regulation, pricing in competitive and non-competitive markets, and the economic and business impacts of environmental policy.

Stop Blaming Drivers for Mexico City’s Smog

This Spring, Mexico City has been choking under some of its worst smog conditions in years. The problem is ozone. Pollution alerts for ozone have been issued repeatedly, triggering “double” driving restrictions that have pulled hundreds of thousands of cars … Continue reading

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Evidence of a Decline in Electricity Use by U.S. Households

It has been slowing down for decades, but is electricity use by American households now going down? Americans tend to use more and more of everything.  As incomes have risen, we buy more food, live in larger homes, travel more, … Continue reading

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Four Reasons Why Chile Is the Biggest Solar Market in Latin America

With the U.S. Federal government pulling back sharply from efforts to address global warming, I’ve found myself looking outside the United States for good news on climate.  One of the most compelling recent trends comes from Chile, the little-engine-that-could when … Continue reading

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Learning to Frack

Technological advances and learning-by-doing have made U.S. shale oil profitable even at $55/barrel. Just ten years ago shale oil was expensive. Global oil prices spiked to $135/barrel in 2008 but shale oil didn’t and couldn’t respond. Now, at only $55/barrel, … Continue reading

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Policy Uncertainty Discourages Innovation and Hurts the Environment

Large-scale changes are anticipated for U.S. environmental policies heading into 2017. The new administration has promised a “comprehensive review of all federal regulations,” which include policies aimed at carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, fuel economy standards, oil and gas … Continue reading

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Why Aren’t Environmentalists Supporting a Carbon Tax in Washington State?

I used to live in Washington state. I’m no longer registered to vote there, but if I were, I would vote “Yes” on Nov. 8 for the Washington Carbon Emission Tax and Sales Tax Reduction, also known as Initiative 732, … Continue reading

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Addicted to Oil: U.S. Gasoline Consumption is Higher than Ever

August was the biggest month ever for U.S. gasoline consumption. Americans used a staggering 9.7 million barrels per day. That’s more than a gallon per day for every U.S. man, woman and child. The new peak comes as a surprise … Continue reading

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King Coal is Dethroned in the US – and That’s Good News for the Environment

This is the worst year in decades for U.S. coal. During the first six months of 2016, U.S. coal production was down a staggering 28 percent compared to 2015, and down 33 percent compared to 2014. For the first time … Continue reading

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Move Over PEMEX

Gasoline stations in Mexico have all been exactly the same for decades. PEMEX, the state-owned behemoth has been the only show in town. Pull up to any of 11,400 stations nationwide and the experience is very similar: PEMEX stations selling … Continue reading

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Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver During Crunch Time?

(Today’s post is co-authored with Judson Boomhower, who recently received his Ph.D. at Berkeley where he was a graduate student researcher at the Energy Institute and is now a post-doc at Stanford) Along with everyone else in Berkeley, we’ve enjoyed … Continue reading

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