Category Archives: Uncategorized

Proposals to Eliminate Natural Gas from the Fuel Mix Are Premature

Natural gas is commonly called a “bridge” to a low carbon future. Why this metaphor? A bridge crosses over an obstacle, like a river or canyon. The metaphor suggests that transitioning from coal to natural gas for electric generation is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Is Cap and Trade Failing Low Income and Minority Communities?

Pollution – like income- is unequally distributed. In fact, pollution exposure is more unequally distributed than income in the U.S. for some pollutants. Refinery in Wilmington, CA. Credit: Luis Sinco/LA Times Exposure to pollution-related health risks, accumulated over a lifetime, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Trash those incandescent bulbs today!

When it comes to lighting, I’m no early adopter.  For the last 20 years, I’ve annoyed my energy efficiency friends by arguing that those curlicue compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) were overhyped. The light quality is still inferior; they still warm … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

I’m Not Really Down with Most Top Down Evaluations

Lunches at Berkeley are never boring. This week I had an engaging discussion with a colleague from out of town who asked me what I thought about statistical top down approaches to evaluating energy efficiency programs. In my excitement, I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Is the Regulatory Compact Broken in Sub-Saharan Africa?

(Today’s post is co-authored with Paul Gertler. Wolfram and Gertler direct the Applied Research Program on Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) in partnership with Oxford Policy Management. The program is funded by the Department for International Development in the UK.) … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

If a Tree Falls in the Forest…Should We Use It to Generate Electricity?

Every summer vacation, we pack our tree-hugging family into the car and head for the Sierra Nevada mountains. In many respects, our trip this summer was just like any other year, complete with family bonding moments and awe-inspiring wilderness experiences: … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Spying on You from Space

The chest thumping in economics about how big and cool our datasets are is becoming somewhat unbearable. Bigger is not always better. In fact, one of the many reasons why we love the field of statistics is that we don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 24 Comments

Fixing a major flaw in cap-and-trade

While many Californians are spending August burning fossil fuels to travel to vacation destinations, the state legislature is negotiating with Gov. Brown over whether and how to extend the California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 21 Comments