The transition to new air conditioning refrigerants will involve difficult tradeoffs. Air conditioning (AC) has transformed life in hot and humid countries including the US, Japan and Korea. Over 85 … Continue Reading Weighing Consumer Safety versus Climate Action
A GHG tax alone doesn’t solve the global need for low-cost alternative technologies Economists seldom discuss climate change without someone opining that it is simply an externality that can be … Continue Reading Pricing Carbon Isn’t Enough
EV drivers don’t pay the gasoline tax so pay less for roads. (Today’s post is co-authored by James Sallee) Every time we buy a gallon of gasoline, we help pay … Continue Reading Should Electric Vehicle Drivers Pay a Mileage Tax?
Policymakers have options to reduce price impacts and save lives. I left the place where bad weather was invented – Northern Bavaria – in my youth to migrate West. I … Continue Reading High Wintertime Energy Prices Kill People
This post is co-authored with Edward Rubin and Reed Walker. As the remote-sensing revolution fills our air-pollution blind spots, how should regulation respond? According to the Index of Objects Launched … Continue Reading Bringing Satellite Data Down To Earth
A recent experience with Uber/Lyft brought home the limits of market incentives. Max has been dreaming about a clean, autonomous future. Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft are both talking about initial … Continue Reading How Should We Regulate Safety for Autonomous Vehicles?
You aren’t getting “green electrons”, but charging at the right times still lowers GHG emissions. I spent a fascinating few days at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) last month, … Continue Reading Charging With the Sun
A new paper points out how consumers may respond to autonomous travel. A few months ago I was dreaming of a glorious autonomous electrified future. Yet sometimes science is the … Continue Reading _V_astly _M_ore _T_ravel
New evidence shows millennials are not so different after all. Starting around 2012 there was a lot of discussion about millennials being different. “Why Don’t Young Americans Buy Cars?” asked … Continue Reading Millennials Grab the Wheel and Step on the Gas
(Today’s post is co-authored with Susanna Berkouwer, a Ph.D. candidate at the Energy Institute.) A UC Berkeley-based engineering team thinks the answer is “yes.” Many of us are in the … Continue Reading Can Cell Phones Help Improve Electricity Reliability?
With more engaged consumers we may find we need less. It’s a golden age for natural gas in the US. Production is soaring. In 2017 the country became a net … Continue Reading Do We Really Need All This Natural Gas Infrastructure?
Adaptation costs will be big. How big depends on who’s paying… Fast-moving and exceptionally intense mega-fires have become the “new abnormal” here in California. These fires are out, for now. … Continue Reading Only Who Should Prevent Forest Fires?
What is the Demand for EVs – really? When I envision the future in the Age of Aquarius, it lacks sound. Panther-like EVs, powered by Zen-monastery-quiet solar PV, are zipping … Continue Reading The EV Revolution Will Be Heavily Subsidized
Wildfire devastation mandates rethinking how electricity providers should be organized With pathbreaking policies in renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric vehicles, California has been on the leading edge of climate … Continue Reading Stabilizing Utilities in an Unstable Climate
Mexico’s gasoline shortages and the lessons of the U.S. gasoline crises of the 1970s. Drivers in eight Mexican states are facing around-the-block queues to buy gasoline this week. Many stations … Continue Reading Why Economists Can’t Stand Shortages
The economics of the emerging platform. I’ve heard a lot about the Green New Deal since the midterm elections. And, it’s not just me – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshwoman Representative … Continue Reading What’s the Deal with the Green New Deal?