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Storing Sunlight

An article in MIT's Technology Review on a new liquid battery technology got me re-thinking an assumption I've been making for some time concerning the synergy between renewable energy and better batteries. The article's author makes a similar...

Posted March 11, 2009    

The End of the World As We Know It?

The opinion section of the Sunday New York Times made for sobering reading this weekend. While the Times has hardly been a bastion of economic optimism of late, three op-eds stood out for their shared sense that we might be on the brink of truly...

Posted March 9, 2009    

Raising A Hidden Tax

Since the administration has apparently ruled out an increase in the gasoline tax to cover declining Highway Trust Fund revenues, it's surprising that it appears to be giving serious consideration to a proposal that would raise a hidden tax on...

Posted March 6, 2009    

Altered Terms

While I've devoted my last two postings to the climate change aspects of the administration's first budget, some of its other provisions could also have a significant effect on our energy economy--perhaps more, considering their potential impact on...

Posted March 5, 2009    

Implicit Carbon Price

My posting last Friday on greenhouse gas cap & trade prompted some interesting reader comments and questions, one of which got me thinking about the price of carbon implied by the revenues included in the budget submitted to Congress....

Posted March 3, 2009    

Spending Cap & Trade's Proceeds

The new administration submitted its first federal budget to Congress yesterday. It projects a cumulative deficit of $8 trillion from 2009-18, even after the inclusion of two substantial new revenue sources: It increases taxes on the top quintile...

Posted February 27, 2009    

Energy Omission

When President Obama spoke about energy in last night's address to a joint session of Congress, his focus was on renewable energy. There was no mention of last year's hot-button issue of drilling for more oil off the coast of the US, and I doubt...

Posted February 25, 2009    

Logical Disconnect

According to a story in Saturday's Washington Post, the new Secretary of Transportation stepped out of line when he suggested that collecting the road tax based on miles traveled might be preferable to taxing sales of motor fuel. This is a complex...

Posted February 23, 2009    

Demand Rebound

For a long time, it appeared as though US gasoline consumption was impervious to increasing prices. Last year we learned again that the price elasticity of gasoline demand, while low, is not zero, as the combination of $4 prices and a weakening...

Posted February 19, 2009    

Energy Cornucopia

I've just spent the last several hours scanning through the conference version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a.k.a. the "stimulus bill." This is the final version of the bill that President Obama will sign into law in...

Posted February 17, 2009    

The Other Stimulus

A short item on gasoline prices in today's Wall Street Journal had me scratching my head this morning. It suggested that the recent modest recovery of gasoline prices has essentially ended the economic stimulus that cheaper gas has provided to the...

Posted February 12, 2009    

Tell California No

One of the most eagerly-awaited environmental decisions of the year is currently in the hands of the new Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. California has requested a waiver under the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 as a pollutant...

Posted February 10, 2009