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Posts by Maximilian Auffhammer Subscribe

Hawai'i: The Next Frontier

Aloha, dear readers. It’s quiet at the Energy Institute as most of us are out in the field. I just got to spend some time with a number of the world’s smartest economists on Oahu and some vacation time on Maui. Hawai’i is an awesome place. Not only...

Posted July 15, 2015    

Building Codes That Work

If I got a dollar each time someone says that California’s energy efficiency codes have led to significant decreases in electricity consumption, I could buy a Tesla to help reverse that trend. In the halls of power, climate regulators discuss this...

Posted April 23, 2015    

The Economics of EV Charging Stations

I live in the northern end of the Silicon Valley and here EVs and Plug-in hybrids are everywhere. From Tesla P85s to C-Max Energis – it’s what the cool kids drive. As the minority academic economist in this nerdster crowd, I am always on the lookout...

Posted March 17, 2015    

Clinton (well, Gore) Went to Kyoto. Obama Went to Beijing

Many of us carbon nerds remember President Clinton’s 1997 remarks announcing that an agreement had been reached at the climate negotiations in Kyoto, Japan. The speech was full of hope and happy economic words like “tools of the free market,” which...

Posted November 20, 2014    

Plug In Hybrid: Saving Carbon and Dollars?

I am in the market for a new car. At a recent visit to a Ford dealer I was confronted with the choice between the regular hybrid-electric version of the C-Max (think standard Prius but made in the USA!) and the plug-in hybrid electric version of the...

Posted October 22, 2014    

What's the Goal and Point of National Biofuel Regulation?

While preparing a lecture for the 4th Berkeley Summer School in Environmental and Energy Economics, I returned to contemplating the regulation of biofuels as part of a federal strategy to combat climate change and increase energy security. If we...

Posted August 27, 2014    

What We Don't Know About Economic Climate Change Impacts

A relatively recent econometric literature examines the impact of weather/climate on a variety of outcomes of economic interest. In order to provide an estimate of a climate impact you need two things: An estimate of how a sector responds to a...

Posted July 24, 2014    

The Yoga Theorem

With the recent’s historical release of the EPA’s new carbon emissions policy, I took some extra time to comb through and digest the news.I have organized my intermediate microeconomics class around something called the “Yoga Theorem.” This almost...

Posted June 6, 2014    

Your Tax Dollars Hard at Work: EIA's New Data Portals

We empirical economists get very excited about finding or generating new data sets. There are big returns to splicing together different data sources to answer new and interesting questions. This is hard work and not everyone is good at it. Many...

Posted April 30, 2014    

It Just Doesn't Add Up: Why I Think Not Building Keystone XL Will Leave a Billion Barrels of Bitumen in the Ground

I am not a fan of blanket statements. Whenever oil sands come up in casual conversation, many of my economist friends argue that "the stuff will come out of the ground whether we like it or not". When the discussion turns to Keystone XL, the general...

Posted March 25, 2014    

Why the Cool Kids are Flocking to Energy and Not Water Economics

Why do kids like to go to birthday parties? Because there is lots of sugar and other kids. Academic economists are not that different. Energy economics has attracted a lot of new bright minds both young and not so young. The reason for it is simple...

Posted March 11, 2014    

Learning By Using

Rob Stavins (Harvard) and Richard Newell (Duke) put together a most excellent workshop, which brought together one possible all-star team of energy economists to discuss the energy efficiency gap (the wedge between the cost-minimizing level of...

Posted December 3, 2013