Saturday, August 21, 2010

What if the energy industry was deregulated?

An analogy for deregulating the energy business can be found in the railroad business... thirty years ago. By two simple measures (productivity and prices), it was a tremendous success. By a third (saving an industry), it was brilliant. If we applied the same logic to the over-regulated utility business, productivity would soar, while prices to consumers would drop.

For instance, if utilities were allowed to keep a portion of additional profits they generated due to innovation, they would surely innovate. How difficult could it be? Right now, any additional profit needs to be handed right back to consumers. Where is the incentive to innovate? If 1/2 went to the utility and 1/2 went to consumers, prices would drop, while more-efficient (read: "greener") power would be produced. Isn't that what we all want?

Surely, logic must persist!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Insights: Obama and BP

Two recent articles discuss options Obama has for dealing with BP (and the general energy problem) are discussed in The Economist (Obama vs. BP) and The Washington Post (Pipe Dreams).


The American Energy Innovation Council is formed

Bill Gates, John Doerr and several other high-tech, non-energy executives have put together The American Energy Innovation Council - which calls for a Federal Government investment of $16 billion per year to fund renewable energy. This is exactly the approach outlined in The 21st Century Energy Initiative, a few years ago. Please check out this approach. I hope they are very successful! (There are many hurdles in making this a reality. These hurdles are described in The 21st Century Energy Initiative)


Obama is wasting his chance to end oil addiction

Thomas Friedman provides a hint to the Obama administration - how to take a leadership role - to take a much needed, serious frist step toward ending our oil addiction. Read the article.


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