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  • The Legacy of James M. Buchanan

    Today’s passing of Nobel Prize-winning economist James M. Buchanan is a sad milestone, but a good time to remember his impact on economics. Buchanan’s basic contribution to economic theory (and policy) was both simple and profound: Political decision makers, just like consumers and producers, are self-interested and subject to constraints. … More

    Carbon Tax: NRDC Serves Up Stale Leftovers

    An old cartoon showed a customer sampling from a jar whose label is emblazoned with the words “New and Improved.” The customer asks what has changed and is told the company changed the label so that it now says “New and Improved.” This seems to be the idea behind the … More

    7 Myths About the Wind Production Tax Credit

    The wind production tax credit (PTC) has created an industry that produces overpriced, intermittent power, and it will continue to produce overpriced, intermittent power so as long as there is a PTC to pay for it. Here are the top seven myths associated with the PTC: Myth #1: Wind power … More

    U.S. Carbon Tax to Shovel Dollars to U.N. Bureaucrats?

    It appears there will be an international dining section for hogs at the carbon-tax trough. Any new tax that promises hundreds of billions of dollars per year, as a carbon tax does, would bring out the special-interest hogs, and one of the interests likely to be fed by any federal … More

    The Right Time for a Carbon Tax Is Never

    Once the electorate was made to realize that cap-and-trade bills (Lieberman-Warner, Waxman-Markey, etc.) were actually taxes on fossil energy, cap and trade became political poison. So it is surprising that an explicit tax on fossil energy is now being pushed in Washington. The hope among carbon-tax proponents is that they … More

    Hurricane Sandy Causes Foggy Thinking on Climate

    Disappointed with the lack of global warming discussion in the current presidential campaign, tabloid climatologists have latched onto Hurricane Sandy as their vehicle for relevance. The more reserved among them use lines like “Though we cannot prove that global warming caused Hurricane Sandy, the scientists predict there will be more … More

    Green Jobs Go 0-for-4

    The Administration’s green jobs initiatives appear to be the Detroit Tigers of the policy world—they are 0-for-4 in the major reports on their success. In the past year, there have been four reports on green jobs by the Department of Labor: two from the department’s inspector general’s office and two … More

    America Doesn't Need a Federal Department of Subsidies

    Politicians too often confuse “free money” with “free markets”—that is, they consider themselves pro-business when they work deals that make some businesses happy, even though it usually comes at the expense of the overall economy. So it should be no surprise that President Obama claimed in a Morning Joe interview … More

    Installing Windmills Doesn't Make the Wind Blow

    A tweet from the Department of Energy (DOE) gives a link to a DOE webpage highlighting a graph from, and giving a link to, a study by the American Wind Energy Association. Skipping the question of how appropriate it is for the DOE to flack for an advocacy organization, we … More

    EPA Argues for Subsidizing Domestic Oil Production

    The Environmental Protection Agency’s world is chock full of external costs and external benefits that it must rectify with taxes, subsidies, and regulations.  For instance, to cure this world of CO2-itis, the EPA, along with the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), recently released the latest version of the … More