Thursday, January 21, 2016

Energy: changes in the sun and oil markets

Last night the pundits I saw were declaiming about the role of dropping oil prices in the stock market decline. Matt Yglesias (on Twitter) says this "makes zero sense." I've been complaining about this awhile to colleagues and such, but the bottom line is that, apparently, more companies produce and sell oil than use oil as a big part of their production process. I like this little summary on Vox of why oil prices are where they are.

Another piece on Vox caught my eye partly since it starts off discussing my home state of Nevada. As you might guess, a state that's largely desert gets a lot of sun, and a lot of sun means a lot of opportunity for solar power. Recently, regulations have cut into the profitability of solar panels, and hence curtailed industry investment in the state. Yes, that's right: I'm complaining about regulations being too burdensome on business. Clearly I'm a right wing convert!

I hope that we all recognize the need to balance regulations with respect for the important role business plays in our economy- it's very easy for supporters of government action to overlook it!

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