energy consumption

The Ryan Consumption Tax and the Environment

One of the interesting elements of Paul Ryan’s budget plan is the proposal for an 8.5% consumption tax to replace the corporate income tax.  Consumption taxes, like the European VAT, have well-known pluses and minuses, described in a Brookings discussion. They are appealing to economists because they encourage saving.  As the European example shows, they …


The Very Hungry City

No — not a children’s book for an urban environmentalist.  A grown-up book published just yesterday for anyone interested in urban environmentalism, by the University of Vermont’s Austin Troy.  Here’s the blurb from the publisher (Yale): As global demand for energy grows and prices rise, a city’s energy consumption becomes increasingly tied to its economic …


Appeals to Conserve Energy May Backfire with Conservatives

UCLA economists Dora Costa and Matt Kahn just released this  paper about whether “nudges” from a utility to conserve energy — in this case information about energy consumption relative to neighbors and relative to earlier time periods — succeed in lowering usage.  Though the authors find that many factors contribute to lowered consumption, including whether a …