Sean Casten

Sean Casten is president & CEO of Recycled Energy Development, LLC, a company devoted to profitably reducing greenhouse emissions.

Climate & Energy

Prices vs. contracts: Why good CO2 policy needs complex financial markets

Economic theory is predicated on the thesis that if supply and demand are allowed to freely set the price for a given item, rational capital allocation (and a host of other social benefits) will follow.  Much of public policy is …

Climate & Energy

Cap-and-dividend: the worst possible way to regulate GHG emissions

Cap-and-dividend stinks. There are probably worse ways to regulate GHG emissions, but none that have gotten any kind of traction inside the beltway. Its advocates — in particular, Peter Barnes and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) — are, so far as …

Climate & Energy

ComEd offers Illinois $500M in exchange for guaranteed profits

The gaul of this is hard to put to words. Commonwealth Edison, one of Illinois’ regulated utilities is seeking to take advantage of the state’s budget crisis by offering the state $500 million in exchange for a guarantee of the …

Climate & Energy

Duke seeks approval for expensive coal

More breaking news from the Coal Isn’t Cheap department. Duke Energy reports that the new 620 MW coal plant they are building in Indiana is now expected to cost $2.9 billion, or 23 percent more than they last estimated in …

Climate & Energy

Without major capital investments, this generation of Americans will short change the next

From 1980 to 2007, total U.S. electricity consumption increased by a factor of 1.8, but total generation capacity increased by only 1.7 times. In other words, demand out-grew supply. For a while, that was fine — we had more toys …

Climate & Energy

Dumb grids

The smart grid conversation is stupid. Policies to encourage smart grids are at best minor distractions, and at worst contrary to the public interest. Smart grids are also the key to cleaning up and modernizing the electric system. These sentences …

Climate & Energy

Policy fixes to unleash clean energy, part 8

U.S. energy and environmental policy sucks. We burn too much fuel, we emit too much pollution and we do so under a set of rules that cause us to spend far too much on energy, even as we use it …

Climate & Energy

Policy fixes to unleash clean energy, part 7

Having noted in part 2 that all barriers to clean energy deployment can be lumped into utility policy, environmental policy, and out-of-date policy — and having outlined the necessary fixes for the first two in parts 5 and 6 — …

Climate & Energy

Policy fixes to unleash clean energy, part 6

Having outlined ideal utility policy in part 5, we move now to ideal environmental policy. As a reminder, this is not the policy that could be accomplished tomorrow given political realities, but rather the long-term goal we ought to shoot …