Economics and Politics of Energy
Course Number 1105
Senior Fellow Joseph B. Lassiter
Professor Forest Reinhardt
Baker Foundation Professor Richard H.K. Vietor
Spring; Q3; 1.5 credits
Without the heat, light, and mobility provided by firms in the energy industry, modern life would be completely unimaginable. At the same time, the behavior of producers and consumers of energy gives rise to a set of interrelated problems involving market power, national and international security, and environmental externalities. Governments have tried to address these problems, with at best mixed success; and, in the view of many executive s and industry observers, governments have sometimes used the problems as an excuse to move rents to preferred constituents.
In this short course, we will examine some of the ways in which firms and governments interact in the energy sphere, and the implications of those interactions for shareholder value, environmental quality, and social welfare.
This course and "Innovating in Energy," taught by the same professors in Term 4, are complements not substitutes. No case used in one is used in the other. Students may take either without taking the other if they wish.