Texas Tech University.


ENCO 4362: U.S. Energy Policy and Regulation

2014 Spring



Michael Giberson (website)


michael.giberson @ ttu.edu


BA W324

Office phone

(806) 834-3161

Office hours

MTWR 2:00-3:00 PM, F 12:00-1:00 PM, and by appointment .


TR 12:30-1:50 PM, BA 029


Latest Updates

April 3: The term paper writing assignment linked above has been updated to reflect new due dates. The finished draft is due at 6 PM on April 11, and the peer review responses will be due at 6 PM on April 18.

Also please do review the information in the email sent April 3rd at 3:34 PM, with important details on how to name your MS Word document when you turn it in, possible penalties, and other things.

April 1: Schedule for April has been adjusted slightly. Quiz #5 moved to April 10.

February 13: Links have been added above to the term paper assignment and the related guide to writing term papers. You'll want to read both items carefully.

January 31: A link to the End of Energy chapter summaries writing assignment has been posted above (and in the course outline at the relevant dates).

January 21: Page is still under development. Reading assignments listed through next few weeks.


Course Outline

ENCO 4362: U.S. Energy Policy and Regulation
2014 Spring

Please note that the course outline is subject to change before the semester begins and over the course of the semester. Any significant changes after the class begins will be noted above under "Latest Updates" and discussed in class.


Introductions; On wishful thinking and public policy; Why have a public policy?

Jan 16

(1) Introduction to energy policy
TOPICS: Conservation, energy efficiency, rebound effect, Jevons Paradox, market failure, externalities, theories of regulation
  • Dudley and Brito, Regulation, Chs. 1 and 2.
  • Rice, "Bulb In, Bulb Out," New York Times Magazine, June 3, 2011.

Jan 21

Jan 23

  • Graetz, The End of Energy, Chs. 1 and 2 (written summaries due; link to assignment details).
  • QUIZ #1

Jan 28

"Not such a bright idea," The Economist, August 26, 2010.
Tsao, et al., “Solid-state lighting: an energy-economics perspective,” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 43 (2010).
Malnick, "Retailers avoid ban on traditional light bulbs," The Telegraph, August 26, 2012.
Crandall, “Policy Watch: Corporate Average Fuel Economy,” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, (1992)
White House, "Driving Efficiency: Cutting Costs for Families at the Pump and Slashing Dependence on Oil," July 29, 2011, Washington DC.
Wikipedia on William Stanley Jevons; Wikipedia on Jevons's book The Coal Question.
(2) Foundations for policy analysis
TOPICS: More on market failure, public choice, Coasian bargaining

Jan 30

Feb 4

Feb 6

Feb 11

Mankiw, "Raise the Gas Tax," Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2006.
Mankiw, "Smart Taxes: An Open Invitation to Join the Pigou Club," unpublished paper presented at Eastern Economic Association, March 2008.
Joseph White,American Idle: To Shorten Ever-Growing Commutes, Will Drivers Pay Money to Take Faster Lanes?Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2, 2011.
Lomansky, “Autonomy and Automobility,” Independent Review, (Summer 1997).
Arthur Cecil Pigou in Concise Encyclopedia of Economics; Pigovian tax via Wikipedia.
Ronald Coase in Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.
(3) Public Policy, Politicians, and the Public
TOPICS: Politics and public policy, public choice theory, voting, interest groups

Feb 13

  • Class will not meet this afternoon. Students are assigned to attend Dr. Vernon Smith's lecture at 5 PM in BA Room 105. Please see email sent February 17 for additional details including an alternative assignment for students unable to attend the lecture.
  • DUE DATE  FOR Ch. 6 in The End of Energy MOVED TO THURSDAY

Feb 18

Feb 20

Feb 25

Feb 27

Texas Politics-Interest Groups, "4.1. How interest groups form," and "4.2. Concentrated benefits vs. diffuse costs."
Yandle, "Bootleggers and Baptists in Retrospect," Regulation, Vol. 22:3 (1999).
Growth Energy, "Ethanol Policy Brief," Revised November 16, 2010.
Drum, “Ethanol Subsidies: Not Gone, Just Hidden a Little Better,” Mother Jones online (January 5, 2012).
(4) Bureaucracy and public policy
TOPICS: Politics and public policy, Public interest theory of regulation, Interest group theory of regulation, Capture theory of regulation, Rent Seeking

Mar 4

Mar 6

  • Graetz, The End of Energy, Ch. 11 (written summaries due; link to assignment details).
  • Dudley and Brito, Regulation, Ch. 8 (pp. 89-93)

Mar 11

Mar 13

Tullock, "The origin of the rent-seeking concept," International Journal of Business and Economics (2003).
Tullock, "The fundamentals of rent-seeking," The Locke Luminary (Winter 1998).
Institute for Justice, "The Road to the Supreme Court," Sep. 23, 2011 (video).
Crandall, "Ackerman and Hassler's Clean Air/Dirty Coal," The Bell Journal of Economics (Autumn, 1981) 
(5) Benefit-Cost Analysis and regulatory analysis
TOPICS: Benefit-cost analysis, discounting, non-use value, life-cycle analysis

Mar 25

Mar 27

Apr 1

  • Work day - Term papers. Class time set aside for discussions with the instructor. Attend only as needed.

Apr 3

  • Graetz, The End of Energy, Ch. 14 (written summary due; link to assignment details).
  • The end of The End of Energy!

Apr 8

TERM PAPER ASSIGNMENT (TASK 3): Your finished draft is due by email at 6 PM on April 11.

Apr 10

Opposing Views: "Should the U.S. Allow Offshore Oil Drilling?" (2008).
BP's Internal Investigation webpage on the Deepwater Horizon accident with links to reports, video, and other materials.
Krupnick, Campbell, Cohen and Parry, "Understanding the Costs and Benefits of Deepwater Oil Drilling Regulation," RFF Discussion Paper (Jan 2011).
(6) Federalism in energy policy
TOPICS: Federalism, jurisdictional competition, state and local conflict

Apr 15

TERM PAPER ASSIGNMENT (TASK 4): Peer review responses due by email 6 PM on April 18.

Apr 17

Apr 22

Goho, "Municipalities and Hydraulic Fracturing: Trends in State Preeumption," Planning & Environmental Law, July 2012.
Pless, "Natural Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing: A Policymaker's Guide," National Conference of State Legislatures, Revised June 2012.
"Local Actions Against Fracking," Food & Water Watch Fracking Action Center website.
(2) Current Topics

Apr 24


Apr 29

  • QUIZ #7

TERM PAPER ASSIGNMENT (TASK 5): Your term paper is due by email at midnight on May 4. 

May 1

  •  Last day of class

May 6


Final Exam will be held Tuesday, May 13, 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM.



ENCO 4362: U.S. Energy Policy and Regulation
2014 Spring

Course description

The course will examine U.S. government policy and regulation affecting the energy industry and energy consumers with a focus on the policy making process and the methods of policy analysis.

Course materials

·         Michael J. Graetz, The End of Energy, MIT Press (2011).

·         Susan Dudley and Jerry Brito, Regulation: A Primer 2nd Ed., Mercatus/GWURSC (2012).

·        Additional readings will be available online via links on this class website.

Both books are available from Amazon and other sources online. You may obtain the hardback, paperback, or electronic version of the Graetz book; all will work. Graetz's book is available electronically throught the TTU library. An electronic version of the Dudley and Brito primer is available free at this link.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing this course, students will be able to:

Methods of assessing outcomes

The expected learning outcomes will be assessed by review of class participation, quizzes, writing assignments and performance on the final exam.

Class participation/Present and Prepared: Students are expected to come to class prepared and contribute to class discussions and other activities. Class participation grade will be determined via the "Present and Prepared" policy as explained below.

Section quizzes: Quizzes on the readings will be given about 7 times during the semester (the five best quiz grades will be used).

Writing assignment - The End of Energy: We will read Michael Graetz's book on U.S. energy policy, The End of Energy. Each student must turn in chapter summaries on the due dates noted in the course outline online.

Writing assignments - Term paper: Each student must research and write a term paper on an issue of current interest in U.S. energy policy or regulation. Additional details on the requirement will be presented during the semester.

Final exam: Test scheduled for 1:30 PM, Tuesday, May 14.


This course has a total of 100 points available, allocated as letter grades in the following manner:

• A (Excellent) 90 – 100
• B (Good) 80 – 89.9
• C (Average) 70 – 79.9
• D (Inferior) 60 – 69.9
• F (Failure)  0 – 59.9

Your overall course average will be rounded up to the nearest tenth of a point. (An average fractionally above an 89.9 will become an A, but at an average of exactly 89.9 or below will be a B. Similarly at the grade boundaries at 79.9, 69.9, and 59.9. I may adjust the dividing lines between letter grades modestly if it makes sense to do so.)

Points toward your course average are available as follows:

• Class participation 11%
• Section quizzes 25%
• Chapter summaries 14%
• Term paper 25%
• Final exam 25%
Additional class policies

In general, the class will follow standard university policies as described in the Texas Tech University Operating Policies (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/opmanual/).  In addition, please note:

Academic honesty: It is the aim of the faculty of Texas Tech University to foster a spirit of complete honesty and a high standard of integrity. The attempt of students to present as their own any work that they have not honestly performed is regarded by the faculty and administration as a serious offense and renders the offenders liable to serious consequences, possibly suspension.

Attendance: In general, I expect that you will be in class and assume that if you choose not to be in class it is for good reason. As you are an adult and responsible for your own choices with respect to the use of your time, you do not need my permission to miss class. You also do not need to present me with doctor’s notes in the event of an illness. However, please do contact me if an illness will keep you from attending multiple classes.

A student who will miss class due to a university-approved trip, recruiting trip or interview, or to observe a religious holy day should make that intention miss class known to the instructor via email prior to the absence so that accommodations can be made in accordance with university policies.

When you miss class, it is your responsibility to catch up or cover missing materials or assignments. The class website and your fellow students should be your first recourse in such cases, not your instructor

Disabilities: Any student who, because of a disability, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor to request necessary accommodations.

Present and Prepared: Students will gain the most from class periods - and their classmates, too - if they come to class prepared. At the beginning of most classes this semester, a class roll will be circulated for students to sign in on.

The base class participation score is determined as follows: If you sign in as "present and prepared" at least 85 percent of the time, you will earn all 11 class participation points. If counted present and prepared fewer than 85 percent of the time, you'll earn fewer class participation points. (From 80-85 percent, then 10 points; if 75-80 percent, then 9; if 70-75 percent, then 8. If counted "present and prepared" fewer than 70 percent of the time, you will obtain 6 or fewer points.)

This base class participation score may be increased for students making particularly strong in-class contributions over the semester. This base score may be reduced for students who frequently demonstrate a lack of preparation or otherwise fail to participate in class.

Syllabus and course outline changes: The instructor may adjust the syllabus or course outline during the course of the semester. Updated versions of the syllabus and course outline will be maintained on the class website (http://giberson.ba.ttu.edu/ENCO4362). Note in particular that the "present and prepared" policy is new in my classes this semester and some adjustments may be made. Any adjustments will be noted in class and on this website.