Editorial: Governments and energy-1 - Price controls revisited

As rapidly as markets swing and fortunes change nowadays, the politics of energy has lost its footing in the US and Europe. The economic liberalism that characterized the 1990s, and generated unprecedented if uneven prosperity, is slowing under the renewed urge to regulate. Especially in energy, government is edging back toward the middle of things. In the US, the mechanism for retrogression is price regulation. Much of the electorate seems to have forgotten the dislocations caused by controls on prices of oil and natural gas in the 1970s and 1980s. Or maybe it believes the fiction that electricity is different. Whatever the explanation, the federal government has reentered the perilous b...

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