And the voters will get to have their say (again):
The Diamondbacks have been playing in their current ballpark since 1998. Their stadium cost $364 million to build, and Maricopa County picked up $238 million of the tab. Eighteen years later, it is need of some repairs, and the fight over who is going to pay for them has gotten ugly.
The team recently said they needed $65 million for a new paint job and a new scoreboard, among other things. They requested the money from Maricopa County, but the county has largely refused to pay up. The Diamondbacks are locked into their lease with the county for 12 more years, and the stadium will need about $187 million in repairs over that time, according to the Arizona Republic. The county is essentially trying to set a precedent and force the team to pay for their own repairs over the next decade and change.
Both sides appear to be furious with each other, and it has turned personal. The Republic acquired a letter that current Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek sent to Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall in April, in which he yells at him in all caps, reprimands him for trying to squeeze more money from taxpayers, and calls modern professional baseball “parasitic.” When he delivered it, he apparently told team owner Ken Kendrick to go back to “[effing] West Virginia.” ...
Based on Kunasek’s fiery rhetoric, it doesn’t appear that he plans on backing down. However, he said that he will not run for re-election this November, so the resolution to this impasse could come down to the results of the election. Voters might not have gotten a chance to vote on the construction of the stadium, but they will get a chance to pick the politician in charge of its immediate future.
According to Forbes, the Diamondbacks are valued at $925 million with annual gate revenues of $44 million. If the county budget is as tight as any other county in the U.S., then it seems that the Diamondbacks have a greater ability-to-pay for maintenance of their primary capital input.
Are there any sports economists out there who could tell me about this "parasitic" claim? Is baseball, football, etc. the most heavily subsidized industry in the U.S.?
The Canongate Kirkyard (English: Churchyard) stands around Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. The churchyard was used for burials from the late 1680s until the mid-20th century.
The most celebrated burials at the kirkyard are the economist Adam Smith ...
Adam Smith LLD (1723–1790), economist and author of The Wealth of Nations, founded the study of political economics. His house was very close by, at the head of Panmure Close, and it survived until 1889. He lived here from 1778 until his death in 1790, having moved from his native town of Kirkcaldy. The grave is a place of pilgrimage for economists of the world. Although an imposing railed monument, it may have been altered in the 1930s, as it was then described as "too small to notice". It is understood that Dr Joseph Black, the chemist and physicist, and James Hutton, the founder of geology, were both at his funeral, being his executors, as would have been David Douglas ....
I made the pilgrimage post-IIFET. Here is my picture:
My guess is that the stone to the left is the original. Here is a picture:
In 1987, the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to address atmospheric ozone depletion, established timelines for the phasing out of Chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs). Production and use of CFC's, the more damaging of the XCFC's was banned almost immediately-by 1996, immediate in regulatory terms--and hairdressers everywhere has to find alternatives to their Aquanet. HCFCs, with less greenhouse gas potential, have faced a slower phase out, with most uses phased to zero by 2020 and all uses by 2030.
Of importance to me, and really that's all that's important here, the primary refrigerant in most household air conditioning units installed before 2005 (as mine was, the significance of which will become apparent imminently) is Freon, also knows as R-22, or Chlordiflouromethane, an HCFC.
Well, upon returning from my field research trip yesterday, I arrived home to local warming--that is, my air conditioner had crapped out while I was gone. As the tech put it, we have a small leak in one of the copper lines--environmental shame on us--and a dirty coil, which caused the supply lines to freeze. The long-term solution is a new AC unit (or a lot of sweat), but the short-term solution is a cleaning and recharging of our current unit with somewhere between 0-4 pounds of R-22.
Knowing a rough history of Freon, this news from the tech caused my inner-economist to come to attention. Future bans on R-22 (supply decrease) are going to cause current supplies to decrease (rationing) and cause current price increases. So I ask, tepidly, "How much is R-22 these days?"
The tech, sensing my insider knowledge, says, well, unfortunately, prices have doubled in the past year and they're expected to keep going up until we can't use R-22 anymore in 2020. He said prices are about $100 a pound now.
Stefanie Kopchick, North America marketing manager for refrigerants, The Chemours Co., said the annual allowances have decreased faster than the market demand for R-22, which has depleted inventory across the supply chain.
“Chemours is not excluded from this reality,” she said. “As a result, in 2016, we’re starting to feel the snugness in supply; our wholesale partners have been cut back significantly as the inventory Chemours built in advance of the final phasedown period continues to be depleted.”
With meteorologists predicting normal to warmer-than-normal temperatures this summer, industry leaders only expect demand for the refrigerant to increase. Further adding to the increasing demand is a drop in reclamation and an increase in interest values affecting financing decisions, said Gordon McKinney, vice president and COO of Icor Intl.
“The amount of R-22 being recovered and reclaimed is not expected to contribute much more than 8 million pounds this year,” he said. “Interest rates are on the rise, and that will make repairing a better option than replaceing for many air conditioning and refrigeration equipment owners. With service demands for R-22 in the U.S. still estimated to be in the tens of millions of pounds per year, many R-22 users will need to transition to an ozone-safe alternative, like ICOR’s NU-22B®, to service legacy R-22 systems.”
McKinney mentioned the price of R-22 increased in the fourth quarter of 2015 by an average of 15 percent, is expected to increase through the year, and could reach record levels by the end of 2016. For HVACR contractors and distributors, this could spell trouble.
With apologies to my loyal readers (OK, just John) for my intermittent posts, I spent the last week doing some 'field research' in the Florida Keys. My goal was to observe the effects of climate change first hand. And let me tell you my field observations are revealing.
It's freaking hot in August in the Keys. And it's been getting hotter for the last couple of decades--at least according to Captain Tony--the Lyin' Hawaiian. And who wouldn't trust someone with that name?
Despite my many efforts, climate change makes it extremely difficult to keep beer cold outside. I tried again, and again, and again, and again...to keep my beer cold until I reached the bottom, but the only reliable solution I came up with was to drink faster.
90 degree water temperatures are only mildly refreshing when the heat index is 110.
Sea grasses in the flats and bays south of the Everglades are struggling to survive high water temperatures--at least according to Captain Tony (the Lyin' Hawaiian--see #1). Water temperatures in Key Largo Bay are about 4 degrees above normal (according to the Lyin' Hawaiian). According to SeaWeb (I don't know--I just Googled it): "Increases in water temperature would reduce the productivity and cause the die-back of those seagrasses growing in areas already around the upper limit of their thermal tolerance." Captain Tony says the current die off rivals that of the early 2000's and he doesn't have much hope for a recovery of the sea bed in and around the flats of Key Largo--He even suggested the only reasonable solution would be for the Federal Government to invoke eminent domain ("They should use eminent, er, what's that word? Damn it's hot out here") to preserve he sea beds in the flats.
During my field research, my assistant (14 year old only son of Env-Econ--OSEE) and I were able to observe close-up some of the fish species in the flats of Key Largo and South Florida. Here's are a couple of observational exhibits. The first is OSEE (and the Lyin' Hawaiian) battling Jaws--a 5 foot bull shark. The second is the 4.5 foot black tip I was able to observe. No fish were harmed (other than the bate fish) in this observational study--although I think the two sharks wanted to harm some humans before we released them back to their habitat. The last picture is me and OSEE with another of OSEE's catches. I don't remember the specie, because at that point climate change had affected my cognitive abilities-even the Lyin' Hawaiian was complaining how hot it was.
History tells us that the public will pay for the stadium:
Las Vegas ABC station KTNV polled Clark County residents about whether or not they would want to pay $500 million in order to help build the Raiders an NFL stadium. Of the 750 people polled, 55 percent said they opposed spending half a billion dollars on a new stadium, while only 35 percent were in favor. ...
Additionally, $500 million is the floor of how much the public would be required to pay. That price tag could increase by 50 percent and balloon up to $750 million, easily the most voters would ever have to pay for a new stadium. The 11-person committee meets tomorrow to work on hammering out a final figure and sending a proposal to Nevada governor Brian Sandoval. Billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his Las Vegas Sands Corporation would theoretically be on the hook for any construction overages.
Once the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee makes their recommendation to Gov. Sandoval, the State Legislature would have to approve any tax increases. They are currently scheduled to meet in February 2017. It doesn’t appear that voters will get a chance to directly approve the use of public funds, but the politicians who can approve the deal do have the threat of getting voted out of office for betraying their constituents. It happened to Cobb County’s Tim Lee last night after he helped the Atlanta Braves secretly secure $400 million in taxpayer money.
I recommend you follow the link below but here is an excerpt with only the analysis cut out:
How much can climate change impact the economy?
No matter who you are or what your thoughts are about the topic of climate change, whether very well reasoned or not, this is a real question that real people need to be able to answer because the economy is where it will have a real impact on their lives.
But how can you measure the economic impact of climate change?
It occurred to us that one way we might do it is to consider the impact that a climate change event actually had on the modern economy, and more specifically, on the part of the economy that is most sensitive to climate change: agriculture.
For our purposes, we wanted to consider the economic impact of a climate changing event that had a prolonged effect - something more than a singular meteorological disaster that lasted for much longer than a single season or year, but also something that overwhelmed the abilities of modern farmers using the most advance agricultural technology available today to compensate.
The climate changing event we chose to consider is the 2010-2016 drought in the state of Kansas, which only just officially ended in all of the state's counties last month. At its peak in 2012, the severity of the drought has been described as the second driest on record since 1895, and was the longest sustained drought in the state since the 1950s.
... as the drought in Kansas intensified, it became a dominant factor affecting agricultural output beginning in 2011, especially as its severity soon strained the ability of the state's farmers to compensate for it with the technology and systems they had in place.
At its worst in 2012, the extreme drought conditions deprived the state of at least $1.94 billion in its GDP for that year, in the real terms of constant 2009 U.S. dollars as measured from the peak of Kansas' agricultural contribution to the state's GDP. In reality, it was far worse than that, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates the drought's damage to crops grown within the state to total $3 billion, or about $2.8 billion in constant 2009 U.S. dollars.
For 2012, that would have meant an economic contribution to the state's GDP that would have been double what was actually recorded at its trough.
Extending nearly three and half years, the most severe portion of the state's drought from October 2010 through June 2014 ensured that the state's large agricultural sector would not see any sustained growth above its March 2011 contribution to GDP until after June 2014, when significant rainfall finally began to return to the state. Update 16 June 2016: Newly revised GDP data for the state indicates that there was a much longer lasting impact that resulted from the climate change shock of prolonged severe-to-exceptional drought. We'll revisit this analysis soon!
If you think about it though, while the worse of Kansas' 2010-2016 drought had a large and clear impact on the state's agricultural output, and by obvious extension, its economy, the thing that really caused farmers the most problems in the years since the fourth quarter of 2010 when the drought arrived in force was that they didn't expect it. They didn't expect it to either become as severe as it became or to last for as long as it lasted.
That's really where the real economic impact from climate change is to be found. If people expect it, they can plan for it, and are therefore better able to cope with the consequences.
In real life, it is the stuff you didn't expect or prepare for that hurts the most.
Yet, how can you prepare for it if you deny that there is a high probability that it exists? Note: uncertainty about future climate change is not much different than uncertainty other bad future events. They might happen, they might not. It is typically poor planning to deny that something bad could happen and proceed as if it won't.
The learning curve for policy makers is steep (ignore market forces at your own risk):
Automakers are unlikely to hit the 54.5 mile per gallon average fuel efficiency level that President Obama trumpeted for years, federal officials said Monday.
Blaming it on higher-than-expected sales of large vehicles like SUVs, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) said automakers will probably miss the mark that the Obama administration touted in its historic 2012 regulation regarding vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions.
The forecast was part of a 1,000 page draft technical report from the two agencies, the first step in evaluating whether to strengthen the efficiency rules for the 2022 to 2025 model-year period.
The report itself does not constitute a decision to tighten the rules or even a proposal to do so, but the finalized version of it is likely to weigh heavily on the evaluation.
Speaking with reporters about the projections, Obama administration officials stressed that despite the high profile of the 54.5 figure, it was never a standard in and of itself.
“54.5 isn’t a standard, never was a standard and isn’t a standard now. 54.5 is what we predicted, in 2012, the fleet-wide average could get to, based on assumptions that were live back then about the mix of the fleet,” a senior administration official said.
“That depended a lot on a variety of factors, including gasoline prices,” the official said. “We’re recognizing the fact that gasoline prices are lower now.”
I haven't read the 1000 page draft technical report so I wonder how it dealt with the uncertainty about gas prices? It is very difficult to foresee the technological shock of fracking but, still, a 54.5 miles per gallon goal is dependent on the market for gasoline and any such target should have a very wide confidence interval. Needless to say, it would be much more straightforward to increase miles per gallon with a higher gas tax.
"This blog aims to look at more of the microeconomic ideas that can be used toward environmental ends. Bringing to bear a large quantity of external sources and articles, this blog presents a clear vision of what economic environmentalism can be."
Don't believe what they're saying
And allow me a quick moment to gush: ... The env-econ.net blog was more or less a lifeline in that period of my life, as it was one of the few ways I stayed plugged into the env. econ scene. -- Anonymous
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
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