Cronyism in the Energy Industry — from Enron to Al Gore

Tomorrow, Robert L. Bradley Jr. will discuss “Give Me Regulation: From Samuel Insull to James E. Rogers in the Electric Power Industry” at a Cato Policy Forum. The talk draws upon Bradley’s most recent book, Edison to Enron: Energy Markets and Political Strategies, the second volume in his trilogy on political capitalism in the energy industry.

Maybe he should call it, “From Samuel Insull [who organized Commonwealth Edison back around 1900] to Al Gore.”

The Washington Post reports today that former vice president Gore’s “clean energy” companies have received $2.5 billion in taxpayers’ money from the Obama administration. Which is perhaps not unrelated to the fact that “[j]ust before leaving public office in 2001, Gore reported assets of less than $2 million; today, his wealth is estimated at $100 million.”

I suppose it could be worse—Gore’s companies didn’t get all the $90 billion that the Obama administration doled out to uneconomic energy firms.

Attend the forum or watch it online at noon Friday.