Brad DeLong had an inspired post last week in which he took a look back to see where his prior beliefs had been undermined by reality. I like the idea. Here, then, are a few of my posts from the past year that have fared poorly over time:
“Five Energy Stories To Watch In 2011”. January 5, 2011. Four of the five, including controversy over shale gas and congressional investigations of stimulus spending, panned out. My prediction that Congress would “severely restrict EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions”, though, was wrong. And I missed two of the biggest energy-related events of the year, the Arab Spring and the Fukushima disaster. That’s a good reminder that the energy world rarely fails to surprise.
“It’s Too Early To Use The Strategic Petroleum Reserve”. March 4, 2011. I’m still not sure whether this post was right or wrong. That said, I was somewhat sympathetic to the ultimate SPR release, which happened a few months later. And I tend to believe that if the SPR is used in response to a physical disruption, the release should be immediate, to remove room for political interference. Put those together and I probably should have been more supportive in the first place. It’s worth adding that many astute market analysts have retrospectively concluded that the SPR release helped a lot.
“Andy Revkin And I Talk About Keystone XL”. September 2, 2011. In the video clip in this post, I argued that if Keystone XL is put in place and an ambitious climate policy is later adopted, the pipeline will become obsolete. Further reflection led me to conclude that than might not be the case. As I explained in a later post, “lock in” was unlikely for the pipeline itself, but might well be possible for the oil sands investments that it would facilitate.
“Oil Markets And The Stanley Cup”. June 15, 2011. This post cited several commodity analysts to explain why the Vancouver Canucks would win the Stanley Cup. It quickly became my most unfortunate error of the year.