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Ep. 188 Rob Bradley Gives a Brief History of US Electricity Regulation, With Lessons for the Recent Texas Freeze

Rob Bradley is an expert in the history of US energy markets. He explains the role of Sam Insull (co-founder of General Electric) in showing what a free market in electricity would look like, and then criticizes Texas’ ERCOT as a central planning agency.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Research Assistant Professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech, Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute, and co-host with Tom Woods of the podcast "Contra Krugman."


  1. Russell Kanning on 03/20/2021 at 1:46 AM

    We might need some more regulatory oversight of this Bob Murphy Electric company after hearing these allegations.

  2. RiggerSteveTheAnarchoHippie on 03/20/2021 at 7:50 PM

    Hi Dr. Murphy,
    I just want to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate your show. You have a down to earth way of talking that helps me wrap my old brain around the sometimes complex concepts that a good anarchist should have some grasp of.
    While this 64 year old high school dropout has little in common with you academically. Philosophically we are brothers. You and other fearless and outspoken people have helped me understand why I have always been an outlier. I’ve always understood that I was anti authoritarian but I just attributed it to being a contrarian on account of my screwed up early years. Now I understand how I’ve been deceived about the nature of government and it’s fundamental legitimacy.
    So thank you very much.

    And one other thing, I think that you have a wonderful talent and voice. If I find out that you play a mean guitar too I might just have to start to hate you a little. (Kidding O.C.).
    Would you consider putting one of your own recordings in full on a podcast sometime?
    Perhaps the entire intro/outdo song.

    Sincere best wishes from an admirer.

  3. Lysander Spooner on 03/21/2021 at 8:33 PM

    Very interesting talk. What does Mr Bradley think about the peak smoothing effect that will happen when there are a significant number of electric cars with Vehicle to Grid (V2G) capability? Surely that will provide significant battery storage.

  4. Definitely not Bob on 03/22/2021 at 2:47 AM

    Good episode. Really shows an interesting difference between neoclassical and Austrian here – “more competition” as in “more firms” is not always better! Some fields lend themselves to natural monopolies and are best served by them.

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