News & Events

Energy Economics Weekly Briefings

Energy Economics Weekly Briefings, by Senior Economist Dr. Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, will feature an economist’s look at the national transportation, energy, economic, and environmental landscape.

Hughes-Cromwick recently completed an appointment as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration. At the Department of Commerce, Hughes-Cromwick worked on several administration initiatives to improve data quality, measure the digital economy, and expand manufacturing, trade and investment.  She assisted Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on global macroeconomic matters in support of her commercial diplomacy, trade, and foreign direct investment initiatives. Hughes-Cromwick also supported the development of the Obama Administration’s economic forecast.

Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, Hughes-Cromwick was chief global economist at Ford Motor Company and an Adjunct Professor at U-M’s Ross School of Business. She led Ford’s global corporate economics group with major responsibility for the Company’s global economic, financial, and automotive industry forecasts used to support business strategy, finance, and planning.

  • 04/12/19

    EV Tax Credits Are a Go But CAFE Past The Sell By Date

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Climate change is real and it is vital that we embrace solutions which mitigate its severe consequences on human activity.  Evidence based policy making would be ideal.  A commission with clout could break the gridlock.  This past week at the University of Michigan, partnering with Third Way, a group of…

  • 03/20/19

    2019 U.S. Energy Employment Report: “New Energy” Jobs Growing Faster Than National Average

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) just released the 2019 U.S. Energy & Employment Report (USEER).   The report include five sectors of the U.S. economy that have energy-related activity: Fuels Electric Power Generation (EPG) Transmission, Distribution and Storage (TDS) Energy Efficiency Motor Vehicles…

  • 03/11/19

    Crude Oil Storage In China: Implications for Growth

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Orbital Insight uses satellite images of crude oil storage tanks worldwide to estimate volumes on a daily basis. Using these daily data may help to gain insight on whether this is a leading economic indicator for economic activity. There is ample reason to suspect that these data may provide advance…

  • 02/20/19

    Are There Any Economics In the Green New Deal?

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    On February 7, 2019, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey issued a resolution “Recognizing the duty of the Federal government to create a Green New Deal.”  This document provides a series of goals and outcomes that are intended to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to near zero…

  • 01/18/19

    Economists’ Letter In Support of Carbon Tax

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, many famous economists signed a letter to the Wall Street Journal in support of a carbon tax.  To be sure, many proposals have been made in the past, to no avail here in the U.S.  If you want a concise look at the political economy…

  • 01/09/19

    Green Bonds Could Finance Transition Toward Electrified Vehicles

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    As the cost of battery technology to power electrified vehicles (EVs) comes down to competitive levels, there will be an important opportunity to invest in commercial businesses in many mobility sectors.  Already, the case for investment is very clear and pronounced.  Lithium-ion battery pack costs for EVs have been declining,…

  • 01/02/19

    Energy Economics Calendar 2019

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    Happy New Year!  There is nothing more enticing to economists than the virtual sound of data and analytics.  The new year will bring forth engaging trends to monitor and analyze, especially in light of the emerging slowdown in global economic growth as well as subdued inflation in most countries as…

  • 11/14/18

    Highlights from the Energy Institute’s TE3 Conference

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    The Energy Institute’s Fifth Annual TE3 Conference, held on October 25-26, 2018, was organized around research papers and expert panels addressing new topics of mobility:  Electrified, shared, connected and automated.  One of the key conference questions was whether any of these new features of mobility would yield a cleaner energy…

  • 11/06/18

    Electrified Vehicle Sales in the UK

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

      October 2018 data for UK’s new vehicle registrations was just released yesterday.  As we track these sales across the globe, we are learning how important purchase incentives have become.  These policy supports help buyers overcome the unease they may feel with new technologies.  The field of behavioral economics has…

  • 10/18/18

    Energy Price Developments

    Written by: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

    In case you missed it, something snuck in the back door:  A gradual, but persistent increase in oil and natural gas prices.  Take a look at West Texas crude oil quotes from the CME Group in the chart below. Crude oil prices bottomed in February 2016 at $31 per barrel. …