Jonathan Lesser

Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute

Dr. Jonathan Lesser is the President of Continental Economics, Inc. and has over 35 years of experience working for regulated utilities, governments, and as an economic consultant. He has extensive experience in resource planning, risk management, cost-benefit analysis of energy and environmental policies, resource/contract valuation and damages analysis, and due diligence.

He has analyzed economic and regulatory issues affecting numerous facets of the energy industry, including risk management strategies for regulated natural gas and electric utilities, cost-benefit analysis of transmission, generation, and distribution investment, gas and electric utility structure and operations, generating asset valuation under uncertainty, mergers and acquisitions, cost allocation and rate design, resource investment decision strategies, utility financing and the cost of capital, depreciation, risk management, incentive regulation, economic impact studies of energy infrastructure development, and general regulatory policy.

Dr. Lesser has prepared expert testimony and reports in cases before utility commissions in numerous US states; before the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); before international regulators in Latin America and the Caribbean; and in commercial litigation cases. He has also testified before the U.S. Congress, and legislative committees in numerous states on energy policy and market issues. Dr. Lesser has also served as an independent arbiter in disputes involving regulatory treatment of utilities and valuation of energy generation assets, as well as in commercial damages proceedings. He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the Manhattan Institute, where he researches energy policy issues.

Dr. Lesser is the author of numerous academic and trade press articles. He is the coauthor of three textbooks: Environmental Economics and Policy (1997), Principles of Utility Corporate Finance (2011), and Fundamentals of Energy Regulation (2007; 3rd Edition, 2019).


State’s Climate Act Isn’t Worth Price We’re Paying

We're paying among the highest prices for gas, but the reduction in carbon emissions will be minimal.
Washington state’s 2021 Climate Commitment Act (CCA), although high-minded in spirit, will do nothing to protect the state’s economy and environment from the effects of climate change. But what the CCA is already doing is burdening state residents and businesses with higher energy costs.