Energy & Environment

Paving the way for the cars of the future

Three years ago, President Obama stood with automakers, state government leaders, environmental health advocates and others to launch an effort to improve fuel efficiency for and reduce carbon pollution from millions of vehicles on our roadways. It was a bold call for action, aimed at protecting consumers from fluctuations in gas prices and helping them save money at the pump regardless of the vehicle they drive. 


EPA's Alaska power-grab will hurt the nation

Today in Alaska, there’s a political battle raging over a proposed copper mine, the Pebble Project. Not many in Washington, D.C. know about it, but it’s time people start paying attention. That’s because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is about to lock some of America’s poorest communities into a permanent economic depression as a favor to national environmental groups. If the EPA succeeds, what happens in Alaska won’t stay in Alaska – there will be huge economic and employment consequences for the rest of the country.


Solving the climate crisis by building better cars

[Coming soon] the Obama Administration will announce new standards for cars and light trucks that will reduce total U.S. greenhouse gas pollution by around 10 percent. Too often environmental problems seem like they have no adequate solution. Well, finally, here’s some good news.


Domestic energy production can pave road to lower unemployment

July marked the 42nd consecutive month that unemployment has been at or above 8 percent on the president’s watch, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The labor force participation rate, which measures individuals working or looking for work, remained low in July with many Americans giving up on finding a job. If the percentage of those looking for work were as high today as at the beginning of the recession, unemployment would be a staggering 11.5 percent. These troubling numbers are a direct result of the president’s failed economic policies and the Democrat-led Senate’s refusal to vote on House-passed, job-creating legislation. To date, 32 job-creating bills await action in the Senate.


The Arctic: Last energy frontier?

Royal Dutch Shell and Great Bear Petroleum are preparing to explore new sources of Arctic oil this month. This provides American policymakers the opportunity to examine the long-term costs and benefits of oil production in the Arctic.


Government investment in clean energy a plus

Following the July 24 announcement that public lands in six Western states have been set aside for new solar energy projects, scientific opinion polling in Colorado—one of those six states—indicates that the majority of its entrepreneurs agree government investments in clean energy technologies can stimulate the economy—even after being reminded of Solyndra’s bankruptcy.


Dodd-Frank disclosure requirements will hurt energy sector

It’s been two years since President Barack Obama signed into law the comprehensive financial regulation reform bill known as “Dodd-Frank.” Though Dodd-Frank is aimed principally at the financial services industry, the act also includes new disclosure provisions for oil and gas companies.


Climate change: What will it take to wake up the world?

The late film director Frank Capra once delivered the following quote: “I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries.”
For too long in the environmental movement, we have been crying and complaining but, despite our best efforts, we aren’t actually impacting the audience. The oceans are still rising, bizarre weather patterns continue to plague us, the polar ice caps are disappearing and most of us just ignore the dangers of climate change.


Decades of farmland conservation gains at risk

Congress is at a critical juncture with regard to renewing our nation’s farm and food policies. There is intense fiscal pressure to trim waste and inefficiency. Conversely, there is a need to do more in the face of rising population and mounting conservation challenges. Indeed, with this summer’s drought, we are reminded of the caprice of Mother Nature and the very reason why we have a financial safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers.

Perhaps nowhere in farm policy is there a more proven track record of accomplishment than with the existing conservation compact between farmers and taxpayers. This compact -- a provision of the 1985 farm bill called conservation compliance – sparked more than two decades of unprecedented progress in limiting soil erosion, cleaning up waterways and protecting wetlands.