Energy & Environment

Koch network attacks wind tax break

Congress is once again wavering over extending a key tax break for the wind industry, and wind’s foes — largely sponsored by coal, oil and gas moguls Charles and David Koch — are pushing hard for its demise, never mind the fact that fossil fuels, the primary cause of climate change, are more heavily subsidized.

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Renewing energy efficiency commitment makes sense

In December 2011, the Obama Administration set an aggressive two-year goal to complete $2 billion worth of performance contracting projects at federal facilities. This White House initiative on Energy Savings Performance Contracting has leveraged...

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Let's put pollinators over politics

One thing everyone can agree on is that pollinators are too vital to lose. Congress now has an opportunity to take action in the farm bill, an opportunity legislators shouldn’t pass up.

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Vibrant American cities rely on the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Nations that foster livable cities with vibrant populations and skilled workforces are the nations with a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. A well-designed, well-maintained network of city parks is a vital component of any city’s infrastructure and a trademark of a healthy urban environment.

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Regulators should carefully consider size and scope of penalties for accidents

Whenever there is a tragedy, be it in a coal mine, on a drilling platform, or in your neighborhood, there is an understandable desire to learn the cause and penalize the perpetrator. In many cases, regulatory agencies must decide the appropriate penalty. Accidents like the Massey coal mine tragedy, the Enbridge Pipeline oil spill, the Arkansas oil pipeline failure, and gas pipeline explosions like those in Allentown, Sissonville, and San Bruno, all have resulted in significant fines and penalties.

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Danger of overregulating fracking

The emergence of hydraulic fracturing to recover oil and natural gas generally is seen as an economic success story. It has vaulted the United States into the ranks of the world’s top oil and gas producers and led to a manufacturing renaissance whose effects few could have foreseen at the start of the 1990s.

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In reform talks, progress or theater?

On Capitol Hill, the clock is ticking on two more major economic showdowns: tax reform and the bipartisan budget conference committee. Either or both of those initiatives could, under the right conditions, wind up creating a fairer and more efficient tax code. They could also represent yet another cynical Washington attempt to squeeze revenue from politically unpopular sources under the guise of reform or – more perversely – fairness.

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