Energy & Environment

Washington dragging its feet on gas production is a drag on job creation

At a time when every nation in the industrial world is scrambling to create jobs, the United States government should send a clear signal that it intends to make our nation’s affordable energy available to spur economic growth.

For our national security, for growth in clean energy, and for our economy, it is imperative that policymakers end their lukewarm flirtation with natural gas, and get off the fence. With more than a 100-year supply of gas from U.S. shale formations, this newly accessible resource is a game changer and it’s time our leaders seized this opportunity.


Dreaming the impossible ozone dream

The Environmental Protection Agency is on a quixotic quest, pursuing dreams that could turn into a national nightmare.

In the latest example of this, millions of Americans could lose their jobs and the U.S. economy could be crippled by trillions (yes, trillions) of dollars in mandated compliance costs in the decades ahead if extreme and unrealistic anti-smog regulations proposed by EPA take effect in January.


EPA regulatory lunge could result in 2011 economic plunge

When we ring in the New Year in just two short months, next week’s elections will be in our collective rearview mirror. However -- regardless of what occurs on Nov. 2 -- the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) campaign to impose its new round of economy-wide environmental regulations will continue in 2011. That should worry every American, because EPA’s wish list will hit consumers and business where it hurts: their pocketbooks.


New reports reinforce need to expand biofuel production

Given the latest news from two government reports, we need to start changing the “drill baby drill” chant to “distill baby distill.” One study, from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently concluded in a soon-to-be-published paper, that indirect land use change (ILUC) resulting from expanded corn ethanol production over the past decade has likely been “minimal to zero.” A second study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) revised downward by 90 percent oil reserves in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska from a 2002 estimate of 10.6 billion barrels to slightly under 900 million barrels today.


A fresh look at agriculture in the 112th Congress

There’s no question that the 112th Congress will bring new faces and changes to Washington. A few may be familiar with farm policy, but like the public-at-large, most of them won’t. Even the agriculture committees that will write the next farm bill won’t be immune to these changes. As with any new Congress, the American Farm Bureau Federation is looking forward to working with new members to help them better understand one of the nation’s most vital industries.


Safety of fruits and vegetables

Produce safety has gotten a lot of attention lately. Too often rhetoric around the issue is doing more harm than good. Calls to exempt any farmers from food safety legislation, including small ones, will harm all farmers and their consumers while lists of so-called “dirty” fruits and vegetables needlessly turn consumers away from healthy eating.


Gulf Coast restoration delayed is justice denied

The national news media — obsessed with the upcoming election — missed a significant news story two weeks ago: President Obama signed an executive order to create a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force that is a key first step to fulfilling his promise to restore the Gulf of Mexico and to make it even better than it was before the BP Macondo well exploded six months ago, on Apr. 20. What exactly does “better than it was before” mean?


EPA needs to do more, not less, to protect health

In this volatile election season, some are arguing that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to be “reined in” or even eliminated.  They are out of touch with the realities of people’s lives and priorities.  The vast majority of Americans want EPA to do more, not less, to protect health and the environment.


Leading the military toward a more secure energy future (Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus)

October 13th is the 235th Anniversary of the founding of the United States Navy. So it was incredibly appropriate that yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at two events focused on our military’s energy policy, because how the Navy and Marine Corps have harnessed energy has shaped our history since the birth of the Republic. And how energy is used and produced in the United States will continue to affect both our national security, and the strategic and tactical capabilities of our forces, long into the future.


New salmon can address a myriad of problems

Natural fish stocks have been so depleted in the past few decades that more than half of the salmon we consume here in the United States comes to us from “fish farming,” 97 percent of which is imported. That’s because we consume highly-desirable fish like salmon at least twice as fast as it can reproduce in the wild.