Federal Solar Energy Subsidy Expires 2016

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is expected to expire in 2016. The solar energy industry is trying to get another extension to last until the year 2022. They believe that without this critical subsidy, then they will lose 80,000 jobs in just 2017 alone. The ITC is a 30 percent tax credit for solar […]

Close to Lifting the U.S. Crude Oil Export Ban

Congress is planning to vote on lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports by the end of this month. Across the aisle, most Republicans support the end of the export ban. In fact, the Republican-controlled House is scheduled to vote on legislation that would lift the restrictions. In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell […]

The Failure of U.S. Biofuels Program

Ending a relationship is never easy, even one with a proven history of broken promises, twisted logic, weak justifications and financial exploitation. Such is the bond between the American taxpayer and the domestic ethanol industry. In the beginning, statements of common goals sparked hopeful enthusiasm. Many eagerly supported the romantic notion of growing our way […]

New Study Looks at Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban

According to a new report out from the United States Energy Information Administration: Recent increases in domestic crude oil production and the prospect of continued supply growth have sparked discussion on the topic of how rising domestic crude oil volumes might be absorbed, including the possibility of removing or relaxing current restrictions on U.S. crude […]

California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

California’s 2002 Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), Senate Bill No. 1078 mandated that electric providers procure renewable power from eligible sources at 17% of customer sales by 2017. The bill also required the Public Utility Commission (PUC), being the regulatory agency for electricity providers, establish a certification and monitoring program through the state Energy Commission. Subsequently, […]

Economic Gain Increases Environmental Quality

The relationship between environmental quality and economic development has been described as an environmental Kuznets curve: Initially, economic development exacerbates environmental problems; however, as an economy grows and develops, average incomes reach a certain point beyond which environmental indicators start to improve.  Indeed, as gross domestic product per capita increases, emissions of pollutants per $1 […]

The Golden-cheeked Warbler and Piecemeal Environmental Policy

A tiny, migratory songbird is causing a big ruckus in Texas. At issue is the Golden-cheeked warbler’s status according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The bird caused a related stir in 1990 when it was the subject of a petition by members of the anarchist environmental group, Earth First! The petition moved […]

Increased Energy Use Raises Standard of Living in Developing Nations

Global production of oil and natural gas has increased in recent years, and prices have been falling.  This is not only good news for consumers in developed countries, but also for the poor in developing countries around the world.  Increased energy use is essential in developing countries if they are to raise the living standards […]

EPA and Regulatory Taking of Private Property

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids the government from taking privately owned property without the due process of law, and without just compensation. However, what constitutes a government “taking” and can “due process” be preemptively satisfied by agency regulation? It seems in the case of “wetlands”, the EPA has overreached its authority. Let […]

Gold King Mine an EPA Superfund Site

On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an Emergency Response Statement to a massive pollutant spill in Colorado. According to the agency, EPA contractors caused the accidental breach. As a result, contaminated water flushed from the long abandoned Gold King Mine into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River. The […]