Gas Prices are Down, Will They Stay This Way?
Energy / Middle East / Politics

Gas Prices are Down, Will They Stay This Way?

Gasoline prices, like prices of any commodity, are determined by many factors including supply-and-demand, government policy and even the weather. Gasoline is unique, however, because it is very nearly the only energy source used in transportation. Its monopoly on transportation amplifies the impact its price has on the economy. Low gas prices translate to more … Continue reading

New Fracking Study is Good News for Natural Gas Industry
Energy

New Fracking Study is Good News for Natural Gas Industry

On September 16, University of Texas Austin released a study showing that shale gas production releases fewer methane emissions than previously thought.  If true, the study’s findings could swing the debate over hydraulic fracturing—a technique used to extract gas from shale formations—in favor of the natural gas industry. In the last five years, developments in … Continue reading

Who Will Replace King Coal?
Economy / Energy / Environment / Environmental Regulation / Politics

Who Will Replace King Coal?

On Wednesday, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University announcing a new climate change policy.  The announcement fulfills a promise he made in his State of the Union Address to move forward with executive regulation if Congress failed to act on climate change.  It also makes good on his promise to bankrupt the coal … Continue reading

Absinthe and Our Obsession with “Scary” Chemicals
America / Environment / Environmental Regulation / Regulation

Absinthe and Our Obsession with “Scary” Chemicals

For those who don’t know, absinthe is a grain alcohol of Swiss origin which is made by macerating herbs and spices, the most important of which are fennel, anise and wormwood. The first two give absinthe its characteristic licorice flavor. Wormwood imparts a bitter flavor and is the source of absinthe’s famed mystique and jade-green … Continue reading

Top 5 Most Ridiculous Government Spending Programs: Energy and Environment Edition
Energy / Environment

Top 5 Most Ridiculous Government Spending Programs: Energy and Environment Edition

5. Overlapping Renewable Energy Subsidies. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) estimates that redundancies in government spending alone amount to roughly $250 billion.  That’s three times the cost of sequester cuts.  Right now 23 agencies and 130 sub-agencies are in charge of some 679 renewable energy initiatives, according to the Government Accountability Office.  One would think with … Continue reading

The Lesser of Two Prairie Chickens
Energy / Environment / Environmental Regulation / Regulation

The Lesser of Two Prairie Chickens

In a previous post, I wrote about the challenges of balancing economic and environmental interests when crafting regulatory policy.  I argued that while regulations often incur significant economic costs, more regulation doesn’t necessarily translate into greater environmental benefits. This issue came up at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on Tuesday about state and federal approaches … Continue reading

Do Environmental Regulations and Economic Growth Conflict?
Energy / Regulation / U.S. Domestic Policy

Do Environmental Regulations and Economic Growth Conflict?

The environment is one of those things like education or jobs. No one says they are against job creation. No one claims to be anti-education. Nobody (despite what environmentalists may tell you) wants to destroy the environment, or eradicate the habitat of this or that endangered species.  These things happen, of course. Jobs are lost, … Continue reading