To the New York Times: No, Bottled Water Is Not Sucking Florida Dry

Florida has a water problem that is revealing something very self-destructive about environmental groups and science journalism. Case in point, the September 15 New York Times article by Michael Sainato and Chelsea Skojec headlined, “Bottled Water Is Sucking Florida Dry.” 

The water bottler, of course, is the Swiss multi-national company Nestlé. The opinion piece jumps on the bandwagon whose riders have for decades ballyhooed Nestlé as the archetypal evil corporation. Says the article’s subtitle: “The state’s aquifers are shrinking, yet corporations want to appropriate even more of them.”

The Times’ writers egregiously omit the most important facts while larding the piece with innuendo and misleading or untrue but self-serving statements. Example: “The state and local governments have continued to issue water bottling extraction permits that prevent the aquifer from recharging.” Is it quibbling to note that the aquifers do recharge, but apparently not 100 percent? More seriously, it’s simply false to say the bottling of water prevents the full recharge since bottled water is about 1 percent or less of total extraction.

What Went Wrong with the Obama-Era “Waters” Rule?

In his new PERC policy paper, R. David Simpson reports on his experience reviewing the cost-benefit analysis of an Obama-era regulation defining “WOTUS.” (In Washington lingo, that is “waters of the United States.”) Simpson, an economist formerly with the Environmental Protection Agency, expresses regret that he did not press harder to improve the EPA’s cost-benefit analysis of the rule, issued in 2015. The rule was designed to extend the federal government’s jurisdiction over U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act, bringing relatively isolated streams and wetlands under government regulation.

A Property Rights Solution to Endangered Salmon

Writing for PERC, R. David Simpson gives an intriguing example of salmon preservation: Native American tribes in Oregon considered bidding on a dam license (to change its operations in ways that would  protect salmon). The result: a productive relationship with the dam owners—a cooperative effort to protect salmon. Here is an excerpt from Simpson’s paper: …

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The War on Roundup: A War on Science in Agriculture

By Blake Hurst This guest post is by Blake Hurst,  a farmer in northwest Missouri, growing greenhouse flowers, corn, and soybeans. He is  also president of the Missouri Farm Bureau. Farmers and what critics call “industrial agriculture“ are under public pressure—over genetically modified seeds, long-standing fear of chemicals, and concerns about animal welfare. Farmers’ methods of …