Holly Fretwell

Director of outreach and a research fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC). For two decades, her research has focused on public lands policy and property rights. As an outdoor enthusiast, Fretwell strives to enhance conservation through cooperation and entrepreneurship.

Holly Fretwell is director of outreach and a research fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC). For two decades, her research has focused on public lands policy and property rights. As an outdoor enthusiast, Fretwell strives to enhance conservation through cooperation and entrepreneurship. 

Fretwell is author of Who is Minding the Federal Estate? Political Management of America’s Public Lands. She has provided congressional testimony on the state of U.S. national parks and the future of the Forest Service and has presented papers promoting the use of markets in public land management.

An educator at heart, Fretwell taught economics at Montana State University for 15 years, works with the Foundation for Teaching Economics, and has coauthored a curriculum for high school teachers on economic principles. Fretwell holds a B.A. in political science and an M.S.  in resource economics from Montana State University.

Trump’s Monumental Course Reversal

Trump’s Monumental Course Reversal

As part of his program to remove the government’s boot-heel off the neck of state governments and American workers and businesses, candidate Donald Trump promised to review and, where appropriate, reverse where he felt it was justified, national monuments declared not just by Obama but going back two decades. As I discussed here, using the Antiquities Act has been a favorite technique of many presidents to satisfy pressures from environmentally powerful constituents.

Within months of taking office, Trump issued an executive order directing then-Interior Department secretary Ryan Zinke to review all presidential monument designations or expansions of more than 100,000 acres since January 1, 1996, to ensure they were limited strictly to the smallest area necessary to care for the objects or features to be protected. At the time, Trump called the size and number of national monuments created by Obama “an egregious abuse of power.

Going back to January 1, 1996, was not coincidental. At that time President Bill Clinton created the 1,880,461-acre Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, in Utah, also against the state’s entire congressional delegation’s wishes. The Grand Staircase declaration was as controversial in its time as the 2016 Bears Ears designation by Obama.

By September 2017, Zinke recommended the president shrink the size and/or modify the management of at least 10 national monuments. In particular, Zinke recommended reducing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah, Nevada’s Gold Butte, and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou. He also recommended shrinking two marine monuments in the Pacific Ocean and amending the proclamations for 10 monuments to allow for various commercial activities previously allowed in these areas but now restricted.

On December 5, 2017, Trump reduced the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument by approximately 800,000 acres, to just over 1 million acres, and shrunk the Bears Ears National Monument from 1.35 million acres to 201,876 acres.

Stop Pretending to Cut Carbon Emissions. Engineer a Solution.

Stop Pretending to Cut Carbon Emissions. Engineer a Solution.

From James Conca at Forbes:

Since we are failing to curb global carbon emissions at all, we are left with using our huge brains, which got us into this problem in the first place, to try to wangle our way out of it.

Whether that’s solar engineering [sending back a small fraction of sunlight] or cloud seeding to reduce incident solar radiation, or reforestation, or carbon capture and sequestration from burning fossil fuels, or ocean iron fertilization or putting huge mirrors in space, humans think we can engineer our way around any issue. The best most direct strategy, that has the least bad side-effects, is to remove carbon directly from the atmosphere and make something useful out of it – like fuel – that would further lessen the burden on the environment.

One company is already doing that.

Based in Canada, Carbon Engineering’s Direct Air Capture system directly removes CO2 from the atmosphere, purifies it, and produces a pipeline-ready compressed CO2 liquid using only energy and water. This CO2 can be combined with non-fossil fuel-generated hydrogen, to produce ultra-low carbon intensity hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and Jet Fuel-A.

“California’s Dark Ages”

“California’s Dark Ages”

From the Wall Street Journal editorial page:

Californians are learning to live like the Amish after investor-owned utility PG&E this week shut off power to two million or so residents to prevent wildfires amid heavy, dry winds.

For years the utility skimped on safety upgrades and repairs while pumping billions into green energy and electric-car subsidies to please its overlords in Sacramento.

Suddenly, Californians are learning to love fossil fuels. Stores have experienced runs on oil lamps—yes, those still exist—and emergency generators fueled by gasoline, propane or diesel.

Most batteries that store solar power can’t keep homes charged for more than a day during a blackout, and most electric-car owners won’t have enough juice to escape the power outage. Still, liberals in Sacramento want to abolish fossil fuels.

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