Periodic fires. Environmental regulations that make things worse. Climate change alarmists who want to blame anyone who doesn’t think like they think.
Search Results for: regulation
What Happened to California?
Here’s Todd Royal of Law & Liberty on the forest fires in California:
What we are witnessing is a “man-made power outage problem” caused by Democratic Party-aligned environmentalists, activist judges, and the California Air Resources Board. Obama-era environmental regulations rewrote decades-old solutions to forest management by eliminating controlled fires to clear away dead foliage, and allowed plaintiffs attorneys and judges free reign to impose crushing judicial and regulatory costs for basic land management. If these regulations continue unabated then PG&E’s grid will continuously be shut off when hot winds affect their customer base.
Trump Has Backed Off Freezing 2020 Fuel Efficiency Standards
Replacing the Obama administration/California standards for vehicle CO2 emissions with the Trump administration’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule would have insignificant impacts on climate change. This is Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute:
As explained in my congressional testimony this week, according to the Obama administration’s own climate modeling, replacing the current CO2 standards with the SAFE rule would add only 0.003°C to global average temperatures 81 years from now—an undetectably small and climatically inconsequential change.
However . . .
Turbulence Ahead for Wind Energy
Ken Artz of the Heartland Institute reports that U. S. wind energy faces hard times:
- The federal tax credit for wind energy ends Dec. 31, 2019.
- Countries are dumping wind turbines on the U. S., hurting U.S. producers.
- The Internatiinal Trade Commission is considering tariffs on turbines and parts.
The wind industry is entirely dependent on government favoritism, says Rob Bradley Jr., Ph.D., CEO of the Institute for Energy Research.
“Cronies live and die by the government sword,” Bradley said. “Each and every wind project depends on large tax subsidies as well as preferential federal regulations to be built.
“It is ironic—and rare—the wind industry finds itself on the losing end of government policy, but tariffs on imported parts are just that,” Bradley said.
“How about eliminating all the subsidies, along with the tariffs, and let the market, not government, decide what electrical generation is best?” Bradley said.
Trump’s ESA Changes: A Good Start
Environmentalists’ knee-jerk reactions to the Trump administration’s regulatory changes under the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA) were as predictable as they were misguided. Environmentalists claimed the changes violate the law and gut protections—leaving vulnerable species otherwise on the road to recovery at risk of annihilation.
Sadly, the mainstream media, which seems to treat as revealed truth every study, press release, pronouncement, and tweet from environmentalists, especially if it’s critical of the Trump administration, parroted these claims.
Based on environmentalists’ and the press’s reactions, you would think the ESA had a glowing track record of success in bringing species back from the brink of extinction, but nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, the ESA has been a costly fiasco.
Protecting Our Natural Surroundings
I divide environmental topics into two sometimes overlapping groups, “romance” and “sludge.” The romance sector includes parks, forests, wildlands, wilderness, wildlife, and scenic vistas. These treasures grace calendars and coffee table books. Most educated and comfortable adults, even committed urbanites, are attracted to and want to protect this sector.
The second division is sludge. This term refers to nasty stuff that is often the necessary byproduct of legitimate productive activities such as food processing, mining, and manufacturing. These are spillovers from legitimate and useful activities.Economists call this category negative externalities. They ask: How might we efficiently reduce them—or even better, convert them into useful products?
That’s exactly what environmental entrepreneurs did when they converted the wood waste and scrap from lumber mills into valuable wood panels. Those panels replaced plywood—which had replaced boards formerly cut from old growth trees. Lesson here? In a market process economy, superior substitutes naturally evolve.
We can’t live without some sludge; it’s inherent in living and using products from the earth. While recognizing this, I choose to work in the romance arena. Had I elected to focus on sludge, I’d live in Boston and study its harbor. Instead, I live on a ranch between Bozeman and Yellowstone Park and study my surrounding habitat. Thus, I work in the tradition of America’s first conservationists.
America’s old-line conservation organizations were primarily concerned with the romance sector of their environment, largely with protecting wildlife.