Environment

Return to Yucca Mountain

Featured image In my opinion, the Obama administration’s decision to block the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain is a major and under-reported scandal. It represents the triumph of raw politics over the public good. As the Washington Post’s editors explain, our nuclear power plants generate large amounts of radioactive fuel that needs to be stored. For decades, the plan was to store this material in a permanent geologically isolated facility »

Power Line on the Road: The East Coast Tour

Featured image Since Scott has mentioned his upcoming lecture about “Rathergate Ten Years Later” at Lyon College on Thursday, I may as well post up my speaking schedule this week, for the benefit of any Pittsburgh or Syracuse-based readers who need something to kill time between the Super Bowl and the start of Spring training. Tuesday I’ll be at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, speaking at noon on “The Climategate »

The Prediction Racket

Featured image One of John Kenneth Galbraith’s better and more sound witticisms was that economic forecasting was invented to make astrology look good. He should have lived long enough to take in climate change predictions. While we continue Beta testing our Climate Change Cliché Counter and scoreboard, we are pleased to take note of a new website that will surely be indispensable: ClimateChangePredictions.org. This group effort looks to be a one-stop shopping »

Is Russia Financing the Anti-Fracking Campaign?

Featured image The production of natural gas by fracking has been an enormous boon to America’s economy and to its hard-pressed consumers. Yet there are some who oppose fracking, and these opponents are lavishly funded. By whom? Investigations by the Washington Free Beacon and the Environmental Policy Alliance indicate that the answer may well be: the Russian government and Rosneft, the world’s largest oil company. The Russians’ motive to suppress American natural »

To BPA or Not to BPA, That Is The Question

Featured image In between gasps about the hottest year ever, and palpitations over fracking, environmentalists have been worked up for a long time now about BPA—bisphenol-A, an ingredient in many plastic products.  Environmentalists want it banned, because Rosie O’Donnell or something.  Well, European environmental regulators, who typically ban things before breakfast, have given BPA a clean bill of health.  They found . . . oh heck, why not let Ron Bailey, the »

Pass Out the Eggs: There Are Some Faces That Need Some

Featured image I know, keeping track of failed environmental doomsday predictions is such bad form, and is too easy besides. But it is necessary to remind everyone anyway. Over at Fox News Maxim Lott reminds us of five predictions for the year 2015 that don’t looks so good right now: 1) UN overestimated global warming by 2015 2) All Rainforest Species Will Be Extinct 3) Oil will run out by 2015 4) »

For New York leftists, Pottersville represents a wonderful life

Featured image In response to my post “Bedford Falls or Pottersville,” my conservative cousin from New York advises me that, in his state, the left has already opted for Pottersville. He writes: In 21st century New York, George Bailey and his buddy the wealthy manufacturer Wainwright would be seen as environmental terrorists trying to build a manufacturing plant that could pollute the Bedford Falls water supply. By contrast, Henry Potter’s gambling dens »

“Green” Cars Are Actually Very Brown

Featured image Seth Borenstein, environmental writer for the AP, notes a new study out Monday from the National Academy of Sciences that finds electric cars have a strongly negative air pollution effect if they are run in states that generate most of their electricity from coal: People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study finds their vehicles actually make »

An Old Fashioned Fisking of Green Hyperbole

Featured image I had thought briefly yesterday of producing an old-fashioned fisking of Tom Friedman’s Sunday NY Times column, “Why 2014 Is A Big Deal,” which was lazy and superficial even by his low standards, but thought why bother at this point. How does he come up with gems like this: Technology is a cruel thing. The innovators who’ve made solar panels, wind power and batteries so efficient that they can now »

Welcome to “Pique Oil”

Featured image As everyone knows, oil prices have fallen sharply and “unexpectedly” over the last few months, though this is not really unexpected to anyone who believes in markets or technological progress. But confidence in markets and technology does rule out a lot of liberals and virtually all environmentalists. As such, it’s fun to recall his Krugmanness declaring four years ago that “peak oil” was here to stay. In “Our Finite World,” »

EPA Lost in the Ozone, As Usual

Featured image Just one day after the Supreme Court granted cert to review the EPA’s ridiculous mercury regulations, the EPA announced that it would lower the ozone standard to .06 parts per million, from the current .075 parts per million. This is the same regulation that President Obama cancelled in 2011 because, as the New York Times described it, “Mr. Obama said the regulation would impose too severe a burden on industry »

Breaking: Supreme Court to Review EPA Mercury Rules

Featured image Just announced in the last hour: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the Obama administration went too far with new power-plant pollution caps the government estimates will cost almost $10 billion a year. The justices today said they will hear industry and state contentions that the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t adequately consider those costs when it limited mercury and other hazardous power-plant pollutants. The affected companies include American Electric »

Mary, Mary, what you’ve come to

Featured image It’s a gloomy, rainy Monday in Washington, D.C. But the rain hasn’t deterred protesters from descending on Mary Landrieu’s stately Capitol Hill townhouse to protest the Louisiana Senator’s support of the Keystone XL oil pipeline (photo below). The protesters reportedly are standing in Landrieu’s yard. They have also deposited an ugly mock black plastic pipeline on her property. The police are on hand, but have done nothing to keep the »

Environmentalists Show How to Make the Best Comics Epically Unfunny

Featured image How do you take the best comics in the country and make them duller than wet cardboard?  You dragoon them into plying their chops on behalf of environmental organizations, which the NRDC did this week at their “night of comedy.”  The three-minute clip below really makes you feel sorry for Seth Meyers, Larry David, et al. Here’s a sample of the comic fare from the actual event, from Seth Meyers: “Let’s »

In Other News. . .

Featured image While we’re still having fun making the Democratic rubble bounce from Tuesday’s carpet bombing, there was an important federal district court case ruling yesterday out of Utah that promises to put a crimp in the Endangered Species Act if it is upheld on appeal.  Jonathan Adler reports: This afternoon a district court in Utah held that the federal prohibition against “taking” Utah prairie dogs — listed as “threatened” under the Endangered »

Invasion of the Body Politic Snatchers

Featured image Forget the pod people of Invasion of the Body Snatchers: it seems the plastic people have taken over California government.  Think of it as Invasion of the Body Politic Snatchers.  Today Gov. Jerry Brown, who never found a goofy environmental idea he didn’t like, signed the bill to outlaw “single-use” plastic bags in California.  Which prompts the following 45-second video rant from me about how it is going to reduce »

What’s Wrong With California in One Map

Remember Barry Goldwater’s famous line that the country would be better off if we sawed off the Atlantic seaboard and let it drift out to sea?  Well, the same thing should be said of coastal California. This isn’t exactly news of course, but below is a great photo that dramatizes the problem: it shows which California counties have banned single-use plastic bags.  No mystery as to the politics of this. »