Category: Environment

By Benita M. Dodd Housing needs, trends and designs change constantly. Through the years, homebuilders have learned to meet the needs, wants and pocketbooks of homebuyers while innovating and adapting to meet changing standards for safety, land use and environmental protection. Now, however, elected officials are changing that dynamic. Local governments are stifling innovation, mandating aesthetics and materials, restricting designs and layouts, all while infringing upon the rights of private property owners. This week (February 20), the Georgia House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee narrowly approved a bill that would prohibit local governments from imposing “architectural ordinances” on new home construction. It must make its way through the Legislature. Consider the enormous differences among the Sears kit home, Craftsman bungalow,… View Article
Jeffrey H. Dorfman Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle and sustained major, hurricane-force winds as it entered southwest Georgia’s agricultural heartland. It appears the losses to Georgia agriculture alone will exceed $2 billion. This unprecedented hit may require similarly unprecedented responses from the private sector and government. As of this writing, I estimate Georgia cotton growers suffered $550 million in losses. Worse, Georgia pecan growers suffered $560 million in lost crop, damaged and destroyed trees, and lost future income while waiting for replanted orchards to mature. Georgia vegetable farmers also suffered heavy losses, perhaps over $400 million. Topping even that, Georgia timber owners may have lost $1 billion, with 250,000 acres completely lost and 750,000 acres with varying… View Article

Georgia Benefits from Nuclear Plant Expansion

By Steven Biegalski The nuclear reactor expansion project at Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, near Augusta, has been plagued by troubles: Westinghouse declaring bankruptcy, construction delays and cost overruns. Fortunately, completion of the project is still commercially viable. Moreover, it will have numerous benefits to the citizens of Georgia and to the nation as a whole. The price tag for Vogtle Units 3 and 4 has ballooned. As a reminder, costs also soared for Vogtle’s Units 1 and 2, initially estimated at $1 billion and ending up costing about $9 billion during an extended construction period of about 13 years. Westinghouse’s bankruptcy led to the scuttling of a similar project in South Carolina last year. Given the three-decade gap in U.S.… View Article

Another Summer of Polar Bears and Thin Ice

By Harold Brown Hot summer days once again provide the backdrop for highlighting threats to wildlife icons and providing dramatic publicity for climate change activists. Threats to Arctic icons heighten the drama, and the emblem of polar bears “in danger” and attacking humans becomes the clarion call for climate “solutions.” The London Times, in a 2009 book review, called the polar bear “the animal of the new millennium” and “an emblem of despair.” It gained a huge emblematic boost in 2004, when The Wall Street Journal published the findings of two federal investigators who saw four dead bears floating off Alaska’s coast during polar bear and whale aerial surveys. Images of drowning bears further inflamed passions in Al Gore’s film,… View Article
News Release | For Immediate Release June 27, 2018 Contact: Benita Dodd  benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org  (404-256-4050) Foundation ‘Disappointed’ in Supreme Court Ruling on Water Dispute Atlanta – Kyle Wingfield, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, issued this statement in response to today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the water dispute between Florida and Georgia: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is disappointed the Court today declined the opportunity to end this misguided legal assault on Georgia and remanded the case to the Special Master for further proceedings. We agree with Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, that the Court already had all the facts it needed to make the central determination in the case: that the meager, speculative benefits Florida… View Article
By Paul Blair Over the past 18 months, President Trump has taken great strides to fulfill a number of major campaign promises. One major promise was the commitment to help communities harmed by the decline of coal and nuclear energy. To that end, the president recently directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to prevent retiring coal and nuclear plants from shutting down prematurely. Shortly afterward, a leaked policy document from the National Security Council outlined a number of policy tools that the Department of Energy (DOE) could use to keep the plants afloat. In response, groups across the political spectrum and throughout the energy sector have criticized the administration for “putting its thumb on the scale” for coal and nuclear. Many… View Article

Take a Deep Breath before Blaming Ozone for Asthma

By Harold Brown The American Lung Association emphasizes the bad news and mentions the good. Its State of the Air 2018 report (using 2014-2016 data) claims that “ozone pollution worsened significantly.” It is clear, however, that the air in Georgia has become cleaner and healthier. Atlanta had an average of 66 days per year from 2000 to 2010 that were “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” but only 21 days per year from 2011-2016 (see chart). The two pollutants most blamed for the “unhealthy” air have decreased. Ozone (4th maximum 8-hour concentration) decreased 27 percent from 2000 to 2017, while tiny particles (PM2.5) dropped by 50 percent. Respiratory disease causes, changes in the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations and environmental advocates’ claims have… View Article

Despite the Hype, Changes in Sea Level Turn on a Dime

By Harold Brown Anybody paying attention to 2017’s hurricanes and, even more recently, the Paris Agreement, is aware that political posturing amplifies how complicated and controversial is the science of climate change and, with it, sea level rise. Environmentalist activists see sea level rise as a catastrophe in the making – the simple result of melting glaciers and ice caps and warming of the oceans. But the complications mire this in controversy ever since global warming became popular. According to the International Panel on Climate Change, the global sea level rose at the “very likely” rate of 1.7 millimeters per year from 1901-2010. Therein lies one of the complexities. Imagine the difficulty in accurately measuring the increase when the sea… View Article

Burying Power Lines: A Shocking Cost

The Marietta Daily Journal of September 27, 2017 published a letter to the editor in the midst of recovery from recent hurricanes that downed power lines and prompted calls for utilities to bury the lines. The letter writer raised some salient points about the inconvenience and financial and environmental cost of burying the lines. The letter can be accessed on the newspaper’s website here and is reprinted in its entirety below.   Burying power lines would unearth problems  Dear Editor: Each time a major weather catastrophe occurs, along with the clamor about “climate change” being the causative factor, there is additional, ubiquitous uproar regarding the replacement of above-ground power lines with underground utility delivery. A few years ago, I responded to… View Article

An Unhealthy Obsession with Climate Change

By Harold Brown On June 1 came the encouraging news that President Trump has decided the United States will exit the U.N. Paris climate agreement. The agreement imposes huge burdens while producing little or no impact on the global climate. From the outrage shared by the media, one would think Trump has doomed the world to certain destruction. Signs are clear the noise will continue, in one form or another: In March, just two months after Trump took office, a “Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health” was launched to advise (alarm) the American public about global warming. The consortium published, “Medical Alert! Climate Change is Harming Our Health.” In contrast to the public perception that climate change… View Article

The Foundation should take a lot of pride in your influence on Georgia governmental policy over the past several years. If you look back on several things that you were crying in the wilderness about several years ago, you will find that Governor Miller adopted them…your influence and your pressure on that process has been a major factor in governmental policy in Georgia. You should be congratulated.

Governor Sonny Perdue more quotes