Category: Environment

GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release August 3, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Clean Power Plan ‘Cleaning out Consumers’ Wallets’ Atlanta – Kelly McCutchen, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, had this to say about the final rules of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan: That the Environmental Protection Agency has delayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan by two years for the states is no help. As we pointed out in testimony before the EPA in July 2014, the agency’s promise of “flexibility” and “state leadership” toward building a cleaner power sector is akin to letting a condemned man choose his method of execution: One way or another, it’s the end. Despite… View Article

The Great EPA Ozone-Asthma Caper

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The first ozone alert of 2015 was issued Wednesday (June 17) amid 90-degree temperatures in metro Atlanta, a “Code Orange” warning children and “sensitive” individuals to “limit prolonged outdoor exertion.” A new proposal by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would once again lower the ozone level allowable under the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, the EPA is ignoring the failure of an experiment it has conducted for 40 years: Whils it has ordered reductions in the amount of ozone allowable in the air in order to reduce asthma, asthma has increased. From 1979 to 1997, the maximum allowable level for ozone was set at 120 parts per billion (ppb),… View Article

The Ethanol Scramble

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) were enacted to solve perceived problems with energy independence, carbon footprints, job creation and the farm economy, among others. They are proof positive that government solutions are always complicated, especially with mandates that address future, undefined problems. The legislation mandated fuel uses that were not yet developed and of questionable benefit. Proposed rules in the Federal Register announced in 2006 that, “Under the Clean Air Act … the Environmental Protection Agency is required to promulgate regulations implementing a renewable fuel program.” The most controversial mandate was for the use of ethanol as a fuel. The main goal was to replace petroleum fuels with renewable… View Article

Deepwater Horizon: Drawn-Out Tempest in a Teacup

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was called catastrophic by many. President Obama declared, “This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced;” the National Resource Defense Council said, two years later, “a people wronged and a region scarred remains.” Five years later, what remains of this “worst environmental disaster” and “scarred” region? There were many projections, estimates and guesses – before and after the well was finally capped – about how many millions of barrels of crude spilled into the Gulf. Photos of pelicans slimed in oil, dolphins smothered, beaches covered in black, and tar-balls strewn like rocks on… View Article

Pay Attention: National Energy Policy Hits Home, Too

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Georgia boasts no native sources of fossil fuel – coal, natural gas or oil – yet the energy industry fuels this state’s economy just as surely as if it were the epicenter of operations. As the state slowly recovers from the economic downturn, the 50 percent drop in prices at the nation’s gas pumps over the past year has been a mixed blessing. On one hand, it gives commuters a cheaper trip and lowers the cost of doing business for companies. On the other, it reduces the viability of recovering “unconventional” oil and natural gas resources in an already-hostile regulatory environment. While hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – has been around in one form or… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release March 13, 2015 Contact Kelly McCutchen at 404-256-4050 or kmccutchen@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Highlights Solar Energy and Sunshine Week Atlanta – Two years ago this week, Dublin High School in Laurens County broke ground on a solar panel array that was described as a trailblazer funding model and a moneysaver for the school. As she gathered information for an article marking the March 11 anniversary of the groundbreaking, Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd gained a renewed appreciation for Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of the national initiative for open government and freedom of information that takes place next week (March 15-21). This screen shot shows that Laurens County’s court Web site for the… View Article

Historic Districts and their Effects on Land Use

The Heartland Institute reports on a study that shows bad zoning policies can lead to economic stagnation. After analyzing datasets of residential transactions for the past 35 years and data from New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, researchers concluded that using zoning policy to designate neighborhoods as having a “historic” nature generally caused property values to increase, but also cause “a significant negative impact on the amount of new housing construction” around and within the district in question. Also, researchers found that historic districts with fewer regulations were observed to have more new economic activity than districts with more regulations. Read the article and the study here: http://heartland.org/policy-documents/preserving-history-or-hindering-growth-heterogenous-effects-historic-districts-loca View Article

Climate Change Rules Could Be the Death of You

This op-ed by Heartland Institute Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/opinion/choose-the-vehicle-you-want/nj3TR/ Climate or Crash Risk in Your Vehicle Choice By H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.  Environmentalists are coming after your car — again. And what they don’t want you to know is their crusade, if successful, would result in a multitude of unnecessary deaths.  With the false promise of reduced dependence on foreign oil, environmental radicals convinced Congress to establish Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards beginning in 1975. CAFE standards required cars to meet federally mandated fuel economy targets or pay a hefty tax, a tax on gas guzzling sedans. The results? Many people switched to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Others, however, started driving… View Article

Lift the Offshore Drilling Moratorium

By Benita Dodd BENITA DODD President Obama’s recent move to allow seismic exploration of oil and gas reserves offshore Georgia and the Atlantic Coast has left many hopeful that the offshore drilling moratorium currently in place may soon be lifted. A new study by University of Wyoming energy economist Dr. Tim Considine indicates the degree to which such a move would benefit Georgians and our Mid-Atlantic counterparts. The study – “Economic and Environmental Impacts of Oil and Gas Development Offshore the Delmarva, Carolinas and Georgia” – was jointly released by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and five other Mid-Atlantic think tanks. It paints a promising picture of economic development, job creation and increased tax revenues from oil and gas development.… View Article
Benita Dodd testified on July 29 at the Atlanta Field Hearing of the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the Clean Power Plan. This is her official testimony, a written copy of which was submitted to the EPA. By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD According to the Federal Register, on December 7, 2009, the EPA “found” that current and projected concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Unfortunately, this finding and the EPA’s subsequent action threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations of Georgians far more than greenhouse gases do.  The EPA declares the goal of its Clean Power Plan is to cut “carbon pollution” from… View Article

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