Category: Environment

Imposing Renewable Energy Won’t Work

(This commentary appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s ‘Atlanta Forward’ of March 7, 2013) By Benita M. Dodd If at first you don’t succeed try, try again, goes the saying. Watching environmental groups eroding sound energy policy through death by a thousand cuts is a strong reminder. For years, alternative energy was promoted as preparation for “peak” oil. Domestic energy exploration was hindered to “protect the land.” Air and water pollution were cited to demonize coal. Then global warming/climate change was the reason to reduce coal and petroleum use. Policy-makers concerned about national security were urged to achieve energy independence, with no regard for how global markets operate. In this, biofuel profiteers have been complicit and protectionist. State governments were pressed… View Article
Atlanta – Did you know that Georgia had the nation’s fourth-highest foreclosure rate in 2012? There were 105,610 foreclosure filings last year, or one for every 39 homes. Who’s to blame? Greedy bankers? Corrupt politicians? Ignorant homeowners? Find out from Randal O’Toole, author of, “American Nightmare: How Government Undermines the Dream of Homeownership,” at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast at 8.a.m. on Tuesday, February 19 at Cobb County’s Georgian Club.   The event, titled “American Dream, American Nightmare” is a not-to-be-missed explanation of the forces at play in the housing market in Georgia and in the nation, and how to rebuild the American Dream of homeownership. This event will cost $25 to attend. Register online by Friday,… View Article

State Property Leases Could Get a New Lease on Life

By Benita M. Dodd There are two constitutional amendments on the ballot in Georgia for voters to consider on November 6. To borrow a word revived in the American lexicon by Vice President Joe Biden, there has been much malarkey in the debate regarding Amendment No. 1, which would provide more public charter school options. Few voters, however, are even aware of Amendment No. 2, which would allow the state to enter multi-year property lease agreements. Georgia’s State Properties Commission, responsible for the inventory of all owned or leased state government facilities and property, has a database of 1,800 leases, 15,000 buildings and 1.1 million acres. The Commission says a longstanding interpretation of the Georgia Constitution limits the state to… View Article

Banking on Land Banks is Banking on Trouble

By Benita M. Dodd The new Georgia Land Bank Act expands local governments’ abilities to create a land bank, an organization with sweeping authority to acquire and dispose of vacant, abandoned or delinquent properties. But communities that race to embrace this unfortunate move will see it come back to haunt, not help, them. It sounds like a good idea at first: Get rid of the vacant properties and abandoned homes that attract crime and impact surrounding property values. The housing crisis has hit Georgia extraordinarily hard and many property owners find themselves unemployed and unable to meet tax and mortgage obligations. Citing “an overriding public need to confront the problems,” the law empowers local governments to join forces or act… View Article

Biofuels, Ethanol Give Food for Thought

By Harold Brown A lawsuit filed this week against the federal Environmental Protection Agency accuses the agency of penalizing refiners for failing to meet “unattainable and absurd” cellulosic biofuels quotas outlined in EPA’s renewable fuels standard. The EPA mandates the purchase of biofuels formulated in part from biological materials including switchgrass, wood chips and agricultural waste. But the oil and gas industry trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, argues that the quotas set an unrealistic goal because no such cellulosic biofuels are produced on a commercial scale in the nation. Refiners unable to meet the cellulosic biofuels mandate represent just the tip of the iceberg. Biofuels, mainly ethanol, are booming in the 21st century. They crept over from the 20th… View Article

Don’t Hide Energy Innovation Under a Bushel

By Benita Dodd It’s easy being green these days for environmental activists – green with envy. The darnedest thing has happened in the energy arena, something that this Foundation frequently cites in opposing heavyhanded government mandates and regulation. It’s the innovativeness of Americans. Not that it’s slowing activists’ efforts to rein in innovation. A long time ago, Americans faced predictions that oil was running low. “Peak oil” hasn’t happened, thanks to innovation. Vehicles became more fuel-efficient, going farther on less, and businesses and appliances got more energy efficient even as their numbers increased. Improving technology enabled oil producers to locate and extract more resources. So “global warming” became the reason to push for “renewable” energy such as wind, solar, biomass… View Article

EPA’s Coal Wars Could Sink America’s Economy

By James H. Rust While campaigning in San Francisco during the Democratic Party primaries in January 2008, presidential candidate Obama told The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” Once elected, President Obama tried to keep his promise through the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill, which narrowly passed the House 219-212. Its cap-and-trade provision on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would put a price on CO2 emissions and gradually reduce emissions allowed until they reach 17 percent of the … View Article

Pipeline from Canada Trickles Down to Georgia

By Benita M. Dodd Choosing between energy independence and energy security is like choosing between cherry pie and pie-in-the-sky: Only one is real. A 1,700-mile planned oil pipeline from Canada to Texas could bring security to this nation’s oil supply, but environmental activists and (more recently) “Occupy” types pushing for pie-in-the-sky independence from fossil fuel energy are doing everything they can to deny Americans energy security. The $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline would carry more than a half-million barrels of oil a day from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, across several U.S. states to U.S. refineries in the Gulf.  It holds enormous promise for the United States, which imports about half of its oil. First, the Canadian-financed pipeline assures… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd The federal Environmental Protection Agency was in Atlanta on May 26 to hold a daylong hearing – one of just three nationwide – on its proposed Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations for utilities. The passionate – if sometimes misguided – comments came from representatives of utilities, power plant neighbors, Native Americans, environmental activists, grassroots groups and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. The Foundation’s comments focused on three aspects of the proposed MACT rules: The cost to industry and consumers in Georgia The time frame, both in the limited opportunity for analysis of the 945 pages of regulations and in the compliance deadline The basis for the EPA’s tougher regulations. The cost to industry and consumers: View Article

Name one other organization in the state that does what the Foundation does. You can’t.

Independent survey of Georgia business leaders on the Foundation. more quotes