Green No deal

“The Green New Deal wasn’t originally a climate thing at all…we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” – Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti. “As President, Bernie Sanders will launch the decade of the Green New Deal, a ten-year, nationwide mobilization centered around justice and equity during which climate change will be factored into virtually every area of policy, from immigration to trade to foreign policy and beyond.” – Berniesanders.com Here we are many months after the idea of the Green New Deal was forwarded. Initially thought…

Inside the bubble

Do you live in a bubble? Probably not, but it did get me thinking more seriously about the whole “bubble” concept. I remember a Saturday Night Live skit about progressives living in the Bubble now that Trump is president. It begins with a hippie looking guy saying, “What if there was a place where the unthinkable didn’t happen and life could continue for progressive Americans as before?” The skit goes on to describe this new Bubble as a “planned community of like-minded free thinkers…and no one else. If you’re an…

Expensive EPA measures will do little to reduce Southwest haze

By Matthew Anderson Last month the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only partially accepted Utah’s regional plan for reducing haze in the Southwest’s national parks. Deeming the state’s plan insufficient, the EPA plans to impose its own measures aimed at reducing nitrogen oxide emitted from Utah’s coal plants. “We are disappointed with the decision,” said Bryce Bird, director of the Utah Division of Air Quality, “because the Utah plan relied on sound science and common sense, improving visibility at a reasonable cost to Utah ratepayers.” Bird is right. Not only does…

Let’s hear it for Terry Tempest Williams; or, Putting your money where your mouth is

My skepticism about Global Warming (or whatever it is this month) runs deeper than the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling. I am likewise skeptical of the capacity of “renewable” energy to make any serious contribution to the world’s energy requirements over the next, oh, say 100 years. Finally, I am a dedicated believer in the Invisible Hand and the need to remove the government’s regulatory cuffs from it. That said, one might expect me to decry the action of eco-activist Terry Tempest Williams and her husband for their purchase of leases…

Obama coal freeze would leave western states gasping

  President Barack Obama’s War on Coal ramped up another notch last month as the administration announced a three-year freeze on all new coal leases on federal lands. The decision came just three days after the State of the Union address, where Obama said he would “push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.” Roughly 40 percent of all coal production in the United States comes from federal lands. The vast majority…

Bravo for Supreme Court’s stay on EPA power grab

In a surprising 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court abruptly halted President Obama’s controversial power plant regulations, dealing a blow to the Clean Power Plan. The court’s order states that the EPA’s carbon pollution emission guidelines are to be put on hold pending a decision from a federal court of appeals. It is rare for the Supreme Court to intervene in a pending case, indicating that most of the justices have concerns over the plan’s legality. This temporary freeze suggests there is a “fair prospect” the court will strike down the…

Air quality bills of the 2016 Utah Legislature

A recurring theme every Utah legislative session is air quality. The session usually ends up running around the same time as an inversion along the Wasatch Front making the issue front and center in everyone’s mind. Here’s a quick roundup of the legislation attempting to do more about it.   HB87: Clean Fuel Conversion Amendments Sponsor: Rep. Stephen Handy This bill extended credits for energy efficient vehicles, but it also goes further in creating a new fund for converting existing vehicles to using cleaner fuel sources. This fund will start…