In recent years, Texas has become the nation’s leader in wind energy. In 2014, wind farms in the Lone Star State had the capacity to produce more than 12,000 megawatts of electricity, …
The collapse of crude oil prices in 2014 was a big surprise, but popular explanations quickly circulated. Most attributed the collapse to changes in supply and/or demand. It is true that a …
Coal is abundant, reliable and affordable, and states that use it to generate at least half of their electricity pay up to 30 percent less for energy than states that depend on other energy sources.
Rare earths are 17 elements in the Earth’s crust used in a variety of applications, from hybrid cars and x-ray units to cell phones and wind turbines. When it comes to little-known resources, rare earths are probably the world’s most important — they are small but necessary components of a vast range of consumer goods that account for hundreds of billions of dollars in gross domestic product.
Nuclear energy promised to generate low-cost electricity safely, with fewer environmental and health problems from air and water pollution than fossil-fueled power plants. For a number of reasons, that promise has not been fulfilled.
Earth’s climate has changed many times throughout its history. During the last century and a half, average temperatures have risen modestly, though the warming trend has stalled for the past 16 years. Contrary to popular belief, climate change thus far has had positive effects, and the net benefits of warming are likely to be positive for the foreseeable future.
Crude oil prices are hovering around $100 per barrel, and the United States is producing oil at a rate not seen since the Alaska pipeline began flowing in the 1970s. At the same time, the growth of natural gas reserves is unprecedented. Just a few short years ago, many analysts argued that oil was nearly tapped out, and that America needed to plan for a post-petroleum future. Now, however, natural gas has taken the stage.
NCPA’s global warming primer presents a factual analysis of the state of the climate, the threats posed by global warming, and the implications and results of the possible responses to warming. Presented in a graphical format, the primer is useful for readers from middle school through adulthood who want to understand what scientists and economists know about the earth’s climate and what changes might mean.
Traffic congestion is a growing problem in many metropolitan areas. Congestion increases travel time, air pollution, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel use because cars cannot run efficiently. The number of hours Americans waste sitting in traffic more than quintupled between 1982 and 2005, according to the Texas Transportation Institute.
Grocers and other retailers nationwide pack consumers’ purchases in plastic bags. However, a growing number of jurisdictions — including Los Angeles county, and cities such as Austin and Seattle — have banned the use of thin-film plastic bags. Other local governments, such as the Washington, D.C., city council, have implemented a per-bag tax.
In 1991 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instituted a nationwide ban on the use of lead shot to hunt waterfowl due to studies that suggested ducks and geese often mistake the small pellets for food, resulting in lead poisoning.
Rare earth elements are used in everyday products: smart phones, hard disc drives, flat-screen televisions and advanced batteries. They are essential to such ‘green’ technologies as wind turbines, compact fluorescent lights and hybrid cars. In today’s world, which emphasizes cutting-edge and environmentally-friendly technologies, rare earths are everywhere.
The main problem with rail transit is that, compared with driving, transit is slow, inconvenient and expensive. Although some rail lines may bypass congested roads, most people do not live and work right next to rail stations or transit stops, meaning door-to-door travel time for transit tends to be far longer than for driving.
The United States can create jobs, reduce reliance on foreign imports and improve national security by encouraging the domestic exploration and production of rare earth elements currently imported from other countries. While supplies of rare earths may not improve for several years, steps should be taken now to develop domestic mining and current policies should be changed to allow this growth.
Environmentalists have long cited the harms caused by fossil fuels as evidence of the need to move to green energy sources, such as wind and solar power. Recently, some conservatives have joined their cause. Citing national security, those concerned about the United States’ freedom to act in its geopolitical interest have begun to embrace renewable energy as a means of reducing America’s reliance on foreign oil.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to expand its reach, creating a host of new regulations at a high cost to the economy. This is especially true of two new EPA initiatives: a proposed revision to the national ground-level ozone standard and the attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
There is general agreement the financial crisis that began with the failure of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, was worsened by the bursting of the U.S. housing price bubble. It is also generally acknowledged that some of the fuel for the housing bubble came from a relaxation of mortgage loan standards that allowed many families to purchase homes they could not afford with loans on which they subsequently defaulted.
The production of electricity from renewable energy technologies is growing much faster than the electric power supply as a whole, and solar power is among the fastest growing segments of the renewable energy market. Public policy concerns and economics are driving this growth. Some analysts and politicians believe that increasing solar power use will enhance U.S. national security by reducing dependence on imported energy — primarily oil from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia.
Today, the production, delivery and use of electric power are undergoing revolutionary changes not seen since the era of Thomas Edison. These developments promise to be as profound as those that transformed the 1960s-era standard black rotary-dial telephone into today’s broadband-access mobile phone.
With the price of oil more than $100 per barrel, higher gasoline prices are eating into Americans’ budgets. Consumers, however, are not the only ones losing out. Due to declining production at existing wells and bureaucratic delays on new wells in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout in 2010, the federal government is forfeiting revenues of more than $4.7 million per day.
Environmentalists have long cited the environmental harms caused by fossil fuels as evidence of the need to move to green sources of energy such as wind and solar power. Recently, some conservatives have joined their cause. Citing national security, those concerned about the United States’ freedom to act in its geopolitical interest have begun to embrace renewable energy as a means of reducing America’s reliance on foreign oil.
The Obama administration recently appointed a negotiator to work with the United Nations on a treaty to regulate international trade in small arms. The ostensible goal is to staunch the flow of illegal weapons to drug cartels, terrorists and guerillas.
Genetically modified grains, fruits and vegetables have become ubiquitous on U.S. farms and in supermarkets. Biotechnology investments initially focused on modifications that would be profitable relatively quickly, such as inserting genes in plant genomes to produce pest-resistant, faster growing or more productive food crops.
Traffic congestion is a growing problem in many metropolitan areas. Congestion increases travel time, air pollution, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel use because cars cannot run efficiently.
Like many U.S. presidents, George W. Bush thought exporting democracy to developing countries was more important than exporting capitalism. Both capitalism and democracy improve a society's quality of life, measured by such things as infant mortality and literacy.