Planet Gore

Beyond Global Warming

Believe it or not there are environmental policy issues being debated, discussed and legislated beyond global warming.  I’m as guilty as the next policy wonk of ignoring these issues what with the all consuming media and policy attention paid to global warming, but other issues do have resonance (from a media perspective) and, arguably, more immediate  affects on peoples lives (in the short-term) than global warming and possible climate change legislation. 

 For instance, an intern here at the NCPA and I wrote a little piece on legislation being proposed to raise the federal gas tax five cents per gallon to pay for bridge maintenance and repair. 
The problem of decrepit bridges is not, of course, new, but the collapse in Minnesota brought it to the national media’s attention, where, for a short-time, they worried it like a dog with a bone.  While the media spotlight has faded, the legislation to “fix” the problem is still under consideration.  Based on the reception our article and the longer piece published by the NCPA is receiving, this issue has some importance or at least the media thinks that the public will care — a view I share. 
While I share, with some of my colleagues the view that most road services should be privatized, as long as there is a gas tax, I think it should be spent on just that: roads and bridges.  Let hiker’s, museum goers, and mass transit users pay their own way rather than being subsidized by drivers.  40 percent of the current gas tax goes to projects other than road and bridge construction, maintenance and repair.  If this money were redirected to the original intended purpose, there would be no need for any gas tax increase.
Another policy that is about to take front and center in the countries cities and towns is proposal by the EPA to make the nation’s Ozone standards more stringent.  As Joel Schwartz and I argue in a recent piece the proposed standards are lower than background levels of Ozone absent any human habitation or influence in some areas.  As a result, cities and regions could quite possibly bankrupt themselves attempting to meet the standard (and still fail).  Even the EPA acknowledges that for some areas, meeting the proposed standard will require an as yet unforeseen technological breakthrough. 
Though the time for public comment on the ozone proposal has now passed, the issue still bears paying attention too. 

H. Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education institute in Dallas, Texas. While he works ...

Most Popular

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More