Environment

Critical Minerals: Rare Earths and the U.S. Economy

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 ear…

The Potential of Thorium for Safer, Cleaner and Cheaper Energy

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, tha…

Economics of the 2014-2015 DebateTopic: Developing Ocean Resources

“Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth’s oceans.”

The Growing Benefits of a Warmer World

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.…

Do Bans on Plastic Grocery Bags Save Cities Money?

Consumers choose plastic bags far more often than paper or reusable bags to carry their purchases. Compared to paper and reusable bags, plastic bags are lightweight, strong, flexible and moisture resi…

Can We Put a Price on Nature?

Nature provides a variety of services to mankind. Forests and wetlands, for example, filter pollutants, cleaning the water. Weathering, microbes, and various plants and insects create and enrich the s…

How Fracking Helps Meet America’s Energy Needs

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 na…

The Global Environmental Facility: A Dismal Failure

The United States has financed several global initiatives to benefit the environment. One of these efforts is the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).[i] The GEF funds international projects to preser…