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OpenMarket: Lands and Wildlife

  • Remembering Elinor Ostrom

    June 12, 2012
    Among the individuals with whom I wish I could have greater opportunities to exchange ideas is Elinor Ostrom. She passed away today, and now I must pursue that conversation indirectly -- via her writings, her colleagues, and my recollections of those few conversations I did have the opportunity to enjoy.
  • Give a Man a Fish

    May 18, 2012
    Those with an interest in conserving our oceans’ fish stocks and those with an interest in promoting private property should both be interested in my latest short study at CEI, "Give a Man a Fish." Here’s the introduction:
    Some policy makers and environmental advocacy groups are beginning to realize that the solution lies not in further government regulation, but in investing fishermen with property rights. However, government bureaucrats are also attempting to utilize this insight to gain even more power over fisheries, threatening to derail the momentum toward a more rational allocation of ocean resources. That would be bad news for both fish populations and the people who depend on them for their livelihood. The oceans are an important source of food and income for people around the world. In 2007, proteins from fish...
  • The Remote Sensing Problem

    May 7, 2012
    Over at the Washington Post, in discussing the coming crisis in weathersats, the editorial board can't resist taking an ignorant dig at George W. Bush:
    The reasons for this outlook are many — some overspending on certain projects to the harm of others, costly congressional mandates that diverted resources, and a recent rocket accident. Even if those factors were ignored, says Dennis Hartman, the chair of the panel that produced the report, agency budgets would still be too low to keep the country’s earth observation system in reasonable shape. The NRC proposes restoring NASA’s earth observation satellite funding to the level seen in the late 1990s — before President George W. Bush reprogrammed money from those satellites into things such as...
  • When Commodities Analysts Should Stick To Commodities

    May 1, 2012
    Some analysts at Barclays attempt to understand the business case for Planetary Resources, and massively fail:
    Their calculations are based on Nasa’s forthcoming OSIRIS-REx mission, which aims to launch a probe in 2016 to pluck samples from an asteroid called 1999 RQ36 and bring them to Earth. The mission’s acronym stands for “Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith...
  • How to Fix U.S. Water Policy? Less Government, More Market Pricing

    April 18, 2012
    Late last week I received an invitation to testify in the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on H.R. 2664, "The Reauthorization of Water Desalination Act of 2011." We've posted the full 20-page testimony; my oral remarks before the committee appear below. The push for politically juiced desalination projects is a diversion from the actual problem; the absence of market pricing to allocate water scarcity.
    I am Wayne Crews, VP for Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and I thank the committee for this Tax Day invitation to speak on H.R...
  • Further Space Property Rights Responses

    April 9, 2012
    Since my previous post on media reaction to CEI's press briefing on Thursday, Popular Science has provided a good report as well. But in this post, I want to address co-speaker Jim Dunstan's critique of the concept, which he presented at the event, and is now available on line at TechFreedom. I should start by noting...
  • Regulation of the Day 199: How to Catch a Tuna

    November 21, 2011
    Authorities confiscated an otherwise legally caught bluefin tuna because it was caught with a net. The government intends to sell the fish and keep the money.
  • House Republicans' Shortsighted Proposal to Fund Roads through More Drilling

    November 16, 2011
    Recently, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have proposed opening up more federal land and offshore areas to natural resource extraction. Such a move would both increase domestic energy production and raise government revenues through royalty payments. During the current economic slump and resulting fiscal crunch, anything that can increase the quantity of energy supplied and reduce government deficits should be lauded. But what some Republican members of Congress propose to spend these revenues on is far from laudable. Led by House Speaker John Boehner, some in the Republican caucus wish to pour oil and natural gas lease revenues into the Highway Trust Fund, which has suffered from severe shortfalls for several years now. Right now, a six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal ("the...
  • Seven Billion People

    October 31, 2011
    Sometime today, the UN estimates that world population will hit 7 billion people. Some people are worried about how those 7 billion mouths will be fed.
  • White House Involved in FDA Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon?

    October 13, 2011
    A couple of days ago, Talking Points Memo's Jim Kozubek reported that the Food and Drug Administration had finally decided to approve AquaBounty's genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, and that the "evaluation is now under review at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget." I'd seen the TPM article, but didn't write about it at the time because premature reports of FDA being on the brink of approval have been filtering out through the media for several years now. (I filmed a TV interview for Fox News's “Your World With Neil Cavuto” way back in 2005, when it looked like an approval was right around the corner, for example. And I talked about it again on...

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