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OpenMarket: Lands and Wildlife

  • Rare Earths -- Not So Rare?

    October 28, 2010
    What do yttrium, ytterbium, erbium and terbium have in common?  They are rare earth elements first found in the Swedish town of Ytterby between 1828 and 1878 and named after that town in the periodic table. These are just a few interesting facts about rare earths in the "Trade Fact of the Day" from the Democratic Leadership Council. There's been a lot of talk lately about rare earths, even from people who can't pronounce their names, in relation to China's purported monopoly of these elements, used for a wide variety of technological applications such as digital communications, hard drives, solar panels, and motors for hybrid vehicles. There's also some fear that China may reduce its exports of rare earths to show its displeasure with some countries. It turns out that rare earths aren't really...
  • Global Food Crisis Forecast; Aggravated by Biofuels and Global Warming Legislation

    October 26, 2010
    A global food crisis is "forecast as prices reach record highs."  "Rising food prices and shortages could cause instability in many countries as the cost of staple foods and vegetables reached their highest levels in two years."  "Global wheat and maize prices recently jumped nearly 30% in a few weeks while meat prices are at 20-year highs." "Meanwhile, the price of tomatoes in Egypt, garlic in China and bread in Pakistan are at near-record levels." Drought is one factor in the price spikes.  Biofuels and ethanol subsidies and mandates are another major factor.  According to the UN, "large-scale land acquisitions by foreign investors for biofuels...
  • Malthusian Indoctrination of Children Funded with Your Tax Dollars

    October 20, 2010
    Many people are familiar with Annie Leonard, creator of "The Story of Stuff," a factually inaccurate viral video being shown in classrooms throughout America. In the video, Leonard argues that we are running out of resources, using too much stuff, destroying the planet and anti-capitalist values are the solution to the problem. It is bad enough that "Green Journalists" push Leonard's falsehoods, and some teachers think her work has educational value, but now I just learned that your tax dollars are funding Annie's latest project. Loop Scoops is a new kids program on PBS where Annie is the content director. The cartoon is geared to children 6 to 9 years of age where they...
  • Salute to Capitalism -- And the Miners' Rescue

    October 14, 2010
    "Capitalism saved the miners" is the provocative title of Daniel Henninger's article in today's Wall Street Journal. And he makes his case quite clearly.  Henninger takes issue with the current attacks on capitalism, most notably President Obama's sneers at greedy, selfish profit-making businesses. Henninger points to what saved the miners:
    If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men? Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit. This is the miracle bit that drilled down to the trapped miners. Center Rock Inc. is a private company in Berlin, Pa. It has 74 employees. The drill's rig...
  • Moratorium Lifted, But Drilling Still Blocked

    October 13, 2010
    With much fanfare, the Obama administration has lifted its moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. But don’t expect much actual drilling any time soon, thanks to all of the administration’s other red tape strangling domestic oil and natural gas production. Even before the April 20th Deepwater Horizon spill, the Obama administration had clamped down on new leasing on federally controlled offshore and onshore areas. In fact, 2009 saw less oil and gas leasing than in any year under Bush or Clinton, and 2010 was on track to be no better. Nonetheless, the Obama administration Department of the Interior used the spill as an excuse to crack down further by imposing a six-month moratorium, until November 30th, on issuing any new deepwater drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico....
  • Obama Administration Slowed Response to BP Oil Spill By Keeping Public In the Dark

    October 8, 2010
    The Obama administration initially downplayed the seriousness of the Gulf oil spill, "slowing response efforts and keeping the American people in the dark for weeks about the size of the disaster, according to preliminary reports from the presidential commission investigating the accident." The government also used red-tape to slow the response to the BP oil spill and thwart foreign offers of assistance. Then, when the seriousness of the oil spill became impossible to downplay, the Obama administration tried to use it to...
  • CEI Podcast - September 23, 2010: The Frankenfish Myth

    September 23, 2010
    CEI Senior Fellow Greg Conko, author of The Frankenfood Myth, talks about the promise and imagined peril of genetically modified salmon.
  • GOP "Pledge to America" Includes Constructive Reg Reform

    September 23, 2010
    The House Republican "Pledge to America" unveiled today has been criticized by RedState's Erick Erickson and other center-right pundits  for a  lack of specifics. This is true in some areas, as is true for most campaign documents. But the pledge does contain one specific step that would go a long way toward reining in the regulatory state and restoring constitutional, accountable government. It is along the lines of recommendations CEI has made in our publications such as biannual the "Agenda for Congress" and annual "Ten Thousand Commandments" by CEI Vice President Wayne...
  • Kiss Your Ash Goodbye -- Regulating Coal Combustion Byproducts As Hazardous Is An Unnecessary Job Killer

    September 8, 2010
    The Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to regulate carbon dioxide as an air pollutant is currently garnering most of the attention from the agency’s critics, but it is far from the only problematic EPA regulation in the works. Another proposal that also deserves strong opposition is the agency’s attempt to label coal combustion byproducts (CCBs) as hazardous waste. Doing so is not only environmentally unnecessary but downright counterproductive, and would raise energy costs and kill jobs to boot. Like several other Obama administration regulations, this extreme proposal goes well beyond anything contemplated under Bush or under Clinton. In fact, it was the Clinton administration EPA that concluded in 2000 that CCBs, chiefly the fly ash from burning coal to produce electricity, should be categorized as non-hazardous and handled in a manner not unlike municipal solid waste....
  • Unemployment Jumps to 9.6%, 54,000 More Jobs Lost

    September 3, 2010
    Unemployment went back up to 9.6%, as the nation shed 54,000 jobs in August.  Yet Obama calls this "Recovery Summer."  This is the same Obama who complained about the economic recovery in 2004 being jobless because unemployment was at 6 percent.  If you include discouraged workers, unemployment may be as high as 17 percent. Earlier, governors warned that ObamaCare will...

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