Congressional oversight of executive branch agencies is a key element of the checks and balances that prevent accumulation of too much power, as well as abuse of that power, in any one part of government. A review of two recent congressional oversight endeavors now being stymied by the Obama Administration underscores the often-overlooked importance of the oversight process. In both cases, lives are at stake.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Justin Danhof, director of the Free Enterprise Project (FEP) at the National Center for Public Policy Research, joins host H. Sterling Burnett to talk about FEP’s attempt to fight back against anti-capitist shareholder resolutions.
April 26 is World Intellectual Property (IP) Day: “We celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.”
Does fracking cause housing prices to fall? The answer to that question is more difficult that it might seem. Many anti-fracking activists have claimed oil and natural gas development has led to substantial decreases in property values in areas where drilling occurs, but other places, such as North Dakota, saw property values skyrocket during the boom in oil production.
A new study published in Environment International indicates hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking,” and the heavy truck traffic that is associated with it would have a negligible impact on air quality if fracking were to be used extensively in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, the authors of the study appear to be a little disappointed with their findings, which may be why they decided to emphasize maximum exposure in a shorter timeframe in their study, rather than exposures over more realistic scenarios.
The mining of sand used for hydraulic fracking has become a controversial issue in communities throughout Western Wisconsin. While many discussions examine the environmental and economic impacts of industrial sand mining, a new paper by an anthropology professor from the University of Wisconsin-Stout attempts to take stock of the social impacts of mining. This paper investigates a phenomenon called “loss of place,” which refers to an emotion people have when they lose a sense of their own identity due to changing physical or societal landscapes.
Anti-fracking activists have pointed the finger at fracking for the dramatic rise in earthquakes in Oklahoma over the last several years, however a new video featuring Dr. Mark Zoback, a professor of geophysics at Stanford University, explains fracking is not to blame for the quakes.
Last November, I discussed a Yale research finding that smoking increased significantly among teens aged 12-17 in states that banned e-cigarette sales to minors compared with states with no bans (here). Now this from researchers at Cornell University: “We document a concerning trend of cigarette smoking among adolescents increasing when [e-cigarettes] become more difficult to purchase.”
Researchers have found that some buyers are willing to pay for environmentally friendly products because those products are “status symbols.” A report in the Atlantic states: “Environmentally-friendly behaviors typically go unseen; there’s no public glory in shortened showers or diligent recycling. But when people can use their behavior to broadcast their own goodness, their incentives shift. The people who buy Priuses and solar panels still probably care about the environment—it’s just that researchers have found that a portion of their motivation might come from a place of self-promotion, much like community service does good and fits on a résumé.”
John Nothdurft returns to the podcast, joining Donny Kendal for episode #29 of the In The Tank Podcast. This weekly podcast features (as always) interviews, debates, roundtable discussions, stories, and light-hearted segments on a variety of topics on the latest news. The show is available for download as part of the Heartland Daily Podcast every Friday. Today’s podcast features work from R Street, the Cascade Policy Institute, and the James Madison Institute.
Sociologist Robert Brulle’s recent Washington Post op-ed “America Has Been Duped on Climate Change” (1/6/15) is reminiscent of President Barack Obama’s petulant response to anyone who disagrees with him concerning the legality and effectiveness of new gun control regulations. Obama can’t imagine any person legitimately questioning whether the federal government has the constitutional authority to restrict an American’s right to keep and bear arms, despite the plain language presented in the Second Amendment.
If you own a business—maybe a taco stand, a dress shop, or an insurance agency—you know it takes a lot of hard work, good market analysis, a better product or service than your competition, and advertising. Add in a bit of luck, and you hope to grow your business—though vacant storefronts and boarded up buildings in towns and cities across America show that isn’t always enough. Each going-out-of-business sale represents the death of someone’s dream.
A growing number of people have begun to appreciate the damage done to small business and innovators by so called “patent trolls.” Some of the arguments about those who take advantage of the patent system have been conjecture, some no more than name calling, but much has been well grounded with empirical studies. A recent literature review of all the studies has brought into a clear bright light the damage of the marauding trolls.
Losing the climate science battle, climate alarmists want government to silence skeptics. They haven’t employed the thumb screws, rack or auto-da-fe that churches and states once used to interrogate, silence and eliminate heretics and witches. However, global warming alarmists are well practiced in the modern equivalents, to protect their $1.5-trillion Climate Crisis Industry.
A recently released study claiming to have found a statistical association between hydraulic fracturing and hospitalization rates in Pennsylvania has been popular in the news. However, just about every aspect of this study is problematic, rendering it to the realm of speculation, not science.
Government ought to rely on unbiased scientific findings when making policy decisions regarding important issues. But unfortunately, many government agencies undermine the scientific process by using it for their own purposes rather than to discover the truth, a reality President Dwight Eisenhower pointed out in his farewell address more than a half-century ago. The situation has only become worse since then, with government funding of tobacco studies providing a vivid example.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, we join the Managing Editor of Budget & Tax News, Jesse Hathaway as he speaks with Dr. Brad Rodu. Rodu is a Senior Fellow for The Heartland Institute as well as a researcher for the University of Louisville. Rodu and Hathaway discuss the FDA’s missing data regarding tobacco harm reductions.
Marching under the banner of “transparency,” there is a growing movement in the U.S. to limit truly free speech. The movement claims to be attacking “dark money,” but the reality is that its adherents want to shut up its ideological opponents. Independent expressions of support or opposition for candidates or political issues are marginalized by irrelevant questions about funding sources. Honest research and well-formulated arguments are denounced as “biased” or “untrustworthy” because of who the donors are rather than based on the merits of the arguments presented.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Managing Editor of Enivironment and Climate News H. Sterling Burnett talks with J. Scott Armstrong. Armstrong is a professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Scott is a founder of the Journal of Forecasting, International Journal of Forecasting, and International Symposium on Forecasting. In this episode, Burnett and Armstrong discuss the principles of forecasting.
There has been no measurable global warming for 18 years. The majority of polar bear populations are stable or growing; hurricane landfalls have been virtually nonexistent in the United States for a decade; cold temperature and snowfall records are being set daily (more than 2,600 cold temperature records were set or broken between February 19 and February 25 of this year alone); Antarctica is setting sea ice records in the middle of its summer; and in the Arctic, the much ballyhooed sea ice decline of the late 1990 and early 2000s has recovered over the past two years.