The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

The market was supposed to save the planet. That, at least, was the argument of many economists grappling with the problem of climate change. As fossil fuels became scarcer, they pointed out, the price of oil and natural gas would go up. And then other options, like...
A Fossil-Fueled Fantasy

A Fossil-Fueled Fantasy

Newfangled carbon-capture power plants supposedly burn coal without poisoning the planet. They don’t. Extracting coal from the ground and disposing of its toxic byproducts makes a dirty mess no matter how it’s burned. But this “clean coal” ruse is conjuring up...
We’re Not Broke

We’re Not Broke

An overhaul of U.S. spending priorities is both long overdue and necessary to curb deficit growth. Yet there is no reason to accept the demands from conservative leaders and corporate lobbyists for the ill-timed belt-tightening and reductions in earned benefits like...
Rebuilding Resilience

Rebuilding Resilience

Our nation is recovering from a natural disaster. Again. This time it’s Sandy. A few months ago, it was the drought. Last year, there was Irene. A few years before that, Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston, Texas. In 2005, we endured Rita, Wilma, and Katrina....
Fracking Liars

Fracking Liars

As they drill for quick corporate profits deep inside our Earth, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, and other titans of the natural gas hydraulic fracturing industry are harming people’s health, the environment, and local economies across the country. They’re also...
Avoiding a 21st-Century Dust Bowl

Avoiding a 21st-Century Dust Bowl

Mother Nature found a cruel way to demonstrate the difference between political rhetoric and reality when this summer’s record-breaking drought coincided with the writing of a new U.S. Farm Bill. The House Agriculture Committee’s draft 2012 Farm Bill will...
We Can’t Afford Energy Subsidies and Tax Breaks

We Can’t Afford Energy Subsidies and Tax Breaks

Last year, the top six U.S. oil companies made $148.7 billion in profits. That works out to about $407 million a day, $17 million an hour, or $283,000 per minute. At that pace, in roughly the amount of time it will take to read this commentary, just these six oil...
America Is Not Broke

America Is Not Broke

A misplaced obsession with our national debt and austerity has overtaken the national debate on the economy, with a resounding call to slash government spending to balance the budget. Some lawmakers are asserting that the country is broke, that we must tighten our...
Big Oil’s Free Ride

Big Oil’s Free Ride

Over Memorial Day weekend, tens of millions of Americans will take road trips, emptying their wallets at the pump. The oil industry hardly needs the boost this year. Just in the first quarter of 2011, oil companies posted billions of dollars in profits. They’re...
Nuclear Power Rips off Taxpayers

Nuclear Power Rips off Taxpayers

We have all watched the nuclear emergency that followed Japan’s tragic earthquake and tsunami with fear and sympathy for those in the surrounding community and admiration for the brave crews working to reduce the harm and risks of radiation exposure. Meanwhile,...

Out-of-Whack Budget Whackers

Let’s play a game called “Washington Budget Whackers Go Wacky”! Unfortunately, though, it’s not a game. Ax-wielding Republicans and Democrats alike are madly whacking at our nation’s public programs in a political contest to show which of...

SOTU: Parsing Obama’s ‘Clean Energy’ Promises

Tellingly, President Barack Obama didn’t utter the two words “climate change” once in his State of the Union speech. He did, however, mention “clean energy” several times. Read these sentences carefully: “So tonight, I challenge you...

Food and Trade: Dialogue

FPIF asked Anuradha Mittal of the Oakland Institute and Gawain Kripke of Oxfam whether international trade is good for agriculture or not. In her essay, Mittal argues that free trade is hazardous to farmers and farming. In his essay, Kripke sees a role for trade in...