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  • Commentary posted September 29, 2014 by Katie Tubb, Jack Spencer Green Energy and Red Tape

    Nuclear reactors are designed to withstand severe weather, earthquakes, even airplane crashes. But how much more handling from the federal government they can endure remains to be seen. Almost since the inception of the American commercial nuclear industry, presidents and politicians have taken a special interest in it. We would all be better off if they wouldn’t.…

  • Backgrounder posted March 25, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Jack Spencer, Luke Coffey, Nicolas Loris Beyond the Crimea Crisis: Comprehensive Next Steps in U.S.–Russian Relations

    After three months of mass street demonstrations, the Ukrainian people succeeded in ousting their corrupt and incompetent president, the Kremlin-backed Viktor Yanukovych. On February 22, the Ukrainian parliament acted in favor of the people it represents by granting amnesty to all political prisoners, bringing back the constitution of 2004 (which reduces the powers of the…

  • Issue Brief posted March 13, 2014 by Nicolas Loris, Jack Spencer Free Ukraine by Freeing Energy Markets

    Whether military, diplomatic, economic, or otherwise, the U.S. government has an array of policy options to bring to bear in response to Russia’s unacceptable aggression against Ukraine. However, one must not discount the impact that free markets and free trade can ultimately have on the situation. Much of Russia’s power in the region is the result of its control over…

  • Special Report posted October 24, 2013 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., David Inserra, Jonathan Lesser, Ph.D., Matt A. Mayer, Brian Slattery, Jack Spencer, Katie Tubb After Hurricane Sandy: Time to Learn and Implement the Lessons in Preparedness, Response, and Resilience

    Sandy Makes Landfall Hurricane Sandy lived up to expectations in October 2012, delivering a powerful punch with heavy rains, strong winds, and significant storm surges. After taking 69 lives in the Caribbean, Sandy hit the eastern United States, where it claimed 72 more lives.[1] Coastal communities in the Mid-Atlantic were among the hardest hit by the storm. Flooding…

  • Commentary posted June 7, 2013 by Jack Spencer Feds Fail on Nuclear Waste

    The federal government assumed responsibility for nuclear-waste management more than 30 years ago. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 created an ostensibly simple system: Nuclear utilities would pay the U.S. Treasury a fee, collected from their customers, to cover the costs, and the government would see to it that the waste was taken care of. The act and its amendments…

  • Issue Brief posted May 29, 2013 by Jack Spencer Virginia Uranium Mining: Draft Regulations Now, Lift Moratorium Later

    Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) has consistently spoken about making his state the energy capital of the east coast. And indeed, Virginia has the potential to be exactly that with oil and gas resources on and off its shores and significant coal deposits in the state’s southwest. It also has the largest uranium deposit in the nation located on private property in the…

  • Commentary posted April 22, 2013 by Jack Spencer Nothing Says Earth Day like a Nuclear Reactor

    Earth Day — celebrated by few, propagandized by many. The late Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the event in 1970 out of “concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air.” Back then, Earth Day was widely observed by participating in environmental clean-up projects — clearing streams of trash and debris, planting trees and so on. Unfortunately, that…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Baker Spring, Jack Spencer Mixed Oxide Fuel Facility in South Carolina Needs Congress’s Support

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is constructing a facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to produce mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which consists of uranium oxide and plutonium oxide, for use in nuclear power reactors. This building project follows from a 2000 agreement with Russia to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons plutonium by each country. The DOE…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Nicolas Loris, Jack Spencer, Katie Tubb 10 Questions for DOE Nominee Ernest Moniz

    Dr. Ernest Moniz, if confirmed by the Senate as next Secretary of Energy, will be taking over a Department wrought with controversy from the past four years. During a time when energy development should be driving the economy forward, pernicious subsidy policies, missing leadership on nuclear waste disposal, and unnecessary limits on conventional fuel development on…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Nicolas Loris, Jack Spencer, Katie Tubb Ernest Moniz: In His Own Words

    The President and his first-term Administration have encumbered American energy policy with subsidies, mandates, and micromanagement. Energy Secretary nominee Dr. Ernest Moniz seems to offer a seamless continuation of this approach by advocating a policy that dictates or manipulates the production, use, and path of energy in America from Washington. While energy policy is…

  • Issue Brief posted March 28, 2013 by Jack Spencer Nuclear Waste Management: Minimum Requirements for Reforms and Legislation

    Senator Ron Wyden (D–OR), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is expected to put forth a bill to reform nuclear waste management in the U.S. According to media reports, the bill under consideration maintains the same basic structure of America’s current, failed system for waste management.[1] While such a bill might meet some near-term…

  • Backgrounder posted March 21, 2013 by Jack Spencer U.S.–South Korea Nuclear Cooperation: Agreeing on Commercial and Nonproliferation Goals

    The agreement between the United States government and the Republic of Korea (ROK) that allows commercial nuclear trade between the countries, referred to as a “123 agreement” since it is required by Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act[1] expires in March 2014.[2] To avoid any lapses, the Obama Administration must conclude negotiations by spring 2013. This will allow the…

  • Issue Brief posted March 20, 2013 by Jack Spencer Seven Reasons Loan Guarantees Are Bad Policy

    Advocates of loan guarantees claim that this subsidy is a success when the recipient company remains in business. This is a superficial and misleading way to view loan guarantees. Indeed, loan guarantees are among the most pernicious ways that governments distort markets and harm American families and businesses alike. Here are seven reasons why. 1. Loan Guarantees Deny…

  • Backgrounder posted January 22, 2013 by Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb, Jack Spencer How to Keep Promises to Expand Energy Production and Create American Jobs

    One of President Barack Obama’s central promises during the presidential campaign was to produce more American jobs by expanding energy production. The problem is that the energy policy that he pursued during his first term is having the exact opposite effect. With one hand, President Obama used delaying tactics, restrictions, and regulations to limit some resources,…

  • Backgrounder posted January 14, 2013 by Romina Boccia, Jack Spencer, Robert Gordon Environmental Conservation Based on Individual Liberty and Economic Freedom

    The nation's primary environmental goal should be a cleaner, healthier, and safer environment for current and future generations, as well as conservation of America's resources while protecting people and their liberty. Regrettably, America's current environmental policy does not reflect these ideals. Indeed, America's governing environmental laws—like the Clean Air Act,…