Colorado is Fracking Crazy

Photo by Donald Giannatti By Ian Nemelka Remember when the cost of a gallon of gas was teetering between $5 to $6 dollars a gallon in many regions of the United States? Well it is largely due to the increased use of hydraulic shale fracturing (fracking) that gasoline remains relatively cheap [...]

The Current State of Electric Vehicle Subsidies

Despite subsidies, for most consumers EVs remain less cost-effective than gasoline or gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles. However, declining battery prices and the promise of future innovation suggest that adoption rates may accelerate.

Pipelines, Rails, and Trucks

Access to cheap and reliable energy is vital to the continued growth of the U.S. economy. In today’s energy market, oil and gas are both relatively cheap and reliable energy sources. The efficient transportation of these products ensures that Americans are able to fuel their day-to-day lives. [...]

A Bird in the Hand

The greater sage-grouse, a wild bird that lives across the Western United States, has become one of the most controversial species in American history. Over the past few decades, a political movement has worked to place the greater sage-grouse under the protection of the Endangered Species Act [...]

Improving the Endangered Species Act

The federal government protects species on the brink of extinction through the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The law’s goal is to allow these species to recover so that federal protection is no longer needed, but few species have actually recovered. Congress and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife [...]

The Value of a Statistical Life: Economics and Politics

Government agencies design regulations that are meant to benefit Americans. However, each regulation also comes with costs. Ideally, agencies use benefit-cost analysis to decide whether a proposed regulation is worth the cost.

Endangered Species Act

The ESA is meant to preserve threatened and endangered species from extinction, but biases in funding, research, and public attention mean non-charismatic and lesser-known species are often overlooked. The ESA doesn’t consider the concerns of private landowners, and unintentionally incentivizes [...]

How Good Intentions Backfire

For several decades, federal policymakers have passed environmental laws to limit pollution, preserve environmental quality, and promote human health. Despite seemingly noble intentions, not all outcomes from these laws have been beneficial. The Institute of Political Economy (IPE) at Utah [...]

Water In Utah

Utah is one of the driest states in the country, yet it has one of the highest rates of water consumption. The Institute of Political Economy (IPE) at Utah State University examined the institutional, economic, and political barriers that prevent water from flowing to its most highly valued use [...]

It’s Getting Better

Contrary to popular belief, environmental quality in the United States has been improving and continues to improve. Water quality is better than it has been in the last 100 years. The six pollutants that adversely affect outdoor air quality are down significantly. Indoor air quality is much [...]

Managing Water In The West: Private And Public

Functioning markets allow resources to flow to their most highly valued use. Agricultural, commercial, and municipal users all compete for this precious resource. Unfortunately, when it comes to water, markets are often either non-existent or thin. Several legal doctrines present obstacles to [...]

Equal Access to Justice Act

EAJA reimburses various groups for litigation costs when those groups lack the resources to take on the government. If the government is found to have violated its own policy, the government will pay the litigation costs to the plaintiffs.

Conservation and Economic Growth

In general, we find that counties with federal lands (especially Wilderness lands) do not have higher per capital income or higher tax receipts. The presence of federally designated Wilderness is associated with a decrease of $679,456.70 per year in total business activity (see Table 1). This [...]

Green Revenue? Local Governments and Wilderness Designation

The goal of this study is to explore the question: Do counties with designated Wilderness areas have more or less property and sales tax revenue than counties without Wilderness areas? Evaluating this question helps understand the larger question: Do designated wilderness areas increase or [...]

Economic Impacts of WildEarth Guardians Litigation on Local Communities

This study explores the economic impacts of legal and political interventions taken by WildEarth Guardians (WEG), an environmental group that specializes in bringing environmental lawsuits against uses of the public lands. We begin by examining empirical evidence of identifiable differences in [...]

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