News

Smith Testifies before the Colorado House Business Affairs and Labor Committee

Josh T. Smith, Research Manager at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, testified before the Colorado House Business Affairs and Labor Committee on February 13, 2019.

Op-ed: The Shutdown is Ruining Our National Parks

As the government shutdown drags on, the fallout of political bickering in Washington, D.C., is being felt thousands of miles away in America’s beloved national parks.

Op-ed: Lessons to take from drones shutting down Gatwick airport

Holiday travel havoc is almost expected. Canceled flights and stranded passengers are as much a part of the holidays as homemade pumpkin pie and gift returns. John Candy practically made a movie career off of it. 2017 saw the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, shut down days before Christmas. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Christmas 2018 saw its own travel meltdown.

Op-ed: Google and Facebook’s Biggest Problem Isn’t Controlling their Platforms…

Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week is just the latest example of a tech company having to respond to accusations of bias. While Pichai obviously spent much of his time defending Google from such allegations in search results on Google and YouTube, he isn’t alone.

Op-ed: Trump is wrong about coal subsidies

Newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Bernard McNamee’s nomination fight in D.C. really isn’t just about the appointment; it’s due to the Trump administration’s attempts to throw subsidy lifelines to failing coal plants.

Op-ed: We should be welcoming these families, not tear gassing them

Recently, the migrant caravan of nearly 7,000 people traveling from South and Central America reached the U.S.-Mexico border. The group, half of whom are girls and women, were met with tear gas and thousands of U.S. military troops as they attempted to cross into America between Tijuana and San Diego.

Op-ed: Why the Trump Administration Should Stop Propping Up Coal

Payouts to coal or nuclear producers are unlikely to make the U.S. electricity supply more reliable or safer than it already is. Rather, efforts to support coal plants waste taxpayer dollars in an attempt to stall coal’s decline.

Op-ed: Don’t Fret the Lame Duck

As the dust settles on the midterm elections, Congress has returned to Washington to wrap up unfinished business in a lame-duck session. It’s troubling for many people to know that some members of Congress are given one last chance to govern without ever facing an electorate again. Some even view it as a dangerous threat to democracy.

Op-ed: The Many Benefits Immigrants Bring to the US

Recent debates over America’s immigration policy are exposing a deep rift in conservative politics. In the Utah Senate debate earlier this year, Mitt Romney referred to U.S. policies that separated immigrant parents from their children at the border as a “dark chapter” in American history.

Op-ed: Ocasio-Cortez is Right: Amazon Subsidies Do More Harm Than Good

After more than a year of searching and debating, Amazon announced this week that it will split its new headquarters, or “HQ2,” between Queens, New York and D.C.’s Northern Virginia suburbs. Within hours after the announcement, self-described democratic socialist and U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) rightly pointed out the obvious: Amazon is a massively wealthy company, so why should it receive millions in tax incentives to locate in specific areas?

Op-ed: New Incentives Can Help Protect Endangered Species

Often, the ESA unintentionally makes endangered species a liability for private landowners. When endangered owls are found on property used for commercial forestry, for example, landowners are expected to harbor and protect the animals.

Op-ed: Reducing the Ethanol Mandate is Smart Environmental Policy

Following the boom in oil production from the hydraulic fracturing revolution, environmental protection outstripped energy independence as the major selling point of US biofuels policy.

Op-ed: CAFE Standards vs. Economics

The announcement of plans to ease the nation’s fuel economy standards (known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, or CAFE) triggered numerous defenses of the regulation.

Op-ed: Daylight Saving Time Costs More Than It’s Worth

Proposition 7 which is to be voted on next month would repeal California’s Daylight Saving Time Act, thus ending the annual ritual of “springing forward” and “falling back” for nearly 40 million people. If passed Prop. 7 would set the state’s clocks permanently to Pacific Standard Time.

Koopman Discusses Permissionless Innovation on Podcast

Christopher Koopman from Utah State University’s Center for Growth and Opportunity joins State Senator Howard Stephenson and Utah County Republican Party Vice Chair Josh Daniels to talk about the center and his research work on “permissionless innovation.”

Op-ed: Trump’s Ethanol Plans Double Down on Bad Environmental Policy

The Renewable Fuel Standard is a federal mandate that requires fuel suppliers to blend a minimum percentage of ethanol fuel into gasoline. Professor William F. Shughart and CGO Graduate Research Fellow Arthur Wardle write about the negative environmental and economic impacts associated with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Koopman in Roundtable on Emerging Issues in Transportation Policy

This roundtable focused on current regulatory approaches to autonomous vehicles, lessons learned, and emerging issues that states will encounter and featured CGO Senior Director of Strategy and Research Christopher Koopman as a speaker.

Koopman and Hansen Participate in Workshop: Best Practices in Policy Research

This session workshopped best practices for introducing peer review, policy editing, and other steps that can be taken to improve research quality without breaking the research budget.

William Shughart Speaks to CGO Fellows on Proven Techniques & Emerging Research

Professor William F. Shughart II spoke at the Center for Growth and Opportunity’s weekly student fellows meeting on Monday, Oct. 1. Shughart is the J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at Utah State University as well as Senior Editor at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.

Op-ed: The ethanol mandate has failed in its original purpose

CGO Graduate Research Fellow Arthur R. Wardle writes about several detrimental environmental impacts associated with a national mandate for ethanol production that was designed to be a boon to the environment.

Op-ed: The problem with metering solar energy customers

Net metering allows solar panel users to transfer surplus power to the public-utility grid and receive compensation for it. CGO Research Manager, Josh T. Smith, writes about the problems with certain net metering policies and how this cost shift can hurt lower-income households

Op-ed: Landowners can help save endangered species

Many private landowners fear the regulation that accompanies the discovery of endangered species on their land. CGO Research Director Megan E. Hansen writes that many landowners want to help save endangered species as long as it is not harming their own livelihood.

Koopman Participates in Panel on Regulation of Emerging Aerial Tech

Christopher Koopman,  Senior Directory of Strategy and Research for the Center for Growth and Opportunity, joined this discussion to consider how lawmakers and regulators can best foster innovation while protecting our safety and privacy.

Op-ed: Reexamining presidential power over national monuments

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are each proposing reforms to the Antiquities Act of 1906. CGO Research Director Megan E. Hansen and PhD student Jordan Lofthouse write that Congress should act to limit executive power over National Monuments.

Op-ed: Improving wildfire policy is good for more than just the environment

Policies that aim to effectively prevent fires not only will protect homes from future fires, but will save lives and taxpayer funds in the long run. CGO Researchers Josh T. Smith and Camille Harmer write that giving fire managers more authority and resources to prevent fires, incentivizing homeowners to change how homes in fire-prone areas are designed, and even logging or controlled burns are good steps toward fire prevention as climate change worsens.

Op-ed: A Texas price-gouging law is backfiring

Professor Michael Giberson, of Texas Tech University and CGO Undergraduate Research Fellow Halea Walker explain the negative effects of Texas’s emergency price gouging law and the perverse incentives it creates.

Op-ed: Moratorium on soda taxes puts California on the right track

Professor William F. Shughart II and Josh T. Smith write that data suggests soda taxes are not an effective way to inspire healthy behavior, they merely increase the cost of soda. California enacted a law banning future taxes on soda.

Op-ed: The risk of risk aversion at the Federal Aviation Administration

The Federal Aviation Administration’s main objective is to mitigate risk. This mentality, argues CGO Senior Director of Strategy and Research Christopher Koopman, can inhibit innovative thinking. For the U.S. to regain its place as an aviation innovator the FAA needs to accept innovative ideas and approaches that, in some cases, are accepting of risk.

Op-ed: Replacements for plastic straws have their own problems

Various bans on plastic straws are backed by good intentions, yet, these efforts could be tailored to better causes. Alternatives to plastic straws can have larger environmental footprints than their plastic counterparts and usually have much higher costs. Meaningful policy changes will only come as private businesses incentivize individuals to change their plastic consumption and disposal habits, not from increasing the regulation around the use of straws.

Op-ed: ESA and Cooperative Conservation in the West

The Congressional Western Caucus introduced 9 bills in July that shift endangered species conservation to a different, more bottom-up approach. These bills increase information sharing between individuals, tribes, local governments, and private organizations. They also allow for local and state government programs to “take the lead” on conservation efforts.

Op-ed: Conservative Media Skew Story on ‘Dreamer’ Arrests

CGO researchers Josh T. Smith and Jesse Baker write about crime statistics in the debate about DACA recipients (Dreamers) and crime. Dreamers are productive members of society and data suggest they are less likely than other groups to commit crime.

Op-ed: How Banning Plastic Straws Could Make Pollution Even Worse

Banning plastic products would hurt small business owners, have little effect on ocean pollution, and their alternatives require the use of more fossil fuels and electricity. William F. Shughart II and Camille Harmer argue that rather than banning the symptom, individuals should focus on proper waste disposal and recycling.

Op-ed: How Pork-Barrel Spending Shapes the Ideological Composition of Congress

In 2011, politicians were banned from using earmarks. Aaron Hedlund, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, and visiting Senior Fellow at the CGO maintains this policy results in citizens voting more ideologically. Prior to this policy, voters tended to vote for politicians that were more likely to achieve funding for their community and these politicians were more likely to be in the middle of the political ideology scale. Now with earmarking banned, voters’ main concern is ideology.

Shughart Discusses Applied Microeconomic Theory and Public Choice on Podcast

William F. Shughart II, Senior Editor at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, is interviewed by Hayek Program scholar Jayme Lemke.

Op-ed: Hydro Projects Get Lost in Red Tape

CGO’s Research Director, Megan Hansen, discusses the effects certain regulations can have on both the environment and the economy. Due to red tape, only 3 percent of existing dams with small-scale hydropower potential produce power in the United States. Although some deregulatory steps have been taken, more needs to be done.

Op-ed: Ineffectiveness of Renewable Portfolio Standards

Josh Smith, Research Manager for the CGO, writes about other ways to reduce carbon emissions than renewable portfolio standards (RPS). States with RPS mandates have increased electricity prices with no significant decrease in carbon emissions.

Smith Discusses Renewal Portfolio Standards on Podcast

Josh T. Smith, Research Manager at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, takes part in a discussion on Renewal Portfolio Standards (RPS).

Hansen Participates in Public Lands Discussion

On June 29, 2018 CGO Research Director Megan Hansen joins other panelists from The Heritage Foundation and Southern Utah University at a Public Lands Discussion featuring Senator Mike Lee hosted by The Sutherland Institute.

Op-ed: It’s a new day for daily fantasy sports betting

In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal prohibition on sports gambling. With many states making changes to accommodate the Supreme Court’s decision, one thing is clear: Legal sports gambling is here to stay.

Op-ed: Energy Markets Serve National Security Better than Favoritism

The Trump administration proposed a policy aimed at helping suffering coal and nuclear power plants by requiring utilities to purchase electricity from these plants. CGO researchers, Camille Harmer and Josh T. Smith, write about the effectiveness and political motivation of this policy.

Economist and Scholar Aaron Hedlund Joins the Center for Growth and Opportunity

Aaron Hedlund, assistant professor of economics at the University of Missouri and visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, has joined the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University as Visiting Senior Fellow and Acting Director of Academic Outreach.

Koopman Discusses Aviation Empowerment Act on Podcast

Christopher Koopman, CGO Senior Director of Strategy and Research, discusses the recently-introduced Aviation Empowerment Act and the future of public policy in the aviation industry.

Koopman Testifies Before Joint Economic Committee

Christopher Koopman, Senior Director of Strategy and Research at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, testified before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee on May 22, 2018.

Koopman Participates in Emerging Technology in Transportation Panel

On May 18, 2018, the Regulatory Transparency Project and Capitol Hill Chapter of the Federalist Society co-sponsored a panel discussion on emerging technology legislation featuring experts in technology and innovation policy. CGO Senior Director of Strategy and Research joins other panelists to discuss drone delivery, autonomous vehicles, flight sharing, and more.

Op-ed: Flight-sharing could bring Uber to the skies

Christopher Koopman, Senior Director of Strategy and Research at the Center for Growth and Opportunity, and Michael Kotrous, of the Mercatus Center, argue that allowing flight-sharing companies to operate in the U.S. market would enable rural citizens to travel and work remotely by providing flight services to areas that lack major airports.

Op-ed: Despite safety record, Chernobyl haunts nuclear power industry

Despite being safer than both wind and solar production in terms of employee deaths and environmental impact, nuclear power has a poor public reputation, due in part to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Given improved technology in the intervening 32 years, Professor William Shughart, of Utah State University, and researcher Brian Isom, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, argue that using nuclear power to generate electricity can reduce carbon emissions more safely than any other type of power technology.

Op-ed: Allow the testing of driverless cars on their roads

In this article Chris Koopman, at the Center for Growth and Opportunity, and Jennifer Huddleston Skees of the Mercatus Center advocate for a comprehensive policy framework that is friendly to self-driving technologies and argue that allowing testing of these technologies will create safer roads for everyone

Op-ed: Telling Dreamers to ‘get in line’ misses the mark on immigration

Josh Smith, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, suggests that common arguments against DACA do not reflect the economic benefit that immigrants create in the United States.

Op-ed: Tariffs and Econ 101

Professor William F. Shughart II, of Utah State University, and research fellow Kristian Fors, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, outline why President Trump’s steel tariffs will cause more economic damage than good.

Koopman Joins Center for Growth and Opportunity

Christopher Koopman, former Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, has joined The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University as Senior Director of Strategy and Research.

Op-ed: Mixed Signals for U.S. Solar Industry

The Trump Administration recently implemented a tariff on foreign solar panels in an attempt to bolster domestic solar panel production. However, the U.S. solar industry has been growing successfully because access to cheaper solar panels manufactured outside the U.S. has lowered the cost for solar companies to operate.

Op-ed: 11 Billion reasons to raise park entry fees

A massive backlog of repairs is needed in many of the national parks. The Center for Growth and Opportunity’s Josh Smith and Camille Harmer argue that the proposed fee hike is an appropriate way to raise funds to carry out these repairs.

Op-ed: ‘Dreamers’ are worth the wall

During the State of the Union Address, President Trump suggested increasing the number of immigrants eligible for DACA and creating a path to citizenship in exchange for $30 billion to fund a border wall.

Op-ed: fossil fuels in the ground, supports a form of economic self-destruction

Professor William F. Shughart II, of Utah State University, and Josh Smith, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, argue that the best way to promote progress in the renewable energy sector is not to halt production of fossil fuels.

Op-ed: Let the market determine energy sources’ futures

Meddling in energy markets is a problem on both sides of the political aisle. Whether the subsidies go to alternative energy sources or fossil fuels they ultimately come out of the pockets of average taxpayers.

Op-ed: California’s Soaring Gas Taxes Aren’t Even Going to the Roads

Professor William Shughart, of Utah State University, and CGO Undergraduate Research Fellow Kristian Fors, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, explain how “user fee” gas taxes in California are intended to support road and transportation maintenance, but instead have been re-allocated to unrelated spending programs.

Op-ed: Paying more at the pump will not fix California’s roads

Californians will now be paying almost 60 cents per gallon in taxes for their gasoline purchases—an increase of 12 cents. The increase comes after the rise of hybrid and electric vehicles has caused a decline in gas-tax revenue and left the highway trust fund short on cash.

Op-ed: Dreamers Deserve a Legislative Fix

During the State of the Union Address, President Trump suggested increasing the number of immigrants eligible for DACA and creating a path to citizenship in exchange for $30 billion to fund a border wall.

Op-ed: Markets Should Determine Our Future Energy Sources

In this piece, Research Director Megan Hansen explains that the inherent political biases of energy policy push specific forms of energy to succeed and others to fail. Hansen gives examples of how market-driven entrepreneurship has led to more-efficient and less-expensive sources of energy.

Smith Testifies before the Colorado House Business Affairs and Labor Committee

Josh T. Smith, Research Manager at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, testified before the Colorado House Business Affairs and Labor Committee on February 13, 2019.

Op-ed: The Shutdown is Ruining Our National Parks

As the government shutdown drags on, the fallout of political bickering in Washington, D.C., is being felt thousands of miles away in America’s beloved national parks.

Op-ed: Lessons to take from drones shutting down Gatwick airport

Holiday travel havoc is almost expected. Canceled flights and stranded passengers are as much a part of the holidays as homemade pumpkin pie and gift returns. John Candy practically made a movie career off of it. 2017 saw the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, shut down days before Christmas. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Christmas 2018 saw its own travel meltdown.

Op-ed: Google and Facebook’s Biggest Problem Isn’t Controlling their Platforms…

Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week is just the latest example of a tech company having to respond to accusations of bias. While Pichai obviously spent much of his time defending Google from such allegations in search results on Google and YouTube, he isn’t alone.

Op-ed: Trump is wrong about coal subsidies

Newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Bernard McNamee’s nomination fight in D.C. really isn’t just about the appointment; it’s due to the Trump administration’s attempts to throw subsidy lifelines to failing coal plants.

Op-ed: We should be welcoming these families, not tear gassing them

Recently, the migrant caravan of nearly 7,000 people traveling from South and Central America reached the U.S.-Mexico border. The group, half of whom are girls and women, were met with tear gas and thousands of U.S. military troops as they attempted to cross into America between Tijuana and San Diego.

Op-ed: Why the Trump Administration Should Stop Propping Up Coal

Payouts to coal or nuclear producers are unlikely to make the U.S. electricity supply more reliable or safer than it already is. Rather, efforts to support coal plants waste taxpayer dollars in an attempt to stall coal’s decline.

Op-ed: Don’t Fret the Lame Duck

As the dust settles on the midterm elections, Congress has returned to Washington to wrap up unfinished business in a lame-duck session. It’s troubling for many people to know that some members of Congress are given one last chance to govern without ever facing an electorate again. Some even view it as a dangerous threat to democracy.

Op-ed: The Many Benefits Immigrants Bring to the US

Recent debates over America’s immigration policy are exposing a deep rift in conservative politics. In the Utah Senate debate earlier this year, Mitt Romney referred to U.S. policies that separated immigrant parents from their children at the border as a “dark chapter” in American history.

Op-ed: Ocasio-Cortez is Right: Amazon Subsidies Do More Harm Than Good

After more than a year of searching and debating, Amazon announced this week that it will split its new headquarters, or “HQ2,” between Queens, New York and D.C.’s Northern Virginia suburbs. Within hours after the announcement, self-described democratic socialist and U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) rightly pointed out the obvious: Amazon is a massively wealthy company, so why should it receive millions in tax incentives to locate in specific areas?

Op-ed: New Incentives Can Help Protect Endangered Species

Often, the ESA unintentionally makes endangered species a liability for private landowners. When endangered owls are found on property used for commercial forestry, for example, landowners are expected to harbor and protect the animals.

Op-ed: Reducing the Ethanol Mandate is Smart Environmental Policy

Following the boom in oil production from the hydraulic fracturing revolution, environmental protection outstripped energy independence as the major selling point of US biofuels policy.

Op-ed: CAFE Standards vs. Economics

The announcement of plans to ease the nation’s fuel economy standards (known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, or CAFE) triggered numerous defenses of the regulation.

Op-ed: Daylight Saving Time Costs More Than It’s Worth

Proposition 7 which is to be voted on next month would repeal California’s Daylight Saving Time Act, thus ending the annual ritual of “springing forward” and “falling back” for nearly 40 million people. If passed Prop. 7 would set the state’s clocks permanently to Pacific Standard Time.

Koopman Discusses Permissionless Innovation on Podcast

Christopher Koopman from Utah State University’s Center for Growth and Opportunity joins State Senator Howard Stephenson and Utah County Republican Party Vice Chair Josh Daniels to talk about the center and his research work on “permissionless innovation.”

Op-ed: Trump’s Ethanol Plans Double Down on Bad Environmental Policy

The Renewable Fuel Standard is a federal mandate that requires fuel suppliers to blend a minimum percentage of ethanol fuel into gasoline. Professor William F. Shughart and CGO Graduate Research Fellow Arthur Wardle write about the negative environmental and economic impacts associated with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Koopman in Roundtable on Emerging Issues in Transportation Policy

This roundtable focused on current regulatory approaches to autonomous vehicles, lessons learned, and emerging issues that states will encounter and featured CGO Senior Director of Strategy and Research Christopher Koopman as a speaker.

Koopman and Hansen Participate in Workshop: Best Practices in Policy Research

This session workshopped best practices for introducing peer review, policy editing, and other steps that can be taken to improve research quality without breaking the research budget.

William Shughart Speaks to CGO Fellows on Proven Techniques & Emerging Research

Professor William F. Shughart II spoke at the Center for Growth and Opportunity’s weekly student fellows meeting on Monday, Oct. 1. Shughart is the J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at Utah State University as well as Senior Editor at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.

Op-ed: The ethanol mandate has failed in its original purpose

CGO Graduate Research Fellow Arthur R. Wardle writes about several detrimental environmental impacts associated with a national mandate for ethanol production that was designed to be a boon to the environment.

Op-ed: The problem with metering solar energy customers

Net metering allows solar panel users to transfer surplus power to the public-utility grid and receive compensation for it. CGO Research Manager, Josh T. Smith, writes about the problems with certain net metering policies and how this cost shift can hurt lower-income households

Op-ed: Landowners can help save endangered species

Many private landowners fear the regulation that accompanies the discovery of endangered species on their land. CGO Research Director Megan E. Hansen writes that many landowners want to help save endangered species as long as it is not harming their own livelihood.

Koopman Participates in Panel on Regulation of Emerging Aerial Tech

Christopher Koopman,  Senior Directory of Strategy and Research for the Center for Growth and Opportunity, joined this discussion to consider how lawmakers and regulators can best foster innovation while protecting our safety and privacy.

Op-ed: Reexamining presidential power over national monuments

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are each proposing reforms to the Antiquities Act of 1906. CGO Research Director Megan E. Hansen and PhD student Jordan Lofthouse write that Congress should act to limit executive power over National Monuments.

Op-ed: Improving wildfire policy is good for more than just the environment

Policies that aim to effectively prevent fires not only will protect homes from future fires, but will save lives and taxpayer funds in the long run. CGO Researchers Josh T. Smith and Camille Harmer write that giving fire managers more authority and resources to prevent fires, incentivizing homeowners to change how homes in fire-prone areas are designed, and even logging or controlled burns are good steps toward fire prevention as climate change worsens.

Op-ed: A Texas price-gouging law is backfiring

Professor Michael Giberson, of Texas Tech University and CGO Undergraduate Research Fellow Halea Walker explain the negative effects of Texas’s emergency price gouging law and the perverse incentives it creates.

Op-ed: Moratorium on soda taxes puts California on the right track

Professor William F. Shughart II and Josh T. Smith write that data suggests soda taxes are not an effective way to inspire healthy behavior, they merely increase the cost of soda. California enacted a law banning future taxes on soda.

Op-ed: The risk of risk aversion at the Federal Aviation Administration

The Federal Aviation Administration’s main objective is to mitigate risk. This mentality, argues CGO Senior Director of Strategy and Research Christopher Koopman, can inhibit innovative thinking. For the U.S. to regain its place as an aviation innovator the FAA needs to accept innovative ideas and approaches that, in some cases, are accepting of risk.

Op-ed: Replacements for plastic straws have their own problems

Various bans on plastic straws are backed by good intentions, yet, these efforts could be tailored to better causes. Alternatives to plastic straws can have larger environmental footprints than their plastic counterparts and usually have much higher costs. Meaningful policy changes will only come as private businesses incentivize individuals to change their plastic consumption and disposal habits, not from increasing the regulation around the use of straws.

Op-ed: ESA and Cooperative Conservation in the West

The Congressional Western Caucus introduced 9 bills in July that shift endangered species conservation to a different, more bottom-up approach. These bills increase information sharing between individuals, tribes, local governments, and private organizations. They also allow for local and state government programs to “take the lead” on conservation efforts.

Op-ed: Conservative Media Skew Story on ‘Dreamer’ Arrests

CGO researchers Josh T. Smith and Jesse Baker write about crime statistics in the debate about DACA recipients (Dreamers) and crime. Dreamers are productive members of society and data suggest they are less likely than other groups to commit crime.

Op-ed: How Banning Plastic Straws Could Make Pollution Even Worse

Banning plastic products would hurt small business owners, have little effect on ocean pollution, and their alternatives require the use of more fossil fuels and electricity. William F. Shughart II and Camille Harmer argue that rather than banning the symptom, individuals should focus on proper waste disposal and recycling.

Op-ed: How Pork-Barrel Spending Shapes the Ideological Composition of Congress

In 2011, politicians were banned from using earmarks. Aaron Hedlund, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, and visiting Senior Fellow at the CGO maintains this policy results in citizens voting more ideologically. Prior to this policy, voters tended to vote for politicians that were more likely to achieve funding for their community and these politicians were more likely to be in the middle of the political ideology scale. Now with earmarking banned, voters’ main concern is ideology.

Shughart Discusses Applied Microeconomic Theory and Public Choice on Podcast

William F. Shughart II, Senior Editor at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, is interviewed by Hayek Program scholar Jayme Lemke.

Op-ed: Hydro Projects Get Lost in Red Tape

CGO’s Research Director, Megan Hansen, discusses the effects certain regulations can have on both the environment and the economy. Due to red tape, only 3 percent of existing dams with small-scale hydropower potential produce power in the United States. Although some deregulatory steps have been taken, more needs to be done.

Op-ed: Ineffectiveness of Renewable Portfolio Standards

Josh Smith, Research Manager for the CGO, writes about other ways to reduce carbon emissions than renewable portfolio standards (RPS). States with RPS mandates have increased electricity prices with no significant decrease in carbon emissions.

Smith Discusses Renewal Portfolio Standards on Podcast

Josh T. Smith, Research Manager at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, takes part in a discussion on Renewal Portfolio Standards (RPS).

Hansen Participates in Public Lands Discussion

On June 29, 2018 CGO Research Director Megan Hansen joins other panelists from The Heritage Foundation and Southern Utah University at a Public Lands Discussion featuring Senator Mike Lee hosted by The Sutherland Institute.

Op-ed: It’s a new day for daily fantasy sports betting

In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal prohibition on sports gambling. With many states making changes to accommodate the Supreme Court’s decision, one thing is clear: Legal sports gambling is here to stay.

Op-ed: Energy Markets Serve National Security Better than Favoritism

The Trump administration proposed a policy aimed at helping suffering coal and nuclear power plants by requiring utilities to purchase electricity from these plants. CGO researchers, Camille Harmer and Josh T. Smith, write about the effectiveness and political motivation of this policy.

Economist and Scholar Aaron Hedlund Joins the Center for Growth and Opportunity

Aaron Hedlund, assistant professor of economics at the University of Missouri and visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, has joined the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University as Visiting Senior Fellow and Acting Director of Academic Outreach.

Koopman Discusses Aviation Empowerment Act on Podcast

Christopher Koopman, CGO Senior Director of Strategy and Research, discusses the recently-introduced Aviation Empowerment Act and the future of public policy in the aviation industry.

Koopman Testifies Before Joint Economic Committee

Christopher Koopman, Senior Director of Strategy and Research at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, testified before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee on May 22, 2018.

Koopman Participates in Emerging Technology in Transportation Panel

On May 18, 2018, the Regulatory Transparency Project and Capitol Hill Chapter of the Federalist Society co-sponsored a panel discussion on emerging technology legislation featuring experts in technology and innovation policy. CGO Senior Director of Strategy and Research joins other panelists to discuss drone delivery, autonomous vehicles, flight sharing, and more.

Op-ed: Flight-sharing could bring Uber to the skies

Christopher Koopman, Senior Director of Strategy and Research at the Center for Growth and Opportunity, and Michael Kotrous, of the Mercatus Center, argue that allowing flight-sharing companies to operate in the U.S. market would enable rural citizens to travel and work remotely by providing flight services to areas that lack major airports.

Op-ed: Despite safety record, Chernobyl haunts nuclear power industry

Despite being safer than both wind and solar production in terms of employee deaths and environmental impact, nuclear power has a poor public reputation, due in part to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Given improved technology in the intervening 32 years, Professor William Shughart, of Utah State University, and researcher Brian Isom, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, argue that using nuclear power to generate electricity can reduce carbon emissions more safely than any other type of power technology.

Op-ed: Allow the testing of driverless cars on their roads

In this article Chris Koopman, at the Center for Growth and Opportunity, and Jennifer Huddleston Skees of the Mercatus Center advocate for a comprehensive policy framework that is friendly to self-driving technologies and argue that allowing testing of these technologies will create safer roads for everyone

Op-ed: Telling Dreamers to ‘get in line’ misses the mark on immigration

Josh Smith, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, suggests that common arguments against DACA do not reflect the economic benefit that immigrants create in the United States.

Op-ed: Tariffs and Econ 101

Professor William F. Shughart II, of Utah State University, and research fellow Kristian Fors, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, outline why President Trump’s steel tariffs will cause more economic damage than good.

Koopman Joins Center for Growth and Opportunity

Christopher Koopman, former Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, has joined The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University as Senior Director of Strategy and Research.

Op-ed: Mixed Signals for U.S. Solar Industry

The Trump Administration recently implemented a tariff on foreign solar panels in an attempt to bolster domestic solar panel production. However, the U.S. solar industry has been growing successfully because access to cheaper solar panels manufactured outside the U.S. has lowered the cost for solar companies to operate.

Op-ed: 11 Billion reasons to raise park entry fees

A massive backlog of repairs is needed in many of the national parks. The Center for Growth and Opportunity’s Josh Smith and Camille Harmer argue that the proposed fee hike is an appropriate way to raise funds to carry out these repairs.

Op-ed: ‘Dreamers’ are worth the wall

During the State of the Union Address, President Trump suggested increasing the number of immigrants eligible for DACA and creating a path to citizenship in exchange for $30 billion to fund a border wall.

Op-ed: fossil fuels in the ground, supports a form of economic self-destruction

Professor William F. Shughart II, of Utah State University, and Josh Smith, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, argue that the best way to promote progress in the renewable energy sector is not to halt production of fossil fuels.

Op-ed: Let the market determine energy sources’ futures

Meddling in energy markets is a problem on both sides of the political aisle. Whether the subsidies go to alternative energy sources or fossil fuels they ultimately come out of the pockets of average taxpayers.

Op-ed: California’s Soaring Gas Taxes Aren’t Even Going to the Roads

Professor William Shughart, of Utah State University, and CGO Undergraduate Research Fellow Kristian Fors, of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, explain how “user fee” gas taxes in California are intended to support road and transportation maintenance, but instead have been re-allocated to unrelated spending programs.

Op-ed: Paying more at the pump will not fix California’s roads

Californians will now be paying almost 60 cents per gallon in taxes for their gasoline purchases—an increase of 12 cents. The increase comes after the rise of hybrid and electric vehicles has caused a decline in gas-tax revenue and left the highway trust fund short on cash.

Op-ed: Dreamers Deserve a Legislative Fix

During the State of the Union Address, President Trump suggested increasing the number of immigrants eligible for DACA and creating a path to citizenship in exchange for $30 billion to fund a border wall.

Op-ed: Markets Should Determine Our Future Energy Sources

In this piece, Research Director Megan Hansen explains that the inherent political biases of energy policy push specific forms of energy to succeed and others to fail. Hansen gives examples of how market-driven entrepreneurship has led to more-efficient and less-expensive sources of energy.

Rebekah Yeagley Wins Undergraduate Research Competition

Economics major and Undergraduate Research Fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity, Rebekah Yeagley, recently attended the 2019 conference for the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Fawson speaks to students: pushing for opportunity and recognizing capability

Through his remarks, Fawson encouraged the fellows to pursue unique and interesting opportunities.
“I’m passionate about helping students understand what they’re capable of,” he said. “We don’t really see what we’re capable of doing. Oftentimes, others see more. Great mentors help unlock those opportunities and experiences that reveal something about ourselves.”

William Shughart Speaks to CGO Fellows on Proven Techniques & Emerging Research

Professor William F. Shughart II spoke at the Center for Growth and Opportunity’s weekly student fellows meeting on Monday, Oct. 1. Shughart is the J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at Utah State University as well as Senior Editor at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.

Amy Rees Anderson Meets with First Cohort of Academic Entrepreneur Fellows

On September 5th, renowned businesswoman Amy Rees Anderson visited Utah State University to launch the Amy Rees Anderson Academic Entrepreneurs fellowship, a program for female business and economics students interested in pursuing graduate degrees and careers in entrepreneurship and academia.

USU President Noelle Cockett Welcomes new cohort of CGO Fellows

At a gathering of the newest cohort of CGO Graduate and Undergraduate Student Research Fellows and Koch Scholars, Utah State University President Noelle Cockett challenged students to do three things as they participated in the academic programs sponsored by the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University: embrace questions and friendly debate, be inclusive, and reach out to others.

Professor Craig Palsson Speaks with CGO student fellows on careers in academia

On September 17th, Dr. Craig Palsson shared his unique story to finding his path to academia and pursuing a PhD in Economics with Graduate and Undergraduate Research Fellows at the Center for Growth & Opportunity at Utah State University.

CGO Student Research Fellow Interns at Interior Dept.

Rebekah Yeagley, Undergraduate Research Fellow and Amy Rees Anderson Academic Entrepreneur at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, spent her 2018 summer break as an intern for the Department of Interior in the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs in Washington, DC.

Amy Rees Anderson Sponsors New Program for Female Academic Entrepreneurs

Utah business icon partners with the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University to sponsor fellowships for female students pursuing careers in academia.

Summer Student Workshop: “Building Your Research Toolkit”

The Center for Growth and Opportunity hosted its first annual Summer Student Workshop on June 7-8. It was a successful launch to one of its many new student development programs since the CGO’s launch last year

Native American Student Mentorship Participants Join Week-Long Research Lab

Students from Utah State University Eastern’s Blanding campus visited the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University this week as they participate in the Native American Student Mentorship Program (NASMP).

Congratulations to Graduating CGO Student Research Fellows

This May, the Center for Growth and Opportunity celebrated the graduation of 19  student research fellows from Utah State University.

Applied Econometrics Workshop for Summer Interns

Dr. Briggs Depew, assistant professor of economics and finance in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, and an affiliated scholar with the Center for Growth and Opportunity led a week-long workshop on applied econometrics to participants of the CGO’s student fellowship programs.

Students Present Research on Capitol Hill

Undergraduate Research Fellows from the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University presented research at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, on February 28, 2018. Their presentation was part of the annual event Utah’s Research on Capitol Hill, organized by Utah State University.

Op-ed: The Shutdown is Ruining Our National Parks

As the government shutdown drags on, the fallout of political bickering in Washington, D.C., is being felt thousands of miles away in America’s beloved national parks.

Op-ed: Lessons to take from drones shutting down Gatwick airport

Holiday travel havoc is almost expected. Canceled flights and stranded passengers are as much a part of the holidays as homemade pumpkin pie and gift returns. John Candy practically made a movie career off of it. 2017 saw the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, shut down days before Christmas. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Christmas 2018 saw its own travel meltdown.

Op-ed: Google and Facebook’s Biggest Problem Isn’t Controlling their Platforms…

Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week is just the latest example of a tech company having to respond to accusations of bias. While Pichai obviously spent much of his time defending Google from such allegations in search results on Google and YouTube, he isn’t alone.

Op-ed: Trump is wrong about coal subsidies

Newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Bernard McNamee’s nomination fight in D.C. really isn’t just about the appointment; it’s due to the Trump administration’s attempts to throw subsidy lifelines to failing coal plants.

Op-ed: We should be welcoming these families, not tear gassing them

Recently, the migrant caravan of nearly 7,000 people traveling from South and Central America reached the U.S.-Mexico border. The group, half of whom are girls and women, were met with tear gas and thousands of U.S. military troops as they attempted to cross into America between Tijuana and San Diego.

Op-ed: Why the Trump Administration Should Stop Propping Up Coal

Payouts to coal or nuclear producers are unlikely to make the U.S. electricity supply more reliable or safer than it already is. Rather, efforts to support coal plants waste taxpayer dollars in an attempt to stall coal’s decline.

Op-ed: Don’t Fret the Lame Duck

As the dust settles on the midterm elections, Congress has returned to Washington to wrap up unfinished business in a lame-duck session. It’s troubling for many people to know that some members of Congress are given one last chance to govern without ever facing an electorate again. Some even view it as a dangerous threat to democracy.

Op-ed: The Many Benefits Immigrants Bring to the US

Recent debates over America’s immigration policy are exposing a deep rift in conservative politics. In the Utah Senate debate earlier this year, Mitt Romney referred to U.S. policies that separated immigrant parents from their children at the border as a “dark chapter” in American history.

Op-ed: Ocasio-Cortez is Right: Amazon Subsidies Do More Harm Than Good

After more than a year of searching and debating, Amazon announced this week that it will split its new headquarters, or “HQ2,” between Queens, New York and D.C.’s Northern Virginia suburbs. Within hours after the announcement, self-described democratic socialist and U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) rightly pointed out the obvious: Amazon is a massively wealthy company, so why should it receive millions in tax incentives to locate in specific areas?

Op-ed: New Incentives Can Help Protect Endangered Species

Often, the ESA unintentionally makes endangered species a liability for private landowners. When endangered owls are found on property used for commercial forestry, for example, landowners are expected to harbor and protect the animals.

Op-ed: Reducing the Ethanol Mandate is Smart Environmental Policy

Following the boom in oil production from the hydraulic fracturing revolution, environmental protection outstripped energy independence as the major selling point of US biofuels policy.

Op-ed: CAFE Standards vs. Economics

The announcement of plans to ease the nation’s fuel economy standards (known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, or CAFE) triggered numerous defenses of the regulation.

Op-ed: Daylight Saving Time Costs More Than It’s Worth

Proposition 7 which is to be voted on next month would repeal California’s Daylight Saving Time Act, thus ending the annual ritual of “springing forward” and “falling back” for nearly 40 million people. If passed Prop. 7 would set the state’s clocks permanently to Pacific Standard Time.

Op-ed: Trump’s Ethanol Plans Double Down on Bad Environmental Policy

The Renewable Fuel Standard is a federal mandate that requires fuel suppliers to blend a minimum percentage of ethanol fuel into gasoline. Professor William F. Shughart and CGO Graduate Research Fellow Arthur Wardle write about the negative environmental and economic impacts associated with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Op-ed: The ethanol mandate has failed in its original purpose

CGO Graduate Research Fellow Arthur R. Wardle writes about several detrimental environmental impacts associated with a national mandate for ethanol production that was designed to be a boon to the environment.

Op-ed: The problem with metering solar energy customers

Net metering allows solar panel users to transfer surplus power to the public-utility grid and receive compensation for it. CGO Research Manager, Josh T. Smith, writes about the problems with certain net metering policies and how this cost shift can hurt lower-income households

Op-ed: Landowners can help save endangered species

Many private landowners fear the regulation that accompanies the discovery of endangered species on their land. CGO Research Director Megan E. Hansen writes that many landowners want to help save endangered species as long as it is not harming their own livelihood.

Op-ed: Reexamining presidential power over national monuments

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are each proposing reforms to the Antiquities Act of 1906. CGO Research Director Megan E. Hansen and PhD student Jordan Lofthouse write that Congress should act to limit executive power over National Monuments.

Op-ed: Improving wildfire policy is good for more than just the environment

Policies that aim to effectively prevent fires not only will protect homes from future fires, but will save lives and taxpayer funds in the long run. CGO Researchers Josh T. Smith and Camille Harmer write that giving fire managers more authority and resources to prevent fires, incentivizing homeowners to change how homes in fire-prone areas are designed, and even logging or controlled burns are good steps toward fire prevention as climate change worsens.

Op-ed: A Texas price-gouging law is backfiring

Professor Michael Giberson, of Texas Tech University and CGO Undergraduate Research Fellow Halea Walker explain the negative effects of Texas’s emergency price gouging law and the perverse incentives it creates.

Op-ed: Moratorium on soda taxes puts California on the right track

Professor William F. Shughart II and Josh T. Smith write that data suggests soda taxes are not an effective way to inspire healthy behavior, they merely increase the cost of soda. California enacted a law banning future taxes on soda.

Op-ed: The risk of risk aversion at the Federal Aviation Administration

The Federal Aviation Administration’s main objective is to mitigate risk. This mentality, argues CGO Senior Director of Strategy and Research Christopher Koopman, can inhibit innovative thinking. For the U.S. to regain its place as an aviation innovator the FAA needs to accept innovative ideas and approaches that, in some cases, are accepting of risk.

Op-ed: Replacements for plastic straws have their own problems

Various bans on plastic straws are backed by good intentions, yet, these efforts could be tailored to better causes. Alternatives to plastic straws can have larger environmental footprints than their plastic counterparts and usually have much higher costs. Meaningful policy changes will only come as private businesses incentivize individuals to change their plastic consumption and disposal habits, not from increasing the regulation around the use of straws.

Op-ed: ESA and Cooperative Conservation in the West

The Congressional Western Caucus introduced 9 bills in July that shift endangered species conservation to a different, more bottom-up approach. These bills increase information sharing between individuals, tribes, local governments, and private organizations. They also allow for local and state government programs to “take the lead” on conservation efforts.