Policy Papers

Cooperative Conservation: Determinants of Landowner Engagement in Saving Endangered Species

Since it was passed in 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has enabled federal agencies to protect species listed as endangered or threatened by enforcing strict prohibitions against any harm to the species. Although the condition of many listed species has stabilized or improved, very few have recovered fully, signaling the need for a more effective approach to conserving species.

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A Review of the Environmental Effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard’s Corn Ethanol Mandate

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates the use of ethanol in domestic gasoline supplies. The law, which was originally created chiefly to help secure energy independence, is now typically justified by its purported environmental benefits. Ongoing academic research, however, indicates that the RFS has numerous unintended environmental consequences and may not reduce emissions relative to gasoline. This paper reviews that literature and details the broad environmental impact of the corn [...]

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Net Metering in the States

Net metering allows an owner of rooftop solar panels to participate in the electric grid as a distributed energy producer. Solar panels first supply power to the home, and at times when the solar panel produces more power than the home is using the power is sent back onto the grid to be used by other customers. The meter “spins” backwards, subtracting the power sent onto the grid from the total power used by the consumer. That is how net metering gets its name—it means that at the end of [...]

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