Survey says: AK economy is growing! Supremes turn down pipeline property rights case. 

Like It or Not, Alaska’s Economy is Growing
Ed King, King Economics Group, October 7, 2019

It was over a year ago that I pointed out that Alaska was on the verge of a recovery. Wages were starting to grow again, and I predicted that jobs would follow suit.  When we look at the data today, it’s clear that those predictions came true. Yet, I still hear people talking about being in a recession. Or, I see people try to dismiss the persistent good news to fit some narrative.  There is no foundation for an argument that a recession persists or that the economy is fragile. But, don’t take my word for it. Let’s dive into the data

Our Take: All good news for Alaska: unemployment down, jobs up, wages up = growing economy!  

 

Supreme Court Turns Down Property Owners’ Bid to Stop Pipeline
Bloomberg Environment, October 7, 2019

  • Dispute centers on Mountain Valley natural gas project
  • Experts view case as important property rights test

The Supreme Court won’t get involved in a case pitting property rights advocates against the natural gas industry.  The justices on Oct. 7 denied a petition from Virginia landowners who challenged a developer’s seizure of private property to build the Mountain Valley pipeline, a 303-mile project set to cross West Virginia and Virginia.  At issue in the case was whether pipeline builders had authority to use an eminent domain process called “quick take” to acquire land before paying for it.

Policies Should Address Global Climate Change By Incenting Innovation
Wayne Winegarden, Forbes, October 4, 2019

Amidst all of the rhetoric and dire predictions surrounding global climate change, it is easy to lose one’s perspective. But we will not successfully minimize the risks created by global climate change without perspective.   Fundamental to this perspective, U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been declining for more than a decade. As visualized in the above figure, total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions peaked in 2007 and has declined nearly 14 percent through 2016. According to Berkeley Earth, the largest contributor to this decline is the “transition from coal to natural gas for electricity generation”. Increased use of fuel economy cars and electricity generated from wind turbines have also contributed.   It is also necessary to understand the actual risks global climate change poses. As Bjorn Lomborg has eloquently argued, “yes, global warming is real and human-caused”, but claims that climate change will lead to the end of the world are unsupported.

Our Take: Common sense good. Panic bad. “Clearly, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change results do not support the current “call to panic” (as if panic is ever an effective response to emergencies). The IPCC’s results demonstrate that global climate change imposes costs that need to be managed.  Panicked responses, on the other hand, will impose large unacceptable costs that will be borne by the poor, particularly the poor living in low-income countries.”