It wasn’t so long ago that the Al Gore’s of yesteryear predicted that the whole world was in danger of massive self implosion due to population growth, resource shortages, and a new ice age. Into that mix of hysteria stepped economist Julian Simon, who famously bested doom and gloom merchant Paul R. Ehrlich by betting that the prices of a group of metals would decline over a ten year period. Simon’s book Resourceful Earth argued that population is the solution to resource scarcities and environmental problems, since people and markets innovate.
A new generation of environmentalist have found a new variety of reasons to keep us from tapping our own natural resources. These environmentalists are well-funded, have power and influence with the Obama administration and their supporters can be fanatical when it comes to their opposition to harvesting the abundant resources within the United States.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment is launching Resourceful Earth Friday in Minneapolis at the fourth annual Right Online conference. Resourceful Earth will take on campaigns by well-funded environmental pressure groups that abuse federal and state regulations and pursue endless lawsuits to block or hinder hardrock mines, coal mines, oil and gas drilling, timber production, farming, and ranching. The first two campaigns targeted by Resourceful Earth will be Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold, which opposes gold mining, and Oceana’s Stop the Drill, which opposes offshore oil.
“America has incredibly abundant natural resources, but more and more of them are being locked up as a result of campaigns by environmental pressure groups,” said Myron Ebell, Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment. “And unfortunately, many major corporations are being greenmailed into supporting these political assaults on jobs and prosperity.”
“Resourceful Earth will shine a bright light on the disinformation campaigns waged against new natural resource projects and on the economic damage done when huge new investments are scrapped because of years and even decades of regulatory delays,” continued Ebell. “Our website, ResourcefulEarth.org, will provide the tools necessary for grassroots activists to get involved and defeat the advocates of scarcity.”