Roosevelt Institute | Cornell University

Orphaned Oil Wells and the Case for Stronger State-Based Regulation

By Liam Berigan Published November 6, 2014

"Orphaned" oil wells are wells that are no longer maintained by an oil company, making state governments responsible for ensuring that they will not cause any spills. However, they are often not properly plugged and secured, which could pose future environmental hazards. There are now more than 2,800 orphaned oil wells in Louisiana and the state does not have the funds to plug them.


U.S. Forest Service Retracts New Wilderness Rule After First Amendment Dispute

By Liam Berigan Published October 20, 2014

A newly proposed rule based on the Wilderness Act of 1964 was quickly withdrawn last month after widespread criticism over a possible violation of the First Amendment. The Wilderness Act is celebrating its 50th anniversary and has become a bedrock of U.S. environmental legislation.


Carbon Taxes: What do They Look Like and What Can We Expect?

By Liam Berigan Published April 14, 2014

With the release of the most recent report from the IPCC, climate change is proving to be a major concern. Carbon dioxide emissions have been consistently increasing and this trend will only continue. Policymakers should implement carbon taxes, modeled on British Columbia's version, to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.


A Clock Inside a Mountain

By Liam Berigan Published March 24, 2014

Jeff Bezos is building a 200-foot clock inside a mountain in Texas to last for 10,000 years as a memento remembering our generation. But is this really how our generation will be remembered? The environmental impacts that will be left by the 20th and 21st century will last long into the future, and spending money to alleviate these impacts should be a priority for wealthy individuals.


The USDA's Conservation Programs: The Nonsensical Shutdown of a Bipartisan Bill

By Liam Berigan Published October 10, 2013

The United States Department of Agriculture is one of the few sections of government that is rarely criticized in Congress, but that didn't make it exempt from the government shutdown. Until further notice, the department can no longer fulfill its duties to farmers or farmland stakeholders. In addition, the shutdown has indefinitely suspended a certain piece of law regarding conservation programs in the farm bill.