Scholar Commentary

Here at The Center for Growth and Opportunity, we have a unique way of confronting challenges. Relentless optimism. Bold commitment. Fearless innovation. We want to leave the world a better place than when we got here. Whether it’s our award-winning students, or our world-class researchers, we look to work together to find creative solutions to today’s most pressing issues. We’re committed to turning ideas into action.

Op-ed: How to Protect Monuments and Local Communities

Photo: Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP For generations, Bruce Adams and his family have lived off the land by grazing cattle in southeastern Utah. When President Obama designated 1.35 million acres as Bears Ears National Monument

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Op-ed: National Park Entry Fees Are Vital

Protecting national parks is vital. Ensuring park managers have the ability to respond to market signals is equally vital. CGO Research Director Megan Hansen and Undergraduate Research Fellow Rebekah Yeagley examine how proposals to eliminate entry fees will affect

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Op-ed: If you love forests, let them burn

Today marks 49 years since Earth Day was first established by Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI). Since then, the United States has made great strides towards improving the nation’s collective impact on the environment. Air pollution has fallen drastically. Efforts to clean

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The new identity politics

This article was originally posted on the Medium publication The Benchmark In what is being called “the first known example of a government intentionally using artificial intelligence for racial profiling,” China is using facial recognition technology and its

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Op-ed: The US Biofuel Mandate Does More Harm Than Good

On March 12, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule to allow the year-round sale of E15 fuel, a gasoline mixed with biofuel produced from corn. The ethanol industry trumpeted these changes as a boon to the environment, arguing that gasoline with

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Op-ed: Why are states chasing away robot dogs?

Sony recently re-released an updated version of aibo, the robotic dog it sold from 1999 to 2006. The “canine” is built and designed for companionship, using artificial intelligence to remember different people. It also recognizes how they react to its behavior

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Op-ed: Why rent control won’t protect the poorest

While much attention over Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Green New Deal has focused on the mystery of the disappearing website FAQ, its call to arms against flight travel, and the dangers of bovine flatulence, one of its more overlooked pillars is already

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Op-ed: Our Climate Solution? It May Be Written In the Stars

Just before the holidays, Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., pointed to innovation as our best hope to curb carbon emissions. “Technology breakthroughs,” he said, “have led to an American energy renaissance and a growing economy.” Senator Barrasso is absolutely right:

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Op-ed: Walls Don’t Stop Migrants, But Tariffs Might

In his 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump outlined a moral duty to build a wall along the southern U.S. border to prevent illegal immigration. But it’s not likely that he’ll receive congressional approval or funding for it. Democrats included no funding

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Op-ed: The Wall Won’t Work

After closing for 35 days, the US government is open once again, at least until February 15. The deadlock over funding for President Trump’s border wall remains unresolved, however. The short-term nature of the funding bill that President Trump signed promises a return

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Op-ed: Licensing hurts, not helps, Utahns

At a meeting earlier this month, the Utah State Board of Education discussed concerns that too many teachers in the state are unlicensed. A 2016 change by the board allowed Utah schools to hire people without licenses to overcome a shortage of teachers in Utah. One

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Op-ed: The right strategy for handling general contractors

As the Idaho housing market continues to boom, complaints about substandard general contractors and shoddy building practices are on the rise. Many argue that contractors should be required to obtain a license from the state and further licensing laws are the best way

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Op-ed: Act Now to Keep Housing More Affordable

Recently, the Salt Lake City Council approved rules allowing more Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), often simply called mother-in-law apartments. The change comes after nearly a decade of slogging through compromises and slow deliberation. Although the changes are

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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. In place of scenic vistas and natural beauty, visitors instead find dirty restrooms and

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Op-ed: Trump is wrong about coal subsidies

After a Dec. 6 vote in the Senate, Bernard McNamee was narrowly confirmed as the newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). McNamee’s career includes extensive experience in energy policy through both his law career and work at the Department of

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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

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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”

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