Barry Butterfield

Barry Butterfield

Barry Butterfield is a civil engineer who worked in the public and private sector for over 40 years. He has done energy-related projects in Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa and Connecticut. He also worked on two of Nebraska’s more controversial projects, including the Central Interstate Compact Low-Level Radioactive Waste facility near Butte, Nebraska, and the Keystone XL pipeline. He has also done extensive environmental analysis on freight rail projects in Wyoming, Illinois, Texas and Kansas. He has published papers for the American Nuclear Society and Energy Research and Social Sciences, and is an emeritus member of the American Nuclear Society.


America’s new reality: the growing national security threat from China

By: - November 8, 2023

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan launched a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States was taken by surprise. But now, yet again, beyond the horizon of attention, there is a growing menace to U.S. national security from overseas. This time the danger comes from China. We need to recognize the emerging reality that China’s global grip over rare minerals […]


Biden’s boneheaded mining policy: A danger to U.S. mineral security

By: - September 21, 2023

It’s time to face reality: Pursuing a policy of boosting U.S. mining — and breaking China’s grip on the production of metals essential for our clean energy transition — should be a no-brainer. It would insulate our nation from mineral embargoes, strengthen our economy, provide revenue and jobs and bolster the production of renewable energy needed to […]


Exploring the mining dividend

By: - August 8, 2023

Mining in this part of the world has gone on for a very long time.  The reality of mining is that it has done more to raise the standard of living than any other activity, creating vast manufacturing capability that would eventually transform the industrial world. Yet even as demand for minerals increases, driven by growing concerns about […]


EPA’s misguided attempt to pour coal emissions down the drain

By: - May 31, 2023

As an environmental engineer who supports strong climate action, I oppose the Biden administration’s plan to force the shutdown of coal plants. That might seem surprising, but it shouldn’t be. Without coal to meet the nation’s need for electricity, we face the specter of widespread power shortages. That warning came from the Federal Energy Regulatory […]


The need to reduce foreign-sourced mining of essential minerals

By: - February 15, 2023

How much longer can the United States rely on troubled countries in South America for two critically important metals — lithium and copper — which are essential for our national security and the transition to a green economy? The answer is we really don’t know. But we need safeguards now because we’re in a precarious position. Chinese companies have bought […]


Now is the time to recognize the contribution of coal and nuclear power to energy security

By: - December 10, 2022

As freezing weather sets in, is there any doubt that few things are more important than heat and light? In Nebraska, we’ve enjoyed the benefits from abundant energy production for so long that we’ve taken them for granted. But the need for a secure supply of electricity has reminded us that maintaining power reliability is […]


U.S. must act quickly to increase mining for clean energy needs

By: - October 3, 2022

The time has never been riper for a government pro-mining policy in America. A shift away from fossil fuels will require a secure supply of minerals and metals needed in the quest for clean energy. The political climate for mining today is very different than the one that existed in the past when policymakers thought […]


Inflation Reduction Act faces daunting challenges

By: - August 24, 2022

The climate war is raging. Will our relentless consumption of energy lead to global catastrophe? How much will the Earth warm?  How fast will it happen? How much more can we take before life on Earth perishes? On the other hand, will human resilience blur the process into one of deliberate adaption and change? So […]


Can a once-thriving industry, all but given up for dead, come back to life in Nebraska?

By: - May 9, 2022

Reviving uranium mining has long been in the works, but production plans have been held up by funding hurdles and problems with federal regulations. Now, as a result of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, that may change. Nearly 50% of the uranium used at U.S. nuclear power plants, in nuclear medicine and for distant space […]