CEI Today: Newt's Lunar Plan, Mega-Highway Bill, Energy Subsidies

Monday, January 30, 2012
In the News Today


Drip, Drip, Drip: Yet Another Green Energy Stimulus Recipient Hits the Skids (the third this week!)

Earlier [last] week, Stimulus beneficiary Evergreen Energy bit the dust. Then, Ener1, a manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles and recipient of Stimulus largesse, filed for bankruptcy. And today, the Las Vegas Sun reports that Amonix, Inc., a manufacturer of solar panels that received $5.9 million from the Porkulus, will cut two-thirds of its workforce, about 200 employees, only seven months after opening a factory in Nevada.

I foresaw this spate of bad news last November. As I explained yesterday,

In a previous post, I compared renewable energy spending in the 2009 Stimulus to a green albatross burdening the President. I argued that Stimulus spending was inherently wasteful, because politics invariably corrupts government’s investment decisions. The result is taxpayers losses on bankrupt companies that existed only by the grace of political favoritism, a la Solyndra. I predicted the green stimulus would haunt the President, in the form of a slow drip public relations nightmare, as a litany of bad investments go belly-up in the run up to the 2012 elections.

Mr. President, are you still sure you want to “double down” on renewable energy giveaways?
  >View the commentary on Globalwarming.org


Today, 11:30 a.m.
Don’t Drill and Drive: Weakening the “User-Pays” Highway Funding Principle Would Endanger Our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure


The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday is scheduled to release details of its plans to reauthorize the federal highway bill, now two years delinquent (see Politico story).  CEI co-hosts a Capitol Hill event today with the Reason Foundation, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and the Natural Resources Defense Council on why transportation funding should remain based on a user-fee system. >View event details.

> View related commentary on Globalwarming.org

> Read more by Marc Scribner



What are the costs, technologies, and politics behind the speaker's promise of a moon colony as the 51st state?

It would be a tough sell to a Congress that is used to directing space funds to its campaign contributors — a prize wouldn’t give them an adequate amount of control over where the money ended up. And even if a President Gingrich could get the support of Congress to establish such a prize, there would be no guarantee that a future Congress wouldn’t rescind it, creating a great deal of uncertainty and risk for someone who wanted to pursue it. A private prize can escrow the funds, but there’s no sure-fire way for a fickle U.S. government to do so, particularly in times of trillion-dollar deficits, because the Constitution doesn’t allow a Congress to commit a future Congress to an expenditure. A prize fund would always be at risk of being raided for some more “worthy” social objective.

But there’s another problem. When Speaker Gingrich proposes that the settlement eventually become a U.S. state, he is implicitly advocating withdrawal from the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which explicitly prohibits claims of national sovereignty off planet.
> View the full commentary on PJ Media

> Read more on space technology & policy by Rand Simberg


Ten Thousand Commandments

Welcome to The Other National Debt -- The Cost of Regulation

-> Read Today's Decrees


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