CEI Today: Ethanol & gas prices, highway bill, and Law of the Sea Treaty


Coalition Letter to Surface Transportation Bill Conferees

CEI signed a coalition letter to House and Senate members of the conference committee of the surface transportation reauthorization bill in which we expressed our concern over provisions that limit states' ability to toll their highways.


In the current era of severely constrained investment resources for surface transportation at all levels of government, states and metropolitan regions should be afforded greater flexibility to fund and finance their transportation facilities and networks. Congress does not seem inclined to raise funding for surface transportation through increasing federal motor fuels taxes or by replacing those taxes with other dedicated funding. In the absence of new funding sources, at a minimum, Congress should provide states and metropolitan regions with the tools to develop and expand their potential sources of revenue and investment capital. To that end, federal barriers to state innovation and flexibility should be substantially reduced, and no new ones should be erected.>Read the coalition letter on CEI.org

> Interview Marc Scribner



Ethanol Reduced Gas Prices by $1.09/g – Or Didn’t You Notice?

Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) has just updated its 2009 and 2011 studies of ethanol’s impact on gasoline prices. CARD claims that from January 2000 to December 2011, “the growth in ethanol production reduced wholesale gasoline prices by $0.29 per gallon on average across all regions,” and that in 2011 ethanol lowered gasoline prices by a whopping $1.09 per gallon.

I’m no econometrician, but this study does not pass the laugh test. We’re supposed to believe that ethanol has conferred a giant boon on consumers even though gasoline prices have increased as ethanol production has increased, and even though gas prices hit their all-time high when ethanol production hit its all-time high. If that is success, what would failure look like? > Read the full commentary on Globalwarming.org

>Interview Marlo Lewis



Openmarket.org: Let’s Lose LOST

The Law of the Sea Treaty would drastically undermine American sovereignty, giving massive powers to the U.N. (aka the Dictators’ Club of New York), but the Senate is actually considering passing it — get this — as a tribute to Dick Lugar, whose voters unceremoniously dumped him last week. Seriously, couldn’t they just give him a medal? This is enough to make me think the House of Lords is a good idea.  > Read the full commentary at Openmarket.org

> Interview Iain Murray



Ten Thousand Commandments 2012

An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State
May 15, 2012

The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government’s reach extends well beyond the taxes Washington collects and its deficit spending and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that dominate the policy debate.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.