CEI Today: Windsorgate, George Will on regulation, and a chemical petition

Three big items today I thought might be of interest to you. 

- Breaking news that former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson's alter ego, "Richard Windsor" - a fake employee - was actually bestowed achievement and ethical award certificates by the agency. (It feels bizarre to even write that.) CEI's Chris Horner uncovered this news through a FOIA request.

- George Will writes about the massive and growing regulatory state in his column this week, citing Wayne Crews's recent "Ten Thousand Commandments" report.

- How often do you hear about enviro-scare efforts to frighten people and intimidate businesses with respect to consumer products? Now (at last) a newly launched consumer petition to retailers urges retailers to ignore radical greens’ advice to remove certain products from store shelves, and instead honor consumer freedom.




Washington Times: EPA awards "Richard Windsor" with achievement certificates


Richard Windsor never existed at the EPA, but the agency awarded the fictional staffer’s email account certificates proving he had mastered all of the agency’s technology training — including declaring him a “scholar of ethical behavior,” according to documents disclosed late last week.

Windsor.Richard@epa.gov was the controversial email alias used by former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, who resigned earlier this year amid questions about whether her agency was complying with open-records laws.

The new records — the latest in a series that EPA critics have pried loose under open-records requests — suggests Ms. Jackson used the alias even more widely than known, including taking required agency computer training under the fake identity.
> Read more

> Interview Christopher Horner

> Follow Christopher Horner on Twitter


George Will: A mandate that is off the rails

Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has recently published his “
Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State.” This year’s 20th-anniversary edition notes that regulation, the “hidden tax,” costs almost $2 trillion not counted among the official federal outlays. Using mostly government data, Crews concludes:

The cost of regulations ($1.806 trillion) is now more than half the size of the federal budget and 11.6 percent of GDP. This costs $14,768 per U.S. household, equal to 23 percent of the average household income of $63,685. Regulatory compliance costs exceed the combined sum of income taxes paid by corporations ($237 billion) and individuals ($1.165 trillion). Then add $61 billion in on-budget spending by agencies that administer regulations.

Crews’s “Anti-Democracy Index” measures “the ratio of regulations issued by agencies relative to laws passed by Congress.” In 2012, the index was 29, meaning that 29 times more regulations were issued by agencies than there were laws passed by Congress. “This disparity,” Crews writes, “highlights a substantial delegation of lawmaking power to unelected agency officials.”  > Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews

> Follow 10kc on Twitter


Openmarket.org: Retailers Should Keep Consumers — Not Greens — In Mind

As part of its Culture of Alarmism project, the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) has recently launched a coalition letter – which includes CEI — to retailers to combat the greens so-called “Mind the Store“ campaign. We (IWF, CEI, and 21 other groups) advise retailers to ignore radical greens’ advice to remove certain products from store shelves, and instead honor consumer freedom.

The greens’ effort, led by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, calls on the nation’s top 10 retailers — Walmart, Kroger, Target, Walgreens, Costco, Home Depot, CVS Caremark, Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Safeway –to remove a wide range of useful products from store shelves because they contain one of 101 so-called hazardous chemicals. > View the consumer petition


> Learn about the Culture of Alarmism project

> Interview Angela Logomasini

> Follow chemicalpolicy.org on Twitter




JUNE 20, 2013




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.



An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State


May marks the publication of the 20th anniversary edition of the CEI’s annual survey of the federal regulatory state, Ten Thousand Commandments.  cei.org/10kc

> Listen to the LibertyWeek podcast

> See also: Wall Street Journal editorial, Red Tape Record Breakers


Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellowship

CEI offers a one-year fellowship for journalists seeking to improve their knowledge of the principles of free markets and limited government. 


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