CEI Today: Windsorgate, renewable fuel mandate, too big to fail, and the airline merger

Thursday, August 15, 2013
In the News Today


Washington Free Beacon: Lisa Jackson Contacted Lobbyist from Private Email, by CJ Ciaramella

Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson used her private email to conduct official business, including with a lobbyist, in a possible violation of federal record laws.

 The emails were part of the latest batch of documents released through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The conservative nonprofit has been digging through Jackson’s correspondencefor months after it discovered she used a secret EPA email address under the pseudonym “Richard Windsor.”

Alison Taylor, a vice president for the multinational company Siemens, emailed Jackson’s “Richard Windsor” account in December 2009 asking if Jackson “might be able to spare a few minutes to meet with Siemens’ global sustainability officer (who is my boss) Barbara Kux.”

“She’d like to meet you and to express her support for your good work on climate,” Taylor wrote.

Jackson agreed. Shortly after, she sent a second email: “P.S. Can you use my home email rather than this one when you need to contact me directly? Tx, Lisa.”

At the time, Taylor was a lobbyist for Siemens. Siemens spent more than $5 million lobbying the federal government, including the EPA, in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 
> Read more

> Interview Chris Horner


Free-Market Coalition Urges House To Abolish the Renewable Fuel Standard

On Wednesday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and 10 other free-market organizations called for repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

In a letter to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who are undertaking a thorough review of the Renewable Fuel Standard program, the group urges the leaders to abandon the idea entirely.

“Such compulsion is anathema to basic American notions of justice and equality under law,” the free market coalition letter states.   > Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis



Forbes:  Caveat Emptor Banking: Peer-To-Peer Lending Challenges Too-Big-To-Fail Status Quo


Imagine a financial institution that the government cannot deem too big to fail, requires no deposit insurance, can never be subject to a run, needs no lender-of-last-resort support by a central bank, cannot become overleveraged, suffers no maturity mismatches between assets and liabilities, is immune to interest rate manipulation, can never subject the rest of us to systemic risk, offers quick approval of unsecured personal and business loans at market rates, and provides yield-hungry investors with a way to build individualized debt portfolios based on risk models of their own choosing.

It’s called peer-to-peer lending, the latest innovation shaking up the financial industry. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts before Washington’s out-of-control regulatory regime attempts to crush it—and what happens afterward if they do.
> Read more

> Interview Bill Frezza

AirTalk with Larry Mantle:
Feds sue to block massive airline merger


The plan to create the largest airline in U.S. history may get derailed by the Department of Justice. calling the merger "pretty messed up" and "bad for consumers," Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer announced a lawsuit to block the deal between American Airlines and US Airways that was cemented earlier this year. It would have meant the third mega-merger of legacy carriers in recent years - following Delta-Northwest and United-Continental.

How would it affect consumers and the overall travel market? Does a deal stopper mean American Airlines and U.S. Airways lead to worries of bankruptcy?  Marc Scribner, CEI Fellow in Transportation Studies, discusses.  > Listen to the podcast

> Interview Marc Scribner


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.


100 People to Watch This Fall



Christopher Horner, CEI Senior Fellow


Horner, an attorney, conservative analyst and activist and political bomb-thrower, has drawn attention for recent lawsuits seeking more transparency from the EPA. > Read more


Workplacechoice Congressional Scorecard

Well, it’s official: We finally have a fully staffed National Labor Relations Board.

For the full score of the NLRB confirmation vote, see our
Congressional Scorecard page here.