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Entries in Biofuels (14)


CEI Today: King v Burwell, regulation > spending, Save the Bees, and more 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
In the News Today




President Obama Posits Himself as All Three Branches in One

Ignoring his agency’s abuse of the law and undermining Congress, Obama today claims Supreme Court should not have taken up Obamacare case. 


“While President Obama’s healthcare law and his legacy may be near and dear to his heart, in the United States our system of government does not give any President or administration the authority to re-write laws, as the IRS attempted to do in this instance with Obamacare," said Lawson Bader, president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which is coordinating the King v. Burwell case. > Read more

> Interview an expert



Memo To Presidential Campaigns -- Federal Regulation Matters More Than Spending

The federal government’s reach extends well beyond taxes, deficits, and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations affect the economy by hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—annually in addition to the official dollar outlays that dominate the federal policy debate.  > Read more


> Interview Wayne Crews


Save the Bees: Eliminate Biofuel Mandates

The Obama administration made a lofty promise with the launch of its National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators. Over the next five years, the feds will implement an interagency campaign to restore and improve 7 million acres of “pollinator habitat.” That may be a laudable goal. But the strategy fails to address one of the biggest threats to pollinator habitat: federal biofuel mandates. > Read the Huffington Post commentary

> Interview Angela Logomasini


2015 Dinner and Reception
Join us for CEI’s
Bourbon & BBQ Bash:
Liberty served smooth and smokin’

Bloomberg Boston
1pm & 7pm ET
Bloomberg San Francisco 10am & 4pm PT




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,  Follow CEI on Twitter!


Thursday, June 11
8:30am – 10:30am


PC Newsmaker:
Are Streetcars Good For America?

Tuesday, June 16

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CEI Today: Jonathan Gruber, biofuel bankruptcy, union release time, and congressional earmarks 

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014
In the News Today



Obamacare: Cert Granted on Friday, and Gruber II on Saturday
Shortly after noon last Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it would review our Fourth Circuit Obamacare challenge, King v. Burwell. Saturday brought another surprise—yet another rediscovered Jonathan Gruber video:

And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass.” So, the only way to get it to pass was to not call it what it was and to not let the American people know what it really was.
 > Read more


Cellulosic Ethanol: KiOR Files for Bankruptcy

KiOR, Inc., a biofuel company backed by billionaire Vinod Kohsla, missed a $1.8 million loan payment to the state of Mississippi, now owes more than $312 million, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. EPA once pinned its hopes on KiOR to supply 9 million of the agency’s 17 million gallon 2014 cellulosic biofuel quota. More proof, if any were needed, that the point of central planning is not to accomplish its stated purposes but to amass power, rig markets, and (in democratic countries) buy votes. > Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis



Miami-Dade Contracts Keep Paying Government Employees to Perform Union Business

Why would a county attorney recommend against holding a government employee accountable for not coming to work? A practice known as union release time, whereby members of government unions don’t come to work and perform union business—on the taxpayer’s dime. The union subsidy is agreed upon in collective bargaining agreements between the union and county government. > Read more

> Interview Trey Kovacs


Daily Caller: Watch For The Return Of Congressional Earmarks


What will it take to keep Congress from reverting to form trying to buy its way back into Americans’ good graces. A clear sign that the answer to the question above is “nothing” will be when the new Congress officially repeals the inconvenient moratorium on the dispensation of legislative earmarks. > Read more

> Interview Bill Frezza

Q & A: Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute

Part One
& Part Two

Analyst Marc Scribner at the Competitive Enterprise Institute examines transportation policy from a staunchly pro-market standpoint. > Read the interview

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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,  Follow CEI on Twitter!



CEI President Lawson Bader


In memory of Gordon Tullock

Saturday, 10am ET





CEI Today: Biofuels mandate, AFL-CIO merger?, and the UAW v Detroit


National Journal: Can Washington Find Agreement on Biofuels Mandate? The Battle Continues

Although various reform bills introduced this year would reduce the market distortions arising from the Renewable Fuel Standard, full repeal is the only objective consonant with the principles of a free society. The RFS literally compels one industry to sell other industries' products. It is a form of involuntary servitude. > Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis


AFL-CIO - IVAN OSORIO Is the AFL-CIO Biting off More than it Can Chew?

Organized labor has long been a major force within the broader progressive coalition at the Democratic Party’s left wing. Now the AFL-CIO is considering making the relationship a more formal one. As
The Wall Street Journal reports: The centerpiece of the strategy ... involves bringing large grass-roots groups, such as the NAACP, the Hispanic civil-rights group National Council of La Raza and the Sierra Club, under the federation’s umbrella and giving them decision-making power.

Joining together to work for specific goals — pressuring companies and backing candidates — has proven effective for unions, environmental groups, and other members of the broader left. But forming a permanent formal alliance is bound to prove much more difficult. > Read more

> Interview Ivan Osorio



Can the UAW really be blamed for the sorry fate of Packard — and Detroit?

Yes, to a large extent. It’s not certain that Packard would have survived had the union not been such a financial and logistical burden. But there is no question that the UAW made it more, not less, difficult for Packard to weather the Sturm und Drang of the business cycle. 
> Read more

> Interview the authors

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau:
The Week in Regulation

The federal government has a strict policy against selling turtle eggs and small turtles for profit. In fact, if the FDA catches you with such turtles and you aren’t a researcher, federal regulations literally require you to kill the turtles while someone from the FDA watches you do it. Starting in January 2014, the FDA is thankfully lifting this particular death penalty.





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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!


In Praise of Banking at Big-Box Stores

The provision in Dodd-Frank that imposed a three-year moratorium on banks affiliated with nonfinancial businesses expired this week. > Read more




CEI Today: EPA email scandal, biofuel ruling, carbon tax prospects, online poker, and more 


National Review: The EPA vs. State Economies

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency rejected petitions from the governors of Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, and North Carolina to suspend the biofuel-blending requirements established by the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) program.

However, the EPA stacked the decks against petitioners, establishing a burden of proof that was virtually impossible to meet. Indeed, the agency’s August 30 Request for Comment telegraphed the decision Jackson reached on Friday. The EPA stated petitioners would have to show that the “RFS itself” was the cause of severe harm, not merely a “contributing” factor. In addition, petitioners would have to show that waiving the RFS would be a “remedy” for the hardship facing livestock producers.

These criteria are ridiculous. The Clean Air Act does not require the EPA to don analytical blinkers and ignore other factors that, in combination with the RFS, cause severe harm, nor does it say that any waiver granted must be a silver bullet.  > Read the full news story on


> Interview Marlo Lewis


American Spectator: A Carbon Copy of a Bad Idea


There are good reasons for conservatives to contemplate how their approach to young single women, gays, and immigrants might have contributed to recent defeats, but there is no reason to think that a switch on energy policy -- which is really economic and industrial policy -- might help. A carbon tax would punish the middle class and harm the broader economy now and going forward. It should be defeated the same way as cap-and-tax was defeated.

> View more at

> Interview Iain Murray


Breitbart/Big Government: Harry Reid's Online Poker Folds on Freedom

The Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to introduce soon, is being touted as a way to legalize online poker. In fact, it is a self-serving piece of legislation that protects large Nevada-based casinos at the expense of consumer choice. The bill in effect criminalizes just about any other form of online wagering, while providing a tiny carve-out for online poker companies in a way that protects Nevada against competition from any other state in the nation.  > View the commentary on

> Interview Michelle Minton





The Competitive Enterprise Institute is proud to announce a new ambitious film project: an animated adaptation of I, Pencil by Leonard Read.

> View the I, Pencil short film

> Tweet about I, Pencil



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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!


CEI Today: The EU's Nobel Peace Prize, solar panel and biofuel snafus, and California's scheme for GE food labeling



National Review: Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Destabilizing Force

On October 12, it was announced that the European Union had won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement was greeted with warmth in Brussels and distinct coolness elsewhere — including throughout Europe. The award is notably odd because the EU’s policies are currently helping to destabilize the continent. Indeed, because of the euro, it may not survive another year without a secession crisis, or worse. Only a reversal of course on the EU project itself can restore hope and guarantee peace. > View the full commentary at


> Interview Iain Murray

NEW TARIFF ON SOLAR PANELS - WILLIAM YEATMAN We Should Forfeit the “Great” Green Race with China


On Wednesday, the Commerce Department levied tariffs from 18 percent to 240 percent on solar panels imported from China. At best, this silly policy will increase the price of electricity in America; at worst, it could be the first salvo in a harmful trade war.

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are expensive and unreliable, so they cannot compete with conventional energy sources in the electricity market. Instead, demand for green energy is established by Soviet-style production quotas, known as renewable energy standards. More than 30 states have enacted such standards, which force consumers to use increasing amounts of green energy.

  > Read the analysis at


> Interview William Yeatman

BIOFUELS VS FOOD  U.S. Biofuel Expansion Cost Developing Countries $6.6 Billion: Tufts


U.S. biofuel expansion has cost developing countries $6.6 billion in higher food costs, estimates Tufts University economist Timothy A. Wise in Fueling the Food Crisis, a report published by ActionAid. A 10-minute video interview with Wise about his research is available here.

The 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), established by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), exerts long-term upward pressure on grain prices by diverting an ever-growing quantity of corn from food and feed to auto fuel. This is great for corn farmers but not good for U.S. consumers and harmful to millions of people in developing countries, many of whom live in extreme poverty. > Read more at

> Interview Marlo Lewis



Orange County Register: A losing proposition on food labeling - Prop. 37 is deceptive, anti-consumer, abuses taxpayers and makes no sense


California's initiative process – which allows "propositions" to be placed on the ballot quite easily – can lead to laws that are muddled, intentionally misleading to voters, and bad public policy. One of these is Proposition 37, which would require labeling of "genetically engineered" foods.

Labeling advocates claim that GE foods are somehow "unnatural" and might be unsafe. And what could be wrong with letting consumers know what's in their food and letting them decide what to buy?  >Read the full report commentary on

> Interview Gregory Conko




Horner Book:
Gore’s green money machine

So, Al Gore came to do good and ended up doing really, really well, according to the Washington Post. That’s actually not unique for Washington, except possibly as a matter of scale: Gore went from being worth $2 million when leaving office to about $100 million now.

Gore, of course, “invested” in or otherwise found profitable arrangements with many companies whose financing mostly comes courtesy of the taxpayer, either directly, or indirectly in that private money flocks to that which politicians wed themselves to — the “halo effect” — on the knowledge that once the spigot opens it is difficult to turn off for fear of having a taxpayer-funded flop on their hands.

I couldn’t help but be reminded, by this story, of the personnel executing these programs for President Obama, he of the $90 billion in “green energy” money squandered on boondoggles whose own owners’ sales pitch for the dough was unless you give me this money, I won’t exist. > Read more




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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!