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CEI Today: Fiscal Cliff alternatives, renewable fuel standards, and green chemistry 


Forbes: Alternatives To Obama's Fiscal Cliff Proposal For An Infrastructure Bank


Proposals for a so-called infrastructure bank have been around for years. Republicans are often seduced by such calls for creatively packaged government spending as well as government research and development generally. One must constantly defend free enterprise from its advocates in this respect.

But get ready: Now, President Obama’s fiscal cliff proposals include the cronyism-susceptible infrastructure bank idea. > View the full commentary at


> Interview Wayne Crews

RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD - MARLO LEWIS Renewable Fuel Standard Costs Chain Restaurants $0.5 billion to $3.2 billion annually – Price Waterhouse Cooper


A new study conducted by Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) for the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) estimates the impact of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on the chain restaurant industry.

Here are the results. If the RFS in 2015 increases annual ethanol consumption by 6 billion gallons (“Scenario I”), quick service restaurants are projected to spend an additional $2.5 billion (10% of major food commodity spending) and full service restaurants an additional $691 million (8.9%). Costs at a typical restaurant increase from $18,190 in quick service restaurants and $17,195 in full service restaurants.


  > View the commentary on

> Interview Marlo Lewis



Washington’s state bureaucrats are soliciting proposals from “public and private sector firms to help create a technically competent and vibrant Green Chemistry Center to help transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy in Washington State.” But what exactly is green chemistry, and is it worth spending $550 million to advance it? > Read the full commentary on


> Interview Angela Logomasini




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 - Coalition Warns Against Tax Hikes, Defends Taxpayer Protection Pledge

Congress Should Nix Tax Hike Deal With Obama Administration


Washington, DC, December 5, 2012 – In response to an all-out assault by the media and even some in Congress on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge lawmakers signed promising they would not raise taxes, a coalition of national and state policy groups sent a letter to GOP lawmakers on Wednesday that urges them to honor their pledge to taxpayers and refuse to raise taxes.

Some members have said they will repudiate their pledge to taxpayers but attempt to hold the line on rate increases to achieve a ‘deal’ with the Obama administration. We urge you to reject this line of thinking. We urge you to reject tax increases, refocus negotiations on spending cuts and entitlement reform, where they belong, and send a strong signal to Americans they can count on their elected representatives to look out for them in the upcoming budget negotiations.

The letter points out the political reality that any negotiated trade between tax increases and spending cuts will lead to tax increases and no real spending cuts.  Moreover, billions in spending cuts can, in fact, be made without raising taxes to plug the budget hole.

Groups represented by the coalition letter include: Competitive Enterprise Institute, American Commitment, Less Government, R Street Institute, FRC, Accuracy in Media, Capital Research Center, Institute for Policy Innovation, National Taxpayers Union, Rio Grande Foundation, Cascade Policy Institute, The Maine Heritage Policy Center, Let Freedom Ring, American Conservative Union, The National Center for Public Policy Research, Center for Freedom & Prosperity, Center for Individual Freedom, GOProud, and the 60 Plus Association.

>View the coalition letter


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: Pay disparity, Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Obama recess appointments, and bipartisan reg reform


Ocean State Current: Public Employee Pay and Benefits Draw Historical Comparison with Corruption in Roman Empire


The incestuous relationship that exists between union officials and the elected officials they help put into office deserves greater attention and scrutiny, Matt Patterson, a labor policy analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in Washington, D.C., told the Current.

“The pay disparity between public and private sector workers is one of the great unreported injustices in America,” Patterson said.

“Government-worker unions help hire, make that hire, their own bosses: politicians, who are then unsurprisingly inclined to grant their benefactors generous wage and benefit packages with taxpayer dollars. It’s a little like the later stages of the Roman Empire, when the army would install as Emperor whichever general the soldiers thought would reward them the best. Then as now, such a bargain is a recipe for corruption and incompetence.”
  > View the news story on

> Interview Matt Patterson



In response to an all-out assault by the media and even some in Congress on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge lawmakers signed promising they would not raise taxes, a coalition of national and state policy groups sent a letter to GOP lawmakers on Wednesday that urges them to honor their pledge to taxpayers and refuse to raise taxes.


> View the coalition letter

NLRB & OBAMA RECESS APPOINTMENTS - HANS BADER Appeals Court Hears Challenge To Obama Administration Power Grab Over NLRB

This morning, the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in Noel Canning v. NLRB, which includes a challenge to President Obama’s “recess” appointment of two National Labor Relations Board members last January, when the Senate was technically in session, not in recess, and the purported “recess” was very brief, even in the eyes of those who claim there was a “recess.”


The Obama administration takes an incredibly expansive interpretation of [the Recess Appointments Clause], arguing that he can appoint officials without the Senate’s consent, not only during any recess, no matter how brief (not just “the” recess between sessions), but also to fill any appointment, regardless of whether the vacancy arose during a recess. Past court rulings have stretched the reach of the Recess Appointments Clause, but never this far.> Read the full commentary on


> Interview Hans Bader

REG REFORM - WAYNE CREWS Beyond The Fiscal Cliff, Bipartisan Regulatory Reform


If I’m reading this right, the Progressive Policy Institute wants to roll back some over-regulation. It’s not clear how much, but it does seem to be a visible amount.

The PPI’s February 2011 policy report, Reviving Jobs and Innovation: a Progressive Approach to Improving Regulation, calls for a Regulatory Improvement Commission to weed out regulations that have accumulated like “barnacles.”

The breakthrough is the bipartisan recognition the federal rulemaking process knows how to add but not subtract.
  > View the full commentary at


> Interview Wayne Crews


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!


Cooler Heads Digest 30 November 2012 

30 November 2012

In the News

Global Fawning
Myron Ebell, Standpoint, December 2012

AAA Asks EPA to Stop Sales of High Ethanol Fuel
Zack Colman, The Hill, 30 November 2012

Is Big Green’s Carbon Tax a Snake in the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Grass?
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 29 November 2012

Nissan Cancels Grand Opening of Taxpayer-Backed EV Plant
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 29 November 2012

Carbon Taxes: Kick ‘Em While They’re Down
Marlo Lewis,, 28 November 2012

Doha Doublespeak
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 28 November 2012

Texas Windpower: Will Negative Pricing Blow Out the Lights?
Josiah Neeley, Master Resource, 27 November 2012

EPA Administrators Invent Excuses To Avoid Transparency
Chris Horner, Washington Examiner, 25 November 2012

Global Warming Mission Creep at the World Bank
Investors Business Daily editorial, 24 November 2012

Global Warming Hysteria Will Kill Jobs
Paul Driessen, Washington Times, 18 November 2012

Carbon Taxes Won’t Save the Planet
Steve Milloy, Washington Times, 17 November 2012

News You Can Use
Marlo Lewis

Peer-Reviewed Journal: No Trend in 370 Years of Tropical Cyclone Data

A new study published in the journal Climatic Change analyzes the history of tropical cyclone activity in the Lesser Antilles from 1638 to 2009, and finds “no trend” over the 370 year period. This is important because the Lesser Antilles, a string of islands lying along the eastern Caribbean Sea, intersect the “main development region” for Atlantic hurricane formation, making storm data there “our best source for historical variability of tropical cyclones in the tropical Atlantic in the past three centuries,” the researchers explain.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Rep. Pompeo and Sen. Vitter Announce Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution

Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Ks.) and Senator David Vitter (R-La.) announced this week that they would introduce a concurrent resolution in both the House and Senate “expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax is not in the economic interest of the United States.”   They are inviting other Members to sign on as original co-sponsors and plan to introduce the resolution formally some time next week.

The resolution will not bind Members who sponsor it and is unlikely to come to a vote, but it will be a public show of opposition to efforts being made in secret negotiations to include a carbon tax as part of a big tax and budget deal to avert the “fiscal cliff.”  The attraction of a carbon tax is not that it would slow global greenhouse gas emissions, but rather that it would raise a huge amount of new revenue.

Rep. Pompeo said in a press release that, “A carbon tax would be disastrous to our nation’s economy by driving up energy prices and increasing the cost of everything built in America, as well consumer goods purchased by every American.”  Sen. Vitter added, “A carbon tax – which would force more financial hardship upon family budgets, energy consumers and job seekers – needs to be completely taken off the table. Our resolution would enshrine that.”

A number of Members of Congress have said that they oppose a carbon tax and many have signed a No Climate Tax pledge organized during the debate over cap-and-trade legislation in 2009-10 by Americans for Prosperity. The signers include all members of the House Republican leadership.  The Pompeo-Vitter resolution will update and make more specific AFP’s pledge.

Say It Isn’t So! Exxon Supports a Carbon Tax

On the other side of the carbon tax debate, Big Oil is coming out of the closet.  Exxon Mobil confirmed earlier this month in a Bloomberg Businessweek article that they support a carbon tax. Shell and BP have signed a Climate Price Communiqué that was distributed on 29th November at the eighteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is meeting in Doha, Qatar, this week and next.  

The most obvious reason why big oil and gas companies would support a huge new tax on their own products is that it would kill coal first.  Burning coal emits roughly twice as much carbon dioxide as producing the same amount of energy by burning natural gas.  A $20 a ton of CO2 tax would roughly double the current price of coal used for producing electricity.  That would provide a huge incentive for utilities to switch to natural gas.  Exxon Mobil owns the world’s largest privately-owned reserves of natural gas.  Shell and BP also own huge gas reserves. 

The Climate Price Communiqué states that, “Putting a clear, transparent and unambiguous price on carbon emissions must be a core policy objective.”  They mean a global price, but a U. S. domestic carbon tax could fit comfortably into their plans.    

The communiqué was organized by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change and is managed by the University of Cambridge’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership.  One-hundred forty companies have signed on, but Shell and BP are among just a handful of major corporations. 

Amusingly, an article posted on the Center for American Progress’s ThinkProgress web site claimed that the signers were “leading global companies.”   Here’s the list of North American companies:  Actio, Aimia, Bullfrog Power, Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Climate Wedge, Delphi Group, Eco-kraft, EOS Climate, Horizon Capitol Holdings, Events Outside the Box, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Offsetters, Pacific GPS, Westport, and Wildlife Works. 

Across the States
William Yeatman

ALEC Launches Effort to Repeal Green Energy Production Quotas

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is leading an effort to repeal Soviet-style renewable energy production quotas in 29 states. ALEC, a non-profit organization of state legislators and private sector representatives, drafts and promotes model bills in state legislatures. In October, ALEC approved the Electricity Freedom Act, legislation that would reverse the renewable portfolio standards, as the green energy production quotas are known. According to ALEC Task Force Director Todd Wynn, the Electricity Freedom Act will be a priority in 2013. This should be welcome news to ratepayers across the country. Because renewable energy is expensive and intermittent, these renewable portfolio standards are making electricity more expensive. The Electricity Freedom Act rightly opposes these green energy mandates as “essentially a tax on consumers of electricity.”

Around the World
Brian McGraw

EU Delays Airline Carbon Fee for 1 Year

After months of negotiations, the European Union earlier this month agreed to delay the implementation of its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for foreign airlines operating in EU airspace. The EU law would have required that foreign airlines purchase credits for carbon emissions produced while operating in the EU.

The law was opposed by a plurality of non EU countries, including the United States, China, India, Russia, and more. When the initial payments were demanded earlier this year, China responded by prohibiting its airlines from participating in the scheme and began to hold up valuable purchase orders to buy airplanes from Airbus, an airline manufacturer located in the EU Not coincidentally, a Chinese order for 60 new airplanes from Airbus went through just weeks after the EU decision. Similar actions were taken or threatened by other countries.

For months, the EU refused to back down despite the ongoing threat of a trade war. The recent decision delays implementation for one year with hopes that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) can agree upon a global ETS for aviation emissions. Given the failure of international organizations to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, and the unwillingness of China and other developing countries to agree to emissions cuts, it is hard to imagine that the ICAO will be able to find agreement on a global aviation ETS within one year. EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard has promised strict enforcement in late 2013 if the ICAO is unable to reach an acceptable agreement.

Meanwhile, back in the United States a recently re-elected President Obama quietly signed a bill which could have prohibited American airline companies from participating in the ETS. While slightly redundant in the short run, the law will continue to prevent U.S. airlines from participating in the EU scheme if the EU again attempts to force compliance a year from now, in the event that the ICAO has failed.

COP-18: It’s That Time of Year Again

Representatives from nations around the world gather this week and next in Doha, Qatar in their annual effort to secure a global agreement to slow the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Very little in the way of “progress” is expected at COP-18 (the eighteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), despite the lack of any successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012.

Last year at COP-17 in Durban, South Africa, negotiators agreed to start a “process to develop a protocol, another legal instrument, or an outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties” by the end of 2015, with required global emissions reductions beginning in 2020. This was meant to include both developing and developed countries, though China and India have yet to signal their willingness to comply with this 2020 deadline.

Unsurprisingly, China and India are demanding that the U.S. and the EU continue to engage in emissions cuts, while also demanding that progress be made on the Green Climate Fund. The Green Climate Fund was a pledge established in Copenhagen at COP-15, to transfer $100 billion in annual “climate aid” from developed countries to developing countries by 2020. No significant progress has been made by developing countries on ways to secure funding for the Green Climate Fund.

Perhaps, as they have in the past, the diplomats at COP-18 will find some way to proclaim that they’ve made progress by the last day of negotiations. However, the big picture remains unchanged: developed countries are increasingly hesitant to agree to emissions cuts absent participation from developing countries, and developing countries are still refusing to quantifiable emissions cuts.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,


CEI Weekly: Rachel Carson Was Wrong 

Friday, November 30, 2012



Feature: The case against the case against agrochemicals.

FEATURE: Rachel Carson Was Wrong


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, the book credited with launching the modern environmentalist movement. In a new study, CEI Senior Fellow Angela Logomasini argues that history has proven Carson's warning about agrochemicals wrong. Read the study here




EPA Administrators Invent Excuses to Avoid Transparency

Christopher Horner's op-ed in The Washington Examiner


Senator Durbin Is Wrong on Energy Drinks Ban

Michelle Minton's op-ed in The Hill


Global Fawning

Myron Ebell's op-ed in Standpoint Magazine


Opportunity and Wealth Remain in America, Not Europe

Matthew Melchiorre's op-ed in Investor's Business Daily


Overturning Dodd-Frank

Sam Kazman's citation in The Washington Times


Taking Money Off the Table

John Berlau's citation in The Appeal Democrat


Meet Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Hollywood's New Copyright Ally

Ryan Radia's' citation in C-NET


Stacking the Deck for Dodd-Frank

CEI's citation in National Review













November 27, 2012: Rachel Was Wrong


Senior Fellow Angela Logomasini talks about her forthcoming CEI study, “Rachel Was Wrong: Agrochemicals’ Benefits to Human Health and the Environment.” Fifty years ago in her book Silent Spring, Carson argued that pesticides and other chemicals would increase cancer rates; they have actually gone down despite increased life expectancy. Carson argued that chemicals would reduce environmental quality; indicators have actually improved almost across the board, and high-yield farming feeds more people while leaving more habitat for wildlife. Carson argued that chemicals would increase food-borne illnesses; again, they have gone down.