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Entries in CEI (1355)

Thursday
Oct232014

CEI Today: Sports gambling, student loans, paperwork costs, and more 

Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014
In the News Today

 

LEGALIZING SPORTS GAMBLING - MICHELLE MINTON


New Republic: Let Chris Christie Legalize Sports Gambling. It Won't Ruin the Game.

Last Friday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill legalizing sports gambling in his state. Casinos and racetracks began preparing to take bets as soon as this weekend. But the four major sports leagues and the NCAA, who say the law violates a federal ban on sports gambling, filed a motion Tuesday to stop the law from taking effect. Now it's up to a federal judge to decide.

It's a legal matter, but earlier this month Mark Varga argued in The New Republic that central issue is the integrity of the game: that legalizing sports gambling in America would lead to scandals like match fixing. There's no evidence to support his argument. In fact, legalizing gambling would make the game even cleaner and more transparent. > Read more

> Interview Michelle Minton

 

STUDENT LOANS - CARRIE SHEFFIELD
 
Forbes: CFPB's Loan Report Attacks Lenders Rather Than Empowering Students
 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) recent annual student loan ombudsman report aims to help those falling behind with private lenders. However, its reactive approach would simply stifle flames rather than prevent their initial burst by proposing shortsighted policies that could lead vulnerable students to take on more debt. > Read more

 

PAPERWORK COSTS - WAYNE CREWS

The 2014 Federal Paperwork and Red Tape Roundup, Part 4: Independent Agency Paperwork Costs


Independent agency paperwork burdens do not get accounted for in OMB’s annual benefits and costs roundup of executive agency rules, and include bureaus like the Securities and Exchange Commission with its 234 million reported hours of paperwork, and the Federal Communications Commission’s 82 million.

Be that as it may, as the link at Independent Agency Paperwork Burdens and the chart nearby shows, these hours add up to 610 million for agencies not headed by a cabinet secretary. At $35/hour, add an additional $21.3 billion in annual costs for independent agencies.
> Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews


 

CO2 REDUCTION TARGETS - MARLO LEWIS

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Targets for Virginia: Unlawful Six Ways


The Virginia State Corporation Counsel’s staff identify six main reasons EPA’s proposed CO2 reduction targets for Virginia are not valid performance standards. > Read more

 

> Interview Marlo Lewis
 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

Join me this Saturday on Bloomberg Radio discussing political, economic, and civil freedoms.

--> Subscribe to RealClear Radio Hour’s email list at RealClearRadio.org.

 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!
 

 

    

 

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.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts

In Memoriam: Leonard Liggio
 


Wall Street Journal
Review & Outlook


Carvin’s ObamaCare
Tour de Force


 

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau:
The Week in Regulation

The federal government took Monday off for Columbus Day, but still managed to pack more than 50 new regulations into a short week.





 

Wednesday
Oct222014

CEI Today: Cost of independent agencies, union lobbyists, energy poverty, and more 

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014
In the News Today

 

COST OF INDEPENDENT AGENCIES? - WAYNE CREWS
 
The Great Unknown - Federal Independent Agencies’ Regulatory Costs
 

Independent agencies are not subject to Office of Management and Budget review as executive agency rules are, so their rules’ costs are not included in the annual Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations, confounding as that may be. Referring to whatever cost estimates independent agencies may perform on their own, OMB stated that it “does not know whether the rigor of the analysis conducted by these agencies is similar to that of the analyses performed by agencies subject to OMB review.” > Read more

 

UNION LOBBYISTS - TREY KOVACS

Union Lobbyists Collecting Illinois Public Pen
sions Is Illegal Gift

Recent reports reveal that Illinois taxpayers are funding union agents’ pensions.

One loophole allowed a couple of teacher union lobbyists who spent one day each as substitute teachers in Illinois public schools to apply their years of service as union agents for the Illinois Federation of Teachers toward a state pension.
> Read more

> Interview Trey Kovacs

 

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES - ANGELA LOGOMASINI


Green Exploitation of the Monarch Butterfly

Conservationists rightly point out that monarch butterflies face challenges associated with habitat loss because there are not enough of the type of plants that they need for food and reproduction.

A massive educational campaign pushed by environmental groups, which collectively have tens of millions of dollars at their disposal, could make the critical difference. Some groups are working this angle, but too many others would rather spend the money to lobby for more government controls on businesses and property owners. > Read more

> Interview Angela Logomasini

 

ENERGY POVERTY - MARLO LEWIS

Which Is the Bigger Threat to People in Developing Countries: Climate Change or Energy Poverty?


For the 1.3 billion people who have no electricity, energy poverty is indeed an existential threat. For the additional 2.3 billion people facing chronic electricity shortages, frequent blackouts, and limited hours of service, energy poverty is a decisive obstacle to development.


Those 3.6 billion people need access to plentiful, reliable, affordable energy as soon as possible, and for the foreseeable future, that means carbon-based energy. Yet the pampered elites at the UN, the EU, and the White House want all countries, including India and China, where hundreds of millions still have no electricity, to make ‘politically-binding’ commitments to limit their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the inescapable byproduct of carbon-energy use. > Read more

 

> Interview Marlo Lewis
 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!
 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

In addition to WXKS 1200AM & WJMN 94.5FM-HD2 Boston, RealClear Radio Hour is broadcast Saturdays on 1030 KVOI Tucson, Sundays on The Patriot KRMR 105.7FM & KNNS 1510AM Kansas, and Mondays on WROM Detroit. --> To receive show updates, subscribe to RealClear Radio Hour’s email list at RealClearRadio.org.

 

 

    

 

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.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts

In Memoriam: Leonard Liggio
 


Wall Street Journal
Review & Outlook


Carvin’s ObamaCare
Tour de Force


His reply brief to the government leaves the Supreme Court no legal reason to dodge the case on federal subsidies.


 

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau:
The Week in Regulation

The federal government took Monday off for Columbus Day, but still managed to pack more than 50 new regulations into a short week.





 

Tuesday
Oct212014

CEI Today: Online gambling ban, EPA's clean power plan, and the future of driverless cars 

Monday, Oct. 20, 2014
In the News Today

 

ONLINE GAMBLING BAN - MICHELLE MINTON
 
New Pittsburgh Courier: Online gambling ban does nothing to protect consumers
 
Wellington Webb says gambling ensnares “naïve and foolish” people who think they can strike it rich. But how is legal online gambling any more of a threat to consumers’ well-being than state-run lotteries, brick-and-mortar casinos, or foreign-operated gambling sites? Playing poker online is no more dangerous than other forms of real-world gambling. In fact, legalizing the activity would bring online gambling out of the shadows and allow states to implement safeguards to address the ills Webb fears. An online gambling ban will do nothing to protect consumers—but it will protect the profits of brick-and-mortar casino owners like Webb’s boss, Sheldon Adelson. > Read more
 

EPA'S CLEAN POWER PLAN - MARLO LEWIS

“Topsy-Turvy” Clean Power Plan Could “Substantially” Raise Electric Bills — Virginia State Corporate Commission


In a comment letter filed this week, the State Corporation Commission (SCC)* cautioned that EPA’s Clean Power Plan could “substantially increase” consumer electric bills in Virginia. > Read more

 

> Related: EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Huge Electric Sector Impacts, Undetectably Small Climate Benefits — Study


> Interview Marlo Lewis
 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!
 


REGULATION VS. VEHICLE INNOVATION - MARC SCRIBNER


Misguided Regulations Threaten Automated Vehicle Innovation
To date, four states and the District of Columbia have enacted statutes that explicitly recognize the legality of automated vehicles. 

California’s manufacturer testing regulations came into force in September. While not entirely problematic, California’s rules mandate that a licensed driver be in the driver seat at all times during autonomous operation. In effect, this outlaws testing of more advanced fully automated vehicles. > Read more

> Interview Marc Scribner

 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

In addition to WXKS 1200AM & WJMN 94.5FM-HD2 Boston, RealClear Radio Hour is broadcast Saturdays on 1030 KVOI Tucson, Sundays on The Patriot KRMR 105.7FM & KNNS 1510AM Kansas, and Mondays on WROM Detroit. --> To receive show updates, subscribe to RealClear Radio Hour’s email list at RealClearRadio.org.

 

 

    

 

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.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts

In Memoriam: Leonard Liggio
 





 

Tuesday
Oct212014

CEI Today: Monarch butterflies, corporate income tax, energy poverty, and more 

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
In the News Today

 

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES - ANGELA LOGOMASINI


Green Exploitation of the Monarch Butterfly

Conservationists rightly point out that monarch butterflies face challenges associated with habitat loss because there are not enough of the type of plants that they need for food and reproduction.

A massive educational campaign pushed by environmental groups, which collectively have tens of millions of dollars at their disposal, could make the critical difference. Some groups are working this angle, but too many others would rather spend the money to lobby for more government controls on businesses and property owners. > Read more

> Interview Angela Logomasini

 

CORPORATE INCOME TAX - WAYNE CREWS
 
Forbes: Waste: Federal Tax Paperwork May Cost More Than The Corporate Income Tax Collects
 

Earlier studies of the costs of overall tax compliance, the deadweight costs and sheer economic waste, postulated several percent of GDP, or hundreds of billions of dollars. Surveying such material I reckoned $329 billion as a placeholder for those costs.

Note something interesting; that $329 billion exceeds the $321 billion that the Treasury Department reports as what is taken in by via corporate income tax receipts.
> Read more

 

ENERGY POVERTY - MARLO LEWIS

Which Is the Bigger Threat to People in Developing Countries: Climate Change or Energy Poverty?


For the 1.3 billion people who have no electricity, energy poverty is indeed an existential threat. For the additional 2.3 billion people facing chronic electricity shortages, frequent blackouts, and limited hours of service, energy poverty is a decisive obstacle to development.


Those 3.6 billion people need access to plentiful, reliable, affordable energy as soon as possible, and for the foreseeable future, that means carbon-based energy. Yet the pampered elites at the UN, the EU, and the White House want all countries, including India and China, where hundreds of millions still have no electricity, to make ‘politically-binding’ commitments to limit their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the inescapable byproduct of carbon-energy use. > Read more

 

> Interview Marlo Lewis
 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!
 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

In addition to WXKS 1200AM & WJMN 94.5FM-HD2 Boston, RealClear Radio Hour is broadcast Saturdays on 1030 KVOI Tucson, Sundays on The Patriot KRMR 105.7FM & KNNS 1510AM Kansas, and Mondays on WROM Detroit. --> To receive show updates, subscribe to RealClear Radio Hour’s email list at RealClearRadio.org.

 

 

    

 

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.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts

In Memoriam: Leonard Liggio
 

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau:
The Week in Regulation

The federal government took Monday off for Columbus Day, but still managed to pack more than 50 new regulations into a short week.





 

Saturday
Oct182014

Cooler Heads Digest 17 October 2014 

17 October 2014

In the News

Spanish Company under Federal Investigation Wins $230 Million in DOE Subsidies
Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, 17 October 2014

Love to Hate? Anti-Fracking Group Scrubs Website
Steve Everley, Master Resource, 16 October 2014

The Final Word on Yucca
Jack Spencer & Katie Tubb, The Daily Signal, 16 October 2014

GOP Congress Seen Pushing Back on EPA Rules
Adam O’Neal, Real Clear Politics, 16 October 2014

The Breathless Hypocrisy Driving Energy “Divestment”
Benjamin Zycher, Real Clear Markets, 15 October 2014

Increasing Efficiency of “Fracking” Has Made U.S. the World’s Largest Producer
Mark Perry, AEIdeas, 15 October 2014

Global Warming Hysteria Is Tearing Us Apart
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 11 October 2014

News You Can Use
Marlo Lewis

Report: EPA’s Clean Power Plan Will Make Electricity Rates Necessarily Skyrocket

According to a report released this week by NERA, EPA’s Clean Power Plan would:

  • Be the most expensive environmental regulation ever imposed on the electric power sector. The rule will cost state power sectors between $41 billion and $73 billion per year (EPA estimates “only” $8.8 billion annually), and $336 billion to $479 billion over 15 years.
  • Cause double digit electricity price rate hikes in 43 states. Electricity prices will increase by an average of 12% to 17%. Fourteen states will face price increases up to 20%.
  • Have no measurable effects on climate change. By 2050, the Plan would, in theory, reduce sea-level rise by 1/100th of an inch (the thickness of three sheets of paper), and reduce average global temperatures by less than 2/100ths of a degree.

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

EPA Administrator McCarthy Visits D.C. School to Peddle Nonsense about Asthma and Global Warming

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Thursday visited The Inspired Teaching School in Washington, D.C., in order to draw attention to Children’s Health Month. According to the EPA’s press release, McCarthy will discuss how “warmer temperatures from climate change, fueled by carbon pollution, are making allergy seasons longer and worsening smog, exacerbating asthma in our kids.”

The facts suggest otherwise. According to the EPA, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants decreased by 62 percent between 1980 and 2013, while the economy grew by 145 percent. And yet, from 2001 to 2011, the Center for Disease Control says the number of Americans with asthma grew by 28 percent. Therefore, real pollution is decreasing, while asthma has become more prevalent. It is also notable that 2001-2011, when asthma rates increased and pollution decreased, there was (and continues to be) a “pause” in global warming. In light of these inconvenient truths, Administrator McCarthy’s attempt to link climate change and asthma simply makes no sense.

Senator Vitter Releases Collusive Emails between NRDC and EPA on Clean Power Plan

On July 6, The New York Times reported that three lobbyists for the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote the “blueprint” for EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations for existing power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan. The report was disconcerting due to the fact that the NRDC had spent considerable resources getting President Obama elected, so it appeared that the green group was being rewarded with policymaking privileges.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy forcefully denied the New York Times report, but her protestations was belied this week when Senate Environment & Public Works Ranking Member David Vitter (R-La.) released a trove of email correspondence demonstrating “very close working relationship between the two organizations to develop the carbon rule—dating back to 2011—two years before EPA has said the public had an opportunity to provide input.”

For example, in a congratulatory email sent in the wake of a “sue and settle” agreement between NRDC and EPA that led to the Clean Power Plan, McCarthy wrote to one NRDC lobbyist that “This success is as much yours as it is mine.” For more on how green groups have “captured” Obama’s EPA, see here, here, and here.

Pentagon Declares War on Global Warming

The Pentagon on Monday released a Climate Change Adaption Roadmap whose preamble states that climate change “poses an immediate threat to national security” and whose purpose is to integrate global warming threats into all “plans, operations, and training” across the entire Defense Department.

In light of both the current state of global affairs (i.e., the Middle East is aflame with conflict, Russia is menacing eastern Ukraine, and Ebola is raging in western Africa) and the fact that global warming has “paused,” one might be excused for thinking the Pentagon’s priorities are dangerously out of whack.

Across the States
Marlo Lewis

“Topsy-Turvy” Clean Power Plan Could “Substantially” Raise Electric Bills — Virginia State Corporate Commission

In a regulatory comment letter filed this week, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission cautions that EPA’s Clean Power Plan “would substantially increase” consumer electric bills, “raises alarming regional reliability concerns,” and is likely unlawful. 

Established in 1903, the Commission regulates many businesses and economic activities in Virginia, sets rates charged by large investor-owned utilities, and serves as the central filing agency for corporations in the state.

“Complying with the EPA’s proposed carbon emission rules would likely cost Dominion Virginia Power customers alone an extra $5.5 billion to $6 billion, the State Corporation Commission’s staff said in an unusually bluntly worded statement,” the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported yesterday.

EPA’s own model assumes Virginia will have to shut down reliable coal and gas power plants producing 2,851 megawatts of electricity, and replace that with 351 megawatts of unreliable wind and solar power, with the gap supposedly filled by increased efficiency and reduced demand. Even if the intermittency of renewable power were not an issue, there is “zero probability that wind and solar resources can be developed in the time and on the scale necessary” to meet the state’s 2020 carbon dioxide reduction target, Commission staff argued.

Legally, the Clean Power Plan is “topsy-turvy,” Commission staff said, because it imposes much more stringent emission standards on existing Virginia power plants than EPA proposes to require for new units. Clarifying the point with an analogy, staff asked: “Would it be rational to require the current owners of automobiles or lawnmowers throughout Virginia, for example, to meet an emission standard that is 26 percent more stringent than required for the production of new cars or lawnmowers that must use the best available technology?”

Around the World
William Yeatman

Ex-U.K. Environment Secretary Owen Patterson Throws Down Gauntlet on Energy Policy

In a brilliant speech before the Global Warming Policy Foundation, former U.K. Environment Secretary Owen Patterson challenged Tories to suspend the 2008 Climate Change Act, or else struggle “to keep the lights on.” Since the speech was delivered, the Cooler Heads Digest has learned from many British friends that it has ignited much debate among conservatives. We hope they heed Patterson’s prescient advice. Read James Delingpole’s take here.

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, www.GlobalWarming.org.