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Entries in CEI (1226)

Saturday
Apr052014

CEI - Saturday: RealClear Radio Hour with Bill Frezza 

Tune in this Saturday, April 5th to Bill Frezza & the RealClear Radio Hour with guests, Father Robert Sirico & Michael Cannon!

 

You can listen live Saturday at 10 a.m. EST or catch the rebroadcast at 6 p.m. EST on: iHeartRadio.

 

A Moral Defense of Capitalism

Devout humanist, Catholic priest, and social justice advocate Father Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, discusses his personal philosophical journey and the commonalities binding together Western civilization, the Christian tradition, and modern economic policy.

 

The Evolution of Obamacare

Cato Institute health policy expert Michael Cannon discusses how—and why—Obamacare continues to  metamorphose at the administration’s whim, and how the resulting inconsistencies led to one of the most important challenges to the law, Halbig v. Sebelius

 

--> To receive show updates, subscribe to RealClear Radio Hour’s email list at RealClearRadio.org.

 

Thanks!

 

Tired of soundbite bickering from the political right and left? Produced by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the RealClear Radio Hour offers listeners real-world discussion on the political and social issues of the day from a non-partisan, free market perspective.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Saturday
Apr052014

Cooler Heads Digest 4 April 2014 

4 April 2014

Announcement

Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast and scientists from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change will be in Washington, DC the week of April 7 for meetings with members of Congress, the press, and allies to announce the release of two new reports on why global warming is not a crisis: Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts and Climate Change Reconsidered II: Human Welfare, Energy, and Policies. On Tuesday, April 8, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m, they will participate on a panel at a luncheon event at the Cato Institute. To see RSVP, click here. To see the full schedule, click here.

In the News

How Green Policies Hurt the Poor
Bjorn Lomborg, The Spectator, 5 April 2014

End of Climate Exceptionalism
Judith Curry, Climate Etc., 4 April 2014

Adults Reject Climate Catastrophe, Alarmists Bring in the Kids
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 3 April 2014

Environmentalist Foundations Fund Anti-Fossil Fuel Echo Chamber
Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, 3 April 2014

IPCC Insider Rejects Alarmist Report
Alec Torres, National Review Online, 3 April 2014

Big Green “Sue & Settle” Strategy Draws Pushback from States, Congress
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 1 April 2014

The IPCC’s Latest Report Deliberately Excludes and Misrepresents Important Climate Science
Joe Bast, Forbes, 31 March 2014

The Troubling Basis for EPA’s Cost/Benefits Analysis of the Clean Air Act
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 31 March 2014

News You Can Use
Auto Deaths and Regulation

GM is currently embroiled in an ongoing scandal over the company’s alleged cover-up of a design flaw that is responsible for the death of 13 motorists. By comparison, federal fuel economy regulations are responsible for up to 2,000 deaths per year, due to the fact that a primary means by which carmakers increase fuel efficiency is by decreasing vehicular mass, which renders the automobile less safe.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Wind PTC Clears Senate Committee

The Senate Finance Committee marked up a big package of tax cut extenders on Thursday, 3rd April. A two-year extension of the wind energy production tax credit retroactive to 1st January 2014 was included.  The bill was voted out of committee on a voice vote.

Senator Pat Toomey (R-Penna.) offered an amendment to “eliminate crony capitalist energy tax credits.”  These included the wind PTC, biofuels, electric motorcycles and golf carts, fuel cell vehicles, energy efficient appliances, and alternative fuel infrastructure.  Senator Toomey’s amendment failed on a vote of 6 to 18.

The Senators voting in favor of the amendment in addition to Senator Toomey were: Orrin Hatch (R-Ut.), Pat Roberts (R-Ks.), Mike Enzi (R- Wyo.), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).  Those voting against the amendment were: Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Oh.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bob Casey (D-Penna.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.), Mike Crapo (R-Id.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), John Thune (R-SD), and Rob Portman (R-Oh.).

Although the amendment only got six votes, Senator Toomey is to be commended for requesting a recorded vote.  The 18 Senators who voted against the amendment are now on record in favor of raising electric rates by encouraging the construction of more wind farms. 

White House Releases Methane Plan

The White House on 28th March released a plan to reduce methane emissions.    It includes new BLM regulations to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands; updated limits on emissions from new landfills; soliciting expert comments on updating limits on existing landfills; and putting out technical papers for expert review on how best to reduce emissions from the oil and gas sector, including upstream and downstream.

The plan also includes several voluntary programs, most notably a “Biogas Roadmap” to be released in June by the dairy industry (and its federal partners—USDA, DOE, and EPA). It is designed to encourage the adoption of technologies to cut methane emissions from dairy farms 25% by 2020.

Methane (CH4) is the principal gas in natural gas and occurs in coal deposits.  Marshes and swamps produce methane as do cattle through belching, flatulence, and manure.  It has been estimated that over 15% of global annual methane emissions into the atmosphere come from cattle.  In the U. S., approximately 20% of bovine emissions come from dairy cattle. 

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the EPA’s proposed 2015 budget on 2nd April.  Representative Lee Terry (R-Neb.) asked her whether the administration was planning to regulate methane emissions from cattle.  According to a story by Erica Martinson in Politico, McCarthy replied: “No one that I know of at this point is talking about anything in a regulatory context.”

Rep. Terry replied, “Most farmers, when they hear ‘voluntary,’ they know it’s followed by ‘mandatory.’”

He and cattle farmers and ranchers have good reason to worry.  While serving as assistant EPA administrator, McCarthy testified at a House hearing that the EPA would not require fuel switching from coal to natural gas when it promulgated regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, but then went ahead and proposed regulations that required fuel switching.

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Governor Pence Expresses Disappointment, Then Allows Efficiency Repeal Bill To Become Law

The bill passed by the Indiana legislature to eliminate the state’s energy efficiency program became law after Governor Mike Pence (R) declined either to sign or veto it.  In a statement, the Governor said, “I could not sign this bill because it does away with a worthwhile energy efficiency program. I could not veto this bill because doing so would increase the cost of utilities for Hoosier ratepayers and make Indiana less competitive by denying relief to large electricity consumers, including our state’s manufacturing base.”

The initial Senate Bill 340 was strengthened by an amendment offered by Rep. Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo) on the House floor to eliminate the efficiency program entirely, and then passed by the Senate and sent to the Governor.  Special interests that benefit from efficiency mandates were caught unprepared by this quick legislative action, but mounted a last-minute effort to convince Pence to veto the bill.  A number of large corporations, including General Electric, Siemens, Johnson Controls, Ingersoll Rand, Honeywell, and United Technologies sent a letter to Pence that warned of job losses in the efficiency industry. 

Governor Pence also expressed “disappointment” that the legislature had ended the energy efficiency program without producing an alternative and asked the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to develop recommendations for a new program that would allow large electric consumers, such as manufacturers, to opt out. 

The Sierra Club noted that Indiana became the first State to roll back its energy efficiency programs.  This is not quite true.  For example, California has scaled back its ridiculous Zero Emission Vehicle mandate several times.   

States Move to Pre-empt EPA on Power Plant Regulation

Sometime this summer, EPA is expected to propose regulations for greenhouse gases from existing power plants. Although the section of the Clean Air Act that authorizes these regulations gives primacy to the States, there exists wide-spread concern that EPA will try to impose a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that effectively mandates a cap-and-trade energy-rationing scheme or fuel-switching from coal to natural gas.

With these fears in mind, a number of States are trying to get ahead of the curve by enacting laws that would pre-empt EPA’s measure. Yesterday, for example, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) signed into law HB 388, a bipartisan bill that forbids state regulators from fuel-switching to implement EPA’s power plant regulation. Last month, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signed into law a similar measure, HB 4346, which disallowed state regulators from “limiting the economic utilization of the unit.” Lawmakers in Missouri, Virginia, and Kansas are working on similar measures. As reported by InsideEPA, these bills were modeled on legislation crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Around the World
Marlo Lewis

Dueling Assessments of Climate Change Impacts: IPCC vs. NIPCC

Late last week, Working Group II (WG2) of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a tentative draft of its climate change impacts report. This is a companion document to the IPCC WG1 report, published last year, on the physical science of climate change.

The actual WG2 report is less scary (or less silly?) than the media hype about it. For example, the Summary for Policymakers (SP) states that, “At present the world-wide burden of human ill-health from climate change is relatively small compared with effects of other stressors and is not well quantified” (p. 7).

But, as Institute for Energy Research economist Robert Murphy points out, the IPCC wants to have it both ways – offer what looks like a sober analysis yet scare people green. To accomplish this rhetorical feat, WG2 confronts readers with an overwhelming litany of allegedly probable climate change damages while invoking the risk of “catastrophic changes” and “tipping points” (SP, p. 19).

Vague language also plays a part, as in the projection of “more severe and/or frequent extreme weather events” (SP, p. 19), a category that readers may assume includes hurricanes. As Heritage Foundation economist David Kreutzer points out, however, the IPCC’s WG1 report pours cold water on the oft-asserted warming-hurricane link: “Confidence remains low for long-term (centennial) changes in tropical cyclone activity, after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.”

The WG2 report’s alarmist tone was too shrill for economist Richard Tol, who last week withdrew his name from the long list of co-authors. “The idea that climate change poses an existential threat to humankind is laughable,” Tol explained in a Financial Times column.

The good news is the Heartland Institute has just published the first half of a comprehensive, fully-referenced, skeptical alternative to the WG2 report. Authored by the Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts clearly presents the scientific evidence for the following key findings:

  • Atmospheric carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.
  • The ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is causing a great greening of the Earth.
  • There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels.
  • Terrestrial ecosystems have thrived throughout the world as a result of warming temperatures and rising levels of atmospheric CO2.
  • Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels do not pose a significant threat to aquatic life.
  • A modest warming of the planet will result in a net reduction of human mortality from temperature-related events.

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.

Friday
Apr042014

CEI Today: Senate votes on unemployment, wind energy, plus global warming impact on corn? 

Friday, April 4, 2014
In the News Today

SENATE VOTE ON JOBLESS BENEFITS - ALOYSIUS HOGAN

 

The Competitive Enterprise Institute will score the Senate votes on jobless benefits. A final vote on the bill is scheduled for Monday. But if Congress wants to actually help people get back to work, it should champion policies that remove all the red tape from job creation and economic growth.  Extending jobless benefits beyond the norm of 26 weeks is a disservice to America’s economy.

> Read the USAToday commentary


> Interview Aloysius Hogan

WIND ENERGY - MYRON EBELL


Wind Energy Boondoggle Gets Another Shot at Tax Subsidy


The Senate Finance Committee plans to mark-up legislation that includes a provision extending tax credits for certain special interests, including the wind energy production tax credit (PTC). Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) offered an amendment to add the wind PTC, which expired at the end of 2013. The tax credit amounts to a subsidy for well-connected government cronies to produce a product that cannot compete in the energy marketplace on either price or reliability.  > Read more

> Interview Myron Ebell

GLOBAL WARMING + CORN - MARLO LEWIS

 

Globalwarming.org: Will Climate Change Devastate U.S. Corn Yields?


Perhaps to appease political-correctness, a new study on corn yields begins with a warning that “past advances” in agriculture are “threatened by climate change,” and the authors say their research is significant because it provides benchmark data for “more reliable projections of climate impact on crop yields.”


Clearly, though, the finding is also significant for another reason. It doesn’t fit into the fear narrative promoted by the recently-released IPCC Working Group II (WG2) report on climate impacts.> Read more


> Interview Marlo Lewis




Consumer’s Guide to
Chemical Risk


CEI‘s recently released booklet, A Consumer’s Guide to Chemical Risk: Deciphering the “Science” Behind Chemical Scares,” are tools designed reduce both the confusion and fear about chemicals. 
> 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, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 

Saturdays, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org


The Measure of Human Achievement with  Marian Tupy & Matt Ridley

CEI Podcast for April 3, 2014: Clean Air Act Costs and Benefits

Senior Fellow William Yeatman is skeptical of an EPA report claiming the Clean Air Act will have nearly $2 trillion in annual benefits by 2020.




 

 




Thursday
Apr032014

CEI Today: Wind energy vote today, a consumer guide to chemical risk, and EPA's forced retirement of coal plants

Thursday, April 3, 2014
In the News Today

WIND ENERGY - MYRON EBELL


Wind Energy Boondoggle Gets Another Shot at Tax Subsidy


Today, the Senate Finance Committee scheduled a mark-up of legislation to extend tax credits for certain special interests, which will include the wind energy production tax credit (PTC). Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced he will offer an amendment to add the wind PTC, which expired at the end of 2013. The tax credit amounts to a subsidy for well-connected government cronies to produce a product that cannot compete in the energy marketplace on either price or reliability.  > Read more

> Interview Myron Ebell

CHEMICAL RISK - ANGELA LOGOMASINI

Consumer’s Guide to Chemical Risk


Will these chemicals make me fat? That sounds like a weird question, but some consumers may actually have such worries, thanks to a constant barrage of news headlines suggesting that synthetic chemicals—an even some naturally occurring ones—are responsible for nearly every public health problem imaginable.


CEI‘s recently released booklet, A Consumer’s Guide to Chemical Risk: Deciphering the “Science” Behind Chemical Scares,” are tools designed reduce both the confusion and fear about chemicals.  > Read more


> Interview Angela Logomasini

OBAMACARE - WILLIAM YEATMAN

 

Globalwarming.org: EPA’s Shocking Justification for Retiring up to 25% of U.S. Coal Fleet


Last week, the EIA published a little-noticed analysis estimating that up to 25 percent of the nation’s coal-fired power plant fleet could be forced to retire due to the EPA’s 2012 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule, also known as the “Utility MACT.” Needless to say, these are significant retirements. > Read more

> Interview William Yeatman

 

    

 

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.

 

Saturdays, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org


The Measure of Human Achievement with  Marian Tupy & Matt Ridley

 




Wednesday
Apr022014

CEI Today: Global drying, Obama's AWOL report, and Paul Ryan's good transportation reforms

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
In the News Today

GLOBAL DRYING? - MARLO LEWIS

Globalwarming.org: Will Global Warming
Dry Out the Earth?

A new climate study, “Global warming and 21st century drought,” is making waves through the blogosphere. It’s the latest in “worse than we thought” gloom and doom narratives. The authors find that warming will not only decrease precipitation in dry regions but also increase evaporation from soils, causing more drought than previously predicted. > Read more


> Interview Marlo Lewis

OBAMA'S AWOL REPORT - WAYNE CREWS


Openmarket.org: Why Is Obama’s Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulation Delayed?


In April 2013, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued its Draft 2013 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations, which covered rules and regs issued in fiscal year 2012. The final 2013 edition never appeared; now, the Draft 2014 edition is due. I’m not holding my breath. President Obama claimed again as recently as February 2013 that “this is the most transparent administration in history.”  > Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews

OBAMACARE - MARC SCRIBNER

 

Openmarket.org: Ryan FY 2015 Budget Calls for Transportation Funding Rationalization


House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., released his FY 2015 budget today. In just three pages, he calls for surprisingly sensible reforms to federal transportation programs. Unlike the Obama and Camp budgets — which I earlier criticized for continuing trust fund bailouts and merely kicking the can down the road — Ryan makes an attempt to fix the Highway Trust Fund’s revenue/outlay imbalance. > Read more

> 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.

 

Saturdays, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org


The Measure of Human Achievement with  Marian Tupy & Matt Ridley