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Entries in CEI (1403)

Monday
Mar092015

CEI Today: Wisconsin Right to Work, EPA Clean Power Plan, Hillary's emails, and more 

Monday, March 9, 2015
In the News Today

 


WISCONSIN RIGHT TO WORK -TREY KOVACS

Gov. Scott Walker Aims to Make Wisconsin 25th Right-to-Work State Monday
 

No individual should be forced to financially support an organization they disagree with or risk penalty. Thankfully, Governor Scott Walker is determined to ensure that Wisconsin law won’t let that happen anymore by planning to sign the right-to-work (RTW) bill into law on Monday.
 

With that, Wisconsin will become the 25th RTW state, which means private-sector employers and unions may no longer agree to a contract provision that compels workers to pay union dues or lose their job. > Read more

> Interview Trey Kovacs

 


McCONNELL & EPA'S CLEAN POWER PLAN - WILLIAM YEATMAN


Mitch McConnell’s Missive to States Regarding Non-Compliance with the Clean Power Plan
 

The likelihood that the regulation will be stayed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is better than not, I believe. And if the rule is stayed, then there will be a great deal more wiggle room for States to act or demur.  > Read more

 

> Interview William Yeatman

 

HILLARY'S EMAILS - CHRISTOPHER HORNER

Bloomberg: Clinton Wants You to See Her E-Mails, Except Those She Didn't Hand Over

 

Hillary Clinton says she wants the public to see her e-mails. But there are some that voters may never see: the ones she didn’t give to the government. [Meanwhile,] a federal judge in Washington on Tuesday denied a petition from [CEI] to force the Obama administration to search the e-mails that White House science adviser John Holdren kept on a non-government server. Because the government didn’t possess those messages, it couldn’t be asked to produce them under Freedom of Information laws, a government attorney argued. > Read more


> Interview Chris Horner 
 

 

 

    

 

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.

 


KING v BURWELL

3 Things 
You Should Know

 


 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 


 


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Sunday
Feb082015

Cooler Heads Digest 6 February 2015 

6 February 2015

Announcements

*Due to technical difficulties, there was a delay in sending out this week's newsletter*

Thirty-one groups, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, this week sent a coalition letter to House Members endorsing reform of the Renewable Fuels Standard. Click here to read the letter. And click here to read Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) bill, H.R. 703.

In the News

Top Ten Most Ridiculous Stunts Pulled by “Ban Fracking” Activists
Dave Quest, Energy in Depth, 6 February 2015

My Kid Is Going To Be Eight Feel Tall!
David Kreutzer, The Daily Signal, 5 February 2015

How Green and Peaceful Really Is Greenpeace?
Andrew Montford, The Spectator, 5 February 2015

What Would Environmentalists Do If They Owned ANWR?
Shawn Regan, Reason, 5 February 2015

Gasoline vs. Electric Cars: Energy Usage and Cost
Stanislaw Jakuba, Master Resource, 4 February 2015

Obama to States: Shut Down Coal Plants or Else
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 3 February 2015

Russia’s War on Fracking
Tom Rogan, National Review, 3 February 2015

Expert Says EPA Plan Will Kill Mississippians
Emily Le Coz, Clarion-Ledger, 2 February 2015

Sierra Club: Saudi Arabia ‘Our Best Ally’ in Keystone Fight
Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, 2 February 2015

Biofuels: “A Net Detriment to the World”
Denver Post editorial, 1 February 2015

News You Can Use
War on Coal Costs Tens of Thousands of Jobs

A report by the American Action Forum found that under the Obama administration coal mines shed 3,702 jobs from 2008 to 2013 and power plants shed 39,684 jobs. 

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Obama Budget Requests More Money for Climate Programs

President Barack Obama submitted his Fiscal Year 2016 budget requests to Congress on Monday, 2nd February.  The White House summary, available here, includes some major tax changes.  The President’s budget proposes to make renewable electricity production and investment tax credits permanent and refundable.  The estimated cost over the next decade would be $31.5 billion.  On the other hand, the President wants to take away all tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry, including $44 billion in tax breaks using the standard Section 199 deduction which all domestic manufacturing can claim. 

According to Jeremy P. Jacobs writing in Energy and Environment PM (subscription required), the budget for EPA requests $52.4 million for six legal support offices, which is an increase of $10 million over current funding.  This would allow EPA to hire more lawyers to defend its “Clean Power Plan,” the proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.  Jacobs quotes EPA’s explanation: “EPA has identified an urgent need to provide critical legal counsel in support of the EPA's Clean Power Plan."

The Environmental Protection Agency would also get $4 billion for a new “Clean Power State Incentive Fund” to help States that want to make steeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants than required by the EPA’s proposed regulations.  The rest of EPA’s budget would increase by $452 million or approximately 6% to $8.6 billion.

President Obama also requests that the Congress appropriate $500 million for the UN Green Climate Fund.  This is the first payment towards fulfilling the President’s pledge of $3 billion over four years to the GCF.  At the UN global warming conference in Copenhagen in 2009, President Obama proposed that the developed countries provide $100 billion a year to the GCF starting in 2020.  The U. S. share might be roughly $30 to 40 billion.  It looks unlikely that the 114th Congress will appropriate the $500 million requested for this year. 

Obama’s National Security Strategy Focuses on Climate Threats

President Barack Obama this week released his administration’s official National Security Strategy.  It identifies climate change as a major threat and lays out actions to deal with it through national action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and international leadership on a new UN climate treaty. 

On page 12, the document states: “Climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water. The present day effects of climate change are being felt from the Arctic to the Midwest. Increased sea levels and storm surges threaten coastal regions, infrastructure, and property. In turn, the global economy suffers, compounding the growing costs of preparing and restoring infrastructure.” In addition to the President’s climate agreement with Chinese President Xi and progress in negotiations on the forthcoming Paris accord, “The substantial contribution we have pledged to the Green

Climate Fund will help the most vulnerable developing nations deal with climate change, reduce their carbon pollution, and invest in clean energy.”  The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget request to Congress this week includes $500 million for the Green Climate Fund. 

EPA Challenges Bottom-Line Conclusion of State Department Keystone XL Pipeline Analysis
Marlo Lewis

The State Department's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) on the Keystone XL Pipeline vexes environmentalists. While acknowledging that petroleum made from Canadian oil sands emits 17% more CO2 than other types of heavy crude, State concluded that roughly the same quantity of Canadian oil would be shipped to U.S. refiners whether the pipeline is approved or denied. 

The oil would just come by alternate modes of delivery, principally trains but also smaller pipelines and barges. Those other routes are not only more costly but also less energy efficient. According to State, compared to the KXL, the alternate routes would emit 28% to 42% more CO2 [FEIS ES-34]. Implication: If you're really worried about global warming, then you should support the Keystone XL Pipeline. Beautiful!

In a letter earlier this week, EPA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance ´╗┐Cynthia Giles disputes State’s bottom-line assessment. State estimated that as long as crude oil sells for $75 per barrel or higher, "revenues to oil sands producers are likely to remain above the long-run supply costs of most projects responsible for expected levels of oil sands production growth" [FEIS, 1.4-8]. Producers would still earn profits notwithstanding the extra cost of $8 per barrel to ship the oil by rail rather than through a big new pipeline. 

Times have changed, says Giles. State published its FSEIS in January 2014, when West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude sold at about $94 per barrel. WTI crude now sells for about $50 per barrel. Giles quotes State's conclusion that at sustained oil prices of $65 to $75 per barrel the higher transportation costs of shipment by rail "could have a substantial impact on oil sands production levels -- possibly in excess of the capacity of the proposed project." Indeed, State goes on to say that “Prices below this range would challenge the supply costs of many projects, regardless of pipeline constraints, but higher transport costs could further curtail production” [FSEIS, ES-12].

Giles concludes: “In other words, the Final SEIS found that at sustained oil prices within this [$65-$75] range, construction of the pipeline is projected to change the economics of oil sands development and result in increased oil sands production, and the accompanying greenhouse gas emissions, over what would otherwise occur.” She recommends that State should give “additional weight” to the “low price scenario” in the FSEIS “due to the potential implications of lower oil prices on project impacts, especially greenhouse.”

Permit me to translate. The future of Canada’s oil sands industry looked bright a year ago. Today its fate is uncertain. Maybe a sustained period of low prices will force a large contraction and throw tens of thousands of people out of work. So let’s kick ‘em while they’re down! Let’s prevent oil companies from investing their own capital to improve the economics of their industry.

To opponents, the Keystone XL Pipeline is objectionable precisely because it will improve the efficiency of an industry they believe should not exist. They may be right that blocking Keystone will decrease rather than increase CO2 emissions. It doesn’t matter. It’s climatologically irrelevant.

Even if we make the unrealistic assumption that the KXL will always run at full capacity (830,000 barrels per day) and each barrel will be additional oil in the global supply that would otherwise remain in the ground, EPA's own climate model projects a warming contribution of 0.01ºC by century's end – an “inconsequential and unmeasurable impact,” observes Cato Institute scientist Chip Knappenberger.

Let’s cut to the chase. A for-profit business will not produce what it cannot sell. And if you can’t sell, you go out of business. EPA knows that. So do its environmentalist allies. That’s why they seek to block the KXL, oppose lifting the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports, and oppose construction of export terminals for coal and liquefied natural gas.

The day cannot come too soon when we have an administration that does not view its mission as crippling and bankrupting major industries of the U.S. economy.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

UNFCCC: Saving the World from Global Warming Requires Total Transformation of the Global Economy, Directed by the UNFCCC

Leading global warming alarmists often claim that saving the world from global warming will be easy.  Research reports from universities and environmental groups are regularly published that show the costs will be minimal and the costs of not doing it will be astronomical.  As former Vice President Al Gore, Nobel Prize and Oscar winner, puts it, how can it be costly to replace dirty, expensive energy from coal, oil, and natural gas with clean, free energy from wind and solar? 

But every year or two, a leading alarmist lets the cat out of the bag.  At a press conference in Brussels on 3rd February, Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said that completely transforming the global economy in a few decades “is probably the most difficult task we [the UN? Mankind?] have ever given ourselves.”

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution,” Figueres said

Executive Secretary Figueres is apparently unaware that Communism in the Soviet Union beginning in 1917 and in Maoist China in 1949 intentionally tried to fundamentally transform their economies according to a new model.  The results were widely judged to be not altogether successful.  Perhaps the United Nations will do better.

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.

Saturday
Jan102015

CEI Today: White House polar vortex, Obama housing plan, technology in danger, and more

Friday, Jan. 9, 2014
In the News Today

 

WHITE HOUSE POLAR VORTEX - SAM KAZMAN


Globalwarming.org: One Year Ago: The White House Polar Vortex Video


A year ago this week, in the midst of another brutally cold winter, the White House graced us with an explanation of how man-made global warming might be causing freezing temperatures in a video about the polar vortex.

One bitterly cold winter does not, by itself, necessarily disprove global warming.  But the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) decided to try using the cold winter as evidence for man-made global warming. Since then, CEI filed a lawsuit against OSTP. > Read more


> Interview Sam Kazman
 

TECHNOLOGY DERAILED BY REGULATION - WAYNE CREWS

Forbes: CES And A Case For Separation Of Technology And State


As the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) winds down, there’s a lot of stuff you probably hope doesn’t stay in Vegas.

The tech sector excels at pulling America’s economic wagon, but ill-conceived interventions and mandates from Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communication Commission and other agencies can do real damage.

Two factors in particular render CES innovators vulnerable to predatory regulation.
> Read more


> Interview Wayne Crews
 

OBAMA HOUSING PLAN - JOHN BERLAU

Obama Should Help Borrowers by Shedding Dodd-Frank, Not Pumping FHA


President Obama is expected not to join the bipartisan effort to take on the Dodd-Frank regulations keeping mortgages from moving, but to create new subsidies that not only may be ineffective at moving the housing market but would be harmful to the nation’s fiscal health, as they bulk up the government-backed housing agencies that fueled the housing crisis.


The administration’s plan consists of cutting premiums borrowers pay for mortgage insurance for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) by 50 basis points. This move comes despite the FHA’s insurance reserves being already below required levels. > Read more

> Interview an expert

 

KEYSTONE PIPELINE - MARLO LEWIS

 

Keystone XL Pipeline: What Are the Core Issues?

 

In the protracted conflict over the Keystone XL Pipeline, too much attention is paid to peripheral issues and not enough to the core issues.

Peripheral issues include whether the pipeline will create many or few jobs, lower or raise Midwest gasoline prices, reduce or increase the risks of oil spills, reduce or increase incremental greenhouse gas emissions. > Read more

 

> Interview Marlo Lewis

 

 

Saturday, 10am ET
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.

 

Thursday
Jan082015

CEI Today: Minimum wage, Keystone, chemical regulation, and more 

Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2014
In the News Today

 

2015 MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES - RYAN YOUNG

20 States Raise Minimum Wage: Happy New Year?


The minimum wage is one of the most popular policies for fighting poverty, and proposed increases to it usually poll very well. The $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage hasn’t increased since 2009, so now many states are enacting their own minimum wage hikes. Twenty states are inaugurating 2015 with new increases. Yet, these minimum wage increases will not help reduce poverty. Why? The reason is tradeoffs. > Read more


> Interview Ryan Young
 

KEYSTONE PIPELINE - MARLO LEWIS

 

Keystone XL Pipeline: What Are the Core Issues?

 

In the protracted conflict over the Keystone XL Pipeline, too much attention is paid to peripheral issues and not enough to the core issues.

Peripheral issues include whether the pipeline will create many or few jobs, lower or raise Midwest gasoline prices, reduce or increase the risks of oil spills, reduce or increase incremental greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Keystone foes operate on a different maxim. They believe government should empower ‘stakeholders’ (i.e. activists like themselves) to upend other people’s business plans and stifle wealth creation. They think that if they just make enough noise, gin up enough protests, promise or threaten to support or oppose enough politicians, they are entitled to stop other people from taking risks with their own capital, hiring contractors, and employing workers. > Read more

 

> Interview Marlo Lewis

 

Related: Banner Day for Zingers on Energy Policy

 

CHEMICAL REGULATION

 

CNSNews: Consumers to Pay the Price for State Environmental Regulations

 

Consumers could soon face higher prices, reduced choices and lower-quality products, thanks to a slew of chemical regulations that are advancing in various states. These regulations are unlikely to provide any measurable benefits, and instead would reduce consumers’ access to a myriad of products, from children’s toys and canned food to paint and building materials. > Read more

 

> Interview Angela Logomasini

 

CUBA - FRED L. SMITH, JR.

 

Forbes: Two Cheers For Cuba Libre

 

President Obama’s recent decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba was welcomed by many free marketers, but met with skepticism by those who favor political freedom on the island. Both sides in this debate make strong points. I tend to side with the market optimists, but we could all learn from watching coming developments closely. > Read more

 

> Interview Fred L. Smith, Jr.

 

FALLING GAS PRICES - MARLO LEWIS


Globalwarming.org: Oil’s ‘Swoon’ Is Not an Argument for Carbon Taxes

 

It was inevitable. As soon as consumers and the economy start to enjoy significant relief from a decade of pain at the pump, the political class clamors for higher gas taxes and new carbon taxes. > Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis
 

Saturday, 10am ET
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.

 





 

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Thursday
Jan082015

CEI Today: Pelosi + climate change, the Keynesian Bubble, Keystone pipeline, and more 

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2014
In the News Today

 

PELOSI & CLIMATE CHANGE - WILLIAM YEATMAN


Energy Bullet Points: House Democratic Party Priorities Exclude AGW, Recognizing the Beneficence of Our Oil Puppet Masters, and Much More


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi this week unveiled the Democratic Party’s priorities for the first session of the 114th Congress. Notably absent from her to-do list was the mitigation of climate change, the awfulest, most dire, apocalyptic threat ever. > Read more


> Interview William Yeatman
 

THE KEYNESIAN BUBBLE - BILL FREZZA

Daily Caller: What Will Happen After The Latest Keynesian Bubble Bursts?


Two conflicting narratives are dueling for the people’s favor trying to influence the direction in which our democracy swings next.

The prevailing narrative — promoted by incumbent politicians, government bureaucrats, finance industry insiders, and the mainstream media — can be summed up by its time-tested theme song: Happy days are here again!

The opposing narrative, consigned to the realm of conspiracy theorists and libertarian cranks, is that the Keynesian money-printing orgy has merely papered over the latest in a long string of financial industry debacles.
> Read more


> Interview Bill Frezza
 

KEYSTONE PIPELINE - MARLO LEWIS

 

Keystone XL Pipeline: What Are the Core Issues?

 

In the protracted conflict over the Keystone XL Pipeline, too much attention is paid to peripheral issues and not enough to the core issues.

Peripheral issues include whether the pipeline will create many or few jobs, lower or raise Midwest gasoline prices, reduce or increase the risks of oil spills, reduce or increase incremental greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Keystone foes operate on a different maxim. They believe government should empower ‘stakeholders’ (i.e. activists like themselves) to upend other people’s business plans and stifle wealth creation. They think that if they just make enough noise, gin up enough protests, promise or threaten to support or oppose enough politicians, they are entitled to stop other people from taking risks with their own capital, hiring contractors, and employing workers. > Read more

 

> Interview Marlo Lewis

 

Related: Banner Day for Zingers on Energy Policy

 

Saturday, 10am ET
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.

 





 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

A Friday afternoon e-newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings. Sign up today!