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Entries in CEI (1324)

Monday
Aug252014

CEI Today: Bank of America settlement, FedEx, and Big Labor 

Monday, August 25, 2014
In the News Today

 


BANK OF AMERICA SETTLEMENT

Eric Holder Avenges Investor Fraud by Taking from Defrauded Investors

Bank of America agreed to fork over $16.65 billion to settle charges it and companies it had purchased had deceived investors. Yet how much from this settlement goes to the investor victims? Nada! In fact, the settlement takes billions from the very investors who were defrauded.
> Read more

> Interview John Berlau


 


FEDERAL EXTORTION + FEDEX - BILL FREZZA

Forbes: Please, FedEx, Fight Back Against Federal Extortion

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Melinda Haag, an Obama appointee, is hunting for bigger game. Flush from shaking down Walmart, Johnson and Johnson, and UPS for tens of millions, she has indicted the FedEx Corporation on drug trafficking and “conspiracy to launder” money charges. The prize purse this time? $1.6 billion. What did FedEx allegedly do? The company shipped prescription drug packages from Internet pharmacies that Haag doesn’t like.
> Read more

> Interview Bill Frezza
 

 

 

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Saturday
Aug232014

Cooler Heads Digest 22 August 2014

22 August 2014

In the News

Exposing Big Bad Green
E. Calvin Beisner, Master Resource, 21 August 2014

Oil-Export Ban: Holding America Back
Robert Bradley, Jr., Forbes, 20 August 2014

Fracking Earthquakes Are Less Intense
Bebe Raupe, Bloomberg, 20 August 2014

Are Fossil Fuels the Past, Renewables the Future?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 19 August 2014

Workers Suffer When Militarized Police and Big Green Get Together
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 19 August 2014

Republicans’ Lukewarm Climate Warrior
Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg, 18 August 2014

My New Best Friends
Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, 14 August 2014

News You Can Use
Good News: Air Pollution Is Down

The Environmental Protection Agency on 21st August sent its Second Integrated Air Toxics Report to Congress, which concludes that air pollution has been reduced dramatically since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 were enacted.  Benzene levels have been reduced by 66%, mercury by 60%, and lead by 84%.    (Nonetheless, the incidence of childhood asthma continues to rise.) 

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

Senate Minority Leader Indicates a Republican Majority Would Rein in EPA

In an interview this week with Politico, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that, if Republicans won the Senate in November, they likely would use the appropriations process to rein in the EPA. Speaking of a hypothetical Republican majority, he said, “We’re going to pass spending bills, and they’re going to have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy.” He singled out the EPA as a “good example” of a bureaucracy that would become subject to such restrictions. By attaching policy amendments, or “riders,” to high-priority legislation like spending bills, the likelihood of passing the Senate increases.

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Oregon Regulators Deny Permit for Coal Export Terminal

The Oregon Department of State Lands on 18th August denied a permit for Ambre Energy’s proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River at Port of Morrow, 160 miles east of Portland.  After two years of review, the agency found that the Australian company had not proposed adequate protections for tribal salmon fisheries on the Columbia.   

Ambre Energy can appeal the decision administratively within 21 days.  If the appeal is denied, then the company can file suit in state court. 

The proposed $242 million facility could handle 8.8 million tons of coal per year.  Coal from Wyoming and Montana would be sent by rail to the Port of Morrow, where it would be loaded onto barges which would then be unloaded onto ocean-going ships at Port of Saint Helens, 30 miles downriver from Portland and 75 miles from the mouth of the Columbia.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (D) is a vocal opponent of the project.  Permits for two larger coal export terminals are still being considered in Washington state, where Governor Jay Inslee (D) is also strongly opposed.      

Around the World
Myron Ebell

UN Plans New York Climate Change Summit

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, is preparing to host over a hundred of the world’s presidents and prime ministers at a Climate Change Summit at UN headquarters in New York City on 23rd September.  U. S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to attend, but new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott have already announced that they will not attend.   

The summit is by invitation only, but can be viewed on the UN’s web television site.  The UN on 8th August sent out a press release announcing that it was “casting a wide net to find dozens of people from around the world who feel passionately about the impact of climate change, have translated that passion into action and would like to attend next month’s Climate Summit at the UN.”  According to Susan Alzner, a UN official in charge of UN-NGO relations, “Anyone can nominate a civil society representative into this process.”  Four of the 38 will be invited to speak to the heads of state.  The selection process will strive for gender balance, invite more attendees from developing than from developed countries, and seek out young people and indigenous people to share their stories on “the frontlines of climate change.”  The deadline for applying for the 38 “civil society” invitations was 15th August.   

The UN Climate Change Summit is “intended to mobilize international political will needed to achieve an ambitious climate change agreement” at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP-21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is scheduled to meet in Paris in December 2015.  Secretary-General Ban has asked world leaders to come to the summit ready “to announce bold actions that they will take in their countries.”

In addition, “There will also be announcements from a number of coalition initiatives that have high potential to catalyze ambitious action on the ground. These coalitions, consisting of participants from Governments, the private sector and civil society, will address several high-impact areas, such as climate finance; energy efficiency; renewable energy; adaptation; disaster risk reduction and resilience; forests; agriculture; transportation; short-lived climate pollutants; and cities.”  The program can be seen here

The Climate Group, an NGO with offices in Beijing, London, New York City, and New Delhi, is sponsoring the sixth annual Climate Week in New York City to co-incide with the UN summit.  Approximately eighty events from 22nd to 28th September are on the Climate Week schedule. Sponsors include Swiss Re, Lockheed Martin, and HP. 

But that’s not all.  On Sunday, 21st September, over 750 organizations are sponsoring the People’s Climate March in Manhattan. It is being billed as, “The Largest Climate March in History.”  You can sign up here.

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Do Climate Models and Long-Term Temperature Records Agree?

The unanticipated pause in global warming since 1998 has produced an accelerating divergence between IPCC climate model predictions and observed global temperatures. “Model failure” is now a recurring theme of skeptic blogs, and it’s not only skeptics who wonder how errant models can accurately assess climate risk or usefully inform climate policy.

Climate activists say the pause is temporary, warming will come roaring back, vindicating both models and their ‘worse than we thought’ narrative.

In more technical terms, the IPCC argues that although “internal decadal climate variability” may cause models to either underestimate or overestimate observed temperatures for periods “as short as 10 to 15 years,” models and observations “agree” over the 62-year period from 1951 to 2012 (AR5, Chapter 9, p. 769). The IPCC thus has “very high confidence” in the realism of the models.

To assess such claims, Cato Institute scientists Patrick Michaels and Paul C. (“Chip”) Knappenberger examine how well IPCC models would match observations over an 80-year period (1951-2030) in three scenarios of how global temperature might behave from now to 2030.

They find that even if warming resumes at the pre-pause (1977-1998) rate of 0.17°C/decade, by 2020 more than 95% of model simulations overshoot the 1951-2030 ‘observed’ trend, and by 2030 more than 97.5% of simulations overshoot it.

At my request, Mr. Knappenberger also compared models and observations in a more aggressive warming scenario in which warming resumes at 0.26°C/decade – the fastest rate during any recent 15-year period.

Result: By 2030, more than 95% of model simulations still overshoot the 1951-2030 ‘observed’ trend. For further discussion, see my blog post Can Natural Variability Save Climate Models?

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
Aug222014

CEI Today: Floods + climate change, Labor Day & Big Labor, draconian currency rules, and more 

Friday, August 22, 2014
In the News Today

 

CLIMATE CHANGE + FLOODS - MARLO LEWIS

Globalwarming.org: Increase in Reported UK Floods Due to Population Growth, Not Climate Change – Study

Damages due to hurricanes are not increasing once economic data are adjusted (‘normalized’) for increases in population, wealth, and the consumer price index.

More people with more valuables at higher prices incur greater combined monetary losses when disaster strikes. There is no “greenhouse signal” in properly-adjusted hurricane loss data — no trend reflecting a potential warming-induced increase in hurricane frequency or power.
> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis
 


VIRTUAL CURRENCY REGULATION

The Impending BitLicense and Premature Regulations

Last month, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced its proposed regulations for businesses engaged in “Virtual Currency Business Activity.

 

A prematurely designed set of draconian rules could force Bitcoin businesses to leave New York for good, shutting out a burgeoning industry before it has a chance to develop—and leaving New York behind the rest of the market. > Read more

> Interview an expert

 

 

 

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Saturday, 10am ET
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Thursday
Aug212014

CEI Today: Virtual currency regulation, Newsweek online gambling oops, affirmative action rules, and more 

Thursday, August 21, 2014
In the News Today

 

VIRTUAL CURRENCY REGULATION

The Impending BitLicense and Premature Regulations

Last month, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced its proposed regulations for businesses engaged in “Virtual Currency Business Activity.

 

A prematurely designed set of draconian rules could force Bitcoin businesses to leave New York for good, shutting out a burgeoning industry before it has a chance to develop—and leaving New York behind the rest of the market. > Read more

> Interview an expert

 

ONLINE GAMBLING - MICHELLE MINTON

Newsweek’s Cover Story on Internet Gambling Plays Fast and Loose with Facts

Newsweek’s recent cover article
 on online gambling, “How Washington Opened the Floodgates to Online Poker, Dealing Parents a Bad Hand,” by Leah McGrath Goodman, has elicited a wide range of deservedly negative responses. The title alone indicates its blatant bias.

However, Goodman’s one-sided article presents a good opportunity to dispel many of the falsehoods and unwarranted fears swirling around the online gambling discussion.
> Read more

> Interview Michelle Minton
 

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION - HANS BADER

 

Duplicative New Affirmative-Action Rule Drives Up Taxpayer Costs and Restricts Competition


Does it make sense to require a park campground operator that has a few hundred employees at 120 different locations to come up with 120 separate affirmative-action plans, one for each site? Just because it also receives a measly $52,000 federal contract to clean bathrooms used by tourists (which it does very cheaply, at cost, in order to make its nearby concessions more attractive)?


To any economist, the answer would be “no.” But to the Obama administration, the answer is “yes.” > Read more


> Interview Hans Bader

 

 

 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

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Saturday, 10am ET
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Wednesday
Aug202014

CEI Today: Republicans + online gambling, an auto loan mess, Solar Solution, and more 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
In the News Today

 


ONLINE GAMBLING BAN - MICHELLE MINTON

Townhall: Republicans Seek to “Restore” an Online Gambling Ban that Never Existed

Republicans generally oppose federal encroachment on policy matters traditionally left to the states. SO why is Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex) alone among his GOP House colleagues in opposing a federal online gambling ban that would preempt state laws, reward special interests, and curtail an otherwise lawful pastime enjoyed by many Americans? 
> Read more

> Interview Michelle Minton
 

AUTO LOAN MESS - JOHN BERLAU

 

Newsmax: Govt Meddling Creates Auto Loan Mess

 

Should we worry about a crisis in subprime auto loans? While there are important differences in the auto and mortgage markets, there are similar government interventions that have the potential to fuel a bubble in car loans the same way they did for home loans. > Read more


> Interview John Berlau
 

SOLAR 'SOLUTION' - FRED L. SMITH, JR.

The Not-So-Free Market at Work


In the mail, I recently received a brochure from a firm called Solar Solution LLC, claiming to be the District of Columbia’s #1 solar installer. Included was the following table showing the initial estimated cost and then, in subsequent columns, the multiple layers of subsidies one might obtain. These include the 30 percent federal tax credit, the D.C. solar grant, and the Solar Renewable Energy Credit.
> Read more

> Interview Fred Smith



> See also: Are Fossil Fuels the Past, Renewables the Future?

 

 

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