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Entries in CEI (1374)

Tuesday
Nov042014

CEI Today: Least important election, NLRB v McDonald's, Obamacare, and EPA's clean power plan 

Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014
In the News Today

 



TODAY'S ELECTION - FRED L. SMITH, JR.


The Least Important Election of Your Lifetime
 

The truth is that this midterm election, for all of the breathtaking amounts of cash being poured into it, will likely change very little in Washington. > Read more

NLRB v McDONALD'S - ALOYSIUS HOGAN


Joint Employer Action Anxiously Anticipated

With October now past, it has been over three months since the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel authorized complaints against McDonald’s, determining that the franchisor McDonald’s is a joint employer with McDonald’s franchisees and thus liable for the actions of the franchisees. Were franchisors typically held liable for the actions of their franchisees, as the NLRB General Counsel has proposed in an amicus brief, the franchise system as we know it would implode. But this lack of action from the Board comes as something of a surprise. > Read more

> Interview Aloysius Hogan

 

HEALTH INSURANCE - TOM HAYNES

ObamaCare Failing to Make Insurance Affordable for Many Americans

The two most important Courts in the land are about to dive into the language and purpose of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the “Obamacare” law. Here are four ways in which the ACA, as it currently stands, makes health insurance coverage less affordable. > Read more

> Interview Tom Haynes

 

> Related: Update on CEI’s Healthcare Cases, Halbig and King
 

EPA'S CLEAN POWER PLAN - WILLIAM YEATMAN


Globalwarming.org: EPA’s Clean Power Plan Defies Its Own Regulation


EPA’s greenhouse gas regulation for existing power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan, is off-putting for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s expensive and threatens electric reliability. The regulation, moreover, is an affront to federalism, insofar as it usurps the States long-held, exclusive authority to oversee retail electricity markets. Despite these drawbacks, the rule would in no way impact the climate. > Read more


> Interview William Yeatman
 

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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’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

In the final week before the midterm election, agencies published new regulations ranging from dairy profits to Japanese oranges. Fittingly, the total number of new regulations on the year also passed the 3,000 mark on Hallow’s Eve.

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

 





 

Monday
Nov032014

CEI Today: Income inequality, commercial space flight, enviro $, junk science on soda

Monday, Nov. 3, 2014
In the News Today

 

INCOME INEQUALITY - IAIN MURRAY

The Freeman: The “Smaug Fallacy”?
 

Among the most troubling rhetoric in the debate over income inequality in the United States is the notion that the rich “take in” or “control” wealth. These types of arguments are fallacious for several reasons. Far from regressing to the Middle Ages, as leftist economists like Paul Krugman and Thomas Piketty claim, modern capitalism is not only making more people wealthier; it is on the verge of a vast explosion in its wealth-creating capacity — as long as regulators don’t get in the way. > Read more

COMMERCIAL SPACE FLIGHT - WAYNE CREWS


What Will the SpaceShipTwo Crash Mean for Commercial Space Flight Regulation?

The crash of a test flight of billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, which cost the life of one, riveted many around the globe on Friday afternoon.Today was a reminder that when innovators and the aspirational among us raise the bar, danger is often nearby. We should be careful that governmental responses do not aggravate risks in the future, however. > Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews

 

ENVIRONMENTALISTS & THE 2014 ELECTION - MYRON EBELL


Globalwarming.org: Environmentalists Spend Like Koch Brothers To Influence Senate


The mainstream media have begun to take notice that the environmental movement is spending a lot of money to elect candidates in the 4th November elections.

There are multiple hypocrisies in the environmentalists’ campaign spending.  The first is that they continue to attack conservatives for being funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, while they are largely funded by Tom Steyer and other billionaires.
> Read more


> Interview Myron Ebell

 

JUNK SCIENCE STUDY ON SODA - ANGELA LOGOMASINI


Soda Makes You Old and Other "Data Mined" Myths

“Data torturing” is responsible for a recent junk science study that claims drinking soda will age your cells, which makes it as dangerous as smoking. But these findings reflect clever manipulation of data—and nothing more. > Read more

> Interview Angela Logomasini
 

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.

 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

 

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

It was business as usual, with new rules hitting the books on everything from political speech restrictions to butterflies to football broadcasts.





 

Saturday
Nov012014

CEI Today: Halloween & the Food Police, Obamacare for banks, Real Clear Radio Hour, and more 

Friday, Oct. 31, 2014
In the News Today

 



HALLOWEEN & THE FOOD POLICE - FRED L. SMITH, JR.

Forbes: A Truly Frightening Halloween in our Future?
 

Now “public health” activists seem determined to truly frighten our children by taking away that annual [Halloween candy] ritual. I call them the Food Police. Were they to achieve their goals, as described in a Washington Post Magazine article this week, Halloween candy may give way to carrots and celery. Poor kids! > Read more


OBAMACARE FOR BANKS


Washington Post "The Fix": How ‘Dodd-Frank’ is becoming the new ‘Obamacare’

If you don't know what the Dodd-Frank Act is, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told an audience last weekend, "it's Obamacare for banks."

The Competitive Enterprise Institute
pointed to that Wallison piece with the pithier "Obamacare for banks" formulation -- and a more pointed articulation of the comparison: "Like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank was a 2,500-plus page law rammed through the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2010. And like the bureaucrat-written rules implementing Obamacare, the regulations implementing the law are pretty lengthy as well." A few weeks later, the Washington Times excerpted the CEI article, which is probably the point at which it took off in conservative circles. > Read more

> Interview an expert


WHITE HOUSE POLAR VORTEX - SAM KAZMAN


CEI Lawsuit Targets White House Polar Vortex Documents

 

Wednesday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed a lawsuit against the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), seeking documents related to that agency’s controversial video, The Polar Vortex Explained in 2 Minutes. > Read more


> Interview Sam Kazman


RED TAPE - WAYNE CREWS


How Federal Paperwork and Red Tape Has Grown since President Clinton

How have paperwork hours have changed over the past decade-plus of data collected under the Paperwork Reduction Act?

In President Bill Clinton’s last year, 2000, there were an estimated 7.361 billion hours of paperwork burden (of course, fiscal year 2001 had been underway a few months by the time Clinton left office).

Since that time, paperwork burdens have grown 28 percent to 9.453 billion in the current 2014 Information Collection Budget (which depicts fiscal year 2013). > Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews


More in the news...

 

Has Operation Choke Point Ended?

 

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.

 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

Tune in Saturday, November 1st to RealClear Radio Hour with Bill Frezza and guests Victor Bevine & Tom Palmer.

 

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

It was business as usual, with new rules hitting the books on everything from political speech restrictions to butterflies to football broadcasts.





 

Saturday
Nov012014

Cooler Heads Digest 31 October 2014 

31 October 2014

In the News

Halloween Thoughts from Obama’s Science Adviser
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 31 October 2014

If Only the Keystone Pipeline Were on the Ballot in November….
Michael Whatley, Real Clear Energy, 31 October 2014

Kemper CCS Project Undermines EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standard
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 29 October 2014

How Green Energy Is Fleecing Ontario Electricity Consumers
Ross McKitrick & Tom Adams, Financial Post, 29 October 2014

Kansas Energy Regulators to EPA: Drop Carbon Regulation Plan
Topeka Capital-Journal, 29 October 2014

Washington State Ecology Staff at Odds with Gov. Inslee on Ocean Acidification
Shari Phiel, The Daily News, 29 October 2014

The True Reason Gas Prices Are Falling (Hint: It’s Not Because of Green Energy)
Stephen Moore, Daily Signal, 26 October 2014

Companies Shouldn’t Cave to the Demands of Climate Change Activists
Carly Fiorina, Washington Post, 26 October 2014

Environmentalists, EPA Use Sue and Settle to Bypass Congress, Impose Regulations
D. Brady Nelson, Heartland, 23 October 2014

News You Can Use
Man Bites Dog Report: EPA Employees Give to Democrats

An analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) done for Greenwire found that 91 percent of EPA employees who contributed to candidates and political campaigns gave to Democrats.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Environmentalists Spend Big To Keep Democrats in Control of Senate

The mainstream media have begun to take notice that the environmental movement is spending a lot of money to elect candidates in the 4th November elections.  Chris Mooney, an environmental advocate-reporter who was recently hired to write a Washington Post blog, posted an article on 27th October with the headline, “Environmental Groups Are Spending an Unprecedented $85 million in the 2014 Elections.” Mooney got his figures from a 24th October memo (posted here) by five leaders of the effort: Joe Bonfiglio of the Environmental  Defense Action Fund, Sky Gallegos of NextGen Climate Action (the group funded by billionaire Tom Steyer), Heather Taylor-Miesle of the NRDC Action Fund, Daniel J. Weiss of the League of Conservation Voters, and Melissa Williams of the Sierra Club.

Greenwire (subscription required) headlined its article on the scale of environmental pressure group spending in the election, “Are Money and Power Changing the Environmental Movement?”  That may have been a newsworthy topic about twenty-five or thirty years ago.  In an excellent front-page article in the Washington Times, Valerie Richardson focuses on a much more timely angle—the fact that all this spending has done little to make climate change and other environmental concerns into major campaign issues.

Richardson writes: “San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has spent a staggering $76 million to promote climate change as a political issue in this year’s elections, but the subject isn’t exactly firing up the electorate.  Polls show voters continue to rank climate change at the bottom of their priority lists. Even in races featuring the ‘Steyer Seven,’ the Democratic candidates selected by Mr. Steyer as the chief beneficiaries of his largesse, the issue is barely registering on the campaign trail.”

The fact that their issues aren’t resonating with voters has been noticed by the environmental pressure groups trying to maintain a Democratic majority in the Senate.  As a result, many of the ads that they are paying for are on other issues, such as abortion, all the money being spent on behalf of Republicans by the Koch brothers, and various economic issues.

There are multiple hypocrisies in the environmentalists’ campaign spending.  The first is that they continue to attack conservatives for being funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, while they are largely funded by Tom Steyer and other billionaires.  The environmentalists’ strongholds are not working class neighborhoods in Cleveland, but rather Beverly Hills and Manhattan. 

The second hypocrisy is the claim by most of the groups involved that their spending is bipartisan.  It is true that the League of Conservation Voters does endorse a few green Republicans and occasionally even spends a little money supporting them.  But only if they are shoo-ins.  Thus Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins has been endorsed by the LCV and other environmental groups because there is no chance of defeating her. 

The third hypocrisy, mentioned above, is spending all this cash on campaign ads that have nothing to do with environmental issues and often in support of Democratic candidates who at least claim to oppose the environmentalists on significant issues.  Like other leftist special interests within the Democratic Party, the environmental pressure groups are desperate to keep Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as majority leader in the Senate.

The mainstream media have almost entirely given the environmentalists a pass on these and other hypocrisies, although Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker does at least point out that if their candidates lose after the environmentalists have spent all this money, it will be a big setback because it will demonstrate to future candidates that their issues don’t matter much to voters.  We shall see how it turns out on 4th November.   

Federal Agencies Adapting to Climate Change

The White House Office of Management and Budget on 31st October released the annual updates of plans by 38 agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to deal with the effects of climate change.  OMB also provides a scorecard that rates each agency’s progress.  It’s all available here.   

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Sixth Anniversary of Climate Change Act Finds Britain a Darker Place

Anne Widdecombe, former Member of the British House of Commons, wrote a column in London’s Daily Express on 29th October commemorating the sixth anniversary of passage of the UK’s Climate Change Act.  Widdecombe and four other Conservative Members of Parliament voted against the act on a day when it was snowing in London.  The other four, all still serving in Parliament, were Andrew Tyrie, Peter Lilley, Christopher Chope and Philip Davies. 

This anniversary falls during a week when the European energy news is about a major German chemical company, BASF, moving investment in new factories from Germany to the United States, where electricity and natural gas feedstock costs are much lower; and about how Britain’s National Grid is taking emergency measures to cope with the threat of blackouts this winter. The UK’s electricity shortages are the result of policies related to the Climate Change Act. 

Science Update
Myron Ebell

CEI Lawsuit Targets White House Polar Vortex Nonsense

The Competitive Enterprise Institute on 29th October filed a suit in DC federal court to compel the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to release records requested under the Freedom of Information Act.  The complaint by CEI counsel Hans Bader and Sam Kazman summarizes the case better than I can:

“This is an action under the Freedom of Information Act to compel production under a request for OSTP records related to The Polar Vortex Explained in 2 Minutes, a video posted on the White House web site about global warming supposedly causing severe winter cold.  In June 2014, OSTP refused to correct alleged inaccuracies in that video that CEI had formally brought to its attention.  It justified its refusal by claiming that the video was just the personal opinion of its Director, John P. Holdren.

“But when CEI submitted a FOIA request for documents related to the video, the agency withheld most of them.  It claimed those documents could be withheld in their entirety pursuant to the deliberative process privilege, which allows agencies to withhold portions of documents containing agency deliberations related to formulation of agency rules and policies.  The requested documents are not related to any agency rule or regulation, nor are they antecedent to the adoption of any government policy.  Nor has OSTP explained how they could be, since OSTP itself has claimed they merely reflect the ‘personal opinion’ of certain of its staff.  Thus, these withheld documents are agency records subject to disclosure under FOIA, and not properly withheld under any FOIA exemption.”  

Quite surprisingly, Climate Progress ran a mostly accurate and fair article on the suit by Emily Atkin, which was headlined, “Libertarians Sue White House Over Climate Change Video.”  

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.

Thursday
Oct302014

CEI Today: White House polar vortex, Clinton vs Obama red tape, driverless cars, and more 

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014
In the News Today

 


WHITE HOUSE POLAR VORTEX - SAM KAZMAN


CEI Lawsuit Targets White House Polar Vortex Documents

 

Wednesday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed a lawsuit against the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), seeking documents related to that agency’s controversial video, The Polar Vortex Explained in 2 Minutes. 

“If this video really represented Dr. Holdren’s personal opinion, then it’s bad enough that OSTP spent taxpayer dollars to produce and post it on the White House web site,” said CEI general counsel Sam Kazman stated. “But for the agency to refuse to disclose documents related to the video in order to protect what it claims are internal deliberations is doubly ridiculous.
> Read more


> Interview Sam Kazman


RED TAPE - WAYNE CREWS


How Federal Paperwork and Red Tape Has Grown since President Clinton

How have paperwork hours have changed over the past decade-plus of data collected under the Paperwork Reduction Act?

In President Bill Clinton’s last year, 2000, there were an estimated 7.361 billion hours of paperwork burden (of course, fiscal year 2001 had been underway a few months by the time Clinton left office).

Since that time, paperwork burdens have grown 28 percent to 9.453 billion in the current 2014 Information Collection Budget (which depicts fiscal year 2013). > Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews


DRIVERLESS CARS IN NEW JERSEY - MARC SCRIBNER

New Jersey's Driverless Car Bill: One Step Forward, Three Steps Back
 

Yesterday, the New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee in a unanimous vote reported S734, a bill that would recognize the legality of autonomous vehicle testing and operations in New Jersey. While we should appreciate [the] intent to promote automated vehicle development in New Jersey, it contains a number of problems.  > Read more


More in the news...

 

Has Operation Choke Point Ended?

 

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.

 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

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

 

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

It was business as usual, with new rules hitting the books on everything from political speech restrictions to butterflies to football broadcasts.