Press Releases

 

Entries in CEI (1385)

Monday
Nov172014

CEI Today: Obama's climate deal, Gruber's Obamacare, net neutrality, and Internet taxes 

Monday, Nov. 17, 2014
In the News Today

 


OBAMA'S CLIMATE DEAL WITH CHINA - WILLIAM YEATMAN


The Profound Political Illegitimacy of Obama’s Climate “Deal” with China

 

Regardless whether the President's much ballyhooed “deal” with China to mitigate climate change agreement has teeth, it enjoys zero political legitimacy. > Read more

> Interview William Yeatman

 

PELOSI & GRUBER ON OBAMACARE - JOHN BERLAU

Gruber’s “Speakola” Virus and Pelosi’s Selective Memory
 
 
Until very recently, one of the key sources that Obamacare supporters have relied on to establish that purpose are statements and writings by the key architects of the law. > Read more
 

NET NEUTRALITY - RYAN RADIA

Two views on danger of 'net neutrality'

If this is a free speech issue, says the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Ryan Radia, "it's not about speech being regulated by the government."
"It's about speech being regulated by private companies," Radia suggests. "If you build a network, you own it, you operate it and you decide that your policy will be just to allow certain types of messages. You should be free to do that. Of course your subscribers are free to choose who their provider is." >
Read more


> Interview Ryan Radia
 

TAXING THE INTERNET - RYAN RADIA & HANS BADER

 

Economic and Legal Problems with Internet Sales Taxes

CEI released a new study analyzing the economic downsides and legal problems with Internet sales taxes on the state and federal levels. With Congress poised to consider a similar tax in the Marketplace Fairness Act during this lame-duck session, lawmakers should preserve states’ rights to compete and not give into big-box retailers and their lobbyists. 
> Read more


> Interview an expert
 

Wednesday, November 19


Ridesharing in the District:
How the Nation’s Capital Is Regulating Drivers-for-Hire


Featuring CEI's Marc Scibner


-event details-
 

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

If it walks like a lame duck

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

 





 

Saturday
Nov152014

CEI Today: Prepaid debit card rules, USPS data breach, Marketplace Fairness Act, and more 

Friday, Nov. 14, 2014
In the News Today

 

NEW PREPAID DEBIT CARD RULES - JOHN BERLAU

CFPBs Prepaid Debit Card Rules Will Harm Low-Income Consumers
 
Today’s action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue unprecedented burdens on providers of prepaid debit cards shows why the bureau needs to be held accountable to our elected representatives.

Though the CFPB says and many of the fawning headlines say the regulations are simply about consumer disclosure, the CFPB 
proposal—set to go into effect after a brief 90-day comment period—actually would subject prepaid cards to more stringent rules than checking accounts. It takes the very radical step of treating overdraft features on a prepaid card as an “extension of credit.” > Read more

USPS DATA BREACH - TREY KOVACS

USPS Data Breach Highlights Union Hypocrisy

Recently, a United States Postal Service computer system experienced a security breach. The result: around 800,000 current and former USPS employees’ private information, including their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and home addresses were exposed.

While APWU may be fully committed to defending their members’ privacy, they have no such respect for the privacy of non-members that they also represent or employees at non-union workplaces. >
Read more


> Interview Trey Kovacs
 

MARKETPLACE FAIRNESS ACT - RYAN RADIA & HANS BADER

 

Economic and Legal Problems with Internet Sales Taxes

CEI released a new study analyzing the economic downsides and legal problems with Internet sales taxes on the state and federal levels. With Congress poised to consider a similar tax in the Marketplace Fairness Act during this lame-duck session, lawmakers should preserve states’ rights to compete and not give into big-box retailers and their lobbyists. 
> Read more


> Interview an expert
 


CARBON TAX - MARLO LEWIS


Carbon Tax Advocates Discuss Post-Election Prospects

 

former South Carolina Republican congressman Bob Inglis, launched a new Web site today: republicEn.org. In an inaugural blog post, Mr. Inglis opines about the post-election day prospects for enacting a carbon tax.

But the election results indicate that Republicans are less vulnerable than ever to green attack ads. So why is now the time for a Constructive Republican Alternative Proposal that would
raise energy prices, deny Americans the benefits of affordable, plentiful, reliable coal-based power, and have negligible impacts on potential climate change? > 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!
 

 

    

 

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 15th to RealClear Radio Hour with Bill Frezza and guests Andrew Carroll & Rick Green.


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts
 

In memory of Gordon Tullock





 

Saturday
Nov152014

Cooler Heads Digest 14 November 2014

14 November 2014

Announcement

The Cato Institute will host a presentation by Alex Epstein on his new book, “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” on Friday, November 21st, 9:00-10:00 AM at B-369 House Rayburn Office Building. Click here to learn more and RSVP.

In the News

Fossil Fuels: The Moral Choice
Alex Epstein, Fox News, 14 November 2014

The Wind Lobby’s Case against the PTC Extension
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 14 November 2014

Obama Touts Energy Taxes as a Way To Fight Global Warming
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 14 November 2014

Dr. Mann, Super-Villain
Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, 14 November 2014

Interstellar’s Rejection of Climate Change Hysteria
Sonny Bunch, Washington Free Beacon, 14 November 2014

Tom Steyer Provides a Lesson in How To Waste $67 Million
Thomas Pyle, Investor’s Business Daily, 13 November 2014

Study: Energy Jobs Lead the Recovery
Joshua Cain, Fuel Fix, 13 November 2014

The Audacity of Climate Cynicism
Washington Examiner editorial, 13 November 2014

Carbon Tax Advocates Discuss Post-Election Prospects
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 12 November 2014

The Coming Climate Onslaught
Andrew Restuccia & Erica Martinson, Politico, 11 November 2014

IPCC’s Latest Report: The End Is Nigh Unless Mankind Repents Its Fuelish Ways
Marlo Lewis, CNS News, 10 November 2014

Unquestionably One-Sided Climate Change Coverage
Tom Harris, Washington Times, 10 November 2014

News You Can Use
The One Statistic Climate Catastrophists Don’t Want You to Know

According to the Cato Institute’s Pat Michaels, in the decade from 2004 to 2013, worldwide climate-related deaths (including droughts, floods, extreme temperatures, wildfires, and storms) plummeted to a level 88.6 percent below that of the peak decade, from 1930 to 1939.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Reid Rushes Senate Vote on Keystone Pipeline To Try To Save Landrieu

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) strategy to keep Democratic incumbents from being voted out of office by keeping floor votes to a minimum failed miserably on 4th November.  Voters sent Democratic incumbents packing in Arkansas, Colorado, Alaska, and North Carolina.  As a result of those defeats plus Democratic losses in open seat races in West Virginia, Montana, Iowa, and South Dakota, Republicans will take control of the Senate when the 114th Congress is sworn in on January 3rd. 

Now, to try to save Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) from defeat in a 6th December runoff with Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Reid wants to have a vote on a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands, across the Canada-U.S. border and down to Cushing, Okla., where it would hook up with the southern leg of the pipeline that has already been constructed and is operating (because pipelines that don’t cross an international border don’t require presidential approval).  The Senate is currently scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday, 18th November.  However, with Reid in control of the Senate schedule, that could change several times.

It can be seen from past votes that all 45 Republican Senators and 12 Democratic Senators will vote yes on Keystone.  That is three votes short of the 60 needed to surmount procedural hurdles and pass the bill.  So Senator Landrieu, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has been lobbying several Democratic colleagues furiously to come up with three more votes.  As of Friday afternoon, Senators Thomas Carper (D-Del.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) have announced that they will switch. 

It really doesn’t matter whether Landrieu finds the sixtieth vote or not.  She is almost certain to lose to Cassidy in the runoff because she got 42% of the vote on election day, while Cassidy got 41% and Rob Maness, the other Republican in the race, got 14%.  Nor is it clear what passing Keystone out of the Democratic-controlled Senate will do to help Landrieu.  The White House is still signaling that President Obama may veto the bill.  And if it doesn’t reach the president’s desk this month, it surely will early next year when Republicans control the Senate.

That’s why the Republican leadership in the House did not stand in the way.  On Friday, 14th November, the House voted 252 to 161 in favor of H. R. 5682, which approves the Keystone Pipeline.   Thirty-one Democrats votes Yes.  This is the ninth time the House has passed a Keystone bill.  Oh, and by the way, the sponsor of H. R. 5682 is Rep. Bill Cassidy. 

If the Senate goes along next Tuesday, expect anti-Keystone activists led by billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer and Bill McKibben’s 350.org to form a human chain around the White House, as they did on 4th March.  Currently, 350.org is planning a rally on the Mall in Washington on 17th February 2015, which is Presidents’ Day. 

Across the States
William Yeatman

Southern Co. CEO: EPA’s “Clean Power” Plan Would Cause Rolling Blackouts

In an interview two days ago with Bloomberg, Thomas Fanning, the CEO of Southern Company, which provides electricity service to a four state region in the southeast, said that “I don’t think we have the ability to maintain a reliable system” and also comply with EPA’s “Clean Power” Plan.  

Fanning’s statement is only the latest warning about the threat to electric reliability posed by EPA’s rule. In recent testimony before the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Commissioner Philip Moeller voiced his concern about the possibility of cascading blackouts within the 15 state region served by the Midcontinent Independent Service Operator. And in October comments to the EPA, the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization that serves an 8 state region, warned that the rule, if left unchanged, would cause rolling blackouts within its footprint. Thus, grid operators & federal energy regulators have issued warnings that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could turn out the lights in 27 States.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Obama, Xi Agree on Meaningless Climate Deal

U. S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a commitment by both countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions by 2025-30, at the end of the APEC summit meeting in China on Wednesday.  President Obama pledged that the United States would reduce it emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, while President Xi pledged that China’s emissions would peak by “around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20% by 2030.”  That quote is from the White House fact sheet on the agreement.

The Obama Administration’s long-stated goal has been to reduce emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.  That works out to an annual cut of 1.2% from 2005 onward.  The new goal would require a much faster rate of cuts.  The White House calculated that if the faster rate doesn’t begin until 2020, then the annual cut would work out to 2.3-2.8% from 2020 to 2025.

It is not clear what President Xi’s commitment means, but President Obama’s signature on the deal has no legal force.  And it will be up to future Presidents and Congresses after he leaves office in January 2017 to decide whether to require the emissions reductions agreed to.

Leaders of the official climate establishment quickly claimed that the U. S.-China agreement will provide new momentum to the international negotiations on a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, which will continue at the annual United Nations climate conference in December in Lima.  A new international agreement is supposed to be signed at the next UN conference scheduled for December 2015 in Paris.

Here for example is what former Senator Timothy Wirth said in a written statement: “Today’s announcement is the political breakthrough we’ve been waiting for….  If the two biggest players on climate are able to get together, from two very different perspectives, the rest of the world can see that it’s possible to make real progress.”  Wirth is the vice chairman of Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation and served as Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs during the Clinton Administration, where he prepared the groundwork for the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

However, it doesn’t appear that there is much that is new in the agreement.  The Reuters story by David Stanway reporting from the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) summit in Beijing got it right in the headline: “China, US agree limits on emissions, but experts see little new.”

Stanway continues:

For China, the targets add little to its existing commitments to wean itself off carbon, environmental experts said.  ‘The statement is an upbeat signal to motivate other countries, but the timeline China has committed to is not a binding target,’ said Li Junfeng, an influential Chinese climate policy adviser linked to China’s state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission.

There is also the little obstacle of Congress.  Republicans take control of the Senate in January.  Majorities in both the House and Senate will be opposed to the Obama Administration’s climate agenda.  It seems certain that they will be even more opposed to the new 26% cut by 2025 goal than they are to the 17% by 2020 goal.  My guess is that there will be votes on a resolution disavowing President Obama’s new commitments in both the House and Senate early in the 114th Congress.

That would complicate the State Department’s plans to announce its commitments that will be part of the Paris accord by the end of March.  In fact, if the House and Senate do disavow the deal with China, it would be a major international embarrassment to President Obama and would be a severe blow to the chances for a significant agreement in Paris in December 2015.

Reactions to Obama-Xi Climate Agreement

Among many insightful commentaries on the O-Xi deal, I recommend my CEI colleague Chris Horner’s post on GlobalWarming.org on the potential legal consequences and Rupert Darwall’s post on National Review Online on the economic consequences.  The Onion had the best headline: “China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers.”

The establishment press and leftist columnists were ecstatic.  Here’s a sample.  New York Times editorial headline: “A major breakthrough on climate change.”  Washington Post editorial headline: “A landmark climate deal.”  Paul Krugman in the NY Times: “We have a deal, and it’s pretty big.”  Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed: “A game-changing climate deal.” And Al Gore’s group, the Climate Reality Project, began its e-mail on the O-Xi deal: “Climate wins don’t come much bigger.”

Politico reporter Michael Grunwald damped down the enthusiasm in a long article that points out the agreement was “just words.”  Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani gave Politico this pithy analysis:  "We have plans to continue to reduce emissions and we have agreed to continue to increase those plans to reduce emissions. And we have, over the years, shown our good faith by actually doing that.  So, that's our quid. What's the pro quo? They're going to continue to emit carbon and then after 16 years, they're going to freeze that emission, as far as I can tell, at the level they bring it up to in 16 years.”   Investor’s Business Daily had a good editorial slamming the deal that included a useful graph.   

Republican leaders in Congress were quick to announce that the President’s climate deal with China didn’t stand a chance in Congress.  Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) called it a charade.  And here is Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) reaction.  Inhofe will become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee in January.  McConnell will become majority leader of the Senate.  

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
Nov142014

CEI Today: Obama's climate change China Deal, Internet sales taxes, and more 

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
In the News Today

 

OBAMA'S CLIMATE CHANGE CHINA DEAL - MYRON EBELL & CHRIS HORNER

Ebell: It is not clear what President Xi’s commitment means, but President Obama’s signature on the deal has no legal force. And it will be up to future Presidents and Congresses after he leaves office in January 2017 to decide whether to require the emissions reductions agreed to.

 

Horner: This deal is the latest move by the president to circumvent congressional approval, in this case by using a ‘politically binding’ promise to others that he hopes make his EPA's rules untouchable here at home. > Read more


> Interview an expert
 

MARKETPLACE FAIRNESS ACT - RYAN RADIA & HANS BADER

 

Economic and Legal Problems with Internet Sales Taxes

CEI released a new study analyzing the economic downsides and legal problems with Internet sales taxes on the state and federal levels. With Congress poised to consider a similar tax in the Marketplace Fairness Act during this lame-duck session, lawmakers should preserve states’ rights to compete and not give into big-box retailers and their lobbyists.

 

The authors cite how the adoption of nexus taxes resulted in Overstock.com pulling out of its affiliate business in New York, while in North Carolina, many retailers cut ties with affiliate marketers in that state.

 

"Congress should reject legislation like the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) because it would take more money out of consumers’ pockets, discourage entrepreneurs, and harm small businesses. It would create a sales tax cartel punishing Internet retailers,” said CEI's Ryan Radia. > Read more

> Interview an expert
 

OBAMACARE & JONATHAN GRUBER - SAM KAZMAN

Obamacare: Cert Granted on Friday, and Gruber II on Saturday
 
Shortly after noon last Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it would review our Fourth Circuit Obamacare challenge, King v. Burwell. Saturday brought another surprise—yet another rediscovered Jonathan Gruber video:

And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass.” So, the only way to get it to pass was to not call it what it was and to not let the American people know what it really was.
 > Read more


ROLL CALL
Q & A: Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute


Part One
& Part Two


Analyst Marc Scribner at the Competitive Enterprise Institute examines transportation policy from a staunchly pro-market standpoint. > Read the interview
 

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 memory of Gordon Tullock

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

 





 

Thursday
Nov132014

CEI Today: Jonathan Gruber, biofuel bankruptcy, union release time, and congressional earmarks 

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014
In the News Today

 

OBAMACARE & JONATHAN GRUBER - SAM KAZMAN

Obamacare: Cert Granted on Friday, and Gruber II on Saturday
 
Shortly after noon last Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it would review our Fourth Circuit Obamacare challenge, King v. Burwell. Saturday brought another surprise—yet another rediscovered Jonathan Gruber video:

And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass.” So, the only way to get it to pass was to not call it what it was and to not let the American people know what it really was.
 > Read more

BIOFUEL BANKRUPTCY - MARLO LEWIS

Cellulosic Ethanol: KiOR Files for Bankruptcy


KiOR, Inc., a biofuel company backed by billionaire Vinod Kohsla, missed a $1.8 million loan payment to the state of Mississippi, now owes more than $312 million, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. EPA once pinned its hopes on KiOR to supply 9 million of the agency’s 17 million gallon 2014 cellulosic biofuel quota. More proof, if any were needed, that the point of central planning is not to accomplish its stated purposes but to amass power, rig markets, and (in democratic countries) buy votes. > Read more


> Interview Marlo Lewis

 

UNION RELEASE TIME - TREY KOVACS


Miami-Dade Contracts Keep Paying Government Employees to Perform Union Business

Why would a county attorney recommend against holding a government employee accountable for not coming to work? A practice known as union release time, whereby members of government unions don’t come to work and perform union business—on the taxpayer’s dime. The union subsidy is agreed upon in collective bargaining agreements between the union and county government. > Read more


> Interview Trey Kovacs
 

CONGRESSIONAL EARMARKS - BILL FREZZA

Daily Caller: Watch For The Return Of Congressional Earmarks

 

What will it take to keep Congress from reverting to form trying to buy its way back into Americans’ good graces. A clear sign that the answer to the question above is “nothing” will be when the new Congress officially repeals the inconvenient moratorium on the dispensation of legislative earmarks. > Read more

> Interview Bill Frezza
 


ROLL CALL
Q & A: Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute


Part One
& Part Two


Analyst Marc Scribner at the Competitive Enterprise Institute examines transportation policy from a staunchly pro-market standpoint. > Read the interview
 

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 memory of Gordon Tullock

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org