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Entries in CEI (1461)

Wednesday
Jun032015

CEI Today: Hidden regulation, USA Freedom Act, Ex-Im Bank, and EPA waters 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
In the News Today

 

HIDDEN REGULATIONS - WAYNE CREWS

Report: 3,554 regs in 2014, Obama's more costly to economy than Bush's
 

President Obama last year made good on his promise to use a pen and phone to impose his agenda, issuing some 3,554 rules and regulations, even governing the energy efficiency of ice and vending machines, according to a new analysis.
 

The Competitiveness Enterprise Institute on Tuesday issued its review of the administration's "Spring Agenda" list of regulations and found that they hid a couple of hundred. > Read Paul Bedard's Washington Examiner story

> Interview Wayne Crews

 

USA FREEDOM ACT - RYAN RADIA

"The American people want the government to stop collecting their phone records in bulk," said Ryan Radia, CEI Associate Director of Technology Studies
.

 

And now, following Senate passage, President Barack Obama signed the USA Freedom Act into law, which  reauthorizes two parts of the PATRIOT Act and, significantly, gives the government six months to end its phone records collection program and keep that data in the possession of phone companies, instead.

> Interview Ryan Radia


EX-IM BANK & BOEING - RYAN YOUNG

 

Ex-Im and Boeing, Sitting in a Tree
 

In most years, nearly half of the Export-Import Bank’s business is for Boeing’s benefit. The relationship between the two is so cozy that Ex-Im’s informal nickname around Washington is the “Bank of Boeing.” Yet, in an interview with Politico, Ex-Im president and chairman Fred Hochberg said, “We don’t lend a single penny to Boeing.”
 
Oddly enough, both assertions are true—Boeing really is by far Ex-Im’s biggest beneficiary, despite no direct loans. > Read more

 

> Interview Ryan Young
 

EPA CLEAN WATER RULE - WILLIAM YEATMAN

 

Slick & Cynical Rollout of “Clean Water Rule” Aptly Demonstrates Ultra-Political Nature of O’s EPA
 

The Obama administration has politicized the Environmental Protection Agency to an unprecedented degree. ​We got more of the same last week when EPA promulgated a regulation that vastly expands federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The rule’s roll out was obviously focus-group tested.  > Read more

> Interview William Yeatman

 




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Bloomberg Boston
1pm & 7pm ET
Bloomberg San Francisco 10am & 4pm PT

 

    

 

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, June 11
8:30am – 10:30am
 

https://cei.org/ceidinner

JUNE 11

 

Bourbon & BBQ Bash: Liberty served smooth and smokin’

 

PC Newsmaker:
Are Streetcars Good For America?

Tuesday, June 16
 


Media Contacts: 202-331-2277
Annie Dwyer

Christine Hall
Mary Beth Gombita

Keara Vickers

CEI Issues:

Advancing Capitalism
Business & Gov't
Energy & Environment
Finance & Entrepreneurship
Health & Safety
Human Achievement Hour
Law & Constitution
Labor & Employment
Nanny State
Regulatory Reform
Risk & Consumer Freedom
Tech and Telecom
Trade and International
Transportation & Infrastructure

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Saturday
May302015

Cooler Heads Digest 29 May 2015 

29 May 2015

Announcements

The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) will take place on Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.

In the News

EPA’s Triple Threat to the Economy
John Eick, Washington Examiner, 29 May 2015

IRS Hands Out $14 Billion for Green Energy, Doesn’t Keep Track of It
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 29 May 2015

Will EPA Scrap the Carbon Capture Mandate?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 28 May 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Walker Says His State Won’t Comply with Clean Power Plan
Matthew Daly, Associated Press, 28 May 2015

Mr. Obama, “97 Percent of Experts” Is a Bogus Statistic
Richard Tol, FoxNews.com, 28 May 2015

End the Ban on Oil Exports
Merrill Matthews, The Hill, 28 May 2015

Self-Service Gasoline: Legalizing Freedom
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 26 May 2015

News You Can Use
New Report: Climate Hypocrites

The Media Research Center this month published a new report that details the extent to which media go out of their way to ignore or excuse the hypocrisy of celebrity “environmentalists” who fly their private jets around the world, rent mega-yachts and live in massive mansions. Click here to read "Climate Hypocrites and the Media That Love Them."

Inside the Beltway

EPA Proposes Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Biofuel Mandates for 2014, 2015, and 2016
Marlo Lewis

EPA on 29th May proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending targets for 2014, 2015, and 2016. The agency expects to complete the rulemaking by Nov. 30, which means it will be two years late finalizing the 2014 targets and one year late finalizing the 2015 targets.

The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which established the RFS program in its current form, mandates that refiners, blenders, and fuel importers increase the amount of biofuel sold in the nation’s motor fuel supply from 4 billion gallons in 2006 to 36 billion gallons in 2022. However, EISA also authorizes EPA to adjust the annual targets based on various factors including “the sufficiency of infrastructure to deliver and use renewable fuel.”

In Nov. 2013, EPA concluded that the 2014 RFS mandate would exceed the “blend wall” — the maximum quantity of ethanol that can be sold in a given year. The blend wall is a product of two factors: the overall size of the motor fuel market and practical constraints on how much can be blended into each gallon of motor fuel sold. Warranty and liability concerns, lack of compatible fueling infrastructure, and, most importantly, anemic consumer demand, effectively limit the standard blend to E10 — motor fuel containing up to 10% ethanol.

Based on the arithmetic of the blend wall, EPA in Nov. 2013 proposed to trim the overall 2014 statutory target from 18.15 billion gallons to 15.21 billion gallons — a 16% cut. That sparked a firestorm of protest from biofuel interests, and EPA has been dithering over the targets ever since – until today.

The targets proposed get mixed reviews from biofuel lobbyists. On the one hand, the targets are lower than the corresponding EISA targets. On the other hand, the proposed 2016 target will exceed the E10 blend wall by 840 million gallons.

EPA assumes up to 600 million of those gallons can be sold via increased sales of E85 – motor fuel blended with up to 85% ethanol. In a coordinated move, the USDA yesterday announced plans to spend $100 million subsidizing the installation of E85 blender pumps.

I predict the agencies will fail to break the blend wall and there will be another RFS crisis in a few years. Here’s why. Ethanol contains about two-thirds’ the energy of an equivalent amount of gasoline. The higher the blend, the worse mileage your car gets, and the more you have to spend to drive a given distance. For example, according to FuelEconomy.Gov, the typical owner of a flex-fuel vehicle would spend an extra $850 to $1,400 annually to operate the vehicle on E85 instead of regular gasoline.

So even if every gas station has an E85 pump, consumers will avoid the fuel in droves, because it is a bad buy. Lower energy content, inferior fuel economy, and higher consumer cost are the root cause of the blend wall. The same factors also explain why the “choice” to buy ethanol must be mandated. EPA’s fix will fail because lack of consumer acceptance is a market barrier that neither regulatory fiat nor corporate welfare can overcome.

Interior Announces Massive Land Lockup To Protect Sage Grouse Habitat
Myron Ebell

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced on 28th May in Cheyenne, Wyoming, plans to lock up land in ten western States to protect habitat of the greater sage grouse.  The habitat protections are included in 14 Bureau of Land Management resource management plans covering 165 million acres—an area roughly the size of Texas.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is under a federal court order to decide by 30th September whether to list the greater sage grouse as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  On the other hand, a rider in the omnibus appropriations bill that Congress passed last December prevents the grouse from being listed during the 2015 fiscal year, which ends on 30th September. 

Representative Rob Bishop (R-Ut.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, immediately criticized Interior’s move: "If the Administration really cares about the bird they will adopt the state plans as they originally said they would. The state plans work. This proposal is only about controlling land, not saving the bird."

Another immediate negative reaction came from the western oil and gas industry.  Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of the Western Energy Alliance in Denver, said:  “The restrictions that will be put on oil and natural gas development are not based on good science and exaggerate the threat of energy development to the bird.”

Across the States
William Yeatman

Kansas Enacts Net-Negative Renewable Energy Law

Kansas governor Sam Brownback (R) yesterday signed into law SB 91, legislation that will convert the state's renewable energy standard into a voluntary goal. At face value, that sounds great. Upon closer inspection, however, the bill doesn’t amount to much. The prior, legally binding target was 20 percent renewables by 2020. As a result of SB 91, this target is now voluntary. But Kansas investor owned utilities reportedly exceeded the 20 percent target last year, so the bill doesn’t actually change the status quo. On the other hand, SB 91 exempts existing renewable energy facilities in the State, mostly wind farms, from property taxes and gives new renewable energy facilities a 10-year property tax exemption.

Tech Companies Send Silly Letter to North Carolina Lawmakers

On a similar note, the North Carolina Senate’s Finance Committee this week passed HB 332, legislation that would halve the state’s renewable energy target, from 12.5 percent to 6 percent by 2021. The bill already has passed the state House of Representatives. In the wake of HB 332’s advance in the state Senate, Apple, Facebook and Google—all of whom operate data centers in the State—sent a joint letter demanding that lawmakers shelve the measure. Notably, the letter was unsigned, most likely due to the fact that no one at any of the companies was willing to publically associate with the letter’s incorrect claim that renewable energy is cheaper than conventional energy.

Around the World
William Yeatman

Norway’s Oil Fund Divests from Coal

A parliamentary finance committee in Norway's parliament this week recommended that the country’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund divest from all firms that generate more than 30 percent of their output or revenues from coal-related activities. The move struck many as self-unaware, in light of the fact that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund—the world’s largest—is capitalized by the country’s sale of oil and gas. Until 2006, it was formally known as “The Petroleum Fund of Norway.” And while its official name has changed to “The Government Pension Fund,” it is still known colloquially as the “oil fund.”

Japan Government Report: We Can’t Go Green Because It Would Be Too Costly

Japan’s Natural Resources and Energy Agency on Tuesday released a report that concludes the country has no choice but to rely on nuclear and hydrocarbon energy sources through 2030 because switching to renewable energy would create “pressure for drastic rise in energy cost.”

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
May292015

CEI Today: EPA backing down?, Endangered Species Act limits, DC streetcars, and more 

Friday, May 29, 2015
In the News Today

 

EPA BACKING DOWN? - MARLO LEWIS     

 

Will EPA Scrap the Carbon Capture Mandate?
 
“EPA appears to have dropped its controversial requirement that new coal plants install partial carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) from its draft final new source performance standards (NSPS) that it recently sent to the White House for interagency review, according to one informed source,” Dawn Reeves reported last week in InsideEPA ($).
 
Despite repeated trust-us-we’re-the-experts assurances that partial CCS is the “adequately demonstrated” (i.e. commercially viable) “best system” for controlling carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new coal-fired power plants, EPA apparently realizes such claims won’t survive judicial scrutiny. > Read more 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Washington, DC

 

The Constitutional Limits of the
Endangered Species Act

What limits does the Constitution place on federal regulations under the ESA? Should Congress resolve that issue instead of the courts? Would endangered species be better protected or worse off if PETPO prevails in court or S. 1142 is enacted?
> RSVP & more info: KAP@pacificlegal.org
 

 

PC Newsmaker:
Are Streetcars Good For America?

 
CEI's Marc Scribner and the former Administrator, General Services Administration and Director of Transportation for the District of Columbia Dan Tangherlini will debate the pros and cons of resurrecting the streetcar at a NPC Newsmakers news conference Tuesday, June 16, 10 a.m. > Event info

 

https://cei.org/ceidinner
2015 Dinner and Reception

JUNE 11

 

Join us for CEI’s Bourbon and BBQ Bash: Liberty served smooth and smokin’

 

    

 

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.

 






Realclearradio.org


Bloomberg Boston
1pm & 7pm ET
Bloomberg San Francisco 10am & 4pm PT

 


 

 
 
Thursday, June 11
8:30am – 10:30am
 

TEN THOUSAND COMMANDMENTS

Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

 


Media Contacts: 202-331-2277
Annie Dwyer

Christine Hall
Mary Beth Gombita

Keara Vickers

CEI Issues:

Advancing Capitalism
Business & Gov't
Energy & Environment
Finance & Entrepreneurship
Health & Safety
Human Achievement Hour
Law & Constitution
Labor & Employment
Nanny State
Regulatory Reform
Risk & Consumer Freedom
Tech and Telecom
Trade and International
Transportation & Infrastructure

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

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





 

Thursday
May282015

CEI Today: EPA's waters, Obama's regulatory agenda, Endangered Species Act, and more 

Thursday, May 28, 2015
In the News Today

 

EPA'S 'WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES' - WILLIAM YEATMAN     

 

Daily Caller: EPA Grants Itself Power To Regulate Ponds, Ditches, Puddles
 
The EPA has released its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule critics say would allow the agency to regulate waterways previously not under federal jurisdiction, including puddles, ditches and isolated wetlands. 

“Rather than clarifying the Clean Water Act, today’s ‘interpretive’ guideline from the EPA called the ‘Waters of the United States’ rule entrenches the confused, case-by-case ‘significant nexus’ approach employed by the EPA and USACE,” William Yeatman, a policy analyst at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute said in an emailed statement. > Read the Daily Caller news report

OBAMA REGULATORY AGENDA - WAYNE CREWS

 
Forbes: New Obama Regulatory Agenda Shows Uptick In Costly Rules
 
In the just-released spring 2015 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations (Agenda), a roundup published twice a year by the Office of Management and Budget, federal departments and agencies have 3,260 rules flowing through the pipeline at various stages, many of them holdovers from earlier volumes.
 
The overall count is down–but that obscures an increase in the more costly rules.  > Read more
 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Washington, DC

 

The Constitutional Limits of the
Endangered Species Act

What limits does the Constitution place on federal regulations under the ESA? Should Congress resolve that issue instead of the courts? Would endangered species be better protected or worse off if PETPO prevails in court or S. 1142 is enacted?
> RSVP & more info: KAP@pacificlegal.org
 

https://cei.org/ceidinner
2015 Dinner and Reception

JUNE 11

 

Join us for CEI’s Bourbon and BBQ Bash: Liberty served smooth and smokin’

 

    

 

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, June 11
8:30am – 10:30am
 

TEN THOUSAND COMMANDMENTS

Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

 






Realclearradio.org


Bloomberg Boston
1pm & 7pm ET
Bloomberg San Francisco 10am & 4pm PT

 


 


Media Contacts: 202-331-2277
Annie Dwyer

Christine Hall
Mary Beth Gombita

Keara Vickers

CEI Issues:

Advancing Capitalism
Business & Gov't
Energy & Environment
Finance & Entrepreneurship
Health & Safety
Human Achievement Hour
Law & Constitution
Labor & Employment
Nanny State
Regulatory Reform
Risk & Consumer Freedom
Tech and Telecom
Trade and International
Transportation & Infrastructure

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

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





 

Wednesday
May272015

CEI Today: Tax cut for spirits? Ex-Im Bank, and a minimum wage hike 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
In the News Today

 

TAX CUT FOR SPIRITS? - MICHELLE MINTON

 
Raise a Glass to Lower Taxes
 
You might not know it, but about half the cost of your preferred alcoholic beverage is made up of taxes and fees. One man in Congress, Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) wants to change that. Today he introduced a bill that would introduced a bill that would cut the current federal excise tax rate on whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin.  > Read more 
 

EXPORT-IMPORT BANK - RYAN YOUNG     

 

Politics vs. Principle: Export-Import Bank Edition
 
Since Ex-Im reauthorization is likely to pass the Senate, the political focus moves to the House. Sen. Cantwell tried to get Speaker Boehner to promise to hold a House Ex-Im vote, but he refused. But nor will he get in the way of a vote if members of his own chamber decide to bring one up.  > Read more 

MINIMUM WAGE HIKE - TREY KOVACS

 

Big Labor Money Behind Los Angeles Minimum Wage Hike

 

How much influence did labor unions have in getting the minimum wage hike across the finish line in Los Angeles?
 
A great deal, according to the Department of Labor’s union financial records and the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission that tracks campaign contributions to elected officials. > Read more

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Washington, DC

 

The Constitutional Limits of the
Endangered Species Act

What limits does the Constitution place on federal regulations under the ESA? Should Congress resolve that issue instead of the courts? Would endangered species be better protected or worse off if PETPO prevails in court or S. 1142 is enacted?
> RSVP & more info: KAP@pacificlegal.org
 

https://cei.org/ceidinner
2015 Dinner and Reception

JUNE 11

 

Join us for CEI’s Bourbon and BBQ Bash: Liberty served smooth and smokin’

 

    

 

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, June 11
8:30am – 10:30am
 

TEN THOUSAND COMMANDMENTS

Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

 






Realclearradio.org


Bloomberg Boston
1pm & 7pm ET
Bloomberg San Francisco 10am & 4pm PT

 


 


Media Contacts: 202-331-2277
Annie Dwyer

Christine Hall
Mary Beth Gombita

Keara Vickers

CEI Issues:

Advancing Capitalism
Business & Gov't
Energy & Environment
Finance & Entrepreneurship
Health & Safety
Human Achievement Hour
Law & Constitution
Labor & Employment
Nanny State
Regulatory Reform
Risk & Consumer Freedom
Tech and Telecom
Trade and International
Transportation & Infrastructure

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

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





 

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