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Entries in EPA (565)

Thursday
May162013

CEI Today: Suing the IRS, EPA abuse of power, E-Verify reform

SUING THE IRS - MICHAEL CARVIN & SAM KAZMAN

Forbes: As Obamacare Draws Near, Lawsuits Against IRS May Exempt Millions


In more than half the country, the implementation of ObamaCare has been premised on a patently illegal regulation—a lawless “quick fix” designed by the Administration to circumvent the fact that roughly two-thirds of the states have effectively chosen to “opt out” of the Affordable Care Act’s intrusive mandates.  A new lawsuit, recently filed by us in federal district court in D.C., will expose that flaw in ObamaCare’s very foundation, vindicating the right of these “refusenik” states to shield their citizens from an overreaching federal government. > Read more


> Interview Sam Kazman

EPA ABUSE OF POWER

Globalwarming.org: EPA Demonstrates IRS-like Bias on FOIA Requests


Executive branch overreach involving deliberate attempts to silence critics of the administration has become a pressing issue. Several revelations have come to light this week threatening to further cloud the Obama Administration’s claim of being “the most transparent administration in history.”  With the IRS facing allegations of deliberately targeting conservative groups, and the Department of Justice facing intense scrutiny for secretly monitoring the Associate Press, the executive branch is finding itself under siege from an onslaught of scandals. Now, something new can be added to the pile. According to CEI Senior Fellow Chris Horner, EPA has, in a sign of political bias, denied FOIA Fee Request Waivers requested by conservative groups. > Read more

See also:

Rep. Whitfield Discusses CEI’s Battle With EPA on House Floor

WSJ: From the IRS to the EPA?

Washington Examiner: EPA waives fee requests for friendly groups, denies conservative groups

Daily Caller: GOP congressman chastises EPA on conservative FOIA requests

 

E-VERIFY - DAVID BIER

Diverse Coalition Supports E-Verify Reform

 

This week, an ideologically diverse coalition of 44 organizations led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Small Business Association, American Civil Liberties Union, and Service Employees International Union called on the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of a bipartisan amendment proposed by Sens. Al Franken (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) to the E-Verify portion of the Senate immigration bill (S.744) that would require the government to meet a specific accuracy standard for the system. > Read more

> Interview David Bier


COMING SOON!

Ten Thousand Commandments:
An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The most recent Small Business Administration (SBA) evaluation of the overall U.S. federal regulatory enterprise estimated annual regulatory compliance costs of $1.752 trillion in 2008. Earlier SBA reports pegged costs at $1.1 trillion in 2005 and at $843 billion in 2001.

CEI ANNUAL DINNER & GALA

FEATURING

THE HONORABLE RAND PAUL


JUNE 20, 2013

 


cei.org/ceidinner

 

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, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Tuesday
May142013

CEI - EPA Gives Info For Free to Big Green Groups 92% of Time; Denies 93% of Fee Waiver Requests from Biggest Conservative Critics 

Clear Political Bias Evident in Agency's Awarding of Fee Waivers on FOIA Requests

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 2013 – It’s not just the IRS that treats groups on the right differently from the rest. According to documents obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency is in on it too.

Public records produced by EPA in response to a lawsuit filed by CEI under the Freedom of Information Act illustrate a pattern of making it far more difficult for limited-government groups – in particular those who argue for more freedom and less EPA – to access public records.

Such groups are precisely those Congress and courts made clear FOIA was intended to protect from fees being used as a hurdle to obtaining information, without prejudice as to their perspective. Worse, CEI has now obtained proof of the spectacularly disparate nature of the practice, specifically revealing extraordinarily favorable treatment of the same green groups it’s been shown to be collaborating with on its agenda.

FOIA is clear that public interest groups who, by trade, obtain and broadly disseminate “government” information to the public are the intended beneficiaries of its provision for waiving fees. EPA routinely grants such fee waivers to its favored left-wing groups who demand a more intrusive and powerful EPA, but systematically denies waivers for groups on the right, according to research compiled by CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner, author of "The Liberal War on Transparency."

In a review of letters granting or denying fee waivers granted at the “initial determination” stage from January 2012 to this Spring, Horner found green groups, such as the National Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and EarthJustice, had their fees waived in 75 out of 82 cases. Meanwhile, EPA effectively or expressly denied Horner’s request for fee waivers in 14 of 15 FOIA requests over this same time.1

Moreover, every denial Horner appealed was overturned. “That these denials are ritually overturned on appeal, not after I presented any new evidence or made any new point, but simply restated what was a detailed and heavily sourced legal document to begin with, reaffirms the illegitimacy of these hurdles EPA places in the way of those who cause it problems.” Horner said. “EPA’s practice is to take care of its friends and impose ridiculous obstacles to deny problematic parties’ requests for information.”

The numbers for a sampling of comparable “national” groups are mind-boggling. Of Sierra Club’s 15 requests, EPA granted 11. And Sierra Club received the harshest of treatments. In fact, EPA granted 19 of NRDC’s 20 requests and 17 of EarthJustice’s 19 requests. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility went a perfect 17-for-17. The Waterkeeper Alliance had all three of its requests granted, Greenpeace and the Southern Environmental Law Center each were 2-for-2, the Center for Biological Diversity 4-for-4.

That is, these green pressure groups encountered a cooperative EPA 92 percent of the time, but Horner’s requests on behalf of CEI and the American Tradition Institute were rejected more than 93 percent of the time.

EPA documents also showed Judicial Watch and the National Center for Public Policy Research each went 2-for-4, the Franklin Center had both its requests denied, and the Institute for Energy Research was denied in its only foray.

CEI has been recognized as a media outlet by federal and state agencies, so it is worth noting liberal media outlets, such as National Public Radio (7-for-7), ProPublica (3-for-3), the Nation and InsideClimateNews – all had all their requests granted over the same period.

“This is as clear an example of disparate treatment as the IRS’ hurdles selectively imposed upon groups with names ominously reflecting an interest in, say, a less intrusive or biased federal government,” said Horner. “This demonstrates a clear pattern of favoritism for allied groups and a concerted campaign to make life more difficult for those deemed unfriendly. The left hand of big government reaches out to its far-left hand at every turn. Argue against more of the same, however, and prepare to be treated as if you have fewer rights.”

———

[1] Of CEI's two requests granted, one of these grants came after CEI had already sued for EPA ignoring its request outright, making the aberration no more than a transparent gesture EPA could claim in trying to convince the court it had not been obstructionist. This and other requests were simply ignored, a form of denial that EPA also employed in the present case that produced these records affirming EPA’s suspected practice.


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, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Tuesday
May142013

CEI Today: IRS abuse of power, immigrants & poverty, and EPA nominee misleading Congress 

Monday, May 13, 2013
In the News Today

IRS ABUSE OF POWER - SAM KAZMAN


Openmarket.org: Excuses, Excuses

The IRS today acknowledged that it had wrongfully targeted Tea Party groups for heightened scrutiny. In trying to explain the agency’s mistake, IRS spokeswoman Lois Lerner reportedly stated “I’m not good at math” – an excuse that now seems to be going viral.


Given the smashing success of this phrase, we wonder whether the IRS will now use a few variations of it in the new Obamacare lawsuit that it’s facing. This lawsuit challenges the legality of the IRS’ unauthorized extension of the employer mandate to states that have refused to set up their own health insurance exchanges. The plaintiffs contend that Congress limited the employer mandate to participating states, and that the IRS has no power to rewrite the law.  > Read more

> See also: IRS Apologizes for Targeting Conservative Groups


> Interview Sam Kazman

IMMIGRATION - DAVID BIER

Openmarket.org: Heritage Immigration Report Implies 70% of Americans “Increase Poverty”


The Heritage Foundation’s new report on the fiscal costs of legalization for unauthorized immigrants concluded that it will cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion. Yesterday, I listed some reasons why I think this number is much too high, and on Wednesday, explained why I thought John Locke would say, “Keep immigration. Reform welfare.” Today, I want to look at the broader economic implications of the Heritage study.

Heritage was certainly not wrong to draw attention to the fiscal impact of immigration reform, but before it jumped to the conclusion that it will increase poverty and that conservatives should oppose it, it should have looked at the economic evidence, and gave earnest consideration to the implications of its report. America would not be better off without 70 percent of its workforce—we’d be much, much poorer. 
> Read more

 

> Interview David Bier

OBAMA EPA NOMINEE - MARLO LEWIS

Globalwarming.org: Gina McCarthy’s Responses to Sen. Vitter’s Questions Part I: Bait-and-Fuel-Switch

 

Gina McCarthy — President Obama’s pick to succeed Lisa Jackson as EPA Administrator — is often described as a “straight shooter” and “honest broker.” McCarthy has a history of misleading Congress about the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulatory agenda.

Specifically, McCarthy and the Air Office over which she presides gave Congress and the electric power sector false assurances that the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations would not require utilities planning to build new coal-fired power plants to “fuel switch” to natural gas. McCarthy also denied under oath that greenhouse gas motor vehicle standards are “related to” fuel economy standards, even though anyone with her expertise must know that the former implicitly and substantially regulate fuel economy.
> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis

   

 

CEI ANNUAL DINNER & GALA

FEATURING

THE HONORABLE RAND PAUL


JUNE 20, 2013

 


cei.org/ceidinner

 

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, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 

TUESDAY, MAY 14

Fixing America's Crumbling Infrastructure: How Competitive Bidding Offers a Way Out


The problems besetting the nation’s roads, bridges, tunnels, underground water pipes, and wastewater systems pose a direct threat to the health and safety of all Americans.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
1539 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC


>> RSVP to the event here.

 



I, Pencil Movie Screening

The Union League Club
Chicago, Illinois

May 21, 2013, 6 - 7:30 PM

APPLY TODAY!

Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellowship

CEI offers a one-year fellowship for journalists seeking to improve their knowledge of the principles of free markets and limited government. 

cei.org/warrenbrookes


Contact: chall@cei.org

 




Thursday
May092013

CEI Today: Senate vote on EPA nominee, suing the EPA, and labor unions vs workers 

EPA NOMINEE - BRIAN McNICOLL


Fox News: EPA tries hard to keep nominee Gina McCarthy 'clean' before confirmation hearings

The Environment and Public Works Committee will vote this week on Gina McCarthy's nomination. Senators should not act on her nomination until she orders the veil lifted and lets Americans know her record with regard to President Obama's war on coal and efforts by the administration to build outside support for a carbon tax. > Read more


> Interview Brian McNicoll

SUING EPA - MARLO LEWIS

Forbes: A Supreme Court EPA Decision That Could Cost Taxpayers $21 Billion Per Year


Is the Clean Air Act so badly flawed that it will cripple environmental enforcement and economic development alike unless the EPA and its state counterparts defy clear statutory provisions or, alternatively, spend $21 billion a year to employ an additional 320,000 bureaucrats?

That is a central issue in a recent lawsuit by the Southeastern Legal Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a host of lawmakers and several companies.
> Read more

 

> Interview Marlo Lewis

LABOR UNIONS - MATT PATTERSON

Washington Examiner:
'Life of Julius' shows how unions kill jobs, hurt workers

Many people realize that unions can hurt the workers they claim to represent. For example, the United Auto Workers union drove labor costs up for the Big Three automakers, a major factor in driving General Motors into bankruptcy and leaving Detroit a shadow of its former glory.

But what many don't realize is that labor unions can kill jobs and hurt workers even if they are not members of a union, because the laws, regulations and politicians supported by unions affect our entire economy, often in negative ways.
> Read more

See Julius’s story at WorkplaceChoice.org

 

   

 

CEI ANNUAL DINNER & GALA

FEATURING

THE HONORABLE RAND PAUL


JUNE 20, 2013

 


cei.org/ceidinner

 

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, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Thursday
May092013

NH GOP - NH EDITORIAL PAGES PAN SHEA-PORTER'S FAILED LEADERSHIP ON FINANCIAL ISSUE 

Concord – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter is under fire this week from New Hampshire editorial pages because of her failed leadership on critical financial issues affecting her constituents. The Union Leader, Portsmouth Herald and Foster’s Daily Democrat, criticized Shea-Porter for failing to oppose crushing new EPA regulations and for her unwillingness to speak out against the Internet sales tax.

“Congresswoman Shea-Porter has refused to speak out against the crushing new regulations and tax hikes that Washington is trying to impose on New Hampshire. She has let down her constituents by refusing to provide any leadership on the critical financial issues facing the First District,” said NHGOP Executive Director Matthew Slater. “Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s approval ratings have dropped dramatically because voters realize that she would rather bow to Washington’s special interests than stand up for the Granite State’s fiscally responsible values.”

A poll released by the University of New Hampshire in April found that 31% of First District residents have a favorable opinion of Congresswoman Shea-Porter, while 32% have an unfavorable opinion of her. In UNH’s August poll 49% rated Shea-Porter favorably while only 28% rated her unfavorably. 

What They’re Saying About Shea-Porter’s Failed Financial Leadership

Foster’s Daily Democrat: “Shaheen, Ayotte and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster from the 2nd Congressional District have all vocally opposed the Internet tax. Instead, Shea-Porter had a spokesman simply parrot Shaheen’s position on the issue.” (5/8/13)

  • Foster’s: “What has happened to the once demonstrative Shea-Porter who climbed to fame after protesting at a President George W. Bush speech?” (5/8/13)
  • Foster’s: “Why has she suddenly gone Caspar Milquetoast when it comes to critical financial issues affecting the Seacoast and Granite State businesses?” (5/8/13)


Portsmouth Herald: “U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter hosted a community forum last Tuesday that was billed as a talk about the future of Great Bay. In reality, it was a reminder of the massive expenses communities around the bay face to meet new Environmental Protection Agency mandates to reduce nitrogen emissions from their wastewater treatment plants.” (5/6/13)

  • Herald: “While lowering nitrogen emissions from the plants is an opportunity it will require a collective half-billion dollar investment from the communities being forced to rebuild their wastewater treatment plants. It’s financially somewhere between a hardship and a doomsday for many ratepayers.” (5/6/13)
  • Herald: “This is wrong, and if Shea-Porter is going to host community forums, we expect more from her…her words truly missed the mark.”
 (5/6/13)


New Hampshire Union Leader: “Carol Shea-Porter has a funny way of working in Washington to protect New Hampshire. Instead of fighting bad or questionable ideas that threaten to bring lasting harm to the state, she supports the ideas and works to carve out small exceptions for New Hampshire.” (5/6/13)

  • New Hampshire Union Leader: “Shea-Porter, of course, is siding with the EPA, questionable science and all. Instead of siding with the local municipalities, she said she would try to get federal money to help pay for the costs of meeting the EPA's standards. She called water bodies like the Great Bay "national treasures" that need to be protected. True, but how? That's the question, and Shea-Porter's answer is: However the EPA says.” (5/6/13)
  • New Hampshire Union Leader:  “Also last week, Shea-Porter finally took some kind of position on the Internet sales tax legislation pending in Washington, which could lead to the destruction of the New Hampshire Advantage. Her position was to support Jeanne Shaheen's proposed amendment carving out an exception for states that do not have a sales tax. Of course, once the law is in place, that exception can be revoked easily.” (5/6/13)
  • New Hampshire Union Leader:  "From Obamacare to Medicaid expansion to the Internet sales tax, it would be helpful if New Hampshire's 1st District were represented in Congress by someone who actually sided with New Hampshire instead of Washington power-grabbers."(5/6/13)