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Entries in EPA (452)

Wednesday
Jun132012

CEI Today: EPA Utility MACT, trade barriers, and the Mad Men pitch CEI 

EPA UTILITY MACT - MARLO LEWIS

Forbes.com: Big Costs, Illusory Benefits: Why Congress Should Nix The Utility MACT

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on legislation (S.J.Res.37) sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) to overturn one of the most costly regulations ever adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Known as the Utility MACT Rule, the regulation establishes first-ever maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from power plants.

EPA contends that pregnant women in subsistence fishing households consume enough mercury in self-caught fish to impair their children’s cognitive and neurological development. Although that is theoretically possible, in the 22 years since Congress tasked the EPA to study the health risks of mercury, the agency has not identified a single child whose learning or other disabilities can be traced to prenatal mercury exposure.


The EPA’s December 2000 “appropriate and necessary” determination, the trigger for the Utility MACT Rule, depicted power plant mercury emissions as a significant growing public health threat. That was sheer exaggeration.  > Read the full commentary on Forbes.com


>Interview Marlo Lewis

> See related: The Case against EPA’s Utility MACT (in pictures)

EPA's phony job numbers

Sen. Inhofe Seeks to Rein in EPA’s All Pain and No Gain Utility MACT

 

TRADE BARRIERS - ALEXANDER MOENS & FRED L. SMITH

CEI.org: Labeling Law for Beef, Pork Impedes Canada-U.S. Trade

 

Over the past few years, every state and the District of Columbia receive more in federal highway funding than the various federal excise taxes on highway activities within the state generated, according to the Government Accountability Office. During FY 2005–2009, the funding return on highway taxes ranged from $1.03 for every dollar collected in Texas to $5.85 in Washington, D.C. Massachusetts, on the low end of the scale, received $1.17 for every dollar collected.


While the vast majority of Massachusetts highway funding comes from non-federal sources, if all highway funding responsibility were to be devolved to the states—as a growing number of fiscal conservatives in Congress advocate—additional revenue must be found. This issue brief examines the current funding realities and offers several potential mechanisms that could be used in Massachusetts to close the funding gap under a devolution scenario.  > View the CEI OnPoint


> Interview the authors

 

 

VIDEO: MAD MEN PITCH APOLOGY AD TO CEI




Also featuring...

Remembering Elinor Ostrom

The Private Sector Is Not “Doing Fine,” Contrary to Claims by President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

MPRnews:
Should we label genetically modified food?

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act - Podcast


The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is currently under consideration in Congress. What are its strengths and weaknesses? Are there legitimate privacy concerns? Will CISPA suffer the same fate as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or is it fundamentally different? These and other questions are discussed by our experts on this previously recorded conference call.


2012 BIO INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION
Boston

Wednesday, June 20

Co-Existence in the Real World:
How Biotech and Organic Can Get Along


Moderated by CEI Senior Fellow Gregory Conko

Can we find a path forward that will protect against unwanted cross pollination without closing off large swaths of cropland to biotech varieties? From the stance that zero-tolerance is impossible, we will evaluate practices that farmers and seed producers already use to ensure genetic identity preservation. Then, examine the impact of European co-existence plans and of policy proposals in North America. >Read more

> Interview Gregory Conko

 

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
Jun122012

CEI Today: EPA Utility MACT, fixing transportation, and food labeling 

EPA UTILITY MACT - MYRON EBELL

Globalwarming.org: Sen. Inhofe Seeks to Rein in EPA’s All Pain and No Gain Utility MACT

Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) has announced that he will bring a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s Utility MACT (for Maximum Achievable Control Technology) Rule to the Senate floor for a vote on or before Monday, 18th May.  Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is trying to hold as few votes on tough issues as possible before the November elections, this could be the most important vote on an energy or regulatory issue that the Senate takes this year. > Read the full commentary on Globalwarming.org


>Interview Myron Ebell

> See related: The Case against EPA’s Utility MACT (in pictures)

 

FIXING TRANSPORTATION - MARC SCRIBNER

CEI.org: Fixing Surface Transportation in Massachusetts

A Path Forward under a Devolved Federal Funding Scenario

 

Over the past few years, every state and the District of Columbia receive more in federal highway funding than the various federal excise taxes on highway activities within the state generated, according to the Government Accountability Office. During FY 2005–2009, the funding return on highway taxes ranged from $1.03 for every dollar collected in Texas to $5.85 in Washington, D.C. Massachusetts, on the low end of the scale, received $1.17 for every dollar collected.


While the vast majority of Massachusetts highway funding comes from non-federal sources, if all highway funding responsibility were to be devolved to the states—as a growing number of fiscal conservatives in Congress advocate—additional revenue must be found. This issue brief examines the current funding realities and offers several potential mechanisms that could be used in Massachusetts to close the funding gap under a devolution scenario.  > View the CEI OnPoint


> Interview Marc Scribner

 

 

 

FOOD LABELING - ALEXANDER MOENS

CEI.org: MCOOL and the Politics of Country-of-Origin Labeling


As multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade agreements have dramatically reduced tariffs among most trading countries, protectionist interests have become extremely creative at finding less direct ways to protect their domestic industries. Since overt protectionist measures would violate these agreements, and in many cases, violate World Trade Organi zation (WTO) rules, opponents of trade liberalization have turned to non-tariff barriers to achieve their anti-competitive objectives. Usually, these are disguised as needed rules to advance the public good, ensure consumer safety and welfare, protect the environment, or any combination of these goals. Too often, these new fangled protectionist measures succeed, rolling back the gains of free trade.

 > Read the report by CEI and the Fraser Institute

> Interview Alexander Moens

 


Also featuring...

Stigler on the Regulatory Mindset

Union Bosses Care More about Collective Bargaining than Students

Free Market Groups to FCC: Stop Dragging Your Feet and Approve Verizon/SpectrumCo Deal Now

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act - Podcast


The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is currently under consideration in Congress. What are its strengths and weaknesses? Are there legitimate privacy concerns? Will CISPA suffer the same fate as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or is it fundamentally different? These and other questions are discussed by our experts on this previously recorded conference call.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Stewart A. Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP and former Assistant U.S. Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. Ryan Radia, Associate Director of Technology Studies, Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • Moderator: Mr. Dean Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

 


2012 BIO INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION
Boston

Wednesday, June 20

Co-Existence in the Real World:
How Biotech and Organic Can Get Along


Moderated by CEI Senior Fellow Gregory Conko

Can we find a path forward that will protect against unwanted cross pollination without closing off large swaths of cropland to biotech varieties? From the stance that zero-tolerance is impossible, we will evaluate practices that farmers and seed producers already use to ensure genetic identity preservation. Then, examine the impact of European co-existence plans and of policy proposals in North America. >Read more

> Interview Gregory Conko

 

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.

Saturday
Jun092012

Cooler Heads Digest 8 June 2012 

8 June 2012

Announcements

The Competitive Enterprise Institute this week released a new study, titled “All Pain and No Gain: The Illusory Benefits of the EPA’s Utility MACT,” Click here to read the study. The Senate is expected to vote on a resolution to block the Utility MACT Rule within the next ten days. See Inside the Beltway below for more information.

In the News

EPA Official Showers Love on Anti-Fossil Fuel Lobby
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 8 June 2012

Union of Concerned Scientists Not Very Concerned with Accuracy
Brian McGraw, GlobalWarming.org, 7 June 2012

Asian Air Pollution Warms U.S. More than U.S. GHG Emissions
Chip Knappenberger, Master Resource, 7 June 2012

The Lavish and Leveraged Life of Aubrey McClendon
John Shiffman, Anna Driver, & Brian Grow, Reuters, 7 June 2012

Rep. Issa Exposes Obama’s Green Jobs Scam
Greg McNeal, Forbes, 7 June 2012

Time To Wind Down Wind Subsidies
Paul Driessen, Washington Times, 6 June 2012

Union of Concerned Scientists “Cut Oil in Half” Report Is Garbage
Glenn Doty, Seeking Alpha, 5 June 2012

Canadian Government Overhauling Environmental Rules To Aid Oil Extraction
Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, 3 June 2012

Poverty Pollutes
Bjorn Lomborg, Newsweek, 28 May 2012

News You Can Use
Alarmists Flip Flop on U.S. Temperature Record

Global warming alarmists this week trumpeted a “stunning” new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing that the most recent twelve months have been the hottest in the historical temperature record for the United States. This is a conspicuous turnaround from five years ago, when Climate Audit blogger Steve McIntyre discovered a statistical error that led to NASA conceding that 1934—not 1998—was the warmest year on record in the U.S. At that time, alarmists downplayed the significance of temperature measurements for individual years in the U.S., as is demonstrated by the following passage, from a 2007 New York Times article:

"Dr. [James] Hansen and his team note that they rarely, if ever, discuss individual years, particularly regional findings like those for the United States (the lower 48 are only 2 percent of the planet’s surface). “In general I think that we want to avoid going into more and more detail about ranking of individual years,” he said in an e-mail message. “As far as I remember, we have always discouraged that as being somewhat nonsensical.”

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Sen. Inhofe Seeks to Rein in EPA’s All Pain and No Gain Utility MACT

Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) has announced that he will bring a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s Utility MACT (for Maximum Achievable Control Technology) Rule to the Senate floor for a vote on or before Monday, 18th May.  Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is trying to hold as few votes on tough issues as possible before the November elections, this could be the most important vote on an energy or regulatory issue that the Senate takes this year.

Under the Congressional Review Act, the resolution of disapproval, S. J. Res. 37, is a privileged motion.  A vote cannot be blocked by the Majority Leader or filibustered and requires only a simple majority to pass.

The Utility MACT Rule would regulate mercury and some other emissions from coal-fired power plants.  The proposed limits are so stringent that utilities will be forced to close many coal-fired power plants.  This will raise electric rates and threaten electric reliability in many States. 

CEI this week published a paper by Marlo Lewis, William Yeatman, and David Bier titled, All Pain and No Gain: the Illusory Benefits of the Utility MACT.  It shows that the health benefits claimed by the EPA are non-existent, while the costs to consumers and manufacturers are huge.

The vote on the resolution is likely to be very close.  Right now, it looks like it will lose narrowly.  Senator Inhofe appears to have the support of forty fellow Republicans and four Democrats.  The Democrats are Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Five Republicans oppose the resolution or are leaning no.  They are Lamar Alexander of Tennessee (whose opposition has been outspoken), Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Susan Collins of Maine, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.  A number of Democrats are not publicly committed.  They include: Jon Tester of Montana, Max Baucus of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Jim Webb of Virginia, Mark Warner of Virginia, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is still recovering from a stroke, so is not expected to vote.  That means that if all other Senators vote, the resolution will need fifty votes to pass.  As I see it, Senator Inhofe needs to gain the support of at least two more Republicans and then focus on getting three Democrats who are in tough re-election races in States that mine or use a lot of coal.

Across the States
William Yeatman

Wyoming

On Monday, EPA Region 8 proposed to reject Wyoming’s strategy to comply with the Regional Haze Rule, a visibility regulation meant to improve the view at National Parks and Wilderness Area. In lieu of the state’s plan, EPA proposed to impose a federal plan that would cost almost $108 million per year, in order to achieve a visibility “improvement” that is imperceptible. This is the fourth Regional Haze implementation Obama’s EPA has proposed. In North Dakota, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, EPA has imposed almost $400 million in annual compliance costs. In each case, the “benefits” are invisible.

Around the World
Brian McGraw

U.S. Shale Gas Boom Helping to Alleviate Global Poverty

According to a new article in Forbes, the hydraulic fracturing boom is also helping to lift Indian farmers out of poverty through increased demand for guar, a product used in the fracking process. Guar gum, produced by a bean grown commonly in India, is ten times more valuable than it was only a year ago, diverting a lot of new found fracking wealth to poor Indian farmers. This is yet another example of the ways in which economic booms can help the world’s worst off, demonstrating the real damage inflicted by anti-fracking activists attempting to use regulations to end hydraulic fracturing in the United States.

UK’s Anti-Fossil Fuel Policies Increasing Energy Poverty

 A new report in the United Kingdom suggests that almost 40% of British households are already spending more than 10% of their disposable income on monthly energy bills, a metric used to classify households as energy impoverished. Unfortunately, the UK appears ready to implement even more centralized control over energy production. This move, along with various schemes to promote renewable energy, will ensure that the trend towards energy poverty does not reverse itself. The report suggests that the number of households living in energy poverty will surpass 50% in the next few years. For your reference, here is an article on energy costs for residents of the United States. Note though that this includes transportation fuel costs, which the UK research does not consider.

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.

Sunday
Jun032012

ALG's Daily Grind: There are no winners in the war on coal

June 1, 2012

 

There are no winners in the war on coal

Seattle City Council attempts to block coal shipments from Wyoming and Montana.

Cartoon: What Masses?

Obama reviews the latest poll numbers.

An Irish lesson

Mortgage debt bubble, bank bailouts, new taxes, high, systemic unemployment. Sound familiar?

To print or not to print, that is the question in 2012

The only thing that could make our trajectory unsustainable, as in Europe, is if printing money forever to refinance and expand the debt cannot last without consequence. If we can, then Obama's right.

Wednesday
May302012

CEI Today: Fuel credit fraud, new old plans to regulate wireless, and EPA pre-regulation on Pebble Creek mine

ENERGY FRAUD - BRIAN McGRAW

Globalwarming.org:
Fraudulent Renewable Fuel Credits Continue to Surface

When the government introduced the mandates for ethanol and related biofuels, they needed a way in which companies could verify that they were complying with the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007. For whatever reason, the decided mechanism would require that companies purchase credits to demonstrate that they had complied with the mandate: a renewable identification number (RIN). Each RIN is theoretically tied to a gallon of ethanol, biodiesel, or similar renewable fuel. However, because the RINs can be sold and traded similar to stock, in practice the pairing of a RIN with a particular gallon of fuel is somewhat superficial.


Unfortunately, this government created market in RINs has created an opportunity for criminally-minded entrepreneurs to scam the companies who are attempting to comply with the law by creating fake RINs and selling them in the marketplace. > Read the full commentary on Globalwarming.org


> Interview Brian McGraw


 

REGULATING WIRELESS - BEN SPERRY

Openmarket.org: Classic Obfuscation: The New America Foundation’s Search for the “Public Interest”

 

Milton Friedman once quipped that “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” Perhaps he would add the outmoded idea of the “public interest” as used by the FCC if he were still alive today.


On May 23, the New America Foundation, in coordination with Public Knowledge and the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law, held an event titled Broadcast to Broadband: New Theories of the Public Interest in Wireless. Unfortunately, though, no new theory of the public interest was forwarded. Instead, there was a rehashing of the same tired clichés about universal service, localism, and diversity.  > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

 

> Interview Ben Sperry

 

 

EPA PRE-REGULATION

Resourcefulearth.org: EPA Jumps the Gun on Mine Assessment

 

Earlier this month, the EPA released its long-awaited assessment of the potential effects of mine development north of Bristol Bay, Alaska. However, it was curious that the EPA began to study this issue in anticipation of a potential permit application for development of the Pebble Mine, an ambitious mining project that has been previously discussed at Resourceful Earth.

In recent years the EPA has made it clear that, likely due to political interests, they have no problem siding with radical environmentalists who are interested in leaving everything in the ground, ignoring the economic impact this will have on Alaska and the rest of the world as these deposits of gold, copper, etc. never make it to the market. Keeping U.S. mineral deposits in the ground also encourages mining in other, less wealthy, countries where environmental safeguards are often non-existent.


Furthermore, it appears that the EPA assessed a hypothetical mine based off of initial plans made public, rather than collaborating with the companies interested in the Pebble deposit. > Read the full commentary on Resourcefulearth.org


Interview an expert



 

May 24, 2012: Driverless Cars

May 24, 2012

Driverless cars are a new technology that could revolutionize the way we think about transportation. A prototype driverless car made by Google recently made the rounds in Washington, DC, and Land-use and Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner got to take a ride. He shares his experience, talks about the potential benefits for road safety and congestion, and the regulatory hurdles that driverless cars must clear before they can enter the marketplace.

 

New!

Ten Thousand Commandments 2012

An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State
May 15, 2012


The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering. Yet the government’s reach extends well beyond the taxes Washington collects and its deficit spending and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations cost hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that dominate the policy debate.

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.