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Entries in Regulatory Actions (615)

Saturday
Apr092011

Cooler Heads Digest 8 April 2011 

In the News

If Al Gore Can Outgrow the Ethanol Fad, Why Can't Conservatives?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 7 April 2011

Greens Oppose Biomass in Pacific Northwest
Joel Millman, Wall Street Journal, 7 April 2011

Biofuels Raise Hunger Fears
Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, 7 April 2011

Obama's Energy Funny
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 6 April 2011

The Longer the Delay, the More You Pay
Sen. John Barrasso, Politico, 6 April 2011

Government vs. Resourceship
John Bratland, MasterResource.org, 6 April 2011

China Sees Evil of Plastic Bags
Jonah Goldberg, USA Today, 6 April 2011

Obama-Backed Tesla Sues Its Critics
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 6 April 2011

Should We Feed Hungry People, Even If It's Bad for the Environment?
Alex Berezow, Forbes, 6 April 2011

UN IPCC: Analyst or Advocate?
Lee Lane, RealClearScience.com, 5 April 2011

GE's Immelt: Jobs Czar from Hell
Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 April 2011

New Energy Economy Drubbed in Debate
Vincent Carroll, Denver Post, 2 April 2011

Renewable Energy Standards Are Unconstitutional
Paul Chesser, Washington Times, 1 April 2011

News You Can Use
More Good News on Sea Level Rise

According to World Climate Report, the rate of sea level rise during the most recent 10-yr period is 2.32 mm/yr (or about 9 inches per century). This is not much above the 20th century average rate of 1.8mm/yr (7 inches per century), and well below what the IPCC projects (~15 inches).

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

House Passes EPA Pre-Emption Bill, 255-172

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed H. R. 910th, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, by a vote of 255 to 172.  Nineteen Democrats voted Yes.  No Republicans voted No.  This is a remarkable turnaround from the last Congress, when on 26th June 2009 the House voted 219 to 212 to pass the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.

The Energy Tax Prevention Act, sponsored by Rep. Fred. Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and thereby put a potentially huge indirect tax on American consumers and businesses.   Coal, oil, and natural gas produce carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, when burned.  Those three fuels provide over 80% of the energy used in America.  Thus regulating carbon dioxide emissions essentially puts the EPA in charge of running the U. S. economy. 

Five Republicans who voted for the Waxman-Markey bill in 2009 voted for H. R. 910 yesterday.  They are: Mary Bono Mack of California, Chris Smith, Leonard Lance, and Frank Lobiondo of New Jersey, and Dave Reichert of Washington.

The nineteen Democrats who voted for the Upton bill are: Terri Sewell of Alabama, Mike Ross of Arkansas, Jim Costa of California, John Barrow and Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Jerry Costello of Illinois, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Leonard Boswell of Iowa, Ben Chandler of Kentucky, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Tim Holden, Mark Critz, and Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jim Matheson of Utah, and Nick Joe Rahall of West Virginia.

A Congressional district map of the vote published by the New York Times shows that support for EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions is largely confined to the Northeast and the West Coast.  This is not surprising.  California, New York, and the New England States already have high electric rates, partly because of state energy-rationing policies, and have driven most energy-intensive manufacturing industries out of their States already.

I wasn't able to watch all the debate Wednesday on the House floor on C-Span-one reason was that the Senate was debating the McConnell amendment at the same time-but what I saw confirmed that nearly all the arguments being raised by Democrats against blocking Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulations are irrelevant, silly, dishonest, or ill-informed.  Take for example, Rep. Jay Inslee's typically buffoonish speech: \223We should oppose this dirty air act because it would suggest that we are a nation in a deep and dangerous sleep, dozing in the face of disastrous pollution, slumbering while our children are riddled with asthma.\224 Ah, yes, childhood asthma-the last refuge of the global warming alarmists.  As recent research has shown, one of the reasons that asthma rates are going up in the U. S. seems to be that modern urban and suburban middle class homes don't expose young children to enough dirt and germs.  Inslee and all the others who peddle the asthma scare, such as the truly scurrilous American Lung Association, might also consider that asthma attacks are much more frequent in cold than in hot weather.  

Senate Defeats McConnell Amendment, 50-50

The Senate on Wednesday defeated an attempt by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to add the Energy Tax Prevention Act (introduced in the Senate by Senator James M. Inhofe as S. 482) to another bill, S. 493.  Senator McConnell's amendment was defeated on a 50-50 vote.  It would have required 60 votes to attach it to S. 493. 

Four Democrats joined 46 Republicans in voting for the amendment-Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.  Senator Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican to vote No.  Collins's vote is puzzling in that last year she voted for the resolution of disapproval brought under the Congressional Review Act that would have cancelled the EPA's finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare.  The Endangerment Finding is the basis of using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Like the House debate, the opponents of the Energy Tax Prevention Act in the Senate were a sad lot.  Particularly embarrassing was Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee: she thought it was a telling argument that the Clean Air Act had passed the Senate in 1970 by a vote of 73 to 0 and the House by 375 to 1 and had been signed into law by President Richard Nixon.  (Rep. Glenn Cunningham of Nebraska was the one No vote, by the way.)  Boxer's point actually favors the opponents of using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  The fact that the Clean Air Act enjoyed such overwhelming support in 1970 is because it was aimed at reducing air pollution and had nothing to do with global warming policies designed to ration energy.

The strong House vote of 255 to 172 in favor of the Energy Tax Prevention Act should build new momentum to pass it in the Senate later this year.  Of course, the White House has already issued a veto threat, which shows that President Obama is not interested in creating new jobs and restoring prosperity to America.  Congress has now rejected cap-and-tax resoundingly, but the President still hopes to achieve through backdoor regulation his goals of skyrocketing electric rates and gasoline prices at the $10 a gallon European level.

Accross the States

Colorado

On Monday, the American Tradition Institute filed a lawsuit against Colorado in federal district court, alleging that the State's green energy production quota, known as a Renewable Electricity Standard, is an unlawful violation of the Congress's authority to regulate interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. To read more about the case, click here.

Around the World
Brian McGraw

Compounding Error

Representatives from the European Union and Governor Jerry Brown of California met recently to discuss the possibility of integrating the planned California cap-and-trade system with a similar scheme launched by the European Union in 2005. According to EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, \223Each country might want some special ways of doing it, but of course it's also practical that whatever we do in each different region can be linked, so that in the end we sort of have this vision of having a global price on carbon.\224 Unfortunately for Hedegaard, the California plan hit a roadblock last month when environmentalists successfully sued to delay it until the California Air Resources Board considers more environmentally-stringent alternatives to a cap-and-trade scheme.

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



Saturday
Apr092011

ALG Praises Passage of SC Bill That Would Overturn Federal Light Bulb Ban

"The federal government is attempting to control the decisions of consumers and the South Carolina House is saying not so fast.  The people have a right to decide what kind of light bulb they wish to buy. This is a first step, and we encourage other states to follow South Carolina's lead in protecting consumer choice."—ALG President Bill Wilson.

April 8, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today praised passage of a bill by South Carolina State Representatives Bill Sandifer and Dwight Loftis that would allow the manufacture and purchase of incandescent light bulbs in South Carolina that are subject to a federal ban that begins to take effect in Jan. 2012. 

"The South Carolina House has taken the lead in protecting the rights of South Carolina consumers.  Nobody wants the federal government telling them which light bulbs they are allowed to use," Wilson said. 

The legislation passed 76-20 on Thursday and now goes to the State Senate for passage.  "Now it's up to the Senate to do its job, because this is about more than just light bulbs.  It is about the personal choice and liberty of individual citizens," Wilson said. 

In a recent interview with Americans for Limited Government, bill sponsors Representatives Bill Sandifer and Dwight Loftis promoted the bill prior to passage: 

"The basic concept of the bill is to allow the citizens of South Carolina to be able to continue to buy incandescent light bulbs," said State Representative Bill Sandifer, Chairman of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee. 

"It is my strong belief that the feds have overstepped the Tenth Amendment, and now are venturing into telling us what kinds of lighting we can have in our homes," Sandifer added. 

But how can the federal government ban light bulbs? "They are trying to use again as they have so often done, the Commerce Clause.  But I have a real problem with Big Brother intruding in how I live in my home," Sandifer declared.
Wilson explained, "Since the bulbs would be made entirely in South Carolina and sold in South Carolina, the federal government has no power to regulate it under the Interstate Commerce Clause." 

Loftis blasted the federal ban on incandescent light bulbs, saying, "On the one hand, the feds say we need to do something about cleaning up the environment, and on the other hand, they impose requirements that we use this particular light bulb that has hazards with the disposal of it." The new fluorescent bulbs are laced with mercury, raising concerns over the costs of proper disposal and over mercury seepage back into the environment. 

Loftis said that passage of the bill may depend on how environmental groups respond to it.  "What side are they going to take?" Loftis asked. "Are they going to take the side of clean disposal? Or are they going to take the side of potentially putting some of the hazardous materials in the landfill or back out into the environment?" 

Wilson said the issue came down to protecting the rights of consumers to be free to make their own choices, concluding, "The federal government is attempting to control the decisions of consumers and the South Carolina House is saying not so fast.  The people have a right to decide what kind of light bulb they wish to buy.  This is a first step, and we encourage other states to follow South Carolina's lead in protecting consumer choice." 

The federal legislation effectively banning incandescent light bulbs, the "Energy Independence and Security Act," was enacted in 2007.

 



Saturday
Apr092011

CEI Daily - The Durbin Amendment, the Government Shutdown, and Alcohol Regulations

 

The Durbin Amendment

 

In The New York Times this week, economist Simon Johnson defends The Durbin Amendment, which places price controls on what credit unions and banks can charge retailers for debit card transactions.

 

Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau explains why Johnson is essentially promoting the interests of big retailers over the interests of consumers.

 

"It’s unfortunate that — in contrast to prominent liberals in Congress such as House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Barney Frank and incoming Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz — Simon is allowing his dislike of the big banks to drive him into bed with giant retail chains such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot who are demanding corporate welfare at the expense of consumers, community banks, and credit unions."

 

 

 

Government Shutdown

 

The Washington Post has recently tried to drum up public concern about the threat of a government shutdown.

 

Director of Communications Christine Hall criticizes the Post's take on the shutdown.


 

"The paper is freaking out over the prospects of, wait for it, a  shutdown of the Washington Monument, the Cherry Blossom Parade, and national parks. Oh, and there’s the Blackberry conundrum and the possible closing of the historic Ford’s Theater.  Now, I am not thrilled about the prospect of these inconveniences. I’m sure loads of tourists have travel plans to D.C. this month and will not be pleased, either. But, two sections over, over on the the WaPo Style section, there’s a helpful article about “10 Things Tourists Can Do — Without Their Uncle Sam.” Whew!  Before reading the Style section, one might have thought life as we know it would come to an end.  It turns out there are alternatives to ogling pandas at the zoo. [...]

    It’d be nice if the WaPo seemed nearly as concerned about the very real fiscal need for spending cuts (a la Paul Ryan’s budget) or at least understanding about why some Americans might be, finally, really peeved at Congress for its profligate taxing, spending and regulating."

 

 

 

Alcohol Regulations

 

In the most recent "Alcohol Regulation Roundup," Policy Analyst Michelle Minton outlines what lawmakers around the country are doing to increase or cut back on alcohol regulations.

 

Read "Alcohol Regulation Roundup: April 6, 2011" here.



Friday
Apr082011

US Rep Bass Votes to Restore Legislative Powers to Congress

Authority to set policy on greenhouse gas emissions rests with Congress, not EPA

WASHINGTON – Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) supported legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives this afternoon that will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from overstepping its authority and restore legislative policymaking on greenhouse gas emissions to Congress.  The Energy Tax Prevention Act (H.R. 910) passed this afternoon by a vote of 255 to 172.

Bass said:

“Climate change is real and a problem that needs to be addressed with practical solutions that have attainable goals to reduce emissions and provide certainty in our economy.  But the power to set those policies rests with Congress, not the Environmental Protection Agency.  Agencies must not be able to regulate what has not been regulated. 

“Today, I voted to restore those legislative powers back to their rightful owner – Congress – and start a serious discussion about ways we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency programs, and focus on obtaining energy from cleaner sources like nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, and others.  That’s a debate that should occur in the people’s House, not behind the closed doors of a bureaucratic agency.”

During Energy and Commerce Committee markup of the bill last month, the Committee unanimously accepted an amendment offered by Rep. Jim Matheson (UT-02), further amended by Bass, that states there is an established scientific concern over the warming of the climate system and that Congress should develop a policy that addresses climate change matters while taking into consideration the impact on the economy.

For video of Bass’ floor speech from yesterday afternoon, please visit http://www.youtube.com/RepCharlesBass.

http://bass.house.gov

Wednesday
Apr062011

NH DHHS - New Federal Child Car Seat Recommendations

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Celebrates National Public Health Week

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is highlighting the revised guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for selecting and using a car seat. One of the biggest changes is the recommendation for parents is to keep their child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, but at least until age two or when he or she reaches the maximum height or weight for the seat. Rear-facing seats do an excellent job of supporting the head, neck, and spine of very young children because it distributes the force of a crash over the entire body.

“After a child outgrows a rear-facing seat they should be transitioned to a forward-facing seat with a harness, again until they reach the maximum weight or height for the particular seat,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of the Division of Public Health Services. “It’s also very important for parents to read the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and to install car seats correctly in their vehicle using the seat belt or LATCH system.”

A booster seat comes next, which positions the seat belt so that it fits properly over the strongest parts of the child’s body. Most children will need a booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age, which is another change in the guidelines. Also very child 12 and younger should ride in the back seat, every time.

“Many parents are unknowingly switching their children over to just wearing a seatbelt too soon,” said Dr. Montero. “In order to wear a seatbelt properly, the lap portion of the belt must lay snuggly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should be positioned across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Too many children are being moved to a seatbelt before it fits them correctly.”

These recommendations are one of the topics DHHS is focusing on this week in recognition of National Public Health Week; for more information go to www.nphw.org .

For more information, about child car seat safety, go to the American Academy of Pediatrics website at www.healthychildren.org and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.gov . The New Hampshire Child Passenger Safety (NH CPS) Program provides technical assistance regarding child passenger safety to professionals and the public. Contact them toll-free at 1-877-783-0432. NH CPS can also guide you to a trained technician in your area of the State who can help you to install a seat properly.