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Entries in Regulatory Actions (593)

Wednesday
Feb162011

ALG - FDA Panel Conflicts of Interest Taint Actions 

February 15th, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) urged the recusal of four members of an FDA panel deciding whether to ban menthol flavored tobacco products for "blatant conflicts of interest" in comments submitted today to the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC).

ALG President Bill Wilson clearly defined the issue stating, "The integrity of the process is the issue, and the American people need to be assured that those making regulatory decisions and recommendations are not doing so to line their own pockets or those of their current or former clients."

Wilson states in the submission that, "at least four members of TPSAC have conflicts of interest by virtue of receiving payments from special interests with billions of dollars riding on the outcome of the committee's analysis."

ALG communicated the conflict of interest issues in a July 13, 2010 letter to Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which stated, "These irreconcilable biases jeopardize the neutrality that examination of this issue demands and requires.  It also threatens to erode Americans' confidence in government.  It creates an anti-government sentiment that leads the public to question decisions, a dynamic that certainly is not healthy for our democracy….We can envision no greater conflict.  We urgently request that you revisit these disqualifying conflicts of interest." 

"As we have made clear from the outset, the conflict of interest within the panel is the problem, and the failure of the Obama appointed FDA Administrator to take her responsibility to provide conflict of interest free decision making is just further evidence of the political agenda, rather than fact, driven power grab that this panel represents."

Americans for Limited Government is a non-profit corporation dedicated to free market principles and rolling back the massive overreach of government that threatens individual freedom.

Attachments:

ALG Letter to Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, February 15th, 2011 at http://www.getliberty.org/files/TPSAC-21511.pdf .

ALG Letter to FDA, July 13th, 2010 at www.getliberty.org/files/ALGLettertoFDA.pdf .

Saturday
Feb122011

Cooler Heads Digest 11 February

Announcements

  • Freedom Action this week launched a national grassroots campaign to repeal the ban on incandescent light bulbs that is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2012. Supporters of repealing the ban are being invited to sign a petition to Congress at FreeOurLight.org. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Sam Kazman makes the case against the ban in an article in this month’s Cigar Magazine, “How Many Congressmen Does It Take To Screw the Light Bulb?” Finally, a new video from Freedom Action parodies the dim future of a world without incandescent light bulbs.
  • The Science & Public Poilicy Institute has published an excellent new book, “The Many Benefits of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Enrichment,” by Craig D. Idso & Sherwood B. Idso. To learn more, click here.

In the News

Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi: Energy Policy Partners
Al Kaman, Washington Post, 11 February 2011

“Sustainability”: Some Free Market Perspectives
Marlo Lewis, MasterResource.org, 11 February 2011

The High Speed Rail Boondoggle
Lou Dolinar, National Review, 11 February2011

No Arctic “Tipping Point”
David Whitehouse, The Observatory, 10 February 2011

What Happens When Economists Skip Econ 101
David Kreutzer, The Foundry, 10 February 2011

More Greenie “Con” Jobs
Chris Horner, American Spectator, 8 February 2011

Chrysler Super Controversy
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 8 February 2011

The Trouble with the “Green Jobs” Approach
Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 February 2011

News You Can Use
Cold Weather Kills

In the wake of record freezing temperatures and snowstorms that wreaked havoc across the American south again this week, it bears repeating that cold weather is a public health threat—much more so than any of the fantasy harms imagined by global warming alarmists. As noted by Indur Goklany, the empirical evidence clearly demonstrates that mortality in developed countries is significantly greater during winter months.  

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

House Energy and Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on EPA Preemption

The Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a day-long hearing on Wednesday on the Inhofe-Upton-Whitfield draft legislation (titled the Energy Tax Prevention Act) to block EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas regulations.  The star witnesses were Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.  They were followed by two panels of witnesses from the private sector plus the Attorney General of Texas, Greg Abbott.  I didn’t hear them all, but of the witnesses I did hear I was especially impressed by Abbott,  Mr. Steve Rowlan of steelmaker Nucor, and Mr. Peter Glaser of the law firm Troutman Sanders.

Administrator Jackson stated once again that EPA had determined that the Clean Air Act was an appropriate and well-designed vehicle for regulating greenhouse gas emissions, but that following the letter of the law would lead to an absurd result, which made the Tailoring Rule necessary.  The Clean Air Act states that all stationary sources that emit more than 250 tons annually of a listed pollutant must be regulated.  This makes sense for actual air pollutants, but no sense at all for carbon dioxide emissions.  The Tailoring Rule raises the regulatory threshold to 100,000 tons.  It would be more logical to conclude that the Clean Air Act was not appropriate or well-designed for regulating carbon dioxide emissions.  But following the law is not a strength of the Obama Administration.

The witnesses’ written statements may be found on the committee’s web site.  My CEI colleague Marlo Lewis posted four excellent blogs on the hearing as itwasgoingon.  However, he doesn’t answer the question that puzzles me most: why is it named the Energy and Power Subcommittee? Why not Energy and Energy?

It became clear from the questions asked by Members that the Republican majority will vote unanimously for the bill.  Three Democrats, Rep. John Dingell (Mich.), Rep. Gene Green (Tex.), and Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah), voiced some concerns.  Thus I expect the Upton-Whitfield bill to sail through subcommittee and full committee when it is introduced and marked up. 

Across the States

New Hampshire

Governor John Lynch (D) this week announced he would veto legislation introduced by Republicans on the House of Representatives Science, Technology and Energy Committee that would end New Hampshire’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme for ten northeastern States, according to ClimateWire. If Republican lawmakers are unified in their opposition to this energy tax, then Governor Lynch’s threat is empty, because the party holds a veto-proof majority in both the House and the Senate.

Colorado

On a party-line vote, Democrats on the Colorado State Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee this week voted down legislation that would have required state regulators to return to least-cost electricity planning. In 2008, under the administration of ex-Governor Bill Ritter, who left office in January, utility regulations were changed so that environmentalism was given priority over affordability and reliability. Since then, Colorado electricity rates have increased 21 %, despite decreased demand caused by the economic downturn.

Around the World

Biofueling an Egyptian Uprising

This week the New York Times Paul Krugman noted that near-record high food prices instigated the social instability in Cairo that has since led to overturning of Egypt’s government. However, Krugman went on to blame the rise in food prices on global warming, which is pure poppycock, as is explained by Roger Pielke Jr. In an editorial on Tuesday, the Washington Post identified a much more plausible explanation for the spike in food prices: ethanol.

This year, American farmers will divert a third of the corn crop into the production of corn fuels that are more expensive and environmentally harmful than regular gasoline. Naturally, this has increased demand for corn, which, in turn, has pushed prices to historic highs. American farmers set the global price for corn, so the impact of our foolish ethanol prices is felt worldwide. American corn is one of the largest crops in the world, and by displacing land given to other grains and oilseeds, the ethanol mandate also increases the price of wheat and soybeans on the international market.

Such unintended consequences were foreseeable long ago. In 2007, after the Congress enacted a 15 billion gallon Soviet-style ethanol production quota, CEI’s William Yeatman predicted that the resulting increase in global food prices would lead to social instability in poor urban areas dependent on the international food market. Yeatman listed Cairo as among the cities at risk.

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
Feb122011

ALG - New ObamaCare Regulations Defy Court

ALG Urges States to Take Immediate Action

February 11th, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today urged Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, as well as the 26 co-plaintiff states, to take immediate action against the implementation of new regulatory processes forbidden by Judge Roger Vinson's ruling:

"Despite the ruling of a federal court striking down the bill in its entirety, the Obama Administration has continued with the regulatory implementation of the health care takeover.  Instead of the rule of law, we now have the rule of Obama. 

"Today, published in the Federal Register, the Obama Administration has introduced a new regulation affecting student health plans.  The problem is that the executive branch has no power to implement regulations based on voided legislation. These actions are barred by Judge Vinson's ruling.  The Obama Administration has not even taken the basic step asking the courts for a stay of that decision.  

"This lawlessness must not stand.  Without a stay or being overturned, the Administration must follow Judge Vinson's decision.

"It is now evident that the Department of Health and Human Service is taking further steps to execute the law expressly forbidden by Judge Vinson's ruling.  Obama has called the states' bluff by continuing with implementation.  If the states are serious in their opposition to ObamaCare, they must take immediate action."

Attachments:

"Obama Defies Judge, Implementation Continues," February 7th, 2011, ALG President Bill Wilson.

"The Week Ahead Analyzes Judge Vinson's Ruling," Video News Segment, February 1st, 2011.

"Judge Stops ObamaCare, but Who Will Stop Obama?" February 2nd, 2011, by Robert Romano, Senior Editor, Americans for Limited Government.



Thursday
Feb102011

CEI Daily - Natural Gas Vehicles, Nutrition Labels, and Panhandling

 

Natural Gas Vehicles

 

Vehicles can be converted to run on compressed natural gas.

 

Research Associate Brian McGraw says that vehicle conversions might become popular as natural gas discoveries push prices lower---were it not for burdensome licensing requirements.

 

"The licensing of natural gas vehicle conversions are prohibitively expensive, with some estimates ranging up to $200,000 per engine class. This estimate claims that licensing is even more expensive than listed above, as they must be consistently renewed and licenses only apply to a narrow range of vehicles. As a result, the equipment and installations required to allow your vehicle to run on natural gas are also expensive, ranging from $12,000 to $25,000 — rarely worth it for the average consumers."

 

 

Nutrition Labels

 

The Obama administration wants nutritional labeling mandates for alcohol.

 

Policy Analyst Michelle Minton says such mandates will force smaller breweries to close.

 

"Supporters of the proposal claim that it will help provide consumers with more information to make better choices, but the result will be an increase in production costs could force some brewers of craft beers to close their doors while depriving others of the funds they need to grow their business—and hire more workers. This will mean fewer varieties of beer, more expensive products, and fewer jobs throughout the entire nation, as every state is home to small breweries."

 

 

Panhandling

 

Montgomery County, Maryland Executive Ike Leggett wants panhandlers to apply for permits if they want to panhandle near roads. 

 

Fellow in Regulatory Studies Ryan Young notes that roadside panhandling is already illegal in the state of Maryland. 

 

"[T]he county ordinance is technically redundant. But the state ban appears to not be well enforced; hence the local law. Leggett’s permit proposal is likely a backdoor ban. The permits will exist, and panhandlers can apply for them. But none will be issued. But suppose a permit does get approved. This would violate state law, would it not? Of course, people still panhandle at intersections anyway. So maybe neither the state nor the county ban matters so much."



Wednesday
Feb092011

AMERIPAC - Last Chance To Stop Obama's Internet Kill Switch

Congress Votes To Take Control Of The Internet!

ALERT: Taking a cue from the Internet blackout issued by Egypt's military dictatorship, Obama and his cronies are fast tracking a bill that would give big government permission to SHUT DOWN your Internet!

STOP OBAMA FROM CREATING AN INTERNET KILL SWITCH
Send Faxes To All 535 Congressmen!

Senators presented a revised draft of legislation on Wednesday that would give Obama permission to shut down the Internet during a "cyber-emergency." Basically, Obama would have authorization to use any excuse to issue a total Internet blackout without a judicial review!

Democrats: International Crises Are A Foolproof Way
To Sneak Bills Through Congress

Citing the mayhem in Egypt, anti-free speech corruptocrats are rushing this bill through Congress. Rahm Emanuel was right; the Democrats never let a crisis go to waste. So, while the world watches in fear as violence and anarchy erupts across the Middle East, the big government gang is hoping no one will notice this bill slip through Congress.

This bill is just another example of the government trying to find ways to assume full control of the lives of regular American citizens. Big government wants to control the websites you visit, your access to real information (not propaganda,) and your right to log onto the Internet as you please. If we let the government get their hands on our access to the World Wide Web, there will be no end to their freedom-grabbing pillage.

Congress Votes To Block Your Access To Certain Websites

The revised version of the proposed bill (called the Lieberman-Collins bill) says that if the government decides certain Internet or computer systems need to be blocked, they won't be subject to a judicial review. Internet infrastructure that could be blocked includes providers of information technology and classified reports on security vulnerabilities.
According to the bill, the definition of critical Internet infrastructure has to meet three requirements:

  • Disruption of the system could cause severe economic consequences
  • The system contains a national information infrastructure.
  • The national information infrastructure is essential to the operation of the system.

If the threat met all of the above criteria, Obama would have the power to declare a national cyber emergency. Proponents of the freedom killing bill failed to mention that giving Obama power to kill the Internet could result in private communications and data from law abiding citizens winding up in the lap of Big Brother. The Department of Homeland Security would be able to collect this private data without a court order (which is what they normally require.) Basically, the rule of law won't be applicable if Obama deems something a crisis. There is no reason the rules of privacy laws shouldn't apply to regular Americans who pay taxes and obey the laws.

"Big Brother Is Watching You" - George Orwell, author of the book 1985.

STOP OBAMA FROM CREATING AN INTERNET KILL SWITCH
Send Faxes To All 535 Congressmen!

Liberals Want U.S. To Adopt Communist China Internet Policy

This proposal not only gives Obama complete control over the Internet, but it gives him the authority to reign over the telecommunications networks. Sen. Lieberman remarked, "The President will never take over -the government should never take over the Internet." Yet, he said some drastic measures must be taken to avoid a potential mass scale cyber-attack. He continued, "Right now, China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war. We need to have that here too."

STOP OBAMA FROM CREATING AN INTERNET KILL SWITCH
Send Faxes To All 535 Congressmen!

We do not need a Communist-style Internet take over. I don't know if Sen. Lieberman is aware, but China doesn't only exercise Internet restrictions during a time of war. They prevent access to certain sites and information EVERY DAY! China enforces strict Internet censorship through 60 laws and countless draconian administrative regulations. These laws gag critical opinions, corruption exposes and speech that protest their government. The communist country employs 50,000 people who act as Internet police, scouring the web for offenders to punish.

Obama and his Liberal buddies have already nationalized two Chrysler and GM and pretty much usurped the entire banking industry. Now, they want to get their hands on the last bastion of freedom - the Internet. Enough is enough! We must stop Obama's Internet grab before it's too late!

THIS IS NOT A FIGHT WE CAN AFFORD TO LOSE

1. Select Below To Tell Congress To Stop The Communist-Style Internet Take Over!

STOP OBAMA FROM CREATING AN INTERNET KILL SWITCH
Send Faxes To All 535 Congressmen!

2. Send this Alert to EVERYONE you know and every like-minded friend on your personal email list who wants to stop Obama from stealing your Internet freedom. We need to get HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of faxes delivered to EACH AND EVERY Senator and Congressman.

3. Keep calling your Senators today, toll free numbers include 1-877-851-6437 and 1-866-220-0044, or call 1-202-225-3121 AND REGISTER YOUR OUTRAGE! Demand Congress stop Obama from creating an Internet kill switch!

4. CALL President Obama, 202-456-1111 and 202-456-1414 expressing your disdain and ABSOLUTE REJECTION of his big government's Internet take over.

5. Print this copy and pass it around where normal working class Americans gather who care about the future of our country. Polling data reveals that Americans do not want the government controlling the Internet!

DO NOT BE SILENCED - MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

NOTE: We need TENS OF THOUSANDS of faxes and PHONE CALLS and EMAILS delivered TO ALL CONGRESSMEN RIGHT AWAY!

Your voice can be heard -- we need your urgent help at AmeriPAC.

DONATE AND FAX TODAY. Get my new book Black & Blue as my gift to you and the country, and say - "I'm As Mad As Hell, And I'm Not Gonna Take This Anymore!"

Black & Blue: How Obama And The Democrats Are Beating Up The Constitution

The compelling story of how the Obama Administration and progressive Democrats are warping and contradicting the Constitution to make it fit with their radical agenda.

The book covers Barack Obama's Chicago and Saul Alinsky days were he learned to "game the system" to bypass the rule of law. The book details how the progressive Democrats use groups like Acorn to gain power to force their socialism on the American people.


Defend America,

Alan M. Gottlieb
Chairman, AmeriPAC