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ENERGY FRAUD - BRIAN McGRAW
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.
REGULATING WIRELESS - BEN SPERRY
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.
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.