CEI Daily Update

Issues in the News


The Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes to approve the controversial United Nations-sponsored Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).   

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of Energy Policy Myron Ebell on the treaty’s prospects on the floor of the Senate:


“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote in favor of ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty is disappointing, but grassroots opposition is still building against the treaty. … The opposition of the Senate’s Republican leadership is another good indication. If Majority Leader Harry Reid brings LOST to the floor for a vote, it is going to be a real fight.”



The Supreme Court decides to review whether a $2.5 billion punitive damages award against ExxonMobil was excessive.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Special Projects Counsel Hans Bader on ExxonMobil’s critics:


“Yet, ironically, this excessive damage award is cited by trial lawyers (and commenters at liberal blogs such as DailyKos) as an example of a big company getting off too lightly (since the appeals court reduced the punitive damage award from the $5 billion awarded by the trial court to $2.5 billion, which is still an astronomical sum). They won’t be satisfied until unguided juries are permitted to redistribute the entire gross national product.”



The Senate votes to increase subsidies for Amtrak.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis on the strange logic of federal subsidies:


“According to the New York Times, ‘The vote signaled a desire for a major investment in the money-losing railroad service when the Bush administration and other critics say it should be privatized.’ You might think Amtrak wouldn’t need more taxpayer hand-outs because, ‘High gasoline prices and congestion on highways and at airports have helped increase demand for rail services.’ But then you also might think ethanol wouldn’t need government support when oil is selling for more than $90 a barrel. The landslide vote for a bigger Amtrak subsidy (like the earlier landslide vote in the Senate to quintuple the ethanol mandate) illustrates the ‘logic’ that prevails on Capitol Hill: Throw good money after bad!.” 


Blog feature: For more news and analysis, updated throughout the day, visit CEI’s blog, Open Market.



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