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  • New Federal Railroad Administration Rule Can Help Reduce Passenger Train Costs

    November 21, 2018

    Today, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published its long-awaited final rule to modernize passenger railcar crashworthiness standards. When it takes effect on January 22, 2019, the new rule will allow passenger rail agencies to adopt railcars designed with crash energy management (CEM) techniques.

    CEM refers to crumple zones designed to absorb the energy of a collision. Until now, U.S. passenger railcars were required to meet “buff strength” crashworthiness standards related to railcar integrity, engineer seat integrity, and anticlimbing mechanisms to prevent telescoping—the deadly phenomenon in which a railcar “climbs” into the railcar in front of it when a crash suddenly halts a train’s...

  • Reason’s John Stossel Interviews Michelle Minton on the E-Cigarette Scare

    November 20, 2018
    The FDA recently announced new regulations restricting the sale of e-cigarettes, supposedly to protect young people from harms associated with nicotine. However, as CEI Senior Fellow Michelle Minton, author of an upcoming CEI study on the topic, notes, “Rather than keeping adolescents away from nicotine, the FDA’s new rules will likely push adolescents to acquire e-cigarettes through illicit channels or simply use combustible cigarettes.”
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    November 19, 2018
    It was a short work week due to Veterans Day, as most Americans took time to reflect on the centenary of the World War I armistice. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from RVs to commercial hogfish fishing.
  • Freedom and Whiskey Go Together

    November 15, 2018
    Recently Dave Sussman of the show Whiskey Politics featured myself and my old pals Drew Tidwell and Helen Straight of Passing Lane Films on his show to discuss the Competitive Enterprise Institute film: “I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit.”
  • CEI Challenges Federal Rejection of Alaska's Pebble Mine

    November 15, 2018
    Most job-creating projects don’t require government subsidies―the only thing private sector builders need is less federal red tape getting in their way.   A good case in point is the Pebble Mine in Alaska, currently being held up by the Environmental Protection Agency. That is why the Competitive Enterprise Institute is filing a Petition for Correction under the Information Quality Act to help clear away EPA’s unjustified rejection of this project.
  • Massachusetts Teachers Union Dues Do Not 'Stay Local'

    November 15, 2018
    Labor unions like to promote the narrative that dues payments stay local. If you peruse union websites, a consistent message appears that reads something like this: “Most of your dues stay with your local union in order to fund activities that give workers more power at the bargaining table, in the statehouse and in the community.” Unions use the “dues stay local” slogan as a selling point during organizing campaigns and to recruit new members.
  • Repeal Barriers to Competition: Abolish Antitrust

    November 14, 2018
    My colleague Iain Murray has some excellent new content out today in the form of a Web Memo titled “How Antitrust Regulation Hinders Innovation and Competition: Framing a Broken Debate.” Iain briskly defines the three major perspectives on antitrust theory (interventionist, consumer welfare, and free market) and steers readers toward an appreciation that antitrust enforcement itself—along with similar economic regulations—are often the cause of, rather than solution to, consumer harm.
  • Senate Should Move Forward with Confirmation Votes on Buerkle, Others

    November 13, 2018
    With the 2018 election behind us, it’s time to look for opportunities to advance freedom and economic well-being. I don't expect much to happen congressionally given the divided chambers, but that does not mean policy changes can’t happen administratively within federal agencies and departments.
  • Dockless Bikes, E-Scooters, and Urban Transportation Policy Hypocrisy

    November 13, 2018
    In August 2017, I wrote about the municipal government cronyism and monopoly franchise agreements driving the controversy over unsubsidized dockless bikesharing companies. In the rapidly evolving world of privately financed urban micromobility, electric scooters have now joined dockless bikesharing at the center of the debate. Here, municipal cronyism also appears to have evolved from protecting subsidized monopoly providers into classic shakedown efforts.
  • National Labor Relations Board Member Cleared of Ethics Conflict

    November 13, 2018
    Republican appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have become the target of an ongoing campaign by Democrats to silence their voices and ability to administer the law. Since Republicans took a majority at the NLRB, Democrats have been trying to manipulate ethics rules to pressure Republican members into recusing themselves from important cases before the board.

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