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OpenMarket: February 2020

  • May Common Sense Prevail: New York Delays Enforcement of Plastic Bag Ban

    February 28, 2020
    New York State’s ban on single-use plastic grocery bags was slated to start on Monday, March 1st, but a state court has just put a hold off on enforcing the ban at least until April, which is good news.  As I’ve noted many times, such bans are counter-productive because replacement products are worse for the environment, requiring more energy and making more pollution that the thin and convenient plastic bags. Bans also needlessly harm small businesses.
  • Appeals Court Rules Heathrow Expansion Unlawful, Citing Paris Climate Treaty

    February 28, 2020

    The UK Court of Appeals on February 27th declared unlawful the Department of Transport’s approval of Heathrow Airport’s expansion plans, because the government “had not taken into account its own firm policy commitments on climate change under the Paris agreement.”

    Several major news outlets posted same-day articles on the story including the UK Guardian,...

  • VIDEO: Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word

    February 28, 2020
    Former Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg recently made an appearance at the American Enterprise Institute to promote his new book, Trade Is Not a Four Letter Word: How Six Everyday Products Make the Case for Trade. Readers who are familiar with CEI’s position on Ex-Im will know we are not fans of its operations (or existence), but we are fans of international trade, so we were eager to hear what Hochberg had to say. Hochberg made a case for the advantages of open trade, using six different products to tell his story.
  • Federal Court Rightly Affirms Online Platforms' First Amendment Rights

    February 28, 2020
    This week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, “despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a publicfacing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment.” CEI agrees with the court and has said as much – many times.
  • Two Cheers for Nikki Haley's Defense of Capitalism

    February 27, 2020
    Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has written a bold and, for the most part, very good op-ed on the future of capitalism for The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Minimum Wage Tax Increase

    February 27, 2020
    By far the most common criticism of minimum wages is that they cost jobs.
  • Net Reality: Five Years Since the Open Internet Order

    February 26, 2020
    If you’re reading this, the Internet is alive and well. If you’re wondering how the Internet is doing, just picture a rocket—symbolizing both the incredible Internet speeds and new technological frontiers achievable through deregulation.
  • "Scientocracy" Highlights Problematic Incentives in Government Research

    February 25, 2020
    Yesterday CEI put on an excellent event on science policy on Capitol Hill on the new book Scientocracy: The Tangled Web of Public Science and Public Policy. The quick take is that government-funded and government-endorsed science is subject to at least as many problematic and confounding issues as any research funded by a profit-seeking corporation. The argument is not that science isn’t important enough for the government to become involved, it’s that it is too important to let the perverse incentives of political control hold it back.
  • Chairman Crapo Offers Hope for Safe Banking in Controversial Industries

    February 25, 2020
    Last October, the House passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to provide safe harbor for banks and credit unions doing business with legal cannabis businesses. Following its passage, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo issued a recommendation to merge language from the Financial Institution Consumer Protection Act—a proposed measure that would prevent regulators from ordering depository institutions to terminate the accounts of legal businesses they disapprove of—into the SAFE Banking Act. This would resolve a threat posed to businesses seen as “high risk” by agency bureaucrats.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    February 24, 2020
    During the four-day week, Lawrence Tesler passed away. The underappreciated inventor created the cut, copy, and paste functions on computers. The Hair Club for Men also lost a client. Meanwhile, agencies issued new final regulations ranging from “biological products” to land erosion taxes.

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