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OpenMarket: March 2020

  • Liberty in the Time of Coronavirus Part 2

    March 16, 2020
    Much of the money dedicated to medical research and services comes from the federal government. While some may see this is a good way to coordinate efforts on important health goals, libertarians have criticized this top-down influence for corrupting the reliability of research.
  • Liberty in the Time of Coronavirus Part 1

    March 16, 2020
    A recent headline at The Atlantic declared, “There are No Libertarians in an Epidemic.” But, just as there are atheists in foxholes, there are libertarians present in a crisis; it’s just that nobody listens to them. And because those in power tend to exploit the widespread fear that accompanies national emergencies, often in ways that infringe on civil liberties, an epidemic is exactly when libertarians are needed most.
  • Regulation, Confusion, and the Irony of Emergency COVID-19 Testing

    March 16, 2020
    By now, readers are aware that testing in the United States for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been embarrassingly slow. Less well known is that overregulation is largely to blame. And the biggest obstacle to more expedient testing has been, ironically, a law intended to expedite treatment during public health emergencies.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    March 16, 2020
    It was a rough week. Coronavirus infections and deaths continued to climb. Wall Street is officially in a bear market, and Congress and President Trump are considering all manner of unwise flash policies.
  • Federal District Court Upholds Constitutionality of California-Quebec Climate Pact

    March 13, 2020
    On February 12, Federal District Judge William B. Shubb rejected the Trump administration’s constitutional challenge to California’s greenhouse gas emission trading pact with Québec. Judge Shubb’s reasoning evokes the Obama administration’s argument that the Paris Agreement is not a treaty requiring the Senate’s advice and consent because it is “non-binding” and “unenforceable” under international law.
  • Refrigerants Debate Moves to House

    March 13, 2020
    American consumers dodged a bullet when the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act failed to become part of the larger Senate energy package, which has stalled on the Senate floor. Now the House has begun marking up its own version. Both bills would restrict future production of hydrofluorocarbons on the grounds that they contribute to climate change.
  • As Supreme Court Debates CFPB Constitutionality, Agency Accountability Hangs in the Balance

    March 13, 2020
    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week over the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and whether, as currently structured, it is too far removed from executive oversight. The outcome of this case has become increasingly important given the Bureau’s continuous efforts to skirt legal accountability and harass businesses into near bankruptcy.
  • Coronavirus and the Limits of "Flash Policy"

    March 12, 2020
    The coronavirus outbreak is serious, and it deserves a serious response. If you’re healthy, help people out. If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, reach out and see if they need anything. If you need help yourself, don’t be embarrassed to ask for it. If you need to cancel travel, work from home, or even self-quarantine, do so. It might be unpleasant, but it’s likely better than the alternative. And, of course, be diligent about washing your hands. But what about public policy? The real meat of Washington’s coronavirus response should focus on the long term, not the short term. Congress should refrain from passing what my colleague Wayne Crews calls “flash policy,” such as a crisis-inspired stimulus package, or bailouts, or rash monetary fixes.
  • Sen. Toomey Defends Capitalism

    March 12, 2020
    This week Sen. Pat Toomey gave an excellent and much-needed speech at the Heritage Foundation on capitalism and its right-leaning critics. Toomey made clear that he anti-market measures promoted by self-described nationalists and populists would be a failure if enacted.
  • Eleven Free Market Groups Submit Joint Comments on Proposed Updated NEPA Regulations

    March 11, 2020
    CEI and 10 other free market organizations submitted comments supporting the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Proposed Updated regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). CEQ’s proposed regulations aim to reduce the delays, costs, and litigation risks that routinely beset NEPA reviews and often thwart worthwhile projects.

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