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OpenMarket: September 2020

  • Federally Commissioned Climate Report Defies Reality

    September 24, 2020
    Earlier this month, The New York Times reported at length about a report commissioned by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, titled “Managing Climate Risks in the Financial System.” While it has not been endorsed by the full Commission, it is remarkable in its scope and detail, and any innocent reader would conclude that climate change is horrible and already wreaking havoc.
  • Labor Department Trying to Rewrite Definition of “Employer”

    September 24, 2020
    The Department of Labor proposed a new rule this week to adjust the legal definition of “employer” and clarify when people that work for one are traditional employees or contractors. It may help keep gig economy companies like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and others from being regulated out of existence.
  • CEI Event with Hester Peirce and Paul Atkins: ESG, Crypto, and other SEC Hot Topics

    September 23, 2020
    Yesterday, in the most recent installment of CEI’s “Repeal for Resilience” event series, CEI President Kent Lassman welcomed Securities and Exchange Commission member Hester Peirce and former SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins for a discussion on the future of finance regulation. Peirce led off with a description of some of the SEC’s helpful policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Climate Cronyism: Big Businesses Tailor Policy to Benefit Themselves

    September 23, 2020
    The Business Roundtable released a new policy document recently, “Addressing Climate Change.” The statement seems crafted to cover BRT members over a wide range of scenarios while exposing them to the least possible financial risk. That’s fine for them, but not exactly some kind of major change in corporate attitudes. It is also unlikely to garner them the environmental halo they clearly covet.
  • New Paper: Antitrust Regulation is #NeverNeeded

    September 23, 2020
    Tech companies regulators are targeting have the pandemic easier to endure. Antitrust lawsuits would not help the COVID-19 response. The real cost of antitrust policy is its chilling effect on new innovations. Ramping up antitrust enforcement would leave us less resilient against the next crisis. Read the new CEI paper, “Repeal #NeverNeeded Antitrust Laws that Hinder COVID-19 Response.”
  • SAFE DATA Act a Risk for Consumers

    September 22, 2020
    Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee recently introduced the SAFE DATA Act. While the bill includes much needed federal preemption of state privacy laws, it also creates regulations that would threaten innovation and ultimately harm consumers more than it helps them.
  • Brother, Can You Spare Two Weeks?

    September 22, 2020
    Last year, California passed AB5, intended to go after rideshare companies Uber and Lyft. The law requires “gig economy” companies to classify all of their workers as employees. These restrictions went into place exactly as the COVID-19 outbreak hit. People found themselves stuck at home and in need of alternate, temporary means to earn money. What are typically called gig economy jobs.
  • Regulatory Waiver Clears the Sky for Private Partnership, Innovation, and Competition

    September 21, 2020
    Three months have passed since the FAA granted a special waiver to the drone delivery company Zipline International. Early last week, Walmart announced a partnership with Zipline to “launch a first-of-its-kind drone delivery operation in the U.S.” to distribute health and other wellness products. This innovation could have substantial health and economic benefits.  
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    September 21, 2020
    Scientists may have found potential chemical evidence of life on Venus—phosphine gas, which in Venusian conditions may well have been produced by anaerobic (non-oxygen-using) microbes. No life forms have been directly observed, and phosphine is also present in the atmospheres of lifeless Jupiter and Saturn, but that is still a pretty big deal. In more earthly realms, regulatory agencies issued new regulations ranging from watermelon promotion to natural gas emissions.
  • Government Is Asking if We Want Faster and More Effective Appliances. Say Yes!

    September 18, 2020
    For more than 50 years, Americans have used washing machines to clean their clothes and dryers to dry them. Manufacturers built highly effective products that did the job quickly so people had the time to do other things they valued more. Sadly, in the last few decades, the government has been slowly decreasing the energy such machines could use, causing them to take longer and clean less effectively. But the Department of Energy is proposing to solve this problem by once again allow manufacturers to produce machines that can clean clothes quickly and thoroughly and get them dried must faster.

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