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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • Trump Can't Do Much About Toilets, But Can Stop Other Anti-Homeowner Regulations

    December 9, 2019
    President Trump created more controversy than usual last week when he complained about water-saving faucets, shower heads, and—especially—toilets. “You turn on the faucet and you don't get any water, they take a shower and water comes dripping out, just dripping out, very quietly dripping out,” he said, adding that “people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once.”
  • Climate Mass Migration Myth

    December 6, 2019
    The paper “Climate Migration Myths,” published in the latest edition of the prestigious journal Nature Climate Change, is a large-scale beat-down of the notion that climate change is causing significant mass migrations. Ingrid Boas (Wageningen University, Netherlands) and her 31 co-authors flatly state that this notion is “without an empirical scientific basis” and that it is a product of a “self-referencing narrative in [the] scientific literature and policy reports.”
  • Wind and Solar Tax Credits: Special Interest Subsidies

    December 6, 2019
    The House Ways and Means Committee on November 19th released a draft of its “Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act” (summary). The sponsors propose to extend, increase, and create tax credits for various non-fossil energy-related technologies, such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels.
  • Hausfather Climate Model Paper Not What It's Cracked up to Be

    December 6, 2019
    This week’s press is abuzz with a paper just published by Zeke Hausfather and others in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. It purports to show that early (1970s and '80s) climate models are doing just fine, with a special concentration on NASA’s James Hansen and the 1988 model he showcased in front of Congress, initiating the still-raging global warming hubbub.
  • Lawmakers Fatal Conceit on Recycling Should Be Trashed

    December 5, 2019
    “The more things change, the more they stay the same” is a wise observation, and it’s particularly true in politics. I’ve been following solid waste management policy for about 30 years, and every so many years there is a new spin on the so-called “garbage crisis.” The circumstances may change but the problem remains the same: politicians think they can better manage waste than individuals in a free marketplace. Time and again, their fatal conceit is proved wrong.
  • House Committee Releases Tax Bill to Extend Electric Vehicle, Wind, and Solar Handouts

    November 22, 2019
    In what amounts to the tax component of the Green New Deal, the House Ways and Means Committee released a draft of its “Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act” (summary available here). This draft contains tax credits for a long list of alternative energy-related technologies unable to compete otherwise.  
  • Activist Groups Demand Pelosi, Castor Implement Green New Deal

    November 22, 2019
    Two hundred fifty nine activist groups are demanding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor (D-FL) stop being wimpy about the “climate emergency” and enact the Green New Deal.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Revises Risk Management Program for Industrial Facilities

    November 21, 2019
    “First, do no harm,” is good ethical advice for regulators as well as doctors, but the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency took a risk management program for industrial facilities that was working well and made it worse. Now, the Trump administration has finalized revisions that should get the program back on course.
  • EPA, Progressives Clash over Transparency Rule

    November 18, 2019
    The House Science Committee held a hearing last week titled “Strengthening Transparency or Silencing Science? The Future of Science in EPA Rulemaking.” Most of the witnesses and committee Democrats pilloried EPA’s April 2018 proposed rule to strengthen the transparency of regulatory science. Why is that proposal newsworthy now? Because on Monday, The New York Times published a leaked non-finalized supplement to the rule. 
  • Congress Breaking Promises, Extending Tax Credits for Electric Vehicles, Wind, and Solar

    November 18, 2019
    It is not unusual for Congress to keep extending a supposedly temporary federal program, and that includes the tax credits for electric vehicles and wind and solar electric generation. For this reason, the Competitive Enterprise Institute opposed the 2015 tax extenders legislation despite several members’ insistence that it would be the last such extension, and that these provisions would sunset after a few more years.

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