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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • House Energy and Commerce Democrats Release Omnibus Climate Bill

    February 3, 2020
    Senior Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a discussion draft of their omnibus climate bill on January 28. The draft bill begins by declaring that “it is the national goal for the United States to achieve a 100% clean economy by not later than 2050.” A 100% clean economy is later defined as “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, or negative greenhouse gas emissions.”
  • Worst-Case Emissions Scenario RCP8.5 Is Dead: BBC

    February 1, 2020
    BBC News last week rang down the curtain on the climate science fraternity’s long running malpractice of projecting climate change impacts using a worst-case emissions scenario as if it were a business-as-usual scenario.
  • Trump Administration Better on Permit Approvals for Energy Projects than for Minerals Projects Like the Pebble Mine

    January 31, 2020
    The Trump administration is doing a good job reducing red tape and streamlining the permitting process for energy production and energy infrastructure projects, but on minerals mining, the record is mixed, with some measures helping undo decades of anti-mining policy but others maintaining existing roadblocks.
  • Luddites, not Almond Milk, Pose Biggest Risk to Honeybees

    January 29, 2020
    A recent story in the Guardian alleges that almond growers are somehow uniquely responsible for substantial losses of honeybee hives, and that may eventually lead to their extinction. The article gets a large number of facts wrong, but the story really isn’t about almond farms or even honeybees. It’s about the author’s wrongheaded belief that high-yield farming is bad for the environment. Ironically, the author’s implied “solution” would actually wreak havoc on the environment.
  • Department of Energy Finalizes Process Rule for Appliance Efficiency Standards

    January 29, 2020
    There are a number of problematic Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standards for home appliances. Perhaps worst of all is the one resulting in dishwashers taking hours to do the job. Fortunately, DOE’s recent process rule, applicable to all future appliance rulemakings, contains a number of useful measures.
  • Study Projecting Net Carbon Dioxide Benefits through 2050 Defended

    January 28, 2020
    Last Friday on the Daily Kos, an anonymous blogger called “Climate Denier Roundup” (CDR) posted a hit piece on a new study by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ross McKitrick, and Patrick J. Michaels. According to CDR, Dayaratna, McKitrick, and Michaels (DMM) claim “we should actually subsidize fossil fuel use because higher carbon dioxide levels are good for crops.” Their study says no such thing. DMM have no wish to play central planner or encourage others to do so. Neither are they “deniers,” as CDR insinuates.
  • Are the Climate and Capitalism at War?

    January 27, 2020
    Many contemporary environmentalists share two important beliefs: a) that anthropogenic climate change is the biggest threat to the future of humanity and b) that a profit-based economic system is the biggest barrier to addressing that problem. A new short documentary from Reason TV makes the opposite case, arguing that accelerating economic growth and advances in technology are the best strategy for mediating the impact of both the planet’s growing human population and the future dislocations climate change will present us with.
  • Trump Promotes Energy Abundance and Decries Prophets of Doom at Davos

    January 26, 2020
    President gave a powerful speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in which he challenged the politically correct platitudes and energy-rationing agenda that dominate discussion in Davos.
  • House Republican Leadership Prepares Package of Climate Bills 

    January 25, 2020
    Axios ran an exclusive interview with House Republican leaders planning a package of legislation to address climate change. According to the Axios story, the package will include specific proposals grouped into three main areas: “1. capturing carbon dioxide emissions, with a focus on trees; 2. clean-energy innovation and funding; [and] 3. conservation, focusing on plastic.” The good news is that the package reportedly does not include taxes on carbon dioxide emissions or mandates to reduce emissions.
  • New Study Projects Net Carbon Dioxide Benefits through at least 2050

    January 24, 2020
    The benefits of carbon dioxide emissions are likely to exceed costs over the next 30 years, according to a new study published in the journal "Environmental Economics and Policy Studies." The authors, Kevin D. Dayaratna of the Heritage Foundation, Ross McKitrick of Guelph University, and Patrick J. Michaels of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, expect the social cost of carbon (SCC) to be negative at least through the mid-21st century. A negative cost is another way of saying a net benefit. 

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