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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • COVID-19 Relief Bill Passes without Frivolous Green Baggage

    March 27, 2020
    The Senate passed a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus bill by a 96-0 vote. The House passed the bill by voice vote on March 27. The House Democrats’ bill was so radical and most of it had so little to do with addressing the current health crisis or the resulting economic crisis that it discredited the more modest attempts to add irrelevant wind and solar tax credits to the bill in the Senate.
  • Greenpeace’s Swing and Miss Reveals Its Hypocrisy about Health Risks from Reusable Bags 

    March 26, 2020
    According to Greenpeace, my recent article on the sanitary benefits of single-use plastic bags is part of an effort to “exploit” COVID-19 fears and promote “pro-pollution agendas.” But Greenpeace’s accusations are not just wrong, they are laughable. In fact, they better describe Greenpeace’s tactics.
  • Ninth Circuit Should Uphold Panel's Decision to Dismiss Kids' Climate Suit

    March 26, 2020
    The Department of Justice urged the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stand by its decision to dismiss the so-called Kids Climate Suit on the grounds that plaintiffs lack standing to sue the U.S. government. The panel found that the proposed remedy—a U.S. government-wide plan to decarbonize the U.S. economy—would not “ameliorate” any climate-related harms plaintiffs purport to have sustained.
  • The Next Alleged Environmental Threat: Coal Falling off Trains

    March 25, 2020
    Proponents of climate change are repurposing older statutes into climate policy tools, even though they were never intended for that purpose. The environmentalists’ goal is to add one more impediment to the use of coal by raising the cost of its transport. But in so doing, they are improperly using a decades-old statute for the novel purpose of achieving climate policy aims that were rejected by Congress.
  • Fly the (Greenhouse) Friendly Skies, If You Can Still Afford to under the House COVID-19 Bill

    March 24, 2020
    Airports haven’t been this empty since after 9/11, so it is not surprising that airlines would be recipients of tens of billions of assistance in the proposed House COVID-19 stimulus legislation. But House Democrats are using the occasion to try to force through unrelated environmental measures that would raise the cost of flying.
  • Will Coronavirus Fuel or Derail Climate Agenda?

    March 20, 2020
    Fear and angst are contagious. With the coronavirus still spreading and the U.S. and global economies in danger of freefall, people may become more receptive to gloom and doom messages in general.
  • Federal Court Decision Underscores Need for NEPA Reform

    March 20, 2020
    The comment period has closed for the Council on Environmental Quality’s proposed updates to the implementing rules for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Many projects, especially those related to fossil fuel production and transport, continue to be delayed or blocked by NEPA and serve as reminders why reforms are needed.
  • Energy Special Interests Demand Handouts in Massive Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

    March 20, 2020
    Energy special interests began swarming the Capitol, as Congress passed a second emergency spending bill addressing the coronavirus pandemic and began to put together a $1 trillion or larger stimulus bill to try to counteract the resulting economic downturn. They all want the same thing—handouts for their particular industry.
  • 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.

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