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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • Flex-Fuel Vehicles and Ethanol No Panacea for Energy Independence

    December 18, 2019
    Back in September, I posted a rebuttal to pollster Frank Luntz, who advised President Trump on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program to promote E85—motor fuel blended with 51-83 percent ethanol. Luntz claimed that by stumping for E85 and flex-fuel vehicles, Trump could make America “energy independent” by election day 2020 while giving Republicans a “real solution” to climate change without the “craziness” of Green New Deal. I suggested Luntz was hawking corporate welfare for corn farmers.
  • Department of Justice Wrong to Block Sabre Acquisition of Farelogix

    December 18, 2019
    On January 27th, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) will attempt to block travel technology company Sabre Corporation from purchasing communications protocol innovator Farelogix, Inc. This will be the DOJ’s first time back at bat after striking out in June 2018 against AT&T’s ultimately successful acquisition of Time Warner. Unfortunately, it’s a good example of overzealous antitrust regulation.
  • Congress Racing To Extend and Expand Electric Vehicle, Wind, and Solar Tax Credits

    December 13, 2019
    It would be comforting to think that the House’s impeachment proceedings have so poisoned relations between Democrats and Republicans that the Congress won’t be able to pass any significant legislation in the near future besides a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year. Unfortunately, the prospect of using tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to reward special interests is so irresistibly attractive to members of Congress that it can overcome almost any level of partisan animosity.  
  • Supreme Court to Hear Important Natural Gas Pipeline Case

    December 13, 2019
    Next February, the U.S. Supreme Court will review the 2018 decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al. v.  United States Forest Service, blocking the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the outcome of this case is critical for the future of natural gas on the East Coast.
  • UN Climate Summit in Madrid: Al Gore Talks, Donald Trump Vindicated

    December 12, 2019
    #TimeForAction is the slogan at this year’s Madrid climate conference. #TimeForTalk would be more accurate. The talking is endless. 70,000 hours and counting have been spent failing to define a market instrument under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. But talk doesn’t cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Down in Flames: Judge Dismisses New York Climate Lawsuit against ExxonMobil

    December 10, 2019
    New York Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager today acquitted ExxonMobil of all charges brought against the company by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
  • 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.

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