June 30, 2020
America’s current surface transportation authorization, the FAST Act, expires at the end of September. Rather than reauthorizing it, however, House Democrats have introduced the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 2). While this bill stands no chance of becoming law, it exemplifies several problems with the current approach to lawmaking from the House.
May 8, 2020
On May 1, the EPA sent its first-ever proposed rule on aircraft greenhouse gas emissions to OMB for review. Promulgated pursuant to the Clean Air Act, the proposed rule comes at a time when the airlines are struggling badly because of the COVID-19 crisis and can ill afford potentially expensive new obligations.
April 24, 2020
Today, CEI submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s notice of proposed rulemaking in the matter of Defining Unfair or Deceptive Practices. At issue is past backdoor re-regulatory activity that perversely harms consumers under the banner of consumer protection. Fortunately, the current DOT has signaled it does not want to engage in the abuses of its predecessors.
April 2, 2020
House Democrats announced a coronavirus infrastructure response as part of a “phase 4” relief bill. A transportation infrastructure stimulus package makes no sense as a response to the current pandemic. It won’t boost the economy and we still have no idea how the coronavirus will impact travel behavior—and no idea what our long-run infrastructure priorities should be.
March 30, 2020
Last Friday, President Trump nationalized General Motors, ordering the company to produce as many ventilators as HHS Secretary Alex Azar says is necessary to address the coronavirus crisis. Bluster from the White House doesn’t magically retool factories and retrain workers. Worse, meddling from administration bureaucrats far outside their depth may depress and delay production.
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.
March 20, 2020
As we enter a new era of slapdash bailouts driven by a dangerous mix of panic, ignorance, and opportunism, we face a growing list of bad policy ideas. One particularly bad idea is attempting to address immediate cash flow and near-term solvency issues through costly and slow transportation infrastructure spending.
March 9, 2020
On March 9, CEI submitted comments to the FCC on its proposal to reallocate a portion of the 5.9 GHz band from Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to unlicensed Wi-Fi. In recent years, the growth of Wi-Fi devices has congested the unlicensed bands immediately adjacent to the 5.9 GHz ITS band, creating tension between the automotive and telecommunication industries.
February 21, 2020
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced a new proposed rule that would “align its definitions of unfairness and deception with the principles set forth by the Federal Trade Commission,” which “is intended to provide regulated entities and other interested parties greater clarity and certainty about the Department’s interpretation of unfair or deceptive practices in the context of aviation consumer protection rulemaking and enforcement actions.” This is great news for consumers and their aviation service providers.
February 6, 2020
Late yesterday, it was reported that the Department of Homeland Security has suspended entry of New Yorkers into four “trusted traveler” programs. Today, the department released the letter it sent to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles announcing this sudden change in policy.
Trusted traveler programs came about following the great expansion of the national security state following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In a nutshell, screening for both domestic and international travelers was reoriented to presume everyone was a potential terrorist, and then carved out screening exceptions and creating expedited screening lanes for those who willingly submit and pay for enhanced pre-screening.