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OpenMarket: Property Rights

  • The Real Victim in the Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy Is the Company behind the Project

    November 2, 2016

    The real victim in the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline is Dakota Access Services, the company behind the $3.7 billion project that would move almost 500,000 barrels of oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to a refining hub in Illinois. The operators of the pipeline are being jerked around by the government, environmentalists, and the Standing Rock Sioux, all of whom are acting in varying degrees of bad faith.

    President Obama Yanked the Rug out from under Dakota Access Partners

    The pipeline route is 99% on private land. As such, the federal government’s role is quite limited. In fact, the U.S. government’s jurisdiction extends only to the immediate area where the pipeline crosses navigable waterways.

    After jumping through all the appropriate hoops, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitted construction of the...

  • Obama's Worst Power Grab Yet

    September 16, 2016

    The $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline is a partially completed project that would move almost 500,000 barrels of oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to a refining hub in Illinois.

    More than 99% of the pipeline traverses private land, which means that the project is subject to very little federal permitting. However, the project does require Clean Water Act permits for every river or lake that it crosses.

    In early 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for issuing the aforementioned Clean Water Act permits. The suit alleged that Corps had violated the National Historic Preservation Act by failing to consult with the tribe before permitting the pipeline to cross under Lake...

  • RealClear Radio Hour: American Indian, EpiPen, and Free Speech Fiascos

    September 5, 2016

    In this episode of RealClear Radio Hour, we discuss the fiascos of government overreach and overregulation—on American Indian reservations, in the EpiPen saga, and with political intimidation campaigns.

    Naomi Schaefer Riley, New York Post columnist and author of The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians joins me at the top of the hour. Naomi details how federal policies have consigned Native Americans to poverty and contributed to their high rates of suicide, domestic abuse, gang violence, unemployment, and drug and alcohol epidemics. She argues for repealing both stifling tribal regulations and the loophole economy regulatory exemptions, instead allowing for true property rights and...

  • Milwaukee: Get Your Pokémon Off My Lawn!

    August 25, 2016

  • New York Legislature Piles on Fines for Home-Share Listings

    June 21, 2016

  • Wireless Net Neutrality: You Were Warned

    June 17, 2016

    Hundreds of people have been burrowing into this week’s D.C. District Court of Appeals 2-1 decision giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) everything it wanted and more in its campaign for net neutrality regulation, or conversion of the Internet into a public utility with FCC as overlord.

    Entropy Economics’ Bret Swanson summed it up well:

    The court upheld not only the FCC’s reclassification of broadband as a Title II telecom service (a switch from its previous designation as a lightly regulated Title I information service), it also allowed the FCC...

  • Happy Magna Carta Day

    June 15, 2016

    801 years ago today in a peaceful meadow in England occurred the first act of the American Revolution. There was no America at the time, but in the issuing of Magna Carta we can trace the beginnings of the great experiment that became America. The monarch of England became bound by the rule of law, and as the Texan Congressman and jurist Hatton...
  • World Bank Increases Number of Poor

    September 25, 2015

    The World Bank is considering changing its definition of what constitutes extreme poverty, raising the level below which someone is treated as extremely poor from $1.25 a day to $1.90 a day. This comes after a long trend of people moving out of the category, leading some to point out that the Bank may have an interest in maintaining high numbers of people defined as poor.

  • CEI Issues Report on the Nation’s Six Worst State Attorneys General

    August 27, 2015

    Today, CEI issued another of its periodic “worst state attorney general” lists, in a lengthy report explaining why those attorneys general received that dubious distinction. (Previous versions were issued in 2007 and 2010.) The Nation’s Worst State Attorneys General 2015 is now available.

    Pennsylvania’s recently...

  • Ten Years After Kelo v. New London

    June 23, 2015

    Ten years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision upholding the City of New London, Connecticut’s “right” to condemn Connecticut homeowners’ properties, transfer them to a state-created entity called the New London Development Corporation, which would then transfer those properties to a private developer of a planned mixed-use redevelopment project aimed at supporting an adjacent Pfizer research facility. (Land of the free, right?) At issue was the interpretation of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause “public use” standard.

    The Court relied primarily on three previous cases involving the “public use” standard:

    Berman v. Parker (1954)—This case upheld the right of municipalities to declare entire areas blighted, even if the parcel in question isn’t...


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