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OpenMarket: Energy

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Report Misconstrues SAFE Rule 'Rollbacks'

    February 20, 2020
    A recent Rhodium Group report purports to show by the numbers that the fuel economy “rollbacks” effected by the Trump administration’s forthcoming Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicle rule are “significant” both in terms of “greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions abatement and costs to drivers.” In fact, the numbers reveal the insignificance of the SAFE rule’s GHG impacts. Furthermore, the report’s analysis of consumer costs is one-sided and, thus, potentially misleading.
  • Trump Wants Less Federal Meddling in Home Energy Use, but Some in Congress Want More

    February 13, 2020
    Federal energy efficiency standards have a long history of unintended adverse consequences, from more expensive light bulbs with questionable light quality to dishwashers that take hours to finish a load. Putting the federal government in charge of residential building codes would give us more of the same.
  • House Panel Hears Testimony on USE IT Act

    February 7, 2020
    On February 6, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change held a hearing on the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, which seeks to incentivize research, development, demonstration, and deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects. Although the bill is bipartisan and relies on incentives, it is not a genuine compromise between Republicans’ emphasis on innovation and Democrats’ emphasis on regulation.
  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • 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.

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