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OpenMarket: Energy

  • Last Chance for the 115th: Reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard

    June 21, 2018

    It has now been more than decade since the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was last revised, and the program is not getting any better with age.  It unnecessarily interferes with the motor fuels marketplace, hurts consumers, and even fails to deliver the promised environmental and farm economy benefits. The 115th Congress deserves some credit for taking a critical look at the program, but it lacks the resolve to definitively address its problems. This is unlikely to change as we head into the 2018 elections.

  • Trump Nominates Mary Neumayr and Dan Simmons

    June 17, 2018

    The White House has announced that President Donald J. Trump will nominate two individuals for positions of considerable importance to energy and environmental issues.

  • Solar 'Incentives' Are Busting Out All Over

    June 17, 2018

    Ever wonder why installations of household solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and utility-scale solar power have surged since 2014? The declining cost of solar technology is part of the reason. But a bigger factor may be the profusion of state and federal “incentive” programs, i.e. subsidies.

  • UK Climate Campaigners Demand More Market Rigging

    May 20, 2018

    Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom “are warning of a ‘dramatic and worrying collapse’ of clean energy investments in Great Britain in the last three years,” the Financial Times reports. While the UK’s share of low-carbon energy roughly doubled in the last decade, “the government’s annual investment in clean energy fell 10 percent in 2016 and an additional 50 percent last year.” Labour Party MP Mary Greagh frets that the “dramatic fall in investment is threatening the government’s ability to meet legally binding climate change targets.”

  • President Trump Replaces Obama Executive Order on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    May 19, 2018

    President Donald Trump on May 17th issued an executive order that replaces a March 19th, 2015 executive order by President Barack Obama requiring all federal departments and agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% within ten years. The Obama order also required the federal government to increase the share of electricity it uses from renewable sources to 30% and reduce per-mile greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the federal fleet of vehicles. 

  • Justice Department Brief Defends Oil Companies against California City Lawsuits

    May 18, 2018

    The Department of Justice last week filed an amicus brief supporting oil companies’ motion to dismiss claims by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco that the firms owe those cities big bucks for climate change damages.

    The theory underlying the cities’ litigation is that climate change endangers coastal property by accelerating sea-level rise, and fossil fuel companies knew for decades their products cause global warming but worked tirelessly to mislead the public about it.

  • Tell the Energy Department What You Think about Your Dishwasher

    May 18, 2018

    Thirty-five years ago, dishwashers cleaned dishes in about an hour. Sadly today, due to federal regulations, there are no dishwashers that do so. This isn’t progress—it’s the failure of the government to allow consumer choice. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to change these regulations, and they are currently considering doing so. To help them decide if the regulations should be changed, the DOE has opened a public comment period until June 25th. You can submit your comments at dishwasherchoice.com.

  • Zero Emission Vehicles Can Increase Air Pollution: Study

    May 15, 2018

    A new report by economist Jonathan Lesser of the Manhattan Institute challenges the conventional wisdom that zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) are superior to new internal combustion vehicles (ICVs) on environmental grounds. Lesser’s analysis is detailed and quantitative but the basic idea is simple: Zero-emission vehicles are only as clean as the electric power sources they plug into. 

  • California to Require Solar Panels on New Homes

    May 12, 2018

    “California is set to become the first state to require solar panels on all newly built single-family houses,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Not only will consumers have no choice in the matter, but neither will voters. “The state’s Energy Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the rules, which are expected to pass and take effect in 2020,” the Times explains. “The regulations, which would also apply to new multifamily buildings of three stories or fewer, don’t need the approval of the Legislature.”

  • Multi-State Petition against EPA Vehicle Standards Makes Weak Legal Case

    May 2, 2018

    California joined by 16 states and the District of Columbia yesterday petitioned the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to stop Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt from revising his predecessor’s greenhouse gas emission standards for new cars sold in 2022-2025. The coalition’s press release claims their “lawsuit is based on the fact that the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously, failed to follow its own regulations, and violated the Clean Air Act.”

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