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OpenMarket: Ben Lieberman

  • Twenty-Two Free Market and Conservative Groups Tell Trump To Ditch the Kigali Amendment

    July 13, 2018

    The U.N. Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone-Depleting Substances would restrict many of the cheapest and most effective refrigerants now used in home and car air conditioners as well as most commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. 


  • Environmental Protection Agency to Streamline Permits for Major Projects

    June 30, 2018

    In a move that furthers the Trump administration’s goal of reducing unnecessary and duplicative red tape while also helping refocus his agency’s efforts on its statutorily-defined core functions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a memorandum announcing that the agency would limit its interference with the Army Corps of Engineers’ permitting process under the Clean Water Act. In particular, Administrator Pruitt said the agency will prepare a proposed regulation that restricts EPA’s ability to override the Army Corps’ permitting decisions either before or after the fact. 


  • 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.


  • Full Court Press on Kigali Amendment Begins

    June 16, 2018

    The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which would restrict production of many commonly-used refrigerants on the grounds that they contribute to global warming, was signed by President Obama in 2016 but still needs to be submitted by President Trump to the Senate for the required two-thirds ratification before becoming law.


  • Hydroelectric Hearing Highlights Costs of Federal Permitting Delays

    June 10, 2018

    The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on energy held a hearing on June 7th on energy infrastructure licensing reform. Although Improving the Hydropower Licensing Process focused only on hydroelectric projects, the issues it highlighted are relevant to the challenges facing many kinds of infrastructure projects and lend support to efforts to streamline the federal approval process.


  • Fiscal Commission Should Support Increased Energy Production, Not Increased Energy Taxes

    November 15, 2010
    Among the many suggestions in the Fiscal Commission's draft report is a 15 cents-per-gallon increase in the federal gasoline tax. No doubt, this proposed tax hike would raise revenues and make a modest dent in the deficit, but it would do so at the expense of the driving public and would disproportionately burden low-income motorists. There's a better way. If raising energy-related revenues is the goal, why not fill federal coffers in a manner that actually reduces the price at the pump? Washington can accomplish this by allowing more oil drilling.

    The federal government controls all offshore areas beyond three miles from the coast as well as vast expanses of energy-rich western lands. Unfortunately, only a fraction of these areas have been opened to energy leasing, due...
  • An Election-Night Win For Domestic Energy Jobs

    November 4, 2010
    Draw up a map of the U.S. and shade in the regions that rely on energy jobs -- places like Appalachia, the Rockies, western Gulf states, Alaska -- and that’s where we saw some of the strongest anti-Obama sentiment succeeding on election day.

    With few exceptions, the only Democratic congressional candidates who won in these areas were those able to distance themselves from President Obama’s energy policies -- or to be more accurate, his anti-energy policies. In its first two years, the Obama administration has tried to slam the door shut on domestic production of coal, oil, and natural gas.
    But now, many of the administration’s congressional allies in this effort have gotten a pink slip from their constituents. Obama will soon have to contend with a Congress that sees increased supplies of affordable domestic energy -- and the increased jobs that go with it -- as things worth...
  • Moratorium Lifted, But Drilling Still Blocked

    October 13, 2010
    With much fanfare, the Obama administration has lifted its moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. But don’t expect much actual drilling any time soon, thanks to all of the administration’s other red tape strangling domestic oil and natural gas production.

    Even before the April 20th Deepwater Horizon spill, the Obama administration had clamped down on new leasing on federally controlled offshore and onshore areas. In fact, 2009 saw less oil and gas leasing than in any year under Bush or Clinton, and 2010 was on track to be no better.

    Nonetheless, the Obama administration Department of the Interior used the spill as an excuse to crack down further by imposing a six-month moratorium, until November 30th, on issuing any new deepwater drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico....
  • Washington's New War on the West

    October 4, 2010


    The economic track record of the current administration and Congress is not a good one. Unemployment remains stubbornly high at nearly 10 percent, and many believe federal missteps prolonged the recession and are weakening the recovery. While things like ill-advised spending, Obamacare, and looming tax hikes are doing damage nationwide, a number of other federal measures have particularly burdened the American West, the region suffering with the highest unemployment rate in the country. The Senate and House Western Caucuses’ recent study, "The War on Western Jobs," documents the host of environmental policies that have targeted the sectors crucial to the economies of Western states -- especially energy production but also mining, logging, farming, and ranching.

    It is important to note...

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