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  • Flex-Fuel Vehicles and Ethanol No Panacea for Energy Independence

    December 18, 2019
    Back in September, I posted a rebuttal to pollster Frank Luntz, who advised President Trump on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program to promote E85—motor fuel blended with 51-83 percent ethanol. Luntz claimed that by stumping for E85 and flex-fuel vehicles, Trump could make America “energy independent” by election day 2020 while giving Republicans a “real solution” to climate change without the “craziness” of Green New Deal. I suggested Luntz was hawking corporate welfare for corn farmers.
  • Department of Justice Wrong to Block Sabre Acquisition of Farelogix

    December 18, 2019
    On January 27th, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) will attempt to block travel technology company Sabre Corporation from purchasing communications protocol innovator Farelogix, Inc. This will be the DOJ’s first time back at bat after striking out in June 2018 against AT&T’s ultimately successful acquisition of Time Warner. Unfortunately, it’s a good example of overzealous antitrust regulation.
  • USMCA Won't Protect Tech from Trudeau

    December 16, 2019
    A point of contention in the debate over the new U.S., Mexico, Canada (USMCA) trade agreement has been whether or not the final deal will include language inspired by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Despite opposition from some including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Section 230-type language will be included in the final agreement.
  • What Regulations Did Trump Administration Add in 2019?

    December 16, 2019
    The Trump administration recently issued “Regulatory Reform Results for Fiscal Year 2019.” This is its fiscal year 2019 status update on the one-in, two-out directive initiated in Executive Order 13771, titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.”
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    December 16, 2019
    Britain held a major election, and the U.S. House of Representatives is set to impeach President Trump. At the same time, Trump is poised for a victory on the USMCA trade agreement, which CEI came out against. Meanwhile, agencies published new regulations ranging from aerosol cans to Philly fireworks.
  • National Labor Relations Board Attack on McDonald’s Finally Over

    December 13, 2019
    A major holdover case from the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which acted as the litigation arm of organized labor, is finally resolved. On December 12, the NLRB approved a settlement with McDonald’s USA LLC. The settlement puts to bed a case brought by the Fight for $15 that alleged McDonald’s was a “joint employer” with a number of franchisees and was responsible for the separate business’s labor violations.
  • Congress Racing To Extend and Expand Electric Vehicle, Wind, and Solar Tax Credits

    December 13, 2019
    It would be comforting to think that the House’s impeachment proceedings have so poisoned relations between Democrats and Republicans that the Congress won’t be able to pass any significant legislation in the near future besides a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year. Unfortunately, the prospect of using tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to reward special interests is so irresistibly attractive to members of Congress that it can overcome almost any level of partisan animosity.  
  • Don't Just "Modernize" Community Reinvestment Act, Repeal It

    December 13, 2019
    On Thursday, financial regulators released a long-awaited reform proposal which would make substantial changes to the implementation and enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The plan by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), if implemented, would be the most significant update to low-income lending requirements for U.S. banks in a quarter-century.
  • Phase One of a China-U.S. Trade Agreement and the Ratchet Effect

    December 13, 2019
    As of Friday, December 13th, the U.S. and Chinese governments have agreed in principle to phase one of a trade agreement. The Chinese government will purchase more U.S. agricultural products, and according to The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Wang [China’s Vice Minister of Commerce] said that the agreement would cover a range of contentious issues, including agriculture, intellectual property protection, technology transfer and liberalization of the financial sector, without elaborating.”
  • Supreme Court to Hear Important Natural Gas Pipeline Case

    December 13, 2019
    Next February, the U.S. Supreme Court will review the 2018 decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al. v.  United States Forest Service, blocking the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the outcome of this case is critical for the future of natural gas on the East Coast.

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