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  • A One-Stop Executive Order 13891 Guidance Document Portal

    March 2, 2020

    If agencies are required to compile and list all their sub-regulatory guidance documents and post, link and consistently index them on a portal, can we still call it “regulatory dark matter”?

    So far, yes. Despite the long-awaited (by a handful) new guidance document portals required to be housed at agencies, disclosure for guidance documents still has a ways to go in Washington.

    A deadline of sorts happened February 28. Agencies, while given a grace period until June 27 to list what they missed, were required (by Executive Order 13891 and a subsequent White House directive) to create "a...

  • EPA, Interior, and other Federal Agencies Post Guidance Documents on Searchable Websites

    March 2, 2020
    On February 28, the EPA and other federal agencies posted all their guidance documents on searchable websites, complying with an OMB deadline to implement Executive Order 13891. Unlike federal regulations, guidance documents do not have to go through public notice and comment before being adopted. Yet, guidance documents are often enforced as if they were laws. Posting all guidance documents on searchable websites is a huge advance in government transparency. 
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    March 2, 2020
    The coronavirus outbreak began to infect financial markets as well as people, with stock markets having their worst week since at least 2008. The number of new regulations in 2020 also reached 500 on Friday. Meanwhile, agencies issued new final regulations ranging from portable bed rails to Canada goose permits.
  • May Common Sense Prevail: New York Delays Enforcement of Plastic Bag Ban

    February 28, 2020
    New York State’s ban on single-use plastic grocery bags was slated to start on Monday, March 1st, but a state court has just put a hold off on enforcing the ban at least until April, which is good news.  As I’ve noted many times, such bans are counter-productive because replacement products are worse for the environment, requiring more energy and making more pollution that the thin and convenient plastic bags. Bans also needlessly harm small businesses.
  • Appeals Court Rules Heathrow Expansion Unlawful, Citing Paris Climate Treaty

    February 28, 2020

    The UK Court of Appeals on February 27th declared unlawful the Department of Transport’s approval of Heathrow Airport’s expansion plans, because the government “had not taken into account its own firm policy commitments on climate change under the Paris agreement.”

    Several major news outlets posted same-day articles on the story including the UK Guardian,...

  • VIDEO: Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word

    February 28, 2020
    Former Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg recently made an appearance at the American Enterprise Institute to promote his new book, Trade Is Not a Four Letter Word: How Six Everyday Products Make the Case for Trade. Readers who are familiar with CEI’s position on Ex-Im will know we are not fans of its operations (or existence), but we are fans of international trade, so we were eager to hear what Hochberg had to say. Hochberg made a case for the advantages of open trade, using six different products to tell his story.
  • Federal Court Rightly Affirms Online Platforms' First Amendment Rights

    February 28, 2020
    This week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, “despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a publicfacing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment.” CEI agrees with the court and has said as much – many times.
  • Two Cheers for Nikki Haley's Defense of Capitalism

    February 27, 2020
    Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has written a bold and, for the most part, very good op-ed on the future of capitalism for The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Minimum Wage Tax Increase

    February 27, 2020
    By far the most common criticism of minimum wages is that they cost jobs.
  • Net Reality: Five Years Since the Open Internet Order

    February 26, 2020
    If you’re reading this, the Internet is alive and well. If you’re wondering how the Internet is doing, just picture a rocket—symbolizing both the incredible Internet speeds and new technological frontiers achievable through deregulation.

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