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Ethanol, Broadband and Consumer Safety

Daily Update

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Ethanol, Broadband and Consumer Safety

Momentum builds in Congress to repeal the mandate for use of corn-based ethanol in motor fuels.

Comcast considers capping monthly Internet downloads and charging overage fees to heavy users.

Lawmakers propose a new public government database of all product safety complaints.

 

1. FOOD

Momentum builds in Congress to repeal the mandate for use of corn-based ethanol in motor fuels.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Energy Policy Analyst William Yeatman on the shifting fortunes of corn growers:

“…the Corn Belt owes much of its good fortune to congressional politics, rather than market forces. But in an age of the 24/7 news cycle and poll-driven policy, political support for ethanol is even more volatile than the price of commodities on the Chicago Board of Trade, and ethanol's political situation has worsened dramatically in the past few months. That should worry Iowa farmers. After all, government giveth, government taketh away.”

 

2. CONSUMER

Comcast considers capping monthly Internet downloads and charging overage fees to heavy users.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Research Associate Ryan Radia on how best to respond to limited bandwidth capacity:

“It wouldn’t be surprising if we soon see calls for government to impose price controls because Comcast’s $1.50 per GB is ‘excessive’ and ‘unfair.’ For many proponents of government regulation of private networks, I suspect having neutral ISPs isn’t enough. They yearn for a utopian marketplace that offers limitless bandwidth, neutral networks, and affordable prices. And who doesn’t? But the best way to make this vision a reality is to foster private investment and let emerging technologies fill today’s competitive void.”

 

3. HEALTH

Lawmakers propose a new public government database of all product safety complaints.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of Risk & Environmental Policy Angela Logomasini on why such a system would do more harm than good:

“Currently, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports on product recalls based on some level of validated data. This new legislation would mandate that the CPSC develop and maintain what promises to become a sloppy, inaccurate, and confusing list of complaints about products. Essentially, anyone could add to the list— including product competitors—products they don’t like for whatever reason in order to dub them unsafe. Environmental activists, who love to hype phantom risks, would have a heyday with such a program. Because the database would be government-sponsored, people would assume it contained weightier, scientifically validated information.”

 

Blog feature: For more news and analysis, updated throughout the day, visit CEI’s blog, Open Market.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To contact a CEI expert for comment or interviews, please call the CEI communications department at 202-331-2273 or email to pr@cei.org.