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Probing Treasury, Car-Free Conflicts and a Quiet Hurricane Season

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Probing Treasury, Car-Free Conflicts and a Quiet Hurricane Season

Controversy continues to swirl around Treasury Department documents estimating the costs of cap and trade regulation.

Observance of World Car-Free Day yields conflicting opinions about the value of the automobile.

The Atlantic hurricane season is unusually quiet so far this year.

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.

1. ENVIRONMENT

Controversy continues to swirl around Treasury Department documents estimating the costs of cap and trade regulation.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Energy Policy Analyst William Yeatman on the next step in the process:

“To find out what the Obama administration is hiding, [Senior Fellow Chris] Horner today informed the Treasury Department of CEI’s ‘intent to sue’ if Treasury does not come into compliance with its legal obligations under the Freedom of Information Act. If President Barack Obama is serious about open and transparent government, he should press Treasury to release all communications on cap-and-trade. Only then will we know what energy rationing actually costs.”

 

2. CONSUMER

Observance of World Car-Free Day yields conflicting opinions about the value of the automobile.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: General Counsel Sam Kazman on the drawbacks of a car-free lifestyle:

“Even in cities with well-functioning mass transit, a car can be essential if you're old or ill, or are carrying babies and groceries, or if the weather's miserable, or if you've got to get somewhere after the busses and subways have closed. It's no wonder that most promo shots of Car-Free Day events featured only the young and healthy, out on picture-perfect sunny days. Being able to get around freely is not some superficial desire that can be dismissed as the product of an allegedly car-addicted Western culture. Some Americans may view India and China as countries happily populated by bicyclists and pedestrians, but consumer demand for cars in those countries is booming, especially with the introduction of new low-priced vehicles. The car, it appears, satisfies a pretty basic human need.”

 

3. INSURANCE

The Atlantic hurricane season is unusually quiet so far this year.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Eli Lehrer on the crisis looming ahead:

“As oft-hurricane-ridden September passes by, much of the news here in Florida appears good: Hurricanes have stayed away from U.S. coastlines, the Legislature has passed a few commonsense reforms to the state’s property insurance system, and State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink says that the state’s troubled Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (Cat Fund) has gained a firmer fiscal footing. But all this good news hides a darker reality: Even if Florida avoids catastrophe during the 2009 hurricane season, the state’s system for insuring itself against storms will remain dangerously unstable. If it wants to make things better, the state should do at least three things: Phase down the Cat Fund, attract more insurers to write policies on ordinary homes, and invest in making Florida’s existing homes safer.”

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.