In the Pipeline: 11/5/12

18th in the Economic Freedom of the World Report? If this ship were still sailing, we would be going in the wrong direction. But apparently we’re just sinking now. Washington Times (11/4/12) reports: “In a new policy study for the Institute for Energy Research, we warn policymakers about this new form of regulatory analysis, which is driven by both ideology and a flawed behavioral approach to economics. America, which recently slipped to 18th in the Economic Freedom of the World Report, previously enjoyed high economic freedom scores due to keeping regulation at a somewhat sensible level. Some environmental regulations make sense and have obvious direct benefits which economists can quantify, but most EPA regulations today impede economic progress and are justified by dubious spillover benefits.”


The EPA is burning the midnight oil to kill coal. Washington Examiner(11/4/12) reports: “President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has devoted an unprecedented number of bureaucrats to finalizing new anti-coal regulations that are set to be released at the end of November, according to a source inside the EPA.”


Well now . . . Chicago Tribune (11/1/12) reports: “The United States needs to reconsider its rules on exporting natural gas – even to countries with which it has free trade agreements – now that a surge in drilling has made the nation one of the world’s fastest-growing producers, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said on Thursday.”


We missed this last week.  But fortunately, enforcement at FERC this week is still misguided and colored by political agendas.NYTimes (11/1/12) reports: “Wall Street finds itself in a bare-knuckle brawl with a government agency… Yet the fight is not with the Federal Reserve or another banking regulator, but a less-known agency more accustomed to patrolling the nation’s energy pipeline than a trading floor… The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the government watchdog overseeing the oil, natural gas and electricity business, has lately taken aim at three major banks suspected of manipulating energy prices.”


Do you remember all the way back to last week when we suggested that people aren’t willing to pay for Bolshevik schemes to “address” climate change? Apparently, the crew at the Huffington Post does, and it turns out that not even their readers are willing to pay. Huffington Post (11/2/12) reports: “Only one in five Americans would be willing to pay significantly more for gas or electricity, even if they were assured that it meant solving the climate change crisis, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted this week.”


We ran a related article last week, but discovered over the weekend that many otherwise bright people have limited anxiety about a carbon tax or any cognate (like this).  That’s not good because Treasury, environmentalists, and likely Romney appointees like Greg Mankiw and Glenn Hubbard are in favor of this sort of thing.  It is very bad mojo. Fox News (11/1/12) reports: “A major tax study currently being sponsored by the U.S. Treasury will give environmental activists a powerful new weapon in their campaign to alter the entire American economic and social landscape in the name of halting “climate change”—including the possible levying of new carbon taxes.”


New York City was unprepared for a weather event that its own staff had foreseen.  Maybe if El Bloombito had spent more time worrying about that, and less time worrying about the size of soda or when to endorse Obama, fewer of his fellow New Yorkers would be dead. PowerLine (11/4/12) reports: “What is [Bloomberg] going to do about the fact that his city was less prepared than it should have been for a disaster that was expected and one of a sort will certainly recur, climate change or not?”


Some more fun facts on Sandy, hurricanes, and the usual persiflage. (11/2/12) reports: “With respect to hurricane damages, the chief and as yet only discernible difference between recent and earlier decades is that ”There are more people and more wealth in harm’s way.” So there is an ‘anthropogenic’ component, but not the sort about which warmists complain. “Partly this [increase in damages] is due to local land-use policies, partly to incentives such as government-subsidized insurance, but mostly to the simple fact that people like being on the coast and near rivers,” Pielke, Jr. explains.”


Alas, the unintended consequences of bad government policy rear its ugly head. American Bird Conservancy (10/17/12) reports: “A coalition of eight conservation organizations has called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to make changes at a wind energy facility in Western Maryland to reduce bird and bat mortality.”

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