In the Pipeline: 6/6/13

This is like those movies where the parents arrange for their kid to be kidnapped so they can cash in on the ransom. It never ends well. IER(6/5/13) reports: “One of the tactics environmental activists groups use to promote greater regulatory control over the economy is lawsuits. This is an especially effective tactic if environmental groups sue a sympathetic administration with the hopes of settling the lawsuit without the need for the administration to go through the regular regulatory process. This is dubbed ‘Sue and Settle.’ One of the most effective ways for these lawsuits to proceed is for the environmental litigant to sue the EPA, for example, for a missed deadline, and then enter into a settlement that allows the EPA to quickly enact new regulations while claiming that it was forced to do so by the terms of the lawsuit.”

Do as I say, not as I do. Huffington Post (6/5/13) reports: “The chairman of the board of a leading environmental advocacy group is also a hedge fund manager, and his firm is heavily invested in the oil giant BP, according to financial documents… League of Conservation Voters Chairman Scott Nathan is chief risk officer at The Baupost Group, a major hedge fund, and a member of the firm’s management committee, which oversees investments.”

The WaPo refers to it as a “small tweak”. We’d call it an abuse of power. Either way, this article is a good reminder that the brakes have been cut on Obama’s regulatory train and the engineer bailed before that last tunnel. Washington Post (6/5/13) reports: “Sort of. A larger value for the social cost of carbon basically means that any efficiency standard or air-pollution regulation that reduces carbon-dioxide emissions will have higher benefits assigned to it. That could, in theory, make it easier for stricter standards to pass a cost-benefit analysis test, says Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch… We got an early glimpse of this with the Energy Department’s microwave rule. Under the old social cost of carbon, the microwave standards had an estimated $4.2 billion in benefits over the next 30 years. Under the new carbon numbers, the microwave rule has an estimated $4.6 billion in benefits. (The agency has the authority to tighten standards for household appliances, so this could well come up again.)… This might sound like nitpicking. But seeing as how much of the Obama administration’s climate-change agenda will likely be carried out through the Environmental Protection Agency, this small tweak could make a big difference in the years ahead.”

Not everything has to be an either/or in life, but that’s the way the bad guys see it. It will be interesting to see how this vintage turns out.Colorado Public Radio (6/5/13) reports: “It’s Colorado Wine week. Restaurants and bars all over the state are hosting happy hours, tastings and even wine-inspired cocktail contests. Wineries from the North Fork Valley are featuring many of their latest creations. The area in western Colorado has been compared to France’s Provence region. However, vintners in the region worry their future is threatened by the oil and gas boom. Energy companies are trying to lease thousands of acres of land bordering vineyards. Brent Helleckson is the owner of Stone Cottage Cellars in Paonia. He spoke to Colorado Matter’s Lesley McClurg.”

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow at “high noon” if you are in DC. We’ll enjoy food, a lively debate, and the unveiling of IER’s new subsidy database. Register here


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