Entries by Sean Hackbarth

What EPA Did to Sell Its Water Rule Might Have Skirted the Law

In March, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy bragged to a Senate Committee about the outpouring of public support for its proposed water regulations: We have received over 1 million comments and 87.1 percent of those comments we have counted so far… are supportive of this rule. No wonder EPA received so many public comments on its draft Waters […]

Did the IRS Break the Law by Outsourcing an Audit to a High-Priced Law Firm?

By outsourcing an audit to a high-priced law firm, the IRS might have broken the law, and the Senate Finance Committee Chairman wants to know why. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wrote a scathing letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen asking why his agency hired the “law firm of Quinn Emanuel on a $2.2 million contract” to assist […]

Warren Buffett Would Understand the Plight of this Seattle Pizza Shop Worker

At his annual shareholders’ meeting, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett said raising the minimum wage isn’t the answer to economic ills [emphasis mine]: “I don’t have anything against raising the minimum wage but I don’t think you can do it in a significant enough way without creating a lot of distortions,” Buffett, 84, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s chief […]

Trade War: U.S. Chamber and AFL-CIO Square Off On TPA Renewal

Geographically the headquarters of U.S. Chamber and the AFL-CIO are only a block apart. But philosophically on trade policy they’re light years apart. Although friends, the U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka squared off on opposite sides at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on TPA renewal and forging ahead with trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership […]

Here’s the Obama Administration’s Response to the Shale Boom: More Regulations

In the last few years, we’ve seen innovative companies combine old and new technologies to tap into shale deposits that were once unreachable. The resulting shale energy boom has made the United States the world’s top oil and natural gas producer while creating jobs and improving the nation’s energy security. Now that we’ve moved from […]

Obama Administration Once Approved a Pipeline Just Like Keystone XL

Something to think about after the Senate failed to override President Obama’s Keystone XL veto is that not long ago, pipelines weren’t tied up in regulatory limbo and the focus of anti-energy advocates. Ken Cohen, Exxon Mobile’s vice president of public and government affairs, looks at a pipeline approved by the Obama administration that does the same thing Keystone XL will […]

Obama Wants to Close Off Energy-Rich Stretch of Alaska to Development

Pultizer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin, wrote in the New York Times that global energy markets are at an inflection point. The role of the world’s “swing producer” has swung to the United States: By leaving oil prices to the market, Saudi Arabia and the emirates also passed the responsibility as de facto swing producer to a country that […]

In Veto Threat, President Claims 6 Years Isn’t Enough Time to Study Keystone Pipeline

On the first day of taking control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans ran into some trouble: Democrats managed to put the kibosh on a planned Energy and Natural Resources [ENR] Committee hearing today on Keystone XL, forcing Republicans to cancel the event. Sen. Dick Durbin, on behalf of Barbara Boxer, objected to a GOP floor move […]

President Admits Regulations are a Mess, But Fact is His Administration is Making Things Worse

In a meeting with business leaders, President Obama had some interesting things to say about regulations, the Washington Times reports: You have regulations that are poorly written. You’ve got regulations that are not properly synced up so that you have different agencies with different responsibilities, and so compliance costs end up skyrocketing. You have regulations that squash innovation. He sounds […]

Tiny Settlement Check Gets Man “Angry” About Massive Plaintiff Lawyer Payouts

Jon Sourbeer, a computer science student and science fiction writer in Washington State, got so angry at the $20.91 settlement check he received from Toyota that he wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal [subscription required]. However, if you think he’s mad at the car company for stiffing him, you’re wrong. Sourbeer points out that while he […]

Greenhouse Gas Deal with China is an Attack on the American Economy

Ignore the cheers from the White House, the State Department, Mother Jones, and elsewhere over the U.S.-China greenhouse gas agreement. It’s simply another attack on abundant American energy and the economy. Secretary of State John Kerry detailed the deal in the New York Times: “For the first time China is announcing a peak year for its carbon emissions – around 2030 […]

Chris Christie: Justice System Becoming an “Industry Unto Itself”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie put legal reform on the list of issues governors must tackle. At the Legal Reform Summit put on by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Christie warned that while “everyone wants a fair system” where people are “able to sue for appropriate causes and injuries,” trial lawyers have turned the justice system into “cottage […]

Why Keystone XL Opponents are So Wrong: Canada Exports Record Amount of Oil to U.S.

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline want you to believe that stopping the project will ensure that Canada won’t develop its oil resources. Well, someone forgot to tell Canada. From Reuters: Canadian crude exports to the United States topped 3 million barrels per day last week for the first time, suggesting delays to new export pipelines such as […]

Broken Windows: The Flawed Economic Logic of EPA’s Carbon Regulations

EPA’s Gina McCarthy gave a speech to Resources for the Future defending EPA’s proposed carbon regulations on economic grounds. However, the crux of her argument is based on a logical fallacy that will be costly to jobs and the economy.Here are two passages from her speech: Climate action is not just a defensive play, it advances the […]

Shale Boom Drives Net Petroleum Imports to 28-Year Low

Tapping into domestic energy resources with hydraulic fracturing continues to improve America’s energy security by pushing net petroleum imports to their lowest level in 28 years. John Kingston at Platts reports on new Energy Information Administration data: US petroleum import dependence in June dropped to 4.659 million b/d. That’s only the second time in the post-shale era […]