Entries by Sean Hackbarth

Ouch! Washington Post Calls Keystone XL Delays, “Embarrassing”

The Washington Post editorial board excoriated the Obama administration for holding up the Keystone XL pipeline [emphasis mine]: If foot-dragging were a competitive sport, President Obama and his administration would be world champions for their performance in delaying the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Last Friday afternoon, the time when officials make announcements they hope no one […]

Retailers Head to Energy Boom States

Here’s an example of how the benefits of the shale energy boom radiate beyond the oil and gas industry. The Wall Street Journal reports that Home Depot opened only one store [subscription required] this past fiscal year, and it was in Minot, North Dakota, near the Bakken shale formation. Home Depot went there because energy production is driving economic […]

Regulation Nation: Federal Bureaucracy is as Busy as Ever

The shale energy boom may be taking place in North Dakota, Texas, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. However, the Wall Street Journal editorial board notes that a less economically-helpful boom is happening in Washington, DC: Washington set a new record in 2013 by issuing final rules consuming 26,417 pages in the Federal Register. While plenty of government employees deserve credit for […]

It May Not Be Ready but EPA Chief Defends Carbon Capture Technology Anyway

West Virginia MetroNews reports that at a Senate committee hearing, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, was forced to defend the viability of the carbon capture and sequestration technology, the key component of proposed greenhouse gas rules for new electric power plants: “Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is not commercially viable,” [North Dakota U.S. Senator John] Hoeven said. […]

LA City Council Ignores Science; Claims Hydraulic Fracturing Caused Earthquake

In their efforts to block hydraulic fracturing, some Los Angeles City Council members don’t want to let the St. Patrick’s Day earthquake go to waste: Three Los Angeles City Council members want city, state and federal groups to look into whether hydraulic fracturing and other forms of oil and gas “well stimulation” played any role in […]

How the U.S. Shale Energy Boom Can Help During Crises Like in Ukraine

The crisis in Ukraine illustrates clearly the importance of energy security. The Wall Street Journal reports that Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled oil and natural gas company, is using natural gas prices to pressure Ukraine: Russian state-controlled natural-gas giant OAO Gazprom said Tuesday it would raise natural-gas prices for Ukraine—a move that ratchets up financial pressure on Kiev and raises the economic […]

Science Magazine Editor-in-Chief: “Time to Move Forward on the Keystone XL Pipeline”

Construction of the Gulf Coast Project pipeline in Prague, Oklahoma, U.S., in 2013. The Gulf Coast Project is part of the Keystone XL pipeline. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg. Another former Obama administration official has endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline. Marcia McNutt, prominent scientist, former head of the U.S. Geological Survey, and now the editor-in-chief of Science magazine writes […]

Report: As Many as 165,000 Jobs Lost Because of Obamacare’s Medical Device Tax

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius may want to take back her claim that there is “absolutely no evidence” that Obamacare has caused any job losses. If the Congressional Budget Office report earlier this month wasn’t enough, the medical device industry delivered some troubling news about the effects of the health care law’s medical device tax.  The Daily Caller […]

EPA-Mandate Will Mean Higher Electricity Costs, Says Obama Official

Carbon capture and sequestration technology (CCS) mandated in a proposed EPA greenhouse gas regulation on new power plants will mean higher electricity costs, a Obama administration official admitted to a House of Representatives subcommittee. [youtube]http://youtu.be/DNtjOpj3Kys[/youtube] When asked by how much CCS will add to the cost of electricity generated by coal plants, Department of Energy […]

If the President Wants to Minimize GHG Emissions, He’ll Approve the Keystone Pipeline

The State Department released its final report on the environmental impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline. It not only pulls the rug out from a key argument of pipeline opponents, but it puts the president in an awkward position. [youtube]http://youtu.be/d-Gn6UpmK-A[/youtube] First, the report undercuts pipeline opponents’ claims that stopping the construction of Keystone XL would block development of oil […]

High Energy Prices Has Europe Rethinking Energy Strategy

Europe is realizing that reliable, affordable energy is critical to economic competitiveness, and policies that pick energy winners and losers can have unintended consequences. This stems from a New York Times story on how the European Union (EU) is rethinking how it deals with greenhouse gas emissions: On Wednesday, the European Union proposed an end to binding national […]

Large Gap Exists Between Lifetime Social Security and Medicare Benefits and Taxes

The American Enterprise Institute’s Jim Pethokoukis found this great chart (below) by the Urban Institute’s Eugene Steuerl. It shows the lifetime Social Security and Medicare taxes and benefits. “Couples retiring today, with roughly the average earnings of workers in general, as well as average life expectancies, still receive about $1 million in lifetime benefits,” writes Steuerle. However, they will […]

Small Business Health Plan Website Delayed Until November 2014

UPDATE: The process really won’t get better anytime soon. Politico reports that the federally-run SHOP Marketplace website will be delayed until November 2014: “We’ve concluded that we can best serve small employers by continuing this offline process while we concentrate on both creating a smoothly functioning online experience in the SHOP Marketplace, and adding key new features, […]