Entries by Sean Hackbarth

Obamacare’s Health Insurance Tax Could Cost Up to 286,000 Jobs

As I’ve written previously, small businesses should brace for big health plan premium increases. Some are already seeing this happen. Rod Winter, a Wisconsin business owner told the Wall Street Journal: Our 440-employee business just received its initial premium from United Healthcare for our July 1 renewal. The renewal premium represents a 29% increase over the current premium. […]

Unaccountable Consumer Protection Agency Will Blow $400,000 on Summer Meeting

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may be charged with watching over the consumer financial industry, but watching over its own spending doesn’t appear to be a top priority. The Washington Free Beacon reports that the agency will spend nearly $400,000 on an all-staff Washington, D.C. conference this summer: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is planning an “all hands” […]

Obama administration chooses environmentalists over unions on Keystone XL and fracking

While some environmental groups applauded the latest delay of the Keystone XL pipeline, unions whose members would be building it ripped the administration. Sean McGarvey, President of North America’s Building Trades Unions, AFL-CIO, called it “a cold, hard slap in the face for hard working Americans who are literally waiting for President Obama’s approval and the tens of thousands of jobs […]

EPA’s McCarthy Defends Hiding Secret Science from Public

In a speech filled with more straw men than a corn field in the fall, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy fired back at critics, like the U.S. Chamber, who have called out the agency for its lack of transparency and openness involving scientific data and analysis that it uses to impose costly air regulations on the economy. The […]

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 […]