Policy Documents

The Leaflet: Obama to Impose Unilateral Action on CO2 Emissions

May 9, 2014

Obama to Impose Unilateral Action on CO2 Emissions

 A report released this week by the federal government’s National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) concluded, “Climate change, once considered a problem for the distant future, has moved firmly into the present. Climate change is already affecting the American people.” Not wasting any time, the Obama administration announced it will take unilateral actions aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, sidestepping Congress completely.
 
Critics of the report, including John Coleman, co-founder of The Weather Channel, say climate change has been happening since the creation of the planet. “The climate of Earth has never been ‘normal’ or stable,” Coleman says. “It has continuously changed through this planet’s 4.5 billion year history. Powerful storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, and ice and snow storms have come and gone as long as Earth has existed. The current bad science is all based on a theory that the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the exhaust of the burning of fossil fuels leads to a dramatic increase in ‘the greenhouse effect’ causing temperatures to skyrocket uncontrollably. This theory has failed to verify and is obviously dead wrong.” TheNongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change has come to similar conclusions.
 
There is very little public support for government action on this issue. A Gallup poll taken in March 2014 found only 24 percent of Americans say they worry about a great deal about climate change, ranking that issue next to last.
 
For more than a decade states across the country have enacted economically distorting policies such as renewable power mandates and subsidies under the pretense of mitigating climate change. These measures have had little impact on CO2 emissions and have hurt consumers, particularly low- to moderate-income families, by driving up energy bills. If states really want to reduce CO2 emissions they should instead focus on reducing government barriers on reliable and clean energy sources such as nuclear, natural gas, and hydropower. 

 

Budget & Tax

Decreases in tax revenue, soaring government spending, and the growing burden of unfunded liabilities have created budget crises in many states. One issue that compounds these problems is the growing reliance many states now have on federal dollars as essential components of their budgets. In this Research & Commentary, Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans examines the detrimental economic effects that can be experienced by states that depend too heavily on federal funds. Read More

Energy & Environment

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has been criticized for his veto of a recent bill promoting solar power. But Policy Analyst Taylor Smith says he did the right thing. “According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Maine has the most energy-intensive economy in New England. Remarkably, Maine is still among the 10 states with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions,” Smith says. Given such facts, it is unlikely a modest boost in solar capacity would make Maine any cleaner without raising electricity prices. Read More
 
Education
 
Research Fellow Joy Pullmann responds to a local elected official’s criticism of Florida’s state tax credit school choice program. She notes an expansion of the program will leave public schools with more money, not less. Read More
 
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Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
 
High frequency trading has come under increased scrutiny in recent years, and proposed rules and regulations have followed. In this Research & Commentary, Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans argues, “Regulators should make sure any regulations on computerized trading do not freeze the market or drive away trade.” This is because high frequency trading currently accounts for around half of the trades made in U.S. exchanges. These trades play an important role in the market by providing both liquidity and price discovery while lowering transaction costs. Many experts argue HFT also helps reduce volatility. Read More
 
Health Care
 
This pamphlet in The Heartland Institute’s Legislative Principles series describes the proper role of government in financing and delivering health care and provides reform suggestions to remedy current health care policy problems.  Read More
 
Order copies of this pamphlet for free on our website!
 
From Our Free-Market Friends
 
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has ranked each of the 50 states by the policies that shape personal and economic freedom. Some of the categories ranked include tax burden, education, fiscal, and property. Read More
 

The May issue of Environment & Climate News reports on the findings of a new, federal-government-funded study showing cellulosic ethanol made from corn residue emits more carbon dioxide than ethanol. “The findings are a severe blow to the biofuel industry,” writes Heartland Senior Fellow James M. Taylor, “as fuels must reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent relative to conventional gasoline to qualify as a renewable fuel for federal subsidy programs.”

School Reform News 

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