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Time to rethink the Renewable Fuel Standard

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt thinks U.S. refiners are being forced to blend too much ethanol into their gasoline. His recent comments to that effect sent biofuel advocates into a frenzy. But it’s the public who should be angry. If ever a federal program had outlived its usefulness, it’s the government’s support for ethanol. Read more at The Hill. …

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State Pensions Need Reforms, Not Fewer Options

Across the country, state and local pension systems have not amassed enough assets (stocks, bonds, and other financial investments) to cover the retirement benefits promised to current and retired state and local employees. This gap is referred to as the pension funds’ “unfunded liabilities”. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, the unfunded liabilities of state-administered pension systems across the country …

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Sen. Ericksen: Carbon tax could lead to a Washington income tax

‘State Senator Doug Ericksen says that Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed carbon tax is about much more than the environment and industry. He argues that it’s part of Democrats’ long-term strategy to implement a state income tax. “You are definitely seeing the pressure being applied for those tax increases that hit working families the hardest,” Ericksen told KIRO Radio’s Dori …

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Ethanol mandate threatens jobs, could lead to price spikes at pumps, oil refiners say

“A renewed war over the federal ethanol mandate has cast a cloud over the biofuels industry as it gathers this week for its annual convention, with critics charging that the sector and its champions in Washington are slowly crushing oil refiners, which say they are struggling to comply with the law. The debate, which has raged since Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in …

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More Oil And Natural Gas Invalidate ‘Keep It In The Ground’ Movement

“There is a destructive “keep it in the ground” movement arising from environmental groups to block oil and natural gas development and the pipelines required to transport them. The center of this opposition is in New York and the New England states, where numerous policymakers seek to artificially constrain energy supply. Yet, despite producing none themselves, their reliance on gas electricity has surged. ISO New England now …

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New York’s Pensions Should Focus On Financial Returns — Not Politics

“The recent push by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer to divest the city’s pensions from fossil fuels is playing politics with retiree savings at a time when they can least afford it. Both Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer said multiple times during their announcement that divesting will “send a message” for others to …

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A Washington State Carbon Tax: All Pain, No Gain

With respect to Washington governor Jay Inslee’s renewed proposal for a “carbon” tax on that state’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, a number to keep closely in mind is: 2/1000 of a degree. That would be the global temperature effect in the year 2100 if Washington were to reduce its GHG emissions to zero immediately. That figure comes from the Environmental Protection …

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A Meat Tax?

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy a cheeseburger, policy-makers in Washington have something else cooked up – a tax on meat. That’s right. They want to tax beef, pork, even poultry. “We have never been closer to a meat tax,” Ashley Byrne, the associate director of campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), told …