Regulations Would End 'Open, Free and Prosperous' Internet

President Obama's recent call to the Federal Communications Commission to strictly regulate broadband networks could be the death knell for the open, free, and prosperous Internet that has become one of the key engines of the American economy. That engine is not broken now, but bureaucratic meddling will surely do the trick, reports the Washington Examiner.

Read more: Regulations Would End 'Open, Free and Prosperous' Internet

Economic Consultants Warn of High Cost of EPA Regs


New analysis from NERA Economic Consulting projects significant negative economic impacts in Montana resulting from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed “Clean Power Plan” to regulate CO2 emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

Read more: Economic Consultants Warn of High Cost of EPA Regs

The Truth about American Manufacturing

When asked to describe the state of American manufacturing, many say it has been "hollowed out." When asked why, they point to the decline in manufacturing jobs, note the few "Made in America" products on retail store shelves, and identify importing and offshoring as the culprits. Although many of these reasons appear persuasive, they're not accurate.

U.S. manufacturing employment, no doubt, has declined from a high of 19.5 million workers in 1979 to approximately 12 million today. The primary reason, however, has everything to do with technology, innovation and automation, which have empowered fewer employees to produce much more in less time. In turn, "productivity in the manufacturing sector has been growing both absolutely and relative to other sectors of the U.S. economy," say Theodore Moran and Lindsay Oldenski of the Peterson Institute for International Economics."

Read more: The Truth about American Manufacturing

Meanwhile, in Peru...

"President Ollanta Humala said that the last economic measures of his government — in which the income tax and the gasoline tax are reduced — are a way to solve the problem of the economic deceleration, that affects all countries in the world.

"While other countries, to solve these problems of deceleration, are applying taxes, we have taken steps to reduce taxes because we have to put on the table an important card: the strength and robustness of the economy," said Humala.

Read more: Meanwhile, in Peru...

Wilderness Does Not Help Economies

Despite claims to the contrary, studies show that wilderness areas do not contribute to economic growth.

"More research is needed to better understand the effects of wilderness. But a critical look at the existing studies makes this much clear: There is little or no evidence that wilderness bolsters economic growth. When environmentalists invoke economic arguments to support wilderness, they are exaggerating the best-available research and undermining other more compelling wilderness values," Shawn Regan is a research fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, recently wrote for The Hill (Oct. 6, 2014).

With more than 100 million acres of land having been designated as "wilderness" since 1964, there is ample opportunity to evaluate impacts. According to Regan, "The first empirical study, published in 1998, found no evidence that wilderness had an effect on employment or population growth in Western counties during the 1980s. A similar study in 1999 found no effect of wilderness on income, population or employment growth in rural counties in several Western states. Two more studies in 2002 and 2003 were no different: Wilderness had no effect on employment or wage growth.

"More recent studies come to similar conclusions. A study in 2006 by Ray Rasker of Headwaters Economics champions the role that public lands play in stimulating income growth in the West, but a closer look reveals that he is unable to demonstrate a statistically significant effect associated with wilderness lands. Another study by Rasker and his colleagues, published in 2013, emphasizes that protected public lands (including wilderness) had a small positive relationship with three measures of income. Less obvious was the fact that seven other economic measures they examined had zero effect."

When environmentalists make claims of economic benefits they are "hanging their hats" on studies that simply compare data from before and after. "None are rigorous enough to suggest that wilderness causes growth. Two studies that are often cited — one by Paul Lorah and Rob Southwick in 2003 and another by Patrick Holmes and Walter Hecox in 2004 — report a positive correlation from wilderness and population, income and employment growth. But once additional factors are controlled for in more detailed studies, these positive relationships disappear," wrote Regan.

Sharp Electricity Price Rise with New EPA Rule

Montana's wholesale electricity prices are projected to increase 26 percent as a result of the EPA's proposed regulations requiring states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, according to an analysis conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis for the National Mining Association. The report warns that those prices increases will be passed on to Montana consumers and businesses.

"This new report sheds light on the concerns a lot of Montana businesses have had about skyrocketing energy prices as a result of the EPA's proposed rule," said Glenn Oppel, Government Relations Director for the Montana Chamber of Commerce. "We have significant concerns about the negative effects this rule will have on jobs in Montana, and not just in the energy sector. Higher energy input prices will also be a big hit to other industries, like agriculture and manufacturing, that use a lot of electricity and fuel. In fact, the upsurge in the manufacturing sector across the economy is due in large part to affordable and available energy."

Read more: Sharp Electricity Price Rise with New EPA Rule

EPA Regs will Increase Power Bills $680

An energy consulting firm predicts several new EPA regulations will go through bank accounts like a tsunami, and the storm will come from three directions.

Environmental Protection Agency policies that aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions are expected to create $284 billion in additional energy costs in 2020, according to a report by Energy Ventures Analysis Inc.

Read more: EPA Regs will Increase Power Bills $680

Montana Carbon Conversation Reveals State's Ideological Divide


Montana is in the midst of an important conversation about the future of energy and climate change, but the reaction from the public suggests a deep divide in the state over how to respond to proposed EPA carbon standards.

Last week, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality held a series of three public meetings in Billings, Colstrip, and Missoula to discuss plans to comply with the proposed EPA carbon rule. In the first two, the majority of attendees spoke out against the carbon regulations, especially in coal country's Colstrip, but in Missoula the crowd struck a different tone.

Read more: Montana Carbon Conversation Reveals State's Ideological Divide

Inside the Patch by Dennis Blank - October 1 2014

It is hard to explain how the media covering the Sept. 9 Congressional hearing in Washington, DC that focused on the flammability of Bakken crude oil missed the most important part of the hearing. But miss it they did. Not one media outlet either in Washington or North Dakota reported on the criticism leveled by the House members on the witness from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which failed to provide any scientific backup for that agency's allegation that Bakken crude oil "is more volatile than most other types of crude oil."

So if you really want to know what happened, you can read the Oil Patch Hotline's report on how congressmen from other states are not only defending Bakken crude oil but exposing the real intent of what is behind the onslaught of portraying this crude as a volatile, incendiary device.

Read more: Inside the Patch by Dennis Blank - October 1 2014

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