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  • Backgrounder posted January 19, 2017 by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris Rolling the DICE on Environmental Regulations: A Close Look at the Social Cost of Methane and Nitrous Oxide

    During his two terms in office, President Barack Obama claimed that global warming is an urgent problem and implemented costly policies in an effort to mitigate climate change.[1] This includes not only very public proposals like the Clean Power Plan and Paris Protocol, but also regulatory measures that are profound in their impact but less visible to the public. Chief…

  • Commentary posted January 16, 2017 by Michael Sargent Metro's 'Watchdogs' Are Part of the Problem

    Politicians often obscure the truth. A mailer sent to weary commuters in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District last summer certainly seemed to follow this unfortunate tradition, even though it was, ostensibly, a public “service to constituents” rather than a campaign ad. Adorned with a picture of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and a portrait of Rep. Gerry…

  • Commentary posted January 16, 2017 by David R. Burton Needed Policy Reforms to Improve Entrepreneurs Access to Capital

    Capital formation and entrepreneurship improve economic growth, productivity and real wages. Existing securities laws impede entrepreneurial capital formation. To promote prosperity, Congress and a reconstituted Securities and Exchange Commission need to systematically reduce or eliminate state and federal regulatory barriers hindering entrepreneurs’ access to capital.…

  • Issue Brief posted January 4, 2017 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Repealing the Durbin Amendment: A Vote for the Rule of Law

    Section 1075 of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, known as the Durbin Amendment, requires the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to cap the debit card interchange fees that large banks charge.[1] These fees, charged to merchants every time consumers swipe their debit cards, have long been a source of controversy. Since the 1980s, as the volume…

  • Issue Brief posted January 4, 2017 by Rachel Zissimos, Katie Tubb The New Administration’s Policy Should Reflect that Biofuels Cannot Meet Military Needs

    While serving as Commanding General of the First Marine Division during the invasion of Iraq, retired General James Mattis called on Department of Defense (DOD) planners to “unleash” the Marine Corps from “the tether of fuel.”[1] Throughout the Iraq conflict, restricted access to fuel had slowed the advance of U.S. forces and dictated operational capabilities, prompting…

  • Issue Brief posted December 19, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Six Recommendations for the CHOICE Act 2.0

    President-elect Donald Trump has promised to get rid of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[1] Eliminating the law ultimately requires legislative action, so an obvious guide is the Financial CHOICE Act of 2016, a bill that replaces large parts of Dodd–Frank. The core elements of the CHOICE Act represent a major regulatory improvement because…

  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2016 by Daren Bakst, James L. Gattuso Stars Align for the Congressional Review Act

    Enacted over 20 years ago as part the “Contract with America” package of reforms, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) has sat largely unused in the congressional toolbox. This law sought to make it easier for Congress to repeal regulations, but only once has it been successfully used to do so. That is about to change. During the next few months, the CRA could become one of…

  • Commentary posted December 14, 2016 by Romina Boccia Home-sharing under attack

    Many homeowners and renters are using platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway to make extra cash. On a short-term basis, they rent out spare rooms in their homes — maybe even the entire house or apartment — to out-of-towners to help make the monthly mortgage or rent. Only a small minority of these providers are “pros,” buying up properties for the sole purpose of…

  • Backgrounder posted December 14, 2016 by James L. Gattuso Regulatory Budgeting: Not Ready for Prime Time

    The burden of federal regulation on the U.S. economy has often been compared to a tax.[1] From environmental mandates that impose costs on energy production, to Internet restrictions that discourage innovation and investment on the Web, to pharmaceutical controls that slow the introduction of new medicines and increase their prices, the regulatory “tax” impacts nearly…

  • Commentary posted November 29, 2016 by Paul Winfree, Brian Blase How to Repeal Obamacare: A Road Map for the GOP

    Over the past few years, pundits have dismissed the Republican Party’s chances of repealing and replacing Obamacare. But with President-elect Donald Trump’s victory Tuesday and the GOP’s successful effort to keep control of Congress, conservatives now have a real chance to eliminate the health care law. The question is how to do it. Three years into its implementation,…

  • Backgrounder posted November 23, 2016 by Michael Sargent End of the Runway: Rethinking the Airport Improvement Program and the Federal Role in Airport Funding

    Airports are the backbone of America’s aviation system, serving almost 900 million domestic and international passengers in 2015—far more than those of any other country.[1] That number is expected to grow significantly: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) projects the total number of enplanements to grow to 1.2 billion by 2036.[2] The federal government has spent…

  • Issue Brief posted November 23, 2016 by Daren Bakst Three Key Reforms for Federal Water Policy

    For decades, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have been overreaching when it comes to the implementation of the Clean Water Act (CWA). This statute, built on the idea of cooperation between the federal government and states,[1] has instead become a tool to expand federal power and reduce states’ ability to manage their…

  • Testimony posted November 21, 2016 by Nicolas Loris The Federal Land Freedom Act: Empowering States to Regulate Energy Will Yield Better Economic and Environmental Results

    My name is Nick Loris. I am the Herbert & Joyce Morgan Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. I want to thank the Members of the Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources for this…

  • Issue Brief posted November 21, 2016 by Michael Sargent Building on Victory: An Infrastructure Agenda for the New Administration

    President-elect Donald Trump has stated that infrastructure will be one of his top priorities upon taking office, and many in Congress have signaled a willingness to act on infrastructure. However, the Trump Administration and Congress should evaluate the needs of the nation and make structurally sound reforms rather than rushing to pass an infrastructure package focused…

  • Backgrounder posted November 16, 2016 by Katie Tubb, Nicolas Loris Five Reasons to Sunset the Land and Water Conservation Fund

    The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have begun conferencing energy legislation that is fraught with unnecessary government intervention into private-sector economic and environmental affairs. One major point of contention in the Senate’s version is the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The original intention of the LWCF was…