JLF Memo
Mar. 30th, 2011: - johnlocke.org

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Repeal SB3
By Dr. Roy Cordato

This weekly newsletter, focused on environmental issues, highlights relevant analysis done by the John Locke Foundation and other think tanks, as well as items in the news.

1. Repeal SB3

Representative George Cleveland has introduced House Bill 431, "Repeal Senate Bill 3 of the 2007 Session." As I have pointed out in the past, SB3 is North Carolina's cap-and-tax legislation. The legislation caps the amount of electricity that can come from inexpensive energy sources like coal and natural gas by mandating the percentage of North Carolina's electricity that must come from so-called renewable energy sources like solar and wind power as well as reductions in energy usage.

Because wind and solar power are very expensive energy sources, the renewable energy requirements in the bill are driving up electricity rates, essentially taxing electricity consumers, and stifling economic growth and job creation. Economists from the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston estimate that over the next three years, SB3 will reduce economic growth in the state by $116 million and cost the state over 3200 jobs, reduce disposable income by $44 million, and reduce revenues to state and local governments by over $42 million.

Despite these costs and despite the fact that the bill has no quantifiable environmental benefits, most Republicans -- almost all of whom supported SB3 (without any cost/benefit analysis) -- are, like their Democratic counterparts, against its repeal. It is not at all clear why this is the case except that when the bill was initially crafted, a number of special interests such as the utility monopolies and some farming and manufacturing interests were appeased with special tax breaks and subsidies.

Now repeal of the law would also mean the repeal of these goodies. Of course, it would also mean repealing of the massive energy tax placed on the bulk of electricity ratepayers and boosting the economy. In light of those facts, Rep. Cleveland is owed special credit for bucking his party and doing what is right for the general interests of the state and not just what is convenient for the special interests.

2. The American Lung Association: A Subsidiary of the Environmental Protection Agency

JunkScience.com is reporting that over the last decade, the EPA has doled out over $20 million in taxpayer money to the American Lung Association. In return the ALA uses this money to lobby for a more powerful agency. As Junk Science points out, "The EPA-ALA relationship works something like this: EPA pays the ALA and, in return, the ALA agitates for more stringent EPA air quality regulation, including by lawsuit."

Most recently the ALA is using its taxpayer funds to attack Republican Congressman Fred Upton for his efforts to stop the EPA from regulating CO2: "'The American Lung Association has targeted House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton for his efforts to stop U.S. EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions by placing billboards within sight of his district offices linking climate change with increased childhood asthma,' reports E&E News PM."

3. Mercury/Heart Disease Connection Debunked

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine discredits EPA's claim that mercury in foods increases the risk of heart disease. The bottom-line conclusion as reported in the abstract of the study published by the NEJM: "
In multivariate analyses, participants with higher mercury exposures did not have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease."

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What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions
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Monday, Apr. 4th, 2011 at 12:00 PM, Noon
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The Death of Environmentalism?
Reflections on the Rise and Fall of a Social Movement

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What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions
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Friday, May. 20th, 2011 at 1:00pm-4:30pm
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A Citizens' Constitution Workshop in Murphy, N.C.
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What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions
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