Category Archives: US Manufacturing Companies

The EPA HURTS The Environment And Impedes Law Enforcement


Guest posting by Richard F. Cronin

Sept. 15, 2017

As a Chem. Engr. with 40+ years’ experience, I can tell you that the current embodiment of the U.S. EPA HURTS the environment and impedes law enforcement.

The EPA only responds to the constituency which advances the reach and power of the EPA. That would be radicalized, out-of-control environmental groups. A good read on this topic is “Environmentalism Gone Mad” by Alan Carlin — former Sierra Club activist and EPA analyst.

http://environmentalismgonemad.com/

The minority leader on the U.S. Senate Committee for Public Works & the Environment is Tom Carper (D-DE). He is grossly complicit in the near-criminal activities of the EPA under the Obama administration. I have written to my Senator several times on this topic as well as the chimera of “renewable energy” and have been stiff-armed every time. Senator Carper is up for re-election in 2018 and is rumored to be mulling retirement. It can’t happen fast enough by my lights.

The EPA was established in 1973, by Richard Nixon, another advocate for growing the reach and power of the federal government. The major legislation for Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed in the 1960s and after a few revisions became pretty sound, state-of-the-art, readily interpreted, and enforceable body of regulations. All private interests, such as chemical companies, were on a level playing field. Regulations for solid wastes (RCRA) followed in 1976. Again, with a few tweaks RCRA became a pretty good body of regs.

Then in the ensuing years, the layer upon layer of over-regulation accumulated, which degraded the regs into a set of mandates that not even EPA regulators could interpret because of inconsistencies and contradictory guidance.

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Tesla Model 3 Sales Will Be Make Or Break For The Company


Is Tesla a major player in the transportation market?  The answer is no.  But will Tesla be?  We read that automobile engineers at the major vehicle producers begin shaking all over when they think of the threat Tesla poses.  So maybe they have magic.

Have not seen it yet and I could be wrong not being an auto engineer.

How is a stock market analyzing firm ranking Tesla versus competition?

Company TTM Sales $million $/Share Recommended Buy Price $/Share
Tesla    10,069 345 99
VW adr  267,350   31 29
Toyota adr  256,791 113 68
Damlier adr  189,396   74 56
Ford  153,596   11   8
General Motors  170,231   36 31

A casual glance says that Tesla share price is not based on actual sales but on investors belief that the company is something special.  Note that the firm that provided the above data ventured that the actual Tesla share price was about 3.5 times their recommended buy price.  The actual prices were greater than the recommend buy price for each of the companies shown in the table. But the relationship was in most cases about 1.3 or so.  Some analysts believe that Tesla is looked at more of a Tech stock than and stock of a company making vehicles.

In August 2016, Elon Musk,  the force behind the Tesla  said that he plans to sell 500,000 vehicles by 2018 and one million by 2020. From my readings, I would guess the majority of analysts don’t think he will accomplish that goal.

Several years ago, Consumer Reports (CR)  said theTesla was the best car ever.  They still believe it to have superior performance but no longer rate it an unqualified success because of reports of lack of reliability. (The Toyota in my garage was purchased based upon CR’s reliability rating of the car—and CR got it right.

The lowest priced  Tesla vehicle is the Model S.  The S’s price starts at $69,500 and grows based upon the options the buyer elects to add. The new Model 3 is said to have a base price of $35,000.

CR posted some info on the likely cost of the new Model 3 which may disappoint some potential purchasers of Model 3. In an updated (8 August 17)  posting CR said this

The base model will be black, with a Tesla-estimated range of 220 miles and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds. (If you want a color other than black, it’ll add $1,000.) Notable standard equipment counts WiFi and LTE internet connectivity, navigation, and the hardware to enable active safety systems, including eight cameras, forward radar, and a dozen ultrasonic sensors.

Initial Model 3 cars will feature the long-range battery (a $9,000 option) and the Premium Upgrades package (a $5,000 option), which adds heated, 12-way adjustable front seats; premium audio system; glass roof; folding/heated side mirrors; fog lamps; and a center console with covered storage and docking for two smartphones.

Enhanced Autopilot (a $5,000 option) bundles futuristic capabilities such as active cruise control, lane-keep assist, automatic lane changing and freeway exiting, and self parking. Tesla advises more such features will be added via software updates.

In the future, Tesla will offer an addition to Enhanced Autopilot that claims “full self-driving capability” for $3,000. The company says, “Model 3 will be capable of conducting trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.” We are concerned that such a claim encourages distracted driving.

We expect typically equipped (early-delivery) cars will cost $57,700, which includes long-range battery, choice of color, Premium Upgrades package, Enhanced Autopilot, and 19-inch wheels.

A typically equipped model with the standard battery is expected to cost about $42,200, and comes with your choice of color and Enhanced Autopilot.

The free charging of the battery at Tesla stations will not extend to the Model 3

Car and Driver rated the new Model 3 the best of all the EV on the market.  However that rating was based on a prototype.  How valid is a prototype rating?

The US government tax credit of $7,500 has been helping Tesla sell its cars.  This tax credit ends when a manufacturer reaches sales of 200.000 vehicles.  It has been estimated that there have been over 100,000 Tesla sold using the tax credit.  The impact of the subsides provided by governmental bodies on the sale of EVs is examined in the next posting.

How successful the Model 3 is,  will define the future of the Tesla company.

cbdakota

Congress Needs To Take Ownership Of Regulations


The preceding posting “Federal Regulations And Intervention Cost America Consumers And Businesses $1.9 Trillion In 2016, discussed the scope and effect regulations have on the economy.  This posting will look at some solutions.

From the CEI posting titled “Ten Thousand Commandments 2017comes the following excerpts:

A regulatory liberalization agenda would provide genuine economic stimulus and offer some confidence and certainty for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Steps to Improve Regulatory Disclosure

Certainly, some regulations’ benefits exceed costs, but net benefits or even actual costs are known for very few. Without more complete regulatory accounting, it is difficult to know whether society wins or loses as a result of rules.

An incremental but important step toward greater openness would be for Congress to require— or for the Office of Management and Budget to initiate—publication of a summary of available but scattered data.

Regulations fall into two broad classes: (a) those that are economically significant (costing more than $100 million annually) and (b) those that are not. Agencies typically emphasize reporting of economically significant or major rules, which OMB also tends to emphasize in its annual assessments of the regulatory state. A problem with this approach is that many rules that technically come in below that threshold can still be very significant in the real-world sense of the term.

Ending Regulation without Representation: The Unconstitutionality Index—27 Rules for Every Law

Agencies do not answer to voters. Yet in a sense, regulators and the administration, rather than Congress, do the bulk of U.S. lawmaking. But agencies are not the only culprits. For too long, Congress has shirked its constitutional duty to make the tough calls. Instead, it delegates substantial lawmaking power to agencies and then fails to ensure that they deliver benefits that exceed costs.

Agencies face significant incentives to expand their turf by regulating even without demonstrated need. The primary measure of an agency’s productivity—other than growth in its budget and number of employees—is the body of regulation it produces. One need not deplete too much time and energy blaming agencies for carrying out the very regulating they were set up to do in the first place.

For perspective, consider that in calendar year 2016 regulatory agencies issued 3,853 final rules, whereas the 114th Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a comparatively few 214 bills. Thus, there were 18 rules for every law in 2016 (see Figure 24). The ratio can vary widely, but the average over the decade has been 27 rules for every law. Rules issued by agencies are not usually substantively related to the current year’s laws; typically, agencies administer earlier legislation. Still, this perspective is a useful way of depicting flows and relative workloads.

Regulatory reforms that rely on agencies policing themselves will not rein in the regulatory state or fully address regulation without representation. Rather, making Congress directly answerable to voters for the costs that agencies impose on the public would best promote accountable regulation. Congress should vote on agencies’ final rules before such rules become binding on the public.

Well, why don’t they vote on agency final rules?

Concern about mounting national debt incentivizes Congress to regulate rather than to increase government spending to accomplish policy ends.

By regulating instead of spending, government can expand almost indefinitely without explicitly taxing anybody one extra penny.

This creates unfunded liabilities. Leaving the people regulated to fund the regulation. Congress could pass a law intending to reduce homicides in the US by requiring an increase of police officers per square mile of city area to match New York’s successful program of 119 officers per square mile.. This would require, for example, a doubling of Chicago’s police force according to a posting by Politics & City Life titled “City Size and Police Presence.” This might be a great idea, but either fund it or let the people in Chicago decide if they want to double the police force.

Affirmation of new major regulations would ensure that Congress bears direct responsibility for every dollar of new regulatory costs. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS) Act (H.R. 26, S. 21), sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), offers one such approach. It would require Congress to vote on all economically significant agency regulations—those with estimated annual costs of $100 million or more. It has passed the House in the current and three previous congressional sessions but has not moved forward in the Senate.

Congressional rather than agency approval of regulations and regulatory costs should be the goal of reform. When Congress ensures transparency and disclosure and finally assumes responsibility for the growth of the regulatory state, the resulting system will be one that is fairer and more accountable to voters.

Please read the entire CEI report by clicking here.

cbdakota

Federal Regulations And Intervention Cost American Consumers And Businesses $1.9 trillion In 2016.”


President Trump says he wants to drain the SWAMP.  When I think of draining the swamp, I think of shrinking the government.  Specifically aimed at getting rid of the many bureaucrats that are virtually a law unto themselves.  They are not working to carry out the Executive and Legislative wishes, but rather to impose their agendas. They do this by co-opting legislative authority though regulations and rulemaking and by employing “red tape” to detour the executive intentions.   (This is often known as the Deep State.)

The Competitive Enterprise Institute(CEI)’s Vice President for Policy and the US economy, Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr. produces an annual survey of the size and scope and cost of federal regulations. Then that is translated into how those regulations affect the American consumers, business and the US economy. Crews reports that “Federal regulations and intervention cost American consumers and businesses $1.9 trillion in 2016.”

 

Crews’ effort is captured in the following posting “Ten Thousand Commandments 201: A Fact Sheet”:

Federal government spending, deficits, and the national debt are staggering, but so is the impact of federal regulations. Unfortunately, regulations get little attention in policy debates because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted, difficult to quantify, and their effects are often indirect. By making Washington’s rules and mandates more comprehensible, Crews underscores the need for more review, transparency, and accountability for new and existing federal regulations.

The 2017 report is unique and will serve as a benchmark to measure President Trump’s efforts to cut red tape against those of his predecessors. President Obama’s final year in office showed a regulatory surge. Will Trump keep his promise and slam the breaks on overregulation?

 

Highlights from the 2017 edition include:

 Federal regulations and intervention cost American consumers and businesses $1.9 trillion in 2016. When you add the taxpayer dollars government agencies spent administering these regulations, the total cost of the regulatory state reached $1.963 trillion last year.

 Federal regulation is a hidden tax that amounts to nearly $15,000 per U.S. household each year.

 In 2016, 214 laws were enacted by Congress during the calendar year, while 3,853 rules were issued by agencies. Thus, 18 rules were issued for every law enacted last year.

If it were a country, U.S. federal regulation would be the world’s seventh-largest economy, ranking behind India and ahead of Italy. 

    Many Americans are concerned about their annual tax burden, but total regulatory costs exceeded the $1.92 trillion the IRS collected in both individual and corporate income taxes in 2016.

 Some 60 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,318 regulations in development at various stages in the pipeline.

The five most active rulemaking entities–the Departments of the Treasury, Interior, Transportation, Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency–account for 1,428 rules, or 43 percent of all federal regulations, under consideration.

 The 2016 Federal Register contains 95,894 pages, the highest level in its history and 19 percent higher than the previous year’s 80,260 pages.

 Last year, the Obama administration averaged 86 “major” rules, a 36 percent higher average annual output than that of George W. Bush. Obama issued 685 major rules during his term, compared with Bush’s 505.

 

That is quick look at the Federal regulations and intervention that cost American consumers and businesses $1.9 trillion in 2016.

Deplorable!

Crews has some ideas, worthy of consideration, on how to fix this major, and growing problem.  That’s next.

cbdakota

More virtue signaling-Bloomberg assembles group to take responsibility for the Paris Agreement


More virtue signaling. Bloomberg organizes Governors, mayors, businesses, commit to Paris climate pact goals” according to a posting on the Hill.com. ** The posting says that they are going to abide by the Paris Agreement.  So, they are going to reduce the US CO2 emissions. Do you think the people that they serve will back them up even though it will cost many of them their jobs and increase the cost of living for all?  A big maybe.  Polling has shown that many people like the idea combating “global warming” but most of them do not like the expense of carrying out a big global warming program.

And the kicker will be that they will have to pony up the money that the Paris Agreement needs.  Annually the Green Climate Fund requires $100 billion every year beginning in 2020. I am not sure what the share of the $100 billion this Bloomberg group will be required to put up each year, but I think the share the US government was expected to provide was about 25%.  $25 billion each year for ever.  And it might be more, because some re-evaluations by the Paris Agreement folks are talking estimates like $400 billion per year as the program evolves— that would mean that the Bloomberg group would have to perhaps provide $100 billion per year. 

The Green Climate Fund has been active for a number of years as a means of putting together the program.  The goal was to initially get $10 billion. The pledges had reached $10 billion.  But pledges are just that—pledges.  They really don’t have $10 billion in hard cash. The US had pledged $3 billion but at least $2 billion will not be sent to the Fund now. If these nations are having trouble supplying a $10 billion one time funding, what does that tell you about their willingness to fund a $100 billion per year fund?

 My guess is the Bloomberg group will join the other big talkers and find that their treasuries really don’t have the money to support the $100 billion per year.  

cbdakota

**http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/336403-governors-mayors-businesses-commit-to-paris-climate-pact-goals

Obama Administration Set New Record for Number Of Pages Of Regulations In 2016


The Wall Street Journal posted “The $600BillionMan-A new report highlights one cost of Obama legacy.” (The posting is behind a paywall.  Fortunately SePP* summarized the WSJ posting for us.) The summary is as follows:

SUMMARY: “As if taxes haven’t been high enough, the U.S. Government also forced Americans to spend an eye-watering $1.9 trillion in 2016 just to comply with federal regulations. That’s according to the latest annual “10,000 Commandments” report released today by Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. ‘If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the world’s seventh-largest economy, ranking behind India and ahead of Italy,’ notes Mr. Crews. He adds that our regulatory tab is nearly as large as the total pretax profits of corporations.

 “Mr. Crews has become one of the most hated men in Washington by tabulating the hidden costs—those not counted in the roughly $4 trillion of direct federal spending—that politicians and bureaucrats impose on the American economy. And nobody imposed more than Barack Obama. According to the Crews annual scorecards, the yearly cost of federal regulation soared by more than $700 billion in nominal dollars from 2008, the last full year of the Bush Administration, through Mr. Obama’s final full year of 2016. Adjusting for inflation, you can call Mr. Obama the $600 Billion Man.

 “One measure of the amount of red tape spewing out of Washington is the number of pages of proposed and final rules printed in the Federal Register. ‘Of the top 10 all-time-high Federal Register page counts, seven occurred under President Barack Obama,’ notes Mr. Crews. And let’s hope that Mr. Obama’s latest record, set on his final lap in 2016, will never be broken. Mr. Crews reports that the register ‘finished 2016 at 95,894 pages, the highest level in its history and 19 percent higher than the previous year’s 80,260 pages.

Unelected bureaucrats are killing businesses with their avalanche of regulations and the resulting cost of implementing them.  But the Obama Administration was the worst offender.   Seven of Obama’s eight years in office, his administration was in the top ten of Federal Register Page Count.  With the 2016 being the highest ever.

If you ever wonder what President Trump means when he says the “swamp needs draining”, this is it.

cbdakota

*SePP=Science & Environmental Policy Project

 

Did EPA Employees Weep Over The Job Losses In The Coal Business?


EPA employees do not want to cooperate with the Trump Administration.

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted,” Obama said during a 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board. Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also pledged that “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

“This Labor Day, America has 83,000 fewer coal jobs and 400 coal mines than it did when Barack Obama was elected in 2008, showing that the president has followed through on his pledge to “bankrupt” the coal industry.”

 

The paragraphs above are from the dailycaller 5 September 2016 posting “Obama kept his promise-83,000 coal jobs lost and 400 mines shuttered.

Who are the cheerleaders wanting the coal business to fail? The EPA !!  Who authored the Clean Power ACT?  The EPA  !!

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