Promoting freedom, innovation, and growth

Connect with IPI

Receive news, research, and updates

Politics

August 10, 2015

Tom Giovanetti Gives His Take on First GOP Debate

In an interview with CTV News, IPI's Tom Giovanetti gives his assessment of Thursday night's Fox News Channel Republican debate. 

"It was a fabulous debate," said Giovanetti. "It showed how much energy there is on the Republican side." Read More >>

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

May 31, 2015

An Important Supporting Argument for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement

An important (though not primary) argument for the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, and thus for the importance of trade promotion authority (TPA):

"The only thing that could stop China from dominating Asia would be if a hostile, sustainable alliance of Pacific Rim nations emerged." Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

May 31, 2015

The Lie at the Heart of the Denton Fracking Ban

I thought we were finally finished with this.

And then, last Wednesday on the Diane Rehm Show, with another of her typical three vs. one panels, it all came back.

Not only did Texas learn from the Denton Disaster and take steps to prevent it from happening again, but so did Oklahoma, passing a clear ban on cities attempting to regulate below-the-surface issues such as drilling techniques and either blatant or de facto bans on fracking.

During Diane’s show, several called from Denton, and at least one of them repeated the lie that is at the core of the Denton fracking ban, or more specifically, the lie they keep repeating.

What is that lie? “We tried to regulate drilling activity, and it didn’t work. The fracking companies just ignored the regulations.”

Extended dance remix version of the lie: “We passed restrictions in Denton on the gas companies, but they still found ways to skirt the regulations and do whatever they wanted to do.” Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

May 2, 2015

Now Is the Time for Republicans to Back TPA (Trade Promotion Authority)

Republicans should enthusiastically support Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Yes, Obama is mostly right on trade. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

This TPA extends past the Obama admin into the next, hopefully Republican, administration. So it's not just for Obama.

"Why not wait until we're sure the next president is a Republican?" some say. Here's the problem: Right now you can peel off a certain number of Dem votes for TPA because it's for a Dem president. If a Republican is president, you'll never get those Dem votes.

Now is the time for TPA. Not just because it's right, but because it's in the strategic interest of the next (hopefully) Republican president as well. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

April 10, 2015

Something You Probably Don't Know About Electronic Privacy

Here's what you probably don't know: A 1986 law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), governs much of the electronic privacy activities of the government. And here's the weird thing--it provides protections for electronic data that is LESS than 180 days old, but not for data that is OLDER than 180 days.

Why did policy makers think that distinction made sense? I don't know, but it's one example of how a law written 30 years ago is completely out-of-date and incapable of governing the current data storage practices in the Internet Age. And especially in the age of cloud storage. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

April 1, 2015

State of Tennessee vs. Federal Communications Commission

I've just received a copy of the lawsuit from the State of Tennessee against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the FCC's order that attempts to overturn laws passed in states regulating municipal broadband networks in those states.

The argument is pretty clear and straightforward, as indeed I think it is. This is a most blatant violation of federalism. There is no constitutional grounds for a federal regulator to think it can overturn laws passed by the duly elected legislatures of the states.

In the Order, the FCC preempts Tennessee law pertaining to the operation of municipal electric plants, including the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, an instrumentality of the City of Chattanooga, created and controlled by the State of Tennessee. In doing so, the FCC has unlawfully inserted itself between the State of Tennessee and the State's own political subdivisions. The State of Tennessee, as a sovereign and a party to the proceeding below, is aggrieved and seeks relief on the grounds that the Order 1) is contrary to the United States Constitution; 2) is in excess of the Commission's authority; 3) is arbitary, capricious and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedures Act; and 4) is otherwise contrary to law. . . . Accordingly, the State of Tennessee respectfully requests that this Court hold unlawful, vacate, enjoin, and set aside the Order, and provide such additional relief as may be appropriate.

Amen. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

March 11, 2015

An Exchange of Hill Letters on Copyright

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

March 11, 2015

Texas Legislature Attempts to Rein-in Rogue Municipalities

I'm delighted that the Texas Legislature is considering legislation designed to address a concern I described in an op/ed in the Dallas Morning News a few weeks ago: That of municipalities taking away rights and protections of their citizens by majority vote on referenda.

My favorite line from my op/ed:

If I may be permitted a bit of hyperbole, tyranny isn’t OK just because it is approved by a majority of your fellow townsfolk. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

January 27, 2015

Liberal Anti-Fracking Groups Getting Funding from Secretive Russia-Connected Sources

Very interesting and well-researched piece today suggesting that the evidence is piling up about U.S. anti-fracking campaigns being funded (in part at least) by Russian interests.

Read the whole thing. Very detailed. But here's an excerpt:

A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

January 19, 2015

An Orchestrated, Loud Guffaw

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

January 16, 2015

Dear God, let this be the low point!

So Secretary of State John Kerry's idea of diplomacy is to take James Taylor to France and have him sing to the French people "You've Got a Friend?!" Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

November 5, 2014

Statement on the Passage of Denton's Fracking Ban

Unfortunately, those of us who support responsible use of innovative energy technologies such as fracking were unable to break through the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) spread by those who were pushing the Denton fracking ban. For various reasons insufficient effort went into addressing the health and environmental concerns of those who are normally in favor of energy production, but who have become fearful from the junk science being peddled by environmental extremists. And so, in Act I, the ban passed by a substantial margin.

Act II begins now, with several lawsuits filed already the day after the election. These lawsuits are not indicators of greed but rather of the very significant legal problems inherent in the ban. Contrary to what some ban proponents have stated, the simple fact that the ban was placed on the ballot does not indicate legal soundness. In fact, the ban is almost certain to be found illegal on multiple fronts—the only question is which set of legal perils prevails first. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

November 2, 2014

The Only Fracking Stopped by the Ban Is the Good Kind

Most reasonable people would probably agree that, ideally, drilling for oil and natural gas should take place on relatively large tracts of rural land, well away from residences and public places.  But here’s the poorly understood irony facing Denton voters on November 4: That’s the only kind of drilling that will be stopped if the proposed ban passes.

That’s right: It’s only out-of-the-way, inoffensive drilling on large tracts that will be affected under the ban.

Here’s why: While Denton had a weak drilling ordinance and issued some unwise drilling permits, that ordinance has now been significantly strengthened. Indeed, today’s Denton drilling ordinance has stricter requirements and larger setbacks than that of many other cities in north Texas. Anyone obtaining permits and drilling new wells today has to operate under the newly strengthened ordinance, including 1,200 foot setbacks. Fort Worth’s setback, for example, is only 600 feet.

Only wells on relatively large tracts of land and well away from property lines meet the test of the new ordinance and are thus even candidates to be banned.

Proponents of the ban are still seething over wells that were drilled close to residences and property lines under the old ordinance, or indeed that were drilled on unincorporated land. But the city’s hands are tied over those previously drilled wells. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

October 23, 2014

Legal, Economic & Property Rights Arguments Against the Proposed Ban on Fracking in Denton (video)

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

August 26, 2014

Independent, Technical, Multistakeholder Organizations that Have Become Part of the United Nations

In relation to the debate over whether and how the U.S. should hand over control of the root zone (IANA) functions of the Internet to an independent, multistakeholder organization like ICANN, the Obama administration (and many others) have been adamant that they "are not turning the Internet over to the United Nations!" We absolutely will not allow that to happen, they insist.

And I give them credit for wisely and uncharacteristically (for this administration) understanding the problem with turning Internet governance over to the United Nations.

The long-term problem, as I have argued previously, is that independent multistakeholder organizations set up to do technical functions that are of interest to the global community have a habit of getting absorbed into the United Nations system.

Here is a list of such organizations that have ended up as "specialized agencies" in the UN system, despite the fact that there was no compelling reason why that function needed to be subject to the rules and governance of a UN organization. Tourism, really? Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

 

Total Records: 64

 

IP Matters

Topics

 

  • TaxBytes-New

Copyright Institute for Policy Innovation 2017. All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy Contact IPI.

e-resources e-resources