Currently viewing the tag: “Economy”

A new scientific study finds that the climate affects every sector of the U.S. economy. In “U.S. Economic Sensitivity to Weather Variability,” Jeffrey Lazo of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, economists Megan Lawson and Donald Waldman of the University of Colorado, and Peter Larsen of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory find that “U.S. economic output varies by up to $ 485 billion a year of 2008 gross domestic product — about 3.4 percent — owing to weather variability.” They explain:

Weather directly and indirectly affects production and consumption decision making in every economic sector of the United States at all temporal and spatial scales. From very local short-term decisions about whether or not to pour concrete on a construction project to broader decisions of when to plant or harvest a field, to the costs of rerouting an airplane around severe weather, to peak demand electricity generation in response to extreme heat, to early season snow for a bumper ski season in Colorado, drought in the Midwest, or wind-fueled wildfires in California, weather can have positive or negative effects on economic activity.

Their study examined the statistical connection between economic activity at the state level and changes between unusually warm and cold weather (measured by heating degree days and cooling degree days), total precipitation, and extreme precipitation and drought (measured by standard deviation of precipitation) over the seventy-year period of 1931-2000. Unsurprisingly, U.S. agriculture is strongly affected by weather variability, but every sector, including the massive finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector are affected by changes in the climate:

A primary finding of this study is that every sector is statistically significantly sensitive to at least one measure of weather variability, and two sectors — FIRE and wholesale trade — show sensitivity to all four measures of weather variability.

Interestingly, mining appears to be the most sensitive to weather variability at 14.4 percent, which could be a product of the high dependence of demand on factors like heat and cold, though the authors caution the “result should be further investigated to determine whether it is an artifact of the data or statistical estimation.”

The economic correlation with more heating degree days “is consistently positive, suggesting though that across the seven sectors for which the estimate is significant, cooler weather is associated with larger GSP.”

This observed sensitivity of the U.S. economy to past weather variability should raise alarms for policy makers as we enter an era not just of changeable weather, but a changing climate that will worsen the weather itself. The Congressional Budget Office has taken the absurd position that the largest potential impact of extreme climate change on the U.S. economy could not be more than three percent. One hopes they will recognize that the science does not agree.

Wonk Room

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The general public has figured out that these folks do not have a clue on how to fix the nation’s problems while being told the economy is on the mend and headed in the right direction.
American Thinker Blog

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Would you want to “share a little sunshine” with this face? If you’re answer is yes, you may be in luck, because apparently, in Rick Scott’s world, “let’s get to work” means “let’s get the governor a travel break and turn it into a game show!” Now this really is from the in-box. I swear […]
The Reid Report

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – The big spending cuts proposed by House Republicans could weigh on economic growth and jobs, but forecasts vary widely.

Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics said Sunday that if all $ 61 billion in proposed cuts for the rest of this year were enacted, the economy’s growth could be reduced by half a percentage point. Many forecasters expect the economy to grow at around 3.5% this year.


CNN Political Ticker

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By Daniel Ikenson

University of Michigan economist and American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark Perry has an excellent oped in today’s Wall Street Journal [$ ] about how U.S. manufacturing is thriving.  It can’t be emphasized enough how important it is to present such illuminating, factual, compelling analyses to a public that is starved for the truth and routinely subject to lies, half-baked assertions, and irresponsibly outlandish claims about the state of American manufacturing.

The truth matters because U.S. trade and economic policies—your pocketbook—hang in the balance.

For more data, facts, and background about the true state of U.S. manufacturing, please see this Cato policy analysis and these opeds (one, two, three).

American Manufacturing Continues to Thrive in a Global Economy is a post from Cato @ Liberty – Cato Institute Blog


Cato @ Liberty

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Grim GDP news today: We had thought that the GDP grew in the fourth quarter of 2010 by 3.2 percent. We were wrong. According to the revised data released today by the Commerce Department, growth was closer to 2.8 percent. That’s not nearly enough to put a dent in unemployment.

So, what’s holding us back? First, the government. But not in the way you might think. The problem isn’t that we’re spending too much but that, in an effort to cut deficits, we — particularly state and local governments — are spending too little. The federal government’s spending dropped by 0.2 percent, but state and local spending dropped by 2.4 percent. The gross domestic product is essentially a measure of people buying and investing in things. When the government cuts back on its purchases and investments, it’s the same as a substantial portion of the population cutting back on its investments and purchases.

The other major headwind was private inventories. “Private businesses increased inventories $ 7.1 billion in the fourth quarter, following increases of $ 121.4 billion in the third quarter,” the Commerce report said. That’s bad for this GDP number. How bad? If you remove the private inventory data, we would have grown at almost seven percent last quarter, and everyone would be celebrating.

But perhaps we’ll be celebrating soon. Consumer spending was strong, and so were exports. Businesses are going to have to add to their inventories going forward. If the data that’s healthy in this report stays healthy, if the government can avoid premature austerity measures, and if businesses begin adding to their inventories, the next report should look pretty good. But that’s a lot of ifs.







Ezra Klein

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22economix-employment-blog480.jpg

David Leonhardt posted the chart above to prove that there hasn’t been a surge in government hiring, and he’s right. But I also think the chart above speaks to what’s driving the events in Wisconsin: a perception that people in the “real” economy have suffered greatly, while public workers have been cosseted by their union contracts, their lobbying might and stimulus dollars. And there’s some truth to that. The public sector basically sat out the first year of the recession.

Since then, public-sector jobs have been falling — and that’s been particularly true in recent months. The graph obscures this a bit: The “Y” axis is measuring thousands of jobs, and although there are 106 million private employees in this country, there are only 22 million public employees. It’s a bit hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison, as the hiring bump on the graph was the product of temporary workers needed to conduct the decennial census, but the public sector lost 378,000 jobs between January 2009 and January 2011 — that’s proportionally equivalent to losing about 1.8 million jobs in the private sector.

All that said, the (perhaps temporary) retention of public-sector jobs was one of the great successes of the stimulus. The worst thing for an unemployed person is another unemployed person. It means more competition for job openings, lower wages and less job security. The idea that it would somehow have been more “fair” for the public sector to shed jobs in 2008 and 2009 is one of these intuitions that cuts against the economic logic of the situation: More unemployed public workers would’ve meant more competition for unemployed private workers seeking jobs, lower tax revenue for states, worse services and more idle resources. It would’ve been bad on every level — and with 9 percent unemployment, it would still be bad today. And yet there’s a substantial number of voters and commentators who seem to abstractly favor the idea, despite the fact that it will, in practice, make most of our problems worse rather than better.







Ezra Klein

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A confidential Goldman Sachs report, which was obtained by ABC News, argues that the spending cuts passed last week by the House of Representatives would be a drag on the economy, cutting economic growth by about two percent of GDP.

The Financial Times quotes Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “This nonpartisan study proves that the House Republicans’ proposal is a recipe for a double-dip recession. Just as the economy is beginning to pick up a little steam, the Republican budget would snuff out any chance of recovery. This analysis puts a dagger through the heart of their ‘cut-and-grow’ fantasy.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

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The uprisings in the Arab world are beginning to have an economic impact:

Oil prices continued to climb and stocks drifted lower on Wednesday as reports emerged about the disruptions of crude operations in Libya.

As the fighting in Libya raised the prospect of turmoil spreading in the Middle East and North Africa and weighed on global financial markets, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has kept his grip on the capital, Tripoli, but large areas of the east of the country remained out of his control. There were also indications that the fighting had reached the northwest of the country.

Oil companies responded by starting to curtail operations and evacuate workers, according to media reports. The Italian company Eni said in a statement that natural gas supplies from Libya via the Greenstream pipeline have been suspended, but that it would still be able to meet customer demand.

ENI, the Italian oil company, Repsol of Spain, Total of France, Statoil of Norway and BASF, the German chemical and energy company, have halted much if not most of their oil production in Libya and moved personnel out of the country. Others, including the British giant, BP, said earlier that they were evacuating workers.

Much of Libya’s oil producing capacity and port operations are in the eastern part of the country where the government has lost most political control.

In a research note, Barclays Capital estimated that around 1 million barrels a day of production has been shut in, or more than half the country’s total.

All of that has helped to drive oil prices to a two-year high and spurred increases in gasoline prices, despite efforts by Saudi Arabia to calm the markets by saying that OPEC was ready to compensate for any shortfalls related to the unrest in Libya. The country produces about 2 percent of global daily output.

Benchmark crude for April delivery was up $ 4.36 cents at $ 99.78 a barrel in New York trading, briefly touching $ 100 at 1:05 p.m. The contract jumped $ 5.71, or 6.4 percent, to settle at $ 95.42 on Tuesday. In London, Brent crude for April delivery rose $ 5.54, to $ 111.32 a barrel.

“The oil market is clearly very jittery,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, senior oil market analyst at BNP Paribas in London. “It’s adding up the additional oil barrels that could be lost if the problem spreads to Algeria and the Gulf.”

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/wp-admin/post-new.php“No one can say what will happen in Libya but the risks are clear,” Mr. Tchilinguirian said. “If violence increases, infrastructure is damaged and force majeure is declared, exports will dry up.”

In fact, Reuters reported on Tuesday that Libya had declared force majeure on all oil-product exports, meaning it could miss contractual obligations because of circumstances beyond its control.

Additionally there have been reports of attempted sabatoge at Libyan oil facilities and reports that pipelines have been turned off. At this point. the market is reacting both to the threat of lower supplies and general uncertainty about where all of this heads next. If Libya falls and this moves on to nations like Algeria or even Saudi Arabia, then you can expect oil prices (and domestic gasoline prices) to continue to rise. If that happens, there's the threat that increased energy costs could dampen the already anemic economic recovery here in the United States:

The price of oil influences more than just how you heat your house or drive your car.  Since most manufacturing uses oil in at least some of their manufacturing process, even if it just to get product to the market, when the oil began to spike in 2006, people who could barely afford their mortgages began to have to choice between their bank payments or basic staple items whose costs were driven up by their energy costs. A few months later, when the price increases led to interest hikes in existing mortgages, the house of cards holding up the housing market collapsed.

Indeed, Jeffery Rubin noted in 2008(PDF) that most politicians and economists were ignoring the role that the mid-2000's oil spike played in the economic downturn that started in 2007:

While most of the world’s newfound economic ills are being attributed to the ongoing crisis in world financial markets, and its associated source, the US housing market crash, both the timing and size suggest something else may be afoot.

By any benchmark the economic cost of the recent rise in oil prices is nothing short of staggering. A lot more staggering than the impact of plunging housing priceson housing starts and construction jobs, which has been the most obvious brake on economic growth from the housing market crash. And those energy costs, unlike the massive asset writedowns associated with the housing market crash, were borne largely by Main Street, not Wall Street, in both America and throughout the world.

Certainly oil shocks are no stranger to recessions. Four of the last five global recessions were preceded by one, Yet the recent spike in oil prices doesn’t seem to get any credit

That’s odd because it should. Curiously, an over-500% increase in the real price of oil gets virtually ignored as a culprit behind today’s economy, eclipsed by the ongoing crisis in financial markets. Yet the run-up in real oil prices this cycle is over twice the spike in oil prices that occurred during the first or second OPEC oil shock. And those oil shocks produced two of the deepest recession in the entire post-war period, including the 1980-82 double dip.

So the prospects for the U.S. economy if these rebellions continue to have push oil prices up are quite dicey indeed and, to be honest, there isn't really much we can do about it.

 




Outside the Beltway

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The uprisings in the Arab world are beginning to have an economic impact:

Oil prices continued to climb and stocks drifted lower on Wednesday as reports emerged about the disruptions of crude operations in Libya.

As the fighting in Libya raised the prospect of turmoil spreading in the Middle East and North Africa and weighed on global financial markets, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has kept his grip on the capital, Tripoli, but large areas of the east of the country remained out of his control. There were also indications that the fighting had reached the northwest of the country.

Oil companies responded by starting to curtail operations and evacuate workers, according to media reports. The Italian company Eni said in a statement that natural gas supplies from Libya via the Greenstream pipeline have been suspended, but that it would still be able to meet customer demand.

ENI, the Italian oil company, Repsol of Spain, Total of France, Statoil of Norway and BASF, the German chemical and energy company, have halted much if not most of their oil production in Libya and moved personnel out of the country. Others, including the British giant, BP, said earlier that they were evacuating workers.

Much of Libya’s oil producing capacity and port operations are in the eastern part of the country where the government has lost most political control.

In a research note, Barclays Capital estimated that around 1 million barrels a day of production has been shut in, or more than half the country’s total.

All of that has helped to drive oil prices to a two-year high and spurred increases in gasoline prices, despite efforts by Saudi Arabia to calm the markets by saying that OPEC was ready to compensate for any shortfalls related to the unrest in Libya. The country produces about 2 percent of global daily output.

Benchmark crude for April delivery was up $ 4.36 cents at $ 99.78 a barrel in New York trading, briefly touching $ 100 at 1:05 p.m. The contract jumped $ 5.71, or 6.4 percent, to settle at $ 95.42 on Tuesday. In London, Brent crude for April delivery rose $ 5.54, to $ 111.32 a barrel.

“The oil market is clearly very jittery,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, senior oil market analyst at BNP Paribas in London. “It’s adding up the additional oil barrels that could be lost if the problem spreads to Algeria and the Gulf.”

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/wp-admin/post-new.php“No one can say what will happen in Libya but the risks are clear,” Mr. Tchilinguirian said. “If violence increases, infrastructure is damaged and force majeure is declared, exports will dry up.”

In fact, Reuters reported on Tuesday that Libya had declared force majeure on all oil-product exports, meaning it could miss contractual obligations because of circumstances beyond its control.

Additionally there have been reports of attempted sabatoge at Libyan oil facilities and reports that pipelines have been turned off. At this point. the market is reacting both to the threat of lower supplies and general uncertainty about where all of this heads next. If Libya falls and this moves on to nations like Algeria or even Saudi Arabia, then you can expect oil prices (and domestic gasoline prices) to continue to rise. If that happens, there's the threat that increased energy costs could dampen the already anemic economic recovery here in the United States:

The price of oil influences more than just how you heat your house or drive your car.  Since most manufacturing uses oil in at least some of their manufacturing process, even if it just to get product to the market, when the oil began to spike in 2006, people who could barely afford their mortgages began to have to choice between their bank payments or basic staple items whose costs were driven up by their energy costs. A few months later, when the price increases led to interest hikes in existing mortgages, the house of cards holding up the housing market collapsed.

Indeed, Jeffery Rubin noted in 2008(PDF) that most politicians and economists were ignoring the role that the mid-2000's oil spike played in the economic downturn that started in 2007:

While most of the world’s newfound economic ills are being attributed to the ongoing crisis in world financial markets, and its associated source, the US housing market crash, both the timing and size suggest something else may be afoot.

By any benchmark the economic cost of the recent rise in oil prices is nothing short of staggering. A lot more staggering than the impact of plunging housing priceson housing starts and construction jobs, which has been the most obvious brake on economic growth from the housing market crash. And those energy costs, unlike the massive asset writedowns associated with the housing market crash, were borne largely by Main Street, not Wall Street, in both America and throughout the world.

Certainly oil shocks are no stranger to recessions. Four of the last five global recessions were preceded by one, Yet the recent spike in oil prices doesn’t seem to get any credit

That’s odd because it should. Curiously, an over-500% increase in the real price of oil gets virtually ignored as a culprit behind today’s economy, eclipsed by the ongoing crisis in financial markets. Yet the run-up in real oil prices this cycle is over twice the spike in oil prices that occurred during the first or second OPEC oil shock. And those oil shocks produced two of the deepest recession in the entire post-war period, including the 1980-82 double dip.

So the prospects for the U.S. economy if these rebellions continue to have push oil prices up are quite dicey indeed and, to be honest, there isn't really much we can do about it.

 




Outside the Beltway

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From AFP:

Israel’s economy picked up in the last quarter of 2010, chalking up 7.8 percent growth and a higher-than-expected annual growth rate of 4.5 percent, official figures show on Thursday.

The figure took analysts by surprise, outstripping expectations of a fourth-quarter growth rate of around 4.0 percent.

Central Bureau of Statistics data show the economy grew by 5.2 percent in the second quarter and 4.4 percent in the third.

Earlier this week, the Bank of Israel (BoI) had predicted fourth-quarter growth of between 4.3 and 4.6 percent.

The annual growth figure far outstrips the 2.8-percent average registered in 2010 by countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the club of developed nations which Israel joined last year.

It also exceeded OECD estimates, which showed Israeli GDP growing by 3.9 percent in 2010.

Last month in its annual report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the Jewish state had emerged “relatively unscathed” from the global recession, and praised the “resilience” of its economy.

I guess that the BDS movement didn’t manage to boycott enough Israeli hummus last year.



Elder of Ziyon

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Stephanopoulos goes Gaga.


Welcome to Non-Sequitur Central, otherwise known as ABC’s Good Morning America. George Stephanopoulos interrupts Michele Bachmann’s argument on tax reform and the economy to ask a pressing question — whether Bachmann believes Barack Obama is a Christian. Bachmann says that it’s not for her to decide and that people should take the President at his […]

Read this post »

Hot Air » Top Picks

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Of the over 400 amendments offered on the House government-funding measure, the 2011 Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1), dozens are focused on climate change, energy policy, and environmental protection. The existing language in the budget bill is already designed to deny global warming, slash and burn public health and green jobs, but the amendments would take even more radical steps to reward polluters who are killing our children’s future. Republican amendments, if fully enacted, would:

– Eliminate the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Special Envoy for Climate Change, the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, the NOAA Climate Service, the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E, National Science Foundation K-12 funding

– Block US funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Global Environment Facility

– Suspend enforcement of fisheries laws and construction and conservation acquisition programs of the National Parks and Department of the Interior

– Block rules for toxic cement plant pollution, hazardous coal ash, industrial boiler pollution, water quality, climate change pollution, climate change adaptation, energy-efficient lighting, mountaintop removal, atrazine, and water conservation

Most of the Republican amendments are budget neutral, not lowering the deficit one cent. Several defund effective jobs programs that cost only a few million dollars. The goal of these amendments is not fiscal responsibility or jobs creation, but polluter protection, even though the pollution is poisoning babies, causing the elderly to suffer, and destroying America’s natural bounty.

Meanwhile Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has proposed amendments to eliminate billions in dollars in Big Oil subsidies, reduce the deficit, and restore LIHEAP and NIH funding, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) offered amendments to defend America from the threat of global warming pollution, and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) proposed amendments to take $ 66 million from fossil energy research and development and put it into green energy programs.

Visit the Wonk Room for the comprehensive list of over 60 energy and environmental amendments proposed for the continuing resolution.

ThinkProgress

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Of the over 400 amendments offered on the House government-funding measure, the 2011 Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1), dozens are focused on climate change, energy policy, and environmental protection. The existing language in the budget bill is already designed to deny global warming, slash and burn public health and green jobs, but the amendments would take even more radical steps to reward polluters who are killing our children’s future. Republican amendments, if fully enacted, would:

– Eliminate the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Special Envoy for Climate Change, the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, the NOAA Climate Service, the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E, National Science Foundation K-12 funding

– Block US funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Global Environment Facility

– Suspend enforcement of fisheries laws and construction and conservation acquisition programs of the National Parks and Department of the Interior

– Block rules for cement plant pollution, coal ash, industrial boiler pollution, water quality, climate change pollution, climate change adaptation, energy-efficient lighting, mountaintop removal, atrazine, and water conservation

Most of these amendments are budget neutral, not lowering the deficit one cent. Several defund extremely effective jobs programs that cost only a few million dollars. The goal of these amendments is not fiscal responsibility or jobs creation, but polluter protection, even though the pollution is poisoning babies, causing the elderly to suffer, and destroying America’s natural bounty.

Meanwhile Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has proposed amendments to eliminate billions in dollars in Big Oil subsidies, reduce the deficit, and restore LIHEAP and NIH funding, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) offered amendments to defend America from the threat of global warming pollution, and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) proposed amendments to take $ 66 million from fossil energy research and development and put it into green energy programs.

Some of these amendments were first compiled and summarized by E&E News PM.

Climate, Environment, And Energy Amendments To H.R. 1
Amdt. Sponsor Purpose
3 Tonko (D-NY) To strike language that prevents new rules under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act
4 Tonko (D-NY) To maintain funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program
6 Tonko (D-NY) To strike language that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from authorizing state action plans on greenhouse pollution.
10 Stearns (R-FL) To stop EPA from developing or issuing standards that list coal ash as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
13 Rooney (R-FL) To stop EPA from using its funding to implement, administer or enforce new water quality standards for Florida’s lakes and flowing waters, which were issued in November.
18 Tonko (D-NY) To restore cuts made to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
27 Markey (D-MA) To stop Interior from issuing new oil or natural gas leases on the outer continental shelf if they do not include limitations on royalty relief based on market price
29 Heller (R-NV) To reduce funding for the International Fund for Agricultural Development by $ 2.6 million, Contributions to International Organizations account by $ 44 million, Global Environmental Facility by $ 4.6 million, International Development Association by $ 136 million, Enterprise for American Multilateral Investment by $ 2.9 million, and African Development Fund by $ 19.5 million
52 Tonko (D-NY) To remove unobligated funding from Fossil Energy Research and Development and transfers those funds to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
60 Markey (D-MA) To restore LIHEAP funding and eliminate oil industry subsidies.
65-66 Polis (D-CO) To allow EPA to limit greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if it is deemed “necessary to protect the public health or prevent severe environmental degradation.”
69-70 Polis (D-CO) To allow the further expenditure of recovery act funds in order to create jobs and transportation projects
84 Pompeo (R-KS) To cut $ 8.5 million from the EPA
94 Sullivan (R-OK) To stop EPA from using its funding to implement its decision to allow the ethanol content of gasoline to be increased from 10 percent to 15 percent.
109 Griffith (R-VA) To stop EPA from using its funding to implement or enforce new guidance for the review of possible water pollution from proposed coal-mining projects
127

Young (R-AK) To stop EPA from regulating air pollution from Arctic offshore drilling
130 McGovern (D-MA) To remove prohibition on funding the HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative
149 Leutkemeyer (R-MO) To prohibit funding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
152 Jenkins (R-KS) To prevent funding the cleanup of pesticides and PCBs from the Great Plains Industrial Park (formerly the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant)
165 Carter (R-TX) To stop EPA from using its funding to implement new air toxic pollution rules for cement kilns
169 Poe (R-TX) To eliminate K-12 National Science Foundation science & technology education funding
174 Heller (R-NV) To block the Yucca Mountain repository
180 Akin (R-MO) To eliminate funding for the Global Environment Facility
181 Akin (R-MO) To bar the use of federal funds to implement the section of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that phases out traditional incandescent light bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient alternatives
192 Biggert (R-IL) To eliminate the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency
193 Lummis (R-WY) To eliminate funding for BLM, FWS, and USDA conservation land acquisition
193 Lummis (R-WY) To fully remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act (existing text from Simpson (R-ID) would delist gray wolves except for Wyoming population)
197 Walberg (R-MI) To kill the Green the Capitol initiative
198 Poe (R-TX) To stop EPA from creating a cap-and-trade program or enforcing any other regulations for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act
201 Labrador (R-ID) To stop EPA from issuing or enforcing final standards for air pollution from industrial boilers
202 Labrador (R-ID) To defund the White House Council on Environmental Quality
203 Labrador (R-ID) To stop the administration from using its funding to designate new monuments under the Antiquities Act
204 Scalise (R-LA) To eliminate the assistant to the president for energy and climate change (the departing Carol Browner), the special envoy for climate change (Todd Stern), and the special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation (formerly Van Jones)
206 Jones (R-NC) To impede NOAA from preventing illegal fisheries activities
207 Jones (R-NC) To block penalties for illegal fisheries activities
213 Markey (D-MA) To restore NIH funding and eliminate oil industry subsidies.
216 McKinley (R-WV) To stop EPA from administering or enforcing the sections of the Clean Water Act that govern dredge-and-fill permits, i.e. mountaintop-removal
217 McKinley (R-WV) To stop coal ash rules
218 Johnson (R-OH) To stop EPA from issuing new rules for the circumstances under which mining may be conducted near streams or from conducting an environmental impact statement on the impact of the rules; e.g. mountaintop removal
228 Goodlatte (R-VA) To prevent the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center refurbishment, and to reduce the DOE nuclear budget by $ 20 million
241 Carney (D-DE) To stop the Department of Energy from using its funding for the Oil and Gas Research and Development Program
251 Scalise (R-LA) To stop Interior from using any funding to delay the approval of a plan or permit for energy exploration on the outer continental shelf
257 Huelskamp (R-KS) To eliminate the assistant to the president for energy and climate change
279 Schock (R-IL) To stop EPA from using its funding to re-evaluate the possible health effects of the approved herbicide atrazine
289 McClintock (R-CA) To stop Interior from issuing grants under the WaterSMART program, a conservation initiative intended to find solutions for the water shortages in many areas of the West.
300-320 McClintock (R-CA) To make a variety of changes to the appropriations given to DOE for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, including eliminating solar energy, water power, building technologies, vehicle technologies, fuel cells, geothermal energy, and biomass technologies
326 Blumenauer (D-OR) To lift the prohibition on funding community development block grants and the Sustainable Communities Initiative
329-331 Kaptur (D-OH) To bar additional funding for the operations and maintenance of the Southeastern, Southwestern, and Western Power Administrations
342 Pearce (R-NM) To eliminate the Mexican Wolf recovery program
344 Pearce (R-NM) To prevent the support of citizen suits under the National Environmental Policy Act
345 Pearce (R-NM) To prevent the support of citizen suits under the Endangered Species Act
348 Pearce (R-NM) To stop Interior from putting funding toward climate change adaptation
350-361 Pearce (R-NM) To prevent federal land acquisition programs, conservation programs and new construction by BLM, FWS, USGS, and the National Parks Service
374 Flake (R-AZ) To stop funding the Biomass Crop Assistance Program
376 Flake (R-AZ) To cut the EPA science and technology budget by $ 64.1 million
377 Flake (R-AZ) To block funding for the construction of ethanol facilities
378 Hall (R-TX) To prohibit the establishment of the NOAA Climate Service (NCS)
379 Reed (R-NY) To cut $ 10 million from the EPA support for state and tribal environmental law enforcement
393-395 Inslee (D-WA) To move $ 66 million from DOE fossil energy R&D budget to grid modernization, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and ARPA-E
397 Waters (D-CA) To eliminate DOE fossil energy R&D budget
401 Jackson Lee (D-TX) To strike elimination of unspent recovery act funds

Wonk Room

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A new report from the Michigan League for Human Services finds that immigrants, even undocumented immigrants, contribute much to the state economy.

Jackie Headapohl summarizes some of the findings for MLive.com:

Immigrants are responsible for 33 percent of all high-tech startups, making Michigan third among all states in producing new high-tech business opportunities.

Michigan immigrants started 2,276 new businesses from 1996-2007.

Michigan stands to lose over $ 3.8 billion in economic activity, $ 1.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 20,000 jobs with the removal of all unauthorized workers from the labor force.

Unauthorized immigrants are subject to sales and property taxes and many pay into the Social Security system, but may not be able to collect the benefits.

The report points out that immigrants are a critical source of labor in this aging state.

Additionally, over half of Michigan immigrants, or 64.4 percent, are of working-age (18-54) compared with 50.8 percent of the nonimmigrant population in 2008. This is a critical factor as a large portion of the state is nearing retirement. By 2030, Michigan’s residents aged 65 and older will represent 20 percent of the population, and the number of individuals 85 and older is expected to double in size by 2050. Immigrants dominate the domestic worker industry, and as our population ages, more workers will be needed to care for the state’s elderly.

Michigan is among the 23 states that have introduced legislation that would require state police to enforce federal immigration law by requesting immigration documents from those they suspect are in the state illegally.

Because many immigrants enter the U.S. legally but become unauthorized due to technical problems with the immigration process, the report says, legislation of this type creates a hostile atmosphere for all foreign-born residents.

With the fourth-highest unemployment rate, and a $ 1.8 billion state budget deficit looming next fiscal year, Michigan needs to focus on policies that encourage inclusion and economic growth. If immigrants clearly contribute to our economy and do not drain our social services, our state could greatly benefit from welcoming immigrants rather than rolling up the welcome mat.

Michigan Messenger

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