Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gun Control - #4535 - Senators Ask If NSA Collected Gun Data - Washington Free Beacon (2) EPA Encourages Utility Controlled Refrigrators, CNS News (3) GOP Rep: Obama Administration Stealthily Updates Environmental Cost Calculations, Then Announces New Regulations, Let's Connect the Dots - Hot Air (4) Coal is Only One Step in Obama Administration's Plan - Daily Caller

Senators Ask if NSA Collected Gun Data - Washington Free Beacon - Senators are questioning whether the National Security Agency collected bulk data on more than just Americans’ phone records, such as firearm and book purchases. A bipartisan group of 26 senators, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to detail the scope and limits of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities in a letter released Friday. “We are concerned that by depending on secret interpretations of the PATRIOT Act that differed from an intuitive reading of the statute, this program essentially relied for years on a secret body of law,” the senators wrote in the letter. Read more.......

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Related GOP Bill Proposes Defunding School With Rules Against Imaginary Guns - The Blaze.....

(2) EPA Encourages Utility Controlled Refrigerators - CNS News - At times of peak demand for electricity, do you want your refrigerator to run at the discretion of the power company?  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revised its Energy Star energy-efficiency requirements for residential refrigerators, and it is encouraging the inclusion of “connected” features that respond to utility signals to curb their energy consumption. The EPA announced the new requirements on June 27. Included is the optional “smart-grid” connection for customers to electronically connect their refrigerator or freezer with a utility provider....The connection feature allows the utility provider to regulate the appliances' power consumption, “including curtailing operations during more expensive peak demand times.” Currently, consumers must give permission for their appliances to respond to utility signals.   Read more......

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(3) GOP Rep: Duncan Hunter: Obama Administration Stealthily Updates Environmental Cost Calculations, Then Announces New Regulations...Let's Connect the Dots - Hot Air - I realize that I’ve already written about this impressively insidious and sneaky little rule change a couple of times now, but especially in light of what I mentioned earlier today about the many new action items the EPA has on its agenda far and away beyond even President Obama’s carbon-emissions regulatory ambitions, I really can’t emphasize enough just how extravagantly underhanded this move was — as well as the pretty major impact it’s going to have. Last month, the Obama administration (through the Office of Management and Budget, of all things) very quietly updated their system for calculating what they call the “social costs of carbon” (SCC), a tool they use to guesstimate the costs and benefits of their proposed environmental regulations, in a seemingly inconspicuous rule about microwave oven efficiency. The higher their price estimate, the easier it is for them for justify the economic costs of their regs — and how oddly timed is it that they just tried to sneak a change to an already highly controversial estimate system beneath anybody’s notice, and that they’re getting ready to introduce all kinds of new regulations on a whole bunch of types of emissions? Too odd, if you ask me.  Read more.......

(4) Coal is Only 1 Step in Obama Administration's Climate Plan - Daily Caller - Coal is just the first step in the Obama administration’s plan to tackle global warming, according to an industry group. “Even though right now [Obama] says the EPA should focus on the utility industry, we all know that other segments, including the refining industry, are well in the cue,” said Charles Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, which represents with refining industry. The president’s plan to address global warming largely relies on executive actions to reduce U.S. carbon emissions, including setting emissions limits for new and existing power plants that would effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants. “The idea is to pick winners and losers… among domestic energy producers, but ultimately what will happen is he will pick winners and losers among nations,” Drevna told reporters in a press call on Tuesday. “And unfortunately, the United States will be in the losing category.” Read more.......

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