Month: September 2008

Freedom and the Expansion of the EPA

QuickPoint!

In April 2007, the Supreme Court concluded that greenhouse gases (GHGs) meet the Clean Air Act’s definition of an air pollutant. Therefore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been given authority to regulate all GHGs, including carbon dioxide from new motor vehicles. This decision may have profound effects on personal freedom in the United States.

The Clean Air Act did not authorize mandatory regulations to address global climate change, and (more…)

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Build It and They Will Come…or Not

Cascade Commentary

Summary

The Metro Council is scheduled to vote on a proposed Convention Center hotel in early October. This publicly subsidized project most likely will turn out to be a drastically unsound business decision, potentially wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. When no hotel chain has been willing to build the hotel without subsidies, the market for a hotel in that location may not exist. (more…)

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Why Energy Efficiency Doesn’t Always Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Economists know that energy consumption is directly related to energy prices. As energy prices rise, consumption declines. Energy efficiency upgrades will not help Oregon reach its greenhouse gas reduction goals because increases in energy efficiency lower energy prices, resulting in more consumption for the same price. (more…)

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Cascade Wins Friedman Foundation Innovation Grant

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

There is no more important topic in Oregon, and nationwide, than the state of K-12 education. High dropout rates, low achievement levels and soaring taxpayer costs often dominate the discussion.

Here at Cascade Policy Institute we believe that parents and students should be treated more like consumers and less like pawns in the battles between taxpayers and the education establishment. That’s why we are delighted to announce that we were just awarded the Friedman Foundation Innovation Grant for 2008. (more…)

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Lack of Innovation or Understanding?

Sreya SarkarQuickPoint!

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 converted a national entitlement program, AFDC, into a collection of block grants for the states called TANF, giving each state a greater flexibility and a chance to help move welfare recipients into workplace. Some states like Idaho and Maryland used this opportunity well and came out with flying colors, while others like Vermont and Missouri performed dismally.

According to Heartland Institute’s State Welfare Report Card 2008, Oregon’s overall rank is (more…)

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Westside MAX at 10: Measuring the Vision Against Implementation

John A. Charles, Jr.The Westside light rail line opened on September 12, 1998. Westside MAX was unlike any light rail line previously built in America: it was deliberately routed through vacant land in Washington County with the expectation that it would be a catalyst for so-called “Transit-Oriented Development” (TOD).

The total cost for the line was $963 million, of which federal taxpayers put up 73%. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recommended against full funding for the project, on the grounds that the population density along the planned route was so light that the line would not attract sufficient ridership to justify federal funds. In the early 1990s the running joke line at FTA was, “How many deer and cows will ride Westside MAX?” (more…)

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