Browsing All Posts published on »October, 2007«

Time to stop rearranging the deck chairs on the SS Social Security

October 29, 2007

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I read with some interest today’s Washington Post commentary A Social Security Fix for 2008 by former Social Security commissioner Robert M. Ball. He claims that there’s a way to solve the Social Security problem without cutting benefits and without raising taxes. He’s flat out wrong.

Pandemic flu vaccine will be rationed – and you may never get vaccinated

October 25, 2007

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An influenza pandemic strikes the United States. Tens of thousands of people have died, hundreds of thousands of people are sick, and the pandemic shows no signs of abating. The first pandemic flu vaccines are finally coming out and several of your neighbors have been vaccinated by the county health department, namely the police officer, […]

Fire in the western United States

October 22, 2007

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For anyone concerned about the fires burning in San Diego county (by far the most serious of the southern California fires), here are two more links: the Union-Tribune’s breaking news site at Blogspot and the official San Diego County emergency site. In the western United States, fire is a major threat to life and property, […]

Electric transmission lines, eminent domain, and the consequences of vague and broadly worded laws – Part 4

October 18, 2007

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The past three parts of this series discussed national interest electric transmission corridors, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) authority to issue federal construction permits over the objections of state and local regulators, and the use of easements, rights of way, and eminent domain by the utilities to get access to the land needed for […]

Electric transmission lines, eminent domain, and the consequences of vague and broadly worded laws – Part 3

October 17, 2007

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The last two parts of this series have discussed how and why the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) may declare a “geographic area” as a national interest electric transmission corridor and how that designation enables the FERC to overrule local regulators and issue construction permits under a very broad set […]

Electric transmission lines, eminent domain, and the consequences of vague and broadly worded laws – Part 2

October 16, 2007

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Yesterday I discussed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and how it permits the Department of Energy to declare large swaths of the country as national interest electric transmission corridors (NIETCs) with little or no justification. Today I’ll discuss how the process of granting transmission line construction permits works in the aforementioned NIETCs.

Electric transmission lines, eminent domain, and the consequences of vague and broadly worded laws – Part 1

October 15, 2007

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In 2005, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (referred to as the EPAct from here on), the first attempt in recent history by the federal government to address the generation, transmission, refining, etc. of all types of energy on a national scale. At 551 pages, the EPAct is packed full of good ideas, […]