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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 19, 2014 / 19 Iyar, 5774

Obama touts new efficiency rules in 'Year of Action,' after years of delays

By Glenn Kessler




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Here at Walmart, I want to announce a few more steps that we're taking that are going to be good for job growth and good for our economy, and that we don’t have to wait for Congress to do. They are going to be steps that generate more clean energy, waste less energy overall, and leave our kids and our grandkids with a cleaner, safer planet in the process."

– President Obama, remarks on American energy, Mountain View, Calif., May 9, 2014

President Obama, frustrated by the gridlock in Congress, has said that in this "Year of Action" he will move on issues such as climate change without waiting for Congress. During a speech last week, he touted a number of such steps, including "waste less energy overall."

As an example, he pointed to this: "The Department of Energy is putting a new efficiency standard — set of efficiency standards in place that could save businesses billions of dollars in energy costs and cut carbon pollution."

Here's how the administration's fact sheet for the speech explained it: "Today, DOE is issuing two final energy efficiency conservation standards. One standard for electric motors, which are frequently used to power devices such as conveyor belts and escalators, another standard for walk-in coolers and freezers, such as those used to display milk in supermarkets."

But were those really actions that did not have to wait for Congress? That's not quite the whole story.

The Facts

The DOE's explanation of regulations makes it clear that they were set in motion because of a law passed in 2007 — the Energy Independence and Security Act. The law passed with overwhelming support in the Congress and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on Dec. 19, 2007.

The first notice of a public hearing for the walk-in cooler and freezers was on Jan. 9, 2009, in the waning days of the Bush administration. The first notice of a public hearing on the electric motors regulation was on Sept. 28, 2010, almost two years into the Obama administration.

Gee, it's now 2014. What happened in the meantime? After all, these regulations were required by an act of Congress, with statutory deadlines in 2012.

As The New York Times reported in 2013, the White House slow-walked development of the regulations in part because of political reasons:

The slowdown stems from a combination of factors, including high-level vacancies and election-year politics. Analysts and former administration officials said the White House, sensitive to Republican charges that it was threatening the economy by pushing out dozens of so-called job-killing regulations, reined in the process last year, leaving many major rules awaiting action for months beyond legal deadlines.

There was also some internal opposition to the rules:



Some administration officials are also concerned that regulations have the potential to do more harm than good. "If we make refrigerators lousy, that's a big problem," Cass R. Sunstein wrote in "Simpler: The Future of Government," a book published this year about his time running the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a small unit of the budget office responsible for reviewing regulations.

Indeed, the data shows that the walk-in cooler rule sat at OIRA for 23 months, from Sept. 23, 2011 until Aug. 29, 2013. (The electric motor rule was at OIRA for four months — but DOE submitted a proposed rule eights months after legal deadline.)

An executive order issued by President Bill Clinton in 1993, and reaffirmed by President Obama in 2011, states that OIRA can review individual proposed rules and final rules for up to 90 days, with a possible extension to 120 days.

While Obama now touts the savings that will result from implementing the regulations, advocates for the rules have been counting the cost of the delays. As of August, according to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, the delays on the cooler regulation had cost consumers and businesses $1.5 billion in 2011 dollars. (We have not checked the source of this figure, but offer it to demonstrate the frustration of energy-efficiency activists.)

Indeed, it required a push by a coalition of 10 states and the city of New York before the Department of Energy committed to a timetable to finally complete these regulations by the Spring of 2014.

White House spokesman Matt Lehrich provided this response:

"President Obama has pledged to use the power of his pen and his phone to expand opportunity for all Americans, whether Congress passes new legislation or not. That's exactly what he did last week when he announced commitments from more than 300 public and private sector partners along with executive actions to cut carbon pollution and create jobs by advancing solar power and energy efficiency. Since taking office in 2009, the Obama Administration has made energy efficiency a key priority, issuing the toughest fuel economy standards in history along with energy efficiency standards for more than 30 products that will save American consumers nearly $450 billion on their utility bills through 2030."

Obama's remarks might have left listeners with the impression that the Department of Energy is acting quickly to impose new efficiency rules, without waiting for Congress. But the reality is that these elements of the "Year of Action" came after years of inaction, at the behest of the White House. In this case, Congress mandated the rules — and the White House created the gridlock.

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Comment on Glenn Kessler's column by clicking here. >

An award-winning journalism career spanning nearly three decades, Glenn Kessler has covered foreign policy, economic policy, the White House, Congress, politics, airline safety and Wall Street. He was The Washington Post's chief State Department reporter for nine years, traveling around the world with three different Secretaries of State. Before that, he covered tax and budget policy for The Washington Post and also served as the newspaper's national business editor. Kessler has long specialized in digging beyond the conventional wisdom, such as when he earned a "laurel" from the Columbia Journalism Review



Previously:

05/12/14: Obama busted for false facts on Republicans' filibusters

04/02/14: A Democratic attack ad tries to connect the dots, and earns 4 Pinocchios

03/31/14: Presidential deceptions --- and their consequences (Incl. video)

03/03/14: Harry Reid's claim that the 'vast majority' of AFPs Obamacare ads are 'lies'

02/25/14: Obama's claim that 7 million got 'access to health care for the first time' because of his Medicaid expansion

02/11/14: Durbin's claim that 10 million now have health insurance because of Obamacare

01/29/14: Fact Checking the 2014 State of the Union address

01/06/14: The White House's claim that 7 million enrolled in Obamacare 'was never our target number'

01/06/14: Schumer's claims about Democratic and GOP efforts to 'fix' Obamacare

12/12/13: Harry Reid's explanation for why not all of his staff is going on 'Obamacare'

09/05/13: History lesson: When the United States looked the other way on chemical weapons

07/09/13: George W. Bush returns as a uniter

06/11/13: Obama's claim of 500,000 manufacturing jobs, month after month

05/15/13: Prez's claim he called Benghazi an 'act of terrorism'

02/21/13: Obama and early childhood education: a rhetorical leap of faith

02/14/13: Fact checking the 2013 State of the Union speech

10/23/11: Fact Checking the Final Debate

07/10/11: Obama's misleading tweet on Romney's taxes

02/21/11: The claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use contraception: a media foul

12/29/11: Ron Paul and Ronald Reagan (Fact Checker biography)

12/08/11: Romney versus Gingrich: a Super PAC's over-the-top ad

12/08/11: Obama's Kansas speech: some suspect facts

11/18/11: The Obama campaign's spin on the Romney tax plan

09/27/11: Obama' strained symbolism at an Ohio River bridge

08/25/11: Obama's claim that GOP is holding up trade deals

08/11/11: Obama's claim that the debt problem can ‘go away’

06/22/11: AARP's misleading ad about balancing the budget

05/24/11: A rare Geppetto for Paul Ryan's assertion on Obama's hidden top marginal tax rate

05/16/11:Obama administration boasting about border security

05/11/11: Kathleen Sebelius's outrageous claim that cancer patients would 'die sooner' under the GOP Medicare plan

05/09/11: A gusher of oil rhetoric

05/04/11: The Obama administration's odd claims on export growth

04/28/11: How effective are sanctions in ‘changing behavior’?

04/14/11: ‘Biggest cuts in U.S. history’? Well, no.

04/08/11: Nancy Pelosi's absurd math on senior citizens losing their meals

04/06/11: Hillary Clinton's uncredible statement on Syria

03/25/11: Libya, Obama and the tragedy in Darfur

03/22/11: Gifts of bogus statistics for the health-care law's birthday

03/21/11: Mitch McConnell's not-so-happy birthday greetings for the health care law

03/10/11: A job-loss statistic produced out of thin air

03/10/17: A budget analogy that earns a Geppetto checkmark

03/10/11: Four pinocchios for the American public on the budget

03/09/11: Obama and the White House's ‘halfway’ fixation with the budget

03/08/11: Foreign policy braggadocio on Libya and AIDS

03/07/11: Democrats keep misleading on claimed budget ‘cuts’

03/01/11: Mike Huckabee is on to something here, but jumped the gun

02/25/11: Harry Reid's illusory $41 billion in budget cuts


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