Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #240

The Week That Was: September 10, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Treaty or No Treaty? According to reports, on September 3, U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the Paris Climate Agreement (Treaty) prior to the G-20 economic meeting in Hangzhou, China. It is becoming clear that Mr. Obama has no intention of submitting the agreement for approval by two-thirds of the US Senate to become a Treaty, as required by the US Constitution — Article II, Section 2, Clause 2. As such, the agreement is not a treaty having the force of law in the United States, nor is it even a Congressional-Executive Agreement requiring a simple majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The enforcement of the agreement under international law is a subject for legal scholars and; possibly extensive litigation. As the situation exists now, the future President can simply state that the United States changed its mind. Of course, the avid green groups would be outraged.

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Oil Town Americans Late on Car Loan Payments

By Matt Egan – Re-Blogged From CNN Money

Stress in the oil industry is starting to contaminate other parts of the American economy.

For the first time since oil prices began crashing in mid-2014, banks polled by the Federal Reserve are warning of a “spillover” effect onto loans made to businesses and households in energy-dependent regions of the country.

Senior loan officers of nearly 100 banks acknowledged that credit quality has “deteriorated” on everything from auto loans and credit cards to commercial real estate mortgages. Translation: More people aren’t paying and delinquencies are rising.

It’s a sign of how the deep spending cuts, mass layoffs and even bankruptcy filings in the oil patch are inflicting real pain in certain energy-focused states like Texas and North Dakota.

Some large U.S. banks have individually warned of early signs of so-called contagion.

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Georgia Rep. Advances Asset Forfeiture Reform

By Logan Albright – Re-Blogged From FreedomWorks

Georgia has become the latest in a long line of states looking to reform its civil asset forfeiture program. A growing number of people are apparently waking up to the common sense idea that the government shouldn’t seize private property from people when they haven’t been convicted of – or even charged with – a crime.

State Representative Scot Turner has introduced an extremely simple piece of legislation that would, with a single line change, effectively end the practice of civil forfeiture in his state. Turner’s bill makes mandatory the formerly optional ability of courts to suspend forfeiture during an ongoing trial. In other words, the government wouldn’t be allowed to take your stuff without convicting you.

Recently a large number of states have embraced the idea of forfeiture reform, and while only a couple have successfully passed legislation, it’s notable that Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, and others are all talking about the policy’s flaws and the need for change.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #178

The Week That Was: May 2, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Uncertainty: On her web site, Climate Etc., Judith Curry posted her notes on her latest presentation of what she calls the Uncertainty Monster. The presentation was a keynote talk at the “2nd International Workshop on Econometric Applications in Climatology.” Linked in the post are the slides in her presentation, which are very useful in understanding the presentation.

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