A coalition of free-market groups sent a letter to Congress this week advising it to let the clock run out on the tax credit and tariff for ethanol. The expiration of the subsidies would save taxpayers $30 billion. To read the letter, click here.
Ann McElhinney & Phelim McAleer, the producers of Not Evil Just Wrong, released a short video this week that reveals the hypocrisy of celebrity director/environmentalist James Cameron. Click here to view the film.
In the News
Can the Endangered Species Act Compel America To De-Industrialize?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 22 October 2010
Eight-Tenths of a Degree? Think of the Grandchildren!
Willis Eschenbach, WattsUpWithThat, 22 October 2010
Restore the Balance between Energy and Environment
Washington Examiner editorial, 21 October 2010
News You Can Use
Insightful Lecture by Czech President Vaclav Klaus
Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Monday gave the inaugural annual lecture at The Global Warming Policy Foundation in London. To watch Klaus’s lecture, titled “The Climate Change Doctrine,” click here. To read a transcript, click here. President Klaus wrote a related oped (“An Anti-Human Ideology”) in the National Post.
Inside the Beltway
Obama Convinces Wealthy Voters
President Barack Obama is still talking about how his policies are creating a new green energy economy, but he is aiming the message at smaller and smaller audiences. On Thursday night he appeared at a $30,000 a plate fundraiser at the Palo Alto home of Google Vice President Marissa Mayer and her husband, Zachary Bogue, a real estate investor. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the President’s brief remarks: “‘We're taking on clean energy in ways that we haven't seen before,’ made the largest investment in clean energy in history, and ‘we're seeing solar panels and wind turbines’ all across the country, he said.”
The people who can get excited about the President’s vision are restricted to a relatively few wealthy individuals who are becoming wealthier from government subsidies and mandates for such things as solar panels and wind turbines. No doubt, several were in the audience in Palo Alto. The message doesn’t resonate as well with the vast majority being victimized by these redistributionist policies. That’s why the President is spending less time talking to the public and more time talking to big donors to the Democratic Party, who are getting their money’s worth from this Administration.
EPA Moves Ahead with Economy-Wrecking Regs
Robin Bravender in Politico reports that the Environmental Protection Agency will propose new rules for greenhouse gas emissions from big trucks and buses next week. According to Dan Becker of the Safe Climate Campaign, EPA is going to require a 20% cut in emissions by 2018. Bravender reports that Becker considers this goal too modest. He favors 35%.
It is not clear how freight trucks are going to be re-engineered to comply. It is clearly already in the interests of truck manufacturers and the freight industry to make trucks as fuel efficient as possible. Perhaps with our new slimmer economy, they can just haul 20% less freight.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson also told reporters this week that the guidance document on what industry must do to comply with the Clean Air Act’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by stationary sources (such as power plants) will be released shortly. EPA plans to start requiring PSD (Prevention of Significant Deterioration) permits from large emitters on January 1, 2011, so the several-month delay in issuing the guidance document is likely to create a regulatory mess in the new year.
Across the States
Megabucks Behind Effort To Stop Prop 23
Green activists and allied rent seekers like to portray themselves as the underdogs against big business in their environmental causes. The battle over Proposition 23 - the California ballot measure to suspend the state’s global warming law until unemployment is under control - is certainly no exception. But they have David and Goliath backwards here; those spending to defeat the measure and keep California cap and tax in place have outgunned supporters of reform by at least 3 to 1.
Compared to the $9 million or so in favor of Prop 23, including most from oil companies, the $28 million to kill this measure has gotten relatively little attention. Only a minor percentage of this amount has come in the form of small contributions from regular Californians – little wonder since it is defending a global warming policy that would drive up fossil fuel costs and kill jobs just as a similar policy has done in Spain. In fact, most of the money has come in the form of six and seven figure contributions from big environmental groups, Hollywood bigshots, and, most disturbingly, opportunists like venture capitalists John Doerr and Vinod Khosla, who hope to secure a guaranteed market selling alternative energy and vehicles far too expensive to compete otherwise.
Around the World
It Could Happen Here, Part 1
In 2007, the Spanish government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero passed a law that guaranteed solar power producers a price for power more than 10 times the 2007 average wholesale price paid to conventional energy suppliers. The generous subsidies sparked a rush to solar, and taxpayer costs mounted. Today, the government owes $172 billion to renewable energy investors, but it doesn’t have the means to meet its obligations in the face of rising budget deficits. As a result, more than 50,000 other Spanish solar entrepreneurs face financial disaster.
It Could Happen Here, Part 2
Next year Germany’s renewable energy tax will increase to 3.5 cents/kWh. For comparison, that’s more that’s 30% of the average kWh price paid by Americans.
The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website, www.GlobalWarming.org.