Americans for Prosperity has released an excellent new study by James Valvo, “Of Elephants and Mouseholes; How the EPA Could Revive Cap-and-Trade.” To read the study, click here.
On November 16, at 8:30am, the George C. Marshall Institute will convene a workshop to consider the direction of U.S. climate and energy policies in the wake of the mid-term elections. To learn more, and RSVP, click here.
In the News
How an Enviro Advocacy Group Propped up Global Warming in the Media
Russell Cook, Big Journalism, 2 November 2010
News You Can Use
Voters Want to Save Planet from Attempts To Save Planet
It is worth noting that the two biggest environmental scares of recent memory—global warming and the BP oil spill—both failed to sway voters on November 2. Quite the contrary, it was the ill-advised attempts to address them that sparked voter anger. The Waxman-Markey bill worried the electorate more than global warming itself (and quite rightly so), and contributed to the loss of more than two dozen of its supporters in the House of Representatives.
Similarly, the BP oil spill had virtually no adverse impact on pro-drilling politicians. If anything, it was Obama’s overreaction to the spill in the form of the drilling moratorium that proved highly unpopular in Louisiana and other impacted States. The moratorium didn’t cost any Congressional seats there only because both Democrats and Republicans strongly denounced it.
Inside the Beltway
EPA Releases Vague Guidance on Greenhouse Gas Regs
The Environmental Protection Agency this week released a Guidance Document on the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) that will be required in order to permit new projects under the Clean Air Act’s regulation of stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The regulations are scheduled to begin on January 2nd, 2011, so EPA has put off to the last minute informing regulated entities what they will have to do to receive a permit. The short answer is that the EPA doesn’t know what to require in the way of BACT beyond advocating increased energy efficiency and so is granting extraordinary leeway to state environmental agencies (that consider and make the initial decisions on permit applications) to make up the rules as they go along. This means that one state environmental agency may require something extremely expensive and complicated to limit greenhouse gas emissions while another may require something cheap and easy. It should be fun, especially for the environmental pressure groups who are no doubt already planning how to litigate every permit application filed. My CEI colleague Marlo Lewis explains some of the details here, but it will take awhile to decipher all of EPA’s little tricks and traps.
Browner Must Go
Dan Berman reported in Politico on Wednesday that: “The White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling, the Interior inspector general says in a new report. In the wee hours of the morning of May 27, a staff member to White House energy adviser Carol Browner sent two edited versions of the department report’s executive summary back to Interior. The language had been changed to insinuate the seven-member panel of outside experts – who reviewed a draft of various safety recommendations – endorsed the moratorium, according to the IG report.” This is the most outrageous example yet of the Obama Administration’s improper manipulation of science to support its agenda. I responded in a CEI press release by calling for the firing of President Obama’s Climate Czar, Carol Browner. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and two of his colleagues on the committee, John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and David Vitter (R-La.), have requested that the committee hold a hearing on the Inspector General’s report.
Across the States
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “Skeptical” of AGW
The Philadelphia Inquirer this week reported on a town hall meeting during which New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) responded to a question about the science of global warming by saying that, “I'm skeptical.” That’s great to hear, but it would be even better if the Governor pulled New Jersey out of the cap-and-tradefor northeastern states known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Around the World
EU: Efficiency Goals Will Cost $1.4 Trillion through 2020
Environmentalists claim that energy efficiency is the ideal energy policy because it saves money and reduces the need for new energy generation. According to Greenpeace International, “energy efficiency is highly profitable.” The evidence suggests otherwise. This week, European Commission presented its energy efficiency strategy for the coming decade, calling for taxpayer investment of almost $1.4 trillion through 2020.
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.