Cooler Heads Digest 27 August 2010


CEI energy and environment policy experts Christopher Horner, Myron Ebell, Iain Murray, and R.J. Smith were interviewed for a special edition of the Sean Hannity show, “The Green Swindle,” airing tonight at 9:00 pm ET on Fox News.

In the News

Media Mogul James Cameron Chickens out of Climate Debate
Washington Times
editorial, 26 August 2010

AP Fact Check: Green Stimulus Benefits Overestimated
Frederic Frommer, Daily Caller, 26 August 2010

Obama’s Green Initiatives Lobbied for by Same People Who Profit from Them
Amanda Carey, Daily Caller, 26 August 2010

The Gulf Spill in Perspective
Paul Schwennesen., 25 August 2010

Americans Want More Offshore Drilling
Ben Lieberman, New York Post, 24 August 2010

The National Security Risks of Biofuels
Marlo Lewis,, 24 August 2010

Newly Discovered Microbe Feasting on Gulf Oil Plume
Gerald Karey, Platts, 24 August 2010

AP Spins for Obama’s Electric Car Program
Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore, 24 August 2010

Wind Power Won’t Cool Down the Planet
Robert Bryce, Wall Street Journal, 23 August 2010

News You Can Use

Sockeye Salmon Return

After a few years of historically low salmon runs in British Columbia’s Fraser River, environmentalist pressure groups such as Greenpeace and Sierra Club were quick to blame global warming. Clearly, they jumped the gun, because this week the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced that the Fraser River will have the largest sockeye salmon run since 1913 at more than 25 million fish.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Enviros to Obama: “We feel stabbed in the back”

The Department of Justice this week filed a brief arguing that the Supreme Court should overturn the decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to allow a public nuisance lawsuit against major emitters of greenhouse gases to go to trial. The Department of Justice brief points out that the common law remedy against public nuisances has been superseded by the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Clean Air Act.  The Second Circuit’s decision was based on the lack of EPA regulation.

Environmental pressure groups were flabbergasted and outraged.  Gabriel Nelson in Greenwire quoted Matt Pawa, one of the attorneys for the environmental plaintiffs: “We feel stabbed in the back.  This was really a dastardly move by an administration that said it was a friend of the environment. With friends like this, who needs enemies?”

Besides being right that positive law has superseded common law in respect to regulating greenhouse gas emissions, I expect the White House was making a political calculation.  If nuisance suits against electric utilities, energy companies, and major manufacturers were allowed to proliferate, there could an overwhelming backlash.  By relying solely on EPA regulations, the Obama Administration can control the process and keep the opposition down to a manageable level.

Coal State Democrats Running against Obama

The congressional election campaign continues to trend sharply against the supporters of cap-and-trade legislation and other energy-rationing policies.  Patrick Reis had a long story in Greenwire this week on House Democrats from Appalachian coal-mining districts running for their electoral lives against the anti-coal policies of the Obama Administration and the House Democratic majority.  Freshman Democrats Zack Space (D-Ohio) and Tom Perriello (D-Va.) voted for the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.  Both are now likely to lose.

Republicans Running Against Energy Rationing

Stories continue to appear about Republican candidates being global warming “deniers.”  All six Republican Senate candidates in New Hampshire are skeptical of alarmist claims and oppose the energy-rationing agenda.  In New Mexico, Susana Martinez, the Republican nominee for Governor, is a skeptic.  The funny thing is that her Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish has been backing away from New Mexico’s participation in the Western Climate Initiative.  The three Republican nominees for New Mexico’s House seats are global warming skeptics who oppose cap-and-trade.  Former Rep. Steve Pearce is likely to defeat freshman Rep. Harry Teague (D-NM) in the second district.  That’s largely because Teague voted for Waxman-Markey.  Oil and gas production is by far the largest industry in southern New Mexico.  Pearce was one of the House’s ablest opponents of global warming alarmism and cap-and-trade when he was in the House (he left in 2008 to run for the Senate and lost to Tom Udall).

Probable Upset in Alaska

The big election news of the week was Joe Miller’s probable victory in Alaska’s primary over Senator Lisa Murkowski.  The result won’t be known for sure until all the absentee ballots are counted, but Miller was ahead by 47,027 votes to 45,359 with all precincts reporting.  Murkowski is the ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Murkowski has been all over the board on global warming and energy.  She did a great job promoting the Murkowski Resolution to block EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act.  Her resolution failed in June by 47 to 53 vote, but only after the Democratic leadership peeled away several Democrats by promising them a vote on an amendment to delay EPA regulations for two years.  On the other hand, Murkowski has shopped draft legislation to put a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

There has already been speculation that Murkowski will try to run in the general election as the Libertarian Party nominee.  This would be ironic: Murkowski is probably the most liberal Republican Senator west of Maine.  Miller, on the other hand, is a hardcore conservative and civil libertarian as well as an articulate global warming skeptic.    

Around the World
Ray Evans, Lavoisier Group


Australia’s  federal election of August 21 has given us a hung parliament in which neither the governing Labor Party, nor the opposition Liberal-National Coalition, has the 76 seats required to form a majority in the House of Representatives. It will take nearly a fortnight to determine the final composition of the House.

Kevin Rudd led the Labor Party to a huge victory in November 2007. A feature of his campaign was “climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time”. By May 2010 his polling was dreadful and in a by-election on June 19 for the formerly safe State Labor seat of Penrith in outer Sydney, the swing against Labor was 26%. This so alarmed the Labor Party chiefs in Sydney that within five days Kevin Rudd had been deposed, and Julia Gillard, his Lady Macbeth in political crime, had been installed on the throne.

At first it seemed that this had been a master stroke. Gillard’s polling looked fantastic, so she called an early election for August 21. However, her misdeeds from the past and her complicity in regicide pulled the polls down, and for a week prior to the federal election it was clear that it would be a close result.

Tony Abbott, the leader of the Coalition elected on 1 Dec 2009, led a vigorous campaign, but failed to drive home to the electorate the facts regarding the forthcoming electricity crisis which will drive electricity prices through the roof and lead to shortages of supply.

The Greens have done well, increasing their Senate representation from 5 to 9. Australia is moving into uncharted and possibly dangerous waters.

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,