In the News
“Cool It,” Rival to “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gets a U.S. Distributer
Dave Itzkoff, New York Times, 1 September 2010
Inside the Beltway
Reid Outlines Lame Duck Strategy
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this week said that he would still try to pass an anti-energy bill after the November 2 election in a lame duck session. He has given up on cap-and-trade, but is working to gain support for a 15% renewable electricity standard (or RES) for utilities. Ben Geman of The Hill reports that in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday Reid said that two Republican Senators have expressed interest in an RES. One is thought to be Sam Brownback (R-Ks.), who is retiring.
Anything is possible in a lame duck session, but my guess is that the atmosphere after the election is going to be so ugly that it will be hard to do anything in the Senate or the House. That’s because a lot of Democrats in Democratic States and districts are in danger of being swept out of office. They will be bitter and perhaps eager to exact some further damage on their way out the door, but on the other hand Republicans are almost certain to be united in wanting to block anything until the 112th Congress, which may have a lot more Republicans than the 111th does.
The Congress returns on 12th September. They are scheduled to be in session for four weeks before recessing for the campaign.
Across the States
Fiorina, Whitman Disappoint on AB 32
Carly Fiorina, the Republican candidate for Senator in California, participated in a debate with incumbent Barbara Boxer (D) this week. Politico reported that Fiorina’s “major stumble” came on her waffling response to a question about Proposition 23, the California ballot initiative to suspend A.B. 32, the State’s global warming law, until unemployment decreases to 5.5 %. Fiorina said that she had not yet taken a position on the proposition. What is it with California’s high-profile GOP candidates this election cycle? Like Fiorina, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman refuses to declare whether she supports Proposition 23. With unemployment in the state above 12 %, polls indicate that the economy is the priority for California voters. AB 32 is designed to raise the price of energy, which would harm the economy. Supporting Proposition 23 should be a political winner.
A Conflict of Interest in the Cuccinelli Case
Chris Horner, from Planet Gore
On Monday, Judge Paul Peatross ruled that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli cannot access the University of Virginia’s records in his inquiry into Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann’s claims made to obtain research funding.
I attended the hearing a week ago Friday. Beforehand, Peatross cited his wife’s 1982 degree in environmental science from UVA and asked counsel whether they believed it disqualified him from hearing the University’s motion. That fact, apparently, was relevant. But the fact that the judge’s wife previously worked in the Department of Environmental Sciences — the very department that stood to suffer had he ruled in favor of the attorney general – was somehow not worth disclosing to counsel. I learned of this only after the hearing from Ms. Peatross’s former coworkers, who were astonished that her husband would decide such a matter given his seeming lack of objectivity.
This series of events gives the appearance of the judge’s failure to disclose. Indeed, it seems to rise to the level of a basis for the judge to recuse himself.
The Inter-Academy Council (IAC) this week released its report on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IAC study was prompted by conspicuous errors contained in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, which won the Nobel Peace Prize. According to the Telegraph, the report is “extremely damaging.” In particular, the IAC report concludes that IPCC’s mistakes—including the unfounded claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035—were caused by shoddy standards and weak leadership.
Here’s a roundup of commentary:
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