Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, this week published an insightful article for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, titled, “A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action.”
The Science and Public Policy Institute this week published a new study, “Responses to Trenberth’s Bile,” by Stephen McIntyre, Lubos Motl, and Willis Eschenbach.
In the News
EPA Official Resigns Rather Than Face the Music over Mine Veto
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 21 January 2011
Obama’s Regulatory Proposal Doesn’t Pass the Laugh Test
Iain Murray, Washington Examiner, 18 January 2011
Another Global Warming Scare Debunked
A popular “fact” peddled by global Warming alarmists is that rising ocean temperatures will melt frozen methane crystals (known as “clathrates”) on the deep ocean floor. As methane is a potent greenhouse gas, it has been claimed that this would cause a runaway loop whereby global warming causes more methane, which would cause more warming, and so on and so forth, until the planet is boiling. This claim, however, has been cast in doubt by a recent study published by ScienceExpress, demonstrating that previously undiscovered bacteria consumed in four months the massive volumes of methane released when the BP DeepWater Horizon well exploded last spring.
Inside the Beltway
The President’s Regulatory Smokescreen
President Barack Obama this week announced in a Wall Street Journal opinion article that he was going to order a comprehensive review of most federal regulations in order “to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive…. [and] … to root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.” That sounds good, but in fact the President has created a smokescreen to conceal his administration’s regulatory assault on the American economy.
In his op-ed, President Obama gives an example of the kind of result he is seeking from his regulatory review. The Food and Drug Administration considers saccharin safe for people to use as an artificial sweetener, yet the Environmental Protection Agency has long wanted to regulate saccharin as a toxic chemical. In the enlightened Obama Administration, the EPA recently dropped saccharin from its list. He didn’t mention that last week the EPA also told the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke a Clean Water Act permit granted in 2007 after a decade of review, which will close an already operating surface coal mine in West Virginia. This decision destroys high-paying jobs and sends a chilling signal to potential investors in new industrial projects: we might issue a permit, but we also might change our minds after you’ve made your investment.
The Clean Air Act is also highlighted by the President as an example of “common sense rules of the road that strengthen our country without unduly interfering with the pursuit of progress and the growth of our economy.” This is the same President who is trying to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and thereby raise energy prices and drive the current sluggish economic recovery into the ground.
Obama’s Favorite Crony Capitalist: GE’s Immelt
President Barack Obama on Friday created a new national Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and named his favorite crony capitalist, Jeffrey Immelt, as its chairman. The appointment of Immelt, the Chairman and CEO of General Electric since 2001, is another clear sign that Mr. Obama is clueless about the economy and what his policies are doing to impede recovery. If the President really wants to get the economy going and create jobs, he should do the opposite of what Immelt has done and of what Immelt advocates.
As the head of what was once one of the greatest corporations in the world, Immelt has been a bust. GE’s share price was $40 when he took over. For the past several years, it has bumped along at around $20.
As an advocate for national economic policies, Immelt is a much bigger disaster. Along with James Rogers of Duke Energy, Immelt was the biggest corporate promoter of cap-and-trade legislation. Cap-and-trade might have provided GE with some huge windfall profits for several of its businesses, but at the expense of doing immense harm to the U. S. economy. Steeply increasing energy prices would make consumers poorer and price American manufactured goods out of the market.
But of course, Immelt’s shameless peddling of cap-and-trade is what makes him Obama’s favorite capitalist. Immelt is the very model of a crony capitalist—that is, someone who wants to get government subsidies and use government mandates and twist government regulations to benefit his business. Although he’s been a bust as a corporate executive, he’s a shrewd political operator who has put GE front and center at the federal government trough.
Across the States
Hundreds of West Virginians on Thursday protested the EPA’s decision to veto the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act for the Spruce No 1 surface coal mine in Logan County. As the Cooler Heads Digest Reported lastweek, the EPA is blocking the mine, which would have created 250 well-paying jobs, in order to protect a short-lived insect that isn’t even an endangered species. Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) told the crowd that, "What the EPA has done is fundamentally wrong.” Hear, hear.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that California’s aggressive program to subsidize energy-efficient light bulbs is far less effective than was promised. The Golden State has spent more than $500 million to subsidize compact fluorescent bulbs, but according to Pacific Gas &Electric, one of the three major investor owned utilities in California, its program saved 73% less than originally projected.
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