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In the News
New Peer Reviewed Study: No Correlation between GHGs, Temperature
Anthony Watts, WattsUpWithThat, 1 January 2011
News You Can Use
Gas Tops $3
For the first time during President Obama’s tenure, gasoline prices are averaging more than $3.00 per gallon nationwide, and many signs point to further increases as 2011 unfolds. The President’s global warming regulations, drilling moratoriums, and other anti-energy policies were unpopular enough when gas was cheap. Now that it isn’t, the call for change is going to get a lot louder.
Inside the Beltway
112th Congress starts with flurry of bills to block EPA regulations
The 112th Congress was sworn in on Wednesday, and Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was elected Speaker of the House. Nineteen Democrats voted against Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), which is extraordinary when you consider that Pelosi as Minority Leader still controls committee assignments for her party’s members. The House began Thursday by reading the Constitution (my thoughts on that may be found here), which surprised me by causing a lot of foaming at the mouth on the left. Later that morning, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Marin County), who remains Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, held a press conference during which she vowed to block any attempt to prohibit or delay the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act.
Boxer may be very busy. The hottest item of the first week of the new Congress was introducing a bill to block EPA. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) along with 45 co-sponsors re-introduced her bill (H. R. 97) to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the list of things that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a bill to delay EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions for two years. This is similar to the bill that Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced last year and announced this week that he would re-introduce in the 112th Congress. And Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) introduced a bill to prohibit any funding to be spent on implementing or enforcing a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Key House Committee Chairmen in the 112th Congress
Here is the lineup so far for House committees with jurisdiction over energy, energy-rationing, and global warming policy. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is the new Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), who was the Chairman in the 111th Congress, is now the Ranking Democrat. The Energy and Environment Subcommittee will be chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.). The Democrats have not yet picked their ranking member for the subcommittee.
The new Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee is Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), and the ranking Democrat is Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), of Waxman-Markey fame. Rep. Doug Lamborn will chair the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee. Again, the Democrats have not yet picked their subcommittee ranking members.
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.) will chair the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The ranking Democrat will be Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.). Chairman Hall has not yet announced his pick to chair the Energy and Environment Subcommittee. On the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) is the new the Chairman and Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) is the new Ranking Democrat. Rep. Darrell Issa will chair the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, while Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is the new ranking Democrat.
The Senate, as is usually the case, is taking longer to organize itself.
Across the States
After being sworn in on Saturday, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez’s (R) first order of business was to overturn outgoing Governor Bill Richardson’s (D) attempt to impose a cap-and-trade program. As the Cooler Heads Digest reported, then-Governor Richardson pushed an energy rationing scheme through the Environmental Improvement Board, without approval from the State Legislature, on the same day that voters elected Martinez, who had campaigned against cap-and-trade. On Saturday, Governor Martinez fired the entire EIB, and moved to block the cap-and-trade regulation. Yesterday, she chose former astronaut and climate change skeptic Harrison Schmitt to run the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
On Monday, the EPA started regulating greenhouse gases from stationary sources using the Clean Air Act. Texas, however, refuses to participate, so the EPA wants to seize control of the State’s air quality permitting program. In an effort to ward off the EPA’s power grab, Texas Attorney General Greg Abott is challenging the EPA on a number of fronts. In October, Texas filed suit in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia alleging that EPA does not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. In mid December, it filed a petition in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging EPA's finding that Texas’s permitting process was not in compliance with the agency's rules. On December 30 the State filed a new petition in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia taking issue with EPA's regulatory schedule. In the latter case, the District of Columbia court agreed to stay EPA’s takeover of the Texas permitting program until all parties filed briefs, which could be as early as today.
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