Cooler Heads Digest 21 October 2011

In the News

EPA's new rules spell economic disaster
Ed Yankovich, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 21 October 2011

[California] State's cap and trade program gets final approval
Wyatt Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 October 2011

Skeptical Berkeley Scientists Say, "Human Component of Global Warming Might be Somewhat Overstated"
David Whitehouse, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 21 October 2011

Even Cuba Understands What's to Gain from Off-Shore Drilling
Daniel Kish, U.S. News, 20 October 2011

Browner, Colbert, the EPA, and Broken Windows
Willis Eschenbach, WattsUpWithThat, 20 October 2011

EU Weighs Pullback on Cutting Emissions
Alessandro Torello, The Wall Street Journal, 19 October 2011

Japan May Revise Plan to Cut Carbon Emissions
Mari Iwata, The Wall Street Journal, 19 October 2011

Revised definition would cut 'fuel poverty'
David Blair, Financial Times, 19 October 2011

EPA Backs Off Dust Standard
Walter Olson, Cato At Liberty, 18 October 2011

Obama's Big Green Mess
Daniel Stone & Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast, 17 October 2011

Alternative energy policies are hurting the middle class
Lisa Margonelli, Slate, 17 October 2011

News You Can Use
Study: 20% Wind Power by 2030 Would Cost $850 Billion

In a study published this week by Manhattan Institute, Robert Bryce uses data from the Energy Information Administration and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to demonstrate that generating 20% of U.S. electricity by 2030 with wind power would cost $850 billion, or $44 billion a year. These figures do not include the cost of transmission to transport the wind power, nor does it include the cost of backing up intermittent wind power with fossil fuel generation, in order to keep the lights on.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Senate Confirms Job Killing Bryson as Commerce Secretary

The Senate voted to confirm the nomination of John Bryson as Secretary of Commerce after a perfunctory debate on the night of 20th October. The vote was 74-26.

Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) tried to get his colleagues to see that Bryson has all the wrong qualifications to be Commerce Secretary. He went through Bryson's disastrous career: as founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970, he became one of the first practitioners of what has become the radical environmentalists' most effective tool for blocking economic development--filing endless lawsuits.

Appointed Chairman of the California Public Utilities Commission by then (and once again) Governor Jerry Brown, Bryson was one of the chief architects of the anti-energy policies that have done so much to destroy California's economy. Hired as a top executive by Southern California Edison, one of the state's largest regulated utilities, Bryson eventually became CEO of parent company Edison International.  Bryson at Edison was a key supporter of California's global warming legislation, AB 1439.

More recently, Bryson was a leading advocate for federal cap-and-trade legislation. He supported the Waxman-Markey bill as "moderate, but acceptable." After retiring from Edison, Bryson was named Chairman by Brightsource Energy, which earlier this year obtained a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy to build a huge solar energy project in the Mojave Desert.

Inhofe was joined in opposing Bryson's confirmation by Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). That only twenty-four other Republicans joined them in voting against Bryson indicates to me that there a lot of Republican Senators who still don't understand that anti-energy policies and crony capitalism are major causes of our economic stagnation.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) is a prime example of this cluelessness. Here's how Environment and Energy Daily summarized ($ubscription) her comments defending her vote to confirm Bryson: "Hutchison said she was impressed with Bryson's business background and his commitment to look at regulations that might impede business development." 

Around the World
Brian McGraw

EU, Japan Questioning Emissions Reductions

Both the European Union and Japan are rethinking their efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions given the lack of coordinated emissions reductions worldwide after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

The European Union released an "Energy Roadmap", which questioned the utility of pursuing low carbon energy absent a global climate treaty. In compliance with climate legislation, the EU will continue their goal to cut emissions by 20% by 2020. However, the document questioned the desire to pursue low carbon energy on its own, leaving open the possibility of abandoning future carbon goals after 2020.

Japan took a bolder position, questioning the idea of even achieving its goal of 25% emissions reductions by 2020, according to the director of the Global Environmental Affairs Office, Kazushige Nobutani. With the collapse of its nuclear industry after the Fukushima disaster earlier this year, Japan has resorted to spending billions of dollars to purchase carbon credits, despite strong uncertainties related to their efficacy at reducing emissions.

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,