Join the Competitive Enterprise for Human Achievement Hour, an annual celebration of individual freedom and appreciation of the achievements and innovations that people have used to improve their lives throughout history, this Saturday March 26th 2011, 8:00 PM. Click here to learn more. Human Achievement Hour is the pro-human, pro-energy alternative to Earth Hour, the Green's celebration of a darker world, also scheduled from 8-9 PM on March 26th.
The Cooler Heads Coalition will hold a congressional staff and media briefing by Professor Larry Bell of the University of Houston speaking on his recently published book, Climate of Corruption. The briefing will be held in Room 1334 of the House Longworth Office Building from 12 noon to 1:30 PM on Friday, 8th April.
In the News
Endangered? CDC: \223U.S. Death Rate Falls for 10th Consecutive Year\224
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 25 March 2011
This Is Your Nation's Economic Policy on Democratic Leadership
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 25 March 2011
EPA Provides the Cash, American Lung Association Hits Upton and the Energy Tax Prevention Act
Myron Ebell, GlobalWarming.org, 24 March 2011
Recent Weather Extremes: Global Warming Fingerprint Not
Chip Knappenberger, Master Resource, 21 March 2011
News You Can Use
North Dakota's Lessons for America
Not every State is suffering economically. According to a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by Joel Kotkin, unemployment in North Dakota is 3.8 percent (nation-wide, it's about 9 percent), due primarily to increasing production of oil and gas. And, as noted by Bonner Cohen in a letter to the Journal, North Dakota's energy boom was made possible primarily because almost all of North Dakota's rich deposits of oil and natural gas lie beneath privately-owned land. Otherwise, it would have been locked up by the Obama administration.
Inside the Beltway
President Obama Endorses More Oil Production-in Brazil
The most astonishing event this week was President Barack Obama's endorsement of more oil production-in Brazil. In a speech to a CEO Business Summit in Brasilia, the President said of the recently discovered oil and gas deposits off Brazil's eastern coast:
\223We want to be one of your best customers. At a time when we've been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.\224
This is the same President who has spent the last two years doing everything he can to reduce oil production in the United States. I'm all for more oil production in Brazil, but what's good for Brazil would also be good for the United States.
Click here to read the entire post.
Senate Looks Ready to Vote on EPA Pre-Emption Amendment
The Senate now appears headed for a floor vote next week on S. 482, which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced on 15th March as an amendment to the Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Programs Re-Authorization Act, S. 493. S. 482, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, was introduced by Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) and is identical to H. R. 910, which the House plans to vote on as a free-standing bill next month. McConnell's amendment would block EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions until authorized by Congress.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) postponed a vote on the amendment last week when it became clear that it might come close to the 60 votes required for passage. First, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced his bill to delay EPA regulations for two years as an amendment. When that seemed to gain little support, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced an amendment that would codify EPA regulations into law but permanently exempt from regulation smaller stationary sources that emit less than 75,000 tons per year.
The idea behind the Baucus amendment is that it peels off opposition from small businesses, farmers, and ranchers. The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a strong letter to the Senate supporting Inhofe's bill and McConnell's amendment and opposing Baucus's amendment. The Farm Bureau points out that farmers and ranchers will still have to pay more for energy and fertilizer even if they are not directly regulated.
It looks like Reid is now thinking about having votes on all three amendments. McConnell appears to have more than 50 votes for his amendment, but not the 60 required for passage, since the amendment is not germane to the bill and is thus subject to a point of order. On the other hand, Reid may succeed in getting nearly all the Democrats to vote for the Baucus amendment. So it could end up with close to 50 votes as well.
House Vote on EPA Pre-Emption Bill Put Off until Early April
The House of Representatives has tentatively scheduled floor debate on H. R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, for the week of 4th April. Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton's (R-Mich.) bill would block EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions until authorized by Congress to do so. I think that the schedule could easily slip so that the bill doesn't come to the floor until the week of 11th April, but the House's Republican majority leadership still seems committed to getting final passage before leaving for the Holy Week and Easter recess, which begins on the 18th.
Environmental pressure groups are running radio and television ads in some districts, most notably in Chairman Upton's district. I discuss the American Lung Association's shameless billboards in a post on GlobalWarming.org here.
Two former EPA Administrators in Republican administrations, William D. Ruckelshaus and Christie Todd Whitman, published an embarrassingly inane and self-serving op-ed in the Washington Post today, headlined \223Undoing 40 years of green gains?\224 Ruckelshaus and Whitman write, \223Today the agency Richard Nixon created \205 is under siege.\224 They have that backwards. Americans are under siege by EPA.
Across the States
A California Superior Court ruling this week is likely to delay the start of the State's cap-and-trade energy-rationing scheme. The lawsuit, which was brought by environmental groups, alleged that the California Air Resources Board violated the Environmental Quality Act because it failed to consider other, more environmentally stringent climate policies than cap-and-trade. As a result of the ruling, CARB will have to consider other options, which is likely to push back the starting date of California's energy-rationing scheme, which was supposed to start on January 1 2012.
The lawsuit is further evidence that it is impossible to placate environmental special interests. For them, even energy rationing is insufficient to fight the supposed problem of global warming. This litigation is similar to environmentalist opposition to solar power, due to the fact that it might harm a tortoise, or opposition to hydropower, because it might hurt fish. In fact, there is only one policy that would win over the environmentalist community: deindustrialization.
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