Cooler Heads Digest 6 May 2011

6 May 2011

In the News

Rich Countries to UNFCCC: The Check's in the Mail
Alister Doyle, Reuters, 6 May 2011

Death of Climate Nut Osama To Revive Obama Climate Agenda?
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 5 May 2011

Obama's War on Oil
Peter Ferrara, American Spectator, 4 May 2011

Breaking News: The Climate Actually Changes!
Larry Bell, Forbes, 3 May 2011

Renewable Energy Harms the Economy
Paul Chesser, Cincinnati Enquirer, 3 May 2011

April Auto Sales: Gas or Electric?
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 3 May 2011

High Court Offers Sense in Global Warming Battle
Bob Tippee, Oil & Gas Journal, 2 May 2011

The One \223Big\224 You Can't Escape
Eric Peters, American Spectator, 2 May 2011

Paul Krugman's Convenient Lie about Global Warming
Joseph Klein,, 30 April 2011

News You Can Use
Gallup Poll: Alarmism Sinking

At Master Resource this week, Ken Green reported on a new Gallup poll showing that climate skepticism is on the rise globally. According to Green, \223a new Gallup poll, conducted in 111 countries, found that fewer Europeans and Americans consider climate change a serious threat than they did before. In the US, 53% of people feared climate change, down from 63% in \22107/'08. In the UK, 57% feared climate change, down from 69% in \22107/'08.\224

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

The T. Boone Pickens Earmark Bill

Republicans in the House of Representatives are flocking to support a bill to extend and create a number of taxpayer-funded subsidies for manufacturers and buyers of vehicles powered by natural gas.   Nearly eighty House Republicans (and a hundred Democrats) have signed up as sponsors of H. R. 1380, the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (or NAT GAS Act).  Just call it the T. Boone Pickens Earmark Bill.

H. R. 1380 would extend the tax credit of 50 cents per gallon of liquid natural gas (or its equivalent of compressed natural gas) when used for fueling vehicles and provide purchasers of natural gas vehicles with credits ranging from $7,500 to $64,000.  The lower end is for passenger cars and the upper end for big trucks.  There are also credits for natural gas vehicle manufacturers and for installing natural gas fueling stations.

Why are billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded subsidies needed?  According to T. Boone Pickens's web site, it's because natural gas vehicles are cheaper to operate than gasoline or diesel vehicles:  \223Even with higher initial costs (which will disappear as manufacturing ramps up) the life-cycle costs of NGVs [natural gas vehicles] are significantly lower.  Fuel costs are at least 15 percent less using natural gas rather than gasoline or diesel.\224

So people need to be paid in order to make them want to buy vehicles that will save them money.  Yes, that makes sense: I always prefer the more expensive product unless there is a government rebate for the cheaper one.  Call it the Boonedoggle bill.

As for getting us off foreign oil, this claim is trotted out to support every payoff to special interests in the energy sector.  It's a claim for which little evidence is ever produced.  What will reduce our dependence on foreign oil is producing more of it in this country.  What the bill will do is increase demand for natural gas, which will tend to increase prices for natural gas, which means a big payoff for T. Boone Pickens, who has invested heavily in-you'll never guess-natural gas.

The stampede by conservatives, including several freshmen who identify with the Tea Party, to support the T. Boone Pickens Earmark Bill makes a mockery of their claims to want to cut federal spending, eliminate subsidies to special interests, and get government out of people's lives.  We're very close to returning to business as usual in Washington.

[This was adapted from a post. To read the whole piece, click here.]

Across the States


On Thursday, the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the House Transportation Committee held a hearing on \223Environmental Protection Agency Mining Policies: Assault on Appalachia.\224 Video and written testimony are available here. For detailed descriptions of the EPA's outrageous war on Appalachian coal production, click here, here, or here. Suffice it to say, EPA has subverted the Administrative Procedures Act to enact a de facto moratorium on mining. It engineered a new Clean Water Act \223pollutant,\224 saline effluent, which the EPA claims degrades water quality downstream from mines by harming a short lived insect that isn't an endangered species. The hearing yesterday was part 1; next Wednesday, the subcommittee is scheduled to hear from EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Dr. Leonard K. Peters said something very interesting during the hearing. He claimed that EPA Region 4, which serves Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, was amenable to Kentucky's concerns about the unreasonableness of the EPA's Appalachian coal crackdown, but that the federal office would not budge. If true, this is a damning indicator of how the Obama administration is willing to harm Appalachia economically in order to sate its coastal environmentalist base.

New Hampshire

The Republican-controlled New Hampshire Senate continues to dither more than two months after the House of Representatives enacted HB 519, legislation that would withdraw New Hampshire from a regional energy-rationing scheme known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, by a 246 to 104 vote. In late February, after the House acted, it was widely thought that the Senate would quickly follow suit. However, the environmentalist lobby mobilized and frightened many Members of the Legislature. This week, the Senate Natural Resources Committee voted against HB 519 companion legislation. Nonetheless, the full Senate is expected to enact the measure next week, although it is unclear that there will be enough votes to override a promised veto from Governor John Lynch (D), even though Republicans have a veto-proof majority.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Canadian Election Results: No Cap-and-Trade, No Carbon Tax

The stunning victory by Stephen Harper's Conservatives in Canada's election means the death of cap-and-trade or a carbon tax in Canada.  The Conservative Party's platform firmly opposed both cap-and-trade and carbon taxes. The Liberal Party, which was annihilated in the election, equally strongly supported imposing a cap-and-trade scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is another clear sign that public support for cap-and-trade and other energy-rationing policies is waning.  Cap-and-trade has been dead in the United States since the Waxman-Markey bill narrowly passed the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009.  And in Australia, the Labour Party government is in deep trouble as a result of proposing a carbon tax.  The global warming fad appears to be fading fast.

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,