Cooler Heads Digest 10 June 2011


The Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change will be held in Washington, DC on June 30 - July 1, 2011. Visit the event's Web site at 
for more information or to make your reservations.

In the News

Notice How All the Energy Breakthroughs Are in Oil and Natural Gas?
Wall Street Journal editorial, 10 June 2011

In Denial: Thomas Friedman's (Self) Limits to (Intellectual) Growth
Michael Lynch, Master Resource, 10 June 2011

Need a Light Bulb? Uncle Sam Gets To Choose
Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg, 10 June 2011

When Will Scientists Detect a Warming Signal in Hurricane Damages?
Marlo Lewis,, 8 June 2011

Where's the Global Warming?
James Taylor, Forbes, 8 June 2011

The Democrat War on Science
William Yeatman,, 8 June 2011

Will MSM Look into the Global Warming Abyss and Find Their Character?
Russell Cook, Big Government, 7 June 2011

Obama's Commerce Pick and Other Disasters for the Economy
H. Sterling Burnett, National Center for Policy Analysis, 6 June 2011

Michigan in EPA's Carbon Vise
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 6 June 2011

Obama's Funny Math on the Auto Bailout
John Berlau, National Review Online, 6 June 2011

The Electric Car Albatross
Eric Peters, American Spectator, 6 June 2011

Study: Rising Forest Density Offsets Climate Change
Alister Doyle, Reuters, 6 June 2011

Overestimating Wind Generation
Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, 6 June 2011

Obama's Energy Policies Benefit the Powerful at the Expense of Everyone Else
Deneen Borelli, Fox News, 5 June 2011

News You Can Use
Marlo Lewis

The Cost of Obama's War on Energy

According to a new study by NERA Economic Consulting, two pending anti-energy regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (the Clean Air Transport Rule and Utility Maximum Available Control Technology Rule) will impose $184 billion in cumulative costs on the electricity sector, increase average U.S. electricity prices in 2016 by 12%, and reduce net U.S. employment by 1.4 million jobs during 2013-2020.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Chamber's Job Summit Keynoted by Leading Job Destroyer

The National Chamber Foundation's Campaign for Free Enterprise has announced that Jeffrey Immelt will be the keynote speaker at their Jobs for America Summit on July 11 at the U. S. Chamber of Commerce.  Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, is America's leading crony capitalist and promoter of cap-and-trade legislation.  No word on whether the speakers will include fellow cap-and-trade promoters Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, and John Bryson, former CEO of Edison International, whom President Obama has nominated to be Secretary of Commerce.  These proponents of energy-rationing polices are willing to raise energy prices and thereby make people poorer and destroy American jobs because they calculate that it will boost their companies' profits.

Center for American Progress Shills for T. Boone Pickens

The ironically-named Center for American Progress posted a blog by Daniel Weiss and Stewart Boss this week that argues that conservative groups are opposing the T. Boone Pickens Earmark bill (H. R. 1380) that would provide subsidies to Big Natural Gas on the grounds that subsidies distort the market, while at the same time the same groups are defending subsidies to Big Oil.  For the record, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, for which I work, opposes all subsidies and mandates.  These include subsidies to oil companies.  The claim that groups like CEI support tax subsidies for oil companies is based on the ridiculous re-definition by the left of standard business deductions taken by all companies as tax subsidies when taken by oil companies. 

Weiss's lengthy blog is predictably inane.  But it is obtuse even by the standards of the Center for American Progress.  Big Oil and Big Natural Gas are one and the same.  BP America is the largest producer of natural gas in the United States.  Exxon Mobil owns the world's largest privately-owned reserves of natural gas.  Thus, by supporting multi-billion dollar taxpayer subsidies for natural gas, the Center for American Progress have convicted themselves of being in the pocket of the oil and gas industry.  They are almost certainly being paid off by T. Boone Pickens to flack for the Pickens-Your-Pockets Plan.      

Across the States


Two weeks ago, Oklahoma became the latest State to launch high profile litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency. The subject of the lawsuit is the Regional Haze provision of the Clean Air Act. For a Regional Haze primer, click here. Suffice it to say, it is an aesthetic regulation meant to improve the vistas at National Parks, not a public health standard meant to protect human beings. Also, it affords States a uniquely large discretion among Clean Air Act provisions.

Despite State primacy under the Regional Haze rule, the EPA rejected Oklahoma's plan and is requiring pollution controls that would increase electricity prices in Oklahoma by 10 to 12 percent. Oklahoma elected officials balked at the EPA's demands, and on May 31, Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a suit in federal court alleging that the EPA violated Clean Air Act procedures in the course of overruling the State's plan.

Oklahoma joins a number of States that are challenging Obama's EPA in court. Virginia, Texas, and Alabama are suing the EPA over its regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. West Virginia and Kentucky are challenging the EPA's practice of issuing \223do or dare\224 Clean Water Act permits for surface coal mines, whereby the applicant must adhere to \223non-binding\224 guidance documents or face an EPA veto.

New Jersey

Governor Chris Christie this week unveiled an anti-energy \223Master Plan.\224 Among the lowlights, Governor Christie announced a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, huge subsidies for solar power, and a target to generate 22.5% of the Garden State's electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. He said his plan is \223responsible and achievable.\224 In fact, it is grossly irresponsible of the Governor to pursue the unachievable goal of switching a fifth of the State's electricity portfolio from affordable, reliable conventional energy to expensive, unreliable renewable energy.

Around the World
Marc Scribner

World Bank Will Propose Global Carbon Tax

With the Kyoto Protocol essentially dead, the prospects for a legally binding treaty to fight the supposed problem of climate change are dim. Thus stymied, the environmentalist/internationalist coalition behind the push for a global regime to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has a new strategy: a global carbon tax. The World Bank indicated this week that it will propose international levies on air travel and shipping at the October G20 finance meeting. The goal is to raise $100 billion annually.