In the News
T. Boone Pickens-Koch Brothers Feud Tests Republican Principles
Kenneth P. Vogel, Politico, 22 July 2011
Greens Go for the Gold, Leave the Rest of Us in the Red
Terrance Scanlon, Washington Times, 21 July 2011
‘BBC’s Biased Climate Science Reporting Isn’t Biased Enough’ Claims Report
James Delingpole, The Telegraph, 21 July 2011
News You Can Use
First Anniversary of Cap-and-Trade’s Demise
One year ago today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced that the Senate would drop cap-and-trade negotiations led by Sens. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), thereby ending any chance that the 111th Congress would enact an energy-rationing bill.
Inside the Beltway
NYC Mayor Bloomberg Gives $50 Million to Anti-Coal Campaign
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City and billionaire founder of the Bloomberg financial news service, has announced that he is giving $50 million to the Sierra Club for their Beyond Coal campaign. The gift over four years from Bloomberg’s charitable foundation will allow the Sierra Club to double their Beyond Coal staff to 200 and expand their efforts from 15 to 45 States.
The Sierra Club takes credit for stopping 153 new coal-fired power plants. Now, they will be able to campaign to shut down existing plants. Apparently, Mayor Bloomberg is happy to make billions of dollars supplying financial news to business and industry, but doesn’t care about restoring economic growth or about out-of-work people struggling to pay their electric bills and keep the lights on.
Carmakers Turn on Obama Administration over CAFE
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has started running radio ads complaining about the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (or CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks to 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025. According to the Detroit Free Press, the sixty-second ads “feature an ominous voice warning ‘after tough times, today’s auto industry is on the road to economic recovery,’ but that fuel economy rules ‘threatens that progress’ –leading to less choice, higher prices, job losses, and an ‘electric vehicle mandate.’
This is the first sign that the auto industry is finally waking up to the reality that their cozy 2007 deal on CAFE isn’t such a good deal after all. CAFE standards are scheduled to increase to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.
Ralph Nader, self-proclaimed consumer advocate, told the Free Press that General Motors was showing bad taste for objecting to anything that the federal government wanted to do to them. “We give GM billions of dollars, and what do taxpayers get in return? Opposition to a policy that will clearly save them money and give them better cars.”
Bill Introduced To Block EU from Forcing U.S. Airlines into Cap-and-Trade Scheme
Representative John L. Mica, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has introduced a bill with strong bipartisan support that would prohibit U. S. airlines from taking part in the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. The bill is an attempt to block the European Union from their latest attempt to extend their cap-and-trade scheme beyond the EU.
The EU is trying to force all airlines that fly to airports in European Union member nations into the ETS. That’s fine for EU-based airlines, but the EU wants to put an indirect energy tax on American and other foreign airlines. Mica and his co-sponsors are sending a message to Brussels that there is no way the EU is going to get away with it.
Across the States
The Environmental Protection Agency this week issued a final Guidance document directing Appalachian States and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to account for saline effluent when they issue Clean Water Act permits to surface coal mining projects, including so-called mountaintop removal mines. The EPA set the regulatory threshold for salinity “pollution” so low that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said that “no or very few [surface coal mines] are going to meet this standard.” Obviously, this will have a severe negative impact on the Appalachian coal industry. EPA’s justification for the Guidance is to protect a short-lived insect that isn’t an endangered species.
Surface coal mining in Appalachia, which is sanctioned by the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, is loathed by the President’s environmentalist base, but it is essential for the industry’s competitiveness. Since June 2009, the EPA has used precursor documents to the final Guidance to review permitting decisions made by Appalachian States and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These EPA actions effectively created a “permitorium” on new mountaintop mines. On January 13 2011, the EPA went so far as to veto a Clean Water Act permit that had already been issued to Arch Coal for the Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia. It was the first time the EPA ever used this authority to veto a Clean Water Act permit that had been issued to a surface coal mine.
One day later, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. issued a ruling in which it indicated that the EPA likely violated the Administrative Procedures Act by failing to follow the proper procedural steps before it substantively altered the Clean Water Act permitting regime for surface coal mining projects in Appalachia. The Court is scheduled to take up this matter in October.
Around the World
UN Security Council Considers a ‘Green Helmets’ Peacekeeping Force
This was inevitable. With the Cold War many years behind us, and only a few important regional wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya) going on, the Security Council needs some kind of permanent, global crisis to justify its existence. Mission Creep thy name is Climate Change. [Read the whole post here.]
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.