Cooler Heads Digest 19 October 2012

19 October 2012


  • On Tuesday, October 23, PBS will air “Climate of Doubt,” a Frontline documentary that “goes inside the organizations that fight the scientific establishment to shift the direction of the climate debate.” The trailer and local listings are here.
  • Capital Research Center has published a report by Brian Seasholes on how environmentalist special interests in the U.S. are funding opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline in Canada. Click here to read the report, titled “The Green Pipeline.”

In the News

Carbon Tax Would Harm Economy
Scott Segal, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 18 October 2012

EPA’s Illegal Human Experiments
Steve Milloy, Washington Times, 18 October 2012

Opacity of Hope: Review of Chris Horner’s New Book, The Liberal War on TransparencyDaniel Epstein, Washington Examiner, 17 October 2012

More Americans Skeptical about Climate Change than 10 Years Ago
Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast, 17 October 2012

The Solyndra Memorial Tax Break
Wall Street Journal editorial, 16 October 2012

Permitting Down 36 percent under Obama
Kerry Picket, Water Cooler, 16 October 2012

Timeline: A123 Systems’ Downward Spiral to Bankruptcy
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 16 October 2012

Liberals’ Green Energy Contradictions
Charles Lane, Washington Post, 15 October 2012

If New York Bans Nuclear Power and Fracking, Where Will It Get Electricity?
Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth, 15 October 2012

Where Are the 5 Million Green Jobs Obama Promised?
Marita Noon, Townhall, 14 October 2012

Met Office Report: Global Warming Stopped 16 years Ago
David Rose, Daily Mail, 13 October 2012

News You Can Use
New Peer-Reviewed Paper: Global Temperatures Peaked 2,000 Years Ago

A new peer-review study by Jan Esper et al. in the Journal Global and Planetary Change presents a 2000-year summer temperature reconstruction from northern Scandinavia and compares this time series with existing proxy records to assess the range of reconstructed temperatures at a regional scale. The record provides evidence for substantial warmth in the Northern Hemisphere during Roman and Medieval times, larger in extent and longer in duration than 20th century warmth. The first century AD was the warmest 100-year period of the Christian Era.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Energy Policy Features Prominently in Presidential Debate

Energy issues featured prominently in the second presidential debate on October 16. But once again, global warming did not come up, although moderator Candy Crowley told disappointed environmentalists after the debate she had a question about climate change but just couldn’t get to it.

The question to President Obama was whether he agreed with Energy Secretary Steven Chu that it was not the policy of the Department of Energy to help lower gas prices.  The president began his answer by taking credit for increased domestic oil and gas production.  “So here’s what I’ve done since I’ve been president.  We have increased oil and gas production to the highest level in 16 years.”

In his response, Republican nominee Mitt Romney explained that oil and gas production had increased on private land but had gone down on federal lands and offshore areas.  In the back-and-forth exchange that followed, Romney stated, “Production on government land of oil is down 14 percent,” to which President Obama replied, “It’s just not true.”  Actually it is true, as these figures from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration show. 

President Obama also brought out the bogus claim oil companies were sitting on federal oil and gas leases they weren’t using.  The fact is once a company wins a lease at auction, it cannot start drilling exploratory wells until it obtains the necessary federal permits.  During the Obama administration, the Department of the Interior has perfected tactics to slow walk the granting of permits for years and years.  That’s why many drilling rigs in the Rocky Mountains and the Gulf are idle at a time when oil prices are high. 

We have excerpted the energy part of the debate here. The full transcript is here.

The Washington Wire in the October 19 Wall Street Journal reports on how coal has become a hot issue in the presidential campaign. Although the Gallup Poll showed this week that Romney leads Obama 51 percent to 45 percent  among likely voters, a new poll by the University of Texas shows the public prefers President Obama’s energy policies to those of former Governor Romney by 37 percent to 28 percent.   

Senator Inhofe Releases Report on EPA’s 2013 Regulatory Agenda

Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, released a report this week that details all the EPA regulations that have been delayed until after the election or won’t take effect until after the election.  A Look Ahead to EPA Regulations for 2013 lists 13 major regulations that “will strangle economic growth, destroy millions of jobs and dramatically raise the price of goods, the cost of electricity and the price of gas.”  Those are on top of the new regulations already implemented that are constricting energy supplies and raising energy prices.

“President Obama has spent the past year punting on a slew of job-killing EPA regulations that will destroy millions of American jobs and cause energy prices to skyrocket even more.  From greenhouse gas regulations to water guidance to the tightening of the ozone standard, the Obama EPA has delayed the implementation of rule after rule because [it doesn’t] want all those pink slips and price spikes to hit until after the election. But President Obama's former climate czar, Carol Browner, was very clear about what's in store for next year: She told several green groups not to worry because President Obama has a big green 'to-do' list for 2013….” Inhofe said in introducing the report.

Sen. Inhofe told Caroline May of the Daily Caller that, “In all these [presidential] debates, the thing they overlook and don’t talk about that is just as important as servicing another $5 trillion of indebtedness is all these rules and regulations.”  Read more here.

Across the States
William Yeatman

California Businesses Ask Governor To Delay Cap-and-Trade

On Monday, a coalition of more than 200 California businesses sent Governor Jerry Brown a letter asking him to delay the start of the state’s cap-and-trade scheme, which is set to convene the first auction for energy-rationing coupons on November 14. By putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions, the cap-and-trade program is designed to make energy more expensive. And because energy is a fundamental input into every act of economic production, cap-and-trade is basically an economy-wide tax. In the letter, the businesses warned the governor the cap-and-trade auction would further harm an economy already in dire straits.

In response to the coalition’s concerns, California’s Air Resources Board voted unanimously to commission a staff report to ensure “industries and manufacturers will not only remain competitive but in fact become more competitive,” in the words of CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols. That’s going to be a tough report to conduct, given cap-and-trade makes businesses less competitive by design. In any case, the report is due in six months, which is five months after the cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme begins.

Around the World
Brian McGraw

German Electricity Prices Set to Soar

Germany’s major electric-grid operators announced this week the renewable energy surcharge paid by consumers will increase from 3.6 euro cents per kWh to 5.3 euro cents per kWh (6.9 US cents) in 2013. Despite falling energy prices, the overall burden to consumers continues to rise as Germany increases the percentage of electricity it derives from renewable energy. Reuters notes German households, on average, will pay $0.345 per kilowatt hour in 2015. The average price of electricity in the United States was $0.105 per kilowatt hour in 2011.

Germany is currently receiving about 25 percent of its power from renewable sources. Though some in Germany have called for a reversal of its strong support for carbon-free energy sources, the official renewable electricity target is set to increase to 35 percent by 2020, and some politicians want it to go even higher. Despite cutting some subsidies for renewable sources earlier this year, it appears German electricity prices will continue to increase well into the future.

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,