The Hill and the American Energy Alliance will hold a breakfast policy briefing on “The Fate of Energy Policy in the Lame Duck: Will the Wind PTC Fly?” this Wednesday, November 14, 8:00 AM at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, D.C. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. The event may also be viewed online at TheHill.com.
In the News
Interior Proposal Would Block Oil Shale Development on Federal Lands in West
Zack Colman, The Hill's Energy & Environment Blog, 9 November 2012
EPA Regional Haze Plans Designed to Circumvent Court Rulings
Bill McMorris, Washington Free Beacon, 6 November 2012
Green Energy Projects Face Opposition from Green Groups
Bronson Stocking, Foundry, 4 November 2012
News You Can Use
2012 Election Results
For those interested in the complete election returns for every State, here's a good website: http://www.politico.com/2012-election/
Inside the Beltway
The election returns: "Energy has won"?
President Barack Obama defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney, Senate Democrats added two seats to their majority, and Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives. Here’s a roundup by Politico of energy sector winners and losers. I couldn’t find any similar article on the reactions of energy consumers.
Surprisingly, some energy industry leaders expressed satisfaction with the outcome. The American Petroleum Institute spent a reported $37 million on its “I’m an Energy Voter” campaign, which did not endorse or oppose candidates or even compare their records. A story in the 8th November Washington Post by Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson contains this reaction to the election returns:
“Jack N. Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said a second Obama term could be good for the oil and gas industry. Though a sharp critic of Obama, Gerard said that ‘the president’s views have moved 180 degrees from where they were two years ago. The president is now actively articulating an energy vision, “all of the above,” which includes oil and gas as the first two he talks about.’ Gerard said that the API money spent during the campaign was well spent because it made energy issues more central. ‘Energy has won,’ he said.”
I have heard speculation about the possibility of alternative universes, but was not aware that people living in another universe were able to communicate with us.
President Obama didn’t mention global warming in the presidential debates, but he did as soon as he was re-elected. Here’s what he said in his victory speech: “We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”
This brief reference has naturally excited the environmental movement. We’ll have to wait to see what actually happens.Prospects for the 113th Congress and Second Obama Administration
What might happen in the next two years in Washington on energy and climate issues? The election returns have resulted in a political situation remarkably similar to that of the last two years. Thus, it is likely that the next two years will be a lot like the last two.
This means that a second Obama Administration will continue their regulatory onslaught against the production and use of coal, oil, and natural gas that they have pushed so far during President Obama’s first term. Since all the new EPA regulations that are already in the pipeline or are going to be proposed are being promulgated under existing regulatory authority delegated to the executive by the Congress when the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, etc. were enacted, there is little that can be done to stop these new rules from being finalized. We can whine and complain. The Republican-controlled House can pass resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, but it is unlikely that such resolutions can get a majority of votes (and the CRA requires only a majority rather than the 60 votes needed for most regular bills) in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Finally, lawsuits can be filed that challenge the new regulations.
In the 113th Congress, it is likely that the House of Representatives will pass a number of the same bills promoting access to affordable energy that were passed by the House in the 112th Congress. These bills will be sent to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will not allow them to come to the floor for a vote.
I’ll fill in some of the details of what to expect in future issues of the Digest.
Across the States
Green Energy Production Quota Loses in Michigan
By a 63%-37% margin, Michigan voters on Tuesday defeated Proposal 3, a ballot initiative that would have increased the state’s green energy production quota to 25 percent by 2025. Proposal 3 was endorsed by ex-President Bill Clinton, and Grist website deemed it, “the most important clean-energy vote this year.” Michiganders, however, were wary of the costs. According to a study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Proposal 3 would have raised utility bills 16 percent and also caused 10,540 job losses.
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.