Cooler Heads Digest 10 February 2012

10 February 2012

In the News

Hell, that’s just one month’s work for Sierra Club
Chris Horner,, 10 February 2012

Will DOE’s Fisker Doubts Take Down Its Battery Supplier, Too?
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 10 February 2012

Warming Up to the Idea That Polar Bears Aren’t Worth It
Monica Lewis, Erie Times-News, 9 February 2012

Over-Regulation Fever at the White House
Jon Entine, Forbes, 9 February 2012

Obama’s Amazing Energy Spin Machine
Iain Murray & David Bier, American Spectator, 8 February 2012

Himalayas Lost No Ice in Past 10 Years
Damian Carrington, Guardian, 8 February 2012

The Great Delusion
Matt Patterson,, 7 February 2012

Reverse Protectionism: Waxman/Markey “Fix” for Keystone XL
Marlo Lewis, Master Resource, 6 February 2012

News You Can Use
L.A. Spent $489k in Green Stimulus on Yacht

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is reviewing the Port of Los Angeles’s decision to use $489,000 in green energy stimulus funds to retrofit the Angelena II, a 70-ft. Port-owned yacht used for publicity tours.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

House Ratchets Up Probe of White House Involvement in Solyndra Scandal

Fourteen Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) sent a strongly-worded, five-page letter to the White House on 9th February setting a 21st February deadline for turning over documents related to the White House’s involvement in the Solyndra scandal.   The letter also demands that five officials be made available for interviews by 17th February.   

The letter notes that the Committee requested the relevant documents five months ago and has made every effort to accommodate the White House’s concerns.  As to the reasons why the White House has refused to comply with the committee’s subpoena last fall, the letter notes that the White House has not claimed executive privilege for the withheld documents and demands that if executive privilege is going to be claimed the White House must let the committee know by 21st February.  

The Department of Energy made the first renewable energy loan under the 2009 stimulus bill to solar panel maker Solyndra, which is based in Fremont, California.  The entire $527 million of taxpayer money was lost in August when Solyndra declared bankruptcy.  The largest private investor in Solyndra, George Kaiser, is a major Obama and Democratic Party donor and fundraiser and has been a frequent visitor to the White House during the Obama presidency.     

Across the States
William Yeatman

New Mexico

By a 5-0 vote, the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board on Wednesday repealed a statewide cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme that had been implemented in 2010 by former Governor Bill Richardson. Current Governor Susana Martinez campaigned against the cap-and-trade, and one of her first actions in office was to sack the entire EIB. The Board’s decision and related documents are available here.

West Virginia

Yesterday, Ohio-based utility First Energy Corp. announced that it was shuttering three coal-fired power plants in West Virginia. This follows on the heels of the company’s announcement, three weeks ago, that it would close six coal fired power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. All told, 600 workers will be affected by these decisions, which FirstEnergy Corp. says are necessary in order to comply with EPA’s new Mercury and Air Toxics rule. EPA estimates that the mercury rule will cost $10 billion per year; industry estimates are much higher. EPA’s absurd justification for the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule is to protect America’s supposed population of pregnant, subsistence fisherwomen who consume more than 300 pounds of self-caught fish annually.

Around the World
Brian McGraw

Update: E.U.'s Airline Carbon Tax

On Monday China forbid its airlines from paying the European Union carbon emissions fee that began on January 1, 2012. The E.U. is not backing down, and experts suspect their next move will be imposing fines upon Chinese airlines or perhaps even forbidding them from entering E.U. airspace.

The responses of other countries have been less dramatic. India signaled it will move towards a domestic program to reduce emissions from airlines, which would exempt them from the E.U. provision. Meanwhile, the U.S. airlines are “complying under protest.” Officials from more than 20 countries, including India, China, and the United States, will meet later this month in Russia to discuss a coordinated response to the European Union.

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,