Cooler Heads Digest 24 February 2012

24 February 2012


The Heartland Institute today released all the emails Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick sent to The Heartland Institute for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining internal Heartland documents. The emails can be found at

In the News

Worst Break Up of 2012: The Windustrial Tax Extension
Jackie Moreau,, 24 February 2012

Wind Spin
John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, 24 February 2012

“Stupid” and Oil Prices
Wall Street Journal editorial, 24 February 2012

Climate McCarthysim
Marlo Lewis,, 24 February 2012

Solyndra Leaves an Environmental Mess
Jim McElhatton, Washington Times, 23 February 2012

Pew Poll: Americans Want Keystone XL
Ben Geman, The Hill, 23 February 2012

Just Another Day at Team Green
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 22 February 2012

Tesla Motors Devastating Design Problem
Michael Degusta, Jalopnik, 22 February 2012

Global Warming: The Great Delusion
Matt Patterson, Fox News, 17 February 2012

News You Can Use
$14 Million Stimulus Subsidy Per Green Job

According to a Wall Street Journal investigation published today, there are now 300 Americans employed at 36 wind farms built with $4.3 billion in stimulus spending. That’s $14.3 million in subsidies per job.

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

President Delivers Ironic Energy Speech

On Wednesday in Florida, President Barack Obama grossly misrepresented his record on energy policy in a speech delivered at the University of Miami.

The President first bemoaned the effect of rising fuel costs on average Americans, saying that, “high gas prices are like a tax straight out of your paycheck.” His apparent empathy is belied by his support for a cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme, which makes gas more expensive by design.

Then the President disingenuously took credit for rising oil and gas production in America. While it’s true that there has been a recent increase in production, it occurred despite this Administration’s anti-energy policies. As explained by the Institute for Energy Research, “The reality is that oil production on federal lands is falling, while production on private and state lands is rising.” To put it another way, production is increasing where the President doesn’t have the authority to stop it.

After misattributing to himself credit for increasing oil production, President Obama touted his record on pipelines, telling the audience that, “Over the last three years my administration has approved dozens of new pipelines, including from Canada.” He failed to mention his unpopular refusal to approve the Keystone XL, a 1,700 mile, shovel-ready pipeline from Alberta to Texas that would create thousands of construction jobs, stimulate tens of billions of dollars in business spending, and generate billions of dollars in tax revenues.

Finally, the President pitched an “all of the above” energy strategy. The primary problem with this approach, as my colleague Chris Horner has noted, is that it draws no lines to exclude the uneconomic. By embracing “all” energy sources, taxpayers are on the hook for green energy boondoggles that can’t exist without subsidies.

Reps. Waxman and Markey Pitch Cap-and-Trade as Deficit Reduction

In this morning’s Washington Post, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) pitched cap-and-trade as a means to balance the budget. According to the Congressmen,

“The debate over how to reduce our nation’s debt has been presented as a dilemma between cutting spending on programs Americans cherish or raising taxes on American job creators. But there is a better way: We could slash our debt by making power plants and oil refineries pay for the carbon emissions that endanger our health and environment.”

This statement is absurd. By design, a cap-and-trade policy makes conventional energy more expensive. It is, therefore, functionally equivalent to a tax on a commodity—energy—that is fundamental to every act of economic production. It’s an economy wide tax. In effect, Reps. Waxman and Markey are claiming that a broad consumption tax (cap-and-trade) avoids “the difficult dilemma” of raising taxes, which doesn’t make any sense. Fortunately, these two Congressmen are in the minority party in the House, so their policy idea is a non-starter.

Across the States
Jackie Moreau

NY Supreme Court Supports Town’s Right to Ban Fracking

On Tuesday, the New York Supreme Court upheld the town of Dryden’s (New York) ban on hydraulic fracturing as part of its amended zoning ordinance. The suit had been brought by Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corp., which has invested $5.1 million in leasing and developing 22,000 acres in Dryden. It’s an unfortunate outcome, because the ban is predicated on environmentalist hysteria. Through fact-free propaganda like the documentary Gasland, anti-fossil fuel environmentalists have propagated unfounded allegations that hydraulic fracturing is a threat to utility-scale water supplies. The fear mongering threatens to deprive New Yorkers of a guaranteed economic stimulus, as the State is lucky enough to sit atop the Marcellus Shale, a huge formation of economically recoverable natural gas.  Check out the documentary “The Empire State Divide” to see what’s at stake if this trend continues.  

Around the World
Brian McGraw

Airline Emissions Fight Still Unresolved

Twenty-three countries, including the United States, China, and Russia, met this week in Moscow to discuss potential retaliatory actions against the European Union over its ongoing insistence that foreign airlines that land in European countries be subject to a cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions. You can read the signed agreement here, which discusses potential retaliatory actions including forbidding domestic airlines from participating in the program, charging European airlines a similar fee, or delaying the program until the International Civil Aviation Organization can come up with a similar framework. The E.U. dismissed the threat of retaliation as “hypothetical.”

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,