Cooler Heads Digest 15 June 2012

15 June 2012

In the News

Obama’s Anti-Coal Policies Will Raise Energy Prices
Peter Roff, U.S. News & World Report, 14 June 2012

Chesapeake Takes Shareholder Heat for Giving $26 Million to Sierra Club to Fight Coal
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 14 June 2012

Union of Concerned Scientists Admits It Was Wrong
Ronald Bailey, Reason, 14 June 2012

“Truthland”: Response to Factually Challenged “Gasland”
Steve Everly, Master Resource, 14 June 2012

Secretary Chu Is No Don Draper
Washington Times editorial, 14 June 2012

Obama’s War on Resource Industries
Myron Ebell, Charleston Daily Mail, 13 June 2012

Why the U.N. Shouldn’t Own the Seas
Donald Rumsfeld, Wall Street Journal, 13 June 2012

Lisa Jackson and the EPA: Pot Calling the Kettle Black
Justin Yeary, Bluegrass Institute, 13 June 2012

Inhofe Alleges Propaganda Tactics in “Big Green Environmental Handbook”
Caroline May, Daily Caller, 12 June 2012

Bad Science behind Florida Mercury Phobia
Willie Soon, Washington Times, 10 June 2012

News You Can Use
Utility Executives: EPA Is Causing Electricity Prices to Skyrocket

According to Black & Veatch’s sixth annual Strategic Directions in the U.S. Electric Utility Industry Report, more than half of utility leaders believe that electric rates will rise “significantly” because of environmental compliance programs.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Inhofe Sets a Date for Senate Vote to Block All Pain and No Gain Utility MACT

Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced this week that he will bring his resolution to block the Utility MACT Rule to the Senate floor for a vote on Wednesday, 20th June. Senate Joint Resolution 37 is a privileged motion under the Congressional Review Act, which means that it requires only a majority of those voting to pass.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Utility MACT (for Maximum Achievable Control Technology) Rule requires steep reductions in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. A new study by my CEI colleagues Marlo Lewis, William Yeatman, and David Bier shows that the rule will have miniscule health benefits and enormous costs. Electric utilities will be forced to close many coal-fired plants, which will raise electric rates for consumers and manufacturers and threaten electric reliability in major areas of the country. Op-eds by Lewis and Bier summarize key findings of their study.

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) have announced that they plan to introduce a bill to extend the time utilities have to comply with the rule from four years to six years. Their bill has no chance of passing because sixty votes would be required. It is meant to provide cover for several Democrats engaged in tight re-election races. They can vote against the resolution of disapproval (which could pass with fifty votes), but then explain to voters that they support another measure to make the rule less onerous.

Alexander and Pryor's mischief means that Inhofe's resolution is likely to be defeated. Note that Alexander, a Republican, is helping Democrats get re-elected.

EPA Proposes Another Job-Killing Regulation

The Environmental Protection Agency opened a new front in the Obama Administration's war on the economy today by proposing lower limits on fine particulate matter (or PM 2.5). The proposed rule would set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM 2.5 of between 12 and 13 micrograms per cubic meter. The current standard is 15 micrograms. Here is a news article that provides more detail.

Around the World
Brian McGraw

China Steps Up Opposition to EU Aviation Cap-and-Trade Plan

This week European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard stated that Chinese airlines could face fines and the threat of airplane impoundments if they continue to refuse to participate in the Emissions Trading Scheme, an E. U.-wide cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme. Since January, the Chinese government has banned domestic airlines from complying. It has also pledged to impound European aircraft if the EU decides to punish Chinese airlines for their lack of participation in the program. China—along with many other countries—argues that the cap-and-trade plan violates their national sovereignty. The U.S., Russia, and India have also voiced their public opposition to the E.U.’s program, though none have gone as far as China has to resist implementation of the cap-and-trade plan. China also cancelled a $14 billion order earlier this year from Airbus, a European plane maker.

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,