On Monday, June 4, Noon-1 PM, in 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building, three Competitive Enterprise Institute analysts will discuss their new paper, All Pain and No Gain: The Illusory Benefits of the EPA’s Utility MACT Rule. Lunch will be served. Please RSVP to William Yeatman, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 331-2270.
On Friday, June 8, 8:30-10:30 AM, on the 13th floor of the National Press Club, the George C. Marshall Institute will hold a discussion of, “Climate & National Security: Considering the Connection.” Panelists include: Patrick Michaels, Senior Research Fellow at George Mason University; Ivan Eland, Director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute; Steven Bucci, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation; and Peter Huessy, President of Geostrategic Analysis. RSVP to email@example.com.
In the News
Ten Actions the Congress Can Take To Lower Gas Prices
Nicolas Loris, Heritage Backgrounder, 31 May 2012
Lawmakers Probe Fast-Track Approval for Connected Green Companies
Lachlan Markay, The Foundry, 29 May 2012
News You Can Use
Arctic Drilling Blocked by Unusually Thick Sea Ice
After four years of permitting, countless environmentalist lawsuits, and almost $4 billion in investments, Royal Dutch Shell finally is ready to drill exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea off the Alaskan coast, an area believed to contain 27 billion barrels of oil. However, the company announced this week that it likely will have to delay the project for at least two weeks until early August, due to unusually thick Arctic sea ice.
Inside the Beltway
House Investigates EPA’s War on Appalachian Coal
The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a wild hearing on Friday, 1st June, on the Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing attempt to revoke a Clean Water Act permit for the Spruce No. 1 Mine in West Virginia. Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) invited several Obama Administration officials from the EPA and other agencies to testify, but all refused to do so.
The hearing quickly turned into a slanging match between Republican pro-coal Members and Democratic anti-coal Members. The full committee’s Ranking Democrat, Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), and the subcommittee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) accused the Republicans of turning the hearing into political theater designed to score political points against President Obama. Markey then held up a large anti-coal sign.
Federal District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in March overturned the EPA’s revocation in January 2011 of the mine’s 2007 section 404 Clean Water Act permit, which had been issued by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2007. The Arch Coal Company mine was already in operation when the EPA decided to revoke the permit.
The EPA has appealed the district court decision to the federal D. C. Circuit Court of Appeals and has asked for a stay of the decision so that the revocation will remain in effect while the court is considering the appeal. It is not clear why anyone would invest hundreds of millions of dollars in developing a new mine if there is precedent for revoking an operating permit retroactively.
Around the World
Spanish Moratorium on Renewable Energy Subsidies
Facing depressingly high unemployment (24%) and unsustainable budget deficits, the Spanish government has reversed course on renewable energy subsidies, implementing a moratorium on subsidies for new wind and solar energy projects. Once hailed—but no longer—by President Obama as the model that America should follow, Spanish companies are exiting the Spanish market, fleeing towards other countries where government subsidies continues to flow freely.
Germany Offsetting Nuclear with Coal, Gas
Germany’s decision to accelerate a transition away from reliable base load electricity (that’s also carbon free) towards renewable energy sources isn’t going as planned. The country will eliminate almost 13,000 megawatts of electricity from nuclear sources over the next decade. A combination of very low prices on carbon in the European Union, along with a decision earlier this year to limit renewable energy subsidies, is leading towards a surge in construction of coal and natural gas power plants. The transition is already underway, with analysts predicting that coal will produce 15% more electricity this year than in 2011. Germany will also add at least 8,400 MW of coal-fired power over the next two years, with an additional 5,500 MW in the process of seeking permits.
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.