In the News
Dear League of Conservation Voters: Even Joe Romm Thinks “Denier” Is Inappropriate
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 26 July 2012
Consumers Complain That Nissan Leafs Lose Their Power in Hot Weather
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 15 July 2012
Solyndra, Cronyism, and Double-Dipping on the Taxpayer’s Dime
Nancy Pfotenhauer, U.S. News and World Report, 23 July 2012
When Drought Strikes, Should U.S. Policy Endanger Poor People?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 20 July 2012
News You Can Use
Record Few Tornadoes in July
According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, July “is on track to produce fewer tornadoes than any July on record, and by a long shot.” Must be global warming.
Inside the Beltway
House Passes Bill to Increase Offshore Oil
The House of Representatives voted this week to overturn the Obama Administration’s five-year offshore oil leasing plan and replace it with a plan that would require much more leasing and for the first time open federal offshore areas to oil production off the Atlantic and California coasts. The vote was 253-170, with 25 Democrats voting with the Republican majority. Nine Republicans voted no.
In the Senate, Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and 29 Republican co-sponsors introduced their version of the House-passed Domestic Energy and Jobs Act (H. R. 4480). It contains a number of bills to expand domestic oil and gas production and delay several new EPA rules.
EIA: 8.5% of Coal Capacity To Retire within 5 Years
The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration on July 27 released a report that predicts that electric utilities will retire 27 gigawatts of capacity from coal-fired power plants in the next five years. This constitutes 8.5% of current coal capacity.
The EIA report is based on the results of an annual survey of electric utility companies. EIA notes that after several years of closing smaller, older coal-fired plants, utilities are now planning to close some newer, larger plants. The report lists several factors contributing to decisions to retire coal plants long before they become obsolete. One factor identified by EIA is, unsurprisingly, the anticipated costs of colossally expensive new EPA rules, such as the Utility MACT Rule.
EPA Delays Cooling Water Intake Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency announced on July 24 that it will delay issuing the final rule on cooling water intake towers until June 27, 2013. The EPA had been under a court order to release the final rule this month, but the plaintiffs—Riverkeeper and several other environmental pressure groups—agreed to the extension.
The proposed rule was issued in March 2011. EPA estimates that it would apply to 670 existing power plants and 590 existing industrial factories that withdraw at least two million gallons per day to cool their facilities. The proposed rule would require companies to obtain permits that require the best available control technology in cooling water intake towers for minimizing fish kill.
Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Representative Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), Chairman of the committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power, have led the effort to convince EPA to withdraw the proposed rule on the grounds that compliance costs will be enormous, thereby leading to significant job losses. They welcomed the delay, but were quoted in a BNA story that “this fight is only delayed a year, it is not over.”
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.