Cooler Heads Digest 11 October 2013

11 October 2013


On Thursday, October 17, there will be two opportunities to attend John Droz, Jr.’s lecture, titled Science under Assault.  The two lectures will be from 11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon and from 1:00 – 2:00 PM in 2325 House Rayburn Office Building. Lunch will be served in between the two presentations. RSVP with John Droz at

In the News

Memo to Al Gore: IPCC Report Confirms “Planetary Emergency” Is Over
Marlo Lewis, Fox News, 11 October 2013

L.A. Times Nixes Letters from Climate Change Deniers
Valerie Richardson, Washington Times, 11 October 2013

EPA Is Out of Control
Arizona State Sen. Kelli Ward, Politix, 11 October 2013

EPA’s Clean Water Act Power Grab
Washington Examiner editorial, 11 October 2013

Dear Big Oil: Stop Acting Like Big Tobacco
Alex Epstein, Master Resource, 10 October 2013

Scary Global Warming Alarmism Just in Time for Halloween
Chip Knappenberger & Patrick Michaels, Cato at Liberty, 10 October 2013

40 Years after Oil Embargo, U.S. Is an Energy Giant
Robert Bryce, Bloomberg, 10 October 2013

Joe Romm’s Solar Economics Are Way Off
Tim Worstall, Forbes, 7 October 2013

News You Can Use
CO2 Is Fertilizing Arid Regions

According to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, satellite observations show that green foliage cover across warm, arid environments increased by 11 percent from 1982 to 2010, a period during which atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased 14 percent. The results confirm that the CO2 fertilization effect is now a significant land surface process.

Inside the Beltway

EPA Schedules Listening Sessions Across the Country, But Not In Coal Country
Myron Ebell

The Environmental Protection Agency on 30th September scheduled eleven “public listening sessions across the country to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution (sic) from existing power plants.”  The sessions have been scheduled to take place in the ten cities where the EPA has its regional offices plus Washington, DC, beginning on 15th October and concluding on 8th November.  This means that “across the country” does not include coal country, which is where the new rule will have the most impact, but does include meetings in San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, and Boston, which are in States that produce little or no coal and get close to none of their electricity from coal-fired plants.    

This no-doubt unintentional oversight has caught the attention of Members of Congress from States that mine and burn a lot of coal.  Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a resolution this week that notes that no listening sessions have been scheduled in the ten States that rely most heavily on electricity produced by coal-fired plants. The resolution calls on the EPA to add sessions to hear from the stakeholders in those States: West Virginia, Kentucky, Wyoming, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Utah, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Ohio. 

According to the schedule set in President Obama’s climate plan, a draft of the New Source Performance Standards for existing power plants is due to be published by 1st June 2014.  The federal government shutdown means that the first two meetings—in Boston on 10th October and in Philadelphia on 15th October—have already been cancelled.       

Odd Bedfellow Coalition Blasts “Havoc” Caused by Corn Ethanol Mandate
Marlo Lewis

An odd-bedfellow coalition of agriculture, engine manufacturer, food retail, environment, hunger, taxpayer, and free-market public interest groups have asked the House Energy & Commerce Committee to ensure that any legislation proposed to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) address the "havoc that the corn ethanol mandate" has imposed on a "multitude of stakeholder interests."

In their joint letter to the E&C Committee, the 44 signatories state in part:

“While our reasons vary, all of us have long maintained that the RFS is a uniquely flawed policy. The mandate on corn-based ethanol in particular has had a devastating effect on the entire food economy from livestock and poultry producers facing record feed costs, to food retailers facing record food costs, to consumers here and abroad struggling to balance food budgets in tough economic times. Some signers of this letter also question the propriety of Congress establishing production quota and guaranteed market shares for any type of commercial business. Ethanol from corn also is concerning to many due to its global warming impact and the use of natural resources such as water and native grassland for producing fuel. The corn-based ethanol mandate is also having a devastating impact in communities throughout the world, where people living in poverty are facing increased food prices that threaten their food and land security.”

The coalition advises that "any RFS proposal advanced by the Committee should include significant, meaningful and permanent decreases in the conventional biofuels (corn ethanol) mandate."

Click here to read the joint letter in full.

Around the World
Marlo Lewis

Foreign Diplomats Ask America: Sell Us Your Gas

The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power Members held a forum on “The Geopolitical Implications and Mutual Benefits of LNG [liquefied natural gas] Exports” on October 10th. Ten foreign diplomats gave short presentations explaining how increased access to U.S. natural gas would reduce energy costs and boost economic growth in their respective countries, strengthen energy security, and strengthen ties with the U.S.

The diplomats hailed from three regions: Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania), Asia (India, Singapore, Japan, Korea), and the Caribbean (Haiti, Puerto Rico). After each group spoke, Members of the E&C Committee asked questions.

Diplomats are cautious speakers, but the gist of the European presentations was unmistakable. Expanded access to U.S. natural gas would disarm Moscow’s energy weapon (the threat of natural gas cutoffs in cold winter months). Breaking Russia’s natural gas monopoly would roll back Moscow’s geopolitical leverage, strengthening both Europe’s energy security and the NATO alliance.

The Asian diplomats emphasized how access to lower-priced U.S. natural gas would help create prosperity, which in turn would spur Asian investment in the U.S. and increase Asian imports of other U.S. products. The Caribbean diplomats emphasized the importance of affordable energy to all aspects of economic development. For more detail, see the E&C Committee’s press release and National Journal’s article on the event.

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,