Cooler Heads Digest 2 November 2013

2 November 2013


The George C. Marshall Institute has released a short policy analysis by William O’Keefe titled “Biofuel Policy Follies.” O'Keefe argues that federal mandates and subsidies for biofuels have had little positive impact, but have come at great cost to the American public 

In the News

Adapt to Climate Change, Don’t Fight It 
Tom Harris, Detroit News, 1 November 2013

Study Claims EU Cap-and-Trade Did Not Cause Business Flight
Marlo Lewis,, 1 November 2013

The New Renewables Narrative—Buyer Beware
Marita Noon, Master Resource, 29 October 2013

Fixing California: the Green Gentry’s Class Warfare 
Joel Kotkin, New Geography, 28 October 2013

The Dollars and Nonsense of Energy Conservation 
David Kreutzer, Washington Times, 27 October 2013

News You Can Use
DOE Overestimates Social Cost of Carbon

Instead of recently increasing its official estimate of the Social Cost of Carbon by more than 50% from its 2010 estimate, Cato Institute climatologist Chip Knappenberger shows why recent science should have lowered the estimate by 33%.  That’s because much recently published research has foundthat the climate system is less sensitive to carbon dioxide concentrations than assumed in the Department of Energy’s analysis.  This means that each ton of carbon dioxide emitted will have less impact on the climate.  For more on this topic, see Marlo Lewis’s recent blog at www.GlobalWarming.orgSocial Cost of Carbon: How to Repackage Uneconomic Renewables as a Bargain at any Price.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Coal Miners Rally at Capitol against EPA

Between three and four thousand coal miners (by my rough estimate) from across Appalachia gathered on the west front of the U. S. Capitol on 29th October for a “Rally for American Energy Jobs.” Around thirty Members of Congress spoke at the two-and-a-half hour event.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Representative Nick Joe Rahall (D-WV) were the only two Democrats who spoke at the rally, which was aimed at the Obama Administration’s war on coal in general and at the EPA’s proposed regulations of greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants specifically.  West Virginia’s other Democratic Senator, John D. Rockefeller IV, did not attend and said that he didn’t support dirty coal: “If they were fighting for clean coal, I'd be with them. But they're not….”  Rockefeller is not running for re-election in 2014. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who is running for Rockefeller’s seat, was the MC of the rally.   

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke at the rally, which was held on the same day that the leading Democratic candidate for his seat in the 2014 election, Alison Lundergan Grimes, was attending a high-dollar fundraiser in San Francisco.  The other attendees included several wealthy opponents of coal, including California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.   

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli also spoke at the rally.  Cuccinelli is waging an uphill campaign for governor against the well-known Democratic Party fundraiser and thug, Terry McAuliffe, who has made millions of dollars from investments in Green Tech Automotive.  The start-up electric car maker is subsidized by government, but appears to be headed towards bankruptcy.    

President Obama Creates Two Climate Change Committees

President Barack Obama signed an executive order on 1st November that creates a high-level Inter-Agency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and a State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.  The inter-agency council will be co-chaired by the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren, and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism John Brennan.  Members of the council will include senior officials from every cabinet department and nearly every federal agency.

The twenty-four members of the task force include the governors of six States, the governor of Guam, and eighteen local and tribal officials.

The state governors are: Jerry Brown of California, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Pat Quinn of Illinois, Jay Inslee of Washington, Jack Markell of Delaware, and Peter Shumlin of Vermont.  They are all Democrats, but the governor of Guam, Eddie Calvo, is a Republican.

Around the World
Anthony Ward

U.S. Blocks Funding for Coal Power in Devloping Countries

Following through on promises made in President Barack Obama’s Climate Change Plan, the Treasury Department has issued new guidelines restricting funding for international coal development projects.  Under the new guidelines, only developing nations with no feasible alternatives or emerging nations with carbon sequestration technologies will receive assistance from the United States through the World Bank and other international aid and loan programs.  

British Study Concludes Fracking Poses Low Health Risks

According to the British Government’s Public Health England agency, health risks from  hydraulic fracturing are low as long as operations are properly monitored and regulated.  Britain has not yet begun to extract its significant shale gas reserves despite undergoing a worsening energy crisis.  Public Health England’s report also states that previous studies conducted in the United States suggesting substantial health risks were based on evidence that was both “limited and uncertain.”

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,