- The Cooler Heads Coalition will host a talk by Rupert Darwall at 4 PM on Wednesday, 13th March, in Room 2218 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Darwall is the author of The Age of Global Warming: A History, published in London this week and in the U. S. at the end of the month by Quartet Books. Attendees will be given a copy of the book. Here are two op-eds by Darwall published this week in the Daily Telegraph and the Wall Street Journal Europe Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- An anti-oil industry propaganda film, Greedy Lying Bastards, opens today in nine cities. Several people featured in the movie trailer work for organizations that belong to the Cooler Heads Coalition. The executive producer is former movie actress Daryl Hannah. The director is former eco-terrorist Craig Scott Rosebraugh.
- The Majority Staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week published a study, “A History Lesson Worth Repeating: The Alaska Pipeline and Its Lessons for the Keystone XL.” Click here to read the report.
In the News
A Later Peak Cherry Blossom Date—Is D.C.’s Global Warming Indicator Broken
Adam Sandberg, GlobalWarming.org, 8 March 2013
Congressmen Demand Investigation of EPA Selectively Blocking FOIAs
Mark Flatten, Washington Examiner, 7 March 2013
Greens Are Wasting Their Time Protesting Keystone XL
Washington Post editorial, 4 March 2013
New Mexico Ratepayers Lose Big on State’s Settlement with EPA
Paul Guessing, Errors of Enchantment, 4 March 2013
News You Can Use
$4.8 Million in Taxpayer Giveaways per Wind Energy Job
According to a report by Bonner R. Cohen published this week by the American Energy Alliance and the National Center for Public Policy Research, a one-year extension of the wind production tax credit—the industry’s most lucrative taxpayer giveaway—would cost up to $4.8 million for each direct wind manufacturing and construction job added.
Inside the Beltway
Obama Nominates Gina McCarthy to Top EPA Post
President Barack Obama on Monday, Mar. 4, nominated Gina McCarthy to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. McCarthy, who has served as Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation for the past four years, was described by the President as a “straight shooter.” The media immediately echoed this evaluation, and several reporters noted that even her opponents respect her for being a straight shooter.
Perhaps McCarthy has won marksmanship competitions, but as an environmental administrator she is not much of a straight shooter in the metaphorical sense. She has a pattern of developing policies in secret, refusing to disclose information requested by the relevant congressional committees, even after agreeing to do so, and of misrepresenting policies being developed. My CEI colleague Anthony Ward summarizes some of McCarthy’s deceptions in a post on GlobalWarming.org, which quotes a 2011 post by another CEI colleague Marlo Lewis on Breitbart, titled “Why Obama Officials Had To Lie To Congress About Fuel Economy Standards.”
Along the same lines, Representative Lamar Smith, R-Tex., Chairman of the House Science Committee, and Senator David Vitter, R-La., ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a letter to McCarthy the day she was nominated asking her to provide the scientific data on health and mortality that EPA has used to justify a raft of expensive new Clean Air Act Rules. Smith and Vitter note that, “[T]his secret data is the lynchpin for a majority of the regulatory benefit for the entire federal regulatory enterprise.” And they remind Assistant Administrator McCarthy that, “In September 2011, you committed to providing all underlying PM2.5-mortality data in order for it to be independently reviewed and on November 30, 2011, you pledged in letter to take action ‘…as soon as possible to provide you with any data and analysis produced with EPA funds….’” They conclude by asking her to keep her promise and turn over the data. (Don’t hold your breath.) The whole letter is worth reading.
McCarthy has advanced the radical environmental agenda throughout her career as a state and federal administrator. President Obama was never interested in environmental issues until he was elected President. Since then, he has enthusiastically adopted the radical agenda. Whoever he nominates to be EPA Administrator is going to promote those policies. But I think McCarthy’s duplicity makes her wholly unqualified to be EPA Administrator.
State Department Report Heats Up Keystone Debate
On Friday, Mar. 1, the State Department released a draft supplementary environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that would connect Alberta’s oil sands with refineries in Texas and Louisiana. After the EIS is published in the Federal Register next week, there will be a 45-day public comment period. The EIS finds all of the major claims of environmental risks and damages made by opponents of the pipeline to be groundless.
Naturally, environmental pressure groups have attacked the EIS and are re-doubling efforts to convince President Obama to deny the permit. But some usual allies have thrown in the towel. Columnist Joe Nocera even wrote in The New York Times that the prophet himself, James E. Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia, was wrong about Keystone.
The Canadian government and much of the oil industry in Calgary have relaxed for the past year on the assumption President Obama would change his mind and approve Keystone after he was re-elected. That complacency has disappeared in the past week. As Toronto’s National Post reported, the Canadian government and some provincial governments have launched a co-ordinated lobbying blitz in the United States.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall was in Washington this week, as was Brenda Kenny, the president of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association. Kenny told an audience of energy experts gathered at the Smithsonian’s Wilson Center that her association was going to challenge falsehoods made by opponents about pipeline safety in general and Keystone in particular. Labeling environmental propaganda as “falsehoods” is strong language for a Canadian. Canadian Energy Minister Joe Oliver gave a speech that was described by the Hill as a “broadside against environmentalists” who oppose the pipeline. Oliver then went to Houston carrying the same message.
Across the States
New York: The Associated Press this week reported that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was set to partially lift a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a gas drilling technology also known as fracking, but he was persuaded to hold off on doing so by his former brother-in-law Robert Kennedy, Jr., a famous environmentalist. According to the AP, Kennedy impressed on Gov. Cuomo the “health problems” associated with fracking. Contrary to what Kennedy told the Governor, there are no such “health problems.” The truth is that environmentalist agitators like Kennedy and documentarian Josh Fox don’t have any evidence to back up their claims. If I was an upstate New Yorker whose property lay above the Marcellus Shale, a gas rich geological formation underneath much of the State, I’d question why my Governor is listening to his former brother-in-law, instead of New York state geologist Dr. Taury Smith, a fracking supporter who dismisses environmentalist alarmism about the drilling technique as being the “worst kind of spin.”
Colorado: On Tuesday evening, the Ft. Collins, Colorado city council voted to ban fracking within municipal limits. Ft. Collins became the third Colorado city to do so, joining Longmont and Boulder. All three measures are opposed by the state government, which was granted exclusive authority to regulate fracking by the Colorado legislature. Attorney General John Suthers already has a pending lawsuit against Longmont, and it is almost certain that the state will sue Ft. Collins, too.
Maryland: By a 6-5 vote, the Maryland Senate, Health, and Environmental Affairs voted down a bill that would have imposed a moratorium on fracking in the state.
Around the World
China Holding Off On Carbon Tax
In February, China’s Ministry of Finance announced its intention to introduce a Carbon Tax aimed at reducing emissions from fossil fuels, but has now decided to delay its implementation until at least 2014. The Ministry of Finance’s decision to delay the tax comes in the wake of internal opposition raised due to economic concerns. China is both the world’s greatest coal consumer and largest contributor of carbon dioxide, accounting for more than 28 percent of the world’s total emissions.
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.