Cooler Heads Digest 19 July 2013

19 July 2013

In the News

Energy Department Study: Fracking No Harm to Water
AP, 19 July 2013

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s Own Experts Contradict Obama on Global Warming
James Taylor, Forbes, 19 July 2013

Global Warming: From Science to Agitprop
Rupert Darwall, Huffington Post, 18 July 2013

Bill Clinton Touts Green Legacy as EPA Building Takes His Name
Darren Goode, Politico, 18 July 2013

Country Ballad about Collateral Damage in War on Coal Brings Down the House on Network TV
Anthony Ward,, 17 July 2013

R.I.P. Peak Oil as Oil Drum Shuts Down
Mark Mills, Real Clear Energy, 17 July 2013

Obama Energy Tax Will Kill Economic Growth
Sen. John Barrasso, Investors Business Daily, 17 July 2013

EPA’s Regional Haze Program Costs Nebraska Ratepayers Millions
Algis Laukaitis, Lincoln Journal Star, 17 July 2013

New Study Details EPA’s Incompetence
Jason Pyle, United Liberty, 17 July 2013

Global Warming Is Responsible for…
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 16 July 2013

News You Can Use
Dr. Roy Spencer’s Senate Testimony on Climate Sensitivity

In testimony before a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on climate science this week, Dr. Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, stated,  

Our most recent peer-reviewed paper on this subject, Spencer & Braswell (2013), has arrived at a climate sensitivity of only 1.3 deg. C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, based upon a variety of global measurements, including warming of the global oceans since the 1950s. This level of warming is below the lower limit of 1.5 deg. C minimum predicted in the last IPCC report.

Click here to read Dr. Spencer’s entire testimony.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

McCarthy Confirmation Signals Full Speed Ahead on Anti-Energy Agenda

The Senate voted on Thursday, 18th July, to confirm Gina McCarthy as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency by a vote of 58 to 40. Earlier in the day, the Senate voted to invoke cloture to end debate and move to the final vote by a vote of 69 to 31. 

The successful cloture vote on McCarthy was part of a larger deal arranged by Senator John McCain (R-Az.) with Majority Whip Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to provide enough Republican votes to pass cloture motions on seven nominations for executive branch offices.  Invoking cloture requires a three-fifths super-majority or sixty votes if all 100 Senators are voting.  The Republicans that McCain brought along with him as part of the deal appear to be Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Susan Collins (R-Me.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).  These six voted for cloture on the nomination of Thomas Perez to be Labor Secretary, which passed with the bare 60-40 margin. 

In addition to these six Senators, eight other Republicans voted for cloture on McCarthy.  They were: Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Jeff Flake (R-Az.), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and David Vitter (R-La.). 

On the final vote to confirm McCarthy, eight Republicans switched their yes vote on cloture to no.  They were: Chambliss, Graham, Isakson, Kirk, Murkowski, Portman, Sessions, and Vitter.  Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the only Democrat to vote no on both cloture and confirmation.

The rationale for McCain’s deal was that if the Republicans kept blocking Obama nominees on cloture on votes, then Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was going to change the rules by a parliamentary point of order sustained by a simple majority so as to get rid of the three-fifths majority requirement for cloture nominees to executive branch positions.  The argument for giving in was that if the rules were changed for executive nominees, then the next step would be to change the rules for judicial appointments. 

In regard to the politics of confirming McCarthy, my view is that any Senator who voted for cloture or confirmation has endorsed President Obama’s war on affordable energy, for which McCarthy has been the point person, and ensured that there will be much more to come. 

Across the States
William Yeatman

12 States Sue EPA over Sue and Settle FOIA

Twelve States this week filed a lawsuit to force EPA to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request for all agency correspondence with environmentalist special interests. The purpose of the FOIA request is to expose “sue and settle,” or non-adversarial lawsuits filed by green groups against EPA, which the agency immediately settles. Then, in secret negotiations, the friendly litigants negotiate environmental policy that is imposed on States, without their having had any input.

Since 2009, EPA has either proposed or finalized 43 regulatory takeovers of state air quality programs as a result of sue and settle consent decrees negotiated by EPA and environmentalists. This regulatory assault is why, last February, the Attorneys General representing Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, filed a FOIA request with EPA, seeking all correspondence between agency officials and lawyers at green groups.

EPA has refused to produce the records, which isn’t surprising, given that the 12 Attorneys General are Republican. As the complaint explains, “Ninety-two percent of the time EPA grants fee waiver requests from noncommercial requesters who are supportive of EPA’s policies and agendas, but denies a majority of fee waiver requests from noncommercial requesters who are critical of EPA.” (The source of that statistic is research by my colleague Chris Horner.)

Around the World
Anthony Ward

World Bank to Limit Funding of Coal Plants in Developing Nations

The World Bank announced an initiative this week to severely reduce the funding of coal-powered plants in developing nations.  The World Bank’s decision will increase the difficulty of obtaining affordable electricity in these countries.

According to the Daily Caller, CEI’s Chris Horner called the move evidence of the World Bank acting as the Obama Administration’s “ideological mercenary”. The President has called for the cessation of public financing for new overseas power plants unless carbon capture technologies are included. 

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,