Cooler Heads Digest 9 August 2013

9 August 2013

In the News

Carbon Tax Pessimism (Part 2)
Kenneth P. Green, Master Resource, 9 August 2013
The Future of Energy: Why Power Density Matters
Robert Wilson, Energy Collective, 8 August 2013

One Hundred People To Watch This Fall: Chris Horner
The Hill, 7 August 2013

Unlocking the Power of Keystone
Rep. Fred Upton, Washington Times, 7 August 2013

Anti-Keystone Ad Quashed by NBC
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 7 August 2013

The Fundamental Limitations of Renewable Energy
Schalk Cloete, Energy Collective, 6 August 2013

Devon Energy CEO Larry Nichols on George Mitchell, RIP, Who Developed Shale Fracking 
William Yeatman,, 4 August 2013

Fifty Kentucky Lawmakers Send Letter Addressing Obama’s ‘Unfair Attack on Coal’
Erica Peterson, WFPL, 2 August 2013

News You Can Use

EIA: "Oil and Gas Industry Employment Growing Much Faster Than Total Private Sector Employment"

According to a report from the U. S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, “From the start of 2007 through the end of 2012, total U.S. private sector employment increased by more than one million jobs, about 1%. Over the same period, the oil and natural gas industry increased by more than 162,000 jobs, a 40% increase.”

Inside the Beltway
Myron  Ebell

Dispute Continues Over House Science Committee Subpoena to EPA

The public fight that Representative Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, picked with the Environmental Protection Agency last week looks like it will continue into the August recess. On 1st August, the committee voted on a party-line vote to authorize the chairman to subpoena the EPA for the data underlying several major epidemiological studies that are used to justify Clean Air Act regulations. Chairman Smith then executed the subpoena and sent it to new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who in September 2011 as Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation had promised the committee to turn over the data.

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.), the ranking Democrat on the Science Committee, sent Chairman Smith a letter on 30th July objecting in lengthy detail to the proposed subpoena. In her letter, Rep. Johnson attacked the credibility of Dr. James Enstrom, who was fired by UCLA after 36 years as a research scientist because his results have sometimes been politically incorrect.  In particular, he has questioned the EPA’s claims of hundreds of billions of dollars of health benefits from its Clean Air Act regulations.

Dr. Enstrom responded to Rep. Johnson’s attack in a letter to Chairman Smith in which he demands that Johnson “immediately withdraw her defamatory statements about me. Furthermore, I request that the Ranking Member identify the person(s) who originated these defamatory statements.” Since both the Chairman and the ranking Democrat are from Texas, the story has been picked up by the Texas media. Chairman Smith has also now replied to Rep. Johnson in an 8th August letter

EPA Sets Ethanol Requirements for 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency this week announced 2014 ethanol blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The overall level of biofuels required will remain at 16.55 billion gallons, while the amount of cellulosic ethanol required will be cut to six million gallons. Cellulosic ethanol is currently being produced in the thousands of gallons annually. 

The RFS, passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress and signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush in 2007, mandates steady increases in ethanol use until 2022, when 36 billion gallons of various types of ethanol must be blended into U. S. transportation fuels. The fact that the EPA has cut the cellulosic requirement and has not raised the overall ethanol requirement suggests the agency is beginning to see that the RFS is starting to create serious supply problems.   

Here is a website that lists several other web sites that maintain lists of gas stations that sell ethanol-free gasoline in the U. S. and Canada. 

Across the States
Myron Ebell


Thomas Steyer, the California hedge fund billionaire who has spent tens of millions of dollars to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, has ordered his NextGen Climate Action political fund to spend millions of dollars in Virginia’s gubernatorial race in support of Democratic nominee and long-time Democratic Party hack Terry McAuliffe. The effort has already begun with a big television ad buy, but it is expected that much more will be spent on efforts to identify and turn out voters who support energy-rationing policies to address climate change.

Steyer’s first purpose is to defeat Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli, who currently serves as Virginia’s Attorney General. In an interview with Politico, Steyer called Cuccinelli an environmentalist’s nightmare. But Steyer also hopes to use Virginia’s off-year election to prove the appeal of global warming and other environmental issues in general elections.       

Earlier this year, Steyer spent heavily in the special election in Massachusetts to help elect long-time Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to the U. S. Senate. But in Massachusetts, Steyer concentrated his spending on the Democratic primary election, in which Markey was by far the most outspoken global warming alarmist and opponent of Keystone. In fact, Markey has long been one of the most outspoken advocates of energy rationing in Congress: He sponsored the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation that narrowly passed the House in 2009 then died in the Senate.

If Steyer’s spending can help elect McAuliffe in Virginia, then he will be well positioned for the 2014 elections. Not only will he likely spend large sums himself, but he can argue that his approach to promoting environmental issues has broad appeal to voters and therefore should be widely adopted by Democratic candidates and donors. We shall see.         

Professor Michael Mann, the fabricator of the notorious Hockey Stick, has also gotten involved in Virginia’s gubernatorial election. In several public appearances with McAuliffe around the State and in television and radio interviews, Mann has bashed Cuccinelli as “anti-science.” It would be more correct to say that Cuccinelli is anti-Mann. As Attorney General, Cuccinelli tried to investigate possible fraud in obtaining government research grants by Mann, when he was on the faculty of the University of Virginia. Cuccinelli failed because the university refused to turn over records and the state’s Supreme Court sided with the university. 

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,