Cooler Heads Digest 10 October 2014

10 October 2014


On Wednesday, October 15, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM at 2325 Rayburn House Office Building, George C. Marshall Institute Chairman Dr. Will Happer will discuss “The Myth of Carbon Pollution.” To learn more and RSVP, email

The 60 Plus Association this week released a report, Energy Bills Challenge Fixed-Income Seniors, which demonstrates how EPA policies, and in particular the agency’s “Clean Power Plan,” are driving up the cost of living for seniors. Click here to read the report.

In the News

EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Strategy for One-Party Rule?
Marlo Lewis,, 10 October 2014

Policy Implications of the Global Warming Pause
Ross McKitrick, Master Resource, 10 October 2014

Global Warming’s Statistical Meltdown
Judith Curry, Wall Street Journal, 10 October 2014

Shell Oil, Lego, and the Environmental Movement’s War on Capitalism
James Delingpole, Breitbart, 10 October 2014

Energy Imports Drop to 29 Year Low
Timothy Cama, The Hill, 10 October 2014

Hagan Passed North Carolina Law That Aided Family’s Solar Company
Brent Scher, Washington Free Beacon, 10 October 2014

Wind Energy Admits It Needs a Handout To Compete
Nicolas Loris, Daily Signal, 8 October 2014

A Carbon Tax Cannot Create Jobs
James Taylor, Forbes, 8 October 2014

You Didn’t Build That, Mr. President
Mark Green, Energy Tomorrow, 3 October 2014

News You Can Use
EPA’s War on Coal by the Numbers

More than 72 gigawatts (GW) of electrical generating capacity have already or are now set to retire because of EPA regulations, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Energy Research. EPA had predicted its regulations would shutter 9 GW of coal-fired generating capacity.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

EPA Sends Smog Rule to OMB for Review, But Won’t Publish Until After the Election

The Environmental Protection Agency this week sent their draft ozone rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget for interagency review. Like many other controversial proposed rules, this one will not be released to the public for comment until after the 4th November congressional elections.

The EPA is under court order to finalize the rule by October 2015.  The White House delayed issuing the new National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone (or smog) in the summer of 2011 when they realized that the rule is potentially so colossally expensive that it could threaten President Obama’s re-election prospects. 

The Bush Administration in 2008 set the standard at 75 parts per billion.  The exact figure that the EPA is now proposing is not known, but is expected to range from 70 down to 60 ppb.  A study by the highly-respected NERA Economic Consulting for the National Association of Manufacturers concluded that the total cost of lowering the level to 60 ppb could cost $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040 or $270 billion per year.

The Clean Air Act Advisory Board in June notified the EPA that, “Although a level of 70 ppb is more protective of public health than the current standard, it may not meet the statutory requirement to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety.”  That judgment call by the board may be binding on the EPA. 

In the ongoing litigation over the refusal by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to turn over text messages requested under the Freedom of Information Act, the Justice Department told a federal court this week that it is preparing to notify the National Archives that the EPA has destroyed the official records.  This appears to be a violation of the Federal Records Act, but the Obama Administration denies it.  When he was running for president in 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama promised that his administration would be the most open and transparent in history.     

EPA Pulls an IRS

As Chris Horner, my CEI colleague, told the Washington Times, “Here we see EPA agreeing to the court to do an IRS.” Horner filed the FOIA request when it became apparent from e-mails obtained under FOIA that McCarthy had switched from e-mails to text messages to colleagues and allies in environmental pressure groups in order to avoid public disclosure through FOIA of the Obama EPA’s war on coal.

McCarthy has claimed that destroying the many thousands of text messages is legal because they were all of a personal nature and therefore not official government records.  However, they were sent and received using a cell phone supplied by the federal government.  Metadata has also revealed that many were sent to other top EPA officials. 

Meet the Latest Climate Profiteers

The Obama administration is pushing hard to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a widely-used class of refrigerants that EPA blames for contributing to global warming.  Strongly supporting the administration in this effort are America’s two largest refrigerant producers, DuPont and Honeywell.

These two companies have developed and patented substitutes which sell for considerably more than the HFCs they would replace.  This includes a joint venture to produce HFO-1234yf, a proprietary replacement for the HFCs used in automotive air-conditioners. 

HFO-1234yf has several drawbacks, including in flammability. But with so few viable options left – many other refrigerants were outlawed in the 1990s on the grounds that they deplete the Earth’s ozone layer – automakers may be forced to use the DuPont/Honeywell product if a ban on HFCs goes into effect.

HFO-1234yf costs about $120 per pound compared to $6-$7 per pound for the type of HFC currently used in motor vehicles.  Most new car and light-duty truck models require 1 to 3 pounds of refrigerant, and they may need additional refrigerant to replenish any leaks that occur over the life of the vehicle.   DuPont and Honeywell expect sales of their new refrigerant to reach into the billions of dollars.

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,