In the News
Spanish Company under Federal Investigation Wins $230 Million in DOE Subsidies
Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, 17 October 2014
The Breathless Hypocrisy Driving Energy “Divestment”
Benjamin Zycher, Real Clear Markets, 15 October 2014
Increasing Efficiency of “Fracking” Has Made U.S. the World’s Largest Producer
Mark Perry, AEIdeas, 15 October 2014
News You Can Use
Report: EPA’s Clean Power Plan Will Make Electricity Rates Necessarily Skyrocket
According to a report released this week by NERA, EPA’s Clean Power Plan would:
- Be the most expensive environmental regulation ever imposed on the electric power sector. The rule will cost state power sectors between $41 billion and $73 billion per year (EPA estimates “only” $8.8 billion annually), and $336 billion to $479 billion over 15 years.
- Cause double digit electricity price rate hikes in 43 states. Electricity prices will increase by an average of 12% to 17%. Fourteen states will face price increases up to 20%.
- Have no measurable effects on climate change. By 2050, the Plan would, in theory, reduce sea-level rise by 1/100th of an inch (the thickness of three sheets of paper), and reduce average global temperatures by less than 2/100ths of a degree.
Inside the Beltway
EPA Administrator McCarthy Visits D.C. School to Peddle Nonsense about Asthma and Global Warming
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Thursday visited The Inspired Teaching School in Washington, D.C., in order to draw attention to Children’s Health Month. According to the EPA’s press release, McCarthy will discuss how “warmer temperatures from climate change, fueled by carbon pollution, are making allergy seasons longer and worsening smog, exacerbating asthma in our kids.”
The facts suggest otherwise. According to the EPA, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants decreased by 62 percent between 1980 and 2013, while the economy grew by 145 percent. And yet, from 2001 to 2011, the Center for Disease Control says the number of Americans with asthma grew by 28 percent. Therefore, real pollution is decreasing, while asthma has become more prevalent. It is also notable that 2001-2011, when asthma rates increased and pollution decreased, there was (and continues to be) a “pause” in global warming. In light of these inconvenient truths, Administrator McCarthy’s attempt to link climate change and asthma simply makes no sense.
Senator Vitter Releases Collusive Emails between NRDC and EPA on Clean Power Plan
On July 6, The New York Times reported that three lobbyists for the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote the “blueprint” for EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations for existing power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan. The report was disconcerting due to the fact that the NRDC had spent considerable resources getting President Obama elected, so it appeared that the green group was being rewarded with policymaking privileges.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy forcefully denied the New York Times report, but her protestations was belied this week when Senate Environment & Public Works Ranking Member David Vitter (R-La.) released a trove of email correspondence demonstrating “very close working relationship between the two organizations to develop the carbon rule—dating back to 2011—two years before EPA has said the public had an opportunity to provide input.”
For example, in a congratulatory email sent in the wake of a “sue and settle” agreement between NRDC and EPA that led to the Clean Power Plan, McCarthy wrote to one NRDC lobbyist that “This success is as much yours as it is mine.” For more on how green groups have “captured” Obama’s EPA, see here, here, and here.
Pentagon Declares War on Global Warming
The Pentagon on Monday released a Climate Change Adaption Roadmap whose preamble states that climate change “poses an immediate threat to national security” and whose purpose is to integrate global warming threats into all “plans, operations, and training” across the entire Defense Department.
In light of both the current state of global affairs (i.e., the Middle East is aflame with conflict, Russia is menacing eastern Ukraine, and Ebola is raging in western Africa) and the fact that global warming has “paused,” one might be excused for thinking the Pentagon’s priorities are dangerously out of whack.
Across the States
“Topsy-Turvy” Clean Power Plan Could “Substantially” Raise Electric Bills — Virginia State Corporate Commission
In a regulatory comment letter filed this week, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission cautions that EPA’s Clean Power Plan “would substantially increase” consumer electric bills, “raises alarming regional reliability concerns,” and is likely unlawful.
Established in 1903, the Commission regulates many businesses and economic activities in Virginia, sets rates charged by large investor-owned utilities, and serves as the central filing agency for corporations in the state.
“Complying with the EPA’s proposed carbon emission rules would likely cost Dominion Virginia Power customers alone an extra $5.5 billion to $6 billion, the State Corporation Commission’s staff said in an unusually bluntly worded statement,” the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported yesterday.
EPA’s own model assumes Virginia will have to shut down reliable coal and gas power plants producing 2,851 megawatts of electricity, and replace that with 351 megawatts of unreliable wind and solar power, with the gap supposedly filled by increased efficiency and reduced demand. Even if the intermittency of renewable power were not an issue, there is “zero probability that wind and solar resources can be developed in the time and on the scale necessary” to meet the state’s 2020 carbon dioxide reduction target, Commission staff argued.
Legally, the Clean Power Plan is “topsy-turvy,” Commission staff said, because it imposes much more stringent emission standards on existing Virginia power plants than EPA proposes to require for new units. Clarifying the point with an analogy, staff asked: “Would it be rational to require the current owners of automobiles or lawnmowers throughout Virginia, for example, to meet an emission standard that is 26 percent more stringent than required for the production of new cars or lawnmowers that must use the best available technology?”
Around the World
Ex-U.K. Environment Secretary Owen Patterson Throws Down Gauntlet on Energy Policy
In a brilliant speech before the Global Warming Policy Foundation, former U.K. Environment Secretary Owen Patterson challenged Tories to suspend the 2008 Climate Change Act, or else struggle “to keep the lights on.” Since the speech was delivered, the Cooler Heads Digest has learned from many British friends that it has ignited much debate among conservatives. We hope they heed Patterson’s prescient advice. Read James Delingpole’s take here.
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.