Cooler Heads Digest 24 October 2014


24 October 2014

In the News

U.S. Oil Seen as Buffer for Global Prices and Supply
Lynn Doan, Bloomberg, 24 October 2014

Why the World Will Not Agree to Pricing Carbon
Peter Lang, Master Resource, 23 October 2014

Weather Channel Co-Founder: “There Is No Climate Crisis”
Ellie Zolfagharifard, Daily Mail, 23 October 2014

Not Just a Fracking Ban
Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review, 23 October 2014

Energy Cost Rise: A Pledge Obama (Unfortunately) Kept
Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 22 October 2014

Lame-Duck Congress May Lay Golden Eggs for Crony Capitalists
Ernest Istook, Washington Times, 22 October 2014

Tom Steyer: A Fool and His Money
Washington Examiner editorial, 21 October 2014

GOP Demands EPA Ditch Economic Studies That Are “Divorced from Reality”
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 21 October 2014

No, BP Didn’t Ruin the Gulf
Geoff Morrell, Politico, 21 October 2014

Which Is the Bigger Threat to People in Developing Countries: Climate Change or Energy Poverty?
Marlo Lewis,, 20 October 2014

Oil: The Real Economic Stimulus
Stephen Moore, Washington Times, 18 October 2014

News You Can Use
Poll: Plurality of Americans Oppose EPA’s Climate Regulations

According to a poll conducted earlier this month by Paragon Insights, a plurality of U.S. voters oppose EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, with 47 percent opposing, 44 percent supporting and 9 percent undecided. We’re sure the 9 percent undecided would oppose the rule if they got to know it.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Methane Leakage Is the Next Target in Obama’s Climate Agenda

After delaying indefinitely plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from oil refineries, the Environmental Protection Agency is now preparing to follow the lead of environmental pressure groups and the State of California and crack down on methane leakage from natural gas production and delivery.  California Governor Jerry Brown last week signed a bill into law that requires the state’s Air Resources Board to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce methane emissions, including those from livestock.

Methane, the principal component of natural gas, is a potent but short-lived trace greenhouse gas.  Gas leaks from production sites at highly varying levels and is sometimes flared at wells producing both oil and gas because it is uneconomic to capture and pipe it to market.  More leakage occurs from the pipelines.

Earlier this month, researchers analyzing data from a European satellite announced that methane leakage between 2006 and 2012 from two shale gas fields in the United States ranged from 3 to 17 percent of production and averaged roughly 10%.  Their results were published in an American Geophysical Union open access journal, Earth’s Future.

The two fields were the Eagle Ford in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota.  The satellite stopped functioning in 2012 as a result of power failure.  The EPA has estimated that methane leakage from gas production averages 1.2%.  Other studies have found lower leakage rates. The regulators at EPA will no doubt rely on the 10% figure, as they write their new regulations.

EPA Delays Revised 2014 RFS until after the Election and 2015 RFS until September 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency is required by law to announce its mandatory blending target for the Renewable Fuels Standard for the year before that year begins.  In November 2013, the EPA complied with the law  and announced the 2014 RFS would total 15.21 billion gallons. That was a considerable drop of almost 17% from the 18.15 billion gallons target set in the 2007 anti-energy law and an 8% decrease from EPA’s 2013 target of 16.55 billion gallons.  It seemed in January that even the EPA realized  that the ethanol mandate is on the verge of imploding. 

After furious political blowback from Big Corn, the EPA in early 2014 announced that it would revise the 2014 figure upwards later in the year.  The EPA finally sent its proposed revised 2014 RFS to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review in late August. In late September, it became known that the rule would not become final until after the election. 

Now, it has been reported that the EPA will not announce the 2015 RFS until September 2015 at the earliest.  It is a curious fact that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot comply with the law, but requires people to comply with its rules many months before they are published.

Across the States
William Yeatman

New York Governor Changes Tune on Fracking

During a gubernatorial candidate debate this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) was asked when, if reelected, he would decide whether to lift the Empire State’s ongoing moratorium on fracking. He responded by saying that he would “let the scientists decide.” This represents a notable shift from Governor Cuomo’s previous practice, which was to defer not to scientists, but rather to deranged environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. In March, 2013, the Associated Press reported that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was set to partially lift a statewide moratorium, but he was persuaded to hold off on doing so by Kennedy, who is not a scientist and who has been described by the liberal media outlet Slate as being “obsessive and dangerous.”

Around the World
William Yeatman

European Union Reaches Agreement on Meaningless Climate Goals

The European Council this week reached an agreement to reduce greenhouse gases at least 40 percent by 2030. According to French President Francois Hollande, the agreement is “conclusive and definitive,” but this is malarkey. In fact, EU leaders rendered the agreement worthless by including a “flexibility clause,” which allows them to revisit the targets at any time. As such, the agreement is “conclusively” and “definitively” non-binding, and therefore meaningless. Environmental special interests were appropriately depressed. In a press statement, Greenpeace said that, “The global fight against climate change needs radical shock treatment, but what the EU is offering is at best a whiff of smelling salts... .Europe can and should do more to stop the most devastating impacts of climate change.”

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,