Cooler Heads Digest 25 April 2014

25 April 2014


The Center for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) this week launched a new website, Energy Depot, which complements its well-established Climate Depot.

In the News

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) Abandons Skepticism, Embraces Science on Showtime Climate Series (airing tonight!)
Joe Romm, Climate Progress, 25 April 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Rep. Michael Grimm Expected To Be Indicted
John Bresnahan & Jake Sherman, Politico, 25 April 2014

Seven Reasons Nothing Should Stand in the Way of the Keystone XL Pipeline
Nicolas Loris, The Foundry, 25 April 2014

How Obama Shocked Harper as Keystone’s Frustrator-in-Chief
Edward Green, Bloomberg, 25 April 2014

State of Wind Energy 2014: Desperately Seeking Subsidies
Marita Noon, Midland Reporter-Telegram, 25 April 2014

Al Gore Is Not Giving Up: An Interview
Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, 24 April 2014

Germany Discovers Sense of Humor, Loses Faith in Green Energy
James Delingpole, Breitbart London, 23 April 2014

AWEA’s Bold Push for More Wind Welfare
Travis Fisher, Institute for Energy Research, 23 April 2014

Martin Files: “Confidential” Email Exposes Eco-Left Rift in Colorado
Michael Sandoval, The Complete Colorado, 23 April 2014

The Cellulosic Biofuel Blunder: Reminder That State Can’t Create Green Energy Industries
William Yeatman,, 23 April 2014

Climate Scientist’s Privacy Victory May Prove a Loss for Journalists
Alexis Sobel Fitts, Columbia Journalism Review, 23 April 2014

Study: Fuels from Corn Waste Worse Than Gas
Dina Cappiello, AP, 20 April 2014

News You Can Use
Earth Day Flops

On Monday, the only mention of Earth Day in the New York Times was on page 9: a full page public service announcement from Patron Tequila telling readers, “This Earth Day, Drink Responsibly.”

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

President Again Punts on Keystone XL Pipeline

The State Department on the afternoon of Good Friday, 18th April, announced that it was extending indefinitely the time that other federal departments and agencies have to submit their views on whether building the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the national interest.  Apparently, whether increasing oil supplies from Canada, our closest ally and biggest trade partner, is in the national interest is a difficult question for many high administration officials.

Perhaps some of these Cabinet secretaries and agency heads have not made their position known yet because they can’t tell which way the wind is blowing in the White House.  Rolling Stone published a long article by Jeff Goodell this week on President Obama’s imminent climate offensive which gives the answer.  According to Goodell, “Although no final decision has been made, two high-level sources in the Obama administration told me recently that the president has all but decided to deny the permit for the pipeline – a dramatic move that would light up Democratic voters and donors while further provoking the wrath of Big Oil.”

This further delay in the Keystone decision-making process (as White House spokesman Jay Carney insists on calling it) will no doubt please billionaire Democratic Party donor Tom Steyer, but other reliable Obama supporters are surprisingly critical.  For example, the Washington Post, fearless defender of the DC establishment, published an editorial this week headlined, “Keystone XL’s absurd delay.”   Kathleen McKinley’s blog post in the San Francisco Chronicle was titled, “Can Tom Steyer Buy President Obama’s Keystone XL Pipeline Decision?”  She began her article: “Many people see President Obama’s decision to delay his Keystone XL Pipeline decision until after the elections as purely political.  But rest assured, it’s about money as well.” For more on the Keystone delay, see my CEI colleague Marlo Lewis’s post on Master Resource.

House Energy and Commerce Plans To Move LNG Export Bill

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is planning to get right down to work when Congress returns from its two-week Easter recess by marking up H. R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, on 30th April.  The bill provides that 19 of the 24 pending applications for LNG exports to non-FTA countries will be granted without further delay or any modification. It would also change the standards that the Department of Energy uses to review future export applications.   

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Oregon Governor Announces Opposition to Coal Exports

The Oregonian newspaper reported on 25th April that Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (D) has come out unequivocally against a proposed coal export terminal at Boardman. Ambre Energy, an Australian company, proposes to move coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming by rail to the Port of Morrow in the town of Boardman, which is 250 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River.  The coal would then be barged 200 miles down the Columbia and transferred to ocean-going ships at a port in Columbia County, northwest of Portland. The project is projected eventually to ship 8.8 million tons of coal annually to markets in Asia. 

Gov. Kitzhaber said in a speech to the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, “It is time to once and for all to say no to coal exports from the Pacific Northwest.  It is time to say yes to national and state energy policies that will transform our economy and our communities into a future that can sustain the next generation.” The port facilities would generate tens of millions of dollars in economic activity annually and pay annual port fees and property taxes of over four million dollars in one of the more economically depressed States.

NY Guv Cuomo Announces $1 Billion Subsidy to Wean Solar Industry off Subsidies

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced anearly $1 billion commitment to NY-Sun, the state’s solar energy program. The program is a rate-payer subsidy, rather than a taxpayer subsidy. In practice, New Yorkers without solar panels will pay higher utility bills in order to subsidize those who can afford them.  According to a press release from the Governor’s office, the purpose of this $1 billion subsidy is to “transform New York’s solar industry to a sustainable, subsidy-free sector.”

Meanwhile, the Governor continues to dither on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in upstate New York. That industry, of course, is already “sustainable”. The evidence is directly across the border: The Pennsylvania government has welcomed expanded oil and gas drilling, and it’s led to an economic revitalization of formerly depressed regions of the States.

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,