Cooler Heads Digest 13 June 2014

13 June 2014

In the News

The Poor Are Bearing the Cost of Solar
Monica Martinez, Forbes, 13 June 2014

How Can EPA’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ Deliver $ Billions in Climate Benefits If It Has No Detectable Impact on Global Temperatures, Sea-Level Rise, or Other Climate Indicators
Marlo Lewis,, 12 June 2014

Obama & the EPA: It’s about Rewarding Friends and Punishing Enemies
Benjamin Zycher, Los Angeles Times, 11 June 2014

Wind’s PTC: The Opposition Mounts
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 11 June 2014

Watchdog Rebuffed on EPA Data Turns to NSA
Stephen Dinan & Jim McElhatton, Washington Times, 10 June 2014

Chinese Official Plays Down Emission Cut Expectations
David Stanway, Reuters, 9 June 2014

News You Can Use
Antarctic Sea Ice Sets May Record

According to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, Antarctic sea ice reached its greatest extent for any May in the satellite record.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Cantor’s Defeat Paves Way for McCarthy’s Move up to Majority Leader

The very surprising defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in the Republican primary election in Virginia on 10th June by David Brat means that House Republicans must elect a new majority leader.  Representative Cantor announced the next day that he will serve out his term, but will resign as majority leader on 31st July.  The House Republican Conference then announced that elections will be held on 19th June.

House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) quickly drove potential conservative challengers out of the race.  Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, sounded out his colleagues for support and announced that he would not run.  Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) announced that he would run and then withdrew when he discovered he could not beat McCarthy.  Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) then announced that he would run so that conservatives at least had a candidate.  Labrador is a solid conservative and clearly a potential future leader of his party in the House, but has little chance to defeat McCarthy.  Of course, no one thought that Brat would beat Cantor.

Pre. McCarthy probably has more windmills in his California district than any other House member and has supported the federal wind production tax credit.  Recognizing that one of Brat’s top issues was his attacks on crony capitalism, McCarthy in an interview with the Wall Street Journal indicated that, while he supports the wind industry, he no longer supports the wind PTC.

If McCarthy is elected majority leader, then House Republicans will vote on a new chief whip.  A leading candidate is the current chief deputy whip (an appointed position), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).  Like McCarthy, Roskam is a moderate, establishment Republican.  The other candidates are Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the current chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), who was elected in 2010 with tea party support.  It has been reported that Scalise has more commitments so far, but has not yet secured a majority.  Members have been known not to keep their commitments in past leadership elections.     

White House Dismisses Petition to Correct Holdren’s Junk Science

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has dismissed a petition for correction under the federal Information Quality Act of a two-minute video that OSTP director John Holdren made in January, in which he explains that the very cold winter was caused by global warming.  In a letter dated 6th June to my CEI colleague Hans Bader, assistant OSTP director Tamara Dickinson states that Holdren’s claims were an “expression of Dr. Holdren’s personal opinion and expert judgment.”  In other words, the White House is claiming that the ridiculous public musings of a crank working at the White House are not covered by the Information Quality Act.  

This is extremely worrying.  President Barack Obama in an interview with Tom Friedman of the New York Times said this week that he gets frequent briefings from his top science advisor:

Every morning you get a security briefing from the intelligence community on global threats; do you now also get the same on environmental threats?  “I do,” said Obama. Science adviser “John Holdren typically makes presentations when there are new findings,” and his reports show that environmental stresses are now impacting both foreign and domestic policy.

A video of the interview was part of the final episode of Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously,” the most recent piece of global warming propaganda that no one watched. 

Across the States
William Yeatman

California Commits Cap-and-Trade Revenues to High-Speed Rail Boondoggle

California Governor Jerry Brown this week reached an agreement with Democratic leadership in the Legislature to spend up to $250 million of the 2014 proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade energy rationing program on a planned high speed rail in the hinterlands. Under the plan, many billions more would be spent on the project through 2020. Pacific Legal Foundation’s Harold Johnson told ClimateWire that the decision was a “gift” to opponents of California’s climate policy, and he is spot-on. The state’s high speed rail is the ultimate boondoggle, as has been reported by my colleague Marc Scribner. The first portion would connect Merced to the San Fernando Valley, at a cost of $31 billion. Anyone even remotely acquainted with California demography could tell you that this is an outrageous price to pay to connect these lightly populated regions.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Australian PM Abbott Asks Canada To Join Coalition to Oppose Global Carbon Caps

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited Ottawa and Washington this week for talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama.  It was reported that Abbott talked to Harper about creating a coalition to oppose global efforts to conclude a new international agreement that puts a price on carbon dioxide emissions.  It was also reported that he hoped to recruit the prime ministers of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and India to join the coalition.  British Prime Minister David Cameron seems an unlikely opponent of global energy-rationing policies, but China and Japan are in fact already allies, although their rhetoric is designed to conceal their opposition to new global carbon caps.    

White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed that President Obama and Prime Minister Abbott did discuss climate policies during their meeting, but did not share any details.  Since Obama is creating an energy-rationing regime through executive fiat and Abbott’s government is moving to repeal Australia’s carbon tax and dismantle its climate bureaucracy, the lack of details almost certainly means that they found no common ground. 

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,