Cooler Heads Digest 11 July 2014


11 July 2014


  • The Heartland Institute’s 9th International Conference on Climate Change took place this week in Las Vegas. Click here to find video archives of all the sessions.
  • The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow this week announced plans for a new documentary film to counter global warming alarmism. Climate Hustle is set to be hosted by C-FACT’s own Marc Morano and is currently seeking donations to make the project a reality. You can view the trailer and donate to the project here.

In the News

Economic Consequences of EPA’s Climate Regime
James Rust, Master Resource, 11 July 2014

Worried Moms: Global Warming Endangers Our Kids
Paul Strand, CBN News, 10 July 2014

$6 a Gallon? Where Gas Prices Could Be without the U.S. Energy Boom
Rob Nikolewski, Daily Signal, 10 July 2014

House Republicans Threaten To Subpoena EPA over Carbon Rules
Timothy Cama, The Hill, 9 July 2014

Rebutting the ‘Conservative Case’ for a Carbon Tax
Marlo Lewis,, 9 July 2014

Obama Concedes His Climate Plan Could Raise Electricity Prices
Andrew Powaleny, The Hill, 9 July 2014

Power Grab: EPA Wants To Garnish Wages of Accused Polluters
S. A. Miller, Washington Times, 8 July 2014

‘Rolling Coal’ Trucks Troll Environmentalists
Daniel Strauss, Talking Points Memo, 7 July 2014

News You Can Use
We’re #1 (in Oil & Natural Gas Liquids)

According to new analysis by the International Energy Agency and the Bank of America, the United States is now the world’s largest oil and natural gas liquids producer, overtaking both Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Inside the Betway
Myron Ebell

House Passes Energy Appropriations Bill with Climate Riders

The House of Representatives on 19th July passed and sent to the Senate the FY 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill,  H. R. 4293, by a vote of 253 to 170. Several amendments that limit or forbid funds being used by the Department of Energy to implement the Obama Administration’s climate and energy-rationing agenda were adopted.

By 229-188, the House approved an amendment offered by Representative David McKinley (R-WV) that would prohibit spending on the National Climate Assessment, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN’s Agenda 21, and the Social Cost of Carbon. By 227-191, the House approved Rep. James Lankford’s (R-Okla.) amendment to block DOE funds being used to prepare, propose, or promulgate any regulation that relies on the Social Cost of Carbon guidance document.

An amendment offered by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Az.) to prohibit funding of the DOE’s Climate Model Development and Validation program passed 226-194.  And once again, the House added the rider offered by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) that prevents the Department of Energy from spending any money to implement or enforce the ban on incandescent light bulbs contained in the (anti-) Energy Independence and Security of 2007. The vote was 226 to 193.

Unlike the Senate, where even Democrats in the majority are prevented by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) from offering amendments, the House Rules Committee allowed a number of amendments to be offered by Democratic Members.  Several were adopted. 

New York Times Reports NRDC Wrote EPA Climate Regs

The New York Times published a story on 7th July that explains how David Doniger, David Hawkins, and Daniel Lashof at the Natural Resources Defense Council spent two years writing the 110-page blueprint for the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently released proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.  I normally find the New York Times unbearably rancid, but this article by reporter-green advocate Coral Davenport is worth reading. 

The claim that NRDC wrote the EPA’s new reg, which have been made previously in less detailed form by several opponents, was immediately denied in an internal e-mail by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that was leaked to the mainstream media.  According the Hill newspaper, McCarthy wrote, “According to an article from Monday, you just cut and pasted a particular [non-governmental organization’s] proposal and called it a day. If you're laughing right now, it's because you know just how preposterous that is.”

Although I think that the New York Times story is accurate and McCarthy knows it, there are good reasons why the Obama Administration needs to deny it.  Environmental pressure groups got a lot of mileage out of dubious charges that the George W. Bush Administration’s energy plan was largely written by Big Oil.  It might look equally bad that the Obama Administration’s energy-rationing regulations have been written by Big Green.    

Personnel Moves at API, LCV, and NextGen

The American Petroleum Institute announced this week that Louis Finkel has been hired as their new executive vice president and top lobbyist.  Finkel was most recently executive vice president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, but he spent several years as the chief of staff for Democrats on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  He has also worked on several Democratic campaigns and was briefly a lobbyist for Exxon Mobil, the largest member company of API and supporter of a carbon tax. 

Fuel Fix quoted Finkel: “I’m a Democrat; I always have been,” he said during a meeting Thursday with reporters. “I spent a lot of time on the Hill in Democratic politics, both in government service (and) working in campaigns.”    He made it clear that API would support the re-election of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska):  “We need to be supportive of members on both sides of the aisle when they are supportive of our policy objectives,” Finkel said. “We’ve had an opportunity over a long window with both Landrieu and Begich to watch them and work with them and see how they are going to perform. They’ve been supportive and there’s no reason for us to not continue our support.”  But he did admit that Senator Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) record on oil and gas issues is “mixed.”

Finkel replaces Marty Durbin, who earlier this year became head of America’s Natural Gas Alliance.  Durbin was also a Hill staffer for Democrats and is the nephew of Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Majority Whip.

In other personnel moves, Daniel Weiss has left the comically-named Center for American Progress to become senior vice president for campaigns at the League of Conservation Voters. Before his stint as director of climate strategy at CAP, Weiss served for eight years as political director at the Sierra Club.   

And earlier this year, Daniel Lashof, who has been one of the top leaders of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and energy-rationing program for 25 years, was named chief operating officer of NextGen Climate America.  It is the 501(c)(3) arm of NextGen Climate Action.  Both were founded by and are funded by California investment fund billionaire Tom Steyer. Lashof has been in charge of NRDC’s climate programs since 2008, during which period NRDC has spent $200 million on devising and promoting policies to increase energy prices and impoverish Americans and, indeed, people around the world.

Across the States
Myron Ebell


Several science education groups and one environmental pressure group have launched the “Climate Science Students Bill of Rights” to lobby for the climate science “education” components in the Next Generation Science Standards.  The Wyoming legislature passed a rider in March that prohibits the Wyoming Board of Education from adopting the standards because they require the teaching of junk climate science.  The Wyoming Board of Education recently decided to delay implementing any part of the NGSS until the Wyoming legislature repeals its prohibition. 

The groups in the new coalition include the Union of Concerned Scientists, a hard-left anti-nuclear pressure group, the National Center for Science Education, the Alliance for Climate Education, and Climate Parents. An effort in the Oklahoma legislature to block the NGSS for the same reason as in Wyoming failed, and Governor Mary Fallin (R) recently implemented the standards, including their global warming propaganda components.      

Colorado & New York

New York’s highest court ruled on 30th June that cities and towns have the authority to ban hydraulic fracturing within their jurisdictions.  The Court of Appeals upheld lower court rulings that dismissed challenges to bans enacted by the towns of Dryden and Middlefield. 

In Colorado, the Democratic-controlled legislature and Governor John Hickenlooper (D) have failed to agree on a bill that would allow cities and counties to regulate hydraulic fracturing but not allow them to ban it. Five local jurisdictions have voted to ban fracking, but only the State has authority to regulate oil and gas production under current law. Up to nine anti-fracking and three pro-fracking measures will now appear on the general election ballot in November. 

Around the World
Patrick Hannaford

Carbon Tax Repeal fails, but Government Still Hopeful.

In disappointing news, the Australian Senate this week rejected legislation to scrap the carbon tax. The legislation was rejected by 37 to 35 votes, after the Palmer United Party (PUP) made a last minute decision to renege on their agreement with the government.

Although reports differ, it appears that PUP leader Clive Palmer was not satisfied with amendments agreed to by the government and demanded harsher penalties for energy companies that do not pass on savings to consumers. Not being able to introduce their amendment for constitutional reasons – tax legislation must be introduced in the House of Representatives - the Palmer United Party then decided to oppose the legislation, breaking their agreement with the Government and their own election promise. Despite the setback, the Liberal-National coalition government remains confident and is set to re-introduce the legislation in parliament on Monday.

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,