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Cooler Heads Digest 08 August 2014 

8 August 2014

In the News

Is British Columbia’s Carbon Tax a Model for the U.S.?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 7 August 2014

States Tire of Executive Overreach, Sue EPA
Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 7 August 2014

Global Warming Pause Puts ‘Crisis in Perspective’
James Taylor, Forbes, 7 August 2014

Energy Efficiency: Two Narratives
Jim Clarkson, Master Resource, 6 August 2014

The Amazing Marcellus Shale Gas Boom
Mark Perry, AEIdeas, 5 August 2014

Risky Business: The Best Global Warming Alarmism Money Can Buy
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 5 August 2014

EPA Ozone Rule Could Be Most Expensive Regulation in U.S. History
Daren Bakst & Katie Tubb, The Daily Signal, August 4 2014

How Endangered Species Act Litigation Means Big Money for Environmental Groups
Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, 4 August 2014

Our Weird Energy Politics
Patrick J. Michaels, National Review, 4 August 2014

News You Can Use
Report: EPA Is the Problem

According to a report published this week by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the 30 most expensive executive branch regulations issued since 2000 have an annual cost of $110 billion. Of this total, $90 billion per year (81%) is attributable to 17 EPA rules.

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

EPA Meddles Needlessly in Corpus Christi LNG Export Project

EPA this week sent an obnoxious letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that threatens to needlessly tie up the Corpus Christi Liquefied Natural Gas Project in court.

Due to a renaissance in the domestic oil and gas business, energy producers are eager to participate in the global market. To this end, they are proposing export terminals for liquefied natural gas. One such proposal is for a project in Corpus Christi, Texas.

FERC is responsible for authorizing the siting and construction of onshore and near-shore LNG import or export facilities. As such, the project developers for the Corpus Christi terminal need a FERC permit. However, before any federal agency can complete any action, including permitting, it must perform an environmental impact analysis. This requirement results from the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act.

Accordingly, on June 13, 2014, FERC completed a draft environmental impact analysis of the Corpus Christi project, in accordance with its NEPA responsibilities. The document is almost 500 pages of detailed, technical analysis, but EPA alleges it’s not up to snuff. On Monday, the agency sent a letter alleging that FERC’s analysis did not fully consider the project’s adverse impact on “environmental justice, wetland, indirect effects and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Substantively, EPA’s criticisms are a joke. “Environmental justice” is as mushy a concept as they come; in practice, it means that poor people live in the vicinity of the project, as if this, in and of itself, means anything. In fact, the project’s primary impact on poor people in Corpus Christi is that it would engender more wealth creation, economic activity, and jobs.

EPA’s allegation regarding "wetlands" is similarly silly. This is because the project is subject to Clean Water Act §401certification by the States, ensuring it won’t degrade any waterways. It is also subject to Clean Water Act §404 permits issued jointly by the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA. There are simply no grounds for EPA to object to the project’s impact on wetlands. It’s a false premise.

The agency’s claim that FERC failed to consider "greenhouse gases" attendant to the project is also flat-wrong. FERC’s analysis went so far as to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions from the ships coming to and from the terminal. The project, moreover, must comply with EPA’s climate regulations. Again, EPA's objection is baseless.

Of course, constructive criticism wasn’t the agency’s purpose to begin with. Environmental special interests are adept at using the NEPA environmental review process to litigate endlessly, and thereby hold up economic development. EPA’s letter may be barren of legitimate crisitism, but it nonetheless gives green groups further cause to sue.

Across the States

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Comes to Illinois, 250 Jobs Leave

About 250 workers will lose their jobs as NRG Energy cuts operations at four power plants in Illinois. According to the utility spokesman David Gaier, “this [job-cutting] plan, in one fell swoop, will single-handedly achieve 56% of Illinois’ target for reductions in CO2 emissions.” The state’s climate targets were set by the EPA’s illegitimate Clean Power Plan.

Around the World

We’ve Lost the PR Flaks

On Monday, 10 of the world’s largest public relations firms announced they will no longer work with clients that deny man-made climate change or seek to block emission-reducing regulations. Our movement will never be the same.

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.

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