Cooler Heads Digest 22 January 2016

22 January 2016


The U. S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy has published an important new study titled, What’s in a Target?: How the Final ‘Clean Power’ Plan Uses Unreasonable Renewable Energy Assumptions To Increase the Stringency of State Emissions Requirements.

In the News

What Does the Peer-Reviewed Literature Say about Trends in East Coast Winter Storms
Roger Pielke, Jr., The Climate Fix, 22 January 2016

RFF Goes Nice on Renewables
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 21 January 2016

U.S. Fracking Shatters OPEC Oil Cartel
David Kreutzer, PoliZette, 21 January 2016

In 1997, NOAA Claimed That the Earth Was 3.83 Degrees Warmer Than Today
Anthony Watts, WattsUpWithThat, 21 January 2016

Senators Seek Federal Probe into Illegal EPA Propaganda
Devin Henry, The Hill, 21 January 2016

Big Ethanol’s War on Ted Cruz
Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine, 20 January 2016

Majority of Americans Don’t Buy Climate Change Threat; State Department Blames Polling
Penny Starr, CNSNews, 18 January 2016

Remember: That Snow You See Out of Your Window Is a Thingof the Past
James Delingpole, Breitbart, 17 January 2016

News You Can Use
Survey: Business Fears Overregulation, Not Climate Change

According to a survey of 1,400 CEOs from around the world compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and published this week, climate change ranked last among 11 potential business threats. Over-regulation was number 1.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

DC Circuit Refuses To Stay the “Clean Power” Plan

A three-judge panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on 21st January ruled against issuing a stay of the EPA’s greenhouse gas rule for new power plants until litigation is completed.  The panel also announced that they will expedite hearing the suit that seeks to overturn the so-called “Clean Power” Plan and scheduled oral arguments for 2nd June.

Murray Energy, one of the leading plaintiffs in the suit, announced that they will appeal the Circuit Court ruling to the Supreme Court.  West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said that the coalition of 27 States that he leads in the litigation is also considering appealing the ruling.  

Here is an Excerpt from the Murray Energy press release:

“[T]his lack of a stay sets up the same horrific scenario we saw in our Utility MACT lawsuit, whereby we won in the Supreme Court of the United States, but our victory was moot because the Utility MACT rule had already forced the closure of 411 coal-fired power plant units in America.  Frankly, our court system is far too slow to assure the checks and balances from the Judicial Branch over the Executive Branch that the Fathers of our Constitution envisioned, and the Obama Administration uses this to the fullest, destroying the jobs and family livelihoods of our coal miners in the process. This is an absolute tragedy for America.”

Department of the Interior Proposes New Methane Rule

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on 22nd January proposed new rules to reduce methane emissions into the atmosphere from oil and gas production on federal lands.  The Bureau of Land Management’s rules are intended to reduce venting, flaring, and leakage of methane (which is the principal component of natural gas) and will be phased in over several years.  The rules are part of President Barack Obama’s climate agenda to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025 and therefore are also part of the administration’s commitment in the Paris Climate Treaty. 

The Department of the Interior’s press release states:

“[T]he proposed rule would require oil and gas producers to adopt currently available technologies, processes and equipment that would limit the rate of flaring at oil wells on public and tribal lands, and would require operators to periodically inspect their operations for leaks, and to replace outdated equipment that vents large quantities of gas into the air. Operators would also be required to limit venting from storage tanks and use best practices to limit gas losses when removing liquids from wells. The new measures would also clarify when operators owe royalties on flared gas, and ensure that BLM’s regulations provide congressionally authorized flexibility to set royalty rates at or above 12.5 percent of the value of production.”

Links to the proposed rule, a “fact sheet,” the Regulatory Impact Analysis, and the Environmental Assessment can be found at the bottom of the press release

Across the States
Marlo Lewis

Gov. Brown Doubles Down on Deniers

In his State of the State speech on 21st January, California Gov. Jerry Brown gave “deniers” another tongue lashing: “Incredibly - though last year was the hottest on record - there are still those, particularly in Washington, who are in denial. But even the deniers can't deny the carbon pollution that exists all over the world. It is causing serious injury and respiratory disease to people of all ages, but especially the young and very old.”

Once again Gov. Brown peddles the two main propaganda points of the climate alarm playbook: (1) assert that global warming = catastrophe = moral imperative to put an energy-starved world on an energy diet, ignoring both the much slower-than-predicted rate of warming and the dramatic long-term decline in weather-related mortality; and, (2) conflate carbon dioxide with industrial air contaminants by calling both “carbon pollution.”

To cope with the California drought, Brown calls for investment in “new technologies—including desalination.” But desalination is expensive, one reason being it’s an “energy hog.” Cheap energy makes desalination more affordable. Climate policies like California’s make the state’s electric rates among the highest in the nation.

Gov. Brown took pride in the state’s memorandum of understanding with more than 100 other jurisdictions—a commitment to “bring per capita greenhouse gases down to two tons per person.” For perspective, the U.S. average is 17 tons per capita. Two tons per capita is roughly the average in India, a country where more than one-fifth of the population still has no electricity.

In Memoriam
Myron Ebell

Robert M. Carter, RIP

It is with great sadness that I report thedeath of Robert M. Carter on 19th January in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, several days after suffering a heart attack.  He was 74. The Heartland Institute has a tribute by Joe Bast plus tributes from many friends and colleagues. It also has videos of many of Bob’s excellent talks at Heartland International Climate Conferences.  A short, more formal obituary may be found here

Bob was a fine man, an outstanding scientist, and one of the leading climate realists in Australia and the world.  It was my good fortune to get to know Bob and his wife Anne over the last decade when he came to America to speak at Heartland’s climate conferences.  He was in good form at Heartland’s conference in Paris on 7th December. I and many, many people around the world have lost a good friend.  The Cooler Heads Coalition has lost an esteemed ally.  May he rest in peace.

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,