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Sunday
Sep142014

Cooler Heads Digest 12 September 2014 

12 September 2014

Announcements

On Tuesday, September 16, Noon-1:30 PM, at the National Press Club, the George C. Marshall Institute will host a discussion by climatologist Dr. Judith Curry. Email info@marshall.org to RSVP.

In the News

Rising CO2 Concentrations: No Measurable Impact on Floods, Droughts, and Storms
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 11 September 2014

Climate Skeptics Push Back over New Rise in Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Valerie Richardson, Washington Times, 11 September 2014

EPA Proposed Regulation Would Significantly Hurt Access to Electricity
John Eick, Red State, 10 September 2014

“Extinct” Snail Killed by Climate Change Crawls Back from the Dead
James Delingpole, Breitbart London, 10 September 2014

Media Coverage of the Corrupt Chevron Trial Was Corrupt, Too
Jack Fowler, National Review Online, 10 September 2014

Wind Power Granted 30-Year Eagle Kill Permits
Sherri Lange, Master Resource, 10 September 2014

Climate of Corruption
James Taranto, Wall Street Journal, 9 September 2014

Report: No Global Warming for 215 Months
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 8 September 2014

Response to Critics of My Wall Street Journal Op-ed on the “Pause”
Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, 7 September 2014

News You Can Use
Hurricane Milestone

For the 1st time since 1992, there was not a named hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean during the statistical peak of the hurricane season, which falls on September 10.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

15 Governors Tell EPA To Drop Power Plant Rule

Fifteen Republican governors sent a letter on 9th September to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy that points out that the EPA’s proposed regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants “not only exceeds the scope of federal law, but also, in some cases, directly conflicts with established state law.”

Fifteen of the nation’s 29 Republican governors signed the letter.  They are: Robert Bentley of Alabama, Sean Parnell of Alaska, Janice Brewer of Arizona, Butch Otter of Idaho, Mike Pence of Indiana, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Gary Herbert of Utah, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Matt Mead of Wyoming.

The letter states: “The unambiguous language of the CAA [Clean Air Act] expressly prohibits EPA from using Section 111(d) to regulate power plants  because EPA already regulates these sources under another section of the Act.  Moreover, even if the Agency did have legal authority to regulate power plants under 111(d), it overstepped this hypothetical authority when it acted to coerce states to adopt compliance measures that do not reduce emissions at the entities EPA has set out to regulate.  Under federal law, EPA has the authority to regulate emissions from specific sources, but that authority does not extend outside the physical boundaries of such sources (i.e., “outside the fence”).”

The governors go on to spell out some of “the more urgent and vexing compliance issues” in the proposed rule.  They then ask EPA to provide “informed plans to address these significant obstacles to state compliance” well in advance of the 16th October deadline for comments on the rule.  If EPA cannot do so, then they demand that the rule be withdrawn until it does.

One of these compliance issues relates to federal versus state authority.  The governors ask what would happen if a State enacts a renewable electricity standard or efficiency standard as part of its compliance with the rule and then later softens or repeals that standard.  Would EPA assert authority to enforce the original standard against state legislation?

Writing in the New Republic, Rebecca Leber identified the governors’ point that the rule is actually illegal as “the GOP’s best shot at derailing Obama’s climate plan.”  But David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which wrote the original draft of the EPA rule, assured Leber that the legal arguments “border on laughable.”

But as William Yeatman, my CEI colleague, noted in a post on GlobalWarming.org, NRDC in 2005 argued that the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 made it illegal to regulate source categories under section 111d that are already regulated under section 112, which is exactly what the governors’ letter states.   Impressive legal research conducted by the office of the Attorney General of West Virginia, Patrick Morrissey, supports the claim, as another post by William Yeatman explains

The energy subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee heard testimony on 9th September from six state utility commissioners on implementing the rule.   Four (from Texas, Montana, Arizona, and Indiana) oppose the rule and two (from Maryland and Washington) support it.    

Across the States
William Yeatman

Important Tenth Circuit Case to Watch

A two-judge panel on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver granted a stay prohibiting EPA’s regulatory takeover of Wyoming’s visibility improvement program, known as Regional Haze, until a three-judge panel can decide the merits. A stay is granted only if the judges believe the plaintiffs have an excellent shot at winning, which bodes well for Wyoming’s challenge.

This is something to keep an eye on, because the same circuit last year delivered a 2-1 split decision that upheld EPA’s regulatory takeover of Oklahoma’s Regional Haze program. That case, Oklahoma v. EPA, established an unfortunate precedent whereby courts defer to EPA whenever the agency and States disagree over how to implement the Clean Air Act. The Tenth Circuit now appears poised to revisit the issue, which could prove very beneficial to the States. For more on the Tenth Circuit’s decision in Oklahoma v. EPA, see here and here.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Oil Prices Decline Despite Mideast Turmoil

There is war, violence, and political turmoil across the Middle East, yet since June global prices for oil have gone down dramatically.  The price of West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark for U. S. oil, has declined $15 since June to $91.67 per barrel.  Brent crude, the main international benchmark, has declined by $18 to $98 per barrel. 

One of the reasons is that economies continue to struggle around the world.  Another is the oil production boom in North America.  The U. S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration this week raised its forecast of 2015 domestic oil production to 9.53 million barrels per day.  That would make next year the third consecutive year in which domestic oil production has increased by more than one million barrels per day.

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Rising CO2 Concentrations: No Measurable Impact on Extreme Weather

The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change released a new report this week, Extreme Weather Events: Are They Influenced by Rising CO2 Concentrations? The 97-page report reviews hundreds of empirical studies on floods, droughts, and storms in numerous countries on several continents.

The author, Craig D. Idso, examines the empirical evidence regarding possible trends in extreme weather during the past 70 years, when three-fourths of all anthropogenic CO2 was emitted into the atmosphere. He also compares extreme weather events in recent decades to floods, droughts, and storms in previous centuries and even millennia, as reconstructed from proxy data.

Idso finds no long-term global increase in the frequency and intensity of floods, droughts, and storms over the past 70 years (although there is considerable regional and inter-decadal variation). He also finds “many historic analogs” of modern floods, droughts, and storms that “occurred during times when the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration was much lower than it is currently.”

Taken together, the instrumental and proxy data “suggest that the ongoing rise in atmospheric CO2 is having no measurable impact” on modern extreme weather events. 

 

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.

Friday
Sep122014

CEI Today: Manufacturers report on regulation, CEI labor scorecard, EPA renewable fuel production quota over-due, and Ex-Im Bank 

Friday, September 12, 2014
In the News Today

 

COST OF REGULATION - WAYNE CREWS

Forbes: Hairball: The Cost Of Federal Regulation To The U.S. Economy

 

Before the National Association of Manufacturers even had a chance to release their important new report today on the aggregate annual cost of federal regulations, left-wing groups decided to attack the numbers. They disliked an earlier report ... that found regulatory costs of $1.75 trillion annually, and struck pre-emptively.


No one need credit politically motivated attacks like this anymore. The ongoing, actually inexcusable, official uncertainty over the aggregate costs of U.S. federal regulations despite over a decade of Office of Management and Budget reports to Congress on the benefits and costs raises concern, not about those trying to measure, but on the fact that the largest government on earth has no map of itself when it comes to regulation. > Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews
 

CEI SCORES LABOR VOTES IN CONGRESS

CEI Honors 29 House Lawmakers with “Champion of the Worker” Awards


Thursday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) announced 29 current House lawmakers earned its distinguished “Champion of the Worker” award for perfect voting records on key employment and workforce issues during the 113th Congress. > Read more

> Interview an expert

 

EPA RENEWABLE FUEL PRODUCTION QUOTA - MARLO LEWIS

 

Globalwarming.org: Scaling Back Renewable Fuel Standard Will Decrease Greenhouse Gas Emissions

EPA is expected to announce the final 2014 renewable fuel standard (RFS) production quota anytime now. As The Hill and other news sources have reported, the agency appears to have flip-flopped, initially proposing to lower the RFS but now poised to increase it. But according to EPA's own analysis, an increase in that standard would lead to more greenhouse gas emissions, not less.
> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis



 


EXPORT-IMPORT BANK - RYAN YOUNG

Ex-Im Bank is pro-business, but not pro-markets


In Thursday’s Washington Times, National Association of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons and I have dueling op-eds, with Timmons favoring reauthorizing Ex-Im, and me wanting to end it. The Wall Street Journal also weighed in with an editorial this morning, sharing my skepticism of Ex-Im. > Read more

 

> Interview Ryan Young

 

 

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Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!

 

    


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts
 

 

Words Matter


Can you count the times you’ve heard “investment” stand in for government spending?





 

Thursday
Sep112014

CEI Today: Ex-Im Bank, Obamacare subsidies, EPA renewable fuel mandate, and labor union losses

Thursday, September 11, 2014
In the News Today

 

EXPORT-IMPORT BANK - RYAN YOUNG

Washington Times: Ex-Im Bank is pro-business, but not pro-markets


Congress is back in session, and will likely vote soon on one of the most contentious issues leading into the midterm elections: the Export-Import Bank. The 80-year-old bank, called Ex-Im Bank for short, subsidizes financing for U.S. exporters and their foreigncustomers. > Read more

 

> Interview Ryan Young

 

OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES - HANS BADER

Federal Obamacare Officials Once Recognized the Falsity of Their Current Argument about Tax Credits


​The Obama administration has claimed that despite recurring language in the Obamacare law limiting tax credits to people who buy insurance on an “exchange established by the state,” such taxpayer subsidies are also available to people who buy insurance on the federal exchange, Healthcare.gov.

But the government itself once recognized that credits are limited to state-based exchanges. In light of that discovery, CEI has submitted two FOIA requests, one to 
HHS headquarters, and one to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services, seeking additional information relevant to the government’s about-face. > Read more

> Interview Hans Bader
 

EPA RENEWABLE FUEL PRODUCTION QUOTA - MARLO LEWIS

 

Globalwarming.org: Scaling Back Renewable Fuel Standard Will Decrease Greenhouse Gas Emissions

EPA is expected to announce the final 2014 renewable fuel standard (RFS) production quota anytime now. As The Hill and other news sources have reported, the agency appears to have flip-flopped, initially proposing to lower the RFS but now poised to increase it. But according to EPA's own analysis, an increase in that standard would lead to more greenhouse gas emissions, not less.
> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis

 





 


LABOR UNION LOSSES - ALOYSIUS HOGAN

Illinois Review: Union Power in the States = Lost Pay, More Taxpayer Debt


New studies on the harms of American labor laws paint a grim picture. The laws drag down economic growth, suppress workers’ wages, and cause government debt to soar. > Read more

> Interview Aloysius Hogan

 

 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!

 

    


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts
 

 

Words Matter


Can you count the times you’ve heard “investment” stand in for government spending?





 

Wednesday
Sep102014

CEI Today: Ex-Im Bank funding, EPA carbon pollution rule, and airport passenger fees 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
In the News Today

 

EXPORT-IMPORT BANK - RYAN YOUNG

Don’t Tie Ex-Im Renewal to Government Shutdown


It appears Congress will decide the Export-Import Bank’s short-term fate this week.We’ll find out in the next few days which side wins. In the meantime, enjoy the odd spectacle of left-wing populists advocating special favors for the same big businesses they usually rail against, and the GOP’s free-market wing, popularly perceived as stooges for big business, calling for an end to corporate welfare. > Read more

 

> Interview Ryan Young

 

EPA CARBON POLLUTION RULE - MARLO LEWIS

 

Globalwarming.org: EPA “Carbon Pollution” Rule Will Not Incentivize Investment In Carbon Capture Technology

A new MIT study implicitly confirms the obvious: EPA’s “carbon pollution rule” — the agency’s proposed carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for new fossil-fuel power plants — is a fuel-switching mandate. Whether through miscalulation or design, the rule does not promote investment in new coal generation with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Rather, the rule effectively bans investment in new coal power plants.
> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis

 





 


AIRPORT PASSENGER FEES - MARC SCRIBNER

User Fees Are Not Taxes


Unlike federal Airport Improvement Program grants and local debt financing, airport passenger facility charges offer a fair, transparent, and direct way for users to pay for their use. The monies collected by the airports are kept by the airports, who then use the funds to make Federal Aviation Administration-approved airport improvements. There are no Washington fiscal sleights of hand to worry about and accountability remains a local matter. Unfortunately, Congress has capped the maximum PFC at $4.50, an amount unchanged since 2000. > Read more

> Interview Marc Scribner
 

 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!

 

    


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts
 

 

Words Matter


Can you count the times you’ve heard “investment” stand in for government spending?

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

@RealClearFrezza


Guests, Fariborz Ghadar & Emily Ekins. 





 

Tuesday
Sep092014

CEI Today: EPA renewable fuel quotas, Ex-Im Bank funding, and UN climate talks 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
In the News Today

 

EPA'S RENEWABLE FUEL PRODUCTION QUOTAS - MARLO LEWIS

 

Globalwarming.org: Scaling Back Renewable Fuel Standard

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has indicated that new federal renewable fuel production quotas, originally due in June, will be released soon. CEI's Marlo Lewis has explained why EPA may be less enamoured by ethanol mandates these days. "EPA estimates that ... corn ethanol’s carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) emissions were 33% higher than gasoline’s in 2012."
> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis
 

EXPORT-IMPORT BANK - RYAN YOUNG

Ex-Im Update


Congress comes back from its annual August recess this week. One of the top items on its agenda is deciding the Export-Import Bank’s fate. Ex-Im subsidizes financing for U.S. exporters and their foreign customers. As I outlined here, Ex-Im subsidizes certain businesses at others’ expense. It is a pro-business policy, when what the economy needs are pro-market policies. Ex-Im will also be forced to shut its doors unless Congress reauthorizes its charter by the end of September, making for a golden reform opportunity for corporate welfare opponents.  > Read more

 

> Interview Ryan Young

 

UN CLIMATE TALKS - MYRON EBELL

The Hill: Climate talks: Five things to know


“The United States is proposing that every country propose its own action plan for controlling and reducing emissions, and that all of these action plans be rolled into one big document, and that’s the agreement,” said Myron Ebell, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which watches the negotiations.

Ebell thinks it’s pretty clear-cut, and that any international agreement would require the Senate’s approval.

“It should worry a lot of people that the Executive Branch is trying to work around the Constitution,” he said. > Read more


> Interview Myron Ebell

 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!

 

    


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts
 

 

Words Matter


Can you count the times you’ve heard “investment” stand in for government spending?

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

It was a short week due to the Labor Day holiday, but agencies still managed to issue more than 60 new regulations and push the Federal Register over the 53,000-page mark.

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

@RealClearFrezza


Guests, Fariborz Ghadar & Emily Ekins.