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Entries in Climate Alarmism (97)


Cooler Heads Digest 22 May 2015 

22 May 2015


The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) will take place on Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.

In the News

Memorial Day Weekend: Motor to a Better Environment!
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 22 May 2015

On Climate, Science and Politics Are Diverging
Rupert Darwall, National Review Online, 22 May 2015

A Few More Hot Days Does Not Equal a Lot More Heat Waves
David Kreutzer, The Daily Signal, 21 May 2015

Tom Steyer’s Windfall Profits Tax: Recycling Junk Policy
Marlo Lewis,, 20 May 2015

Sources: EPA Ditches Mandate That Coal Plants Install Non-Existent Coal Technology
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 20 May 2015

EPA Plan to Ban Coal Hits Major Roadblock
Phil Kerpen, American Commitment, 20 May 2015

Critics Hear EPA’s Voice in “Public” Comments
Eric Lipton & Coral Davenport, New York Times, 18 May 2015

EPA’s Hidden Regulatory Agenda Should Be Pried Open
H. Sterling Burnett, Investor’s Business Daily, 15 May 2015

News You Can Use
Moderate Cold Weather Kills Twenty Times More People Than Heatwaves

A major study abstract published in the Lancet analyzed 74 million deaths from 384 locations in 13 countries from 1985 to 2012 and found that moderately cold weather kills twenty times more people than hot weather. 

From a story in London’s Guardian:

“It’s often assumed that extreme weather causes the majority of deaths, with most previous research focusing on the effects of extreme heatwaves,” says lead author Dr. Antonio Gasparrini from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  “Our findings, from an analysis of the largest dataset of temperature-related deaths ever collected, show that the majority of these deaths actually happen on moderately hot and cold days, with most deaths caused by moderately cold temperatures.”

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

President Obama Gives Bizarre Speech on Climate Threats at Coast Guard Graduation

President Barack Obama used his commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut on 20th May to make the case once again that climate change is one of the greatest threats to our national security.  Judging from the transcript, the Coast Guard cadets in the audience found it as bizarre as I did reading it.  The White House transcript notes frequent applause during the first part and the short conclusion of the President’s speech, but during the long central section on the climate threat not a murmur from the audience is noted.

One short passage explains a lot about the Obama Administration’s multiple foreign policy failures:

“[C]onfronting climate change is now a key pillar of American global leadership.  When I meet with leaders around the world, it’s often at the top of our agenda -- a core element of our diplomacy.”

The President makes a number of astonishing claims that make me think he actually believes a lot of the nonsense that his White House science adviser John Holdren is telling him.  Here is one example:

“Understand, climate change did not cause the conflicts we see around the world.  Yet what we also know is that severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group Boko Haram.  It’s now believed that drought and crop failures and high food prices helped fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended into civil war in the heart of the Middle East.”

House Narrowly Passes Bill To Reduce Funding for Climate and Green Energy Research

The House of Representatives on 20th May narrowly passed the America COMPETES Act, which re-authorizes non-defense research at the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and several other agencies. The final vote on H. R. 1806 was 217 to 205.

Twenty-three Republicans joined all the Democrats in voting No.  Some of the Republicans voted No because they thought the bill did not go far enough in cutting funding or making reforms. 

The unanimous opposition of Democrats was rather due to the fact that the bill would reduce funding for climate research, social science research, green energy research, and cronyism at the Department of Energy.  On the other hand, funding for basic research in the physical sciences would increase.

The White House has already threatened a veto if the Senate goes along with the House Science Committee’s changes in funding priorities.     

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,


Cooler Heads Digest 08 May 2015 

8 May 2015


  • The Cooler Heads Coalition will host a Capitol Hill lunch briefing by Professor Ross McKitrick on “Ontario's Green Energy Act: Environmentally Useless and Economically Disastrous.” The briefing will be held from 12 noon to 1:15 PM on Monday, May 11, in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building. McKitrick is Professor of Environmental Economics and Fellow in Sustainable Commerce at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. RSVP to attend the briefing to
  • The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) will take place on Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.

In the News

Jerry Taylor’s “Conservative” Case for Carbon Tax Collapses after 36 Days
Robert Murphy, Institute for Energy Research, 7 May 2015

EPA Employee Watched Adult Films in Office on Take Your Kids to Work Day
Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate, 7 May 2015

Industrial Scale Wind: A Net Loser, Economically, Environmentally, Technically, Civilly
Mary Kay Barton, Master Resource, 7 May 2015

Let’s Have a National Conservation on Fracking
Stephen Heins, Fortnightly, 7 May 2015

Is Ethanol a Green Fuel?
Marlo Lewis,, 6 May 2015

“Climate Anger”: Last Refuge of the Alarmists
Robert Bradley, Jr., Forbes, 6 May 2015

Fracking Fuels Top-Earning Graduates
Marnie Eisenstadt, Syracuse Post-Standard, 6 May 2015

Courts Must Stop EPA’s Brazen Overreach
Mike Duncan,, 5 May 2015

American Oil Production Is Up 53% Since 2010, But It’s Declining on Federal Lands (here’s why)
Patrick Tyrrell, Daily Signal, 5 May 2015

Why Does EPA Hate Texas?
Doug Domenech, The Federalist, 5 May 2015

Fracking Fearmongering: Another “Regulatory Science” Confirmation
Ronald Bailey, Hit & Run, 5 May 2015

News You Can Use
Happy 400 PPM!

For the first time since record keeping began, ambient air concentrations of carbon dioxide have surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) globally. We’d like only to note how much human progress was made possible by the energy use that has led to this milestone.

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

Executive Branch: EPA Sends Two Rules to OIRA for Secret White House Review

  • BNA’s Andrew Childers today reports that EPA’s “Carbon Pollution Standard” regulation has been sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for secret review by the White House. As proposed, the rule would effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants by requiring the use of a technology (carbon capture and sequestration) that is exorbitantly expensive. However, rumor has it that EPA has significantly softened the rule, in recognition of the fact that the proposal was patently illegal. EPA is expected to promulgate the final regulation this summer.
  • In a similar vein, Politico Pro ($) on Wednesday broke the news that EPA has sent its final biofuel regulation to OIRA for secret White House review. By statute, EPA must set an annual Soviet-style production quota for ethanol. However, because the current administration is focusing all of EPA’s resources on climate change policy, the agency has been woefully behind on its non-discretionary duties such as its statutory responsibility to centrally plan the biofuel market. As a result, EPA is only now getting around to fixing demand for ethanol production—for 2014! EPA is expected to finalize the 2014 levels by November 30. Needless to say, EPA’s untimeliness roils the ethanol “market.” 

Legislative Branch: Sen. Murkowski Is Working on “Comprehensive” Energy Bill, Alas

Yesterday Senate Environmental & Public Works Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced her intention to try to pass the first comprehensive energy bill since the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. At this early stage, her hoped-for energy legislation has taken the unwieldy form of 17 draft bills, none of which is particularly consequential.

While I am a fan of Sen. Murkowski, and I appreciate her low-key approach, I am nonetheless wary of all comprehensive energy bills. If history is any guide, support will build for the measure only to the extent that individual lawmakers are afforded opportunities to engage in parochial politics. Remember that the 2007 energy bill gave us the awful ethanol mandate, the Energy Department’s green bank, and fuel efficiency mandates.

Rather than a legislating a grab bag of handouts, political favors, and progressive regulations, it would be far better if Congress were to focus its attentions on overseeing and reining in Obama’s leviathan administrative state and its suffocating energy policies.  

Judicial Branch: D.C. Circuit Ruling Demonstrates EPA Can’t Be Trusted to Keep Lights on

On Monday, a unanimous three judge panel on the federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed EPA’s attempt to modify an air quality rule for small electric generators. The court's ruling in Delaware Department of Natural Resources v. EPA took EPA to task for the agency’s failure to consult with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the reliability impact of the rule.

The opinion has implications for Obama's marquee climate policy--a regulation known as the Clean Power Plan that would overhaul the electric industry in the name of achieving an imperceptible "improvement" in climate change. Critics of the Clean Power Plan long have argued that the agency has avoided reckoning with the profound reliability threats posed by the regulation. Monday’s ruling will serve to buttress the criticisms.

Across the States
William Yeatman

EPA’s Untimeliness Processing Clean Air Act SIPs Leads to Major Headaches for States

The Clean Air Act establishes a “cooperative federalism” regulatory regime, whereby EPA sets nationwide standards, and states are given the freedom to craft strategies, known as “state implementation plans” (SIPs) to meet these standards. Indeed, states spend years and thousands of work hours developing these SIPs for Clean Air Act compliance.

However, because the current administration is focusing all of EPA’s resources on climate change policy, the agency has been woefully behind on its non-discretionary duties such as its statutory responsibility to review state plans. According to reporting by InsideEPA ($), EPA currently estimates that there are 655 “backlogged” SIPs that exist in regulatory limbo.

EPA’s untimeliness is a major headache for state regulatory agencies, for two reasons:

  • It creates the conditions for “sue and settle” lawsuits between green special interests and EPA. (For more, see here or listen here.)
  • It also gives EPA the opportunity to change the rules of the game. Here’s how it works. First, a state submits a plan that is eminently approvable because it comports with the agency’s regulations and guidelines. Then, EPA will sit on the plan for years, during which time the agency will update its regulations and guidelines, and thereby change the rules of the game. Finally, EPA will hold the state’s SIP accountable to the agency’s updated interpretation (i.e., standards about which the state was necessarily unaware when they crafted their SIPs). (See here for more.)

Around the World
William Yeatman

Chinese Drivers Are Just Like American Drivers (We All Love Gas Guzzlers!)

Platts reports this week that the Chinese bought nearly 49 percent more gasoline-guzzling sports utility vehicles in the first quarter of 2015 compared with Q1 2014. It would appear that Chinese motorists, like their American counterparts, have reacted to the fall in oil prices by spurning fuel-efficient cars, climate be damned.

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,


Cooler Heads Digest 01 May 2015 

1 May 2015


  • The Cooler Heads Coalition will host a Capitol Hill lunch briefing by Professor Ross McKitrick on “Ontario's Green Energy Act: Environmentally Useless and Economically Disastrous.”  The briefing will be held from 12 noon to 1:15 PM on Monday, 11th May, in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building.  McKitrick is Professor of Environmental Economics and Fellow in Sustainable Commerce at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.  RSVP to attend the briefing to
  • The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) will take place on Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12, 2015 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. Learn more here.

In the News

Why Tesla’s Powerwall Is Just Another Toy for Rich Green People
Christopher Helman, Forbes, 1 May 2015

Clean Power Plan: Thoughts on Ripeness and Standing
Marlo Lewis,, 30 April 2015

Energy Sustainability for the 21st Century
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 30 April 2015

How Big Money Impacts Environmental Policy
Kevin Mooney, Daily Signal, 29 April 2015

Out of Control IRS, Rewriting Laws
Christine Harbin Hanson, National Review Online, 29 April 2015

In Iowa, Fiorina Speaks the Truth about Ethanol
Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, 29 April 2015

Electricity for Africa
Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, 28 April 2015

The Carbon Tax and Economists as Experts and Politicians
Benjamin Zycher, The American, 28 April 2015

When Is “the Law” Violated under the Constitution, Anyway?
Donald Devine, Library of Law and Liberty, 28 April 2015

Obama Clean Energy Loans Leave Taxpayers in a $2.2 Billion Hole
Stephan Dinan, Washington Times, 27 April 2015

Renewables: All Pain, Little Gain
Kenneth Green & Taylor Jackson, Vancouver Sun, 25 April 2015

News You Can Use
Harvard Study: Half of Young Americans Are Climate Skeptics

Only 45% of young adults aged 18-29 believe in anthropogenic global warming, according to data released this week by the Harvard Public Opinion Project. Remarkably, the age group that least agreed with the statement that global warming is a fact and caused by CO2 emissions was that of 18 to 20-year-olds. 

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Senator McConnell Confronts EPA Administrator McCarthy at Senate Hearing

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made the most of his chance to take on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy directly when McCarthy testified before the Senate Interior-EPA Appropriations Subcommittee on 29th April.  Senator McConnell is a senior member of the full Appropriations Committee, but joined the Interior-EPA Subcommittee only this year in order to be in a better position to stop the EPA’s proposed Clean Air Act regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  The regulations threaten to destroy the coal industry and to raise electric rates substantially in States that rely on inexpensive coal-fired power.  Kentucky is the third largest coal producer among the States and gets over 90% of its electricity from coal. 

Senate Appropriations Committee hearings are not televised, and the subcommittee hearing room is small, so I did not see the hearing, but press accounts suggest that their face-off was dramatic and antagonistic. Senator McConnell raised a potential new obstacle to implementing the so-called “Clean Power” Plan that would require state-wide emissions reductions from existing coal and natural gas power plants.  The EPA has urged States to comply by entering into multi-state and regional plans, such as the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade scheme.  But McConnell noted that the Clean Air Act requires that any binding multi-state agreements must be approved by Congress.    According to ClimateWire (subscription required), McConnell said, “I can assure you that as long as I'm majority leader in the Senate, this body's not going to be signing off on backdoor energy taxes.”

Senator McConnell also took a shot at the Obama Administration’s efforts to negotiate a new UN climate agreement based on a commitment to reduce emissions that relies heavily on the EPA’s power plant rules: “The failure of Congress to sign off should signal to other countries that they should proceed with caution into the December 2015 climate talks in Paris.”

House and Senate Committees Pass Key Bills

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on 29th April marked up and passed the Ratepayer Protection Act.  H. R. 2042 would delay implementation of the EPA’s so-called “Clean Power” Plan until judicial review is completed and would allow Governors to opt out if they determine that the required reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants would have adverse effects on electric rates or electric reliability.  Twenty-eight Republicans on the committee voted for the bill, and twenty-two Democrats voted against it.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on 29th April marked up and passed the Secret Science Reform Act, S. 544. The bill would require the EPA to rely exclusively on publicly available scientific data in its rulemaking.  All eleven Republicans on the committee voted for the bill, and all nine Democrats voted against it.  The House passed a similar bill, H. R. 1030, by a 241-175 vote on 18th March.  Four House Democrats voted for the bill.

In other cheery news, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) has introduced a bill, H. R. 2111, that would abolish part of the Environmental Protection Agency and dismember the rest of it. 

Across the States

Gov. Brown’s Climate Leadership
Marlo Lewis

California Governor Jerry Brown this week announced a plan to reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, AP reports. Brown’s proposal is far more aggressive than the State’s “Global Warming Solutions Act” (AB32), which aims to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. It is also more draconian than President Obama’s UN climate treaty pledge to reduce emissions 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2030.

California already has the 4th most “dysfunctional” economy in the American Legislative Council’s annual ranking of State economic performance. Although Brown’s plan would have zero impact on global climate, it would accelerate the brain drain and shrinking tax base caused by the State’s current anti-growth tax and regulatory policies.

Oklahoma Moves against EPA Clean Power Plan
William Yeatman

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) this week signed an executive order that forbids state regulators from working on a compliance plan for EPA’s forthcoming “Clean Power Plan,” the Obama administration’s major climate rule that would upend the power industry. The order also directs Attorney General Scott Pruitt to issue his opinion on the rule’s legality after it is finalized this summer. The executive order appears to be stronger than legislation that has passed both chambers of the Oklahoma legislature, and which is now headed to Gov. Fallin’s office for gubernatorial approval. That bill, S.B. 676, would give the Attorney General Pruitt the authority to ensure that any state response to the “Clean Power” Plan complies with state and federal law.

Around the World

Heartland Briefings Bring Good News on Climate to Vatican
Marlo Lewis

On 28th April, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a workshop titled “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity” to “raise awareness and build a consensus” among people of faith that human activity is causing catastrophic global warming. The program featured UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Jeffrey Sachs, director of the UN Sustainable Development Network, among other doomsayers.

To balance the Vatican’s one-sided conference, the Heartland Institute assembled a team of scientists and policy experts who conducted briefings in Rome, open to all media and the public, on 27th and 28th April. They respectfully urged Pope Francis not to align Catholic social teaching with an “unscientific climate agenda” that could “cause the suffering and even death of billions of people.”

Explained Heartland Institute President Joe Bast: “We are bringing the Vatican a message of truth for all with open ears. The science is not settled, and global warming is not a crisis. The world’s poor will suffer horribly if reliable energy – the engine of prosperity and a better life – is made more expensive and less reliable by the decree of global planners.”

At the Vatican workshop, noted skeptic blogger Marc Morano of Climate Depot asked Ban Ki-moon whether he had a message for the Heartland team. A security guard came over and whispered in Morano’s ear: “You have to control yourself or you will be escorted out of here.”

A compilation of the extensive media coverage and commentary on the Heartland briefings is available at “Tell Pope Francis Global Warming Is Not a Crisis!”  

United States and Japan Miss Green Climate Fund Deadline
Myron Ebell

The United States and Japan missed the 30th April deadline to convert their pledges to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) into signed contractual obligations.  President Barack Obama last fall pledged that the U. S. government would provide $3 billion over the next four years to the GCF.  Japan pledged $1.5 billion. 

Other countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, France, Norway, and the Netherlands,  have signed agreements that set deadlines for when pledged grants will be paid.  These agreements now total nearly $4 billion of the $10.2 billion pledged.

There have been no indications that the U. S. Congress is going to agree to appropriate the money that the President pledged.  Ms. Hela Cheikhrouhou, the executive director of the GCF, told Reuters that turning the pledges into actual funds was “an essential ingredient of a successful agreement” at COP-21 in Paris in December.  That is because poorer developing countries are unlikely to undertake commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions unless those commitments are funded by the wealthier countries.

The real challenge will come in 2020 when the bill comes due for the deal that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama put together in December 2009 to keep COP-15 in Copenhagen from collapsing.  That deal centered around a promise from the developed countries that they would provide $100 billion annually in climate funds to developing countries beginning in 2020.  The fact that the GCF has so far only received commitments of $10 billion over several years is a clear indication that $100 billion a year is fantasy.  Hyperinflation is about the only thing that could make it possible.   

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Warming Trend Declines in UAH Satellite Record

On April 28, Roy Spencer, John Christy, and William Braswell of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Earth System Science Center released Version 6 (V.6) of their global satellite temperature dataset. The scientists describe the upgrade, which took three years to complete, as “by far the most extensive revision of the procedures and computer code we have ever produced in over 25 years of global temperature monitoring.”

Compared to the previous UAH dataset (V5.6), the most important change is a reduction in the global average lower-troposphere temperature trend from +0.140°C/decade to +0.114°C/decade (Dec. ’78 through Mar. ’15).

The revision is significant in two main respects. First, the UAH dataset now closely matches the Remote Sensing System (RSS) dataset, an independent satellite monitoring program, which shows no net warming since Dec. 1996.

Second, a warming trend of +0.114°C/decade is roughly what scientists would expect from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in a climate where positive and negative feedbacks exactly balance out. In other words, the updated UAH dataset is consistent with how the atmosphere should behave in a low-sensitivity climate.

Past is not always prologue, but if the trend in the revised UAH dataset holds, 21st-century warming should be limited to about one degree Celsius. At a minimum, the anemic warming of the past 36 years casts doubt on the big, scary warming projections popularized by the IPCC.

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,



ALG - Manning: 'It's not the weather, stupid, it's the economy'


April 29, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the poor first quarter GDP numbers in recent years

"It's not the weather, stupid, it's the economy. From 1996 to 2005, first quarter economic growth averaged 2.55 percent, whereas from 2006 to 2015, first quarter economic growth averaged just 0.03 percent. The common denominator here is not the weather, but the fact that the economy started to turn downward in the second half of the 2000s and still has not recovered. We didn't suddenly start having winters when the Great Recession occurred. Dispense with the bull market spin." 

To view online:


Americans for Limited Government is a non-partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms, private property rights and core American liberties. For more information on ALG please visit our website at


Cooler Heads Digest 24 April 2015 

24 April 2015


  • The Cooler Heads Coalition will host a Capitol Hill lunch briefing by Professor Ross McKitrick on “Ontario's Green Energy Act: Environmentally Useless and Economically Disastrous.”  The briefing will be held from 12 noon to 1:15 PM on Monday, 11th May, in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building.  McKitrick is Professor of Environmental Economics and Fellow in Sustainable Commerce at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.  RSVP to attend the briefing to 
  • Former EPA official Alan Carlin’s excellent new book, Environmentalism Gone Mad, is now available.

In the News

Marlo Lewis on Ethanol
Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, 24 April 2015

Global Warming Pause Extends to 18 ½ Years
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 24 April 2015

Climate Skeptics Descend on Vatican
Heartland Institute, 24 April 2015

Introducing the Wind PTC Elimination Act of 2015
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 23 April 2015

Obama’s Climate Change Hypocrisy Highlights Lack of Faith
Washington Examiner, 23 April 2015

Report: Science Behind NY Fracking Ban Tainted by Money, Politics
Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, 23 April 2015

Clean Power Plan: Revisiting EPA’s Bogus Climate Benefit Estimates
Marlo Lewis,, 22 April 2015

22 Ways To Think about the Climate Change Debate
Max Borders, The Freeman, 22 April 2015

The White House Is Lying about Climate Change and Health
Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, 22 April 2015

What Harvard Students Pushing Fossil Fuel Divestment Are Missing
Alex Belica & David Kreutzer, Daily Signal, 22 April 2015

Obama’s Global Warming Distraction
Ed Rogers, Washington Post, 20 April 2015

Return to Towel Mountain
Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, 18 April 2015

News You Can Use
EV’s Popularity Wanes

The auto-research group this week reported that only “45 percent of this year’s hybrid and electric vehicle trade-ins have gone toward the purchase of another alternative fuel vehicle”while “22 percent of people who have traded in their hybrids and [electric vehicles] in 2015 bought a new SUV.” According to the website, this is the first time that loyalty rates for alt-fuel vehicles have fallen below 50 percent.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

EPA Administrator McCarthy Claims “Clean Power” Plan Will Boost Economy and Won’t Threaten Electric Reliability

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy really let them have it when she spoke to energy industry executives gathered at the annual IHS-CERA Week energy conference in Houston on 23rd April. McCarthy began by dismissing claims that the EPA’s so-called “Clean Power” Plan will be very costly:  

“First, I don’t think it’s accurate to look at compliance with the Clean Power Plan as a liability or cost. Here’s why: our rule creates a dynamic where cutting carbon pollution and investment decisions align. How am I so confident that this makes economic sense? Because you’re already making those investments. Our rule is not adding a line-item to your books, it’s informing one that’s already there.”

Later, McCarthy went on to claim that EPA regulations are good for the economy:

“No peer reviewed economic literature—no historical record—comes close to supporting the claims of massive job losses from reducing pollution. In EPA’s 45 year history, we’ve cut air pollution 70 percent while GDP has tripled. Environmental protection isn’t window dressing—it’s foundational to strong, lasting economic growth.”

This is a stunning non sequitur.  Nor does she mention that previous EPA pollution regulations were not designed to destroy major industries or take control of the energy economy. 

McCarthy then took on those who raise concerns that the new regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants will threaten electric reliability:

“The second point I want to make is about reliability. Let me be clear: there is no scenario I will accept where reliability comes into question. Period. We can look at stringency, timing, phasing-in, glide path, and we can look at unit by unit reliability directly, too. The final 111(d) rule will give you the time and space you need to take a reliability-first approach that’s in line with your long-term planning, and gives you the latitude to adapt as market demands change.  Reliability is a high priority for all of us, so it’s good to have it front and center where it needs to be. But let’snot waste our time and energy worrying about scenarios that cannot and will not happen.”

This is an astonishing claim for the head of an agency that has no expertise in electric reliability to make.  My suggestion is that she and her colleagues at EPA might pay a little attention to what the North American Reliability Corporation is saying.  NERC released a report on its concerns with the “Clean Power” Plan’s first phase on 21st April.

AEI Holds Carbon Tax Love-In

The American Enterprise Institute on 22nd April (the 145th birthday of Lenin and 45th Earth Day) held a seminar on “Implementing a Carbon Tax: Practicalities and Prospects.”  A video of part of the event can be viewed here. The rest of the event can be viewed on the web site of a group promoting a carbon tax and headed by former Representative Bob (“Mr. 70-29”) Inglis (R-SC). 

Some of the presentations were based on a collection of essays that grew out of a conference AEI held in 2012.  That book has now been published by Routledge as “Implementing a Carbon Tax: Challenges and Debates.”  For those not lucky enough to have been given a copy at the AEI event, it can be purchased on Amazon for the discounted price of $48.09 …

For the rest of the post, click here.

Across the States
Marlo Lewis

House Bill Would Let States Opt Out of “Clean Power” Plan

The “Clean Power” Plan (CPP) will compel States to reorganize their electric power sectors to meet EPA-mandated carbon dioxide (CO2) emission-reduction targets or caps. The CPP is unlawful, usurps powers reserved by Congress to the States, will impose hundreds of billions of dollars in costs for illusory climate benefits, and raises significant constitutional and electric reliability concerns. What is Congress doing about it?

On Wednesday, April 22, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the Ratepayer Protection Act by a vote of 17-12. As explained in the subcommittee’s press release and background memo, the bill extends CPP compliance deadlines until after judicial review is completed, and provides that a state would not be forced to implement a compliance plan if the governor finds it would have significant adverse effects on ratepayers or reliability. A full Energy and Commerce markup is scheduled for Wednesday, April 29.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Paris in Peril (already)

Clare Foran reported in National Journal on 20th April that international climate negotiators have noticed that the Obama Administration’s INDC (or intended nationally-determined contribution) to the forthcoming Paris Accord is on shaky legal and political ground.  Foran’s story quotes Todd Stern, the State Department’s chief negotiator: “Certainly...countries want to get reassurance that the U.S. can deliver on what we've said that we're doing.  I wouldn't say it's a big drumbeat, but I have definitely been asked that.”

The largest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the U. S.’s INDC will come from the EPA’s proposed Clean Air Act rules for new and existing power plants.  Stern went on to re-assure reporters that “[W]e have a very solid basis for...having confidence in the power plant rule and other regulatory steps that we’ve taken.  These kinds of EPA regulations have been repeatedly challenged over time and almost always upheld.”

This suggests to me that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans in Congress are being heard internationally and need to step up their efforts to make it clear that the EPA’s rules will not survive in Congress even if they survive court challenges.         

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,