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Entries in Climate Alarmism (86)

Saturday
Jan242015

Cooler Heads Digest 23 January 2015 

23 January 2015

In the News

Feds Enlist Disney To Make a “Frozen” Film about the Melting Arctic
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 23 January 2015

Unintended Consequences of the Climate Crusade
Andrew Montford, Master Resource, 23 January 2015

‘Lukewarmer’ Matt Ridley on How to Debate Climate Change
Marlo Lewis, Globalwarming.org, 22 January 2015

Tom Steyer Won’t Run for Senate
Andrew Restuccia, Politico, 22 January 2015

EPA Peddles Its Hysteria about the Weather to the Young
Washington Times editorial, 22 January 2015

ObamaAir’s Power Grab
Amy Oliver Cooke & William Yeatman, Journal-Advocate, 21 January 2015

MIT professor Richard Lindzen: Global Warming Alarmists Are a “Cult”
Howie Carr, Big Government, 21 January 2015

The Fracking Fracas over Earthquakes
Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review Online, 21 January 2015

How These Green Companies Are Gouging Consumers with the Government’s Help
Stephen Moore & Joel Griffith, Daily Signal, 18 January 2015

News You Can Use
States Push Back against EPA's Clean Power Plan

According to a report published this week on the responses by the States to EPA’s Clean Power Plan:

  • 28 Governors or Attorneys General have raised major concerns with the rule’s legal foundations;
  • 12 States are suing EPA regarding its authority to promulgate carbon regulations; and,
  • 6 States have passed legislation into law restricting state responses to the rule.

Read the whole report, “A Guide to States’ Concerns Regarding the EPA’s Clean Power Plan,” here.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Senate Votes RaiseConcerns

No one thought it was going to be easy for Senate Republicans to roll back the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations, but votes on the Senate floor this week make it clear that there is a lot of work to be done.  The votes were on amendments to S. 1, the bill that would bypass President Obama and permit the Keystone XL Pipeline.

But first the good news.  New Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) came to the floor late in the afternoon of 22nd January to note that the Senate had now voted on more amendments to legislation than during all of 2014, when Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was majority leader and allowed only 15 votes on amendments.  Reid’s petty tyranny, supported by a Democratic majority, is over, but this is only the first of many steps that McConnell and his Republican majority will need to take to restore the Senate to full working order.

When they went home for the weekend on Thursday night, Senators had voted on 25 amendments on a variety of energy-related subjects, with more votes to come next week.  The texts of all the amendments and the roll call votes can be found here.

Of these 25 votes, I’m going to look at three related to climate science and one to climate policy.  First, on 21st January, the Senate voted 98-1 in favor of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) amendment #29 that simply states that “climate change is real and not a hoax.”  Yes, indeed, the climate is always changing and there are many causes.

Next, the Senate voted 59-40 in favor of Senator John Hoeven’s (R-ND) amendment #87.  It was offered to provide Republicans a weaker alternative to the Schatz amendment, which was voted on next (and which I discuss below).  The text is similar to the Schatz amendment but omits the word “significantly.”  Hoeven ended up voting against his own amendment to prevent it from passing with the required 60 votes.  

Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) then offered amendment #58, which concludes: “[I]t is the sense of Congress that: (1) climate change is real; and (2) human activity significantly contributes to climate change.”  The amendment failed on a 50-49 vote, with 60 votes again being required for adoption.  But it did get a majority, which included five Republicans.  The Republicans who voted Yes were: Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-Me.), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

The movement of five Republicans towards agreeing with global warming alarmism got the Republican leadership worried.  They decided to bring to the floor on 22nd January amendment #78 offered by Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). 

Blunt’s amendment is based on the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which passed the Senate on a 95-0 vote in 1997.  Byrd-Hagel put President Clinton on notice that the Senate would not ratify an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if it damaged the U. S. economy or put the U. S. at a competitive disadvantage internationally.

Similarly, the Blunt amendment disavows the climate deal President Obama signed with Chinese President Xi last fall as “a bad deal for United States consumers, workers, families, and communities, and is economically unfair and environmentally irresponsible.”  It goes on to warn the President that any new international climate agreement, such as the one due to be signed in Paris in December, must be submitted to the Senate for ratification and that “United States should not be a signatory to any bilateral or other international agreement on greenhouse gases if it would result in serious harm to the economy” or imposed “disparate greenhouse gas commitments for the United States and other countries.”

The Blunt amendment failed to meet the 60-vote threshold, but did get 51 votes with 46 opposed.  Of the five Republican Senators who voted for the Schatz climate science amendment, two voted for the Blunt amendment—Lamar Alexander and Mark Kirk.  But Senators Kelly Ayotte and Susan Collins voted No on the Blunt Amendment as well.  Lindsey Graham missed the vote.  Of the several Democratic Senators who claim to support the fossil fuel industries that provide affordable energy, only Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted Yes on the Blunt amendment.

These votes indicate to me that the supporters of blocking EPA greenhouse gas regulations through appropriations riders and/or Congressional Review Act resolutions later in the year, are going to need to work hard to shore up support from this small group of wavering Republicans and Democrats, such as Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).   

President Obama Admits He’s Not a Climate Scientist

The New York Times got the tenor of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress exactly right in its headlines for a front-page analysis by Peter Baker: “A Bold Call to Action, Even if No Action Is Likely.”  The sub-headline was even better: “Obama Speaks as Though His Party Won the Midterms.”

Here is the punchline of Baker’s analysis: “But after the lights went out and the presidential motorcade had made its way back up Pennsylvania Avenue, the party balance had not changed. For all of Mr. Obama’s confident demeanor, the question raised by the speech was whether advancing initiatives with little or no hope of passage constituted an act of bold leadership or a feckless waste of time.”

The President devoted 315 words in a 6500 word speech to climate change and another 69 words to energy production.  He again claimed that “[N]o challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.”  He responded to the refrain from many Republican office holders: “I've heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they're not scientists…. Well, I'm not a scientist, either.  But … I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities.”

President Obama went on to note that, “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.  That's why, over the past six years, we've done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it….  And that's why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.”  So much for working with the Republican majorities in the House and Senate. 

Finally, the President called the meaningless climate deal he signed last fall with Chinese President Xi “historic” and went on to claim that, “[B]ecause the world's two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we've got.

For critical commentary on the President’s pathetic climate confusion, see my CEI colleague Marlo Lewis’s post on GlobalWarming.org.

Across the States
William Yeatman

Maryland

Acting with only hours to spare, new Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday suspended the promulgation of a regulation targeting the state’s coal-fired power plants that was issued during the final days of the administration of his predecessor, Martin O’Malley (D). It was one of Hogan’s first acts in office. O’Malley, who reportedly has presidential ambitions, had rushed to implement the rule before he left office, as a sop to the green base of the Democratic Party. However, in so doing, he skipped important procedural steps that would have afforded the public an opportunity to scrutinize the rule, which would effectively require the state’s coal-fired power plants to install an emissions control technology known as “selective catalytic reduction,” regardless whether or not it was cost-effective. Governor Hogan announced his intention to subject the rule to proper procedural requirements.

Iowa

In what is the best evidence to date that Iowa’s first-primary-in-the-country is terrible for America, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) this week announced the launch of a multi-million dollar campaign that will pressure presidential contenders to support the Renewable Fuel Standard. To be sure, the RFS is great for Iowa, because it grows a great deal of corn, the primary feedstock for ethanol. But it’s horrible for the rest of the world, as it causes the price of both food and fuel to increase.

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Global Temperature Hype

“2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record,” President Obama proclaimed in his State of the Union speech. Obama cited the separate findings of two federal agencies, NASA and NOAA, which announced Jan. 16 that, “The Year 2014 ranks as the warmest since 1880.” To Obama, the record-breaking year is evidence Congress and the American people should rally round EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.

When will the spinning end?

In the first place, 2014 was likely not the warmest year in the instrumental record. NASA and NOAA’s analyses are based on data from thousands of land- and sea-based weather stations.

But, as is well-known, surface station records have many gaps (both spatial and temporal) and many quality-control issues. Moreover, they do not measure temperature in the bulk atmosphere (the troposphere), where most of the warming from an enhanced greenhouse effect is predicted to occur.

And as NOAA’s press release acknowledges, the 2014 temperature in the troposphere was the third highest in the 1979-2014 record, as analyzed by the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) satellite program, and the sixth highest on record, as analyzed by the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) satellite program.

So why don’t the agencies’ press releases proclaim 2014 the third or sixth warmest year? Because “warmest on record” feeds the sense of crisis – a boon to agency budgets. Thus we find this bit of shameless self-promotion in NASA’s press release: "The observed long-term warming trend and the ranking of 2014 as the warmest year on record reinforces the importance for NASA to study Earth as a complete system, and particularly to understand the role and impacts of human activity."

Even based on surface station records alone, 2014 may not be a record breaker. NASA scientists subsequently acknowledged they are only 38% sure 2014 was the warmest year, because the supposed record is only 0.02°C warmer than 2010, whereas the margin of error – about 0.1°C – is 50 times larger!

Most importantly, “warmest year” blather distracts public attention from the big picture, which has two components. First, despite any small warming increment that may have occurred in 2014, climate model predictions increasingly overshoot observations. Second, the 0.8°C warming since 1880 is moderate, non-alarming, and coincides with dramatic improvements in life expectancy, health, and per capita income, and dramatic reductions in mortality related to extreme weather.

For additional commentary on warmest year hype, see Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger’s “You Ought to Have a Look: Record Global Temperatures.”

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.

Saturday
Jan032015

Cooler Heads Digest 02 January 2015 

2 January 2015

Announcements

The full Cooler Heads Digest will return next Friday.

In the News

How the Left Wants to Eradicate Planes, Trains, and Automobiles by Shutting off Their Financial Fuel
Ron Arnold, The Daily Signal, 2 January 2015

Five Things To Remember about Climate Science in 2015
Anthony Sadar, Washington Examiner, 1 January 2015

Major & Obscure Regulations We’re Watching in 2015
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 31 December 2014

2014 in Energy Charts
Mark Green, Energy Tomorrow, 31 December 2014

Reflections for the New Year on Carbon Capture, the Clean Power Plan, and COP-21 Climate Negotiations
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 30 December 2014

House Vows To Deliver on Energy Promises
Daniel J. Graeber, UPI, 30 December 2014

The Supreme Court’s Possible Hidden Climate Agenda
Brian Potts, Energy Collective, 29 December 2014

“Peak oil has arrived”: Paul Krugman on Mineral Scarcity (2010 Prediction from Dr. Errant)
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 22 December 2014

News You Can Use
EPA’s Popularity Hits Low

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 32% of Likely U.S. Voters have a favorable opinion of the EPA, the lowest finding in the three years the question has been asked.

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.

Saturday
Dec132014

Cooler Heads Digest 12 December 2014 

12 December 2014

In the News

Lost Stock, Unused Space Plague EPA Warehouses
Kelly Riddell & Drew Johnson, Washington Times, 12 December 2014

EPA Using Jonathan Gruber Tactic To Impose Harmful Regulations
Paul Driessen, FoxNews.com, 12 December 2014

How President & His Green Base Are Planning To Eradicate the Oil and Gas Industry
Ron Arnold, The Daily Signal, 12 December 2014

Greenpeace Activists Detained after Desecrating World Heritage Site in Peru
Ben Webster, The Times, 11 December 2014

Alabama’s State Climatologist Becomes EPA’s Worst Nightmare
Cliff Simms, Yellowhammer, 11 December 2014

China Recoils on Transparency at Climate Conference
Fred Lucas, The Blaze, 11 December 2014

EPA Should Re-Examine Climate Rule’s Scientific Basis—John Christy
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 10 December 2014

Exxon: North America To Be Energy Exporter by 2020
Robert Gratten, Fuel Fix, 9 December 2014

Doubling Down on Climate Alarmism
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 8 December 2014

No-Grow Zone: EPA’s Draconian Ozone Rule
Greg Bertelsen, Shop Floor, 8 December 2014

News You Can Use
CBO Report: Fracking Is a Boon to Treasury Department

Fracking will boost federal tax revenues by about 1 percent annually by 2040 without requiring any tax increases, according to Congressional Budget Office projections released this week.

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

House Passes Spending Bill; Punts Policy Work to 114th Congress

On Thursday night, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a $1 trillion spending bill, H.R. 83, by a 219-206 vote. The bill was supported by 57 Democrats and opposed by 67 Republicans. The measure, which would fund the government through next September, is expected to receive a Senate vote today.

In the wake of last November’s elections, Republican leadership indicated they would use the budget process to rein in the EPA, but H.R. 83 doesn’t include much in the way of energy and environment policy. As such, it appears that the hard choices on spending have been punted to the 114th Congress, when the GOP will have greater leverage. While I agree with this strategy, it is a troubling portent that the House, despite its tough talk, actually funds EPA at a higher level than was sought by the President.

Other than omens, the bill’s most consequential provision (for energy policy) would block funding for any Interior Department effort to subject the sage grouse to regulations pursuant to the Endangered Species Act; environmentalist long have plotted for such regulations, in order to inhibit oil and gas production in the western U.S.

Interior Department Contractor Validates “War on Coal”

In a blockbuster opinion piece in this week's Lexington Herald-Leader, J. Steven Gardner, CEO of science and engineering firm ECSI, affirms that the Interior Department is pushing politicized anti-coal regulations. His company was one of five consultants contracted by the Interior Department to work on a pending regulation known as the “Stream Buffer Rule.” (I explain this ridiculous regulation in detail here.) According to Mr. Gardner, “Department of Interior officials asked the consultants to change the results,” after the firms had concluded that the rule would lead to thousands of job losses. Upon refusing to do so, the contract was terminated.

FERC Agrees to Vet Reliability Impact of Clean Power Plan

On Wednesday, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur announced that FERC would convene a series of technical conferences to investigate the reliability impact of the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.

FERC’s input is welcome because EPA can’t be trusted to properly vet its own rules. For example, the agency’s analysis of its absurd 2012 Utility MACT, which threatens to shut down 25 percent of the nation’s coal-fired power plants, completely failed to account for the possibility that cold weather (rather than sultry summer days) could engender reliability issues. In fact, much of the coal-fired generating capacity that is due to retire (on account of Utility MACT) proved to be essential to keeping the lights on during last winter’s polar vortex. EPA didn’t account for this possibility. The unfortunate result is that it’s unclear if certain regions, primarily in the northeast, could survive a cold winter without blackouts after the rule takes effect next spring.

Indeed, the Clean Power Plan could pose an even bigger threat to reliability than Utility MACT. Already, grid operators and federal reliability watchdogs have issued warnings that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would endanger reliable electric service more than half the country, as the Cooler Heads Digest reported in November.

Across the States
William Yeatman

NOAA Report: California Draught Due to Natural Causes

A report issued Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said natural variations were the primary drivers behind the California drought that has now stretched to three years.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Dispatches from COP-20 in Lima, Peru

As reported in last week’s Cooler Heads Digest, CEI’s Myron Ebell this week participated in the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru. Below, we’ve provided links to Myron’s dispatches from Lima.

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
Dec122014

CEI Today: Operation Choke Point, renewable energy project of the year?, reports from COP-20 Lima, and more 

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014
In the News Today

 

OPERATION CHOKE POINT - IAIN MURRAY
 

Rep. Leutkemeyer Moves to Choke off Operation Choke Point


The release this week of a new House Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff report into Operation Choke Point provides another opportunity to underline just how egregious the behavior of executive agencies has been in this matter.

Operation Choke Point has been a freelance operation by rogue members of staff at the Justice Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in particular aimed at killing off industries they suspect might have high levels of fraud, on the grounds that they present “reputational risk” to financial institutions they do business with.
> Read more

> Interview Iain Murray
 

RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT OF THE YEAR - WILLIAM YEATMAN


If Ultra-Troubled Ivanpah Is “2014 Renewable Energy Project of the Year,” Then How Bad Off Is the Green Energy Industry?

 

RenewableEnergyWorld.com (“The World’s #1 Renewable Energy Website”) on Monday reported that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System was named the 2014 Renewable Energy Project of the Year at the PennWell Annual Awards Gala. I greet this news with a query: Are you serious!?!


Southern California-based Ivanpah, which uses 350,000 heliostat mirrors that focus sunlight on several centralized power towers in order to power steam turbines, was completed in April, and has since suffered a spate of awful news. > Read more


> Interview William Yeatman
 


REGULATORY BARRIERS - FRED L. SMITH, JR.

The Future and the Regulated


From building a room on one’s home to repairing bridges or sending people to Mars, the major barrier is no longer technology or financing per se but rather the thicket of regulations that slow everything. The result is akin to filling swimming pools with molasses and being surprised that speeds decline. > Read more

 

> Interview Fred L. Smith, Jr.
 

 

    

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 

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Friday
Dec122014

CEI Today: China, Gore and Kerry at the climate conference, plus a White House fail on regulatory disclosure 

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014
In the News Today

 


CHINA AT THE CLIMATE CONFERENCE- CHRISTOPHER HORNER


The Blaze: China Recoils on Transparency at Climate Conference, but Obama Administration Still Confident in Deal

Despite China’s refusal this week to accept international scrutiny of its pledged reductions in carbon emissions, President Barack Obama said Thursday that China will abide by “higher standards and in a verifiable way.”

Asserting the bilateral agreement is entirely separate from the Lima conference makes little sense, “unless their spin is the Chinese will allow inspection of the Beijing deal but not a multilateral deal,” said Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“We’ve known all along this was trust but don’t verify,” Horner told TheBlaze. “Politically, this was meant to get ahead of multilateral talks to take away the argument that China is not doing anything. All this [China’s action this week] does is expose the Beijing’s bilateral.”
> Read The Blaze report


> Interview Chris Horner
 

REPORTS FROM COP-20 IN LIMA - MYRON EBELL

It was Climate Action Day at the UN climate conference in Lima, Peru.  A three-hour “high level” session featured a number of prominent elected leaders, UN officials, and climate activists. It gave me a chance to hear former star of stage and screen Al Gore twice more.  Gore said that, “We are designing the future of humankind here in Lima and then Paris” next year.  If that isn’t scary enough, U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew in a few hours later to give a speech in the main press conference room.  It wasn’t an official speech to the COP, but was meant to show the delegates and the world that the Obama Administration is determined to make the negotiations succeed.
> Secretary of State John Kerry Tries To Out-Gore Al Gore

> Al Gore Preaches Hellfire And Redemption

> United States Makes Impressive But Misleading Presentation

> 350.org Protests Allowing Fossil Fuel Lobbyists To Attend


WHITE HOUSE REGULATORY DISCLOSURE - WAYNE CREWS
 

Deteriorating White House Regulatory Disclosure Needs Active Congressional Review

 

Among many regulatory reforms needed in the new 114th Congress, here is yet one more way that regulatory disclosure needs a shot in the arm.

The Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which is supposed to appear twice a year, has undergone some internal reporting changes at the Office of Management and Budget that cause fewer long-term rules to be reported. Note that Obama’s economically significant rules are nearly 50 percent higher than Bush’s and his “significant” rules are way above. > Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews
 

 

    

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org





 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

A Friday afternoon e-newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings. Sign up today!