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Entries in Climate Alarmism (81)

Saturday
Nov222014

Cooler Heads Digest 21 November 2014 

21 November 2014

Announcements

  • The Cooler Heads Digest will not be published next week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. We will return on 5 December. Happy Thanksgiving!
  • The comment period for EPA’s proposed “Clean Power” Plan ends 1 December. Click here to submit a comment.

In the News

Renewable Fuel Standard: EPA Retreats from Cutbacks
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 21 November 2014

U.S. Oil Imports Fell as Output Rose in October
Mark Shenk, Bloomberg, 20 November 2014

Fossil Fuel Industries: Time to Stand Tall! (Book Review of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels)
Erin Conners, Master Resource, 20 November 2014

Wind Energy Industry Gambles with Taxpayer Chip
Ernest Istook, Washington Times, 19 November 2014

New Polar Bear Study Is Junk Science
Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 19 November 2014

Report: EPA Paid Employees $1 Million While They Were on Leave…Sometimes for Years
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 19 November 2014

For Once, a Court Sided with People Rather Than “Threatened” Rodents
Ron Arnold, The Daily Signal, 18 November 2014

Spin Alert: Despite What DOE Says, Its Loans Are Not Making Money
Donald Marron, Forbes, 17 November 2014

News You Can Use
All 50 States Hit Freezing

Reuters reported this week that Tuesday was the coldest November morning across the U.S. since 1976, as temperatures in at least one location in all 50 States dipped to freezing or below.  

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Landrieu Fails To Find Sixtieth Vote for Keystone Pipeline

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did allow a floor vote on Tuesday, 18th November, on a bill to permit the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf refineries, but Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) failed to find the sixtieth vote necessary to break the Democrats’ filibuster.  All 45 Republicans voted for the bill, but only 14 Democrats.

Landrieu thus failed to demonstrate her clout as the outgoing chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which cannot help her uphill effort to win re-election to the Senate in her 6th December runoff with Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).  It also shows that 41 of her Democratic colleagues are more interested in keeping faith with their environmental billionaire donors than keeping another Democrat in the Senate.  They will have 46 seats in the 114th Congress, which should be enough for the 41 votes needed to block cloture on major Republican legislation.   

Across the States
William Yeatman

New Report Shows State-by-State Energy Costs of EPA’s Clean Power Plan

A report released this week by Energy Ventures Analysis, Inc. estimates that EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, in combination with existing agency rules promulgated during the Obama administration, would increase the cost of electricity and natural gas by nearly $300 billion in 2020 compared with 2012. Click here for a State-by-State breakdown of how EPA’s rules would affect your electric and gas bills.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Obama Pledges $3 billion to Green Climate Fund, Attacks Australian Prime Minister Abbott in Oz

After signing a climate agreement with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the APEC summit meeting held outside Beijing last week, President Barack Obama traveled on to the annual G-20 summit meeting in Brisbane, Australia.  In a side speech at the University of Queensland, Obama pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund and then used the rest of his speech to criticize the Australian government’s climate policies. 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as the host of the G-20 meeting tried unsuccessfully to keep climate policy off the agenda and out of the final communique.  And he lost the full support of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who said after Obama announced $3 billion and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced $1.5 billion for the Green Climate Fund that the Canadian government would contribute as well. 

But Abbott has not backed down.  This week he re-iterated his position that the ongoing UN climate negotiations will fail if they put policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of economic growth. “It's vital that the Paris conference be a success... and for it to be a success, we can't pursue environmental improvements at the expense of economic progress.  We can't reduce emissions in ways which cost jobs because it will fail if that's what we end up trying to do.”

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also criticized Obama’s speech during an interview on Australian television from New York where she was attending the UN Security Council meeting.  According to the Australian newspaper, American Ambassador to Australia John Berry had strongly warned the White House not to criticize the Abbott government while in Australia.

Green Climate Fund Gets $9.3 Billion in Pledges

The Green Climate Fund came close to its initial goal of $10 billion at a conference of donor nations in Berlin on 20th November.  A total of $9.3 billion has now been pledged.

President Barack Obama got things going earlier in the week at the G20 summit meeting in Australia when he pledged $3 billion.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe then pledged $1.5 billion.  In Berlin, new pledges included $1.1 billion from the United Kingdom and smaller amounts from Italy, Finland, New Zealand, Mongolia, and Panama.  A number of other nations have already made commitments. France and Germany are also in the billion dollar club.

The Green Climate Fund (or GCF) was first suggested by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the annual UN climate conference in 2009 in Copenhagen and then became the centerpiece of President Obama’s efforts to save the conference from total collapse.  The deal agreed in Copenhagen is that wealthier nations will give a total of $100 billion per annum starting in 2020.  The GCF will give the funds to poorer nations to help them deal with the impacts of climate change and pay for their own climate policies.  $9.3 billion is a start, but it’s far from the $100 billion per year commitment.

President Obama will no doubt try to redirect other foreign aid appropriated by Congress to meet his $3 billion pledge to the GCF.  But Congress controls all appropriations, and the 114th Congress may not agree.  In that case, the President’s pledge will be as empty as his recent climate agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping.     

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Google Ends Green Energy Project

During 2007-2011, Google’s RE<C energy innovation center invested heavily in wind, geothermal, and solar technology, hoping to produce a gigwatt of power more cheaply than is possible with coal. The effort failed. Writing in IEEE Spectrum, Google engineers Ross Koningstein and David Fork report that by 2011, “it was clear that RE<C would not be able to deliver a technology that could compete economically with coal, and Google officially ended the initiative....”

“First, renewable energy sources like solar and wind need to get cheap -- not just as cheap as a coal- or natural-gas-fired power plant, but so much cheaper that it makes economic sense to abandon traditional fossil fuels soon. Furthermore, the power system needs to be redesigned so renewable sources, like rooftop solar panels, can be as responsive and useful on the grid as a traditional power plant is now, the engineers wrote.

Second, the world needs as-yet-uninvented technologies to pull CO2 from the atmosphere.”

Then and only then would a zero-carbon system be a “thrifty choice” – a solution the world confidently embraces because it makes people wealthier.

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
Nov152014

Cooler Heads Digest 14 November 2014

14 November 2014

Announcement

The Cato Institute will host a presentation by Alex Epstein on his new book, “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” on Friday, November 21st, 9:00-10:00 AM at B-369 House Rayburn Office Building. Click here to learn more and RSVP.

In the News

Fossil Fuels: The Moral Choice
Alex Epstein, Fox News, 14 November 2014

The Wind Lobby’s Case against the PTC Extension
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 14 November 2014

Obama Touts Energy Taxes as a Way To Fight Global Warming
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 14 November 2014

Dr. Mann, Super-Villain
Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, 14 November 2014

Interstellar’s Rejection of Climate Change Hysteria
Sonny Bunch, Washington Free Beacon, 14 November 2014

Tom Steyer Provides a Lesson in How To Waste $67 Million
Thomas Pyle, Investor’s Business Daily, 13 November 2014

Study: Energy Jobs Lead the Recovery
Joshua Cain, Fuel Fix, 13 November 2014

The Audacity of Climate Cynicism
Washington Examiner editorial, 13 November 2014

Carbon Tax Advocates Discuss Post-Election Prospects
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 12 November 2014

The Coming Climate Onslaught
Andrew Restuccia & Erica Martinson, Politico, 11 November 2014

IPCC’s Latest Report: The End Is Nigh Unless Mankind Repents Its Fuelish Ways
Marlo Lewis, CNS News, 10 November 2014

Unquestionably One-Sided Climate Change Coverage
Tom Harris, Washington Times, 10 November 2014

News You Can Use
The One Statistic Climate Catastrophists Don’t Want You to Know

According to the Cato Institute’s Pat Michaels, in the decade from 2004 to 2013, worldwide climate-related deaths (including droughts, floods, extreme temperatures, wildfires, and storms) plummeted to a level 88.6 percent below that of the peak decade, from 1930 to 1939.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Reid Rushes Senate Vote on Keystone Pipeline To Try To Save Landrieu

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) strategy to keep Democratic incumbents from being voted out of office by keeping floor votes to a minimum failed miserably on 4th November.  Voters sent Democratic incumbents packing in Arkansas, Colorado, Alaska, and North Carolina.  As a result of those defeats plus Democratic losses in open seat races in West Virginia, Montana, Iowa, and South Dakota, Republicans will take control of the Senate when the 114th Congress is sworn in on January 3rd. 

Now, to try to save Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) from defeat in a 6th December runoff with Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Reid wants to have a vote on a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands, across the Canada-U.S. border and down to Cushing, Okla., where it would hook up with the southern leg of the pipeline that has already been constructed and is operating (because pipelines that don’t cross an international border don’t require presidential approval).  The Senate is currently scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday, 18th November.  However, with Reid in control of the Senate schedule, that could change several times.

It can be seen from past votes that all 45 Republican Senators and 12 Democratic Senators will vote yes on Keystone.  That is three votes short of the 60 needed to surmount procedural hurdles and pass the bill.  So Senator Landrieu, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has been lobbying several Democratic colleagues furiously to come up with three more votes.  As of Friday afternoon, Senators Thomas Carper (D-Del.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) have announced that they will switch. 

It really doesn’t matter whether Landrieu finds the sixtieth vote or not.  She is almost certain to lose to Cassidy in the runoff because she got 42% of the vote on election day, while Cassidy got 41% and Rob Maness, the other Republican in the race, got 14%.  Nor is it clear what passing Keystone out of the Democratic-controlled Senate will do to help Landrieu.  The White House is still signaling that President Obama may veto the bill.  And if it doesn’t reach the president’s desk this month, it surely will early next year when Republicans control the Senate.

That’s why the Republican leadership in the House did not stand in the way.  On Friday, 14th November, the House voted 252 to 161 in favor of H. R. 5682, which approves the Keystone Pipeline.   Thirty-one Democrats votes Yes.  This is the ninth time the House has passed a Keystone bill.  Oh, and by the way, the sponsor of H. R. 5682 is Rep. Bill Cassidy. 

If the Senate goes along next Tuesday, expect anti-Keystone activists led by billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer and Bill McKibben’s 350.org to form a human chain around the White House, as they did on 4th March.  Currently, 350.org is planning a rally on the Mall in Washington on 17th February 2015, which is Presidents’ Day. 

Across the States
William Yeatman

Southern Co. CEO: EPA’s “Clean Power” Plan Would Cause Rolling Blackouts

In an interview two days ago with Bloomberg, Thomas Fanning, the CEO of Southern Company, which provides electricity service to a four state region in the southeast, said that “I don’t think we have the ability to maintain a reliable system” and also comply with EPA’s “Clean Power” Plan.  

Fanning’s statement is only the latest warning about the threat to electric reliability posed by EPA’s rule. In recent testimony before the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Commissioner Philip Moeller voiced his concern about the possibility of cascading blackouts within the 15 state region served by the Midcontinent Independent Service Operator. And in October comments to the EPA, the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization that serves an 8 state region, warned that the rule, if left unchanged, would cause rolling blackouts within its footprint. Thus, grid operators & federal energy regulators have issued warnings that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could turn out the lights in 27 States.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Obama, Xi Agree on Meaningless Climate Deal

U. S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a commitment by both countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions by 2025-30, at the end of the APEC summit meeting in China on Wednesday.  President Obama pledged that the United States would reduce it emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, while President Xi pledged that China’s emissions would peak by “around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20% by 2030.”  That quote is from the White House fact sheet on the agreement.

The Obama Administration’s long-stated goal has been to reduce emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.  That works out to an annual cut of 1.2% from 2005 onward.  The new goal would require a much faster rate of cuts.  The White House calculated that if the faster rate doesn’t begin until 2020, then the annual cut would work out to 2.3-2.8% from 2020 to 2025.

It is not clear what President Xi’s commitment means, but President Obama’s signature on the deal has no legal force.  And it will be up to future Presidents and Congresses after he leaves office in January 2017 to decide whether to require the emissions reductions agreed to.

Leaders of the official climate establishment quickly claimed that the U. S.-China agreement will provide new momentum to the international negotiations on a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, which will continue at the annual United Nations climate conference in December in Lima.  A new international agreement is supposed to be signed at the next UN conference scheduled for December 2015 in Paris.

Here for example is what former Senator Timothy Wirth said in a written statement: “Today’s announcement is the political breakthrough we’ve been waiting for….  If the two biggest players on climate are able to get together, from two very different perspectives, the rest of the world can see that it’s possible to make real progress.”  Wirth is the vice chairman of Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation and served as Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs during the Clinton Administration, where he prepared the groundwork for the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

However, it doesn’t appear that there is much that is new in the agreement.  The Reuters story by David Stanway reporting from the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) summit in Beijing got it right in the headline: “China, US agree limits on emissions, but experts see little new.”

Stanway continues:

For China, the targets add little to its existing commitments to wean itself off carbon, environmental experts said.  ‘The statement is an upbeat signal to motivate other countries, but the timeline China has committed to is not a binding target,’ said Li Junfeng, an influential Chinese climate policy adviser linked to China’s state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission.

There is also the little obstacle of Congress.  Republicans take control of the Senate in January.  Majorities in both the House and Senate will be opposed to the Obama Administration’s climate agenda.  It seems certain that they will be even more opposed to the new 26% cut by 2025 goal than they are to the 17% by 2020 goal.  My guess is that there will be votes on a resolution disavowing President Obama’s new commitments in both the House and Senate early in the 114th Congress.

That would complicate the State Department’s plans to announce its commitments that will be part of the Paris accord by the end of March.  In fact, if the House and Senate do disavow the deal with China, it would be a major international embarrassment to President Obama and would be a severe blow to the chances for a significant agreement in Paris in December 2015.

Reactions to Obama-Xi Climate Agreement

Among many insightful commentaries on the O-Xi deal, I recommend my CEI colleague Chris Horner’s post on GlobalWarming.org on the potential legal consequences and Rupert Darwall’s post on National Review Online on the economic consequences.  The Onion had the best headline: “China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers.”

The establishment press and leftist columnists were ecstatic.  Here’s a sample.  New York Times editorial headline: “A major breakthrough on climate change.”  Washington Post editorial headline: “A landmark climate deal.”  Paul Krugman in the NY Times: “We have a deal, and it’s pretty big.”  Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed: “A game-changing climate deal.” And Al Gore’s group, the Climate Reality Project, began its e-mail on the O-Xi deal: “Climate wins don’t come much bigger.”

Politico reporter Michael Grunwald damped down the enthusiasm in a long article that points out the agreement was “just words.”  Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani gave Politico this pithy analysis:  "We have plans to continue to reduce emissions and we have agreed to continue to increase those plans to reduce emissions. And we have, over the years, shown our good faith by actually doing that.  So, that's our quid. What's the pro quo? They're going to continue to emit carbon and then after 16 years, they're going to freeze that emission, as far as I can tell, at the level they bring it up to in 16 years.”   Investor’s Business Daily had a good editorial slamming the deal that included a useful graph.   

Republican leaders in Congress were quick to announce that the President’s climate deal with China didn’t stand a chance in Congress.  Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) called it a charade.  And here is Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) reaction.  Inhofe will become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee in January.  McConnell will become majority leader of the Senate.  

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.

Wednesday
Nov122014

CEI Today: Jonathan Gruber, the Dodd-Frank nightmare, our fuelish ways, and more 

Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014
In the News Today

 

OBAMACARE & JONATHAN GRUBER - SAM KAZMAN

Obamacare: Cert Granted on Friday, and Gruber II on Saturday
 
Shortly after noon last Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it would review our Fourth Circuit Obamacare challenge, King v. Burwell. Saturday brought another surprise—yet another rediscovered Jonathan Gruber video:

And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass.” So, the only way to get it to pass was to not call it what it was and to not let the American people know what it really was.
 > Read more

DODD-FRANK


The Long National Nightmare of Dodd-Frank Is Almost Over

On November 19, however, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit will hear arguments in a case brought by CEI and others challenging the constitutionality of this new bureaucracy created by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. If the judges rule in our favor, Main Street and Wall Street should both breathe a sigh of relief. > Read more


> Interview Iain Murray
 

GLOBAL WARMING REPORT - MARLO LEWIS
 

CNSNews: IPCC’s Latest Report: The End Is Nigh Unless Mankind Repents of Its Fuelish Ways


Last month, the “pause”—a period of no net warming in the bulk atmosphere—reached its 18th year. Roughly 36 percent of all fossil-fuel CO2 emissions since industrialization began occurred during that 18-year period. Yet, atmospheric warming was conspicuous by its absence. Now that is news!

IPCC-affiliated scientists did not forecast the pause, and still struggle to explain it. > Read more


> Interview Marlo Lewis

 


ROLL CALL
Q & A: Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute


Part One
& Part Two


Analyst Marc Scribner at the Competitive Enterprise Institute examines transportation policy from a staunchly pro-market standpoint.

"When you get into certain areas like roads, it gets more difficult because you’re not necessarily talking about regulation so much; you’re talking about the fact that the government has a monopoly on the provision of these services." > Read the interview
 

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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.

 


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts
 

In memory of Gordon Tullock

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

 

 





 

Saturday
Nov082014

Cooler Heads Digest 07 November 2014 

7 November 2014

Announcement

Sixty six groups led by the American Energy Alliance sent a coalition letter this week to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to oppose the inclusion of the wind production tax credit (PTC) in any lame duck tax extenders package during the remainder of this congressional session. Click here to read the letter.

In the News

Dear GOP: Don’t Rescue Obama Energy Policy with Wind PTC Extension
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 7 November 2014

Enough of Big Ethanol Bullying Voters
Nan Swift, Washington Examiner, 7 November 2014

West Virginia’s White, Pro-Coal Democratic Senate Candidate Fared Even Worse Than Obama
David Weigel, Bloomberg, 6 November 2014

GOP Election Rout Delivers Blow to U.S. Leadership Role on Climate Change
John Cushman, Jr., Inside Climate News, 5 November 2014

Obama: Stop Bugging Me About Keystone
Ben Geman, National Journal, 5 November 2014

Sierra Club’s Wacky Take on the Election: Environmentalists Failed Due to “Sinister Voter Suppression Tactics”
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 5 November 2014

Climate Was Barely a Factor in Midterms
Brad Plumer, Vox, 4 November 2014

The Crazy Reason Two Auto Companies Were Fined $100 Million
Nicolas Loris, Daily Signal, 4 November 2014

News You Can Use
Election’s Biggest Loser: Alarmism

Last week, the Cooler Heads Digest reported on the scores of millions of dollars that green special interests and their billionaire benefactors spent on the midterm elections. Regarding their efforts, this week’s Politico headline delivers the final word: “Tom Steyer, Greens Have Rough Night at the Polls.”

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Big Green’s $85 Million Fails To Keep Senate under Harry Reid’s Control

Republicans gained at least seven and probably nine Senate seats in the 4th November congressional elections and will take control of the Senate when the 114th Congress is sworn in on 3rd January.  Senator Mitch McConnell, the current minority leader, defeated Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky by 52 to 44% and will become majority leader.  EPA regulations to kill the coal industry were a big issue in the campaign.

House Republicans increased their numbers to between 245 and 250 from 233 in the current Congress.  With several races still to be called, the Republicans could hold more seats in the House of Representatives than at any time since 1929.

Republicans did this despite massive spending by billionaire green activist Tom Steyer and the big environmental pressure groups.  As I reported last week, Big Green spent over $85 million trying to elect global warming alarmists.  They failed miserably.  Their issues did not resonate at all.  As Republican pollster Whit Ayres said, “It is difficult to find an issue that voters place lower on the list than climate change.”

Steyer and leading environmentalists have spent the week trying to explain away how they spent so much and achieved so little. But environmental advocates, such as Brad Plumer writing on Vox, were also quick to acknowledge that the global warming establishment was the biggest loser in the elections. Here’s the good news from Rebecca Leber in the New Republic: “Congratulations, voters.  You just made this climate denier the most powerful Senator on the environment.”  She refers to Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who is set to return as chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.  

In a press conference the day after the election, President Barack Obama admitted, “The Republicans had a good night.”  He then went on to say that he was not planning to make a mid-term course correction or shake up the White House staff, as did Presidents George W. Bush in 2006 and Bill Clinton in 1994.  It’s going to be an interesting two years in Washington, DC. 

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Republicans Make Historic Gains in State Legislatures

The Republican takeover of the Senate was the big story on election night.  A few days to look at the election results at the state level has convinced me that the stunning scope of Republican victories in state legislative races is at least as big a story and will have bigger consequences over time. 

Republicans increased their control of the 98 partisan state legislative bodies (Nebraska’s legislature is non-partisan and unicameral) from 57 to 67 (and after the election, a party switcher gave Republicans control of one more).  Once all the races are called, it is almost certain there will be more Republican state legislators than the previous high of 4001 achieved in 1928.

Democrats lost their majorities in the West Virginia House for the first time since 1931.  West Virginia’s current House of Delegates has 54 Democrats and 47 Republicans.  The new House will have 64 Republicans and 36 Democrats. After Democrats lost seven state Senate seats in West Virginia, a Democratic state senator announced that he would switch parties, which will give Republicans control of the state Senate, again for the first time since 1931.  In New Mexico, Republicans won control of the state House for the first time since 1954. 

Democrats also lost their majorities in the Nevada House and Senate, their Senate majorities in New York, Colorado, Maine, and Washington, and their House majorities in Minnesota and New Hampshire.

Before the election, Republicans controlled both legislative chambers and the governorship in 23 States, Democrats in 13.  Republicans gained complete control in Nevada and Arkansas, but lost it in Pennsylvania (where incumbent Governor Tom Corbett lost) and Alaska (where an independent defeated incumbent Governor Sean Parnell).  Democrats, on the other hand, lost complete control in six States: Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, Illinois, and West Virginia. 

Thirty-One States Now Have Republican Governors

The biggest surprise on election night was Republican Larry Hogan defeating Democratic Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown for Governor in Maryland.  Republicans Bruce Rauner and Charlie Baker also won surprising victories for Governor in Illinois and Massachusetts. 

Democrat Tom Wolf defeated Republican Governor Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania.  Otherwise, it was a big night for Republicans at the gubernatorial level, who now have thirty-one Governors.

Democrats now have one woman Governor—Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire.  Republicans have three—Susana Martinez in New Mexico, Nikki Haley in South Carolina, and Mary Fallin in Oklahoma.  Democrats have no Hispanic Governors, but Republicans have two—Martinez and Brian Sandoval in Nevada.  Republicans also have two Governors of Asian Indian descent—Haley and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana.  

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
Nov012014

Cooler Heads Digest 31 October 2014 

31 October 2014

In the News

Halloween Thoughts from Obama’s Science Adviser
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 31 October 2014

If Only the Keystone Pipeline Were on the Ballot in November….
Michael Whatley, Real Clear Energy, 31 October 2014

Kemper CCS Project Undermines EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standard
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 29 October 2014

How Green Energy Is Fleecing Ontario Electricity Consumers
Ross McKitrick & Tom Adams, Financial Post, 29 October 2014

Kansas Energy Regulators to EPA: Drop Carbon Regulation Plan
Topeka Capital-Journal, 29 October 2014

Washington State Ecology Staff at Odds with Gov. Inslee on Ocean Acidification
Shari Phiel, The Daily News, 29 October 2014

The True Reason Gas Prices Are Falling (Hint: It’s Not Because of Green Energy)
Stephen Moore, Daily Signal, 26 October 2014

Companies Shouldn’t Cave to the Demands of Climate Change Activists
Carly Fiorina, Washington Post, 26 October 2014

Environmentalists, EPA Use Sue and Settle to Bypass Congress, Impose Regulations
D. Brady Nelson, Heartland, 23 October 2014

News You Can Use
Man Bites Dog Report: EPA Employees Give to Democrats

An analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) done for Greenwire found that 91 percent of EPA employees who contributed to candidates and political campaigns gave to Democrats.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Environmentalists Spend Big To Keep Democrats in Control of Senate

The mainstream media have begun to take notice that the environmental movement is spending a lot of money to elect candidates in the 4th November elections.  Chris Mooney, an environmental advocate-reporter who was recently hired to write a Washington Post blog, posted an article on 27th October with the headline, “Environmental Groups Are Spending an Unprecedented $85 million in the 2014 Elections.” Mooney got his figures from a 24th October memo (posted here) by five leaders of the effort: Joe Bonfiglio of the Environmental  Defense Action Fund, Sky Gallegos of NextGen Climate Action (the group funded by billionaire Tom Steyer), Heather Taylor-Miesle of the NRDC Action Fund, Daniel J. Weiss of the League of Conservation Voters, and Melissa Williams of the Sierra Club.

Greenwire (subscription required) headlined its article on the scale of environmental pressure group spending in the election, “Are Money and Power Changing the Environmental Movement?”  That may have been a newsworthy topic about twenty-five or thirty years ago.  In an excellent front-page article in the Washington Times, Valerie Richardson focuses on a much more timely angle—the fact that all this spending has done little to make climate change and other environmental concerns into major campaign issues.

Richardson writes: “San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has spent a staggering $76 million to promote climate change as a political issue in this year’s elections, but the subject isn’t exactly firing up the electorate.  Polls show voters continue to rank climate change at the bottom of their priority lists. Even in races featuring the ‘Steyer Seven,’ the Democratic candidates selected by Mr. Steyer as the chief beneficiaries of his largesse, the issue is barely registering on the campaign trail.”

The fact that their issues aren’t resonating with voters has been noticed by the environmental pressure groups trying to maintain a Democratic majority in the Senate.  As a result, many of the ads that they are paying for are on other issues, such as abortion, all the money being spent on behalf of Republicans by the Koch brothers, and various economic issues.

There are multiple hypocrisies in the environmentalists’ campaign spending.  The first is that they continue to attack conservatives for being funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, while they are largely funded by Tom Steyer and other billionaires.  The environmentalists’ strongholds are not working class neighborhoods in Cleveland, but rather Beverly Hills and Manhattan. 

The second hypocrisy is the claim by most of the groups involved that their spending is bipartisan.  It is true that the League of Conservation Voters does endorse a few green Republicans and occasionally even spends a little money supporting them.  But only if they are shoo-ins.  Thus Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins has been endorsed by the LCV and other environmental groups because there is no chance of defeating her. 

The third hypocrisy, mentioned above, is spending all this cash on campaign ads that have nothing to do with environmental issues and often in support of Democratic candidates who at least claim to oppose the environmentalists on significant issues.  Like other leftist special interests within the Democratic Party, the environmental pressure groups are desperate to keep Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as majority leader in the Senate.

The mainstream media have almost entirely given the environmentalists a pass on these and other hypocrisies, although Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker does at least point out that if their candidates lose after the environmentalists have spent all this money, it will be a big setback because it will demonstrate to future candidates that their issues don’t matter much to voters.  We shall see how it turns out on 4th November.   

Federal Agencies Adapting to Climate Change

The White House Office of Management and Budget on 31st October released the annual updates of plans by 38 agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to deal with the effects of climate change.  OMB also provides a scorecard that rates each agency’s progress.  It’s all available here.   

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Sixth Anniversary of Climate Change Act Finds Britain a Darker Place

Anne Widdecombe, former Member of the British House of Commons, wrote a column in London’s Daily Express on 29th October commemorating the sixth anniversary of passage of the UK’s Climate Change Act.  Widdecombe and four other Conservative Members of Parliament voted against the act on a day when it was snowing in London.  The other four, all still serving in Parliament, were Andrew Tyrie, Peter Lilley, Christopher Chope and Philip Davies. 

This anniversary falls during a week when the European energy news is about a major German chemical company, BASF, moving investment in new factories from Germany to the United States, where electricity and natural gas feedstock costs are much lower; and about how Britain’s National Grid is taking emergency measures to cope with the threat of blackouts this winter. The UK’s electricity shortages are the result of policies related to the Climate Change Act. 

Science Update
Myron Ebell

CEI Lawsuit Targets White House Polar Vortex Nonsense

The Competitive Enterprise Institute on 29th October filed a suit in DC federal court to compel the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to release records requested under the Freedom of Information Act.  The complaint by CEI counsel Hans Bader and Sam Kazman summarizes the case better than I can:

“This is an action under the Freedom of Information Act to compel production under a request for OSTP records related to The Polar Vortex Explained in 2 Minutes, a video posted on the White House web site about global warming supposedly causing severe winter cold.  In June 2014, OSTP refused to correct alleged inaccuracies in that video that CEI had formally brought to its attention.  It justified its refusal by claiming that the video was just the personal opinion of its Director, John P. Holdren.

“But when CEI submitted a FOIA request for documents related to the video, the agency withheld most of them.  It claimed those documents could be withheld in their entirety pursuant to the deliberative process privilege, which allows agencies to withhold portions of documents containing agency deliberations related to formulation of agency rules and policies.  The requested documents are not related to any agency rule or regulation, nor are they antecedent to the adoption of any government policy.  Nor has OSTP explained how they could be, since OSTP itself has claimed they merely reflect the ‘personal opinion’ of certain of its staff.  Thus, these withheld documents are agency records subject to disclosure under FOIA, and not properly withheld under any FOIA exemption.”  

Quite surprisingly, Climate Progress ran a mostly accurate and fair article on the suit by Emily Atkin, which was headlined, “Libertarians Sue White House Over Climate Change Video.”  

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.