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Entries in Climate Alarmism (105)

Saturday
May302015

AUFC - PICTURES: NH Climate Change Voters Pursue Scott Walker

Will Gov. Walker Answer for His Koch-Backed, Big Oil-Approved Agenda – or Give the Cold Shoulder? 

  

 

 

 

Laconia, NH – As Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) prepares to keynote a fundraising cruise around Lake Winnipesaukee, local climate voters are hot on his trail on a mobile inflatable iceberg, representing the melting polar icecaps, hoping to get some straight answers from the Wisconsin Governor on these key environmental questions:

 

1)      Other than signing the oil tycoon Koch brothers’ “no climate tax” pledge promising not to support any legislation that would raise revenue to combat climate change, what else did you, Governor Walker, promise the billionaire polluters to become their favored presidential candidate?

2)      Do you -- as your anti-environment policies would suggest -- count yourself among the Republican candidates who reject climate science despite the 97 percent agreement in the scientific community that climate change is real and man-made?

3)      You’ve been given millions of rea$on$ by the Koch Brothers to officially refuse to comply with the President’s climate action plan that would reduce carbon pollution by 30 percent by 2030  and create more than a quarter of a million jobs to the U.S. economy by 2040, according to a independent economic analysis.  Do you have any alternative plan – or is it unofficially ‘whatever the Kochs say”?

4)      Have you read the recent University of New Hampshire reports on climate change finding: “Rising seas pose significant risks to New Hampshire coastal communities and ecosystems, cultural resources and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and climate change-driven health impacts threaten to affect Granite State and New England residents who are vulnerable to rising temperatures, more precipitation and severe weather events”?  How would you address these problems as president, or do you even consider them to be problems?

 

5)      Considering that the oil baron Koch brothers have already spent millions of dollars backing your anti-environment, anti-worker agenda in Wisconsin and against efforts to recall you and have promised millions more await should you become the nominee, it’s clear they have a lot of money to burn. Do you really believe the Kochs and their Big Oil industry colleagues that pulled in companies pulled in $90 billion in profits last year need $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies every year? Would you as President sign or veto legislation repealing these wasteful Big Oil taxpayer subsidies?
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The action was sponsored by Americans United for Change, the pro-environment group behind www.RareIncidents.com.

Saturday
May302015

Cooler Heads Digest 29 May 2015 

29 May 2015

Announcements

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

EPA’s Triple Threat to the Economy
John Eick, Washington Examiner, 29 May 2015

IRS Hands Out $14 Billion for Green Energy, Doesn’t Keep Track of It
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 29 May 2015

Will EPA Scrap the Carbon Capture Mandate?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 28 May 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Walker Says His State Won’t Comply with Clean Power Plan
Matthew Daly, Associated Press, 28 May 2015

Mr. Obama, “97 Percent of Experts” Is a Bogus Statistic
Richard Tol, FoxNews.com, 28 May 2015

End the Ban on Oil Exports
Merrill Matthews, The Hill, 28 May 2015

Self-Service Gasoline: Legalizing Freedom
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 26 May 2015

News You Can Use
New Report: Climate Hypocrites

The Media Research Center this month published a new report that details the extent to which media go out of their way to ignore or excuse the hypocrisy of celebrity “environmentalists” who fly their private jets around the world, rent mega-yachts and live in massive mansions. Click here to read "Climate Hypocrites and the Media That Love Them."

Inside the Beltway

EPA Proposes Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Biofuel Mandates for 2014, 2015, and 2016
Marlo Lewis

EPA on 29th May proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending targets for 2014, 2015, and 2016. The agency expects to complete the rulemaking by Nov. 30, which means it will be two years late finalizing the 2014 targets and one year late finalizing the 2015 targets.

The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which established the RFS program in its current form, mandates that refiners, blenders, and fuel importers increase the amount of biofuel sold in the nation’s motor fuel supply from 4 billion gallons in 2006 to 36 billion gallons in 2022. However, EISA also authorizes EPA to adjust the annual targets based on various factors including “the sufficiency of infrastructure to deliver and use renewable fuel.”

In Nov. 2013, EPA concluded that the 2014 RFS mandate would exceed the “blend wall” — the maximum quantity of ethanol that can be sold in a given year. The blend wall is a product of two factors: the overall size of the motor fuel market and practical constraints on how much can be blended into each gallon of motor fuel sold. Warranty and liability concerns, lack of compatible fueling infrastructure, and, most importantly, anemic consumer demand, effectively limit the standard blend to E10 — motor fuel containing up to 10% ethanol.

Based on the arithmetic of the blend wall, EPA in Nov. 2013 proposed to trim the overall 2014 statutory target from 18.15 billion gallons to 15.21 billion gallons — a 16% cut. That sparked a firestorm of protest from biofuel interests, and EPA has been dithering over the targets ever since – until today.

The targets proposed get mixed reviews from biofuel lobbyists. On the one hand, the targets are lower than the corresponding EISA targets. On the other hand, the proposed 2016 target will exceed the E10 blend wall by 840 million gallons.

EPA assumes up to 600 million of those gallons can be sold via increased sales of E85 – motor fuel blended with up to 85% ethanol. In a coordinated move, the USDA yesterday announced plans to spend $100 million subsidizing the installation of E85 blender pumps.

I predict the agencies will fail to break the blend wall and there will be another RFS crisis in a few years. Here’s why. Ethanol contains about two-thirds’ the energy of an equivalent amount of gasoline. The higher the blend, the worse mileage your car gets, and the more you have to spend to drive a given distance. For example, according to FuelEconomy.Gov, the typical owner of a flex-fuel vehicle would spend an extra $850 to $1,400 annually to operate the vehicle on E85 instead of regular gasoline.

So even if every gas station has an E85 pump, consumers will avoid the fuel in droves, because it is a bad buy. Lower energy content, inferior fuel economy, and higher consumer cost are the root cause of the blend wall. The same factors also explain why the “choice” to buy ethanol must be mandated. EPA’s fix will fail because lack of consumer acceptance is a market barrier that neither regulatory fiat nor corporate welfare can overcome.

Interior Announces Massive Land Lockup To Protect Sage Grouse Habitat
Myron Ebell

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced on 28th May in Cheyenne, Wyoming, plans to lock up land in ten western States to protect habitat of the greater sage grouse.  The habitat protections are included in 14 Bureau of Land Management resource management plans covering 165 million acres—an area roughly the size of Texas.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is under a federal court order to decide by 30th September whether to list the greater sage grouse as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  On the other hand, a rider in the omnibus appropriations bill that Congress passed last December prevents the grouse from being listed during the 2015 fiscal year, which ends on 30th September. 

Representative Rob Bishop (R-Ut.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, immediately criticized Interior’s move: "If the Administration really cares about the bird they will adopt the state plans as they originally said they would. The state plans work. This proposal is only about controlling land, not saving the bird."

Another immediate negative reaction came from the western oil and gas industry.  Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of the Western Energy Alliance in Denver, said:  “The restrictions that will be put on oil and natural gas development are not based on good science and exaggerate the threat of energy development to the bird.”

Across the States
William Yeatman

Kansas Enacts Net-Negative Renewable Energy Law

Kansas governor Sam Brownback (R) yesterday signed into law SB 91, legislation that will convert the state's renewable energy standard into a voluntary goal. At face value, that sounds great. Upon closer inspection, however, the bill doesn’t amount to much. The prior, legally binding target was 20 percent renewables by 2020. As a result of SB 91, this target is now voluntary. But Kansas investor owned utilities reportedly exceeded the 20 percent target last year, so the bill doesn’t actually change the status quo. On the other hand, SB 91 exempts existing renewable energy facilities in the State, mostly wind farms, from property taxes and gives new renewable energy facilities a 10-year property tax exemption.

Tech Companies Send Silly Letter to North Carolina Lawmakers

On a similar note, the North Carolina Senate’s Finance Committee this week passed HB 332, legislation that would halve the state’s renewable energy target, from 12.5 percent to 6 percent by 2021. The bill already has passed the state House of Representatives. In the wake of HB 332’s advance in the state Senate, Apple, Facebook and Google—all of whom operate data centers in the State—sent a joint letter demanding that lawmakers shelve the measure. Notably, the letter was unsigned, most likely due to the fact that no one at any of the companies was willing to publically associate with the letter’s incorrect claim that renewable energy is cheaper than conventional energy.

Around the World
William Yeatman

Norway’s Oil Fund Divests from Coal

A parliamentary finance committee in Norway's parliament this week recommended that the country’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund divest from all firms that generate more than 30 percent of their output or revenues from coal-related activities. The move struck many as self-unaware, in light of the fact that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund—the world’s largest—is capitalized by the country’s sale of oil and gas. Until 2006, it was formally known as “The Petroleum Fund of Norway.” And while its official name has changed to “The Government Pension Fund,” it is still known colloquially as the “oil fund.”

Japan Government Report: We Can’t Go Green Because It Would Be Too Costly

Japan’s Natural Resources and Energy Agency on Tuesday released a report that concludes the country has no choice but to rely on nuclear and hydrocarbon energy sources through 2030 because switching to renewable energy would create “pressure for drastic rise in energy cost.”

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.

Thursday
May282015

AUFC - Climate Change Voters To Press Scott Walker 

Climate Change Voters To Press Scott Walker

 

 

On Friday, May 29th at 6pm, the Koch brothers’ favored candidate Scott Walker will attend a fundraising cruise around Lake Winnipesaukee and climate voters will be hot on his trail. With a floating iceberg in tow, climate voters will press Walker and his out-of-touch views on climate change. Participants will also be highlighting two University of New Hampshire reports this month showing how climate change will have detrimental impacts on Granite State residents.

 

 

**Great Visuals:

  • ·         Floating iceberg dock trailing Governor Walker with climate voters in moose costumes

 

WHO: Americans United for Change

Climate Change Voters

 

WHAT: Climate change voters will press Scott Walker and his out-of-touch views on climate change

 

WHEN: Friday, May 29, 2015 at 6:00PM

 

WHERE: Lake Winnipesaukee, leaving from Weirs Beach Port in Laconia

 

 

***

 

Saturday
May232015

Cooler Heads Digest 22 May 2015 

22 May 2015

Announcement

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, GlobalWarming.org, 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, www.GlobalWarming.org.

Saturday
May092015

Cooler Heads Digest 08 May 2015 

8 May 2015

Announcements

  • 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 william.yeatman@cei.org.
  • 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, GlobalWarming.org, 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, FoxNews.com, 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, www.GlobalWarming.org.