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Entries in Climate Alarmism (44)


CEI Today: Stop Gov't Abuse Week - Regulating energy drinks, bureaucracy run wild, and California water crisis

Thursday, February 27, 2014
In the News Today


The Baltimore Sun: No one cards at Starbucks - Energy drinks aren't the enemy, as state bills would have you believe

In Maryland, as in other states, consumers need to show ID when buying alcohol or tobacco products. Energy drinks could be added to that list of "adult" products if bills before the General Assembly are passed. House bill 1273 and Senate bill 986 were filed to ostensibly protect the Free State's children from a potentially hazardous product. But not only will the bills fail to protect minors, they could backfire and cause more harm than good for both adults and children in Maryland.
> Read more


> Interview Michelle Minton


> Interview Michelle Minton


BUREAUCRACY RUN WILD - WAYNE CREWS Congress Must Affirm Final Agency Rules before They Are Law

Congressional over-delegation of powers to bureaucrats has created a disconnect between the power to establish regulatory programs and responsibility for the results of those programs.

As federal power grows, popular appeal of a campaign to end “regulation without representation” might also. Requiring Congress to approve major and controversial mandates before they become binding law affirms a bedrock principle of accountable government, and embodies a superior regulatory reform than any enhanced cost-benefit or risk assessment. > Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews


> Follow Wayne Crews on Twitter


National Review’s Law and Disorder Debate
Man vs. Wild: California in Crisis 

Friday, February 28, 2014, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM (EST)

Is nature taking a vendetta out on the state of California, or has bad policy wrought the water crisis in California? Featuring CEI's William Yeatman. > RSVP and for more information

March 6-8, 2014




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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!



Saturdays, 10am ET

Lessons for Business School Millennials from Real World Experience

Dean Neeli Bendapudi of the University of Kansas School of Business discusses how and why KU partners with businesses around the world to provide hands-on lessons and training.



CEI Today: John Kerry & Flat Earthers, cooperative capitalism, and labor unions & Obama

Friday, February 21, 2014
In the News Today

JOHN KERRY & FLAT EARTHERS  - MARLO LEWIS Who’s the Real Flat-Earther? McKnider and Christy Respond to Secy. Kerry

Name-calling used to be considered beneath the dignity of the Secy. of State. But if it works for President Obama (“We don’t have time for a meeting the Flat-Earth Society”), who is Kerry to abstain from slinging snark?

The Flat-Earth hypothesis was once the “scientific consensus.” So who’s the real Flat-Earther in today’s climate debate? Someone, like Kerry, who exaggerates the “findings” of flawed climate models, or someone who is skeptical of climate models because of their growing failure to replicate climate reality?  > Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis

LABOR UNIONS & OBAMA - TREY KOVACS Big Labor’s Insatiable Greed

The Fiscal Times ran an article entitled, “Big Labor’s Mounting Feud with Barack Obama.” It reports that union bosses believe their political activity and millions of dollars in campaign contributions was the difference in President Obama’s 2012 reelection and the Commander in Chief has not provided equal consideration to unions for their efforts.

While unions may not have gotten everything they would like from the president, it is hard to argue labor unions’ status is not one of privilege.
> Read more


> Interview Trey Kovacs

COOPERATIVE CAPITALISM - FRED L. SMITH, JR. The “Cooperative” Enterprise Institute?

Capitalism is more “caring” than any other known institutional system. We must find ways of making its concern more apparent. The popular mind tends to associate capitalism with competition, but there is actually far more cooperation. A business will compete with a few rivals, true. But to stay in business, it must cooperate with thousands of customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers and neighbors. > Read more

> Interview Fred Smith


March 6-8, 2014




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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!




Cooler Heads Digest 21 February 2014 

21 February 2014


On February 26, 9:00-10:30 AM, in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building, the George C. Marshall Institute will host a discussion, “Considering the Social Cost of Carbon.” Panelists include: Dr. Patrick Michaels, Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science; Dr. David Kreutzer, Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation; and Dr.Roger Bezdek, President of Management Information Services. RSVP at

In the News

EPA Misses Key Concerns over Sue and Settle Secrecy
William Kovacs, U.S. Chamber Blog, 20 February 2014

Free Speech for Mann, But Not for Thee
Robert Tracinski, RealClearPolitics, 20 February 2014

Legacy-Seeking Politicians Preach the Gospel of Global Warming
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 20 February 2014

Why Kerry Is Flat Wrong on Climate Change
Richard McNider & John Christy, Wall Street Journal, 19 February 2014

Who’s the Real Flat-Earther?
Marlo Lewis,, 19 February 2014

Tom Steyer’s Hypocrisy
Alec Torres, National Review Online, 19 February 2014

Oil Is Where the Growth Is, So Let’s Drill
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, RealClearMarkets, 18 February 2014

EPA’s Wood-Burning Stove Ban Deals Blow to Rural Homes
Cheryl Chumley, Newsmax, 18 February 2014

News You Can Use
Study: Fracking Is the Real Stimulus

According to a new Manhattan Institute study by Mark Mills, America’s oil & gas boom has added $300–$400 billion annually to the economy since 2009. Without this contribution, GDP growth would have been negative and the nation would have continued to be in recession.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Hedge Fund Billionaire To Raise $100 Million to Elect Alarmists

California hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer announced this week that he would be putting at least $50 million of his own money in the 2014 elections and raising at least another $50 million from like-minded plutocrats to elect candidates who support strong government actions to stop global warming. Most if not all the cash will be funneled through Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action Fund.

Steyer has spent heavily opposing construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries and has made Keystone into a litmus test.  In Steyer’s view, those who don’t oppose Keystone are not serious about global warming.

In the 2013 gubernatorial election in Virginia, Steyer spent $8 or $11 million (reports vary) to elect Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee.  That campaign included appearances by climate scientist and activist Michael Mann, the fabricator of the notorious hockey stick.  It is not clear whether Mann will be invited to attack the intelligence, character, and motives of Republican opponents of energy-rationing policies in the 2014 elections.

It was initially thought that Steyer might include a pro-Keystone, pro-energy Democrat in his list of candidates to defeat.  NextGen Climate Action included Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) earlier this month on a list of potential targets.  That makes sense because her re-election race will be tough.  If Landrieu loses and Steyer was involved, then Steyer could claim credit and send a strong signal to other straying Democrats.  Of course, any Republican elected to replace Landrieu would be just as strong a supporter of the oil and gas industry.  Landrieu remarked that Steyer’s opposition would probably help her in Louisiana.

But, as Michael Bastasch reported in the Daily Caller, Steyer quickly made it clear that all his spending will be directed at defeating Republicans who oppose energy rationing policies and electing Democrats who support them. Likely races that Steyer will target include Senate races in Iowa, New Hampshire, Georgia, South Dakota, and Florida and gubernatorial races in Florida and Pennsylvania.

Debra Saunders has an enjoyable column in the San Francisco Chronicle on Steyer and the threat big money poses to our democracy (at least when the big money supports conservatives).  

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Nebraska County Judge Blocks Keystone Pipeline

Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy in Lincoln, Nebraska ruled on 19th February that the law enacted in 2012 giving the governor authority to permit the Keystone XL Pipeline through Nebraska was unconstitutional.  Judge Stacy decided that the law violates the Nebraska Constitution by shifting control over routing decisions and eminent domain authority from the Public Service Commission to the governor.

The judge ordered the State to take no action on Governor Dave Heineman’s decision to approve the Keystone route last year.  The Attorney General’s office immediately filed notice to appeal the ruling with the state Supreme Court. 

Although this is likely to be a minor hiccup in the long Keystone saga, it does provide President Barack Obama another excuse for not making a decision on the permit that will allow construction of the pipeline across the Canada-U. S. border.  It thereby aids his strategy of delaying the pipeline to death. 

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Secretary Kerry Calls Climate Change “Perhaps the World’s Most Fearful Weapon of Mass Destruction”  

U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a very long speech in Jakarta on climate policy on 16th February claimed that, “[C]limate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”  The rest of Kerry’s speech was almost as silly and misinformed.

The scientific “facts” on climate change and its impacts that the Secretary of State laid out were particularly grotesquely misinformed.  It sounded as if he believed everything Dr. John Holdren, a well-known crank (and the President’s top science adviser), told him.  Richard McNider and John Christy, professors at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, corrected some of the egregious errors in Kerry’s speech in a Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined “Why Kerry Is Flat Wrong on Climate Change.” For those who don’t have access to the Journal, my CEI colleague Marlo Lewis summarizes the key scientific points in McNider and Christy’s op-ed in a post on

Secretary Kerry devoted part of his speech to those who disagree with his views of the scientific case for global warming alarmism.  He stated: “First and foremost, we should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact….  I have to tell you, this is really not a normal kind of difference of opinion between people. Sometimes you can have a reasonable argument and a reasonable disagreement over an opinion you may have. This is not opinion. This is about facts. This is about science. The science is unequivocal. And those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand.”

Thus, Kerry went on, President Obama and I “…do not have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society. One of the arguments that we do hear is that it’s going to be too expensive to be able to address climate change. I have to tell you, that assertion could not be less grounded in fact. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. Serious analysts understand that the costs of doing nothing far outweigh the costs of investing in solutions now. You do not need a degree in economics or a graduate degree in business in order to understand that the cost of flooding, the cost of drought, the cost of famine, the cost of health care, the cost of addressing this challenge is simply far less – the costs of addressing this challenge are far less than the costs of doing nothing.”

The Secretary of State then doubled down by claiming that the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions would still be worth it even if the dire impacts of global warming never happen: “If the worst-case scenario about climate change, all the worst predictions, if they never materialize, what will be the harm that is done from having made the decision to respond to it? We would actually leave our air cleaner. We would leave our water cleaner. We would actually make our food supply more secure. Our populations would be healthier because of fewer particulates of pollution in the air – less cost to health care. Those are the things that would happen if we happen to be wrong and we responded. But imagine if the 97 percent of those scientists are correct and the people who say no are wrong. Then the people who say no will have presented us with one of the most catastrophic, grave threats in the history of human life. That’s the choice here.”

Kerry reported that his meetings with the Chinese government just before he arrived in Jakarta had been productive: “Now I am pleased to tell you that the leaders of China agree that it is time to pursue a cleaner path forward. And China is taking steps, and we have already taken significant steps together through the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group that we launched in Beijing last year….  Just yesterday, we announced a new agreement on an enhanced policy of dialogue that includes the sharing of information and policies so that we can help develop plans to deal with the UN climate change negotiation that takes place in Paris next year, in planning for the post-2020 limit to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Kerry re-affirmed the Obama Administration’s commitment to conclude a new UN treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol at COP-21 in Paris in December 2015.  And while the U. S. and China would take the lead, Kerry went on to lecture his Indonesian hosts that they were going to have to take strong actions as well to limit their use of fossil fuels.  It’s not clear why this was needed if the economic benefits of reducing emissions are as clear as Kerry claims.

And as Andrew Revkin noted in a New York Times blog, this was a strange approach to take with a nation whose per capita emissions are one-tenth of those of the U. S.  Revkin wrote: “I’m hoping that someone can identify some smart strategic angle behind Secretary of State John Kerry’s climate speech in Jakarta on Sunday pressing Indonesia, in essence, to forsake its ample reserves of fossil fuels in its push to develop its economy. I can’t.  You might say the aim was to push the tropical country to curb deforestation, but that issue was barely mentioned. …[T]he long speech was mainly focused on Indonesia itself and had a chiding tone that I can’t see doing anything to further Kerry’s goal of leading efforts to craft a new international climate agreement by late 2015.”  

The United States Department of State last week submitted its proposals for how the new agreement should be structured.  The submission has been posted on the web site of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change here.  The U. S. was the first government to submit its ideas and suggestions.   

A Rasmussen telephone poll taken after Kerry’s speech found little support for his global warming claims.  Only 31% agreed that global warming was “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”  54% disagreed.  And likely voters were divided almost evenly on whether global warming is scientific fact.    

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Methane Bomb Fizzles – Again

There are three main global warming doomsday scenarios – Atlantic Ocean circulation shutdown plunging Europe into an ice age, Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheet disintegration raising sea levels 10 feet or more in a century or less, and runaway climate change from melting permafrost methane deposits.

The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), published last year, basically rules out any such catastrophe in our lifetimes or those of our children. In the 21st century, Atlantic Ocean circulation collapse is “very unlikely,” ice sheet collapse is “exceptionally unlikely,” and catastrophic methane release is “very unlikely” (AR5, Chapter 12, Table 12.4).

Let’s take a closer look at the dreaded methane bomb. Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas, trapping 21 times more outgoing heat from the Earth’s surface than an equal mass of carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year period.

Al Gore and other doomsayers warn that melting permafrost could release vast deposits of frozen methane, which would cause more warming, which would release more methane, in a climate-destabilizing feedback loop, wiping out millions of species. Should we be worried? No.

Schultz (2011) found that even under the most extreme climatic scenario tested, permafrost thaw in the Siberian shelf will not exceed 10 meters in depth by 2100 or 50 meters by the turn of the next millennium, whereas the bulk of methane stores are trapped roughly 200 meters below the sea floor.

Kessler et al. (2011) found that microbes digested the methane released during the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, indicating that any warming-induced “large-scale releases of methane from hydrate in the deep ocean are likely to be met by a similarly rapid methanotrophic [methane-eating] response.”

Yes, I know, climate change is always supposed to be “worse than scientists thought.” But both global temperatures and atmospheric methane concentrations are increasing much more slowly than IPCC climate models predicted. Indeed, the IPCC had to reduce its methane concentration predictions three times since 1990, yet even the lower bound of its most recent (2007) prediction overshoots observations (leaked “second order” AR5 draft, Figure 1.6, p. 42).

And this just in – Gao et al. (2013) find that methane from melting permafrost presents a “low risk” of “warming feedback.” The researchers estimate that “the additional warming, across the range of climate policy and uncertainties in the climate-system response, would be no greater than 0.1°C by 2100.” They conclude that methane feedback from permafrost degradation will be “relatively small whether or not humans choose to constrain global emissions.”

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,


Heritage - The Foundry's Top 5: GLOBAL WARMING MYTHS DESTROYED


Cooler Heads Digest 14 February 2014 

14 February 2014

In the News

The Martyrdom of Mark Steyn
James Delingpole, The Spectator, 14 February 2014

Green Energy’s Animal Killing Problem
Andrew Stiles, National Review Online, 14 February 2014

Putting an End to EPA’s ‘Secret Science’
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 13 February 2014

President Obama, This is Your ‘Energy Moment’
Mark Perry, AEIdeas, 13 February 2014

Icy Blast Heats Up Coal Debate
Darius Dixon & Erica Martinson, Politico, 13 February 2014

Building on Quicksand: The Social Cost of Carbon
Kevin Dayaratna & David Kreutzer, The Foundry, 12 February 2014

CO2 Benefits Exceed Costs by…50:1, More?
Richard Bezdek & Paul Driessen, Master Resource, 11 February 2014

Obama’s Energy Policy Hurts African Poor
Bjorn Lomborg, USA Today, 8 February 2014

News You Can Use
Report: Lifting Oil Export Ban Would Decrease Gas Prices

According to a report released this week by Resources for the Future, lifting the oil export ban would decrease gas prices in the U.S. by 3 to 5 cents per gallon.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Senate EPW Minority Releases Report on Endemic Use of Private E-mails at EPA

The Republican minority on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, led by the ranking Republican, Senator David Vitter (R-La.), this week criticized the Office of the Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency for lackadaisical investigations of several areas of continuing malfeasance at the EPA. One area is the OIG’s flawed and incomplete report on the use of private and alias e-mail accounts by high EPA officials to conduct official business.  EPW Republicans note that the “OIG relied solely on interviews of EPA officials willing to co-operate, and never examined in any way actual staff e-mails.”

Their criticism continues: “Additionally, according to the OIG, they have no authority to review the use of private e-mail accounts for agency business beyond asking the employee if they had ever improperly used a private e-mail account, and did not follow-up or fact-check.  Moreover, investigators never spoke to former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson or former General Counsel Scott Fulton, two senior level officials who played central roles in the controversy, nor did the OIG examine or compare the practice of using alias accounts by Administrator Jackson and past Administrators. The OIG also did not review the e-mails showing that EPA officials were inappropriately using their e-mail accounts that were produced in response to multiple FOIA requests.”

Those Freedom of Information Act requests were filed by Chris Horner, my CEI colleague.  The revelations that the EPW Republicans are complaining about resulted primarily from lawsuits filed by CEI because the EPA refused to comply with the law.  In a press release, Horner states: “Although EPA officials, like Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld, denied use of private e-mail accounts for business purposes to the EPA’s Office of Inspector General, just this week the EPA produced more than 150 megabytes of supposedly non-existent, EPA-related e-mails from Blumenfeld’s Comcast account.”

Horner continues: “Blumenfeld is only one of numerous officials whose use of private e-mail accounts CEI uncovered.  Others include former Region 8 Administrator James Martin, who has since resigned, and current Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck, whose account appears to be the same one she used during previous work at an environmental pressure group.  So far, e-mails from these types of accounts have revealed relationships between EPA officials and special interest groups that are far too close for comfort.”

The EPW Republicans’ statement lists seventeen political appointees at the EPA whose use of private e-mail accounts for conducting private business have been revealed by CEI’s FOIA litigation.   

House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings Will Retire at End of Year

Representative Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, announced this week that he will retire at the end of the 113th Congress.  Hastings was first elected in 1994. His six-year term as the top Republican on the committee (two as Ranking Minority Member and the last four as Chairman) ends this year, so this is a natural point to leave Congress. 

Hastings has been an able and energetic chairman.  He has pushed for more timber, energy, and mineral production on federal lands and has opposed major new lockups of federal lands in the various preservation categories.  Hastings has guided a number of major bills to passage on the House floor, but few have been enacted because of uniform obstructionism by the Democratic-controlled Senate.  Earlier this month, a Republican task force that he set up released their report on Endangered Species Act reform.

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) is the senior member of the Natural Resources Committee, but he served as chairman from 1995 through 2000.  Next in seniority is Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.).  Another strong competitor for the chairmanship will be Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Ut.), next in seniority, who is currently chairman of the public lands and environmental regulation subcommittee.  Both Gohmert and Bishop, like Hastings and Young, are strong supporters of property rights and continuing resource production on federal lands and opponents of acquiring and locking up more federal lands. 

My guess is that Bishop has an advantage over Gohmert because he represents a federal lands State.  Two-thirds of Utah is federally owned.  Federal lands in Texas, which was an independent republic before it became a State, are less than 2% of the State.  The Natural Resources Committee has jurisdiction over the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service (which is part of the Agriculture Department), the Bureau of Land Management, and Outer Continental Shelf oil leasing, as well as the other agencies of the Department of the Interior and the Endangered Species Act, which regulates increasingly large areas of private land.  The four federal lands agencies together control nearly 30% of the land in the United States.

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Ohio Legislature Mulls Repeal of Green Energy Mandate

Several state legislatures are considering bills this year to repeal or eliminate renewable energy mandates for generating electricity.  This week, Greg Lawson of Ohio’s Buckeye Institute arranged for me to testify before the Ohio Senate’s Public Utilities Committee on a bill to repeal their two-part mandate, which was enacted in 2008.  Ohio’s law requires that 12.5% of the electricity consumed in Ohio be generated from renewable sources by 2025 and another 12.5% from “advanced energy technologies,” also by 2025.  A third title requires major increases in energy efficiency, but it is not targeted for repeal in the bill under consideration.

My testimony is posted here. The other witnesses, all in favor of repeal, were Greg Lawson of the Buckeye Institute, Jay Lehr of the Heartland Institute, Travis Fischer of the Institute for Energy Research, and Michael Farrin, a Ph. D. candidate at Ohio State University.  A short summary of the hearing was posted at SaveOurSkylineOhio.

I was impressed by the capability of the Senators on the Public Utilities Committee on both sides of the aisle, but was especially impressed by the chairman, Bill Seitz.  He was a major opponent of the renewables mandate when it was passed in 2008 and is now leading the effort to repeal it.  The main sponsor of the bill, SB 34, is Senator Kris Jordan, who is not a member of the committee.  Ohio is home to several of the leading anti-wind activists in the country, including Tom Stacy, who attended the hearing, along with Kevon Martis, an anti-wind leader in Michigan.  

Around the World
Marlo Lewis

Global Governance: Down But Not Out

John Podesta, President Obama’s top energy and climate advisor, has been quietly preparing tougher U.S. emission reduction commitments for the successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, slated for adoption in Paris in 2015.

Podesta is also an influential behind-the-scenes player in the “High Level Panel of Eminent Persons” advising UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on “transformative” Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the world. As you might expect, combating climate change is a major goal of the Eminent Persons’ SDG report.

What, you may wonder, is “sustainable development”? It is a rhetorical term devised by Western environmentalists to gloss over the basic incompatibility between their hostility carbon energy and developing countries’ imperative need to consume more carbon energy to lift their peoples out of poverty.

Perpetuating the obfuscation, SDG report boasts that, thanks partly to UN programs, there are half a billion fewer people today than in 2000 who fall below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day. But then the report laments that previous efforts “fell short” by not promoting “sustainable patterns of consumption and production,” and warns that poor people will “suffer first and worst from climate change.”

What the report conveniently overlooks is that most of the poverty eradication of the past three decades took place in China – a country whose economic development is overwhelmingly fossil-fueled. In China alone, 680 million people moved out of extreme poverty during 1981-2010. In the process, China became the world’s second-largest economy and largest CO2 emitter. Environmentalists did not know how to combine poverty eradication with coercive de-carbonization in the 1990s and 2000s, and they still don’t know.

Former French President Jacques Chirac called the Kyoto Protocol the “first step towards an authentic global governance.” Could Obama and Podesta revive the flagging fortunes of the UN-centered global governance agenda?

One risk is that developing countries will be lured by promises of foreign aid into joining the club of the carbon-constrained. That would be a tragic loss because government-to-government aid is a dependency trap that stifles rather than stimulates development  

Another risk is that Obama, advised by Podesta, a long-time advocate of bypassing Congress, will commit the U.S. to international emission reduction targets through executive agreements that, unlike treaties, do not require Senate ratification.

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,