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Entries in Climate Alarmism (84)


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

Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014
In the News Today



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


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


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


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 President Lawson Bader


In memory of Gordon Tullock

Saturday, 10am ET





Cooler Heads Digest 07 November 2014 

7 November 2014


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,, 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,


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,, 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,


Cooler Heads Digest 24 October 2014 


24 October 2014

In the News

U.S. Oil Seen as Buffer for Global Prices and Supply
Lynn Doan, Bloomberg, 24 October 2014

Why the World Will Not Agree to Pricing Carbon
Peter Lang, Master Resource, 23 October 2014

Weather Channel Co-Founder: “There Is No Climate Crisis”
Ellie Zolfagharifard, Daily Mail, 23 October 2014

Not Just a Fracking Ban
Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review, 23 October 2014

Energy Cost Rise: A Pledge Obama (Unfortunately) Kept
Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 22 October 2014

Lame-Duck Congress May Lay Golden Eggs for Crony Capitalists
Ernest Istook, Washington Times, 22 October 2014

Tom Steyer: A Fool and His Money
Washington Examiner editorial, 21 October 2014

GOP Demands EPA Ditch Economic Studies That Are “Divorced from Reality”
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 21 October 2014

No, BP Didn’t Ruin the Gulf
Geoff Morrell, Politico, 21 October 2014

Which Is the Bigger Threat to People in Developing Countries: Climate Change or Energy Poverty?
Marlo Lewis,, 20 October 2014

Oil: The Real Economic Stimulus
Stephen Moore, Washington Times, 18 October 2014

News You Can Use
Poll: Plurality of Americans Oppose EPA’s Climate Regulations

According to a poll conducted earlier this month by Paragon Insights, a plurality of U.S. voters oppose EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, with 47 percent opposing, 44 percent supporting and 9 percent undecided. We’re sure the 9 percent undecided would oppose the rule if they got to know it.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Methane Leakage Is the Next Target in Obama’s Climate Agenda

After delaying indefinitely plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from oil refineries, the Environmental Protection Agency is now preparing to follow the lead of environmental pressure groups and the State of California and crack down on methane leakage from natural gas production and delivery.  California Governor Jerry Brown last week signed a bill into law that requires the state’s Air Resources Board to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce methane emissions, including those from livestock.

Methane, the principal component of natural gas, is a potent but short-lived trace greenhouse gas.  Gas leaks from production sites at highly varying levels and is sometimes flared at wells producing both oil and gas because it is uneconomic to capture and pipe it to market.  More leakage occurs from the pipelines.

Earlier this month, researchers analyzing data from a European satellite announced that methane leakage between 2006 and 2012 from two shale gas fields in the United States ranged from 3 to 17 percent of production and averaged roughly 10%.  Their results were published in an American Geophysical Union open access journal, Earth’s Future.

The two fields were the Eagle Ford in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota.  The satellite stopped functioning in 2012 as a result of power failure.  The EPA has estimated that methane leakage from gas production averages 1.2%.  Other studies have found lower leakage rates. The regulators at EPA will no doubt rely on the 10% figure, as they write their new regulations.

EPA Delays Revised 2014 RFS until after the Election and 2015 RFS until September 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency is required by law to announce its mandatory blending target for the Renewable Fuels Standard for the year before that year begins.  In November 2013, the EPA complied with the law  and announced the 2014 RFS would total 15.21 billion gallons. That was a considerable drop of almost 17% from the 18.15 billion gallons target set in the 2007 anti-energy law and an 8% decrease from EPA’s 2013 target of 16.55 billion gallons.  It seemed in January that even the EPA realized  that the ethanol mandate is on the verge of imploding. 

After furious political blowback from Big Corn, the EPA in early 2014 announced that it would revise the 2014 figure upwards later in the year.  The EPA finally sent its proposed revised 2014 RFS to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review in late August. In late September, it became known that the rule would not become final until after the election. 

Now, it has been reported that the EPA will not announce the 2015 RFS until September 2015 at the earliest.  It is a curious fact that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot comply with the law, but requires people to comply with its rules many months before they are published.

Across the States
William Yeatman

New York Governor Changes Tune on Fracking

During a gubernatorial candidate debate this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) was asked when, if reelected, he would decide whether to lift the Empire State’s ongoing moratorium on fracking. He responded by saying that he would “let the scientists decide.” This represents a notable shift from Governor Cuomo’s previous practice, which was to defer not to scientists, but rather to deranged environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. In March, 2013, the Associated Press reported that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was set to partially lift a statewide moratorium, but he was persuaded to hold off on doing so by Kennedy, who is not a scientist and who has been described by the liberal media outlet Slate as being “obsessive and dangerous.”

Around the World
William Yeatman

European Union Reaches Agreement on Meaningless Climate Goals

The European Council this week reached an agreement to reduce greenhouse gases at least 40 percent by 2030. According to French President Francois Hollande, the agreement is “conclusive and definitive,” but this is malarkey. In fact, EU leaders rendered the agreement worthless by including a “flexibility clause,” which allows them to revisit the targets at any time. As such, the agreement is “conclusively” and “definitively” non-binding, and therefore meaningless. Environmental special interests were appropriately depressed. In a press statement, Greenpeace said that, “The global fight against climate change needs radical shock treatment, but what the EU is offering is at best a whiff of smelling salts... .Europe can and should do more to stop the most devastating impacts of climate change.”

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,



Concord - Today, Senator Jeanne Shaheen will proudly accept the endorsement of the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, two environmental extremist groups that proudly support the national energy tax championed by Senator Shaheen. New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn released the following statement in response:


"The Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters support a new national energy tax that could kill as many as 10,000 New Hampshire jobs, increase the price of gas by 20 centers per gallon and raise the already skyrocketing utility costs for middle class families. In Washington, Senator Shaheen has marched in lock step with the radical environmental groups funding her campaign by voting to pave the way for a new national every tax on working families," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "Senator Shaheen continues to prove that she is wrong on the issues and incapable of providing the type of independent leadership that Granite Staters expect from their elected officials."




The Sierra Club supports a national energy tax. "Regardless Of Where You Live, Push For A Carbon Tax... Fossil-fuel burning imposes severe health and environmental costs that aren't factored into the cost of producing electricity. A tax on all energy sources that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would correct this failure by reflecting the real cost of CO2 emissions--and make cleaner energy more financially viable." (Marilyn Berlin Snell, "Can Coal Be Clean?" Sierra Magazine, January/February 2007)


The League of Conservation Voters supports a national energy tax and has funneled more than $225,000 into Jeanne Shaheen's campaign in 2014.


The League Of Conservation Voters Scored Voting No On The Blunt Amendment As A "Pro-Environment Vote" - The Amendment Would Prevent Congress From Enacting Legislation That Would Place A Tax Or Fee On Carbon.  "Pricing Carbon Pollution Senate Roll Call Vote 59 Issue: Climate Change Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) sponsored an amendment to S. Con. Res. 8, the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution, which would prevent Congress from enacting legislation that would place a federal tax or fee on carbon emissions. This amendment would limit Congress's ability to address climate change, which poses a severe threat to our economy, health, and environment, and would rule out a promising source of revenue for the government. On March 22, the Senate rejected-by a vote of 53-46-a procedural motion that would allow a vote on the Blunt amendment (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 59). NO IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE."  (League Of Conservation Voters National Environmental Scorecard, Accessed 7/7/14) 


In 2007, LCV Applauded Chris Dodd's Energy Plan, Which Called For A Carbon Tax. "Senator Dodd was also the first presidential candidate to call for a carbon tax. A cap on carbon pollution provides certainty that we will achieve the necessary reductions in emissions. In that context, a carbon tax is a welcome addition to the debate. The challenge before us is significant and America needs our next president to carefully explore all options that reduce global warming pollution." (League Of Conservation Voters, "League Of Conservation Voters Applauds Senator Chris Dodd's Energy Plan," Press Release, 4/20/07)

LCV Victory Fund Has Raised $225,935.22 for Senator Shaheen through it's "Give Green" Program. Senator Shaheen is featured on LCV Action Fund's GiveGreen website, the only bundling website devoted exclusively to raising money for environmental champions and candidates. Total Raised: $225,935.22 (League of Conservation Voters Give Green Initiative, Accessed 10/22/14)