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Entries in Climategate (18)

Saturday
Aug032013

Cooler Heads Digest 2 August 2013 

 

2 August 2013

In the News

North Carolina Governor Saves Renewable Mandate
Roy Cordato, Master Resource, 2 August 2013

Interior OKs Environmental Impact Probe of Drilling on Public Land in California
Scott Streater, GreenWire, 2 August 2013

New EPA Chief Dictates “Solutions” to States
Erika Johnson, Hot Air, 31 July 2013

BMW i3: Monster Spawn of Regulation
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 31 July 2013

No Wonder McCarthy Wants To Ignore Job-Killing EPA Regulations
Washington Examiner editorial, 31 July 2013

EPA’s Game of Secret Science
Rep. Lamar Smith, Wall Street Journal, 29 July 2013

Keystone Jobs vs. Green Stimulus Jobs
Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore, 29 July 2013

Obama’s Climate Plan Would Kill Hundreds of Millions of Birds
James Taylor, Forbes, 29 July 2013

Germany Went “Rogue” To Freeze Green Cars Law, Say Diplomats
Euractiv, 22 July 2013

News You Can Use
U.S. Oil & Gas Drilling Records Set in 2012

Thanks to advances in drilling technology, U.S. oil and gas production set a number of records in 2012, according to a new analysis by the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Among them:

  • U.S. crude oil production rose by the largest volume ever in its history, nearly 850,000 barrels per day, or 14.9 percent.
  • U.S. output of natural gas liquids reached an all-time high.
  • U.S. marketed production of natural gas set another all-time record, at 25.3 trillion cubic feet.

These records occurred in spite of President Obama’s red tape and bureaucratic footdragging, which has inhibited oil and gas production on federal lands. The preponderance of increased U.S. production has occurred on private and state lands.

Inside the Beltway
Myron  Ebell

House Passes REINS Act with Anti-Carbon Tax Amendment

The House of Representatives on Friday, 2nd August, passed H. R. 367, the REINS Act, which would require House and Senate votes to approve proposed major regulations, by a vote of 232 to 183.  Six Democrats and 226 Republicans voted Yes, while all the No votes came from Democrats.  Eighteen Members did not vote.  The REINS Act isn’t going anywhere in the Senate.

Earlier in the day, the House voted on an amendment offered by Representative Steve Scalise (R-La.) that would require congressional approval before the executive branch could implement a tax on carbon dioxide emissions using regulatory authority.  That amendment was adopted by a vote of 237 to 176. 225 Republicans voted Yes.  They were joined by twelve Democrats.  All 176 No votes came from Democratic Members.  Eighteen Members did not vote.

Rep. Scalise is chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, which has made a vote on a resolution opposing a carbon tax one of its top priorities.  The amendment is somewhat narrower than H. Con. Res. 24, but the vote does put Members on the record on a carbon tax.  The vote reveals that 176 Democratic Members of the House are not opposed to raising taxes.  That vote could play a role in some districts in the 2014 congressional elections.  A number of House Democrats lost their seats in 2010 because they had voted for the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.    

The twelve Democrats who voted for the anti-carbon tax amendment are: Ron Barber and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, John Barrow and Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Henry Cuellar and Filemon Vela of Texas, William Enyart of Illinois, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz of Minnesota, and Nick Joe Rahall of West Virginia. 

Whether the executive branch has authority to implement a carbon tax under the regulatory authority of the Clean Air Act or any other statute is highly dubious.  However, several environmental pressure groups have been pushing the idea, and the Obama Administration has proved that it has little regard for the law.   

On 1st August, the House also passed the Energy Consumers Relief Act by a vote of 232 to 181.  Again, no Republicans voted against the bill.  Nine Democrats voted for it.  H. R. 1582 tries to set some limits on the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to promulgate expensive new regulations.  Again, the bill is not going anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate.      

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Talk Climate

It was a big week rhetorically for the Obama Administration.  Gina McCarthy on 30th July gave her first speech since being confirmed as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency by the Senate on 18th July by a 59 to 40 vote

The Boston-area native spoke at Harvard University Law School and began by joking about how long it took to be confirmed (136 days).

McCarthy said that EPA’s top priority was climate change.  She claimed that reducing greenhouse gas emissions would “feed the economic agenda of the country” and pleaded, “Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs, please?”  Rather than killing jobs, McCarthy argued that, “We need to embrace cutting-edge technology as a way to spark business innovation.

Sorry, but we’re not going to stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs because they are killing jobs.  Environmental regulations promulgated by the EPA since President Obama took office are raising energy prices and thereby making Americans poorer.  Fortunately for the American economy (and also for President Obama’s re-election last year), the adverse effects of these regulations have been masked by the smart drilling technology revolution that is unlocking America’s vast shale oil and gas resources.

On 31st July, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell spoke to employees gathered at the department’s main building in Washington.  In what was reported as a good-natured speech full of jokes, Jewell said, “I hope there are no climate change deniers in the Department of the Interior.”  My CEI colleague Marlo Lewis comments on this astonishing threat.

It was reported that Jewell mentioned that in her 111 days as Secretary of the Interior she had flown enough miles to go around the Earth one-and-a-half times.  Apparently, the irony of advocating radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions while continuing an extremely high-carbon lifestyle escapes the new Secretary, as—to be fair—it escapes many wealthy and powerful people.       

Across the States
William Yeatman

West Virginia

On August 1st, the West Virginia Democratic Party organized a delegation of Democratic lawmakers, business, and labor leaders that met at the White House with administration officials, including EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, and Heather Zichal, the President’s top climate advisor. Political leaders from the State included Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, House Speaker Tim Miley, Rep. Nick Rahall, and Sen. Joe Manchin.

The delegation sought to impress upon EPA Administrator McCarthy the impact on West Virginia of the administration’s war on coal, the state’s primary industry. In particular, they expressed their concern about a regulation, known as the Carbon Pollution Standard, sent by EPA to the White House in early July. The original version of the regulation banned new coal-fired power plants, and the revised version is expected to effectively do the same.

McCarthy promised to seek “open dialogue.” But this should be of little solace to the West Virginia delegation, as EPA has demonstrated that it will ignore the state’s voice. In May 2010, I attended an EPA field hearing in Charleston on the agency’s proposal to block a surface coal mining project in Logan County. EPA justified its actions based on the need to protect a short-lived insect. There were 800 people in the audience, and only four of them supported EPA. Only weeks before, the Democratic-controlled State Legislature voted unanimously for a bill objecting to EPA’s actions. Despite this “open dialogue,” in which West Virginians overwhelmingly articulated their opposition, the agency proceeded to block the mining project, and thereby prevented the creation of 250 jobs that paid, on average $62,000.

The West Virginia delegation left without achieving any other commitments from the administration. Click here for a summary of reactions of the meetings participants by the Daily Caller.

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
Jul272013

Cooler Heads Digest 26 July 2013 

26 July 2013

In the News

Demoralize the Anti-Oil Fringe
Robert Bradley, Jr., Leader & Times, 25 July 2013

We Really Don’t Understand Our Climate
Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, 25 July 2013

IER’s Murphy on the Social Cost of Carbon
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 24 July 2013

“Millions Will Die” without Carbon Tax, Claims Hysterical New Jersey Senate Candidate
David Martosko, Daily Mail, 24 July 2013

Electricity Bills on the Rise; Higher Prices to Come
David Unger, Christian Science Monitor, 23 July 2013

Wind Pricing: Not Cheap But Subsidized
Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, 23 July 2013

‘Sue and Settle’ and the Carbon Tax
Sen. David Vitter, Washington Times, 22 July 2013

News You Can Use
Fossil Fuels to Dominate World Energy Use Through 2040

Fossil fuels will continue to supply nearly 80 percent of world energy use through 2040, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook, which was released this week. Energy use in developing countries is projected to increase by 90 percent; in developed nations, energy use is projected to increase 17 percent. By 2040, China's energy demand is expected to be twice that of the U.S.

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

McCarthy Shows Her Cards

In a June 25 speech, President Obama explained that Congressional inaction was a pretext for his administration to fight global warming by executive fiat.

Newly-confirmed EPA Administrator McCarthy got the message. According to InsideEPA, McCarthy said in a July 22 video message to agency employees, “We have a clear responsibility to act now on climate change. That's what President Obama has called on us, and the American people, so that we protect future generations.”

It is noteworthy that she didn’t mention the Congress. By significant bi-partisan margins, cap-and-trade policies have died repeatedly in the Senate. Of course, EPA’s authority to regulate climate change is derivative of the Clean Air Act. And yet, as my colleague Marlo Lewis has explained aptly,

EPA claims that its greenhouse-gas regulations derive from the CAA as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. EPA*. But in the last Congress, after almost two decades of global-warming advocacy, Congress declined to give EPA explicit authority to regulate greenhouse gases, when Senate leaders mothballed cap-and trade legislation. A bill authorizing EPA to do exactly what it is doing now — regulate greenhouse gases under the CAA as it sees fit — would have been dead on arrival. The notion that Congress gave EPA such authority when the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, years before global warming emerged as a public concern, defies both history and logic.

*[As an aside, the Supreme Court is now in the process of determining whether it will revisit Mass v. EPA by reviewing the D.C. Circuit’s decision to uphold EPA’s climate regulatory regime.]

There’s another troubling aspect to McCarthy’s video memo. In it, she said that the agency will be taking an “all hands on deck” approach to implementing regulations to reduce greenhouse gases. Specifically, was speaking about diverting EPA’s limited resources into a regulation known as the New Source Performance Standards for greenhouse gases. Here’s the problem: This regulation is a discretionary responsibility. That is, EPA chose to do it. The Agency didn’t have to.

As I demonstrated in a study released earlier this month, EPA is out of compliance with roughly 98% of its non-discretionary responsibilities. These are duties that the Congress explicitly stipulated that EPA perform. Yet the agency is ignoring them! Instead, Administrator McCarthy is pouring resources into a discretionary responsibility. All of which raises an important question: Why is the EPA giving priority to duties chosen by unelected bureaucrats, rather than responsibilities assigned by elected representatives?

D.C. Circuit Renders a Welcome Decision on Ozone

In 1977 amendments to the Clean Air Act, the Congress created the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), a body of scientists whose job is to advise EPA on the setting of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

EPA is required to take CASAC's advice into account, and, when it publishes any NAAQS, the agency must explain any differences it had with CASAC’s advice. In 2006 and 2008, George W. Bush’s EPA promulgated revised NAAQS for particulate matter and ozone, respectively. Both of the regulations were set at levels that were less stringent than the range recommended by CASAC.

In a 2009 ruling, American Farm Bureau Federation v EPA, the D.C. Circuit Court rejected Bush’s 2006 NAAQS for particulate matter. The court reasoned that the agency had inadequately explained its differences with CASAC’s advice.

In a ruling announced on Monday, Mississippi et al. v EPA, this same court upheld Bush’s 2008 ozone NAAQS, despite the fact that it was less stringent than what CASAC had recommended. This time, the court found that EPA had adequately explained the difference.

By the Court's own admission in the Mississippi et al. v EPA opinion, there are no clear cut criteria by which EPA's reasoning is judged. Having read both opinions, I couldn’t discern any standard other than a judgment call. There are fourteen judges on the D.C. Circuit, which hears the preponderance of challenges to EPA rules, and they adjudicate cases in panels of three. As a result, it is entirely possible for the court to be of different minds on the same issue, which seems to be the case here. Only one judge served on both panels. I get the sense that the 2009 panel wanted to defer to CASAC, the 2013 panel wanted to defer to EPA, and each one found a reasoning to do so.

Whatever the case, it’s a welcome development. The 2009 American Farm Bureau Federation decision had suggested that EPA, in practice, did not have the discretion to disagree with CASAC. This was scary, because CASAC embers are taken from a talent pool of epidemiologists and practitioners of other dubious disciplines that always produce “scientific” results indicating the public health importance of their own work. As a result, it’s pretty much impossible to nominate a reasonable CASAC. If its power was unchecked, CASAC would not have limited itself. This is the rare case whereby affording the EPA administrator relatively more authority is a good thing, because the alternative is worse.

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
Jun262013

CEI - President’s Climate Plan Undemocratic, Bordering On Authoritarian, Disingenuous on Keystone

CEI Analysts See Concerted Effort To Avoid Congress Because Ideas are Unpopular

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2013 – President Obama’s climate agenda released today is being done without public or congressional support and is being pursued in this way because he knows the peoples’ elected representatives would never approve these plans, say experts at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“Obama’s all-pain, no-gain agenda will cost jobs, drive up prices and have little effect on global emissions,” said Myron Ebell, director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment. “It is undemocratic, bordering on authoritarian.

“It confirms the Obama administration’s all-out war on coal, calls for more negotiations on a treaty the Senate will never ratify and displays an alarming lack of knowledge about the state of climate science. Congress should move immediately to defund as much of this as possible.”

The president also said his decision on whether to approve the Keystone pipeline project would depend largely on whether it increases total carbon emissions.

“President Obama should’ve announced his approval today of the Keystone pipeline,” Ebell said.  “The fact he didn’t demonstrates that he’s still playing political games with this project, which has overwhelming public and congressional support.” 

The president pledges to impose carbon dioxide emissions limits for existing as well as new power plants, strengthen efficiency standards for homes and appliances and encourage more development of renewable energy sources on public lands. Obama admits his plan calls mostly for actions he can take without congressional approval.

“He doesn’t want to go through elected officials because he knows if he put this plan in a bill and submitted it to Congress, it would be dead on arrival,” said Marlo Lewis, senior fellow in CEI’s Center for Energy and the Environment.

Lewis said all three elements of the president’s plan should be opposed. “Renewable energy is costly, intermittent and unreliable,” Lewis said. “If it weren’t a bad buy for consumers, Congress would not need to subsidize it in perpetuity, and 30 states and the District of Columbia would not need to mandate its use.”

Sam Kazman, general counsel for CEI, said the appliance efficiency standards limit consumer choice and mean “consumers will be victims, not beneficiaries.

“The current standards already have ruined such previously reliable appliances as top-loading washing machines and dishwashers.  If these new higher-efficiency technologies promised by the White House are really so great, then why must they be mandated?”

But the administration’s proposed CO2 emission limits for existing power plants pose “the biggest risk to consumer welfare and the economy,” Lewis said.

Christopher C. Horner
, senior fellow at CEI and author of the 2012 “The Liberal War on Transparency,” research for which turned up the secret “Richard Windsor” email address of former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, said the proposal – which would drive a stake through coal-fired power plants nationwide – should come as no surprise.

“It’s more of the same,” Horner said. “It’s what he has done since this agenda was rejected by the democratic process. But the Constitution still says you have to go through that process to rewrite laws.

“He warned us in the now-famous YouTube video he would shutter all existing coal-fired power plants and “bankrupt” anyone who tried to build a new one – even though they provide 40 percent of our electricity and much of our competitive advantage.”

President Obama touts these measures as necessary to address a growing threat from a warming planet. But even pro-warming scientists have begun to admit a substantial gap exists between observations and climate model projections that suggests the “consensus” may have been wrong about the key issue of climate sensitivity,” Lewis said.

“A slew of recent studies discredit the ‘planetary emergency’ narrative,” Lewis said. “For instance, sea-change over the next century probably will be measured in inches, rather than feet.”



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, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Saturday
May252013

Cooler Heads Digest 24 May 2013

24 May 2013

Announcement

A team of independent filmmakers are raising funds through crowd funding to produce a short film depicting the irrational basis for climate change mitigation policies. “50 to 1” will show that “it is 50 times more expensive to try and stop global warming than it is to adapt to it as (and if) it happens.” To learn more, click here, where you can also donate to the project.

In the News

Carbon Tax: Just Say No
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 24 May 2013

The Enviro Fix Is in
Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review, 23 May 2013

Peak Oil Columnist Should Say “Never Mind”
Sam Kazman, Falls Church News-Press, 23 May 2013

Alarmism Makes for Poor Policy
Rep. Lamar Smith, Washington Post, 21 May 2013

Global Warming Revised Downward
Ron Bailey, Reason, 21 May 2013

Soaring Energy Costs Are Making Europeans Poor
Milton Catelin, EurActiv, 21 May 2013

Arctic Council Meeting Proves It’s a Circular World
Teresa Platt, National Center Blog, 17 May 2013

News You Can Use
Sequester Is Working

Due to the sequester, the Environmental Protection Agency furloughed nearly all its employees without pay for one day on May 24th. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) quipped to Politico that, “China will be unhappy if the EPA closes down on Friday. That’s fewer jobs that they’ll be getting from us.”

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Reid Delays Vote on McCarthy Nomination till July

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said this week that confirmation votes on several of President Obama’s nominees for top positions, including Gina McCarthy for EPA Administrator, would be delayed until July.  Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters that he wasn’t sure that McCarthy and Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez had the sixty votes necessary to invoke cloture and proceed to a final vote. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Senator Durbin also speculated that, “Unless we start seeing a more co-operative atmosphere around here … there’s going to continue to be speculation about changing the rules.”  This refers to the so-called “nuclear option”—changing Senate rules so that confirmation votes cannot be blocked by a 41-vote minority.

Heritage Action for America has joined eleven other non-profit groups officially opposed to McCarthy’s confirmation.

Congressional Budget Office Kinda Likes a Carbon Tax

The Congressional Budget Office this week released a study on the “Effects of a Carbon Tax on the Economy and the Environment.”  CBO admits that a carbon tax would raise the costs of producing goods and services and raise consumer prices.  On the other hand, some of the negative effects could be offset by using the revenues generated to lower the federal deficit and to lower marginal rates of other damaging taxes, such as corporate and individual income taxes.

In terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the best the CBO can come up with is this: “Given the inherent uncertainty of predicting the effects of climate change, and the possibility that it could trigger catastrophic effects, lawmakers might view a carbon tax as a reflection of society’s willingness to pay to reduce the risk of potentially very expensive damage in the future.”

Professor Robert Murphy commented on the CBO study for the Institute for Energy Research here, and Dr. David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation posted his comment here.

Another contribution to the carbon tax debate from earlier in the month has just come to my attention.  On 2nd May, fifty-four trade groups sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee explaining why they are opposed to a carbon tax.  Attached to their letter is a study produced by NERA Consulting earlier this year for the National Association of Manufacturers that details the negative economic effects of a carbon tax. 

House Passes Keystone Pipeline Permitting Bill Again

The House of Representatives on 22nd May passed a bill to permit the Keystone XL Pipeline by a vote of 241 to 175. Only 19 Democrats voted for H. R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, which is intended to put pressure on President Barack Obama to relent and grant the permit. The White House announced that the President would veto the bill if the Senate also passes it.  Sixty-two Senators, including 17 Democrats, voted for an amendment to their budget bill earlier this year approving the Keystone Pipeline from Canada’s oil sands to the U. S.

Boxer and Whitehouse Blame Republicans for Oklahoma Tornado

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) were quick to use the giant tornado that obliterated Moore, Oklahoma to chastise Republican members of Congress for failing to get on board the global warming bandwagon.  Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) noted that he has seen a lot of tornadoes during his lifetime in Oklahoma and called the attempt to make tawdry political points out of the Moore tragedy “outrageous” and “immoral.”

For the record, the Digest noted two weeks ago that tornado activity in the past twelve months had been the lowest in 60 years.  If the tornado that hit Moore can be attributed to global warming, then so too must the low level of activity across the U. S. in the past year.  Anthony Watts compiles the facts here, while James Delingpole tees off on Boxer in his Telegraph blog.   

Are House Republicans Going Green?

National Journal published an article in their 18th May issue titled, “The GOP Energy Tent Is Slowly Getting Bigger.”  Reporter Coral Davenport, who is a reliable promoter of environmentalist views, writes a puff piece on House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) efforts to add a green tinge to the House Republicans’ wardrobe. 

In the last Congress, McCarthy, who is number three in the Republican leadership, started the House Energy Action Team (HEAT) in order to develop messaging points for the 2012 election.  Now, he is trying to broaden HEAT’s messaging to include support for subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.  That is no surprise: McCarthy is not a movement conservative, but he does have the country’s largest concentration of wind farms in his Bakersfield-area district.  McCarthy has received many major campaign contributions from the wind industry.

Davenport’s story includes a long quote praising McCarthy’s green turn: “‘I think it’s smart,’ Republican strategist John Feehery said of McCarthy’s new tactics. Republicans’ aggressive campaigning against Obama’s clean-energy agenda was ‘an overreaction,’ Feehery said. ‘It made us seem like enemies of the environment. The idea that government has absolutely no role, that the climate is absolutely not changing—it’s not smart,’ he said. ‘It’s also not smart if you’re talking about all the farmers in red states that make money off windmills. A lot of the base is there.’  Davenport does not mention that Feehery is a top lobbyist at Quinn Gillespie, who represents clients in the renewable energy industry and started a front group to lobby for the wind production tax credit and other subsidies called the Red State Renewables Alliance.

Across the States
Anthony Ward

Rich States, Poor States

The American Legislative Exchange Council this week released the latest version of its “Rich States, Poor States” report, which compares the economic performance of the fifty States.  It finds that eight of the top ten States for economic growth are controlled by Republican elected officials, while eight of the ten bottom States are controlled by Democrats.  Not co-incidentally, energy costs are lower in the States with the strongest growth.  Nine of the top ten States have lower electric rates that the average of the bottom ten.

Around the World
William Yeatman

Rising Energy Costs Focus of EU Leaders Summit

Leaders of European Union member states met for a summit meeting this week in Brussels, and rising energy costs were the primary topic of discussions. According to The Financial Times (subscription required), “a single, eye-popping chart that has been making the rounds in Brussels” depicting the fact that, since 2005, electricity prices in the EU have increased 37 per cent relative to those in the US, and almost 20 per cent higher than those in Japan. This is a notable development. Whenever previous summits addressed energy, it was always in the context of global warming alarmism, and how “de-carbonizing” the economy would create “green jobs.” This week’s summit is the first time that EU leaders have acknowledged the fact that global warming policies result in undesirable increases in the cost of energy.

New Study: Allowing Energy Exports Would Slash Deficit

More than two–thirds of America's $750 billion annual deficit can be eliminated if the Obama administration and Congress allow expanded drilling and energy exports, according to a report published this week by the Manhattan Institute. Click here to read “The Case for Exports: America’s Hydrocarbon Industry Can Revive the Economy and Eliminate the Trade Deficit,” by Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark Mills.

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
Apr062013

Cooler Heads Digest 5 April 2013 

5 April 2013

In the News

Green Stimulus Beneficiary Fisker Automotive Hits the Skids
Alan Ohnsman, Bloomberg, 5 April 2013

On the Environment, Alarmists Are Still Losing
David Harsanyi, Reason, 4 April 2013

Flat Temperatures Flummox Scientists
Timothy Lee, CFIF, 4 April 2013

Secretive McCarthy Not Fit To Lead EPA
Washington Examiner editorial, 3 April 2013

You Can Love Nature and Still Hate the Tyranny of Environmental Regulations
John Stossel, Fox News, 3 April 2013

Violent Environmental Problems with Wind Power
James Rust, Master Resource, 3 April 2013

We’re Not Screwed?
Ross McKitrick, Financial Post, 2 April 2013

States Show Folly of Energy Mandates
Grover Norquist & Patrick Gleason, Politico, 2 April 2013

News You Can Use
Pew Poll: Democratic Majority Support Keystone XL

Two-thirds of the public—including a majority of Democrats—support building the Keystone XL pipeline, according to a Pew Research Center poll released this week. The pipeline won support from 66 percent of respondents, compared with 23 percent who oppose it. Republicans favored building it 82-10, independents 70-21 and Democrats 54-34.

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

Senate Hearings Set for EPA Nominee

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will consider the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be administrator of the EPA at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 11. During President Obama’s first term, McCarthy served as head of EPA Office of Air and Regulation, which wrote more regulations than all other offices combined. The rules for which she is responsible include the Utility MACT ($10 billion/yr.), the Boiler MACT ($10 billion/yr.), and the since-shelved Ozone NAAQS ($1 trillion/yr.). She was also responsible for EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.

I expect Ranking Member Sen. David Vitter to ask tough questions of the nominee at the hearings, but I hope he expands his questioning beyond her regulatory history. In particular, I hope he presses her on EPA’s troubling record on transparency—a subject my colleague Chris Horner has done much to expose (see the next story for more on that).

CEI, ATI Sue for EPA for Instant Message Correspondence

In what could be a landmark case, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center have filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the Environmental Protection Agency seeking communications among senior EPA officials using instant messaging (IM) technology.

Although IMs are “agency records” under the law, they do not seem to have been searched by EPA in response to FOIA requests or requests from Congress seeking “records,” or “electronic records,” both of which would cover IMs.

In the joint lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., CEI asked the court to compel EPA to produce IM discussions to or from former administrator Lisa Jackson, including her alias “Richard Windsor” account, discussing the Obama administration’s war on coal. CEI already is in court for the “Windsor” emails on the same topics.

Across the States

Bill to Repeal Renewable Mandate Moves ahead in North Carolina

By a narrow 11 to 10 vote, North Carolina House Commerce and Job Development Subcommittee on Energy and Emerging Markets passed HB 298, the Affordable and Reliable Energy Act. The bill would roll back North Carolina’s renewable portfolio standard, a Soviet-style green energy production quota. The legislation has been referred to the House Environment Committee, which is expected to take up the measure next week.

Currently, 29 States (in addition to North Carolina) have renewable portfolio standards. HB 298 would be the first repeal, and this has environmentalists and green energy lobbyists discomfited. They fear a domino effect, so they are pouring resources into the Tar Heel State to try to block the bill’s passage. Fortunately, the other side has resources, too. For example, the John Locke Foundation, a North Carolina-based free market group, this week published a short study on HB 298 (available here). Also, Americans for Prosperity this week launched a website to support the bill.

Around the World

BP Back to Petroleum

In the early 2000s, BP declared that it was “beyond petroleum” and invested billions of dollars in renewable energy.  Since 2007, however, the company has been selling off its renewable portfolio, a process that culminated this week when BP put its $1.5 billion U.S. wind power up for sale. It should come as a great relief to BP shareholders that the company has now fully reverted to producing products that people actually want to buy. 

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.