Entries in Energy Policy (241)
The Competitive Enterprise Institute joined Americans for Tax Reform, National Taxpayers Union, and 29 other conservative and free-market organizations in signing a coalition letter in support of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s work with States to contest the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. Read the letter here.
In the News
Dear Gina (and Jerry): Where’s the Climate Science behind Your Plan?
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 3 April 2015
GOP Governors Unwittingly Recruited by Biofuels Lobby
Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, 3 April 2015
EPA’s Mercury Rule Would Cost Economy at Least $16 Billion Per Year
Brian Potts, Forbes, 3 April 2015
Scientist Predicts 2015 Is Hottest Year on Record with 9 Months To Go
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 3 April 2015
The Backlash against Obama’s Committing U.S. to International Climate Agreement
Katie Tubb & David Kreutzer, Daily Signal, 2 April 2015
Federal Judge Rejects EPA’s ‘Lack of Jurisdiction’ Argument in Murray Energy Suit
Linda Harris, State Journal, 2 April 2015
7 Questions with John Christy and Roy Spencer: Climate Change Skeptics for 25 Years
Paul Gattis, Birmingham News, 1 April 2015
Tom Steyer’s Group Shutters Climate Policy Arm as Political Efforts Ramp Up
Elana Schor & Andrew Restuccia, Politico, 1 April 2015
“Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” Author Shares Success in Spreading Message
Taylor Kuykendall, SNL Energy, 31 March 2015
Grasping for Pause-ible Deniability on Climate Change
Greg Jones, The Federalist, 30 March 2015
Climate Sensitivity and Environmental Worries Are Trending Downward
Patrick Michaels & Chip Knappenberger, Cato at Liberty, 27 March 2015
News You Can Use
2014 U.S. Oil Production Increase Was Largest in More Than 100 Years
U.S. crude output increased by a record 1.2 million barrels a day to 8.7 million b/d last year, according to a report published this week by the Energy Information Administration. That is the largest volume increase since 1900, the year the agency began keeping records.
Inside the Beltway
Obama Submits Climate Pledge to UN—But It’s DOA in Senate
The Obama Administration submitted its intended nationally-determined contribution (or INDC) to the Paris Accord on 31st March. Other parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that have made their submissions are: the European Union, Russia, Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, and Gabon. They are all posted on the UNFCCC web site here.
The five-page U. S. INDC pledges that the United States will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The White House proposes to achieve the target through a long list of administrative actions, none of which require new legislation from Congress. These include: the EPA’s proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing coal and natural gas-fired power plants; Corporate Average Fuel Economy (or CAFÉ) standards for cars, light trucks, and heavy-duty trucks; a long list of new energy efficiency standards for appliances, equipment, and building codes; and regulations to reduce methane emissions from landfills and the oil and gas sector.
Although these regulatory policies do not require new legislation, the submission does not mention that the Clean Air Act regulations on power plants may not survive legal challenges or congressional opposition. There is majority opposition to the EPA’s power plant rules in both the House and Senate. Moreover, all of these policies require the co-operation of Congress through the appropriations process.
Still to be determined in the negotiations on the Paris Accord, which are scheduled to conclude at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (or COP-21) in December in Paris, is the nature of the agreement. The negotiating text says that it will take “the form of a protocol, another legal instrument, or an ‘agreed outcome with legal force,” and will be applicable to all parties. This sounds like the Paris Accord, whatever form it takes, will be legally binding. If so, it seems inescapable that U. S. participation will require Senate ratification. But that is just what the Obama Administration’s highly experienced negotiators in the State Department are trying to avoid. They learned from the Kyoto Protocol, which was doomed in the Senate from the moment the negotiations were concluded in December 1997. Ratification requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate.
The fact that Senate ratification requires a two-thirds majority vote means that the Paris Accord is almost certainly dead on arrival in the current Senate. That’s why Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, told the Daily Caller: “The Obama administration’s pledge to the United Nations today will not see the light of day with the 114th Congress.” Sen. Inhofe’s full remarks are available in the committee’s press release. Here are articles on the submission in the New York Times and the Washington Times.
EPW Republicans to McCarthy: Is EPA Climate Science Consistent with Data?
At a March 4 Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee hearing, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) queried EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about climate change impacts, global temperatures, and climate models. McCarthy opined that droughts and storms are becoming more frequent worldwide, but had no data to back up her opinion when Sen. Sessions cited conflicting evidence.
In addition, although apparently unaware of the growing divergence between climate model predictions and observations, McCarthy was confident it was irrelevant to EPA’s assessment of climate change risks (i.e. the scientific rationale for the administration’s climate policies). She did, however, promise to provide written answers to Sen. Sessions “within a few days.” See 1:30-6:57 of this video clip.
On April 1, Sessions and three other EPW Republicans (Inhofe of Oklahoma, Wicker of Mississippi, and Barrasso of Wyoming) sent a letter reminding McCarthy of her promise and stating their questions in more detail.
Citing the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment and other information, the Senators challenge McCarthy to substantiate her views and the accuracy of climate models with respect to drought, storms, and global temperatures.
Sen. Sessions’s press release, which includes the text of the letter, is available here.
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.
Concord, N.H. – Kelly Ayotte voted yesterday to raise the price of natural gas for New Hampshire’s people and businesses, once again showing that she will put special interests before the priorities of hard-working Granite Staters.
Independent analyses show that the amendment, introduced by Ted Cruz to send more natural gas overseas, could lead to a tripling in natural gas prices, sending electricity rates soaring in New Hampshire.
“New Hampshire and the entire northeast region are already struggling with high electricity rates due in large part to a lack of natural gas supply, yet Kelly Ayotte wants to send our natural gas overseas, driving up prices even further,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “Kelly Ayotte’s vote yesterday reinforces that she will always put special interests first, while making New Hampshire’s people, businesses, and economy pay the price.”
Former NH Public Utilities Commissioner Clifton Below Called Increasing Exports of Natural Gas Wrong for New Hampshire in a Foster’s Op-Ed. “As a residential and business consumer, and as a former NH Public Utilities Commissioner and legislator, I know how important it is for our elected officials to understand New Hampshire’s energy issues. We need energy policies that promote reliable, affordable and sustainable energy resources. […] independent analyses — and common sense — show that increasing exports of natural gas could substantially raise the price of energy locally by reducing the supply available domestically and driving up electric rates.” [Foster’s Op-Ed, 10/28/14]
Increased Natural Gas Exports Lead ToIncreased Natural Gas Prices Across The U.S. A 2012 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that larger export levels lead to larger domestic price increases. Moreover, even while consuming less, consumers will see an increase in natural gas and electricity expenditures. [U.S. Energy Information Administration, January 2012]
Study Found That Exporting Natural Gas Could Lead To A Tripling In Natural Gas Prices. A report from Charles River Associates finds that allowing unchecked natural gas exports would negatively impact U.S. employment and manufacturing. Specifically, the report found that a global natural gas supply shortage of 20-35 billion cubic feet per day by 2030 is projected. U.S. exports would likely play a major role in filling that gap, leading to a tripling of natural gas prices. [AmericasEnergyAdvantage.org, accessed 10/13/14]
A Surge In LNG Exports Could Increase U.S. Natural Gas Prices Between 4 And 11 Percent. “The EIA concluded that a surge in LNG exports would cause U.S. natural gas supply prices to rise between 4 percent and 11 percent, on average, over its current projections for the 2015 to 2040 period, depending on how much LNG is exported.” [Center for American Progress, 1/27/15]
Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn today blasted Senator Jeanne Shaheen's vote against the Keystone XL pipeline in the Senate today:
"Senator Jeanne Shaheen has blindly followed orders from the radical environmental groups that bankrolled her campaign and opposed this worthy project. Nine democrats joined Senator Kelly Ayotte and her Republican colleagues in voting to build the Keystone XL pipeline because it will create jobs, stimulate the economy and strengthen our national security by helping the United States become energy independent. Senator Shaheen has proven that she is an out of touch Washington politician who is bought and paid for by liberal special interest groups."
Senator Jeanne Shaheen Voted to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline (S. Con. Res. 1 Vote #49 Motion Approved 62-36, 1/29/15, Shaheen Voted Nay)
We did it, Friend.
In a great bipartisan victory, we passed the Keystone XL pipeline in the Senate with a vote of 62-36, including the support of 9 Democrats who joined us to pass this pro-growth piece of legislation.
This new pipeline will create hundreds of new jobs and new economic opportunities for many Americans and greatly expand our energy security.
Our fight is not over yet – President Obama has vowed to veto the Keystone XL pipeline bill as soon as it reaches his desk. We must not allow this to happen. We’ve fought long and hard for this pipeline and the opportunities it will create. The American people are counting on it.
TAKE ACTION: Sign our petition to tell President Obama to sign the Keystone XL pipeline into law >>>