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Entries in Environmental Extremeists (49)

Tuesday
Jun102014

ALG's Daily Grind - Will the House defund Obama's racial housing quotas? 

6

June 9, 2014

Permission to republish original opeds granted.

Will the House defund Obama's racial housing quotas?
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) is introducing an amendment to the Transportation and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appropriations bill this week defunding implementation of the "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing" rule.

Obama's Enviro Radicalism Dooms Reid's Senate Majority
Majority Leader Harry Reid lost his majority last week.  It will just take five months to make it official.

The regulatory death of energy in the U.S.
Before President Obama took office in 2009, the amount of electricity being produced by coal-fired utilities was approximately 50 percent of the total. Today it is approximately 40 percent and, as the Environmental Protection Agency regulations that took effect on June 2 are fully implemented, more such utilities are likely to close their doors.

Daily Caller: Shocking poll shows Eric Cantor struggling in primary
"A poll of Republican primary voters commissioned by The Daily Caller shows that GOP Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor is just above 50 percent in the hard-fought race for the 7th district nomination."

Saturday
Jun072014

Cooler Heads Digest 6 June 2014 

6 June 2014

Announcements

Registration is now open for the Heartland Institute’s 9th International Conference on Climate Change, July 7-9, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Click here to learn more.

In the News

How the Climate Crusade Came to Resemble a Cult
Steven Hayward, Weekly Standard, June Issue

Does EPA’s Left Hand Know What Its Far-Left Hand Is Doing to Fight Fracking?
Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner, 6 June 2014

CASAC Sows Confusion on Ozone by Playing Legal Word Games
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 5 June 2014

EPA’s Next Wave of Job-Likking CO2 Regulations
David Rothbard & Craig Rucker, Watts Up With That?, 5 June 2014

Our new Climate Strategy: Jump off Cliff, Ask China to Follow
Christopher Prandoni, Forbes, 4 June 2014

National Climate Assessment Doubles Down on Climate Doom
Fred Singer, American Thinker, 3 June 2014

James Hansen to Obama: Cap-and-Trade Is a Special Interest Boondoggle
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 2 June 2014

Obama’s Cold Political Calculus on Global Warming
Patrick Michaels, Washington Times, 2 June 2014

How Fracking Helps America Beat German Industry
Reuters, 2 June 2014

Europe’s Gas Power Capacity at Risk as Utilities Turn to Coal
Isis Almeida, Bloomberg, 1 June 2014

News You Can Use
Polar Bears International Admits It’s Only Guessing

Polar Bears International, which claims to be “the pre-eminent resource for all things polar bear” and which provides widely-used teaching materials for schools, long has asserted that climate change would wipe out 2/3 of polar bears by the end of the century. This week, the group conceded that the claim was “simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand,” and agreed to put a disclaimer on all its educational materials.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Obama's EPA Touts Asthma Benefits of Higher Electric Rates and Job Losses

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy introduced the proposed rule for limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants in an extraordinary speech to the media at the EPA's headquarters on Monday, 2nd June. It turns out that the main selling point of cutting CO2 emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 is that one of the alleged co-benefits is up to 150,000 fewer childhood asthma attacks per year. That should be a great comfort to the millions of children whose parents lose their jobs and can't afford to keep the lights on because of a policy that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) concisely described as “nuts.”

Five years into the most sluggish economy since the Great Depression, President Barack Obama has taken the biggest step yet in fulfilling his 2008 campaign promise that under his plan electricity rates “will necessarily skyrocket.” The sad fact is that the president knows so little about how the economy works that he might actually believe the new report from his White House Office of Management and Budget that claims that major regulations promulgated since 2003 have cost only $57 billion, but have produced $863 billion in benefits. Clearly, the road to prosperity is paved with red tape.

The EPA proposes to achieve a 30 percent cut in emissions from existing coal and natural gas power plants by requiring electric utilities to use a variety of tools, most of which Congress rejected in 2009-10, when the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate by wide majorities. The Waxman-Markey bill, H. R. 2454, failed in the Senate, but cap-and-trade, renewable standards, and demand-side management apparently do not need to be enacted by the Congress, but can be required by administrative ukase.

The formulas used to apportion the CO2 reductions among the states are complicated and will require considerable analysis. The 2005 baseline is much easier to understand. It rewards the states that have already undertaken significant energy-rationing regimes, such as California and the members of the northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. And it punishes the states that have had significant economic and population growth. These are largely states that have pursued policies that result in affordable energy from coal and natural gas power plants. Cynics may notice that the former states are mostly controlled by Democrats and the latter states by Republicans.

GlobalWarming.org has several posts by my CEI colleagues William Yeatman and Marlo Lewis that provide expert analysis of many of the details in the proposed rule. See here, here, here, and here.

Across the States
William Yeatman

West Virginia Judge Issues Suspect Ruling on "Conductivity"

In a ruling delivered Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chambers sided with West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Sierra Club, and the Ohio Valley Coalition, and found that coal mines operated by subsidiaries of Alpha Natural Resources committed “at least one violation” of Clean Water Act permits. The alleged violation pertained to discharges of saline effluent into West Virginia waterways.

The ruling is flawed on a number of counts. For starters, the permits at issue were issued by West Virginia, acting pursuant to its EPA-approved Clean Water Act authority, and the state doesn’t regulate saline effluent (which is more commonly referred to by its primary physical property—electric “conductivity”). As such, this would appear to be a case of an activist judge imposing his will on an entire state. This perception is not aided by the fact that Judge Chambers used to be a member of one of the plaintiff organizations (the WV Highlands Conservancy), and has, moreover, issued controversial, anti-coal rulings in the past. Finally, it is worth noting that the putative “victims” of saline “pollution” is a short-lived order of insects, the mayfly, which isn’t an endangered species.

Alpha Resources said it will appeal the ruling to the 4th Circuit.

Around the World
William Yeatman

Media Evinces Knee-Jerk Bias by Running with Fake “News” on China Carbon Cap

On Tuesday morning, a number of prominent reporters allowed wishful thinking to get in the way of their jobs by running with a mistaken Reuters report that China would cap its CO2 emissions in 2016. It turns out that the Reuters report was based on a misquote that got lost in translation, but before the article was retracted, reporters at the New York Times and New York magazine, among others, concluded that President Obama’s climate plan was the cause for China's about-face on climate policy. These reporters’ evident absence of skepticism, and also their willingness to give to credit to EPA’s new climate plan, is telling.

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Richard Tol Challenges 97% Consensus Claim

How many times have you heard there is a 97% “consensus” among climate scientists?

The claim comes from a study by John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli of the misnamed ‘Skeptical Science’ blog and colleagues, who examined 11,944 abstracts of climate papers published during 1991-2011.

Supposedly, Cook et al (2013) found that 97% of climate scientists agree with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that most of the 0.7°C of global warming since 1951 is very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases. Skeptics, they suggest, are a fringe element, unworthy of public attention.

But the Cook study does not really prove what the spinners claim it proves.

Nearly two-thirds of the 11,944 abstracts expressed no opinion on the supposed “consensus” position. So for all we know, many of the authors may doubt the consensus view.

 Of the abstracts that expressed an opinion, Cook et al. claim that 97.1% (less than one-third of the original total) agree with the IPCC consensus position. That too is more than the Cook team can possibly know.

University of Delaware Prof. David Legates and three colleagues examined Cook et al.’s database, and found that less than 1% of the 11,944 abstracts explicitly endorse the so-called consensus.

Is the 97% figure made up out of whole cloth? Not quite. It turns out that 97% of about one-third of the abstracts affirms or implies that humans are responsible for some portion of global warming since 1951.

And guess what? Just about every prominent skeptic agrees with that as well. As an attempt to discredit contrarians, the Cook study is a bust.

A new study by climate economist Richard Tol, published this week in Science Direct, dumps more cold water on the Cook et al. 97% consensus study. Tol, you may recall, withdrew his name from the IPCC climate impacts report summary for policymakers because of its alarmist hype.

Tol accepts the IPCC view that most warming of the past six-plus decades is anthropogenic. Nonetheless, as an assessment of what most scientists think, he finds Cook et al. To be deeply flawed. From the abstract:

“A claim has been that 97% of the scientific literature endorses anthropogenic climate change (Cook et al., 2013. Environ. Res. Lett. 8, 024024). This claim, frequently repeated in debates about climate policy, does not stand. A trend in composition is mistaken for a trend in endorsement. Reported results are inconsistent and biased. The sample is not representative and contains many irrelevant papers. Overall, data quality is low. Cook׳s validation test shows that the data are invalid. Data disclosure is incomplete so that key results cannot be reproduced or tested.”

The consensus-mongers should stop wasting our time. The key science question for climate researchers today is not whether greenhouse gas emissions warm the planet but whether state-of-the-art computer models are accurate enough to forecast climate change and inform policy decisions. As it turns out, the IPCC’s latest ensemble of climate models produce estimates that overshoot the warming of the past 20 years by 100% and of the last 15 years by 400%.

The key science question for citizens and their representatives is not whether most recent warming is man-made but whether climate change, as Al Gore put it, is a “planetary emergency – a crisis that threatens the survival of civilization and the habitability of the Earth.” This doomsday view of global warming is not credible (see here, here, and here).

Finally, the key issue for policymakers is not whether climate change poses risks but whether the proposed “solutions” – carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, and other schemes to rig the market against plentiful, affordable, reliable fossil fuels – would do more harm than good. There are many compelling reasons to regard those so-called solutions as either all cost for no benefit or a cure worse than the alleged disease.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads

Friday
May232014

ALG's Daily Grind - Food workers union sues grocer for offering employees higher pay

6

May 22, 2014

Permission to republish original opeds granted.

Food workers union sues grocer for offering employees higher pay
Seniority is outdated. What today's worker needs is a system that rewards extra energy and effort, and rewards doing a good job.

Cartoon: The Mad Lib

A Tribute to Women -- Or to Liberalism?
Congress recently approved -- by an overwhelming margin -- a commission to study the creation of  a National Women's History Museum on the National Mall. But will it be in honor of women or far-left feminism?

VIDEO – Sting operation uncovers scummy Hollywood environmentalist agenda with reporter disguised as a Middle Eastern oil tycoon
Hollywood elites are caught by an undercover reporter accepting money from "Middle Eastern oil tycoons" to make a movie attacking American energy companies.

Thursday
May152014

ALG's Daily Grind - Enviros attack markets to kill energy industry 

6

May 14, 2014

Permission to republish original opeds granted. 

Enviros attack markets to kill energy industry
Environmental radicals attack exporting natural gas from Cove Point, Maryland.

Tea Party leaders need not apply in Republican Party of the future
Former Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling on the election of tea party activist to chair Virginia's 7th Congressional District Republican Committee: "While the voice of every Republican should be heard, our challenge is to figure out how to be a conservative party, without allowing the most extreme voices of the day to control our party and determine its future direction."

Hoak: Why millennials are hurting the real estate recovery
How the current recession is hurting young people the most: Fewer jobs, and less home ownership.

 

Saturday
Apr262014

Cooler Heads Digest 25 April 2014 

25 April 2014

Announcements

The Center for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) this week launched a new website, Energy Depot, which complements its well-established Climate Depot.

In the News

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) Abandons Skepticism, Embraces Science on Showtime Climate Series (airing tonight!)
Joe Romm, Climate Progress, 25 April 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Rep. Michael Grimm Expected To Be Indicted
John Bresnahan & Jake Sherman, Politico, 25 April 2014

Seven Reasons Nothing Should Stand in the Way of the Keystone XL Pipeline
Nicolas Loris, The Foundry, 25 April 2014

How Obama Shocked Harper as Keystone’s Frustrator-in-Chief
Edward Green, Bloomberg, 25 April 2014

State of Wind Energy 2014: Desperately Seeking Subsidies
Marita Noon, Midland Reporter-Telegram, 25 April 2014

Al Gore Is Not Giving Up: An Interview
Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, 24 April 2014

Germany Discovers Sense of Humor, Loses Faith in Green Energy
James Delingpole, Breitbart London, 23 April 2014

AWEA’s Bold Push for More Wind Welfare
Travis Fisher, Institute for Energy Research, 23 April 2014

Martin Files: “Confidential” Email Exposes Eco-Left Rift in Colorado
Michael Sandoval, The Complete Colorado, 23 April 2014

The Cellulosic Biofuel Blunder: Reminder That State Can’t Create Green Energy Industries
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 23 April 2014

Climate Scientist’s Privacy Victory May Prove a Loss for Journalists
Alexis Sobel Fitts, Columbia Journalism Review, 23 April 2014

Study: Fuels from Corn Waste Worse Than Gas
Dina Cappiello, AP, 20 April 2014

News You Can Use
Earth Day Flops

On Monday, the only mention of Earth Day in the New York Times was on page 9: a full page public service announcement from Patron Tequila telling readers, “This Earth Day, Drink Responsibly.”

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

President Again Punts on Keystone XL Pipeline

The State Department on the afternoon of Good Friday, 18th April, announced that it was extending indefinitely the time that other federal departments and agencies have to submit their views on whether building the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the national interest.  Apparently, whether increasing oil supplies from Canada, our closest ally and biggest trade partner, is in the national interest is a difficult question for many high administration officials.

Perhaps some of these Cabinet secretaries and agency heads have not made their position known yet because they can’t tell which way the wind is blowing in the White House.  Rolling Stone published a long article by Jeff Goodell this week on President Obama’s imminent climate offensive which gives the answer.  According to Goodell, “Although no final decision has been made, two high-level sources in the Obama administration told me recently that the president has all but decided to deny the permit for the pipeline – a dramatic move that would light up Democratic voters and donors while further provoking the wrath of Big Oil.”

This further delay in the Keystone decision-making process (as White House spokesman Jay Carney insists on calling it) will no doubt please billionaire Democratic Party donor Tom Steyer, but other reliable Obama supporters are surprisingly critical.  For example, the Washington Post, fearless defender of the DC establishment, published an editorial this week headlined, “Keystone XL’s absurd delay.”   Kathleen McKinley’s blog post in the San Francisco Chronicle was titled, “Can Tom Steyer Buy President Obama’s Keystone XL Pipeline Decision?”  She began her article: “Many people see President Obama’s decision to delay his Keystone XL Pipeline decision until after the elections as purely political.  But rest assured, it’s about money as well.” For more on the Keystone delay, see my CEI colleague Marlo Lewis’s post on Master Resource.

House Energy and Commerce Plans To Move LNG Export Bill

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is planning to get right down to work when Congress returns from its two-week Easter recess by marking up H. R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, on 30th April.  The bill provides that 19 of the 24 pending applications for LNG exports to non-FTA countries will be granted without further delay or any modification. It would also change the standards that the Department of Energy uses to review future export applications.   

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Oregon Governor Announces Opposition to Coal Exports

The Oregonian newspaper reported on 25th April that Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (D) has come out unequivocally against a proposed coal export terminal at Boardman. Ambre Energy, an Australian company, proposes to move coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming by rail to the Port of Morrow in the town of Boardman, which is 250 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River.  The coal would then be barged 200 miles down the Columbia and transferred to ocean-going ships at a port in Columbia County, northwest of Portland. The project is projected eventually to ship 8.8 million tons of coal annually to markets in Asia. 

Gov. Kitzhaber said in a speech to the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, “It is time to once and for all to say no to coal exports from the Pacific Northwest.  It is time to say yes to national and state energy policies that will transform our economy and our communities into a future that can sustain the next generation.” The port facilities would generate tens of millions of dollars in economic activity annually and pay annual port fees and property taxes of over four million dollars in one of the more economically depressed States.

NY Guv Cuomo Announces $1 Billion Subsidy to Wean Solar Industry off Subsidies

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced anearly $1 billion commitment to NY-Sun, the state’s solar energy program. The program is a rate-payer subsidy, rather than a taxpayer subsidy. In practice, New Yorkers without solar panels will pay higher utility bills in order to subsidize those who can afford them.  According to a press release from the Governor’s office, the purpose of this $1 billion subsidy is to “transform New York’s solar industry to a sustainable, subsidy-free sector.”

Meanwhile, the Governor continues to dither on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in upstate New York. That industry, of course, is already “sustainable”. The evidence is directly across the border: The Pennsylvania government has welcomed expanded oil and gas drilling, and it’s led to an economic revitalization of formerly depressed regions of the States.

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.