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Entries in Environmental Issues (86)


Cooler Heads Digest 27 July 2012 

27 July 2012

In the News

Stay Tuned: Major Announcement Coming This Sunday
Anthony Watts, WUWT, 27 July 2012

Video: Congressman Receives Standing Ovation for Anti-Regulatory Speech
Breitbart, 27 July 2012

Green Energy Boss: “I’m a political beast”
Tim Carney, Washington Examiner, 27 July 2012

Greenland Ice Melt: Cause for Alarm?
Marlo Lewis,, 26 July 2012

Dear League of Conservation Voters: Even Joe Romm Thinks “Denier” Is Inappropriate
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 26 July 2012

Consumers Complain That Nissan Leafs Lose Their Power in Hot Weather
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 15 July 2012

EPA Exonerates Fracking in Pennsylvania
Kenneth Green, AEIdeas, 25 July 2012

Will Extremists Stop America’s Energy Future?
Thomas Pyle, National Journal, 24 July 2012

Solyndra, Cronyism, and Double-Dipping on the Taxpayer’s Dime
Nancy Pfotenhauer, U.S. News and World Report, 23 July 2012

Biofuel Mandate Worsens Drought’s Effect
Washington Times editorial, 23 July 2012

When Drought Strikes, Should U.S. Policy Endanger Poor People?
Marlo Lewis,, 20 July 2012

News You Can Use
Record Few Tornadoes in July

According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, July “is on track to produce fewer tornadoes than any July on record, and by a long shot.” Must be global warming.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

House Passes Bill to Increase Offshore Oil

The House of Representatives voted this week to overturn the Obama Administration’s five-year offshore oil leasing plan and replace it with a plan that would require much more leasing and for the first time open federal offshore areas to oil production off the Atlantic and California coasts.  The vote was 253-170, with 25 Democrats voting with the Republican majority.  Nine Republicans voted no. 

In the Senate, Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and 29 Republican co-sponsors introduced their version of the House-passed Domestic Energy and Jobs Act (H. R. 4480).  It contains a number of bills to expand domestic oil and gas production and delay several new EPA rules.

EIA: 8.5% of Coal Capacity To Retire within 5 Years

The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration on July 27 released a report that predicts that electric utilities will retire 27 gigawatts of capacity from coal-fired power plants in the next five years. This constitutes 8.5% of current coal capacity.

The EIA report is based on the results of an annual survey of electric utility companies.  EIA notes that after several years of closing smaller, older coal-fired plants, utilities are now planning to close some newer, larger plants.  The report lists several factors contributing to decisions to retire coal plants long before they become obsolete.  One factor identified by EIA is, unsurprisingly, the anticipated costs of colossally expensive new EPA rules, such as the Utility MACT Rule.

EPA Delays Cooling Water Intake Rule

 The Environmental Protection Agency announced on July 24 that it will delay issuing the final rule on cooling water intake towers until June 27, 2013.  The EPA had been under a court order to release the final rule this month, but the plaintiffs—Riverkeeper and several other environmental pressure groups—agreed to the extension.   

The proposed rule was issued in March 2011.  EPA estimates that it would apply to 670 existing power plants and 590 existing industrial factories that withdraw at least two million gallons per day to cool their facilities.  The proposed rule would require companies to obtain permits that require the best available control technology in cooling water intake towers for minimizing fish kill.   

Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Representative Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), Chairman of the committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power, have led the effort to convince EPA to withdraw the proposed rule on the grounds that compliance costs will be enormous, thereby leading to significant job losses.  They welcomed the delay, but were quoted in a BNA story that “this fight is only delayed a year, it is not over.” 

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,


SEIA and LSA Statement on Department of the Interior’s Release of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar

New rules will govern solar development on public lands

WASHINGTON and SACRAMENTO – Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and Shannon Eddy, executive director of the Large-scale Solar Association (LSA), released the following statement today in response to the Department of the Interior’s release of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development on Public Lands:

“We applaud the Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy for undertaking this major effort to tackle the process for solar development on public lands. “We’re hopeful that this detailed environmental analysis will dramatically speed the permitting process and bring more solar online to serve the American people,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA.

“The U.S. Southwest is home to some of the best solar resources in the world.  It’s a region universally recognized for its enormous potential to enhance our energy security. Consequently, the Administration set a goal to permit 10 gigawatts of additional renewable energy projects on public lands by the end of this year. The U.S. solar industry is ready to meet that challenge. Several impressive solar projects are under construction in the Southwest right now, adding this vital resource to our domestic energy supply, while delivering clean power and spurring new job creation,” noted Resch. “The PEIS identifies a process that will accommodate well-sited solar power plants outside of designated Solar Energy Zones and protects the rights of pending solar applications. The Bureau of Land Management must ensure pending projects do not get bogged down in more bureaucratic process.”

“Balancing the growing demand for domestically-produced solar energy with conservation objectives is not an easy task. We are appreciative of the Departments’ efforts to gather input from all stakeholders. We look forward to working with them to refine the process for permitting solar power plants and transmission in the West,” added Shannon Eddy, executive director of LSA.

The U.S. solar energy industry employs 100,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across the nation in all 50 states.

About SEIA:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,100 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.

About the Large-scale Solar Association:
LSA is the trade association for the utility-scale solar industry and represents the nation’s largest developers and providers of utility-scale solar generation resources. Collectively, LSA’s members have contracted to provide more than 7 gigawatts of clean, sustainable solar power under contract to California’s load-serving entities. LSA members develop, own and operate various types of utility-scale solar technologies, including photovoltaic and solar thermal system designs. LSA companies are leaders in the utility-scale solar industry and share a common understanding of, and concern about, the issues facing development of the solar industry. They are actively developing technology and strengthening markets to facilitate significant penetration of renewable energy into the western United States power sector, as well as other states, and regional and federal venues, when appropriate.

Background Resources:

SEIA-LSA comments on the Supplement to the Draft PEIS []

Joint comments from SEIA, utility and environmental partners on the Supplement to the Draft PEIS []

SEIA-LSA-CEERT comments on the Draft PEIS

SEIA-LSA-CEERT comments on the proposed Solar Energy Study Areas []

2012 Q1 SMI Executive Summary

Major Solar Projects List – solar projects 1 MW and greater []

Poll: 3 out of 4 Americans support solar on public lands


ALG's Daily Grind: Environmental Extremeists Are Political Goliaths

July 11, 2012

Environmental Extremists Exposed as Political Goliaths

The environmental left is a heavy funder of political operations.

Video: Obama's Blunders: Green Jobs Funded And Shipped Away

The Power of Intimidation

The 9 Justices of the Supreme Court have proven that they can be intimidated.

IBD: A State Revolt Against ObamaCare Emerges

Governors of various states are standing up against the implementation of ObamaCare


ALG's Daily Grind: What if Greece defaults?  

May 29, 2012

What if Greece defaults?

If Germany and the ECB cut off funding to Greece, it will have no other choice but to restore the drachma. By why stop there? Why even bother paying any of the debt?

Video: The War With Plastic Bags Shows That Environmentalism Is At War With Sanity

Los Angeles is barring plastic bags from grocery stores and parts of Maryland are charging for them. This is just one more ridiculous idea that has come from America's environmentalist movement.

Obama's Deficit Chutzpah

Obama: "They run up these wild debts and then when we take over we have to clean it up."

Rare corporate courage and common sense

Despite intense pressure by anti-biotechnology activists, the retailing giant didn't cave in to demands that it "reject" Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) sweet corn (maize).


Cooler Heads Digest 11 May 2012 

11 May 2012


The Heartland Institute’s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-7) will take place in Chicago, Illinois from Monday, May 21 to Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 South Michigan Avenue. This year’s theme is “Real Science, Real Choices.” This conference is open to the public. Register to attend this event by visiting the conference sign-up form.

In the News

White House Lied, Jobs Died
Michelle Malkin,, 11 May 2012

EPA Pushing Texas into Darkness
William Tucker, American Spectator, 11 May 2012

Spacemen to NASA: Cool It on Global Warming
Deroy Murdock, Washington Times, 10 May 2012

Average Blue Collar Oil and Gas Job Pays $100,000 a Year
Steve Hargreaves, CNN, 10 May 2012

Grover Norquist: Obama “Wrong” To Cite Tax Pledge in Green Energy Push
Byron Tau, Politico, 9 May 2012

Game Over for the Climate
James Hansen, New York Times, 9 May 2012

Beware of Federalizing Fracking
Robert Bradley, Jr., Washington Examiner, 8 May 2012

Texas Official Blames Fisker Karma for House Fire
David Arnouts, AutoWeek, 8 May 2012

Texas Shale Gusher Shows the Benefits of Fracking
Investors Business Daily editorial, 8 May 2012

Red Tape Is Strangling America’s Energy Supply
Sam Graves & Scott Tipton, Washington Examiner, 8 May 2012

Chu-less about Energy Policy
Lincoln Brown, TownHall, 7 May 2012

News You Can Use
Study: Interior Department Delays Prevent 120,000 Jobs

According to a study released this week by the Western Energy Alliance, bureaucratic foot-dragging by Obama’s Interior Department has delayed 22 proposed oil and gas projects on federal land in the Rocky Mountains region, thereby preventing the creation of 121,000 jobs, $27.5 billion in economic activity, and $139 million in government revenue.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Buffett’s Support Signals Movement on Keystone Pipeline

The House and Senate conference committee on re-authorizing the highway bill met for the first time on Tuesday, 8th May.  One of the most contentious issues is House language that would require permitting of the 1700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf refineries. Initial reactions were that the Keystone provision has little chance of being included in the final conference report.  However, there are signs that the ground is shifting.

Representative John Mica (R-Fla.), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said on Thursday that he thought the Keystone provision was making great progress toward being included in the final bill. Mica noted that eleven Democratic Senators and 69 Democratic House members (out of 190) have recently voted for permitting the pipeline.

Perhaps more importantly, billionaire investor Warren Buffett told Fox Business News this week that he supports building the Keystone XL Pipeline. Buffett is a close supporter of President Barack Obama.  It has been speculated that Buffett was one of those advising Obama to deny the Keystone permit last fall out of self interest.  Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, which because of the lack of pipeline capacity has become a major shipper of crude oil from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana to refineries.  The Keystone XL would transport oil from the Bakken Formation as well as from Alberta’s oil sands.

Buffett may well have been offering his own opinion without consulting the White House first.  On the other hand, his comments may be a sign that the White House is maneuvering to save face and let the Keystone permit go through.  President Obama’s political advisers clearly understand that the President is on the wrong side of public opinion on Keystone.  Letting the Congress overrule the President this summer would largely take away a campaign issue in the fall.    

Across the States
William Yeatman

West Virginia

Keith Russell Judd, a convicted felon currently imprisoned in Texas, this week won 41 percent of the vote against President Barack Obama in the West Virginia Democratic Party primary. Democratic Party officials in the State described the shocking results as a popular protest against EPA’s war on coal. According to Larry Puccio, the state’s Democratic Party chairman, “A lot of folks here have real frustration with this administration’s stance on coal and energy. They are frustrated and they are upset, and they wanted to send Obama a message.”


EPA today announced that lab tests show that drinking water in Dimock, Pennsylvania was not contaminated by hydraulic fracturing. This is the fourth and final round of results; all three previous lab tests also demonstrated that natural gas drilling had not polluted drinking water in Dimock. EPA’s results came as no surprise to Pennsylvania regulators, who tested Dimock water samples more than a year ago and came to the same conclusion. Indeed, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer last January wrote a letter asking EPA not to second-guess the state’s conclusions, due to the Agency’s “rudimentary” knowledge of local conditions. EPA would have saved much time and effort (not to mention taxpayer money) if the Agency had heeded the State.

Around the World
Brian McGraw

Cuba Proceeds With Drilling Off Florida Coast

The long-discussed Cuban plan to drill oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico is moving forward. The Spanish oil company, Repsol, will drill about 80 miles off the coast of Florida in 5,500 feet of water. The plan has sparked worries among politicians representing southern states, having recently recovered from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the summer of 2010. Former EPA agency chief William Reilly, who also co-chaired the presidential commission which investigated the Deepwater spill, was optimistic: “In every way, the Cuban approach to this is responsible, careful and attentive to the risks that they know they’re undertaking.

Reilly is, however, worried about the implications of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba if an accident were to happen. He noted, “Nevertheless, should there be a need for a response … the United States government has not interpreted its sanctions policy in a way that would clearly make available in advance the kind of technologies that would be required.” Too bad we didn’t drill the oil for ourselves.

Britain to Cut Solar Subsidies

The British solar industry is warning of doomsday as the British government has decided to cut financial incentives that encouraged individuals to install solar panels on the roofs of their homes. In a joint letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, the industry warned that the sector faces a “bleak future” without government tax incentives and subsidies and noted that the industry has lost more than 6,000 jobs in the last year, with many more to come. Finally, the industry claimed that at the current rate of installations, it would take 160 years to install the capacity that the British government has agreed to install by 2020.

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,