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Cooler Heads Digest 04 September 2015 


4 September 2015


Copies of Mark Steyn’s latest book, "A Disgrace to the Profession": The World's Scientists on Michael E Mann, his Hockey Stick and their Damage to Science,” are now available.  

In the News

Crude Protectionism: Oil Export Ban Shows Cracks
Timothy Carney, Washington Examiner, 4 September 2015

Watchdog Can’t Verify EPA Grant Performance
Mark Tapscott, Daily Caller, 4 September 2015

Economic Growth Is the Best Climate Change Policy
Marlo Lewis,, 3 September 2015

The Enronization of Climate Science Revisited
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 3 September 2015

Securing America’s Energy Future
Marco Rubio, National Review, 1 September 2015

Denmark’s Government Readies U-Turn on Ambitious Climate Targets
Peter Levring, Bloomberg Business, 1 September 2015

Solyndra Autopsy: Did Watchdog Go Easy on Department of Energy
Rob Nikolewski,, 31 August 2015

U.S. Producing More Natural Gas Than Ever
Bill Loveless, USA Today, 30 August 2015

How Japan Fuels Global Coal
Darius Dixon, Politico Magazine, August 2015

News You Can Use
Government Study: Lifting Oil Export Ban Won’t Impact Gas Prices

Gas prices “would be either unchanged or slightly reduced” if the Congress ended the ban on crude oil exports, according to an Energy Information Administration analysis published this week.

Across the States
Myron Ebell

President Obama Uses Alaska as a Backdrop for Climate Agenda

President Barack Obama followed up his disgraceful speech in Las Vegas last week with an insulting tour of Alaska, which included another disgraceful speech, from Monday, 31st August, through Wednesday, 2nd September.  In his speech to the Arctic Conference in Anchorage, the President claimed that “[F]ew things will disrupt our lives as profoundly as climate change.  Few things can have as negative an impact on our economy as climate change.”   

The President’s speech was full of high-sounding sentiments as well as the usual junk science and even junkier economics, but he couldn’t resist a few low blows: “So the time to heed the critics and the cynics and the deniers is past.  The time to plead ignorance is surely past.  Those who want to ignore the science, they are increasingly alone.  They’re on their own shrinking island.” 

President Obama used Alaska as a backdrop for his climate agenda, while carefully avoiding sights of any of the damaging effects of his policies on Alaskans.  He did not visit King Cove in the Aleutians, where the refusal of the Department of the Interior to allow building an eleven-mile road to the nearest town with access to medical care endangers the lives of its residents whenever bad weather makes helicopter and boat travel impossible.  He did not visit the site of the proposed Pebble Mine, which the EPA is blocking.  He did not visit the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where he adamantly opposes oil production.

Instead, President Obama looked at a receding glacier and became the first sitting president to travel north of the Arctic Circle.  He also cleverly announced that Mount McKinley would be officially re-named Denali.  The name of the National Park created in 1917 that contains the highest mountain in North America was re-named Denali in 1980.  Rather than change some of his administration’s destructive policies, the president opted to please Alaskans with this cheap symbolism.

While the trip did gain widespread media coverage for the President’s climate agenda, it also raised claims of hypocrisy from environmental pressure groups.  They noted that while he was talking climate, his administration was going ahead with allowing oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea.

A more substantive setback occurred at the Arctic Conference.  It concluded with the signing of a declaration on climate change and the necessity for action.  Russia, China, and India declined to sign the declaration. The President in his speech to the conference had touted his climate agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which was signed last year in Beijing. 

Around the World
Myron Ebell

UN Climate Negotiators Make Slow Progress in Bonn This Week

Another week of UN climate negotiations ended in Bonn, Germany, on 4th September with expressions of mild optimism that progress was being made from negotiators and environmental groups.  The most upbeat assessment came from Dan Reifsnyder, co-chairman of the negotiations and a senior U. S. State Department official.  Reifsnyder said: "We've achieved an enormous amount of clarity in this session."

The World Resources Institute said in a press release: “In Bonn, countries made important progress in crafting the core architecture of the global agreement.  Negotiators had meaningful discussions on key elements, such as whether to regularly ramp up countries’ commitments and set long-term goals to phase out emissions and enhance climate resilience.”

Informal negotiations will continue behind the scenes throughout the fall, but only one more official session is currently scheduled before the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21) convenes in Paris on 30th November.  That session is set for Bonn from 19th to 23rd October. The Paris Accord, a new international climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, is supposed to be signed before COP-21 ends on 11th December.

Despite the claims of progress in the Bonn negotiations, Fiona Harvey reported in the Guardian that a group of senior international figures have called on world leaders to intervene in the negotiations to overcome multiple obstacles in the way of an agreement. The letter from “The Elders” urges heads of state to use the UN Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled for 25th-27th September at UN Headquarters in New York City, “to inject new urgency into the Paris negotiations.  Give your negotiators the mandate to draft a binding international agreement under the UNFCCC which will limit the increase in average global temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius.”

 Ten Major Energy Companies Support Paris Accord, But 18 Don’t

CDP—formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project—this week announced in a press release that: “Disclosures from thousands of the world’s largest listed companies reveal that many of the most significant producers of fossil fuels support an international deal that will limit warming to 2 degrees as an outcome of the upcoming UN climate conference, COP-21.” However, the list of the top 28 energy companies released by CDP reveals a mixed picture. 

CDP asked the following question: “Would your organization’s board of directors support an international agreement between governments on climate change, which seeks to limit global temperature rise to under 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels in line with IPCC scenarios such as RCP2.6?”  By my count, ten energy corporations answered Yes.

The ten top energy companies that support a strong Paris Accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are: Anglo American, BG Group, BHP Billiton, Eni SpA, Gazprom, Repsol, Royal Dutch Shell, Sasol, Statoil, and Total.  None of these is an American company.

But CDP listed the response from 18 other companies as either “No opinion,” “Blank,” or “Non public disclosure.”  These companies are: Anadarko Petroleum, Apache, BP, Chevron, China Petroleum and Chemical, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy, Ecopetrol Sa, Exxon Mobil, Glencore, Hess, Lukoil, Occidental Petroleum, Petrochina, Petrobras, Rio Tinto, RWE, and Suncor Energy.  Eight of these companies are American.

But CDP’s survey shows that many non-energy companies support the Paris Accord: “CDP data shows that companies that have formulated an opinion on a global climate deal are overwhelmingly in support: 805 companies answer yes, versus 111 that said no.  A high number of companies (1,075) state that they have no opinion, and 331 did not answer the question.”

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,


Watchdog - Hey EPA, it's hard to miss a bright-orange river  

The EPA created a disaster in Colorado:
Who will hold the agency to account?


Unheeded warnings, a devastated water source, rank hypocrisy... The more we learn about the EPA-caused spill that released millions of gallons of toxic waste from Colorado's Gold King Mine, the worse it looks for the federal agency charged with keeping our environment clean and healthy.




Read more about how Watchdog is holding the EPA accountable for the environmental disaster it caused in Colorado

A Note From Our President

Dear Reader,

By now you’ve probably heard about the disastrous EPA-caused spill that released three million gallons of toxic waste from a mine into Colorado’s Animas River, a tributary that feeds into a major water supply for Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. In the aftermath, the Obama administration, the EPA, and its supporters tried furiously to downplay the damage, but it’s hard to gloss over a bright-orange river full of pollutants.

Our Watchdog reporting team has provided comprehensive, no-nonsense coverage of the environmental disaster, asking the hard questions and exposing the EPA's hypocrisy. One story in particular that garnered national attention, being featured on and other prominent outlets, was Tori Richards' interview with the owner of the mine, who revealed his ten year battle to keep the EPA off of his land. When he refused back in 2010, citing the agency's history of toxic pollution, the EPA threatened to fine him $35,000 a day until he relented, so he threw up the white flag. Five years later, we're realizing the nightmare that he fought to prevent.

“If a private company had done this, they would’ve been fined out of existence,” he said, highlighting the hypocrisy that our energy reporter, Rob Nikolewski, has exposed in his coverage of private companies that have been hit with huge fines for their own accidental spills. Just like private companies, sometimes the government makes big mistakes. That's why Watchdog makes it a key priority to hold agencies like the EPA accountable for the consequences of their actions.

Best regards,

Erik Telford

P.S. Help us keep up the fight for a free press. Click here to donate.


Texas Watchdog’s “bullet-proof” coverage of the UT admissions scandal

Something strange happened when the Dallas Observer ran an article about the latest developments in the ongoing University of Texas admissions scandal. (Click here to read the details)


Franklin Center fellow Jillian Kay Melchior named Tony Blankley Chair for Steamboat Institute

Franklin Center's Jillian Kay Melchior, was selected as Fellow for the Steamboat Institute’s Tony Blankley Chair for Public Policy and American Exceptionalism. (For more details click here)


Watchdog’s victory in Maine: Sometimes success takes time

Nearly five years ago, one of our reporters caught Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) engaging in the “do as I say, not as I do” behavior that too often comes naturally to our elected officials. (Click here to read the full story)


CEI Today: Regulation without representation, Labor Day, Russia & climate change, and more 

Thursday, September 3, 2015
In the News Today



How to fix regulation without representation


If agencies know that Congress has the ability to check rogue rulemaking, they may be less likely to issue unilateral rules in the first place, further reducing the potential burden on both Congress and the public. > Read the Hill commentary

> Interview an expert



This Labor Day, which marks an historical recognition of American workers dating back to the late 19th Century, is a time to take stock of the state of labor and the modern day role of labor unions.

A set of three CEI studies - “The High Cost of Big Labor” - examines the economic impact of labor policies on U.S. states, including right to work and collective bargaining laws.

The Unintended Consequences of Collective Bargaining


An Interstate Analysis of Right to Work Laws


Understanding Public Pension Debt



Obama’s Alaska Trip: Do We Have a Climate Change Problem or a Russia Problem?

The Obama administration, it seems, is worried about Russia’s expanding presence in the Arctic, but wants the public to think we have a climate change problem rather than a Russia problem.> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis



America's Six Worst Attorneys General

State attorneys general (AGs) are their state’s chief lawyer, tasked with representing state agencies in court, defending state laws, and giving legal advice to state officials. But in recent years, many AGs have taken on a role as self-serving politicians who neglect these duties and instead seek to expand their own power — from using their office to enrich themselves or their trial lawyer friends to filing lawsuits attacking political opponents or law-abiding businesses. > Read more

> Interview Hans Bader

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Watchdog - EPA refuses to spill details  


Watchdog - Same-gender schools are improving academic performance