Press Releases

 

Entries in EPA (411)

Monday
Feb272012

CEI Today: EPA endangerment, FDA regulation, alternative fuels 

FDA DRUG REGULATION - GREG CONKO

Medicalprogresstoday.com:FDA's Qnexa Decision and the Value of Benefit/Risk Analysis

 

In a surprise move, the Food and Drug Administration's Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee on Wednesday voted 20 to 2 in favor of recommending approval of the obesity drug Qnexa. If the agency accepts that recommendation and ultimately approves Qnexa, it would become the first new obesity treatment in over a decade. Just a year and a half ago, however, the same committee (though with a slightly different composition) voted 10 to 6 against approving the same drug. What changed their minds?  > Find out at Medical Progress Today

 

COURT HEARS GLOBAL WARMING CASE - SAM KAZMAN & MARLO LEWIS

This week, a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Washington will hear oral arguments in a set of cases seeking to overturn EPA’s regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. CEI legal and policy experts explain why over-turning the EPA is a constitutional imperative.

> See commentary on EPA endangerment

 

ALTERNATIVE FUEL - CHRISTOPHER HORNER

Globalwarming.org: Algae: Forever the Fuel of the Future

I’m still thinking about this algae thing, having been on the road when the hilarity ensued. As I understand it, we’re talking about algae because those stupid Republicans keep saying we should produce more oil domestically if we want to lower the price, since we have so darned much of it. And the President responded, that’s stupid because it won’t be here tomorrow.

We instead should “invest in” algae (see, “invest in” Solyndra, “invest in” Beacon Power, “invest in Ener1″…need I continue?). Because algae will be here…um…well, don’t be a cynic. > Read the full commentary on Globalwarming.org

> Interview Christopher Horner

> Read more on energy and global warming at Globalwarming.org

 

 

HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT HOUR

Saturday, March 31


HAH is an annual event to recognize and celebrate human achievement and innovation. During the hour, participants are asked to listen to music, surf the internet, have a glass of beer, and generally enjoy the fruits of the human mind which would not have been possible in a world where conservation restrains advancement.

HAH can be
celebrated anywhere from 8:30pm to 9:30pm. In addition, CEI will be hosting a celebration at our headquarters in Washington, DC and live streaming our event online.


Join the HAH Facebook group.

 

 

Ten Thousand Commandments

By Wayne Crews

Welcome to The Other National Debt -- The Cost of Regulation


-> Read Today's Decrees

 

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
Feb252012

Cooler Heads Digest 24 February 2012 

24 February 2012

Announcements

The Heartland Institute today released all the emails Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick sent to The Heartland Institute for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining internal Heartland documents. The emails can be found at Fakegate.org.

In the News

Worst Break Up of 2012: The Windustrial Tax Extension
Jackie Moreau, GlobalWarming.org, 24 February 2012

Wind Spin
John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, 24 February 2012

“Stupid” and Oil Prices
Wall Street Journal editorial, 24 February 2012

Climate McCarthysim
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 24 February 2012

Solyndra Leaves an Environmental Mess
Jim McElhatton, Washington Times, 23 February 2012

Pew Poll: Americans Want Keystone XL
Ben Geman, The Hill, 23 February 2012

Just Another Day at Team Green
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 22 February 2012

Tesla Motors Devastating Design Problem
Michael Degusta, Jalopnik, 22 February 2012

Global Warming: The Great Delusion
Matt Patterson, Fox News, 17 February 2012

News You Can Use
$14 Million Stimulus Subsidy Per Green Job

According to a Wall Street Journal investigation published today, there are now 300 Americans employed at 36 wind farms built with $4.3 billion in stimulus spending. That’s $14.3 million in subsidies per job.

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

President Delivers Ironic Energy Speech

On Wednesday in Florida, President Barack Obama grossly misrepresented his record on energy policy in a speech delivered at the University of Miami.

The President first bemoaned the effect of rising fuel costs on average Americans, saying that, “high gas prices are like a tax straight out of your paycheck.” His apparent empathy is belied by his support for a cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme, which makes gas more expensive by design.

Then the President disingenuously took credit for rising oil and gas production in America. While it’s true that there has been a recent increase in production, it occurred despite this Administration’s anti-energy policies. As explained by the Institute for Energy Research, “The reality is that oil production on federal lands is falling, while production on private and state lands is rising.” To put it another way, production is increasing where the President doesn’t have the authority to stop it.

After misattributing to himself credit for increasing oil production, President Obama touted his record on pipelines, telling the audience that, “Over the last three years my administration has approved dozens of new pipelines, including from Canada.” He failed to mention his unpopular refusal to approve the Keystone XL, a 1,700 mile, shovel-ready pipeline from Alberta to Texas that would create thousands of construction jobs, stimulate tens of billions of dollars in business spending, and generate billions of dollars in tax revenues.

Finally, the President pitched an “all of the above” energy strategy. The primary problem with this approach, as my colleague Chris Horner has noted, is that it draws no lines to exclude the uneconomic. By embracing “all” energy sources, taxpayers are on the hook for green energy boondoggles that can’t exist without subsidies.

Reps. Waxman and Markey Pitch Cap-and-Trade as Deficit Reduction

In this morning’s Washington Post, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) pitched cap-and-trade as a means to balance the budget. According to the Congressmen,

“The debate over how to reduce our nation’s debt has been presented as a dilemma between cutting spending on programs Americans cherish or raising taxes on American job creators. But there is a better way: We could slash our debt by making power plants and oil refineries pay for the carbon emissions that endanger our health and environment.”

This statement is absurd. By design, a cap-and-trade policy makes conventional energy more expensive. It is, therefore, functionally equivalent to a tax on a commodity—energy—that is fundamental to every act of economic production. It’s an economy wide tax. In effect, Reps. Waxman and Markey are claiming that a broad consumption tax (cap-and-trade) avoids “the difficult dilemma” of raising taxes, which doesn’t make any sense. Fortunately, these two Congressmen are in the minority party in the House, so their policy idea is a non-starter.

Across the States
Jackie Moreau

NY Supreme Court Supports Town’s Right to Ban Fracking

On Tuesday, the New York Supreme Court upheld the town of Dryden’s (New York) ban on hydraulic fracturing as part of its amended zoning ordinance. The suit had been brought by Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corp., which has invested $5.1 million in leasing and developing 22,000 acres in Dryden. It’s an unfortunate outcome, because the ban is predicated on environmentalist hysteria. Through fact-free propaganda like the documentary Gasland, anti-fossil fuel environmentalists have propagated unfounded allegations that hydraulic fracturing is a threat to utility-scale water supplies. The fear mongering threatens to deprive New Yorkers of a guaranteed economic stimulus, as the State is lucky enough to sit atop the Marcellus Shale, a huge formation of economically recoverable natural gas.  Check out the documentary “The Empire State Divide” to see what’s at stake if this trend continues.  

Around the World
Brian McGraw

Airline Emissions Fight Still Unresolved

Twenty-three countries, including the United States, China, and Russia, met this week in Moscow to discuss potential retaliatory actions against the European Union over its ongoing insistence that foreign airlines that land in European countries be subject to a cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions. You can read the signed agreement here, which discusses potential retaliatory actions including forbidding domestic airlines from participating in the program, charging European airlines a similar fee, or delaying the program until the International Civil Aviation Organization can come up with a similar framework. The E.U. dismissed the threat of retaliation as “hypothetical.”

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
Feb182012

Cooler Heads Digest 17 February 2012 

17 February 2012

Announcements

“The Empire State Divide,” a 22-minute 3-part documentary which examines the decline of rural New York due to the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other environmental regulations that suppress economic growth, is now available on The Foundation for Land and Liberty Website.  On a related note, documentary filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, who created Not Evil Just Wrong and Mine Your Own Business, are working on a movie to rebut “Gasland,” the anti-hydraulic fracturing documentary. The title of the forthcoming film is “Frack Nation.” Learn more at www.fracknation.com about how you can become a co-producer of the film by making a contribution of as little as $1 to help pay for production costs.

In the News

DeSmog Blog’s Bogus Expose of Heartland Institute
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 17 February 2012

Heartland Memo Looking Faker by the Minute
Megan McArdle, The Atlantic, 17 February 2012

Federal Funds Flow to Green Energy Companies with Obama Administration Ties
Carol D. Leonnig & Joe Stephens, Washington Post, 14 February 2012

Why Is Government Subsidizing a $104,000 Car?
William Tucker, American Spectator, 14 February 2012

Regulatory Fatigue
Reed Miller, Master Resource, 14 February 2012

In Case We Forgot: Cheap Gas = Jobs
Vincent Carroll, Denver Post, 13 February 2012

Rep. Markey’s Anti-Keystone Proposal Is Illegal
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 10 February 2012

News You Can Use
Sea Level Fell in 2010

According to NASA satellite data, the global average sea level fell 6 millimeters in 2010.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

House Passes Energy Bill That Includes ANWR and Keystone Pipeline

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday evening, 16th February, for a package of four energy bills that if enacted will greatly expand U. S. oil and natural gas production on federal lands and the Outer Continental Shelf plus permit the Keystone XL pipeline. The omnibus energy bill, H. R. 3408, passed by a vote of 237 to 187.  Twenty-one Democrats voted yes, and twenty-one Republicans voted no.

The most significant provision would require the Department of the Interior to open a small portion of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska’s North Slope to oil and gas exploration.  Producing oil in ANWR has been an issue since Congress enlarged the Refuge in 1980 and allowed oil production in the coastal plain subject to a report from the Department of the Interior that it could be done without compromising the Refuge’s purpose of protecting wildlife.  That report was issued in 1986.  The Congress passed legislation in 1995 to open ANWR, but President Bill Clinton vetoed it.  The House and Senate passed different bills opening ANWR in 2005, but couldn’t agree on the same bill.

The U. S. Geological Survey estimates that the coastal plain contains over ten billion barrels of economically recoverable reserves.  If exploration wells hit oil, production could begin within a few years.  This is important because production in Prudhoe Bay is declining and the Trans Alaska Pipeline is now running at less than half full.  As production continues to decline, at some point the oil will stop flowing in the pipeline.  Producing significant amounts of oil from offshore leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas is quite a few years away because of permitting delays, serial lawsuits filed by environmental pressure groups, and the physical challenges involved in building the necessary offshore infrastructure in the Arctic Ocean.

Another important provision takes the decision to permit the 1700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries out of the President’s hands and essentially orders the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue the permit within thirty days.  President Obama’s decision in mid-January that he was not going to issue the permit because he couldn’t determine whether it was in the national interest has caused a flurry of activity in Canada to start permitting an alternative pipeline from the oil sands to a port on the British Columbia coast, where the oil would be loaded on tankers bound for China and other Asian countries.

Another title in the bill would require the Administration to lease large Outer Continental Shelf tracts for oil and gas exploration off the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf coasts that have the highest potential.  The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish production goals in the 2012-17 OCS plan and provides 37.5% of the federal oil royalties to the States where the oil is being produced offshore.  The fourth title would require the Administration to set rules to begin the development of oil shale in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming.   

Senator Inhofe Files Resolution To Block Utility MACT Rule

The Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency published in the Federal Register its long-delayed Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (or MACT) Rule on Thursday, 16th February.  The Utility MACT Rule sets limits on emissions of mercury, lead, and other heavy metals.  As my CEI colleague William Yeatman has pointed out (more than once), the rule is preposterous.  It has huge costs and no health benefits. 

Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) immediately announced that he was filing a resolution of disapproval of the Utility MACT Rule under the Congressional Review Act (or CRA).  The CRA provides for straight up-or-down votes in the Senate that require only a simple majority to pass, rather than the 60 votes now customary for taking up any controversial bill on the Senate floor.  Moreover, the resolution can be brought to the floor over the objections of the Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.).   If the Senate and the House both vote in favor of the CRA resolution, then it would be sent to President Obama for his signature or, more likely, veto.    

Across the States
William Yeatman

Grid Operator: We Don’t Know If Utility MACT Will Turn Out the Lights

As my colleague Myron Ebell notes above, the Environmental Protection Agency this week published the preposterous Mercury and Air Toxics rule, also known as the Utility MACT. The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission estimates that the regulation would “likely” cause the retirement of 81,000 megawatts of coal fired electricity. Already, the PJM Interconnection, an independent, non-profit entity that operates the electricity grid in the northeast, has warned that the regulation could cause local reliability problems.

This week, the Midwest Independent Service Operator, which operates the grid in 11 mid-western states, became the first regional transmission organization to caution that the Mercury and Air Toxics rule could cause regional reliability issues. MISO's Clair Moeller this week told Inside EPA (subscription required) that the “dominant worry” is how the region will implement the regulation, given that 61,000 of the 71,000 megawatts of electricity generation managed by MISO is powered by coal, and all 61,000 MW of coal would need to either shut down and install controls or retire or shutdown while a replacement natural gas plant is built, all within the same window. EPA’s proposed mercury rule included a reliability assessment, but it was debunked by both FERC and the PJM Connection. According to MISO’s Moeller, “It's hard to know how big the problem actually is.” This means that EPA published the Mercury and Air Toxics rule before it even knew whether the regulation could turn out the lights.

Around the World
Brian McGraw

European Carbon Market Struggling

Launched 7 years ago, the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was meant to provide a reliable price signal to investors, pushing them away from fossil fuels and into carbon-free energy sources. Things haven’t gone as planned. The global recession, as well as a glut of free permits handed out in previous years, has driven the price to emit 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide all the way down to €7, down from €30 per ton in 2008. The current price is too low to justify further investment in non-fossil fuel related energy sources, absent further government mandates.

And mandates the Europeans want. In Europe, when a market doesn’t react the way you think it will react, the preferred fix is to double down rather than back off. A number of green groups, as well as corporations like Shell (which has invested in CCS), are lobbying the EU, asking for either a minimum price floor or a removal of excess permits to drive prices up.

European Union Wants to Create a World Environmental Agency

The European Union, not content with the decline of their own various economies, wants to expand the U.N.’s Environment Programme in a “manner that would give the agency a more explicit mandate to guide global environmental concerns.” According to Energy & Environment News (subscription required), funding for the new World Environment Agency and authority would be boosted to rival that of the International Labour Organization and the World Meteorological Organization. Its mission would be to “provide policy advice” and help guide countries on policies it favors.

The EU will formally make the proposal at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio Earth Summit +20) in June of this year, though it is unlikely that the proposal will have enough support to be adopted.

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
Feb112012

Cooler Heads Digest 10 February 2012

10 February 2012

In the News

Hell, that’s just one month’s work for Sierra Club
Chris Horner, GlobalWarming.org, 10 February 2012

Will DOE’s Fisker Doubts Take Down Its Battery Supplier, Too?
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 10 February 2012

Warming Up to the Idea That Polar Bears Aren’t Worth It
Monica Lewis, Erie Times-News, 9 February 2012

Over-Regulation Fever at the White House
Jon Entine, Forbes, 9 February 2012

Obama’s Amazing Energy Spin Machine
Iain Murray & David Bier, American Spectator, 8 February 2012

Himalayas Lost No Ice in Past 10 Years
Damian Carrington, Guardian, 8 February 2012

The Great Delusion
Matt Patterson, GlobalWarming.org, 7 February 2012

Reverse Protectionism: Waxman/Markey “Fix” for Keystone XL
Marlo Lewis, Master Resource, 6 February 2012

News You Can Use
L.A. Spent $489k in Green Stimulus on Yacht

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is reviewing the Port of Los Angeles’s decision to use $489,000 in green energy stimulus funds to retrofit the Angelena II, a 70-ft. Port-owned yacht used for publicity tours.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

House Ratchets Up Probe of White House Involvement in Solyndra Scandal

Fourteen Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) sent a strongly-worded, five-page letter to the White House on 9th February setting a 21st February deadline for turning over documents related to the White House’s involvement in the Solyndra scandal.   The letter also demands that five officials be made available for interviews by 17th February.   

The letter notes that the Committee requested the relevant documents five months ago and has made every effort to accommodate the White House’s concerns.  As to the reasons why the White House has refused to comply with the committee’s subpoena last fall, the letter notes that the White House has not claimed executive privilege for the withheld documents and demands that if executive privilege is going to be claimed the White House must let the committee know by 21st February.  

The Department of Energy made the first renewable energy loan under the 2009 stimulus bill to solar panel maker Solyndra, which is based in Fremont, California.  The entire $527 million of taxpayer money was lost in August when Solyndra declared bankruptcy.  The largest private investor in Solyndra, George Kaiser, is a major Obama and Democratic Party donor and fundraiser and has been a frequent visitor to the White House during the Obama presidency.     

Across the States
William Yeatman

New Mexico

By a 5-0 vote, the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board on Wednesday repealed a statewide cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme that had been implemented in 2010 by former Governor Bill Richardson. Current Governor Susana Martinez campaigned against the cap-and-trade, and one of her first actions in office was to sack the entire EIB. The Board’s decision and related documents are available here.

West Virginia

Yesterday, Ohio-based utility First Energy Corp. announced that it was shuttering three coal-fired power plants in West Virginia. This follows on the heels of the company’s announcement, three weeks ago, that it would close six coal fired power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. All told, 600 workers will be affected by these decisions, which FirstEnergy Corp. says are necessary in order to comply with EPA’s new Mercury and Air Toxics rule. EPA estimates that the mercury rule will cost $10 billion per year; industry estimates are much higher. EPA’s absurd justification for the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule is to protect America’s supposed population of pregnant, subsistence fisherwomen who consume more than 300 pounds of self-caught fish annually.

Around the World
Brian McGraw

Update: E.U.'s Airline Carbon Tax

On Monday China forbid its airlines from paying the European Union carbon emissions fee that began on January 1, 2012. The E.U. is not backing down, and experts suspect their next move will be imposing fines upon Chinese airlines or perhaps even forbidding them from entering E.U. airspace.

The responses of other countries have been less dramatic. India signaled it will move towards a domestic program to reduce emissions from airlines, which would exempt them from the E.U. provision. Meanwhile, the U.S. airlines are “complying under protest.” Officials from more than 20 countries, including India, China, and the United States, will meet later this month in Russia to discuss a coordinated response to the European Union.

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
Feb042012

Cooler Heads Digest 3 February 2012 

3 February 2012

In the News

EPA: Extreme Punishment Agency
Willie Soon & Paul Driessen, Washington Times, 3 February 2012

Washington Avoids Key Free Enterprise Issues
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 3 February 2012

Update on Chevy Volt Hearing
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 2 February 2012

We Need Wind Subsidies Like We Need VHS Subsidies
Nicolas Loris, The Foundry, 2 February 2012

Climate Controversy in the Wall Street Journal
Patrick Michaels, Cato, 2 February 2012

Republicans and Science
David Klinghoffer, American Spectator, 2 February 2012

Dear James Hansen: Non-Alarmists Are Intellectually Grounded & Well Intentioned
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 1 February 2012

EPA’s Shocking “Oops” Moment
James Taylor, Forbes, 1 February 2012

Sun Down on Green Energy
Andrew McKillop, The Market Oracle, 1 February 2012

D.C. Auto Show: Obama’s Lemons
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 31 January 2012

News You Can Use
Only One Power Plant Meets EPA’s Ridiculous Mercury Rule

The Logan Generating Station in Swedesboro, NJ is the only power plant in America that achieves the emissions limits required by the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxics rule. At $10 billion to $100 billion in annual costs, this regulation is one of the most expensive, ever; its purpose is to protect pregnant fisherwomen who eat at least 300 pounds of self-caught fish per year.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

House Natural Resources Committee Votes To Open ANWR and OCS to Oil Production  

The House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, 1st February, passed three bills to increase oil production on federal lands and offshore areas.  The House Republican leadership plans to include the three bills as provisions in the five-year, $260-billion highway bill that was passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee after a grueling seventeen-hour mark-up that ended at 3 AM on Friday, 3rd February.

H. R. 3407, which passed the committee on a 29 to 13 vote, would open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) on Alaska’s North Slope to oil exploration.  Three Democrats voted for the bill: Representatives Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), and Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico).  No one knows how much oil there may be below ANWR’s coastal plain, but the U. S. Geological Survey estimates recoverable reserves of 11 billion barrels.  That is probably a very conservative estimate.

The second bill, H. R. 3410, would require the Department of the Interior to hold auctions for exploration leases in the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas in the Atlantic and Pacific that are considered to have the largest reserves of oil, including off the coast of southern California.  That bill passed by a 34-19 vote.

The third bill, H. R. 3408, would require new oil shale leases in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.  The committee approved it on a 27-16 vote.

A proposal to designate some of the federal revenues from this new oil production to funding highway projects will also be included in the highway bill.  Highway projects have historically been funded by the 18.5 cents per gallon tax on gasoline, but the gas tax is not bringing in enough revenue to fully fund the highway bill.  Diverting oil royalties to fund highway projects has encountered opposition from several groups across the political spectrum.  CEI’s Marc Scribner argues that adding another dedicated source of funding undermines the user-pays principle upon which the Highway Trust Fund is based.     

House Insisting on Keystone Pipeline

Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced on 3rd February that his committee next week will mark up the bill that requires permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline.  H. R. 3548 takes the decision away from the President and orders the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to permit the 1700-mile pipeline project from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries in Louisiana and Texas.  The House Republican leadership has made it clear that the Keystone bill will be added to the five-year, $260 billion highway bill.  The highway bill was passed out of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at 3 AM on Friday, 3rd February, and is expected to be debated on the House floor the week of 13th February. 

House Republicans are also planning to attach the Keystone language to the payroll tax cut extension bill that must be enacted before the two-month extension passed in December expires at the end of February.  The two-month extension bill required that President Obama make a decision within sixty days.  President Obama denied the Keystone permit on 18th January, but did not base his decision on the national interest as required by the legislation he signed into law. 

This should present Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) with a problem because a number of Democratic Senators support the Keystone pipeline.  Reid and the White House will have to do some arm-twisting to keep the Senate from agreeing to the House’s Keystone provision.

Sierra Club Takes $25 Million from Natural Gas To Attack Coal

Bryan Walsh in Time Magazine broke the big story this week that the Sierra Club received over $25 million from the natural gas industry to serve as a corporate shill for the natural gas industry’s attacks on the coal industry.  Walsh wrote: “TIME has learned that between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club accepted over $25 million in donations from the gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy—one of the biggest gas drilling companies in the U.S. and a firm heavily involved in fracking—to help fund the Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. Though the group ended its relationship with Chesapeake in 2010—and the Club says it turned its back on an additional $30 million in promised donations—the news raises concerns about influence industry may have had on the Sierra Club’s independence and its support of natural gas in the past.”

McClendon and Chesapeake Energy several years ago funded a multi-million dollar advertising campaign against the coal industry called “Face it, coal is filthy.”  Two months ago, it was revealed that McClendon and Chesapeake had given as much as $100 million to the American Lung Association, one of the most reprehensible of the environmental pressure groups, to fund the ALA’s “Fighting for air” disinformation campaign.

The Lighter Side
Myron Ebell

Center for American Progress’s Joe Romm No Show in Debate with Heritage’s David Kreutzer

I and several of my CEI colleagues were looking forward to an informal debate late Friday afternoon on energy policy sponsored by McKinsey and Company, the global consulting firm.  As part of their “Drinks and Debate” series, McKinsey’s Washington, DC office invited David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation and Joe Romm of the Center for American Progress’s Climate Progress blog to make some remarks and then take questions from an audience of around 40 people representing all shades of the political spectrum.  It sounded like a lot of fun because Romm often seems enraged and slightly deranged in his frequent blog posts, but unfortunately Romm cancelled at the last minute.  Our host explained that Romm had pulled out without giving a reason and that his side of the debate would be represented by a bottle of Corona Light.  It was still fun: David Kreutzer gave an engaging and stimulating presentation, as he always does, and the bottle of Corona Light proved to be more rational and less misleading than Romm.     

Across the States
William Yeatman

EPA’s Mercury Rule Already Raising Electricity Prices

Last week, the Cooler Heads Digest reported that Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. would retire six coal-fired power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland, in order to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule. As noted above in News You Can Use, EPA’s mercury rule, which was finalized December 21, is one of the most expensive regulations, ever, and its purpose is to protect America’s supposed population of pregnant, subsistence fisherwomen who eat more than 300 pounds of self-caught fish annually. FirstEnergy Corp. said the decision will affect 530 employees. In addition to causing job losses, the plant closures also will increase electricity prices. Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that electricity prices in Ohio regions serviced by FirstEnergy are expected to double, due to the smaller supply of power engendered by EPA’s mercury regulation.

Around the World
Brian McGraw

Chinese CO2 Emissions Soonn To Be 50% Higher Than U.S. Emissions

According to new research from Ye Qi, a Beijing based professor of environmental policy, Chinese emissions were 20% higher than U.S. emissions in 2010, and are expected to rise to be 50% higher by 2015, as the country continues to develop.

Biofuels Also Expensive in Europe

A new report from Friends of the Earth and Action Aid (a food poverty group) estimates that the European Union’s biofuel program will cost consumers up to $166 billion over the next 8 years. The EU biofuel plan aims to get 10% of transportation energy from biofuels, hydrogen, and renewable energy by 2020. Due to the lack of hydrogen and electric powered vehicles, it is likely that the majority of this will come from various biofuels.

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.