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Entries in Global Warming (295)


CEI Today: Obamacare confession, subprime auto loans, and Fidel Castro & global warming 

Monday, July 28, 2014
In the News Today


OBAMACARE ARCHITECT SAYS STATES LOSE SUBSIDIES Obamacare Architect Admitted in 2012 States without Exchanges Lose Subsidies

Last week, an unprecedented circuit split emerged in Halbig v. Burwell and King v. Burwell over whether health insurance premium assistance is available in states that didn’t set up health insurance exchanges. Many commentators have since claimed that there’s no way Congress intended to deny premium assistance to residents of the 36 so-called “refusenik” states that have not set up their own health insurance exchanges.

But in January 2012, Jonathan Gruber—an MIT economics professor whom the The New York Times has called “Mr. Mandate” for his pivotal role in helping the Obama administration and Congress draft the Affordable Care Act—told an audience at Noblis that:

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill.  > Read more

See also:

Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare's Insider Testimony;
An architect of the health law backs up the critics on subsidies.

CEI Podcast for July 24, 2014: Victory in Halbig v. Burwell

> Interview an expert

SUBPRIME AUTO LOANS - JOHN BERLAU Subprime Auto Concerns Caused by Government Intervention

Should we worry about a crisis in subprime auto loans? That question has been asked in the financial media lately.

My answer is yes, with caveats. While there are important differences in the auto and mortgage markets, there are similar government interventions that have the potential to fuel a bubble in car loans the same way they did for home loans. > Read more

> See also: CNBC Raising the red flag on subprime auto loans

> Interview John Berlau

Wasted in Margarita Island: Hugo Chavez as Climate Action Hero (Some People Say There’s a Capitalist to Blame)

The top story in international climate news this week is the Margarita Declaration issued in the name of 130 ‘social’ (non-governmental) organizations participating in the July 15-18 Social Pre-COP meeting on Margarita Island, Venezuela. The groups don’t sign the document, so we don’t know which (or how many) of them actually endorse it. Basically it’s a rant demanding that ‘social’ organizations have more clout in climate treaty negotiations. The Margarita Declaration is an anti-Western harangue in the style of Fidel Castro.
> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis


The High Cost of Big Labor - a three part series

An Interstate Analysis of Right to Work Laws

Understanding Public Pension Debt


Apply for CEI's Journalism Fellowship!

CEI's Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellowship is a one-year fellowship that aims to provide journalists the opportunity to improve their knowledge of free markets principles and limited government through interaction with CEI policy experts. >


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Saturday, 10am ET




Cooler Heads Digest 27 June 2014 

27 June 2014


  • The Texas Public Policy Foundation this month published a new study by Kathleen Hartnett White titled, “Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case.” Click here to read the report.
  • The Digest will not be published next Friday, July 4. Happy Independence Day.

In the News

$10,000 Bet on Climate Change: Asking the Wrong Question
E. Calvin Beisner, Master Resource, 26 June 2014

ISIS and Doing Stupid S---
David Kreutzer, The Hill, 26 June 2014

House Committee Moves Secret Science Bill; Greens Fret
William Yeatman, Global, 26 June 2014

EPA Employees Told To Stop Pooping in Hallway (actual title!)
Eric Katz, Fedblog, 25 June 2014

EPA Joins IRA Lost E-mails Club
Erica Martinson, Politico, 25 June 2014

On Climate Change, Who Are the Real ‘Deniers’?
Cal Thomas, Washington Examiner, 25 June 2014

Global Warming Believers Deny Reality
Richard Rahn, Washington Times, 23 June 2014

Greenpeace in Financial Disarray
Adam Vaughan, Guardian, 23 June 2014

Act Locally, Wish Globally
Kevin Williamson, National Review Online, 23 June 2014

News You Can Use
Poll: More Than Half of Americans Don’t Believe in AGW

Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch this week reported on a new Pew Research Center poll showing that 35 percent of Americans say there is not enough solid evidence that mankind is warming the Earth, while another 18 percent says the world has warmed due to “natural patterns” and not human activity. That’s a 53 percent majority against AGW.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Supreme Court Talks Tough, Then Turns EPA Loose

The Supreme Court on Monday, 23rd June, handed down its decision on the appeal of the EPA’s endangerment finding. The court’s decision was written by Justice Antonin Scalia.  He used very strong language several times to scold the Environmental Protection Agency for wanting to expand their regulatory authority beyond statutory limits.  For example, on page 19, Scalia writes:

“The fact that EPA’s greenhouse-gas-inclusive interpretation of the PSD and Title V triggers would place plainly excessive demands on limited governmental resources is alone a good reason for rejecting it; but that is not the only reason. EPA’s interpretation is also unreasonable because it would bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization. When an agency claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate ‘a significant portion of the American economy,’ Brown & Williamson, 529 U. S., at 159, we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism. We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance.’”

That sounds good, and many opponents of the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act have hailed the decision as finally pushing back against the EPA.  The Wall Street Journal, for example, called the decision “a constitutional tutorial for Obama” and “a smackdown” and claimed that “the Justices feed several major climate regulations into the wood chipper.”

That is the rhetoric of Scalia’s majority decision, but the substance is quite different.  As Scalia notes, the Court’s decision allows the EPA to regulate 83% of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources instead of the 86% that EPA proposed to regulate.  My CEI colleague, William Yeatman, offers expert commentary on

The opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, with the concurrence of Justice Clarence Thomas, is much more coherent and well-reasoned than Scalia’s decision.  It is worth reading and can be found at the end of the Supreme Court’s online post.

Obama Celebrates First Anniversary of Climate Plan

President Barack Obama marked the first anniversary of his climate action plan on 25th June by speaking at the annual fundraising dinner of the League of Conservation Voters.  It was a bland speech except for his excoriation of climate change deniers in Congress.  The president once again did not mention that he never mentioned that he would concentrate on climate policies in his second term during his 2012 re-election campaign.  

On the same day White House officials and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew met with Tom Steyer, the California billionaire who has spent millions opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline and promises to spend $100 million more to elect Democrats to the Senate this fall, and Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary and former head of Goldman Sachs. They discussed a new report that their group, Risky Business, released this week on the economic risks of global warming, particularly for big business.  The other principal in Risky Business is Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City. I never mention Paulson without pointing out that CEI actively opposed his confirmation as Treasury Secretary in the waning years of the George W. Bush administration. 

The visit by Steyer and Paulson to the White House was a bit too much even for Democrats in Congress who are trying to get re-elected by accusing billionaires Charles and David Koch of trying to buy the election for Republicans.  An unnamed House Democrat told the Washington Examiner, “It stinks.” 

House Passes Energy Bills for Senate to Ignore

The House of Representatives this week passed three access-to-energy bills.  H. R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act, was sent to the Senate, where it will die, by a vote of 229 to 185. The bill directs the Department of Interior to expand oil production in federal offshore areas and in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

H. R. 6, the Domestic Freedom and Global Prosperity Act, was sent to the Senate on a 266 to 150 vote. The bill expedites the permitting process for liquefied natural gas export terminals.  It was sponsored by Representative Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).   He is running for the Senate against incumbent Mark Udall (D-Colo.).  After Gardner introduced his bill, Udall quickly followed by introducing a similar bill in the Senate. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been doing his best to keep his Democratic majority by not holding votes on anything, but he may have to allow a vote on Udall’s bill.  The Hill newspaper reported this week that Reid’s strategy may be starting to hurt endangered Democratic incumbents. It pointed out that Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska), elected in 2008 and up for re-election this November, has never been allowed a floor vote on any amendment he has offered. Many other Senators have had the same experience. 

H. R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, was sent to the Senate, where it will die, by a vote of 233 to 173. The bill reforms the process for permitting pipelines that cross national boundaries by, among other things, removing the president from the decision-making process.

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Judge Requires Social Cost of Carbon in NEPA Analysis

According to a story by Manuel Quinones in Environment and Energy PM ($), a federal judge in Colorado has blocked the expansion of a coal mine operated by Arch Coal because the Bureau of Land Management did not give an adequate reason for not including an analysis of the social cost of the carbon dioxide emissions that the coal from the mine would produce in its Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act.  The suit was filed by Wild Earth Guardians, the Sierra Club, and High Country Conservation Advocates. 

Around the World
Patrick Hannaford

Australia Set To Repeal Carbon Tax

Australia has taken another step towards repealing its carbon tax, with the Liberal and National Parties Coalition government this week securing the votes for its signature legislation to pass the Senate.

Set to hold 33 out of 76 seats when the new Senate, which was elected last fall,  takes office in July, the Coalition will depend on the support of a collection of independent and minor party Senators in order to fulfil its election promise.

That support was secured on Thursday, with an agreement between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and newly elected MP, Clive Palmer, whose Palmer United Party (PUP) is set to control 4 votes in the Senate.

Mr. Palmer agreed to support repeal of the carbon tax, on the condition the legislation ensured that savings be passed on to consumers. However, in a characteristically inconsistent decision, Mr Palmer announced that the PUP will vote against the abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Climate Change Authority, and the Renewable Energy Target – all set up in conjunction with the carbon tax.

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,


CEI Today: Ex-Im Bank scandal, Supreme Court on broadband and global warming, and more 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
In the News Today


EX-IM BANK SCANDAL - RYAN YOUNG Ex-Im’s Invitation to Corruption

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that four Ex-Im employees have been removed or suspended in recent months, “amid investigations into allegations of gifts and kickbacks.” These corruption allegations offer another reason to end the Export-Import Bank. Fortunately, the Bank’s charter expires on September 30. If Congress doesn’t vote to extend that charter, the Bank will automatically cease to exist, and the Treasury Department will wind down Ex-Im’s $140 billion portfolio. > Read more


> Interview Ryan Young

Supreme Court Ruling Expected in Broadband TV Case

A forthcoming Supreme Court ruling will impact how consumers view broadcast television. CEI and ICLE filed a joint amicus brief in American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo, Inc. arguing that federal copyright laws protect ABC and other owners of broadcast television programs from unauthorized, uncompensated retransmissions, including those made by Aereo to paying subscribers. This case implicates not only broadcast television, but also nearly all audiovisual works publicly distributed free of charge, whether initially transmitted over cable television or the Internet. > View the amicus

> Interview an expert

Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (UARG v. EPA), striking down the EPA’s “tailoring rule,” but reaffirming the agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) was a co-petitioner in the case with Southeastern Legal Foundation.

"With today’s decision in UARG, we at least have established a line in the sand regarding deference to agency decision making: The agency will not be permitted to blatantly re-write laws," said CEI Senior Fellow William Yeatman.
> Read more

Apply for CEI's Journalism Fellowship!

CEI's Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellowship is a one-year fellowship that aims to provide journalists the opportunity to improve their knowledge of free markets principles and limited government through interaction with CEI policy experts. >


Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!




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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!



CEI President Lawson Bader


1984 was an enlightening year

Saturday, 10am ET


An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State




CEI Today: TSA body scanners, White House hot air, GOP & labor unions, and more 

Friday, June 20, 2014
In the News Today


TSA BODY SCANNERS - MARC SCRIBNER One Year Later: TSA Still Flouting the Law on Body Scanners


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses more than 700 full-body imaging scanners in 160 airports nationwide. In addition to the empirical evidence that shows they don’t actually make us safer and the questions on the intrusion of traveler privacy, the TSA is violating the federal Administrative Procedure Act. Next Tuesday, June 24, marks the one-year anniversary of the public comment deadline on body scanners and the TSA is still failing to comply with federal law and a federal court’s order. > Read more


> Interview Marc Scribner

Back on June 6th, OSTP (the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) officially declined to reexamine its highly-publicized January explanation for the extremely cold winter. In a Data Quality correction petition that we filed with OSTP in April, we pointed out that the body of evidence supporting OSTP Director John Holdren's claim was in fact shrinking, not growing. But OSTP ducked the issue, claiming that its Director had only been expressing his “personal opinion”, and that therefore the Data Quality Act didn’t apply.

So today we filed an appeal with OSTP of its decision.
> Read more


The Hill: Republicans sell out free-market principles for union favors


“The Norwegians are coming!”

That’s hardly a call to send Americans scurrying to the barricades. But if a labor union has its way, American travelers would face fewer choices and higher fares for reasons just as silly. So far, they appear to be winning the war, with the Republican-controlled House adopting a package last week containing an amendment from Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) designed to prevent a Norwegian low-cost airline from operating in the United States.
> Read more

> Interview an expert

REAGAN & THE EX-IM BANK - RYAN YOUNG Ex-Im Reauthorization Fight: Release the Reagan

The Export-Import Bank is up for reauthorization in September. If the vote fails in Congress, the Bank and its $140 billion portfolio will cease to exist. In an effort to appeal to free-market types who oppose Ex-Im, the Aerospace Industries Association is invoking Ronald Reagan.

A page two ad in today’s Politico and an accompanying fact sheet sent to every member’s office on Capitol Hill prominently feature Reagan’s image and include quotes of the Gipper praising Ex-Im.
And yet Reagan was no fan of the Export-Import Bank, and said so publicly. > Read more


>Interview Ryan Young

Apply for CEI's Journalism Fellowship!

CEI's Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellowship is a one-year fellowship that aims to provide journalists the opportunity to improve their knowledge of free markets principles and limited government through interaction with CEI policy experts. >


Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!




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,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!


CEI celebratesits 30th anniversary this year. Founder and Chairman Fred Smith talks about CEI's past and future successes. > Listen to the podcast


Saturday, 10am ET


This week is RealClear Radio Hour's 6 month anniversary! Have you tuned in?



CEI President Lawson Bader


CEI sues the NSA

An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State




Cooler Heads Digest 20 June 2014 

20 June 2014

In the News

India Takes Action against Eco-Colonialism
Iain Murray, Open Market, 20 June 2014

John Holdren’s Bi-Polar Vortex, Part 2
Sam Kazman, WattsUpWithThat, 20 June 2014

Global Warming of the Earth’s Surface Has Decelerated
Matt Rogers, Washington Post, 20 June 2014

At VA, Solar Panels Are Priority #1
Washington Times editorial, 19 June 2014

Another Obama Policy Failure: Canada Approves New Oil Pipeline to Pacific Coast
Ronald Bailey, Reason Hit & Run, 18 June 2014

Attack of the Energy Snobs
Orange County Registereditorial, 18 June 2014

Fighting Executive Fiat on Climate
Paul Driessen, Master Resource, 17 June 2014

Obama Flunks Climate Science 101 at University of California, Irvine
James Delingpole, Breitbart, 15 June 2014

On Key Clean Air Act Interpretation, NRDC Cynically Reverses Itself
William Yeatman,, 14 June 2014

News You Can Use
Greenpeace Gambles Away $5.2 Million in Donor Money

Greenpeace announced this week that it has lost $5.2 million in donations on currency speculation.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

House and Senate Committees Hold Hearings on EPA’s Power Plant Rule  

House and Senate committees held hearings this week on the EPA’s proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.  On the House side, a subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee took testimony from Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator of air and radiation at the EPA. On the Senate side, a subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee heard from four former administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency in Republican administrations who support the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.  

Republican members of the Energy and Commerce Committee tried several lines of attack with McCabe. She gave no ground, but she also provided very few direct answers.  McCabe insisted that the EPA was not waging war on coal.  This incredible claim was echoed in a video interview that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy gave to Politico.  We shall see whether President Barack Obama repeats their denials of waging war on coal when he addresses the annual dinner of the League of Conservation Voters next week. 

It was slightly embarrassing to listen to former EPA Administrators William Ruckelshaus, Christine Todd Whitman, William K. Reilly, and Lee Thomas testify before the Senate. Congressional Democrats trot them out on a regular basis to try to embarrass congressional Republicans: “You see, even Republicans who ran EPA support EPA.”  The four Republican former administrators are pathetically eager to please because getting to testify makes them feel relevant.

By far the best testimony at the Senate hearing was given by Luther Strange, the attorney general of Alabama.  He laid out a compelling case for why the EPA’s regulation of carbon dioxide emissions under section 111d of the Clean Air Act is illegal.

Murray Energy takes up one of Attorney General Strange’s main lines of argument in a suit filed on 18th June in the federal DC Circuit Court of Appeals.  Murray Energy, a privately held company that has become one of the biggest coal producers in the U. S., argues that the Clean Air Act does not allow regulation of power plants under section 111d that are already being regulated under section 112.  Legal challenges to proposed regulations are not usually heard by federal courts because the regulations are likely to be modified as a result of expert comments received.  However, the Murray Energy filing argues that their appeal is ripe because whatever regulation is finally proposed will violate the law and that waiting until the rule is final will be highly damaging economically.

Landrieu Bill To Permit Keystone Pipeline Passes Committee, But Won’t Get Floor Vote

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on 18th June marked up a bill to cut President Barack Obama out of the decision-making process and permit construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to the U. S. The vote was 12 to 10, with all ten Republicans plus Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) voting yes.

Senator Landrieu, who is in a tough re-election race, vowed to push hard for a vote on the Senate floor.  Republicans pointed out that the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is not going to allow a floor vote exposes how ineffective Landrieu is as chairman in promoting pro-energy policies in the face of her own party leader’s obstructionism.

Politico, also on 18th June, ran a big photo on its front page with the headline, “The Dark Side of the Oil Boom.”  The photo accompanied a long, investigative story by Kathryn A. Wolfe and Bob King about the safety threats posed by rapidly increasing rail transport of oil.  Curiously, the article considered the obvious alternative to rail—namely, building more pipelines—only in order to dismiss it:

“But environmentalists who warn about the dangers of crude-by-rail say it would be wrong to turn the issue into an excuse to approve Keystone.  For one thing, the Texas-bound pipeline would replace only part of the train traffic, which has spread its tendrils across the U.S.”

True, but building Keystone would solve part of the problem, and building other pipelines would solve the rest. 

Across the States

Energy Production on Federal Lands Down Again

Production of oil, gas and coal on federal lands and waters fell 7 percent last year, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Overall, domestic oil and gas production is at historical highs—this week, for example, North Dakota for the first time exceeded 1 million of barrels of oil produced per day—but production is taking place mainly on state and private lands, over which the federal government exerts less control.

Around the World

Green Energy Pause Started about Same Time as Global Warming Pause

BP this week released its annual world energy statistical review. Coal's share of world energy consumption topped 30 percent in 2013, the highest level since 1970. The report also shows that the global percentage of non-carbon energy has paused at around 13% since about 1995.

Cooler Heads Coalition

Ray Evans, RIP

With great sadness, we report the death of our long-time friend and colleague N. Ray Evans in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday, 18th June, at the age of 79

Ray was for many decades one of Australia’s leading public intellectuals.  He became involved in a wide range of issues from labor market reform to climate policy.  Ray early saw the threat of international and national energy-rationing policies resulting from global warming alarmism. 

In 1997, Ray was the lead organizer of Countdown to Kyoto, the largest international conference on global warming before the negotiations in December 1997 that led to the Kyoto Protocol.  It was while working at Frontiers of Freedom that I was introduced to Ray by my friend (And now CEI colleague R.J. Smith), who asked us to help organize that conference, which I attended in Canberra, Australia in August 1997. 

Ray became one of the leading voices opposing global warming alarmism and energy-rationing policies, first in his position as an executive at Western Mining Corporation and later in “retirement” as founder and director of the Lavoisier Group. The Lavoisier Group is a member of the Cooler Heads Coalition and is the pre-eminent intellectual opponent of global warming alarmism in Australia.  But he made an impact in the United States and England as well.  The Cooler Heads Coalition assisted a bit when it sponsored a notable briefing by Ray in the U. S. Capitol on the threats to sovereignty posed by international environmental agreements, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

For an example of Ray’s style of public advocacy, read his short pamphlet, Nine Facts About Climate Change.  Ray always expressed his thoughts with great clarity, vigor, and good humor.  

Here is a warm appreciation of Ray by columnist Andrew Bolt, which begins, “A very fine man has died.”  That sums up Ray.  I am one of many, many people who had the great good fortune to know him well and to work with him in a great cause.  Rest in peace, dear friend.

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,