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Entries in Global Warming (320)

Saturday
Apr042015

Cooler Heads Digest 03 April 2015 

3 April 2015

Announcements

The Competitive Enterprise Institute joined Americans for Tax Reform, National Taxpayers Union, and 29 other conservative and free-market organizations in signing a coalition letter in support of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s work with States to contest the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. Read the letter here.

In the News

Dear Gina (and Jerry): Where’s the Climate Science behind Your Plan?
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 3 April 2015

GOP Governors Unwittingly Recruited by Biofuels Lobby
Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, 3 April 2015

EPA and States Square Off over Mercury
Stephen Heins, Public Utilities Fortnightly, 3 April 2015

EPA’s Mercury Rule Would Cost Economy at Least $16 Billion Per Year
Brian Potts, Forbes, 3 April 2015

Scientist Predicts 2015 Is Hottest Year on Record with 9 Months To Go
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 3 April 2015

The Backlash against Obama’s Committing U.S. to International Climate Agreement
Katie Tubb & David Kreutzer, Daily Signal, 2 April 2015

Federal Judge Rejects EPA’s ‘Lack of Jurisdiction’ Argument in Murray Energy Suit
Linda Harris, State Journal, 2 April 2015

7 Questions with John Christy and Roy Spencer: Climate Change Skeptics for 25 Years
Paul Gattis, Birmingham News, 1 April 2015

Tom Steyer’s Group Shutters Climate Policy Arm as Political Efforts Ramp Up
Elana Schor & Andrew Restuccia, Politico, 1 April 2015

German Cabinet Approves Draft Anti-Fracking Law
Nicole Sagener, EUractiv, 2 April 2014

“Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” Author Shares Success in Spreading Message
Taylor Kuykendall, SNL Energy, 31 March 2015

Grasping for Pause-ible Deniability on Climate Change
Greg Jones, The Federalist, 30 March 2015

Climate Sensitivity and Environmental Worries Are Trending Downward
Patrick Michaels & Chip Knappenberger, Cato at Liberty, 27 March 2015

News You Can Use
2014 U.S. Oil Production Increase Was Largest in More Than 100 Years

U.S. crude output increased by a record 1.2 million barrels a day to 8.7 million b/d last year, according to a report published this week by the Energy Information Administration. That is the largest volume increase since 1900, the year the agency began keeping records.

Inside the Beltway

Obama Submits Climate Pledge to UN—But It’s DOA in Senate
Myron Ebell

The Obama Administration submitted its intended nationally-determined contribution (or INDC) to the Paris Accord on 31st March.  Other parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that have made their submissions are: the European Union, Russia, Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, and Gabon.  They are all posted on the UNFCCC web site here.

The five-page U. S. INDC pledges that the United States will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.  The White House proposes to achieve the target through a long list of administrative actions, none of which require new legislation from Congress.  These include: the EPA’s proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing coal and natural gas-fired power plants; Corporate Average Fuel Economy (or CAFÉ) standards for cars, light trucks, and heavy-duty trucks; a long list of new energy efficiency standards for appliances, equipment, and building codes; and regulations to reduce methane emissions from landfills and the oil and gas sector.

Although these regulatory policies do not require new legislation, the submission does not mention that the Clean Air Act regulations on power plants may not survive legal challenges or congressional opposition.  There is majority opposition to the EPA’s power plant rules in both the House and Senate.  Moreover, all of these policies require the co-operation of Congress through the appropriations process. 

Still to be determined in the negotiations on the Paris Accord, which are scheduled to conclude at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (or COP-21) in December in Paris, is the nature of the agreement.  The negotiating text says that it will take “the form of a protocol, another legal instrument, or an ‘agreed outcome with legal force,” and will be applicable to all parties.  This sounds like the Paris Accord, whatever form it takes, will be legally binding.  If so, it seems inescapable that U. S. participation will require Senate ratification.  But that is just what the Obama Administration’s highly experienced negotiators in the State Department are trying to avoid.  They learned from the Kyoto Protocol, which was doomed in the Senate from the moment the negotiations were concluded in December 1997.  Ratification requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate.  

The fact that Senate ratification requires a two-thirds majority vote means that the Paris Accord is almost certainly dead on arrival in the current Senate.  That’s why Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, told the Daily Caller: “The Obama administration’s pledge to the United Nations today will not see the light of day with the 114th Congress.” Sen. Inhofe’s full remarks are available in the committee’s press release. Here are articles on the submission in the New York Times and the Washington Times.

EPW Republicans to McCarthy: Is EPA Climate Science Consistent with Data?
Marlo Lewis

At a March 4 Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee hearing, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) queried EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about climate change impacts, global temperatures, and climate models. McCarthy opined that droughts and storms are becoming more frequent worldwide, but had no data to back up her opinion when Sen. Sessions cited conflicting evidence.

In addition, although apparently unaware of the growing divergence between climate model predictions and observations, McCarthy was confident it was irrelevant to EPA’s assessment of climate change risks (i.e. the scientific rationale for the administration’s climate policies). She did, however, promise to provide written answers to Sen. Sessions “within a few days.” See 1:30-6:57 of this video clip.

On April 1, Sessions and three other EPW Republicans (Inhofe of Oklahoma, Wicker of Mississippi, and Barrasso of Wyoming) sent a letter reminding McCarthy of her promise and stating their questions in more detail.

Citing the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment and other information, the Senators challenge McCarthy to substantiate her views and the accuracy of climate models with respect to drought, storms, and global temperatures.

Sen. Sessions’s press release, which includes the text of the letter, is available here. 

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
Mar212015

Cooler Heads Digest 20 March 2015 

20 March 2015

Announcements

The Competitive Enterprise invites you to celebrate Human Achievement Hour by turning on your lights from 8:30 to 9:30 PM on Saturday, 28th March.  This celebration of human progress and advancement is an alternative to “Earth Hour,” the annual event calling on people and business to turn off their lights for an hour as a symbolic gesture against climate change. Learn how to participate further here.

In the News

Lawmaker: Protect Coal Plants To Help the Manatees
Sean Cockerham, Miami Herald, 20 March 2015

Bob Murray’s Mission To Save the Coal Industry (subscription required)
Timothy Puko, Wall Street Journal, 19 March 2015

The First Gasoline Tax: Less Than Romantic
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 19 March 2015

Iowa and Ethanol
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger, 19 March 2015

The Implications for Climate Sensitivity of Bjorn Stevens’s New Aerosol Forcing Paper
Nicholas Lewis, Climate Audit, 19 March 2015

The Guardian’s Editor-in-Chief Hits Peak Stupid
James Delingpole, Breitbart, 18 March 2015

A Wisconsin Response to EPA about the Clean Power Plan
Stephen Heins, WisPolitics.com, 18 March 2015

EPA Wants To Monitor How Long Hotel Guests Spend in the Shower
Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon, 17 March 2015

Ezra Klein Calls on Al Gore To Run for President
Jesse Walker, Hit and Run, 17 March 2015

The Costliest EPA Rule Yet
Margo Thorning, Washington Times, 15 March 2015

Kissing the Ring of King Corn
Bill Tucker, Forbes, 14 March 2015

News You Can Use
No Twisters in March for 1st Time Since 1969

No tornados were reported in the U.S. during March for the first time since 1969.

Inside the Beltway

Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe Blasts Clean Power Plan
Marlo Lewis

Sparks flew at the House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on 17th March when experts clashed over the legality of EPA’s so-called “Clean Power” Plan (CPP) – the agency’s proposed regulation to cap carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from state electric power sectors.  The main fireworks were provided by Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe

Professor Tribe denounced the CPP as an illegal power grab: “EPA is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta: usurping the prerogatives of the States, Congress and the Federal Courts all at once. Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy.” A few excerpts from Tribe’s 60-page testimony must here suffice to explain the “unconstitutional trifecta.”

Under the CPP, Tribe said: “EPA would not simply regulate emissions, but would also reach out to oversee electricity production, consumption, and distribution within each State – matters that have always been deemed to be wholly within a State’s powers.” The Clean Air Act provides no authority to regulate electricity markets, and the Federal Power Act gives States “exclusive jurisdiction over intrastate electricity matters.”

Tribe continued: “Such a power-grab . . . would allow an unelected agency not meaningfully answerable to the American people to make fundamentally legislative choices – and to avoid political accountability for doing so.”

This is remarkable because of Tribe’s status as a liberal legal icon.  Tribe is perhaps the leading exponent of a living or evolving Constitution.  He has argued 36 cases before the Supreme Court.  Tribe taught President Obama constitutional law and employed him as a research assistant for two years.  And he actively supported Obama’s presidential campaigns and called him “the best student I ever had.”

House Passes Two EPA Science Reform Bills
Myron Ebell

The House of Representatives this week passed two bills that would try to reform the Environmental Protection Agency’s flagrant misuse of science in formulating regulations. The Secret Science Reform Act, H. R. 1030, passed by a vote of  passed by a vote of 241 to 175.  Four Democrats joined 237 Republicans in voting Yes.  Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) was the only Republican voting No. 

The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, H. R. 1029, passed on a 236 to 181 vote.  Two Democrats voted Yes, and again Rep. Gibson was the lone Republican No vote.  The bill would improve the way experts are chosen for the EPA’s scientific advisory boards.

The Secret Science Reform Act would prohibit the EPA from basing policy on scientific studies and data that are not publicly available.  Unfortunately, it would not apply retroactively.  The EPA has made outlandish claims for the health benefits of Clean Air Act regulations based on two large epidemiological studies based on secret data.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has promised Congress several times while under oath to share the data with Congress, but has failed to keep her promise.  The House Science Committee has subpoenaed the data, but the EPA has refused to comply.  

As House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) wrote in a blog post: “Regulations should not be based on undisclosed data.  American taxpayers have a right to see the data and determine for themselves if these regulations are based on sound science or a partisan agenda.  But American taxpayers and Congress are not the only ones who have been left in the dark. The data in question have not been subjected to scrutiny and analysis by independent scientists. This third-party review process is necessary to ensure that the information being used is both scientifically sound and beneficial to the American people.”

The White House has threatened a presidential veto of both bills.  Apparently, the most open and transparent administration in history does not believe that the public has a right to know whether scientific research supports their regulatory agenda.  The reason for that is simple: it doesn’t.   

Obama Orders Federal Government To Cut Its Own Emissions by 40%
Myron Ebell

President Barack Obama on 19th March signed an executive order directing the federal government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 2008 levels by 2025.  In addition, the President ordered that the federal government get 30% of its electricity from renewable sources and cut carbon dioxide emissions from its vehicle fleet by 30% by 2025.

Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, attacked the President’s action as “a move to advance his personal agenda on climate at the cost of hardworking American taxpayers.”  I agree, but I think the Congress could achieve the President’s goals in a way that would benefit taxpayers and boost the economy by undertaking a massive reduction in the size and scope of the federal government.  They could start by replacing a lot of pickup trucks driven by federal land agency employees with bicycles.   

BLM Releases Final Fracking Rule
Myron Ebell

The Bureau of Land Management on 20th March released its final rule on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. Predictably, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, complained that the rule is unnecessary because States already regulate fracking on federal and private land and that it will increase costs and delays in producing oil and gas on federal land. Chairman Bishop is of course completely correct, but he fails to acknowledge that the Obama Administration’s goal is to lower oil and gas production on federal land and these new regulations will help achieve that goal.   

Across the States
William Yeatman

Sen. Majority Leader McConnell Launches “Just Say No” Campaign on Clean Power Plan

The Clean Air Act establishes a State-Federal partnership. Under this “cooperative federalism” regulatory regime, EPA sets nation-wide standards, and the States are responsible for implementing the standards. However, if a State decides that it would prefer to spend its limited resources on a policy area other than air quality improvement, it has a constitutional right to do nothing, and instead allow the federal government to implement the standards.

On March 4th, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)published an op-ed urging States to “Just Say No” to implementing EPA’s “Clean Power Plan.”  And in an open letter to governors published this week, Sen. McConnell elaborated on his strategy. He reasoned that the rule is an illegal power grab, and that a do-nothing strategy by the States would give Congress and the courts time to stop the regulation. To this end, it is notable that the rule is subject to a pending challenge before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and also that the Energy and Commerce Committee this week published a draft of a bill that would effectively veto the “Clean Power” Plan.

I agree with McConnell and would add a second reason to “Just Say No”: Compliance with the “Clean Power” Plan entails a tremendous waste of resources. The rule is so expansive that it threatens to monopolize virtually all of state energy and environmental regulators’ time. They’ve much better things to do than spend all their energy trying to figure out how to build the President’s legacy.

Around the World
William Yeatman

Swiss Reject a Carbon Tax; Japan Turns to Coal

  • Ninety-two percent of Swiss voters rejected replacing the value-added tax with a carbon tax on energy, according to the Daily Caller’s PG Veer.
  • As predicted on GlobalWarming.org, Japanese utilities are continuing a sharp turn to coal in the wake of the Fukushima Daitchi disaster. While government officials initially planned on replacing nuclear energy with green energy, this proved too expensive and technologically difficult.

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.

Thursday
Mar192015

CEI Today: GOP budget, Obama & global warming, union ambush election rule, and more 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
In the News Today

 


GOP BUDGET - WAYNE CREWS

Forbes: House Republicans Release Balanced Budget Proposal


House Republicans released their “Balanced Budget for a Stronger America” fiscal year 2016 budget proposal today. It seeks to balance the budget in 10 years without new taxes, and to repeal Obamacare besides.

I want to see these cuts and more, but remain concerned that Congress will bog down deeply in a balanced budget fight that won’t pass while simultaneously making a show over spending more on defense than the president. 
> Read more

> Interview Wayne Crews


 

OBAMA & GLOBAL WARMING - WILLIAM YEATMAN

The President doesn’t give a hoot about global warming, aside from its legacy-building potential or value in terms of partisan positioning. 
> Read more

 

> Interview William Yeatman
 


UNION AMBUSH ELECTION RULE - ALOYSIUS HOGAN

 

The Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval
to Cancel the National Labor Relations Board’s “Ambush Elections” Rule
 
CEI will score the upcoming House vote on S. J. Res. 8, a Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval to void the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush elections” rule, which threatens American workers’ freedom of association and privacy. CEI supports the resolution.  

> Interview Aloysius Hogan

 
 




MARCH 28, 2015

cei.org/hah-2012



 

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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.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

 

Saturday
Mar142015

Cooler Heads Digest 13 March 2015 

13 March 2015

In the News

Green Energy Subsidies Double under Obama
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 13 March 2015

Barack Goes Berserk on Climate “Deniers”
James Rust, Master Resource, 13 March 2015

With New EPA Regulations, Obama Turns Back on Middle Class
Drew Johnson, Sun Prairie Star, 13 March 2015

CEI Files Suit over EPA’s Glacial “Richard Windsor” Production
Chris Horner, GlobalWarming.org, 12 March 2015

Investigation of Funding for Climate Skeptics Countered by “Warmist” Probe
Valerie Richardson, Washington Times, 12 March 2015

Researcher Punished for Exposing Climate Fraud Beats UCLA
Matt Lamb, The College Fix, 12 March 2015

Blowing More Tax Dollars on Wind Subsidies
Fred Lucas, The Blaze, 12 March 2015

EPA Thinks You Are Stupid
Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, 11 March 2015

EPA Is Racing against Time To Pummel the Private Sector
Seton Motley, Human Events, 10 March 2015

Climate Change: It’s Real Because of the Children
James Delingpole, Breitbart, 10 March 2015

Is Climate Policy Sustainable? Sobering Slides on the EU’s Climate Treaty Proposal
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 4 March 2015

News You Can Use
Marlo Lewis

Uneconomical Ethanol

At current prices, a typical motorist must spend an extra $900-$2,400 annually to run a flex-fuel vehicle on E85 (motor fuel made with 85% ethanol) than on regular gasoline, according to the EPA-DOE Web site FuelEconomy.Gov. The reason is that ethanol has one-third less energy by volume than gasoline. Thus, the higher the ethanol blend, the worse mileage your car gets, and the more you have to spend on fuel to travel a given distance. For further discussion, see Root Cause of Ethanol ‘Blend Wall’? Consumers Don’t Like Ripoffs.     

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Secretary Kerry Gives Speech on “Road to Paris”

U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave a major speech in Washington, DC on 12th March as part of the Atlantic Council’s Road to Paris Climate series.  There was little that was new or interesting in the speech, although Kerry did give a different explanation of how the greenhouse effect works than the one he gave in Jakarta on 16th February 2014. Here is Kerry’s new explanation:

“And with added heat comes an altered environment. It’s not particularly complicated. I don’t mean to sound haughty, but think about it for a minute. Life on Earth would not exist without a greenhouse effect. That is what has kept the average temperature up, until recently, at 57 degrees Fahrenheit, because there is this greenhouse effect. And it was called the greenhouse effect because it does exactly what a greenhouse does. When the sun pours in and bounces off at a different angle, it goes back up at a different angle. That can’t escape, and that warms things – a very simple proposition.”

He is still clueless, but this is a big improvement on his moronic explanation in Jakarta last year

Secretary Kerry also claimed that, “A report that the Department of Energy released this morning actually projects that in the United States, wind power is going to be directly competitive with conventional energy technologies within the next 10 years.”  That will be news to wind industry boosters, who have claimed for several years that wind energy is already cheaper than conventional energy. 

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Nine Likely Republican Presidential Candidates Take Positions on Ethanol Mandate at Iowa Ag Summit

Ethanol tycoon Bruce Rastetter hosted most of the potential Republican presidential candidates at the Iowa Agricultural Summit on 7th March.  Naturally, one of the main questions was, Where do you stand on the federal corn ethanol mandate?  Naturally, most of the candidates pledged their sacred honor to defending the ethanol mandate: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham.  Most notably, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) switched his position and said that he now supports the ethanol mandate.  Both Walker and Bush talked vaguely about phasing it out in the distant future.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and former Governors Rick Perry (R-Tex.) and George Pataki (R-NY) made it clear that they oppose the ethanol mandate.  If anyone doubted his refusal to pander to rural Iowans, Senator Cruz added that he also opposed the wind production tax credit.  Interestingly, Cruz drew big cheers from the crowd. Perry, who has also opposed the wind PTC in the past, said that repealing the ethanol mandate needed to be part of a larger examination of subsidies and mandates.  Perry and Pataki both grew up on farms.  Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did not attend the summit.

The Wall Street Journal put it best in an editorial: “Political cynics will say we’re, well, tilting at windmills by expecting politicians to swear off energy subsidies, but that merely proves our point about the Iowa caucuses. If they were thinking bigger, Republicans would understand that they’ll have more credibility to reform social welfare if they oppose corporate welfare.”

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Cuba’s Pristine Environment under Threat

The National Press Club held a Newsmaker press conference on 10th March at which marine biologist David Guggenheim discussed the threats to Cuba’s marine environment if it rejoins the modern world.  Dr. Guggenheim, president of Ocean Doctor, showed clips from his film, “Frozen in Time: Cuba’s Pristine Coral Reefs and Their Future After the Embargo.”     

The entire documentary will be screened at the 23rd Environmental Film Festival, which will be held from 17th to  29th March in Washington, DC.   

I did not attend the press conference, but according to the press release Dr. Guggenheim believes that dire poverty and political oppression, which he refers to as “Cuba’s relative isolation” have “actually been good for its environment.”  And therefore he is concerned that ending the embargo could increase economic activity and thereby harm the environment.  

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.

Sunday
Mar082015

Cooler Heads Digest 06 March 2015 

6 March 2015

In the News

Harry Reid Secured Subsidies for Aides’ Donors
Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, 5 March 2015

Stifling Climate Research & Opinion: Another Desparado Mistake
James Rust, Master Resource, 5 March 2015

Economic, Environmental Experts Debate Carbon Tax
Tom Rezac, Daily Nebraskan, 4 March 2015

Override Vote on Keystone XL Veto Looks Doomed
Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, 4 March 2015

With the Clean Power Plan, EPA Has Given Up on Cooperative Federalism
Stephen Heins, Forbes, 4 March 2015

Washington Post: President Obama Is Lying about Keystone
Robert Rapier, R Squared, 4 March 2015

Top Five EPA Transparency Scandals during the Obama Administration
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 3 March 2015

Antarctic Sea Ice Did the Opposite of What Models Predicted
Michael Bastasch, Dally Caller, 2 March 2015

News You Can Use
Regarding the Futility of Unilateral Climate Change Mitigation, EPA’s #1 Priority

According to the Institute for Energy Research, if the U.S. eliminated all CO2 emissions now, models say it would only slow warming by 0.10°C by the end of the century

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

Senate EPW Hearing Rattles EPA Administrator McCarthy

Last week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified twice before House subcommittees in defense of her agency’s FY2016 budget. As I explained here, she deftly negotiated those two hearings, using a skillful combination of obfuscation and mendacity.

This week, Administrator McCarthy appeared before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee to again defend her agency’s budget. This time around, however, things didn’t go so smoothly.

For starters, I suspect she was caught off guard by the strategy adopted by EPW Chairman James Mountain Inhofe. In previous EPA FY2016 budget hearings, Members of Congress questioned specific policies adopted by EPA; Sen. Inhofe, by contrast, attacked the agency’s priorities. In particular, he questioned why EPA’s FY2016 makes climate change mitigation the agency’s #1 priority, when administrator McCarthy herself concedes that EPA’s policies won’t affect the climate. She didn’t have an answer for this line of reasoning, and I think it threw her off.

However, she became most flustered during an intense exchange with Sen. Jeff Sessions. He started out by decrying the agency’s request for a 6% increase in funding, when inflation is 2.5%. He said that he couldn’t justify such an increase to his constituents, for whom EPA was routinely cited as the #1 problem. He told her, “you are apparently unaware of the pushback that's occurring in the real world.”

Then he moved to the science behind the agency's Clean Power Plan. Sessions first asked whether McCarthy disputed research demonstrating that droughts and hurricanes had not increased; she refused to answer, and grew visibly agitated with the questioning. What followed was the highlight of their dialogue—a back-and-forth during which Administrator McCarthy refused to concede the well-established fact that climate models have overstated global warming. I’ve reposted the transcript below.

SEN. SESSIONS: And would you acknowledge that the -- and over the last 18 years that the increase in temperature has been very little and that it is well below -- as a matter of fact, 90 percent below -- most of the environmental models that showed how fast temperature would increase?

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: No, I would not agree with that, Sir. A one degree temperature is significant. I don't know what you're looking at.

SEN. SESSIONS: No, no, no. I'm asking you is [the actual temperature record] below the models or above the models?

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: I do not know what the models actually are predicting that you are referring to. There are many models and sometimes it's actually going faster, and sometimes slightly slower than the model protect predicts. But on the whole, it makes no difference to the validity and the robustness of climate science that is telling us that we are facing an absolute challenge that we must address both environmentally, economically, from a national security perspective. And for EPA, from a public health perspective.

SEN. SESSIONS: All right. Well, let me -- of course, carbon pollution is CO2, and that's really not a pollutant. It's a plant food, and it doesn't harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases. So let me ask you one more time, are you asserting -- just give me this answer. If you take the average of the models predicting how fast the temperature would increase, is the temperature, in fact, increasing less than that or more than that?

ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: I cannot answer that question specifically.

SEN. SESSIONS: Well, Mr. Chairman, I just would say this is a stunning development that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who should know more than anybody else in the world, who's imposing hundreds of billions of dollars in cost to prevent this climate temperature increases doesn't whether their projections have been right or wrong.

Investor’s Business Daily has a nice write-up on the heated Sessions-McCarthy exchange.

CEI Goes on Offensive on Transparency

It was a busy week for transparency advocates critical of EPA’s opacity. On Monday, a federal district court judge refused Landmark Legal Foundation’s request to impose sanctions on EPA for the agency’s egregious non-cooperation with a FOIA request. This was to be expected, as the legal threshold for sanctions is very high. However, what was unexpected was Judge Royce C. Lamberth’s scathing opinion, in which he excoriated EPA for its evident refusal to comply with federal transparency laws.

And on Tuesday, my colleague Chris Horner dropped the other shoe on Rep. Grijalva, Sen. Markey, and other McCarthy-mimics in the U.S. Congress who have launched an investigation into the funding of certain climate “skeptics” in academia. Of course, FOIA is limited to the Executive Branch of government. However, EPA keeps an in-house congressional lobby shop.

So Horner FOIA’d the EPA lobbyists, to see what correspondence with these Senate offices they may have had about Tom Steyer, the campaign he is helping underwrite against “deniers,” the Greenpeace smear, and trying to chase opponents out of their chosen field, etc. 

Across the States
William Yeatman

Unprecedented “Sue and Settle” Agreement Finalized in Northern California Court

Northern California federal district court Judge Susan Illston on Monday approved an outrageous “sue and settle” consent decree between EPA, Sierra Club, and NRDC.

Unlike most sue and settle agreements, which dictate EPA’s priorities, this consent decree actually set forth substantive policy. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA must determine which areas are meeting nation-wide standards for sulfur dioxide (SO2). Monday’s consent decree binds EPA to adopting new procedures for this process—pursuant to a separate, proposed rule! 

Multiple States—North Dakota, Arizona, Kentucky, Nevada, Louisiana, Texas, and North Carolina—tried to intervene in the case, but EPA and its green special interest  refused to allow the states a seat at the negotiating table. So the agency effectively negotiated substantive policy with special interests, to the exclusion of States. Needless to say, that's no how policymaking is supposed to work. 

Indeed, the states opposed the consent decree before Judge Illston’s court, and they opposed it administratively when EPA proposed the consent decree in the Federal Register. The agency, however, dismissed the states’ claims, and it was backed by Judge Illston. Thus, a mockery was made of the Clean Air Act’s system of “cooperative federalism.”  Read more about it here.

More State Stories

Around the World
William Yeatman

Tough Week for Green Energy Globally

  • President Obama has cited Germany’s green energy policies as a model for the U.S. to emulate. With that in mind, consider the fact that Germany’s 25,000 wind turbines operated at 14.8 percent capacity in 2014, according to a report released this week by wind energy critical site www.vernunftkraft.de.
  • The New York Times headline says it all: “Japan’s Growth in Solar Power Falters as Utilities Balk.” And they’re not “balking” because of there’s too little labor to fill all the green jobs they need. Rather, Japanese utilities are balking for the very simple reason that solar power is expensive and intermittent.  

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.