In the News
Heartland Institute Conference Shows the Growing Power of Climate Realism
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 15 July 2014
John Christy: Though Scorned by Colleagues, a Climate Skeptic Is Unbowed
Michael Wines, New York Times, 15 July 2014
Solar Thermal Electric Generation: Still Not Cheap, Not Green?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 14 July 2014
California Legislators Feign Surprise at Cap-and-Trade’s High Cost
Steven Greenhut, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 July 2014
News You Can Use
Study: People Who Claim To Worry about Climate Change Use More Electricity
People who claim to worry about climate change use more electricity than those who do not, according to a United Kingdom Department for Energy and Climate Change report released this week.
Inside the Beltway
Obama Spends Taxpayer Dollars on Climate Adaptation
President Barack Obama on 16th July announced several new programs to help local and state governments adapt to or deal with the impacts of climate change. The President was speaking at a meeting in the White House of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The 26-member task force was created in November 2013 by the President to prepare recommendations for better co-operation between levels of government in dealing with climate change. Obama’s new programs are based on the task force’s initial recommendations. A final report is due in November.
The President announced that the U. S. Department of Agriculture was providing $236.3 million in grants in eight States to increase the resilience of rural electric infrastructure to more intense storms. He announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs would distribute $10 million in grants to tribal governments for planning to deal with the effects of climate change on tribal lands. Obama also asked Congress to appropriate $1 billion for the Climate Resilience Fund, which is designed to help state and local governments strengthen infrastructure that will be hit by bigger storms, sea level rise, etc.
The President also talked about the National Disaster Resilience Competition, which offers $1 billion to communities that are including planning for climate change and increasing resilience to climate change. The grant competition is being administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
President Obama did not mention in his remarks another proposal that was contained in the written materials released by the White House. According to a story by Evan Lehmann in ClimateWire, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will start asking “States to consider the dangers of ‘climate variability’ in plans they have to submit to Washington, D.C., in order to receive disaster aid.” Lehmann comments: “It's a bureaucratic measure with muscle: It's possible that if States refuse to sift through the potential perils from warming, it might make them ineligible for federal funding used to repair and strengthen public facilities like roads and bridges, some experts say.”
EPA’s #2 Leaves for Climate Special Interest
Bob Perciasepe, deputy administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, is leaving to become president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. He will replace Eileen Claussen, who is retiring.
Politico’s Morning Energy noted that Perciasepe’s departure is part of a brain drain at the EPA. My colleague Chris Horner points out that one factor leading Perciasepe to leave the EPA now could be various appeals that Horner has filed on behalf of CEI to compel the agency to produce records requested under the Freedom of Information Act. FOIAs have revealed that Perciasepe, like Administrator Gina McCarthy and former Administrator Lisa “Richard Windsor” Jackson, used private email accounts to conduct public business. Here is a link to the most recent appeal, dated 7th July.
Perciasepe served as the number two appointed official at the EPA since 2009, the first year of the Obama Administration, and as acting administrator between the resignation of Lisa Jackson in January 2013 and the confirmation of Gina McCarthy in June 2013. He was assistant administrator of water and then of air and radiation during the Clinton Administration. After George W. Bush became president in 2001, Perciasepe left the EPA to become senior vice president for public policy and then in 2004 chief operating officer of the National Audubon Society.
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is best known for its Business Environmental Leadership Council, which was created by founding president Eileen Claussen in 1998 when the group was called the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. The business council supports energy-rationing policies that will increase the member companies’ profits. Current members include Alcoa, Bank of America, BP, Conoco, Delta Airlines, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Dow Chemical, Entergy, Exelon, General Electric, General Motors, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, NRG, PG&E, Rio Tinto, Shell, Toyota, and Weyerhauser.
Senate Narrowly Confirms FERC Nominee Bay in Bizarre Fashion
The Senate voted this week to confirm Norman Bay to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by a vote of 52 to 45. Current FERC acting chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur was confirmed to a new term by a vote of 90 to 7.
Under a bizarre deal with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, agreed to support Bay’s confirmation under the condition that LaFleur continues as chairman for nine months before Bay replaces her. Bay is President Barack Obama’s choice for chairman. The White House reportedly approved the deal, but it remains to be seen whether they will keep the agreement.
Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) was the only Republican to vote for Bay’s confirmation. Despite repeated attempts to find out, I still have no idea why Nevada’s two Senators are so determined to have the dubiously-qualified Bay as FERC chairman.
Across the States
States, Industry Appeal D.C. Circuit’s Approval of Absurd Utility MACT
This week, 23 States joined the National Mining Association and the Utility Air Regulatory Group in filing a request with the Supreme Court to rehear the D.C. Circuit Court’s split decision upholding EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, a.k.a. the Utility MACT. The appeals allege that EPA impermissibly refused to consider the costs of the regulation when it made the decision to proceed with it.
In fact, the rule would cost $9.6 billion annually; more consequentially, it threatens to shutter up to 25% of the nation’s coal fleet. These are the costs that EPA ignored. Now, consider the “benefits”: The absurd purpose of the Utility MACT is to protect a putative population of pregnant, subsistence fisherwomen who consumer hundreds of pounds of self-caught fish from exclusively the 10% most polluted bodies of fresh, inland water. Notably, EPA never identified a member of this supposed population. Rather, they are modeled to exist.
Around the World
Australia Says Goodbye, and Good Riddance, to the Carbon Tax
“Today, Tony Abbott has made Australia the first country in the world to reverse action on climate change”.
Those were the words of Australia’s opposition leader, Bill Shorten, as the Senate voted to repeal Australia’s two year old carbon tax, on a vote of 39 to 32.
Introduced by the Gillard Labor Government in 2012, the Australian people quickly recognized the carbon tax for what it was: a great big new tax that would hurt the economy, raise the cost of living, and have no positive effect on the environment.
History will remember the Australian carbon tax as a political disaster. It was introduced against the will of the Australian people, and was most notable for its impact on the political careers of its proponents.
Following the vote, Prime Minister Abbott addressed the Australian people with the words: “Today, the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone”. This is surely a victory for democracy and common sense.
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.
July 17, 2014
Dear Liberty Activist,
Last September, the National Council of La Raza issued comments in favor of a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulation, "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing."
Under the regulation, in October the Obama administration will be empowered to condition eligibility for community development block grants on redrawing zoning maps to create evenly distributed neighborhoods based on racial composition and income.
According to La Raza's comment in favor of the regulation, "Hispanic families often do not know their housing rights and have cited fear of deportation as reason for not reporting rights violations." By La Raza's own analysis, then, HUD implementation of the racial rezoning rule will benefit those who "have cited fear of deportation" — that is, low-skilled, low-income illegal immigrants, either those who were outright illegal the moment they set foot in the U.S. or who have simply overstayed their visas. After all, who else would fear deportation?
Therefore, one of the sure effects of HUD's regime will be to flood unwilling communities with a significant percentage of illegal immigrants.
It's not enough to arbitrarily implement amnesty — whether through refusal to enforce existing law or Congressional action — the federal government wants to draw the maps of where the new residents will live, forcing local communities to make room whether they like it or not.
In the case of La Raza and illegal immigration amnesty proponents, the likely beneficiaries of the HUD rezoning rule will be Democrat Parties across the country. Both U.S. and immigrant-born Hispanics favor Democrats by nearly 2 to 1 according to Gallup.
What emerges is a plan to resettle as many as 20 million illegal immigrants in specific communities as a pretext to tilt the political scales on the national and local political scenes to favor Democrats in states like Texas, where Democrat-controlled cities have accepted millions of dollars of these grants.
Fortunately, the House of Representatives has already acted, passing an amendment to the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz) in a close 219 to 207 vote to defund implementation of the regulation.
Now, the bill moves to the Senate, where Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has championed the cause, proposing the same amendment to the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill.
To get it passed, Senate Republicans will need to unite against the HUD rezoning rule, which amounts to no less than an existential threat to the Republican Party's continued existence as a viable national political entity. Failure to take up the Lee defund will be viewed not only as tacit support for the racial rezoning rule, but of national suicide under the inflexible malaise of one-party rule for the next generation.
Let's keep fighting! This is one we can win.
Americans for Limited Government
July 14, 2014
Permission to republish original opeds granted.
Are we due for another recession?
To get back to the Fed's original low-end prediction for 2.8 percent growth for the year — since we actually shrank at 2.9 percent in the first quarter — the economy will need to grow an average of 4.7 percent each quarter for the next three quarters. Good luck with that.
Time for new thinking on ag subsidy fight
The obvious response to agricultural subsidies — get rid of them — sounds right to the ear, but in practice this approach has run up against a buzz saw from members representing many of the very red states that have formed the core of conservative support in Congress.
Big Green's lethal agenda
The outstanding presentations at this Ninth International Conference on Climate Change clearly demonstrate that activist climate science is increasingly devoid of evidence, increasingly removed from the scientific method – and yet is increasingly being used to devise, justify and impose policies, laws, and regulations that govern our lives.
Evans-Pritchard: Portugal banking crisis sends tremors through Europe
"A mounting crisis at one of Portugal's biggest banks and signs of a deepening economic slowdown in Europe have sent tremors through financial markets, triggering a sharp fall on European bourses and a flight to safety across the world."