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ALG's Daily Grind - Independent rise equals Republican demise?


Jan. 9, 2015

Permission to republish original opeds and cartoons granted.

Independent rise equals Republican demise?
There are more independents than ever, and the amount of Republicans is dwindling.

Gohmert's profile in courage and self-sacrifice
The real act of self-sacrifice was Gohmert's encouragement of other candidates to get into the Speaker's race and encouraging his colleagues to vote for any of the alternatives.

Brooks: An aging Europe in decline
"[T]he deeper problems in Europe will not be solved by the European Central Bank."


Cooler Heads Digest 09 January 2015 

9 January 2015

In the News

One Year Ago: The White House Polar Vortex Video
Sam Kazman,, 9 January 2015

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (Book Review)
Jay Lehr & Sterling Burnett, Master Resource, 8 January 2015

Climate Change’s Instructive Past
George Will, Washington Post, 7 January 2015

Obama: Don’t Get Too Used to Low Gas Prices
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 7 January 2015

Oil’s “Swoon” Is Not an Argument for Carbon Taxes
Marlo Lewis,, 6 January 2014

It’s never a Good Time for a Carbon Tax
Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal, 6 January 2015

States To Challenge Obama’s Climate Rules
Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, 5 January 2015

Vatican’s Green Turn Would Leave Poor Even Poorer
Stephen Moore, Washington Times, 4 January 2015

Civil Rights Leader: Christians Should Find Increased Energy Costs Deeply Troubling
Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., Christian Post, 3 January 2015

News You Can Use
Harvard Professor: People Will Pay $60 per Year to Fight Climate Change

According to research compiled by Harvard Government Professor Stephen Ansolabehere, Americans are willing to pay about $5 a month, or $60 per year, to mitigate climate change. Seems high to us.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Three Steps Forward for Keystone Pipeline, One Big Step Back

The House of Representatives on Friday, 9th January, voted for a bill that would permit the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands across the U. S. border to the point in Oklahoma where it would join the southern part of the pipeline which has already been built.  The vote was 266 to 153.

Two-hundred thirty-eight Republicans were joined by 28 Democrats in voting to over-ride President Obama’s authority over the permit.  No Republicans voted No, but three missed the vote and one, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), voted Present.  Six Democrats also missed the vote. 

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee marked up the Keystone bill on Thursday by a 13 to 9 vote.  The Senate bill has 60 co-sponsors, including six Democrats.  The bill is scheduled to come to the Senate floor next week.  It is unclear how long it will be debated because new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has insisted that he wants to abandon the petty tyranny of his predecessor as majority leader, now-Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and return the functioning of the Senate to regular order.  That means that McConnell will allow amendments to be offered, debated, and voted on.

Also on Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling that held the state legislature had acted unconstitutionally when it removed power from the Public Service Commission to approve the Keystone Pipeline’s route through Nebraska and gave it to the Governor.  The decision was 4 to 3 in favor of the lower court ruling, but ruling something unconstitutional requires a super-majority of five justices in Nebraska.

On Tuesday, 6th January, the White House issued a veto threat on the Keystone bill.  This once again shows that President Barack Obama prefers to side with a few billionaire Democratic donors against the interests of the American people. It has been clear for several years that the President’s strategy is to delay construction of the pipeline to death by never making a decision on the permit. 

EPA Delays Finalizing Greenhouse Gas Rules for Power Plants

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday, 7th January, that it will delay finalizing its three rules to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new, modified, and existing coal and gas fired power plants, which will now all be finalized at the same time in mid-summer.  The rule for new power plants was due to be finalized on 8th January. 

Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Janet McCabe also announced that the EPA would release a model Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) for those States that are refusing to develop State Implementation Plans to comply with the rule for existing power plants.  As proposed, the rule for existing power plants appears to be illegal in several ways.  A model FIP may indicate how the regulation can be implemented to avoid these legal obstacles.  It may also be so unwieldy and costly that it will put pressure on States to develop their own plans.

My CEI colleague William Yeatman will be posting several pieces on over the next few days that explore the significance of the EPA’s announcements. 

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Rainfall in India: No Evidence of Climate Disruption

One of my favorite moments in An Inconvenient Truth is when Al Gore blames global warming for a record-breaking downpour in Mumbai, India.

“July 2005, Mumbai, India, received 37 inches of rain in 24 hours—the largest downpour any Indian city has received in one day,” Gore wrote in the book version of the film (p. 110). Gore offered this datum as evidence of fossil-fueled climate disruption.

I looked into this back in 2007 (Al Gore's Science Fiction, pp. 49-50). Since it is impossible to divine a greenhouse 'fingerprint' in any individual weather event, I reasoned that if global warming were influencing rainfall in Mumbai, we would see it in long-term precipitation records. Through a quick Web search I found that Mumbai had not one but two weather stations (today there are four), and each had a program allowing site visitors to access and plot historic weather data.

For each station, I plotted rainfall in Mumbai for the month of July from 1959 (the earliest year in the records) through 2005. There was no discernible trend in either of the two records over the 45-year period.

Why flog this dead horse now? This week on CO2Science.Org, Craig Idso reviews a recent study by three Indian researchers who analyzed daily rainfall data collected at the Agro Climate Research Centre at Coimbatore, India over the 106-year period of 1907-2012. The researchers found “no change in long-term monthly, seasonal and annual rainfall and frequency of rain days” and “no significant trend in the annual and seasonal rainfall totals.” They conclude that “there is no climate change observed over Coimbatore.”

In 2013, Idso reviewed another study of rainfall in India. It found "no significant trend" in rainfall for northern India in data for the period 1871-2008. In addition, the researchers cited several studies finding "no clear trend of increase or decrease in average rainfall over the [entire] country."

To sum up, there has been no long-term change in July rainfall in Mumbai, and no clear long-term rainfall trends in Coimbatore, northern India, and the country generally. To borrow a favorite phrase from the alarm camp, Mumbai's record-breaking downpour in July 2005 is what natural variability “looks like.”

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,


Watchdog - Want to be a state lawmaker? Take a drug test.  



Want to be a state lawmaker? Take a drug test, rep says


One state representative believes all candidates running for state-level elected office should be subject to a drug test, and he is floating legislation that would require it.

Read more


Seven union front groups fighting labor reform this year

It's obvious that not much has changed in the new year. Union bosses will likely keep fighting state labor reforms using pseudo-grassroots front groups this year, though the tactic has seen mixed results.
Read more
Supreme Court

Will 2015 be like 2014?

Although Republicans swept into control of Congress and solidified their hold on many state governments in 2014, the new year will look a lot like the old in most places.



Vermont parent to be paid $150,000 in lawsuit over ban from school meetings

A Vermont parent was awarded nearly $150,000 after winning a lawsuit against the Addison Rutland Supervisory Union. He had been banned from all school grounds in the district because school officials were frightened of him.
Trending Articles
Fracking supporters in New York aren’t giving up
Hydraulic fracturing has been banned in New York, but that doesn't mean the battle is over. More than 200 people showed up to protest the decision by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban fracking in the state.


Federal taxpayers help Virginia make $2-million health care advertising push
Federal taxpayers are shelling out $2 million for a marketing campaign to make sure Virginians are eligible for government subsidized health care and know how to enroll.


State Budgets
Hollywood studios gave big to Bruning as part of war against Google
Confidential emails and campaign finance records indicate Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the movie and music industry after taking up their cause in fighting Google.

CEI Today: Minimum wage, Keystone, chemical regulation, and more 

Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2014
In the News Today



20 States Raise Minimum Wage: Happy New Year?

The minimum wage is one of the most popular policies for fighting poverty, and proposed increases to it usually poll very well. The $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage hasn’t increased since 2009, so now many states are enacting their own minimum wage hikes. Twenty states are inaugurating 2015 with new increases. Yet, these minimum wage increases will not help reduce poverty. Why? The reason is tradeoffs. > Read more

> Interview Ryan Young



Keystone XL Pipeline: What Are the Core Issues?


In the protracted conflict over the Keystone XL Pipeline, too much attention is paid to peripheral issues and not enough to the core issues.

Peripheral issues include whether the pipeline will create many or few jobs, lower or raise Midwest gasoline prices, reduce or increase the risks of oil spills, reduce or increase incremental greenhouse gas emissions.


Keystone foes operate on a different maxim. They believe government should empower ‘stakeholders’ (i.e. activists like themselves) to upend other people’s business plans and stifle wealth creation. They think that if they just make enough noise, gin up enough protests, promise or threaten to support or oppose enough politicians, they are entitled to stop other people from taking risks with their own capital, hiring contractors, and employing workers. > Read more


> Interview Marlo Lewis


Related: Banner Day for Zingers on Energy Policy




CNSNews: Consumers to Pay the Price for State Environmental Regulations


Consumers could soon face higher prices, reduced choices and lower-quality products, thanks to a slew of chemical regulations that are advancing in various states. These regulations are unlikely to provide any measurable benefits, and instead would reduce consumers’ access to a myriad of products, from children’s toys and canned food to paint and building materials. > Read more


> Interview Angela Logomasini




Forbes: Two Cheers For Cuba Libre


President Obama’s recent decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba was welcomed by many free marketers, but met with skepticism by those who favor political freedom on the island. Both sides in this debate make strong points. I tend to side with the market optimists, but we could all learn from watching coming developments closely. > Read more


> Interview Fred L. Smith, Jr.


FALLING GAS PRICES - MARLO LEWIS Oil’s ‘Swoon’ Is Not an Argument for Carbon Taxes


It was inevitable. As soon as consumers and the economy start to enjoy significant relief from a decade of pain at the pump, the political class clamors for higher gas taxes and new carbon taxes. > Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis

Saturday, 10am ET




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ALG's Daily Grind - Time for Boehner to keep word and use leverage on amnesty 


Jan. 7, 2015

Permission to republish original opeds granted.

Time for Boehner to keep word and use leverage on amnesty
If House Speaker John Boehner leads against Obama's executive amnesty, the American people will follow.

Obama kicks oil and gas industry while it is down
By introducing a series of regulations — at least nine in total, according to the Wall Street Journal — Obama will put the brakes on the U.S. energy boom through higher operating costs and fewer incentives to drill on public lands.

Bongino: A year In review for big government
"[T]he tide of big government that has rolled upon our shores may be beginning to recede."