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Cooler Heads Digest 02 October 2015 


2 October 2015


The Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, Institute for Energy Research, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council submitted a joint comment letter on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) proposed rule, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2.”

In the News

U.S. Continues To Distance Itself as the World Leader of Natural Gas
Chris Pederson, Platts, 2 October 2015

House Panel Probing Taxpayer Support for Efforts to Investigate Climate Change Skeptics
Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, 1 October 2015

Eliminating the Path to Energy Poverty
Nicolas Loris,, 30 September 2015

Petition: Forget “Climate Change,” Energy Empowers the Poor
E. Calvin Beisner, LinkedIn, 30 September 2015

The Energy Election
Joel Kotkin, Real Clear Politics, 30 September 2015

Shale Shock: A New, Better Energy World
Steve Goreham, Master Resource, 30 September 2015

$9 Billion of Crappy Renewable Energy: Just What the World Needs
James Delingpole, Breitbart, 29 September

New Name, But Still “Cap and Trade”
Rep. Ed Whitfield, The Hill, 29 September 2015

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Oversteps Federal Authority
Terry Jarrett, Real Clear Energy, 29 September 2015

News You Can Use
Pope News Roundup

Here are some notable columns on Pope Francis’s U.S. visit and his views on climate and the environment: Victor Davis Hanson; Michael Grunwald; Maureen Mullarkey; and George Will.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

EPA Issues Job Killing Ozone Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency released its final rule to reduce ozone levels on 1st October.  The current National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 75 parts per billion will be reduced to 70 parts per billion.

The new 70 parts per billion limit will cost hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs, but major industry groups took some satisfaction in the fact that it wasn’t worse.  Then-EPA Administrator Richard Windsor (aka Lisa Jackson) in 2011 proposed 65 ppb.  The White House then decided to delay that rule until after the 2012 elections because the potential costs were so colossal that the issue could have threatened President Obama’s re-election.

The final rule will undoubtedly be litigated by environmental pressure groups and by industry groups.  The environmental groups will have a strong case that the standard should be lowered to 65 ppb at the most.  That’s because the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee stated in a 26th June 2014 letter that: “[O]ur policy advice is to set the level of the standard lower than 70 ppb within a range down to 60 ppb, taking into account your judgement regarding the desired margin of safety to protect the public health, and taking into account that lower levels will provide incrementally greater margins of safety.”  As my CEI colleague William Yeatman noted, federal courts have been very deferential to the recommendations made by the EPA’s scientific advisory boards.

On top of the EPA’s Clean Air Act rules for greenhouse gas emissions, mercury emissions, cross-state air pollution, and regional haze and its Clean Water Act wetlands rule, the ozone rule guarantees that the EPA has become the number one job-killing agency in the Obama Administration.  EPA’s top political appointees and senior civil servants have probably held several big taxpayer-funded parties to celebrate this cumulative achievement and are probably in line for numerous awards from President Obama.

Professor Who Advocates Criminalizing Global Warming Skepticism Has Taken $63 Million in Federal Grants

In early September, twenty professors sent a letter President Barack Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and White House science adviser John Holdren that congratulates the President on his climate policies to raise energy prices and impoverish Americans and then urges that another tool be used to save the planet: criminalize opponents of global warming alarmism.  Here is the key request in the letter:

“We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress.  One additional tool—recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI]—is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.  The actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peer-reviewed academic research (Brulle 2013) and in recent books….”

The lead signer was Professor Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC.  Five other signers are also from GMU: Edward Maibach, Paul Dirmeyer, Barry Klinger, Paul Schopf, and David Straus.  Columbia University can proudly claim three signers: Michela Biasutti, Mark Cane, and Lisa Goddard.   

Two signers profess at the University of Washington: Edward Sarachik and Michael Wallace.  Two more are at the University of Maryland: Eugenia Kalnay and William Lau.  And two more are at Florida State University: T. N. Krishnamurti and Vasu Misra.  Alan Robock of Rutgers University, Ben Kirtman of the University of Miami, and Robert Dickinson of the University of Texas are the sole signers from their universities.  Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder and Alan Betts of Pittsford, Vermont complete the Gang of 20. 

My CEI colleague Chris Horner filed requests for public records with the various universities to obtain the signers’ statements of economic interest after it was revealed that Professor Shukla has been paying himself and his wife huge salaries from federal grants to a non-profit he controls called the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES) in addition to his GMU salary.  Their combined income was over $800,000 in 2013 and 2014.  In addition, federal grants were used to pay the Shuklas’ daughter.  Steve McIntyre on Climate Audit has a thorough summary of what has been discovered so far.

House Science Chairman Lamar Smith on 1st October wrote a letter to Professor Shukla that states:

“IGES appears to be almost fully funded by taxpayer money while simultaneously participating in partisan political activity by requesting a RICO investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama administration on climate change. In fact, IGES has reportedly received $63 million from taxpayers since 2001, comprising over 98 percent of its total revenue during that time.”

Chairman Smith’s letter warns Professor Shukla that the committee intends to investigate this misuse of federal funds and that all IGES records and communications should be preserved.   

VW Diesel Scandal Exposes Conflicting Regulatory Mandates

The Environmental Protection Agency on 18th September charged that Volkswagen had sold approximately 480,000 diesel cars in the U. S. that contained “defeat devices” that allowed them to pass EPA’s emissions tests, while pollution levels increased by up to forty times in normal driving. VW quickly admitted they had cheated and had sold 11 million vehicles worldwide with the devices.  The company set aside $7.6 billion to pay for penalties, recalls, and liability judgments, but many analysts thought that the total costs would eventually be much higher.

VW cheated because they are caught between regulations to reduce pollution and regulations to increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Meeting both these conflicting goals results in cars that few people want to buy.  Diesel engines are significantly more fuel efficient than gasoline engines, but they are also dirtier.  Making them cleaner results in lower performance and more fuel consumption. 

Mercedes and other high-end diesel car producers have gotten around that by installing very expensive technology, which increases the costs of their vehicles.  Adding five or ten thousand dollars to the cost of a car can work for luxury cars that cost over $50,000 to begin with, but not for VWs and other cars in the $20-30,000 range.  It remains to be seen how the major automakers will continue to produce cars that people want to buy as the 54.5 miles per gallon CAFÉ standard begins to take effect.

Across the States
Isaac Duarte


On 25th September, the California Air Regulatory Board approved regulations that severely limit carbon emissions from gasoline and diesel fuels. The new regulations require oil producers to reduce carbon emissions at least 10% by 2020. This decision comes hot on the heels of the removal of a similar provision in SB 350, which would have mandated a 50% cut in petroleum use by 2030. Presumably, the new regulations are Gov. Jerry Brown’s attempt to force petroleum cuts through the regulatory process rather than through the normal legislative process.


Royal Dutch Shell on 28th September announced that it would end its Arctic oil exploration activities after spending over $7 billion since 2007.  Shell said that it made the decision after the well it drilled this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s north coast did not produce any evidence of significant oil or natural gas deposits.  The company also cited continuing low crude oil prices, high production costs, and an “unpredictable” regulatory environment as reasons for pulling out of the Arctic. 

Around the World
Isaac Duarte


On 1st October, India submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (or INDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  The 38-page document recounts India’s climate policies to date and lays out its plans to reduce emissions 33-35% by 2030.  According to the INDC, India will need $2.5 trillion of foreign aid in order to take the appropriate steps.  For reference, that is slightly less than a year and a half of India’s current GDP.  Of this $2.5 trillion, only $883 billion would be used to reduce emissions.  The rest would be used to fund “adaptation action” designed to reduce the effects of climate change on Indians.  While there has been much said in the mainstream media about how ambitious India’s goals are, very little has been said about how much it will cost taxpayers in developed countries to achieve those goals.

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Are Tropical Storms Becoming More Destructive? Will They?

Lin & Chan, 2015, a study published in Nature Communications, finds that the destructive potential of tropical cyclones (“typhoons”) in the most active and hazardous tropical cyclone basin on Earth, the Western North Pacific Main Development Region, decreased by 35% over the past decade.

Lin and Chan use a metric called the Power Dissipation Index (PDI) to measure the destructive potential of Asia-Pacific typhoons. The PDI is a product of three factors: storm frequency, duration, and intensity. In the past decade, typhoon intensity increased due to increases in ocean heat content. However, typhoon frequency and duration decreased due to stronger vertical wind shear and lower vorticity in the storm genesis region. The declines in frequency and duration overpowered the increase in intensity, producing a net decrease in PDI of approximately 35%.

Based on climate modeling studies, Lin and Chan project that global warming will induce an additional 15% decrease in the Asia-Pacific PDI. In their words, “Although both the intensity and duration increased under global warming, there was an even larger typhoon frequency reduction of 25.7%. As a result, the typhoon PDI decreased by 15.2%.”

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,


Daily Signal - State Takes Legal Action to Seize $135K From Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Lesbian Couple 

The Daily Signal

Oct. 2, 2015

State Takes Legal Action to Seize $135K From Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Lesbian Couple

The agency that ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple began the legal process last week to seize the money the Oregon bakers are refusing to pay.

Read More


The Consequences of Russia's Bombing Campaign in Syria

Under the guise of fighting terrorism to protect itself and save the ruthless government of Bashar-al-Assad, Russian warplanes on Thursday conducted a second day of airstrikes in Syria, targeting not the Islamic State but rival rebel groups.

Read More


Sharyl Attkisson Takes on Sunday Shows with 'Full Measure'

The name for her show, "Full Measure," comes from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and refers to soldiers who gave their all—their “full measure.” It’s how she approaches reporting.

Read More


How the Wars in Ukraine and Syria Are Connected

The U.S. and Russia are at loggerheads in Syria. Consequently, Nolan Peterson's time reporting from the battlefields of eastern Ukraine became a lot more relevant to the U.S. troops he visited in the Middle East recently.

Read More


What the EPA Isn't Telling You About Its New Ozone Standards

While ozone has declined by 33 percent since 1980, child asthma rates have gone up by 131 percent during that same time.

Read More


Why One State Lawmaker Is Criticizing GE for Using the Export-Import Bank as a 'Scapegoat'

Ex-Im's charter expired June 30, and since then, the bank's two biggest beneficiaries—Boeing and GE—have announced decisions to move jobs overseas because of its lapse in authority, hoping to put pressure on lawmakers to reauthorize the agency.

Read More

The Daily Signal

The Daily Signal is brought to you by more than half a million members of The Heritage Foundation.


Daily Signal - Find Out How Your Lawmakers Voted on Government Spending Bill That Funds Planned Parenthood

The Daily Signal


Oct. 1, 2015

Find Out How Your Lawmakers Voted on Government Spending Bill That Funds Planned Parenthood, Averts Shutdown

On the last day of the fiscal year, Congress approved a short-term spending measure that doesn’t end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and keeps the federal government operating through Dec. 11.

Read More


How Senate GOP Leadership Is Silencing Americans' Voices With Procedural Tricks

In addition to GOP leadership caving on issue after issue, they are also stripping other members of Congress, such as Sen. Ted Cruz, of their ability and rights to have their voices heard.

Read More


California Labor Union That Fought for $15 Minimum Wage Now Wants an Exemption

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor buried the exemption on the eighth page of its 12-page proposal for the Santa Monica City Council to review.

Read More


He Escaped From a North Korean Prison Camp. Now He's Showing the World His Torture Scars.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Signal, human rights activist Shin Dong-hyuk shows scars that he suffered from torture inside a North Korean prison camp.

Watch the Video


GE's Cynical Ruse: Pretending Jobs Are Moving Because of End of Ex-Im Subsidies

The evidence just does not support GE's claim that it is moving American jobs because of Ex-Im.

Read More


Why Does It Matter Who the House Speaker Is? Looking at House Leadership's Responsibilities

Conservative lawmakers are focused primarily on the race for House speaker, as the top Republican sets the tone for the remainder of leadership and dictates what action the House will take.

Read More

The Daily Signal

The Daily Signal is brought to you by more than half a million members of The Heritage Foundation.


CEI Today: Caving on shutdown, NLRB abuse of power, credit unions, and more 

Thursday, October 1, 2015
In the News Today



What Republicans Can Do After Caving On The Government Shutdown Threat 

If Republicans insist upon sending deficits back to $1 trillion, one option, at least, is rolling back federal red tape and over-regulation to spur dynamic growth. That could lessen deficits as an unintended consequence. > Read more 

> Interview Wayne Crews



Bill Introduced in Senate to Strip NLRB of Adjudicatory Power

The NLRB no longer operates as Congress intended—as neutral arbiter that represents the public interest in labor disputes. Under the Obama administration, the Board has overturned a number of longstanding precedents that arbitrarily benefit labor unions at the expense of worker choice and the economy. > Read more

> Interview Trey Kovacs



A simple way to grow America’s economy and create jobs 


Credit unions could do even more were they not constrained by outdated federal regulation. > Read The Hill commenary by John Berlau and Lindsay Lewis

> Interview John Berlau



IBD: Public-Sector Union Members Live The Life At Others' Expense


"Public-sector unions are increasingly becoming bastions of white-collar, skilled workers, counter to the mythology of a blue-collar everyman," writes Carrie Sheffield in a Competitive Enterprise Institute report released Tuesday. "Government unions," she adds, "have not been champions of the neediest in society." > Read the IBD editorial


More in the news...

Betting on the Future: 25 Years Later

Bloomberg Boston
1pm & 7pm ET
Bloomberg San Francisco 10am & 4pm PT




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Daily Signal - How House Conservatives Are Approaching Boehner's Successor Race 

The Daily Signal

Sept. 30, 2015

How House Conservatives Are Approaching Boehner's Successor Race

Even before they have formally interviewed candidates for House speaker, conservatives say they are encouraged.

Read More


19 Key Numbers Republicans Used to Question Planned Parenthood

The fight over Planned Parenthood reached a boiling point Tuesday on Capitol Hill when Cecile Richards, president of the organization, testified before Congress about how the group uses its federal taxpayer dollars.

Read More


How Senate GOP Leadership Stymied Ted Cruz on Defunding Planned Parenthood

Days after Sen. Ted Cruz criticized his party’s leadership for preemptively surrendering to President Barack Obama, those GOP leaders exacted their revenge on Cruz.

Read More


Inspired to Stop Terrorism, Congressman Continues to Fight Iran Deal

"We're putting our victims to the side if we enable these dollars to be returned to Iran without any attachment to them," Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa., said.

Read More


4 Highlights From Obama's Ridiculous Cyber Agreement With China

The White House press release is filled with worrisome conclusions, indicating that this agreement ignores the seriousness of this problem and kicks the can down the road.

Read More


Forensic Analysis: Planned Parenthood Videos Are 'Authentic'

A forensic analysis of undercover videos about Planned Parenthood's abortion practices are "authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing," according to a report released Tuesday by Alliance Defending Freedom.

Read More

The Daily Signal

The Daily Signal is brought to you by more than half a million members of The Heritage Foundation.

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