Cooler Heads Digest

by William Yeatman on December 7, 2007

in Cooler Heads Digest

Watch Neil O Brien Explain Why Cap & Trade Is Failing in Europe.
Three years ago, the European Union implemented an emissions trading scheme that ties in with Kyoto's credit system. Has the scheme provided any emissions reductions for the region? What lessons can the United States learn from the European Union as it tries to create its own domestic climate policy?
Click on the link below to watch Neil O'Brien, director of Open Europe, a London-based think tank, explain why he believes the European Union's emissions program has been a total failure. He cautions that the Lieberman-Warner bill could provide similar results and recommends the United States take a different approach to reducing emissions. O'Brien, author of the report, "Europe's Dirty Secret: Why the E.U. Emissions Trading Scheme Isn't Working" also explains why he believes a cap-and-trade program could interfere with technological innovations.
News Highlights
Kim Chipman, Bloomberg, 7 December 2007
Marian Wilkenson, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 December 2007
Richard Black, BBC News Website, 7 December 2007
AP, 5 December 2007
David Freddesso, NRO, 6 December 2007
David I Washington, Houston Chronicle, 7 December 2007
Zachary Coile, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 December 2007
Patrick Goodenough., 5 December 2007
Gina Kolata, New York Times, 5 December 2007
Marlo Lewis, NRO, 5 December 2007
Doug Bandow,, 4 December 2007
News You Can Use
Bali’s Carbon Footprint
Government officials and activists flying to Bali, Indonesia, for the United Nations meeting on climate change will cause as much pollution as 20,000 cars in a year.
Inside the Beltway
CEI’s Myron Ebell
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11 to 8 late on Wednesday to send the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act to the floor. That's probably the last action on S. 2191 for this Congress, but Chairman Barbara Boxer will now arrive at COP-13 in Bali in triumph.
The House on Thursday voted for its new version of the anti-energy bill by a 235 to 181 margin. The bill contains some version of nearly all the bad stuff already passed by the Senate or the House.
Although it contains provisions to raise gasoline and auto prices supported by President Bush, it also has titles to raise electricity prices and oil company taxes that the president opposes. Thus the Office of Management and Budget sent out a Statement of Administration Policy threatening a veto.
The Senate majority leadership is rumored to be trying to get the new House bill to the floor quickly for a vote. It will take sixty votes to invoke cloture and proceed to a final vote. The Senate passed its earlier version of the anti-energy by a 63 to 31 vote, but it did not contain the fifteen per cent renewable portfolio standard for utilities.
The RPS would raise electricity prices considerably in southern and mideast States, so has generated significant opposition from Senators from those States. My guess is that the bill cannot get the sixty votes needed for cloture unless the RPS is taken out.
“Endangerment” in the Home
CEI’s Julie Walsh
We were living in Kansas City when the Ice Storm of 2001 hit, knocking off power to half the city. Many people were without power for weeks. First we tried out our wilderness survival skills, until the novelty wore off and we moved to the higher ground of somewhere with electricity. Many have had similar storm experiences and understand that truly being thrown into an 1800’s power-less lifestyle would not be pleasant.
Energy is at the very foundation of our economy and society; yet the EPA is contemplating precipitously defining CO2 as a pollutant, making an endangerment finding, which would turn the Environmental Protection Agency into the gargantuan regulator of our economy’s energy usage.
Brian Walsh, Senior Legal Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, thinks that the EPA may be basing its actions on flawed legal premises. “We’re hearing,” Walsh said,” that some inside the EPA are reporting that they are compelled by the Supreme Court’s April 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA to regulate so-called greenhouse gases. If these reports are accurate, they suggest that these EPA officials are misreading that opinion. The Court did not determine that CO2 and other greenhouse gases are in fact endangering health or welfare. In fact, the Court specifically said that it was not deciding that question. Courts often accept plaintiffs’ allegations as true simply to determine whether the plaintiffs have any hope of winning their case if everything they allege is later proven to be true with sufficient evidence. That’s essentially what happened here.”
The courts and the EPA really have no business on how our energy use is regulated. If it’s necessary at all to regulate energy, it should be done by our elected representatives in Congress.

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