Cooler Heads Digest

by William Yeatman on January 25, 2008

in Cooler Heads Digest

News Highlights
Steve Milloy, Fox News, 24 January 2008
David Shepardson, Detroit News, 24 January 2008
Jonathan Martin, The Politico, 25 january 2008
Simon Lauder, ABC News, 24 January 2008
Julian Glover, The Guardian, 24 January 2008
Alan Caruba, USA Daily, 23 January 2008
Ken Kay, Florida Sun-Sentinel, 22 January 2008
Leigh Phillips, EUObserver, 21 January 2008
This Week in Europe, the EU’s Climate Plan was Unveiled…
AFP, 21 January 2008
AFP, 23 January 2008
Hans-Jürgen Schlamp, Der Spiegel, 22 January 2008
Paul Taylor, Reuters, 22 January 2008
David Gow, The Guardian, 14 January 2008
News You Can Use
Energy Prices Go Through the Roof
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, energy prices in America went up an incredible 18.4 percent in 2007. But don’t look to Congress for relief. In December, 2007, Congress passed an anti-energy bill that will increase energy prices even further.
Inside the Beltway
CEI’s Myron Ebell
President George W. Bush is scheduled to give his last State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on January 28th. There has been speculation this week that one of the president’s annual, usually nasty, surprises would be to announce that he would sign a cap-and-trade bill if the Congress sent him an acceptable one, perhaps one that just covered electric utilities. It appears that this possibility has been headed off by calls from senior Republican members of Congress, but since cap-and-trade booster Josh Bolten is the president’s chief of staff I won’t say it’s dead until after the president finishes his speech.
After having been to hundreds of House and Senate hearings the past two decades, I feel that I am a pretty good judge of the theatrics. In the twelve years of Republican control, there were very few hearings that succeeded in making the intended point well. Indeed, with most hearings I attended chaired by a Republican, I often wasn’t sure what the point was. Things have improved a lot theatrically speaking since the Democrats regained control. But the attempt this week to grill EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson over an open fire at a Senate and Environment and Public Works Committee hearing fell flat. Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and her fellow Democrats wanted to grandstand, but they were just too dull and dreary to scare Johnson or excite the audience. The only exception was Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist from Vermont, who has some of the spark of Big Bill Haywood, the leader of the Wobblies in the early twentieth century.
For the substance of the hearing, see Marlo Lewis’ piece below.
The Most Important Story You Haven’t Heard
EPA Averts Resulatory Nightmare 
CEI’s Marlo Lewis
On December 19, 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied California a waiver, under the Clean Air Act, to set first-ever carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for new motor vehicles. On Thursday, January 24, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on EPA’s denial of the California waiver.
Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) pilloried EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson as a betrayer of the Clean Air Act, the Planet, and the Children. Instead, she should thank him for averting an economically- and environmentally-debilitating regulatory morass.
If the EPA had granted the waiver, allowing California and other states to adopt CO2 emission standards for new motor vehicles, CO2 would become a pollutant “subject to regulation” under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. That, in turn, would compel EPA and its state-level counterparts to regulate CO2 from hundreds of thousands of stationary sources, spawning a red-tape nightmare as detrimental to the environment as to the economy.
Attorneys Peter Glaser and John Cline provide an eye-popping analysis of the economic and administrative burdens that would be created by extending the PSD program to CO2 in a November 8, 2007 testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
To read more, click here.

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