Cooler Heads Digest

by William Yeatman on November 14, 2008

in Cooler Heads Digest

In the News

Chevron’s Orwellian Crude Discovery
Sam Kazman, Investor’s Business Daily, 14 November 2008

Greens Pave Way for GOP
Steven Milloy,, 14 November 2008

Bingaman: Congress Will Wait on Global Warming
AP, 12 November 2008

Put Global Warming on “To Do” List
Lorrie Goldstein, Edmonton Sun, 13 November 2008

Big Carbon Footprint at Schwarzenegger’s GW Summit
Samantha Young, AP, 12 November 2008

Alarmist Tactics
Chris Horner, FoxNews (video), 11 November 2008

Green Jobs Costly for Michigan
William Yeatman, Detroit News, 11 November 2008

Gore: “I’ve Failed Badly”

Claire Cain Miller, New York Times, 7 November 2008

Green Herring
Jacob Sullum, Townhall, 5 November 2008

News You Can Use
Global Cooling

Ten years ago this week, the Clinton administration signed the Kyoto Protocol. On this symbolic occasion, it seems worthwhile to note that the planet has cooled since the U.S.  signed the Kyoto Protocol. It must be working! (Can we go home and relax now?)

Inside the Beltway

Green Jobs
Myron Ebell

Washington is awash in loose talk about rebuilding the economy by moving to renewable energy and creating millions of new "green" jobs. President-elect Obama ran on a 150 billion dollar green jobs program. House and Senate Democratic leaders are talking about making more subsidies for renewable energy and creating green jobs key parts of a second stimulus package.

It's buncombe, as Dr. Gabriel Calzada explained at a briefing today on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Cooler Heads Coalition. He detailed the enormous costs to taxpayers of subsidizing renewable energy, such as windmills and solar panels, in Spain.  The electricity produced is much more expensive than conventional power, so rates paid by consumers have been increased dramatically. This is odd. Taxpayer subsidies are normally used to lower the prices of subsidized products for consumers. 

Calzada, who is associate professor of economics and of environmental sciences at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid and president of the free market Instituto Juan de Mariana, said that the calculation was made several years ago that Spain could bear the higher energy costs imposed by global warming policies because economic growth was strong. Now, with the financial crisis, which is much worse in Spain than in the U. S., Spanish leaders are realizing that they cannot afford energy subsidies and higher energy prices.

But our congressional leaders and president-elect think these sorts of economically-damaging policies are just the ticket to put our ailng economy back on its feet. They should listen to Dr. Calzada's presentation, which will be available at in a week or so.

Will Hugo Chavez eventually become America’s Putin?
Julie Walsh

Carbon limits mean gas-fired power plants over coal. This has led to European nations putting themselves under the thumb of Russia. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article, “Putin Threatens to Scrap Gas Pipeline as Talks with EU Leaders Approach,” chronicles how that thumb is currently putting on the pressure.

Carbon limits here in the U.S. could have the same result as they have in Europe, with only a different task master. As in Europe, U. S. environmental pressure groups lobbied successfully to lock up huge federal areas with high gas potential. Natural gas, which emits roughly half the carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour of coal-fired power, “only” costs about 70% more than coal power. Gas would become the preferred power source under carbon rationing laws, as in Europe.

As in Russia, Venezuela possesses vast reserves of natural gas, estimated at 3 trillion cubic meters in 1989, the second greatest proven reserves in the Western Hemisphere after the United States.

Venezuela and Russia began drilling the first gas well in the Gulf of Venezuela this month. “Venezuela is now free with allies like Russia… We will be together for ever,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in a recent speech.

Around the World

EU Energy Security

On the eve of this weekend’s European Union-Russia summit, the first since the Georgian conflict, the EU Commission released a report that says reducing dependence on Russian natural gas is “one of the EU's highest energy priorities.” European countries—but especially Germany, the EU’s largest economy—have become increasingly dependent on Russian natural gas in large part because of environmental regulations targeted at the coal and nuclear energy industries. Moscow, however, has demonstrated a willingness to use its energy supplies to coerce and threaten other countries. As a result, the EU is aggressively pursuing the construction of gas pipelines that would deliver fuel from Central Asia and bypass Russian territory, so that Gazprom, Russia’s state owned monopoly on gas exports, could not influence or inhibit the flow of gas. Former Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to the report by questioning whether Russia should proceed with a major planned pipeline under the North Sea that would deliver Russian gas directly to European markets.

Developing Nations Fear Climate Commitments

Developing countries are worried that they would face increased expectations to commit to economically harmful emissions reductions if President-elect Barack Obama follows through with a campaign promise to align with the European Union and orchestrate a global response to global warming. To date, developing countries have faced little diplomatic pressure to act on the climate because the Bush administration refused to commit to an international climate treaty. As a result, the EU spent its diplomatic capital trying to convince the U.S. to join and largely ignored developing countries, even though they account for half of current emissions. If, however, President-elect Obama reversed the Bush administration’s international climate strategy, a united EU-U.S. would likely demand that developing countries commit to steep emissions cuts. So it’s no wonder that China and India chose the week after Obama’s victory in the presidential elections to demonstrate their unwillingness to put global warming over economic growth. China’s government unveiled their climate plan this week. The centerpiece is to exact a commitment from developed countries to give 1% of their GDP—about $300 billion annually—to building a clean energy infrastructure in China and other developing countries. India’s government held a conference in New Delhi, called Climate Change: Business Sustainability and Society, during which Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal announced that a global action plan to fight climate change was unworkable.

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