Cooler Heads Digest 2 July 2009

by William Yeatman on July 6, 2009


The Science & Environmental Policy Project this week sent an open letter from seven prominent scientists to Members of Congress warning them that they are being “deceived” by global warming alarmism. The authors of the letter note that, “the Earth has been cooling for ten years,” and that “the present cooling was NOT predicted by the alarmists’ computer models.” Read the full letter at

In the News

Fuel Standards Are Killing GM
Alan Reynolds, Wall Street Journal, 2 July 2009

Cap-and-Trade Can’t Deliver Jobs
Detroit News editorial, 2 July 2009

The Enron Revitalization Act of 2009
Robert Bradley,, 1 July 2009

Facts, Costs, Consequences: Who Cares?
David Harsanyi, Denver Post, 1 July 2009

Global Warming Debate Isn’t Close to Settled
Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, 1 July 2009

Americans Will Suffer So Dems Can “Save the Planet”
Jay Ambrose, Orange County Register, 1 July 2009

Democrats Vulnerable after Climate Vote
Jonathan Martin & Alex Isenstadt, Politico, 30 June 2009

Waxman-Markey Flunks Math
Rich Karlgaard, Forbes, 30 June 2009

Climate Bill Hurts the Least among Us
Kenneth W. Chilton, Detroit News, 30 June 2009

Waxman-Markey Is Hilarious, But the Joke’s on Us
Myron Ebell, Townhall, 29 June 2009

ACES Up Her Sleeve
Jeremy Lott & William Yeatman, American Spectator, 29 June 2009

EPA Quashes Dissent on Climate Change
John Hinderaker, PowerLine, 28 June 2009

Creating Green Jobs Means Destroying Other Jobs
Boston Herald editorial, 28 June 2009

The Utterly Misbegotten Climate Bill
John Steele Gordon, Commentary, 27 June 2009

Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 26 June 2009

News You Can Use

Waxman-Markey: Big Brother

There are more than 1400 new regulations and mandates in the 1,500 page American Clean Energy and Security Act, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

The Senate

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, 7th July, on energy-rationing legislation. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are the lead witnesses. Also testifying will be two witnesses representing the U. S. Climate Action Partnership-one from Dow Chemical and the other from Natural Resources Defense Council. The Republican minority have invited Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour to testify. He knows a lot about energy.

Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has announced that she hopes to begin marking up the Senate’s version of an energy-rationing bill on 22nd July and finish before the August recess begins on the 7th or 8th. There is a rumor that Boxer intends to use the 946-page version of the Waxman-Markey bill that passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in May as her starting point, rather than the 1501-page version passed by the House on 26th July. One possible reason is that agricultural special interests are not particularly happy with the deal negotiated by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and want more from the Senate.

The House of Representatives

The House of Representatives voted 219 to 212 on final passage of H. R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act or Waxman-Markey bill, on Friday, 26th July.  The events last week that led to the narrow victory for proponents of energy rationing were extraordinary. On Monday night, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) sent a new 1201-page version of the 946-page bill his committee had passed on 21st May to the Rules Committee.  The Democratic leadership worked all week to round up votes. On Thursday night the Rules Committee met and at 3:09 AM an additional 309 page amendment was released.

The House began considering the 1510-page bill at 9 AM last Friday morning. The rule provided for one-hour of debate on the rule and then three hours of debate on the bill.  Of the two-hundred some amendments that had been filed, the Rules Committee allowed only one to be offered. Calling this a travesty of the legislative process is like calling D-Day a skirmish.

Debate ended around 7 PM with final passage. Eight Republicans voted Yes. Forty-four Democrats voted No. (To see all the votes, click here). Three Members missed the vote: Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), John Sullivan (R-Okla.), and Jeff Flake (R-Az.). Rep. Flake had announced earlier that he would miss the vote if it were on Friday because he would be attending a Junior Miss competition in which his daughter was participating. The Republican leadership must have already decided that they were going to lose the vote because they apparently accepted Flake’s (to me lame) reason and apparently didn’t put heavy pressure on the eight who voted Yes.

Among the many amusing or riveting incidents during the course of the debate, I only have room to mention a couple. Rep. Tom Price (D-Ga.) asking for a moment of silence for those who would lose their jobs if Waxman-Markey were enacted can be seen here.  A Democrat objected, so there was no moment of silence.

Two Texas Representatives did a great routine. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) made a parliamentary enquiry about where he could find a copy of the 309 pages that were added to the bill at 3:09 AM.  The chairman hemmed and hawed and finally said that she didn’t know. Then Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, made a parliamentary enquiry about whether there was a rule of the House that a copy of the bill on the floor had to be available. The chairman said that she was not aware of such a rule. Then after some more attempts to make enquiries about where a copy of the 309 pages could be consulted, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) disdainfully explained to his inferiors that a copy was in plain sight at the Clerk’s desk and was available on the web site. Then Rep. Barton pointed out that the copy available at the desk was the 1201 pages and a separate pile of the 309 pages, the pieces of which the clerk was trying to insert into their correct places in the 1201 pages.  He enquired whether this was an official copy. The chair said that yes “in effect” it was.

As I reported last week, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) used the prerogative reserved to the Speaker and Majority and Minority Leaders to speak as long as he wished.  His concluding powerful speech lasted more than an hour. Parts of it can be seen here. About twenty minutes in, Chairman Waxman enquired whether Mr. Boehner was going to be allowed to speak without limit. The chair ruled that it was the custom of the House to listen to the leader. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) then spoke only for a few minutes.  She told the House to remember that the Waxman-Markey bill was about four words: jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.

By the way, it was reported earlier this week that Chairman Henry Waxman was hospitalized in Los Angeles after saying that he felt unwell. I hope he’s just tired out from his mighty efforts to get his bill through the House and wish him a speedy recovery.  I learned from the news stories that he’s just about to publish a book, The Waxman Report: How Congress Really Works.  I bet it’s worth reading.

Across the States

EPA Bites Off More Than It Can Chew

The Environmental Protection Agency this week issued a waiver allowing California to regulate vehicular tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases. As noted by CEI’s Marlo Lewis, the waiver has far-reaching consequences. It gives environmental lawyers the legal grounds under the Clean Air Act to compel the EPA to regulate hundreds of thousands of small businesses. To read more about this regulatory nightmare, click here.

Around The World

If We Start a Trade War, Will China Still Lend Us $ to Pay for Green Jobs?

The AFP reports today that Chinese officials are “firmly opposed” to provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security act that would force the President to impose “border adjustments” (a.k.a. tariffs) on the carbon content of imports from developing countries that aren’t fighting climate change by rationing energy. Earlier this year, Chinese officials warned that retaliation is likely if the U.S. resorted to carbon tariffs, which could lead to an economically ruinous trade war.

India (Again) Rejects Emissions Reductions

Jairam Ramesh, Indian Environment Minister, this week told Reuters, that India “will not accept any emission-reduction target, period. This is a non-negotiable stand.”

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