In the News
China, India Form a Negotiating Bloc for Copenhagen
BBC News, 21 October 2009
Understanding the Copenhagen Climate Conference: The Fix Is in
Roger Pielke Jr., Energy Tribune, 20 October 2009
Setting ‘The Economist’ Straight on Climate Change
Indur Goklany, MasterResource.org, 17 October 2009
News You Can Use
Pew Poll: People Are Paying Attention
Only 36% of Americans believe in man-made global warming, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center. That’s down from 47% a year ago.
A new Public Strategies/Politico poll asks what is the “most important issue in deciding [your] vote if the congressional election were held today?”, and found that 45% of respondents said that the economy was the most important issue, while only 4% said global warming. Of those polled, 62 percent agreed that “economic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent.”
Inside the Beltway
Senate Hearings on Kerry-Boxer
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is holding three full days of hearings next week on the Kerry-Boxer energy-rationing bill-S. 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. My CEI colleague, Iain Murray, is one of 53 witnesses (by my count) who have been invited to testify. You can find the whole witness list on the EPW committee’s web site. It appears to be Chairman Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) intention to mark up the bill and pass it out of committee some time in November between election day, 3rd November, and the Thanksgiving recess.
That is probably as far as the bill will get this year. Senator John Kerry is working hard to make deals for votes, but the latest count shows that he is still far short of the sixty votes needed to invoke cloture and proceed to a final vote on the Senate floor. According to Environment and Energy Daily, the number of undecided votes has increased (subscription required). I think this is because two related realities are sinking in. Energy rationing is going to be very expensive for consumers. And voters (who are also consumers) dislike cap-and-trade more the more they find out about what it is. Mother Jones Magazine explains the declining poll numbers as due to the fact that “climate change skeptics are dominating in the language battle.” Which is another way of saying that people are finding out that cap-and-trade is a tax on them. That’s why Senator Kerry said, “I don’t know what cap-and-trade means,” and is now calling it “pollution reduction and investment” in his bill. Another factor that will probably keep the bill off the floor this fall even if Kerry rounds up the votes is that the Senate calendar is still jammed with appropriations conference reports and the health care legislation.
The Gore Effect?
The Washington Post had a small item at the bottom of page B5 in its 17th October issue: “Something happened in Washington that had not occurred in 138 years of weather history: for the first time since the National Weather Service began compiling daily data here, the high temperature for Oct. 16 was below 50 degrees.” In fact, the high was 45 degrees. That’s 23 degrees below normal and 37 below last year’s high, according to the Post.
It may only be a co-incidence, but I have it on good authority that former Vice President Al Gore was inside the Beltway last Friday, 16th October, to do a fundraiser for the Democratic candidate for Governor of Virginia, Creigh Deeds, at a private house in McLean, Va. But as I say, that could just be a co-incidence.
A left-wing prankster group, the Yes Men, held a press conference at the National Press Club Monday morning to announce that the U. S. Chamber of Commerce had changed its position and was now supporting the Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer energy-rationing legislation. They represented themselves as officials of the Chamber. Several news outlets fell for it and rushed out with e-mails and web postings. I hope they feel very foolish. As it happens, the House Select Committee on Energy and Independence is holding a hearing next week on another recent hoax-forged letters of opposition to Waxman-Markey sent to several Members of Congress purportedly from local minority groups.
Across the States
California Court Dismisses Global Warming Nuisance Lawsuit
In another chapter in the continuing saga of whether energy companies can be sued under tort law for emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs), a federal district court in California yesterday dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Kivalina Alaska Native Village and others against a large number of energy companies. The Court became the fourth federal district court to find, in essence, that there is no common law nuisance tort of global warming. One of those district court decisions, however, was recently reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the Connecticut v. AEP case, which we reported on extensively in a previous client alert available at the link provided below….read the rest.
EPA Assaults Appalachian Coal (Again)
The Environmental Protection Agency this week took the unprecedented step of revoking a Clean Water Act permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to a surface coal mining project in West Virginia. It’s the first time in the 37-year history of the CWA that the EPA has revoked a permit that had been issued. This comes on the heels of the EPA’s decision last month to review pending permits for surface mining in Appalachia. All told, the EPA’s anti-mining actions threaten to shut down surface coal production in Appalachia, which sustains 80,000 jobs. The EPA’s justification is outrageous-it is acting against the coal industry to protect mayfly populations, a bug that lives for a day. It has been alleged by EPA that populations of some species of mayflies are declining as a result of surface mining projects. None of these species is listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
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, www.globalwarming.org.