In the News
Bullies Waxman & Markey Promote “Endangerment” of Economy, Democracy
Marlo Lewis, BigGovernment.com, 5 March 2010
Democratic Senators Move To Stop Wind Subsidies in Stimulus
Dan Eggen, Washington Post, 4 March 2010
“Anti-Lobbyist” Obama Administration Recruits “Green” Lobbyists To Sell Subsidies
Chris Horner, Pajamas Media, 3 March 2010
News You Can Use
Harvard Study: Obama’s Climate Plan = $7 Gas
According to a report from Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, gas prices would have to increase to $7 a gallon to meet the Obama administration’s targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Inside the Beltway
Big Oil Helps Write Kerry-Graham-Lieberman Bill
The efforts of Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) to produce a “bi-partisan, compromise” energy-rationing bill received a questionable boost this week when it was reported that three big oil companies are working with the Senators on a “carbon fee” for transportation fuels. “Carbon fee” is a euphemism for gas tax. The three companies are Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips, and BP America. The tax would somehow be rebated to consumers.
Also this week, Harvard University released a study that concludes that reaching President Barack Obama’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will require gas prices as high as seven dollars a gallon.
Rockefeller Tries to Undermine Murkowski’s Endangerment Resolution
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has been maneuvering to find a way to delay EPA regulation of greenhouse gases using the Clean Air Act and thereby forestall Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) attempt to block EPA permanently. Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act would prohibit EPA from making its finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare.
First, Rockefeller and seven other coal-state Democrats sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing their concerns about the harmful economic effects of moving too quickly to regulate emissions and asked her eight questions about EPA’s plans. At a Senate hearing this week, Jackson gave some ground. More about that in the item below.
This week Rockefeller introduced a bill to delay implementation of EPA’s regulations for two years.
A companion bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Nick Jo Rahall (D-WV), Alan Mollahan (D-WV), and Rick Boucher (D-Va.).
Co-sponsoring this bill could give some Democrats enough cover that they could now vote against Murkowski’s resolution. My guess up until two weeks ago was that Murkowski’s resolution would pass the Senate with more than 51 votes. After Rockefeller’s maneuver, I think it no longer has the votes to pass. But a lot of things can happen before the Senate votes on Murkowski, so this is far from over.
In the House, Rep. Ike Skelton’s (D-Mo.) resolution of disapproval, H.J. Res. 76, now has 24 co-sponsors. Another resolution of disapproval was introduced by Re. Joe Barton (R-Tex.). H.J. Res 77 has 95 co-sponsors.
EPA Tailoring Rule Will Be Relaxed Further
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told a Senate hearing this week that EPA would move more slowly to regulate stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions than originally planned. Under the proposed “tailoring” rule, sources that emit more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year would be regulated first. Under the revised plan, sources under 75,000 tons won’t be regulated for at least the first two years. The schedule to start regulating smaller emitters will also be extended for several years.
The Clean Air Act requires that entities emitting more than 250 tons of a listed criteria pollutant must be regulated. EPA’s plan to start regulating much larger sources first would seem to have no basis in the law. It remains to be seen whether it will be challenged in court.
Prominent climate scientists affiliated with the U.S. National Academies of Science have been planning a public campaign to paper over the damaged reputation of global warming alarmism, according to recently disclosed e-mail messages. Their scheme would involve officials at the National Academies and other professional associations producing studies to endorse the researchers’ pre-existing assumptions and create confusion about the revelations of the rapidly expanding “Climategate” scandal.
The e-mails were first reported in a front-page story by Stephen Dinan in the Washington Times today. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has independently obtained copies of the e-mails and has posted them at GlobalWarming.org.
To learn more, and to see the emails, click here.
Climategate Goes to Parliament
Phil Jones, the scientist at the center of the Climategate scandal, testified before the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons on allegations that he concealed scientific evidence. Jones, who was described by one British columnist as having been “terror stricken” before Parliament, admitted that he sent some “awful emails.” The Institute of Physics, a scientific body composed of more than 30,000 physicists in the U. K., submitted written testimony stating that Jones’s emails contain “prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law.”
Across the States
Wyoming Legislature Passes Wind Tax
The Wyoming House and Senate have passed the nation’s first tax on wind energy and sent the bill to Governor Dave Freudenthal. The Democratic Governor proposed the new tax to the Republican-dominated legislature last month and so is almost certain to sign the bill into law. Amusingly, Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, complained about the proposed tax on the grounds that it would discourage wind power production: “It is very disturbing to hear that one of the great States for resources wants to tax the industry and discourage the development of jobs in their State.” She did not mention that Wyoming already taxes oil, natural gas, and coal production, which is why it doesn’t levy a personal income tax. Nor did she mention that wind power receives huge subsidies from federal taxpayers. It will be interesting to watch how quickly other States follow Wyoming’s example.
Around the World
It Could Happen Here
The European Union already operates a cap-and-trade scheme and a renewable energy mandate, both of which are designed to raise the price of energy, but apparently EU officials don’t believe that energy is expensive enough. According to the Telegraph, Algirdas Semeta, the new European commissioner for taxation, is planning a “minimum rate of tax on carbon” across the whole EU as a “priority.”
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.