Cooler Heads Digest 14 May 2010

by William Yeatman on May 14, 2010

in Blog

In the News

How To Buy Corporate Support for Kerry-Lieberman
Chris Horner, Planet Gore, 14 May 2010

David Harsanyi, Denver Post, 14 May 2010

Renewables Versus Conventional
John Droz, Jr., American Spectator, 14 May 2010

The Bootleggers Are the Baptists’ Last Hope
Iain Murray, Washington Examiner, 13 May 2010

Thomas Friedman, Phone Home
William Yeatman & Jeremy Lott, Real Clear Markets, 12 May 2010

A Climate Dud
Chip Knappenberger,, 12 May 2010

The Price of Wind
Wall Street Journal editorial, 12 May 2010

Kerry-(Graham)-Lieberman: A Monstrous Payoff To Big Businesses
Myron Ebell, New York Times, 10 May 2010

Shelving of California’s Climate Law a Lot Closer
Tom Tanton, OC Register, 10 May 2010

Sale of Chicago Climate Exchange Reinforces Weak Carbon Market
Joel Kirkland, ClimateWire, 3 May 2010

News You Can Use

Costs & Benefits of Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act

Potential cost: $70 billion to $145 billion a year
Benefit: By 2100, Kerry-Lieberman would reduce global temperatures by .2 degrees Fahrenheit, if the mandatory emissions targets are achieved (and the sensitivity of the climate to CO2 levels is as high as the IPCC claims)

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

EPA Releases “Tailoring Rule”

The EPA released the final version of its “tailoring rule” this week, but it hasn’t been published in the Federal Register yet.  The tailoring rule ignores the clear language of the Clean Air Act that stationary sources that emit more than 250 tons per year of the regulated pollutant must be regulated.  EPA proposes to regulate sources above 75,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, at least for the first few years. CEI’s Marlo Lewis explains the tailoring rule and its consequences here and here.

At last: Kerry and Lieberman Introduce Their Bill

Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) on Wednesday finally released a draft energy-rationing bill.  It’s 987 pages.  The text and short and longer summaries may be found here. They boasted that it has wide industry support and have made no secret of the fact that large parts of it were written by the companies that support it.  Several heads of big companies stood with Kerry and Lieberman at their press conference, although BP and Goldman Sachs were not there.

The targets and timetables for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are similar to those in the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill, H. R. 2454, but the methods to achieve those reductions are somewhat different.  Kerry and Lieberman begin their bill with nuclear loan guarantees and offshore oil provisions.  There is a cap-and-trade system, but it applies only to electric utilities.  The price of ration coupons has lower and upper limits.

The bill summary claims that, “Consumers will come out on top.  The American Power Act sends two-thirds of all revenues not dedicated to reducing our nation’s deficit back to consumers from day one.”  I wonder how long that promise will be kept by the Congress.

I don’t think the bill is going anywhere and said so here.  Surprisingly, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who helped write the bill but pulled out three weeks ago, sent out a press release that makes a similar prediction. Kerry claims, correctly in my view, that it is not an environmental bill.  Rather it is a collection of payoffs to big companies to pass a bill that will put the federal government in charge of controlling how much and what type of energy people can use.

Barrasso Offers Amendment to Ban Carbon Derivatives

Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) this week filed an amendment to the financial regulation bill currently being debated on the Senate floor that would ban trading in carbon derivatives if a mandatory cap-and-trade scheme is enacted.  The text of Senate amendment 3940 may be found here.  Those who want to e-mail their Senators in support of (or opposition to) the amendment may do so at Freedom Action.

Unless Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) manages to cut off debate on the financial regulation bill, S. 3217, it is expected that Senator Barrasso will offer his amendment early next week.  It should attract strong support from the left as well as the right.  The purpose of the amendment is to try to limit opportunities for market manipulation and fraud if an artificial market is created by government in carbon credits.  EUROPOL has said that up to 90% of the volume of trades in the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme involve fraudulent activity.  That’s not because there is anything wrong with derivatives.  In fact, various derivatives are necessary for the efficient working of markets.  It’s because carbon credits are phony pieces of paper.  Anything that can be done to limit this colossal scam should be done.

Update on Murkowski Resolution

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is nearing D-Day to bring her resolution disapproving the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare to the Senate floor for a vote.  I expect her to do so late next week or perhaps early in the week after next.  Under the Congressional Review Act, she needs only fifty-one votes.  The resolution, S. J. Res. 26, has forty-one sponsors, including three Democrats.

As I said last week, I think it’s going to be a very close vote.  Those who want to e-mail their Senators in support of (or opposition to) the Murkowski resolution may do so at Freedom Action.

If the Senate passes the resolution, then the House could take it up at any time.  Clearly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is dead set against allowing a vote on the resolution.  And if the House passed it, then President Obama could veto it.  However, pressure continues to build in the House to do something.  The latest step in that direction is a bill introduced this week by Representatives Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), which would prohibit any regulation of greenhouse gases under existing laws.  This is similar to an amendment that Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) released a few weeks ago.  The text of H. R. 5924 may be found here.

Rehberg and Herseth Sandlin are reacting to the Bureau of Land Management’s decision last month to suspend oil and gas leases in their States while it considers the effects of more oil and gas production on global warming.  BLM’s action is just the tip of the iceberg, so I expect many more Members of Congress will soon become interested in the Murkowski resolution and the Rehberg-Herseth Sandlin bill.

Around the World

Iain Murray, from The Corner

UK’s New Anti-Energy Policy

The new coalition government in the United Kingdom has made public its list of environmental policies, and it reads like a national charter for economic suicide.  The Rt. Hon. Chris Huhne, MP, a Liberal Democrat on the left of that party, has been made Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, although it is quite clear that the order of priority is the reverse of that.  Mr Huhne has been an environmental activist for many years and is therefore unlikely to listen to voices telling him that the lights will go out and energy prices rise if he implements these policies fully.  Meanwhile, the new government’s hostility to air travel is obvious, something that will no doubt dismay Britain’s tourist industry.  The Taxpayers’ Alliance, one of several groups in Britain that understands the implications of these policies, has issued an initial reaction that would be devastating if anyone in the new government was willing to read it.  Unfortunately, the environment section is such a cornerstone of the coalition agreement that it will likely be clung to as long as the coalition has life. Click here to read the agreement in full.

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,

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