Cooler Heads Digest 21 May 2010

by William Yeatman on May 21, 2010

in Cooler Heads Digest

In the News

States Divided Over New EPA Rules
Shannon Goessling, Washington Times, 21 May 2010

Cap-and-Trade Magic Show
James Valvo, Washington Times, 21 May 2010

Inequitable in Ecuador
Quin Hillyer, American Spectator, 21 May 2010

Electric Dreamin’
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 21 May 2010

Scientists Scramble To Address Radio Campaign
Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 20 May 2010

The Green Jobs Myth
Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 20 May 2010

The EPA’s Shocking Power Grab
George Allen & Marlo Lewis, Forbes, 18 May 2010

UVA’s Dishonorable Double Standard
Barbara Hollingsworth, Washington Examiner, 18 May 2010

Climate Policy Needs a Team “B”
David Schnare,, 18 May 2010

News You Can Use

Maybe It’s the Sun

Despite the absence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, Jupiter’s climate changed drastically this month when a giant belt of clouds circling the planet mysteriously disappeared. As noted by the BlogProf, this follows recent discoveries that Triton, a moon of Neptune, is rapidly warming and that Mars’s polar ice caps are evaporating.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Murkowski Resolution Debate Heats Up

In a story in Environment and Energy Daily (reprinted on the NY Times’s web site), Darren Samuelsohn reports that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) predicts the Murkowski resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s endangerment finding will pass the Senate when it is brought to the floor for a vote next week.  “I think it will pass,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “There are a lot of people who will be in the camp of, ‘We should do it, not the EPA.'”

I think that is a sensible observation.  Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is among those who favor reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but who do not want it to be done by using the Clean Air Act.  That is because she has concluded that applying the Clean Air Act to carbon dioxide emissions will result in a regulatory nightmare and wreck the economy (which is also sensible).  This conclusion is gaining ground as Members of Congress look at the issue.  Therefore, I do not think the Senate vote is merely “symbolic,” as political commentator Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute told Evan Lehmann and Jessica Leber of Climate Wire (also reprinted on the New York Times’s web site).

My guess is that Murkowski’s resolution, S. J. Res. 26, will pass narrowly and that pressure will then build on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to schedule a House vote.  One of the interesting results of the congressional primary elections so far is that strong opponents of cap-and-trade in both parties are doing well.  Steve Milloy of has noticed the trend, as has the Huffington Post.  Democratic House Members worried about their re-election may plead with Pelosi that they need a vote against EPA regulation to take back home. An indication that Pelosi may already be feeling some heat is that this week she said, as reported by Bob Cusack and Ben Geman in the Hill, that Congress should legislate global warming policy rather than let EPA regulate.

This week nineteen free market and conservative non-profit groups sent a joint letter to Senators in support of the Murkowski resolution.  It was written and organized by my CEI colleague, Marlo Lewis.  Marlo and former Virginia Governor and Senator George Allen also published an excellent op-ed on the Forbes Magazine web site that explains why stopping EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions is a constitutional as well as economic imperative.

Several environmental groups have been running ads against the Murkowski resolution.  Americans for Prosperity has held a bunch of rallies in support of the resolution in the States of key Senators over the past few weeks.  This week Freedom Action (of which I am director) started running radio ads in six States-Virginia, West Virginia, North Dakota, New Mexico, Montana, New Mexico, and Alaska-which tie the ClimateGate scandal to the EPA Endangerment Finding and urge listeners to e-mail their Senators.

Obama Wants To Raise CAFE Again

President Barack Obama today issued a memorandum directing federal agencies to develop tougher new fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks beginning in the 2017 model year and to develop fuel economy standards for medium and big trucks for the first time. This follows the new standards announced in April that will begin with the 2012 model year.  It’s not clear to me that consumers are going to want to buy the models that the Congress and the Obama Administration have decreed will be offered in 2012, but the automakers are now resigned to taking orders from their federal masters rather than their customers. My prediction is that another massive bailout of the automakers is inevitable.

“Invaluable” Climate Reports Released

The National Academies of Science this week released three reports prepared by the National Research Council that endorse the scientific case for global warming alarmism and claim that it is urgent that the federal government adopt mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Former New York Times environment reporter Andrew Revkin on his New York Times blog called the reports “invaluable.”  Yeah, I’ve got a lot of invaluable junk stored in my basement, too, that perhaps I can interest Andy in buying.

The fact is that these three reports are put-up jobs arranged by NAS President Ralph Cicerone to counter the damage done by the Climategate scandal.  I have seen enough of Dr. Cicerone in action to know that he is a political conman first and a scientist second.  I wouldn’t trust him to give a straight answer on the time of day.  The carefully-chosen members of the NRC committees that wrote the reports are mostly committed advocates of alarmism and energy rationing policies.  Mark Landsbaum of the Orange County Register agrees.

4th International Conference on Climate Change

I was one of 700 people attending the Heartland Institute’s fourth International Conference on Climate Change this week.  As with the first three conferences, Joe Bast, James Taylor, Nikki Comerford, and the Heartland staff put together a well-run conference with many outstanding speakers.  All of the keynote and panel presentations are available on video here.

There are a number of famous names among the speakers who gave excellent talks-Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Steve McIntyre, Nils-Axel Morner, Ian Plimer, and others whose talks I missed (which is the problem with having four concurrent sessions).  One less famous speaker, whose talk I recommend watching, is Willis Eschenbach.

Across the States

West Virginia

On Tuesday night, the Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, on its proposed veto of a Clean Water Act permit for Spruce Fork 1 coal mine in Logan County, which is already operating. The EPA is exercising this authority for the first time ever, in order to protect an insect that isn’t even an endangered species. More than 800 people attended, and scores of miners, small businessmen, and community activists gave testimony urging the EPA to spare their livelihoods. The EPA’s veto would result in the direct loss of 250 jobs paying an average of $62,000, and would also deprive the Logan County school system of more than $17 million annually.

Around the World


Since becoming President, Barrack Obama has cited the “success” of Spain’s green energy policies eight times, most recently in Illinois, three weeks ago. So it was major news when Professor Gabriel Calzada, an economist at King Juan Carlos University, released a study in 2009 concluding that Spain’s ultra-wasteful green energy subsidies were killing 2.2 jobs for every job they created. After CEI’s Chris Horner broke news of the study in the U.S., the Obama administration commissioned a hatchet job analysis to discredit Calzada’s work. This week, Professor Calzada was vindicated when a government report was leaked conceding that the green energy subsidies are unsustainable. The headline of the Spanish daily La Gaceta says it all: “Spain Admits That the Green Economy as Sold to Obama Is a Disaster.”


Bloomberg reported this week that Christiana Figueres, a Costa Rican diplomat, will succeed Yvo de Boer as the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on July 1st. Soon after the announcement, she told reporters that she is confident that a legally binding, international greenhouse gas emissions reductions treaty can be reached in 3 years. We’ve heard that before. In 2007, de Boer championed the “Bali Roadmap,” which was supposed to lead to a climate treaty at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC last December in Copenhagen, Denmark. Of course, the Copenhagen Climate Conference foundered amid recriminations over how to share the $45 trillion price tag for a global climate treaty.

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,

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: