Cooler Heads Digest 24 September 2010

by William Yeatman on September 24, 2010

in Cooler Heads Digest

In the News

Bob Barr: [un]Principled Supporter of Ethanol
Brian McGraw,, 24 September 2010

America’s Last Bulb Plant Closes
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 24 September 2010

Is Clean Energy a Good Investment?
Myron Ebell, Politico Energy Arena, 24 September 2010

Why They Go Green
Robert Bradley,, 23 September 2010

The Real Gulf Disaster
Wall Street Journal editorial, 23 September 2010

Courts Should Overturn EPA Climate Rules
Marlo Lewis,, 22 September 2010

Friedman Today
Jonah Goldberg, The Corner, 22 September 2010

Soros To Push Climate Policy
Chris Horner, American Spectator, 21 September 2010

Climate Change Enlightenment Is Dead
George Monbiot, Guardian, 20 September 2010

British Energy Policy Is in Crisis
Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph, 18 September 2010

News You Can Use

According to the latest Nongovernment International Panel on Climate Change newsletter, “Estimates of current rates of ice loss for Greenland and Antarctica have been reduced by a factor of two, suggesting that almost none of the sea level rise over the past decade is due to glacial ice loss. Click here to subscribe.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Sam Brownback (R-Ks.) announced this week that they would try to bring a stand-alone renewable electricity standard (RES) bill to the Senate floor during a lame duck session after the November 2nd elections.  Their new 43-page bill would require that electric utilities provide at least 15% of their power from renewable sources by 2021, although up to 4% could come from improvements in energy efficiency.  The new federal standard would be in addition to the many state renewable requirements that have already been enacted.

The bill, S. 3813, now has 20 Democratic and 4 Republican sponsors.  The Republicans besides Brownback are: Collins (Me.), Ensign (Nev.), and Grassley (Ia.).  The Democrats besides Bingaman are: Dorgan (ND), Harkin (Ia.), Bennet (Colo.), Murray (Wash.), Begich (Alaska), Feinstein (Calif.), Reid (Nev.), Tom Udall (NM), Mark Udall (Colo.), Cantwell (Wash.), Franken (Minn.), Kerry (Mass.), Durbin (Ill.), Stabenow (Mich.), Kaufman (Del.), Johnson (SD), Shaheen (NH), Burris (Ill.), and Cardin (Md.).

Two headlines in Greenwire publications sum up the dilemma.  On Thursday, the headline was “Renewable Electricity Standard Bill Stands Alone or Dies, Senate Sponsors Vow.”  On Friday, however, the headline was “Lawmakers See RES Bill as Christmas Tree for Pet Projects.” The fact is that in lame duck sessions, Members become even more focused than they usually are on getting whatever they can for themselves.  This means that trying to keep the bill free of lots of other provisions will be close to impossible.  On the other hand, its slim chances for passage will become virtually nil if other provisions are added by amendment.

One of the possible amendments is Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D-WV) bill to delay for two years EPA’s implementation of Clean Air Act regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.  Rockefeller said he was thinking about it.  Senator Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) said it was a definite possibility that he would offer it if Rockefeller did not.

Around the World

Pressure Mounts on Pachauri To Resign

Pressure is growing on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chairman Rajendra Pachauri to resign in the wake of a critical audit released last month by the InterAcademy Council. Although the IAC report didn’t outright call for Pachauri’s resignation, the lead investigator, Harold Shapiro, said that the IPCC has to “re-earn” trust for the chair, which has been taken to mean that Pachauri’s ouster is a necessary reform. This week, former United Kingdom Environmental Minister Tim Yeo told the BBC that Pachauri is “doing more harm than good,” and Mike Hulme, a former IPCC lead author, said that a new chairman would bring “respect” to the panel. Pachauri’s reputation has become so damaged that the UK director of Greenpeace John Sauven told The Times, “the IPCC needs to regain credibility. Is that going to happen with Pachauri? I don’t think so.”

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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