Cooler Heads Digest 18 February 2011

by William Yeatman on February 18, 2011

in Blog, Cooler Heads Digest

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In the News

Breaking the Ice
Nicholas Lewis & Matt Ridley, U.K. Spectator, 18 February 2011

Hitting the EPA Pause Button: What Are the Risks?
Marlo Lewis,, 17 February 2011

Green Investment Bank Should Make Taxpayers See Red
Chris Horner & William Yeatman, Daily Caller, 17 February 2011

Galileo and the Scientific Pose of the Left
Robert Tracinski,, 17 February 2011

Oil Ban Means More Debt
Washington Times editorial, 16 February 2011

Consumer Choice Extinguished with Light Bulb Ban
Manny Lopez, Detroit News, 16 February 2011

The Absolute Madness of Ethanol
Robert Bryce, Washington Times, 16 February 20111

The California Green Debauch
George Gilder, American Spectator, 16 February 2011

The New Old Bulb
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 14 February 2011

Clean Energy Standard: Not Good for National Security
H. Sterling Burnett, NCPA Energy Blog, 11 February 2011

Green Central Planning in the Name of Jobs
John Stossel,, 14 February 2011

News You Can Use

Another Alarmist Myth Debunked

In the wake of seemingly every anomalous weather event, global warming alarmists are quick to blame climate change. The Wall Street Journal this week reported on new research, conducted by The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present. The researchers were “surprised” to find no evidence of an intensifying weather trend.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Rep. Walberg Introduces Companion to Barrasso Bill

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) has introduced a House version of Senator John Barrasso’s (R-Wyo.) bill to block all regulation of greenhouse gas emissions until Congress decides to provide such authority.  H. R. 750 is thus more comprehensive than the Inhofe-Upton-Whitfield draft bill that only pre-empts Clean Air Act regulation.  It will be interesting to see how many co-sponsors Walberg’s bill will attract.  Barrasso’s bill has 16 other Senators on board.

Continuing Resolution Update

The House of Representatives is still debating as I write on a Continuing Resolution (or CR) to fund the federal government for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year—that is, until October 1st.  The new Republican leadership decided to bring the bill to the floor with an open rule, which means that Members could offer all the germane amendments that they wished.  During the past four years when Democrats were in the majority, this kind of wide open debate was never permitted.  For example, when the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill came to the floor on 26th June 2009, the rule allowed only one Republican amendment and one day of debate.

Several hundred amendments were offered, and the House has been debating them all week.  Several amendments were filed to strike the language in the Continuing Resolution that prohibits the EPA from expending any funds to implement or enforce Clean Air Act regulations of greenhouse gas emissions.  However, the sponsors of these amendments decided not to offer them after it became clear that they would be defeated by a wide margin.

One amendment offered by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo) that was approved by a 232-197 vote, temporarily suspends payment from the Judgment Fund, a little-noticed Treasury Department program that perversely encourages environmental litigation designed to gum up economic development. The payments are meant to cover litigation costs for successful legal challenges to the government, so they are, in effect, a subsidy to environmentalist organizations like NRDC and the Center for Biological Diversity. It’s impossible to know what percentage of these green groups’ budgets is derived from the Judgment Fund, because the payments are secret.

It is expected that the House will pass the Continuing Resolution late Friday night.  Both chambers are in recess next week, so the Senate won’t take it up until the week of 27th February.  The current CR expires on 4th March, so that will be a very busy week as the Senate works to pass its own version and then negotiate with the House on a final package.

Across the States

New Hampshire

Legislation that would withdraw New Hampshire from a regional energy-rationing scheme gained momentum this week. HB 519, which would pull New Hampshire out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade for 10 northeastern States, was approved by the House Science Technology and Energy Committee and endorsed by House Speaker William O’Brien. As we reported last week, Governor John Lynch (D) preemptively threatened to veto the bill, but Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the State Legislature, so if they stick together, they can end this energy tax.


Outrage at the EPA’s campaign against coal is bipartisan in Kentucky. Last month, a top Democratic lawmaker, Jim Gooch, called for “secession” from the green regulatory state. This week, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, the State Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee passed a bill that would make Kentucky a “sanctuary state” out of reach of the EPA’s “overreaching regulatory power.” The symbolic legislation is expected to easily win passage in the full Senate.


Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s (R) administration last Friday filed three petitions in the Tenth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging rules established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on greenhouse gases. Friday was the deadline to appeal the EPA’s new climate regulations. Wyoming and Texas were the only states to challenge the regulations directly, although Texas, Virginia, and Alabama, with the support of fourteen other states, have a lawsuit pending before the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court that seeks to overturn EPA’s decision to regulate greenhouse gases.

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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