Energy Bullet Points: Obama Announces Alaska Anti-Energy Policy with Maudlin PSA; Best Yet Evidence against Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation-Presidential-Primary-Vote; and Much, Much More

by William Yeatman on January 28, 2015

in Blog

“The Chicken McNuggets of Energy News”

  • My colleague Myron Ebell was on The Diane Rehms Show yesterday morning to discuss President Obama’s proposal to designate nearly 12 million acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including the hydrocarbon rich 1002 area, as an off-limits “Wilderness Area.” It’s a lively interview; listen here.
  • On that note, the President’s policy has raised the ire of the Alaskan congressional delegation, according to a good piece in Monday’s Washington Examiner by Zack Colman. You should read it, for the rhetoric is bold. Rep. Young said that the administration has gone “wacko,” while even mild mannered Sen. Murkowski used war as an analogy. The senior Senator’s anger is especially notable, due to her possession of the Appropriations subcommittee gavel with jurisdiction over the Interior Department and EPA. She’s well-positioned for wrath.
  • Sticking to that note: The White House released its new Alaskan anti-energy policy via a sappy public service announcement, available here. The ad has the President waxing lyrical about Alaska’s beauty, to the tune of an acoustic guitar, with an overlay of slow motion video depicting Alaskan mountains, critters, and critters on mountains. I think that’s the first time that a policy has been announced by PSA. Another Obama breakthrough!
  • In what is the best evidence to date that Iowa’s first-primary-in-the-country is terrible for America, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) last week announced the launch of a multi-million dollar campaign that will pressure presidential contenders to support the Renewable Fuel Standard. To be sure, the RFS is great for Iowa, because it grows a great deal of corn, the primary feedstock for ethanol. But it’s horrible for the rest of the world, causing the price of both food and fuel to increase.
  • I’ve been rough on Grist, but I’ve got to give them credit for a post this week that calls out Paul Krugman and Joe Romm for being “fantastical” about the costs of climate change mitigation. On this, Grist and I are simpatico: Krugman, Romm, & their ilk are wrong; climate policies are extraordinarily expensive.
  • I’ve a column at U.S. News and World Report on EPA’s Clean Power Plan. My thesis is that the agency hasn’t demonstrated the managerial competence to take over the electricity sector, which is what the Clean Power Plan would do. Over at Open Market, my colleague Marc Scribner has a smart, critical take on a recent post, from a free market think tank, that seems to endorse the wisdom of a revenue neutral carbon tax.
  • Finally, Energy and Environment reports ($) this morning that republicans are abandoning the “tried and true” response to questions about climate change, “I’m not a scientist.” My runner up suggestion for a replacement slogan is: “It’s a hoax.” And my #1 preferred response to climate change (one shared by my fellow Americans, God bless ‘em), is….

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