CEI’s Iain Murray and H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, this week released a new report, “10 Cool Global Warming Policies,” on measures that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase wealth creation. To read NCPA’s report, click here.
In “Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC),” coauthors Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso and 35 contributors and reviewers present a comprehensive and detailed rebuttal of the findings of the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on which the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress rely for their regulatory proposals. Click here to get the report.
The Science & Public Policy Institute has released a series of state climate change policy papers. Each study examines an individual State and addresses four topics: observed climate change over time; impacts of climate mitigation measures; costs of federal mitigation legislation; and a list of state scientists who reject the man-made global warming hypothesis. To read more, click here.
In the News
Christopher Monckton’s Speech to the Heartland Institute’s 3rd International Climate Conference in Washington, D.C., 2 June 2009
Climate Bill Sparks Lobbying Frenzy
Steven Mufson, Washington Post, 5 June 2009
Little Chance the U.S. Will Sign a Climate Treaty
L.A. Times editorial, 4 June 2009
Green with Guilt
George Will, Washington Post, 4 June 2009
Steep Cost of Renewables
Paul Chesser, GlobalWarming.org, 4 June 2009
Politics, Economics and Green Jobs
J.T. Young, American Spectator, 3 June 2009
Clean Air Act Regulation of CO2: Rough Road Ahead
Marlo Lewis, MasterResource.org, 3 June 2009
Gore-Backed Hara Sees Big $$ in Climate Policy
David Lawsky, Reuters, 1 June 2009
Pelosi’s Chinese Climate Change
Wall Street Journal editorial, 1 June 2009
Cap-and-Trade: All Cost and No Benefit
Martin Feldstein, Washington Post, 1 June 2009
Indiana Wants No Part of Energy Tax
Elisabeth Meinecke, Human Events, 1 June 2009
Now the World Faces Its Biggest Ever Bill
Christopher Booker, Telegraph, 23 May 2009
News You Can Use
Reuters reported this week that Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins invested $6 million in Hara, a “one stop shop for greenhouse gas management,” with the endorsement of former U.S. Vice President Gore, who is a partner at the firm. Gore has lobbied for the Waxman-Markey Clean Energy and Security Act, a major climate change mitigation bill that would create a market for Hara’s services.
Inside the Beltway
Bingaman Moves Forward with Senate Anti-Energy Package
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this week held another mark-up of Chairman Jeff Bingaman’s (D-NM) comprehensive anti-energy bill. Bingaman plans to finish next week. The title on energy efficiency standards was amended to provide more financial assistance for retro-fitting historic buildings with energy-saving features. The title would require States to adopt building codes that would reach 30 percent energy savings through 2010 compared to 2006 standards, and then 50 percent by some future date to be determined later.
A number of amendments were offered to the renewable electricity standards title, but most were defeated on an 11 to 12 vote. The title would require that 15 percent of electricity must be generated by defined renewable sources by 2021. The committee wrangled over how nuclear power should be treated. An amendment to take new nuclear power out of the baseline from which the 15 percent is calculated was approved. Thus nuclear does not count as renewable, but new nuclear power plants will not increase the requirement to produce other renewables.
Waxman-Markey Heads to Floor?
The House Democratic leadership had a different story to tell every day this week on the schedule to bring H. R. 2454, the Waxman-Markey energy-rationing bill, to the floor. Their intentions may change again several times, but right now it looks as if they plan to debate and vote on the bill before leaving for the Fourth of July recess. I think Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) have come to the same conclusion I did: their chances of passing it are better sooner rather than later. To rush such a huge and momentous piece of legislation to the floor in a month is going to take a huge effort. It could easily slip to July or even past the August recess. But for now, we should expect a weeklong floor debate the week of 21st June.
The Alternative to Waxman-Markey
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) on 7th May introduced what can be seen as the comprehensive alternative to Waxman-Markey. Rather than rationing energy in the name of saving us from global warming, the American Energy Innovation Act would increase access to all kinds of energy, especially on federal lands and offshore areas. Bishop, the chairman of the Western Caucus, was joined by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, in introducing the bill. H. R. 2300 currently has 59 co-sponsors. Price and Bishop have both written articles promoting this joint effort of the Western Caucus and the Republican Study Committee and contrasting it with the Waxman-Markey bill. The American Energy Innovation Act is too big a bill with too much in it to be perfect, but it’s a good start toward rational (rather than rationing) energy policy. It’s going to be a long journey to get even halfway there.
Heartland’s Climate Conference
The big event in Washington this week (besides the unveiling of the Reagan statue in the Capitol’s Rotunda) was the Heartland Institute’s International Climate Conference. All the talks will soon be posted here. A good place to start will be with Professor Richard Lindzen’s excellent opening address. Lindzen’s analysis of the politics of global warming in the scientific community is most perceptive, and his demonstration that the climate is not nearly as sensitive to CO2 levels as the climate models assume looks definitive.
GE: General Extortion
GE, currently the 22nd largest company in the world-down from 10th last quarter-has been lobbying for Cap and Tax. Julia Seymour at Business and Media Institute in her piece “Networks Ignore Trillion-Dollar Price Tag of Climate Cap Bill“ writes:
GE is the largest wind turbine generator maker and according to an “O’Reilly Factor” investigation the company “stands to make billions” from cap-and-trade.
And Vladimir at Redstate has a continuation on Tim Carney’s expose on the lobbying of General Electric:
GE also controls the message through its ownership of the media. That includes NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Universal Studios, 10 major-market NBC affiliate stations, 16 Telemundo stations, plus many of the popular cable TV networks: A&E, History Channel, Sundance Channel, Weather Channel (my emphasis), Bravo, USA Networks, on and on. Have you noticed how hard the Green Agenda is being pushed in all the media?
A savvy capitalist hedges his bets. GE is one of the biggest players in the high-return business of energy lending – financing the capital needs of oil and gas firms.
No wonder the real story on the costs of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax bill isn’t getting out.
Around the World
Bonn: New Conference, Same Deadlock
Delegates from 180 countries met in Bonn this week for negotiations in advance of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change this December in Copenhagen, where the UN hopes to adopt a successor global warming treaty to the failed Kyoto Protocol.
According to the International Energy Agency, it would cost $45 trillion through 2050 to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. U.S. President Barack Obama wants rapidly developing nations such as China and India, which will account for the preponderance of future increases in global emissions, to share this tremendous economic burden. His top climate envoy, Todd Stern, told the Associated Press, “I would not say that the United States is going to race forward with major players like China on the sidelines.”
Under the Kyoto Protocol, however, rapidly developing nations are exempt from binding emissions cuts that would slow poverty reduction by making energy much more expensive. Delegates from these nations want to maintain this “right to develop,” so they reject Stern’s logic. China’s climate ambassador Yu Qingtai told Reuters, “Instead of introducing new concepts, controversial concepts, unfair concepts, the world would be better served if we could focus on what is already agreed upon…”
The deadlock in Bonn is nothing new. For two years, the climate negotiators have been meeting at five star resorts around the world, and they have made no progress on the core dispute: the U.S. won’t act on climate change without China, which won’t act under any circumstance. Thankfully, this impasse appears to be intractable.
Besides deadlock, the only other news out of Bonn was the European Union’s apparent reversal on its unilateral pledge to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. On Monday, German environmental minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters that, “If the others don’t join in, we cannot uphold this target.”