Cooler Heads Digest

A major disagreement erupted this week in the British government over future onshore windmill installations.  The number two minister in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, John Hayes, MP, declared that “enough is enough,” and that no more wind farms needed to be built in the United Kingdom.  Hayes complained that wind turbines had been “peppered across the country” without regard for public opinion.

Hayes’s boss, Energy Minister Ed Davey, MP, quickly and angrily responded that Hayes’s views are not shared by the Cabinet and that there is no formal change in government policy towards renewable energy.

Davey is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, which is the junior partner in the Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition government.  Hayes, a member of the Conservative Party, clearly speaks for the majority of MPs in his party.

In response to a question by Ed Miliband, MP, leader of the Labour Party opposition, Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that government policy had not changed, thereby apparently backing Davey.  But then Cameron said that it was time for a debate about future policy on onshore wind installations.

Official British government policy aims for 13 gigawatts of wind capacity by 2020. Current capacity is 7.3 gigawatts, with hundreds of wind turbines currently under construction.

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News You Can Use
Hedge Fund Wins Big Bet against Solar
In a quarterly newsletter, the hedge fund Greenlight Capital, Inc. announced that it has closed its short position in First Solar, “one of the most profitable shorts in the history” of its funds. Stock prices for First Solar, which received a $1.4 billion stimulus loan from the same program that propped up Solyndra, plummeted primarily because Germany rolled back solar power subsidies.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Obama Punts on Keystone (again)
President Barack Obama on Wednesday, 18th January, announced that he would not approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries in the Gulf States.  A provision in the payroll tax cut extension legislation required the President to make a decision before 21st February based on the national interest.  The President’s statement used the deadline to blame Congress for his decision:

“This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people.”

The New York Times was almost alone among major papers in supporting the President’s decision.  The Washington Post noted that the President’s own Council on Jobs and Competitiveness had reported the day before that the United States needed to be building more energy infrastructure, including pipelines.  Post columnist Robert Samuelson wrote that Obama’s decision was an “act of national insanity.”

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Post image for Cooler Heads Digest 6 January 2012

In the News

On Grid Solar: An Industry in Plight
David Bergeron, Master Resource, 6 January 2012

A Honda Civic Lesson
Eric Peters, American Spectator, 6 January 2012

Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement of California Low Carbon Fuel Standard
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 5 January 2012

Ethanol Subsidies Are Gone, But Not Forgotten
Daniel Kish, U.S. News and World Report, 5 January 2012

Send in the Clown
Henry Payne, The Michigan View, 5 January 2012

The Climate Change Message Is Not Being Heard; Here’s How to Change Tack
Sunny Hundal, Guardian, 5 January 2012

Range Fuels: Another Failed Loan Guarantee
Dan Chapman, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 4 January 2012

Could Climate Change Create Deadly, Mutant Sharks Which Kill Us All?
James Delingpole, Telegraph, 3 January 2012

Antarctic Temperature Trends
World Climate Report, 3 January 2012

On Energy Policy, Reasons To Cheer
George Will, Washington Post, 1 January 2012

News You Can Use

Bad News for Electric Cars

Jackie Moreau

Last week, we reported that electric vehicles receive subsidies of up to $250,000 per car. Recent news suggests this money is poorly spent.

Post image for Cooler Heads Digest 30 December 2011

In the News

Obamacar for the 1 Percent
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 30 December 2011

Should We Fear the Methane Time Bomb?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 29 December 2011

Bring on 2012!
Robert Bradley, Master Resource, 29 December 2011

Why “Beyond Petroleum” Gave up on Solar
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 28 December 2011

Don’t Miss the Energy “Technolution”
Kirk Spano, Market Watch, 28 December 2011

The Circular Logic of Energy Independence
Jonathan Thompson, High Country News, 27 December 2011

Dingell’s Volt Goof
Dan Calabrese, The Michigan View, 26 December 2011

News You Can Use

Chevy Volt Subsidy up to $250,000 Per Car

Marlo Lewis

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Post image for Cooler Heads Digest 16 December 2011

In the News

Climategate Bombshell
Maxim Lott, Fox News, 16 December 2011

Scientific Communication: Preach or Engage?
Chip Knappenberger, Master Resource, 16 December 2011

Keystone Blue Collar Blues
Lawrence Kudlow, Real Clear Politics, 16 December 2011

Obama’s Justice Department Joins Britain’s Climategate Leaker Manhunt
Chris Horner, Washington Examiner, 15 December 2011

Nipping Jobs in the Bud
Brian McGraw, American Spectator, 15 December 2011

Time to Tell the Green Energy Industry to Grow Up
Jackie Moreau, GlobalWarming.org, 15 December 2011

Obama’s Transparency War Targets Climate Skeptics
David Bier, Open Market, 15 December 2011

Obama’s Regulatory Burden
Rep. Fred Upton, National Review, 15 December 2011

EPA’s Bogus Wyoming Fracking Report
Robert Bryce, New York Post, 14 December 2011

Big Picture Items
World Climate Report, 14 December 2011

New You Can Use

Another Alarmist Myth Debunked

According to an IPS interview with Richard Armstrong, a geographer at Colorado University’s National Snow and Ice Centre and the lead author of the first comprehensive study of the glaciers of High Asia, 96 percent of the water that flows down the mountains of Nepal into nine local river basins comes from snow and rain, and only 4 percent from summer glacier melt. Of that 4 percent, says Armstrong, only a minuscule proportion comes from the melting away of the end points of the glaciers due to global warming. The study debunks a long-held talking point of global warming alarmists, that climate change could incite a resource war between India and Pakistan by melting away Himalayan glaciers.

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In the News

If Al Gore Can Outgrow the Ethanol Fad, Why Can’t Conservatives?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 7 April 2011

Greens Oppose Biomass in Pacific Northwest
Joel Millman, Wall Street Journal, 7 April 2011

Biofuels Raise Hunger Fears
Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, 7 April 2011

Obama’s Energy Funny
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 6 April 2011

The Longer the Delay, the More You Pay
Sen. John Barrasso, Politico, 6 April 2011

Government vs. Resourceship
John Bratland, MasterResource.org, 6 April 2011

China Sees Evil of Plastic Bags
Jonah Goldberg, USA Today, 6 April 2011

Obama-Backed Tesla Sues Its Critics
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 6 April 2011

Should We Feed Hungry People, Even If It’s Bad for the Environment?
Alex Berezow, Forbes, 6 April 2011

UN IPCC: Analyst or Advocate?
Lee Lane, RealClearScience.com, 5 April 2011

GE’s Immelt: Jobs Czar from Hell
Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 April 2011

New Energy Economy Drubbed in Debate
Vincent Carroll, Denver Post, 2 April 2011

Renewable Energy Standards Are Unconstitutional
Paul Chesser, Washington Times, 1 April 2011

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In the News

Defund the EPA’s Enablers
Steven Milloy, Washington Times, 1 April 2011

Is the Public Clamoring for More EPA Regulation?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 31 March 2011

EPA’s Benefit-Cost Estimates (30 free lunches for the price of 1?)
Garrett Vaughn, MasterResource.org, 31 March 2011

When Will Media Report That Corporate Cash is Behind Green Activism?
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 31 March 2011

Obama’s “Energy Security” Pivot
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 30 March 2011

Halt Cap-and-Trade End Run
Dan Shaul & Phil Kerpen, Columbia Daily Tribune, 29 March 2011

A Green Energy Economy Revisited
Jerry Taylor & Peter Van Doren, Forbes, 29 March 2011

Gallup: Global Warming Least Concern of Least Concern for Voters
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air, 28 March 2011

“Drill, Brazil, Drill,” Obama Says
Conn Carroll, The Foundry, 28 March 2011

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In the News

Endangered? CDC: “U.S. Death Rate Falls for 10th Consecutive Year”
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 25 March 2011

This Is Your Nation’s Economic Policy on Democratic Leadership
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 25 March 2011

Newt’s Changing Colors
Faiz Shakir, Progress Report, 25 March 2011

EPA Provides the Cash, American Lung Association Hits Upton and the Energy Tax Prevention Act
Myron Ebell, GlobalWarming.org, 24 March 2011

How the President Killed My Company
Randy Stilley, Washington Post, 24 March 2011

Whose Clean Energy Standards?
Paul Chesser, American Spectator, 24 March 2011

The Real Problem with High Speed Rail
Michael Rosen, The American, 24 March 2011

Obama’s Greens Turn Yellow
Washington Times editorial, 23 March 2011

Van Jones: Fracking Is Polluting Our Water
Myron Ebell, GlobalWarming.org, 22 March 2011

EPA’s Greenhouse Power Grab
Marlo Lewis, Pajamas Media, 21 March 2011

Google To Fight Global Warming “Ignorance”
Russell Cook, American Thinker, 21 March 2011

Recent Weather Extremes: Global Warming Fingerprint Not
Chip Knappenberger, Master Resource, 21 March 2011

Trains, Greens, and Gasoline: What a Wild Week
Mark Steyn, Investor’s Business Daily, 18 March 2011

News You Can Use

North Dakota’s Lesson for America

Not every State is suffering economically.  According to a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by Joel Kotkin,  unemployment in North Dakota is 3.8 percent (nation-wide, it’s about 9 percent), due primarily to increasing production of oil and gas. And, as noted by Bonner Cohen in a letter to the Journal, North Dakota’s energy boom was made possible primarily because almost all of North Dakota’s rich deposits of oil and natural gas lie beneath privately-owned land. Otherwise, it would have been locked up by the Obama administration.

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In the News

The Truth about Obama and Nuclear Power
Chris Horner, Big Government, 18 March 2011

How Washington Ruined Your Washing Machine
Sam Kazman, Wall Street Journal, 17 March 2011

Advice for Mr. Obama on Energy
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, RealClearMarkets.com, 17 March 2011

Chevy Volt: the Car from Atlas Shrugged Motors
Patrick Michaels, Forbes.com, 17 March 2011

Putting Chernobyl in Perspective
Josh Gilder, RealClearScience.com, 17 March 2011

EPA’s Utility MACT Proposal: Negative Economics for What?
Scott Segal, MasterResource.org, 17 March 2011

Global Warming Alarmism Continues To Backfire
James Taylor, Forbes.com, 16 March 2011

New Light on Hide the Decline
Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, 15 March 2011

Two States Bail out of Global Warming Lawsuit
Russell Cook, American Thinker, 15 March 2011

Pawlenty’s Flip-Flop on Energy & Environment
Don Shelby, Minnesota Post, 15 March 2011

Risk-Free Energy? Surely, You Must Be Joking
Alex B. Berezow, RealClearScience.com, 15 March 2011

Waxman, Markey, Inslee Put Greenhouse Agenda Ahead of Constitutional Principle
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 14 March 2011

Engines Beware! Gas with 15% Ethanol Is Coming
Shane McGlaun, Daily Tech, 14 March 2011

Green Injustice
Niger Innis, Washington Examiner, 14 March 2011

News You Can Use

Wind Turbines: A National Security Threat

According to the Industrial Wind Action Group, wind farms degrade performance of 39 percent of radar stations operated by the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

EPA Pre-Emption Bill Heads to House Floor

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday marked up and passed H. R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, by a 34 to 19 vote.  All 31 Republicans on the committee supported Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) bill.  They were joined by three Democrats—Representatives John Barrow (D-Ga.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), and Mike Ross (D-Ark.).

The mark-up started on Monday afternoon with opening statements from members of the committee and then lasted most of Tuesday.  A number of amendments offered by Democrats were variations on the theme that the Congress accepts that global warming science is settled and that it’s a crisis.  All these amendments were defeated easily, but, as my CEI colleague Marlo Lewis points out, Republican supporters of the bill for the most part didn’t defend the bill very well against the Democrats’ attacks.

What the proponents should argue, but did not in committee mark-up, is that H. R. 910 is not about the science or what we should do about potential global warming.  The bill simply says that the EPA cannot use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions until the Congress authorizes it to do so.  Chairman Upton’s bill is designed to re-assert congressional authority to make laws (which the Constitution gives Congress the sole authority to do) and rein in an out-of-control executive branch.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that passing the Upton bill is a priority.  It is now expected that the bill could be debated on the House floor as soon as the week of 27th March.  On 26th June 2009, the House Democratic leadership railroaded the mammoth Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill through the House in a single day of debate with only one Republican amendment allowed to be offered.  The Republican leadership under Boehner is doing things differently, so there will probably be several days of debate with numerous amendments considered.  The bill should pass easily, with almost unanimous Republican and significant Democratic support.

Senator McConnell’s Surprise

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) surprised everyone on Tuesday by going to the Senate floor and offering the EPA pre-emption bill sponsored by Senator James M. Inhofe, S. 482, as an amendment to S. 493, the Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Programs Re-Authorization Act.  Inhofe’s bill is identical to H. R. 910, which the House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up this week.  The Energy Tax Prevention Act (S. 482/H. R. 910) would block EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions until authorized to do so by Congress.

House Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) initially indicated that there would be a vote on McConnell’s amendment later on Tuesday.  And Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) initially indicated that he would not offer his bill to delay EPA regulations for two years as a counter-amendment.  Rockefeller’s bill is intended to provide cover for Democrats, so is trotted out whenever it looks like the Senate might pass a permanent pre-emption.

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Post image for Cooler Heads Digest 11 March 2011

In the News

Science’s Role Is To Inform, Not Dictate Policy
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 11 March 2011

The Drumming of an Army
Clive James, Standpoint, March 2011

Australia’s Carbon Warning for Obama
Tom Switzer, Wall Street Journal, 11 March 2011

55 Positive Externalities: Hail to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment!
Chip Knappenberger, MasterResource.org, 10 March 2011

Does Obama Want Higher Gas Prices?
Vincent Carroll, Denver Post, 9 March 2011

A Modest Proposal To Fix Global Warming
Jeb Babbin, American Spectator, 8 March 2011

Wind Energy’s Overblown Prospects
Larry Bell, Forbes, 8 March 2011

The Silent Killer of the American Economy
Marita Noon, Energy Tribune, 8 March 2011

The Wages of Green Spin
Chris Horner, Daily Caller, 7 March 2011

The High Cost of Renewables
Paul Chesser, Santa Fe New Mexican, 7 March 2011

News You Can Use
Oil in the Obama Era: 67% More Expensive

According to a recent analysis by the Heritage Foundation, oil prices have increased 67 percent since President Barack Obama took office.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

H.R. 910 Clears the First Hurdle, More Action Next Week

The House of Representatives took the first step on Thursday toward reclaiming its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  The Energy and Power (yes, that really is its name) Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and passed H. R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which is sponsored by Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.).  H. R. 910 would pre-empt EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act unless and until explicitly authorized to do so by Congress.

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