Cooler Heads Digest

Post image for Cooler Heads Digest 4 March 2011

In the News

The End of the Permitorium? Guess Again
Jazz Shaw, Pajamas Media, 4 March 2011

John Holdren: White House Malthusian
Robert Bradley,, 3 March 2011

A James Inhofe Victory Lap
David Weigel, Slate, 3 February 2011

New Interpretation of Antarctic Ice Cores
Anthony Watts, WattUpWithThat, 3 February 2011

The Ignorance of Think Progress
John Hinderaker, Powerline, 3 March 2011

The Electric Car Pipe Dream
Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner, 2 March 2011

Utilities Sell You out on Global Warming
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 1 March 2011

The Failure of Green Energy
Larry Bell, Forbes, 1 March 2011

California’s High Speed Rail Boondoggle
Philip Klein, American Spectator, 1 March 2011

Can Tomatoes Take Any More Global Warming?
Marlo Lewis,, 28 February 2011

News You Can Use

Climate Science: 10th Highest Paid Profession

In the Washington Examiner this week, CEI’s Iain Murray crunched the numbers, and found, “global warming professors are the tenth highest paid profession in the nation and the third highest paid profession in the public sector.  In terms of median earnings, they are paid as much as the average private sector CEO.”

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Inhofe-Upton Legislation Introduced

Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, on Thursday introduced identical bills to pre-empt the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act until authorized by Congress.  The Energy Tax Prevention Act is H. R. 910 in the House and S. 482 in the Senate.

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Post image for Cooler Heads Digest 25 February 2011

In the News

Time To Put the REINS on EPA
Marlo Lewis,, 25 February 2011

Interview with Freeman Dyson
Steve Conner, The Independent, 25 February 2011

EnviroPoll: Global Warming Is “Overblown”
Paul Chesser, American Spectator, 24 February 2011

The Gore Effect Strikes Canada
Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore, 24 February 2011

IG Report Sheds New Light on Climategate Scandal
Steve McIntyre,, 23 February 2011

Industry Has Spoken…Will the President Listen?
Kenneth Green, The American, 23 February 2011

She’s Leaving, on a (Surely) Private Plane
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 22 February 2011

Hiding the Decline
Judith Curry, Climate Etc, 22 February 2011

Don’t Overreact to Possible Global Warming
Jay Ambrose, Detroit News, 21 February 2011

News You Can Use

Alarmist Myth Debunked

Global warming alarmists long have warned that rising temperatures would destroy the ocean’s coral reefs. But World Climate Report this week notes a new study in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters demonstrating that warming oceans expand the range of tropical corals northward along the coast of Japan. At the same time, the corals are remaining stable at the southern end of their ranges. That is, corals are expanding, not contracting.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Late last Friday, the House of Representatives passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, which ends on September 30. H.R. 1 makes significant but not huge cuts in federal spending.

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Post image for Cooler Heads Digest 18 February 2011

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.

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Post image for Cooler Heads Digest 11 February 2011

In the News

Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi: Energy Policy Partners
Al Kaman, Washington Post, 11 February 2011

“Sustainability”: Some Free Market Perspectives
Marlo Lewis,, 11 February 2011

The High Speed Rail Boondoggle
Lou Dolinar, National Review, 11 February2011

No Arctic “Tipping Point”
David Whitehouse, The Observatory, 10 February 2011

What Happens When Economists Skip Econ 101
David Kreutzer, The Foundry, 10 February 2011

More Greenie “Con” Jobs
Chris Horner, American Spectator, 8 February 2011

Chrysler Super Controversy
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 8 February 2011

The Trouble with the “Green Jobs” Approach
Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 February 2011

News You Can Use

Cold Weather Kills

In the wake of record freezing temperatures and snowstorms that wreaked havoc across the American south again this week, it bears repeating that cold weather is a public health threat—much more so than any of the fantasy harms imagined by global warming alarmists. As noted by Indur Goklany, the empirical evidence clearly demonstrates that mortality in developed countries is significantly greater during winter months.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

House Energy and Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on EPA Pre-emption

The Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a day-long hearing on Wednesday on the Inhofe-Upton-Whitfield draft legislation (titled the Energy Tax Prevention Act) to block EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas regulations.  The star witnesses were Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.  They were followed by two panels of witnesses from the private sector plus the Attorney General of Texas, Greg Abbott.  I didn’t hear them all, but of the witnesses I did hear I was especially impressed by Abbott,  Mr. Steve Rowlan of steelmaker Nucor, and Mr. Peter Glaser of the law firm Troutman Sanders.

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Post image for Cooler Heads Digest 4 February 2011

In the News

Congress Should Tell the EPA It’s Not Congress
National Review editorial, 3 February 2011

With Energy Czar Gone, Michigan Wins
Henry Payne, Detroit News, 3 February 2011

80% “Clean” Energy by 2035: What Does This Mean?
Ken Kok,, 3 February 2011

T. Boone Pickens Unwittingly Exposes Absurdity of “Energy Independence”
John Tamny,, 3 February 2011

How Climate Sanity Has Been Gored
Larry Bell, Forbes, 3 February 2011

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In the News

Cold Truths about Electric Cars
Charles Lane, Washington Post, 28 January 2011

Austerity Pulling Plug on Europe’s Green Subsidies
Eric Reguly, Globe and Mail, 26 January 2011

Chinese Checkmate: Beating Us at Our Own Game?
Larry Bell, Forbes, 26 January 2011

The Horrid Ms. Browner
Alan Caruba,, 25 January 2011

‘Gasland’ Like More and Gore
Paul Chesser, American Spectator, 25 January 2011

The Heat Is on GE’s Immelt
Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore, 24 January 2011

Five Reasons To Be a Skeptic, 24 January 2011

Price of Junk Science
Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 24 January 2011

News You Can Use

State of the Union Roundup

Here’s a roundup of commentary on the green energy part of the President’s State of the Union Address

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

State of the Union

I was in West Virginia on Tuesday night and luckily managed to miss President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress.  Perhaps his delivery gave it some zing, but it’s dismal and tedious to read.  Most of it is sophomoric, and in places it’s faintly creepy.  The President’s speech repackages some of his most catastrophic policies in a new rhetorical context.  We’re now going to win the future by innovating and responding to the challenges we face as the U. S. responded to Sputnik in the 1960s.

Instead of putting Americans on the moon in a decade, the goal is to require that 80% of our electricity be produced from clean energy sources by 2035.

The President didn’t mention global warming or climate change, but clearly he’s still pursuing the global warming alarmist agenda, just as he promised to do last fall when he acknowledged that cap-and-trade was dead, but there were other ways to skin that cat.  As my CEI colleague Marlo Lewis was the first to point out, 80% by 2035 was the mandatory target in the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that passed the House in 2009 but died in the Senate last year.

Higher electric rates have undoubtedly had an effect on economic growth wherever they have been required by government.  Look at California.  Or Spain.  I hope Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric and the new Chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, will mention to the President that China gets 80% of its electricity from coal.  If we’re trying to keep up with China, perhaps the President should consider a goal of producing 80% of our electricity from coal by 2035.  Since we already get 50% from coal, that’s a much easier target to reach. And lower electric rates will put more money in people’s pockets to spend on other things and lower the cost of manufacturing.

President Obama also made the astonishing statement that, “We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business.”  Since virtually every economic policy he has implemented or proposed makes America a worse place to business, one might have thought that he would have then done a bit of backtracking on his Administration’s regulatory strangulation of business and new investment.  No, instead we’re going to put people back to work in good paying jobs manufacturing “solar shingles” and by wasting even more hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on dead-end technologies.  But in 2015 we will be proud of the fact that America will be the first country to have one million electric cars on the road.

Barrasso To Introduce Bill To Block Federal Climate Regs

Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) plans to introduce a bill early next week to prohibit the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions using existing legal authority, such as the Clean Air Act.  It is my understanding that the bill will not overturn the deal on Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for cars and light trucks that the Obama Administration negotiated in secret with the State of California and the automakers.  However, it will block any future Clean Air Act waivers for greenhouse gas emissions, so that California won’t be able to do the same trick again after the new CAFÉ standards go into effect in 2016.

It remains to be seen whether Senator Barrasso’s bill will have any Democratic co-sponsors.  It has been rumored that freshman Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has decided not to co-sponsor the bill.  If true, then Senator Manchin is already retreating from his tough talk in the campaign.  He certainly won’t be living up to the television commercial that got him elected in which he is seen shooting a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill.

This shouldn’t be too surprising.  The Senate Democratic leadership and the White House are probably leaning hard on Manchin.  Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday announced committee assignments for the 112th Congress.  Manchin was given a seat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  It would be cynical to suggest that there is any connection between that and deciding not to co-sponsor the Barrasso bill.

Across the States

New Mexico Supreme Court Issues Ironic Ruling

This week the New Mexico Supreme Court blocked Governor Susana Martinez’s attempt to stop a cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme from taking effect, on the grounds that the Governor failed to follow proper administrative procedure. In delivering the ruling, Chief Justice Charles Daniels admonished Governor Martinez, saying that “no one is above the law.” This is ridiculous. Governor Martinez was trying to block a cap-and-trade that had been imposed by her predecessor (ex-Governor Bill Richardson), during a lame-duck session, and after the state legislature had opposed it. When a state executive imposes an energy tax over the will of the legislature, isn’t he acting “above the law”? Fortunately, Governor Martinez still can block the regulation. She’ll have to wait until it’s published in the state register, and then her administration will have to perform a formal rulemaking through the Environmental Improvement Board. We hope she doesn’t abandon the effort.

Around the World

Hackers Shut Down EU Cap-and-Trade

Two weeks ago, more than $30 million of energy-rationing coupons were stolen and immediately resold on the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, a multinational cap-and-trade energy-rationing program. Evidently, hackers were able to break into the system due to the lax information security policies in the Czech Republic. In response to the theft, the ETS was shut down, and it was originally scheduled to open again today. Yesterday, however, the EU decided to keep the ETS closed indefinitely, until it better understands how the scheme was hacked.

Number of Skeptics Doubles in UK

According to a new poll conducted by the Office for National Statistics, the number of climate change skeptics in the United Kingdom doubled in the last four years, from 12 to 23 percent. The likely reasons for the increase in skepticism are the Climategate scandal and two consecutive record-breaking winters in northern Europe.
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,

In the News

Say No to Green Energy
T. J. Rodgers, GreenTech Media, 21 January 2011

It’s Time Again to ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’
Jonah Goldberg, National Review, 21 January 2011

EPA Official Resigns Rather Than Face the Music over Mine Veto
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 21 January 2011

The Tyranny of Eco-Sanctimony
Larry Bell, Forbes, 20 January 2011

France’s Solar Bubble Pops
Carl Shockley, Planet Gore, 20 January 2011

European Carbon Market Suspended over Fraud Fears
Rowena Mason, Telegraph, 19 January 2011

European History: Cooling Bad, Warming Good
Marlo Lewis,, 18 January 2011

Obama’s Regulatory Proposal Doesn’t Pass the Laugh Test
Iain Murray, Washington Examiner, 18 January 2011

The Population Bomb Is a Myth
Dominic Lawson, Independent, 18 January 2011

Mean Green’s Cynical Makeover
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 17 January 2011

News You Can Use

Marlo Lewis

Another Global Warming Scare Debunked

A popular “fact” peddled by global Warming alarmists is that rising ocean temperatures will melt frozen methane crystals (known as “clathrates”) on the deep ocean floor. As methane is a potent greenhouse gas, it has been claimed that this would cause a runaway loop whereby global warming causes more methane, which would cause more warming, and so on and so forth, until the planet is boiling. This claim, however, has been cast in doubt by a recent study published by ScienceExpress, demonstrating that previously undiscovered bacteria consumed in four months the massive volumes of methane released when the BP DeepWater Horizon well exploded last spring.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

The President’s Regulatory Smokescreen

President Barack Obama this week announced in a Wall Street Journal opinion article that he was going to order a comprehensive review of most federal regulations in order “to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive…. [and] … to root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.”  That sounds good, but in fact the President has created a smokescreen to conceal his administration’s regulatory assault on the American economy.

In his op-ed, President Obama gives an example of the kind of result he is seeking from his regulatory review.  The Food and Drug Administration considers saccharin safe for people to use as an artificial sweetener, yet the Environmental Protection Agency has long wanted to regulate saccharin as a toxic chemical.  In the enlightened Obama Administration, the EPA recently dropped saccharin from its list.  He didn’t mention that last week the EPA also told the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke a Clean Water Act permit granted in 2007 after a decade of review, which will close an already operating surface coal mine in West Virginia.  This decision destroys high-paying jobs and sends a chilling signal to potential investors in new industrial projects: we might issue a permit, but we also might change our minds after you’ve made your investment.

The Clean Air Act is also highlighted by the President as an example of “common sense rules of the road that strengthen our country without unduly interfering with the pursuit of progress and the growth of our economy.”  This is the same President who is trying to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and thereby raise energy prices and drive the current sluggish economic recovery into the ground.

Obama’s Favorite Crony Capitalist: GE’s Immelt

President Barack Obama on Friday created a new national Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and named his favorite crony capitalist, Jeffrey Immelt, as its chairman.  The appointment of Immelt, the Chairman and CEO of General Electric since 2001, is another clear sign that Mr. Obama is clueless about the economy and what his policies are doing to impede recovery.  If the President really wants to get the economy going and create jobs, he should do the opposite of what Immelt has done and of what Immelt advocates.

As the head of what was once one of the greatest corporations in the world, Immelt has been a bust.  GE’s share price was $40 when he took over.  For the past several years, it has bumped along at around $20.

As an advocate for national economic policies, Immelt is a much bigger disaster.  Along with James Rogers of Duke Energy, Immelt was the biggest corporate promoter of cap-and-trade legislation.  Cap-and-trade might have provided GE with some huge windfall profits for several of its businesses, but at the expense of doing immense harm to the U. S. economy.  Steeply increasing energy prices would make consumers poorer and price American manufactured goods out of the market.

But of course, Immelt’s shameless peddling of cap-and-trade is what makes him Obama’s favorite capitalist.  Immelt is the very model of a crony capitalist-that is, someone who wants to get government subsidies and use government mandates and twist government regulations to benefit his business.  Although he’s been a bust as a corporate executive, he’s a shrewd political operator who has put GE front and center at the federal government trough.

Across the States

West Virginia

Hundreds of West Virginians on Thursday protested the EPA’s decision to veto the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act for the Spruce No 1 surface coal mine in Logan County. As the Cooler Heads Digest Reported last week, the EPA is blocking the mine, which would have created 250 well-paying jobs, in order to protect a short-lived insect that isn’t even an endangered species. Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) told the crowd that, “What the EPA has done is fundamentally wrong.” Hear, hear.


The Wall Street Journal reported this week that California’s aggressive program to subsidize energy-efficient light bulbs is far less effective than was promised. The Golden State has spent more than $500 million to subsidize compact fluorescent bulbs, but according to Pacific Gas &Electric, one of the three major investor owned utilities in California, its program saved 73% less than originally projected.

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,

In the News

Peak Oilers Blind to Economic Reality
Iain Murray, Washington Examiner, 14 January 2011

New Mexico Governor Martinez Means Business
Paul Chesser, American Spectator, 13 January 2011

Utilities Lobbying To Raise Your Electricity Bills
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 12 January 2011

Our Resilient Earth
Marlo Lewis,, 12 January 2011

T. Boone Pickens Has Big Plans for Our Money
Larry Bell, Forbes, 12 January 2011

The Government Auto Show
Henry Parne, Planet Gore, 12 January 2011

For the EPA, the Climate Is Tough in the Senate
Robin Bravender, Politico, 12 January 2011

China and Wind: What a Waste
Kent Hawkins,, 11 January 2011

Oil Spil Antidote: More Red Tape
Washington Examiner editorial, 11 January 2011

For Upton, It’s Game-on
Steven Mufson, Washington Post, 9 January 2011

More Data Refusals-Nothing Changes
Steven McIntyre, Climate Audit, 6 January 2011

News You Can Use

Another Alarmist Myth Debunked

In June 2007, at a global warming “summit” in New Hampshire, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) warned, “If we don’t cut global warming pollution now, the White Mountains will become the ‘Once Upon A Time White Mountains’, because there may be no snow.” This week, snow fell in 49 of 50 states, and covered 70% of the U.S.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Three events this week demonstrated that the EPA’s new regulation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large stationary emitters such as power plants is not the only tool being employed to strangle the economy.  There’s also the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and Corporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFÉ standards.

First, the Clean Water Act

The EPA on Thursday announced that they were going to force the Corps of Engineers to revoke an already granted Section 404 permit to Arch Coal’s Spruce Fork Mine, which is an operating surface coal mine in West Virginia.  The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal articles repeated the EPA’s ludicrous claim that new scientific research since the permit was granted in 2007 shows that surface mining will have much more detrimental environmental and health effects than previously thought.  My CEI colleague William Yeatman has written about this issue here, and CEI sent out a press release criticizing the decision.  EPA’s revocation of a permit that has already been granted for a mine that is already in operation is outrageous.  The consequences could be catastrophic if this precedent scares away investors in future energy projects because of the risk that their investment could be lost by the retroactive revocation of an operating permit.

Second, the Endangered Species Act

The polar bear was listed as a threatened species by President George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne in 2008.  Last month, President Obama’s Interior Department designated 187,000 square miles in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska’s north coast as critical habitat. Interior also explained that the designation of critical habitat would require more environmental scrutiny of offshore oil and gas exploration and production, but that it would not be used to ban drilling.  The Center for Biological Diversity on Thursday announced that they would file suit in federal court to force Interior to ban all oil and gas drilling within the critical habitat designation.  This is a game that has often been played by environmental pressure groups working with their allies in the executive branch (and often those allies were formerly employed by environmental pressure groups).  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar can claim that he is trying to be reasonable and to balance environmental and economic interests, but will then probably reach a settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity to ban some or all drilling in the designated critical habitat.  Once the court approves, the settlement will have the force of law and will be nearly impossible to overturn.

Third, CAFÉ standards

In 2009, the Obama Administration did a deal with the State of California and the auto industry.  The auto industry thought they were getting some mythical beast called “regulatory certainty” in return for agreeing to a CAFÉ standard of 35.5 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by 2016.  First, EPA said last fall that they were considering raising that to up to 62 miles per gallon by 2025.  Now, the California Air Resources Board is making sounds that it wants to control the process by setting its own higher standards beginning in 2017, which would precipitate the same mess that the auto industry assumed they had alleviated with their 2009 deal over the California Waiver.  So this week the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers sent a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the new Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the new Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asking for help.

I don’t have much sympathy for the automakers because they were warned that this is what would happen (I know because I and my colleagues at CEI were among those warning them publicly), but it needs to be kept in mind that the ultimate victims will be consumers who want to buy cars.

National Commission Spill Report: Too Anti-Drilling Instead of Anti-Spilling

Ben Lieberman

The BP Deepwater Horizon Spill Commission report is out and its recommendations would spell bad news both for energy industry jobs and the future price at the pump.   The administration-selected panel, dominated by anti-drilling activists but devoid of anyone with actual experience producing energy, proposes to pile new layers of red tape onto a process that already leaves much domestic energy off-limits and creates years of delays for rest.    It even includes measures that would virtually shut down new oil drilling in Alaska, though the spill occurred thousands of miles away and under very different conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.

But buried in the report is an important truth – the spill occurred because of a series of blunders by BP and its contractors and was far from inevitable.   This contrasts sharply with the recommendations suggesting systemic problems to be fixed by an industry-wide crackdown.

There is ample reason to believe – along with the powerful circumstantial argument that the deadly April 20th explosion and subsequent oil spill is unique amidst the thousands of offshore wells drilled in Gulf – that this incident was due to gross mismanagement and is not a justification for closing the door further on domestic drilling.

The American public is more worried about a repeat of $4.00 gas than a repeat of Deepwater Horizon – and rightly so as the former is vastly more likely than the latter.  Reasonable changes to improve safety are warranted, but should occur in the context of a policy that ensures expanded offshore drilling.   To do this, Congress should not adopt the report’s recommendations or allow Obama regulators to impose them.

Across the States

New Mexico

As the Cooler Heads Digest reported last week, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez’s (R) first order of business upon taking office was to overturn outgoing Governor Bill Richardson’s (D) attempt to impose a cap-and-trade program. Predictably, environmentalists filed a lawsuit to block Governor Martinez’s move against energy rationing, and this week the state Supreme Court agreed to take the case. The environmentalists allege that Governor Martinez did not have the authority to block the cap-and-trade scheme, which is interesting in light of the fact that ex-Governor Richardson imposed it without approval from the state legislature.

Around the World


President Barack Obama frequently has cited the supposed success of the Spanish solar power market in order to justify the scores of billions of dollars of taxpayer money that his administration has given to the U.S. renewable energy industry. The President might want to rethink this allusion. A new report this week estimates that the Spanish solar industry has lost more than 30,000 jobs since 2008, due to the rollback of solar subsidies.

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,

In the News

Obama’s $5 Gas Is Just Ahead
Washington Examiner editorial, 7 January 2010

Did U.K. Government Hide Cold Weather Info on Eve of Climate Talks?
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 6 January 2010

Rocky, Shadow Boxing EPA
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 5 January 2010

The Climate Crisis Hoax
Larry Bell, Forbes, 5 January 2010

Drilling Is Stalled Even After Ban Was Lifted
Ben Casselman & Daniel Gilbert, Wall Street Journal, 3 January 2010

Green Skeletons Hide in GOP Closet
Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, 2 January 2010

The EPA’s End Run around Democracy
Marlo Lewis, Pajamas Media, 1 January 2010

New Peer Reviewed Study: No Correlation between GHGs, Temperature
Anthony Watts, WattsUpWithThat, 1 January 2010

News You Can Use

Gas Tops $3

For the first time during President Obama’s tenure, gasoline prices are averaging more than $3.00 per gallon nationwide, and many signs point to further increases as 2011 unfolds.   The President’s  global warming regulations, drilling moratoriums, and other anti-energy policies were unpopular enough when gas was cheap.  Now that it isn’t, the call for change is going to get a lot louder.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

112th Congress starts with flurry of bills to block EPA regulations

The 112th Congress was sworn in on Wednesday, and Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was elected Speaker of the House.  Nineteen Democrats voted against Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), which is extraordinary when you consider that Pelosi as Minority Leader still controls committee assignments for her party’s members.  The House began Thursday by reading the Constitution (my thoughts on that may be found here), which surprised me by causing a lot of foaming at the mouth on the left.  Later that morning, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Marin County), who remains Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, held a press conference during which she vowed to block any attempt to prohibit or delay the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act.

Boxer may be very busy.  The hottest item of the first week of the new Congress was introducing a bill to block EPA.  Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) along with 45 co-sponsors re-introduced her bill (H. R. 97) to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the list of things that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act.  Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a bill to delay EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions for two years.  This is similar to the bill that Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced last year and announced this week that he would re-introduce in the 112th Congress.  And Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) introduced a bill to prohibit any funding to be spent on implementing or enforcing a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Key House Committee Chairmen in the 112th Congress

Here is the lineup so far for House committees with jurisdiction over energy, energy-rationing, and global warming policy.  Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is the new Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), who was the Chairman in the 111th Congress, is now the Ranking Democrat.  The Energy and Environment Subcommittee will be chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.).  The Democrats have not yet picked their ranking member for the subcommittee.

The new Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee is Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), and the ranking Democrat is Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), of Waxman-Markey fame.  Rep. Doug Lamborn will chair the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee.  Again, the Democrats have not yet picked their subcommittee ranking members.

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.) will chair the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  The ranking Democrat will be Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.).  Chairman Hall has not yet announced his pick to chair the Energy and Environment Subcommittee.  On the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) is the new the Chairman and Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) is the new Ranking Democrat.  Rep. Darrell Issa will chair the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, while Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is the new ranking Democrat.

The Senate, as is usually the case, is taking longer to organize itself.

Across the States

New Mexico

After being sworn in on Saturday, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez’s (R) first order of business was to overturn outgoing Governor Bill Richardson’s (D) attempt to impose a cap-and-trade program. As the Cooler Heads Digest reported, then-Governor Richardson pushed an energy rationing scheme through the Environmental Improvement Board, without approval from the State Legislature, on the same day that voters elected Martinez, who had campaigned against cap-and-trade. On Saturday, Governor Martinez fired the entire EIB, and moved to block the cap-and-trade regulation. Yesterday, she chose former astronaut and climate change skeptic Harrison Schmitt to run the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.


On Monday, the EPA started regulating greenhouse gases from stationary sources using the Clean Air Act. Texas, however, refuses to participate, so the EPA wants to seize control of the State’s air quality permitting program.  In an effort to ward off the EPA’s power grab, Texas Attorney General Greg Abott is challenging the EPA on a number of fronts. In October, Texas filed suit in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia alleging that EPA does not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. In mid December, it filed a petition in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging EPA’s finding that Texas’s permitting process was not in compliance with the agency’s rules. On December 30 the State filed a new petition in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia taking issue with EPA’s regulatory schedule. In the latter case, the District of Columbia court agreed to stay EPA’s takeover of the Texas permitting program until all parties filed briefs, which could be as early as today.

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,

In the News

The Mid-West Wind Tax
Wall Street Journal editorial, 30 December 2010

Ed Rendell Is a Wuss about Climate Change
Iain Murray, Washington Examiner, 29 December 2010

No Comfort and Joy over Holiday Gas Prices
Ben Lieberman,, 29 December 2010

President Obama’s Never Ending Drilling Moratorium
Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore, 29 December 2010

Jobs, Joblessness, and Obamanomics
Chris Horner, Daily Caller, 28 December 2010

Regs for Rigs
Marlo Lewis,, 28 December 2010

The Mystery of Vanishing Snow
James Delingpole, Telegraph, 27 December 2010

Hot Sensations vs. Cold Facts
Larry Bell, Forbes, 27 December 2010

Pennsylvania Legislature Should Repeal Expensive Energy Mandate
Paul Chesser, Harrisburg Patriot-News, 26 December 2010

News You Can Use

Global Warming Science Jumps the Shark

Over the last decade, the “scientific consensus” has been that global warming would cause warmer winters and the absence of snow in the United Kingdom. Now that the U.K. is in the grip of the coldest winter in 1,000 years, the consensus has shifted. In an oped last Sunday in the New York Times, atmospheric scientist Judah Cohen explained how freezing temperatures in Europe are in fact due to global warming.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

EPA Issues Schedule for Greenhouse Gas Regulations

Just in time for Christmas, the Environmental Protection Agency released further plans for regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act.  The EPA announced on December 23rd that it would release performance standards for power plants by July 26, 2011 and have the final rule adopted by May 26, 2012.  Performance standards for oil refineries would be released by December 10, 2011 and a final rule by November 10, 2012.  The new performance standards would cover about 40% of total U. S. greenhouse gas emissions-primarily carbon dioxide.

EPA is going to begin regulating large stationary sources of emissions on January 2, 2011, but those regulations will only apply to permits for new or expanded facilities.  The performance standards for power plants and refineries will apply to existing facilities.  Few details were given in the announcement, but there has been speculation that EPA is thinking about devising a cap-and-trade program within the Clean Air Act and without any further involvement by Congress.  Further performance standards for other sources, such as cement kilns, may be on the way as well.

Robin Bravender in Politico provided a good overview of EPA’s announcement, which can be found here.  Gabriel Nelson’s more detailed story in Greenwire was picked up by the New York Times’s web site and can be found here.

Will Rep. Fred Upton Stand up to the EPA?

Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the incoming Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on December 28 on “How Congress Can Stop the EPA’s Power Grab.”  They mention that, “The best solution is for Congress to overturn the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright.”  However, most of their article discusses two more limited alternatives.  Upton and Phillips favor delaying EPA until the court cases challenging EPA’s legal authority are decided over the proposal originally made by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) for a two-year delay.  They call a two-year delay arbitrary and express some confidence that the federal courts are going to find that EPA lacks legal authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

I believe their confidence is misplaced.  There is a long history of federal courts deferring to the EPA as long as the EPA is asserting broader regulatory authority.  What worries me more is that Upton and Phillips seem to be implying that if the federal court tells EPA that they can go ahead and regulate, then Upton and Phillips will be happy and the Congress should be happy with that outcome.  It seems to me that a senior Member of Congress should be arguing that it is up to Congress to decide whether and how to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and therefore that the court’s decision is irrelevant.  Moreover, as a matter of political strategy, I think it is dangerous for the Congress to wait for a court decision before acting.  If the court allows regulation under the existing Clean Air Act, then environmental pressure groups will use that as an argument against any attempt in Congress to block or limit EPA.

Interior Issues Anti-Energy Regulations

Also just in time for Christmas, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on December 23 ordered the Bureau of Land Management to manage millions of acres of federal lands as “Wild Lands” and thereby prevent such human uses as mining and oil and gas production.  Salazar’s action effectively overturns a 2003 deal between the Department of the Interior and the State of Utah that prevented the BLM from arbitrarily withdrawing land from management under the Multiple Use and Sustained Yield Act and putting it under de facto wilderness management.  The new “Wild Lands” category is an arbitrary bureaucratic classification that has no status in law and should not be confused with Wilderness Areas designated by Congress and managed under the Wilderness Act.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert reacted angrily, as did Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the incoming chairman of the House public lands subcommittee. Bishop told the Salt Lake Tribune, “Make no mistake about it, this decision will seriously hinder domestic energy development and further contributes to the uncertainty and economic distress that continues to prevent the creation of new jobs in a region that has unduly suffered from this administration’s radical policies.”  An editorial in the Washington Examiner asked, “Who’s doing the most to hobble the productive power of the U.S. economy, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson or Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar?” The answer is that they’re both acting on behalf of President Barack Obama and that what they’re doing is part of his multi-front war against American energy and the large part of our economy that runs on that energy.

Across the States


The EPA last week seized partial control of Texas’s air quality permitting authority, after the state refused to regulate greenhouse gases. Texas is one of three states (the other two are Alabama and Virginia) to have filed a lawsuit against the EPA alleging that the agency doesn’t have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, but the federal courts have yet to rule on the case. In the meantime, the EPA’s climate regulations start on January 2, and Texas is the only state to refuse to implement them. As a result, the EPA will bypass Texas regulators, and directly issue greenhouse gas permits. Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) has vowed to fight the EPA.


In an excellent column today, George Will noted that Cowlitz County in Washington state recently approved the construction of a coal export terminal from which millions of tons of U.S. coal could be shipped to Asia annually. As the Cooler Heads Digest has reported in the past, the Obama administration’s crackdown on coal has forced U.S. coal companies to seek other markets, primarily China. As such, this President’s anti-energy policies are putting the U.S. on the path to a future whereby: (1) we export our affordable energy to China; (2) China uses this affordable energy to build energy-intensive renewable energy generation, like massive wind turbines and solar panels; (3) and then the U.S. buys these expensive, renewable energy goods from China, using money borrowed from China. What a deal!

Around the World

New Zealand Climate Skeptics Fight Back

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition this week presented convincing evidence that the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) overstated the robustness of its alarmist climate data. In a recent paper, NIWA claimed that New Zealand temperatures rose 1 degree Celsius. Last week, NIWA issued a “peer review” of its paper by the Australian Bureau of Meteorologists, which, NIWA claimed, confirms its findings. The Climate Science Coalition this week noted that a true peer review is impossible, because NIWA has lost the underlying data. NIWA’s embarrassing inability to back up its temperature claims with raw data only became public after the Climate Science Coalition asked for it.

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,