Cooler Heads Digest

In the News

Bob Barr: [un]Principled Supporter of Ethanol
Brian McGraw,, 24 September 2010

America’s Last Bulb Plant Closes
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 24 September 2010

Is Clean Energy a Good Investment?
Myron Ebell, Politico Energy Arena, 24 September 2010

Why They Go Green
Robert Bradley,, 23 September 2010

The Real Gulf Disaster
Wall Street Journal editorial, 23 September 2010

Courts Should Overturn EPA Climate Rules
Marlo Lewis,, 22 September 2010

Friedman Today
Jonah Goldberg, The Corner, 22 September 2010

Soros To Push Climate Policy
Chris Horner, American Spectator, 21 September 2010

Climate Change Enlightenment Is Dead
George Monbiot, Guardian, 20 September 2010

British Energy Policy Is in Crisis
Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph, 18 September 2010

News You Can Use

According to the latest Nongovernment International Panel on Climate Change newsletter, “Estimates of current rates of ice loss for Greenland and Antarctica have been reduced by a factor of two, suggesting that almost none of the sea level rise over the past decade is due to glacial ice loss. Click here to subscribe.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Sam Brownback (R-Ks.) announced this week that they would try to bring a stand-alone renewable electricity standard (RES) bill to the Senate floor during a lame duck session after the November 2nd elections.  Their new 43-page bill would require that electric utilities provide at least 15% of their power from renewable sources by 2021, although up to 4% could come from improvements in energy efficiency.  The new federal standard would be in addition to the many state renewable requirements that have already been enacted.

The bill, S. 3813, now has 20 Democratic and 4 Republican sponsors.  The Republicans besides Brownback are: Collins (Me.), Ensign (Nev.), and Grassley (Ia.).  The Democrats besides Bingaman are: Dorgan (ND), Harkin (Ia.), Bennet (Colo.), Murray (Wash.), Begich (Alaska), Feinstein (Calif.), Reid (Nev.), Tom Udall (NM), Mark Udall (Colo.), Cantwell (Wash.), Franken (Minn.), Kerry (Mass.), Durbin (Ill.), Stabenow (Mich.), Kaufman (Del.), Johnson (SD), Shaheen (NH), Burris (Ill.), and Cardin (Md.).

Two headlines in Greenwire publications sum up the dilemma.  On Thursday, the headline was “Renewable Electricity Standard Bill Stands Alone or Dies, Senate Sponsors Vow.”  On Friday, however, the headline was “Lawmakers See RES Bill as Christmas Tree for Pet Projects.” The fact is that in lame duck sessions, Members become even more focused than they usually are on getting whatever they can for themselves.  This means that trying to keep the bill free of lots of other provisions will be close to impossible.  On the other hand, its slim chances for passage will become virtually nil if other provisions are added by amendment.

One of the possible amendments is Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D-WV) bill to delay for two years EPA’s implementation of Clean Air Act regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.  Rockefeller said he was thinking about it.  Senator Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) said it was a definite possibility that he would offer it if Rockefeller did not.

Around the World

Pressure Mounts on Pachauri To Resign

Pressure is growing on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chairman Rajendra Pachauri to resign in the wake of a critical audit released last month by the InterAcademy Council. Although the IAC report didn’t outright call for Pachauri’s resignation, the lead investigator, Harold Shapiro, said that the IPCC has to “re-earn” trust for the chair, which has been taken to mean that Pachauri’s ouster is a necessary reform. This week, former United Kingdom Environmental Minister Tim Yeo told the BBC that Pachauri is “doing more harm than good,” and Mike Hulme, a former IPCC lead author, said that a new chairman would bring “respect” to the panel. Pachauri’s reputation has become so damaged that the UK director of Greenpeace John Sauven told The Times, “the IPCC needs to regain credibility. Is that going to happen with Pachauri? I don’t think so.”

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

Fixing the Global Warming Establishment with New Lipstick
Shikha Dalmia,, 17 September 2010

Journalist’s Truthful Climate Reporting Gets Him Fired
Paul Chesser, American Spectator, 17 September 2010

Coal Miners Rally in Washington
Stephen Power, Wall Street Journal, 16 September 2010

Tragedy of the Commons Redux
Sterling Burnett, Planet Gore, 16 September 2010

Inconvenient Truths
Bjorn Lomborg, Wall Street Journal, 15 September 2010

Stand up to the EPA Power Grab
Phil Kerpen, Fox Forum, 14 September 2010

Wind Power on the Firing Line
Jon Boone,, 13 September 2010

News You Can Use

Ineffective Stimulus

According to an audit issued Thursday by Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel, the city has created just 55 jobs with $111 million from the 2009 stimulus.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

EPA Climate Regulations under Assault

There was a fair amount of maneuvering this week on delaying the implementation of EPA’s regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

On Capitol Hill, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, cancelled a full committee vote on her subcommittee’s appropriations bill because of the threat that an amendment to delay implementation of EPA’s regulation of stationary sources would pass.  Feinstein said that the committee may not vote on the bill at all this year.  Instead, Interior and EPA appropriations would be rolled into an omnibus spending bill.

Feinstein’s move was quickly countered by Senator Christopher Bond (R-Mo.), whose office let it be known that he might try to attach an amendment to a Defense appropriations bill.  Politico’s Morning Energy quotes an e-mail from a Bond staffer: “Bond believes the Defense authorization bill is the wrong place for a campaign wish list, but we’ll have to see whether Democrats go through with plans to load on extra issues and whether that opens the door to other things.”

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) chimed in that he was still expecting a vote on the Senate floor before the end of the 111th Congress on his bill to delay EPA greenhouse gas regulations for two years.  Rockefeller told Environment and Energy News that he has 53 votes and expects to get to the 60 required by the time of the vote.  If there is a vote, it will likely occur in a lame duck session after the November 2 congressional elections.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland sent a letter http this week to his state’s congressional delegation urging them to support a two-year delay.  This would be quite a surprise were not the liberal Democrat trailing in his campaign for re-election.  The Business Roundtable also sent a letter asking for a two-year delay.  This is significant because many companies that belong to the big business lobbying association support cap-and-trade.

Finally, three separate motions were filed in the federal D. C. Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to delay implementation of EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations until the court rules on the lawsuit seeking to overturn the Endangerment Finding upon which the regulations are based.  One motion was filed by the State of Texas; another (Greenwire subscription req’d) was filed by several non-profit policy and legal groups; and the third (Greenwire subscription req’d) was filed by three industry trade associations.

Across the States


By a 4 to 1 vote, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution supporting Proposition 23, the California ballot initiative to suspend AB 32, the State’s global warming law, until unemployment decreases to 5.5 %. Supervisor John Benoit, who authored a resolution, told the Desert Sun, “AB 32 is a very open law that’s left to the bureaucracy to make the rules. I don’t think we need to be the greenest Third World economy in the world. I’m afraid of where this leads us.” On August 18th, Regional Council of Rural Counties, a coalition of supervisors from northern California counties, voted 21 to 0 to support Proposition 23.

In Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle, James Kellogg, a prominent union leader, wrote a stirring endorsement of Proposition 23, titled “Like Having a Job? You’ll Love Prop 23.”

Around the World


In order to meet a pledge to reduce energy use per unit of economic output by 20 per cent over the five years ending this December, the Chinese government has ordered energy rationing, resulting in rolling blackouts across the country. More than 2,000 energy intensive industries have been ordered  to close. Despite these extreme measures, China is unlikely to meet the target.

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

Green Jobs No Longer Golden in Stimulus
Patrice Hill, Washington Times, 9 September 2010

Eeyore Environmentalism
Steven Hayward, Planet Gore, 8 September, 2010

Kiss Your Ash Goodbye
Ben Lieberman,, 8 September 2010

Sword of Damocles
Wall Street Journal editorial, 8 September 2010

Salmon Runs, Global Warming As Clear As Mud
Jon Ferry, The Province, 8 September 2010

The Accidental Cap-and-Trade
Chris Horner,, 7 September 2010

Scarlet Letters for the Auto Industry
Vincent Carroll, Denver Post, 5 September 2010

News You Can Use

It Could Happen Here

As part of a last-minute lunge to make good on a pledge to reduce energy use per unit of economic output by 20 per cent over the five years ending this December, the Chinese government has ordered energy rationing, resulting in rolling blackouts across the country. More than 2,000 energy intensive industries have been ordered to close.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Obama’s New Stimulus Proposal

President Obama this week unveiled new proposals to stimulate the economy.  Included is at least one useful proposal-the immediate expensing of new capital investments.  CEI has long supported replacing multi-year depreciation with immediate expensing as good economic and environmental policy.  Increasing the turnover of manufacturing equipment will make industry more competitive while decreasing energy use and pollution.  That’s because new equipment is almost always more energy efficient and pollutes less than old equipment.  Unfortunately, the President isn’t proposing a permanent change in the tax code, but just a one-year gimmick to pump up the economy in the short term.

The proposed changes to increase taxes on the oil and gas industry are permanent, however.  This means that the one temporary benefit in the President’s package is far outweighed by the long-term damage to our economy.  These tax increases will put American oil producers at a competitive disadvantage with their foreign competitors.  One of the consequences will be less domestic oil production and more imports.  That means fewer high-paying American jobs and higher trade deficits.

This appears part of a broader plan by President Obama to force domestic petroleum production down.  Other elements include the six-month moratorium on offshore leases in the Gulf, cancelling planned oil and gas leases federal lands in the West, and opposing new production on Alaska’s North Slope and offshore in the Arctic Ocean.  Less energy and more expensive energy is extremely bad news for the American economy.

The President’s proposals to spend more taxpayer dollars on transportation infrastructure are a mixed bag.  One of the bigger chunks is to go to high-speed rail projects.  These are mostly colossally expensive boondoggles.  On the other hand, the President has dropped the green energy and green jobs nonsense entirely, as an excellent story by Patrice Hill in the Washington Times noted.

[This is a slightly-edited version of a piece published on Politico’s Energy Arena.]

White House Rebuffs Green PR Stunt

The White House has refused to accept one of the solar panels that President Jimmy Carter had installed on the White House roof in the late 1970s.  Bill McKibben, the extremist environmental writer and founder of, took one of Carter’s solar panels, which have been stored at Unity College in Vermont, and drove it to Washington this week in a bio-diesel powered truck.  The publicity stunt attracted a great deal of media attention on the way.  But the White House is apparently not ready to admit that President Obama is returning America to the Carter era of economic malaise and energy shortages, despite the obvious similarities in their policies.  President Ronald Reagan had the solar panels removed from the White House.  Not coincidentally, Reagan solved the Nixon-Ford-Carter energy crisis by ending price controls on domestic oil production and de-regulating the industry.

Greens Pushing Fuel Efficiency Fantasy

A large coalition of environmental pressure groups sent a letter to President Obama on Thursday that urges the President to set new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (or CAFÉ) standards of at least 60 miles per gallon by the 2025 model year (which starts in 2024).  The Administration earlier this year increased CAFÉ standards substantially for cars and light trucks to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.  There is little evidence that consumers will buy very many of the cars that meet the 35.5 mpg average.  There is a great deal of evidence that the 35.5 mpg average is wishful thinking by the Washington political establishment and the auto industry.  Sixty miles per gallon by 2025 is sheer fantasy.  It’s not clear to me why the environmental pressure didn’t think big and demand 100 mpg by 2025.

Across the States

Fiorina Finally Supports Prop 23

Last week, the Cooler Heads Digest faulted California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R) for refusing to take a position on Proposition 23, the California ballot initiative to suspend AB 32, the State’s global warming law, until unemployment decreases to 5.5 %. As AB 32 is designed to raise the price of energy, which would harm the economy, Proposition 23 should be a political winner. On Friday, Fiorina announced that she supports Proposition 23 because AB 32 is a “job killer.”

Nichols Backs off California Cap-and-Trade

At a Silicon Valley panel yesterday, California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols said that California would not proceed with cap-and-trade-the most significant climate policy under AB 32-if other States do not contribute. In 2007, California formed a regional cap-and-trade, the Western Climate Initiative, with Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. They were soon joined by Montana and Utah. Since then, only New Mexico and California have decided to participate, and in New Mexico both candidates for governor are backing away from the WCI. As such, it appears that California will soon be the only State left, which is why Nichols is backing off a cap-and-trade. This is a stunning reversal.

Four States Planning Lawsuit if Prop 23 Fails

California Watch reports this week that the Attorneys General of Alabama, Nebraska, Texas and North Dakota are preparing to sue California if Proposition 23 fails this November, on the grounds that it violates the Constitution’s Interstate Commerce clause.

Two More States Challenge EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

Three weeks ago, the Chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Attorney General sent a letter last week telling the EPA why Texas will not change its laws in order to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and explaining why what the EPA was doing was illegal. If you didn’t read it, we have posted it on here. Today Greenwire (subscription required) reported that two more States have sent letters to the EPA protesting the pending regulations. Democratic Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal told the EPA that his State doesn’t have the time to change its laws, while Ben Grumbles, director of Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality, suggested that it would be a waste of resources to follow the EPA’s directives because they are likely to be thrown out by the courts.

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 Real Cost of Being Green
William Yeatman & Amy Oliver Cooke, Denver Post, 3 September 2010

Godzilla in the Mirror
George Will, Indianapolis Star, 3 September 2010

A True Green Believer
Richard Morrison, American Spectator, 2 September 2010

Drill, Baby, Drill Is Back
Ben Lieberman,, 2 September 2010

Green Cheese
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 1 September 2010

“Cool It,” Rival to “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gets a U.S. Distributer
Dave Itzkoff, New York Times, 1 September 2010

“Clunkers” Classic Government Folly
Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, 1 September 2010

Obama Urges Court To Vacate AGW Decision
Marlo Lewis, Pajamas Media, 30 August 2010

The Greening of Godzilla
Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, 28 August 2010

USGS Perpetrates a Climate Science Fraud
William Yeatman, Big Journalism, 28 August 2010

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Reid Outlines Lame Duck Strategy

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this week said that he would still try to pass an anti-energy bill after the November 2 election in a lame duck session. He has given up on cap-and-trade, but is working to gain support for a 15% renewable electricity standard (or RES) for utilities.  Ben Geman of The Hill reports that in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday Reid said that two Republican Senators have expressed interest in an RES.  One is thought to be Sam Brownback (R-Ks.), who is retiring.

Anything is possible in a lame duck session, but my guess is that the atmosphere after the election is going to be so ugly that it will be hard to do anything in the Senate or the House.  That’s because a lot of Democrats in Democratic States and districts are in danger of being swept out of office.  They will be bitter and perhaps eager to exact some further damage on their way out the door, but on the other hand Republicans are almost certain to be united in wanting to block anything until the 112th Congress, which may have a lot more Republicans than the 111th does.

The Congress returns on 12th September.  They are scheduled to be in session for four weeks before recessing for the campaign.

Across the States

Fiorina, Whitman Disappoint on AB 32

Carly Fiorina, the Republican candidate for Senator in California, participated in a debate with incumbent Barbara Boxer (D) this week. Politico reported that Fiorina’s “major stumble” came on her waffling response to a question about Proposition 23, the California ballot initiative to suspend A.B. 32, the State’s global warming law, until unemployment decreases to 5.5 %. Fiorina said that she had not yet taken a position on the proposition. What is it with California’s high-profile GOP candidates this election cycle? Like Fiorina, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman refuses to declare whether she supports Proposition 23. With unemployment in the state above 12 %, polls indicate that the economy is the priority for California voters. AB 32 is designed to raise the price of energy, which would harm the economy. Supporting Proposition 23 should be a political winner.

Climategate Update

A Conflict of Interest in the Cuccinelli Case

Chris Horner, from Planet Gore

On Monday, Judge Paul Peatross ruled that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli cannot access the University of Virginia’s records in his inquiry into Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann’s claims made to obtain research funding.

I attended the hearing a week ago Friday. Beforehand, Peatross cited his wife’s 1982 degree in environmental science from UVA and asked counsel whether they believed it disqualified him from hearing the University’s motion. That fact, apparently, was relevant. But the fact that the judge’s wife previously worked in the Department of Environmental Sciences – the very department that stood to suffer had he ruled in favor of the attorney general – was somehow not worth disclosing to counsel. I learned of this only after the hearing from Ms. Peatross’s former coworkers, who were astonished that her husband would decide such a matter given his seeming lack of objectivity.

This series of events gives the appearance of the judge’s failure to disclose. Indeed, it seems to rise to the level of a basis for the judge to recuse himself.

IPCC Rapped

The Inter-Academy Council (IAC) this week released its report on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IAC study was prompted by conspicuous errors contained in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, which won the Nobel Peace Prize. According to the Telegraph, the report is “extremely damaging.” In particular, the IAC report concludes that IPCC’s mistakes-including the unfounded claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035-were caused by shoddy standards and weak leadership.

Here’s a roundup of commentary:

Wall Street Journal editorial, Climate of Uncertainty, 2 September 2010

Dr. Roy Spencer, Dump the IPCC, 1 September 2010

Telegraph editorial, Flawed Science, 30 august 2010

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

Media Mogul James Cameron Chickens out of Climate Debate
Washington Times editorial, 26 August 2010

AP Fact Check: Green Stimulus Benefits Overestimated
Frederic Frommer, Daily Caller, 26 August 2010

Obama’s Green Initiatives Lobbied for by Same People Who Profit from Them
Amanda Carey, Daily Caller, 26 August 2010

The Gulf Spill in Perspective
Paul Schwennesen., 25 August 2010

Americans Want More Offshore Drilling
Ben Lieberman, New York Post, 24 August 2010

The National Security Risks of Biofuels
Marlo Lewis,, 24 August 2010

Newly Discovered Microbe Feasting on Gulf Oil Plume
Gerald Karey, Platts, 24 August 2010

AP Spins for Obama’s Electric Car Program
Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore, 24 August 2010

Wind Power Won’t Cool Down the Planet
Robert Bryce, Wall Street Journal, 23 August 2010

News You Can Use

Sockeye Salmon Return

After a few years of historically low salmon runs in British Columbia’s Fraser River, environmentalist pressure groups such as Greenpeace and Sierra Club were quick to blame global warming. Clearly, they jumped the gun, because this week the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced that the Fraser River will have the largest sockeye salmon run since 1913 at more than 25 million fish.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Enviros to Obama: “We feel stabbed in the back”

The Department of Justice this week filed a brief arguing that the Supreme Court should overturn the decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to allow a public nuisance lawsuit against major emitters of greenhouse gases to go to trial. The Department of Justice brief points out that the common law remedy against public nuisances has been superseded by the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Clean Air Act.  The Second Circuit’s decision was based on the lack of EPA regulation.

Environmental pressure groups were flabbergasted and outraged.  Gabriel Nelson in Greenwire quoted Matt Pawa, one of the attorneys for the environmental plaintiffs: “We feel stabbed in the back.  This was really a dastardly move by an administration that said it was a friend of the environment. With friends like this, who needs enemies?”

Besides being right that positive law has superseded common law in respect to regulating greenhouse gas emissions, I expect the White House was making a political calculation.  If nuisance suits against electric utilities, energy companies, and major manufacturers were allowed to proliferate, there could an overwhelming backlash.  By relying solely on EPA regulations, the Obama Administration can control the process and keep the opposition down to a manageable level.

Coal State Democrats Running against Obama

The congressional election campaign continues to trend sharply against the supporters of cap-and-trade legislation and other energy-rationing policies.  Patrick Reis had a long story in Greenwire this week on House Democrats from Appalachian coal-mining districts running for their electoral lives against the anti-coal policies of the Obama Administration and the House Democratic majority.  Freshman Democrats Zack Space (D-Ohio) and Tom Perriello (D-Va.) voted for the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.  Both are now likely to lose.

Republicans Running Against Energy Rationing

Stories continue to appear about Republican candidates being global warming “deniers.”  All six Republican Senate candidates in New Hampshire are skeptical of alarmist claims and oppose the energy-rationing agenda.  In New Mexico, Susana Martinez, the Republican nominee for Governor, is a skeptic.  The funny thing is that her Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish has been backing away from New Mexico’s participation in the Western Climate Initiative.  The three Republican nominees for New Mexico’s House seats are global warming skeptics who oppose cap-and-trade.  Former Rep. Steve Pearce is likely to defeat freshman Rep. Harry Teague (D-NM) in the second district.  That’s largely because Teague voted for Waxman-Markey.  Oil and gas production is by far the largest industry in southern New Mexico.  Pearce was one of the House’s ablest opponents of global warming alarmism and cap-and-trade when he was in the House (he left in 2008 to run for the Senate and lost to Tom Udall).

Probable Upset in Alaska

The big election news of the week was Joe Miller’s probable victory in Alaska’s primary over Senator Lisa Murkowski.  The result won’t be known for sure until all the absentee ballots are counted, but Miller was ahead by 47,027 votes to 45,359 with all precincts reporting.  Murkowski is the ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Murkowski has been all over the board on global warming and energy.  She did a great job promoting the Murkowski Resolution to block EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act.  Her resolution failed in June by 47 to 53 vote, but only after the Democratic leadership peeled away several Democrats by promising them a vote on an amendment to delay EPA regulations for two years.  On the other hand, Murkowski has shopped draft legislation to put a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

There has already been speculation that Murkowski will try to run in the general election as the Libertarian Party nominee.  This would be ironic: Murkowski is probably the most liberal Republican Senator west of Maine.  Miller, on the other hand, is a hardcore conservative and civil libertarian as well as an articulate global warming skeptic.

Around the World

Ray Evans, Lavoisier Group


Australia’s  federal election of August 21 has given us a hung parliament in which neither the governing Labor Party, nor the opposition Liberal-National Coalition, has the 76 seats required to form a majority in the House of Representatives. It will take nearly a fortnight to determine the final composition of the House.

Kevin Rudd led the Labor Party to a huge victory in November 2007. A feature of his campaign was “climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time”. By May 2010 his polling was dreadful and in a by-election on June 19 for the formerly safe State Labor seat of Penrith in outer Sydney, the swing against Labor was 26%. This so alarmed the Labor Party chiefs in Sydney that within five days Kevin Rudd had been deposed, and Julia Gillard, his Lady Macbeth in political crime, had been installed on the throne.

At first it seemed that this had been a master stroke. Gillard’s polling looked fantastic, so she called an early election for August 21. However, her misdeeds from the past and her complicity in regicide pulled the polls down, and for a week prior to the federal election it was clear that it would be a close result.

Tony Abbott, the leader of the Coalition elected on 1 Dec 2009, led a vigorous campaign, but failed to drive home to the electorate the facts regarding the forthcoming electricity crisis which will drive electricity prices through the roof and lead to shortages of supply.

The Greens have done well, increasing their Senate representation from 5 to 9. Australia is moving into uncharted and possibly dangerous waters.

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

“Think about What’s Happening in Countries Like Germany….”
Chris Horner, Planet Gore, 20 August 2010

Cancer of Tropic
Jay D. Homnick, American Spectator, 19 August 2010

Is GOP Opposition to Cap-and-Trade Self-Contradictory?
Marlo Lewis,, 18 August 2010

The Economic Costs of the Off-Shore Oil Moratorium
Eric Lowe,, 16 August 2010

Primer on Extreme Weather Mortality
Marlo Lewis,, 16 August 2010

More Gore in the Climate Debate?
Myron Ebell, Politico Energy Arena, 12 August 2010

News You Can Use

Sea Level Rise: Insignificant

According to a new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, “The global mean sea level for the period January 1900 to December 2006 is estimated to rise at a rate of 1.56 ± 0.25 mm/yr which is reasonably consistent with earlier estimates, but we do not find significant acceleration.”  As noted by The Hockey Shtick, the 1.56 mm/yr non-accelerating rate of sea level rise would result in sea levels 6 inches higher than the present in 100 years.

The Real Motive for the “Scientific Consensus”

“Urgent and unprecedented environmental and social changes challenge scientists to define a new social contract … a commitment on the part of all scientists to devote their energies and talents to the most pressing problems of the day, in proportion to their importance, in exchange for public funding.”

From Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator, 1997 American Association for the Advancement of Science presidential address. [The quote above was posted this week at ICECAP by Joe D’Aleo]

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Politico ran a revealing story by Darren Samuelsohn this week on Republican candidates for the Senate and House who are openly dismissive of global warming alarmism.  Politico’s Energy Arena then asked its participants to comment on the possible ramifications of this development in the 112th Congress.  Specifically, what does it say for the chances of enacting energy-rationing next year?  This is a slightly-edited version of what I wrote for the Energy Arena.  It will be posted here.

Not only are there more Republican candidates this year who don’t believe in global warming, I have yet to find a Republican nominee for the House or the Senate who is running in favor of cap-and-trade.  Nearly all Republican nominees are running against cap-and-trade, and most are trying to make an issue of it against their Democratic opponents.

This is true even in some liberal congressional districts.  For example, Star Parker is running against Rep. Laura Richardson in California’s 37th congressional district, which includes Compton and most of Long Beach.  Parker has made opposition to cap-and-trade the top issue in her campaign.  Parker may be a long shot in a strongly Democratic district, but she has found that opposing the higher energy prices that will result from enacting cap-and-trade resonates with poor voters.

Even the seven Republicans who voted for the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill on 26th June 2009 aren’t publicizing this fact. (Rep. John McHugh of New York was the eighth, but he is now the Secretary of the Army in the Obama Administration). I checked out their campaign web sites, and not a single one mentions cap-and-trade or global warming as an issue.  The web site of Michael Castle, who is favored to win Delaware’s open Senate seat, only mentions that he’s in favor of energy independence.

Rep. Mark Kirk backed away from his vote within a week of making it when he discovered that he couldn’t possibly win the Illinois Republican nomination for the Senate if he supported cap-and-trade.  And according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun, Rep. Mary Bono Mack of California, in a debate on 19th August with her Democratic opponent, Steve Pougnet, did not make clear whether she would vote for cap-and-trade again.

A fair number of Democrats are also running against cap-and-trade, including most of those who voted against Waxman-Markey and a fair number of challengers.  Very few who voted for Waxman-Markey are mentioning that fact in their campaigns.

My conclusion is that cap-and-trade is an election loser and is already completely dead in the 112th Congress.  The Obama Administration apparently agrees.  It was recently reported that all mention of cap-and-trade was removed earlier this summer from the White House Energy and Environment web site.

Across the States


Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) is taking heat from the Legislature for buying into climate alarmism. In December 2009, Gov. Beshear created the Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council, and charged it with developing “an action plan to address the causes of climate change, prepare for the likely consequences and impacts of climate change to Kentucky, and establish firm benchmarks and timetables for implementing the KCAPC recommendations,” according to its website. KCAPC then hired the Center for Climate Strategies for $200,000 to manage its meetings, set its agenda, provide all its ideas, and write all its reports. As has been reported by the Heartland Institute’s Paul Chesser, the Center for Climate Strategies is a global warming alarmist advocacy group that has devised energy rationing schemes in States across the country. Unfortunately for the Governor, the people of Kentucky-a major coal-producing state-do not share his enthusiasm for energy rationing, which is why the State Senate Government Contract Review Committee last week voted 6-0 to disapprove of KCAPC’s contract with the Center for Climate Strategies. The Governor this week defended the contract.

New Jersey

Despite the fact that the people of New Jersey already pay the seventh highest electricity rates in the country, Governor Chris Christie (R) this week signed a “green energy” bill that will raise utility bills even higher. According to Energy & Environment News (subscription required), the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act requires the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to set up a program requiring utilities to buy offshore renewable energy credits for approved wind farms. Ultimately, the credits would finance 1,100 MW of offshore wind energy, costing rate-payers $6 to $8 billion (before transmission costs are accounted for). Taxpayers are also on the hook: The bill creates $100 million in tax incentives for wind power manufacturers.

Around the World


This week China surpassed Japan to become the second largest economy in the world. A month ago, China surpassed the United States to become the largest energy user in the world. These two facts are directly related. According to the International Energy Agency, “Coal has underpinned China’s massive and unprecedented growth in output, fueling an economic miracle….” Coal-fired power plants provide approximately 80 % of China’s electricity.

Climategate Update

Hockey Stick Debunked, Again

The Annals of Applied Statistics, a highly respected statistical journal, has accepted for publication a searing critique of Michael Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” global temperature reconstruction by statisticians Blakeley McShane and Abraham Wyner. It’s titled, “A Statistical Analysis of Multiple Temperature Proxies: Are Reconstructions of Surface Temperatures Over the Last 1000 Years Reliable?” You can read a draft at Climate Audit. It states in the abstract:

“We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature. Furthermore, various model specifications that perform similarly at predicting temperature produce extremely different historical backcasts. Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago.”

For more on the Hockey Stick, check out this excellent book review of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion, by John Dawson in this month’s Quadrant.

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

Japan Owns up to Costs of Green Economy
Chris Horner, Planet Gore, 13 August 2010

What’s Going on with the New “Skeptical Science” Website?
John Droz, Jr.,, 13 August 2010

The Real Nuclear Option
Iain Murray, Washington Examiner, 12 August 2010

The Real Gulf Disaster
Lou Dolinar, National Review, 12 August 2010

Spinning the Defeat of Cap-and-Trade
Marlo Lewis,, 11 August 2010

What the Chinese Really Think of Global Warming
James Delingpole, Telegraph, 11 August 2010

The Dejected Greens
Paul Chesser,, 10 August 2010

Smart Grid and the Electricity Market
William Yeatman, The Oklahoman, 7 August 2010

News You Can Use

Sierra Club Is Spending Big Bucks To Make Energy More Expensive

The Politico reported that the Sierra Club is spending $18 million this year and has 100 employees across the country working on challenges to coal-fired electricity, said Michael Brune, the group’s executive director. He hopes to increase the budget to $25 million next year.

California Cold

Daily July temperatures in Southern California averaged about 5 degrees below historical norms, and overall summer temperatures are flirting with all-time cold records.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

EPA Plots To Regulate Carbon

The EPA this week issued two more proposed rules designed to implement the agency’s decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  The first rule deals with thirteen States that are not legally prepared to begin issuing permits for greenhouse gas emissions.

The Clean Air Act requires that stationary sources of listed pollutants be regulated if they emit more than 250 tons of that pollutant per year.  The EPA has already released the so-called Tailoring Rule that changes the limit for greenhouse gas emissions to 75,000 tons.  That change is being made without any legislative authority.

The first of EPA’s proposed further rules tells the 13 States that they need to change their laws so that they can now regulate stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions, but only such sources that emit more than 75,000 tons annually.  Some States have the 250 ton limit written into their own state air pollution laws.  A few other States prohibit regulating any pollutants not specifically listed in their own state laws.  Under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration program, state environmental agencies are responsible for issuing New Source Review permits.

The States that EPA is telling to comply are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas.  The chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Attorney General sent a letter last week telling the EPA why Texas will not change its laws in order to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and explaining why what the EPA was doing was illegal.  The Digest covered this humdinger of a letter last week.  If you didn’t read it, we have posted it on here.

The EPA’s second proposed rule would deal with States that refuse to comply by taking permitting authority away from state environmental agencies and creating a federal permitting process for those States.  Regulatory chaos is only a couple years away now.

Gore Hijinks

Former Vice President Al Gore returned to the public debate this week in a conference call held by his group Repower America (which is also known as the Alliance for Climate Protection).  Gore was realistic about the next-to-nil chance for passing cap-and-trade in the 111th Congress.  He bitterly blamed a long list of the usual suspects: Big Oil, King Coal, the dominant right-wing media, professional deniers (that’s us!), and even the Senate.  According to Gore, the greedy corporations who oppose energy rationing spent hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat cap-and-trade.

This is of course fantasy.  Big corporations hoping to make billions and billions of dollars off the backs of consumers through the higher energy prices caused by cap-and-trade are the ones that have spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting their own self interest.  Moreover, three of the five biggest oil companies-BP, Shell, and Conoco Phillips-support cap-and-trade.

Gore’s Generation Investment Management and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers are among the companies that hope to strike it rich.  Gore is understandably bitter because his dream of becoming a global warming billionaire based on comparatively modest investments in green energy made golden by cap-and-trade have gone poof.

Gore even claimed that cap-and-trade had died in the Senate because our system of government wasn’t working the say the Founders intended it should work.  If he meant Thomas Jefferson (founder of the Democratic Party), he’s probably right.  But luckily for us, Jefferson didn’t attend the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and had little influence on our system of checks and balances, which are designed to thwart both the mass of people from robbing the rich and the elites from robbing the people.

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 Ethanol Tax Credit-Even Worse Than You Think
Harry de Gorter & Jerry Taylor,, 6 August 2010

Enviros Scheme for a Backdoor Kyoto
Evan Lehman, ClimateWire, 6 August 2010

Will New Jersey Governor Do the Right Thing on Cap-and-Trade
Phil Kerpen, Fox Forum, 4 August 2010

The Car of the Future? SUV Sales Back to 50%
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 4 August 2010

Cap-and-Trade: It’s the Cost, Stupid
Vincent Carroll, Denver Post, 4 August 2010

Snobby and Foolish Electric Car Subsidies
Charles Lane, Slate, 1 August 2010

The Death of Cap & Tax
Wall Street Journal editorial, 1 August 2010

He Auto Know Better
Iain Murray, Washington Examiner, 30 July 2010

News You Can Use

NOAA: 70% of Gulf Oil Spill Is Gone

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week released a study estimating that 70% of the oil released into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy has evaporated, burned, or been skimmed. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that, “that many of the doomsday scenarios that we talked about and repeated a lot have not and will not come to fruition.”

Inside the Beltway

The Incredible Shrinking Senate Energy Bill

When the Senate first took up energy and climate legislation last September, it quickly died under the inept stewardship of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Then Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) picked up the baton. For almost 7 months, he conducted negotiations for a comprehensive energy and climate bill, culminating in late spring with the release of the American Power Act, a cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme. Kerry’s cap-and-trade, however, received a tepid welcome from his own caucus, primarily due to the fact that Democratic Senators were wary of enacting an energy tax so close to the November Congressional elections. In an effort to build support for the Kerry’s bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) convened weekly meetings of Democratic Caucus in June, but those discussions led to nowhere. So Reid dropped the climate provisions, and instead opted for a simpler anti-energy bill that focused on the BP oil spill. Reid reasoned that legislation to punish BP would prove politically popular, but he went too far, and moderate Democratic Senators from Gulf Coast states started to gravitate to a GOP alternative that was less economically harmful to the oil and gas industry. Thus abandoned by members of his party, Reid this week decided to shelve his BP spill bill. Let’s hope it stays mothballed.

Did Lisa Jackson Promise To Delay GHG Regs?

The Cooler Heads Digest repeatedly has warned of the Obama administration’s economically devastating plan to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. For background on this complicated issue, read this briefing by CEI’s Marlo Lewis. Suffice it to say, the EPA is expected to impose greenhouse gas emissions requirements on power plants and industrial users of energy in January. But now this timeline is in doubt, as a result of a little-noticed speech that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson gave last week in Alaska. According to the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Jackson said that regulating carbon emissions from stationary sources such as refineries, factories and power plants is “something the economy cannot deal with right away.” In the time since Jackson’s Alaska trip, there has been no further word from EPA about its timeline for greenhouse gas regulations, but it stands to reason that her logic precludes expensive carbon controls in January if the economy doesn’t improve markedly during the next five months.

[Myron Ebell will return next week]

Across the States


Supporters of a California ballot initiative that would suspend implementation of AB 32, the State’s 2006 global warming law, until unemployment decreased to 5.5% (it is now almost 11%) wanted to label it the “California Jobs Initiative,” but Attorney General Jerry Brown, a longtime environmental alarmist, chose a less flattering name last February-“Suspends air pollution control laws requiring major polluters to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.” This week Sacramento Judge Timothy Frawley ruled that Brown imparted too much bias into the title, and ordered that the initiative be renamed, “Suspends implementation of air pollution control laws (AB 32) requiring major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until unemployment drops to 5.5% of less for a full year.”


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Department of Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan Shaw this week sent a strongly worded letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, rejecting the Obama administration’s intention to regulate greenhouse gases with the Clean Air Act. When the Congress created wrote the Clean Air Act, in 1970, it was trying to limit particulate pollution that causes smog. Greenhouse gases, however, are emitted in much greater quantities than particulate pollution. As a result, the Clean Air Act, if applied literally to greenhouse gases, would result in the regulation of every mansion, apartment building, and office complex. That is, it would be a regulatory nightmare. To avoid having to regulate the entire economy, the EPA wants to rewrite the Clean Air Act. Of course, this is legally dubious-the executive is not allowed to play the role of the legislature. And it is this Constitutional conflict that precipitated the Texas letter.

Around the World

International Climate Negotiations in Bonn Reach New Depths of Futility

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change this week held negotiations in Bonn in advance of the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC this winter in Cancun, Mexico. A legally binding treaty to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions proved so contentious that it isn’t even on the agenda for Cancun-despite the fact that such a treaty has been the UNFCCC’s goal for almost two decades. Nonetheless, delegates still found reasons for acrimony. According to the Guardian, the “US, China and many developing countries all added pages to draft texts in a series of tit-for-tat moves,” and as a result, Peter Wittoeck, the lead diplomat for the European Union, warned that there is a danger of the negotiating text “exploding.”

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

Brownback Mountain
William Yeatman & Iain Murray, National Review Online, 30 July 2010

The Carbon Footprint of Obama’s Detroit Trip
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 30 July 2010

NOAA To Skeptics: We’re Right, You Can’t Deny It
Richard Morrison,, 29 July 2010

Has the BP Spill Been Overblown?
Michael Grunwald, Time, 29 July 2010

Energy Bills Could Include Trans-Atlantic Tax
Iain Murray & Matthew Sinclair, Washington Times, 27 July 2010

Muir Russell Findings Are No Solace for EPA
Chip Knappenberger,, 27 July 2010

Desperate Days for Warmists
Christopher Booker, Telegraph, 24 July 2010

News You Can Use

Moratorium Impact

According to a new study commissioned by the American Energy Alliance, President Obama’s six-month moratorium on new offshore drilling would cost 12,000 jobs and $2.8 billion in economic activity.

Inside the Beltway

House Passes CLEAR Act

By a vote of 209-193, the House of Representatives this afternoon passed H.R. 3534, the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act (CLEAR). The legislation, ostensibly a response to the BP oil spill, would increase taxes on oil and natural gas, raising prices for all consumers at a time of recession and high unemployment. Its regulatory changes would also drive smaller operators out of business, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue at a time when many states are already considering taxes hikes to cover budget deficits.

The House passed an amendment to the bill, offered by Rep. Charles Melancon (D-Louisiana), which would lift the economically devastating moratorium on offshore drilling, but only under certain circumstances. Republicans objected to Melancon’s limited amendment, but their effort to send the bill back to committee with instructions for a more comprehensive end of the moratorium were defeated.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) plans on taking up a BP spill bill on Monday.

[Myron Ebell will return next Friday]

Across the States


In an interview this week with the San Jose Mercury News, California Attorney General and Democratic candidate for Governor Jerry Brown said that global warming policy is the “defining difference” between him and Republican candidate Meg Whitman. Economists agree that costly carbon controls are economically harmful, which is why Whitman has called for a year-ling moratorium on the implementation of AB 32, California’s 2006 climate law. Brown, however, told the SJMN that AB 32 is “the key” to job growth.

This isn’t the first time that Brown has been wrong about “green” energy. When he was last governor of the Golden State, during the late 1970s, Brown pushed for laws and regulations that made it virtually impossible to build new conventional energy generation within the state. This misguided policy made California reliant on out of state power, which was a major cause of the electricity crisis that plagued California during the summer of 2000.

Around the World

Europe Slashes Green Subsidies

As a result of the global economic downturn, Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the Czech Republic have all announced subsidy cuts to green energy, according to Climatewire.

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,


Don Blankenship, Chairman and CEO of Massey Energy Company, gave a great talk at the National Press Club this week on energy realities versus global warming fantasy as well as some other topics.  It was broadcast on C-Span and can be viewed online.

Americans for Prosperity’s New Jersey chapter is building support for legislation to withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme. Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll and Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose introduced A3147, a bill to repeal the Global Warming Response Act of 2007. To learn more, including how you can help, click here.

In the News

Reasons To Worry
Chris Horner, Planet Gore, 23 July 2010

Gathering No Moss, Just Loss
Paul Chesser, American Spectator, 23 July 2010

Offsets Are Crucial in Cap-and-Trade
Iain Murray, Wall Street Journal, 22 July 2010

Son of Cap-and-Tax
Wall Street Journal editorial, 22 July 2010

Will the Party of No Foil the Half-Baked Machiavellis?
Marlo Lewis,, 21 July 2010

One Person’s Oil Addict Is Another’s Intelligent Consumer
Michael Lynch,, 21 July 2010

Global Warming’s Unscientific Attitude
Washington Times editorial, 21 July 2010

Climategate Inquiry Glosses over the Facts
Iain Murray, Washington Examiner, 20 July 2010

Climategate Fallout May Impact Legislation
David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 July 2010

End Boulder’s Unnatural Monopoly
Brian Schwartz, Daily Camera, 18 July 2010

Duke Professor’s “Consensus” Threatens To Shutter Coal Industry
Neal Thomas, NCCO2, 12 July 2010

News You Can Use

China Surpasses U.S. in Energy Use

The International Energy Agency this week announced that China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s number one energy consumer.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Senate Abandons Cap-and-Trade

Senate Democrats met twice this week before Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that he was pulling the plug on cap-and-trade.  He will instead bring to the Senate floor next week a more modest package of anti-energy provisions.

It’s not quite over for cap-and-trade, but it’s close.  Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) vowed that he would keep working to find the sixty votes necessary to pass some down-sized version.  Reid nodded and said that he would be happy to bring it up in September if Kerry has the votes.  That’s not going to happen.  Cap-and-trade is a sure political loser in November’s congressional elections.  Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said in a press statement that he looked forward to a debate just before the election on raising energy prices and destroying jobs.

The only remaining chance is to try to pass cap-and-trade during a lame-duck session of the Congress after the November 2 elections.  The idea is that enough defeated Democrats (and a Republican or two, such as Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina) will be bitter enough and also eager enough to line up their next job in the Obama Administration or lobbying for rent-seeking corporations that they will vote for cap-and-trade.  The idea is that defeated Members will then not have to worry about representing the interests of their constituents and can instead stick it to them and follow their leadership and reward big business and environmental special interests.  Anything can happen in a lame-duck session, but this is a long shot.  I will discuss why it’s a long shot in future issues of the Digest.

Passing the blame for the demise of cap-and-trade has already begun.  The White House suggested that environmental pressure groups didn’t do enough.  Environmental pressure groups suggested that President Obama and his Administration hadn’t done enough.  Reid and Kerry blamed the Republicans.  And so on.  My own view is that reality got in the way.  Cap-and-trade has been dead in the Senate since the House passed the Waxman-Markey bill July 26, 2009.  Several Democratic and Republican Senators decided they couldn’t vote for it after they saw the overwhelmingly negative public response.  The Senate turned to healthcare reform last July instead of taking up Waxman-Markey because healthcare reform had much more public support.

Reid’s Anti-Energy Package

With this week’s abandonment of cap-and-trade, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) now plans to bring a package of comparatively modest anti-energy measures to the Senate floor next week.  As has become common in the Senate and the House, what exactly is in the package will not be revealed to Republican Senators or the public until the last minute.  On Thursday, Reid said that there would be four titles: provisions to sock it to BP for the Gulf oil spill and guarantee that it won’t happen again; incentives to consumers to buy more energy efficient products that have gained the EPA HomeStar seal of approval; incentives to buy natural gas vehicles, especially heavy duty trucks, and funding to install natural gas outlets at service stations; and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  Other titles could be added before the Senate takes up the package next week.

Besides dropping cap-and-trade, Reid has also dropped a renewable electricity standard for utilities, new building energy efficiency standards, and a low-carbon transportation fuel standard.  The industries that depend on subsidies and mandates and had been counting on Congress to enact cap-and-trade or at least a renewable standard for utilities are going to have to scramble to get something out of a House-Senate conference committee agreement.

The oil spill provisions that Reid is likely to include are not quite as draconian as a couple of the bills that House committees have passed.  The energy efficiency incentives are small potatoes.  The natural gas title is a payoff or bailout to T. Boone Pickens.  It will be difficult to stop because Pickens has a huge amount of clout with Republicans because of all the campaign donations he has made to them over the decades.  And the Democrats love him for supporting massive federal mandates and subsidies for commercially unviable wind power and natural gas cars.

Perhaps most interesting is the Land and Water Conservation Fund title.  I haven’t seen any details, but it is assumed that it will include full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  The LWCF was created by Congress in 1964 to use federal offshore oil royalties to buy private land and turn it into federal land and to provide States with matching grants for land acquisition for conservation and recreation.  It is authorized at $900 million per year, but Congress typically only appropriates a couple hundred million.

Nearly thirty percent of the land mass of the United States is owned by the four federal land agencies.  Why we need more federal land instead of a lot less has always been a mystery to me.  Federal land acreage has increased in 46 States since the LWCF was enacted.  The result is to take productive land off the property tax rolls and turn it into unproductive land that requires federal taxpayer dollars to manage.   I think full funding for the LWCF is insane.

House Sub Committee Nearly Passes a Check on EPA Regulations

Representative Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) offered an amendment to the FY 2011 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill this week to block funding for implementing the EPA’s Endangerment Finding for two years.  The motion failed in the Appropriations subcommittee on a 7-7 tie vote.  Two Democrats joined the subcommittee’s five Republicans in voting Yes. I expect a similar amendment will be offered when the full Appropriations Committee takes up the Interior spending bill, which includes funding for EPA.  The EPA is starting the process of regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act as a result of finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare.

Around the World

Dafina Mulaj


Climate policies are a major issue in Australia’s federal elections, which will take place on August 21st.  New Labor Party Prime Minister Julia Gillard has restated her predecessor Kevin Rudd’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but she has been much less committed to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) than was Rudd.  That cap-and-trade program was a centerpiece of the Labor Party’s agenda, but it was defeated twice in Australia’s Senate and Rudd then shelved it.  Gillard has said that if elected her government will not consider setting a price on carbon dioxide emissions until 2012 at the earliest.  She has also vowed tough new pollution limits to clean up dirty coal-fired-power plants.

The opposition Liberal Party led by Tony Abbott has unified behind opposition to cap-and-trade and setting a price on CO2 emissions.  Abbott has attacked Labor’s CPRS as a “great big new tax” on consumers.  The Liberals are offering several alternative policies that will provide incentives to reduce emissions or store carbon in forests and in the soil.  The Liberal Party’s coalition partner, the much smaller National (or Country) Party, remains staunchly opposed to cap-and-trade.

Across the States

Dafina Mulaj


Fifteen thousand people filled the Cajundrome at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Wednesday to rally against President Barack Obama’s six-month moratorium on offshore oil drilling.  The Rally for Economic Survival featured Governor Bobby Jindal and a long list of other speakers.

Thousands of high-paying jobs are threatened by the Obama Administration’s moratorium.  It has already been announced that three drilling rigs will be pulled from the Gulf and sent to Africa.

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,