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Cooler Heads Digest 16 May 2014

Cooler Heads Digest 16 May 2014

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Published by freedom1001
Cooler Heads Digest 16 May 2014
Cooler Heads Digest 16 May 2014

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Published by: freedom1001 on May 20, 2014
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09/25/2014

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16 May 2014
 
In the News
News You Can Use
 
EIA: China’s Coal Consumption Nearly
 Equal to Rest of
World’s
  According to an Energy Information Administration analysis released this week, Chinese production and consumption of coal increased for the 13th consecutive year in 2012. Currently, China accounts for 46% of global coal production and 49% of global coal consumption
almost as much as the rest of the world combined.
Inside the Beltway
 
Myron Ebell
 
EPA’s Forthcoming Rule for Existing Power Plants May
Require Set-Asides
 
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told a meeting of the Association of Climate Change Officers on 13th May that the agency is on track to propose new rules to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal and gas power plants by 2nd June. That is the deadline that President Barack Obama set when he announced his climate agenda last June. Mark Drajem, Jim Snyder, and Jonathan Allen report in a Bloomberg story on 16th May that the administration is close to deciding to require electric utilities to reduce emissions from sources other than the existing power plants being regulated. Rumors about this have been circulating for some time, but the Bloomberg reporters claim to have inside sources. They write:
“People familiar with the discussions say the administration is seeking steep reductions
-- as much as 25 percent -- that could be met if power plant owners expand renewable energy, improve the efficiency of their grids or encourage customers to use less
power….
 According to two people familiar with the discussions, the administration is considering an approach that would require a cut of 25 percent in emissions in two stages. In the five years starting in 2019, only limited reductions at the plants would be mandated. Deeper cuts would required from 2024 to 2029 to reach 25 percent, one of
the people said.”
 Drajem, Snyder, and Allen also note that:
“There’s disagreement even within the administration about what’s allo
wable under the Clean Air Act, the law that gives it the authority to curb emissions. Some administration attorneys are warning that the government could lose a legal challenge if it seeks to
regulate beyond a plant’s smokestack, said the people, who spoke
 on the condition of
anonymity because the rule is still being written.”
 Given the legal difficulties in fashioning such a rule and the questions that will likely be raised by the Office of Management and Budget, I will be surprised if EPA meets the 2nd June deadline.
Senate Republicans Stand Up to Harry Reid
The Senate this week failed to invoke cloture twice on energy and tax bills that would pass easily with strong bi-partisan support if there were final votes. The Republicans stuck together on both cloture votes because Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused to allow any votes on amendments to either bill. On Monday, 12th May, the Senate voted 55 to 36 on cloture on S. 2262, the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill. Sixty votes are required to invoke cloture and proceed to a final vote on the bill. Republican Senators Rob Portman of Ohio, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Susan Collins of Maine voted with 52 Democrats for cloture. All 36 No votes were by Republicans, except for Reid, who changed his vote in order to preserve his ability to bring up the bill again. Two Democrats and seven Republicans did not vote.
Republicans wanted votes on permitting the Keystone XL pipeline over President Obama’s
endless delays and on several other energy-related issues. After two weeks of dangling the
 
possibility of a Keystone vote, Reid said that the Republicans were not being co-operative enough, so there would be no votes on Keystone or any other amendments. On Thursday, 14th May, the Senate voted 53 to 40 on cloture on the big tax cut extenders bill, which is technically (because constitutionally only the House can originate revenue bills) Senate  Amendment 3060 to H. R. 3474. Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois joined 52 Democrats to vote for  cloture, and all 40 No votes were by Republicans, except again for Senator Reid who switched his vote in order to be able to bring the bill up again. Two Democrats and five Republicans did not vote. The $85 billion package includes several standard business expense deductions and a long list of tax subsidies to special interests, including the wind production tax credit and other alternative energy credits.  Alexander Bolton in the Hill newspaper  reported that Majority Leader Reid has only allowed Republicans to offer and vote on nine amendments since last July. In my view, Senator Reid has reached a level of dictatorial control of the Senate floor that at least equals Representative
Nancy Pelosi’s (R
-Calif.) control of the House of Representatives as Speaker from 2007 to 2011 and that has only been clearly exceeded by Speaker Joe Cannon (R-Ill.) from 1903 to 1911. I am quite happy to be corrected, but I know of no period when the Senate was ruled so completely as a petty dictatorship.
Of course, Senator Reid couldn’t do what he is doing if the Democratic majority didn’t support him.
 It has taken the Republican minority a long time to stand up unequivocally against Reid, but now they have done so twice in one week.
Across the States
 
Marlo Lewis
 
Anthony Watts Corrects Gov. Moonbeam
Despite its “no denier publication” policy, the L.A. Times published a 
debunking Gov. Jerry Brown’s whopper that sea
-level rise from Antarctic ice melt could inundate LAX and force the airport to relocate. Watts wrote:
“LAX airport elevation is 125 feet, the NOAA Los Angeles tide gauge rate of sea level rise 0.83
millimeter/year suggests that it will take over 40,000 years to reach the runways. On the  Amundsen Sea ice sheets in Antarctica melting, NASA in their press release on the paper [link] 
said: ‘The region contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by 4 feet (1.2 meters).’ They
offer a worst case scenario of the entire West Antarctic sheet melting, stating 16 feet (5 meters). Neither scenario affects LAX. Governor Brown would better serve the public by checking facts
before offering baseless alarm.”
 
Science Update
 
Marlo Lewis
 
Climate McCarthyism?

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