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In the News
Tom Steyer Is Explaining, and He’s Losing
Ben Zycher, The Hill, 18 July 2014
Tom Steyer Struggles To Find Big Money Donors
Andrew Restuccia & Kenneth Vogel, Politico, 16 July 2014
Winds of Vanity
Bjorn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, 16 July 2014
EPA Withdraws Plan To Garnish Wages
S. A. Miller, Washington Times, 16 July 2014
The Liberating Theory of Resourceship
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 15 July 2014
Heartland Institute Conference Shows the Growing Power of Climate Realism
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 15 July 2014
John Christy: Though Scorned by Colleagues, a Climate Skeptic Is Unbowed
Michael Wines, New York Times, 15 July 2014
Solar Thermal Electric Generation: Still Not Cheap, Not Green?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 14 July 2014
California Legislators Feign Surprise at Cap-and-Trade’s High Cost
Steven Greenhut, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 July 2014
News You Can Use
Study: People Who Claim To Worry about Climate Change
Use More Electricity
People who claim to worry about climate change use more electricity than those who do not,
according to a United Kingdom Department for Energy and Climate Change report released this
Inside the Beltway
Obama Spends Taxpayer Dollars on Climate Adaptation
President Barack Obama on 16th July announced several new programs to help local and state
governments adapt to or deal with the impacts of climate change. The President was speaking
at a meeting in the White House of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate
Preparedness and Resilience. The 26-member task force was created in November 2013 by
the President to prepare recommendations for better co-operation between levels of
government in dealing with climate change. Obama’s new programs are based on the task
force’s initial recommendations. A final report is due in November.
The President announced that the U. S. Department of Agriculture was providing $236.3 million
in grants in eight States to increase the resilience of rural electric infrastructure to more intense
storms. He announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs would distribute $10 million in grants to
tribal governments for planning to deal with the effects of climate change on tribal
lands. Obama also asked Congress to appropriate $1 billion for the Climate Resilience Fund,
which is designed to help state and local governments strengthen infrastructure that will be hit
by bigger storms, sea level rise, etc.
The President also talked about the National Disaster Resilience Competition, which offers $1
billion to communities that are including planning for climate change and increasing resilience to
climate change. The grant competition is being administered by the Department of Housing and
President Obama did not mention in his remarks another proposal that was contained in the
written materials released by the White House. According to a story by Evan Lehmann in
ClimateWire, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will start asking “States to consider
the dangers of ‘climate variability’ in plans they have to submit to Washington, D.C., in order to
receive disaster aid.” Lehmann comments: “It's a bureaucratic measure with muscle: It's
possible that if States refuse to sift through the potential perils from warming, it might make
them ineligible for federal funding used to repair and strengthen public facilities like roads and
bridges, some experts say.”
EPA’s #2 Leaves for Climate Special Interest
Bob Perciasepe, deputy administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, is leaving to
become president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. He will replace Eileen
Claussen, who is retiring.
Politico’s Morning Energy noted that Perciasepe’s departure is part of a brain drain at the EPA.
My colleague Chris Horner points out that one factor leading Perciasepe to leave the EPA now
could be various appeals that Horner has filed on behalf of CEI to compel the agency to
produce records requested under the Freedom of Information Act. FOIAs have revealed that
Perciasepe, like Administrator Gina McCarthy and former Administrator Lisa “Richard Windsor”
Jackson, used private email accounts to conduct public business. Here is a link to the most
recent appeal, dated 7th July.
Perciasepe served as the number two appointed official at the EPA since 2009, the first year of
the Obama Administration, and as acting administrator between the resignation of Lisa Jackson
in January 2013 and the confirmation of Gina McCarthy in June 2013. He was assistant
administrator of water and then of air and radiation during the Clinton Administration. After
George W. Bush became president in 2001, Perciasepe left the EPA to become senior vice
president for public policy and then in 2004 chief operating officer of the National Audubon
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is best known for its Business Environmental
Leadership Council, which was created by founding president Eileen Claussen in 1998 when
the group was called the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. The business council
supports energy-rationing policies that will increase the member companies’ profits. Current
members include Alcoa, Bank of America, BP, Conoco, Delta Airlines, DTE Energy, Duke
Energy, Dow Chemical, Entergy, Exelon, General Electric, General Motors, Hewlett Packard,
IBM, Intel, NRG, PG&E, Rio Tinto, Shell, Toyota, and Weyerhauser.
Senate Narrowly Confirms FERC Nominee Bay in Bizarre
The Senate voted this week to confirm Norman Bay to the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission by a vote of 52 to 45. Current FERC acting chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur was
confirmed to a new term by a vote of 90 to 7.
Under a bizarre deal with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.),
chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, agreed to support Bay’s
confirmation under the condition that LaFleur continues as chairman for nine months before Bay
replaces her. Bay is President Barack Obama’s choice for chairman. The White House
reportedly approved the deal, but it remains to be seen whether they will keep the agreement.
Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) was the only Republican to vote for Bay’s confirmation. Despite
repeated attempts to find out, I still have no idea why Nevada’s two Senators are so determined
to have the dubiously-qualified Bay as FERC chairman.
Across the States
States, Industry Appeal D.C. Circuit’s Approval of Absurd
This week, 23 States joined the National Mining Association and the Utility Air Regulatory Group
in filing a request with the Supreme Court to rehear the D.C. Circuit Court’s split decision
upholding EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, a.k.a. the Utility MACT. The appeals allege
that EPA impermissibly refused to consider the costs of the regulation when it made the
decision to proceed with it.
In fact, the rule would cost $9.6 billion annually; more consequentially, it threatens to shutter up
to 25% of the nation’s coal fleet. These are the costs that EPA ignored. Now, consider the
“benefits”: The absurd purpose of the Utility MACT is to protect a putative population of
pregnant, subsistence fisherwomen who consumer hundreds of pounds of self-caught fish from
exclusively the 10% most polluted bodies of fresh, inland water. Notably, EPA never identified a
member of this supposed population. Rather, they are modeled to exist.
Read the States, NMA, and UARG petitions here, here, and here (respectively).
Around the World
Australia Says Goodbye, and Good Riddance, to the Carbon
“Today, Tony Abbott has made Australia the first country in the world to reverse action on
Those were the words of Australia’s opposition leader, Bill Shorten, as the Senate voted to
repeal Australia’s two year old carbon tax, on a vote of 39 to 32.
Introduced by the Gillard Labor Government in 2012, the Australian people quickly recognized
the carbon tax for what it was: a great big new tax that would hurt the economy, raise the cost of
living, and have no positive effect on the environment.
History will remember the Australian carbon tax as a political disaster. It was introduced against
the will of the Australian people, and was most notable for its impact on the political careers of
Following the vote, Prime Minister Abbott addressed the Australian people with the words:
“Today, the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone”. This is surely a victory for democracy
and common sense.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?