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2 June 2014

In the News
Cap-and-Trade Is Regressive
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Washington Examiner, 30 May 2014
EPAs Political Futility
Patrick Michaels, National Review Online, 30 May 2014
Cutting Ethanol Requirement Would Reduce Carbon Emissions
Todd Neeley, AgFax.com, 30 May 2014
EPA: The Obama Administrations New Legislative Branch
Marlo Lewis, Fox News, 29 May 2014
More New Research Show No Link Between Polar Vortex and Global Warming
Chip Knappenberger, Cato at Liberty, 29 May 2014
EPA To Push Carbon Cap-and-Trade Unilaterally
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 28 May 2014
Obama Administration Hides Its Use of Bad Science
Marita Noon, Farmington Daily Times, 28 May 2014
Video: EPAs Forthcoming Rule for Power Plants Will Raise Prices and Cost Jobs
Myron Ebell, Fox Business, 27 May 2014
The Myth of the Climate Change 97%
Joseph Bast & Roy Spencer, Wall Street Journal, 26 May 2014
News You Can Use
Study: EPAs Climate Regulation Would Cause 224,000 Lost
Jobs per Year through 2030
According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Assessment of EPAs forthcoming climate rule, the
regulation would result in 224,000 jobs lost on average each year through 2030 and more than
$50 billion in average annual GDP loss.
Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell
President Obama and EPAs McCarthy Will Announce
Existing Power Plant Rule on Monday
Details began to emerge Friday about the rollout on Monday, 2nd June, of the EPAs proposed
rule for regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal and gas-fired power
plants. President Barack Obama will be travelling to Europe, but will participate in a telephone
briefing for the media organized by the American Lung Association, which is perhaps (theres a
lot of competition) the sleaziest of the environmental pressure groups. EPA Administrator Gina
McCarthy will hold a press briefing at 10:30 AM EDT, which will be live-streamed at
www.epa.gov.
GAO Says McConnell Resolution of Disapproval of EPA Rule
Is Out of Order
The Government Accountability Office on 29th May released its opinion that a Congressional
Review Act resolution of disapproval of the EPAs rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from
new coal and natural gas power plants is not in order. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.) offered a resolution of disapproval in January soon after the EPA published its proposed
rule in the Federal Register. The Congressional Review Act allows votes of disapproval only on
final rules, but McConnell argued that the proposed rule was final in fact because once it
becomes final formally it will apply retroactively to any plants that began construction after the
proposed rule was published. McConnell had asked the GAO for their opinion.
Supreme Court Deals Blow to Common Sense
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to review the 10th Circuits ruling in Oklahoma v.
EPA, and thereby dealt a severe blow to cooperative federalism under the Clean Air Act. In the
present, the Courts decision means that EPA likely will get away with its outrageous Regional
Haze regime, by which the agency has imposed billions of dollars of controls on unwilling
States, in order to achieve an improvement in visibility that is imperceptible. In the future, the
Courts ruling bodes poorly for challenges to EPAs forthcoming climate change rules for
existing power plants, due to the fact that the Regional Haze provision of the Clean Air Act is
very similar to the provision that authorizes the agencys impending climate plan. For more, see
here and here.
Across the States
Myron Ebell
Ohio Becomes First State To Roll Back Renewable Energy
Requirements
The Ohio legislature on 28th May passed legislation to freeze the states renewable energy and
efficiency mandates for two years. Governor John Kasichs (R) office quickly announced that
the governor would sign the bill, which was weakened at the governors insistence.
Senate Bill 310 as amended will freeze Ohios renewable energy requirement at 2.5% of
electricity consumed and the energy efficiency requirement at 4.2% below the 2009 level. While
the freeze is in effect, a twelve-member legislative committee will study changes to the
standards passed in 2008. If the legislature does not enact any recommendations that may be
made, then steadily increasing renewable and efficiency requirements will resume in 2017. The
2008 legislation requires that 25% of electricity be produced from renewable and advanced
sources and that utilities cut total consumer use by 22% by 2025.
SB 310 was sponsored by Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville), chairman of the Energy and
Natural Resources Committee, and guided through the legislature by Senator Bill Seitz (R-
Cincinnati), chairman of the Public Utilities Committee. Until Governor Kasich intervened, the
bill would have frozen the renewable and efficiency targets permanently at this years level.
Ohio thus becomes the first State to roll back its renewable energy legislation. Earlier this
spring, Indiana repealed its energy efficiency requirements. Two of the grassroots leaders of the
anti-renewable mandate effort in Ohio, Kevon Martis and Tom Stacy, offer informed
commentary here.
Fracking Moratorium Dies in California Senate
The California Senate this week killed legislation that would have placed a moratorium on
hydraulic fracturing until a state-commissioned study finds that it is safe. Twenty-one votes in
the forty-member state Senate were required to send the bill to the Assembly. SB 1132 failed
on votes of 18-16 and 16-16. Both the California Senate and House are overwhelmingly
Democratic, but four Democrats opposed the bill and five more Democrats abstained on the
final vote.
Science Update
Marlo Lewis
House Panel Holds Hearing on IPCC Process
On Thursday the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process. Four witnesses testified: Richard
Tol (University of Sussex), Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton University), Daniel Botkin (UC
Santa Barbara), and Roger Pielke, Sr. (Colorado State University).
On her blog, Climate Etc., Georgia Tech University Prof. Judith Curry comments that all four
witnesses were excellent choices, with none preaching the hysterical ideology about urgent
action needed that typically characterizes the testimony of witnesses for the Democrats.
Curry also posts each witnesss summary of main points. Several are suitable for framing.
Tol:
Academics who research climate change out of curiosity but find less than alarming
things are ignored, unless they rise to prominence in which case they are harassed and
smeared.
People volunteer to work for the IPCC because they worry about climate change.
Governments nominate academics to the IPCC but we should be clear that it is often
the environment agencies that do the nominating.
All this means that the authors of the IPCC are selected on concern as well as
competence.
Botkin:
THE REPORT GIVES THE IMPRESSION THAT LIVING THINGS ARE FRAGILE AND
RIGID, unable to deal with change. The opposite is to case. Life is persistent, adaptable,
adjustable.
There is an overall assumption in the IPCC 2014 report and the Climate Change
Assessment that all change is negative and undesirable; that it is ecologically and
evolutionarily unnatural, bad for populations, species, ecosystems, for all life on planet
Earth, including people. This is the opposite of the reality.
The extreme overemphasis on human-induced global warming has taken our attention
away from many environmental issues that used to be front and center but have been
pretty much ignored in the 21st century.
Pielke Sr.:
Except for limited exceptions the models cannot accurately represent over the last
several decades the temporal evolution of major atmospheric circulation features over
multi-decadal time periods such as El Nio and La Nia, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation,
and the North Atlantic Oscillation. These major factors determine which regions have
drought, floods, tropical cyclone tracks, and other societally and environmentally
important weather events.