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1 August 2014

In the News
Former Employees Allege Widespread Illegality at Taxpayer-Backed Solar Company
Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, 31 July 2014
Solar Power: Is There a Business Case?
Philip Dowd, WattsUpWithThat, 31 July 2014
Is EPA Really Interested in Your Criticism?
Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal, 30 July 2014
In Search of Real Environmentalism
Ben Acheson, Master Resource, 30 July 2014
Senate Report Details Billionaires Club Behind Special Interests Holding Reins at EPA
Chris Prandoni, Forbes, 30 July 2014
EPA Regulations a Dark, Costly Chapter in Our History
Paul Driessen, Investors Business Daily, 30 July 2014
Heritage Foundation Panel Addresses EPAs Unprecedented Climate Change Regulations
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 29 July 2014
College Professor Uses English Class To Push Global Warming
Samantha Reinis, Campus Reform, 29 July 2014
Average Price of Electricity Climbs to All-Time Record
Terence Jeffrey, CNSNews, 29 July 2014
News You Can Use
Study: Ozone Regulation Would Cost $2.2 Trillion
EPAs impending ozone regulation could cost $2.2 trillion, reduce the gross domestic product by
$3.4 trillion, and eliminate 2.9 million jobs between 2017 and 2014, according to a study
published this week by the National Association of Manufacturers.
Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman
EPAs Climate Regulations Take Center Stage in House of
Representatives
This was the Congresss last week before the August recess, and there were two House
hearings given to EPAs proposed Clean Air Act regulations for greenhouse gases from existing
power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan.
On Tuesday morning, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power held
a hearing to get input from all five members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on
how EPAs rule would affect the nations electricity grid. My colleague Marlo Lewis reported on
the hearing at globalwarming.org; his take-away is the rule would fundamentally overhaul the
electric system. Regarding electric reliability in particular, it bears noting that EPAs analysis
which has proven to be unrealistically optimisticconcedes that the rule would threaten
reliability in New England, Florida, and Gulf States. The reality is likely much worse.
On Wednesday morning, I attended a House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held
a hearing on EPAs Carbon Plan: Failure by Design. Panelists were Jeffrey Holmstead
(partner, Bracewell & Giuliani), Charles McConnell (executive director, Energy & Environment
Initiative), David Cash (Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality),
and Gregory Sopkin (partner, Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer LLP).
McConnell delivered the best exchanges. During his opening statement, for example, he held
up a dime, and noted that EPAs Clean Power Plan would limit sea level rise by an amount
commensurate with 1/3
rd
the thickness of the coin.
However, his most impactful testimony pertained to EPAs inability to work with other agencies.
Before resigning in early 2013, McConnell was assistant secretary for fossil energy at the
Energy Department. This is the office responsible for facilitating federal assistance in the
development of carbon capture and sequester (CCS) technology. In fact, EPA required CCS
technology in its controversial carbon rule for new coal-fired power plants, so youd think that
EPA wouldve welcomed collaboration with McConnells office. Alas, youd be wrong. McConnell
told the committee that a true collaborative effort would have been far different from what I
observed. According to Mr. McConnell, EPA viewed the interagency process as a box-
checking exercise and he called the agencys attitude disingenuous.
McConnells account raises troubling issues. For starters, EPA has no functional expertise in
CCS technology. It is, therefore, strange that the agency would spurn input from a federal office
that does possess such expertise. EPAs failure to do so suggests incompetence, and it
perhaps explains why the regulation is rife with legal flaws.
Taking a step back, his testimony makes me wonder if theres anyone with whom EPA works
well, other than environmental special interests (of course). After all, the Department of Energy
is a fellow federal agency. Theyre peers, yet EPA refused to get along. Moreover, we know that
Obamas EPA has had an unprecedentedly poor relationship with States, which are supposed
to be the agencys partners under the cooperative federalism framework established by the
Clean Air Act. And it goes without saying that this EPA treats dirty industry with contempt.
Thus, EPA has rejected collaboration with the public and private sectors. Unfortunately, so long
as Congress refuses to protect its own power and the judiciary defers evermore to agency
action, EPA can go it alone.
Across the States
EPA Holds Public Hearings on Clean Power Plan
EPA this week held public hearings on its proposed Climate Action Plan in Washington, D.C.,
Denver, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh. The fact that EPA scheduled these hearings in metropolitan
areas, rather than the areas of the country that will be most affected by the rule, raised the ire of
prominent critics, including Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called the hearings a
sham.
On a personal note, I signed up to speak at the one in Washington, but EPA denied me the
opportunity. The Daily Callers Michael Bastasch reported that my experience was not unique,
and that opponents of the rule seem to have been disproportionately shut out of the D.C.
hearing.
The hearings were bookended by ominous signs. At the last minute, the hearing in Atlanta was
moved to a new location, due to power outage. And on the final day of hearings, Alpha Natural
Resources announced it would eliminate 1,100 coal mining jobs in Appalachia; the company
attributed the decision in part to EPA regulations. These two phenomenapower scarcity and
job lossesare likely manifestations of EPAs Clean Power Plan, if it is finalized in anything
resembling its proposed form.
Around the World
William Yeatman
International Monetary Fund Proposes $1.60 U.S. Gas Tax
National Journals Jason Plautz yesterday reported on a new book published by the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose thesis is that energy prices in many countries are
wrong because they dont account for global warming. For the U.S., the IMF recommends a
$1.60 per gallon gas tax. Thankfully, IMF has no power over U.S. domestic policy. Nonetheless,
the Funds evident mission creep is eyebrow-raising. Why is the IMF, whose original purpose
was to ensure exchange-rate stability, writing white papers about implausible American
domestic policies?