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In the News

Update on EPA’s Burgeoning Texting Scandal
Chris Horner, GlobalWarming.org, 30 January 2015
Ocean Catastrophe Narratives: Something Fishy Going on
Greg Rehmke, Master Resource, 30 January 2015
John Kerry Fined $50 for Failing Shovel Snow outside Home
Associated Press, 29 January 2015
Obama Advisor Podesta Caught Green Handed in Major Ethics Violation
Richard Pollock, Daily Caller, 29 January 2015
EPA Chief: “Aspen’s Climate Could Be a Lot Like That of Amarillo, TX” in 2100
Jeryl Bier, Weekly Standard, 29 January 2015
The Questionable Health Data Behind EPA’s Costly New Ozone Rule
Steve Everley, Energy in Depth, 28 January 2015
Obama’s Doublespeak on Climate & Oil Prices
Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, 28 January 2015
Meteorologists Apologize for “Historic” Storm Forecasts
Cooper Allen & Doyle Rice, USA Today, 28 January 2015
The Clean Power Plan’s Dirty Secret
William Yeatman, U.S. News & World Report, 26 January 2015

News You Can Use
Russian Oil Interests Funding Anti-Fracking Groups in U.S.
In a blockbuster expose published this week, Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay reports that
shadowy companies with deep ties to Russian oil interests have funneled tens of millions of dollars to
anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Keystone Pipeline Bill Passes Senate, Obama Veto Next
The Senate passed S. 1, a bill to bypass President Obama and permit the Keystone XL Pipeline from
Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf refineries on 29th January. The vote was 62 to 36. Nine Democrats joined 53
Republicans in voting Yes. All 36 No votes were from Democrats.
The nine Democrats who voted Yes were Senators Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Carper (Del.), Bob Casey
(Penna.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.V.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon
Tester (Mont.), and Mark Warner (Va.). Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) did not vote in order to pair with
Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is recovering from injuries. If they had voted, Rubio would
have voted Yes, and Reid No.
The Senate and House versions of the legislation will now need to be reconciled before being sent to
President Barack Obama. The White House has stated that the President will veto the bill. There are not
enough votes in either the House or the Senate to override a veto.

Wind PTC Amendment Fails in Senate
In last week’s Digest, I discussed several climate amendments to the Keystone XL Pipeline bill. The
Senate this week voted on another 18 amendments before passing S. 1 on 29th January by a 62-36 vote.
Of special interest for energy policy was the vote on an amendment offered by Senator Heidi Heitkamp
(D-N.D.). Her amendment expressed the sense of Congress that the Wind Production Tax Credit should
be extended for five years.
It failed on a 47 to 51 vote, with 60 votes required for adoption. Only three Republicans voted for the
amendment: Senators Susan Collins (R-Me.), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). Senator
Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) was the only Democrat who voted against the amendment.
The vote is heartening news for opponents of renewing the Wind PTC, but it does not mean that
supporters of the tax subsidy for windmills have no chance of getting it extended later in the year. If the
House Ways and Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee marks up a package of tax cut
extenders that includes the Wind PTC, there will be almost no way to take it out. There will be no floor
votes specifically on the Wind PTC, but only on the entire package. Every Member of Congress who
doesn’t want to take credit for supporting the Wind PTC can state with a straight face that he would
have voted against it, but didn’t have a chance and had to vote for the whole package of extenders.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Obama Fails to Convince Indian PM Modi to Abandon Pro-Energy
Agenda

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted U. S. President Barack Obama in New Delhi for talks on a
variety of topics, including climate and energy policy, on the weekend of 24th January. Nothing like the
climate agreement that Obama and Chinese President Xi signed last fall resulted from the New Delhi
meeting.
Items 43 through 45 of the official communique contain their rather thin areas of agreement. These
include more co-operation on nuclear power, solar power, clean energy research and deployment,
possible U. S. financing, and climate modeling. They also agreed to work together to achieve a successful
outcome of the negotiations on a new UN climate agreement at COP-21 in Paris in December.
A commentator writing in the Economic Times of India, Urmi Goswami, noted that Modi's pledge to
increase solar power five-fold provides a convenient fig leaf for Modi's plan to more than double coal
production.

EPA’s Gina McCarthy Visits Pope Francis to Talk Global Warming
Policy
Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, flew to Rome this week for
a brief meeting with Pope Francis to talk about the urgent need for action to stop climate change. The
Pope plans to issues an encyclical later this year that reportedly will tell Roman Catholics that they have
a moral obligation to support international and national policies to ration energy.
This seems bizarre to me. Policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions by raising energy prices and thereby
limiting access to energy make poor people poorer and deny hundreds of millions of people in poor
countries access to any modern energy at all for electricity or transportation.

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

UK Floods: Link to Climate Change?
According to a recent survey, nearly nine in ten Britons believe climate change is happening with 84%
attributing it partly or entirely to human activity.
That's hardly surprising. After 20 years of non-stop news and commentary about climate change from
both Conservative and Labor politicians, the BBC, the Royal Society, the UK Met Office, UK-based IPCC
glitterati, and green NGOs, it's a wonder percentages are not even higher.
Asked to name major threats over the next few decades, 15% of those polled answered climate change
without prompting. Now that is interesting. Nine out of 10 believe in climate change, but only 15% view
it as a serious threat. That suggests your typical Brit is a lukewarmer.

The survey also found that “among those with direct recent experience of flooding,” the number who
feel threatened by climate change “nearly doubled, to 29%.” Well, there is nothing quite like being in a
natural disaster to make people believe unnatural forces must be at work and to look for someone or
something to blame.
The fact that 71% of those directly affected by last year's floods did not list climate change as a major
threat shows how level-headed the sons and daughters of the Scepter'd Isle continue to be.
As noted on this blog last year, a study by scientists at the University of Southampton found that the
reported increase in UK flood damages over the past 129 years could be entirely accounted for by
population growth: “more properties exposed to flooding and more people to report flooding.”
In his new book, The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change, Roger Pielke, Jr. of the
University of Colorado shows there is no evidence floods are becoming more common or intense
worldwide. Among the sources Pielke cites is none other than the IPCC. AR5 states: “In summary, there
continues to be a lack of eidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude
and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”