Cooler Heads Digest
Reuters, 5 September 2007
Allen R Sanderson, The Library of Economics and <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Liberty, 3 September 2007
Lucy Sheriff, The Register, 3 September 2007
Allen Zarembo, LA Times, 3 September 2007
Marc Morano, Senate EPW blog, 29 August 2007
AFP, 5 September 2007
FTC Press Release, 30 August 2007
Inside the Beltway
CEI’s Myron Ebell
The bad news is that Members of Congress have returned from their August recess. The good news is that action on reconciling the House and Senate anti-energy bills is likely to be put off until later this fall because of all the appropriations bills that need to be passed before October 1st and the desire of Senate and House leaders to spend a lot of floor time on the war in Iraq.
The U. S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers together have started running full page ads opposing the anti-energy bills. The ads say that the bills “will raise energy costs and put Americans out of work.” Given the varying interests of the members of these two organizations, this is remarkably direct.
On global warming legislation, my sense is that the rush to enact cap-and-trade is also slowing down. Senators Lieberman and Warner may try to mark up a bill in their Senate EPW subcommittee later this month. But there are serious obstacles. On the House side, Rep. John Dingell, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, continues to give Speaker Nancy Pelosi heartburn by promoting his carbon tax proposal.
Across the States
ALEC’s Daniel Simmons
The California State Legislature is considering a bill that would fight climate by telling communities how they can develop. The measure, S. 375, would link the state funding for local transportation projects to a municipality’s adoption of low carbon development plans. By holding transportation funds hostage, the S. 375 proponents hope to halt suburban sprawl and instead force local governments to push Californians into high density, transit friendly urban areas, which are thought to be less carbon intensive. The bill is modeled upon a similar effort in Portland. Unfortunately for the bill’s proponents, the Portland model has been exposed as a failure, which means California’s legislators are trying to tell their constituents how to live, for no discernable reason.
Also in the Golden State: Blackouts! It’s hot in So Cal, and people are using more energy than is produced, which has led to power outages in San Diego and Orange Counties. As it so happens, this energy shortage coincides with the shelving of plans for a coal fired power plant in Utah, which would have generated energy for export to Southern California. Plans for the plant faltered because the largest investors – municipal utilities in Southern California – had to pull out because state law (S. 1368) forbids them from investing in coal power.
Around the world
CEI’s Iain Murray
The Vienna global warming conference ended last Friday with yet another defeat for those in favor of mandatory emissions caps, as predicted here. The meeting of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, aimed at kick-starting negotiations over a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2012, refused to adopt an EU proposal based on findings from the IPCC that would commit industrialized nations to consider reducing emissions by 25-40 percent by 2020. The proposal was opposed by Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Japan and Russia, amongst others. With reference to the IPCC findings, the conference said that they provided “useful initial parameters for the overall level of ambition of further emissions reductions."
Faced with such a rebuff, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, currently spearheading the EU’s efforts at securing major emissions cuts, has turned to the “contraction and convergence” idea of basing emissions on population previously advanced by France. This policy would be acceptable to large developing nations, like China and India, while severely punishing the US and other nations that use energy efficiently.
Issue of the Week:
Who is well funded?
Perhaps you read Newsweek’s recent cover story on the “well-funded” global warming “denial machine.” According to the article, the naysayers have been financed to the tune of almost twenty million dollars over the last decade. That’s a lot of money, but how does it stack up against what global warming alarmists spend to scare the public?
Already, green groups spend more than 100 million dollars, every year, to influence the climate change debate. We can expect that sum to rise significantly, because Al Gore is set to launch a climate change public awareness campaign. Ad agencies trying to land the contract have pitched a marketing campaign to Gore that would cost another 100 million dollars a year.
Again, who is “well funded”?!
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