May 2, 2016
Background: The Regional Haze rule is a Clean Air Act regulation whose purpose is to improve the view at National Parks. Because it is an aesthetic rule, and not a public health regulation, Congress intended for States to be the primary decision-maker. In spite of State primacy under the program, EPA since 2009 has imposed federal Regional Haze plans on 15 States, at a cost of more than $5 billion, in order to achieve an “improvement” in visibility that is literally imperceptible. For a primer on the Rule, see my congressional testimony from March.
This week, EPA proposed a “clarification” of its Regional Haze rule that ranks among the agency’s all-time most mendacious...
April 28, 2016
The EPA yesterday took another step to advance the Obama administration’s flagship domestic climate policy, the so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP).
The EPA is moving forward with a component of the Clean Power Plan, sending proposed details and language for the optional Clean Energy Incentive Program to the White House Office of Management and Budget today, according to an EPA statement set to be released today. The CEIP would provide credit for power generated by new wind and solar projects in 2020 and 2021, as well as double credit for energy efficiency measures in low-income communities over that same period.
April 27, 2016
Wind energy can’t compete. Instead, it exists only by the grace of favorable politics. On the supply side, the industry enjoys the federal production tax credit, which awards tax equity to owners of wind power for each megawatt hour of generated electricity. On the demand side, the industry enjoys Soviet-style production quotas in 30 states that force ratepayers to use increasing amounts of wind power.
Yet even with all this political “wind” at its back, sometimes the industry nonetheless falls short—because nature won’t cooperate. According to James Osborne at Fuel Fix,
Last year might have been a banner year for wind turbine construction, but not for the wind itself.
April 19, 2016
April 13, 2016
Feisty, aggressive, unwavering, and sometimes unconventional—all terms I heard prior to joining CEI last week as president. The descriptions were spot-on. But before the first conversations ended, CEI had a new opportunity to showcase why it is the leading organization making the uncompromising case for individual and economic freedom.
Last week, an intimidation campaign led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Vice President Al Gore reached CEI’s doors. We received a subpoena from U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker demanding CEI, a nonprofit and private organization, turn over a massive amount of documents on climate change policy work from 1997-2007, nearly 20 years ago. Needless to say, we will fight the subpoena.
It is not and...
April 12, 2016
Since CEI was subpoenaed on April 8 for a decade’s worth of work from 20 years ago, many have asked “Why?” and “How?” Here is CEI’s take on what’s really going on with this subpoena from the U.S. Virgin Island’s attorney general.
The investigation is harassment.
- The breadth of the ‘inquiry’—encompassing all documents and communications during 1997 through January 1, 2007, concerning any potential impacts of climate policy on affordable energy (or, as the AG puts it, on “ExxonMobil’s sales, revenues, or business”)—includes most documents and communications of CEI’s energy and environment team during the period of interest.
- Our energy and climate team has three full-time staff. Even if we work on the subpoena full time, after hours, and weekends we could not comply with the AG’s document production deadline of April 30.
April 12, 2016
Since CEI was subpoenaed by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands on April 8, 2016, for energy and climate work from 20 years ago, media, commentators, and organizations alike have weighed in on this latest effort in an intimidation campaign to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate, led by a coalition of state attorneys general and former Vice President Al Gore.
March 30, 2016
Inspired by SunEdison’s near bankruptcy (among other terrible news for the solar power industry) and infused with the spirit of Japanese culture due to the blooming cherry trees here in Washington, D.C., I authored the following Haiku:
Regulate coal death
solar power can’t cut it
no energy left
March 29, 2016
Both chambers of Congress are in recess now, but there were some goings-on in the House last Wednesday that merit mention.
The first was EPA Gina McCarthy’s two appearances before House subcommittees in order to defend her FY 2017 budget. In the morning, she testified before the House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. In the afternoon, she appeared before a joint hearing of the Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittees on Environment and the Economy and on Energy and Power.
As well-reported by E&E Daily’s ($) Amanda Reilly,...
March 28, 2016
A bipartisan group of 19 Senators led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is urging EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to get the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) “back on track”—code for compelling refiners to comply with the program’s increasingly unattainable statutory goals.
The RFS is a central planning scheme requiring specified volumes of biofuels to be sold in the nation’s motor fuel supply over a 17-year period. Created in 2005 and then expanded in 2007, the quota for total renewable fuels increase from 4 billion gallons in 2006 to 36 billion gallons in 2022.
The RFS, however, also authorizes EPA to reduce the annual statutory targets if the administrator determines there is an “inadequate domestic supply.” For example, EPA ...