June 24, 2016
What does the vote by Britons to leave the European Union mean for the Paris Climate Treaty, for green energy subsidies and mandates, and for the global warming debate? The UK and global commentariat have been quick to offer some answers. The most unambiguous reaction from the global warming alarmists that I have seen was a one-word tweet from Rachel Kyte, CEO of UN Sustainable Energy for All and former World Bank special envoy for climate change: “Weep.”
Paris will need to be “re-calibrated” according to Christiana Figueres, the outgoing executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Figueres, by the way, just...
June 10, 2016
The House of Representatives on 10th June passed two resolutions opposing taxation of fossil fuel consumption. The vote on H. Con. Res. 89, which expresses the sense of Congress that a carbon tax (that is, a tax on carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, oil, and natural gas) would be detrimental to the U. S. economy, was 237 to 163. Six Democrats and 231 Republicans voted Yes. One-hundred sixty-three Democrats voted No.
The six Democrats voting Yes on H. Con. Res. 89 were Representatives: Brad Ashford (Neb.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Henry Cuellar (Tex.), Ann Kirkpatrick (Az.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), and Kyrsten Sinema (Az.). Two Members voted present: David Jolly (R-Fla.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM). Fourteen...
May 13, 2016
Senator David Vitter (R-La.) on 12th May introduced a bill, S. 2930, to ensure that federal funding of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) complies with federal law. The law in question is Public Law 104-246, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1994. That law prohibits the State Department from funding any UN specialized agency or affiliated organization that accepts Palestine as a full member. Palestine was accepted as a full member of the UNFCCC on 18th December 2015 and became a full member 90 days later on 17th March.
As I reported in an earlier Cooler Heads Digest...
May 13, 2016
The Environmental Protection Agency on 12th May released its final rule for regulating methane emissions from new oil and gas production. The agency also announced that it was taking the first steps toward writing a methane rule for existing oil and gas production.
The EPA press release quotes Administrator Gina McCarthy: “Today, we are underscoring the Administration’s commitment to finding commonsense ways to cut methane—a potent greenhouse gas fueling climate change—and other harmful pollution from the oil and gas sector. Together these new actions will protect public health and reduce pollution linked to cancer and other serious health effects while allowing industry to continue to grow and provide a vital source of energy for Americans across the...
May 13, 2016
A judge for the Richmond Circuit Court of Virginia on 13th May lifted his protective order on documents from and to Professor Edward Maibach of George Mason University regarding the RICO-20 letter. The documents were immediately released and have been posted here by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
The RICO-20 letter was signed by twenty academics and sent on 1st September 2015 to U. S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama, and White House science advisor John Holdren. They urged that “the fossil fuel industry and their allies” be investigated under RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, on the grounds that they had “knowingly deceived the American people about the...
April 29, 2016The U. S. State Department replied this week to the 18th April letter to Secretary John Kerry from 28 Senators that pointed out that Palestine was recognized as a full member of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as of 17th March and therefore the United States must stop all funding of the UNFCCC as required by laws enacted in 1994 and 1990. State’s snotty response to the Senators can be summarized thus: Go pound sand.
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield wrote to Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.):
“It is our view that neither the restriction referenced in your letter, section 410 of Public Law 103-236, nor the restriction contained in section 414 of Public Law 101-246, have been triggered by the Palestinians’ purported accession to the UNFCCC. The UNFCCC is a treaty, and the Palestinians’ purported accession to it...
April 22, 2016
Secretary of State John Kerry signed the Paris Climate Treaty on behalf of the United States along with representatives from 174 other countries at a gala, high-level ceremony at United Nations headquarters in New York City on 22nd April, a day which the UN General Assembly officially designated in 2009 as International Mother Earth Day. It is also of course Vladimir Lenin’s birthday.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presided over short speeches by a number of heads of state and prime ministers, including Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Brazil’s Dina Rousseff, France’s Francois Hollande, and Canada’s Justin...
April 8, 2016
The attorney general of the U. S. Virgin Islands, Claude E. Walker, has subpoenaed the Competitive Enterprise Institute for a stunningly wide array of documents from 1997 to 2007 related to our policy work on climate change. The subpoena is part of the investigation of Exxon Mobil initiated by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. AG Walker and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey are co-operating with the NY AG.
Last week, I wrote about the press conference held by Schneiderman, Walker, Healey, four other state attorneys general, and former Vice President Al Gore to discuss their coalition of “AGs United for Clean Power” and noted that Schneiderman had said that the investigation of Exxon Mobil would eventually be broadened to include other fossil energy companies “and...
April 1, 2016
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, former Vice President Al Gore, and attorneys general from Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland, Vermont, and the U. S. Virgin Islands held a press conference in New York City on 30th March to announce “an unprecedented coalition of top law enforcement officials committed to aggressively protecting and building upon the recent progress the United States has made in combatting climate change.” Schneiderman also spoke about his ongoing investigation of Exxon Mobil for fraudulently concealing from investors and the public the harmful effects of their products on the global climate.
Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker announced that they have also launched...
February 26, 2016
The opening briefs (here and here) for the petitioners in West Virginia et al v. EPA—the lawsuit challenging the EPA’s greenhouse gas rule for existing power plants—were submitted to the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on 19th February. The list of petitioners and their lawyers is pretty impressive. The two briefs requested by the court each total no more than 42,000 words.
A number of amicus curiae briefs have been filed plus one intervenor brief. I haven’t read them all, but one that I have that is definitely worth looking at is the ...