Cooler Heads Digest
Jeff Goddall, Rolling Stone, 24 July 2007
Iain Murray, National Review Online, 3 August 2007
Deborah Corey Barnes, Capital Research Center’s Foundation Watch
Tom Dogget, Reuters, 7 August 2007
Inside the Beltway
CEI’s Myron Ebell
The House passed its version of the anti-energy bill plus a related tax increase bill on Saturday, August 4. Together the bills will raise prices on gasoline, electricity, and a wide range of appliances, while lowering domestic production of oil and natural gas. Unlike the bill the Senate passed in June, the House has not yet gotten around to raising food and auto prices.
The major excitement was the fierce debate over the amendment by Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM) to require that electric utilities produce more electricity from renewable sources such as wind mills. Udall's amendment passed 220 to 190
If enacted, this requirement will raise electricity prices substantially in the States that currently depend mostly on low-cost electricity from coal-fired power plants. It won't have much effect in the States that already have high electricity rates, most of which already have their own renewable portfolio standards.
Final passage of H. R. 3221 was by a vote of 241 to 172. The vote on the tax bill, H. R. 2776, was 221 to 189. It is assumed that the House and Senate will appoint a conference committee in September to produce a bill combining the worst parts of both bills.
Across the States
American Legislative Exchange Council’s Dan Simmons
The State of California has initiated litigation to force San Bernadino County to stop growing its economy until it proves it can prosper in a more environmentally fashion. Attorney General Jerry Brown sued the County for failing to conduct a climate change impact assessment on its plan to attract half a million new residents by 2030. The lawsuit – the first of its kind – makes California the first government to intentionally discourage economic growth in the name of climate change. Congratulations California!
Around the world
CEI’s Chris Horner
The White House recently announced that on September 27th and 28th in Washington there will be a “Meeting of Major Economies on Energy Security and Climate Change,” which will include most or all of the world’s top 15 greenhouse gas emitting nations for the purpose of developing a “new post-2012 framework on climate change by the end of 2008.” That is, the administration seeks to set in place a plan for the next administration other than Kyoto’s failed rationing scheme, which to date only Europe appears stubbornly wedded to.
But the risk is real that Europe will see Bush’s desire for this “legacy” item and hold firm for a Kyoto-style pact, in which they have much political capital invested. They should remember, though, that the last time Europe tried that approach—at the November 2000 “COP-6” in the Hague during the Florida recount—even the Clinton-Gore administration walked away from the table.
Issue of the week: House Energy Bill
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