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From the Cooler Heads Digest, a summary of climate change-related news:

The House-passed Waxman-Markey energy-rationing bill, H.R. 2454, sets specific federal housing standards $4,000 to $10,000 and price more than 1,000,000 people out of the market, according to Bill Killmer, a vice president of the National Association of Home Builders. In 2014 for new residential buildings and 2015 for new commercial buildings, a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency is required (relative to the baseline code), increasing each year thereafter. Waxman-Markey also adopts California’s portable lighting fixture standard as the national standard. And it mandates efficiency improvements for many new appliances, including spas, water dispensers, and dishwashers.

But the Senate’s Kerry-Boxer energy-rationing bill, S. 1733, goes much further; it gives an unelected federal official a regulatory blank check:

“The (EPA) Administrator, or such other agency head or heads as may be designated by the President, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall promulgate regulations establishing building code energy efficiency targets for the national average percentage improvement of buildings energy performance.” And, “The Administrator, or such other agency head or heads as may be designated by the President, shall promulgate regulations establishing national energy efficiency building codes for residential and commercial buildings.” Pp. 173-174

Federal building codes would be in the hands of the EPA.

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Asks Lord Christopher Monckton, the man the Democrats refused to allow to testify at a Congressional hearing last spring.  They did, however, find room for the Gorbaucle to spread his self-serving lies there.

An important excerpt from the speech:

Here is why the truth matters. It was all very well for jesting Pilate to ask that question and then not to tarry for an answer. But that question that he asked, “what is the truth?” is the question which underlies every question and in the end it is the only question that really matters. When you ask that question what you are really asking is “what is the truth about the matter?” And we are now going to see why it matters morally, socially, and politically, as well as economically and scientifically. That the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth should inform public policy on this question.

More at Michelle Malkin.

How inconvenient is this:  Ross McKitrick: Defects in key climate data are uncovered

Beginning in 2003, I worked with Stephen McIntyre to replicate a famous result in paleoclimatology known as the Hockey Stick graph. Developed by a U.S. climatologist named Michael Mann, it was a statistical compilation of tree ring data supposedly proving that air temperatures had been stable for 900 years, then soared off the charts in the 20th century. Prior to the publication of the Hockey Stick, scientists had held that the medieval-era was warmer than the present, making the scale of 20th century global warming seem relatively unimportant. The dramatic revision to this view occasioned by the Hockey Stick’s publication made it the poster child of the global warming movement. It was featured prominently in a 2001 report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as government websites and countless review reports.

Steve and I showed that the mathematics behind the Mann Hockey Stick were badly flawed, such that its shape was determined by suspect bristlecone tree ring data. Controversies quickly piled up: Two expert panels involving the U.S. National Academy of Sciences were asked to investigate, the U.S. Congress held a hearing, and the media followed the story around the world.

The expert reports upheld all of our criticisms of the Mann Hockey Stick, both of the mathematics and of its reliance on flawed bristlecone pine data. One of the panels, however, argued that while the Mann Hockey Stick itself was flawed, a series of other studies published since 1998 had similar shapes, thus providing support for the view that the late 20th century is unusually warm. The IPCC also made this argument in its 2007 report. But the second expert panel, led by statistician Edward Wegman, pointed out that the other studies are not independent. They are written by the same small circle of authors, only the names are in different orders, and they reuse the same few data climate proxy series over and over…

gore hockey stick

More at the link.

Another apparently unregarded consequence of cap and tax:  From The Foundry, How Cap and Trade Affects the Health Care Debate

…Though it would be nearly impossible to trace out all the impacts of higher energy costs on medical services, one broad measure is the impact on the costs of medical care. By driving up energy costs, Waxman-Markey will drive up the costs of running hospitals, manufacturing medical equipment, producing drugs, driving ambulances and virtually every other component of our healthcare system…

…So what happens to healthcare? On top of all the other factors that will lead to higher prices down the road, Waxman-Markey will add an additional 11.6 percent to healthcare costs by 2035 (the last year of the analysis). So, though Waxman-Markey aims its economic bombs at global-warming, healthcare will suffer hundreds of billions of dollars in collateral damage each year.

From Politico, Climate change punted deeper into fall

Senate Democrats have punted climate change deeper into the fall, a delay that underscores the steep climb the White House faces in convincing Congress — and the world — to dramatically slash greenhouse gas emissions.

The decision came Thursday, a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with White House energy adviser Carol Browner and six Senate committee chairmen and the group realized it would need additional time to finesse a deal that could pass the Senate.

Obstacles everywhere:

Southern and Midwestern Democrats have a long list of concerns about the bill’s electricity, agriculture, and cap and trade provisions. A version of the climate bill narrowly passed the House last month, after administration officials and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pressured a group of skeptical Democrats to vote for the legislation.

In the Senate, it won’t be nearly as easy to twist arms, and floor time will remain a major problem.

…The decision to delay climate legislation in the Senate comes as the administration’s environmental agenda faces new obstacles abroad. China, India and other developing countries refused to commit to specific goals for cutting greenhouse gases by 2050 at the G-8 summit this week, despite heavy negotiating by President Barack Obama.

More at the link.

This is good news.  Means there’s a lot more time for this.

The EPA’s version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:  ‘Put nothing in writing,’ Browner told auto execs on secret White House CAFE talks; Sensenbrenner wants investigation

Carol Browner, former Clinton administration EPA head and current Obama White House climate czar, instructed auto industry execs “to put nothing in writing, ever” regarding secret negotiations she orchestrated regarding a deal to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-WI, is demanding a congressional investigation of Browner’s conduct in the CAFE talks, saying in a letter to Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, that Browner “intended to leave little or no documentation of the deliberations that lead to stringent new CAFE standards.”

Federal law requires officials to preserve documents concerning significant policy decisions, so instructing participants in a policy negotation concerning a major federal policy change could be viewed as a criminal act.

This comes on the heels of the EPA’s attempt to silence the author of a report that didn’t fit their global warming template:

…Except, that is, when it comes to Mr. Carlin, a senior analyst in the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics and a 35-year veteran of the agency. In March, the Obama EPA prepared to engage the global-warming debate in an astounding new way, by issuing an “endangerment” finding on carbon. It establishes that carbon is a pollutant, and thereby gives the EPA the authority to regulate it — even if Congress doesn’t act.

Around this time, Mr. Carlin and a colleague presented a 98-page analysis arguing the agency should take another look, as the science behind man-made global warming is inconclusive at best. The analysis noted that global temperatures were on a downward trend. It pointed out problems with climate models. It highlighted new research that contradicts apocalyptic scenarios. “We believe our concerns and reservations are sufficiently important to warrant a serious review of the science by EPA,” the report read.

The response to Mr. Carlin was an email from his boss, Al McGartland, forbidding him from “any direct communication” with anyone outside of his office with regard to his analysis. When Mr. Carlin tried again to disseminate his analysis, Mr. McGartland decreed: “The administrator and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. . . . I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” (Emphasis added.)

Mr. McGartland blasted yet another email: “With the endangerment finding nearly final, you need to move on to other issues and subjects. I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change. No papers, no research etc, at least until we see what EPA is going to do with Climate.” Ideology? Nope, not here. Just us science folk. Honest.

The emails were unearthed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Republican officials are calling for an investigation; House Energy Committee ranking member Joe Barton sent a letter with pointed questions to Mrs. Jackson, which she’s yet to answer. The EPA has issued defensive statements, claiming Mr. Carlin wasn’t ignored. But there is no getting around that the Obama administration has flouted its own promises of transparency.

Much more at the links.

To see where cap and tax will lead.  California’s Utopian Renewable Energy Mandates Already Threatening Power Shortages and Higher Utility Bills

As a consequence of foolish environmental regulations, California officials express increasing alarm that the state’s renewable energy mandates threaten widespread power shortages in the near future.  Blackouts, brownouts, skyrocketing energy bills – take a good look at your possible future, America.

This warning to the rest of America has been almost ten years in the making.

Over the past decade, sanctimonious California lawmakers have imposed increasingly stringent power requirements as part of their broader climate-change agenda.  By 2002, legislation required utilities to produce 20% of their power from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass and geothermal by the year 2010.  By 2008, however, only 12% of California’s total electricity derived from such sources, and even this amount is misleading because 60% of that total originated from geothermal plants built long before “green power” became the latest fashion.

Despite these hard realities, California lawmakers actually toughened the state’s already-infeasible benchmarks.  Following new laws and executive orders issued in just the past year, California utilities must now generate 33% of their power from renewable sources by the year 2020.

According to a recent report from state energy authorities, this stricter mandate could double the cost of achieving the previous 20% requirement, at a total exceeding $114 billion.  In other words, even as California’s economy and fiscal woes reached crisis mode, lawmakers actually exacerbated these self-inflicted wounds.

Much more at the link.

Democrats Admit That Their Cap and Trade Bill Is a Job Killer

In her remarks bringing the debate over the climate bill to a close, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California urged her colleagues to vote in favor of the cap and trade bill, saying the measure was about four things: “jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs.”

She was right—the House-passed version of cap and trade is all about jobs: jobs lost, jobs never created, jobs sent overseas, and, unbelievably, jobs people will be paid for doing long after they cease to exist.

According to Friday’s Washington Times, the legislation includes language that provides, should it become law, that people who lose their jobs because of it “could get a weekly paycheck for up to three years, subsidies to find new work and other generous benefits—courtesy of Uncle Sam.”

How generous are these benefits? Well, according to the Times, “Adversely affected employees in oil, coal and other fossil-fuel sector jobs would qualify for a weekly check worth 70 percent of their current salary for up to three years. In addition, they would get $1,500 for job-search assistance and $1,500 for moving expenses from the bill’s ‘climate change worker adjustment assistance’ program, which is expected to cost $4.2 billion from 2011 to 2019.”

Instead of being a the source of millions of new jobs of “green jobs”—as House Democrats are fond of saying over and over again—the provision is a hidden admission that their effort is a job killer, not just a massive new tax on energy.

More at the link.

Told you so, Nancy.

Aren’t a priority, in the grander scheme of things.  Analysis | With new charge, saving electricity could end up costing Missourians

Some Missouri residents and businesses soon could see a new charge on their electric bills — a fee for using less energy.

Though it might seem illogical, the new energy efficiency charge has support from utilities, most lawmakers, the governor, environmentalists and even the state’s official utility consumer advocate. The charge covers the cost of utilities’ efforts to promote energy efficiency and cut power use.

Oh, well, if the environmentalists are on board with the political apparatus and the politically-controlled, case closed, game over.  It must be a good idea.  It’s counter-intuitive only if you assume the goal is simply to save energy consumers money.  Once you realize the goal is much bigger than that, it begins to make sense.  Read on.

The assumption is that charging consumers for those initiatives ultimately will cost less than charging them to build the new power plants that will be needed if electricity use isn’t curtailed.

The article mentions no analysis of the savings this kind of program actually generates.   We are to take a positive result on faith, then? And why is it a given that construction of new power plants is a bad thing?

It’s going on already:

For example, the commission last week approved a program in which St. Louis-based AmerenUE can offer credits to businesses that voluntarily shut down or scale back their electricity use during peak demand. AmerenUE will be able to recoup the cost for the program that starts Thursday by increasing the rates it charges business customers.

Kansas City Power & Light Co. already has 19 energy efficiency and demand-reduction programs, said Chuck Caisley, the company’s senior director of public affairs. He said the Public Service Commission is allowing the company to recoup up to $50 million of the programs’ costs under a rate plan in effect through 2010.

One of the company’s more popular energy-saving initiatives has provided free programmable thermostats to about 34,000 residential customers in Missouri and Kansas. KCP&L can remotely control the devices to reduce the frequency at which air conditioners run during peak demand times. The power company overrode customers’ air conditioners four times last year and twice so far this summer, Caisley said.

Just for fun, I searched for programmable thermostats to find the retail cost of the “free” ones mentioned above.  Home Depot offers one for $47.47.
Honeywell has one for $53.95.  I realize that’s retail, and no doubt the electric company gets them more cheaply.  But they’re not “free.”  Somebody paid for them, and that somebody is that company’s customers.  And the part about overriding home thermostats sounds more like remote-control rationing than saving energy.

To me, this is the same thinking that’s behind one proposed healthcare reform, increasing preventive care coverage to save taxpayer money, the idea being that government paying up front reduces costs to it down the road.  But how?  Preventive care isn’t cheap, definitely not “free”–and a study indicates the impact of preventive care on costs is a mixed bag.    We are to take Congress’s word on that, too, I guess.

Cap and tax as blackmail:

Public Service Commission Chairman Robert M. Clayton III said he feared that Missouri’s heavily coal-dependent electric customers will see a sharp spike in rates if federal climate legislation limiting carbon emissions becomes law. That makes it even more important for Missourians to reduce their collective energy use, he said.

And to let essentially government-controlled power companies ration energy use.

On the surface, this sort of program sounds reasonable.  You control the demand of the (relatively) few, for the good of the many, to avoid brownouts and blackouts.  It also furthers the junk science global warming agenda by reducing the number of power plants that would need to be built, avoiding the resulting defacement of the planet.  But are you convinced that kind of power, to control the temperature of the air in your house, won’t be put into the service of some other noble-sounding but freedom-killing public goal, for our own good?  Given the track record of  history, I am not.

Because, you see, as in every other case in which that maxim has been followed, that of allowing the needs of the many to override the needs of the few, or the one, the result will be more government control over everyone.  It is as inevitable as death and taxes.  It’s not, ultimately, about the good of the many.  It’s about the power of the bureaucrats.

At the Tax Foundation.

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