Next week the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold three hearings, two full Committee hearings and one Subcommittee hearing.
On Tuesday, May 6, at 10:15 a.m., the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a Full Committee Hearing on Perchlorate and TCE in our nation’s water. Senator Boxer has introduced two bills (S.24 and S.150), both amending the Safe Drinking Water Act, directing EPA to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate by a certain date. Senator Clinton has introduced a bill, S. 1911, on TCE (trichloroethylene) directing EPA to set both a drinking water standard and a vapor intrusion standard. (Read More)
The Honorable Benjamin Grumbles
Assistant Administrator for Water
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
George V. Alexeeff, PhD, DABT
Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
California Environmental Protection Agency
Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, Ohio EPA
Carol Rowan West
Director, Office of Research & Standards
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Donna A. Lupardo
126th Assembly District, State of New
David G. Hoel, PhD
Professor, Medical University of South Carolina
Executive Director, Environmental Working Group
On Wednesday, May 7, at 9:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming, Oversight, and Children's Health Protection will hold a hearing on “Oversight Hearing on Science and Environmental Regulatory Decisions.” The purpose of the hearing is to hear testimony on how science is used in environmental regulatory decisions, including an overview of these issues and a discussion of specific EPA regulatory decisions on air (e.g. ozone, particulate matter, and lead), and children’s health (e.g. cancer risks and lead.)
The Honorable George Gray
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Francesca Grifo
Senior Scientist, Director, Scientific Integrity Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
Dr. Paul Gilman
Chief Sustainability Officer
Covanta Energy Corporation
Dr. David Michaels, PhD, MPH
Research Professor and Associate Chairman, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
The George Washington University
Dr. George Thurston
Professor of Environmental Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
Institute of Environmental Medicine
Toxicology & Human Health Risk Analysis
Dr. Lorenz Rhomberg
Dr. John Balbus
Chief Health Scientist
Environmental Defense Fund
Next Thursday, May 8, at 10:00 a.m., the Environment and Public Works Committee will conduct a hearing concerning Goods Movements on Our Nation’s Highways. Thursday’s hearing will examine the status of freight movement on our nation's highways. The witnesses will mostly discuss how the exponential growth in goods movement on roads and bridges is turning our infrastructure problem into an infrastructure crisis. The hearing will focus on what users of the system will need in the future, and what is going to drive the transportation network of the future, especially since transportation is no longer a separate system--it is part of the manufacturing economic process. This hearing will also analyze the need for a national policy framework and propose a new strategic partnership for positioning North America, including the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, in the global economy that brings users, all transportation modes, and the civic sector to the table and that would focus on strategy rather than projects and being proactive rather than reactive.
Michael Gallis, Principal
Michael Gallis & Associates
Charlie Potts, CEO
Heritage Construction and Materials
On Behalf of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association
Mortimer Downey, Chairman
On Behalf of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors
May 1, 2008
On Thursday, Senator Inhofe joined with Senate Republicans to introduce commonsense legislation to address the skyrocketing costs of energy prices on Oklahoman and American families. Rather than raise taxes, block production, increase regulations, and call for investigations, the Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008 actually addresses the nation’s current energy crunch by delivering real energy solutions. It would increase access to domestic supplies, expand the nation’s refinery capacity, and promote market-based alternatives for our energy future. Importantly, the bill includes key provisions of Senator Inhofe’s Gas Petroleum Refiner Improvement & Community Empowerment Act of 2007 (Gas PRICE Act), legislation that is designed to improve the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new refineries.
“I am proud to join with my Republican colleagues today to introduce common sense energy legislation that will bring down the price of gas at the pump and the cost of energy in our homes,” Senator Inhofe said. “Just four months ago I voted against a Democrat energy bill because I believed it failed Oklahoma and the nation by doing nothing to address skyrocketing energy costs. Absent from the Democrat ‘energy’ bill was any attempt to increase domestic energy resources – such as oil, natural gas, nuclear and clean coal technologies – that are essential to securing an American energy supply that is stable, diverse, and affordable. There should be no surprise that Congress is racing back to action as gas prices continue to rise.
“In stark contrast to the Democrats’ 2007 energy bill, the legislation introduced today would not only help relieve the rising costs of energy, but would increase jobs in Oklahoma and the nation. Our bill seeks to decrease the price of energy by putting Americans back to work by exploring and developing domestic energy resources and increasing domestic refining capacity.”
Increasing Domestic Refining Capacity
“Any legislation to bring down the price of gas at the pump must address domestic refining capacity. I am pleased that key provisions of my Gas PRICE Act legislation have been included in this bill. The provisions are designed to improve the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new refineries. The bill establishes a 360-day deadline for the approval or disapproval of consolidated permit applications for new refineries and a 120-day deadline for permits to expand an existing refinery. This bill will put an end to the outsourcing of U.S. refining capacity and U.S. jobs.”
Increasing Domestic Energy Exploration
“Increasing domestic energy exploration is also essential. Currently, oil and gas exploration and production is prohibited on 85 percent of America’s offshore waters. Canada, on the other hand, allows offshore drilling in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Great Lakes. Additionally, Cuba is looking to expand drilling which could occur within 45 miles of parts of Florida and with technology that is much less environmentally sound than that used by American companies. If President Clinton hadn’t vetoed legislation allowing environmentally sensitive exploration on the Coastal Plain of ANWR 10 years ago, today we would have 1 million additional barrels of oil a day coming from ANWR, which would mean lower gas prices for consumers and more energy security. The Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008 allows for environmentally sensible drilling in ANWR. It also allows individual States to decide if drilling should be permitted in their offshore waters. Its enactment would allow American companies such as Oklahoma based Devon and Conoco Phillips to increase our domestic supplies, make the nation more energy secure, and keep American jobs and dollars at home.”
Section 526 Repeal
“I am also pleased that our bill includes the repeal of Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Three weeks ago I introduced legislation repealing Section 526, which prohibits federal agencies from contracting to procure nonconventional, or alternative, fuels that emit higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions than ‘conventional petroleum sources.’ I worked to include language in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, recognizing that unconventional fuels such as oil shale and tar sands developed in the U.S. and Canada are strategically important and necessary to develop to reduce the growing dependence of the U.S. on foreign oil. Despite the potential enormity of the provision’s consequences, no public hearings, discourse, or examination occurred before its inclusion. The scope of fuels that could be prohibited is left wide-open to interpretation, including fuels such as Canadian oil sands, E85 ethanol, and coal- and natural gas-to-liquids fuel, which has powered B-52H bomber aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base. I’m particularly concerned that Section 526 could limit the diversity and supply of fuel for our nation’s Air Force and other military branches. Our military could be forced to obtain a greater percentage of petroleum from unstable regions of the world, endangering our ability to quickly and economically obtain much-needed fuel to conduct operations vital to the defense of our nation. At a time when our troops are involved in two large-scale foreign conflicts, our military must have the flexibility to secure and develop alternative sources of fuel.”
“This week I also urged the President and Congress to take swift and meaningful action to help mitigate the damaging impact of our nation’s irresponsible biofuels mandate. Several Senators on both sides of the aisle have now spoken out on the need to find ways to address this problem. The drastic increase in the biofuels mandates was yet another failure of last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Congress must have the courage to address this issue and address it now.”
Earmark will help Tulsa's air
The U.S. House has advanced a
measure that would free $1.8 million to help Tulsa improve its air quality by updating
traffic signals and reducing congestion.
April 29, 2008
Senator Inhofe issued the following statement on the Energy Information Administration (EIA) analysis of the America's Climate Security Act – S. 2191 (Lieberman-Warner) global warming cap-and-trade bill.
“Multiple government and private analyses now clearly show that the bill is wrong for America,” Senator Inhofe said. “The EIA analysis projected unacceptable increases in Americans average annual household energy bills up to $325 in 2020 and $723 by 2030. And this does not factor in transportation-related costs. The EIA also found that the Lieberman-Warner bill would lead to higher coal, natural gas and petroleum prices.
“Further, EIA’s gloomy economic analysis is contingent upon the U.S. building more than 2 1/2 times as many new nuclear plants as are currently operating -- an increase so massive and unrealistic as to be fictional. EIA also found Lieberman-Warner would result in up to a 9.5% drop in manufacturing output by 2030.
“Despite this gloomy EIA analysis, proponents of Lieberman-Warner are still claiming the bill will not impose economic harm to America. Only in Washington could higher energy prices be characterized as not negatively impacting the U.S. economy. If Democrats have their way, Americans will pay significantly more at the pump, in their homes, and in many cases, with their jobs, all to accomplish an undetectable impact on the climate.
“The question now is which U.S. Senator will dare to stand on the Senate Floor a month from now to vote in favor of significantly increasing the price of gas at the pump?”
Both government and private sector analysis have shown the cost of the Lieberman-Warner bill to be extremely painful. See:Inhofe Statement on EPA’s Analysis of Lieberman-Warner; 1.8 MILLION JOBS MAY BE LOST BY 2020, NEW STUDY SAYS; New CBO Study Further Exposes Cap-and-Trade Flaws; NEW ANALYSIS: CARBON MANDATE WOULD HARM CONSUMERS, JOBS AND ECONOMY; CBO Warns that Cap-And-Trade Approach Could Create ‘Windfall' Profits & Harm Poor; EPA Analysis Projects Climate Bill Will Raise Gas Prices 53 Cents Per Gallon;
Inhofe Demands ‘Dramatic’ Action to Address Food vs. Fuel Mandates
On Monday, April 28, Senator Inhofe delivered a floor speech calling for “dramatic” action to address global food difficulties caused in part by current biofuel mandates.
Selected Senator Inhofe Speech Excerpts:
We are in the midst of global food difficulties brought on by decades of misguided environment and energy policies. As worldwide food availability decreases and prices continue to skyrocket, decades of ill-conceived planning by politicians and bureaucrats afraid of expanding our energy supplies are now bearing an ugly fruit. American families and the international community continue to suffer from these misguided policies; Washington must take the first steps to begin addressing these problems. […]
Recently, the world has been confronted with irrefutable evidence that our current biofuels mandates are having massive and potentially life threatening consequences. Once again, we are reminded how restrictive government mandates and ill-advised bureaucratic meddling produce unintended consequences. Trying to centrally manage and “plan” a global food distribution network and economy through clumsy, unrealistically high mandates has been a proven failure. An April 28 article on our current biofuel mandates in the National Review by Phil Kerpen and James Valvo detailed the mindset of bureaucratic planners. “Each new generation of central planners believes the previous generation wasn't smart enough. Yet central economic planning is forever doomed to failure since the approach itself limits human freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and innovation.” To put it into simpler terms: As Ronald Reagan once said, ‘The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan.’ […]
Now when you have Lester Brown, Miles O’Brien, Dan Rather, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the United Nations, and James Inhofe all in agreement on changing an environmental policy, you can rest assured the policy is horribly misguided. All of these publications and individuals now realize the pure folly of the Federal government’s biofuels mandates. […]
Fortunately, all ethanol is not created equal. The idea that we can grow energy rich crops all over the country – not just in the Midwest – is something worth considering, and that’s why I support research into cellulosic biomass ethanol. I am particularly pleased by the efforts taking place in Oklahoma. This week, the Oklahoman reported in an April 28, 2008 article: “As experts turn against corn ethanol, Oklahoma is continuing to elbow for a spot in the so-called second generation of the biofuels movement — a generation that won't use food for fuel. In recent months, turning corn into fuel has met criticism on two fronts: It's been blamed as a factor in sky-high food prices that have led to riots in Asia, Africa and Haiti; and it's been cast as an environmental villain, since studies say corn ethanol, on the whole, creates more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. But Oklahoma's biofuels industry is going down a different path. Since last year, the state has been investing tax money in switchgrass — a potential biofuel that's no good for food and is praised for its environmental benefits.” […]
Once again, I call on Congress to revisit the recently enacted biofuel mandate. Congress must have the courage to address this issue and address it now. Second, the EPA must exercise its congressionally-given authority to waive all or portions of these food-to-fuel mandates as part of its rule-making process. The EPA must thoroughly review all options to alleviate the food and fuel disruption of the 2007 Energy Bill biofuel mandates. Washington must act now.
Full Text of Senator Inhofe’s Floor Speech on Biofuels: Washington Fuels Food Difficulties
We are in the midst of global food difficulties brought on by decades of misguided environment and energy policies. As worldwide food availability decreases and prices continue to skyrocket, decades of ill-conceived planning by politicians and bureaucrats afraid of expanding our energy supplies are now bearing an ugly fruit.
American families and the international community continue to suffer from these misguided policies; Washington must take the first steps to begin addressing these problems.
I come to the floor today to demand two dramatic and necessary actions to help mitigate our current biofuel policy blunder. I have always supported all forms of energy including biofuels for a diverse and stable energy mix, but current policy has skewed common sense and violated the principles of a sound energy policy.
These effects are being felt in my home state of Oklahoma where I’m hearing concerns regarding ethanol. Scott Dewald with the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association described just one aspect of biofuel’s unintended consequences on April 28, “Cow-calf producers all the way to the feeding sector are feeling the pinch of high corn prices. Today’s biofuels policies have completely ignored the costs to the livestock sector.”
First, Congress must revisit the recently enacted biofuel mandate, which can only be described as the most expansive biofuel mandate in our nation’s history. The mandates were part of last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Congress must have the courage to address this issue and address it now.
Second, the EPA has the congressionally-given authority to waive all or portions of these food-to-fuel mandates as part of its rule-making process. The EPA must thoroughly review all options to alleviate the food and fuel disruption of the 2007 Energy Bill biofuel mandates.
Last summer, when I offered an amendment to the energy bill that would have put in place a stocks-to-use mechanism to provide the EPA administrator more flexibility in waiver authority in the instance of crop shortages, I was told by the majority whip that my amendment was not necessary.
Incidentally, The Hill newspaper reported yesterday that the same majority whip who said my amendment was not necessary now acknowledges that “U.S.LINK) ethanol policies may be partly to blame for a global food crisis threatening to leave millions hungry.” (
During 2007 floor debate he said that “there is already a waiver provision in the bill that offers protection to consumers if corn prices or availability become unsustainable.” Last June when I offered this amendment, corn was trading at $3.70 a bushel. Less than a year later corn is now trading at nearly $6.00 per bushel. Corn prices and availability are now unsustainable. I ask my colleagues who opposed my amendment to now join me in calling for EPA to exercise this waiver authority provided in the underlying bill.
I am working with my colleague Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) to urge the EPA to take action. Senator Hutchison also announced she is “introducing legislation that will freeze the biofuel mandate at current levels, instead of steadily increasing it through 2022.” Senator Hutchison correctly noted that “this is a common-sense measure that will reduce pressure on global food prices and restore balance to America's energy policy.” (LINK)
The whole world is now reacting to the consequences of over-zealous biofuel mandates. While I supported realistic mandates in the past and I continue to support the development of cellulosic ethanol, I was one of eight Senators who voted against the 2007 Energy Bill with its restrictive biofuel mandates last December.
On Tuesday, December 4, 2007, I joined with several Senators, including Jack Reed (D-RI), Benjamin L. Cardin (D - MD), Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and Susan M. Collins (R - ME), in writing a letter to the President to “urge [the] Administration to carefully evaluate and respond to unintended public health and safety risks that could result from the increased use of ethanol as a ‘general purpose’ transportation fuel.”
The letter noted that the administration had called for a national effort to reduce consumers’ demand for gasoline by 20 percent in ten years, in part through increased use of renewable transportation fuels such as ethanol. Sadly, these onerous biofuel mandates which would significantly increase renewable fuel use – particularly the use of ethanol – over the next two decades, became law.
Recently, the world has been confronted with irrefutable evidence that our current biofuels mandates are having massive and potentially life threatening consequences.
Once again, we are reminded how restrictive government mandates and ill-advised bureaucratic meddling produce unintended consequences. Trying to centrally manage and “plan” a global food distribution network and economy through clumsy, unrealistically high mandates has been a proven failure.
An April 28 article on our current biofuel mandates in the National Review by Phil Kerpen and James Valvo detailed the mindset of bureaucratic planners.
“Each new generation of central planners believes the previous generation wasn't smart enough. Yet central economic planning is forever doomed to failure since the approach itself limits human freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and innovation.”
To put it into simpler terms: As Ronald Reagan once said, “The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan.”
A large auto manufacturer has erected a billboard for their line-up of so-called eco-friendly cars that run on ethanol that is currently being prominently displayed not far from the U.S. Capitol. This advertisement asks a simple question:
“WHY DRILL FOR FUEL WHEN YOU CAN GROW IT?”
A politically correct question to which the auto company’s marketing team must have thought was an obvious answer.
Let me allow world leaders, mainstream media outlets, the UN, and former believers in mandated government standards to further answer the billboard’s marketing campaign in no uncertain terms.
“WHY DRILL FOR FUEL WHEN YOU CAN GROW IT?”
"When millions of people are going hungry, it's a crime against humanity that food should be diverted to biofuels,” India's finance minister said, earlier this month.
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said food prices were raising the specter of famine in some countries. "A conflict [is] emerging between foodstuffs and fuel ... with disastrous social conflicts and dubious environmental results.”
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for a reevaluation of biofuels. “Now we know that biofuels, intended to promote energy independence and combat climate change, are frequently energy inefficient,” Brown said. “We need to look closely at the impact on food prices and the environment of different production methods and to ensure we are more selective in our support.” The Scotsman Brown also noted that hunger is “the number one threat to public health across the world, responsible for a third of child deaths. Tackling hunger is a moral challenge to each of us." (LINK)
The President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has now called for “an investigation into whether the push for biofuels is to blame for rising food prices.” According to an article in the UK Register, the EU “may cancel its target of requiring ten per cent of petrol and diesel to be biofuel by 2020.” The article explained: “Recent weeks have seen riots over food prices in Egypt, Haiti, Indonesia and Mauritania. […] Rice prices have hit record levels this year and several countries have banned exports - India has renewed a ban on all exports of non-basmati rice.” (LINK)
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon warned in April that high food prices could wipe out progress in reducing poverty and hurt global economic growth. The UN Secretary-General said, “This steeply rising price of food has developed into a real global crisis.” He called for world leaders to meet on an “urgent basis.” (LINK)
The head of the UN World Food Program summed up global food difficulties this way: “A silent tsunami which knows no borders sweeping the world.” April 22, 2008 (LINK)
On April 25, the UN food agency chief Jacques Diouf on Friday warned of possible “civil war” in some countries because of global food shortages. (LINK)
Now, I just want to pause a moment here and note that some of the rhetoric by the United Nations and others may be a bit over the top and prone to hyped alarmism. I have taken to this chamber many times to debunk so called environmental “crises” and media manipulation of environmental issues.
I do not want to now be accused of overhyping our current global food situation. But please do not let over-the-top rhetoric obscure the fact that the world is currently facing a serious biofuel mandate problem that needs remedying.
Ironically, the anti-energy environmental left has spent decades warning of various crises that never seem to materialize. You have to give the environmentalists credit, they may finally get their bona fide “crisis,” but alas, it will be one created by the very policies they advocated.
Perhaps most interesting is that mainstream news outlets have now turned on biofuels and in particular corn ethanol. Publications that normally uncritically parrot the left-wing environmental agenda are now among the biggest denouncers of our current biofuel policies.
The New York Times has stated, “Soaring food prices, driven in part by demand for ethanol made from corn, have helped slash the amount of food aid the government buys to its lowest level in a decade, possibly resulting in more hungry people around the world this year.” (LINK)
Time Magazine was blunt in an April 7, 2008, article titled “The Clean Energy Scam,” by reporter Michael Grunwald: Grunwald wrote that our current policies on corn ethanol are “environmentally disastrous.” “The biofuels boom, in short, is one that could haunt the planet for generations--and it’s only getting started,” Grunwald wrote.
Time Magazine also featured Tim Searchinger, a Princeton scholar and former Environmental Defense attorney. Searchinger said, "People don't want to believe renewable fuels could be bad. But when you realize we're tearing down rain forests that store loads of carbon to grow crops that store much less carbon, it becomes obvious." Time Magazine also said the rising prices were "spurring a dramatic expansion of Brazilian agriculture, which is invading the Amazon [rainforest] at an increasingly alarming rate."
Former CBS Newsman Dan Rather has also weighed in. Rather wrote on April 27: When more acreage is devoted to corn for ethanol, less is available for food production. […] Here in the United States, food is less often a matter of life or death, but it is putting an additional and dangerous strain on families who are already struggling to get by in a faltering economy.” (LINK)
Rather added: “Already there are reports of charitable food pantries unable to meet the needs of those they serve.”
The New York Sun put it bluntly this month about the impact of our policies. “Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World,” read an April 21 article. (LINK)
A 2007 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development concluded that biofuels "offer a cure [for oil dependence] that is worse than the disease." Other organizations have weighed in. The National Academy of Sciences conducted a study finding corn-based ethanol may strain water supplies. The American Lung Association has raised air pollution concerns from burning ethanol in gasoline. (LINK)
Cornell Ecology Professor David Pimental called our current ethanol policies a “boondoggle.” Pimental said, “It does require 30% more energy oil equivalents to produce a gallon of ethanol than you actually get out, and it causes a lot of severe environmental problems. It takes 1,700 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of ethanol.”
Friends of the Earth has urged the UK to abandon its current biofuel targets. Food campaigner Vicky Hird of Friends of the Earth said, "[UK Prime Minister] Gordon Brown is right to be concerned about the impact of biofuels on food prices and the environment. Evidence is growing that they cause more harm than good. Food production must be revolutionised to prevent a global catastrophe.” (LINK)
Jane Goodall, the internationally famous primate conservationist, warned about biofuels and the impact on rain forests in Asia, Africa, and South America. “We're cutting down forests now to grow sugarcane and palm oil for biofuels,” Goodall said on September 26, 2007.
The group Clean Air Task Force recently reported that nearly 12 million hectares of peat land in Indonesia has been converted to accommodate a palm oil plantation. The land was reportedly drained, cleared, and burned for conversion to a plantation. (LINK)
Even Miles O’Brien of CNN, a man whom I have been harshly critical of for his climate change reporting, understands our current problems.
O’Brien reported on CNN on February 21, 2008, that “if every last ear of corn grown in America were used for ethanol, it would reduce our oil consumption by only 7 percent.” O’Brien also reported, “Corn ethanol is not as clean, efficient, or practical as the politicians claim.” (LINK)
Lester Brown, who has been dubbed “the guru of the environmental movement,” has added his voice in opposition to our current biofuel policies.
Brown co-wrote on April 22, “It is in this spirit that today, Earth Day, we call upon Congress to revisit recently enacted federal mandates requiring the diversion of foodstuffs for production of biofuels.”
Brown wrote that our current biofuel mandate was “causing environmental harm and contributing to a growing global food crisis.”
Brown continued: “Turning one-fourth of our corn into fuel is affecting global food prices. U.S. food prices are rising at twice the rate of inflation, hitting the pocketbooks of lower-income Americans and people living on fixed incomes. […] America must stop contributing to food price inflation through mandates that force us to use food to feed our cars instead of to feed people.
Brown concluded: “It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that food-to-fuel mandates have failed. Congress took a big chance on biofuels that, unfortunately, has not worked out. Now, in the spirit of progress, let us learn the appropriate lessons from this setback, and let us act quickly to mitigate the damage and set upon a new course that holds greater promise for meeting the challenges ahead.”
Now when you have Lester Brown, Miles O’Brien, Dan Rather, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the United Nations, and James Inhofe all in agreement on changing an environmental policy, you can rest assured the policy is horribly misguided.
All of these publications and individuals now realize the pure folly of the Federal government’s biofuels mandates.
How Did We Get Here?
As chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I worked successfully with my colleagues to create a comprehensive, yet measured program. The result of this work, the Reliable Fuels Act, was ultimately incorporated into the 2005 Energy Bill.
This original Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) took a common sense approach in that it prescribed just 4 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2006, growing to a feasible 7.5 billion gallons in 2012. This slow ramp-up allowed time and flexibility for the many foreseen and unforeseen challenges likely to surface with the implementation of such a program.
Under my leadership, the committee held at least 13 hearings on the RFS program, examining issues from the future of transportation fuels to the most recent and unfortunately last oversight hearing in September 2006 which highlighted the implementation of the RFS program.
However, despite the enormous amount of attention and the eventual legislative enactment of a now greatly expanded RFS program, the EPW committee has failed to hold even one hearing on RFS this Congress, although it is the primary committee of jurisdiction for the program.
Despite the EPW committees failure to conduct any oversight, by 2007 it had become increasingly clear that to double the RFS mandate into a shorter timeframe would prove reckless and premature. Yet many in Congress refused to acknowledge the many warning signs.
The 2007 Energy Bill mandated 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022. Of this, 15 billion gallons are now required from corn based ethanol by just 2015.
Washington was abuzz last year with talk of energy
independence, cutting our reliance on foreign sources of energy, increasing
supplies of fuels, investing in biofuels, lowering the price of energy –
especially prices at the pump– all fine goals. Yet, this Congress’ actions
didn’t meet its rhetoric.
We should be producing more fuel at home – it’s good for security, it’s good for jobs, and it’s good for consumers.
We are currently hearing from many quarters about the
expansion of corn ethanol.
Fortunately, all ethanol is not created equal. The idea that we can grow energy rich crops all over the country – not just in the Midwest – is something worth considering, and that’s why I support research into cellulosic biomass ethanol. I am particularly pleased by the efforts taking place in Oklahoma. This week, the Oklahoman reported in an April 28, 2008 article:
“As experts turn against corn ethanol, Oklahoma is continuing to elbow for a spot in the so-called second generation of the biofuels movement — a generation that won't use food for fuel. In recent months, turning corn into fuel has met criticism on two fronts: It's been blamed as a factor in sky-high food prices that have led to riots in Asia, Africa and Haiti; and it's been cast as an environmental villain, since studies say corn ethanol, on the whole, creates more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. But Oklahoma's biofuels industry is going down a different path. Since last year, the state has been investing tax money in switchgrass — a potential biofuel that's no good for food and is praised for its environmental benefits.”
Working with Congressman Frank Lucas, I sponsored and secured Senate passage of the first national transitional assistance program to help farmers grow dedicated energy crops for cellulosic biofuels. This measure is vital to the development of cellulosic biofuels in the United States because it would encourage U.S. agricultural producers within a 50-mile radius of a cellulosic biorefinery to produce non-food energy crops for clean-burning fuels.
Additionally, I am proud of the research taking place in Oklahoma that is being done by the Noble Foundation and its partners. By focusing on cellulosic ethanol, we can stimulate a biofuels industry that doesn’t compete with other domestic agriculture. And since you can grow it all over the country you avoid the transportation problems of Midwest-focused ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol can increase both energy and economic security.
has a long way to go to get energy policy right.
It is worth repeating:
When you have Lester Brown, Miles O’Brien, Dan Rather, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the United Nations, and James Inhofe all in agreement on changing an environmental policy, you can rest assured the policy is horribly misguided.
All of these publications and individuals now realize the pure folly of the Federal government’s current biofuel mandates.
Once again, I call on Congress to revisit the recently enacted biofuel mandate. Congress must have the courage to address this issue and address it now.
Second, the EPA must exercise its congressionally-given authority to waive all or portions of these food-to-fuel mandates as part of its rule-making process. The EPA must thoroughly review all options to alleviate the food and fuel disruption of the 2007 Energy Bill biofuel mandates.
must act now.
Calls For Congressional Action on Biofuel Mandate Growing; Hearings, Legislation, Waivers All on the Table
May 2, 2008
Momentum appears to be growing on Capitol Hill this week to revisit the increased ethanol mandate signed into law last December. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, delivered a floor speech on April 29, adding momentum to spur action on Capitol Hill to revisit the current corn ethanol mandates.
Senator Inhofe specifically called for Environment Protection Agency to exercise its waiver authority regarding the biofuel mandate and called on Congress to revisit the current mandates. Senator Inhofe also called on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to hold hearings on the renewable fuel standard (RFS).
“Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a longtime supporter of biofuels, said Inhofe's proposal was one worth considering. ‘I believe biofuels have a great future,’ Durbin said. ‘But we have to look at it honestly, what is the current impact and what do we have to do, if anything, to address any changes,’” Greenwire reported in an April 30 article on the reaction to Sen. Inhofe’s speech.
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) also reacted to Inhofe’s speech by saying he was open to the idea of revisiting the mandates. “We don’t know how much of the food crisis was caused by [mandates], but nobody expected it to cause much,” Domenici told The Hill on April 30.
During his speech, Inhofe announced he was working with Senator
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) to urge EPA to examine this issue.
Hill newspaper, in an article titled “Doubts grow over ethanol,” reported
this week that “sharply rising food prices may force Congress to reconsider the
fivefold increase in ethanol production it mandated just four months ago, some
lawmakers say.” The article by Jim Snyder
and Manu Raju quoted Democrat Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM), stating “I think
[the biofuel mandate is] something we need to look at.” The Hill article
continued: “When asked if he would be willing to change the mandate if it is
found to have driven up food prices, Bingaman said: ‘Depending on what was
concluded, I’m open to anything.’”
On May 1, Cybercast
News Service reported: “Senators Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Joe
Lieberman (I-Conn.) told Cybercast News Service on Wednesday that they
believe there is a connection between federally mandated consumption of
ethanol, a gasoline additive made from corn, and world food shortages.” Kennedy
said, "I think very definitely there is a clear connection between our
ethanol use and world hunger."
Investor’s Business Daily reported on Wednesday that “Even farm-state Democrats worry about the unintended consequences of putting corn in our cars.”
The headline in an article in the New York Sun on Wednesday read New York Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer “Sets a Hearing on the Global Food Crisis.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) also called for revisiting ethanol policies in the farm bill this week.
Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R) announced this week that he was co-signing a bill with Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake (R) to modify current ethanol policy.
Call to Action
Senator Inhofe laid out the problems with our current biofuel mandates during his April 29 floor speech.
“We are in the midst of global food difficulties brought on by decades of misguided environment and energy policies. As worldwide food availability decreases and prices continue to skyrocket, decades of ill-conceived planning by politicians and bureaucrats afraid of expanding our energy supplies are now bearing an ugly fruit. American families and the international community continue to suffer from these misguided policies; Washington must take the first steps to begin addressing these problems,” Inhofe said.
“I call on Congress to revisit the recently enacted biofuel mandate. Congress must have the courage to address this issue and address it now. Second, the EPA must exercise its congressionally-given authority to waive all or portions of these food-to-fuel mandates as part of its rule-making process. The EPA must thoroughly review all options to alleviate the food and fuel disruption of the 2007 Energy Bill biofuel mandates. “Washington must act now.”
To read Senator Inhofe’s full floor speech see here.
Democrats Inconvenient Gas Price Problem; EPA Analysis Projects Climate Bill Will Raise Gas Prices 53 Cents Per Gallon
April 28, 2008
The news media finally appears to get it when it comes to global warming cap-and-trade legislation. The environmental trade publication Greenwire ran an article written by Ben Geman on April 23, with the title asking the excellent question, “Should lawmakers pushing global warming legislation want high gas prices?” (LINK Is the Media’s Environmental Reporting Improving? ] – Subscription required) The article correctly noted, “Most experts agree that placing a price on carbon dioxide -- either through a tax or a cap-and-trade program -- will create new costs for consumers.” [Also see:
The article continued: “A U.S. EPA analysis of the Lieberman-Warner bill last month projects significant increases in consumer power and gasoline costs, with the latter increasing about 53 cents per gallon in 2030 and $1.40 per gallon in 2050, though EPA did not study in detail a recent law that increases auto mileage standards and expands the national biofuels mandate.”
As record gas, energy, and food prices continue to soar and American families continue to face growing anxiety over an economic downturn, the costly and symbolic Lieberman-Warner global warming cap-and-trade bill is set to debut on the U.S. Senate floor in June. With the U.S. acting unilaterally, the bill will not have a detectable impact on the global temperatures, but it will (as correctly noted in the Greenwire article) have a very detectable impact on gas and energy prices for already suffering Americans.
As more and more elected leaders join the chorus to call for some type of relief at the pump, Greenwire asks a rather inconvenient question. “If curbing greenhouse gases -- and fast -- is needed to stave off the worst effects of global warming, are high fuel costs such a bad thing?”
Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) weighed in, "As far as I'm concerned there is no silver lining to high gas prices." Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) claimed the question was not fair. “That is kind of perverse thinking in my point of view," Lautenberg said "High gas prices are punitive for the entire population, but particularly on the more modest income earner. That is not a way to drive a positive point of view,” Lautenberg added.
But “punitive” costs on lower income families and those with fixed incomes is exactly what the Lieberman-Warner and cap-and-trade approach is all about. A November 2007 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warned cap-and-trade energy "price increases would disproportionately affect people at the lower end of the income scale." (LINK)
In March, Roy Innis, chairman of one of America’s oldest civil rights groups, the Congress of Racial Equality, warned that mandated carbon controls like those advocated by Lieberman-Warner bill would disproportionally impact minorities.
“We are slowly destroying the energy system we have, and we are promoting an expensive, environmentally harmful, illusory energy system that exists only in theory and environmental rhetoric,” Innis said on March 19. “Worst of all, we are harming our poorest families; we are rolling back the civil rights we struggled so long and hard to achieve; and we are sending many minorities to the back of the energy and economic bus. This must not, and cannot continue,” Innis, the author of the new book Energy Keepers Energy Killers: The New Civil Rights Battle, said. (LINK)
“These policies cause widespread layoffs, leaving unemployed workers and families struggling to survive, as the cost of everything they eat, drive, wear and do spirals out of control,” Innis said on April 22, 2008. (LINK)
An April 23 article in Roll Call, noted how many Senators “remain opposed to major cap-and-trade legislation that they describe as a massive tax increase that will send jobs overseas and hit families with higher costs.”
Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) was blunt about the impact of proposed cap-and-trade legislation on states with an already shrinking manufacturing base. “It’ll kill us. Are you kidding me?” Voinovich said. “But let’s not do something that makes us kill our economy and does not have any real impact,” Voinovich added.
“I don’t think the science is there yet,” said Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). “Cap-and-trade is a tax increase.” The article reported that “Coburn complained that the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill has so many carve-outs, ‘they bought off everyone.’”
“All we need is two or three more years of not doing something stupid and the science will regain the debate instead of the political activists, and we’ll have policies based on science and not emotion,” Coburn added.
National Review Online
Pelosi Premium Pain
House Republicans sent out an email to celebrate the second
anniversary of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D., Calif.) promise that she had a
“common-sense plan” to reduce gasoline prices — details of which she has yet to
release. Their release included the gory details on how today's fossil-fuel
prices compare to those of two years ago: a barrel of crude oil up to $117 from
$64; heating oil at $3.31 per gallon, up from $2.71; gasoline up to $3.56 a
gallon from $2.96 (remember when we used to complain about gas flirting with
the $3 mark?); and diesel fuel up to $4.14 from $2.87 per gallon.
[E]veryone has told us, including business leaders, that to drive the investment in these technologies that are going to solve our global-warming challenge, we need to have clear limits on carbon pollution.
Democrats know that business leaders will be unwilling to
invest in other technologies as long as hydrocarbon fuels remain the best
economic option to power their industries. Even with oil prices at their
current levels, investors view other approaches as money-losers. Therefore, we
must raise the price of fossil fuels in order to make clean alternatives
High gas prices are bad for the economy, but the point here is not to make moral judgments about the trade-off between high gasoline prices and reduced carbon emissions. The point is that Democrats have taken a dishonest public stance with false promises of lower gasoline prices that they never intended to honor. Democrats are shedding crocodile tears for the end consumer of petroleum. If they say they hate to see you eaten alive by Big Oil, it is only because they would prefer to devour you themselves.
Without any government intervention, high oil and gasoline prices are already prompting Americans to conserve energy and providing greater incentive at the margin for investment in alternative sources of energy. A new government report from the Department of Energy this month shows that gasoline use is actually down 0.2 percent so far this year — the first such decrease since 1991, and good news if you worry about carbon emissions. Normally, gasoline consumption rises each year with the number of cars on the road, but high gas prices are clearly having a positive environmental effect. This summer, when prices rise still higher, so will the barriers to fossil-fuel pollution and incentives to conserve oil and to invest in new technologies.
If “greedy oil companies” are indeed to blame for the current high prices, Democrats should thank them for saving the planet instead of cynically (and absurdly) scolding them for “price-gouging” in an attempt to deceive voters. It makes little difference to your bottom line, to the economy, or to the environment whether you are shaken down by carbon taxes and regulations or by an oil producer. The end result is the same — less atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Curbing carbon requires economic pain. You can judge for
yourself whether that will lead to environmental progress. In the meantime, we
ought to drop the pretense that Democrats have or ever had plans to give
Americans cheaper gasoline.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Next, my staff were repeatedly told by the majority staff that GAO was working on an IRIS report, but they weren’t sure if it would be ready in time. This report, in keeping with our Committee rules, was distributed on Friday. However, we now understand that not only was the report completed on March 7, but that Senator Boxer’s office requested that GAO embargo the report for 30 days. While this is occasionally done, Senator Boxer’s Deputy Staff Director went even further to request that the embargo be extended until this hearing. This is not a common practice and I have a letter from the GAO that I would like to enter into the record which discusses this.
My concern in all of this (inviting the wrong EPA witness, withholding from the minority a GAO report for more than 50 days) is that this hearing today appears to be set up as a “gotcha” hearing to try and embarrass the Administration, instead of being a legitimate oversight hearing. If the chairman were truly concerned about oversight and changing policy then she would have shared the report when it became available over a month and a half ago, and she would have invited the correct EPA witness. I understand that at one point she wanted the Administrator, but she invited the TSCA Assistant Administrator.
Oversight works best when it’s done in the open. By not disclosing the true intent of today’s hearing to the Agency and the minority, we are left with at best an incomplete and inclusive attempt at oversight. I believe we need to work together on oversight, such as a hearing examining the ethanol program. This Committee has not held such a hearing this Congress, despite a massive change in the law last year which has increased food prices and is contributing to food riots around the world.
Inhofe Statement on EPA Toxic Chemical Policies
Good morning. Today’s hearing is to examine the adequacy of the mechanisms for the evaluation and regulation of chemicals by the EPA. The subject is important because the chemical industry is a crucial part of the U.S. economy, and we have to be mindful of what we put at risk if we over-regulate this industry and stifle its 30 year history of innovation. Here are some statistics. The United States is the number one chemical producer in the world, generating $635 billion a year and putting more than 5 million people to work. The U.S. chemical industry paid more than $27.8 billion in federal, state, and local income taxes in 2006. More than 96% of all manufactured goods are directly touched by chemistry.
But it is about more than money. Chemicals are the essential building blocks of products that safely and effectively prevent, treat, and cure disease; ensure the safest and most abundant food supply in the world; purify our drinking water and put out fires. They are the foundation for life-saving medical devices, such as sutures, internal tubing, and scalpels. Innovations in chemistry have made planes, fighter jets, and space shuttles safer and more secure. Plastics are used to make lighter, yet stronger, cars, and silica is an ingredient in low-rolling resistance tires, all of which increases automobile fuel efficiency. Alternative sources of energy, on which cap-and-trade proponents are relying, are dependent on chemicals. Wind power blades contain polyester and resin additives, and solar power relies on silicon-based materials. Finally, chemicals keep our children and our men and women in uniform safe by increasing the effectiveness of child safety seats, bicycle helmets, and Kevlar vests. I could go on and on.
The reason I point all this out is that there are many people who come to this hearing with a belief that the U.S. chemicals management program is broken and that Congress needs to completely rewrite the Toxic Substance Control Act. I do not agree. For nearly 30 years, chemical products have been among the most thoroughly evaluated and regulated, covered by more than a dozen federal laws, including TSCA. These statutes call for regulation of chemicals based on risk. I do not believe American chemicals innovation should be stifled by government regulation without the clear identification of risk. We need to ensure that we regulate chemicals based on demonstrated risk, not the just the perception or assumption of it. That “precautionary” concept is one that I cannot support.
There are also those who have expressed concern over EPA’s risk assessment practices. I am one of them. I have long been concerned about the lack of transparency and participation inherent in EPA’s risk assessment process, as well as how risk is communicated to the public. I was pleased with EPA’s recent changes to the Integrated Risk Information System. These changes allow the public to be involved in the risk assessment process sooner. Now, environmental groups, scientists, and the regulated community can provide data, research, and comments on risk assessments before they are finalized. Additionally, there is now a concerted outreach effort to members of the scientific community and more rigorous peer review. I understand that there are those on this committee who believe this is somehow stifling EPA scientists or putting politics into the scientific process. But I don’t understand how someone can stand up and say they support public right-to-know, scientific community participation and transparency when the Agency makes regulatory decisions but not support those very same principles when it comes to risk assessment. More science means better decisions; more defensible decisions.
As I said two years ago during a toxics oversight hearing I held when I was Chairman, there is no shortage of strong feelings when it comes to chemicals and how they are regulated and managed. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today and perhaps we will continue to uncover implementation problems that this committee, exercising its oversight, can encourage the Agency to rectify.
National Review Online
A Dirty Act; Uncle Sam wants you, and your mud puddle.
By David Freddoso
April 30, 2008
Election-year Congresses are
famously inactive, but sometimes they produce very dangerous legislation with
the most innocuous names — like the “Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007.” Who
doesn’t love clean water — and what politician could oppose it? But most
Americans would not love having the occasional mud puddle on their property
become subject to federal regulation, or to be sued for fertilizing their
garden. This is the sort of thing Congress can do when you’re not watching, and
they are poised to do it now.
And importantly, the Clean Water Restoration Act applies
federal jurisdiction “to the fullest extent that these waters, or activities
affecting these waters, are subject to the legislative power of Congress under
the Constitution.” This catch-all clause will force the court to interpret the
statute as broadly as possible. And the language about “activities affecting
these waters” is a novelty that could place a variety of land-use issues under
federal jurisdiction if they are deemed to create “non-sourcepoint pollution.”
This is no mere policy “correction.”
Global Warming Will Stop, New Peer-Reviewed Study Says; Global Warming Takes a Break for Nearly 20 Years?
April 30, 2008
The UK Telegraph reports on April 30: “Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said. Researchers studying long-term changes in sea temperatures said they now expect a "lull" for up to a decade while natural variations in climate cancel out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The average temperature of the sea around Europe and North America is expected to cool slightly over the decade while the tropical Pacific remains unchanged. This would mean that the 0.3°C global average temperature rise which has been predicted for the next decade by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may not happen, according to the paper published in the scientific journal Nature.” End article excerpt.
This significant new study adds to a growing body of peer-reviewed literature and other scientific analyses challenging former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen’s March 2008 presentation of data from the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office found the Earth has had “no statistically significant warming since 1995.” (LINK)
Australian paleoclimate scientist Dr. Bob Carter also noted in 2007 that “the accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998.” Carter explained that the “temperature stasis has occurred despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million (or 4 per cent) in atmospheric CO2.” (LINK)
An August 7, 2007, peer-reviewed study by the UK Met Office, Britain's version of our National Weather Service, conceded that global warming had stopped as well. Both the journal Nature and UK Met Office analysis which appeared in the journal Science predict a continuation of global warming in future years. [Note: Hyping yet more unproven computer models of the future in response to inconvenient evidence-based data is the primary tool of the promoters of man-made climate doom. But it now appears that even these computer model scenarios are failing to predict a man-made climate “crisis.” Even the activists over at RealClimate.org admitted on April 10 that climate models were not "forecasts" or "predictions" but rather "scenarios." (LINK) ]
The May 1study in Nature essentially finds that global warming will have stopped for nearly 20 years (1998 until 2015). According to the UK Telegraph article; “Writing in Nature, the scientists said: ‘Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic [man-made] warming.’”
The UK Telegraph article by reporter Charles Clover noted the significant deficiencies in UN climate models: “The IPCC currently does not include in its models actual records of such events as the strength of the Gulf Stream and the El Nino cyclical warming event in the Pacific, which are known to have been behind the warmest year ever recorded in 1998.”
The evidence-based data showing the Earth’s failure to continue warming has confounded the promoters of man-made climate fear. The American people have consistently rejected climate alarm as a Gallup Poll released on Earth Day 2008 shows the American public’s concern about man-made global warming is unchanged from 1989. Gore's $300 million dollar campaign to promote climate fear is attempting to convince Americans that they face a climate "crisis" despite the new accumulating scientific evidence to the contrary.
The latest peer-reviewed scientific data showing the dominance of natural climate variability appears to be directly at odds with Gore's central climate message. On May 25, 2006, Gore declared, "We are the most powerful force of nature now. We are literally changing the relationship between the Earth and the Sun." Gore added that mankind's CO2 emissions have "the capacity to bring civilization itself to a dead halt." (LINK) [Note: Unfortunately, children seem to be the most susceptible to Gore's and others baseless climate doomsday message. See: New York Times article: Children may be driving alarm over global warming. (LINK) Also, read more about global warming propaganda campaign aimed at kids here. ]
This new study in Nature further reveals a “tipping point” for the promoters of climate alarm. 2007 and now 2008 have challenged man-made climate fear as new peer-reviewed studies continue to debunk rising CO2 fears. A U.S. Senate minority report reveals over 400 scientists dissented from man-made climate fears, and more and more scientists continue to declare themselves skeptical of a man-made climate “crisis” in 2008.
Sampling of key inconvenient developments for promoters of a man-made climate “crisis” so far in 2008: (See also related link at bottom of this report)
1) Oceans Cooling! Scientists puzzled by “mystery of global warming's missing heat” (LINK)
2) New Data from NASA’s Aqua satellite is showing “greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide.” (LINK )
3) Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, formerly of NASA, found not one peer-reviewed paper has 'ruled out a natural cause for most of our recent warmth' (LINK)
4) UN IPCC in 'Panic Mode' as Earth Fails to Warm, Scientist says (LINK )
5) UN IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri “to look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century.” (LINK)
7) Scientists find dust free atmosphere may be responsible for up to .36 F rise in global temps (LINK)
8) Analysis in peer-reviewed journal finds cold periods – not warm periods – see increase in floods, droughts, storms, famine (LINK)
9) New York Times Laments Media's incorrect hyping of frogs and global warming (LINK)
10) Prominent hurricane expert reconsiders global warming's impact (LINK)
11) MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen’s March 2008 presentation of data from the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office found the Earth has had “no statistically significant warming since 1995.”- (LINK)
12) An International team of scientists released a March 2008 report to counter UN IPCC, declaring: “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate” (LINK)
13) Emitting MORE CO2 may 'be good for life on Earth', says climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, formerly of NASA in May 2008. (LINK)
Update: May 1, 2008: Sampling of Scientists Commenting on ‘Global Warming Will Stop’ Study:
1) Dr. Roger A. Pielke, Jr. Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado reacted to this study in the journal Nature by declaring: “Climate models are of no practical use.” Pielke, who is not a climate skeptic, said on April 30, “There is in fact nothing that can be observed in the climate system that would be inconsistent with climate model predictions. If global cooling over the next few decades is consistent with model predictions, then so too is pretty much anything and everything under the sun. This means that from a practical standpoint climate models are of no practical use beyond providing some intellectual authority in the promotional battle over global climate policy.” (LINK)
2) Former Harvard University Physicist Dr. Lubos Motl, a string theorist who is currently a professor at Charles University in the Czech Republic said on May 1: “Wow. So the refutation of a prediction of a dangerous warming by the world's top 2,500 scientists ;-) "does not come as a surprise". Note that with no global warming since 1998, the paper predicts 20 years of no warming. Recall that Al Gore has predicted global destruction in less than 8 years from now. […] The whole validation of all existing climate models is (or should be) mostly based on the data from the previous decades or centuries. If an effect that is argued to be as strong as the greenhouse effect has been neglected while it has the power to change 60-70 years of the temperature dynamics, it implies the existence of a critical flaw in the whole picture.” (LINK)
3) UK Astronomer Dr. David Whitehouse, who authored the 2004
book The Sun: A Biography, said on May 1, 2008: “Isn't it curious that over the
next decade man-made global warming will be cancelled out by natural cycles.
It's nice that Mother Nature (not the journal) is helping us this way but it
does beg the question as to whether the man-made effect was all that
significant if it can be nullified this way.”
Scripps News: Globe may be cooling on Global Warming - May 1, 2008 - By Deroy Murdock
Excerpt: In a December 2007 Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority-staff report, some 400 scientists -- from such respected institutions as Princeton, the National Academy of Sciences, the University of London, and Paris' Pasteur Institute -- declared their independence from the pro-warming "conventional wisdom." "Not CO2, but water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas," asserted climatologist Luc Debontridder of Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute. "It is responsible for at least 75 percent of the greenhouse effect. This is a simple scientific fact, but Al Gore's movie has hyped CO2 so much that nobody seems to take note of it." AccuWeather's Expert Senior Forecaster Joe Bastardi has stated: "People are concerned that 50 years from now, it will be warm beyond a point of no return. My concern is almost opposite, that it's cold and getting colder." And on Wednesday, the respected journal, Nature, indicated that Earth's climactic cycles have stopped global warming through 2015. If nothing else, all this obliterates the rampant lie that "the scientific debate on global warming is over." (LINK)
Junk Science: The Great Global Warming Race - May 1, 2008 - By Steven Milloy
Excerpt: A new study indicates alarmist concern and a need to explain away the lack of actual global warming. Researchers belonging to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, reported in Nature (May 1) that after adjusting their climate model to reflect actual sea surface temperatures of the last 50 years, "global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations … temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming." You got that? IPCC researchers project no global warming over the next decade because of Mother Nature. Although the result seems stunning in that it came from IPCC scientists who have always been in the tank for manmade global warming, it’s not really surprising since the notion of manmade climate change has never lived up to its billing. […] Just this week, Al Gore drummed up $683 million for an investment fund that aims to profit from government-subsidized global warming-related technologies. A few weeks ago, Gore launched a $300 million global warming ad campaign. Do you think he’s at all interested in returning that money to investors and contributors? Or that he and the IPCC are interested in returning their Nobel Peace Prizes? (LINK)
Full Text of today's UK Telegraph Article Below:
Global warming may 'stop', scientists predict
By Charles Clover, Environment Editor – UK Telegraph
Last Updated: 6:01pm BST 30/04/2008
Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said.
Researchers studying long-term changes in sea temperatures said they now expect a "lull" for up to a decade while natural variations in climate cancel out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The average temperature of the sea around Europe and North America is expected to cool slightly over the decade while the tropical Pacific remains unchanged.
This would mean that the 0.3°C global average temperature rise which has been predicted for the next decade by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may not happen, according to the paper published in the scientific journal Nature.
However, the effect of rising fossil fuel emissions will mean that warming will accelerate again after 2015 when natural trends in the oceans veer back towards warming, according to the computer model.
Noel Keenlyside of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Kiel, Germany, said: "The IPCC would predict a 0.3°C warming over the next decade. Our prediction is that there will be no warming until 2015 but it will pick up after that."
He stressed that the results were just the initial findings from a new computer model of how the oceans behave over decades and it would be wholly misleading to infer that global warming, in the sense of the enhanced greenhouse effect from increased carbon emissions, had gone away.
The IPCC currently does not include in its models actual records of such events as the strength of the Gulf Stream and the El Nino cyclical warming event in the Pacific, which are known to have been behind the warmest year ever recorded in 1998.
Today's paper in Nature tries to simulate the variability of these events and longer cycles, such as the giant ocean "conveyor belt" known as the meridional overturning circulation (MOC), which brings warm water north into the North East Atlantic.
This has a 70 to 80-year cycle and when the circulation is strong, it creates warmer temperatures in Europe. When it is weak, as it will be over the next decade, temperatures fall. Scientists think that variations of this kind could partly explain the cooling of global average temperatures between the 1940s and 1970s after which temperatures rose again.
Writing in Nature, the scientists said: "Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic [manmade] warming."
The study shows a more pronounced weakening effect than the Met Office's Hadley Centre, which last year predicted that global warming would slow until 2009 and pick up after that, with half the years after 2009 being warmer than the warmest year on record, 1998.
Commenting on the new study, Richard Wood of the Hadley Centre said the model suggested the weakening of the MOC would have a cooling effect around the North Atlantic.
"Such a cooling could temporarily offset the longer-term warming trend from increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
"That emphasises once again the need to consider climate variability and climate change together when making predictions over timescales of decades."
But he said the use of just sea surface temperatures might not accurately reflect the state of the MOC, which was several miles deep and dependent on factors besides temperatures, such as salt content, which were included in the Met Office Hadley Centre model.
If the model could accurately forecast other variables besides temperature, such as rainfall, it would be increasingly useful, but climate predictions for a decade ahead would always be to some extent uncertain, he added.