In the Pipeline: 11/9/12

Dear Incoming Science Committee Chairman:  Listen to Ralph Hall.  His is a wise man. The Hill (11/1/12) reports: “The scientific enterprise at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is broken, contrary to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s assertions that “science is the backbone of everything we do at EPA,” or that major regulations are based on the recommendations of EPA’s “independent” science advisors. As Americans face a fragile economy and skyrocketing energy prices fueled by President Obama’s agenda, it is important to pull back the curtain on the ideologically-driven processes EPA is using to justify an avalanche of costly rules.”


“Suddenly”?  “Suddenly”?  Treasury has been talking about this for years.  We’ve been talking about it for months.  AEI has planned for it over the course of five secret meetings.  The only people not paying attention are the wizards who staff the Congress. Reuters (11/8/12) reports: “Long-shot carbon tax suddenly part of fiscal cliff debate… A potential tax on big polluters, a taboo subject in the United States in recent years, has come back into the spotlight as some sense potential for a revenue windfall at a time lawmakers look for ways to the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax rises and spending cuts due in early 2013.”


Meanwhile, in the real world… WSJ (11/8/12) reports: “America’s oil boom is pumping up exports and driving down the trade deficit… The U.S. trade gap narrowed by $2.3 billion in September, to $41.5 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Oil accounted for more than three quarters of the change, with a $2.2 billion surge in oil exports easily offsetting a small increase in imports.”


This is a bold-faced admission by the greenies that mandated and subsidized renewables are bad for the economy. Otherwise, wouldn’t they be talking about how ‘investments’ in green energy could pull us back from the edge of the fiscal cliff?  Energy Guardian (11/9/12) reports: “Urgent discussions about averting the cliff, shorthand for the automatic spending and tax cuts on Jan. 1, have renewable energy groups wondering if they should act now to press for more government support of green energy, beyond extension of the wind Production Tax Credit.”


I have no clue what this means.  Maybe our friend Loren Smith can figure it out; he is wicked smart. Washington Examiner (11/7/12) reports: “How, then, should we address climate change? Adaptation is probably a better strategy than prevention. Large-scale, top-down solutions are unlikely to work, so the best way to proceed might be to recognize some of the key insights of 2009 Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom. Her work focused on how “bottom-up” solutions to resource management problems evolve. To translate it into the language of a bumper sticker you might have seen, “Think globally, act locally.” Let’s look for ways to devolve authority and to develop markets for goods and for risks that are not currently priced. Let’s trust the initiative of innovative economic, social and cultural entrepreneurs rather than politicians.”


We are informally keeping track of which think tank chiefs are opposed to a carbon tax.  The list to date follows.  If your guy is not on the list, it is because he either favors a carbon tax, wants to retain the option of favoring a carbon tax at some point in the future, or has yet to contact us.

Tom Pyle, American Energy Alliance / Institute for Energy Research
Myron Ebell, Freedom Action
Phil Kerpen, American Committment
Fred Smith, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Andrew Quinlan, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Tim Phillips, Americans for Prosperity
Joe Bast, Heartland Institute
David Ridenour, National Center for Public Policy Research
Michael Needham, Heritage Action for America

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