Almost as if it were on cue, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that said many things, including that the Earth’s warming is “unequivocal” and is continuing to warm mostly owing to carbon combustion. The mainstream media ran with it. Nearly every news broadcast reported what the natural gas industry wanted to hear, the climate is warming and carbon from American coal-fired power plants is the culprit. Seas will be rising and Florida will soon disappear.
It didn’t take the skeptics long to largely discredit the report, but the damage was done. Coal Age (a pro carbon publication) would be one of the few sources to report that a panel of 50 scientists from 15 countries said the newest report on climate change from the U.N. is filled with concessions that its past predictions were too extreme and contains “at least 13 misleading or untrue statements and 11 further statements that are phrased in such a way that they mislead readers or misrepresent important aspects of the science.” The scientists were especially critical of the IPCC’s claim that it is “95% confident” global warming is man-made and will be harmful. “This terminology is unscientific,” they write. More information can be found at ClimateChangeReconsidered.org.
The lawyers in Washington — the ones in our corner — were also dealt a significant blow. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a narrow aspect of the EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources of pollution, including power plants and factories, but it declined to hear an appeal that challenged EPA’s endangerment finding on CO2, which treats the GHG as a harmful pollutant.
This quote from the Heartland Institute probably sums it up best: “The Supreme Court’s decision to reject an appeal of its 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA is seriously bad news. For energy consumers — and that is all of us — it means the court will stand by and do nothing while the Obama administration wages war on fossil fuels. For citizens concerned about the integrity of the Constitution — and that should be all of us — the court gave a free pass to a rogue agency of government that threatens our most basic economic liberties. And for those aware of the collapse of support in the science community for the theory of man-made global warming, the court let stand a decision that accepted without question some of the worst junk science ever to be allowed to be introduced in a courtroom.”
All of this activity is taking place at a time when most of the country is distracted with the failing launch of Obamacare and the debt debate. While the public in general has never held a firm grasp of energy policy, it seems the coal industry is being railroaded before electricity consumers ever had a chance to assess the costliness of this policy decision. And, the band played on…