OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Deal to avert shutdown spares DOE cuts

NEWS BITES:

Chu to unveil key energy R&D report

Energy Secretary Steven Chu will unveil a major report identifying a path forward for energy research and development Tuesday.

The report comes as the Energy Department is coming under intense scrutiny from Republicans in Congress for its role in greenlighting a $535 million loan guarantee to a now-bankrupt California solar company.

Chu will point to six “key strategies,” according to DOE, for prioritizing energy research and development.

Chu will unveil the inaugural Quadrennial Technology Review Tuesday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington. He’ll be joined by White House Office of Science and Technology Director John Holdren and DOE Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin.

Obama: Killing enviro rules won’t spur growth

President Obama said Monday that rolling back environmental rules won't do the economy any favors.

“You're going to hear from ... Republicans over the next year and a half that somehow if we just eliminated pollution controls or if we just eliminated basic consumer protections, that somehow that, in and of itself, would be a spur to growth. I disagree with that,” Obama said in California at a town hall hosted by the social network LinkedIn.

The comments come three days after House Republicans – with 19 Democrats in tow – passed a bill that would require a years-long delay, at least, of two major power plant pollution rules.

House votes to delay, soften or thwart other EPA rules that Republicans call “job killers” are expected in coming weeks.

Obama touted White House efforts to ensure costs are taken into account when crafting rules, and administration efforts to weed out old rules that are no longer needed. But Obama said he will “never apologize” for regulations that ensure clean water, safe food and other protections.

He argues that Americans don’t want more regulation than necessary, but “they know that there's some things that we've got to do to protect ourselves and our environment and our children.”

The Hill’s Brendan Sasso has more on Obama’s appearance here.

Keystone XL critics to hold another White House protest

Opponents of a proposed oil pipeline are planning another protest at the White House in November.

The activists, who staged a two-week protest at the White House last month, plan to return to Washington Nov. 6 to urge Obama to reject TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Canadian oil sands from Alberta to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

It’s the latest effort by activists to put political pressure on Obama to reject the 1,700-mile proposed pipeline. Keystone XL opponents say the pipeline project could lead to contamination of sensitive U.S. groundwater and also oppose greenhouse gas-intensive oil sands extraction.

Organizers — including Tar Sands Action and the Energy Action Coalition — say that more than 1,200 people were arrested at the August protests.

This time, activists hope to gather enough people to encircle the White House.

“We need to remind President Obama of the power of the movement that he rode to the White House in 2008,” organizers said in an open letter announcing the November event. “This issue is much bigger than any individual person, President or not, and that we will carry on, with or without him.”

You can read the letter here.

House mining battle in West Virginia

The battle over federal mountaintop-removal mining regulation unfolded in coal country Monday.

The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward, Jr. reports:

House Republicans brought their fight against Obama administration environmental regulations to West Virginia Monday, with a subcommittee hearing aimed at criticizing efforts to rewrite a rule meant to protect streams from surface mining damage.

A House Natural Resources subcommittee heard from a long list of coal lobbyists, local political leaders, and state regulatory officials who are opposed to the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's work to redraft its stream "buffer zone" rule.

ON TAP TUESDAY:

NRC weighs Southern Co. bid for new reactors

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will meet to review utility giant Southern Company’s proposal to build a pair of new reactors at its Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia.

The White House is behind the project, which could be among the first new U.S. reactors in decades.

The project won a conditional Energy Department commitment last year for $8.3 billion worth of loan guarantees, but the company needs NRC licenses to proceed.

The meeting will be webcast. Details here.

World Bank, DOE officials highlight energy summit

The two-day Washington Energy Summit – which will focus this year on “powering cities of the future” – begins Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

Speakers include the World Bank’s top sustainable energy official, and officials from the Energy Department, FERC and other federal and private-sector experts. More here.

Wind energy tax credits in focus

The think tank NDN will hold a panel discussion titled “Wind Energy: The Economic Ramifications of Wind Energy and the Relevance of Tax Credits.” More here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT….

Here’s a quick roundup of Monday’s E2 stories:

- Obama praises green activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner Maathai
- EU climate chief ‘shocked’ at US debate
- Perry: Obama’s climate jab ‘outrageous’
- Obama knocks Perry on climate change

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Andrew Restuccia, arestuccia@thehill.com.

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